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Roland Deschain of GileadThe series protagonist, also called "the Gunslinger", who hails from Gilead in the barony of New Canaan. He became a gunslinger at age fourteen after defeating his teacher, Cortland Andrus, in combat (his weapon of choice being David the hawk). He seeks the Dark Tower and will stop at nothing to reach it.
- Badass Beard: A very manly stubble.
- Badass Normal: As a contrast to his greatest enemies, Randall Flagg and the Crimson King, who are explicitly sorcerous.
- Badass Teacher: Becomes one to Eddie, Susannah and Jake, instructing them in the way of the gun.
- Brutal Honesty: Roland never sugarcoats the truth.
- Chick Magnet: Is noted to be rather handsome, and has a number of romantic encounters throughout the story.
- Cosmic Plaything: Was a target of The Crimson King since childhood.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Yes indeed. Among other things, his homeland was destroyed, his friends died off one by one, and he was tricked into killing his own mother.
- Deadpan Snarker: He does have a sense of humor, but it's normally as dry as the Mohaine Desert. Upon losing two fingers from his right hand:
- Determinator: Able to make his remaining limbs function while sick from poison and in great pain through sheer willpower. A passage in The Drawing of the Three even states that one of the policemen he encountered while wearing Jack Mort's body later had a heart attack while seeing The Terminator in a theatre with his son and recognizing Roland in the titular character.
- Fastest Gun in the West: A prodigy gunslinger, he is pretty much unmatched with a revolver.
- Fingore: He loses two of his fingers early in the second book.
- Good Is Not Nice: He is the last Gunslinger, a kind of knight-errant, on a quest to save the multiverse. But he doesn't have much of a sense of humor, he can be very callous to his ka-tet, and if need be he'll sacrifice his companions to get to the Tower.
- Guns Akimbo: As is common among gunslingers, though after he loses his right index finger he can only effectively fire with his left hand.
- The Gunslinger: He is an insanely fast draw with a deadly aim.
- Handicapped Badass: Starting with book two.
- Heartbroken Badass: Multiple times, most notably in Wizard and Glass.
- The Hero: Of the series, and the greater Stephen King metaverse as a whole.
- Hurting Hero: Roland has a lot of emotional baggage.
- I Am X, Son of Y: I am Roland, son of Steven.
- Icy Blue Eyes: He has faded blue eyes, described as being "the color of icebergs" and a piercing stare. "Bombardier's eyes" are the go-to description in the text.
- I Hate Past Me: How he feels toward the end of the story.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Has a lot of guilt over letting Jake Chambers fall to his death in the first book, so he could catch up with the Man in Black.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Capable of shooting the blade off an attacker's knife.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Proven true in Wizard and Glass, although Susan Delgado reflects upon meeting Cuthbert that he is actually more charming and attractive and suppresses the thought.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A good man beneath his cold and deadly exterior.
- Knight Errant: Just like a classic spaghetti western protagonist.
- Laser-Guided Karma:
- At the start of the second book, the first thing that happens to Roland after sacrificing Jake to learn the secret of the Tower from The Man in Black is to wake up on a beach with his right hand index and middle fingers bitten off by a mutated sea creature called a "lobstrosity". The creature's bite very nearly kills him from blood poisoning and puts him out of action for the entire second book. The whole incident wouldn't have happened if he'd let the Man in Black escape and saved Jake instead.
- The Tower itself punishes Roland for all his bad decisions by forcing him to repeat his journey through all seven books every time he reaches it, however it gives him a chance for the redemption of avoiding making the same mistakes again.
- Last of His Kind: The last living gunslinger.
- Like a Son to Me: Comes to see Jake in this light. It helps that Jake's own parents are emotionally distant.
- Loners Are Freaks: It's noted that "the desert made him strange."
- Mommy Issues: And how. When he's 14, he discovers that his mother is having an affair with Marten Broadcloak, one of Flagg's guises. This is the catalyst for his early gunslinger trial. Later, after the events in Wizard and Glass, he glimpses her in a mirror carrying a belt that she intends as a peace offering. He mistakes her for Rhea and her snake (magical illusion may or may not have been involved), and guns her down out of pure reflex.
- Morality Pet: Jake in The Gunslinger.
- My Greatest Second Chance: The very end of Roland's story in the seventh book, symbolized by him having the Horn of Eld this time, which he previously had carelessly thrown away.
- Nice Hat: Has a classic cowboy hat as part of his outfit.
- Omniglot: He mentions that he speaks five languages and used to know a sixth one, but he has "forgotten everything but the curses."
- One-Man Army: Single-handedly kills the entire town of Tull, men, women and children, when they were whipped into a fanatical religious frenzy against him by Sylvia Pittston.
- Parental Substitute: He's a father figure to both Jake and Eddie.
