Alan Wake Wiki

As Alan Wake 2 has now launched, be wary of major spoilers of the game. It is recommended you play the game before browsing the wiki.


Alan Wake Wiki
Alan Wake Wiki

Quote1 Beyond the shadow you settle for, there is a miracle illuminated. Quote2
― Thomas Zane

Thomas Zane (born Thomas Seine) is a major character in the Alan Wake franchise and Remedy Connected Universe. Zane was a well-known and respected Finnish auteur filmmaker. He came to Bright Falls, Washington in the 1960s with his partner, Barbara Jagger, to establish an artist commune. In Bright Falls, Cauldron Lake was a place of power that allowed the work of art created there to change reality. Residing in Bird Leg Cabin on Diver's Isle, an island on Cauldron Lake, Barbara mysteriously drowned while swimming on July 10th, 1970. Zane, acting on advice from his assistant Emil Hartman, used his art to resurrect her. Upon her return, Zane realized that he had been tricked into unleashing a Dark Presence from within the lake, which was a threshold to another dimension called the Dark Place. Zane then wrote himself and Barbara out of existence, and sank the island.

As Zane descended into the Dark Place, the Bright Presence took the form of Tom the Poet, the character of a diver and poet from one of his films, while the Dark Presence continued to use Barbara's form. In the following forty years, Zane wrote Alan Wake into existence. A novelist that shared his face, Alan was written to defeat the Dark Presence and free Zane from the Dark Place. In 2010, the Dark Presence took Alan's wife, Alice, like it did to Barbara before. Zane guided Alan by learning from his mistakes and following the rules of the Dark Presence. Alan switched places with Alice in the Dark Place, resulting in Alan being trapped in there with Zane. By 2023, Zane continues in trying escape the Dark Place by collaborating with Alan and Dr. Casper Darling, while also evading the Federal Bureau of Control.



Thomas Seine was a well-known and respected auteur filmmaker in Finland. Among his most prestigious films was "Yötön Yö". He and his partner Barbara Jagger (born Baba Jakala) moved to Bright Falls, Washington. The couple was drawn to Cauldron Lake, a threshold and place of power that allowed the work of art created there to shape reality. The two purchased the old manor outside Bright Falls to establish an artist commune called the Oceanview Hotel. With them was their editor Emil Hartman, local writer Cynthia Weaver, and musicians Odin and Tor Anderson of the Old Gods of Asgard. In order to derive most of lake's power, Zane and Barbara resided in Bird Leg Cabin on Diver's Isle, an island on Cauldron Lake. While in Bright Falls, Tom created a film called "Tom the Poet", in which he played a fictionalized version of himself as a poet and diver. The movie starred Barbara, Emil, and Cynthia.

In 1970, Barbara went diving in search of the lake's power and subsequently drowned. Emil convinced Tom to use the lake's power and his artistic abilities to write Barbara back to life. Unknown to Tom and Emil, Cauldron Lake was a threshold to another dimension called the Dark Place. In there resided a resonance called the Dark Presence, an entity desperate to be unleashed upon the world. It brought back Barbara Jagger and wore her face. She compelled Tom to write the Dark Presence free. Realizing his mistake in writing her back, Tom tied up Barbara and cut her heart out. He then wrote himself out of existence and caused the caldera beneath Cauldron Lake to erupt, swallowing Diver's Isle and taking him and Barbara with it. As they sank, the Dark Presence claimed Barbara's body while the Bright Presence took Thomas'. Meanwhile, the spirits of Thomas and Barbara descended ever deeper into the Dark Place, where Zane recited a final "master poem." In doing so, he created a "baby universe" where he and Barbara continued to live in eternal peace and happiness.

Thomas Zane, now appearing as a floating diver's suit containing a bright light, acted as a guardian to other artists in Bright Falls and warned them of the Dark Presence and its intentions. As a contingency, Zane wrote that any of his belongings left in a shoe box would remain in the real world. He used the lake's power to write a character called Alan Wake, who would someday come to Cauldron Lake and defeat the Dark Presence using the Clicker, a light switch from his lamp imbued with magical power. Zane wrote that Alan had nightmares and a fear of the dark as a child; to help him overcome his fear, Alan's mother gave him the Clicker, pretending it was magical and it could defeat the monsters from the dark. The page described Alan remembering this when years later he stood at the bank of Cauldron Lake holding The Clicker in his hand just as he was about to jump into the Lake to defeat the Dark Presence. Thomas also continued to speak to Cynthia Weaver through the television and her dreams. He compelled her to keep the lights on and the Clicker safe until Alan could reclaim it.

Alan Wake[]

Zane makes his first appearance in Episode 1, where he appears in Alan's nightmare. Zane appears as a bright, shining light in the sky who saves Alan from the murderous hitchhiker by shining light over a house Wake is trapped in. This causes the hitchhiker to retreat. Zane provides light for Alan, healing him. Afterward, Zane gives Alan a message in poetry:

For he did not know, that beyond the lake he called home,
Lies a deeper, darker ocean green.
Where waves are both wilder and more serene.
To its ports I've been,
To its ports I've been.

