Places in The Dark Tower series

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The Dark Tower series of novels, by Stephen King, contain references to numerous locations.[1] Some of those locations are listed below.

All-World[edit]

All-World is the world known to contain the "Keystone Tower" in the Dark Tower series. It is the only world that contains the Dark Tower in its physical form; all others contain a representation of the Tower, such as a rose. From All-World, it is possible to actually enter the Dark Tower.[2] All-World is divided into three regions.

In-World[edit]

In-World is the heart of All-World, where Gilead once lay before its fall.

  • Barony of Cressia, west of New Canaan, was the first to fall to John Farson and his rebels. The gunslingers of New Canaan fought him there, but failed to contain him.
  • Barony of New Canaan is the innermost barony, and home of Roland Deschain and the gunslingers. Center of the light and of civilization. Its capital city was Gilead. New Canaan, with Gilead, was destroyed in a beam-quake like the one described in Song of Susannah.
    • Gilead was the barony seat of New Canaan, capital of the Affiliation, and the hub of In-World. The city was constructed by Arthur Eld to include several defensive measures such as being surrounded by a defensive wall, as well as concealed spike traps and mechanical blades. Gilead's feudal government ruled much of In-World and Mid-World. Gilead was eventually razed by John Farson and his rebels.
  • Eld was the country ruled by Arthur Eld twenty-nine generations before the time of Roland. The current territory of Eld consists of the northwestern portion of the Affiliation.
  • Kingdom of Delain is a country of In-World featured in King's novel The Eyes of the Dragon and mentioned briefly in the Dark Tower novels. This country was ruled by puppets of the evil wizard Flagg for many years.

Mid-World[edit]

Mid-World is where the first book in the series begins. This is where most of the story takes place.

  • Barony of Mejis is a barony of Mid-World and the primary setting for Roland Deschain's account of part of his past in the novel The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass. Mejis is located roughly 400 "wheels" (500 miles) east of Gilead on the coast of the Clean Sea. The county seat of Mejis is the town of Hambry. The economy of Mejis is based primarily on horse ranching and fishing. Mejis is inhabited by a large populace of "vaqueros" who speak a dialect called "crunk", which is the equivalent of Spanish. In Wizard and Glass, Eddie Dean compares it to Cuba, while in Song of Susannah the fictional version of Stephen King suggests it is a stand-in for Mexico.
  • Blaine's route is the monorail train route taken by a psychotic monorail named Blaine the Mono between the city of Lud and an alternate version of Topeka, Kansas. In the book The Waste Lands, Roland and his companions board Blaine to escape Lud, eventually vying for their lives in a life-or-death riddling contest with Blaine. Blaine's route takes the travelers through Candleton, Rilea, The Falls of the Hounds, and Dasherville on its way to Topeka.[3]
  • Calla Bryn Sturgis is a town located in an area of Mid-World called the Borderlands. It is neighbor to several other towns whose names begin with the word "Calla". Calla Bryn Sturgis is the primary setting for the novel Wolves of the Calla, in which a regiment of green-cloaked "wolves" visit the city once every generation and steal children.[4]
  • Jericho Hill is approximately 500 miles north of Mejis, on the edge of what was known in Mejis as the Clean Sea. This is the site of the final battle between the gunslingers and John Farson's faction. It's also the site where Cuthbert Allgood died while blowing the Horn of Eld.
  • Kingdom of Garlan is a remote area of Mid-World known for its poisoners. Originally featured in The Eyes of the Dragon it is mentioned in several Dark Tower books.
  • Lud is a greater city in the Dark Tower series and mentioned in Rose Madder. It was formerly the center of the Kingdom of Mid-World, an advanced society, and before that was a prominent city in the Imperium of the Great Old Ones. In The Waste Lands, the book's protagonists travel from Lud to an alternate reality version of Topeka, Kansas via a supersonic monorail. Lud resembles New York City in many ways, most notably by having a version of the George Washington Bridge. This "GWB" spans a massive river canyon that protected the city from marauders. The book explains that the bridge and the rest of the city have been in disrepair for at least five hundred years.[5] In the final novel of the series, Roland sees New York from Hammarskjöld Plaza 2 and realizes that New York and Lud are the same city, but in two different universes.
  • River Crossing is a small town that was once a prosperous trading post, several wheels from Lud. Here Roland and his ka-tet met Aunt Talitha, who gave him an iron cross he later placed by the foot of the Dark Tower.
  • The Falls of the Hounds is a massive waterfall along Blaine's route where Blaine stops to recharge. The waterfall itself is many times larger than Niagara Falls and takes its name from two huge rock formations protruding from its center, each resembling a hound's head. The monorail pauses some distance from these formations, which then proceed to deliver a large amount of energy to the train in what appears to be a huge electrical discharge.

End-World[edit]

Roland standing by the Dark Tower and the Can'-Ka No Rey.

End-World is the outer borders of All-World, and it is here where Can'-Ka No Rey and The Dark Tower are.

  • Can'-Ka No Rey is the name of the massive field of roses surrounding The Dark Tower. Each rose in the field is a representation of one of the roses that acts as a tower surrogate in another world.
  • The Dark Tower is the Axle on which all worlds spin. In many ways it is more a concept than a physical building. As Roland enters and finds objects related to his own life one can assume that its structure (internally at least) is subjective to those who enter it. It is also notable that as it exists in End-World, that it is quite literally on the outer edge of reality (i.e., if one were to stand with their back to the tower and walk away from it in a straight line they would eventually run into it again at the other end of the world as well); and existing at all points in that outer edge as well, meaning there is no singular path to the tower, that in fact, if followed far enough, ALL roads lead to it eventually. Once inside, Roland perceives it as the physical embodiment of Gan, or God.

