Michael Afton is one of the recurring protagonists of the Five Nights at Freddy’s series, appearing in most of the franchise’s canon installments. He is confirmed to be the player character of FNAF Sister Location, although it’s heavily implied that he is the player character of several other games in the series as well.
Michael’s father, William Afton, was the co-founder of Fazbear Entertainment, the founder of Afton Robotics, and the serial murderer responsible for the Missing Children Incident that transformed Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza into a twisted nightmare.
Needless to say, a lot of the overarching plot of the FNAF series is the result of some intense Afton family drama. Much like the rest of FNAF lore, piecing Michael’s story together takes some work. However, as each game was released, it became clearer and clearer that most of FNAF’s story revolves around Michael and the Afton family.
William Afton serves as the series’ main antagonist, while Michael Afton acts primarily as the main protagonist. The other two Afton children play major roles in the story as well, weaving the narrative of one tragic family throughout the majority of the series.
As far as the FNAF timeline goes, there’s a lot of debate between fans about which events happened when, and when each game occurs in relation to the others. There’s also a lot of speculation about Michael Afton’s actual identity, and he could potentially be several different characters in the franchise based on the details that are known about him and the rest of the Afton family.
Theorists Beware: These summaries involve a good amount of speculation. Some of these details are still being heavily debated by fans, and it’s unclear when many of these events take place in relation to each other.
Michael Afton’s story begins in FNAF 4 during the week of his younger brother’s birthday party in 1983. In the days leading up to the party, Michael bullied his brother by scaring him with a Foxy mask and leaving him alone inside the pizzeria.
During the party, Michael and his friends put his brother’s head inside the mouth of one of the animatronics as one of their cruel jokes. However, his tears activated the animatronic’s springlock mechanisms from inside its mouth, causing it to bite down and crush his head.
This incident is often referred to as “The Bite of ‘83.” Michael’s little brother died in the hospital soon after. It’s possible that the incident caused the restaurant to close.
In 1987, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza re-opened, though it’s unclear if this was a brand new location, or the restoration of a previous pizzeria. Within a few short weeks of the restaurant’s grand opening, several children were killed by William Afton, who was posing as the restaurant’s dayshift guard. This caused the animatronics to become violent towards the staff.
The restaurant was scheduled to close at the end of the week after one final birthday party. During the party, one of the animatronics bit the frontal lobe of the night guard, Jeremy Fitzgerald, who had been moved to the dayshift to replace William.
This incident became known as “The Bite of ‘87.” It’s possible that Michael Afton was hired as a replacement for Jeremy’s final night shift under the alias Fritz Smith. However, he tampered with the animatronics, causing him to be fired after just one shift.
FNAF 5 – Sister Location
It’s unclear exactly when the events of FNAF Sister Location fall on the timeline. Based on evidence found in the FNAF Survival Logbook, it’s possible that the game takes place sometime between FNAF 4 and FNAF 1 (1983 – 1993).
However, many fans believe that Sister Location’s Funtime Freddy animatronic is possessed by the souls that were in the FNAF 1 animatronics, which would place Sister Location sometime between FNAF 1 and FNAF 6 (1993 – 2023 or later).
In Sister Location, William Afton sent Michael to find Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rentals, an underground animatronics manufacturer and sister location to Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. Michael agreed and got a job as a security guard in the facility.
During his first week on the job, Michael discovered that his sister, Elizabeth Afton, had been killed by the Circus Baby animatronic and now possessed it.
On the fifth night, Baby tricked Michael into getting his innards removed by a machine known as the Scooper, allowing her and the other animatronics trapped in the facility to climb into his body and escape as a single amalgamate animatronic named Ennard.
Ennard used Michael’s body as a disguise for several weeks until it decayed, turning a grotesque shade of purple. Eventually, Ennard had to eject himself from Michael’s body and escape into the sewers.
However, thanks to the Remnant* injected into Michael’s body by the Scooper, he reanimated moments later, allowing him to “survive” despite being a corpse. Forced to live in the shadows as a result this gruesome mutilation, Michael vowed to find his father.
