- List of The Dark Tower characters
The Dark Tower is a series of seven novels written by American author Stephen King, which incorporate multiple genres including fantasy, science fantasy, horror and western. Below are The Dark Tower characters that come into play as the series progresses.
Ka-tet of the Nineteen and/or Ninety and Nine
Roland Deschain, son of Steven Deschain, was born in the Barony of Gilead, in In-World. Roland is the last surviving gunslinger, a man whose only goal is finding and climbing to the top of the Dark Tower, purported to be the very center of existence. This quest is obsession, monomania and geas to Roland: the success of the quest is more important than the lives of his family and friends. He is a man who lacks imagination, and this is one of the stated reasons for his survival against all odds: he can't imagine anything other than surviving to find the Tower.
Eddie makes his debut in The Drawing of the Three, in which Roland encounters three doors that open into the New York City of our world in different times. Through these doors, Roland draws companions who will join him on his quest, as the Man In Black foretold. The first to be drawn is Eddie Dean, a drug addict and a first-time cocaine transporter. Eddie lived with his older brother and fellow junkie Henry, whom Eddie reveres despite the corrupting influence Henry had upon his life. Roland helps Eddie fight off a gang of mobsters for whom he was transporting the cocaine, but not before Eddie discovers that Henry has died from an overdose of heroin in the company of the aforementioned mobsters (after which the mobsters decide to chop off Henry's head). It is because of Eddie's heroin addiction that he is termed 'The Prisoner', and that is what is written upon the door from which Roland draws him.
Roland also acquires medicine for his infection during the trip to Eddie's world, but this only temporarily quells the fever.
Eddie passes through the door into Roland's world, and faces heroin withdrawal symptoms, but despite his suffering, he also shows an affinity for the ways of the gunslinger. Unwillingly at first, and somewhat under duress, Eddie becomes Roland's companion through Mid-World, and he soon falls in love with Susannah, the next member of Roland's ka-tet. Eddie and Susannah consider themselves husband and wife, although they never formally marry.
In the final novel, during the attack on Algul Siento, Eddie is shot and killed by Pimli Prentiss, the master of the establishment.
Roland also notes that Eddie's character strongly resembles that of Cuthbert, a gunslinger of Roland's past, and one of Roland's greatest friends. The character of Cuthbert is mentioned in Browning's poem and is described most fully in The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass, although he is first mentioned in The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger.
Also hailing from New York City, Susannah is an African-American (although as a woman of 1964, she prefers the term "Negro" over the term considered appropriate in Eddie's time, "Black") woman with two major afflictions: her legs below the knees were severed in a subway accident, and a childhood head injury left her with dual personalities, which Eddie incorrectly labels schizophrenia. She is "The Lady of Shadows", the second companion predicted by Walter to be drawn into Roland's world via the mysterious doors.
Initially, her dominant personality is that of Odetta Susannah Holmes, a well-mannered but priggish woman active in the civil rights movement. At times, however, she is taken over by Detta Susannah Walker—murderously psychotic, incredibly crafty, completely unbreakable—whom neither Eddie nor Roland can control. Roland manages to resolve these personalities by forcing her to look through the third door while he himself looks out of it, forcing her to see herself as she really is; thereafter, her personalities are integrated into a single, far more balanced individual, known as Susannah Dean, Eddie's wife, although they were never formally married. Susannah has access to the memories and personalities of both Holmes and Walker, and can call upon their skills and temperaments at will.
During the drawing of Jake, she submits to sex with the demon of the doorway in order to distract it and afterwards, she becomes pregnant. Susannah shares the experience of her pregnancy with a demon-turned-mortal named Mia, resulting in Susannah housing yet another personality in her mind. Mia takes over Susannah's body (and melds with it, giving her legs for a short while) and runs in it to yet another when of New York, this one circa 1999, to give birth to the demon child.
Susannah is the last member of Roland's ka-tet to leave him (and the only one to survive in a Keystone world), having been given the chance to return to another form of Eddie and Jake in a parallel world.
Jake Chambers, an eleven-year-old boy from the New York of 1977, is the symbolic (and later adopted) son of Roland. Jake's given name is John, but he prefers to be known by Jake, and is called "'Bama" by his house-keeper, who is far closer to him than his parents. In his home world, he dies at the hands of Jack Mort (who Jake initially believes is Walter) and ends up in Roland's world as a result. The gunslinger and the boy travel together in pursuit of the Man in Black, developing a strong bond along the way. However, in order to reach the Man in Black, Roland lets Jake fall to his death.
The child Roland allowed to die reappears in Roland's mind in The Waste Lands, however, due to a paradox. Since Roland (in The Drawing of the Three) prevented Mort from shoving Jake into traffic, he never died, therefore he never appeared in Mid-World and was never left to die under the mountains. Jake and Roland, however, can remember both timelines, and the knowledge is slowly driving them insane.
In the first half of The Waste Lands, Roland's ka-tet figure out a way to draw Jake into Mid-world, where he belongs (an action which finishes the real Drawing of the Three, Jack Mort never having been intended to join the ka-tet). Eddie is driven to whittle a key out of wood as they approach a Speaking Ring, where Eddie draws another door into the ground, this one guarded by an invisible demon. Susannah distracts the demon by allowing it to copulate with her, while Eddie perfects the key and uses it to open the door. On the other side, Jake has been led by the younger version of Eddie who lived in that when to a haunted house (indeed, Eddie has vague memories of the encounter himself), filled with evil spirits and a horrendous gate-keeper. Jake, with some timely assistance from Roland, fights through them to reach the door. Once the boy is in Mid-World again, Roland's and Jake's memories are merged and their descent into insanity abated.
