List of The Stand characters
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The following is a list of characters from Stephen King's novel The Stand. The novel was published in 1978, with its narrative set during the 1980s; however, a second edition was released in 1990, is considerably longer than the first version (1,200 pages compared to 800 pages), and is set in the 1990s. The two versions are essentially the same, with the ending of the second version revealing a time period beyond the end of the first version, involving the antagonist, Randall Flagg. The book was also adapted into a television mini-series, starring Gary Sinise, and was released by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network in 1994. In 2008, Marvel Comics published a comic book adaptation that was ended in 2012. Warner Bros. Pictures released an announcement in January 2011 that the company would be producing a movie remake of the King novel.
- 1 Characters
- 1.1 Project Blue
- 1.2 Boulder
- 1.2.1 Mother Abagail
- 1.2.2 Stuart Redman
- 1.2.3 Frances Goldsmith
- 1.2.4 Peter Goldsmith-Redman
- 1.2.5 Harold Lauder
- 1.2.6 Glen Bateman
- 1.2.7 Kojak
- 1.2.8 Susan Stern
- 1.2.9 Dayna Jurgens
- 1.2.10 Larry Underwood
- 1.2.11 Nadine Cross
- 1.2.12 Lucy Swann
- 1.2.13 Judge Farris
- 1.2.14 Nick Andros
- 1.2.15 Tom Cullen
- 1.2.16 Ralph Brentner
- 1.3 Las Vegas
- 2 See also
- 3 References
Specialist Charles D. Campion
Campion is an American soldier stationed in the California desert, as well as "patient zero", the original carrier of the superflu outside of its containment area. While Campion is on night duty, a deadly virus escapes the military complex he is monitoring and he manages to flee with his wife and baby daughter before the base locks down. He and his family finally succumb to the flu at a gas station in the fictitious town of Arnette, East Texas, spreading the virus and unleashing the events of the story.
General William "Billy" Starkey
As the commanding officer of Project Blue, Starkey is aware that, once loose, the superflu is almost impossible to control. Though compassionate, he goes to extreme lengths to cover up the accident, and its ensuing pandemic, for as long as he can; for example, he orders the execution of journalists who try to reveal the truth. Furthermore, in an attempt to retain plausible deniability, he orders the enactment of a contingency plan: To release the virus in several other continents in an effort to conceal the American origins of the artificial virus. After being dismissed by the United States President due to his failure to contain the virus, Starkey commits suicide in the laboratory where the superflu was created.
Major Len Creighton
Creighton is General Starkey's friend and right-hand man; he periodically updates Starkey on the situation. He assumes command of the containment operation after Starkey's removal and subsequent suicide. The character is last heard speaking to an army officer via radio in Los Angeles; it is unknown whether he survives the superflu.
Abagail Freemantle, also known as "Mother Abagail", leads the "good" survivors of the Captain Trips plague and also claims to be a prophet of God. The survivors have dreams of her telling them to come to her in Nebraska. She is 108 years old and lives in a farmhouse in Hemingford Home, Nebraska. She is one of the 0.6% of the population that is immune to the Captain Trips virus and initially appears to some of the plague survivors in their dreams, drawing them to her, just as Randall Flagg (also known as the "Dark Man") draws the evil survivors to him. She and her followers make their way to Boulder, Colorado, US, where they establish the "Boulder Free Zone" government.
Abagail receives visions from God, though when she sins due to pride, she loses her foresight and goes into exile in the wilderness. She later regains her ability and returns to the Boulder Free Zone, just in time to inadvertently save most of the Free Zone Committee from Harold Lauder's assassination attempt. On her deathbed, she shares one final vision: Four men from the committee are to travel to the West coast to confront Flagg. She makes no prediction as to what will occur, only that one will fall before arriving in Las Vegas, while the remainder will be brought before Flagg. Mother Abagail dies shortly after revealing this prophecy.
A quiet, intelligent man from Arnette, Redman is at his friend’s gas station on the night that Campion arrives. Redman is the first man to be discovered with an immunity to the superflu and is taken by government authorities, first to the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), then to the fictitious Stovington, Vermont plague center. Redman escapes from the Stovington facility after a government employee attempts to execute him (the implication is that the character knows too much). After wandering through New England for several days, Redman meets Glen Bateman and, shortly after, Fran Goldsmith and Harold Lauder. Redman becomes romantically involved with Goldsmith, accepting the unborn child that she carries; but their involvement causes resentment within Lauder, who holds an unrequited love for Goldsmith.
Redman rises to authority in the Free Zone, becoming the spokesperson for the Free Zone Committee and acts as the committee's first marshal. Following an assassination attempt by Lauder, Mother Abigail tells Redman that he is to travel west to confront Flagg. Redman, together with several other characters, travels to Las Vegas, but breaks his leg in Utah and is forced to remain behind, along with Kojak the dog. Redman develops pneumonia, due to injury and hypothermia, but witnesses the destruction of Las Vegas and is saved by Tom Cullen, who nurses him back to health. Redman and Cullen return to Boulder by foot, where Goldsmith has given birth to the first-known post-plague child. Redman and Goldsmith, who is pregnant by Redman, leave Boulder to raise their family in Maine, US.
