The Dark Tower (series): Wikis


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The Dark Tower
"The Dark Tower" painting by Michael Whelan
The Gunslinger (1982)
The Drawing of the Three (1987)
The Waste Lands (1991)
Wizard and Glass (1997)
Wolves of the Calla (2003)
Song of Susannah (2004)
The Dark Tower (2004)
The Wind Through the Keyhole (TBA)
Author Stephen King
Illustrator Michael Whelan, Phil Hale, Ned Dameron, Dave McKean, Bernie Wrightson, Darrel Anderson
Country USA
Language English
Genre Fantasy, horror, western
Followed by The Dark Tower (comics)
The Little Sisters of Eluria

The Dark Tower is a series of seven books written by American author Stephen King between 1970 and 2004. The series incorporates themes from multiple genres, including fantasy fiction, science fantasy, horror and western elements. They describe a "Gunslinger" and his quest toward a tower whose nature the books call both physical and metaphorical. King has described the series as his magnum opus. Besides the seven novels that compose the series proper, many of his other books relate to the story, introducing concepts and characters that come into play as the series progresses. After the series was finished, a series of prequel comics followed.

The series was chiefly inspired by the poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" by Robert Browning, whose full text was included in the final volume's appendix. In the preface to the revised 2003 edition of The Gunslinger, King also identifies The Lord of the Rings, Arthurian Legend, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as inspirations. He identifies Clint Eastwood's "Man with No Name" character as one of the major inspirations for the protagonist, Roland Deschain. King's style of location names in the series, such as Mid-World, and his development of a unique language abstract to our own (High Speech), are also influenced by J. R. R. Tolkien's work.

December 7, 2009 saw the release of a spin-off online game entitled Discordia[1].



Plot summary

In the story, Roland Deschain is the last living member of a knightly order known as gunslingers and the last of the line of "Arthur Eld", his world's analogue of King Arthur. The world he lives in is quite different from our own, yet it bears striking similarities to it. Politically organized along the lines of a feudal society, it shares technological and social characteristics with the American Old West but is also magical. While the magical aspects are largely gone from Mid-World, some vestiges of them remain, along with the relics of a highly advanced, but long vanished, society. Roland's quest is to find the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the nexus of all universes. Roland's world is said to have "moved on", and indeed it appears to be coming apart at the seams — mighty nations have been torn apart by war, entire cities and regions vanish without a trace and time does not flow in an orderly fashion. Even the Sun sometimes rises in the north and sets in the east. As the series opens, Roland's motives, goals and age are unclear, though later installments shed light on these mysteries.

For a detailed synopsis of the novels, see the relevant article for each book.


Along his journey to the Dark Tower, Roland meets a great number of both friends and enemies. For most of the way he is accompanied by a group of people who together with him form the Ka-tet of the Nineteen and Ninety-nine, consisting of Jake Chambers, Eddie and Susannah Dean, and Oy. Among his many enemies on the way are the Man in Black and The Crimson King.



King created a language for his characters, known as the High Speech. Examples of this language include the phrases Thankee, Sai ("Thank you, Sir/Ma'am.") and Dan-Tete ("Little Savior"). In addition King uses the term 'Ka' which is the approximate equivalent of destiny, or fate, in the fictional language High Speech (and similarly, 'Ka-tet,' a group of people bound together by fate/destiny). This term originated in Egyptian mythology and storytelling and has figured in several other novels and screenplays since 1976. It also appears in the short story, Hearts in Atlantis, in which Ted describes the meaning to Bobby.


  1. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1982)
  2. The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (1987)
  3. The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands (1991)
  4. The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass (1997) - Locus Award nominee, 1998[2]
  5. The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla (2003) - Locus Award nominee, 2004[3]
  6. The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah (2004) - Locus Award nominee, 2005[4]
  7. The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (2004) - British Fantasy Award winner, 2005[4]


In an interview in March 2009, King stated, describing an idea for a new short story he recently had: "And then I thought, 'Well, why don't I find three more like this and do a book that would be almost like modern fairy tales?' Then this thing started to add on bits and pieces so I guess it will be a novel." According to King, the idea is a new Dark Tower novel. King said, regarding the Dark Tower series, "It's not really done yet. Those seven books are really sections of one long über-novel."[5]

Stephen King confirmed this during his TimesTalk event at The TimesCenter in New York City on November 10, 2009, and the next day King's official site posted the information that King will begin working on this novel in about eight months, with a tentative title being The Wind Through the Keyhole.[6] King noted that this novel should be set between the fourth and the fifth books of the series.


