A Texas trial lawyer has returned to his hometown of Castle Rock at the start of the series. In 1991, an adolescent Henry disappeared during a cold snap under mysterious circumstances, coinciding with the equally strange death of his adoptive father, which the town blamed him for.
- Amnesiac Hero: Of the "dark and troubled past" type. Very downplayed, but still played straight. Henry remembers everything about himself, just not anything about where he was or what happened to him when he disappeared in 1991. As his father died suspiciously around that time, unfortunately, this means everything to Henry.
- Children Forced to Kill: Young Henry pushes Matthew off the cliff after Matthew tells him he's going to kill Ruth for cheating on him.
- Ear Ache: Henry's right ear has had issues since his disappearance. It got better for awhile, but worsened after a shotgun was fired next to it.
- Forced into Evil: By his father, who makes him try to open the schism. This leads to him trying to kill his father.
- Happily Adopted: Zigzagged. He has had a good relationship with his adoptive mother, but not so much his adoptive father.
- The Killer in Me: Refuses to believe he could've killed his father, while everyone in Castle Rock suspects him of it. It turns out that he did, but for a good reason.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Does not remember anything from the eleven days he was missing in 1991, from the moment he disappeared to the moment he returned.
- Loophole Abuse: His plan to get The Kid out of Shawshank pretty much amounts to this.
- Magical Negro: Downplayed but still present. Henry's adoptive father, Matthew, believed he could open the schism (which he probably could), but he remains in denial about it.
- Missing Child: Disappeared for eleven days in 1991 under mysterious circumstances and returned the same way.
- Missing Time: The eleven days he was missing in 1991.
- Parental Neglect: Downplayed. It's implied that Henry feels this way about his relationship with his own son, Wendell, due to his work.
- Supernatural-Proof Father: He has a son, Wendell, and is extremely resistant to the idea that anything mysterious is going on in Castle Rock until the ending, when he sees the Kid's Nightmare Face and gives in.
- Token Minority: Justified. He's the only black guy in Castle Rock, adopted by white parents. This causes him some angst.
Henry's estranged adoptive mother. A lifelong resident of Castle Rock who struggles with dementia.
- The Atoner: Ruth feels responsible for the wrongs in Henry's life because she never had the courage to leave Matthew. As she starts to confuse time and space she plots to kill Matthew in one of her "time slips" back to when he was alive.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Especially because it's ambiguous how much she falls into this due to her Alzheimer's and how much is her being on another plane of existence.
- Good Parents: Seems to have been this with Henry through his childhood, and cared more about his well-being then her husband.
- Killed Offscreen: She dies offscreen in the year that passes between the main events of the first season and the epilogue.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Ruth's Alzheimer's episodes are presented this way. While it is easy to dismiss it all as tricks of her mind, there are several things that don't seem to fit this explanation:
- Pangborn's arrival and reunion with Ruth. It is mentioned repeatedly that he went up to her house because a neighbor heard gunfire. No explanation is ever given for that until we see Ruth's perspective in "The Queen." The shots are the ones she kills Pangborn with. She then slips in time back to his arrival.
- Parents as People: Genuinely loves Henry a great deal, but isn't strong enough to leave Matthew for his ambiguous abuse of Henry. Years later, she gets stuck between Pangborn, whom she genuinely loves but Henry worries is manipulating her, and Henry, who wants to put her in a care home.
- Racist Grandma: Occasionally slips into this when she can't remember Henry, although she constantly insists that she's not like the other people in Castle Rock, she has a black son.
- Scatterbrained Senior: She is older and her memory is clearly going from what is most likely Alzheimer's and Dementia.
- Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: In "The Queen", Ruth argues with her dead husband, who really represents her own thoughts, and works through her own guilt for not leaving Matthew and running away with Alan when she had the chance.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Alan, separated first by her marriage then by her illness or, if you look at it this way, her powers that enable her to travel through time.
- Together in Death: With Alan, eventually, once she dies a year after accidentally killing him. They have a joint tombstone.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Matthew planned to kill her for cheating on him, which caused Henry to push him off the bluff.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Matthew with Alan.
Retired former sheriff of Castle Rock, who investigated Henry's disappearance in 1991 and has since moved in with Ruth.
- Accidental Murder: Accidentally shot by Ruth.
- Accomplice by Inaction: Was one to Lacy, as he chose to trust Lacy and let the Kid be kidnapped when he could've intervened.
