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WARNING: This page contains unmarked spoilers for all of the books, comics and supporting materials.
The secondary and supporting characters of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.
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Also Known As: Gabrielle Verriss, Gabrielle-of-the-Waters, Gabrielle of Arten
Allegiance: The White
Appears in: The Gunslinger | Wizard and Glass
Also Appears In: Comics: The Gunslinger Born | Treachery | The Sorcerer | The Fall of Gilead
"Lord, what sins are writ upon the slate of life that this is the only way to wipe it clean?"
The mother of Roland Deschain and wife of Steven Deschain. Gabrielle was seduced by her husband's adviser and court magician, Marten Broadcloak (another guise of Walter Padick), and began an lengthy affair with him. Roland, upon learning of his mother's treachery, was forced into his early test of manhood to become a gunslinger at the unheard of age of fourteen.
- 100% Adoration Rating: The people of Gilead adored Gabrielle for her beauty and grace and the fact that she produced a strong, prodigy gunslinger as an heir to Steven Deschain, their leader. After her death, they wished to see Roland hung for 'murdering' his mother.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Her adulterous relationship with Gilead's Evil Chancellor, Marten Broadcloak. Although it is implied that some sorcery may have been involved on his end.
- 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 and momentarily mistook her for Rhea of the Cöos.
- The Mole: She worked with the resistance leader, who was her lover. There is an implication though that Gabrielle's seduction by the sorcerous Marten Broadcloak/Walter Padick was both physical and mental, and that she may have been made to do certain things against her will.
- Matricide: She was accidentally shot to death by her own son. Roland never loses the overwhelming guilt of killing her, and wore the blood-stained belt she was trying to give him as a peace offering for many years after the event.
- Plot-Inciting Infidelity: It was Roland discovering his mother's infidelity that kick-started his whole career as a gunslinger. He took his test at the unheard age of fourteen so that he could become a gunslinger and kill Marten Broadcloak for his treachery.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Her appearance is never described in the books, but in the comics she is drawn as being very beautiful with pale skin, black hair and blue eyes, the latter two features being inherited by her son, Roland.
- Your Cheating Heart: As described in the tropes above, she was engaged in an adulterous relationship with her husband's Court Mage and Evil Chancellor, Marten Broadcloak.
Also Known As: Roland the Elder, Son of Henry
Allegiance: The White
Appears in: The Gunslinger | Wizard and Glass | The Wind Through the Keyhole
Also Appears In: Comics: The Gunslinger Born | The Long Road Home | Treachery | The Sorcerer | The Fall of Gilead
"You have forgotten the face of your father."
The father of Roland Deschain and husband of Gabrielle Deschain. Steven was the twenty-ninth generation descendant of Arthur Eld, a member of the "Tet of the Gun", and the dinh (leader) of Gilead and its gunslingers. He was also the previous record holder as the youngest gunslinger to earn his guns at the age of sixteen, a record that was later broken by his son, Roland. He died during the fall of Gilead.
- The Ace: Like his son after him, Steven was also something of a prodigy gunslinger, holding the previous record for being the youngest gunslinger ever to earn his guns at the age of sixteen.
- Badass Mustache: He sported a heavy handlebar mustache.
- Cuckold: Steven's wife, Gabrielle, was cheating on him with his Court Mage and Evil Chancellor, Marten Broadcloak. Roland was shocked and dismayed to discover from his father that he had known about the affair for two years but hadn't confronted Gabrielle and Marten, or done anything about it.
- Good Parents: Roland often thinks of his father fondly and respectfully throughout the series and harkens back to Steven's many words of advice, implying that they clearly had a close father-son bond.
- The Gunslinger: He was Gilead's greatest, the last "Lord of Light" carrying the Horn of Eld before the city fell.
- Heroic Lineage: Steven was the twenty-ninth generation descendant of Arthur Eld, through his ancestor Emmanuelle Deschain, passing the legendary sandalwood guns forged from Excalibur itself down to Roland after his death.
- Large and in Charge: He is described as being as tall as Roland himself, who stood at 6'3, and was the head gunslinger (and therefore in charge) of Gilead.
- The Leader: He was the dinh of both "The Tet of the Gun" (which included both Cuthbert Allgood and Alain Johns' fathers), and Gilead as a whole.
- Like Father, Like Son: Roland seemed to inherit a great many traits from his father, including but not limited to his height, extreme talent as a gunslinger, and serious and stoic personality.
- The Stoic: Just like Roland, Steven was a very stoic and serious man that rarely showed any emotion on the outside, although it is made clear that he had a deep attachment to Roland, apparently often saying to his companions that he could not survive the death of his son.
Cortland "Cort" Andrus
Allegiance: The White
Appears in: The Gunslinger
Also Appears In: Comics: The Gunslinger Born | Treachery | The Fall of Gilead
"Let the word and the legend go before you. There are those who will carry both."