Each book in the series was originally published in hardcover format with a number of full-color illustrations spread throughout. Each book contained works by a single illustrator only. Subsequent printings of each book in trade paperback format usually preserve the illustrations in full, except for books I and IV. Pocket-sized paperback reprints contain only black-and-white chapter or section header illustrations.The illustrators who worked on each book are:

  1. Michael Whelan, multiple award-winning science fiction and fantasy painter. The Dark Tower is among his early notable works.
  2. Phil Hale, the only Dark Tower illustrator who created a second set of illustrations for a later printing of the book he illustrated.
  3. Ned Dameron.
  4. Dave McKean, graphic designer noted for working in many media, including photography and film. The only Dark Tower illustrator to work in photocollages.
  5. Bernie Wrightson, established illustrator for 1960s and 1970s horror comics.
  6. Darrel Anderson, the only Dark Tower illustrator who used digital illustration techniques.
  7. Michael Whelan, returning more than 20 years later as the only recurring Dark Tower illustrator.


The Washington Post's Bill Sheehan called the series "a humane, visionary epic and a true magnum opus" that stands as an "imposing example of pure storytelling," "filled with brilliantly rendered set pieces... cataclysmic encounters and moments of desolating tragedy."[7] The Boston Globe's Erica Noonan said "there's a fascinating world to be discovered in the series" but noted that its epic nature keeps it from being user-friendly.[8] The New York Times' Michael Agger was disappointed with how the series progressed; while he marveled at the "sheer absurdity of [the books'] existence" and complimented King's writing style, he said preparation would have improved the series, stating "King doesn't have the writerly finesse for these sorts of games, and the voices let him down."[9] The San Francisco Chronicle's Michael Berry, however, called the series' early installments "highfalutin hodgepodge" but the ending "a valediction" that "more than delivers on what has been promised."[10]

Other media

Tie-in books

The series has prompted related non-fiction books by authors besides King. Robin Furth has published the two-volume Stephen King's The Dark Tower: A Concordance, an encyclopedia-style companion to the series that she originally wrote for King's personal use. Bev Vincent has published The Road to The Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus, a book containing back story, summary and analysis. Stephen King has endorsed both books.

Prequel comic series

A prequel to the Dark Tower series, set around the time of the flashbacks in The Gunslinger and Wizard and Glass, has been released by Marvel Comics. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born is plotted by Robin Furth, scripted by Peter David, and illustrated by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove. The project is overseen by King. The first issue of this first arc was released on February 7, 2007. A hardcover volume containing all 7 issues was released on November 7, 2007.

The second arc in the Dark Tower comic series was released by Marvel Comics, and it is called The Long Road Home. The first issue was published on March 5, 2008. A hardcover volume containing all 5 issues was released on October 15, 2008.

The third arc in the Dark Tower comic series was released by Marvel Comics, and it is called The Dark Tower: Treachery. The first issue of the six issue arc was published on September 10, 2008.

Following the completion of the third arc a one-shot issue titled The Dark Tower: Sorcerer was released April 8, 2009. The story focuses on the history of the villainous wizard Marten Broadcloak.

Marvel Comics has also published three supplemental books to date that expand upon characters and locations first introduced in the novels. The Dark Tower: Gunslingers' Guidebook was released in 2007, The Dark Tower: End-World Almanac was released in 2008, and The Dark Tower: Guide to Gilead was released in 2009. All three books were written by Anthony Flamini, with Furth serving as creative consultant. End-World Almanac and Guide to Gilead feature illustrations by David Yardin.


December 7, 2009 saw the release of a spin-off online game entitled Discordia[1], available to play for free on the official Stephen King website. The game is a continuation of the original Dark Tower story, following the war between the Tet Corporation and Sombra/NCP in New York, and it has been supervised by both Stephen King and Robin Furth. From the website: "Exploring the behind-the-scenes conflict between the two companies, Discordia introduces long-time Dark Tower fans to new characters and numerous mechanical/magical items developed by Mid-World's Old Ones. Over the course of our adventure we will visit many locations, both those familiar to Dark Tower fans and others which we only glimpsed in the Dark Tower novels. While we may not see Roland and his ka-tet in this adventure, the development team has remembered the faces of its fathers. We have done our best to honor the original Dark Tower series while simultaneously mapping new and exciting Dark Tower territory."

