Friday ‘Nite is a weekly Fortnite column in which Mark Delaney takes a closer look at current events in the wide world of Fortnite, with a special emphasis on the game’s plot, characters, and lore.
The Fortnite story is an ever-changing and unpredictable adventure full of timeloops, kaiju battles, hostile invasions from Marvel baddies, and the more-than-occasional dancing banana. Epic loves to stay tight-lipped on the official plot, which leaves the community of players, writers, and YouTubers to fill in the gaps to the best of their abilities. While some of the story comes to us as merely our best guesswork, other aspects of the story are considered canon. The game’s massive cast of characters is always a point of emphasis. What are their motivations? Where did they come from? How come that one looks like a tree?
In this updated feature for 2022, we’re taking a fresh look at the 10 most important characters in Fortnite lore. We last published this list in November 2021, and as you can see below, there’s been a lot of movement based on characters arriving on the scene, disappearing, or even dying off. We’ll continue to revisit the Fortnite story and rank the most important Fortnite characters, so bookmark this page so you don’t miss a story beat.
10. The Visitor (Previous rank: 4)When The Visitor arrived, Fortnite lore changed forever.
The Visitor was the first member of The Seven we met in the Fortnite storyline, way back when he crashed onto the island in a metal capsule of some sort embedded within a meteor in Chapter 1, Season 3. He quickly went to work and built a rocket, then launched it into the sky which led to Fortnite’s first live lore event, Blast Off, in 2018. His intentions with the rocket remain murky at best, but one theory is that he was signaling for the rest of The Seven, so they could reach Athena and possibly take it back from IO control.
He later reappeared in Season X, bringing The Scientist with him, and was, until recently, regarded as the assumed leader of The Seven, but we’ve since learned that’s not his job at all. These days, The Visitor is the most low-key member of The Seven, in part because he lost his voice for a long time, but The Seven remains an exclusive club, so he still makes the cut.
9. Doctor Slone (Previous rank: 2)For Slone, the end always justifies the means.
Slone has made a name for herself by being the ruthless leader of the IO–or at least the highest-ranking member we’ve met so far. Her ruthlessness is not in question, anyway. She first appeared in Chapter 2, Season 7, and recruited loopers (players) in fighting back against the invasion of The Last Reality. But she would later betray them when she left loopers to die in the blast zone of the bomb they helped sneak onboard the alien Mothership. Her betrayal didn’t go entirely to plan though, as the cubes awakened and took over Apollo, saving some loopers, but leading to the Chapter 2 finale.
I hate to do my favorite character dirty like this, but Slone is technically dead, hence her dramatic fall in these rankings. Having been crushed by Doggus in the Chapter 3, Season 2 finale, Collision, Slone’s role as the central villain of the Fortnite story seems to have come to an end. I take comfort knowing that, in all likelihood, she’s very much alive–as she seems to have narrowly protected herself before Doggus’ gigantic fist came down on her. I hope, nd genuinely expect, we’ll see her again someday, but for now I think she’ll be absent for a good while.
8. The Sisters (Previous rank: unlisted)The Imagined and The Order are curiously named like their rival organization.
The Sisters are new characters we could only speculate about the last time we did these rankings, and they debut near the middle of the pack for now. As the final two members we met from The Seven, this pair reasonably get ranked together because the twins are so inseparable in the storyline. Though they’re quite unlike each other–The Imagined seems like more of a firecracker as compared to The Order, who seems to be the level-headed one, it’s their individual strengths that help shape The Seven into the formidable island-protectors we know them to be.
The Imagined seems to enjoy annoying The Origin with her impulsiveness, but it’s this same quick-thinking that helps the group stay strong. The Order, meanwhile, is more of an infiltrator, and has used her stealth skills to steal critical IO data before. Expect their legends to grow over the coming months in Fortnite.
7. The Origin (Previous rank: unlisted)The Origin doesn’t trust easily–ironic when you consider that he can manipulate cube energy.
At the start of Chapter 3, Season 2, we finally met the true leader of The Seven. Fans once wrongly attributed this role to both The Visitor and The Foundation at different times, but it is, in fact, The Origin who got the band together. Voiced wonderfully by Rahul Kohli, The Origin’s, well, origins, are still the most mysterious of all Seven members. Physically, he resembles the Cube Queen–the ousted supervillain of Chapter 2, Season 8–with a similar and confusing control of cube energy that usually seems to denote a corrupting, dark power.
Somehow, The Origin seems to have control over this energy and uses it for good, but his common ground with past evildoers certainly raises an eyebrow. The Fortnite story is built for the long haul, so it could truly be years before we learn what the story is behind his dark “magic,” but in the meantime, he does seem to be a genuine, hyperfocused, albeit skeptical leader and all-around hero.
6. The Scientist (Previous rank: 5)The Scientist created the Black Hole which swallowed Athena, the original Fortnite island.
The Scientist is The Seven’s comic relief–not to say he can’t be serious or that he isn’t incredibly intelligent and capable. It’s just that he’s voiced by Joel McHale, so you kind of get what you pay for. McHale infuses a lot of comedy into the Fortnite story, which tends to be otherwise centered on the world ending, and in Chapter 3, Season 3, he became a bonafide comedy duo with his super AI companion, AMIE, who happens to be in love with him. When he’s not trying to friend-zone his robot buddy, The Scientist is often the one building the group’s latest marvels of futuristic technology. That’s why he hangs out in Synapse Station, tinkering in the garage at all hours of the day.