Cort was one of Gilead's two instructors in the "Way of the Gun", along with Abel Vannay. While Vannay taught philosophy and dealt with the mental training of the apprentice gunslingers, Cort taught them how to fight and took care of their physical training. It was against Cort that the apprentice gunslingers took their final test, if they beat him in combat they were awarded their guns, but if they lost they were sent West in disgrace.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: He constantly belittled his charges and would beat and starve them if they weren't living up to his expectations. Eddie, upon hearing Roland's tales of Cort, even referred to him as "the drill instructor from Hell".
- Eye Scream: During his duel with Roland, Roland's hawk David claws out his bad eye, which was already blind.
- Genius Bruiser: He may have been a violent brute but, as noted by Roland, he also won Gilead's riddle contest every single year.
- Made of Iron: Apprentice 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 however, it was poison, probably, that killed him and not the duels.
- Training from Hell: Cort would literally go upside his student's heads whenever they weren't meeting his high standards. He was also fond of calling them "maggots".
- We Used to Be Friends: He was apparently good friends with Eldred Jonas during his childhood, that is until Eldred failed his last test and was "sent West" in disgrace.
Charles Son of Charles/Charles Champignon
Allegiance: The White
Appears in: The Gunslinger
Also Appears In: Comics: Treachery | The SorcererA comrade of Roland's father who executes the traitor Hax.
- Ascended Extra: He appears in one scene of the book (about two or three pages long) but has a larger role in the Schrödinger's Canon prequel comics, where h is injured jumping between Stephen and a grenade and is later forced to write a letter allowing a spy passage through the gates after his pregnant wife is held hostage, after which Farson's men hang him. In the books themselves it's unclear if he shared this fate, died in one of the many conflicts following Hax's execution or abandoned the Gunslingers journey as Roland mentions some did in the second book.
- The Executioner: He is the man who hangs Hax after drawing the black stone to do so.
- I Am X, Son of Y: He introduces himself this way and has the same name as his father.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Delivers one to Hax emphasizing the nature of his offense after the cook shows no remorse.Charles: Charge be capital murder and sedition. You have crossed the white and I, Charles son of Charles, consign you ever to the black. Tell your tale to the underworld, maggot.
Allegiance: The White
Appears In: Comics: The Gunslinger Born | The Long Road Home | Treachery | The Sorcerer | The Fall of GileadThe father of Roland's friend Alain and a companion of Stephen in the comics.
- Action Dad: One of the more capable gunslingers and the father of Alain.
- Hope Spot: Although wounded, he and Stephen make it back to Gilead after the rest of their party is killed by ambushers only for an assassin to slit Chris's throat once they get there.
- Hot-Blooded: His In-Series Nickname is "Burning Chris" for this reason.
Allegiance: The White
Appears In:'' The Gunslinger (mentioned)
Also Appears In: Comics: Treachery | The Fall of Gilead | The Battle of Jericho HillCort's niece, and an acquaintance of Roland during childhood. Most of her role is in the Schrödinger's Canon comics.
Allegiance: The White
Appears In:' Wolves of the Calla The Dark Tower and The Wind Through the Keyhole
Also Appears in: Comics: Treachery | The Fall of GileadThe tutor at Gilead.
- Actual Pacifist: He trained to be a gunslinger but gave it up due to believing violence brought problems.
- Cool Teacher: A brave yet understanding man who teaches the gunslingers science and philosophy.
- Due to the Dead: According to the comics, he is preparing court's body for the funeral when he is murdered.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: A warm-hearted mentor to Roland who died in the city's fall.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His son died of an illness when Roland was young.
Appears in: Wizard and Glass
Also Appears In: Comics: The Gunslinger Born
"I curse thee to darkness! Both of thee! Be happy together ye faithless! Ye murderers! Ye cozeners! Ye liars! Ye fornicators! Ye lost and renounced!"
Cordelia Delgado was the aunt of Susan Delgado. A lonely and bitter spinster, Cordelia was insanely jealous of her young, beautiful niece and forced her into becoming the gilly (mistress) of the mayor, Hart Thorin in exchange for money. Cordelia's bitterness and borderline insanity also led her into cahoots with the evil Rhea of the Cöos.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Cordelia is this to Eldred Jonas, who finds her priggish and unattractive but puts up with her romantic attentions (and even becomes The Charmer around her) because she is pretty much the local gossip and can sometimes gather information that is useful to him.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: As above, she harbors a pretty serious crush on the local bad boy and failed gunslinger, Eldred Jonas and falls into a deep depression (that contributes to her Sanity Slippage) when she finds out that he is sleeping with Coral Thorin.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Like Rhea, she is also insanely jealous of her niece Susan Delgado, who is young, beautiful and desirable where Cordelia is middle-aged, homely and still a virgin. She often coldly and mockingly calls Susan, "Miss Oh So Young And Pretty".
- The Hecate Sisters: She is the matron to Susan's maiden and Rhea's crone.