Film adaptation

IGN Movies has reported that a film adaptation was in the works; whether it was for a movie or a television series still is unknown. J. J. Abrams, co-creator of the television show Lost, was supposedly attached to produce and direct.[11] Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, who co-created the show Lost with J. J. Abrams, optioned the Dark Tower series from King for a reported nineteen dollars, a number that mysteriously recurs throughout the Dark Tower series of novels.[12] According to issue #923 of Entertainment Weekly, King "is an ardent supporter of the desert-island show and trusts Abrams to translate his vision" into a film franchise with Lindelof being "the leading candidate to write the screenplay for the first installment."[13] In a July 2009 interview with C21 Media, Lindelof revealed that he and Cuse had indeed optioned The Dark Tower's rights, but said he was wary about committing to such an ambitious project: "The idea of taking on something that massive again after having done six seasons of Lost is intimidating and slightly frightening, to say the least." [14]

King also reported that he had turned down long-time collaborator Frank Darabont, creator of such films as The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, after he had asked to do the film.

Roland as depicted in the opening credits of another Stephen King movie, The Mist.

Multiple mock trailers have appeared on YouTube. Also, the official Grand Prize winner of Simon & Schuster's (King's Publisher) American Gunslinger contest,[15] "Roland Meets Brown",[16] by Robert David Cochrane,[17] can be found there.

In King's 2007 film The Mist, the main character, David Drayton, can be seen painting a movie poster with Roland in the center, standing in front of a trans-dimensional Ghostwood door, with a rose and the dark tower to each side.

In April 2009, both Abrams and Lindelof revealed that they would most likely begin adapting the series when Lost concludes in 2010.[18][19]

In May 2009, rumours emerged that Christian Bale was the top contender to play Roland.[20]

In November 2009, Abrams stated that he would not be adapting the series. During an interview with MTV, Abrams made the following comments: "The Dark Tower thing is tricky. The truth is that Damon and I are not looking at that right now." Furthermore, in an interview with USA Today, Damon Lindelof stated that "After working six years on 'Lost,' the last thing I want to do is spend the next seven years adapting one of my favorite books of all time. I'm such a massive Stephen King fan that I'm terrified of screwing it up. I'd do anything to see those movies written by someone else. My guess is they will get made because they're so incredible. But not by me."[21]

Connections to King's other works

The series has become a linchpin that ties a lot of King's work together. The worlds of The Dark Tower are in part composed of locations, characters, events and other various elements from many of King's novels and short stories.

Intertextual references

As with most of Stephen King's novels many elements of real life popular culture are mentioned in each of the Dark Tower novels including other books, poetry, songs, and movies. These works may be mentioned in passing or often as important plot devices.

Included here is a list of such references. All works mentioned below occur within the books' narrative and do not include any mention in the foreword or afterword of the books:






Heavy metal influence

Demons & Wizards is a power metal band conceived as a side-project of the metal bands Blind Guardian and Iced Earth. It is made up of the vocalist for Blind Guardian, Hansi Kürsch, and the guitarist of Iced Earth, Jon Schaffer. Schaffer writes the music and Kürsch writes the lyrics.

The band's first full-length release was in 2000, with the self-titled album Demons & Wizards. In 2005, the band released their second album entitled Touched by the Crimson King.

Most of the songs of the album have some relation to The Dark Tower, a series of books by Stephen King. One reference outside the lyrics to the series is the rose on the cover of the album, as roses are an important symbol in the series. Another could be the red eye in the background, which is another crucial symbol in The Dark Tower. Also inside the album art a lobster -like creature can be seen that resembles the Lobstrosities on the beach in The Drawing of the Three. Yet again is the train on the back cover taken to represent Blaine, the villain of Book Three - The Waste Lands.

