Jack Mort

Jack Mort (whose name means “Death” in French) is a fictional character who makes a brief appearance in The Gunslinger, and a more detailed appearance in The Drawing of the Three. The third door that Roland encounters on the beach leads to Mort and New York in the mid-1970s. Roland finds himself inside the mind of “The Pusher”, a sadistic sociopath named Jack Mort, whose callous acts of random violence have shaped the lives of Roland’s companions. Mort, an accountant, thrives on being a meticulous planner when it comes to murder.

This, and his style of execution, leads him to be an anonymous and therefore very effective killer. For example, Mort will drop bricks (and presumably other heavy items) on people’s heads from tall places (what he calls “depth charging”), will push people in front of cars, and will also push people in front of subways. His methods allow a complete lack of direct confrontation, and thus allow him to continue his secret life quietly and with deadly effectiveness. He acts as a linking point between Susannah (both Odetta & Detta), Jake, and ultimately Roland. When Odetta was five, Mort dropped a brick on her head (which led to the emergence of her multiple personalities); he also pushed Odetta in front of a subway car when she was a teenager (neither knowing nor caring that she was a previous victim of his cruelty).

On the day Roland enters him, he is planning to shove a young boy (who turns out to be Jake Chambers) into traffic. Unwilling to let Jake die once again through his inaction, Roland takes control of Mort’s body and stops him. This death was the means that forced Jake into Roland’s world the first time; when Roland prevented it, it had caused a time paradox, though it was resolved later, or rather undermined, when Jake entered into Roland’s world again, but through a door. Later Roland purposefully forces Jack Mort to throw himself burning in front of a subway train while telling him that he deserves a far worse fate.

In the midst of this struggle, Roland manages to trick Detta into looking through the door, which forces both Odetta and Detta to acknowledge their dual personalities and the cause of them. Mort is described as tall, thin, and having blonde hair in The Drawing of the Three, yet is said by Roland to have had dark hair when mentioned in The Wastelands. It can be inferred that Mort, being a noted “master of disguise”, simply dyed his hair.