*Remnant is a molten liquid created by melting the metal endoskeletons of possessed animatronics. By heating the haunted metal to an ideal temperature, William Afton was able to use this soul-containing liquid to give life to new animatronics, which is likely how the Funtime Animatronics became “possessed.”
In 1993, Michael got a job as the security guard in another Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza location under the alias Mike Schmidt. During his first week on the job, it’s possible that he encountered the spirit of his brother, who may be one of two children possessing Golden Freddy.
However, Michael ended up being fired from his position for tampering with the animatronics once again.
30 years after Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza closed down, the Fazbear Frights horror attraction was built, and Michael was hired as a security guard/entertainer. A Spring Bonnie animatronic known as Springtrap was recovered from one of the old restaurants and brought to the attraction, and it attacked Michael during his shifts.
During the game, it’s revealed that Springtrap is possessed by William Afton, who was chased into the suit by the spirits of his victims before being killed by the suit’s springlocks. Michael burned the attraction down before opening day in an attempt to kill Springtrap, but Springtrap managed to survive the fire.
FNAF 6 – Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator
Michael went on to become a franchise owner and manager of a brand new Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza Place. Soon after, the remaining possessed animatronics began to mysteriously appear in the alley outside, including Scrap Baby, Molten Freddy, Scraptrap, and Lefty.
Once all of the animatronics were gathered inside the pizzeria, it was revealed that the restaurant itself was a trap set by Henry Emily, William’s old business partner and co-founder of Fazbear Entertainment. Henry burned the restaurant in an attempt to free the souls of everyone trapped inside all at once.
Originally, Henry hadn’t planned for Michael to be the location’s owner, so he had included an escape plan for whoever ended up managing his ruse of a restaurant. However, Michael chose to burn with his pizzeria and the rest of his family, bringing this chapter of the FNAF story to a close.
Theories & Speculation
FNAF 4 MikeBro vs MikeVictim Theory – Who is Michael Afton?
A huge part of what makes Michael Afton’s story particularly difficult to piece together is the ongoing debate over his actual identity. While my summary takes for granted that Michael was the older brother of the Bite of ‘83 victim, it’s also possible that Michael himself was the victim.
The identities of the ‘83 Bite victim and his older brother—otherwise known as the Crying Child and Foxybro—have been some of the most heavily debated controversies within the fanbase since the release of FNAF 4 and Sister Location, and there’s plenty of compelling evidence to support both theories.
First and foremost, there’s the issue of the Crying Child’s death at the end of FNAF 4. The game implies that the Crying Child survived the bite initially only to die in the hospital later, which is evidenced by the various hospital items that appear in the room throughout the game and the sound of a flatline at the end of Night 6.
If Michael Afton was the Crying Child and died in 1983, it would be difficult for him to appear throughout the rest of the series as our main protagonist. However, this is FNAF, after all. Those who die rarely stay dead, especially in the Afton family, so it’s not out of the question to speculate that the Crying Child’s death isn’t the end of his story.
At the end of Night 6 just before the flatline, we see a cutscene of the Crying Child speaking with his golden Fredbear plush. The Fredbear plush spoke with him throughout the entire game, comforting him and encouraging him to stay safe while he’s in the diner. However, just before the Crying Child dies, the plush says: “I will put you back together.”
It’s heavily implied that the voice of the Fredbear plush throughout most of the game is William Afton, who is speaking to his son through a walkie talkie inside the toy. In Sister Location, there’s a private office accessible on Night 5 that contains a Fredbear plush with a walkie talkie, as well as several camera feeds to the FNAF 4 house.
This seems to confirm that William was, in fact, spying on his son from his office in Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rentals and using the Fredbear plush to speak to him. On Night 7 of FNAF 4, players are shown a mysterious locked box, which is completely impossible to open. If the player clicks the locks, the words “Perhaps some things are best left forgotten, for now” will appear.
Scott Cawthon initially planned to open the box when the fanbase figured out the story, but since we were unable to piece the puzzle together, the box will unfortunately remain unopened forever. Still, according to Cawthon, the box contained “the pieces put together.”
A lot of MikeVictim theorists speculate that the Crying Child’s body was inside the box—or, more likely, a robotic recreation of him.