Various Versions of Earth[edit]

As the Dark Tower contains all of existence, within various realms and times, there are varying different versions of Earth contained within.

  • Keystone Earth, later in the series referred to as "Keystone Rose"; this Earth is very similar to the "real world" of the readers and functions as a sort of cornerstone to the multiverse of the Dark Tower. It also holds the distinction of being the only universe where time "only runs forward", thus preventing the chronological shifts characters could take advantage of in other universes.[6]
  • Maine of Keystone Earth is the only version of Maine that the heroes of The Dark Tower series travel to in the years 1977 and 1999. Keystone Maine is where members of Roland's Ka-tet meet a fictionalized version of Stephen King.
  • New York City, set in a version of Earth that is not Keystone Earth, is the setting for many early events of The Dark Tower novels. The main characters of Jake Chambers, Susannah Dean, and Eddie Dean all come from various time periods in near-identical variations of New York, but none appear to come from Keystone New York. Unlike Keystone New York, where time only moves forward, Roland and his ka-tet are able to travel back and forth through time within this version of New York. While Keystone New York is home to the rose that is said to be our world's representation of The Dark Tower itself, Jake Chamber's New York appeared to contain a version of the Rose, even though it becomes clear later in the series that he did not come from Keystone Earth. It is either possible that Jake found the Rose in his version of New York City while going "todash" into Keystone Earth or that the Rose in his earth is also his world's representation of The Dark Tower. This is clearly not the New York of our own world, as Eddie lives in Co-Op City, Brooklyn, while the real Co-Op City is in the Bronx.
  • New York City of Keystone Earth, is the home of the Rose which represents the Dark Tower within Keystone Earth. By the year 1999, Hammarskjöld Plaza, a large black building, is built over the Rose by the Tet Corporation to protect the Rose from the destructive purposes of the Crimson King. Several sites mentioned in the books are real - Hammarskjold Plaza, for instance, as well as a fountain with a bronze sculpture of a turtle, located next to the building (books VI-VII). The U.N. Plaza Hotel - now the Millennium UN Plaza - a few blocks south, is also real (Book VI). There are multiple references to Idlewild/JFK Airport. The Christopher Street subway station is also real, although the A-Train does not run through this area as it is seen to do in book II.
  • Topeka, Kansas is where members of Roland's ka-tet arrive at the beginning of the fourth book after leaving the city of Lud in All-World. This version of Topeka is located on an Earth separate from both Keystone Earth and Eddie, Susannah and Jake's Earth. It is the Earth depicted in Stephen King's novel The Stand. The ka-tet arrive by passing through a thinny where The Stand's Earth and parts of All-World are breaking down into each other.

Portals, magical places, and End-World places[edit]

The following locations occur outside of the normal realms inhabited by humans in The Dark Tower series. Characters can only reach some of them using magic or man-made teleportation doors.

  • Castle Discordia is first mentioned in the book Wolves of the Calla as a mystical location where Susannah Dean and her possessor Mia interact. In Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower, we learn that the castle is a physical place that stands on the edge of a realm named Thunderclap. The castle contains 595 doors leading to other locations and worlds, one of which Susannah and her companions use a number of times.[7]
  • The badlands are the lifeless and desolate stretch between Castle Discordia and Le Casse Roi Russe.
  • Devar-Toi is a minimum-security prison located in Thunderclap, an area of End-World. A campus-like complex, Devar-Toi is also known as Algul Siento or "Blue Heaven." The complex houses numerous Breakers, psychics of various types employed by The Crimson King in using their powers to attack and destroy the Beams that tie all of existence together.
  • Fedic is the town which surrounds Castle Discordia. This is where the children stolen from Calla Bryn Sturgis are taken, and where Susannah/Mia is taken to give birth to Mordred Deschain. It is a stop on the railway line that Patricia, Blaine's counterpart, used to travel.
  • Keystone Earth is one of only two "unique" worlds in the Dark Tower series (the other being All-World). Like All-World, the only worlds where changes made are permanent and can't be unmade (time flows in only one direction on both). This world is home to the rose, which they say is not merely the representative of the tower here, but is elsewhere referred to as the guardian of the Bear-Turtle Beam. At the end of the series it was being protected by the Tet Corporation, which Roland's ka-tet created in 1977, using Odetta Holmes's fortune as heiress to the Holmes Dental Corporation.[8]
  • Thunderclap is a desolate, sparsely-populated realm first described in The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass as being part of End-World and the Borderlands. In Wolves of the Calla, we learn that the marauding wolves come from somewhere in Thunderclap, later named in the book The Dark Tower as the Devar-Toi.[9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Furth 2006, pp. 279–451
  2. ^ Furth 2006, pp. 279–280
  3. ^ Furth 2006, pp. 281–282
  4. ^ Furth 2006, p. 284
  5. ^ Furth 2006, p. 317
  6. ^ Furth 2006, pp. 367–381
  7. ^ Furth 2006, pp. 403–404
  8. ^ Furth 2006, p. 434
  9. ^ Furth 2006, pp. 445–446

References[edit]