The Torrance Family
Daniel Anthony "Danny" Torrance
Played by: Danny Lloyd (The Shining) & Ewan McGregor (Doctor Sleep)
- "Do you really want to go and live in that hotel for the winter?"
- Adaptational Attractiveness: A relatively minor case. As an adult, Dan is described in Doctor Sleep as being attractive, but rough and hard-worn. In the film adaptation, he's played by the supremely gentlemanly Ewan McGregor.
- Affectionate Nickname: Danny's parents call him "Doc" sometimes.
- The Alcoholic: Like father, like son. Dan spirals headlong into alcoholism in the years following his time at the Overlook, with Doctor Sleep following his efforts to stay sober.
- Almighty Janitor: Dan becomes an Almighty Orderly, specifically, in his older years, using his telepathic powers to soothe dying hospice patients in their final moments and help them die peacefully.
- The Atoner: Dan spends Doctor Sleep trying to atone for his "bottom" as an alcoholic: stealing all of a single mother's money and knowingly leaving her and her toddler to fend for themselves in an abusive household.
- Children Are Innocent: Despite his great powers, Danny is too young to make sense of most of what he sees, such as adults lusting after each other.
- Compelling Voice: The title Doctor Sleep shows Dan being called "Doc", and working in hospice care. He helps patients pass on, by telling them to go to sleep. "Doctor Sleep."
- Cool Uncle: To Abra, when it is revealed Jack is her real grandfather.
- The Empath: He can read people's minds at will, and even when not trying can pick up the emotions or strong thoughts going on through their minds.
- Fainting Seer: His visions occasionally overwhelm him, much to the concern of his parents.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: In his later years, Dan's temper is just as bad as his father's, if not worse. Unlike Jack, he's actually been in trouble with the law for it.
- I Am Not My Father: Dan takes pains in his later years to differentiate himself from Jack. This is perhaps best encapsulated by what he screams into Rose's head when she tries to telepathically force him to strangle Abra.Rose: Your father knew how to deal with stupid, disobedient women, and his father before him. Sometimes a woman just needs to take her medicine. She needs—Dan: MY FATHER KNEW NOTHING!
- I See Dead People: He has the power to see ghosts—both the incredibly malicious, lingering spirits kind and the kind that are echoes of past events.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As an adult, Dan is rough around the edges, possessed of a vile temper, and haunted by some fairly foul things he did as an alcoholic, but is nevertheless just as empathetic and compassionate as he was in his childhood.
- Psychic Powers: Danny has an Imaginary Friend named Tony (in the novel its eventually revealed that Tony is just a secondary personality Danny subconsciously created to help deal with his powers) who shows him visions of the future. He's also telepathic, and can read minds, though mostly feelings and loud thoughts.
- Split-Personality Takeover: One choice point in the movie where it seems like Tony has overtaken Danny, with him saying that Danny's gone away to Wendy, as well as Tony/Danny's chanting of "redrum" as he draws the word on the door.
- Student and Master Team: With Abra.
- Talking to Themself: "Tony" is an aspect of Danny's personality with whom he converses.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Is far more mature and solemn than you'd expect a 5-year old to be.
John Daniel "Jack" Torrance
Played by: Jack Nicholson
- "Here's Johnny!"
- Abusive Parents: Jack broke Danny's arm in a drunken rage before the action of the story starts. Though the narrative makes it clear that Jack feels tremendous remorse for injuring Danny, it's also slowly and subtly implied over the course of The Shining that breaking his son's arm was exactly what Jack intended to do.
- Jack's own father was a drunken, abusive monster who beat his family mercilessly, often for no reason.
- Adaptational Jerkass: The movie, compared to the book. While he loses himself and goes after his family in both, the movie downplays his sympathetic qualities (such as his intense guilt over hurting his family and struggle to do right by them) while playing out some things he does unintentionally in the book as malicious (e.g. in the book Jack destroys the radio in a blind panic when hearing it tell him to kill Wendy and Danny, whereas in the movie he does it deliberately to keep them stranded).
- The Alcoholic: Very pronounced in the book, where his addiction, recovery, and struggle to stay sober are detailed in great length. Hinted at more obliquely in the movie, although he at one point says out loud that "I'd give my goddamned soul for just a glass of beer."
- Alcoholic Parent: He is an alcoholic and once broke his son's arm in a drunken rage.
