||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (March 2010)|
|The Dark Tower character|
|First appearance||The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower|
|Last appearance||The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower|
|Created by||Stephen King|
|Nickname(s)||The Little Red King
|Family||Roland Deschain (father)
Crimson King (father)
Susannah Dean (mother)
Mia (surrogate mother)
|Relatives||Randall Flagg (cousin)
Wizard's Rainbow (cousins)
Arthur Eld (grandfather)
Crimson Queen (grandmother)
Mordred Deschain of Discordia is a fictional character from Stephen King's The Dark Tower series of novels and comic books. He is one of the major antagonists of The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower, seeking to destroy his father Roland and his ka-tet. The name Mordred comes from Arthurian legend.
Fictional biography (The Short, Sad and Morbid Life of Mordred Deschain)
Mordred Deschain actually begins his existence in The Gunslinger, when Roland Deschain has sex with a succubus in order to have a vision that would aid in his quest for the Dark Tower. It is later revealed that the succubus was in truth one of the Demon Elementals – six hermaphroditic but sterile cosmic beings which serve the Crimson King. Each Demon Elemental is assigned to destroy one of the six Beams that support the Dark Tower, and is the nemesis of the two animal Guardians who protect the corresponding Beam. This Demon Elemental, under the instruction of the Crimson King, collects the gunslinger's semen and keeps it in stasis. In The Waste Lands, the same Demon Elemental takes on the form of an incubus to have sex with Susannah Dean, impregnating her with Roland's seed.
Mia, a simple succubus who is sterile but obsessed with motherhood, strikes a deal with the Crimson King, who offers her the chance to become a surrogate mother. In exchange, Mia is promised that she will be allowed to raise the child for a few years before the Crimson King claims him for his own purposes. The Crimson King's scientists use their advanced technology to teleport the child, cell by cell, from Susannah's body into that of Mia. In the process of transfer, Mia's consciousness becomes intertwined with that of Susannah, which was left porous by her pre-existing dissociative disorder. The Crimson King then fertilises the already-pregnant Mia with his own seed, becoming a biological "co-father" of the child with Roland. The psychic bond between Susannah and Mia remains until they physically meet each other, just before Mordred's birth.
After being transferred into Mia's body, Mordred enters the world as a healthy (if unseemly) baby boy. When taken to Mia's breast to nurse, Mordred reveals his demonic nature by turning into a giant spider, savagely tearing off her breast and draining all of her bodily fluids. Mordred turns his hunger toward Susannah, who has managed to take a gun from one of the hospital guards. Susannah shoots off one of Mordred’s spider legs, leaving a wound that would never heal in either of his physical forms.
Mordred has a somehow immediate understanding of his purpose, which he believes is to kill Roland Deschain and to enter the Dark Tower and rule next to the Crimson King. He takes immediately to this purpose and begins hunting down Roland. His motivation for wanting to kill Roland is mentioned as jealousy (similar to Randall Flagg) of Roland, his ka-tet, and their friendship. At one time, Mordred even thinks of joining Roland, but knows he cannot accept Roland as his dinh.
Mordred is eventually killed while attempting to ambush a sleeping Roland, Oy, and Patrick Danville shortly before they reach The Dark Tower. Patrick had fallen asleep on watch after hearing a lullaby telepathically sung by the Crimson King, and Mordred approaches for the kill. Oy intercepts Mordred before he is able to strike the sleeping Roland. Roland offers Mordred a chance to live in exchange for Oy's life. Mordred refuses, and flings Oy aside after breaking his back. Roland then shoots and kills Mordred, and Mordred's remains tumble into the group's campfire.
Mordred is the biological offspring of two fathers: Roland Deschain, a human gunslinger, and the Crimson King, an ancient demon. Mordred's biological mother is the human Susannah Dean, and his surrogate mother is the succubus Mia). Mordred's dual paternity explains his ability to shift between human and spider forms, as well as his telepathic capacity.
The human baby Mordred was noted to have the same blue eyes as Roland, as well as a red birthmark on the heel of one foot. When he transforms into a spider, he is described as having a mark on one side that resembles a black widow spider, and on the other, Mordred's human face.
Mordred spends most of his life alternatively sleeping in his human form and feeding in his spider form (starting with small animals and eventually larger ones). His metabolism is much greater in his spider form, so he has to balance out how far he wants to travel in his spider form with how plentiful food is in the area. His growth and maturity advances more rapidly when he is properly fed and when Mordred finally catches up with Roland and the remnants of his ka-tet, in his human form he looks to be about 20 years old.
Mordred's first notable feeding occurs during his encounter with Randall Flagg, who intends to kill him and bring his birthmarked-foot to the entrance of the Dark Tower. Mordred senses his intent, and displays his telepathic abilities by assuming control of Flagg's body and eating him alive after forcing him to pluck out his eyeballs and his tongue.
The second notable feeding occurs as Mordred is tracking Roland. Mordred comes upon The ruins of Dandelo and sups on his dead horse, Lippy. Mordred fails to discern that the corpse of the horse is poisonous, and as he continues to track Roland, is wracked by the symptoms of food poisoning knowing it will eventually kill him.
- Furth, Robin (2006), The Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance, New York City: Charles Scribner's Sons, 0743297342.
- King, Stephen (2004), The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower, United States: Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc., 0451194861.