Alan Wake Wiki

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Alan Wake Wiki
Alan Wake Wiki

Quote1 It's all in your head... you've been making it up! Quote2
― Emil Hartman, Episode 4: The Truth

Dr. Emil Hartman is an antagonist in Alan Wake and the Remedy Connected Universe. Originally an assistant to Finnish filmmaker Thomas Zane in Bright Falls, Washington, he was drawn to the power of Cauldron Lake and its ability to shape reality based on the works of art created there. Hartman had convinced Zane to resurrect his lover, Barbara Jagger, using the power of the lake. After Zane took his life in order to fix his mistake, Hartman became a psychiatrist specializing in struggling artists and established the Cauldron Lake Lodge to exploit his patients into shaping reality for his own ends. In 2010, Hartman invited Alice Wake to bring her husband, novelist Alan Wake, to Bright Falls under the guise of offering psychiatric care. In reality, Hartman sought to take advantage of Wake's talent and use him to influence Cauldron Lake. Hartman was later possessed by the Dark Presence and imprisoned in the Oldest House by the Federal Bureau of Control. He later broke out of containment and was eventually killed by Director Jesse Faden in 2019.



At some point in his early life, after finishing his psychotherapist training at Tollund Memorial Hospital in Vermont, Hartman moved west and eventually settled into private practice in Bright Falls, Washington[1]; where he became the assistant to Thomas Zane, a Finnish filmmaker who immigrated to the area with his partner and actress, Barbara Jagger, to establish an artist commune. Hartman also starred in Zane's film, "Tom the Poet", in which he played a fictionalized version of himself. Through Zane, Hartman learned that the local Cauldron Lake had the power to turn the works of art created there into reality. When Barbara drowned in Cauldron Lake in search of its power, Hartman convinced Zane to use the lake's power to bring Barbara back to life through his art.

Barbara returned to Zane, but with disastrous results. The Dark Presence, an entity originating from the Dark Place beneath Cauldron Lake, possessed Barbara. The Dark Presence compelled Zane to create a work of art that would set it loose upon the world. In order to erase what he had done, Zane killed Barbara and created a work of art that sunk Bird Leg Cabin of Diver's Isle, taking them both down in Cauldron Lake.

Creators dilemma

A hardcover edition of Dr. Hartman's book, The Creator's Dilemma

Hartman continued to study the phenomena occurring in Bright Falls for years thereafter, eventually converting the Cauldron Lake Lodge to a clinic for the ostensible purpose of helping tortured artists recover from mental health issues. Whilst in Bright Falls he has written two books, the first titled Creative Flow. His most recent book, The Creator's Dilemma, described his unorthodox methods and claimed that treatment at the Cauldron Lake Lodge was the only viable option for tortured artists to recover from their dilemmas. In reality, Hartman's lodge was his testing ground in which he attempted to use artists as subjects to manipulate reality using Cauldron Lake.

Bright Falls[]

A reporter, named Jake Fischer came to Bright Falls in order to interview Hartman about his book, The Creator's Dilemma. Originally Jake was going to record the interview using a camera, but Hartman insisted Jake write notes on the interview instead. From Hartman's perspective, the interview went off without a hitch, though this was a different experience for Jake.

A couple days later, Jake returned to Hartman initially to get a copy of Hartman's book signed. Jake then confided in Hartman about blacking out and waking up in weird places and seemingly killing a deer. Hartman initially invited Jake to stay there at the Cauldron Lake Lodge where he could help him, but as Hartman shone a pen light in Jake's eyes, Jake freaked out over the brightness and ran out of the lodge; Hartman, however, looked on with interest regarding what transpired.

Alan Wake[]

Hartman was eventually contacted by Alice Wake, who sought therapy for her husband, Alan, a bestselling novelist experiencing extreme writer's block. Hartman deemed Alan an ideal candidate and invited Alice to take Alan to his clinic. When Alan and Alice disappeared, Hartman was furious, realizing that Alan's writing was already beginning to influence reality. When Alan resurfaced, Hartman had his lackey, Ben Mott, lure Alan to them by claiming to have kidnapped Alice and demanding Alan's manuscript. However, Mott was soon killed by the Dark Presence, and Hartman took matters into his own hands, kidnapping Alan and taking him to the Cauldron Lake Lodge.

Hartman claimed to Alan that he had suffered a psychotic breakdown over Alice's death, which had caused him to conjure up imaginary supernatural events. Alan, however, did not believe Hartman, and attempted to escape. In the process, the Dark Presence attacked Cauldron Lake Lodge, trapping Hartman with it. However, Hartman was able to escape from the Dark Presence, and later aided local law enforcement in defeating a Taken Ben Mott. Hartman lamented the loss of Wake as a prime candidate for his experiments, but continued his work in studying Cauldron Lake.


Following the events of Alan Wake, the Federal Bureau of Control investigated Bright Falls and uncovered Hartman's actions and research. While Hartman wished to form a partnership with the FBC, the Bureau found Hartman to be in violation of paranatural law, and detained him. While Hartman was eventually released due to being considered a low-level threat, his research and property was confiscated by the FBC. Desperate, Hartman finally resorted to diving into Cauldron Lake himself and was overcome by the Dark Presence, becoming The-Thing-That-Once-Was-Hartman. The FBC quickly apprehended the Taken Hartman and brought him to their headquarters, the Oldest House.

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The Third Thing in Control

Inside of the Oldest House, Hartman was kept in the Bright Falls AWE area of the Investigations Sector and studied for several years. However, when Alice Wake was brought to the Oldest House for an interview in 2017, Hartman sensed her presence and escaped containment, forcing the FBC to retreat and ultimately abandon the entire sector. In 2019, the Oldest House was invaded by an extradimensional entity, the Hiss, which was of similar nature to the Dark Presence. The Hiss and the Presence met and amplified one another inside of Hartman, "stretching" him into "The Third Thing", a monstrous form that possessed bizarre powers but maintained the Taken's weakness to light. The Third Thing was ultimately killed by FBC Director Jesse Faden.


  • His surname Hartman ("art man") may be a reference to the fact that his patients are all artists. Another possibility is that his name is a reference to Johan Haartman (b. 1725 - d. 1787), a Finnish doctor of some historical significance.
  • Alternately, it could be a reference to 'Hart', another word for a red deer stag.
  • The etymology of his first name in the game, "Emil", is derived from the Latin "aemulus," meaning "imitating, rivaling or emulating."
  • In the Bright Falls miniseries, when Jake Fischer flips through his notes while driving, the writings refer to Hartman as "Sydney" not "Emil".
  • Clay Steward notes in The Alan Wake Files that Hartman has a private art collection reputed to be “one of the largest gatherings of art depicting bizarre, unnatural phenomena.”
  • Easter egg: After scanning the Microsoft Tag in "Episode 4 The Truth" on the second floor of the clinic you are given Dr. Emil Hartman's phone number: 1-857-239-7601
    • This was an actual number back in 2010. If you called it, Hartman would explain his clinic's purpose, it also sounds like a Taken is echoing his words. As of August 2011, this number no longer appears to be valid.
      • Accordingly, this Tag, as well as all the others, has been replaced by a QR Code with new content in the PC port and Alan Wake Remastered.
  • In a few places, Cynthia Weaver writes in the light-sensitive paint "Don't Trust Emil".
  • In the Bright Falls AWE supplemental report in Control, it is mentioned that Hartman vanished without a trace along with Alan Wake and Robert Nightingale. His whereabouts were later confirmed in Expansion 2: AWE.



Alan Wake[]


  1. Page 91 of The Alan Wake Files.