The Ghoul in the wasteland.
Image via Prime Video Youtube

Is The Ghoul in the Fallout Games? Walton Goggins’ Character, Explained

The Ghoul is a main character with an important backstory in the Fallout Prime series.

The Ghoul is a hard hitting, no nonsense character jaded by surviving the wasteland for 200 years. Played by Walton Goggins, he’s a fan favorite regardless of his rough edges. Here’s what we know about The Ghoul and if he’s in the Fallout games.

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The Ghoul Character Explained

As the Ghoul, Walton Goggins’ character is one that appears in a majority of the Fallout video games. In Fallout 3, Charon is one of the companions, Raul aids the Courier in Fallout New Vegas, and John Hancock appears in Fallout 4. Following that trend, The Ghoul is the one ghoul companion that always appears in the franchise.

The Ghoul S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Stats and Perks

The Ghoul has the following S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, which were released by Bethesda on their social media accounts. When created in Fallout 76, he utilizes the following perks.

S
5
P
6
E
7
C
7
I
4
A
7
L
4
Fo76 PerksBarbarian
Bullet Shield
Concentrated Fire
Rifleman
Expert Rifleman
Master Rifleman
Tank Killer
Ground Pounder
Lead Belly
Cannibal
Ironclad
Ghoulish
Radicool
Chem Fiend
Lone Wanderer
Animal Friend
Wrecking BallMoving Target
Action Boy / Girl
Evasive
Sneak
Adrenaline
Gun Fu
Psychopath
4 Leaf Clover
Grim Reaper’s Sprint
Quick Hands
Better Criticals
Critical Savvy
Stats and Perks via Bethesda

*As a note, the rest of the article contains spoilers for the Fallout series.*

Please no spoilers.
Image via Fallout on Prime on X (formerly Twitter)

While the Ghoul and Lucy have a difficult relationship, it’s not uncommon for multiple quests to be completed before a companion will join the player. The Ghoul selling Lucy for vials of drugs, as well as forcing her to drink radiated water and make jerky out of his former acquaintance can be seen as side quests on the way to obtaining him as a companion.

He’s also an important mechanic in showing the audience that not all Ghouls are feral. Feral ghouls aren’t introduced in the show until after the showdown in Filly. Viewers unfamiliar with the franchise would assume that all ghouls are like him, with radiation-changing exterior appearances and lengthy lifespans. Unlike in the games, where feral ghouls can be some of the first enemies you encounter in the various titles. There needed to be a way to show both sides of Ghoul’s reality, and using the companion as that path was a no-brainer.

However, The Ghoul has a much more complicated backstory and purpose in the series. Cooper Howard, The Ghoul’s pre-apocalypse identity, was married to one of the executives of Vault-Tec. His cowboy costume, iconic of his movie persona, were what influenced the blue and yellow of the vault suits. His thumbs up pose, used in one of the first Vault-Tec ads, became the well known pose for the Vault Boy.

As the story progresses, we learn that Coop discovered the truth behind the vaults. He even hears Barb drop the bomb about Vault-Tec being behind the apocalypse. Whether that gets confirmed later in subsequent seasons or not remains to be seen, but it can be said that there’s strong evidence implicating the vault makers as the starters of the nuclear destruction.

Due to her last name, he had a gut feeling about Lucy MacLean. While he didn’t initially follow her, he did learn that her father was his wife’s executive assistant. Finally, Lucy and The Ghoul team up to track down who really runs the wasteland and learn the whereabouts of the Howard family. This is the point at which The Ghoul truly becomes that vault dweller’s companion.

Walter Goggins plays both of his characters perfectly. It’s difficult enough to get into the headspace of one character, never mind a character with two personalities vastly different from one another. He’s a devoted, loving father with good morals. He’s also the drug-addicted, amoral, and exploitative gunslinger. Towards the end of season one, we do start to see the old Cooper Howard showing up in the Ghoul’s behavior.

That’s what we know about Walter Goggins’ character, The Ghoul, in the Fallout series and how he connects to the games. More is sure to be revealed in the second season as we follow him and Lucy to Seattle. For more on similar articles, see our Fallout hub.


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Author
Ashley Erickson
Ashley, otherwise known as Glitchiee, is an avid gamer of RPGs, TTRPGS, farming sims, and survival crafting games. Playing since she can remember, she started on the SNES, GameBoy Color, and collection 1st gen Pokemon cards. Using her passion for gaming, she's written about games for a combined total of 2 years.