- Jerkass: Because of her insane jealousy towards Susan, she seems to enjoy making the poor girl's life as hellish as possible, forcing her into becoming the gilly of Dirty Old Man, Hart Thorin, and then laughing cruelly at her when Susan is understandably upset following Thorin's constant wandering hands and sexual abuses. Her sole motivation for the arrangement (other than jealously) seems to be money and riches, which she then greedily withholds from Susan herself. It's later implied that Cordelia was even complicit in the murder of her own brother and Susan's beloved father. Then finally, following her Sanity Slippage, she takes this trope Up to Eleven by teaming up with Rhea to spread Malicious Slander about Susan and is actually the one to light the fire that burns Susan alive!
- Maiden Aunt: She is a variation to the trope in that she fits many of the requirements (older aunt, never married or even had a lover, old-fashioned, conservative, prim, proper, prudish, strait-laced, and disapproving of anything new-fangled, e.t.c), but she is not a benevolent version, and would certainly never be anyone's favourite elderly relative.
- My God, What Have I Done?: She outlives her niece by mere seconds as she drops dead directly after Susan's last words. Roland surmises that Cordelia may have had experienced a sudden moment's realization of the true enormity of what she had done in murdering her only living relative in cold blood.
- Sanity Slippage: After Cordelia discovers that Susan has invalidated their contract with Hart Thorin through her relationship with Roland, and the object of her affections, Eldred Jonas, is sleeping with Coral Thorin, her already faltering sanity seems to slip considerably and she becomes obsessed with getting revenge on Susan. This leads to her joining with the witch Rhea of the Cöos (and allowing Rhea to drink her blood) and culminates in Susan being burned alive by the Hambry townsfolk who are whipped into a murderous frenzy by their Malicious Slander.
Appears in: Wizard and Glass
Also Appears In: Comics: The Gunslinger Born
"Stand still my temptation, and mind me well."
The mayor of the city of Hambry in the barony of Mejis, Hart Thorin is a bumbling old man with popping joints who cares about little else but his overwhelming desire for Susan Delgado, whom he arranges to have as his gilly by making a contract with her aunt, Cordelia. Thorin is a weak man who actually wields very little power in the city, the real power and authority being with his corrupt chancellor, Kimba Rimer.
- Assassination Attempt: Hart is the subject of a successful assassination attempt when he is murdered by Roy Depape in an effort to frame Roland and his ka-tet.
- Authority in Name Only: It is obvious through the text that, whilst Hart might be the Mayor of Hambry, he actually holds very little real power and is much more concerned with taking Susan Delgado's virginity than conducting any mayoral duties. The real power therefore falls to his Evil Chancellor, Kimba Rimer, who has secretly allied himself with the Good Man, John Farson.
- Dirty Old Man: Hart, a bumbling old man in his late sixties is sexually obsessed with the beautiful sixteen year old Susan Delgado, to the extent that he forges a contract with the girl's aunt to have her as his "gilly" (a more socially acceptable version of a prostitute) and demands to be the one to take her virginity. He tries to make it seem slightly less creepy by insisting that Susan is merely meant to bare him a child as his wife is now too old, but his interest in her is obviously only sexual in nature. He constantly subjects her to his wandering hands and sexual advances before their contract is satisfied. He never does get to take her virginity, as Roland firstly beats him to it, and he is murdered before the Reap Fair when the consumation is due to take place.
- Sibling Murder: His own sister, Coral Thorin, is complicit with his murder as she is working with her lover, Eldred Jonas and his Big Coffin Hunters.
- Your Cheating Heart: He openly parades Susan around infront of his poor, cuckolded wife, who he generally seems to treat like crap.
Also Known As: The Great Sage and Eminent Junkie
Appears in: The Drawing of the Three
Also Appears In: The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three (Comic)
"As Henry Dean, the great sage and eminent junkie would have put it, 'Flip-flop, hippety-hop, offa your rocker and over the top, life's a fiction and the world's a lie, so put on some Creedence and let's get high'."
The domineering older brother of Eddie Dean, Henry was assigned by their mother to take care of Eddie after the tragic death of their middle sister, Gloria. Henry and Eddie's complex relationship has a profound emotional and psychological effect on Eddie, even after Henry's death, he often flashes back to conversations between them in his thoughts and dreams throughout the books.
- Big Brother Bully: Eddie, who idolized Henry growing up, finally realizes and comes to terms with 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: He is 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 out 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 realizes is the key to defeating Blaine the Mono's riddle game via Logic Bomb in Wizard and Glass.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: He's a veteran of the Vietnam War, and blames his descent into drug addiction on the PTSD that he suffers due to his experiences there.
- Present Absence: Henry is only on page for a short time before he's killed by Balazar's men in the second book, but it takes Eddie a while to get over the mental block that Henry caused with his bullying and Manipulative Bastard tendencies.
Also Known As: Calvin Toren
Allegiance: The White
Appears in: The Waste Lands | Wolves of the Calla | Song of Susannah
"The joy is in the discovery, Mr. Dean. Any collector will tell you the same."