  • "Crimson King" is a reference the Crimson King, the main antagonist of the series. However, the song itself seems to be about Randall Flagg, one of the King's many servants. Hansi in an interview has also stated that the Crimson King is Satan.
  • "The Gunslinger" is referring to Roland of Gilead, the protagonist of the piece. The song refers mainly to the plot of the final book of the series with subtle allusions to the fifth book throughout (e.g., 'come-commala', 'say thankya').
  • "Terror Train" is a reference to Blaine the Mono, from the third and fourth novels of the series.
  • "Beneath These Waves" was directly inspired by Moby-Dick and one's man struggle with nature, which ties in with repeated references in the Dark Tower novels drawing parallels between Roland of Gilead and Captain Ahab.
  • "Wicked Witch" is Kürsch's interesting interpretation of the Wizard of Oz, which is also referenced in the fourth novel, The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass. It is also a reference to the evil witch, Rhea of the Cöos.
  • "Dorian" was inspired by Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, which again bears some relation to the character of Roland of Gilead.
  • "Seize The Day" details some of the tests and hardships that Roland of Gilead faces on his way to The Dark Tower, such as him reaching the western shore, and also his drifting personality that causes him to be constantly on the move. It includes the line "The road goes on and on", originally spoken by Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit.
  • "Lunar Lament" is about the Maia from Tolkien's The Silmarillion who travels across the sky driving the Moon Ship, following his love who guides the Sun Ship. When he approaches, her fire hurts him. It is also a reference to an obsession of Roland's, where, as someone is trying to reach the sun, Roland reaches for the Tower. The sun is also a constant symbol throughout The Dark Tower series.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "1998 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  3. ^ "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  4. ^ a b "2005 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The Return of the King". Washington Post. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  8. ^ "'Calla' worth the read, but caters to 'Tower' fans". The Boston Globe. 2004-01-15. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  9. ^ "Pulp Metafiction". New York Times. 2004-10-17. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  10. ^ "Waiting for the end of their worlds". The San Francisco Chronicle. 2004-09-26. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  11. ^ Stax (2007-02-13). "Who is Lost in The Dark Tower?". IGN. Retrieved 2007-02-14. 
  12. ^ Nisha Gopalan (2007-02-26). "Stephen King reveals long-awaited 'Tower' scoop at Comic-Con". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  13. ^ Missy Schwartz & Jeff Jenson (2007-02-23). "J.J. Abrams to Scale Stephen King's 'Dark Tower'?". the futon critic.,,20013160,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-05. 
  14. ^ Adam Benzine (2007-07-03). "Lost duo weigh up King adaptation". C21 Media. Retrieved 2007-07-03. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Are J.J. Abrams And Damon Lindelof Working On The Dark Tower?". Sci-fi cool. 2009-05-02. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  19. ^ 'The Dark Tower' Adaptation Erodes
  20. ^ "Bale to star in Abrams's 'Dark Tower'?". Digital Spy. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  21. ^ "J.J. Abrams Not Adapting King's 'Dark Tower' Series". Cinematical. 2009-10-11. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Dark Tower is a series of seven books by American writer Stephen King that tells the tale of lead character Roland Deschain's quest for the "Dark Tower." Part of Roland's fictional quest lies in discovering the true nature of the Tower. The series incorporates themes from multiple genres, including fantasy fiction, science fantasy, horror, and western elements.


Vol I: The Gunslinger

  • The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
    • Opening text
  • Go then, there are other worlds than these.
    • Jake
  • I don't like people, they fuck me up.
  • The desert was the apotheosis of all deserts, huge, standing to the sky for what looked like eternity in all directions. It was white and blinding and waterless and without feature save for the faint, cloudy haze of the mountains which sketched themselves on the horizon and the devil-grass which brought sweet dreams, nightmares, death. An occasional tombstone sign pointed the way, for once the drifted track that cut its way through the thick crust of alkali had been a highway. Coaches and buckas had followed it. The world had moved on since then. The world had emptied.
  • hollow grandeur in place of true passions which might once have built kingdoms and sustained them.
    • Rolands musings on the social state of his lost civilisation.
  • The Tower. Somewhere ahead, it waited for him - the nexus of Time, the nexus of Size.
  • “Let the word and the legend go before you. There are those who will carry both.” His eyes flicked over the gunslinger’s shoulder. “Fools, perchance. Let the world go before you. Let your shadow grow. Let it grow hair on its face. Let it become dark.” He smiled grotesquely. “Given time, words may even enchant an enchanter. Do you take my meaning, gunslinger?”
    • Cort, to Roland after being defeated by him
  • The gunslinger waited for the time of the drawing and dreamed his long dreams of the Dark Tower, to which he would someday come at dusk and approach, winding his horn, to do some unimaginable final battle.
  • "Beyond the reach of human range, a drop of hell, a touch of strange"
    • Cort's saying on the effects of mescaline.
  • It was a blade of grass. But it was purple.
  • "Only enemies speak the truth. Friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty." -Walter O'Dim
  • "Come, come, come. You progress, gunslinger! Oh, how I envy you. We make great magic together, you and I. You kill me no more then you kill yourself. Mother-may-I? Yes-you-may." - Walter O'Dim
  • Shaken and alone, enwrapt in the darkness, terrified of an ultimate meaning rushing at him, he gathered himself and uttered the final answer on that subject: “NEVER!”