- Perma-Stubble: As part of his Clint Eastwood vibe.
- Pet the Dog: Which makes so much worse when he has to Shoot the Dog.
- Quick Draw: His draw is described as "faster than a streak of blue summer lightning".
- Really 700 Years Old: His true age is never given, but he's very, very old, even discounting the time, however much of it there is, he's spent in the loop.
- Sole Survivor: Of the Battle on Jericho Hill.
- The Stoic: Dry and unemotive.
- Tragic Hero: Utterly determined to find the Tower, even if it means sacrificing everyone close to him, and he's not happy about this fact.
- The Unfettered: Will do anything in search of the Tower, even sacrifice people he holds dear.
- Walk the Earth: Pursuing the Man in Black and looking for the Dark Tower, to try and fix whatever is causing his world to fall apart at the seams.
John "Jake" ChambersA young boy from New York who was killed in his own world and appeared at the Way Station in the Mohaine desert of Roland's world. He fell to his death when Roland abandoned him, but in the the third novel Jake is brought back to life because of a Grandfather Paradox caused by the death of Jack Mort.In the final novel, he throws himself in front of a car to protect Stephen King.
- Back from the Dead: Dies in Roland's world in The Gunslinger, but when Roland is in control of Jack Mort's body during The Drawing of the Three, he is able to prevent Jake's death in Jake's own world by stopping Jack from pushing Jake into traffic. Roland, Eddie and Susannah later find a door through which they are able to draw Jake back into Roland's world.
- Badass Adorable: To the point that an 11 year old girl tells him she wants to do it in a closet.
- Badass Bookworm: He's an avid reader and shows a bit of talent at writing.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's pretty easygoing, and he's got the same wants and needs as a regular kid his age, but he doesn't hesitate to kill when it is necessary.
- A Boy and His X: A Boy And His Bumbler
- Break the Cutie: Goes through an extended one after his first death was prevented, and again when he is kidnapped by Gasher.
- Parental Neglect: His parents didn't give much attention to him, and he was actually closer to the housekeeper than them.
- Tagalong Kid: In the first book. It can be seen as a deconstruction because of all the pain, mental and physical, that Jake is put through due to following Roland.
- Took a Level in Badass: Between books four and five. This is interesting, since Roland is never shown actually teaching Jake to shoot. He just shows up in Calla Bryn Sturgis suddenly able to do it like an ace. Even more interesting considering that now there's an eighth book that takes place between books four and five. It doesn't happen there, either.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: After getting no affection from his real father, he turns toward Roland for acceptance.
Edward Cantor "Eddie" DeanA drug addict from New York who was rescued from drug lord Enrico Balazar by Roland. Eddie always has a snarky comment or terrible pun for any situation.In the final novel, he is shot by Pimli Prentiss after the attack on Algul Siento.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's a smartass, kind of a goofball, and when introduced he's still a slave to drugs, but Roland recognized that there was "deep steel" in Eddie Dean, and his judgement is vindicated in the shootout at Balazar's place.
- Deadpan Snarker: The most potent one in the series.
- Disappeared Dad: He finds the Mid-World expression "forgotten the face of my father" ironic, because he wouldn't recognize his father if he met him. When he introduces himself as "Eddie Dean of New York, son of Wendell" in Calla, he thinks that leastwise, his mother always said that.
- Full-Frontal Assault: In the second book, while in a shootout with a bunch of mobsters.
- Going Cold Turkey: There's no heroin in Roland's world and going through the withdrawal cold turkey was not pleasant…but it was better than going baked turkey.
- Strangely, he was not incapacitated for weeks, and then severely weakened for months, the way you would expect for someone suffering opiate withdrawal.
- The Lancer: To Roland.
- Sad Clown: Uses jokes and sarcasm to cover up his lack of self-worth, which came from his emotionally manipulative brother and years of being a junkie.
- Sarcastic Devotee: "All things serve the fuckin' Beam." He often makes light of their quest and is always quick with the jokes, but he becomes loyal to Roland and wants to see things through to the end.
- Took a Level in Badass: Goes from a strung-out junkie looking for his next hit to a true gunslinger.
- Young Gun: Roland sees Eddie's potential almost immediately but it takes a while to bring it to the fore.
Susannah Dean (formerly Odetta Holmes/Detta Walker)A black, disabled woman who lived in the 1960s and fought for equal rights. She suffered from a Split Personality: Susannah Odetta Holmes, who was refined and cultured, and Susannah Detta Walker, who was foulmouthed and violent. They merged together into one person. Susannah had to distract a demon by having sex with it, and became "pregnant" with Mordred, a child of Roland, the Crimson King and Mia, who possessed Susannah and brought her split personality disorder back.In the final novel, she returns to the New York of another world, where she is reunited with Eddie and Jake.