- Adaptational Villainy: Is a hero in "Needful Things", but let Lacy kidnap the kid and generally not that nice or polite (but his morals appear to be in the same place).
- Betty and Veronica: Deconstructed. Initially appears to be the hot-blooded Veronica to Matthew's Betty (as he is Ruth's husband, father of her child, stable guy) but turns out to be the Betty, as he's much kinder, more supportive, and trustworthy than the deranged Matthew.
- Death by Adaptation: Appears in Needful Things, which he survives, before being killed off when Ruth accidentally shoots him.
- Good Is Not Nice: He definitely believes this and, may, if you agree with his version of events, be a straight example. He sincerely believes Warden Lacy is a good man and so allows him to kidnap and imprison the Kid, because he believes it's the right thing to do.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Very curt towards Henry and not a terribly pleasant man, but he does seem to be trying to be close to Henry and does genuinely care for Ruth.
- Knight in Sour Armour: All the time, but especially to Ruth and Henry. Especially when he reveals to Henry that Matthew apparently identified him before dying, and that Pangborn suppressed the evidence to protect him. Darkly subverted in one crucial example, though: he could've rescued the Kid from Warden Lacy on the night he was abducted, but chose not to because he trusted Lacy's version of events.
- One True Love: Appears to be this for Ruth, and she for him.
- Retired Badass: Is a retired sheriff and still pretty badass.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Ruth, kinda. They're happy together after Matthew dies, having previously been separated by his oppression, but are then separated by time and space as Ruth spirals into what may be dementia or time-walking. Leads to his death.
- Together in Death: With Ruth, eventually. They have a joint tombstone once she dies.
The former Pastor of Castle Rock, and Henry Reaver's adoptive father and Ruth Deaver's husband. He died 27 years ago and was with Henry when he disappeared.
- Abusive Parents: Is this, but it's never exactly clear how.
- Awful Wedded Life: Ruth prefers to murder Matthew than stay married to him.
- Betty and Veronica: Deconstructed. Initially appeared to be the Betty to Alan's Veronica, but as it becomes clear how unhinged he is, he totally turns out to be the Veronica to Ruth's Archie.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: To Ruth, in that he doesn't even seem to be particularly nice to her, but he goes absolutely insane when he discovers her affair with Alan.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: After his death (and possibly before), his wife Ruth has a long running informal affair with Alan, who is her true love.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Subverted. Matthew was apparently not the best parent when alive, but Henry initially cannot remember his father's abuse and holds reverence for him.
- Driven to Suicide: Subverted. Planned to shoot himself in the head out in the forest because he couldn't take all the terrible events that had occurred in the town and began doubting God's existence. He stopped himself right before he pulled the trigger, which was when he supposedly heard God's voice. Played straight in the alternate timeline in which he did eventually shoot himself after keeping young Henry locked up for years.
- The Fundamentalist: Seems to have been a hardcore Bible-thumping type of preacher.
- Hearing Voices: He claimed to have heard God's voice in the forest, right before he attempted to kill himself.
- If I Can't Have You...: To Ruth. He doesn't even particularly seem to love her, but he plans to kill her upon discovering her affair with Alan and plot to leave him in the 1990s.
- Posthumous Character: He died 27 years before the present.
- Not in the alternative version of Castle Rock, though, but Turned Up to Eleven in that he's also already died in that version. Just newly dead.
- Sinister Minister: Was one.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In an attempt to connect with his grandmother, Wendell shows Ruth a video game he has been playing and describes her as one of the character types - a time walker. This puts the idea into Ruth's head that she can fix the past during one of her Alzheimer's episodes and starts plotting to murder Matthew decades in the past.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Wendell has this relationship with his father, Henry. After he comes to Castle Rock to visit with his father and grandmother, he is noticeably upset every time Henry takes off to deal with The Kid.
Other Castle Rock Residents
Henry's childhood neighbor, now a real estate agent in Castle Rock. She harbors an ability to read minds and feel the emotions of others.
- Cursed with Awesome: Molly is a powerful empath and can channel others. It gets so loud sometimes she has to self-medicate to "muffle" them so she can function.
- The Empath: Molly's "gift" is to channel the thoughts and emotions of others.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: With her sister, Bridget. This is flipped in the alternate timeline, where Molly is the successful sister.
- Girl Next Door: Despite some Unresolved Sexual Tension between them, Molly lives next door to Henry and they are close friends.
- Functional Addict: Downplayed and muddied. Molly is a habitual drug user, but it's implied that most of her instability comes from her visions, which she tempers with drugs.
- Sanity Slippage: A seemingly unavoidable fact of her powers and makes her miserable. Particularly noticeable when she kills Matthew at Henry's behest.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: On a near cosmic level in comparison to how this trope is usually applied. She has a crush on Henry, but not much happens, except when she uses her feelings for him to kill his abusive father, Matthew.
Molly's assistant, aspiring writer, and niece of Jack Torrance. Possesses a vast knowledge of Castle Rock's history.
- An Axe to Grind: Defends herself and Henry from the deranged couple at the inn with an axe. May cross over into Be Careful What You Wish For or Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, but she doesn't seem to mind too much.
- And the Adventure Continues: The final shot of the first season is Jackie working on a novel about the events of the series. She suggests she's headed to the Overlook Hotel to finish writing her book, just like her favorite uncle.
- Dead Guy Junior: A dark example. She decided to go by Jackie Torrance to spite her parents for not talking about her uncle, Jack Torrance.
- Legacy Character: Jack Torrance's niece.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: Jackie has very little relevance to the actual plot of the series, but is one of the main characters in the opening credits. Her main job is apparently taxi driver, but we see her working as Molly's assistant, singing in the choir, and caring for Ruth at various points in the plot.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Is obsessed with Castle Rock's dark history.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Everyone calls her Jackie. We only find out her given name is Diane when she chooses to tell the Kid.
- Plucky Girl: Very little seems to faze Jackie. She unquestioningly defends Henry when he needs her in the inn, she chatters happily to the Kid (who, at this point, is naked and mute), she helps and supports Ruth and Molly.
- Satellite Character: Doesn't have any apparent relevance to the overarching main plot of season 1. She might come back though.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Chooses to take Jack's name, then ends up killing someone in self defence with an axe similar to the one he used.
- Small Town Boredom: Feels this way about Castle Rock, believing all the "fun" stuff happened before she was born.
- Thrill Seeker: Jackie seeks out trouble and longs for the days when Castle Rock was "interesting."
A mysterious man who wanders the woods of Castle Rock looking to hear the schismo.
- Bad Boss: Is completely oblivious to Willie's obvious terror about being deafened, and is killed as a result.
- The Determinator: He begins his study of the schismo as an auditory scientist, and he becomes obsessed with it. Even to the point of deafening himself so he can hear nothing else.
- Disability Superpower: Believes that he has this, referring to himself as 'not deaf, perfect', and Turned Up to Eleven in the sense that he specifically made himself deaf. May indeed be more susceptible to the schism as a result.
- Eye Scream: His plans to "correct" Willie do not go well. He gets the hot poker in his own eye.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Every time he talks enthusiastically about "correcting Young Willie," he completely misses the terrified and resentful look on Willie's face.
- Meaningful Name: Being named after a famously one-eyed god does not bode well.
- Scary Black Man: Although not physically imposing, Henry is justifiably scared by Odin.
Odin's apprentice and companion. He is soon to be "corrected" so he can be perfect and hear the schismo.
- Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: He assists Odin in his stalking of Henry, but is unable to go through with Odin's plan to deafen him and (possibly) kills him instead, warning Henry not to trust the Kid.
- The Star Scream: Reconstructed. Willie possibly kills Odin, but seems to have no real desire for his power and just wants to save himself.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: We learn very little about Willie or his motivations before he dies during the prison riot.
An officer with the Castle Rock Police Department. She is one of the townsfolk that blames Henry for what happened to his father, and is determined to pin the current bad happenings on him.
- Inspector Javert: She gets obsessed with Henry being responsible for the current wave of evil in town. To the point where she will even ignore the obvious culprit Willie in favor of pinning a murder on Henry.
- Killed Offscreen: She's taken out in the rampage in the police station by the escaped prisoners. Her death isn't noted by the living characters, and her body isn't even shown in focus.
Shawshank State Penitentiary
An enigmatic inmate at Shawshank who was secretly held prisoner by Warden Lacy for 27 years, and reaches out to Henry to have himself released. He did not age in all of his years of captivity and has supernatural powers that influence the people around him to act in very bad ways.