If William successfully put his son “back together,” it’s possible that he could have built an animatronic body to host the Crying Child’s soul, which would have allowed him to continue “living” throughout the rest of the franchise as Michael Afton.
While the theory might have seemed a little out-there based on the information presented in the games up to FNAF 4, the FNAF novel trilogy put it firmly within the realm of possibility—and even drew direct parallels to it. In the books, Henry Emily loses his daughter, Charlie, and builds four robotic replacements for her, infusing them with his own grief and agony to bring them to life.
The Charlie animatronics are so realistic that Charlie herself is unaware that she isn’t human. By creating four animatronics to represent various stages of her life, Henry intended for Charlie to age like a normal human girl. At one point, Charlie’s friends even find her locked in a box that sounds suspiciously like the one shown at the end of FNAF 4.
If similar technology exists in the games, then it would be entirely possible for William Afton to literally put his son back together and give him new life as an animatronic. It would also be possible for the Crying Child to “grow up” despite being an animatronic, which would explain how Michael Afton could appear as an adult later in the series even if he was the victim of the Bite of ‘83.
However, while the books are considered to be canon, Scott Cawthon has stated that they take place in a separate continuity from the games, so it’s difficult to determine which plot points and lore they actually share, if any. It’s unclear whether hyper-realistic humanoid animatronics exist in the games since they’re never directly shown or mentioned, though there are some animatronic parts in Sister Location that could potentially come close.
It’s also worth noting that there are certain similarities between Circus Baby’s designs in the books and games that are never explained in the games but allow Baby to shapeshift into a hyper-realistic humanoid form in the books.
Still, there are several other issues with the MikeVictim theory that lead me to personally lean more towards the MikeBro side of the debate. It bothers me that, if Michael is the Crying Child, his older brother would be unaccounted for throughout the rest of the series.
While it’s not necessarily evidence, the FNAF narrative only seems to give all three Afton children resolution if Michael is the older brother and not the Crying Child. Elizabeth is scooped by Baby, the Crying Child is the Bite of ‘83 victim, and Michael is the lone survivor who goes on to become the games’ primary protagonist until FNAF 6.
As far as actual evidence goes, though, I think one of the most compelling arguments against MikeVictim is the fact that Michael dies—and decays—in Sister Location. While an animatronic body would allow him to survive being scooped, which would support MikeVictim, I doubt an animatronic body would decay as Michael’s does in the Custom Night cutscenes.
Michael’s decaying corpse only seems to make sense if he was a living human before Sister Location, which would make it impossible for him to be the Crying Child. Additionally, FNAF 6 provides an explanation for Michael’s miraculous “survival” via the Scooper blueprints from the Insanity Ending.
The Scooper injects Remnant when it removes an endoskeleton, which would allow Michael’s soul to possess and reanimate his body after death. As such, it wouldn’t be necessary for him to have an animatronic body in order to survive the Scooper.
It’s also important to note that the text color of the Fredbear plush’s dialogue changes during the FNAF 4 flatline scene, potentially implying that it’s a different speaker than William Afton. If William never spoke those words, some of the most substantial evidence for MikeVictim begins to unravel.
That being said, the line “I will put you back together” has mystified me since FNAF 4 came out, and the lack of an explanation for this blatantly important ending dialogue has kept me circling back to the MikeBro vs MikeVictim debate throughout the years since the game’s release.
This Book Belongs to: Mike – FNAF Survival Logbook Explained
If the MikeBro vs MikeVictim debate wasn’t already convoluted enough, the release of the FNAF Survival Logbook pried that can of worms back open and added a whole new layer of complexity to the conversation. Not only does the book present even more compelling evidence for both theories, but it also dropped several lore bombshells that changed the way we were looking at the FNAF franchise as a whole.
The Survival Logbook seems like a simple activity book on the surface. It’s designed to look like a security logbook from Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, giving players/readers the chance to complete FNAF-related questionnaires and activities as if they were a new night guard settling into their first week on the job.
However, on the first page where players are meant to write their name, the “This Book Belongs To: ” blank has already been filled out by a previous night guard named Mike.