- Anti-Villain: Played with, depending on how much the audience sees him as a bad person to begin with or a good man who was broken by the hotel's influence. The movie and the book come down pretty hard on exact opposite ends of this.
- Author Avatar: Stephen King didn't realized until years afterward that he was writing about himself in Jack.
- Ax-Crazy: At the climax of his mental breakdown, he goes on a murderous rampage.. In the Kubrick film, he does so with an actual axe, no less.
- Backup from Otherworld: In the climax of Doctor Sleep, he appears to help Danny and co. finish off Rose.
- Character Tics: Wiping his mouth when he wants a drink.
- Death Equals Redemption: An unusually literal version, as a ghostly, supernatural Jack atones for his rampage in The Shining by helping Dan and Abra throw Rose to her death in the following book, saving their lives.
- Evil Eyebrows: Jack Nicholson's portrayal. One of the reasons why King objected to him being cast in the role is those distinctive eyebrows.
- FaceHeel Turn: Both book and movie have Jack going from swearing he would never hurt Danny to out-and-out attempting to murder him. The Overlook is the cause, but only really takes Jack's underlying resentment and magnifies it a hundredfold while suppressing his love for his family.
- Fatal Flaw: His alcoholism and his violent temper.
- Faux Affably Evil: After he finally snaps.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: In spite of all of his virtues, Jack is a violent man who angers easily. Booze makes it worse, of course, but Jack has hurt people — once brutally, in the case of George Hatfield — even while stone-cold sober.
- In the Blood: Heavily implied, both Jack's temper and alcoholism comes from his father, and is inherited by Danny.
- Kubrick Stare: Jack Nicholson's portrayal is a classic example, as he's quite prone to making these. He gives an especially unsettling one as he stares out the window.
- Large Ham: In the movie. Jack Nicholson's eyebrows deserve an Oscar category all their own.
- Meaningful Name: His first and middle name is Jack Daniel and he's an alcoholic. The first drink he has in both the movie and miniseries is Jack Daniels.
- Most Writers Are Writers: Jack ostensibly takes the job because it will give him time to work on his writing; although the real reason is that his alcoholism and violent temper have cost him his previous job as a teacher.
- Never My Fault: Constantly refuses to take responsibility for his bad decisions, which is an absolute must for a recovering alcoholic.
- Parental Favoritism: Jack was his father's favorite, though he still beat him regularly. Jack still loved him as best he could, even when the rest of the family began to hate him.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: Moreso in the book—he's not the sole viewpoint character but he is the main one, starting out a guilt-ridden man trying to straighten up his life and ending it a psychopath hell-bent on hurting the people he loves.
- Psychic Powers: Has a bit of "shining", albeit much weaker than Danny's, which the Overlook is able to use against him.
- The Resenter: What the hotel preys on to corrupt Jack, his resentment streak against what he perceives to be slights made against him (mostly imaginary or exaggerated). For example, in the novel, he resents his friend Al Shockley for what he feels is Al lording his wealth over him, despite the fact that all he's ever done is help Jack.
- Sanity Slippage: In the movie, he starts going from throwing a tennis ball around the hotel in boredom to just staring creepily out the window and losing his temper over the smallest things. In the book, it's represented by his drinking symptoms starting to resurface without the alcohol. In both cases, he begins to see more and more of the supernatural elements of the hotel as he falls under its thrall.
- Slasher Smile: Pick one.
- Split-Personality Takeover: Again, depending on interpretation of whether the hotel infects Jack with his madness or just amplifies what's already there.
- Tragic Villain: More so in the book, but still the case in both.
- Troubled Abuser: Jack's father was a violent Domestic Abuser, who also beat up his kids regularly. Jack himself also accidentally broke Danny's arm — while trying to spank him for misbehaving. Unlike his father, Jack loathes himself for what he did.
- Weapon of Choice: A roque mallet (an axe in the movie).
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He's portrayed sympathetically. His turn to Ax Craziness is tragic AND terrifying.
- Your Cheating Heart: It was revealed in Doctor Sleep that Jack cheated on his wife, presumably several times. Lucy is the result of this affair.
Winifred "Wendy" Torrance
Played by: Shelley Duvall (The Shining) & Alex Essoe (Doctor Sleep)
- '"Well, let's just wait and see. We're all going to have a real good time."