A college student from Ogunquit, Maine, Goldsmith (she is often called "Frannie") is pregnant at the start of the book, a topic that results in a painful standoff with her mother and the end of her relationship with the baby’s father, Jesse Rider. The superflu wipes out this character's community, with Goldsmith and Lauder being the only local survivors, after parking lot attendant, Gus Dinsmore, dies on June 30. After burying her father in his garden, Goldsmith decides to join Lauder and they both leave the vacant town. The two make their way to the Stovington facility of the CDC, with the hope of finding someone in a position of authority; but before they reach their destination, they meet Redman. While Goldsmith agrees to the idea of Redman joining her and Lauder, Lauder reacts negatively, mainly due to his own feelings for Goldsmith; however, Redman convinces Lauder that he isn't interested in Goldsmith and only wants to join their group as a companion, leading to an agreement from Lauder. The three, along with Bateman, arrive at Stovington to confirm not only the deaths of everyone at the Stovington facility, but also that Redman was nearly killed there. The group then continues on its westward journey to Mother Abigail, during which time, Goldsmith falls deeply in love with Redman, a sentiment that she records in her diary, in addition to many other aspects of the trip.
Goldsmith serves on the original Free Zone Committee in Boulder and acts as its moral compass. Upon her union with Redman, Lauder becomes jealous, but later appears to have dealt with his jealous emotions. However, Goldsmith remains suspicious of Lauder and this is later justified when she finds details of a plot to kill Redman in Lauder's diary (with the use of a bomb). Goldsmith saves the majority of the committee when she intuitively senses the presence of the planted bomb. Goldsmith is moderately injured in the blast, but her unborn child remains safe. Goldsmith is opposed to Redman traveling west, but comes to terms with the journey when she realizes that Redman is compelled to follow through with the trip. Goldsmith later takes up residence with Lucy Swann and delivers a baby boy. Although initial joy is experienced due to the birth, Goldsmith's child falls ill with the superflu and Goldsmith is devastated. However, she is rewarded by news of both Redman's return to the Free Zone and her baby’s recovery. Throughout the novel, Goldsmith becomes more and more homesick for her native Maine, and, at the end of the book she, Redman, and the baby return to the East coast; the last chapter also confirms that Goldsmith has become pregnant, with Redman as the father.
Goldsmith's baby is the first surviving child born in the Boulder Free Zone; however, the baby is stricken with the superflu soon after birth and only his partial immunity, inherited from Goldsmith, enables him to recover.
Lauder is sixteen-years-old and lived in Ogunquit, Maine at the beginning of the novel. He is the younger brother of Goldsmith’s best friend, Amy Lauder, and is a social outcast at his local high school. Lauder's obnoxiousness and arrogance hinder his ability to interact with others and engage as an active member of the community in the novel. A practicing but unpopular writer, Lauder prefers to use a typewriter. After the superflu wipes out the entire population of Ogunquit, except for himself and Goldsmith, the two decide to head to the Stovington Plague Center in Vermont. Lauder decides to leave a prominent note on the roof of a barn (as it overlooks U.S. Route 1, the most popular route into town), detailing their plans and directions for future travelers. This ongoing effort by Lauder, for which Larry Underwood later congratulates him, allows several other groups to meet and join together in Colorado.
Lauder falls in love with Goldsmith and perceives himself as her protector. When the pair meets Redman, Lauder initially refuses to accept Redman, even going so far as to threaten Redman with a gun; but after a conversation, in which Redman explains to Lauder that he just wants to accompany the pair and is not withholding any desire towards Goldsmith, Lauder relents. After the plague facility proves to be a disappointment, the survivors head to Nebraska, before reaching Colorado to join Mother Abigail; the group also pick up more survivors during their journey. Lauder attempts to profess his love to Goldsmith but is ultimately rejected and, as Goldsmith becomes more involved with Redman, Lauder's jealousy grows.
Eventually, Lauder disregards Goldsmith's privacy and rifles through her backpack. Through his invasion of Goldsmith's private journal, he realizes that Goldsmith has written several insulting comments about him, mocks him in her private thoughts, and considers him to be "immature." Lauder reaches "breaking point" as a result of what he finds in Goldsmith's diary and swears vengeance upon Goldsmith and Redman from that point onwards.
Lauder quickly becomes a respected and esteemed member of the Boulder Community. Due to the harsh conditions after the plague, he has dropped his excess weight, his acne has cleared, and his intelligence is often seen as an asset by those around him—rather than an isolating hindrance, as it was perceived in his former life. As such, his ideas are used to improve the conditions within the community and Lauder frequently volunteers for the toughest jobs in the Boulder Free Zone, including the removal of dead bodies. It is due to his thin, sharp, resilient persona that Lauder earns the nickname, "Hawk"; the nickname is a show of respect from the other men on the work crews. However, regardless of his newfound status, Lauder continues to find it difficult to let go of his old self-image.
In a moment of emotional clarity, Lauder realizes that he truly is accepted and valued in this strange new world, and that he has the freedom to choose a new life for himself as a respected member of society. However, unable to cast aside his past humiliations and his feelings of betrayal from Goldsmith and Redman, Lauder deliberately ignores his last chance of renewal and instead focuses on vengeance. At one point, Lauder reached the point of readying his gun—which is in his jacket pocket—to assassinate Redman, while scouting for a missing Mother Abigail, but he does not pull the trigger of the weapon.
Soon after this incident, Nadine Cross approaches Lauder and reveals an in-depth knowledge of Lauder's insecurities, hatreds, and fears; she also alludes to her own. Cross and Lauder then enjoy a decadent series of sexual escapades; but Nadine does not allow Harold to perform vaginal intercourse with her, as she has engaged in a supernaturally inspired commitment with Flagg. Lauder succumbs to Cross' seduction, eventually fulfilling Flagg’s wishes by creating a bomb to destroy the Free Zone Committee (FZC).