- Ambiguously Evil: Unclear whether The Kid is truly evil or not. The chaos that happens around him may be the result of him being in the wrong timeline. However, in the finale he seems to psychically incite a group of prisoners to riot and knock a set of keys to him to aid his and Henrys escape from jail and there is a moment in the woods at the climax where his face seems to change to a monstrous form for a split second. Ultimately, his true nature is left ambiguous
- The Ageless: Has not aged in the 27 years that he was held by Lacy.
- Barefoot Loon: Rarely wears shoes and although 'loon' may be stretching it, he is not fully sane after what happened to him.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: He claims so, insisting that he was hurt by Lacy and that everything evil he does is because of the emotional torture he suffered.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Following being rescued from the water tank, he barely talks. The only time we see him talk a lot is in flashbacks prior to his abduction.
- Bunker Woman: A very rare Spear Counterpart. Lacy kidnapped him and held him underground, but also genuinely believed he was doing the right thing.
- Dead Alternate Counterpart: Seems to be subverted for a lot of the show, before being played straight if you believe his story to Molly. His counterpart in "black" Henry's version of Castle Rock seems to be Henry, but it's actually Matthew and Ruth's dead son.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Justified, as he's pale from being locked inside for 27 years.
- Kidnapped Scientist: Subverted. He is (if you believe his story about his previous profession in Castle Rock) a scientist, who was kidnapped by Warden Lacy, but his science experiments have absolutely nothing to do with why Lacy locks him up. (Probably. A lot about the Kid remains ambiguous.)
- Locked Up and Left Behind: What Lacy did to him pre-suicide, though he seems to know the Kid will be found eventually.
- Perpetual Frowner: Never smiles in present day. Justified by his torture.
- Poisonous Captive: May have been this to Lacy.
- Powerful and Helpless: Has extremely strong powers, but was incapable of using them the whole time he was imprisoned in the water tank.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Constantly threatens to go on one, and so it's either deconstructed or played straight, depending on your perspective. Lacy commits suicide, but it's unknown if the Kid had anything to do with it or foreknowledge of it. He doesn't seem to want Lacy to touch him prior to his suicide. He controls Dennis into going on the shooting rampage that kills the abusive guards, but there's always the possibility that this was Dennis's decision, or that it was unintentional on the Kid's part. Alan dies, but it's left ambiguous how much the Kid had to do with this, or if it was just a tragic series of events. The two people he seems to execute successfully and intentionally are Warden Porter and the Nazi.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Seems to admire Warden Lacy and never attempts to escape.
- The Bus Came Back: The Kid returns in Season 2's "The Word".
- Tragic Villain: May be this if you believe that he's been trapped in an alternative universe and therefore innocently locked up by Dale Lacey for no reason.
- Unreliable Narrator: Henry doesn't believe that he's really from an alternate Castle Rock.
- Withholding Their Name: He keeps his name secret until episode 9 when he reveals to Molly that he is Henry Deaver, the biological son of Matthew and Ruth, from an alternate timeline. It is implied that he was a stillborn child in the main timeline, as we see a grave marked "Deaver Boy" in episode 10. This implies he was saying his name in episode 1 but everyone assumed he was referring to the main timeline's Henry. However, His actions in the finale fail to convince the main timelines Henry of this story and his true nature is left somewhat ambiguous.
Warden at Shawshank State Penitentiary during the period of Henry's disappearance, and the person responsible for holding the Kid captive for almost thirty years. Commits suicide in the very first scene of the series.
- Bald of Evil: Has very little hair and is (possibly) evil. At least, he does evil things like kidnapping the Kid.
- Being Evil Sucks: Is apparently a good man who is tormented by deciding to kidnap the Kid.
- Churchgoing Villain: A devout one. It's possible the church contributed to his delusions/beliefs, too, as he hears the voice of God telling him what to do.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: Based on the amount of used cigarettes found with The Kid.
- Dead Alternate Counterpart: Very downplayed, but still present. One of the most curious things about the Kid's story is that, while there is a role for everyone (from major characters like Molly, Ruth, and Alan, to more minor supporting roles like Dennis), Lacy never appears. It's possible that he was still there, just not relevant to the plot, or it could suggest that the Kid deliberately left him out of his version of Castle Rock.
- Driven to Suicide: To avoid being jailed for kidnapping the Kid when he'll be inevitably found during the privatisation of the prison.
