Form One
You think you're God? You think you can just make up stuff?!
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Quote1I'm Doctor Emil Hartman. I would like to invite you to stay at the Cauldron Lake Lodge, Mr. WakeQuote2
―Emil Hartman, Episode 2: Taken

Dr. Emil Hartman is a top-notch psychiatrist and author of The Creator's Dilemma. At his facility, the Cauldron Lake Lodge, he specializes in long-term treatment of troubled artists. He is viewed as extremely arrogant and distant by most normal people. His methods are extremely unorthodox. He produces wildly uncertain results. Some people achieve great success using his methods and others fail drastically.

Hartman initially appears to be a friendly character and quickly befriends Alice Wake in hopes of meeting Alan. Alan, on the other hand, instantly distrusts Hartman.


Before the destruction of Divers Isle he was Thomas Zane's assistant writer. He knew about the power of the Lake and convinced Thomas to write Barbara back to life. Seeing the power of the lake, Emil Hartman felt it could be used to create a better reality. In order to create his utopia, Emil needed a writer to come to Bright Falls; but none did. He tried using his regular patients to affect the world around them, however his attempts were unsuccessful due to the patients' poor mental health. However, it is implied that they still had some impact on reality, prompting Frank Breaker and the other residents of Bright Falls to set up a secret correspondence to deal with these supernatural phenomena.

Hartman was the one to convince Alice to bring Alan to his lodge to try and help overcome his writer's block. His true intention was to manipulate Wake's talent and the Dark Presence's mysterious power and bring to life his vision of a utopia.

Bright Falls (Mini-series)Edit


Hartman in the Bright Falls miniseries.

In the Bright Falls mini-series Jake Fischer has come to the scenic Washington town of Bright Falls in order to interview Dr. Emil Hartman. During the interview Jake blacks out only to leave the Cauldron Lake lodge. He flipped through his notes only to find what seems like crazy ramblings. (Ep 2) Jake returns to Cauldron Lake Lodge to have him sign his friend Hal's copy of the Creators Dilemma. Before Jake leaves he asks Hartman if he could talk to him off the record. He tells him about the events that have been happening to him since he arrived and about the Deer that he ran over and the mysterious black outs at certain moments. Emil offers to help him and shines a light into his eye which suddenly hurts Jake, Hartman shines again and Jake runs of with the light still burning him. Jake then runs away. It is speculated that Dr. Hartman may have known what was wrong.

Alan Wake (Season One)Edit

Hartman initially plays a fairly minimal role in the game. He is revealed as the reason why Alice chose Bright Falls as a vacation destination - so that Alan could enroll in the Cauldron Lake Lodge. When Alan discovers this, he punches Hartman and breaks his nose, who in turn acts eerily calm about the dispute. Manuscript pages which can be found also provide some insight towards why Hartman desires Alan at his lodge. It is revealed that Hartman takes advantage of mentally unstable artists in order to act as an unofficial agent, gaining profit and fame. This is why he makes his employee Ben Mott pretend to have kidnapped Alice in ransom for Alan's manuscript.

In Episode 4: The Truth, after Alan has fallen off a cliff and into Cauldron Lake, Hartman kidnaps and enrolls him into his lodge, and tries to convince him that Alice is dead from drowning. He tries to convince Alan that he has been at the clinic for a while and has created a supernatural story to cope with Alice's death. Soon, however, Alan discovers the truth: Hartman has been using him. He has also kidnapped and imprisoned Barry, Alan's true agent. Nonetheless, as the darkness descends on the lodge, both Barry and Alan confront Hartman. Alan pulls a gun against him, and asks Barry to go out to the car. It is moments later when the darkness penetrates the lodge and hurls towards Hartman and Alan. Alan is first to the door, and pulls it shut squarely in Hartman's face. He then smiles to himself as he hears him being attacked. It is unknown weather if Hartman was either killed or if he was turned into a Taken afterwards.

The Signal (DLC)Edit

Although Hartman does not make any game play presence, he quickly is hallucinated by Alan while waking up from the dream. Alan hallucinates he is back at his room in Cauldron Lake Lodge, and Hartman appears before him. Emil tells that he is slipping back into his fantasies, and that Wake needs to "focus." However, Alan wakes up shortly, ending the hallucination.

