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William Afton, or Purple Guy, serves as the main antagonist across the FNAF universe. This is important to note as he does not get directly featured in many of the games which take place in isolated parts of the main timeline. Thus, the interesting thing is that players who’ve beaten the main games without exploring the background lore are unaware that William Afton is the main protagonist!
Anyone who plays through the frightening nights these games challenge you with will often consider the haunted animatronics to be the main antagonists of the series.
And that’s a fair conclusion to draw because who else is out there trying to kill you and stuff your body down an empty spring-lock suit? Thus, it takes commitment and analysis of the minigames to piece together the lore behind the FNAF series.
And so, we come to William Afton, the series’ antagonist who has also remained relevant for the longest time, partially due to the plot armor Scott Cawthon keeps giving him. Scott must really love the guy to have him cheat death over and over again, but that’s also what makes William such a great villain.
Fredbear’s Family Diner: Where it All Began
FNAF’s story begins with William Afton and Henry Emily, two mechanical geniuses who put their brilliant minds together to establish Faazbear Entertainment. The company soon opened up its first main attraction, known as Fredbear’s Family Diner.
This was a regular diner housing party rooms, mainly intended for children’s birthday parties, which is what their business aimed at profiting off of. In order to put their diner one step ahead in the competition, the geniuses came up with a very creative idea that was destined to drive their revenue over the roof.
As engineers, William and Henry got to work and built two Spring-lock suits intended for the diner’s staff to serve and entertain customers. The two suits were named Fredbear and Springbonnie, the first-ever animatronics to come into existence.
Having two animatronic characters play the role of the diner’s main attraction was successful. Children flocked to the restaurant every day to marvel at the animatronics while their parents took the opportunity to deflate with some excellent pizza.
Last but not least, Fredbear’s Family Diner took over the demand for birthday parties as it became every child’s dream place for celebrating their birthday.
Expansion: Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria
Due to the success of Fredbear’s Family Diner, William and Henry quickly accumulated more than enough money to open up a much bigger sister location.
There was no reason not to expand at this point, so that’s exactly what they did, inaugurating Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. The sister location was similar to the original, except it featured not two but four animatronic stars: Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy.
You may imagine that with such a booming business, the Afton and Emily households would be financially set for generations to come. What could go wrong here?
Well, that’s where we are shown William Afton’s dark side, or in other words, his uncontrollable tendency to murder children. With the way society was back in the 1980s, William had always kept it to himself until he no longer could.
The Missing Children’s Incident
William gave into his tendencies for the first time, which became what is known as the Missing Children’s Incident. At one of the birthday parties inside the Pizzeria, five children were going to experience a party they would never forget and never let go of.
These five were Gabriel, Jeremy, Susie, Fritz, and Cassidy, who were lured into the backroom by William dressed as Springbonnie. He coaxed them with a surprise, which they most got, as William murdered all five of them in a short amount of time. The man felt exhilarated from what he had just done, and this is where his slow descent into madness began.
However, even in such a state of ecstasy, William was sure to cover up the evidence by stuffing the children into animatronic suits before the police arrived.
While the act of covering up the evidence saved his skin, the restaurant would not be so easily spared. The victim-housing animatronic suits eventually showed signs of decomposition, from foul odor to blood and mucus seeping from their mouth and eyes.
But even then, as there was no definitive proof to charge William with, the investigation let him off the hook but closed down the pizzeria.
Taking it up a Notch: Circus Baby
While William’s first killing spree was a success (in terms of not getting caught, albeit suspected), William’s mind brainstormed for more practical ideas.
Even though the Springbonnie suit did conceal his identity from the surveillance cameras, the risks would stack up in the long run. So why not remove himself from the equation entirely? And perhaps have an animatronic do the killing for him?
Around this time, William and Henry were contemplating more innovative ways of upgrading their animatronics, possibly making them automatic. Automation was also arguably necessary as having employees wear spring-lock suits was relatively dangerous, given that spring-lock failures could occur spontaneously due to excessive moisture.
Therefore, the geniuses thought about using Endoskeletons instead of putting humans into the suits. William got to work immediately, modeling this next new animatronic after his daughter, Elizabeth Afton, calling it Circus Baby. Through successfully integrating it with its own tailor-made endoskeleton,
William was able to install several pieces of functionality to it. This included singing, inflating balloons, and dispensing ice cream, all of which fascinated Henry. However, William kept Henry in the dark with Circus Baby’s inbuilt Scooper that would pull in vulnerable, lured out children.