- Abusive Parents: Not Wendy herself, but her own verbally- and emotionally-abusive mother. The thought of being forced to stay with her is what kept Wendy from divorcing Jack on the grounds of his alcoholism, as well as what eventually convinces her to stay at the Overlook in spite of her reservations.
- Action Survivor: She manages to survive everything the Overlook throws at her, including escaping with Danny in tow, though in the novel she's badly injured by Jack attacking her with a roque mallet.
- Adaptational Ugliness: Wendy is described as being conventionally attractive in the book, whereas in the film she's portrayed by Shelley Duvall, who is more waif-like and fragile-looking than her novel counterpart. This was a deliberate choice on Stanley Kubrick's part, as Wendy was supposed to be progressively beaten down over the course of the story, and he felt that casting a more plain-looking actress in the role made it easier to sell that part of the character as the story went on.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Wendy is blonde in the novel, but has black hair in the movie.
- Broken Bird: Wendy shows the beginnings of this early on in the film, likely due to Jack's alcoholism. By the end, she's been to hell and back, appearing on the verge of a mental breakdown.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: She has trouble lighting her cigarette while talking to the doctor after Danny's first vision.
- Daddy's Girl: In the book. She had a very close relationship with her father—her mother told her that this drove a wedge into their marriage as part of her emotional abuse.
- The Resenter: Downplayed, but there (novel only). She resents Jack and Danny's close relationship, often feeling left out, and feels enormously guilty over it because thats what her own mother felt about her and her father.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Wendy dies in the 35-year gap between The Shining and Doctor Sleep, contracting and subsequently succumbing to lung cancer at some point in the Nineties. Without her, Dan ends up spiraling into alcoholism just like Jack.
- Took a Level in Badass: At the start of the film, she covers for Jack's abuse of Danny to the doctor and meekly accepts his tirades. After finally uncovering definitive proof of Jack's madness, she in short succession knocks him unconscious, locks him in the pantry, resists his guilt trips to let him out, and slashes his hand with a knife when he tries to break into to her hiding place.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Her reaction to the wave of blood and the man in a bear suit performing oral sex on another man.
- "Danny isn't here, Mrs. Torrance."
- Ambiguously Evil: At first it seems like half the time Tony is trying to get Danny is trouble by making him pass out and freak out Danny's parents, and doesn't explain Danny's visions properly. In the end, he helps Danny out, showing him to be good.
- The Faceless: Tony always appears shadowed, and Danny can never get close enough to see his face.
- For Your Own Good: In the movie Tony is reluctant to tell Danny just why he doesn't want to move into the Overlook. When Danny badgers him into telling, he ends up blacking out from terror.
- Future Badass: Tony turns out to be Danny when he's fifteen years old, or at least looks like him.
- Imaginary Friend: Danny's imaginary friend, who only shows up during his precognitive visions. 35 years later, he serves this very same role to Dan's niece, Abra.
The Overlook Hotel (Timberline Lodge)
- "Good. I want you to like it here. I wish we could stay here forever... and ever... and ever."—Jack Torrance
- Animal Motif: In the novel only, wasps.
- Big Bad: It's the one causing all the problems, using Jack as The Heavy.
- Clipped-Wing Angel: When it fully possesses Jack, Danny recognizes it's no longer his father and stops being afraid of it. It also gets a lot more theatrical in its dialogue.
- Eldritch Location: The Overlook isn't merely a vessel for evil, but a sinister, sentient, borderline-Lovecraftian entity all to its own. In Doctor Sleep, it's revealed that the location is saturated with supernatural energy, which makes it a prime location for ghosts to manifest, but the cause is never revealed.
- For the Evulz: There doesn't seem to be any reason why it drives people insane and murders them, it just does.
- Genius Loci: The hotel isn't haunted by evil ghosts, the hotel is evil and creates the ghosts. Or it might be both. It's pretty vague, especially in the movie.
- Humanoid Abomination: Once it fully takes over Jack's body. It still looks like Jack's body, but can walk around with a knife in its back and its face doesn't clearly resemble anyone. That's when the story stops referring to Jack as Jack and starts referring to him as It.
- Indian Burial Ground: What the Overlook Hotel is built on top of. It's implied that this is most likely how the hotel became supernaturally active in-universe as form of vengeance for the white man's intrusion. Some also view this as a layer of the film's allegory to Native American genocide.
