Walter Padick of Delain: A Tortured, Lost Little Boy
This article is about Walter Padick of Delain, a tortured, lost little boy who came to dominate the pages of The Dark Tower and countless other Stephen King stories.
Walter O’Dim’s Real Name
What is Walter o’Dim’s real name, and what was his childhood like? Is Walter Padick also Randall Flagg? What’s going on with all these names?
True, the Man in Black goes by many names across the breadth of the Stephen King multiverse, from The Stand, to The Dark Tower, to Eyes of the Dragon, and beyond. But these names are all lies, aliases spun in a thousand worlds over a thousand years on a thousand levels of the tower.
That’s right. The truth is, Marten Broadcloak is over a thousand years old. And his real name is Walter Padick.
What is the Truth of Walter O Dim?
A reader recently reached out to me, via contact (which I encourage any of my readers to do, including thee, sai), inquiring about Walter Padick’s childhood. Where did it say anything anywhere about Walter O’Dim’s childhood? This frustrated reader wanted to know.
The only detail of Walter’s childhood that this reader could even recall at all was from Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower book 4.5), where we find out that The Man in Black somehow suckered Maerlin into being trapped as a tiger.
So, where were all these mentions of Walter Padick’s childhood found?
Walter O’Dim’s Childhood in The Dark Tower: Book 7
I am not happy with how Sai King killed off The Man in Black. And I make no secret of it, either – for more, check out Why Walter o’Dim is the Worst Villain Ever. Yeah, the title is a little hyperbolic, but I strongly disapprove of how our beloved wordslinger, Sai King, dealt with Roland Deschain’s arch nemesis.
So why do I bring that point up, about my opinion of Walter o’Dim being the worst villain ever? Is it just a cheap way for me to shove more articles in your face? Perish the thought. On the contrary: let’s keep in mind that King kills off Walter o’Dim quickly and anticlimactically, specifically because it is during Walter’s demise that Stephen King gives us that narrowest of insights into Walter’s long lost childhood.
To me, it feels like a copout. It is almost as if Sai King thought to himself, “hmm, I’m going to kill off Walter now, might as well write a one-paragraph throwaway explanation about his past before I crumple him up and toss him away.”
So yes, it’s just a quick little paragraph, so we can forgive my inquisitive reader for missing this little tidbit, but when it comes to Stephen King, well, let’s just say I’m somewhat less forgiving.
Walter deserved more than this.
Baby Mordred Finds Walter Padick
Before we get into the actual quote about Walter Padick’s past, let me just give you some context.
So here we are in book 7, where Spider Baby Mordred has been skulking around in the darkness trying to find some food. Among our spiderbabby’s extensive toolkit of powers, he can read thoughts and memories as though flipping through encyclopedia entries. So when he encounters Walter, baby Mordred does exactly that.
The Dark Tower Walter Padick Quote
As baby Mordred flips through Walter’s thoughts, we get a glimpse of Walter’s childhood, with the help of Sai King’s third person omniscient narrative point of view:
“…he heard for the first time in a thousand years the name a boy from a farm in Delain had once answered to: Walter Padick. Walter, son of Sam the Miller in the Eastar’d Barony. He who had run away at thirteen, had been raped in the ass by another wanderer a year later and yet had somehow withstood the temptation to go crawling back home. Instead he had moved on toward his destiny.”The Dark Tower 7: The Dark Tower by Stephen King page 137
And that’s it – that’s really all we get – our main antagonist throughout The Dark Tower series, dying shamefully with peanut butter smeared across his teeth, butchered by another bad guy we hardly even know.
Don’t get me wrong, Baby Mordred is a much better villain. He’s more complex, for one thing, since he wishes he could be part of Roland’s ka-tet. But if you ask me, you can’t just decide you don’t like your antagonist anymore while you’re writing the seventh iteration of a decades-long series, scrap the guy, then replace him with a bad guy you like better.
It’s lazy, and it’s anticlimactic too.
I don’t know for a fact that that’s what Stephen King did, but it seems that way.
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