Odin and Tor Anderson are aged members of a rock group called the Old Gods Of Asgard. The latter undergo treatment at Emil Hartman’s Cauldron Lake Lodge clinic as they both have/suffer from dementia but still keep their spirits up and keep in their rock god personas.
They have a fondness for Norse Mythology, so far as to change their names to Tor & Odin. The Andersons used to live near the lake on the Anderson Farm. The place seems to be lived in when Alan Wake finds it, suggesting that they still live there from time to time. They have chosen that place so they could be close to the lake and its mystical powers. They were very successful in the ’70s, going on nationwide tours. Sometime in the ’70s, they came in contact with The Dark Presence. They fought it and survived, but at a cost to their mental health. They seem to know a lot about the Dark Presence and Cauldron Lake but are of little help to Alan due to their dementia. Tor Anderson has a daughter named Freya Anderson.
The Andersons knew about it but they were too far gone to tell me with all the drugs they were on. But they wrote it down. There’s a message somewhere at their farm, Barry. We just need to find it.Alan Wake
Events of Alan Wake
The Anderson brothers are a catalyst for Alan’s escape from Cauldron Lake Lodge. Speaking to Alan, as Hartman wanders off to fix the power, the aged rockers tell Alan he has to go to their farm to figure out what to do next. When the power goes out, they start behaving in a disorderly manner, angered by Hartman’s attempts to exploit the residents of the lodge and his lack of attention to the dark presence threat. Eventually, they knock out nurse Sinclair with a hammer and corner nurse Birch, a tough-talking orderly who flees from them to hide. The Dark Presence then attacks the lodge. Alan starts his escape (finding Barry Wheeler along the way) amid all the chaos. Manuscript pages reveal that the Old Gods also manage to find their way out, leading a group of former lodge patients.
One of their songs is the key to finding out how Alan must progress to find his wife; the lyrics of “The Poet And The Muse” state in part:
And now to see your love set freeOld Gods of Asgard (Anderson Brothers)
You will need the witch’s cabin key
Find the lady of the light, gone mad with the night
That’s how you reshape destiny.
Alan correctly interprets this as meaning he has to speak to Cynthia Weaver, the woman with the strange obsession with maintaining the lighting systems within Bright Falls.
At one point, Alan and Barry must protect themselves using their old band stage, using the stage’s lights, pyrotechnics, and other equipment lying around, while Old Gods Of Asgard’s song ‘Children of the Elder God’ plays in the background.
The brothers appear in the ending cinematic of the game, dancing together and laughing with their moonshine.
The Signal (DLC)
Though never seen directly outside of a distorted memory from episode 1, the Anderson Brothers have cardboard cut-outs within the DLC.
The Writer (DLC)
The Andersons appear at the end of the DLC as enemies. While Wake is fighting with Barry, Taken clones of people he knew in real life begin attacking him. The Anderson Brothers fight together as Tele-Flankers, and they both wield guitars as weapons.
After Alan Wake
In both Alan Wake’s American Nightmare and Control’s AWE DLC, it revealed that the Anderson brothers returned to the musical world as the Old Gods of Asgard with their Return tour. Barry Wheeler was their manager. They wrote the song “Balance Slays the Demon” alongside a few others during this time.
Eventually, Barry couldn’t take the brothers’ extreme partying and, worried for their health, canceled the remainder of the Return tour. After this, Barry founded the Valhalla nursing home for the brothers in 2014.
Below are all the manuscript pages found in the Alan Wake game and its DLC add-ons.
The Anderson Brothers in the 70’s
It’s 1976. Madness reigns at the Anderson Farm. Contrary to all logic, the headiest ingredient of their moonshine is unfiltered water from Cauldron Lake.
The Andersons feel like gods.
Odin can’t stop laughing, and he contemplates cutting his eye out.
Tor runs across the field, naked, shrieking, hammer in his hand, trying to catch lightning.
Their songs have power. Something ancient is stirring in the depths, coming back.
Tor Hits Nurse Sinclair
Lighting flashed behind the window of Cauldron Lake Lodge. Tor Anderson laughed and held the steel hammer above his head. Nurse Sinclair was trying to calm him down without success.
Tor grinned madly and shouted: “My hammer’s up! Here’s a friendly poke from Mjöllnir, wench!”
He brought the hammer down with all the might on Sinclair’s head. “We’re on a comeback tour, baby!”
The Patients Escape the Lodge
The storm raged on as the Anderson brothers hobbled away from the clinic with the other patients in tow, knowing they wouldn’t return this time. The darkness around them seethed with horrors, but Tor and Odin were unafraid.
Their eyes glinted with guile. They knew every secret path, and there was blood on their hands. They had fought these shades before.
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
Old Gods of Asgard
Tor and Odin Anderson. Old Gods of Asgard. I still don’t quite know what to make of them. I know they used to be rock stars who modeled their stage personas after Norse gods. I know they’re old. I know that in their day, they fought the darkness as I do. I know they’re demented and insane, ravaged by age and self-abuse.
