John Farson

John Farson is a fictional character from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series of novels and comic books. Known as “The Good Man”, Farson is the leader of a revolution in In-World who appeals to the common people, wanting to end the training of Gunslingers and re-distribute power. His stated ambition is to replace the feudalism of the In-World’s baronies with democracy. However, his actions and the result of his campaign indicate that his true intentions are far more sinister.

Description

Farson is a tall man, who wears his long black hair in a messy top knot as well as a red mask covering his entire face. Little is revealed of his history before he begins a revolution against the baronies of In-World, except that he began his career as a “harrier who began as a stage-robber in Garland and Desoy.” He is first seen in issue #3 of The Gunslinger Born, where he is shown as having conquered the council-seat of one of the baronies of Mid-World, and taking bets on how far he can hit a dead man’s head with the broad side of his sword.

When a door opens up in a nearby rock and Randall Flagg (Marten) steps out, Farson confronts him and asks him where his oil is. Marten says they must speak of that, among other things (presumably the presence of Roland, Cuthbert, and Alain in Mejis).

During a mission Roland Deschain, Cuthbert Allgood and Alain Johns uncover a plot by the local ranchers to supply oil to Farson. If Farson could refine that oil, he could use it to power ancient machines of war to wipe out the Gunslingers and the larger Monarchy they defended. Luckily, the three are able to burn the oil and keep Farson from getting it. They only postpone the fall of Gilead, however.

Little is revealed about the battle or battles in which John Farson brought down the gunslingers. The last great fight is the battle of Jericho Hill, when all of Roland’s old friends die, with him barely escaping with his life. According to the book Wolves of the Calla, the enemy force Roland and his friends faced on Jericho Hill was a “savage remnant of John Farson’s army”. While Farson’s ultimate fate is not yet clear, Roland says in The Waste Lands that most fled from Farson.

Connections between Walter and John Farson

King writes in the foreword to Wolves of the Calla that John Farson is another of the identities of Walter o’Dim, Roland’s nemesis. Specifically, he writes:

With the Tick-Tock dead, the real Wizard steps forward. It’s Roland’s ancient nemesis, Marten Broadcloak, known in some worlds as Randall Flagg, in others as Richard Fannin, in others as John Farson (the Good Man).

There is no other evidence in the story to suggest that the two men are, in fact, one, except that both use the same sigul — the unblinking eye, which is actually the symbol of the Crimson King. In fact, a line in The Dark Tower suggests that they are two different people.

He had done his service to Farson.

This would fit more in line with Walter’s usual modus operandi of using a figurehead to rule behind the scenes.

Issue #3 of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born clarified this issue by revealing John Farson and Walter are in fact different persons. Surprisingly, Farson is not subservient to Flagg at all, even angrily demanding answers from the wizard and warning him that he will lose his head if he does not return the Grapefruit.

One Response to John Farson

  1. Big Pete Bondurant says:

    Walter and Farson occupied different positions in the court of the Crimson King, with Walter/Flagg serving as the Kings Minister of State and Farson serving as his Minister of War

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