- Logical Weakness: As a stationary object, it can't effect people beyond its grounds. Unless it consumes Danny and gains his power...
- Mouth of Sauron: What the job of "caretaker" might be.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Not only is it a malevolent murderous building, but also uses a lot of racist and sexist insults in its psychic assaults.
Richard "Dick" Hallorann
Played by: Scatman Crothers (The Shining') & Carl Lumbly (Doctor Sleep)
- "Some places are like people: some shine and some don't."
- Big Damn Heroes: In the book. In the movie, this is subverted, as he gets killed by Jack almost the minute he arrives, but in either scenario his arrival is what allows Wendy and Danny to escape.
- Black Dude Dies First: Dies the first death of the film with an axe to the chest courtesy of Jack.
- Canon Immigrant: While most of Stephen King's novels are connected in some way, he shows up in a flashback of It, as a soldier that serves as a cook in a black nightclub. His shining, though not specifically mentioned, saves several people when the Legion of White Decency burns the place down.
- Cool Old Guy: Is already well into his 60's by the time the story starts.
- Death by Adaptation: Is killed by Jack in the film. In the book, he survives and lives to a ripe old age.
- Dirty Old Man: In the movie, he's about seventy, and has a couple of naked lady posters in his room.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Takes an ax in the chest in the movie.
- Magical Negro: Subverted. Danny's powers are his own, but befriending Dick helps him feel a little more confident about it.
- The Mentor: To Danny, first explaining the Shining to him and later helping him seal away the remaining malevolent spirits of the Overlook. Hallorann himself acknowledges this during the prologue of Doctor Sleep:"When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear."
- Nice Guy: He's very friendly towards the Overlook's employees and the Torrance family. He even comes all the way back to the Overlook in order to make sure they're alright.
- Posthumous Character: Manages to help out even after his death, briefly commandeering the body of one of Dan's patients to advise him on dealing with the True Knot.
- Psychic Powers: Same as Danny. They can communicate even without talking simply by thoughts.
- The Resenter: Like Wendy and Jack, Hallorann has a subtle resentful streak that the Overlook tries to exploit in a last-ditch effort to kill Wendy and Danny; in Halloran's case, it's his lingering resentment toward having spent his whole life being bossed around by white people.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Hallorann dies of old age in the three-and-a-half-decade gap between novels. But unlike Wendy, he gets to make a brief return as a spirit.
Played by: Barry Nelson
- " I don't suppose they told you anything in Denver about the tragedy we had in the Winter of 1970."
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the novel, Ullman is described as being short and pudgy. In both adaptations, he is portrayed by actors who are tall and trim.
- Adaptational Heroism: Ullman in the film was more polite and less dickish than Ullman in the book. In the film he states he wholeheartedly agrees with his bosses' recommendation to hire Jack, while in the book he makes it clear he wouldn't have hired Jack if the decision was left to him owing to Jack's past alcoholism.
- Adaptational Villainy: However, in the deleted ending, Ullman handing Jack's tennis ball to Danny implied that he was somehow involved with the supernatural forces in the hotel.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Mr. Ullman, the hotel manager, may be an "officious little prick," but he is quite right that hiring Jack Torrance, an abusive alcoholic, as the winter caretaker is a bad idea.
- For all Jack's loathing of him, Ullman is very good at his job, including cleaning up the messes and keeping the hotel in the black.
- The Napoleon: Very much subverted. Ullman is a short man who acts like a smarmy bully with Jack and lords over his employees with an iron fist. He is actually a decent enough man who deeply loves the hotel and wants to do what is best for it. He knows that his employees don't like him, and doesn't care, because he feels that "one has to be a bit of a bastard" in order to effectively manage a world-class resort hotel. Considering that he is the only manager in the 70-year history of the hotel to run the hotel profitably, he's probably right.
Played by: Phillip Stone
- "Perhaps they need a good talking to, if you don't mind my saying so. Perhaps a bit more. My girls, sir, they didn't care for the Overlook at first. One of them actually stole a pack of matches, and tried to burn it down. But I "corrected" them sir. And when my wife tried to prevent me from doing my duty, I "corrected" her."
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Philip Stone is considerably neater and more pleasant-looking than the thuggish, almost troll-like Grady described in the novel.
- Affably Evil: Incredibly polite, charming, and personable. All in spite of brutally murdering his entire family and then killing himself.