Almost everyone who personally knows or meets Lauder suspects that there is something troublesome about him; but all those who come into contact with Lauder keep their suspicions to themselves, as they become preoccupied with the politics of the Free Zone and the recruitment of scouts to spy on Flagg. Nick Andros is an exception to this, as he unilaterally nixes Lauder's initial selection to the FZC because he simply doesn't trust him and never warms up to Lauder even as Harold becomes a hugely productive and well-liked part of the new Boulder community; Larry Underwood thinks Harold is a politician type and has mixed feelings about him, while Leo Rockway refuses to even go near Harold and tells Larry he only feels one way about him: "Scared".
After detonating the bomb that kills seven people, Lauder and Cross flee towards Las Vegas. However, Lauder ends up wrecking his motorcycle and breaking his leg after slipping on an oil slick—Flagg, mistrustful of Lauder for being "too full of thoughts," apparently arranged the accident. Lauder initially survives the accident, though badly injured, and attempts to shoot Cross, but misses and Cross consequently abandons him. Cross continues to travel alone to meet Flagg in the desert.
Realizing that he is dying, Lauder writes a note in which he takes responsibility for his actions, expressing remorse and apologizing for that which he had been responsible for in the past; this note is written even though Lauder knows that he cannot be forgiven. Lauder signs this note, "Hawk," as a way of trying one final time to accept the best version of himself that had existed briefly in Boulder. Lauder then commits suicide by shooting himself in the head and his body is later found by Redman's traveling group; while they do not bury Lauder's corpse, Redman gently removes the gun from Lauder's mouth and remarks that Lauder's actions were a waste; not only because of the characters of Nick and Susan—who died in the bomb explosion—but also because of Lauder himself. To Redman's surprise, he finds himself wanting to avenge Lauder's death, as well as the other victims, when he finally encounters Flagg.
An associate professor of sociology who went into retirement some years before the superflu hit, Glendon Pequod "Glen" Bateman met Redman near his home in Woodsville, New Hampshire. A senior citizen handicapped by arthritis, the character of Bateman is often available to dispense advice to the younger Redman. Bateman also experiences dreams of Mother Abigail and joins Redman, Goldsmith, and Lauder on their journey to meet Mother Abigail (and to satisfy a sociological curiosity as to how humanity will rebuild itself). Bateman becomes part of the reform committee in Boulder and is later one of the four men who must meet Flagg in Las Vegas. When Redman is seriously injured on the journey, Bateman is saddened to leave him behind. Bateman, along with Larry Underwood and Ralph Brentner, travel to Las Vegas and is detained by Flagg’s forces. Flagg offers Bateman his freedom on the provision that he proceeds to "get down on [his] knees and beg for it." Bateman refuses, laughing at Flagg for being so transparent, leading Flagg to order Lloyd Henreid to execute Bateman. "It’s all right, Mr. Henreid", Bateman says as he dies, "you don’t know any better."
Kojak is Bateman's dog, an Irish Setter, whom he adopted after his original master died of the superflu. Formerly named Big Steve, Kojak is a rare survivor of the superflu, a virus that can affect dogs and horses as well as humans. When Bateman leaves with Redman, Kojak is initially left behind. However, he follows his owner and is later attacked by wolves after arriving at Mother Abigail's empty house. Though injured, Kojak manages to walk to the Free Zone. He joins Bateman, Redman, Brentner, and Underwood on their journey to Las Vegas. When Redman is injured, Kojak stays behind, killing rabbits and other small animals to feed Redman. After being found by Tom Cullen, Kojak is taken back to Boulder. It is stated in the novel that he will live for sixteen years after his master's death, setting the dog's death in 2001–2002 in the original edition (or 2006-2007 in the revised–expanded edition).
Part of an unwilling harem of women who were taken captive by evil superflu survivors and repeatedly raped, Susan—a former student at Kent State University—is one of the women Redman and his party rescues (note: this version of her earlier experience is only in the revised–expanded version of the novel.) Stern becomes a member of the original Boulder Free Zone Committee and recruits fellow captive, Dayna Jurgens, to serve as a spy on the West coast. Stern is later killed by Lauder’s bomb while in Brentner’s home.
Dayna Jurgens community college physical training (PT) instructor from Xenia, Ohio (one of the women whom Redman's party rescues from the harem in the revised–expanded version). While she originally seems to display some level of romantic interest in Redman, this does not extend beyond flirtation and the two kiss before, like Stern, she leaves to spy on the West coast. Jurgens' affectionate behavior towards Redman causes Goldsmith feelings of consternation—later, it is revealed that Jurgens is bisexual.
After residing in Boulder for a brief period, Stern recruits Jurgens—both were fellow captives in the harem from the revised–expanded edition of the book—to spy on the West coast. In Las Vegas, Jurgens works with a streetlight-repair crew and sleeps with Lloyd Henreid as part of her ploy to obtain information. While working with the crew, she observes Tom Cullen on a passing truck. Flagg, aware of her identity through telepathy, summons her to his office and attempts to make her reveal the third spy, whose mind he is unable to penetrate. In order to protect Cullen, and to save herself from torture at the hand of Flagg, Jurgens commits suicide by first crashing her head through a plate-glass window, and then taking advantage of the sharp edges of the broken glass to slice open her jugular vein. This act of free will indicates the beginning of Flagg's downfall, as, while he foresaw her attempt to assassinate him and consequently thwarted the attempt, he did not predict her suicide attempt and could therefore not prevent her death. Jurgens' body is desecrated by Flagg and is later burned outside of Las Vegas.