Calvin Tower is the proprietor of a bookstore called the Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind and a rare book collector whose family has long owned a vacant lot in the Keystone World version of New York where a very special rose grows and must be protected at all costs. If the rose perishes then the Dark Tower will fall, causing reality itself to crumble, as the two are inextricably bound. Calvin requires the ka-tet's help after he gets on the bad side of the Sombra Corporation by refusing to sell them the vacant lot, instead selling it to the Tet Corporation which was established to protect the rose.
- Ambiguous Disorder: He seems to suffer from some kind of compulsive hoarding disorder, as displayed in his extreme reluctance to let go of anything that belongs to him, not only his books but also the vacant lot which the ka-tet nearly have the strong-arm him out of, even though ownership of the lot has put him in the sights of the Sombra Corporation.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- In The Waste Lands, Calvin sells Jake a vintage copy of Charlie the Choo-Choo as well as a book of riddles, foreshadowing his and the the ka-tet's later showdown with Blaine the Mono at the end of that book.
- In Wolves of the Calla, Calvin leaves a collection of his most valuable and collectible books in the Doorway Cave to keep them safe from Balazar's men, one of which is later discovered by Roland and Pere Callahan to be a first edition of 'Salem's Lot, causing an existential crisis for Callahan as he is a character in that very same book which partly details his life in Jerusalem's Lot. It is this event that leads to the ka-tet realizing that Stephen King is a real person that is writing their story into reality.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With his best (and only) friend, Aaron Deepneau.
- Idiot Ball: After he flees New York to escape Balazar's men and the Sombra Corporation, Calvin is supposed to be lying low in a small Maine town, but then proceeds to go around announcing his presence and shopping for rare books. Pere Callahan calls him out hard on this at one point.
- Otaku: He collects vintage and highly collectible books, and said books seem to the only things he really cares about. Such is his obsession that he's even willing to put his life (and the fate of the multiverse) on the line to continue his collecting.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: As part of the Tet Corporation along with Aaron Deepneau and Moses Carver, he is more tolerated by the other two, even though he considers Deepneau to be his best friend. He is the least useful of the three.
Allegiance: The White
Appears in: The Waste Lands | Wolves of the Calla | Song of Susannah
"Gai cocknif en yom."
Aaron Deepneau is an aging former lawyer who is suffering from advanced cancer and is Calvin Tower's best friend. Whilst not having a very large role in the series, he plays an instrumental role in that he convinces the stubborn Calvin to sell the vacant lot to the Tet Corporation, thereby becoming one of its founding members.
- Ambiguously Jewish: He is heavily implied to be Jewish although it's never outright stated. It's mentioned in Song of Susannah that his favorite Yiddish phrase is the colorful, "Gai cocknif en yom", which translates to "Go shit in the ocean."
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With his best friend, Calvin Tower. Aaron seems to be the only one with the patience to put up with Tower's obsessive tendencies and occasional cowardice.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He only has a very small role in the series, appearing briefly in three books, but it is Deepneau that finally convinces Tower to sell the abandoned lot that contains the rose to the Tet Corporation, thereby becoming one of the Corporation's founding members and helping to secure the fate of a vitally important Cosmic Keystone. As a former lawyer, he is the one that draws up the contract of sale between Tower and the Tet Corporation.
- What the Hell, Hero?: After hearing Roland and Eddie's long tale in Song of Susannah, he has to deliver a couple of these to his best friend, Tower, who is still stubbornly railing against selling the lot, despite knowing the cosmic significance of the rose. Luckily, it finally works.
Elmer & Laurie Chambers
Elmer Chambers and Laurie Chambers
Appear in: The Waste Lands
Also Appear In: The Dark Tower (Laurie portrayed by Katheryn Winnick) | The Sailor (Comic)
Elmer and Laurie Chambers are Jake's neglectful and emotionally unavailable parents. Elmer is a ruthless corporate executive that works for a television network and Laurie is his unfaithful wife.
- Adaptational Heroism: Both Elmer and Laurie are given this treatment in the 2017 film. Elmer is portrayed as a firefighter that died heroically in the line of duty instead of a ruthless Corrupt Corporate Executive, and Laurie is portrayed as a fairly normal, loving and concerned mother, instead of the spacey and neglectful Idle Rich mother that she is in the books.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Elmer is a high-ranking executive at a television network that Jake simply calls "The Network", where he is often described as using less than moral and professional means to destroy the competition and make "The Kill".
- Parental Neglect: Both of them are neglectful towards Jake because of their incredibly self-obsessed personalities and seem to treat him as little more than an after-thought and a trophy to be paraded round, to the extent that Jake is actually closer to the housekeeper than he is to them. Elmer, in particular, spends very little time with his son, and when he does, constantly pressures him into getting the best grades and attending the most exclusive schools, purely to make him look better by extension. In The Waste Lands, when Jake leaves home on his mission to find a door back to Mid-World, he has a premonition of sorts that he's never going to see either of them again, and whilst he does love them, feels no real sadness at the thought. He later finds his Parental Substitute in Roland.