While crossing the desolate city of Lud, Jake is kidnapped by a deranged resident of the city. He allows himself to be taken in exchange for the rest of the group's safe passage, and Roland promises to come for Jake, despite having to abandon him temporarily. Despite the danger it poses, he rescues Jake, reaffirming the father-son bond that has grown between them. Like Eddie and Susannah, Jake shows amazing aptitude to the way of a gunslinger.
Jake is the second member of the ka-tet to die, when he sacrifices himself to save Stephen King (as a character in the series) from certain death by putting himself between King and the van meant to take his life. By the end of the tale Jake has died a total of three times. An alternate version of Jake is encountered later by Susannah Dean.
Roland also notes that Jake strongly resembles Alain, another gunslinger, in his stable, reserved personality and talent with a psychic skill referred to as "the touch." Alain is described mostly by his time with Roland as a teen in The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass.
Oy is a "billy-bumbler," a strange creature found in Roland Deschain's world. King describes Oy in the "Argument", or foreword, of the fourth book, Wizard and Glass - "Bumblers, which look like a combination of badger, raccoon, and dog, have a limited speaking ability". Elsewhere, bumblers are described as "a combination raccoon and woodchuck, with a little dachsund thrown in." At one point, Eddie calls Oy "a fucked-up weasel". Oy's voice is described as "low and deep, almost a bark; the voice of an English footballer with a bad cold in his throat."
King seems to base Oy's appearance on the Tanuki, also known as the raccoon dog, or the Coati. Regarding Oy's appearance, by far the most frequently described feature throughout the series is his large, "bright" almost glowing, "intelligent,gold-ringed eyes", though King also frequently refers to the creature's "disproportionately long," "surprisingly graceful neck". The creature has "black- and grey-striped fur" and a "furry corkscrew tail".
At the time of their meeting, Roland concedes that Oy may quite possibly be meant as another member of their ka-tet. Later, in the 6th book, this is confirmed when the Tet Corporation forms as the association of "Deschain, Dean, Dean, Chambers, and Oy."
Oy develops emotions and even a sense of humanity beyond that of his ability to replicate some words that the others speak. Oy is often referenced as the smartest bumbler that characters have seen since the world had moved on. Oy provides a much-needed shelter from the harsh adultness of the quest for his master, often playing with Jake or providing moments of lightheartedness to the ka-tet. Together, the two are sometimes able to recall the innocence they have lost.
Oy is killed in the last Dark Tower book. He saves Roland's life by attacking Mordred, who came to kill Roland in his sleep. Mordred snaps Oy's back and impales him on a tree limb while the bumbler is defending his friend, but Oy finds enough strength to lick Roland's hand one time before he dies. Stephen King hints that Oy will be found in the same universe that Susannah travels to and will be in some form of a dog with "odd, gold-ringed eyes and a bark that eerily resembles human speech."
Roland's original Ka-tet
Cuthbert is Roland Deschain's childhood friend, and a member of his original ka-tet. Cuthbert, often called Bert, is first featured in The Gunslinger, but he does not play a major role in the series until Wizard and Glass, the fourth volume in the series. He is very witty and skilled with a slingshot, although he does also carry the guns of a gunslinger. During the battle of Jericho Hill, Cuthbert is shot through the eye by an arrow fired by Randall Flagg. In Song of Susannah, Eddie Dean is revealed to be a reincarnation, or at least a "twinner" of Cuthbert Allgood.
Alain is one of Roland's original ka-tet, and along with the gunslinger and Cuthbert is evacuated to Mejis in Wizard and Glass for safety, due to the ongoing war against John Farson. Alain is strong in the 'touch', which appears to be a Mid-World form of telepathy or other mental power.
After Mejis, Alain joined Roland, Cuthbert and Jamie on their quest for the Dark Tower.
Shortly before the battle of Jericho Hill, the last stand by the gunslingers of Gilead against Farson's men, Alain was accidentally killed by Roland and Cuthbert, who mistook him for an assassin in the night.
Jamie De Curry
Jamie De Curry was a member of Roland Deschain's original ka-tet. He was the first to discover Roland's plan to fight Cort. He seemed to be characterized by a birthmark. He was killed by a sniper at the Battle of Jericho Hill. It's stated by Roland that he preferred to use a bow as a weapon, although by the time of the Battle of Jericho Hill he is a Gunslinger, like the rest of Roland's ka-tet.
Not much is known about Thomas Whitman. He is only briefly mentioned in The Gunslinger as one of Roland Deschain's childhood friends who studied under Cort. He is shown in several installements of the Gunslinger comics. He is shown to have a lean build with short, black hair. In the Battle of Jericho Hill, he and several other Gunslingers are killed by a flamethrower.
Allies of the Ka-tet
Susan Delgado appears in Wizard and Glass, the fourth book of the series. She is a resident of Hambry in the Barony of Mejis, where the 14-year-old Roland and his ka-tet have been sent for safekeeping. Her father was killed in a horseback riding "accident", actually a murder, and Susan has been cajoled by her aunt Cordelia into becoming a "gilly", essentially a concubine, for Mejis mayor Hart Thorin (while Susan is paid for her services, she is a recognized consort and any heir she bears to the heretofore-childless Thorin will be legitimate). Before her relationship with the mayor is allowed to begin, however, she falls in love with Roland, and lays plans to run away with him. She saves Roland's group from imprisonment and possible execution. Accused of helping the gunslingers kill the mayor, she is burned at the stake by the townspeople and her aunt. At the time, she is already pregnant with Roland's first child. Roland is devastated by her death—not just because of his love for her, but because, when confronted with the choice of returning for her or setting out for the Dark Tower and thus saving all of creation, he chose the Tower, thus condemning her to death.
Roland believes that Susan Delgado was the only true love of his life.
Ted Stevens Brautigan (19 letters) was introduced in the Stephen King novella Low Men in Yellow Coats from Hearts in Atlantis. He is a powerful "Breaker", a psychic, whose extraordinary powers as a facilitator are sought by the Crimson King so he can hasten the destruction of the beams and Dark Tower. Ted arrives in the Devar-Toi, the prison camp where the Breakers are held, in 1955, and with help from Roland's old friend from Mejis, Sheemie Ruiz, soon escapes the Devar-Toi and enters the Connecticut of 1960, which is when the story of Low Men in Yellow Coats takes place. After his adventure in Connecticut, the low men capture and smuggle him back to the Devar-Toi via the Dixie Pig and Thunderclap Station. Ted meets Roland and his ka-tet in the final novel of the series, and he, Everything's Eventual's Dinky Earnshaw, and the newly-revealed psychic Sheemie assist the ka-tet in the attack on the Devar-Toi and ultimately succeed in obliterating the low men and the taheen. After Roland, Jake, and Oy travel to the Maine of 1999 to prevent Stephen King from dying, Ted and his friends escort Susannah Dean to Fedic Station, and Ted, along with a handful of the other psychic Breakers depart for the Callas, where they hope to first find redemption from the Calla folken and then return to America via the Doorway Cave.
Sheemie, introduced in Wizard and Glass, was a mildly mentally retarded tavern boy at a saloon in Hambry. Sheemie assisted Roland and his first ka-tet in preventing the followers of John Farson, and more specifically, the Crimson King, from reviving the Great Old Ones' war machines, later following the group back to Gilead. Sheemie joined Roland's ka-tet briefly and helped the gunslingers ward off the Crimson King's followers until he and his mule Capi mysteriously disappeared. However, while Roland assumes Sheemie is dead, he is not; he had been captured by the low men and taken to the Devar-Toi, the Breaker prison, because of his telepathic abilities, which remained unknown to Roland's ka-tet. He reappears in the series' final novel and assists the new ka-tet in defeating the low men and the taheen. However, during the battle, he steps on a piece of glass, causing an infection (accelerated by the "poison air" around Thunderclap). While escorting Susannah to Fedic on the train, he dies of blood poisoning. Ironically, though Susannah never learns this, she is indirectly responsible for his death, as it is her bullet that breaks the glass out of his window, causing it to be there for him to step on.
Richard "Dinky" Earnshaw is the psychic assassin from Stephen King's short story Everything's Eventual. He was hired by a man named Mr. Sharpton who was the head of a North Central Positronics subsidiary. However, when Dinky discovered what Sharpton was truly using him for, he killed Sharpton. Unfortunately, the low men captured him and transported him to the Devar-Toi, where he later met Ted Brautigan and Sheemie Ruiz. The three joined forces with Roland and his ka-tet in the final novel of the series and they helped to defeat the Devar-Toi's guards.
Pere Donald Callahan
Donald Frank Callahan (19 letters) is the "damned" priest who first appeared in the novel 'Salem's Lot. He makes his first appearance in the Dark Tower series in Wolves of the Calla, although his involvement in the series was hinted at in the afterword to Wizard and Glass. After being marked by the vampire Kurt Barlow, and therefore forced out of his church, Father Callahan spends time volunteering in a homeless shelter. Callahan made it a goal to get even with the vampires for what they did to him and his friend, who contracted HIV after being bitten by a vampire. He is aided in this by his ability to spot the vampires; since Jerusalem's Lot (and the forced taking of some of the vampire Barlow's blood) he has been able to recognize vampires at a glance. Like Jake Chambers, Callahan enters Mid-World after dying in his own world, although in Callahan's case the death is his own doing; he jumps from a window to escape agents of the Crimson King, then arrives at the Way Station from The Gunslinger, shortly after Jake & Roland left it. He becomes a partial member of the ka-tet, assisting the ka-tet in the Battle against the Wolves and Susannah's rescue mission from 1999 New York, and sacrificing himself so that Jake may live in the final stand in The Dark Tower VII against the can-toi (low men) and vampires. For the second time, Callahan kills himself before allowing himself to fall at the hands of the vampires.
Patrick appears in Insomnia as a promising child artist, then again at the end of the Dark Tower series as a young adult artist with enough talent to shape the real world as he sees fit. As a young boy, he was prophesied to save two men in the future. He drew pictures of Roland and the roses as well. In the Dark Tower series, he was kept imprisoned for an unknown amount of time by the psychic vampire Dandelo and was rescued by Susannah and Roland. Patrick draws the door that allows Susannah to enter a parallel world, and erases the Crimson King from the Tower, allowing Roland to proceed.
Aunt Talitha Unwin
"Aunt" Talitha Unwin is a resident of River Crossing, near the city of Lud. When Roland Deschain came to River Crossing, she was 105 years old. She and the people of River Crossing provided food and shelter for the ka-tet while they were on their way to Lud. Talitha gave her cross to Roland to lay at the base of the Dark Tower. It was given to John Cullum to act as a sigul and was later returned to Roland by Moses Carver.
