Importance of Roses in the Dark Tower Series

By Alicia Ballard

Before we start, here are a few terms:

Constant Reader: Stephen King Fan

Keystone Earth: The main version of Earth out of multiple realities


To most people, Roses symbolize love, but to Constant Readers, they symbolize something far greater. Stephen King’s Dark Tower series spans eight novels, and several short stories. The Lore of the Dark Tower is interwoven in nearly all of King’s writing. King has created a vast and complicated world filled with colorful characters, monsters, and magic.

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Roses in the Dark Tower universe serve as a sort of pocket universe, existing on Keystone Earth in New York City. They are similar to the Roses found in Can’-Ka No Rey (The Red Field of None) that surrounds the Dark Tower itself. They are described to be of dusty pink color on the outer edges, deep red in the inner edges, and a golden center that glows like the sun.


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When encountered, the rose is said to produce a beautiful singing, which causes a feeling of peace and ease. In The Wastelands (book three), the character Jake encounters one of these roses in a back alley lot. He instantly knows he must do everything in his power to protect the rose. This becomes a main theme through the course of the series.

The importance of the Rose is that it serves as a kind of life force of the Tower. It must be protected because, if the Rose were to be plucked or hurt, the Tower would fall. Thus keeping the flower safe is of utmost importance.


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At least for most people, a rose may symbolize love or romance. For a Stephen King fan they symbolize the Dark Tower and a hope that, no matter what evil will surface, good will triumph. If the Rose calls to you, you can check out the books at the El Reno Carnegie Library. You can start the adventure to the Tower with book one “The Gunslinger” by Stephen King.