House of Cards Wiki
House of Cards Wiki

Thomas "Tom" Yates was an award-winning writer and correspondent, hired by President Frank Underwood to write a book detailing the philosophical thought behind the program, America Works.


Tom is an award winning writer, best known for his bestselling novel Scorpio. He also writes online reviews of video games. Born into poverty, in his youth Yates resorted to offering sexual services to older men because he "needed the money". Most of the men, however, would never touch him, preferring instead to discuss their own lives with him. Yates started to crave these stories the older men told him and even used them for his bestseller Scorpio.

Season 3[]

Hired by Underwood[]

Having read Yates' effusive review of Monument Valley, President Frank Underwood, longtime fan of shoot-'em-up video games, was so intrigued by its flowery language that it made him depart from his usual video game tastes and give the indie game a try. The occurrence made Underwood decide to look Yates up and commission him to come up with a piece of non-fiction political literature on the America Works, thinking that such a work would inject the public perception of his jobs program with some positivity. In July 2015, at a signing of his latest book God's Cauldron, Yates got approached by White House Chief of Staff Remy Danton. Though lukewarm to the idea of writing a book in order to promote a president's jobs program, even dismissing it as propaganda at the initial meeting with President Underwood, Yates agreed after observing the successes of the July 4th America Works job drive in D.C. at the National Mall. He further agreed to write it for January 2016, despite having never completed a work of literature in under a year.

Relationship with the Underwoods[]

Yates began shadowing Frank as the President embarked on various political duties, including flying to Moscow to negotiate the release of Michael Corrigan. He and Underwood decided that the basis of the America Works novel will be the story of Frank's own life, and his elevation from poverty to the presidency via hard work and commitment.

While in Gaffney, Frank's hometown, Yates confessed to the President that his deceased roommate was the actual author of Scorpio, and he simply finished writing it.

He and Frank slowly became friendly, meeting in the White House residence to discuss the book over drinks. Late one night, the two even shared a brief tender and intimate moment that looked to be the beginning of a homosexual encounter that was not taken further. Yates eventually revealed to Frank that he did in fact author Scorpio, but gathered the inspiration from various clients he met and talked to whilst working as a male prostitute. Yates developed a fascination with hearing people's stories ever since, a fascination which extended to Frank. When he finally sent the Underwoods the first chapter of the book, Frank and Claire did not like it. As a result, Frank fired Yates. Throughout this time, Yates's relationship with Claire Underwood was less friendly. Initially outright hostile towards him, the First Lady demanded he sit with members of the press aboard Air Force One and avoided talking to him whilst they campaign in New Hampshire. His friendship with Frank only widened the rift between Claire and her husband. It is only after Yates got fired by Underwood that they talk face to face, with Yates's words giving her the motivation to leave Frank.

Behind the Scenes[]

Tom Yates was portrayed by Paul Sparks in Season 3 of House of Cards. He reappears in Season 4 and builds an affair with Claire approved by Frank.


Season 3
"Chapter 27" "Chapter 28" "Chapter 29" "Chapter 30" "Chapter 31"
"Chapter 32" "Chapter 33" "Chapter 34" "Chapter 35" "Chapter 36"
"Chapter 37" "Chapter 38" "Chapter 39"
Season 4
"Chapter 40" "Chapter 41" "Chapter 42" "Chapter 43" "Chapter 44"
"Chapter 45" "Chapter 46" "Chapter 47" "Chapter 48" "Chapter 49"
"Chapter 50" "Chapter 51" "Chapter 52"
Season 5
"Chapter 53" "Chapter 54" "Chapter 55" "Chapter 56" "Chapter 57"
"Chapter 58" "Chapter 59" "Chapter 60" "Chapter 61" "Chapter 62"
"Chapter 63" "Chapter 64" "Chapter 65"