Gordon Freeman

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Name: Gordon Freeman
Occupation: theoretical physicist
Relationships: Friend and former coworker of Eli Vance and Barney Calhoun, friend and possible love interest of Alyx Vance, mentee and former coworker of Isaac Kleiner, employee of the G-Man
Fandom: Half-Life (video game)
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Gordon Freeman is the main protagonist of the Half-Life series of games.

Canon Background

Dr. Gordon Freeman is a theoretical physicist and graduate of MIT. With the help of his mentor, Isaac Kleiner, he secures a job at the secretive Black Mesa Research Facility in New Mexico, where he works for some time and becomes acquainted with security officer Barney Calhoun and researcher Eli Vance.


On May 16th of an unknown year in the 2000s (when Freeman is age 27), Freeman is involved in an experiment that goes horribly wrong, causing hostile aliens to teleport into the facility, and soon results in human Marines swooping in to cover up the incident by killing witnesses.

Freeman fights his way through both the aliens and Marines, and eventually enters Xen, where he kills the alien being keeping the portal between Xen and Earth open. He is then approached by a mysterious figure known to fans as "The G-Man". The G-Man offers Freeman an ultimatum - accept his job offer, or die - and Freeman accepts.

Half-Life 2

After roughly 20 years of stasis, the G-Man deposits Freeman back on Earth, which has since been taken over by an oppressive alien empire known as the Combine. Freeman is soon reunited with his former coworkers, who have formed a resistance movement against the Combine, as well as Eli Vance's daughter Alyx, with whom Freeman forms a close bond.

Gordon and Alyx go on several missions over the course of Half-Life 2 and its two episodes, during which time the bond between them and the other Resistance members grows, as does the intrigue surrounding the G-Man and his true intentions.

Half-Life Alyx

Freeman's role in Half-Life Alyx is small, as this is the first Valve-developed Half-Life game in which he is not the protagonist (and he is still in stasis during the year in which the game takes place). Towards the end of the game, the G-Man claims that Freeman has become unable or unwilling to do the job he accepted in the first game.

In a post-credits scene, the player briefly takes control of Freeman, as the next game in the series is teased.


Gordon Freeman is a silent protagonist whose face is rarely seen. Hints of his canonical personality are few and far-between. He is clearly intelligent, as he earned a doctorate in theoretical physics from MIT. It is known that he can form and maintain friendships, and that he can be playfully competitive with his friends. Other than this, he is a blank slate. This is intentional on the developers' part; it allows for players to project a personality, including their own, onto Freeman.


A popular headcanon is that Gordon Freeman is either mute or selectively mute, providing an explanation for his in-game silence. Some fanworks have him communicate with others using sign language.

He is also frequently headcanoned as being on the autism spectrum, as he fits some of the characteristics (high intelligence in a STEM field, muteness) that are often associated with autistic savants.


Alternate Fan Versions

The wide array of transformative content based on Half-Life, including several high-profile machinimas, has resulted in the creation of many alternate versions of Gordon Freeman. They include:

  • Gordon Freemind: the Freeman from Freeman's Mind, a machinima by Ross Scott (Accursed Farms) in which Freeman is given a self-aggrandizing and neurotic inner monologue.
  • Gorgeous Freeman: the Freeman from the machinima series of the same name by Antoine Delak. This Freeman speaks with the voice of Duke Nukem, and partakes in various cartoony and sexual antics.
  • Gordon Feetman: the Freeman played by WayneRadioTV in Half Life VR but the AI is Self-Aware. He is voiced by Wayne, and plays the role of straight man to the funny men characters surrounding him.

Some fans have created fanworks in which multiple versions of Freeman interact with each other; this unusual crossover is called the "Freemanverse".

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.