The Philosophical Depths of Gregg Hurwitz’s Orphan X Series and the Influence of Jordan Peterson

Gregg Hurwitz, a masterful storyteller, has earned his place among the elite in the thriller genre with his “Orphan X” series. The series, which follows the gripping adventures of Evan Smoak—also known as “Orphan X” or “The Nowhere Man”—delves into the life of a highly trained government assassin turned vigilante. As Hurwitz weaves complex narratives and moral dilemmas throughout his series, one can discern the influence of contemporary thinkers like Jordan Peterson, whose ideas about personal responsibility, order, and chaos resonate in the fabric of Hurwitz’s storytelling.

Craft beer elit seitan exercitation, photo booth et 8-bit kale chips proident chillwave deep v laborum. Aliquip veniam delectusSHANE DOE

The Orphan X Series: A Synopsis

Evan Smoak was taken from a foster home at the age of twelve and trained under a covert operation known as the Orphan Program. This government initiative was designed to create deniable intelligence assets—human weapons with extraordinary skills in combat, espionage, and subterfuge. After years of serving as Orphan X, Evan decides to break free from the program and use his skills to help those who cannot help themselves. Adopting the alias “The Nowhere Man,” he becomes a modern-day Robin Hood, offering aid to the helpless and standing up against ruthless adversaries.

The series begins with “Orphan X,” introducing readers to Evan’s transformation from government operative to vigilante. Subsequent books like “The Nowhere Man,” “Hellbent,” “Out of the Dark,” and “Into the Fire” delve deeper into Evan’s psyche, his moral code, and the perpetual struggle between his violent past and his quest for redemption.

Jordan Peterson’s Influence

Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology, has gained worldwide recognition for his work on the psychology of religion, the assessment and improvement of personality and performance, and the roots of ideological beliefs. His books, including “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” and “Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life,” offer guidance on how to navigate the complexities of life through personal responsibility, discipline, and an understanding of the balance between order and chaos.

Several of Peterson’s key themes can be seen reflected in Hurwitz’s Orphan X series:

  1. Personal Responsibility: Peterson emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility for one’s life. Evan Smoak embodies this principle. Despite his dark past and the skills that could easily be used for self-serving purposes, Evan chooses to shoulder the burden of others’ plights, transforming his existence into one of service and protection.
  2. Order and Chaos: Peterson often speaks about the delicate balance between order and chaos. Evan’s life is a constant oscillation between these two states. As Orphan X, he was an agent of chaos, executing missions with lethal precision. As the Nowhere Man, he seeks to bring order to the lives of those in turmoil, all while grappling with the chaotic remnants of his own past.
  3. Redemption and Transformation: Central to both Peterson’s and Hurwitz’s work is the idea of personal transformation and redemption. Evan’s journey is one of continuous self-improvement and redemption. He seeks to atone for the lives he has taken and the violence he has inflicted by helping those in desperate need, aligning with Peterson’s belief in the redemptive power of ethical living.
  4. Courage to Face Suffering: Peterson often discusses the necessity of facing suffering and adversity with courage. Evan Smoak’s life is riddled with suffering, both inflicted and endured. His resilience and determination to confront his demons and protect others despite his personal pain mirror Peterson’s teachings on the importance of bravery in the face of life’s challenges.


Gregg Hurwitz’s Orphan X series is a riveting exploration of a complex character navigating a world filled with moral ambiguities and physical dangers. The influence of Jordan Peterson’s philosophies is evident in the way Hurwitz crafts Evan Smoak’s journey—highlighting themes of responsibility, the balance of order and chaos, redemption, and the courage to face adversity. This intersection of thrilling narrative and profound psychological insight not only captivates readers but also invites them to reflect on their own lives and the choices they make. Through the character of Evan Smoak, Hurwitz not only entertains but also offers a compelling study of human resilience and the quest for meaning in a turbulent world.


Orphan X : Book 1

The Nowhere Man is a legendary figure spoken about only in whispers. It’s said that when he’s reached by the truly desperate and deserving, the Nowhere Man can and will do anything to protect and save them. But he’s not merely a legend.

Start the Adventure >

Brilliantly conceived and plotted … Read this book. You’ll thank me later.”

David Baldacci


Comments are closed.