The Tragedy at Circus Baby’s Pizza World
With their next significant upgrade complete, William and Henry gave the city another animatronic to be in awe of, as Circus Baby made her debut in Circus Baby’s Pizza World.
As anticipated, the venture was a success, as children, along with their parents, gravitated towards the state-of-the-art animatronic from all directions. Fazbear Entertainment’s spike in revenue was monumental but short-lived.
William was pleased with the outcome, partially because children were vanishing into thin air without anyone batting an eye. That is, however, until one of William’s own children fell victim to the machination of his own sinister making.
He was very well aware of the risks he ran by making a child-killing machine that would murder and hide children indiscriminately. However, his only mistake was underestimating the lengths his children, particularly his daughter would go to play with such an abomination.
Elizabeth used to bother William relentlessly regarding wanting to play with Circus Baby. However, knowing that Circus Baby could easily scoop her daughter, William denied her request every single time. Conversely, Elizabeth failed to process his rejections as William had once admitted that the animatronic was modeled after her. Why, then, wouldn’t her father let her play with it then?
And so, at one of the birthday parties, Elizabeth sneaked into Circus Baby’s room and, with no person in sight, approached to play with the animatronic.
Circus Baby, as programmed, lured Elizabeth even closer by dispensing ice cream. And when Elizabeth came into her optimal range, Circus Baby bent back, revealing her Scooper, which pulled Elizabeth straight in, killing her in the void of silence within.
Whether he liked it or not, William Afton had claimed another life.
William’s Descent into Madness
William’s descent into madness began with the death of Elizabeth, which he discovered many hours later. Elizabeth’s demise was never part of the plan, as William went into a shock, swearing to protect his other children at all cost.
At this point, rather than doing away with the rest of his disturbing projects, the engineer turned to his other children, Michael, and Evan Afton.
Micheal, being an adolescent, was not very fond of animatronics, but Evan was. Knowing that simply forbidding Evan from playing with the animatronics was not good enough, William came up with a crazy way of handling him.
For the next several nights, William literally broadcasted nightmares into Evan’s dreams, frightening him with nightmare variants of the same animatronics he loved so much.
But such a crazy treatment was bound to backfire as Evan came to develop an irrational fear of animatronics. Furthermore, William also encouraged Micheal to keep testing the waters of his brother’s newly developed phobia by occasionally scaring him with animatronic merchandise.
Ultimately, William hurt Evan more than protecting him, as he succumbed to his fears and died in the Bite of ’83.
Losing Everyone that Cared for him
Losing two children to his own inventions was too much for William, who was kicked down even more in the aftermath of the Bite of ’83. Firstly, Fredbear’s Family Diner closed down due to Evan’s death – if we recall, this was the business’s first-ever restaurant.
At this point, Henry was highly suspicious of William being behind the two tragedies that took place recently and decided to cut him off.
Henry went ahead and began rebuilding Fazbear Entertainment’s reputation from the ground up, all alone. Amongst the first several things he rectified were the animatronics, his earnest inventions that William had allegedly abused to carry out some horrifying plans.
Furthermore, Henry did away with the idea of spring-lock suits entirely, crafting plastic-like “Toy animatronics” operated by an endoskeleton.
Seeing Henry rebuild their company all on his own, William became all the more unstable. Around the time that his letter of dismissal came in, William was also dealing with domestic problems. In summary, his wife had left him, and Micheal had been shunned out permanently following the Bite of ’83.
It is said that the scariest man is he who has nothing left to lose, which is what William had eventually come to become. The man was practically all alone now, and the only thing he wanted was to exact vengeance on Henry and keep the freakshow going.
Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rentals: The Rivalry Begins
With Henry showcasing his Toy animatronics to the world, William began working on his own animatronics that would be nowhere as nice. Apart from the fully functioning Circus Baby, William rolled out a new wave of Funtime animatronics by adding three more characters to the roster. These were Funtime Freddy, Funtime Foxy, and Ballora.
Funtime Freddy and Funtime Foxy shared the same theme of purple and white. Appearance-wise, Funtime Freddy came off as similar to the original Freddy, but with a speaker on its chest below the black bowtie. On the other hand, Funtime Foxy was remodeled more along the lines of Mangle, a previous failed animatronic involved in the Bite of ’87 (irrelevant to this guide).
Ballora was a rather interesting animatronic, theorized to be modeled after Clara Afton, William’s wife. While the origins of this animatronic are left largely unclear, William did equip it with its own set of functions tailored towards luring and killing children.
Thus, with the quartet complete and fully functional, William opened up Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rentals.