    “THEN LET THERE BE LIGHT!” And there was light, crashing in on him like a hammer, a great and primordial light.

  • The World has moved on
  • Perhaps they only looked for a Jesus to heal them, raise them Lazarus-like from the darkness.
    • Roland, on the Slow Mutants.

Vol II: The Drawing of the Three

  • Had he come this far just to die, then? He would not. And if he were to die in spite of his determination, he would die on his way to the Tower.
    • The Gunslinger
  • The door had hinges, but they were fastened to nothing – or so it seems, the gunslinger thought. This is a mystery, a most marvelous mystery, but does it really matter? You are dying. Your own mystery – the only one that really matters to any man or woman in the end – approaches.
    • The Gunslinger
  • When the only fast way you could get rid of the monkey on your back was to snap your spinal cord above that bunch of nerves, you were dealing with one heavy monkey.
    • Eddie Dean
  • 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.
    • Eddie Dean
  • "Good. Call it fluttergork if you want, pr... Eddie. Just do it"
    • Roland
  • "Jesus Christ, when these DO shoot, they really blow holes in things".
    • Eddie Dean after firing Rolands gun in Balazar's office.
  • “Who are you?” Eddie screams at him.
    “Your destiny, Eddie,” the gunslinger whispers.
  • There are people who need people to need them. The reason you don’t understand is because you’re not one of those people. You’d use me and then toss me away like a paper bag if that’s what it came down to. God fucked you, my friend. You’re just smart enough so it would hurt you to do that, and just hard enough so you’d go ahead and do it anyway. You wouldn’t be able to help yourself. If I was lying on the beach there and screaming for help, you’d walk over me as if I was between you and your goddamn Tower.
    • Eddie
  • You’re a Tower Junkie, Roland.
    • Eddie
  • Fault always lies in the same place, my fine babies: with him weak enough to lay blame.
    • Cort
  • In a world that was clearly going to hell head-first, what was so low about getting high?
    • Henry Dean
  • "God pisses down the back of your neck every day but only drowns you once".
    • Henry Dean
  • “Won’t somebody please explain where I am and how I got here?” the woman in the wheelchair asked – almost pleaded.
    “Well, I’ll tell you one thing, Dorothy,” Eddie said. “You ain’t in Kansas anymore.”
  • If you have given up your heart for the Tower, Roland, you have already lost. A heartless creature is a loveless creature, and a loveless creature is a beast. To be a beast is perhaps bearable, although the man who has become one will surely pay hell’s own price in the end, but if you should gain your object? What if you should, heartless, storm the Dark Tower and win it? What could you do except degenerate from beast to monster? To gain one’s object as a beast would only be bitterly comic, like giving a magnifying glass to an elephaunt. But to gain one’s object as a monster…To pay hell is one thing. But do you want to own it?
  • “Well,” Eddie said, “What was behind Door Number One wasn’t so hot, and what was behind Door Number Two was even worse, so now, instead of quitting like sane people, we’re going to go right ahead and check out Door Number Three. The way things have been going, I think it’s likely to be something like Godzilla or Ghidra the Three-Headed Monster, but I’m an optimist. I’m still hoping for the stainless steel cookware.”
  • "If we were going to rape you, you would be one well-raped woman by now"
    • Roland to Detta Walker
  • “I love you, Eddie. You have tried so hard. Been so patient. So has he - ” she nodded toward the place where the gunslinger lay propped against the rocks, watching. “– but he is a hard man to love.”
    • Odetta Holmes
  • Later, with strange galaxies turning in slow gavotte overhead, neither thought the act of love had ever been so sweet, so full.
  • Control the things you can control, maggot. Let everything else take a flying fuck at you, and if you must go down, go down with your guns blazing.
    • Cort
  • The thunder of his own guns filled him with stupid wonder.
    • Roland
  • I am three women…I who was; I who had no right to be but was; I am the woman you have saved. I thank you gunslinger.
    • Susannah
  • By Profession, He was a Sucessful C.P.A. Pushing was only his Hobby.
    • - Of Jack Mort
  • When it came to murder, Jack Mort was an equal-opportunity employer.
    • - Of Jack Mort
  • Who was to say he had not sculpted the cosmos today, or might not at some future time? God, no wonder he creamed his jeans!
    • - Of Jack Mort
  • There ensued a short, violent struggle. The Gunslinger won, but it was a surprisingly hard go. In his way, Jack Mort was as divided as Odetta. He was not a schizophrenic as she was; he knew well enough what he did from time to time. But he kept his secret self - the part of him that was The Pusher - as carefully

locked away as an embezzler might lock away his secret skim.