Underwood is a cocky young singer and composer who, at the beginning of the novel, is starting to achieve significant success with his debut single, "Baby, Can You Dig Your Man?" However, he tallies a debt with a local drug dealer while living in Los Angeles and travels to New York City to hide while visiting his loving, but deeply disapproving, mother. As the plague and anarchy destroy New York, Underwood attempts to care for his dying mother, but he is unable to prevent her death from the superflu. Not long after, Underwood finds that he is one of the few living people remaining in New York City. He meets a troubled middle-aged woman named Rita Blakemoor and the two decide to leave New York together. They experience a frightening trek through the Lincoln Tunnel while leaving the island, and it is an incident that Underwood is often haunted by in the remainder of the narrative. Blakemoor eventually dies from a drug overdose that Underwood describes as "70% accident and 30% suicide."
Haunted by his dreams of Flagg, Underwood is in a semi-catatonic state for several days until he finally collapses from exhaustion in New Hampshire. Recovering after a night’s sleep, Underwood travels to Maine, where he plans to spend the summer; until he meets Cross and the young Leo Rockway (known then only as "Joe"). The three travel together to Ogunquit, where they find Lauder’s painted sign and the directions that it displays. Deciding to follow the directions, Underwood leads Cross and Joe to Stovington, Vermont, meeting Lucy Swann along the way. In Stovington, they find only Lauder's directions to Nebraska and Underwood subsequently leads the ever-growing party to Nebraska, a journey that eventually leads to Colorado, in accordance with Lauder’s directions across the country.
Although Underwood is initially interested in Cross, she spurns his advances and he begins a relationship with Swann instead. Arriving in Boulder, Underwood settles down with Swann and Joe, becoming a member of the Free Zone Committee. Cross attempts to reconcile her relationship with Underwood, but he refuses to be amenable, choosing to remain with Swann. Underwood later breaks into Lauder’s home with Goldsmith, after Joe instructs him to embark on an investigation before something horrible happens. They find Lauder's ledger, in which Lauder has documented his intention to kill Redman. However, Lauder's plan is already in motion at this stage and Redman narrowly escapes the assassination attempt the next day. Underwood leaves Boulder with Redman, Brentner, and Bateman, after Mother Abigail instructs them to go to Las Vegas. Underwood leads the party after Redman breaks his leg during the journey to Las Vegas, where Underwood and Brentner eventually die in the nuclear explosion caused by Trashcan Man.
A teacher at a private school in New Hampshire, Cross has retained her virginity due to a vaguely defined, but powerful, sense that she is destined for something described by the novel's author as dark and unique. After the outbreak of the superflu, Cross finds an emotionally damaged young boy whom she calls "Joe"; Joe has regressed to a savage state-of-mind but trusts Cross and remains with her. Cross meets Underwood when Joe finds him sleeping—Joe is working up the courage to kill the sleeping Underwood, but Cross prevents the potential murder. The pair secretly follows Underwood to Maine, where Joe attempts once again to kill Underwood, but is overpowered. After a discussion with Underwood, Cross agrees to join Underwood and find other survivors. Cross is attracted to Underwood but her subconscious conviction that she must remain "pure" has further strengthened and has begun to manifest—Cross begins to both fear and anticipate that she is destined to be with Flagg in some kind of capacity.
Upon arriving in Boulder, Cross begins to surrender to the seductive allure of the Walkin’ Dude and Joe—the latter has sufficiently recovered to the point that he reveals that his real name is "Leo Rockway" and is suddenly reluctant to be in the company of Cross. Later, Rockway reveals that Cross had already known that it was too late to engage in sexual relations with Underwood. Cross desperately proceeds with a final attempt to seduce Underwood, an act that would break her virginal commitment to Flagg and free her, but Underwood is, by this stage, firmly committed to Swann and rejects Cross' advances.
Cross eventually surrenders to Flagg completely, communicating with him with the use of a Ouija board—an echo of her terrifying experience with a Ouija board in college, when she was first touched by Flagg. Following Flagg’s orders, Cross then seduces Lauder and, although she will not do "that one little thing" with him, they are apparently free to sexually engage in any other manner that they wish. Cross uses Lauder for the purpose of an assassination attempt to eliminate the committee members. This plot is ultimately hindered by the return of Mother Abigail and Goldsmith's premonition.
Cross travels west with Lauder, but when Lauder's motorcycle crashes, she implies that it was her intention for Lauder to die in a motorcycle accident, instead of being killed by Flagg upon their arrival in Las Vegas. Lauder fires his pistol at Cross and nearly hits her, suggesting that Cross may unconsciously prefer death to the dark consummation awaiting her in Las Vegas; and also revealing limitations to Flagg's power. Cross continues on towards Las Vegas, until Flagg appears to her in the desert—Flagg reveals his true nature to Cross by raping her, an experience that is so horrific to Cross, while simultaneously causing her immense pleasure, that she falls into catatonia. Flagg takes Cross with him to Las Vegas and the pair reside in the penthouse suite of the MGM Grand hotel complex; Cross' pregnancy is announced shortly after their arrival in Las Vegas. Cross eventually recovers sufficiently to taunt Flagg about his inevitable failure and succeeds in taunting, she then throws herself off the balcony, killing both her and the unborn child.
