Of all of Stephen King’s books, one of the most iconic and fan-favorite series that he has ever written would have to be the Dark Tower series. The books follow the last known hero of his world, Roland Deschain, the last surviving Gunslinger, who is on a mission to find and save The Dark Tower from the evil Crimson King.
However Roland’s journey not only reflects on the family and friends in the Gunslingers he lost, but the new Gunslingers he helps create in the books as well. Here are the ten most powerful Gunslingers in the Dark Tower series.
10 Steven Deschain
The second youngest man to become a gunslinger after his son Roland, Steven Deschain was one of the key figures in the final days of Roland’s people and the famed city of Gilead. A decedent of Arthur Eld himself, Steven was a famed Gunslinger who learned his advisor Marten Broadcloak was in a relationship with Steven’s wife Gabrielle.
He discovered Marten was in fact the series villain The Man in Black, aka Randall Flagg. Working with John Farson against the Gunslingers, he was also an agent of the Crimson King and had seduced Steven’s wife to work against him, leading to a series of events that resulted in the fall of Gilead.
9 Jamie De Curry
The next Gunslinger who had a major impact on the last days of Gilead and Roland’s life was Roland’s friend and member of his ka-tet, Jamie De Curry. While not much of his story is known in the books, in subsequent comic books from Marvel he is shown to be a Gunslinger due to a lack of the heroes at the time.
Jamie became a good friend of Roland’s and an expert scout, profound in the use of the bow and arrow. He went on to save Roland from a sniper at the Battle of Jericho Hill.
8 Aileen Ritter
One Gunslinger who is unique for being one of the few women Gunslingers to ever join the group of heroes is Aileen Ritter. She is the niece of the Gunslinger’s trainer, Cort, who was instrumental in Roland’s rise to becoming the youngest Gunslinger to be made.
Desiring to be a Gunslinger, she often masked her femininity by dressing as a boy and became one of the best shots in the group. She also held a deep affection for Roland most of her life, and was the only other Gunslinger to survive the Battle of Jericho Hill, but sadly she soon passed from the wounds she got in battle.
7 Alain Johns
The next Gunslinger was one of Roland’s best friends and a member of the original ka-tet, Alain Johns. The hero was unique in that he had a special psychic ability similar to that of Danny Torrence’s Shining from the book of the same name.
He was present for the tragic love story between Roland and his true love Susan in the town of Mejis, and was also a survivor of the Fall of Gilead. His passing was quite tragic however, as he was mistaken for a member of John Farson’s army at the Battle of Jericho Hill, and Roland and Cuthbert sadly took his life on accident.
6 Cuthbert Allgood
The most powerful of Roland’s childhood friends in the Gunslingers was Cuthbert Allgood, a descendent of one of Arthur Eld’s trusted Knights. Known for his humor and wit, he was also present for Roland’s love story with Susan, and despite his frustration with Roland’s distraction with Susan he helped stop the threat in the town of Mejis.
He was one of the final Gunslingers to fall at the Battle of Jericho Hill, and was shot in the eye by an arrow from Marten Broadcloak himself, but continues fighting as Roland holds him up, until the battle ends along with his life.
5 Arthur Eld
One of the most powerful Gunslinger was also the founder of the Gunslingers, Arthur Eld, the King of All-World. The legendary hero first created a band of Knights to fight with swords and shields, similar to the legend of King Arthur. One of the protectors of the Dark Tower, he used his sword Excalibur to fight the monsters and enemies of the Kingdom.
After defeating Maerlyn’s agents of chaos, he was crowned the King of All-World. An attack on the coronation led to him fathering the being who would become the villainous Crimson King, making Roland and the villain related.
4 Eddie Dean
The first of the main Gunslingers from the Dark Tower series is the funniest and most heartbreaking of the modern ka-tet, Eddie Dean. A man from Earth’s New York City, he was one of the people drawn by Roland using doors that served as portals between All-World and Earth.
Given a second chance after years of addiction, Eddie grew to learn the ways of the Gunslingers. He was instrumental and defeating Blaine the Mono, fought several of the Crimson King’s forces and lost his life in the battle to save the psychics being held prisoner by the Crimson King.
3 Jake Chambers
One of the longest relationships between Roland and his ka-tet was the child from another world introduced in the first book, Jake Chambers. Having lost his life in the original book after Roland hesitated to save him over stopping the Man in Black, he returned to Roland after memories of two lives began to plague him on Earth.
He became an adoptive son to Roland, learning his father’s teachings and becoming a fierce warrior. Alongside his pet sidekick named Oy, Jake fought through multiple worlds to help his father’s quest, losing his life in the final book saving Stephen King himself from the Crimson King’s forces on Earth.
2 Susannah Dean
The second strongest of the modern day ka-tet and the only member to survive the events of the book other than Roland himself is Susannah Dean. When her personalities merged after Roland drew her into All-World, she became Susannah, later developing a relationship and marriage to Eddie Dean during their adventures.
After the loss of Eddie and Jake, she helped Roland reach near the Dark Tower before defeating a creature similar to Pennywise who fed on laughter, before venturing to another version of Earth where Eddie and Jake waited for her.
1 Roland Deschain
Of course the most powerful of all the Gunslingers in the series is none other than Roland Deschain himself. Having survived a great number of events throughout the books, he was the most skilled of all the Gunslingers, wielding the legendary weapons at lightning speed.
Finally arriving at the Dark Tower after defeating Marten Broadcloak, the monstrous spider-child Mordred, and several of the Crimson King’s armies, he along with Patrick Danville found a way to stop the Crimson King, who remained stuck on a balcony on the Dark Tower for eternity, completing Roland’s quest.
The Dark Tower series is one of Stephen King's most beloved fictional universes, and here we look at the most powerful Gunslingers in the world.