William Afton's Child Murder Is Crucial to 'Five Nights at Freddy's' Lore

William Afton is the primary antagonist of the 'Five Nights at Freddy's' game series, but why does he kill kids repeatedly in the games?


Nov. 6 2023, Published 10:55 a.m. ET

An animatronic suit in 'Five Nights at Freddy's.'
Source: Scott Cawthon

The Gist:

  • William Afton, the killer at the center of Five Nights at Freddy's, kills children as part of his own twisted quest for immortality.
  • Afton's motivations, and the history of the haunted animatronics at the center of Five Nights at Freddy's, are just one small part of the lore that has been spawned from the video games the movie is based on.
Article continues below advertisement

Since it first launched in 2014, the Five Nights at Freddy's game series has built up a pretty substantial amount of lore. Some of that lore is getting introduced to a new audience thanks to the Five Nights at Freddy's movie, which is a smash at the box office.

Now that more people know about the movie's story, many have questions about one element, in particular. They want to learn more about William Afton, the serial killer who is the primary antagonist in the games, even though he doesn't appear in any of them. Why does he kill kids?

Article continues below advertisement
William Afton in a scene from 'Five Nights at Freddy's.'
Source: Scott Cawthon

Why did William Afton kill kids in 'Five Nights at Freddy's?'

The premise of Five Nights at Freddy's is essentially that a security guard does battle with large animatronics that have been possessed by the souls of children. It's a spooky and silly premise that makes for some great gameplay. If you dive in deeper, though, you'll learn that all of these kids were killed by William Afton, a serial killer who's also responsible for linking their souls with the animatronics they now possess.

Article continues below advertisement

Although we don't meet him, we learn through the gameplay that Afton was a serial killer who was obsessed with immortality. He began conducting experiments with a substance called remnant, which is what gives the animatronics life. Eventually Afton came to believe that by killing children and infusing their souls into these animatronics, he could achieve immortality himself.

While his actions may not seem perfectly rational, it's clear that Afton killed children because of his own twisted beliefs, and not necessarily for any other reason. He may have believed that doing so would grant him immortality, but we all know that quest always ends in madness.

If you're someone who is just learning about this world for the first time, there's plenty of lore to dig into, and the best way to learn it all is undoubtedly to play the games.

Article continues below advertisement

'Five Nights at Freddy's' is already a smashing success.

Although its second weekend didn't live up to the remarkable success of its opening, Five Nights at Freddy's is already a major financial success for Universal. In part because it was one of the only horror movies available in theaters on the weekend before Halloween, the movie made more than $70 million in its opening weekend and has grossed more than $200 million worldwide to date.

That remarkable success came on a budget of just $20 million, making the movie a runaway success that may prompt a sequel. Thankfully, there's plenty of lore in the games to draw from, as anyone who has been playing them for the last decade is well aware.

More from Distractify

Latest Gaming News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2023 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.