The first survivor encountered by Underwood’s party, 24-year-old New Hampshire housewife, Lucy Swann, has survived the superflu, while her husband and daughter died. Swann joins the party on its route to the Stovington Plague Center. The character becomes romantically involved with Underwood, a sentiment that she senses is unrequited due to Underwood's strong attraction to Cross; Swann's feeling persists even though Cross is seemingly uninterested in the object of her affection. However, when forced to make a decision, Underwood chooses to remain with Swann, much to Swann's surprise. Swann supports Larry during his tenure as a member of the Free Zone Committee, in addition to serving as a devoted wife and as a mother to Rockway. Unlike Goldsmith, Swann supports Underwood's decision to travel west to confront Flagg; although, she is unaware that she is pregnant at the time. Swann takes care of Goldsmith during Redman's absence and, by the end of the book, she has given birth to twins.
Farris is a man in his late-seventies who joins Underwood's traveling party in Illinois while it is making its way to Nebraska. Usually referred to as "The Judge", Farris is a sharp, well-spoken, educated and insightful man who served as a judge in the 1950s, but has since retired. Swann and Underwood become very friendly with Farris, and Underwood is upset when he successfully recruits The Judge as the first Free Zone spy, but is unable to inform a distraught Swann of the Judge's whereabouts after he "vanishes" (The Judge actually accepts the duty before Underwood can even muster the confidence to make the request, as he understands the importance of the mission). When Underwood and Farris have a couple beers at The Judge's house porch, The Judge assures a saddened Underwood that he'll be fine. The Judge attempts to infiltrate Las Vegas from the north, but is intercepted by Flagg’s sentries in Idaho—a firefight ensues and the Judge is killed by several shots to the head. However, the Judge's death is a direct violation of Flagg's orders and is the first vague sign that Flagg's power is fallible, with his downfall imminent. The sentries had been under strict orders not to "mark his head", so that the head could be delivered as a message to the Free Zone, and the narrative suggests that Flagg brutally kills the surviving sentry, Bobby Terry (who had killed both Farris and the other sentry, Dave Roberts), for disfiguring the Judge's face and hampering Flagg's plan.
A 22-year-old deaf-mute drifter, originally from Caslin, Nebraska, Andros is beaten and robbed outside of (fictional) Shoyo, Arkansas by some local thugs, shortly after the start of the epidemic. Mildly injured, Andros is befriended by the local sheriff and his wife, but watches them die as the epidemic unfolds. As the epidemic progresses, Andros becomes the newest deputy, due to the absence of any other healthy people, and watches three of the four thugs who were responsible for assaulting him outside of Shoyo die of the plague in the local jail. Andros later frees the third prisoner, but is then confronted by the fourth, the fugitive Ray Booth, who has returned to both blind and kill him (included only in the narrative of the revised–expanded version of the novel). Andros nearly dies as a result of a minor gunshot wound sustained during the scuffle with Booth. Due to the panic caused by the prospect of becoming both blind and deaf, Andros accidentally fires the gun holstered on his belt and the bullet scrapes his leg, causing the limb to become infected.
Andros eventually recovers and begins his journey to Hemingford Home, Nebraska. Along the way he meets Cullen, and later, Brentner, June Brinkmeyer, Gina McCone, Dick Ellis, and Olivia Walker—the group becomes a surrogate family to him. Andros leads the growing band of survivors to both Nebraska and Mother Abigail, who guides them onto Boulder. Andros serves on the Free Zone Committee, for which he is the leading thinker, and eventually recruits Cullen as a member of the spy contingency that travels to the West coast. Andros is killed by Lauder's assassination attempt on the committee and it is later revealed that it was Andros who was meant to lead the stand against Flagg. Andros later reappears as a spirit to Cullen and fully able to speak, guiding Cullen as he attempts to return home, and showing Cullen how to save the life of a very ill Redman.
In the revised–expanded edition, Andros temporarily loses sight in one of his eyes following the attack from Booth, the leader of the four thugs. Booth is subsequently shot and killed by Andros, but the resulting damage means that Andros must wear an eye patch for most of the remaining story.
Tom Cullen, a man initially thought to be in his mid-twenties to mid-thirties, suffers from mild to moderate mental retardation. Andros encounters him while cycling from Arkansas to Nebraska through Oklahoma. After Andros learns that Cullen remembers his father's return from the Korean War, he realizes that Cullen must be much older; perhaps in his forties. The two bond closely, despite the fact that Andros cannot speak and Cullen cannot read Andros' notes. Although, when the two encounter Brentner, Cullen is finally able to learn Andros' name.
Cullen possesses a predominantly childish speech pattern and he intermittently exclaims "My laws!" and "Laws, yes!", in addition to making frequent references to himself in the third person. Cullen also believes that everything is spelled "M-O-O-N" as in "M-O-O-N, that spells 'my main man'."[clarification needed] When he is required to make a logical connection, Cullen, who is sometimes capable of normal thought, can slip into a form of self-hypnosis, wherein he is able to make connections that he cannot while "awake"—that is, conscious and focused on something superficial. Andros, Redman, and Bateman use this ability to place a post-hypnotic suggestion in Cullen that will help him to act as the third Free Zone spy. During Cullen's hypnosis, Andros, Redman, and Bateman discover that while hypnotized, Cullen possesses the same type of foresight as Mother Abigail, concurrently referring to himself as the "Tom" that Andros met in Oklahoma and "God’s Tom".
Cullen travels west, transmitting a hypnotically imprinted cover story to gain entrance into Las Vegas, and is able to avoid detection by Flagg. Cullen's anonymity seems to stem from his disability, as Flagg tells Jurgens that every time he tries to see the third spy, all he sees is the moon; this confirms Jurgens' sighting of Cullen earlier (while both were on Las Vegas work crews). It is Jurgens' desire to protect both Cullen and his status as a spy that compels her to commit suicide, rather than submit to further questioning from Flagg. The sight of the full moon rising over Las Vegas triggers Cullen's post-hypnotic suggestion and he begins the return trip to Boulder, appropriately noting, "M-O-O-N, that spells moon."