Wake does not understand this, but Zane moves on. He quickly teaches Alan how he will fight with the Taken, which he will have to do in real life. Zane supplies Alan with a high-powered revolver and a flashlight, and then leaves, giving Wake back his dream.

As the game unfolds, Zane's presence becomes more and more felt. He is responsible for leaving the manuscript pages for Wake to find, scattering them through the trails that Wake will take. He may be behind the Safe Havens that Wake takes cover in, seeing how once in a while, a light pole will turn on unexpectedly.

Eventually, Wake pieces together what happened on the night his wife Alice was taken away. When the Dark Presence, in the form of Barbara Jagger, tricked Wake into writing a horror story for it, Wake became aware of its goal to kill everyone in the town (and possibly take over the world). Knowing that he could not get out himself, he wrote Zane into the story to come and free him with his power, and then take the manuscript pages and help him reveal the Dark Presences intentions to himself. Thomas did like the story asked, and used his power to drive the Dark Presence away from Bird Leg Cabin. He then freed Wake, and took the manuscript pages just as Barbara Jagger reasserted herself in the cabin. Zane escaped, and then proceeded to help Wake throughout the story.

It is revealed that Zane has created a weapon for Alan to end the Dark Presence with, the Clicker. When Alan was a young boy, his mother gave him a broken-off light switch, which he named The Clicker. Every time Wake would push the button, an imaginary light would turn on, and the "monsters" would go away. When Wake enters the Well-Lit Room with his friends, he amazingly finds the Clicker. Wake then set out to destroy the Dark Presence by diving into Cauldron Lake and ending Barbara Jagger.

As Alan succeeds in reaching the lake and diving in, Zane floats around in the water slowly around Alan, where he tells Alan to use the clicker to destroy Barbara Jagger, to "fill her heart with light." Before leaving, he shows Wake Mr. Scratch, a doppelganger of Wake. Mr. Scratch is an anomalous creation of the Dark Presence that will take Wake's place in the real world. Zane then leaves abruptly, leaving Alan to kill Barbara Jagger and write the ending to the story.

The Signal[]

Zane later reaches out to Alan who has become trapped and lost in the Dark Place, warning him that he should not go any further. He shows him a video of Alan struggling with reality and even telling of recent events. Later, he and Alan meet each other in Alan's own home, tells him its not the Dark Presence that's causing this but himself is responsible for making this happened: he is trapped in his own nightmares and fighting himself. After Alan angrily refuses to believe he is indeed responsible for this, Zane is forcibly pushed away before Alan's battle with the televisions.

The Writer[]

Zane appears as a light through a window at Cauldron Lake Lodge, informs Alan that he must reach the Lighthouse and by giving him a manuscript page allows him to bring out words to form a path. He also tells Alan that he is the part of Alan that doesn't want to give up and that the real Alan Wake is at Divers Isle, currently lost in the darkness and going insane after completing his puzzles. Along the way to Divers Isle, Barry states that Alan has ditched him as a friend, feeling replaced with Zane and gets enraged.


Thomas Zane is mentioned during Control, in an audio recording of Jesse Faden attending therapy, when her therapist mentions having looked up Zane after Faden mentioned that one of his poems was her favorite in a prior therapy session. However the therapist could not find a poet by that name, only a European film maker also named Thomas Zane who had moved to America in the 1960s. Zane later briefly appeared before Alan during a cutscene in the second expansion of Control, AWE. He wore Alan's body instead of his divers suit, claiming his previous suit was just a costume from a movie he once wrote. While offering Alan a drink, he tried to elude Alan into writing his escape from the Dark Place, while also confirming he was dealing with Mr. Scratch in the real world.

Alan Wake 2[]

Thomas Zane's backstory and identity is revealed. Thomas, who is identical to Alan, is still alive in the Dark Place and wishes to work together with Alan to create their magnum opus. He helps navigate Alan through the Dark Place, which has become a nightmarish version of New York City, in order to direct him to where he needed to go. Zane also encountered Sheriff Tim Breaker of Bright Falls. Zane asked him for the manuscript pages, and also pondered if Breaker was going to a costume party due to his outfit and if he could come with him. When Breaker revealed he was an actual cop and it was his uniform, Zane ran away.

In The Final Draft, Zane approaches Dr. Casper Darling in the Dark Place. Darling was the head of research for the Federal Bureau of Control, now trapped in the Dark Place. Darling came to the conclusion he would need to collaborate with an artist in order to escape. Zane reciprocated the desire to work with Darling, as the two flirted with each other.



Alan Wake Remastered - Tom Zane books of poetry found in Bird Leg Cabin

Found in Bird Leg Cabin in Alan Wake Remastered.