- Hearing Voices: Claims that he imprisoned The Kid because God told him to.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Lacy and Alan view him as this, as he's slandered for being an abusive kidnapper.
- The Jailer: Was this to The Kid.
- Knight Templar: Lampshaded and deconstructed. Saw himself as this for what he did to The Kid ,and still wasn't sure if he was right to in the end.
- Off with His Head!: Commits suicide like this.
- Plot-Triggering Death: His suicide is the catalyst that sets up the events of the show.
- Retirony: Reconstructed. It's unclear if he wants to retire, or if he's pushed out during privatisation, but regardless of how it happens, he commits suicide the day after he retired.
- Wardens Are Evil: Well, he kidnapped the Kid and held him hostage for 20 years, but it's actually ambiguous how much he wanted to do it.
- Villain with Good Publicity: His other possible archetype. Is highly respected in Castle Rock despite the fact that he held the Kid hostage for years.
Dale Lacy's successor as warden of Shawshank, who is eager to keep the public from knowing about the Kid's existence.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Variant. Cares for her reputation above all else and is a member of the corporation that took over Shawshank.
- Look Both Ways: She is hit by a bus and killed in episode 10. Ironically, the bus was carrying prisoners who were being transferred from Shawshank after it was closed down.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Most of her amoral actions come from corporate pressure of her job rather than an actual will to be evil.
- Slave to PR: Her reason for keeping The Kid imprisoned and not wanting word to get out about his existence in general.
- The Scapegoat: Tried to avoid being blamed for what Lacy did to The Kid. Only to become one after Zalewski snaps and massacres several other guards.
- Wardens Are Evil: She was perfectly willing to keep The Kid imprisoned at Shawshank to avoid a PR nightmare.
A corrections officer at Shawshank who discovers the Kid and relays his message to Henry, leading to Henry's return to Castle Rock and the proper start of the series.
- Adult Fear: Dennis and his wife are expecting a child in a month and him helping Henry with the Kid's case is endangering his job at Shawshank.
- Arc Symbol: Smiling, It's constantly associated with him until he goes on the shooting rampage, which is marked by tons of smileys.
- Being Good Sucks: Wants to help The Kid, but knows that in doing so he could lose his job and not be able to provide for his pregnant wife.
- Beware the Nice Ones: An invoked trope in the Crapsack World of Castle Rock. Dennis is the kindest character, genuinely cares for the Kid, tries to prevent large scale corruption in the prison. His refusal to be indifferent leads to his death.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The series heavily implies that he goes on the shooting rampage because he fist-bumps the Kid and it drives him insane. It's also possible that he just loses it under the stress of trying to help the Kid and the abuse of the prison.
- Sacrificial Lion: Is killed in episode 4 under the Kid's influence, to demonstrate how dangerous and volatile the Kid is.
- Sanity Slippage: Slowly gets more erratic the longer The Kid's case went on. Made worse when he falls under The Kid's influence.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After years of watching the abuse of power within Shawshank and finding out Henry was abandoning The Kid's case, Dennis snaps and goes on a rampage, slaughtering several other guards before being gunned down by a SWAT team.
- The Stool Pigeon: Of the Whistleblower Wilson variety. He risks everything to do the right thing and get The Kid the help he deserves.
- Token Good Teammate: The seemingly only decent member of Shawshank. Also seems to be the person most protective of the Kid's welfare in Castle Rock.
The head of the Merrill family and the proprietor of the Emporium Galorium. He is dying from cancer.
- Adaptational Heroism: Pop in The Sun Dog was a greedy, unscrupulous Jerkass. Pop in the show aids the town's Somali immigrant community, adopted two Somalis in their youth, plans to leave his business to one of them, Abdi. Subverted in that Pop eventually admits to Abdi that the intent behind these actions are far from altruistic.
- Berserk Button: Nadia being in danger. After spending the whole first episode refusing to get involved in the competition between Ace and Abdi, when Nadia tells him that Ace Molotov cocktail'd her and Abdi's house he rips his chemo medication IV out of his arm and storms out to confront Ace.
- Dark and Troubled Past: It is hinted that Pop's involvement with the Somalis stems from his experience as a soldier during the 1993 U.S. intervention in Somalia. He feels guilt over the fact that he inadvertently killed Abdi and Nadia's mother during Operation Gothic Serpent.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He actually gets to do this twice, the first time by staying behind and fighting the cultists in order to allow Nadia, Annie, Abdi and Chance to escape; and then, after he's killed and resurrected, he manages to take control of his body long enough to get Chance out of Marsten House before blowing it up with a Semtex bomb.
