Eddie Dean (The Dark Tower)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|The Dark Tower character|
|First appearance||The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three|
|Last appearance||The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower|
|Created by||Stephen King|
|Occupation||Member of Rolands's Ka-tet|
Edward Cantor "Eddie" Dean is a fictional character in Stephen King's The Dark Tower series of novels. He was introduced in The Drawing of the Three and became a main character for the remainder of the series.
Eddie is introduced in The Drawing of the Three when the series protagonist, Roland Deschain, enters his head from a magical door on the beach of Mid-World. Eddie is a 23-year-old heroin addict from Co-Op City, Brooklyn (in the real world, Co-Op City is in the Bronx) in 1987. When Roland enters his head, Eddie is on a plane, smuggling cocaine back to New York for mob boss Enrico Balazar. When a stewardess on the airplane becomes suspicious of him, Roland helps him smuggle the cocaine through the door into Mid-World, which saves Eddie when he is later searched and checked by airport security. Roland Helps Eddie by keeping the cocaine hidden in his world under some brush and rocks, until Eddie can get to Balazar to deliver it safely. Eddie becomes aware of Roland's wavering health condition, and after being released from customs due to lack of evidence helps Roland temporarily ease his suffering by providing him with food, and an aspirin-based medicine to reduce his fever. On the trip to his home to meet with his brother Henry (also a heroin addict, however far more on the nod) Roland/Eddie realize they are being tailed by both the DEA and Balazar's henchmen- and thus decide to keep an open eye and be prepared for anything.
When he gets back home, Eddie is captured by Balazar's men, who he discovers have already taken his brother hostage and cleaned his place of any personal heroin stash he may have had waiting. He is then taken to the mob's headquarters in Little Italy. With the cocaine still in Mid-World, Eddie fears that Balazar will kill him before he can find a way to get it back to his world. After being questioned and strip-searched by Balazar and his men, Eddie is allowed to go into the bathroom (under the premise that he is going to magically make the cocaine appear), but unfortunately Balazar wants Jack Andolini, his lieutenant to go with him. After Eddie pushes Andolini through the door to Mid-World, Andolini is first wounded (by his own gun exploding), then eaten alive by the "lobstrosities" on the beach. Roland gives Eddie one of his guns, and both of them go back into the mob headquarters. While in the bathroom, Eddie discovers some antibiotics that Roland could take in order to kill off his infection. Eddie then overhears of his brother Henry's death at the hands of one of Balazar's men, and they proceed to shoot and kill Balazar and his men, after which they pass again through the door, returning to Mid-World.
In Roland's World
While helping Roland back to good health, Eddie begins to suffer withdrawal symptoms from his heroin addiction and immediately becomes distrustful of Roland. When Roland and Eddie finally reach the door that will lead to the next person who is supposed to help them in their quest, they realize that it leads to New York (only this time in 1964). Eddie realizes he can get some heroin and begs Roland to let him go through the door, but Roland refuses him and goes in alone. Eddie hits a breaking point and almost murders an unconscious Roland on the beach, but his good senses (or Roland's good timing) finally beat his heroin addiction.
When Roland brings back his second companion, Odetta Holmes, Eddie immediately falls in love with her, and goes through the struggles of her split personality with Roland. He helps Odetta deal with her split personality, and she eventually becomes his wife, with the new name of Susannah Dean.
For a time, Roland and Eddie have a degree of personality conflict within the group. As the one member of the Ka-Tet to join in the midst of a drug addiction, Roland initially thought of Eddie as both weak-willed and narcissistic, often taking time to chide Eddie's jokes and sense of humor as being worthless. Slowly, as Eddie matured and kicked his bad habits, Roland grudgingly accepted that Eddie's sense of humor was both reminiscent of his old companion Cuthbert Allgood, but it was also a defense mechanism formed from his abusive relationship with his older brother. It was only after Eddie discovered the weakness of Blaine the Mono during their riddling that Roland recanted his harsh criticisms of Eddie and was one of the few times that Roland had to "cry pardon" to him.
Throughout the rest of the series, Eddie becomes a sort of humorous sidekick in Roland's ka-tet, and often a taste of the real world and real life to the numerous characters they come across. At one point, Roland says Eddie looks and acts exactly like Cuthbert Allgood, a friend from his younger days.
Although Roland is the clearly defined leader (or "Dinh") of the Ka-Tet, he mentions a few times Eddie is most likely to take up leadership should Roland be killed. Although Jake is only a teenager, Susannah is older than Eddie, meaning Roland sees in Eddie some leadership traits that are absent in Susannah. Roland once stated that he is content with going into battle, because he knows should he fall, Eddie would lead the group onward to the Dark Tower.
In battle, Eddie is usually the one who wields and uses Roland's spare revolver - the one Roland cannot use because of the missing digits on his right hand. Through Roland's teachings and his own talent (Roland mentions that all his companions are born Gunslingers) he reaches a level of skill that approaches Roland's. Eddie's character also develops some gunslinger-like traits, such as not showing mercy and trusting his instincts and Ka. Most often, it is Eddie who makes the intuitive and creative leaps in problem-solving that bail the group out of trouble. His older brother, though seriously flawed, once identified this characteristic as the reason that he would always take Eddie as his number one choice to bail himself out of trouble; Eddie could "convince the Devil to set himself on fire" if he had to.
In the final novel, The Dark Tower – after Roland and his ka-tet have freed the Breakers from their prison and stopped, at least temporarily, the destruction of the universe – the nearly dead warden of the Breaker prison shoots Eddie in the head. To the horror of the ka-tet, Eddie collapses immediately; Roland kills the dying warden.
Eddie spends the afternoon and evening lying – delirious, but comforted by Susannah – on his deathbed. When Roland and Jake Chambers enter his room for the last time, he speaks a final message to each of them. He thanks Roland for being his father and tells Jake to make sure that Roland watches for Dandelo. Eddie's death permanently breaks the ka-tet, bringing devastation and sadness to Roland, Jake, Susannah, and Oy. With their almost mystical bond shattered, the group remains lethal, but the momentum they once felt in their overall purpose begins to diminish. Roland and Susannah later realize that the loss of any one member of the Ka-Tet increases the danger for the survivors, who must cope without that individual's talents, which they only realize after barely escaping Dandelo's trap—a trap that they realize Eddie would have almost immediately sensed.
Both Eddie's death and that of Cuthbert Algood were by mortal wounds to the eye, mirroring the two characters even in death.
In the aftermath of The Dark Tower, Susannah enters a door leading to New York and meets Eddie again; however, it is uncertain whether this is her Eddie Dean or just a parallel version of him. Although the new Eddie seems not to have remembered his time with Roland and the ka-tet, he claims to have dreamed about Susannah and to have been in love with her. This Eddie is also brother to Jake Chambers, and their last name is now "Toren", the Dutch word for "tower", and this version of Eddie Dean was also lacking the heroin addiction that plagued the Eddie Dean who had been a member of the ka-tet.