Follow TV Tropes


WMG / The Stand

Go To

Flagg is Nyarlahotep.
The dark man... wreaks havoc on humanity... present in thousands of shapes and forms...
  • Alternatively, he's Satan. While Nyarlathotep is the Satanic Archetype in the Cthulhu Mythos (which is pretty ironic), there's one difference between Nyarlathotep and Satan(besides their masters being wildly different) is that Satan is pathetic on a fundamental level. Sure, Satan is portrayed as a Magnificent Bastard, but only on an exterior level. Much like typical views of Satan, Randall Flagg is a psychopath who's a good manipulator, but fundamentally flawed and got pwned at the end.
  • Advertisement:
  • Mother Abagail does state directly that Flagg isn't Satan.

(Miniseries-only) Flagg was just a strongly psychic human with a penchant for scheming and a talent for sleight of hand.
The only thing he needed to be physically present for during the Gathering was releasing Lloyd from his cell, everything else was done through dreams and hallucinations. He isn't near as omniscient as he'd like to believe (since he doesn't even notice the pyro screaming "My life for you" riding into Las Vagas), and the shapeshifting into a corvid is done, with only one exception (where he was panicking) in psychic contact. He only turned into a devil to screw with Nadine and increase his fear factor, not because he actually is a demon. And last but not least, while in the book Flagg is still plotting in the end, but in the miniseries, a mere burst of intense heat and radiation destroys him.
** Not really...he turns into a crow and flies off.Mother Abigail's God is probably something close to the real deal, though, if not exactly what she said it was. There's pretty strong evidence that it's not just her, though the possibility does exist that it's just a far more powerful psychic than Flagg (and possibly a precognitive) hanging out in the shadows.

Randall Flagg was Leland Gaunt.

There were many similarities between the two. They were both charismatic and charming, able to manipulate people easily. He inspired fear and revulsion in people, even in dreams. It is mentioned that they both have no lines on their palms. They both have changing eyes. They both have similar cheery demeanors that hide fiery rage. Both are compared to Nyarlethotep, and are shown to be demonic beings hiding behind human form. They both cause destruction wherever they go for the hell of it. Also, when Flagg is starting a new identity and is reflecting where he has started before, he mentions Akron Ohio, which is where Gaunt said he was from. Since Flagg can apparently reincarnate, it's possible that Leland Gaunt was an persona he used for a time.


Randall Flagg was Mother Abigail's brother in a past life.

When Flagg sends weasels to attack her, Mother Abigail said that something about Flagg reminded her of her brother Richard, who scared her by suggesting the weasel that bit her might be rabid. One of the aliases he goes by is Richard Freemantle, and Flagg later confirms that his real name is Richard . They could have retained that connection even as opposing good/evil forces.

The superflu is 100% communicable.
Just because it's there doesn't mean you can see it. It has a secondary effect that people with immunity are completely immune to the main part of the plague, but if there's any living tissue after a certain amount of time, it changes fairly quickly into something almost impossible to spot, that may or may not eventually develop into a not-easily-communicable bronchial infection, or a mild 'flu that can be overcome. Fran's baby was premature and infected not because that's how partial immunity works, but because while it was immune to the original 'flu, there was an adapted strain of it that Fran's immune system tried to kick out of her body. The reason nobody else got it was that nobody else had it, not that everybody else had "full immunity" to it. It's quite possible that other people have it in various active-but-invisible strains, on top of the dormant but potentially dangerous in the future version.

Somehow, the presence of the Judge in Boulder The Plan by Flagg; since that one man was there, Flagg will be able to return in his current incarnation.
Because the Judge's real name is Richard Farris. R.F. Hmmmmmm...
  • No go. Farris' first name is Teddy/Theodore, not Richard. When he is discussing Hope Cemetery from his youth and he quotes his father, we learn his dad called him Teddy.
    • ...Teddy/Ted is a nickname for Richard. And the Judge's name was definitely Richard.
    • Isn't "Teddy" commonly a nickname for Theodore?
  • Alternately, he intended to possess or brainwash the judge, and send him back to Boulder to cause chaos,or keep him as a replacement body in case someone managed to defeat him. This is why he wanted him taken alive so badly, and why he reacted like he did.
  • There's also Ray Flowers, who broadcasted just before the outbreak. A disposable avatar of Flagg's, perhaps?

Randall Flagg is a Nephandus.
He's implied to be immortal, can perform acts of rather unpleasant magic that seems geared to destroying things, and is dedicated to destroying the tower, essentially condemning the universe to annihilation. The event that causes the nuke to blow up is paradox backlash finally blowing up in his face when he goes a little too extreme with his magic in front of too many witnesses. Even after his 'death' he appears to reincarnate in the extended addition, lending further credence to the theory.

Randall Flagg is The Slender Man.
He pretty much has the same M.O., until the plague runs its course, and he puts phase two of his plan into action.