- Pretend to Be Brainwashed: He succeeds in doing this thanks to an injection of Haldol, which he takes before being shot in the head and resurrected, the drug preventing the cultist intended for his body from taking over.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Annie considers stabbing him, but then goes for ramming an ice cream scoop down his throat, so hard she then has to jump on his chest to get it back out. He spends an uncomfortably long time choking on the scoop and his own blood.
- Jerkass: Every bit as much as the original, even toward his adopted siblings.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Vile as he is, his suspicion of Annie is right on the money.
- Mugging the Monster: Yeah, go ahead and threaten Annie Wilkes and see what happens.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Listens to virulently anti-immigrant talk radio and is clearly resentful of the Somali immigrant population, although this at least partially seems to be his personal resentment of Abdi.
- The Unfavorite: He at least feels like this.
- Mafia Princess: Downplayed example; Pop and Abdi's criminal activities put her through Harvard, and they both adore her. She is aware the Merrill business is not entirely on the level, but not of the details, as she states "the deal" is that she doesn't get involved in that side of things.
- Nice Girl: In the first episode, she catches Annie stealing drugs, but after learning that Annie is taking antipsychotics to manage her condition so she can be a better mom, and not opioids to sell, she doesn't tell anyone and helps Annie get the medication legitimately. She also continually tries to get Abdi and Ace to resolve things without violence, and is very kind to Joy when Joy needs her hand stitched.
- Big Brother Instinct: Very protective of Nadia.
- Played by: Lizzy Caplan
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Lizzy Caplan is much younger and thinner than Big Beautiful Woman Kathy Bates, and definitely more attractive than how Annie is described in the book.
- Adaptational Heroism: While this version of Annie is still just as dangerous as her book and film counterparts, she is also fully aware of her mental illness and is taking active steps to mitigate it for Joy's sake. She is also actually shown to do a good job as a nurse in contrast to the original character, who was a Serial Killer who targeted her patients.
- Anti-Villain: Annie is more sympathetic here, as her actions are driven by her determination to protect her daughter instead of any actual malice.
- Big Sister Instinct: Annie's protectiveness of Joy turns out to be a dark version of this.
- Black and White Morality: Growing up, Annie's worldview is one of rock-hard moral absolutes, in which people are either good or bad. Her father unsuccessfully tries to teach her that people are more complicated than that.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The first we see of Annie is a flashback in which she's covered in blood and has apparently kidnapped an infant Joy. In the present, she is the focus of a nationwide manhunt for murder, and it may have to do with Joy. We learn that Annie killed her father, stabbed her stepmother, and kidnapped her sister and raised her as a daughter.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: While Kathy Bates' Annie was also dark haired, Caplan's version is much paler and with darker hair.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Even though Annie is even worse than she initially appears, she was planning to commit suicide herself after killing her father and stepmother. Only hearing Joy's laugh stopped her from going through with it.Annie (to Joy): The thing that keeps me on the right side of the double yellow line is being able to love one thing. And that's you.
- Mama Wolf: Threatening Joy is a bad, bad idea. Although it's actually more like Big Sister Instinct.
- My Beloved Smother: Has told Joy numerous lies (phones give you brain cancer, nurses have to move to keep their licenses), and keeps her very close.
- Promotion to Parent: Although one she took of her own choice after killing her stepmother, Joy's real mother, and their shared father, she now raises Joy as her daughter.
- Properly Paranoid: She is right that Castle Rock isn't safe, despite the fact her assertion is clearly coming at least partially from lithium withdrawal and unresolved trauma.
- Tragic Villain: Rather surprisingly, Annie is turned into one. She's well aware she has a serious mental illness and is desperate to control it, wanting more than anything to give her daughter a good life. There's just that pesky murder she's on the run for.
- Unreliable Narrator: Annie is a schizophrenic who has audio and visual hallucinations, so everything we see from her point of view is inherently suspect.
- Played by: Elsie Fisher
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Annie raises Joy with this knowledge. Both Joy's mother and father did, as Annie attacked them, killing her father, and took Joy as her own daughter.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Looks longingly at a car full of teenagers having fun with each other in the first episode, and immediately latches on to a crew of other kids in Castle Rock.Joy, distressed: I don't know anybody, and nobody knows me!