When Roland came to the Dark Tower, Talitha Unwin was one of the names that he called out and he remembered to place her cross at its base.
Cortland "Cort" Andrus
Teacher of Roland's original ka-tet. Roland earned his guns by defeating him with the hawk David, who was killed in that battle. After Roland's challenge, Cort laid in his cabin for a week in a coma, being tended by two nurses. Cort was often rough handed with his students, using physical punishment and denial of food to punish mistakes. He also fancied calling the prospective gunslingers, "maggots". According to the Roland, he is murdered soon after Roland's class graduates. He acts as a sort of a spiritual guide to Roland throughout the series, his voice and teachings popping up in the Gunslinger's mind every so often as Roland needs to reflect upon his training.
Also known as "Vannay the Wise," he was the other primary tutor of Roland's ka-tet and of apprentice gunslingers. Known mostly for his wisdom and forebearance, Vannay's analytical method of instruction and pacifistic nature serve as strong counterpoints to the ruthless application of force and cynical thought process exercised by Cort. It is mentioned that he walks with the assistance of a black ironwood cane. His only known relative was his son Wallace who played with Roland as a toddler; however he died very young of an illness. Vannay would become one of the many victims to fall prey to the forces of John Farson in the battle for Gilead.
- See also the real-life article on Stephen King
Stephen King (as a fictionalized character) appears in the final two Dark Tower books. Roland and his ka-tet learn of his existence when Roland comes across a copy of 'Salem's Lot, after first meeting Father Callahan, in the fifth book Wolves of the Calla. Roland and Eddie later confront King in his Maine home at a time when he has written 'Salem's Lot and The Gunslinger but no further Dark Tower books. Roland hypnotizes King and it is revealed that he did not in fact "create" the characters of Father Callahan or Roland or any others involved with the Dark Tower but is in reality a channel that records their quest. It is also revealed that at a very young age, the Crimson King attempted to claim Stephen King as one of his own. King fears retaliation from the Crimson King if he continues to write Roland's tale but the Gunslinger's hypnosis encourages him to continue. The attempt on King's life to end his chronicling of Roland's quest comes in the form of his 1999 automobile incident.
Many elements of Stephen King's real life are presented through his character (such as his 1999 accident) but are further fictionalized; King notes in the afterword to The Dark Tower that he took particular liberties with the geography of Maine to obscure the real-life location of his home and preserve what privacy he still has. Although he does not appear as a character until Song of Susannah, he is alluded to as early as The Drawing of the Three when Eddie recalls having seen The Shining in movie theaters.
Stuttering Bill is a robot (full name William D-746541-M Maintenance Robot) with many other functions. He plowed Tower Road all the way up to the edge of the white lands, where the snow ended and the roses began. He gave Roland, Susannah and Patrick a ride on his snowplow for many miles, taking them closer to the Dark Tower.
Stuttering Bill was also the nickname of William Denbrough, one of the central characters in King's novel It.
Calvin Tower is the lease holder of the Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind bookstore in the Dark Tower series. He makes his first appearance in book III, where he sells Jake two books which later prove vital to the ka-tet's survival of their encounter with Blaine the Mono. In later volumes, it is revealed that Tower owns the lot containing the rose, and is being pressured by mobsters to sell the property to the Sombra Corporation. Eddie saves Tower from a beating, and convinces Tower to sell the land to the ka-tet in the guise of the "Tet Corporation". Tower is an extremely reluctant recruit to the ka-tet's cause, and his selfishness, obsessive addiction to acquiring rare books nearly derail the ka-tet's efforts on several occasions. His eventual - and reluctant - decision to do the right thing comes largely thanks to the influence of his much more selfless, heroic friend, Aaron Deepneau. In the end, he sells the lot to Tet Corp, and serves on the board for many years. With Deepneau, he saves Father Callahan from knife-wielding thugs, as requested by the ka-tet.
Aaron Deepneau is Calvin Tower's best - and only - friend. He serves as Tower's conscience, and steadily leads his friend to the gunslinger's cause. He later joins the board of Tet Corp, and proves to be one of the rose's most ardent defenders.
Met Roland and Eddie during the ambush in Stoneham, 1977. He leads the pair to safety, ferries them to his home, and provides a vehicle for them to use. He also becomes a member of Tet Corp's board and tireless champion of the rose, and dies for the cause, assassinated by Sombra/NCP in 1989.
The Guardians of the Beams keep watch over either end of the six beams that support The Dark Tower. Of the twelve Guardians the ones that are mentioned are Turtle, Bear, Fish, Wolf, Elephant, Rat, Bat, Lion, Horse, and Eagle; Maturin, the Turtle (also a character in It), is considered the most powerful, or significant, of these. Throughout the series the reader repeatedly comes across a simple, nursery-rhyme style poem about Maturin:
See the TURTLE of enormous girth!
On his shell he holds the Earth,
His thought is slow but always kind;
He holds us all within his mind.
On his back the truth is carried,
And there are love and duty married.
He loves the earth and loves the sea,
And even loves a child like me.
Maturin guards the same beam as Shardik from the opposite end. Whereas Shardik runs amok in The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands, nearly killing Eddie before it can be destroyed, Maturin is a totally benevolent (and incredibly powerful) presence in the story, helping the ka-tet at several points along their journey.
