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 You ask me, this Agent Nightingale's been hitting the scotch bottle like a gong. Quote2
― Deputy Thornton

Thornton is a character in the Alan Wake franchise. He is a deputy sheriff of Bright Falls, Washington, often partnered with Deputy Mulligan. He and Mulligan were active in investigating the string of disappearances around the town in 2010, and were part of a secret neighborhood watch which knew of the "weirdness" around Bright Falls and worked to keep the town safe from it, fighting the Taken in 2010.

Along with the Koskela Brothers and several other residents in town, Thornton and Mulligan eventually joined the Cult of the Tree in an effort to continue protecting the town by performing ritualistic "murders" using the Clicker to kill any Taken that emerged from Cauldron Lake. In 2023, Thornton and Mulligan were later possessed by the Darkness and killed by FBI Agent Saga Anderson during her investigation of the cult.



The friend and partner of Deputy Mulligan, the two tend to argue a lot. Deputy Thornton came to Bright Falls in the 1990s and settled for the quiet life and the beautiful views of Bright Falls. As a Deputy he is used to being indoors at the Sheriffs Office taking 911 calls directed through to the Bright Falls Sheriff Station and dispatching calls. Thornton is a well liked member of staff and has a very positive and honest personality. He may not like taking orders from a female Sheriff as Sarah Breaker is the first female Sheriff to Bright Falls, but he does admire her ambition and drive.

Alan Wake[]

To be added...

Night Springs[]

Thornton's first visual appearance in the series, chronologically, is in the Night Springs comic. On the night of September 13, 2010, Thornton is one of the townspeople alerted of the ongoing crisis by Barry Wheeler's codeword phone call on Sarah Breaker's behalf, who end up gathering outside town limits. Others include fellow deputies Mulligan, Grant, and Janes, as well as Pat Maine and Sarah's father Frank.

When Frank arrives, the group updates him on the situation, with Mulligan and Thornton telling him how they had fought off several Taken on the way to the meeting, using light to defeat them. Putting together a quick action plan, Frank orders Mulligan and Thornton to investigate Cauldron Lake Lodge, believing that Emil Hartman is likely involved in the events.

Psycho Thriller[]

Following the events of Night Springs, Thornton and Mulligan arrive at Cauldron Lake Lodge as ordered, at least one full day after the Dark Presence's attack on the lodge, approximately around the dawn of September 14. Their arrival coincidentally scares off Ben Mott, who had been Taken on September 11. This saves Hartman and Nurse Sinclair, who were being attacked by Mott. The deputies help Hartman to defeat the Taken Mott. Afterwards, Hartman refuses to cooperate with their investigation and walks away, angering Mulligan and forcing Thornton and Sinclair to calm him down. The three are last shown leaving the lodge as the sun rises.

Alan Wake 2[]


In Alan Wake 2, Thornton is one of the deputies found at the murder site of Robert Nightingale. He and Mulligan assist with FBI agents Saga Anderson and Alex Casey. Thornton is audibly apprehensive about outsiders joining the investigation, despite Mulligan's attempts to shush him as he was around both agents. The two are eventually revealed to be members of the Cult of the Tree who work with the Koskela Brothers to fend off Taken and keep the Dark Presence away from Bright Falls. However, the two end up accidentally killing a wandering woman, Monica Thompson, whom they thought was Taken, and are left shaken by their actions. Agreeing not to let their deeds be known, they dump her body in the Huotari Well at Coffee World to avoid suspicion.

Wracked with guilt, coupled with the influence of Alan Wake's writing of Return to guide Saga's story, Thornton and Mulligan ultimately become Taken by the Dark Presence. Realizing that they have the Clicker, Saga pursues the two possessed deputies to an Overlap at Huotari Well: the Dark Presence had corrupted the deputies into expies of Ilmari and Jaakkoppi Huotari, murderers from Watery who hid their victims in the well. She manages to open the Overlap by gathering the materials to finish a parade float featuring the Huotari brothers, including a moose skull used as Ilmari's mask. In the Overlap, Thornton and Mulligan emerge from the Huotari Well, with Thornton firing at Saga with his rifle. They are repeatedly resurrected by the Dark Presence, but Saga destroying orbs of darkness around the well makes the two Taken deputies vulnerable. Thornton and Mulligan are finally killed by Saga, allowing her to retrieve the Clicker.


In Alan Wake's Dark Place version of New York which features as the setting of Initiation, characters "based on" Mulligan and Thornton appear in Echoes related to all three murder sites. In Initiation, the deputies "play" two corrupt NYPD officers connected to the Cult of the Word who abuse their positions to clean up the sites of murders committed by the cult.

In the first draft of Initiation, which features the ritual murder of an FBI agent in the Subway, an Echo shows the two officers discussing the case. They do not yet seem to be involved with the cult, and instead they merely talk about how it is "bad luck" to be part of the case investigating the cult. The officer with Thornton's voice shares rumors about how the cult will kill anyone who gets involved with it, and that they are led by the writer Alan Wake. The officer with Mulligan's voice calls the story "a load of bull."

In the second draft of Initiation, which features the slaughter of an acting troupe and the ritualistic murder of the lead actress in the Oceanview Hotel, the two officers are now fully involved with the cult. An Echo shows the two discussing their coverup of the hotel massacre. The officer with Thornton's voice expresses anger at being questioned by Alex Casey, a private detective investigating the cult; "Thornton" views Casey's involvement as interfering with the "proper police." He concocts a cover story for the murders, a "lone junkie" who went crazy from a new designer drug. The officer with Mulligan's voice says that appeasing the cult will allow them to join its inner ranks, and that they will dump the evidence related to the murder in the "usual place in the alley."

In the third draft of Initiation, the two officers and their connection to the cult is featured in full: this time, they are the murder victims, killed in a fake initiation ritual at the Poet's Cinema. There is only one Echo featuring the two, in which they speculate about what their initiation ritual will be, saying that the initiation will be well-deserved for all the work they'd done for the cult. The officer with Thornton's voice says it will be like they "died and went to heaven." Instead, as Casey (and Alan Wake in Casey's shoes)'s investigation reveals, the initiation was fake, and the officers were used as ritual sacrifices. Their bodies, hung for display, are later found by Alan in the cinema's projection booth; completing the investigation "ritual" allows Alan to open the Overlap at Parliament Tower and attempt his escape for the third time. The third draft is also intrinsically connected to the events surrounding Saga and the deputies at Coffee World: Alan "finds" the moose skull mask during his investigation, and his input allows the mask to appear in the real world, aiding Saga's journey. The deputies and the fictional officers are also expies of each other: cops distrustful of outsiders nosing in on their business, who become involved with a secret society and end up dead because of it; the deeper connection is left unspecified.


  • Between him and Mulligan, he is the less experienced of the two deputy friends.
  • Dialogue in Alan Wake 2 suggests that Thornton is somewhat xenophobic, if not racist. Even during the beginning of the game, Thornton expresses annoyance about the FBI agents joining the investigation and makes various remarks towards them. In a Return manuscript page, Thornton is even written as mocking Saga for supposedly causing her daughter's death, and agreeing with Mulligan when the latter says "their kind sticks together" in reference to Saga's involvement making them unable to pin the blame on the Bookers. However, it is left unspecified how much of this was always part of the deputies' personalities, and how much of it is due to the reality-altering effects of the Dark Place influencing them as part of the Dark Presence bringing Return to life.
  • The idea of a "lone junkie who went crazy from a new designer drug" only to go on a murder spree is likely a nod to the plot of Max Payne.



Alan Wake II[]