    • - Of Jack Mort
  • Do-Bees covered all the bases.
  • Yet somehow they still found a way to shrink back from the man in the Blue suit who came plunging down the stairs. It wasn't much wonder. He was holding a gun,

and another was strapped around his waist. Also, He appeared to be on fire.

    • - Of Jack Mort/Roland
  • Jack Mort died alone.

Vol III: The Waste Lands

  • I do not aim with my hand;
    He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
    I aim with my eye.

    I do not shoot with my hand;
    He who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
    I shoot with my mind.

    I do not kill with my gun;
    He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
    I kill with my heart.

  • Choo-Choo, thought Jake, and shuddered.
  • Blaine is a pain, and that is the truth.

    Yet his heart, that silent, watchful, lifelong prisoner of Ka, received the words of this promise not just with wonder but with doubt.

  • See the TURTLE, ain't he keen? All things serve the fucking Beam!
    • Eddie Dean
    • Blaine the Mono
  • The gunslinger let me drop, and that is the truth; I still love him, and that is the truth
    • Jake's essay, My Understanding of Truth
  • 'At this nexus lies the Great Portal that so-called Thirteenth Gate which rules not just this world but all worlds.'
    • Roland, explaining the layout and path to the Dark Tower
  • "All is silent in the halls of the dead."Eddie heard himself in a falling, fainting voice. "All is forgotten in the stone halls of the dead. Behold the stairways which stand in darkness; behold the rooms of ruin. These are the halls of the dead where spiders spin and the great circuits fall quiet, one by one."
    • Eddie Dean
  • Dad-a-chum,dud-a-chee,not to worry, you've got the key.
  • "Shake the hand that shook the world."
    • Randal Flagg/Walter O'Dim

Vol IV: Wizard and Glass

    • Blaine the Mono
    "It's the world's smallest violin, playing 'My Heart Pumps Purple Piss for You.'"
    • Blaine the Mono and Eddie Dean
  • Why did the dead baby cross the road? ... Because it was stapled to the chicken, you dopey fuck!
    • Eddie, to Blaine the Mono.
  • Ka like the wind
    • Susan Delgado
  • "Death for you, life for my crop."
  • Time is a face on the water
  • It seemed to him that the most horrible fact of human existence was that broken hearts mended.
  • If you love me, then love me
  • "Might I recline briefly at your feet miss? Your beauty has loosened my knees. I am sure a few moments looking up at your profile from below with the back of my head on these cool tiles will put me right."
    • Cuthbert Allgood
  • True love, like any other strong and addicting drug, is boring -- once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome... except, of course, to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true first love is really only interesting to those who have become its prisoners.
    • Susan Delgado. Last words.
  • There is no word, not even "No", in his screams at the end. He [Roland] howls like a gutted animal, his hands fused to the ball...Alain cannot pry his hands away from the ball, so instead he lays his hand on his cheek, touching him that way. Except there's nothing left to touch. Nothing left...and the thing that rides West with Cuthbert and Alain...will not be Roland, or even the Ghost of Roland. Like the moon at the end of its cycle, Roland is gone."
  • "The scariest, most terrifying thing that I fear?"
    "My Imagination."
    "I thought you were going to say "Fear, itself."
    "Then you have a small imagination."
    • Roland and Eddie
  • Oh, Christ. I left the world I knew to watch a kid try to put booties on a fucked-up weasel. Shoot me, Roland, before I breed.
    • Eddie Dean
  • Because often, silence is best.
    • Roland
  • I have no opinion. No, none at all. Opinion is politics, and politics is an evil which has caused many a fellow to be hung while he's still young and pretty.
    • Cuthbert Allgood
  • Fools are the only folk on the earth who can absolutely count on getting what they deserve.
  • The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance...logic can be happily tossed out the window.
  • Above them, Demon Moon grinned and winked one eye through what appeared to be a shifting scrim of blood