- The Alcoholic: Like Jack, Grady was a heavy drinker. Ullman reveals that he'd brought a large supply of cheap whisky with him to the hotel, and was apparently drunk off his ass when he killed his family
- Creepy Monotone: "My girls, sir, they didn't care for the Overlook at first. One of them actually stole a pack of matches and tried to burn it down. But I corrected them, sir. And when my wife tried to prevent me from doing my duty, I corrected her."
- Driven to Suicide: After killing his family he put a shotgun in his mouth.
- Evil Brit: Yup!
- Family Annihilator: He killed his wife and children. Not content just with that, Grady follows up by attempting, from beyond the grave, to talk Jack into murdering his own family.
- The Jeeves: Starts off as this. Then his identity is revealed.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He is a vile racist and misogynist because being a murderer apparently wasn't evil enough.
- Always a Bigger Fish: The True Knot might be powerful psychics, but they are still of this world. Derwent... is not.
- Depraved Bisexual: Shown in his relationship with the besotted, dog-costumed Roger, to whom he's verbally and emotionally abusive.
- Enemy Mine: Just as evil and cruel as he's always been, but Danny has nothing against using him against a much worse foe.
- Expy: Of reclusive multi-millionaire Howard Hughes. See also Lawyer-Friendly Cameo and No Celebrities Were Harmed on the main page.
- The Ghost: While the Overlook has many ghosts, Jack is obsessed with Derwent and considering writing a book. Part of his way of taunting Ullmann is to ask if Derwent is somehow still involved with the Overlook.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Thanks to his almost ubiquitous involvement with, and influence in, the Overlook's history - as well as the fact that he's the only spirit still alive in Dan's memory by the end of Doctor Sleep - Derwent is the closest thing the Overlook has to a central, antagonistic form.
- Post Humous Character: Is dead by the time the story takes place, leaving his ghost an inhabitant of the Hotel, despite having died nowhere near it. Strangely, the exact circumstances of his death are never mentioned and no one seems to know exactly what happened to him. Jack even viciously asks Ullman if Derwent is still somehow involved in the hotel.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Reportedly had ties to the mob, and one of the Overlook's iterations included his ex-wife (possibly) running a brothel out of the place.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: "Survived" the destruction of the Overlook, only to be imprisoned in the mind of a now 12 year old Danny. He remains there for decades, only to be released by Danny during the final battle against the True Knot.
- Shout-Out: His Pre-Mortem One-Liner to Sarey:Derwent: Great party, isn't it?
Lorraine Massey, the Woman in 217
Played by: Lia Beldam (young) & Billie Gibson (old)
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the novel, she's old and described as both fat and ugly even before she killed herself. In the movie and miniseries, she's quite attractive before switching to her "rotten ghoul" form.
- Adaptation Name Change: Not to her, but rather her room number, in the novel it's 217 while in the film makes it 237. Supposedly, this was because the Timberline Lodge which provided the Overlook's exterior, didn't want to frighten guests away from room 217 or the hotel at all and instead set it with a non-existent room 237. Funny enough though, because of the movie's popularity, "room 237" actually became the most requested room at the Lodge.
- Dirty Old Woman: In the novel, she was well into her 50's, yet had an 18-year old lover.
- Driven to Suicide: Killed herself after her young lover finally gets sick of her and abandons her.
- Ms. Fanservice: Subverted in an infamous scene of the film (pictured). When Jack investigates room 237 after hearing Danny was attacked by the occupant, he finds a beautiful, nude woman in the bathroom. After making out with her, he's shown her true form as an old, decrepit, cackling, corpse.
- No Name Given: In the film, her name is never revealed and she's only ever referred to as "The Woman in room 237"
- In the book and miniseries, her name is given as Lorraine Massey.
- Really Gets Around. Implied.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Like Derwent, she reappears in Doctor Sleep. Unlike Derwent, Danny permanently seals her away, effectively killing her.
- Would Hurt a Child: She attacks Danny and tries to strangle him.
Lloyd, the Bartender
Played by: Joe Turkel
- "I like you, Lloyd. I always liked you. You were always the best of them. Best goddamned bartender from Timbuktu to Portland, Maine. Or Portland, Oregon, for that matter."—Jack Torrance
- Affably Evil: Courteous to Jack upon meeting him though he's still part of the hotel's malevolent, supernatural force.