Throughout the Logbook, Mike left several notes from his shifts in red pen. In addition to some sarcastic remarks and funny doodles, Mike leaves a few different sketches and comments that confirm that he is the same Michael Afton from Sister Location.
Specifically, he draws the casual bongos from Night 3 of Sister Location, as well as the exotic butters he “selected” as his one-week bonus on Night 5. Mike also leaves a note about Clara from The Immortal and the Restless, the soap opera he watches each night after returning home from his shifts.
Mike’s red pen entries not only confirm his identity as Michael Afton, but they also imply that Michael worked at the Sister Location before he wrote in the Logbook during his night guard shifts at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, which complicates the FNAF timeline.
It’s Me – The Identities of Golden Freddy
If Mike’s notes in the Survival Logbook aren’t enough to give FNAF theorists a Bite of ‘87-sized headache, there are two more speakers that appear in the book as well. The first speaker appears as faded text throughout the book and asks a series of questions:
- What do you remember?
- Was your favorite childhood toy a plastic purple telephone?
- Do you remember your name?
- Do you have dreams?
- Do any of these toys look familiar to you?
- Did one of these belong to you?
- Was your favorite ride the carousel?
- What do you see?
- Do you miss them?
- Does he still talk to you?
- Is this song familiar to you?
- The party was for you
The phrase “My Name” appears in this faded text on several pages throughout the Logbook as well. By piecing together the clues found on these pages, fans were able to discover the name “Cassidy” in the Logbook’s word search.
Based on the recurring phrase “It’s Me” that fills the rest of the word search grid, fans concluded that Cassidy was the name of the spirit haunting Golden Freddy. The second speaker in the Logbook alters the actual text of the book in several of the questionnaires, and they seem to respond to some of Cassidy’s questions:
- I can hear sounds
- It was for me
- I can’t see
- I’m scared
While the Cassidy puzzle was solved relatively quickly after the release of the Logbook, the name of the second speaker left fans stumped. Eventually, the name “Evan” was discovered by solving an 8-bit Foxy grid puzzle using these four altered text clues.
Between the two names and the apparent dialogue going on between both speakers, fans concluded that there were likely two spirits haunting Golden Freddy instead of one. This theory also explains why Golden Freddy’s head had two glowing eyes at the end of FNAF 3’s Bad Ending while all of the other animatronic heads only had one.
As far as the MikeBro vs MikeVictim debate is concerned, fans supporting both sides of the debate found plenty of evidence to support their claims in the Survival Logbook. Cassidy’s questions are pretty ambiguous, and it’s likely that she’s talking to both Mike and Evan through the book, which raises the question of which questions are addressing which person.
However, it’s clear that Cassidy is speaking to the Crying Child in at least some of her questions. Specifically, the question “Does he still talk to you?” appears right above a picture of the Crying Child’s golden Fredbear plush from FNAF 4.
Additionally, the sentence “The party was for you” likely refers to the Crying Child’s fateful birthday party in 1983.
The book’s second speaker, Evan, seems to respond to these questions as well, altering the book’s text to say “I can hear sounds” and “It was for me.” This seems to confirm that Evan is the Crying Child, which would also suggest that the Crying Child is the other spirit haunting Golden Freddy.
If that’s the case, it would be impossible for the Crying Child and Michael Afton to be the same person, so the Logbook seems to make a pretty strong case for the MikeBro theory.
On the other hand, it’s also clear that Cassidy is speaking to the FNAF 4 protagonist through the book as well. She asks about the plastic purple telephone that was seen on the floor of the FNAF 4 protagonist’s room more than once, and the gameplay of FNAF 4’s nights is the only time that phone is seen in the series.
If the assumption that the Crying Child is the FNAF 4 protagonist is correct, then this doesn’t spark any additional issues with the theory. However, there’s one piece of evidence in the Survival Logbook that throws a massive wrench into the way we were thinking about the entire MikeBro vs MikeVictim debate—and FNAF 4 as a whole.
The FNAF 4 Protagonist – Whose Nightmare is This?