Vol V: Wolves of the Calla

  • "Do'ee say the world will end in fire or in ice, gunslinger?" Roland considered this. "Neither",he said at last. "I think in darkness"
  • Near them, stuck on the branch of a tree, had been a note from the being Roland had just missed killing in Palace: 'Renounce the Tower. This is your last warning.' Ridiculous, really. Roland would no more renounce the Tower than he'd kill Jake's pet billy-bumbler and then roast him on a spit for dinner. None of them would renounce Roland's Dark Tower. God help them, they were in it all the way to the end.
  • And really, what could be so special about the number nineteen? Mystery Number, indeed.
    • Eddie
  • No one ever does live happily ever after, but we leave the children to find that out for themselves.
    • Roland
  • Do people in your world always want only one story flavor at a time? Only one taste in their mouths?
    • Roland
  • The whole world was losing its shit, going nineteen.
    • Jake
  • Who's this Claudia y Inez Bachman?
    • Eddie
  • Now there was a fourth woman. She had been born out of the third in yet another time of stress and change. She cared nothing for Odetta, Detta, or Susannah; she cared for nothing save the new chap who was on his way. The new chap needed to be fed. The banqueting hall was near. That was what mattered and all that mattered.

    This new woman, every bit as dangerous in her own way as Detta Walker had been, was Mia. She bore the name of no man's father, only the word that in the High Speech means mother.

  • Here comes Mia, daughter of none!
  • Your imagination is a poor thing, Roland.
    • Vannay
  • Dreaming. But not just dreaming. This was todash, the passing between two worlds. Supposedly the Manni could do it. And supposedly some pieces of the Wizard's Rainbow could make you do it, whether you wanted to or not. One piece of it in particular.

    "They could get caught between and fall", Roland thought. "Vannay said that, too. He said that going todash was full of peril."

  • "Water if God wills it", he reminded himself. "About the great matters, Roland, you have no say".
    Not a comfortable truth, especially for a man on a quest such as his, but one he's learned to live with.
  • Time is a face on the water.
    Roland felt gooseflesh run up his arms. Somewhere - perhaps in a glaring, blood-colored field of roses still far from here - a rustie had just walked over his grave.
  • "You said there were other worlds than these," Roland said, "and there are. New York in all its multiple whens is only one of many. That we are drawn there again and again has to do with the rose. I have no doubt of that, nor do I doubt that in some way I do not understand the rose is the Dark Tower. Either that or-"

    "Or it's another door," Susannah murmured. "One that opens on the Dark Tower itself."

  • Because of changes in time - a softening of time which I know you all have felt - I've quested after the Dark Tower for over a thousand years, sometimes skipping over whole generations the way a sea-bird may cruise from one wave-top to the next, only wetting its feet in the foam. Never in all this time did I come across one of these doors between the worlds until I came to the ones on the beach at the edge of the Western Sea. I had an idea what they were, although I could have told you something of todash and the bends o' the rainbow.
    • Roland
  • "Do you know you come to the line of Eld?" Roland asked in that same curiously gentle voice. He stretched a hand towards Eddie, Susannah, and Jake. Even toward Oy. "For these are mine, sure. As I am theirs. We are round, and roll as we do. And you know what we are."

    "Are you?" Callahan asked. "Are you all?"

  • Eddie had known who they were since River Crossing, when the old people had knelt in the street to Roland. Hell, he'd known since the woods (what he still thought of as Shardik's woods), where Roland had taught them to aim with the eye, shoot with the mind, kill with the heart. Not three, not four. One. That Roland should finish them so, complete them so, was horrible. He was filled with poison and had kissed them with his poisoned lips. He had made them gunslingers, and had Eddie really thought there was no work left for the line of Arthur Eld in the mostly empty and husked-out world? That they would simply be allowed to toddle along the Path of the Beam until they got to Roland's Dark Tower and fixed whatever was wrong there? Well, guess again.
    • Eddie
  • We deal in lead.
    • Roland
  • Three is a number of power.
    • Roland
  • I have an object of great power.
    • Callahan
  • We're bound to do as you ask, if we judge your Calla in the White and those you call Wolves as agents of the outer dark: Beam-breakers, if you ken.
    • Roland
  • A tear spilled down Callahan's right cheek, then another. He wiped them away absently. "I've never dared handle it, but I've seen it. Felt its power. Christ the Man Jesus help me, I have Black Thirteen under the floorboards of my church. And it's come alive. Do you understand me?" He looked at them with his wet eyes. "It's come alive."
  • There was a part of her - a spiteful Detta Walker part - that would always resent Roland's ascendancy in her heart and mind, but for the most part she recognized him for what he was: the last of his kind. Maybe even a hero.
    • Susannah
  • It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.
    • Susannah
  • "Thunderclap," she said in a voice Eddie could barely hear. "None go there."