- Action Girl: She's a crack shot with the pistol and later the oriza.
- Amazonian Beauty: She's described as very beautiful, with very muscular arms from driving a heavy, 1960's-era wheelchair.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Almost everything Detta says.
- Handicapped Badass: Her legs were cut off above the knee a few years before the events of the series. That does not slow her down.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the final book, she is the last member of the ka-tet, and abandons Roland when she realizes that even with their goal completed, he still won't stop looking to enter the Dark Tower, showing himself for value finding his way in over actual completion of their goal.
- The Smart Guy: Odetta for literature, Detta for mathematics.
- Split Personality: Odetta Holmes and Detta Walker.
- Split-Personality Merge: Happens at the end of Book 2, resulting in her merge into Susannah. Her alter-egos are still there and do resurface occasionally however, particularly Detta.
- Twofer Token Minority: A black woman with multiple personality disorder in a wheelchair. Particularly notable in that every other member of the ka-tet is a white male.
- Values Dissonance: In-universe. In her time, the politically correct term for African-Americans is "Negro". She doesn't like it when Eddie calls her "black". Eddie has a hard time with this because in his time, calling a black person a Negro is almost tantamount to calling her a nigger.
OyA billy-bumbler from Mid-World who was an outcast from his pack and joined the ka-tet.In the final novel, Mordred brutally kills him.
- Badass Adorable: A cute, raccoonlike creature who survives the myriad trials the ka-tet faces.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: He has characteristics of a raccoon, a dog, a badger, and a civet.
- Retcon: When he joins the ka-tet in The Waste Lands, he is missing his tail. Roland thinks he probably lost it in a fight with other bumblers. In later books, he's described as wrapping his (very long) tail around himself when he rests. No explanation is given as to how he got it back.
- Tanuki: It's unknown if this was intentional or coincidental on King's part, but as a raccoon/dog hybrid with a penchant for mimicry...
The Original Ka-Tet
Cuthbert AllgoodRoland's comedic childhood friend. He died during the Battle of Jericho Hill.
- Bully Hunter: When he notices Roy Depape messing with Sheemie, he immediately leaps to Sheemie's defense.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Cuthbert jokes around and acts childish sometimes, but his mind is razor-sharp, and he is lethal with a slingshot.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not quite as much as Eddie, but he still has his moments.
- Eye Scream: The comics have him shot in the eye with an arrow at the battle of Jericho Hill.
- Family Theme Naming: All known members of the Allgood family have a 'bert' in their name: Cuthbert Allgood , his father Robert Allgood, distant ancestor Sir Bertrand Allgood...
- Lethal Joke Item: Slingshot beats gun.
- Photographic Memory: Implied to be in possession of this trait when Roland puts him on observation duty during the party in Seafront.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Ever the jokester and usually has a positive outlook on things.
- Shirtless Scene: The reader first meets him in person when Roland returns to the Ka-tet's camp at night and Bert just woke up wearing nothing but a pair of jeans.
- When He Smiles: Susan has a moment of doubt when she first sees Cuthbert smiling at her.Susan: If I had met this one first....
Alain JohnsRoland and Cuthbert's friend, who was killed by his allies, accidentally prior to the Battle of Jericho Hill. He was strong in the Touch.
- Beware the Nice Ones: At least according to Roland, Alain was generally gentle, patient, and understanding, but you do NOT want to piss him off.
- Friend or Foe: Roland and Cuthbert kill Alain after mistaking him for an enemy scout.
Susan DelgadoRoland's first true love, a young, pure woman from Hambry who had accepted money to become the mistress of Mayor Hart Thorin. She was burned alive for her relationship with Roland.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Described in Cuthbert's internal monologue as the most beautiful girl any of them had ever seen, and is made of Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Roland.
Walter / The Man in BlackAn enigmatic sorcerer whose true name is Walter Padick but who goes by several other names including Randall Flagg (or simply Flagg, Marten Broadcloak, Richard Fannin, Walter O'Dim, and several others). He is the Crimson King's second-in-command, who intends to scale the tower himself.
- Arch-Enemy: To Roland. Until Mordred comes along.
- Batman Gambit: Part of his success as The Corrupter is setting up circumstances where his victims will have to behave reprehensibly to get what they want or need, and he knows they will choose the ignoble path. With Roland, he knows that the Gunslinger will cross any line and sacrifice the purity of his own soul to get to the Tower.
- The Chessmaster: The majority of his villainy is accomplished by manipulating events and people behind the scenes.