When FNAF 4 was released, the game seemed to lead us to the conclusion that we were playing as the Crying Child.
Presumably, the gameplay was meant to represent the Crying Child’s nightmares as he was dying in the hospital after the Bite of ‘83, as evidenced by the hospital items that appear in the room as well as the sound of the flatline at the end of Night 6.
However, on one of the Survival Logbook’s activity pages, the guard is prompted to sketch their recent dreams. Here, Cassidy’s faded text asks “Do you have dreams?” and Mike sketches a picture of Nightmare Fredbear in red pen just below it.
For MikeVictim fans, this seems to confirm that Michael is the Crying Child. If the FNAF 4 gameplay takes place in the Crying Child’s nightmares, there’s no other way that Michael would know what Nightmare Fredbear looks like unless he was the one dreaming about him.
Of course, they’re right—there’s no way that Michael could have seen Nightmare Fredbear if he wasn’t the one having the nightmares.
There have been some theories tossed around that the Nightmare animatronics were actually built in real life, or are somehow created by sound-illusion discs similar to those that appear in the FNAF novel trilogy, but there’s not much in-game evidence to support these claims.
However, If Michael really is the Crying Child, then it doesn’t make sense for Evan to claim the FNAF 4 birthday party was for him in the Survival Logbook.
It’s safe to say that the Logbook sketch of Nightmare Fredbear does prove that Michael Afton is the FNAF 4 protagonist. Still, it’s entirely possible for him to be the FNAF 4 protagonist even if he isn’t the Crying Child. In fact, FNAF 4 itself supports this theory as well.
For some reason, we are never shown the bedroom of the Crying Child’s older brother in the FNAF 4 minigames. Instead, we see both the Crying Child’s room and a girl’s room that presumably belonged to Elizabeth Afton, but not the older brother’s.
Interestingly enough, however, the layout of the Crying Child’s room is completely different than the room we see during FNAF 4’s main gameplay.
This could be chalked up to 8-bit simplification, but in a game where tiny Toy Chica’s 4-pixel detachable beak was apparently supposed to be a clue about the FNAF timeline, I doubt the major differences between the Crying Child’s minigame room and the nightmare bedroom can be explained so easily.
Additionally, the Crying Child’s plush toys don’t appear in the FNAF 4 bedroom despite being important enough to him that he calls them his “friends.”
The Freddy plush that appears on the bed behind the player is notably different than the Crying Child’s golden Fredbear plush as well. The plush on the bed is a brown Freddy with a black hat and blue eyes, whereas the Crying Child’s plush is golden and has black eyes, white pupils, and a purple hat and bowtie.
This could also be chalked up to a design choice, but the fact that we see a 3D model of the Crying Child’s gold plush in the private room of Sister Location leads me to believe that they were specifically meant to be different plushies.
It’s possible that these specific design choices were intended to give us a hint that FNAF 4’s protagonist was Michael—not the Crying Child, as the game seemed to initially imply. Rather than experiencing the Crying Child’s dreams as he dies in the hospital, it’s possible that we’re experiencing Michael’s dreams as he struggles with the guilt of bullying and killing his brother with the animatronics.
The Survival Logbook actually takes this MikeBro theory one step further. The Logbook specifically asks about recent dreams in bold text, implying that Michael is sketching a recent dream he had.
While it’s possible that Michael is simply having recurring nightmares or is still troubled by the memories of those nightmares enough to draw them, it’s also entirely possible that Mike is having the FNAF 4 nightmares during the same week as his FNAF 1 shifts.
Back when FNAF 4 was released, some fans discovered a garbled ambient sound that, when reversed and pitched up, revealed Phone Guy’s Night 1 audio from FNAF 1.
While this may have simply seemed like a fun Easter egg or a clever way for Scott Cawthon to include Phone Guy in FNAF 4 at the time, the Nightmare Fredbear sketch in the “recent dreams” section of the Logbook could imply that the audio was actually included for a more specific reason.
If Michael was working in the FNAF 1 office at the same time that he was having the FNAF 4 nightmares, it would make sense for the Phone Guy’s first call to appear in his dreams as well. Personally, I think the audio may have been included as a subtle clue that the nightmares weren’t the Crying Child’s after all, but were Michael’s all along.