- Ironic Name: Joy's life has been anything but.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Although Joy begins to dislike and resent how Annie raises her, she's understandably very distressed after her real mother finds her again and hates the thought that Annie is actually her sister. Annie hits her Moral Event Horizon in Joy's eyes when she admits she planned to kill Joy as well as herself.
- Played by: Abby Corrigan
A local girl who lives in the holiday park that Annie & Joy end up staying in, and quickly befriends Joy.
- Ambiguously Gay: Seems to come across this way, especially considering her appearance and apparent interest in Joy.
- Expy: Of Gordie LaChance from The Body.
- Gender Flip: Due to being a female Expy of Gordie LaChance.
- Only Known By Their Nick Name: She prefers to be called just "Chance".
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: She has one with Joy, who she clearly has a massive crush on. It's been hinted at that Joy may possibly feel the same way.
- Played by: Mathilde Dehaye
A young woman who was exiled from New Jerusalem, but returned to lead the townspeople after an encounter with a mysterious figure.
- Abusive Parents: Amity's father becomes convinced that she's possessed by the devil, and has her first chained up, and then exiled into the wilderness - essentially expecting her to die - as a result.
- Deal with the Devil: Implied to have made one in order to survive, and returns to the village of New Jerusalem to convert the townspeople.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Especially when she returns to the village following her encounter with the "angel".
- Long Game: Her plan involves killing all of New Jerusalem's townspeople and herself, and waiting 400 years before everyone is resurrected, in order to take over the town (and, potentially, the world).
- Patricide: The first thing she does after swaying the colonists to her side is have her father and his supporters burned alive.
- Waif Prophet
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Yes, she does help New Jerusalem to commit mass suicide, and she does kill a child, but she was also a child who was exiled to starve to death by her own parents after having sex with a priest.
- Would Hurt a Child: When she leads the townspeople in their mass suicide ritual, she kills the first victim - a young boy - herself.
- Played by: David Alpay (1619) / Paul Sparks (2019)
A pastor who was secretly having an affair with Amity, and was exiled from New Jerusalem with her as a result.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Does this after taking over Ace's body, with varying degrees of success - those close to Ace instantly spot that something is wrong with his personality, whilst others don't seem to notice at all.
- The Dragon: To Amity.
- Faux Affably Evil: Acts very friendly and cordial to people... right before he kills them to use their bodies as hosts for his fellow New Jerusalem cultists.
- Possessing a Dead Body: Does this with Ace's body after Annie tries to dispose of it. He then sets about doing the same thing for the rest of the New Jerusalem townspeople.
- Seeks Another's Resurrection: Is working to carry out Amity's plan to take over 'Salem's Lot and Castle Rock, but is ultimately driven by his desire to resurrect Amity herself.
- Sinister Minister: He wasn't so bad prior to his exile; sleeping with Amity is presented as pretty morally neutral. Killing multiple people and possessing their bodies, though, is not.
- Suddenly Bilingual: His native language is French (which the entire New Jerusalem colony, being of French origin, spoke). After possessing Ace's body, he's able to switch between French and English with ease. It's implied that the possession process grants the cultists the memories of their host bodies, including their language and knowledge of the modern world.
- Walking Spoiler: It's impossible to talk about him without the revelation that he's currently possessing Ace Merril's body.
- Played by: Sarah Gadon
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: Sarah Gadon could've had Joy (presuming she and Elsie Fisher share the same age) at aged 16. However, the flashbacks demonstrate that she is clearly supposed to be a good bit older than that.
- The Alcoholic: She became one in the years since Annie took Joy, although when she's reintroduced in the main story, she's been sober for four years.
- Walking Spoiler: Almost impossible to discuss her without revealing Joy and Annie's real back stories.
- Wicked Stepmother: From Annie's perspective.
- The Faceless: When he arrives at his book signing, we never see him above the neck and with back turned to us.
- Foregone Conclusion: Everyone whose read Misery knows what happens to him which means we also know Annie's fate as well.
- Loony Fan: Has one in Annie who has become fixated on him after Joy's death.
- Replacement Goldfish: Its hinted that this is the reason Annie will kidnapp him in the future fueled by how similar his books are to the novel her father wrote.
- Unexpected Character: Anyone who claims that they knew he'd make some sort of appearence in the show is likely lying through their teeth.