In The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower, a small ivory scrimshaw sculpture of Maturin comes into the ka-tet's possession, and with it, Susannah/Mia hypnotizes a stranger, forcing him to get Susannah/Mia a hotel room. Susannah leaves the turtle where Jake will find it, enabling him (and, through his own martyrdom, Pere Callahan) to track Susannah and escape the low men, taheen, and vampires in the Dixie Pig. The sculpture essentially holds any human (or can-toi) totally enrapt and compliant upon seeing it in the hands of its wielder. The carving is said to have a question-mark shaped scratch on its shell.
Also in books VI and VII, multiple characters stumble upon a small park near #2 Hammarskjold Plaza containing a fountain beside a bronze sculpture of a turtle. The park—and the sculpture—actually exist, although King places the park across the street from #2 Hammarskjold Plaza: In fact, the turtle is in a larger park directly alongside the building, part of the Katharine Hepburn Memorial Garden. The sculpture is a nod to the neighborhood's centuries-old nickname, Turtle Bay.
Both Turtle Bay and Maturin the turtle appear in King's earlier novel It, serving much the same benevolent supernatural guardian role.
Odetta/Susannah's godfather and guardian, head of Tet Corporation, and protector of the rose. When he finally appears, late in book VII, he is an elderly but fiery, mischievous, and extremely likable old man with little gold framed glasses, a bad case of rheumatism, and a stooped posture. The reader gets the sense that the rose, as well as the covert war on the evil Sombra and North Central Positronics corporations, are in good hands.
Irene is a middle-aged housewife from Staten Island, somewhat neglected by her wealthy husband, who meets Roland, Jake, and Oy in Stoneham, Maine in the year 1999. She volunteers to drive the gunslinger's party to Lovell, where they narrowly manage to save Stephen King's life, Jake sacrificing his own life in the process. Tassenbaum then drives Roland and Oy to New York (sleeping with Roland along the way), where the gunslinger and the bumbler will meet with the board of Tet Corp. before returning to Mid-World.
Farson ("The Good Man") was a bandit who attacked coaches in the Barony of Garland and Desoy. Prior to the events Wizard and Glass, he began amassing an army and a weapons stockpile, with the intention of eventually installing himself as ruler of Mid-World. Two years after the events of Wizard and Glass, Roland tells the ka-tet, Farson succeeded.
Farson supplied his men with many weapons - including tanks, lasers, flamethrowers, bazookas, and robots - from the days of the Great Old Ones. After the destruction of Gilead, the battle between the gunslingers and Farson eventually reaches Jericho Hill, where Farson commands General Grissom and Randall Flagg/Marten/Walter. The remaining gunslingers, other than Roland, fall at that battle, and Mid-World is lost. It is unknown what became of Farson after the battle.
Farson is described as a tall man in a sort of black jumpsuit, with long black hair in extravagant haircut and a red mask covering his face. He was intelligent, persuasive and manipulative, but also erratic and dangerously insane.
The Man in Black, and a character with numerous aliases, including: the Ageless Stranger, the Walking Dude, Walter O'Dim, Marten Broadcloak, Richard Faninn, Rudin Filaro, Legion, and his given name, Walter Padick, son of Sam; he appears in many books of Stephen King, most notably in The Eyes of the Dragon and in The Stand, always as a nearly-demonic sorcerer. He is the Crimson King's chief agent.
The Crimson King
The ultimate in evil, this mysterious figure wishes to conquer the Dark Tower and raze it to the ground. Since this will destroy the entire universe, the Crimson King is naturally cast as the villain in The Dark Tower books. He is also known as Ram Aballah, and once ruled from his castle in End-World, but now is imprisoned on a balcony on the Dark Tower, which he had run to in a fit of madness that had taken him over. He believes that when the Tower falls, he will rule the Todash darkness that was once the multiverse. He is the one whom Walter/Flagg serves, whom the low men and taheen serve, and he has opposed Roland of Gilead from the beginning. The Crimson King is known by a number of names, including Los' the Red, Ram Aballah, The Aballah, The Kingfish, The Red King, The Lord of Spiders, and The Lord of Discordia. He also appears in Insomnia as a higher being trying to kill Patrick Danville as a child.
Jack Mort (whose name means "Death" in French) is a fictional character who makes a brief appearance in The Gunslinger, and a more detailed appearance in The Drawing of the Three. The third door that Roland encounters on the beach leads to Mort and New York in the mid-1970s. Roland finds himself inside the mind of "The Pusher", a sociopath named Jack Mort, whose sadistic acts of random violence have shaped the lives of Roland's companions. Mort, an accountant, thrives on being a meticulous planner when it comes to murder. This, and his style of execution, leads him to be an anonymous and therefore very effective killer. For example, Mort will drop bricks (and presumably other heavy items) on people's heads from tall places (what he calls "depth charging"), will push people in front of cars, and will also push people in front of subways. His methods allow a complete lack of direct confrontation, and thus allow him to continue his secret life quietly and with deadly effectiveness. He acts as a linking point between Susannah (both Odetta and Detta), Jake, and ultimately Roland. When Odetta was five, Mort dropped a brick on her head (which led to the emergence of her multiple personalities); he also pushed Odetta in front of a subway car when she was a teenager (neither knowing nor caring that she was a previous victim of his cruelty). On the day Roland enters him, he is planning to shove a young boy (who turns out to be Jake Chambers) into traffic. Unwilling to let Jake die once again through his inaction, Roland takes control of Mort's body and stops him. This death was the means that forced Jake into Roland's world the first time; when Roland prevented it, it had caused a time paradox, though it was resolved later, or rather undermined, when Jake entered into Roland's world again, but through a door. Later Roland purposefully forces Jack Mort to throw himself burning in front of a subway train, while telling him that he deserves a far worse fate. In the midst of this struggle, Roland manages to trick Detta into looking through the door, which forces both Odetta and Detta to acknowledge their dual personalities and the cause of them. Mort is described as tall, thin, and having blonde hair in The Drawing of the Three, yet is said by Roland to have had dark hair when mentioned in The Waste Lands.