Of course, without Sister Location and the Survival Logbook, it would have been nearly impossible for fans to figure out that the Crying Child’s unnamed older brother went on to work in the FNAF 1 office as Mike Schmidt based solely on the information presented in FNAF 1-4.
Perhaps that’s part of the reason FNAF 4 was never solved—and the infamous FNAF 4 box never opened.
FNAF 2 – Is Michael Afton Fritz Smith?
It’s unclear whether Michael Afton appears in FNAF 2 or not. However, there’s some speculation that Michael could be Fritz Smith, the security guard hired for the game’s Custom Night. The main reasoning behind this theory is that both Mike Schmidt and Fritz Smith were notably fired from their positions for tampering with the animatronics and odor.
While it’s been fairly well established that Michael Afton is Mike Schmidt working under an alias, there isn’t much else that connects either of them to Fritz Smith. Still, the theory does seem to fit within the timeline since FNAF 4 takes place in 1983, and FNAF 2 takes place five years later in 1987.
Assuming that Michael is the Bite victim’s older brother, he would have probably been a teenager in FNAF 4, which would make him old enough to get a job as a security guard by FNAF 2. He would also know enough about the animatronics to tamper with them considering that his father helped invent them.
As for his alias, it’s possible that Michael believed he wouldn’t get hired if they knew he was an Afton since William Afton could have been one of the suspects of the Missing Children Incident at the time.
In the Phone Guy’s FNAF 2 calls, it’s implied that the incident is ongoing and that the day shift guard—who was likely William Afton in disguise—was using a spare yellow suit to lure children to their deaths during the events of the game.
The incident caused the building to go on lockdown on Night 5, and previous employees were not allowed in the building. As a result, Michael might have used a fake name to get the job since his father was closely connected to the restaurant.
Still, this is all just speculation since it’s hard to confirm that Michael and Fritz are the same person.
It Burns! – Is Michael Afton the FNAF 3 Protagonist?
It’s difficult to determine whether or not Michael Afton is the FNAF 3 protagonist. It would give the FNAF series a more cohesive narrative overall, but the theory raises several issues regarding the FNAF timeline. When players beat the hardest mode of Sister Location’s Custom Night, a cutscene plays in which Michael addresses his father as the camera pans over the burned Fazbear Frights location from FNAF 3.
At the end of the cutscene, Michael vows to find his father just before Springtrap jerks into frame. This seemed to imply that Michael was speaking to William after Fazbear Frights had already burned, which would place Sister Location after FNAF 3.
However, it’s also possible that Michael’s monologue was spoken earlier, and that Michael himself burned Fazbear Frights later in the timeline when he realized his father was Springtrap. If Michael was the FNAF 3 guard, it would give him both the ability and motive to burn the attraction, which could imply that the fire was the result of Michael finally accomplishing his goal of finding his father.
During the Sister Location cutscene, Michael says, “I did it. I found it. It was right where you said it would be.” This not only implies that William asked Michael to go to Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rentals at some point, but also that it didn’t take Michael too long to find it since William told him exactly where to look.
If that’s the case, then William would had to have told Michael to find Circus Baby’s before he was killed by the springlock suit and became Springtrap, which would place Sister Location before FNAF 3.
However, this also raises the question of why Michael would need to “find” William if they had spoken recently—unless William had contacted Michael from some unknown location via phone or letter, which can’t really be proven since there’s no evidence to support that claim.
A lot of fans speculate that William was missing during Michael’s monologue because he had already become Springtrap by that point. That could also suggest that Michael’s monologue in Sister Location really did take place after Fazbear Frights had already burned, which would complicate the case for Michael being the FNAF 3 guard.
As such, determining both the timeline of Sister Location and FNAF 3 and the identity of the FNAF 3 protagonist seems to depend on when William became Springtrap.
Now, here’s where things get really messy with the timeline. The actual time that William Afton became Springtrap is nearly impossible to determine due to an apparent paradox within the FNAF timeline known as the Safe Room Paradox.