But there’s something in them, something powerful touched and took hold of them, a thing that goes far beyond just stage names. Something godlike.
Barry and the Old Gods
The Anderson brothers should probably have been in a facility somewhere, despite their tendency to escape from such places. You could argue that they had no business being on tour, considering their condition. Their lives mostly revolved around a laundry list of ailments and their endless quest for liquor.
But Barry Wheeler managed them now. And whatever else they might say about Barry, he knew how to make things happen.
And honestly, it wasn’t like the Andersons were the most demanding clients he ever had.
Old Gods in the Studio
Getting the Andersons into the recording studio was a struggle and a half, but something happened once they picked up the instruments.
They were two older men, and they weren’t; they were doddering bags of bone, their bodies barely contained their power, and there was music.
Barry rubbed his hands together; he knew how to pick a winner. Now all they needed was some direction on how to make things a little more modern.
Barry had never produced a thing in his life, but he knew what he liked. He knew “Balance Slays the Demon” was going to be a hit.
Appearances and Trivia
The Anderson Brothers appear serval times throughout the Alan Wake and its DLC. Their first appearance is in Episode 1: Nightmare, followed by Episode 4: The Truth. In Episode 6: Departure, they’re seen celebrating at “Deerfest.” Special 1: The Signal appears as a “memory” and cardboard, and Special 2: The Writer shows as imaginary Tele-Flanker.
- The Anderson Brothers had their own distillery, where they made moonshine. The secret ingredient was unfiltered water from the lake. It seems to have a strong effect on the mind. It is said to help ‘clear the mind’. When Alan Wake drank it, it helped him piece together the memories he had lost.
- Tor seems to have an obsession with hammers. One of the manuscript pages describes him running around naked with only a hammer in his hand. Inside the Cauldron Lake Lodge he keeps a squeaky toy hammer and he keeps hitting objects with it. Finally, it’s Tor who hits the nurse on the head with an actual hammer. This is probably why he chose the name Tor, which is the Norse name for Thor, the Norse God of thunder who always carried his trademark hammer Mjöllnir.
- Odin tells Alan Wake how he used to have two ravens called Thought and Memory, but the Dark Presence took them both away. The Norse God Odin also had two Ravens called Hugin (Thought) and Muninn (Memory). It’s possible these two ravens are the origin of the flock of birds that the Dark Presence now uses.
- It is possible that Odin’s two ravens could be the same two ravens in the study where Alan wrote “Departure” under the influence of the Dark Presence.
- A manuscript page reveals that Odin took out his own eye out of curiosity, under the influence of their own moonshine. The Nordic God Odin only had one eye as well. It could be that this was the inspiration for Odin to take out his own eye as well.
- Even though they are suppose to be locked up in the clinic, they seem to escape on a regular basis. Alan Wake first meets them in the Oh Deer Diner in Eposode 1 and in Episode 4 Alan and Barry Wheeler notice that the Anderson Farm seems like they are still living there. Also, at the end of the game you can see them celebrating and drinking moonshine during Deerfest.
- The Anderson Brothers refer to Alan as “Tom”, which has to be short for Thomas Zane. Whether this is just their dementia confusing the two writers or a clue that Alan and Thomas are alike is not clear.
- It is implied that the brothers were the ones that first awoke the Dark Presence from its long slumber sometime during the 70’s after Zane had stopped it. They tell Alan that he “opened the door,” but that it was already “open a crack,” presumably by the two of them. This is also implied by a manuscript page written from the perspective of the Dark Presence, it talks about ‘the rockstars’.
- One of the manuscript pages details their journey through the night along with the other patients of Cauldron Lake Lodge and suggests that they have faced the Dark Presence and the Taken before.
- Tor and Odin referenced Barbara Jagger (Baba Yaga) because she had taken something away from them. This could also mean that they had met Barbara Jagger in her Dark Presence form. They also knew that Barbara Jagger took something from Alan, they could refer to Alice. Also “Baba Yaga” is evil witchlike (evil spirit) character in Slavic folklore, that usually guards the border between world of mortal and the land of the dead. It may be a clue to a nature of Dark Presence.
- Both Tor and Odin knew Thomas Zane very well, and even offered some home-made “medicine”.
- The two songs in the extras section of the game composed by the Old Gods of Asgard are actually made by Poets of the Fall which is a real band. Their songs are available on iTunes however these songs are not.
- In Alan Wake’s American Nightmare the Biker taken is wearing an Old Gods of Asgard shirt.
- In Control, an Old Gods of Asgard disc can be found in the junkyard in the Ordinary AWE area.
- Odin’s appearance and name bears a similar resemblance to the character Alfred Woden from Max Payne as they are both are a reference to Norse mythology and have an eye patch.
- The Anderson Brothers are allegedly Swedish, according to a 2020 Game Informer interview with Sam Lake.