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People called me a hero after what happened at HELIOS, but I left that battle scarred by fear, and have allowed that weakness to govern my actions.

Elder Nolan McNamara is the head of the Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel living at the Hidden Valley bunker in 2281.


Elder McNamara was once a head paladin. He fought against the NCR at HELIOS One in the failed Operation: Sunburst and broke through the NCR lines to lead the surviving Brotherhood forces to safety.[1] This act earned him an enormous amount of respect and loyalty from his chapter. He assumed command of the Mojave chapter, and the rank of elder, when Father Elijah vanished during the battle. He is credited with saving the Mojave chapter from complete eradication.

Fearing that the NCR would continue to hunt down the Mojave chapter, McNamara put the Hidden Valley bunker on lockdown, not allowing anyone but small scouting parties to leave, nor allowing any Brotherhood members who were outside to enter.[2] He still fears the NCR and believes they are still hunting the Brotherhood, when in fact the NCR is currently overburdened fighting wars on multiple fronts and is not even looking for the Brotherhood. The extended lockdown and resulting attrition of the Brotherhood's sphere of influence have caused some members of the Brotherhood to question the elder's judgment, and Head Paladin Edgar Hardin is looking for a way to usurp him.[3]

Interactions with the player character

Interactions overview

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This character starts quests.
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This character is involved in quests.


  • Still in the Dark: McNamara will ask the player character to do various tasks for the Brotherhood, such as looking for Brotherhood patrols, getting reports from scouts and helping repair the air filtration system by retrieving different parts from the Mojave's vaults. He can also be overthrown by Head Paladin Hardin with the help of the Courier in this quest.
  • Eyesight to the Blind: If not overthrown, McNamara will task the player character with planting a bug in the radio equipment at Black Mountain and to deal with the super mutants there.
  • I Could Make You Care: Veronica wants to convince the elder to change and get more recruits.

Effects of player's actions

  • If Elder McNamara is overthrown, he will be demoted to knight and can be found working in the knight's workshop, wearing a suit of recon armor.


*Only if the Courier overthrows McNamara.
**Only when the Courier wears the explosive collar.


  • Elder McNamara is mentioned by Father Elijah in the first act of Dead Money. This can be heard when eavesdropping on Elijah through the radio frequency 743.00Hz ULF.[4]
  • Elder McNamara is described by Veronica as being one of the Brotherhood's most progressive members. He, under the appropriate circumstances, will even support the NCR. In contrast, Hardin is a conservative, dyed-in-the-wool Brotherhood member who believes in the ideals and mission of the Brotherhood without question.
  • In the Eyesight to the Blind quest, McNamara remarks that under his leadership, the Brotherhood has remained neutral with the neighboring Black Mountain super mutants out of respect. This runs counter to the Brotherhood's usual attitude towards mutants. However, this policy was established while Black Mountain was still under the control of the benevolent Marcus, rather than its current unstable and violent leader, Tabitha.
  • Even after joining the Brotherhood, McNamara will keep calling the Courier an outsider, even if he is ousted.


Nolan McNamara appears only in Fallout: New Vegas and is mentioned in Dead Money.


  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 After Elder McNamara grants you full access of the bunker, heading for his chair, if the player sits in his chair he will stop his action and stand still forever. This can be fixed by going into the console, selecting Elder McNamara with your mouse or typing prid 000e2f87, then disable, then enable. [verified]
    • Note: If you can't find him, type player.moveto 000e2f87 and warp to where he's stuck contemplating a wall/air vent.
  • PCPC McNamara may not respond at all for action/talk call. This can be fixed by loading and trying again. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 McNamara, the Rangemaster, Lars Taggart, Scribe Ibsen and Tapper sometimes end their dialogue with Antony's distinctively voiced "Later." [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 After completing Still in the Dark, McNamara will be unavailable for dialogue and will indefinitely respond to attempts to speak to him with a comment stating that he is busy with efforts ending the lockdown, thus preventing the player character from finding peaceful resolutions during quests such as For the Republic, Part 2. [verification overdue]
    • This is likely just a minor scripting bug. Once you reach this point, exit the entire bunker complex then re-enter the bunker and talk with McNamara again. Exiting and re-entering the bunker flips a trigger switch and allows McNamara to offer you the next quest in the BoS Chain (Eyesight to the Blind) that offers you the chance to become a member of the BoS, which then allows you to ask the BoS for their support in the upcoming battle.
    • NOTE: You may have to wait 3 days or so after exiting the bunker complex before re-entering will work. What's happening in the meantime is the Elder is lifting the lockdown. The 3-day wait corresponds to the universal refresh time that also affects vendor inventories and non-player character respawns. However, this may still not allow the courier to initiate a conversation with the Elder.
      • If you have tried the above solutions and still lack results, you can open the console and enter this command: /set "000E327C".LockdownLifted to 1
    • On Xbox 360, it seems this may be caused by applying the 1.2 update partway through the game. Clear the update from your Xbox system cache (see Removing patches). This will fix the "lockdown bug." Go talk to McNamara, tell him about the NCR and ask him about joining the Brotherhood. You can then re-patch your game with the update after talking to him, he will remain fixed and you will be able to continue with both quests.
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 After attempting to receive power armor training from Elder McNamara the screen will turn black then fade back in, leaving you frozen and only able to look up and down. To fix this, try to enter console, then, selecting Elder McNamara with your mouse or typing prid 000e2f87, disable, then enable.


  1. The Courier: "Tell me about what happened at HELIOS."
    Nolan McNamara: "We were overrun, plain and simple. My Brothers fought with great courage, but in the end the enemy was just too many. When the tide of the battle turned for the worse, our Elder was nowhere to be found, and everything was chaos. Fully half of our forces had already fallen. I gathered up those I could find and we fought our way here. This place had been briefly discussed as a fallback point, though at the time none really believed that could possibly become necessary. That's it, really. There was nothing glorious about the battle, just a nightmare of screams, blood, and death."
    (Nolan McNamara's dialogue)
  2. The Courier: "Tell me about the lockdown."
    Nolan McNamara: "It's a protective measure that was enacted after our defeat at HELIOS. The NCR was hot on our heels, and we wouldn't have survived another encounter. It was decided that we would stay quiet for a time, heal the wounded, and try to come up with a new strategy. However, after we had fully recuperated, our first scouting measures showed that the NCR's presence in this region had only increased in our absence. There are now more than five times the number of NCR troops in the area as when we fought them, and we have half the number we did at HELIOS. And so the lockdown has been extended. To go outside would be the death of us all."
    (Nolan McNamara's dialogue)
  3. The Courier: "Did you know Hardin is trying to find a way to become Elder?"
    Nolan McNamara: "Oh yes, he's been trying for quite some time. Hardin has been strongly opposed to the lockdown from the first. It goes against his nature, you see. Hardin's the type to fight to the last, and die rather than surrender. It's a good trait to have in a soldier, and a bad one to have in a leader."
    (Nolan McNamara's dialogue)
  4. Elijah: "Hnh. Going to wipe the slate clean. Kimball, the Republic... Hardin, McNamara, my "brothers." Then I'll head back West."
    (Elijah's dialogue) Note: This line can be overheard on 743.00Hz ULF radio signal in act one of the add-on Dead Money.