- The Corrupter: Walter delights in doing this to people; sometimes to further his own ends, sometimes just because he can. He sets up some particularly malicious tests with Roland, first by exposing Allie to the secrets of the dead to make her beg Roland to kill her after starting to care for her, and then by putting Jake in his path and letting them bond, only to force him later to sacrifice Jake to gain knowledge about the Tower. The worst part is that Roland sees them coming and accepts that the Trap Is the Only Option in order to get one step closer to the Tower.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: What a nasty way to go.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: The central villain of Stephen King's mythos, the Big Bad of two other novels outside of The Dark Tower series, a complex and enigmatic villain with one Xanatos Gambit after another up his sleeve, Magnificent Bastard and Chessmaster extraordinaire, and Roland's recurring nemesis throughout the entire 7-book series. He's Worfed ignominiously by Mordred, a character introduced in the very last book, with Roland nowhere around.
- The Dragon: to the Crimson King
- Evil Chancellor: as Marten Broadcloak he is this to Roland's father Steven.
- Evil Sorcerer: Doesn't get much worse than Randall Flagg!
- Faux Affably Evil: His friendliness is clearly mockery.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Started out as a miller's son.
- Giggling Villain: He has a tendency to go into a high-pitched laugh when he has the upper hand.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: It takes until Wolves of the Calla to reveal what Walter's real goal is. For the previous five books, it seems as though he just wants to stop Roland from moving forward.
- Hidden Depths: Hinted in Wolves of the Calla when Callahan calls him cruel.Walter's eyes widen, and for a moment he looks deeply hurt. This may be absurd, but Callahan is looking into the man's deep eyes and feels sure that the emotion is nonetheless genuine. And the surety robs him of any last hope that all this might be a dream, or a final brilliant interval before true death. In dreams — his, at least — the bad guys, the scary guys, never have complex emotions.
- "Have a Nice Day" Smile: He leaves these for Roland along with threatening messages.
- I Have Many Names: Including but not limited to Walter o'Dim, Walter Padick, Marten Broadcloak, Rudin Filaro and other variations of R.F.
- Large Ham: And how! For one example, he recreates the Wizard's throne room from The Wizard of Oz to introduce himself to Roland's ka-tet.
- The Man Behind the Curtain: Quite literally - in the scene mentioned in the Large Ham entry, he casts himself as the Wizard behind the curtain.
- Manipulative Bastard: Manipulation and deception are his forte.
- Person with the Clothing: The Man in Black
- Rape as Backstory: He was raped as a teen.
- Really 700 Years Old: He's even older than Roland.
- The Starscream: Intends to displace the Crimson King.
- Theme Initials: R.F.
- Villain Decay: In the final novel his threat is severely reduced, as indicated by some of the spoilered tropes.
- Walking the Earth: Well, more like walking the multiverse.
- The Worf Effect: Perhaps the greatest villain Stephen King has written, the Big Bad of The Stand and The Eyes of the Dragon and Roland's main adversary through the entire Dark Tower series is killed off effortlessly and pointlessly by a new villain introduced in the final novel, just to show how threatening he is.
The Crimson KingA spider god named Los', who has gone mad and intends to tear down the Dark Tower.
- The Anti-God: He's the personification of evil in the multiverse, yet not very sane or powerful, and he plans on knocking down the Dark Tower, which would destroy the multiverse in general.
- Big Bad: He's the one undermining the Tower and causing the steady collapse of the multiverse, as well as Randall Flagg's master.
- The Caligula: Gleefully murdered his entire court.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the comics, he displays a dry, yet witty sense of humor.Roland: What would you expect me to say to one who is so manifestly unimpressive?Crimson King: You could begin with "thank you". Were I to confront you with my true, "impressive" form, your mind would leak from your ears.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Crimson King is pretty much the same type of cosmic horror as It, except even more powerful.
- Giant Spider: Implied to be his true form.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of Stephen King's metaverse. However, at one point Mia states that the Crimson King has been "promised" a new kingdom after all the Beams have been broken, but by whom, she knows not. So there may be a never-seen even bigger bad behind him. When Susannah questions her about this she states that he may have only promised it to himself, she doesn't know for sure.
- Half-Human Hybrid: In the Expanded Universe of the comics.
- Hidden Villain: Doesn't appear in person until the climax of the series, and isn't even mentioned until Book 3.
- Humanoid Abomination: Appears as a bearded old man with red eyes.
- Orcus on His Throne: He's in the background while his servants do the heavy lifting.
- Omnicidal Maniac: He wants to destroy the Dark Tower, which will destroy the entire multiverse.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: He has blood red eyes that hypnotize all who look into them. They're even the only things left after he's erased!
- Shout-Out: His name is a shout out to the song "The Court of the Crimson King" by King Crimson. His real name, Los, is one to William Blake.
- Villainous Breakdown: In the last book.
Mordred DeschainThe son of the Crimson King, Roland, Susannah, and Mia, who can transform into a spider at will and whose sole purpose is killing Roland.
- Fetus Terrible: The first thing he does after being born is eat his own mother.
