A Date with Rosie Palms: Allie. While watching the Man in Black revive Nort, Allie, who is fascinated with the idea of what lies beyond death, apparently becomes aroused and takes care of things right there at the bar while Walter does his thing. This is communicated to us with a single line: "Under the bar, her hands worked faster."
The Dog Shot First: Allie is held as a shield and hostage by Sheb as the residents of Tull attack Roland. Originally, Roland kills her out of pure instinct; his trained hands react quicker than his mind. She screams at him not to shoot, but it's too late, and the guilt of her death sits on Roland throughout the rest of the story. In the revised edition, there is a convoluted subplot in which after Walter resurrects Nort, he tells Allie that if she says "nineteen" to Nort, he will tell her what he saw on the other side. Knowing will drive her crazy, but so will not knowing. Later, during the shootout, she begs Roland to kill her because she has spoken nineteen to Sheb and can't bear the horrors that he whispered back to her. As she dies King says that "the last expression on her face might have been gratitude."
Early-Installment Weirdness: Not only is this book much shorter than the others in the series; it has a much more disjointed, poetic style. The narrative flow is much more linear in later books, which justify the different style by emphasizing that Roland went a little bit nuts during his long solo journey.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The final test to become a gunslinger is a public fight between the candidate and his teacher, wherein they both pull out all the stops. Roland beats the everliving shit out of Cort before the latter yields, and afterwards he falls into a coma.
Shoot the Hostage: Sheb uses Roland's lover, Allie as a Human Shield and hostage. Roland kills her out of pure instinct; his trained hands react quicker than his mind. Changed in the revised edition.
Time Skip: Happened during the story. At the very end, Roland wakes up after ten years to find Walter o' Dim dead as a skeleton.
Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Averted. During the showdown in Tull, a small knife is thrown at Roland, which strikes him in the head. Though the aim is dead on, it hits him by the hilt, bloodying him but causing no serious damage.
Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When the two finally meet, Walter, the man in black, congratulates Roland on letting Jake fall to his death in order to reach his goal. Roland's responds by attempting once again to shoot Walter.