During his return trip to Boulder, Cullen encounters Redman, who is suffering from a broken leg and, due to exposure, pneumonia as well. Originally, Cullen was far east of where Redman fell, but a prophetic dream tells him that he must double-back to find Redman. With help from Andros' spirit, who appears to Cullen in visions (Andros was killed when Lauder's bomb exploded), Cullen is able to nurse a delirious and dying Redman back to health, while they are snowed in for much of the winter, motels in central Utah (Green River) and western Colorado (Grand Junction). Together, the pair return to Boulder to report the destruction of Las Vegas.
Ralph Brentner, an amiable Midwest farmer and United States Army veteran, meets Andros and Cullen as their paths cross on a highway between Oklahoma and Nebraska—together they form the first party to find Mother Abigail. Despite a lack of formal education, Brentner possesses a great deal of common sense and is very skilled with tools and machines; Brentner uses a powerful radio transmitter to contact other groups of survivors across the country. Brentner is elected to the first Free Zone Committee, a position that he accepts reluctantly and typically serves as Andros' "voice", reading his notes to the others during committee meetings. Brentner survives Lauder’s assassination attempt—but loses the third and fourth fingers on his left hand—and is chosen as one of the four people to stand against Flagg. Along with Redman, Bateman, and Underwood, Brentner walks to Las Vegas and is instrumental in convincing Underwood to leave Redman behind after he breaks his leg. Brentner is captured by Flagg, along with Bateman and Underwood, and Flagg plans an execution by dismemberment to occur in front of the Golden Nugget Hotel in downtown Las Vegas. Brentner is the first to notice the "Hand of God" as it descends from the sky to detonate Trashcan Man’s nuclear weapon, killing everyone present.
Randall Flagg, also known as "the Dark Man" or "the Walkin’ Dude", is the main antagonist of the novel—he is the embodiment of evil, an antichrist-like being whose goal is destruction and death. In the novel, he is presented as diametrically opposed to Mother Abagail’s personification of good.
The Dark Man character appears in many guises in other King novels and short stories, always with the initials "R.F." This very powerful, yet very unstable, character is spread throughout King's other stories, most notably in The Dark Tower series. It is through The Dark Tower series that readers have been able further understand the multifarious character, as King reveals that he was born with the name "Walter Padick" and that his father was Sam the Miller of Eastar'd Barony. Padick was molested by a drifter at the age of thirteen during an explorative journey outside of his home area, whereby the young man wanted to experience the wider world. Following the passing of numerous centuries, Padick became an emissary for The Crimson King and assumes a range of identities, including Randall Flagg. Flagg is also the main villain in The Eyes of the Dragon, set in a medieval world called Delain, and there are some passages in that book that allude to Flagg's immortality and "pure evil" status.
Flagg's appearance shifts between human, demon, and various animals, and it is implied that he has lived many lives during many eras; "Flagg" is merely the name of the force's present form. Cullen describes Flagg in the following manner: "He looks like anybody you see on the street. But when he grins, birds fall dead off telephone lines. When he looks at you a certain way, your prostate goes bad and your urine burns. The grass yellows up and dies where he spits. He’s always outside. He came out of time. He doesn’t know himself." During the occasional instances when the reader is subject to Flagg’s perspective of the novel's world, it becomes evident that Flagg does not know his origins, has no memory of his life before Captain Trips—though he vaguely remembers isolated, violent or hateful events, such as participating in the Vietnam War, actions as an American Marine, Ku Klux Klan (KKK) lynchings, the murder of police officers, taking part in race riots in the 1960s, being involved in the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, and a vague speculation that he was involved in Charles Manson's family. Most of Flagg's memories indicate that not only was Flagg able to escape during the last moments of many of these events, but that the events also nourished his evil nature.
Like Mother Abigail, Flagg appears to various survivors in their dreams, whereby he provides the dreamers with a choice; Flagg attracts those who are drawn to structure, destruction, and power. He rescues Lloyd Henreid from starvation in prison and, with Henreid as second-in-command, establishes a community in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although Flagg possesses the ability to predict the future, along with several demonic powers, as the events of The Stand's narrative unfold, he begins to very gradually lose his power as his plans proceed in an increasingly problematic manner. At the end of the novel, the Hand of God detonates a nuclear bomb, destroying Flagg’s gathered followers, as well as Las Vegas. The revised–expanded edition of the novel includes an epilogue in which Flagg, in a new incarnation, awakens in an unknown tropical location where he meets a primitive tribe; Flagg then attempts to convince the tribe's members that he has arrived to teach them the ways of civilization, identifying himself as Russell Faraday.
King revealed in an interview that Flagg was partially inspired by the group of demons, Legion; Flagg is a hollow demon filled with fear, hatred, and resentment of other people. However, instead of Satan, as has been suggested in relation to the Dark Man, King compared Flagg to 1950s serial killer, Charles Starkweather.