- Has Two Mommies: And two daddies.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: Holy crap! Within a few hours after he was born ate two people, one of whom was Randall Fucking Flagg, and several animals, and he's still hungry!
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: What he does to Flagg.
- Madness Mantra: Mordred's a-hungry!
- Tragic Monster: While Mordered was a dark creature by nature, unlike his half-father the Crimson King, much of the evil he committed was born from bitterness and anger at being alone and abandoned. Underneath all of his anger, sorrow, and despare, was a newborn looking for affection and companionship. Much of the hatred he felt towards Roland was that Roland had friends and companions while he did not. In this instance there are many parallels between Mordred and the creature from Mary Shelly's Frankenstein.
- Werebeast: He's a Were-spider.
- Wizard Needs Food Badly: His only other motivations aside from a burning hatred of Roland and his Ka-tet are his constant hunger and a morbid fear of starvation.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Mordred may be the monstrous half-spawn (It's complicated) of an omnicidal maniac that wants to destroy the multi-verse but he was born to evil without any real choice in his destiny and because he was just a newborn could feel the loneliness and abandonment of having no one to care for him or even want anything to do with him. There's even a tragic line from Mordred's inner monologue while he's shivering in the cold, hungry and miserable.
- "Mordred's a-hungry", he thought miserably. "Mordred's a-cold. And Mordred has no one. Mordred's alone."
In the dark, Mordred began to cry.
- "Mordred's a-hungry", he thought miserably. "Mordred's a-cold. And Mordred has no one. Mordred's alone."
John Farson"The Good Man", who intended to collect weapons and fuel to wage war against the gunslingers and overthrow the baronies. He ultimately succeeded.
- Aggressive Negotiations: Join The Good Man's revolution or lose your head.
- Armies Are Evil: His are.
- Army of Thieves and Whores: Farson's army is full of bandits, cutthroats and Slow Mutants.
- Decapitation Presentation: Taking bets on how far he can hit a victim's head with the broadside of his sword.
- Dead Guy on Display: Displays his enemies' heads to discourage resistance against his armies.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Began his career as a small time harrier (outlaw) before forming his army.
- Great Offscreen War: Not much of the war between his rebels and the Affiliation is actually shown on-page.
- Predecessor Villain: In the comics, Walter is subservient to Farson as an agent of the Crimson King.
- President Evil: Farson is a crafty politician and great public speaker, who wants to replace the Gunslingers with his own version of "democracy".
- Shoot the Messenger: Has Clay Reynolds beaten when Reynolds returns without Farson's crystal ball.
Richard Patrick SayreA high-ranked can-toi of the Crimson King's forces, who runs the Sombra Group and North Central Positronics.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He controls the company owned by the Crimson King. What does that tell you?
- Meaningful Name: His full name contains nineteen letters.
- Red Right Hand: Like with all the masked can-toi, there is a small circular scar on his forehead that is always welling up with liquid blood, which never spills over to run down his face.
- Slasher Smile: Gleefully tells Father Callahan how he led him to his office to either be killed or infected by vampires.
Tick-Tock Man/ Andrew QuickThe power-mad leader of the Grays of Lud, who is obsessed with clocks. After being shot he was recruited by the Man in Black.
- Berserk Button: "So Fell Lord Perth." Lord Perth being his direct ancestor.Tick-Tock: If you ever speak to me of Lord Perth again... ever, ever, ever... I'll tear off the top of your skull and eat your brains. I'll have none of that bad-luck story in the Cradle of the Grays. Do you understand me?
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He has an encounter with "Richard Fannin" (who is in all likelihood Flagg) after getting a non-fatal shot to the forehead from Jake, and later shows up at the end of Wizard and Glass, but is then swiftly shot and killed by Eddie & Susannah.
- Faux Affably Evil: It's mentioned that Tick-Tock is very charismatic, and people can't look away from him for very long, feeling almost hypnotized by his presence. He's also very polite and gentle with Jake at first (or at least more polite and gentle than the brutal and thuggish Gasher) and seems more educated and relaxed in general than the rest of the Grays, then Jake manages to accidentally press his Berserk Button...
- Large and in Charge: When Jake first meets him, he notes that Tick-Tock is a very big man, and the only one of the Grays he's seen that looks healthy.
- Lightning Bruiser: In addition to the aforementioned size, Tick-Tock also moves with an eerie speed (demonstrated when he gets out of his casual sitting position, pulls a knife from its scabbard, and flings it into the chest of a laughing woman from across the room in the time it takes to blink), and Jake notes with dismay that he may actually be faster than Roland. Luckily, this theory is never tested.
- Starter Villain: The first antagonist the full ka-tet faces.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Naked to the waist the whole time.
GasherThe first Gray that the ka-tet meets in Lud, who kidnaps Jake and speaks with a barely-understandable dialect.