His rank in this latest update falls just slightly due to reasons that have less to do with him and more to do with the character next on this list.
5. The Paradigm (Previous rank: 6)It’s all but confirmed that The Paradigm and Singularity are the same person, with the latter being her non-Seven persona.
The Paradigm and The Scientist swap places in this latest lore power ranking exercise because of The Paradigm’s pivotal actions in the Chapter 3, Season 2 finale. After being ousted by The Origin for having acted unilaterally in the Chapter 1 fight between Doggus and Cattus, The Paradigm seems to have spent several real-life years on a moon orbiting the island. Called to action when some members of The Seven worked to get her back in The Origin’s good graces, she was basically the reason they defeated the IO.
Her rebuilt mech, Doggus, trounced the IO’s land and air attack on the island, and without her wits and exceptional pilot skills, it’s unlikely the IO lose their grip on the island. The Paradigm now seems to be fully integrated back into the group and doesn’t need to prove to anyone where her allegiance lies.
4. The Foundation (Previous rank: 3)Do you smell what The Foundation is cookin’?
The Foundation is all over Fortnite lore, especially lately, and the fact that he’s voiced by Dwayne Johnson tells us Epic has big plans for this fourth confirmed member of The Seven. You’d need to have read the Batman/Fortnite: Foundation one-shot comic to be totally caught up with his goings-on, but here are the spark notes: The Foundation arrived during the Zero Crisis Finale in Chapter 2, Season 6, and after a brief altercation with Jonesy, decided to help fix the Zero Point in exchange for information on the whereabouts of Geno and The Sisters, whose identities remain secrets to this very day.
The Foundation was stuck inside the Zero Point, holding it together like Atlas, until he was blasted out of it during the alien invasion and sent flying into Gotham (yes, that Gotham) where he worked with Batman to get back to Apollo. Most recently, he’s returned to the island, only to then run off with Jonesy to search for Geno (listed below). That’s fine with us, as the pair’s buddy-cop routine has been amazing so far.
3. The Bloomwatcher (Previous rank: unlisted)What happens when reality falls?
Note that in this one instance, we don’t actually know the name of this character. At the time of writing, the leafy villain-coded mystery character has only been seen briefly in the Chapter 3, Season 3 cinematic trailer. We also don’t know their motivations, their origins, their allegiances, or basically anything else about them. So why do they rank so highly? Well, because the Season 3 trailer clearly indicates that they’re about to figure very prominently in the future of Fortnite.
The Reality Tree is spreading its seeds and extending its roots all across the island, morphing landmarks into shifting locales that resemble places we’ve seen on older Fortnite islands. How do these reality-bending powers work, and more alarmingly, what will they be used for? There is so much to understand and so little to go on, but it’s clear that this so-called Bloomwatcher is about to take the spotlight.
2. Geno (Previous rank: unlisted)Can you get me to Geno?
We’d heard Geno’s name before, but never ranked him until now because he was merely that: a name. But now we have a face–sort of–to put to the name. Geno seems to be the true boss of the IO. Many have always speculated that Slone was just the most prominent operative we’d met so far, and it seems like the Chapter 3, Season 2 finale confirmed that. While that new detail on Geno is welcome, we still have plenty more gaps in our understanding of this shadowy figure.
Looking at the image above, which comes from the aforementioned finale event, it begs several questions: Why does he have yellow, almost robotic eyes? Is his face decorated in cube energy? Where does he reside anyway? As you can tell by now if you’ve read this whole thing, Fortnite loves a mystery, and Geno sliding into the overarching villain role just brings up several more questions while giving us very few answers. Unlike The Bloomwatcher, which I expect will become a more immediate baddie, I expect the Geno questions to linger for months, if not years, to come.
1. John Jones (previous rank: 1)As goes Jonesy, so goes the entire Fortnite storyline.
John Jones AKA Agent Jones AKA, most famously, Jonesy, is the protagonist of Fortnite. It’s through his eyes and Troy Baker-voiced words that we experience much of the Fortnite story. Jones was a member of the Imagined Order who was sent to repair the Zero Point in Chapter 2, and to that end, he recruited many of the omniverse’s greatest hunters to help protect it, such as Ellen Ripley, Sarah Connor, and The Mandalorian. When he was unable to protect it, Jones defied his IO commanders and contacted The Seven in the desperate hope that they might save reality. The IO wasn’t ready to do such a thing as it would re-ignite the struggle between the two sides, so Jones ditched them for what he saw as the greater good. With The Foundation’s help, Jones was able to protect the Zero Point, at least for a while.
Throughout Fortnite, we’ve seen Jones reappear as various “snapshots,” or alternate versions of himself. When players loop back onto the island and fight for or against the Zero Point, (the in-universe justification for rounds of battle royale), they can often come back changed. The many faces that Jonesy wears are thus alternate versions of the same hero, whether he’s dressed like a cabbie, a cow, or like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. Jones is caught squarely in the middle of the feud between the IO and The Seven, and his story is not nearly complete just yet. In all likelihood, Jones will remain at the heart of everything Fortnite for years to come–no matter how he’s dressed.
Previous rankings (November 2021)
10. The Prisoner
7. The Cube Queen
6. The Paradigm
5. The Scientist
4. The Visitor
3. The Foundation
2. Doctor Slone
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