- The Bartender: Self-explanatory. This role is his entire existence.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Somewhat soft-spoken, but is likely someone mortals shouldn't mess with.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Is a rather eerie figure.
The Stone Family
Abra Rafaella Stone
Played By: Kyleigh Curran
- Astral Projection: Is capable of this near the end.
- Deuteragonist: For Doctor Sleep.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: A trait she shares with Jack and Dan, her grandfather and uncle respectively. It comes out during the main stretch of the novel, as Abra deals more and more with the murderous True Knot, and keeps getting worse as she gets older.
- Little Miss Badass: Abra is host to perhaps the most powerful Shining in history, dwarfing Dick Hallorann's powers and even making Dan look pretty unimpressive. The epilogue of Doctor Sleep - which takes place three years after the events of the story proper - discloses that, even at fifteen years old, Abra still hasn't reached her full power as a Shiner.
- Macguffin Super Person: The True Knot need her to keep from dying out.
- Psychic Powers: Has the most powerful shining ever seen.
- Student and Master Team: With Dan.
Lucia "Lucy" Stone
- Mama Bear: Ferociously protective of Abra, as one would expect from any great mother, and brooks no nonsense at all when it comes to her daughter's safety.
- Papa Wolf: Will do anything to protect his daughter, including gunning down monstrous cannibals like the True Knot.
- Supernatural-Proof Father: Zig-zagged. He is willing to admit his daughter's Psychic Powers when confronted to the evidence. Yet he'd rather consider the possibility of an earthshake in New Hampshire than a telekinetic manifestation of Abra's power.
- Cool Old Lady: A poet, philosopher, and razor-sharp wit right up into her late nineties.
- Deadpan Snarker: Concetta is a great sharp-tongued granny for the ages, as her grandson-in-law repeatedly experiences.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Like Jack, the recently-passed ghost of Concetta plays a vital role in destroying the True Knot.
- Never Mess with Granny: Through Dan, Concetta passes her cancerous, terminal steam on to the True Knot, killing nearly all of them in one fell swoop and permanently preventing them from ever harming Abra.
The True Knot
- Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: They call themselves the True Knot because they're "knotted together" like a family, and indeed, they show a great deal of kindness and compassion towards each other (just not anyone else).
- Emotion Eater: They devour feelings along with steam, with fear and pain particularly flavouring the steam.
- Humanoid Abomination: Their true forms having jaws with a single tusk inside. Walnut also hypothesizes about their condition, believing them to still have DNA but to have a changed nervous system, the latter of which causes the True to react badly to flying.
- Goldfish Poop Gang: While they may be a nasty bunch of semi-immortal child murderers, they're mostly thoroughly outmatched by Abra and her adult protectors when push comes to shove. Partially lampshaded and partially justified by more than one character noting that their usual targets are unsuspecting children.
- Immortality Hurts: Steam may make them live forever, but if they get killed, they "cycle" which is basically fading in and out of existence several times before disappearing, and feeling it all.
- Life Drinker: But only of people with the shining. They hunt down children with it as adults lose power and flavour, but they also spectate disasters such as 9/11 to drink in the essence of any shiners that may have lost their lives (and the pain of others).
- Meaningful Rename: Often refer to significant parts of their appearance.
- No Body Left Behind: They only leave Empty Piles of Clothing, which is very convenient when you've got to kill them.
- Our Vampires Are Different: They're living psychics who have inhaled "steam", the life force of those with the shining who have died in agony, becoming strange beings who regularly "cycle" between the afterlife and the mortal world in ways that give them their youth and extremely long lifespans. Abra even calls Rose a vampire at one point.
- Serial Killer
- Smug Snake: They treat everyone other than them with contempt, refusing to refer to normal people as anything other than "rubes". But as Abra points out, they're nothing more than arrogant vultures who hunt down children. As such they massively underestimate Abra's intelligence, resourcefulness and potential allies.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Most look like late middle-aged to elderly tourists.
- Vampiric Draining
- Would Hurt a Child: Thousands over the centuries.
- Was Once a Man: They used to be normal people once, and although they can look normal, their distorted forms when feeding show that their humanity is long gone.
Rose the Hat (Rose O'Hara)
Played By: Rebecca Ferguson
- Affably Evil
- Berserk Button: Don't damage her hat. Just don't. And don't ever call her a coward.
- Big Bad
- Bi the Way: She sleeps with both Crow and Snakebite Andi.