The new location would serve as an underground, inconspicuous location that families could rent out and have the Funtime gang at their birthday parties as a surprise. The place would also serve as William’s hideout, where he would plot his evil and cunning schemes.
William Makes his First Move
In the midst of establishing Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rentals, William had not lost sight of his overarching goal: exacting vengeance on Henry.
However, it would be too easy to kill Henry directly – in his mind, Henry deserved to be robbed of everything he ever cared about instead of being subjected to an easy death. And so, William set his sights on Charlotte Emily, Henry’s daughter.
On the other end of the spectrum, Henry had anticipated that William would definitely retaliate once he got fired. And so, when he opened up Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, his first solo diner, Henry was keen to put in place proper security measures.
He started off by installing a facial recognition system into all of his animatronics to tell William apart from others. Realizing that William could very well see through such a system and strike in disguise, such as in a Springbonnie suit, Henry took extra steps to ensure his daughter’s safety.
He designed a hyper-specific animatronic known as the Puppet that would specifically protect and lookout for Charlie. The Puppet would be housed in a box, much like a marionette, but will be able to operate once the box is open.
Despite such security measures, Charlotte still fell victim to William’s knife, an event that is argued to have taken place by coincidence. We personally believe William planned it out because one fine night, a group of bullies trapped the Puppet inside his box while forcing Charlotte away from him and outside the diner into the rain.
As Charlotte sobbed in the alley, William pulled up in his car and stepped out. Unaware of the ongoing animosity between his father and William, Charlotte saw William as her savior as she ran to embrace him. How wrong she was, as William let out a smirk before he murdered Charlotte in cold blood and made a swift exit. Such a convenient series of events could not have possibly taken place by chance.
William Continues His Killing Spree
Similar to the Missing Children’s Incident, William had another wave of immense euphoria after not just killing a child but delivering a shocking blow to the Emily household. However, his killing spree did not stop there as William realized that he could sabotage Henry’s Pizzeria by killing more children in its vicinity. Such a killing spree would eventually cause the diner to close down, right? Perfect!
Henry’s security system did not stand a chance against him when he murdered Charlotte, and it could not stand a chance against him now.
Moreover, William could easily evade the facial recognition security system by striking in disguise, such as in his Springbonnie suit. However, such a suit was not in his disposal at the moment, but the opportunity couldn’t have been any better.
Around that time, the old Spring-lock suits were being transferred over from the original Fredbear’s Family Diner over to Henry’s Pizzeria for salvaging.
Despite being closed down, the original diner was close to Henry’s heart, and he could not leave it abandoned. Yet, choosing to salvage it was going to be his biggest mistake, as William seized the opportunity to infiltrate the diner in the Springbonnie suit.
Karma Gets us All: William’s First Death
During the first Missing Children’s incident, William’s state of mind was starkly different from now – he was now doing it for a purpose, more than mere satisfaction.
During the nights that followed, William stealthily lured children into the back rooms of the diner, murdering them one by one. However, in a supernatural turn of events, his killing spree ended after murdering a total of five children.
But what exactly happened? During one of the nights in the back rooms of the diner, where William camped during the day, the child killer was attacked by ghosts. Here it was revealed that the souls of the first five children he had murdered several years ago had not found peace and were instead desperately searching for their murderer. That night, they had finally found him.
William was surrounded by angry ghosts who were moments away from exacting vengeance on the man who had taken their lives away prematurely.
William was terrified at the supernatural formula unfolding before him, so he desperately sought solace in his Springbonnie suit. Unfortunately, however, it was raining that night, which, coupled with his excessive perspiration, quickly caused a spring-lock failure.
The Springbonnie suit collapsed on William, and blood splashed in all directions. The ghosts, pleased with the outcome, vanished, ignoring William’s plea for help, leaving him to die. William’s cries continued all night long, to the point that Henry himself found him the following day. However, Henry, too, chose not to interfere and closed off the back room for good, expecting William to bleed out soon.
William’s First Reincarnation: Springtrap
It is believed that William Afton did, in fact, bleed out and die at that time. However, due to the supernatural nature of his death and his willpower to keep pushing forward, William experienced a slow process of reincarnation over the next 30 years.
The man was reincarnated in his collapsed Springbonnie suit as Springtrap, although he remained confined in the long-ago walled-off back room.
The monster soon was released once more into the world when Fazbear Frights opened. The horror-based attraction was inspired by the dark past of Fazbear Entertainments, featuring old artifacts from the company’s previously abandoned locations.
As you have guessed, among these was Springtrap, who became the location’s main attraction, being a functioning animatronic from many decades ago.
