**Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers for Season 1 of Castle Rock below**
Though Season 1 is set in the titular Maine town invented by King, and its story and themes certainly show a great deal of King's influence, Castle Rock has largely gone its own way thus far, presenting a new story and new characters. Even with everything new the show has to offer, though, it still anchored itself in certain elements familiar to the King faithful, including Shawshank Prison and, perhaps even more importantly, one key character: Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn), the former Castle Rock sheriff who's appeared in several King stories.
Pangborn turned out to be the only King mainstay to play a significant role in Castle Rock Season 1 (though other characters, like Jackie Torrance, have clear connections to his creations), and he sadly paid for it with his life, which means we likely won't see him again in Season 2. Additionally, series co-creator Dustin Thomason told The Hollywood Reporter in July that “each season is going to be its own self-contained story: beginning, middle and end.” This creative choice will result in Castle Rock acting as more of an anthology series — most likely with a new cast of characters for every season, as confirmed by Molly Strand actress Melanie Lynskey, who says neither she nor any of the other Season 1 cast members have been asked to return (that she knows of).
That said, there are plenty of other King characters who could wander into the Castle Rock landscape, and while the show will certainly go its own way, we have a wish list.
So, as Castle Rock Season 2 takes shape, here are 10 characters we'd love to see eventually pop up on the show. Take a look at our choices, and let us know yours in the comments.
Leland Gaunt has already been referenced in Castle Rock via a newspaper clipping that Henry Deaver (André Holland) found referring to an "oddity shop" and its owner who went missing after a fire. That missing owner is Gaunt, the villain of King's 1991 novel Needful Things, who appears to the world as a kindly but mysterious shopkeeper who offers Castle Rock residents their heart's desire in exchange for little favors that, eventually, nearly destroy the town.
Gaunt's supernatural abilities are fully revealed by the novel's end — thanks to the investigation and determination of none other than Alan Pangborn — when he flies off in a demonic horse-drawn carriage. The novel's epilogue reveals that he sets up shop in yet another small town.
His connection to Castle Rock and its ongoing curse is already heavily indicated in the show's universe, and while he might not make an onscreen appearance in Season 2, he could quite possibly appear heavily in flashbacks that reveal some of the town's darkest moments.
The fictional Maine city of Derry has also already been confirmed to exist in the Castle Rock universe through brief mentions, and while there has been no direct reference to Pennywise the Dancing Clown and the evil he wrought there in King's novel IT, it's a pretty safe bet that the town's saviors exist in this world (or another in the multiverse) in some form.
King's novel about Derry and the evil lurking there reveals that, after they defeated It as children, the Losers Club all left town and became successful in their chosen fields... except Mike Hanlon.
Mike, whose family was already heavily tied to Derry's past tragedies, stayed behind and became the town's librarian, historian, and watchman, keeping a journal of his research and waiting for the day when he would have to call the rest of the Losers Club back home. If IT has already happened in the Castle Rock universe, then Mike's memories of his battle with evil have begun to fade, and perhaps he's looking for life outside of Derry. If it hasn't... well, then he's a resident of another creepy Maine town who can certainly relate to the calamities of Castle Rock. Either way, he'd be an interesting addition.
This would be a bit of a tricky integration if it happened because Charlie is... well, she's a lot.
The heroine of King's novel Firestarter, Charlie begins her story on the run with her father, using her pyrokinetic talents sparingly. By the end, she's running so hot (literally) that she can melt bullets midair with her mind. Castle Rock is certainly a supernatural show, but a power that great might be a bit much for its more subtle supernatural themes. Plus, by the end of King's novel, Charlie is preparing to reveal her story of government experimentation and cover-ups to Rolling Stone magazine, which means that as an adult she's either a celebrity, in hiding, or dead. The middle option would probably be the most intriguing path for the show to take, and while it's hard to expect Charlie to show up on this show, it also wouldn't be unwelcome.
King has said that Lisey's Story ranks among his favorites, and while it's not as popular as The Stand or The Dark Tower or The Shining, the King fans who love it really love it. So it would be great to see the title character make an appearance in Castle Rock.
The wife of a now-deceased famous novelist, Lisey is a strong, resourceful, compelling woman whose story concerns a crazed fan, a journey to another world, and a deep re-examination of her now-ended marriage. Lisey's Story is one of King's most emotional novels, and it already has a geographic connection to Castle Rock. Even if Lisey just showed up in the background somewhere, she'd be a great supporting character. That said, Lisey's Story is one of the few King novels that has not yet been adapted to film or television, so it would be a bit odd to see her first live-action appearance occur in someone else's story.
Dan and Wendy Torrance
This is, of course, the addition heavily suggested by the mid-credits scene in which Jackie Torrance expresses her desire to go west on a "research trip" to look into the violent history of her uncle Jack, the murderous alcoholic writer from King's classic novel The Shining.
If that doesn't happen, and Jackie really does head out to Colorado to visit the Overlook Hotel, or what's left of it (in King's novel it blows up, but in the film version in which Jack uses the ax Jackie refers to, it does not, so perhaps it's still there), it makes sense that she'd also seek to look up her aunt Wendy and her cousin Danny. It's hard to tell how this would play out in terms of a timeline, and it's also unlikely given that a film adaptation of King's Shining sequel Doctor Sleep (in which Wendy dies in 1999, which is yet another complication) is in the works right now. But perhaps more than any other new additions, these characters would make fans squeal.
This is another tricky choice. If you thought Charlie McGee was a lot, Susannah Dean is a whole lot.
One of the four main characters that make up the "ka-tet" at the heart of King's beloved Dark Tower series, Susannah is first introduced as two personalities — the sophisticated Odetta Holmes and the savage Detta Walker — in one body, the result of a traumatic brain injury she suffered as a girl, which was inflicted by the same malevolent man who later pushed her in front of a subway train. The second accident took her legs. By the end of her first Dark Tower novel, The Drawing of the Three, her personalities merge into one, Susannah Dean, and she finds herself under the tutelage of Roland Deschain, who teaches her to be a gunslinger. During this time, Susannah is also falling in love with the recovering heroin addict Eddie Dean.
In the final three Tower novels, Susannah becomes particularly important and powerful, but her life on her own world before that — in which she lives with both two personalities and a wheelchair — is perhaps just as rich. She's complex, tough, funny, and captivating, but it would take an awful lot of clever writing to integrate her into Castle Rock in a way that doesn't overwhelm everything else. That said, of all of the Tower heroes, she might be the most interesting, so she merits a mention.
Father Donald Callahan
Jerusalem's Lot, the Maine town that serves as a setting for King's vampire novel 'Salem's Lot, appears briefly in Castle Rock, meaning it's also a part of this version of Stephen King's Maine. If that's true, it's possible that Donald Callahan still lives there. Or if the events of 'Salem's Lot already took place, that he's roaming the world looking for a new purpose before he eventually makes his way into The Dark Tower saga (in King's world, eventually all roads lead to The Tower).
Callahan is one of 'Salem's Lot's most fascinating characters, and one of the few who manages to survive the novel, even if he does end up cursed and fallen from his faith by the end. If we meet him early on (before the events of 'Salem's Lot), then he's an alcoholic priest whose beliefs are faltering. If we meet him later (after or even during 'Salem's Lot) he's a former priest discovering the presence of vampires looming large in the world. Either way, it would be great to see him sitting down for a drink in The Mellow Tiger.
The Stand is a vast novel full of compelling characters, and Nick Andros is easily one of the best of them. A deaf-mute who's living as a drifter when the superflu breaks out in that novel, Nick rises to become a leader of the remaining good members of the human race, before meeting a tragic but ultimately heroic death. He's a resourceful, brave, compassionate survivor who's capable of both very practical violence and intense kindness, and it would be wonderful to see a pre-superflu Nick wander into town.
Alan Pangborn emerged as a key character in Castle Rock Season 1, and when that happened it was hard to keep from thinking about the other King stories in which he's a major player. The Dark Half is one of these, and with Alan now out of the picture it would be fascinating to see his legacy live on in the form of one of the people he helped: Thad Beaumont.
Beaumont, the hero of The Dark Half, is a writer who lives in a town that neighbors Castle Rock, making his presence geographically convenient. In his story, his attempt to "bury" his pen name George Stark — under which he wrote violent crime stories that sold very well — goes horribly wrong, and Stark takes on physical form and begins killing people close to Thad. Stark is eventually destroyed, but his presence irreparably changes Thad's life. It would be interesting to see how he lived on after Stark's downfall, particularly in a world that's now seen Alan Pangborn, who investigated Stark's crime and suspected Thad at one point, pass on.
No, we're not just talking about a cameo, though that could certainly happen. King has happily popped up in brief appearances in numerous films and television shows based on his work, so it would be no surprise at all to see him on Castle Rock as nothing more than a bystander.
That said, there is a deeper possibility here, one that showrunners Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason have already expressed some interest in. In The Dark Tower's later installments, King actually wrote an alternate version of himself into the story, who was killed in a car accident in 1999 according to the novel Song of Susannah. The circumstances surrounding this fictionalized King are complicated, but that doesn't mean the series couldn't envision another alternate King, for King himself to play, in the Castle Rock multiverse. The only question is: Would King himself be up for more than a cameo?