Blaine the Mono
Blaine the Mono is a demented monorail train appearing in The Waste Lands and Wizard and Glass. Roland and his ka-tet have to ride this psychopathic train in order to travel safely in the Wastelands. The train seems to be connected to the children's book found by Jake, Charlie the Choo-Choo. Before Blaine lets Roland and his ka-tet on board, he kills every single living thing in the city of Lud with poison gas. Blaine reveals to the ka-tet that he plans to destroy himself along with the ka-tet, he promises to let them live on one condition, the ka-tet must beat him in a riddling contest. If he cannot answer one riddle they ask him, he will not destroy himself with the ka-tet on board. It becomes clear that Blaine has a huge library of riddles from many different levels of the tower at his disposal, and programs to decipher the riddle's wordplays or hidden clues, so the game seems doomed. Eddie eventually stumps Blaine with unsolvable and exceedingly stupid jokes humans sometimes make. This forces Blaine to try and "lower" his intelligence to levels necessary to answer, which ends up driving him completely insane and causes his computer to crash. Eddie then proceeds to shoot Blaine's main computer, which causes the train to crash, killing Blaine.
Shardik, while appearing to be a massive bear, is actually a mechanical construct of North Central Positronics. A cyborg, Shardik was built by North Central Positronics to serve as one of the twelve Guardians of the Beams. At the time that he is encountered by Roland, he is several thousand years old and dying and infested with parasites (a reference to Richard Adams's novel Shardik). Driven insane by his illness, he attacks Roland and his ka-tet, and they are forced to kill him.
The Guardians of the Beams keep watch over either end of the six beams that support The Dark Tower. Of the twelve Guardians the ones that are mentioned are Turtle, Bear, Fish, Wolf, Elephant, Rat, Bat, Lion, Horse, and Eagle; Maturin, the Turtle (also a character in It), is considered the most powerful, or significant, of these. By the time Roland was growing up, the Guardians had reached a near-mythic status, and he wasn't sure whether they even existed before running into Shardik.
The original Guardians, like so many other elements of Roland's world, may have been magic entities that were replaced by North Central Positronic's technological constructs. The death of Shardik represents another failure of technology and is one more step in the dismantling of not only Roland's world, but the entire multiverse of existence.
Shardik is also a novel by Richard Adams; King took the name from this book, something some members of Roland's ka-tet recognize: Susannah realizes the source of the name (although the book was published a decade after the year she was drawn from), while Eddie mentions that he thinks of rabbits when he hears the name Shardik—a reference to Watership Down, another of Adams' books. Adams' Shardik, like King's, is a giant bear.
A decrepit old witch, Rhea Dubativo was the one responsible for the death of Roland's true love, Susan Delgado. She was entrusted with the pink Wizard's Glass (known as Merlin's Grapefruit), which slowly drained her and drove her insane, similar to the deterioration of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. Readers never find out what happens to her; although Roland implies that he killed her, nothing more is elaborated upon beyond that.
The main antagonist of Wizard and Glass, Eldred is a failed gunslinger now in service to the Crimson King. He leads a gang called the Big Coffin Hunters. Eldred, though in charge of the Red's operations in Mejis, is answerable to George Latigo (one of John Farson's chief lieutenants) and Randall Flagg (at this time known as Walter), Farson's personal wizard.
Arguably the shortest-tempered of the Big Coffin Hunters, Roy Depape's hot-headedness is one of the major catalysts for events in Wizard and Glass; through threatening Sheemie Ruiz following a mishap in the local tavern, Roy sets off a multi-layered Mexican standoff between Roland's original ka-tet and the Big Coffin Hunters. Though the situation is initially resolved with diplomacy, the event reveals to Jonas the true nature of Roland and his friends (who were hiding incognito in Mejis under aliases) and blows their cover. When the Big Coffin Hunters frame the young Gunslingers for murder he kills mayor Hart Thorin and plants the rook's skull that ties Cuthbert and by extension Roland and Alain to the crime. He was killed by Cuthbert when Roland and company jumped him and Eldred Jonas.
Clay Reynolds is Eldred Jonas' right-hand man and the quietest of the Big Coffin Hunters. He is described as red-haired and especially handsome, and has a reputation as a ladies' man. His most notable accessory (besides his pistol) is a long red cloak. When the Hunters are framing Roland and his friends he volunteers to kill Kimba Rimer with a long dagger he bought for the occasion, in revenge for a comment Rimer made about his cloak. During the ensuing confusion that transpires near the end of The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass, Clay escapes from Mejis with Coral Thorin, and the two become a bandit couple. It is interesting to note that King first cites Reynolds as having red hair, then changes it to dark (brown/black), then references Depape as being "be-spectacled and red-haired" several times. Roland mentions that both Reynolds and Coral Thorin were killed in a failed robbery several years after the events of Mejis. In the comic series The Long Road Home, Reynolds is seen leading a possee of Mejis citizens in pursuit of Roland's Ka-tet, which they break off when Cuthbert Allgood cuts a rope bridge over a wild river. In the one shot issue The Sorcerer, Reynolds is seen being whipped by John Farson for losing Maerlyn's Grapefruit while Coral Thorin waits outside Farson's tent.