- Dead Man Walking: Due to the mandrus, some sort of extremely nasty disease; the common name "whore's blossoms" implies it's an STD.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's yer old pal, Gasher.
- Gonk: He's startlingly ugly even without the mandrus.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Gasher and Hoots, another Gray, were always butt-buddies of old, says Tick-Tock. Hoots even writes down the password for gaining entry to the Cradle of the Grays and gives it to Gasher to help him remember, which Gasher seems quite grateful for (even though he can't read).
- Hidden Depths: Has a surprisingly good tenor singing voice.
- Kick the Dog: The way he slaps Jake around is almost casual.
- Pirate: Not the dashing kind.
- Poisonous Person: He even dares Jake to bite him, because this sickness he has "runs in the blood" as he says.
- Would Hurt a Child: He is not gentle when he kidnaps Jake.
BlaineThe computer system that runs Lud and inhabits a train. It takes delight in riddles and is sadistic, having driven its partner Patricia to suicide and feeling no remorse about destroying Lud.
- A.I. is a Crapshoot: Was once a servant of the citizens of the Imperium, but after they vanished and the world began to move on, he started to lose his sanity.
- Ax-Crazy: He will kill with little provocation.
- Cool Train: Even though it's controlled by a mad AI, the Barony Coach car is pretty sweet.
- Deus Est Machina: Seen as a malevolent god by the Pubes.
- Disc One Final Boss: The first major villain the ka-tet defeats.
- For the Evulz: His motivation for gassing Lud and attempting to kill the ka-tet.
- Blaine claimed that Patricia, the other monorail based in Lud, had essentially had a mental breakdown and would not stop crying. He removed certain restraints from Patricia's programming so she could kill herself by going over a broken trestle into the Send, and so he wouldn't have to listen to her anymore. He basically lets his only remaining contemporary die because she got on his nerves.
- Jerk Ass: Showcased in his treatment of Patricia, and how he uses the "god-drums" to incite the Pubes of Lud to practice human sacrifice in order to appease what they think are malicious ghosts.
- Large Ham: Has an over-the-top speaking manner and is constantly doing John Wayne impressions.
- Laughing Mad: How he laughs.
- Logic Bomb: Eddie dispatches him with these, much to the surprise of the rest of the ka-tet.
- No Indoor Voice: His dialogue is written in all caps, suggesting this. The voice of "Little Blaine", and the recording the ka-tet hears when they board Blaine (which sounds like a more confident Little Blaine) is written normally, however.
- Riddle Me This: Practically the only thing that piques his interest by the time of the story, aside from watching the Pubes kill each other because of the "god-drums".
- Shock and Awe: Blaine electrocuted the last person who tried talking to him before Roland's ka-tet came along.
- Split Personality: Big Blaine and Little Blaine. Big Blaine is the one that is in control and doesn't seem to realize that Little Blaine even exists. Little Blaine is what is left of Blaine's original programming and is utterly helpless to do anything but warn the ka-tet not to piss off Big Blaine.
- Taking You with Me: Intends to kill himself at the end of his final run, and the ka-tet is along for the ride. Roland manages to convince Blaine to spare them if they can best him at riddles.
- Villainous Rescue: Having been told that Roland and Jake know a lot of riddles, Blaine opens the door to the Tick-Tock Man's HQ, enabling Roland to shoot Gasher before he can kill Jake.
Rhea Dubativo of the CöosA witch that the residents of Hambry fear greatly. She becomes addicted to using Maerlyn's grapefruit to spy on others.
- Dirty Old Woman: An even creepier variation than the usual. During a scene where she is bullying poor Sheemie (who was delivering a cask of Graf to her hut), she made a very rape-y and uncomfortable pass at him, and it is very heavily implied that she was getting off on her pet snake "rubbing" against her while she spied on people through the pink ball. She also tries fingering Susan to orgasm while examining her for virginity, until Susan puts a stop to it.
- Killed Offscreen: It's implied that Roland killed her at one point but it's never elaborated upon.
- Wicked Witch: Being wicked is pretty much a requirement for working with the Crimson King. In her backstory, she made a pact with him for extended life in exchange for serving him.
Eldred JonasThe leader of the Big Coffin Hunters, an arrogant old man.
- Badass Grandpa: An elderly man who still has a Gunslinger's speed and instincts.
- Broken Ace: Before getting a shard of the "Laughing Mirror" embedded in his foot, which was mostly what turned him into an evil and lazy man, Eldred Jonas was a prodigy who could quickly master nearly every type of weapon that was handed to him.
- Evil Counterpart: A failed gunslinger.
- Fighting with Chucks: His weapon of choice during the final test was the "Kashmini Nunchaku", a weapon apprentice gunslingers are trained to use. Too bad he was more interested in goofing off than actually training with them...