- Your Cheating Heart: Laurie constantly cheats on Elmer with other men, at one point her masseuse, but he either doesn't know or simply doesn't care.
Also Known As: First Lord of Light, He of the White Horse and Unifying Sword, King Arthur, Warrior of the White, The Eld
Allegiance: The White
Appears in: The Fall of Gilead (Comic)
"And so there grew great tracts of wilderness; Wherein the beast was ever more and more; But man was less and less, till Arthur came."
- -Lord Tennyson
Arthur Eld is Mid-World's analogue of King Arthur and Roland's distant ancestor. It is said that over a thousand years after the great Cataclysm, Arthur, using guns foraged from the blue steel of the sword Excalibur, led the people of Mid-World to rise up and reclaim their societies from the demon Maerlyn and the creatures of the Prim. With the world at peace, Arthur Eld was crowned as the High King of All-World in the city of Gilead. The seventy years in which Arthur was High King of All-World is known as the Golden Age; this level of prosperity had never been seen before, and was never seen again after.
- Antagonistic Offspring: A legend says that Maerlyn and other demons of the Prim gatecrashed Arthur's coronation ceremony and one of these demons, known only as the "Crimson Queen", came to Arthur in human, female guise and seduced him, the result of their sexual union being Los', or the Crimson King. Los', of course, being the Eldritch Abomination that ends up tearing apart the very kingdom that Arthur worked so hard to unite and build. The Crimson King also wishes to topple the Dark Tower, the very thing that Arthur and his human descendants are sworn to protect.
- Big Good: Arthur has been dead for over a thousand years by the time of Roland and his quest, but he was the Big Good in All-World's history, a mighty leader that united the people against the harriers and mutants that plagued their lands, defeated and fought back the chaotic creatures of the Prim, formed the Affiliation of Baronies, and brought peace and prosperity to All-World.
- The Chosen One: He was the one chosen to protect the Dark Tower, the linchpin of all existence, as are all his human descendants after him. It is even said that only one who carries Excalibur or another sign or sigul of Arthur may enter the Dark Tower.
- Cool Crown: His crown was said to have had held thirteen different colored jewels, each one a striation in the Dark Tower's central oriel window.
- Cool Horse: Llamrei, Arthur's White Stallion, ends up becoming the sigul of In-World and Gilead in particular, where many statues of him can also be found in the castle complex.
- Cool Sword: Excalibur, of course, which this version of Arthur carried out of a Kashamin Pyramid where it had been entombed. The blade of the sword was later melted down and made into the legendary sandalwood guns that were passed down through the line of Deschain, eventually being inherited by Roland himself.
- Famous Ancestor: For Roland and his paternal family. Being a gunslinger of the Line of Eld is the reason why Roland is sworn to protect the Dark Tower.
- The Good King: Like his mythological Keystone World analogue, Arthur Eld is seen to be the ultimate Good King. A strong, brave and wise warrior who lead his people to victory against the the forces of evil and chaos and ushered in a legendary Golden Age of peace and prosperity.
- The Hero: Of All-World's distant and mythical past, whereas his ancestor Roland Deschain is the actual contempary hero of the series.
- Knight Errant: Arthur was the original gunslinger, the many gunslingers that followed after him all sworn to continue the Way of Eld and protect the Dark Tower.
- Your Cheating Heart: His wife, Queen Rowena, was barren therefore Arthur took over forty gillies. The line of Deschain was descended from one of them, Emmanuelle Deschain, who was the daughter of Sir Kay Deschain, one of Arthur's knights.
Also Known As: The Ageless Stranger, Legion
Allegiance: The Red
Appears in: The Wind Through the Keyhole
Also Appears In: Comics: The Sorcerer | The Fall of Gilead
"What if I fall?", Tim cried. Maerlyn laughed. "Sooner or later, we all do."
Maerlyn is Mid-World's analogue of Merlin and was a powerful sorcerer and a demon of the Prim, or the Outer Dark. He is described as being a rogue wizard and is often associated with Arthur Eld, albeit in a more negative way than the usual King Arthur myths. As an entity of the Prim, he cared nothing for order, stability and logic and instead embraced chaos and discord. Disguised as a grey-bearded wizard, he convinced the Great Old Ones to fuse technology with magic, thereby beginning the process that would displace magic in All-World, severely weakening the structure of the Dark Tower in the process.
- Adaptational Villainy: Maerlyn is an interesting example, in that the backstory given for him in the comics makes him much more villainous that the Merlin of traditional myth (down to the former being a full-blown demon rather than the Half-Human Hybrid the latter is usually portrayed as), however, the Maerlyn that later appears in Roland's tale in The Wind Through the Keyhole again in contrast seems to be a much more benevolent entity than he is in the comics. That Maerlyn was apparently caught off guard (whilst drunk) by an "emissary of the Crimson King" (expressly not the Covenant Man, a.k.a. Walter Padick) and trapped in the form of a "tyger", so it could be implied that this more 'benevolent' Maerlyn was merely showing his gratitude to Tim Ross for freeing him.