Coral is the traitorous sister of Mejis' mayor, Hart Thorin. Mature and slender, she catches the eye of both Eldred Jonas and Clay Reynolds. Crafty and intelligent, Coral is able to ascertain that Jonas is indeed working for John Farson and, not wanting to be on the losing side, conspires with and aids Jonas in his dealing in Mejis. The two enter into a sexual relationship, but following Jonas' death Coral becomes the lover and cohort of Clay Reynolds.
Cordelia Delgado was Susan Delgado's aunt, who sold her to Mayor Thorin as a "gilly". She has no problem selling Susan for money, which seems quite odd. Cordelia has a short temper and has fits where she becomes enraged and screams at Susan. When Cordelia learns that Susan has lost her virginity to Roland and not Hart Thorin, she becomes enraged and slowly loses her mind. Towards the end of the book, she has gone completely insane and joins Rhea in killing Susan. Cordelia is the first person to light the pile that sets Susan on fire, Rhea is second. Shortly after killing Susan Delgado, Cordelia has a stroke and dies.
An invading spirit who possesses Susannah Dean's body in Wolves of the Calla. Originally an immortal spirit similar to a succubus, she saw and fell in love with a baby and longed to have one of her own (an unknown force kept her from coming too close to the child she loved and taking it for herself). Long after a plague ravaged the town of Fedic and the child was taken away, Mia struck a bargain with Walter/Flagg. If she would give up her formless immortality, Walter would give her a baby. Mia's purpose in Walter's and the Crimson King's plan is to bear Roland's child; prophecy has foretold that this child will be Roland's doom.
Mia called the child her "chap", and it was carried by both Susannah and Mia. Susannah had become pregnant with Roland's seed from the demon she copulated with in The Waste Lands, during Jake's Drawing. The demon, a hermaphrodite able to change its sex, had copulated previously with Roland as a female in The Gunslinger while Roland protected Jake and queried it for information. The demon had somehow preserved Roland's semen (and allowed it to be somehow mixed with that of the Red King's seed) and impregnated Susannah with it while male. Mia possessed Susannah in order to take over the birthing of her "chap".
Mia is killed and eaten by her child, Mordred, shortly after giving birth.
Son of two fathers and two mothers, Mordred was born of Susannah's egg fertilized by the seed of both Roland of Gilead and the Crimson King, and carried to term by Mia. Mordred is half-human, half-spider, able to transform between the two, and if his fate is fulfilled, he will both kill Roland and topple the Dark Tower itself. He is both very powerful and extremely arrogant. Growing at a rapid speed, Mordred passes from childhood through adolescence in a matter of months. His abilities include the ability to change between human form and spider form at will and absorbing a victim's knowledge and experience by devouring them. Neither the seers nor fate itself could protect Mordred from the death of magic in Mid-World as the Tower falters. Mordred becomes deathly ill after eating poisoned horse meat, and when he makes a final attempt to kill Roland, he is attacked by Oy. Oy is able to distract Mordred long enough to allow Roland to wake up and kill his son, at the threshold of the Dark Tower.
Richard Patrick Sayre
The leader of the can-toi and the head of the Sombra Corporation, Sayre is the individual who lured Callahan to his death in 1983. He is the one who witnesses Mordred's birth in the Extraction Room at the Arc 16 Experimental Station in Fedic, and he meets his end when he is shot twice in the back of the head (once for Mia, once for Pere Callahan) by Susannah. Like several other characters, his name is 19 letters long. He, like all low men, has a large red dot on his fore head that resembles an open wound. His usual attire was a black shirt with black pants, a yellow sports coat, and blood-red tie. He was killed while drawing his pistol by Susannah Dean when she tried to escape after Mordred devoured Mia.
Finli o'Tego is a Taheen that appeared in the fifth and seventh Dark Tower books; he was referred to briefly in Wolves of the Calla, before reemerging as a fully fleshed out character in The Dark Tower.
Finli is an assistant and close friend to Pimli Prentiss and helped in the running of Devar-Toi. Like most Taheen, he has psychic abilities; he also enjoys eating pus. He is credited with orchestrating the re-capture of Ted Brautigan, an event described in Hearts in Atlantis. During the siege of Algul Siento by Roland's ka-tet, Finli was mortally injured and ultimately put out of his misery by Eddie Dean.
Enrico Balazar is a New York criminal kingpin first introduced in The Drawing of the Three. He manages a club called "The Leaning Tower" and has a fascination with building houses of cards on his desk. Among his actions in the series are: kidnapping Eddie Dean's older brother, Henry (who in turn overdoses on heroin before he can be saved), running over Jake with his car and killing him for the first time, and hiring out his musclemen to the Sombra Corporation. Enrico is killed by Eddie and Roland in Dark Tower II, but a parallel-earth version of him is alive and mentioned in books VI and VII.
Jack Andolini is a New York gangster and affiliate of Enrico Balazar, whom readers first met in The Drawing of the Three . In that novel, he followed Eddie and Roland from Earth to Mid-World (via magic door) and was promptly eaten alive by lobstrosities (after suffering major wounds to his face and arm during gunplay with Roland). He reappears, first in Wolves of the Calla and later in Song of Susannah as a representative of the Sombra Corporation, in a parallel-earth, 1977. When Roland and Eddie enter the Maine of 1977, Andolini and his gang ambush them at the East Stoneham General Store. This version of Andolini meets a less horrible fate: he is imprisoned in a Maine county jail.