In Phone Dude and Phone Guy’s FNAF 3 phone calls, it’s implied that Springtrap was found inside the sealed safe room of one of the old Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza locations.
Presumably, this was the same safe room that had been boarded up as a result of a Missing Children’s Incident while the restaurant was still operating, which is also implied in the calls. This seems to suggest that William/Springtrap was sealed inside at the same time, which would mean he was trapped in the safe room before the restaurant closed.
However, the FNAF 3 minigames depict William Afton dismantling the animatronics and dying in the safe room after the location was already closed and deteriorating. In fact, the restaurant’s leaking roof is likely responsible for the moisture that activated the suit’s springlocks in the first place.
If the location had already closed by the time William was killed, it would be impossible for him to be sealed inside the safe room where he was found since the location would have already been abandoned by that point. However, if he was never sealed away in the safe room, there’s no explanation as to why the Fazbear Frights crew didn’t find him until the safe room was opened.
In short, I do think that Michael could be the FNAF 3 protagonist since the theory helps string the FNAF series into a satisfying narrative arc with Michael as the overarching protagonist and William as the overarching antagonist.
Unfortunately, definitively proving that theory is all but impossible thanks to the Safe Room Paradox, so it will have to remain nothing more than a theory for now.
I AM NOT ME – Is Michael Afton Glamrock Freddy in FNAF Security Breach?
While the end of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator (FNAF 6) seemed to tie up Michael Afton’s story in a relatively neat bow, FNAF Security Breach raised an interesting theory that Michael could be possessing Glamrock Freddy.
As more games and books are released, the next chapter of the FNAF story could go in pretty much any direction, so it’s entirely possible that we haven’t seen the last of Michael Afton just yet.
On one hand, it’s fairly safe to say that Michael Afton was the protagonist of FNAF 6. Not only do the animatronic’s voice lines make it clear that they recognize him and were close to him, implying that he’s part of the Afton family, but Henry Emily’s speech during the game’s ending also implies that the protagonist has a reason to stay behind and burn with the pizzeria.
If we’re not playing as Michael Afton, there’s no reason for the restaurant’s owner to want to stay behind and burn when Henry had an escape route planned for them.
If we are playing as Michael, however, it would make sense for him to want to burn with his family, allowing his soul to be released from his Remnant-injected body and finally be put to rest. FNAF 6’s ending puts a perfect bookend on Michael’s series-spanning story, so it makes sense to conclude that he is, in fact, the game’s protagonist.
That being said, if Michael really is possessing Glamrock Freddy, then it seems that Henry’s plan unfortunately failed. Notably, the FNAF 6 pizzeria, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza Place, can be found buried deep beneath Freddy Fazbear’s Mega Pizzaplex in Security Breach.
As Gregory and Glamrock Freddy descend below the old pizzeria, Freddy says that he has been down there before and that he had been brought there presumably by Vanessa/Vanny when he “didn’t have a choice.”
When he returns to this pizzeria with Gregory, however, he says that he now has a choice because he has “changed.” To make this theory even more interesting, Freddy specifically mentions that he “found himself” the first time he cleared the path below the FNAF 6 pizzeria.
The animatronics that were supposed to burn in the FNAF 6 fire also appear below the Pizzaplex. Not only does William Afton “return” in the form of Burntrap, but Molten Freddy, Baby, and several other old animatronics appear as a massive amalgamate animatronic known as the Blob.
However, the one character from the FNAF 6 fire who doesn’t appear beneath the Pizzaplex is Michael Afton. All things considered, the game seems to suggest that Glamrock Freddy could have found Michael Afton under the Pizzaplex and somehow became possessed by him.
While the theory itself seems to make a pretty hefty logical jump, it’s worth noting that the way Glamrock Freddy talks about “changing” raises some very interesting parallels between him and Circus Baby.
Specifically, Baby’s dialogue in Sister Location implies that she was programmed with some sort of AI that allowed her to think and feel on her own in some capacity. After she scooped Elizabeth Afton and became possessed, however, she talks about Elizabeth as though they are both the same and not the same.