- The Anti-Christ: He has shades of this, in that his main goal appears to be to bring about an end to logic and order and reinstate the chaos, darkness and magic of the Prim. In this way he is similar to the Crimson King, but unlike that character, Maerlyn does not appear to have any desire to rule.
- Artifact of Doom: He created "Maerlyn's Rainbow", the thirteen colored crystal balls that include Black Thirteen (the most powerful) and Maerlyn's Grapefruit. They were created from the magic of the Prim, specifically to bring chaos into the physical world and he cursed them to bring despair and sorrow to any who wielded their power.
- The Chessmaster: Were it not for Maerlyn, the Crimson King would not even exist and the Dark Tower would likely not have come very close to collapsing. It was Maerlyn that first manipulated the Great Old Ones into trying to displace magic with advanced technology (as he knew this would weaken the structure of the Tower), and it was Maerlyn that brought the Crimson Queen to Arthur Eld, resulting in the Crimson King's birth. In this sense, he could be seen as being the true Greater-Scope Villain of the whole series, over Los' himself.
- Eldritch Abomination: He is a demonic entity of the Prim that has the ability to shapeshift.
- Evil Sorcerer: Maerlyn is the ultimate evil sorcerer, using his magic to sow chaos and discord.
- Like Father, Like Son: It is revealed in the comics that Maerlyn is Walter Padick's true father, and he left his son with human parents to "learn the ways of men". Like his father, Walter went on to become an Evil Sorcerer and The Chessmaster extraordinaire, and his quasi-immortality and ability to shapeshift is a result of his demonic heritage.
- Wizard Classic: Maerlyn took this form (a grey bearded old man in robes) to Walk the Earth and corrupt unsuspecting humans by convincing them to forsake Gan and worship ancient death gods (can-char) using Human Sacrifice.
Deities, Beam Guardians and Other Supernatural Beings
Also Known As: The Other
Allegiance: The White
Appears in: The Wind Through the Keyhole (Mentioned) | Song of Susannah (Mentioned) | The Dark Tower (Mentioned)
Also Appears In: It (As the 'Other') | Comics: Treachery (Mentioned)
"Cam-a-can-mal; Pria-toi; Gan delah." note
Gan is the creator God in the world of Stephen King's metaverse that rose from the waters of the Prim and span the physical multiverse (and all its infinite parallel universes) out of his naval. It is believed that the Dark Tower is the physical manifestation of Gan, and after the Prim receded, the Tower and its supporting Beams remained at the center of the multiverse, forming the framework of reality and the time/space continuum. Ka is said to be the will of Gan, and it is even suggested that Stephen King himself is an avatar of Gan, who is using the writer to write Roland's story into reality to save the physical Dark Tower from destruction.
- Big Good: Gan is the manifestation of light, order and the purpose (or "The White") as the Big Bad, the Crimson King is the manifestation of darkness, chaos and the random (or "The Red"). It was Gan that created the physical multiverse and all of the worlds contained within it, other than possibly our universe which, according to legend, may accidentally have been created by Maturin.
- Cosmic Entity: He is implied to be the most powerful entity in the whole of existence, or at least the most powerful entity of the "Higher Purpose". It is unknown whether he has a counterpart in the "Higher Random", as entities like the Crimson King, Maerlyn and It are indeed powerful, but do not appear to have anywhere close to the omnipotent power that Gan possesses.
- Cosmic Keystone: The Dark Tower itself, which is believed to be the physical manifestation of Gan. Should the Tower fall, all of reality as we know it will cease to exist.
- Devil, but No God: Played with, as Gan is markedly less directly influential than the devil like figure in the series, the Crimson King, but Gan is still implied to subtly intervene through 'ka', which is said to be his will. Some other Stephen King novels like It also strongly imply that there is a mysterious "Other" empowering agents, and guiding them subtly as tools to combat evil like the title character, but confirmation is never quite given that Gan is this same entity.
- Divine Intervention: Gan does this subtly, through the use of ka. As Gan is also using Stephen King as an avatar to write The Dark Tower books, it can also be implied that where Stephen King uses Deus ex Machina (such as in the last book when he specifically writes in a note to Susannah to clue her into the fact that Joe Collins is Dandelo), it is not King that is intervening to save Roland's life, but Gan himself.
- Eldritch Abomination: Just like creatures like Maerlyn and the Crimson Queen, Gan is also an entity of the outer dark and Primordial Chaos known as the Prim, but seemingly a vastly more powerful one. He seems like a (thankfully) far more benevolent and intelligent counterpart of Azathoth.
- God: It is heavily implied that what we know as God in the Keystone World and what is known in Mid-World as Gan are in fact the exact same entity that merely goes by different names and different creation myths in different worlds and levels of the Dark Tower.