This scenario would be a lot different today
The world is way more connected today even than it was in 1991, when the update came out. Everyone with a cell phone has camera and video. And if you're the government, you can't shut down the entire internet and cell phone networks without arousing way more suspicion even than the leaked stuff in the book. Not that I wouldn't put it past them to do it anyway, but then the riots would be way bigger, way faster. And there'd be more leaks whether it was shut down or not, video and photos travel so fast word: YouTube. Or, Facebook. Either/or or both. Viral videos all over the place, people sending photos to their entire email or contact list. Even if everyone got their net and cells cut off, there'd be plenty of stuff out before then. And then probably hackers trying to hack into the system to bring it back up and send the info, stealing satellite signals,to get it on TV, ect. And probably ten million Captain Trips Facebook pages and message boards.

And I often thought there was a chance that might have caused international problems...if either word of the intentional infections got out that way, or the US took the most logical track and blamed the superflu on a terrorist attack and technology let the wrong nation in on it, there might even be mass nuclear chaos before everyone had a chance to die of the plague.

Even without the nuclear part, I would LOVE to see an update of the novel where it's set today, or for someone to write a novel in the vein of The Stand in today's world.

Matt Frewer based his performance as Trashcan Man on the WTTW Max Headroom weirdo.
Seeing as he was Max Headroom, it seems reasonable to assume he would've seen that video at some point prior to doing The Stand, and there are definitely similarities, particularly Trash's laugh.
  • I stole CBS!

The Stand is set in Carnivàle's universe
Flagg is the creature of darkness, and Mother Abigail is the creature of light.
  • And Benjamin is Stu Redman?
    • Well, let's face it, Nick Stahl was born to play Stu. You hearin' me, Affleck?

Randall Flynn is Randall Flagg.
Both Revolution and The Stand are set in post-apocalyptic worlds, and Flynn is trying to control this world, just like Flagg did. Flagg has been known to take on multiple identities, often with the initials R.F., and he has repeated a first name (going by both Richard Fannin and Richard Freemantle), so the fact that Flynn has the exact same first name as Flagg doesn't necessarily eliminate him from being one of Flagg's aliases.
  • Oh God, that's seriously creepy. Say what you will about 1000-page tomes like The Stand (revised) but Stephen King knows how to write evil guys who seem to have amazing powers of perception and movement.
    • The Tower has been mentioned. And "The Dark Tower" is the title of the season finale to boot. Now, we may all panic, because apparently, Flynn already not only knows where it is, but knows what to do with it.

Flagg is Carrie White's Father.
Although it's stated in the novel Carrie that Ralph White, Carrie's father, was killed in a construction accident it might be possible that Randall Flagg was responsible for Carrie being born and the Black Prom. At one point Carrie sees her mother chase a "Dark Man" from their house. King also mentioned that "Ralph" stopped Margaret from killing Carrie when she was an infant. This might have been an error on King's part, but it could also be taken that "Ralph" was more than just a normal person. This could also be the case in the film canon, where Ralph is said to have run off with another woman (which might also make Randall Flagg Rachel Lang's father).
  • I'd always interpreted the mention of "Ralph" (deceased prior to Carrie's birth) preventing Margaret's intended infanticide as hallucination on Margaret's part, given her general lack of mental stability.

Flagg rules a level of the Tower Akin to 'The Stand'.
In 'Wizard and Glass', the Ka-tet visits a world the twin of 'The Stand'. Not the exact same, mind you as the products are Tukuro Spirits and Nozz-A-La. Its mentioned in The Dark Tower that he does indeed rule "a level of the tower" so its not much of a stretch to assume that Flagg drew theminto the level of the tower that he himself controlled... Possibly one in where the remainsof the boulder free zone committee ignored the urging of Mother Abagail...

Flagg is the Emperor.
Haven't finished the book yet, so don't crucify me, but I read Randal Flagg as a slightly weaker slightly more 'flawed' Emperor from Warhammer 40K. The charisma, the psychic (psyker?) abilities, the need to be the dominant culture, the fascist tendencies it al seems to fit. I like to read him as Emps, before his final form in 30000 a.d., slightly less powerful, slightly less in control but growing.

The Stand takes place in the Twin Peaks Verse.
Not the same timeline, because of dates, but the same mythos applies. Randall Flagg is a Black Lodge spirit who has possessed lots of people, hence his nickname The Man With No Face. He sets Trash 'to burn', echoing 'Fire Walk With Me. He calls people to his power, like the Lodge called Windom Earle, and he wears double denim like BOB. Also Mother Abagail's garden looks like Major Briggs' vision of the White Lodge when he was abducted there.

Flagg is Melkor
They are both the Satan figures of their respective works, and they share omnicidal tendencies.
  • Word of God is that The Stand is an analogue of The Lord of the Rings, which casts Flagg in the role of Sauron. Also, Flagg may be a Satan figure, but he isn't literally Satan. Melkor is.

Tom was directed to the spot where the Committee members crossed the washout.
By, of course, Nick's ghost, who was aware of what happened to Stu in the same way that he was aware of when Flagg's searchers went after Tom. He didn't tell Tom exactly what to expect in this instance because preparing ahead of time wouldn't have been feasible, what with him being on the move and well away from the roads.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: