15 Baby Names From Stephen King Books To Never Use
Although the author has written plenty of great heroes over the years, there are more than a handful of baby names from Stephen King books that you never, ever want to give to your child. From abusive jerks to terrifying monsters, King has a way with writing villains and ruining names.
Frighteningly enough, most of King's villains have pretty normal names, and many of them share those names with heroes from other stories. For every Billy Halleck (Thinner), there's a Bill Denbrough (It); for every James "Big Jim" Rennie (Under the Dome), a James "Gard" Gardener (The Tommyknockers). So, where possible, the names on this list are ones that King didn't also give to a lot of nice guys.
Now, there's a good chance that your favorite baby name — or your own moniker — appears below. Don't take it personal. One of my best friends named her son after Gage Creed from Pet Sematary, and he doesn't seem to be interested in slicing up Achilles tendons. I don't know you, but I'm sure you're nothing like a homicidal train or the living embodiment of evil.
Here are 14 baby names from Stephen King books that you should think twice before using.
1. Alvin from IT
King made that chipmunk a lot less cute with this one.
In It, Alvin Marsh is the abusive single father of Losers' Club member Beverly. He regularly beats her, and It later takes on his appearance in order to frighten Bev. King implies that Al harbors a sexual attraction to his daughter, and at one point he attempts to subject her to a virginity test.
2. Annie from Misery
Annie Wilkes is Paul Sheldon's self-styled No. 1 fan. When she discovers him in the wreckage of a drunken car crash, Annie takes Paul to her secluded farm, and begins to nurse him back to health. After learning that Paul has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain, Annie punishes him, and forces him to write a novel in which Misery returns to life. Things just get worse for Paul from there, as he discovers that Annie might not intend to ever let him go.
3. Blaine from The Dark Tower series
"Blaine is a pain, and that is the truth."
Blaine the Mono has near-limitless knowledge and a mean streak. He helped his sister and companion, Patricia, commit suicide years earlier, and may even have driven her to it. Now, Blaine has grown tired of living, too.
In The Waste Lands and Wizard and Glass, Roland and his ka-tet find themselves trapped in the sentient monorail on a 900 M.P.H. ride to Topeka: the end of the line. Blaine challenges the little band of travelers to a riddling contest. If they come up with a riddle that Blaine cannot answer before they reach Topeka, he will let them off safely. Failure to do so will result in them dying inside the mono at the end of Blaine's last ride.
4. Craig from Four Past Midnight
When most of the passengers disappear in King's novella, "The Langoliers," Craig Toomey is among the handful of people left on a red eye from L.A. to Boston. The eerie surroundings trigger memories of Craig's abusive father, and he begins to warn the others about the Langoliers: creatures his father once threatened would eat him if he was lazy. Craig's mental state continues to degrade, and he soon begins to attack the other survivors, who he believes are the monsters he fears.
5. Delbert from The Shining
Even people who haven't seen or read The Shining remember those creepy twins in the hallway. Turns out, they're about the least malicious ghosts living in the Overlook Hotel. It's their father, Delbert Grady, you really need to worry about.
Delbert Grady was one of the Overlook's previous caretakers. The hotel enticed him to murder his family with an axe, and it uses his ghost to convince Jack Torrance to do the same. Just watch this bathroom scene to see how creepy this guy is.
6. Isaac from "Children of the Corn" in Night Shift
In King's short story, "Children of the Corn," Isaac Chroner is the charismatic leader of Gatlin, Nebraska. This child minister preaches the way of He Who Walks Behind the Rows: the demonic entity that lives in the surrounding cornfields, whom Gatlin's children worship as a deity. Along with his conniving enforcer, Malachi, Isaac keeps Gatlin's death cult alive, orchestrating the murders of passers-through and residents alike.
7. Kurt from 'Salem's Lot
Pretty much every Very Bad Thing that has ever happened in Jerusalem's Lot, Maine can be traced back to Kurt Barlow. He convinced a hardened killer to commit murder-suicide without even being in town. After he moves in, 'Salem's Lot gets a lot more dangerous. Kurt is an ancient vampire with no qualms about feeding off of small children, or even his own servants.