Lloyd Henreid starts off as a petty criminal who, along with Andrew "Poke" Freeman, engages in a killing spree across Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, resulting in six murders, Freeman’s death, and Lloyd’s detention in a Phoenix jail. If Henreid undergoes his scheduled trial, it is likely that he will be placed on death row under a new statute that reduces the delays and appeals in the capital punishment process. Once the plague hits, Henreid's fellow prisoners become fatal victims of the superflu, in addition to the guards. In the midst of the commotion, Henreid is forgotten in his cell and eventually becomes the sole-surviving inhabitant of the prison complex. Henreid's character demonstrates both resilience and an ability to forecast problems by rapidly concluding that his situation is growing dire well before the cessation of regular services to inmates. Henreid is able to save himself from starvation by eating food that he has saved, along with whatever rats, roaches, or other vermin he can catch—he also very nearly consumes the leg of a dead cellmate (in the revised–expanded version, Flagg insinuates that Henreid did indeed eat some human flesh, despite Henreid's attempts to hide the cuts in the leg before the Dark Man arrived). Henreid is found by Flagg, who frees him from his cell after Henreid, at that point starving and nearly delirious, agrees to be Flagg’s right-hand man, despite Henreid's suspicion that his liberator is actually a devil. At this time, Flagg also gives Lloyd a black stone with a red flaw to symbolize Lloyd’s allegiance to Flagg.
Henreid subsequently finds himself feeling more intelligent and able than he thought he was, running several of the day-to-day activities in Las Vegas and overseeing operations at a military base. Henreid attributes his newfound abilities to Flagg; although Jurgens later suspects that Henreid's natural ability to anticipate problems has only been amplified by a fear of disappointing Flagg through failure. For saving his life and elevating him to his second-in-command position, Henreid is fiercely loyal to Flagg, a commitment that persists despite his growing doubts over Flagg’s overall power and control. The character's loyalty is further affirmed when he foregoes an opportunity to leave Las Vegas with several close friends; however, Henreid respects the decision of the men who plan to abandon Las Vegas and does not inform Flagg about the deserters. Following his presence at the execution of Underwood and Brentner, Henreid is then killed in the nuclear explosion caused by the Trashcan Man’s atomic warhead. Prior to his death, Flagg forces Henreid to shoot Bateman and, as Bateman dies, he forgives Henreid with his dying breath, saying "It's all right, Mr. Henreid.... you don’t know any better." Henreid's last words were: "Oh shit, we're all fucked!"
Donald Merwin Elbert, better known as the "Trashcan Man", is a schizophrenic with deeply embedded pyromaniac tendencies—his favorite phrases include "bumpty, bumpty, bump!" and "my life for you." He often found himself in trouble during his years as a youth due to his fixation with fire and his nickname comes from his childhood habit of starting fires in trash cans. Trashcan Man was treated with shock treatments at an institution in Terre Haute, Indiana, before being incarcerated for arson as a teenager; in the temporal setting of The Stand, the character remains incarcerated.
The superflu wipes out the inmate and guard populations at the prison where Trashcan Man is incarcerated, so the character leaves and returns home to (the fictional) Powtanville, Indiana. Trashcan Man indulges his ambition of setting cities afire, setting fire to oil tanks in Powtanville and then destroying the city of Gary, Indiana. He permanently disfigures his arm in the Powtanville incident when he tries to jump a railing and breaks his arm at the wrist; the break does not properly set and the injury eventually causes his hand to point away from his body at an almost ninety-degree angle. Later, while setting the fires in Gary, he sustains severe burns to his arm when a timing device he has placed in an oil tank ignites prematurely. Trashcan Man abandons his original plans of starting fires randomly across America to join Flagg when the Dark Man appears in his dreams and promises Trashcan Man "great work" in the desert. After treating his severely burned arm, Trashcan Man finds a bicycle and proceeds to travel westward with haste.
In the revised–expanded version, Trashcan Man briefly spends time with a cocky street thug named "The Kid"; but when The Kid threatens to not only kill Trashcan Man on several occasions, always for petty reasons, but also to overthrow the Dark Man, Flagg sends wolves to save Trashcan Man. The Kid ends up trapped in a car and surrounded by wolves and is eventually killed by the canines when he attempts to flee the situation.
With the threat of The Kid neutralized, Trashcan Man relocates to Las Vegas, where he receives a black stone with a red flaw and becomes one of Flagg's key associates. Due to his savant talent regarding destructive devices, Trashcan Man is assigned to search for weapons in the desert and to assist in arming the fighter jets at Indian Springs Air Force Base. Trashcan Man performs his duties with proficiency until, while being teased by fellow workers, a comment causes him to experience a flashback regarding his tormented youth—the character consequently reverts to his old destructive ways.
In a schizophrenic episode, Trashcan Man destroys several trucks and aircraft, kills the most experienced pilots in Las Vegas, and then flees into the desert. Overcome with anguish over his actions, Trashcan Man originally sets out to kill himself, but later seeks redemption by bringing Flagg the most powerful weapon he can find: an atomic bomb in the form of a nuclear warhead that has been detached from a missile. Trashcan Man transports the warhead across the desert in a trailer attached to an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), contracting a lethal case of radiation sickness in the process; the sickness has reached its terminal stage when Trashcan Man arrives in Las Vegas. Trashcan Man ultimately causes Flagg’s apparent destruction, as the Hand of God descends from the sky and activates the warhead, destroying Las Vegas and every one of its inhabitants.
"The Kid" is a thug from Shreveport, Louisiana, who meets the Trashcan Man during the latter's journey to Las Vegas. The character drives an enhanced hot rod-style vehicle and has a fanatical love of Coors beer and Rebel Yell whiskey. The Kid is also ambitious, unstable, and easily angered, traits that Trashcan Man discovers when the character nearly kills him for spilling a can of beer on carpet. After becoming severely intoxicated on alcohol, The Kid forces Trashcan Man to give him a handjob while he concurrently rapes Trashcan Man with a pistol. The Kid and Trashcan Man travel together until they reach the permanently blocked Eisenhower Tunnel. After yet another threat to the Trashcan Man's life, in addition to a threat to overthrow the Dark Man, The Kid becomes trapped in a car surrounded by wolves that have been sent by Flagg. The Kid survives for several days until, facing starvation, he attempts to escape from the car and subsequently loses his fight to the wolves, strangling one as he dies. The Kids' body is later found by Redman, Underwood, Bateman, and Brentner, and Underwood coins the name "the Wolfman." In the original edition, The Kid appeared as a minor character and was only ever seen in Trashcan Man’s flashbacks; the revised–extended edition includes the full story of The Kid's encounter with Trashcan Man.