- God Couple: It's never mentioned at all in the books, but the supporting materials reveals that, in the myths and legends of Roland's world, Gan is said to have a wife, a female deity known as Bessa. It is also implied that the rose in the Keystone World is the physical manifestation of Bessa in the same way that the Dark Tower is the physical manifestation of Gan, explaining why the two are are so intrinsically linked together.
- God of Good: He certainly seems to be, but he can also seem to be a little unnecessarily cruel in some ways too, such as how he seems to be forcing Roland to repeat his arduous quest over and over again until he finally gets it 'right'.
- Greater-Scope Paragon: Of the The Dark Tower franchise, and therefore Stephen King's metaverse as a whole.
Also Known As: The Turtle
Allegiance: The White
Appears in: Wizard and Glass | Song of Susannah (Mentioned) | The Dark Tower (Mentioned)
Also Appears In: It (As 'The Turtle')
"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 all vows are made; he sees the truth but mayn't aid. He loves the land and loves the sea; And even loves a child like me!"
Maturin is one of the twelve great Guardians of the six Beams that support the Dark Tower, who is said to have vomited out our universe when he had a belly-ache. A largely benevolent, almost god-like force in both The Dark Tower and It (where he appears as 'The Turtle'), he is known to sometimes intervene to assist the forces of good against evil.
- Ambiguous Situation: Maturin's Beam counterpart, Shardik, is shown to have a giant, physical cyborg form (manufactured by the Great Old Ones), but it is unknown whether Maturin also has such a cyborg counterpart as the ka-tet never make it to his end of the Beam. In It, Bill Denbrough seemingly encounters Maturin 'face to face' during the first Ritual of Chüd when his consciousness is flung out across the macroverse, and Maturin then appears to him as a vastly massive and ancient cosmic turtle. The reader can only presume that Shardik and the other Beam Guardians also have such cosmic counterparts at the ends of their own Beams and the edges of the known multiverse, but it's never made clear.
- Animalistic Abomination: An Eldritch Abomination with god-like power in the shape of a turtle, Maturin is thankfully benevolent and kind.
- Big Good: He is less powerful than the omnipotent all-powerful entity that is Gan, but it is implied in both The Dark Tower series and It that Maturin is actually the being that created our particular universe, albeit by accident as he vomited it up when he had a bellyache! He seems to have a particular fondness for humanity and will intervene to help the forces of good if and when necessary.
- Guardian of the Multiverse: Maturin, along with the eleven other Beam Guardians, guard the Beams that support the Dark Tower which is the linchpin of all existence and the entire multiverse, so they can certainly be seen as this trope.
- Hypno Trinket: In Song of Susannah, Susannah discovers a small scrimshaw object in the shape of a turtle with a question mark on its shell. This object, called a sköldpadda (which is the Swedish word for turtle), seems to have a powerful hypnotizing effect on any human, can-toi, taheen and low-level vampire that looks at it, allowing the bearer to plant suggestions in the viewers' mind and get them to do anything the bearer desires. Jake later uses it to escape the Crimson King's minions in the Dixie Pig. It's implied that the source of the object's power is Maturin himself, who is subtly intervening to assist the ka-tet out of danger.
- Shout-Out: The name Maturin is a reference to Stephen Maturin, a fictional naturalist from the AubreyMaturin series of novels, written by Patrick O'Brian. The character also bears a resemblance to Akupāra (or the World Turtle) from Hindu myth.
- Turtle Power: A benevolent, god-like entity that helps to guard the multiverse, created our universe and has the shape of a giant turtle.
Also Known As: The Bear, Mir
Allegiance: The White
Appears in: The Waste Lands
"See the BEAR of fearsome size! All the worlds within his eyes!"
Shardik is one of the twelve great Guardians of the six Beams that support the Dark Tower, and Maturin's Beam counterpart. Unlike Maturin, the ka-tet actually meet Shardik in The Waste Lands, or at least a giant, cyborg version of him that was created by the Great Old Ones millennia ago. By the time the ka-tet meet him, Shardik's ancient cyborg body has massively deteriorated, is infested with parasites and is dying, and he has run mad as a result.
- Ambiguous Situation: The Shardik that Roland, Eddie and Susannah meet in The Waste Lands is a gigantic cyborg bear that was built by North Central Positronics millenia ago, however Shardik's Beam counterpart, Maturin, seems to be much more cosmic and metaphysical in nature. It can only be presumed that there is also a man-made, cyborg version of Maturin somewhere at the outer reaches of Mid-World, and Shardik also has a cosmic and metaphysical version somewhere out in the outer reaches of the multiverse at the true end of his Beam, although it's never made clear.
- Animalistic Abomination: He is an Eldritch Abomination that presumably, like Maturin, has god-like power and is in the shape of a bear.
- Bears Are Bad News: As if it's not bad enough being chased by a normal rabid, vicious bear, let alone one that's seventy feet tall!