8. Leland from Needful Things
In Needful Things, Leland Gaunt is the owner of the titular curiosity shop, which pops up unexpectedly in Castle Rock, Maine. He stocks rare and expensive items, but he's willing to part with them for cheap, provided the buyer does him a favor in return. Leland's little nudges soon push Castle Rock to the brink, and the townsfolk grow desperate to buy whatever protection the shopkeep can sell them.
9. Marten from The Sorcerer
One of Randall Flagg's aliases in Mid-World, Marten Broadcloak, had his backstory told in Robin Furth's Dark Tower comic, The Sorcerer. We'll see more of Flagg later on, but suffice it to say that he's basically evil incarnate.
When the gunslinger was a child, Marten served as court magician and adviser to Roland's father and mother: Steven and Gabrielle Deschain. Marten seduced Gabrielle — given his abilities, "raped" might be better terminology — and betrayed Steven, which led Roland to become a gunslinger at an early age. Marten then helped bring about the Fall of Gilead, killed a member of young Roland's ka-tet, and set off across the desert under a new name: Walter o'Dim.
10. Patrick from IT
Stephen King writes a lot of bullies and badder-than-average children, but Patrick Hockstetter stands out from the rest. When Patrick was five years old, he smothered his baby brother, and watched television while his mother screamed and cried. He's a sexual sadist, and keeps the small animals he kills in a discarded refrigerator. After a sexual encounter with fellow bully Henry Bowers, Patrick becomes one of It's victims, and is carried away by flying leeches.
11. Randall from The Stand (and other works)
In the world of Stephen King, Randall Flagg is the Big Bad to end all Big Bads. He made his first appearance under the moniker in The Stand, in which he attempted to build a dictatorship from the post-apocalyptic wreckage of the U.S.
But Flagg appears throughout King's canon under many different names, including Marten Broadcloak, Walter o'Dim, and Walter Padick in the Dark Tower series, and He Who Walks Behind the Rows in "Children of the Corn."
12. Rhea from The Dark Tower series
If the Dark Tower series has a Gollum, it's Rhea of the Cöos. This near-immortal witch was put in charge of Maerlyn's Grapefruit, a pink crystal ball, but soon became obsessed with using it to gather information on the neighbors who scorned her, even as it sucked out her strength. When she was forced to give up ownership of the orb, she exacted her revenge by convincing the town to sacrifice Roland's lover in an ancient ritual.
13. Sylvia from The Dark Tower series
Stephen King has written more than a few deranged characters in his time, but Sylvia Pittston stands out from the crowd. She's the charismatic preacher in Tull, a town Roland visits early on in The Gunslinger. Her mind has been tainted by the man in black, and she convinces the congregation that Roland is the Anti-Christ, causing them to attack him in a frenzy.
14. Stark from The Dark Half
The success of HBO's Game of Thrones might have inspired a lot of parents to name their kids after the noble northern house, but King's fans think of something completely different when they hear the name "Stark."
In The Dark Half, a literary fiction author named Thad Beaumont publishes his pulpier stories under a psuedonym: George Stark. As the novel opens, Beaumont has "killed off" Stark by outing himself in a People article and holding a mock burial. But when Beaumont finds himself the leading suspect in a series of grisly murders, it becomes clear that Stark might not have been a work of fiction...
15. Walter from The Dark Tower series
We've covered Marten. We've covered Randall. Now it's time to talk about Walter.
Walter o'Dim and Walter Padick are Randall Flagg's main alter-egos in the Dark Tower series. When Marten Broadcloak takes off across the desert of Mid-World, he becomes Walter, and Roland follows the trail of death and destruction he leaves behind. Walter remains Roland's primary antagonist for most of the series, and his shadow hangs over the gunslinger's ka-tet, even when he isn't present.