The Writer (DLC)Edit

He is seen switching between himself and Barry as Alan wakes up at the beginning of the episode.

Then later on in the episode, if the player doesn't rush out of the dark room, you will see Hartman talking to Alan with a television on his head. In this scene, Alan is actually willing to accept help from Hartman. He then tells the player (breaking the fourth wall essentially) to turn on the tape recorder, where the player will hear what Alice has to say about Alan's attitude towards her, before everything goes back to normal.

The Creator's DilemmaEdit

Creators dilemma

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

Quote1Dr. Emil Hartman's The Creator's Dilemma was an unusual publication in that while it targeted a mass-audience with its promises of creative growth and renewal, it was underpinned by vaguely cosmic theories relating to the power of artists. His insistent caveat that one could only hope to benefit from these methods by becoming a "guest" at the Cauldron Lake Lodge suggests, in his editor's opinion, that he was motivated by an ulterior agenda. Whether it be financial or another, darker purpose remains difficult to assess.Quote2
Clay Steward, author of The Alan Wake Files.
Creaters dilemma

The Creators Dilemma as it appears in episode 1

In his book, Dr. Hartman describes his techniques he developed and used on treating his patients at the Cauldron Lake Lodge. These techniques he describes are the Engagement Therapy and The Flow.

The complete preface is included in The Alan Wake Files.


Many fans speculate on what exactly happened to Hartman when Alan locked him in his office to be taken by the Dark Presence. When Alan did this, all that was heard from Hartman was a scream and then silence. It is unknown if he is alive or not, but his appearance at the end of The Signal brings about the possibility that he is either still living or has been taken by the Dark Presence. In what form he was taken over is not known.

One theory is that Emil Hartman has become the new Barbara Jagger, the face of the Dark Presence. While this no longer works, if one called this phone number, 1-857-239-7601, it would have gone to the voicemail of Hartman who explains that he cannot take your call right now. However though, as he talked, a scratchier, more demonic voice can be heard speaking with him, similar to the way Carl Stucky talked when he was taken over. But still, this could just mean he was turned into a regular Taken. And also, at the end of The Signal, we see Hartman talking to Wake as Alan begins to "wake up" in Bird Leg Cabin under Cauldron Lake. As Alan begins to wake up, he sees Cauldron Lake Lodge under the lake as well.

The Alan Wake special comic Psycho Thriller reveals that Hartman survived the Dark Presence's attack on Cauldron Lake Lodge, subsequently eliminated the Taken Ben Mott.


  • His age is 55 in Alan Wake.
  • 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.
  • The etymology of his first name in the game, "Emil," is derived from the Latin "aemulus," meaning "imitating, rivaling, or emulating." This is a reference to how he is always trying to control the creativity of the many patients at the Cauldron Lake Lodge into something beneficial for himself.
  • In the prequel, when Jake Fischer flips through his notes while driving, the writings refer to Hartman as "Sydney" not "Emil".
  • In the Bright Falls mini-series Dr. Hartman may know what is happening to Jake, at his office when Jake asked him a question about weird blackouts and a vision of the deer he hit, Hartman pulls out a flashlight out with a smile.
  • 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 is an actual number, if you call it, Hartman will explain his clinics purpose, it also sounds like a Taken is echoing his words. As of August 2011, this number no longer appears to be valid.
  • In a few places, Cynthia Weaver writes in the light-sensitive paint "Don't Trust Emil."

Unanswered questionsEdit

  • What exactly was Dr. Hartman doing to his patients? His treatments did not seem wholly benevolent.
  • What happened to Dr. Hartman after the attack at Cauldron Lake Lodge?
  • What connection does he have with the Dark Presence?
  • Was Dr. Hartman telling the truth to Alan while showing him around Cauldron Lake Lodge? It is possible that Alan could be making the whole story up so he would not have to cope with the grief of having lost Alice and he could not have saved her.
  • Did Hartman tell Wake that Alice had died just to manipulate him, in hope that it would make him write more?
  • Is Hartman entirely human? From his attempts to bring the Dark Presence to life by using Thomas Zane and later trying to do the same with his patients and eventually Wake himself, it could stand he has some deep rooted reason for wanting the Dark Presence back so badly.