    "It's dark there," she said, still not looking up from her lap. Then she raised an arm. This time she pointed in the direction from which Roland and his friends had come. Back toward Mid-World. "There," she said, "the world is ending. Or so we're told. And there..." She pointed east and now raised her face to Eddie's. "There, in Thunderclap, it's already ended. In the middle are we, who only want go our own way in peace."

    • Zalia
  • Thankee-sai, long days, kiss my ass and go to heaven.
    • Eddie
  • When it came to pulling coals out of a hot fire, he'd put two dollars on Roland of Gilead for every one he put on God and the Man Jesus, those heavenly gunslingers.
    • Eddie, about Callahan
  • It's the Way of the Eld. We are of that an-tet, khef and ka, watch and warrant. Gunslingers, do ya.
    • Roland
  • When the shooting starts, we kill what moves.
    • Roland
  • Roland was as much a prisoner of his rules and traditions as Eddie had ever been of heroin.
  • The gunslinger's initial feelings for Eddie had wavered between caution and contempt for what Roland saw as his weakness of character. Respect had come more slowly. It had begun in Balazar's office, when Eddie had faught naked. Very few men Roland had known could have done that. It had grown with his realization of how much Eddie was like Cuthbert. Then, on the mono, Eddie had acted with a kind of desperate creativity that Roland could admire but never equal. Eddie Dean was possessed of Cuthbert Allgood's always puzzling and sometimes annoying sense of ridiculous; he was also possessed Alain John's deep flashes of intuition. Yet in the end, Eddie was like neither of Roland's old friends. He was sometimes weak and self-centered, but possessed of deep reservoirs of courage and courage's good sister, what Eddie himself sometimes called 'heart'.
  • First come smiles, then comes lies. Last is gunfire.
    • Roland
  • When everything's a surprise, experience takes on a dreamlike quality.
  • Definition of a wanderer: a guy who's always looking beyond.
    • Eddie
  • All of your lies will cross your eyes.
  • 5 minutes of worth of blood and stupidity
    • Roland
  • They burst up and out of the earth like dragons teeth

Vol VI: Song of Susannah

  • We spread the time as we can, but in the end the world takes it all back.
    • Roland
  • Food and palaver don't mix.
    • Roland
  • Anger is the most useless emotion; destructive to the mind and hurtful of the heart.
    • Henchick, of the Manni
  • I need no sigul. Not the potter but the potter's clay, and I need no sigul!
    • Pere Callahan
  • Dad-a-chum, dad-a-chee! Not to worry, you've got the key!
    • Stephen King, found in a note to Jake Chambers

Vol VII: The Dark Tower

  • "May you find your Tower, Roland, and breach it, and may you climb to the top!"
    The teeth of his old enemies, these ancient brothers and sisters of a thing which had called itself Kurt Barlow, sank into him like stingers. Callahan felt them not at all. He was smiling as he pulled the trigger and escaped them for good.
    • Pere Callahan's death
  • "There'll be guards", Eddie said. "Maybe a lot of them. What if we're outnumbered?"
    "It won't be the first time", Roland said.
    • Before the attack on Algul Siento.
  • The bumbler did not bite, but said a single word. "Olan," said he. Then he lowered his head, uttered a single sigh, and died.
  • So much you did; So much you did and so much more you would have done, aye, and all without a check or qualm, and so will the world end, I think, a victim of love rather than hate. For love's ever been the more destructive weapon, sure.
    • Roland
  • Gunfire makes close relations.
    • Roland
  • Sometimes I think we'd all be better off if the people who mean well would just creep away and die.
    • Eddie
  • Any statement beginning with the words 'In truth' is almost always a lie.
    • Mordred
  • Even if the torture stops, I'll die. And you'll die too, for when love leaves the world, all hearts are still. Tell them of my love and tell them of my pain and tell them of my hope, which still lives. For this is all I have and all I am and all I ask.
    • The Beam
  • All is forgotten in the stone halls of the dead. These are the rooms of ruin where the spiders spin and the great circuits fall quiet, one by one.
  • They were the hands of Gan, the hands of ka, and they knew no mercy.
  • You are the grim, goal-oriented ones who will not believe that the joy is in the journey rather than the destination no matter how many times it has been proven to you.
    • Afterword
  • The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
    • Ending Text

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Simple English

The Dark Tower is a series of seven books by American writer Stephen King that tells the tale of lead character Roland Deschain's quest for the "Dark Tower."

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