Dandelo is a psychic vampire who feeds on emotions. He makes an appearance in Book VII: The Dark Tower. Using the name of 'Joe Collins', he lures Roland and Susannah into his cottage on Odd Lane (the street that crosses Tower Road in the White Lands of Empathica, and an anagram of "Dandelo") and treats them to a feast. Afterward, he tells them that before entering All-World, he was a stand-up comedian. Roland asks to hear some of his act, during which Dandelo comes close to making Roland laugh to death. Susannah avoids entrapment because she is in the bathroom at the time, tending to a troublesome sore on her face. There she discovers a note apparently left by Stephen King himself (the note even acknowledges itself as a deus ex machina) that helps her puzzle out Joe's true identity. Before he can sap all of Roland's life force, Dandelo is killed by Susannah with two shots to the head.
It is later revealed that he had kept Patrick Danville captive as a 'food source' to drain of emotions; at one point Dandelo ripped out Danville's tongue, preventing him from speaking.
Dandelo had a stable behind his house, in which he kept a horse named Lippy. Lippy whinnied when she saw Roland, Susannah and Oy approach. She was very old, ragged, and had holes in her coat. When Dandelo is slain by the gunslingers, Lippy flees her stable, but returns to seek shelter from a winter storm—only to be shot down by Roland. After the gunslingers have moved on, Mordred Deschain, starving after weathering the storm out in the wilderness, fed on Lippy's corpse, which poisoned him and eventually led to his downfall.
The Tick-Tock Man (real name Andrew Quick) is the leader of the Grays of Lud.
He is the great-grandson of David Quick. His left eye was punctured by Oy during a fight, and Jake shot him in the leg, and then in the head with a .22 pistol. He was left for dead, but survived, the bullet having only grazed his skull and torn off a flap of skin. Randall Flagg rescues him and takes him to the Emerald Palace, where he attacks Roland's ka-tet, and is shot and killed by Eddie and Susannah. He seems to be a successor to the Trashcan Man from The Stand, as both were followers of Flagg who repeated the mantra "My life for you" in regard to their loyalty to him.
Andy the Messenger Robot (Many Other Functions)
Andy was one of the main antagonists in Wolves of the Calla. Andy was created by Lamerk Industries(the same company that made the Twelve Guardians) and had lived in the Calla for thousands of years. He was obsessed with telling people their horoscopes, like Blaine the Mono was obsessed with riddles. Andy played music from a speaker in his chest and was loved by all the children in the Calla. Andy sent information about the Calla and the whereabouts of the children of the Calla to Finli O'Tego. The information was used so that the Wolves, who were really robots disguised as monsters, could locate the children and take them into the Thunderclap. Andy's evil side was discovered by Jake, who hid in an ancient control center and overheard Andy talking to Ben Slightman Sr. about the Wolves. Andy claimed he didn't know much about the Wolves(under Directive Nineteen), but he always told the townsfolk when they were coming a month in advance. Andy was finally put to rest by Eddie, who blinded him by shooting his eyes out and then ordering him to shutdown under Directive Twenty. Andy was then buried underneath a pile of manure in an outhouse.
Pimli Prentiss is the warden of Algul Siento. He is described as being tall, overweight, and balding. Pimli Prentiss (born "Paul Prentiss"; he adopted the taheen name Pimli during his induction ceremony) was recruited by the Crimson King to run Algul Siento, the Crimson King's prison for Breakers. He got the job by replying to a help wanted advertisement in a daily newspaper. Pimli was not a resident of the planet that Algul Siento existed on, but a parallel Earth very similar to our own, where he worked as a prison guard.
Pimli is shown to be cautious and restrained in his approach to his service to the Crimson King. He relies on his humanity and spirituality to guide him in his endeavors. He is portrayed as being a newly devout Catholic. This devotion to Catholicism is apparently triggered by his experiences in End-World.
Pimli was killed by Roland Deschain's ka-tet during the raid on Algul Siento. Before dying, he was able to inflict a mortal gunshot wound on Eddie Dean, thus breaking Roland's ka-tet.
- ^ King, Stephen (1997). Wizard and Glass. New York: Penguin. p. XIII. ISBN 0-452-27917-8.
- ^ King, Stephen (1992). The Wastelands. New York: Penguin. p. 221. ISBN 0-452-26740-4.
- ^ King, Stephen (1997). Wizard and Glass. New York: Penguin. p. 636. ISBN 0-452-27917-8.
- ^ King, Stephen (1992). The Wastelands. New York: Penguin. p. 221. ISBN 0-452-26740-4.
- ^ >King, Stephen (1997). Wizard and Glass. New York: Penguin. p. 60. ISBN 0-452-27917-8.
- ^ King, Stephen (1997). Wizard and Glass. New York: Penguin. p. 652. ISBN 0-452-27917-8.
- ^ >King, Stephen (1997). Wizard and Glass. New York: Penguin. p. 16. ISBN 0-452-27917-8.
- ^ King, Stephen (1992). The Wastelands. New York: Penguin. p. 222. ISBN 0-452-26740-4.
- ^ King, Stephen (1992). The Wastelands. New York: Penguin. p. 220. ISBN 0-452-26740-4.
- ^ King, Stephen (1992). The Wastelands. New York: Penguin. p. 222. ISBN 0-452-26740-4.
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
- The Red
- Other characters
- Related books
'Salem's Lot · The Stand · The Talisman · Skeleton Crew · It · The Eyes of the Dragon · Insomnia · Rose Madder · Desperation · The Regulators · Bag of Bones · Hearts in Atlantis · Black House · Everything's Eventual · From a Buick 8
- Film adaptation
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