An unstable, sex-crazed teenager who lives through the pandemic, Lawry has sexual intercourse with Andros in the deserted store where they meet and then attempts to convince Andros to leave Cullen behind. However, when Lawry reveals her true nature, ridiculing Cullen's impairment and frightening him against Pepto-Bismol with a claim that the product is poison, Andros ultimately rejects her. Lawry then tries to kill them both with a rifle and ends up joining Flagg and, recognizing Cullen, informs Henreid of Cullen's status as a spy. The character is killed in the nuclear explosion that destroys Las Vegas.
An ex-marine butcher, Horgan joined Flagg's group as a cook, described by Lloyd Henreid as a "fat, loud sack of shit" but also an excellent chef. He performs minor tasks but is highly ranked in Flagg's society, reporting directly to Henreid or Flagg himself. Whitney plans to flee to Brazil with several others after brokenly saying "it's...all gone bad here", after first asking a reluctant Henreid to join them (Henreid ultimately refuses the offer, but quietly tells his friend he will keep his flight plan secret, while adding he will never leave Flagg regardless of consequences), Horgan decides to take a "stand" against Flagg and publicly challenges him prior to the executions of Underwood and Brentner. Flagg initially tells Horgan that he has intended to let him leave without consequence, but then mutilates and eventually kills Whitney with a ball of lightning that emanates from his finger. However, Whitney's death is portrayed as meaningful by the author, as the lightning that killed him gathers in the sky over the next few moments before descending as the Hand of God and activating the Trashcan Man's nuclear bomb.
A former nightclub dancer, Engstrom awaits Flagg in Las Vegas with Ronnie and Hector and kisses Flagg's boots upon her arrival. She works for the group as a construction worker and becomes close friends with Jurgens, who is confused as to why Engstrom, who Jurgens perceives as a "nice" person, is cooperating with an evil group. Engstrom discovers Jurgens' true purpose in Las Vegas and subsequently betrays her by informing Flagg of her newfound discovery. Later, Whitney informs Henreid that Engstrom intends to flee the group, while Flagg tells Henreid that he already knows the names of people who want to leave, including Engstrom. Engstrom is present during the executions and is thus killed during the explosion of the nuclear bomb.
Barry Dorgan is a friendly former detective of the police department in Santa Monica, California, US. Although he is an ally of Flagg, Dorgan does so only because he thinks Flagg's world is the only society with a chance of regaining a sense of law and order, but Dorgan eventually loses faith in Flagg's society and remains in Las Vegas because Flagg will murder him if he leaves. One of the few mentally stable members of Flagg's police, Dorgan is one of the sentries who intercepts Underwood, Bateman, and Brentner, who are all surprised by Dorgan's sympathetic nature but make it clear his rational views do not excuse or exculpate his service on behalf of the truly vile individuals he reports to. Dorgan stands guard over Underwood and Brentner shortly before their planned executions and is eventually killed by the Trashcan Man's nuclear bomb.
"The Rat Man"
"Ratty" Erwins, also known as "The Rat Man", is a pirate-like hoodlum. Descriptions of Erwins refer to him as a person who adopts the dress sense of an Ethiopian pirate, with a red sash, a necklace of silver dollars around his "scrawny neck" and a sword he often threatens Underwood and Brentner with. Erwins also coins the nickname, "Wonder Bread," for Underwood, and "Farmer John" for Brentner. The character is described, in Lawry's words, as "the only guy in Las Vegas too creepy [for Lawry] to sleep with; except maybe in a pinch". Erwins is killed in the explosion at the end of the book.
Bobby Terry is a determined, but clumsy, somewhat paranoid and less intelligent member of Flagg's society. He is one of the men who Flagg places at several outposts surrounding Las Vegas to intercept and kill Judge Farris, a Free Zone spy, when he comes by. However, the sentries are also ordered to not "mark the head" as Flagg wishes to send it back to the Free Zone before winter. Bobby and another calmer, more collected man, Dave Roberts, are placed at an outpost close to a dam. One rainy day, while Roberts is asleep and Terry is on watch duty, he looks at comic books, and only barely sees the Judge race by in the Scout that Flagg told them to look for. In the time it takes to get his bearings and rally Roberts, the Judge has already gained ten minutes lead on them. When Terry and Roberts finally catch up to the Judge, Terry cannot make a straight face, forcing Roberts to perform the deed himself. As Roberts feigns friendliness long enough to shake Judge Farris' hand, Farris sees Terry in the car, holding a rifle and smiling like a freak. As the judge attempts to pull his gun, Roberts shoots him in the guts. However, before he can finish the job, Terry(unnecessarily) fires from the car, accidentally shooting Roberts through the neck. Terry and the wounded Farris exchange several shots, which end when Terry kills him with two direct hits to the face, leaving his head unidentifiable. Terry panics over what to do, eventually deciding to head south, where there is no one. However, Flagg(who observed all of this in the guise of a crow) attacks Terry, and it is implied that he murders Terry using his teeth.
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