- Handicapped Badass: Walks with a limp due to having his leg broken by his instructor, which resulted in the aforementioned failure.
- Minion Shipping: With Coral.
- Scars Are Forever: His back is covered in scars from where he was flogged before being "sent West" as punishment for his failed test of manhood.
- Terrible Trio: With Clay and Roy.
- Vocal Dissonance: Described as having a thin, quavery voice.
- We Used to Be Friends: Eldred trained under Cort's father, and he and Cort were apparently really close childhood friends, that is until Eldred failed his last test and was sent West.
Jack MortA serial killer, "the Pusher", who is responsible for Jake's first death and Susannah's split personality.
- Death by Irony: Killed by the same train he pushed Odetta under years ago.
- The Dreaded: During the day, he holds a respectable job in real estate. His coworkers are absolutely terrified of him. It's never made clear why.
- Man on Fire: A shot from a cop's gun ignites the cigarette lighter in his front pocket when Roland's in control of his body.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Mort only carries a lighter so he can light his boss' cigarettes at opportune times, usually when someone else even higher up the ladder is nearby, so he looks like a man of courtesy and good taste.
- Serial Killer: By pushing people into danger, or pushing objects onto people, such as a brick off of a high windowsill onto a child's head.
DandeloA sly, vicious, glamor-using Emotion Eater, who is the last thing guarding the way to the Dark Tower.
- Comedy as a Weapon: Uses a series of stupid jokes as his alter ego Joe Collins to render Roland insensate with laughter. Susannah notes afterwards that this was effective because it targeted one of the gunslinger's few weaknesses: his complete lack of humor.
- Deus ex Machina: This one-off minor villain actually comes closer to killing Roland than any of the big bads. The gunslinger is only saved by a intervention from Stephen King himself.
- Eldritch Abomination: As an insectile, shapeshifting, emotion-eating sometime-comedian, he has quite a lot in common with It.
- Famous Last Words:Dandelo: Stop! I want to tell you the one about the archbishop and the chorus girl!Susannah: Heard it. bang
- Foreshadowing: His name gets thrown around a lot throughout the seventh book, mostly notably by a vision Eddie has as he lies dying.
- Human Resources: He's got Patrick Danville chained up in his basement, using him as an emotion cow for who only knows how long. Dandelo tore out his tongue apparently after he got tired of listening to Patrick beg for mercy.
- Meaningful Name: Susannah wonders why Joe Collins would pretend he doesn't know the region he's living in is called Empathica, i.e. the land of shared emotion.
- Significant Anagram: The affable Joe Collins lives on Odd's Lane. The 's' has noticeably been handwritten in on the sign.
Cortland AndrusRoland, Cuthbert, Alain and Jamie's mentor.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Constantly belittles his charges and will beat and starve them if they aren't living up to his expectations.
- Eye Scream: During his duel with Roland, Roland's hawk David claws out his bad eye, which was already blind.
- Genius Bruiser: He may be a violent brute but he does win the riddle contest every year.
- Made of Iron: Gunslingers "graduated" from his class by beating the crap out of him; at least one of his predecessors had died during these coming-of-age duels. In the end, it was poison, probably, that killed him and not the duels.
- Training from Hell: Cort will literally go upside his student's heads whenever they aren't meeting his high standards.
- We Used to Be Friends: Was apparently good friends with Eldred Jonas during his childhood, that is until Eldred failed his last test.
Gabrielle DeschainRoland's mother, who lost her son's respect after having sex with Marten.
- Death by Origin Story: She was accidentally shot by a paranoid Roland after he discovered a plot to undermine Gilead; she was apparently going to try to make amends, but Roland's reflexes took over when he heard someone entering his room.
- The Mole: Worked with the resistance leader, who was her lover.
Sheemie RuizA mentally disabled young man who worked at a tavern in Hambry; he was recruited into being a Breaker in Algul Siento.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Dies offscreen of an infection after unwittingly treading on a piece of broken glass.
- The Rainman: Despite being mentally handicapped, Sheemie is revealed to be a powerful Breaker.
Henry DeanEddie's older brother, who bullied Eddie out of jealousy.
- Big Brother Bully: Eddie realizes this in The Waste Lands.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: A toned-down version of this trope as Henry was more of a Jerkass rather than outright evil. He was not the best of brothers, but Eddie still loved him, even when he later realized that most of the time Henry was just jealous of him and trying to bring him down.
- Erudite Stoner: Referred to as the "Great Sage and Eminent Junkie" by Eddie and himself, however it's a subversion of the trope, as the main thing Henry was good at was, well, being a junkie, with Manipulative Bastard tendencies.