- Cyborg: In The Waste Lands, Shardik is a seventy-foot cyborg who's ancient body has finally started to break down and is infested with parasites. His internal workings have also started to freeze up and break down, leading the creature to run mad.
- Guardian of the Multiverse: Shardik, along with the eleven other Beam Guardians, guard the Beams that support the Dark Tower which is the linchpin of all existence and the entire multiverse, so they can certainly be seen as this trope.
- Meaningful Name: The tribal groups that once lived in the woods of his domain named him "Mir", which in their language means "the world beneath the world".
- Shout-Out: The name Shardik is a reference to the 1974 fantasy novel by Richard Adams in which a hunter pursues a giant bear with seemingly god-like power.
Also Known As: Mother
Appears in: The Drawing of the Three | Wolves of the Calla | Song of Susannah | The Dark Tower
"There is no love in thought, nothing that lasts in deduction, only death in rationalism."
Mia is an entity or demonic spirit of the Prim that possessed Susannah Dean's body to carry Mordred Deschain, the son of both Roland Deschain and the Crimson King. She began her existence as a succubus that wandered Mid-World, having sex with men and killing them. After observing a woman and her baby, she became obsessed with carrying a child of her own and was thus manipulated by Walter into forsaking her immortality for the opportunity to bear a child. In spirit form, she then possessed Susannah's body so that she could feed her "chap", making Mordred the product of both two fathers and two mothers. Her physical form was killed and eaten by Mordred only moments after the creature's birth.
- Death by Irony: The sole purpose of Mia's existence is to be a mother, and carrying Mordred to term and raising him is literally the only thing she cares about. Guess who kills and eats her only moments after his birth?
- Demonic Possession: She begins overtaking Susannah's body in Wolves of the Calla so that Susannah can feed her growing (and ravenously hungry) fetus, and some of the physical symptoms of the pregnancy begin showing on Susannah's body too at first. She later hijacks Susannah's body completely so that she can travel to the Keystone World and find Sayre to safely deliver Mordred.
- Horny Devils: Mia was originally a succubus that was born in the primordial chaos of the Prim and wandered Mid-World, having sex with men and then killing them.
- Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: At some point she came across a mother and her baby in the town of Fedic and fell in love with the child. She tried multiple times to kidnap the baby, but some force kept stopping her. It was through this incident that she became completely obsessed with becoming pregnant with a child of her own, and Walter eventually manipulated her into becoming mortal so that she could carry Mordred.
- Mama Bear: Mia is literally willing to do anything to protect her "chap", a fact that she makes clear to Susannah multiple times throughout Song of Susannah.
- Meaningful Name: The word "Mia" in the High Speech means "Mother".
Stephen Edwin King
Also Known As: The Writer
Allegiance: The White
Appears in: Song of Susannah | The Dark Tower
"I don't think he needs to be immortal. I think all he needs to do is to write the right story. Because some stories do live forever."
A 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 who is a character in that very same book. Roland and Eddie, visiting the Keystone World in the when of 1977, discover that King is a medium through which the Dark Tower (or Gan) is attempting to save itself. They become convinced that their quest cannot succeed if King does not complete his Magnum Opus, and do everything in their power to ensure that he does.
- Author Powers: Inverted. In Song of Susannah, King explicitly disclaims creating Roland or any of the others, and claims he 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.
- Cosmic Plaything: It seems that both Gan and the Crimson King have had Stephen King in their sights his whole life. In Song of Susannah, he recounts a lost memory to Roland and Eddie (while under hypnosis) of playing in a barn as a child, and a flood of red spiders pouring out of a dead chicken and trying to kill him. Los' again tries to kill him in The Dark Tower, but he is narrowly saved by Jake committing a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Direct Line to the Author: The Stephen King in the series is presented as being a mere avatar that Gan is using to write Roland's story into existence in an effort to save the Dark Tower, and therefore the multiverse as a whole, from destruction.
- Painting the Medium: In-Universe, King occasionally writes hints to the ka-tet in the text of the books, most notably when he writes a note to Susannah in The Dark Tower to clue her into the fact that "Joe Collins" is in fact Dandelo. It's heavily implied that this is actually Gan using King to save Roland's life so that he can continue his quest.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: The real-world Stephen King really was struck by a van during his walk on June 19, 1999, by a man named Bryan Smith. After years of surgeries and physical therapy, King resolved to finish the story, which is why books 5 through 7 came out in such quick succession compared to the first 4 volumes. The epilogue of Song of Susannah narrates his accident as it occured, but describes it as his death and has a printed obituary. The details of the accident are changed in the next book, The Dark Tower, so that Roland and Jake arrive just in time for Jake to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save King, taking the brunt of the fatal damage; King and Smith are then hypnotized by Roland into not remembering that any of the ka-tet were there. King does remember, though, and writes in a literal Deus ex Machina later into the novel to save Roland.
- 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, and Roland and Jake narrowly manage to avert.