Found in Bird Leg Cabin by Alan Wake in Nightmare, later revealed to be props for Tom the Poet:

  • The Labyrinth of Me
  • The Temple of Shadow & Mist
  • In Her Dreams to Prevail
  • Kept from Sleep



  • Thomas Zane is voiced by James McCaffrey in Alan Wake, the voice actor of Alex Casey, and Max Payne in Remedy's previous game installments. McCaffrey also voices Zachariah Trench in Control, and returned to voice Alex Casey (in his various incarnations) in Alan Wake II.
  • During the Nightmare sequence in Episode One, there are many references to Thomas Zane's character. There are at least two posters that portray his diving suit, one of which bears the title "Tom the Poet". This is later revealed to be a poster for the movie "Tom the Poet", made by Zane himself and shaped the persona of him being a poet and a diver.
  • Several of the books in Bird Leg Cabin are attributed to Zane, and he seems to have found something when he mysteriously disappeared. When you try to inspect the books, Alan will claim he's never heard of the writer before. These books were either props made for "Tom the Poet" or were written into reality by Zane in order to guide Alan in his journey.
  • Before Alan restores the power inside Bird Leg Cabin for Alice, he can go to the typewriter room and find an old picture of Tom in his diving suit. It also triggers his memories from the nightmare sequence and flashes from the upcoming week in the cabin.
  • Zane's works are always found inside a shoebox, including the collection found in Bird's Leg Cabin. This follows Zane's 'loophole' that his possessions can be preserved as long as they are in a shoebox, including the box in the well lit room.

    A diver's suit used in 'For Your Eyes Only'

  • Thomas Zane's fictionalized version of himself in "Tom the Poet" was an avid diver of Cauldron Lake, thus the small island he lived on came to be known as Diver's Isle.
  • The diving suit Thomas Zane appears in strongly resembles that of one used in the James Bond film 'For Your Eyes Only'.
    • Specifically, the suit worn by Thomas Zane is known as a JIM suit.
  • Whenever Zane appears, there is always the sound of deep water and the breathing sound of the diving suit indicating that Thomas Zane is still in the lake.
  • Tom makes a cameo appearance in Alan Wake's American Nightmare when he can be seen on a movie poster for "Tom the Poet" towards the end of the Drive-In Theater sequence.
  • In the song "Balance Slays the Demon", a song that Barry wrote for the Old Gods of Asgard, features a line from one of Zane's poems, which is also featured in the Cauldron Lake Lodge monument: "Beyond the shadow you settle for, there's a miracle illuminated." This line is also cited in Control as Jesse Faden's favorite line of poetry.
  • Based on Zane's interactions with Alan Wake, Tim Breaker and Casper Darling in Alan Wake 2 and The Final Draft; and Ilkka Villi's comments regarding Zane, it's possible that Zane is bisexual and gender nonconforming. Villi described Zane as "free" in the Dark Place, able to be "in touch" with his feminine side and to "love anyone".[1]
  • A blackboard appearing in Remedy's follow-up game, Quantum Break, is covered in references to Alan Wake, including a portion of the poem recited by Zane at the beginning of the game; "...deeper darker ocean green where the waves are both wilder and more serene." Quantum Break features characters named Beth Wilder and Paul Serene, and the fact that the words matching their names are underlined on this blackboard suggests that the characters were deliberately named after the poem from Alan Wake.

Alan and Tom[]

  • When Alan meets the Anderson Brothers in the Oh Deer Diner, they call him Tom, which could speculate that Alan is a reincarnated version of Tom or looks exactly like him. Alan seems to take the name as if they were just old people using "Tom" as a nickname.
    • The theory that Alan Wake is a "reincarnated version" of Tom is further supported during Episode 6 when Alan is in the Dark Place, approaching Bird Leg Cabin, after beating the Tornado. The voices of Tom and Barbara are heard talking from when Tom killed Barbara after realizing it was not her. In this sequence, Tom is voiced by Matthew Porretta (Alan Wake's voice actor), and Barbara is voiced by Brett Madden (Alice Wake's voice actor).[2]
    • In Control, Zane appears as an exact doppelganger of Alan himself instead of in his diver suit, which reinforces the possibility that he and Alan may be the same person.
    • In Alan Wake 2, it is confirmed that Thomas Zane is identical in appearance to Alan Wake. However, he is a Finnish immigrant and voiced by Ilkka Villi rather than James McCaffrey or Matthew Porretta.

Zane and Scratch[]


The Diver[]

The Filmmaker[]


  2. These lines, featuring Tom and Barbara speaking to each other, have the same IDs as other voicelines attributed to Matthew Porretta and Brett Madden. Some examples are LEVEL_16\0110_WAKE: "You’re not my Barbara." and LEVEL_16\0111_ALICE: "Tom, let me go. I promise to be good. Please, untie me, you naughty boy. I will help you write your masterpiece. I will love you forever."