- Compelling Voice
- Dark Action Girl
- Depraved Bisexual: Played with. She's evil and she's bisexual while engaging in a twin-gendered polyamorous romance, but her genuine care for her romantic partners is her largest redeeming quality.
- The Determinator: once she has her mind set on getting her hands on Abra, nobody can talk her out of it, and anything Abra and Dan do to stop her only makes her more determined.
- Disney Villain Death: Dan, Abra, and the ghost of Jack combine their powers to push her off an observation tower, snapping her neck when she hits the ground.
- Fighting Irish: It's mentioned she was an Irish immigrant around the time of the Wild West.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones
- More Than Mind Control: She can do the straight version, but has an insidious way of sniffing out and targeting multiple characters' weaknesses and fears.
- A Mother To The True Knot
- Ms. Fanservice: Explicitly described as the most beautiful woman most people have ever met, and she knows it. Of course, Beauty Is Bad; she likely got that way because of how much steam she's eaten.
- Nice Hat: An old top hat, which is the basis of her name.
- Vain Sorceress: Her personality, especially as far as Abra is concerned, has shades of this.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has several over the course of the book, the biggest being when Crow is killed.
Crow Daddy (Henry Rothman)
Played By: Zahn McClarnon
- Affably Evil
- Amoral Attorney: He was a lawyer prior to becoming a member of the True Knot.
- Ate His Gun: But not by choice.
- The Dragon: For Rose.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: To Rose, who trusts him completely and relies on him.
- Ivy League for Everyone: He's a Harvard-educated lawyer, class of '38.
- Number Two: Explicitly described as this.
- Mouth of Sauron: One of his most important jobs is negotiating for the True Knot, representing them in deals with 'rubes'.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide
- Sharp-Dressed Man: When negotiating for the True Knot.
Snakebite Andi (Andrea Steiner)
Played By: Emily Alyn Lind
- Abusive Parents: Andi's father was a repulsive pedophile who began raping her when she was only eight. The abuse continued until she put a knitting needle through his eye-socket, after using it on his testicles.
- Compelling Voice: Her main power, which is recognized by the rest of the True Knot as formidable.
- Does Not Like Men: She's generally distrustful of all men, assuming them to be rapist monsters due to how horribly she was abused by her own father.
- Eye Scream: How she killed her father.
- Forced Sleep: Her special power.
- Freudian Excuse: After being raped by her father multiple times from the age of eight, she has a hatred for men.
- Groin Attack: She used a knitting needle on her rapist father's balls, before putting the same needle through his left eye.
- Hypocrite: Was raped and abused by her father as a child. Something that traumatized her to the point where during her death she called Dan "Daddy". Yet as soon as she joined the True Knot, she has no qualms against torturing and eating children.
- She claims that the True Knot have no choice over what they do, and are only following their nature. This ignores that all members of the True Knot do actually have to choose to join.
- Psycho Lesbian: Subverted. She is a vicious, paranoid misandrist who likes the ladies, but before she was a True Knot, she wasn't actually a killer, just a thief who had a tendency to humiliate the men she conned. Actually discovering her sexuality with Rose, of all people, actually caused her to become a little less ruthless and untrusting (though of course, she's now a willing accomplice to child murder for the sake of her eternal life-so take with a grain of salt).
- Similarly to Rose, her genuine love for Silent Sarey is arguably her most redeeming quality.
- Rape as Backstory: By her father, as a child.
- Straight Gay
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
- The Smart Guy: He's the True Knot's accountant.
Barry the Chink (Barry Smith)
Walnut (Peter Wallis)
- The Medic: He serves as the True Knot's resident doctor.
Grampa Flick (Jonas Flick)
Played By: Carel Struycken
- Elderly Immortal: Looks very old physically. Even after taking steam, his hair is iron grey.
- The Older Immortal: Oldest of the True Knot. It's mentioned that he remembers when Europeans worshiped trees.
- Old Soldier: His cover when among rubes is an old veteran, and he keeps updating which war he fought in as time goes by. He's a military history buff, so he can play the part fairly convincingly.
- Killed Off for Real: The first of the True Knot to die.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!
Dr John Dalton
Played By: Bruce Greenwood
The Stones' family doctor and Dan's closest friend.
The aging town maintenance man in Frazier, who works in Teeny Town running the train.
Frazier's municipal works supervisor.