Baby recalls killing Elizabeth from her own perspective before mentioning that she was no longer herself, and she expresses confusion as to why she killed Elizabeth, apparently unable to control her own actions once they were alone together.
This directly mirrors Glamrock Freddy’s dialogue under the Pizzaplex, especially the cryptic phrase “I am not me.” While it’s difficult to say for sure whether or not Glamrock Freddy is possessed by Michael Afton, it could explain why he talks about his experience below the Pizzaplex in the same way that Baby talks about becoming possessed by Elizabeth.
Now, it’s also important to bring up the fact that Michael Afton’s room from Sister Location appears in the Pizzaplex as well, complete with his iconic bucket of popcorn and exotic butters.
There’s also a mysterious code written on the wall that, when decoded, reveals an extremely cryptic message about hope, life, and a vile band that I can’t really make sense of myself. Frankly, I can only speculate as to why this room was included in the game, but it does seem to suggest that Michael Afton’s story will continue to be relevant as the franchise moves forward after Security Breach.
“Father, it’s me, Michael.
I did it. I found it. It was right where you said it would be.
They were all there. They didn’t recognize me at first, but then, they thought I was you.
And I found her. I put her back together, just like you asked me to. She’s free now.
But something is wrong with me. I should be dead, but I’m not. I’ve been living in shadows.
There is only one thing left for me to do now. I’m going to come find you.
I’m going to come find you.”
- FNAF Sister Location Custom Night cutscene
“Why don’t we help him get a closer look! He will love it!
Come on guys, let’s give this little man a lift. He wants to get up close and personal!
You heard the little man! He wants to get even closer! Ha ha ha!
Hey guys, I think the little man said he wants to give Fredbear a big kiss!
On THREE! One…. two…..”
- FNAF 4 Night 5 cutscene
“Can you hear me?
I don’t know if you can hear me.
- FNAF 4 Night 6 cutscene
Notable Facts & Trivia
- Michael is sometimes referred to as “Eggs Benedict” thanks to the HandUnit mistakenly autocorrecting his name in FNAF Sister Location.
- Michael Afton chews gum excessively, which he notes in the FNAF Survival Logbook as a habit he’d like to break.
- Like the rest of the Afton family, Michael has a British accent. It’s unclear when the family moved to the United States.
- Michael Afton is voiced by PJ Heywood, who also voices William Afton in Sister Location and Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator.
- Michael’s physical appearance closely resembles his father’s, which is likely why the animatronics in Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rentals initially mistook him for William Afton.
- The shadowy silhouette of Michael shown at the end of Sister Location resembles Rick Astley in his 1987 music video for “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
Question: Is Michael Afton the Purple Guy?
Answer: When FNAF Sister Location first came out and we saw Michael Afton transform into his sickly shade of purple, fans theorized that Michael Afton could be the Purple Guy that committed the infamous murders of the Missing Children’s Incident.
However, Purple Guy was confirmed to be Michael’s father, William Afton. Still, Michael now shares his father’s signature purple hue thanks to the events that took place in Sister Location.
Question: Is Michael Afton the Phone Guy?
Answer: Some fans speculate that Michael Afton is also the Phone Guy whose calls give players a tutorial in FNAF 1-3.
Notably, Phone Guy and Michael Afton both share a love for Foxy, and the fact that Phone Guy doesn’t seem to be afraid of the animatronics despite working for Fazbear Entertainment for several years could suggest some sort of connection between them as well.
However, Phone Guy is apparently killed by one of the animatronics in FNAF 1. Since Michael Afton goes on to own and manage Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza Place after the events of FNAF 1, it’s unlikely that they’re the same person.
Question: Is Michael Afton Still Alive?
Answer: This may not be a satisfactory answer, but: it depends. Technically speaking, Michael Afton died during the events of Sister Location when Baby tricked him into getting scooped, but the Remnant injected into his body by the Scooper allowed him to reanimate after death.
However, Michael allegedly burned in the fire at the end of FNAF 6, which should have heated the Remnant in his body enough to release his soul. Still, the fire was apparently unable to release the souls of the other animatronics trapped in the FNAF 6 pizzeria, so it’s possible that Michael Afton survived as well.