William’s Second Death
Despite having been given a second chance at achieving his ambitions, William was not left alive for long. The man was unaware of all that had transpired over the past 30 years, particularly the fact that his son, Micheal Afton, had been digging up the man’s past, trying to undo everything he had done.
So, the news of a salvaged animatronics from many decades ago spread far and wide; the next thing William knew, his son was already there to hunt him down.
Micheal had infiltrated Fazbear Frights as one of the night-time staff, an easy job to secure in these kinds of locations. Once he had confirmed the presence of Springtrap, Micheal took his shot and set the place aflame, trapping his father in the blaze.
William Survives the Fire: Scraptrap
Although it is a little unclear how he pulled it off, William somehow managed to survive the fire at Fazbear Frights. There are two main theories to explain the phenomenon. The first theory states that he did die but got reincarnated, while the second argues that he actually escaped the building the same way Micheal did. Regardless, after escaping the fire, William became known as Scraptrap.
Micheal is unaware of William’s comeback but is soon able to find out as he partakes in Henry’s final plan. During the past 30 years, Henry had been looking forward to finishing everything off, releasing the souls that haunted all the animatronics. He executed the first phase of his plan by opening Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria.
The diner was not meant for profit but for gathering together all the remaining animatronics into one place. He was well aware of the kinds of animatronics William crafted and figured that they would eventually be attracted to large masses of children.
Moreover, he put up a job opening for the diner’s manager, who would be entrusted with a secret task apart from running the diner.
William’s Third Death: The End of an Era
Micheal was able to secure the Manager position at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, as he could simply not turn a blind eye to a newly opened Fazbear Entertainment establishment. Here, he realized Henry’s final plan and found his reincarnated father. But how exactly?
Micheal, being the manager, was entrusted with the secret task of salvaging animatronics from the back alley every night. The back alley was also where the animatronics Henry intended to lure out ended up, amongst which was Scraptrap.
However, instead of destroying Scraptrap immediately, Micheal played along with his role, realizing that Henry must have a plan – which he, in fact, did.
Inevitably, once all the animatronics were rounded up, Henry’s final plan was set in motion. First and foremost, he put the entire place on lockdown in the dead of night, when no customers were around. This was to ensure that none of the animatronics escaped, after which he set the entire place on fire.
There was no way out for the scorching animatronics, all of whom broke down eventually, releasing the souls contained within. Along with the other children, William Afton had finally been put to rest, bringing the first FNAF timeline to an end.
Question: What Happened to Clara Afton After her Separation?
Answer: It is said that sometime after William and Clara separated, Clara went missing, presumably murdered by his ex-husband, as many fans theorize. Conversely, it is also very well possible that she committed suicide as there is clear evidence to support her emotional stability following the demise of two of her three children.
Regardless, it is said that Clara Afton came to possess Ballora, one of the four Funtime animatronics William assembled at Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rentals. She later became a part of Ennard, who perished in the execution of Henry’s final plan.
Question: What was the Bite of ’87?
Answer: The Bite of ’87 was a security failure that took place in Henry’s first diner after he parted ways with William. In his vision of the perfect restaurant, Henry allowed animatronics to roam around during the day. However, while some of the animatronics were loved by all the children, some were bullied – amongst these animatronics was Mangle.
Mangle was bullied quite frequently, or in other words, he was dismantled and hit quite often by a certain group of kids. Moreover, what fueled Mangle’s frustration, even more, was that the technicians eventually stopped repairing him.
Thus, at some point, Mangle snapped and bit off one of the bullies’ frontal lobes, an incident that became known as the Bite of ’87.
Question: How did the Animatronics Become Haunted?
Answer: The main object that caused such a supernatural phenomenon is the remnant, a metallic substance that can confine souls into inanimate objects, causing them to become alive. The remnant was discovered initially by the Puppet, who used it to give life to Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy with the first couple victims of William.
The remnant was later discovered by William as well, which he incorporated into many of his Funtime animatronics, causing them to become alive. Another interesting theory is that William also integrated the remnant into the Scooper, which explains why Micheal Afton’s soul was still bound to his body after getting killed by the Scooper.
William Afton Guide: Conclusion
William Afton is more than just a child killer trying to satiate his uncontrollable tendencies. As he pursues killing and faces the consequences of his actions, William slowly morphs into a villain, a villain with a clear goal in mind. William strove to ruin Henry entirely, and his ambitions were so strong that he was able to provoke reincarnation itself.
No matter how many times William dies, he will always find a way back, even if it would take decades – that’s what we love most about his character.