- Jerkass: A number of flashbacks in The Waste Lands show that Henry could often be pretty mean to Eddie, especially if he saw that Eddie was better at something than he was, such as basketball (and, as Eddie comes to realize, just about everything).
- Manipulative Bastard: Eddie notes that Henry's limp (due to a wound he received in Vietnam) would always become more pronounced when they were arguing, most likely in an effort to make Eddie feel like a jerk for stressing his poor put-upon brother who always had to watch out for him.
- Pet the Dog: He did this only one time for Eddie that he can remember: Henry said that he'd rather have Eddie by his side than anyone else in the world if he was forced into a fight. He also said Eddie could "talk the devil into setting himself on fire"; a compliment which Eddie later remembers and realises is the key to defeating Blaine the Mono's riddle game via Logic Bomb.
- Present Absence: Henry is only on page for a short time before he's killed by Balazar's men, but it takes Eddie a while to get over the mental block that Henry caused with his bullying when they were younger.
Father Donald Frank CallahanA priest who fought vampires; he met Roland's ka-tet in Calla Bryn Sturgis and travelled with them until he shot himself rather than letting the elder vampires kill him.
- The Alcoholic: In his backstory. At one point, Callahan wonders at having been a walking stereotype: an Irish Catholic priest with a drinking problem.
- Badass Preacher: In the years after 'Salem's Lot he started hunting vampires after one of them infected his (possibly more than) friend Lupe Delgado with AIDS, which got him on the Sombra Corporation's shit list.
- Canon Foreigner: Played With. He is a character from one of Stephen King's first novels, 'Salem's Lot, and has to proide an Info Dump on how he got from that continuity to this. Justified, given that Mid-World is the hub of King's personal Multi Verse.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Having fully regained his faith, he kills ancient vampire lords in the Dixie Pig with his bare hands before being overwhelmed and deciding to shoot himself.
- If It's You, It's Okay: He falls in love with Lupe, despite otherwise identifying as heterosexual, but nothing physical ever occurs between them aside from a kiss on the cheek.
- Sixth Ranger: To Roland's ka-tet.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: A huge chunk of Wolves of the Calla is taken up by his explanation of what happened to him after the events of 'Salem's Lot and how he ended up in Roland's world.
- Unfortunate Names: His nickname in Calla Bryn Sturgis, "the Old Fella", is slang for 'penis' in some circles in Real Life.
Patrick DanvilleA young artist who Roland saves from Dandelo. He is the gunslinger's very, very last companion, and is the one actually responsible for destroying the Crimson King.
- Art Attacker: Why did Dandelo snip off all the erasers from Patrick's pencils? Because his drawings reshape reality. Once he's managed to draw a picture of the Crimson King, he simply erases him. Except for his eyes.
- Art Initiates Life: Once Susannah twigs Patrick's super power, she gets him to draw an Unfound Door which enables her to escape to a version of New York.
- Deus ex Machina: Is almost explicitly airdropped into the last section of the last book just so he can give Susannah her happy ending, and kill the Crimson King.
- Idiot Savant: Patrick cannot talk, is frail and has obviously been damaged by his time with Dandelo. You wouldn't believe the pictures he can draw, though.
- The Load: Roland sees him this way, especially after his weak-mindedness gets Oy killed. Even then he knows Patrick will come in handy, though.
- Too Dumb to Live: After Susannah leaves, Roland has nobody to share night watches with, and sleep deprivation eventually forces him to put Patrick in charge. It takes Patrick all of about ten minutes to fall asleep himself, after which Mordred attacks.
- The Woobie: Dandelo tore the boy's tongue out just so he didn't have to listen to him beg for mercy whilst the creature fed upon his emotions. Dandelo apparently had him chained up and using him this way since his childhood. He displays dog-like love for the gunslingers once they bust him out, particularly Susannah.
- Devil, but No God: Markedly less directly influential than the Crimson King.
Stephen Edwin KingA prolific horror writer from Maine, Stephen King appears As Himself in the last two novels of the series. He is first mentioned when Roland discovers a copy of 'Salem's Lot, causing an existential crisis for Callahan; Roland and Eddie, visiting "Keystone Earth" in the when of 1977, discover that King is a medium through which the Dark Tower is attempting to save itself. They become convinced that their quest cannot succeed if King does not complete his Magnum Opus, and encourage him to do so.
- Author Powers: Inverted. King explicitly disclaims creating Roland or any of the others, and cannot control them; in fact, he admits to having given up on the series after completing The Gunslinger precisely because Roland went Off the Rails and let Jake fall.
- Celebrity Paradox: Word of God is that the character who appears in the books is a fictionalized version of himself.
- Painting the Medium: King occasionally writes hints to the ka-tet in the text of the books.
- Save This Person, Save the World: King's completing the books may be difficult if he's killed in a car crash on June 19, 1999. Which is precisely what the Crimson King is planning.