The number 19 is important to The Dark Tower Series, especially in the last three books. Roland Deschain and his ka-tet start seeing the number everywhere: names that have 19 letters, numbers whose digits added to each other total 19, and branches that spell out the numbers, etc.
This phenomenon is somewhat explained, saying the Keystone World (one of two worlds in the Dark Tower multiverse where time can flow in only one direction, the other being Roland's world of All-World) has the "ka of 19". Instances of that number may be indicators that the Keystone World is involved and that the ka-tet should pay special attention to it.
It is well known that Stephen King started writing his Dark Tower series at the age of 19. It may be this that led him to the idea of choosing 19 to be of such importance in the books. An alternative explanation: King was hit by a car on June 19, 1999.
Instances in the Dark Tower Series
- Eddie Dean flies in Delta flight 910 to New York. 9 + 10 add up to 19.
- Alice is told to tell Nort nineteen to find out what is on the other side after death.
- When Jake Chambers visits Calvin Tower's bookstore, The Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind, there are 21 books on the table when Jake buys 2 from it leaving 19 behind.
- One of the books Jake buys is Charlie the Choo-Choo and is written by a Beryl Evans when he buys it. Later, it changes to Claudia y Inez Bachman, which totals 19 letters. This is even more interesting when the fictional Stephen King says that Claudia Inez Bachman was the "wife" of his pseudonym, Richard Bachman. However, he states that he did not add the y. Ka must have added the y to make the total 19 and to signify the Keystone World.
- The character Stephen King lives in the nineteenth house on Turtleback Lane.
- Charles Champignon became a full gunslinger at the age of nineteen.
- There are only nineteen oil derricks at Citgo that work.
- There are 19 steps between each door inside the Dark Tower.
- Jamie Jaffords was nineteen when he made a stand against the Wolves of Thunderclap.
- Castle Discordia has 595 doors to different whens and wheres. 5+9+5 totals 19.
- The North Central Positronics device called Daria is run with a code called Directive 19 which stops it giving certain information to the user. Overriding the commands causes the device to stop working.
- The letters of Susannah Dean’s three personalities, Susannah, Odetta, and Detta, add up to 19. 8+6+5=19
- Donald Frank Callahan’s name has 19 letters.
- Richard Patrick Sayre’s name has 19 letters.
- Charlie the Choo-Choo has 19 letters if you count the dash.
- Wayne Dale Overholser’s name has 19 letters.
- Ted Stevens Brautigan’s name has 19 letters.
Examples in other King works
The number spills across the King Multiverse, appearing in most all of his fiction. It is a matter of speculation if the appearances of 19 in his early work were coincidental or intentional, though quite obviously intentional in his later work. It is unclear if this means that these stories occur in the Keystone World or are echoes of that world.
- Jake Epping sees a Plymouth Fury the license plate number is 90-811 which adds up to 19
- His license plate also adds up to 19, 23383IY.
- The for rent sign in New Orleans says to call MU3-4192 and that adds to 19.
- The Dunnings live at 379 Kossuth St. in Derry. This address adds up to 19 .
- While teaching Jake how to play cribbage, Andy Cullum refers to a hand that he calls "mystic nineteen".
- The Shining
- Wendy counts 19 stairs.
- Room 217 (2+17=19)
- Duma Key
- Pam's email is pamorama667 (6+6+7=19)
- The Delta flight his daughter takes home is number 559 (5+5+9=19)
- Edgar's email is EFree19
- The digits of Pam's hotel room also add to 19.
- Under the Dome
- Colonel James Cox reports that the Dome hit the ground at 11:44 (11+4+4=19)
- The radio station's security code, found with the spare key, is 1693 (1+6+9+3=19)
- The Tommyknockers
- King started writing The Tommyknockers on August 19th 1982 and finished on May 19th, 1987 (cited on the last page of the book).
- The Dead Zone
- The first time Johnny Smith predicts the wheel of fortune will land on a number through premonition, the number is 19.
- Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (a novella from Different Seasons)
- The rockhammer that Andy uses to escape wears down and he needs a new one from Red. It takes 19 years for this to happen.
- It's also mentioned that the original hole Andy escapes from was made in 19 years.
- Chris from The Body graduates 19th in his class in high school.
- The climax of the story takes place on January 19
- Doctor Sleep
- A character is revealed to have died on 19 January 1999
- Charles Daniel Jacobs' name is 19 letters long (7+6+6=19)
- Mr. Mercedes
- Bill Hodge's screen name given to him from the Mercedes Killer is kermitfrog19.
- Similarly, Olivia Trelawey's screen name from the Mercedes Killer ended in 19.
- The numbers 6904 in the tail number (LN6409B) on the plane that crashes in Chapter 1 add up to 19. Also, L = 12, N = 14 = 5, B = 2 --- 12 + 5 + 2 = 19.
- The titles of both Low Men in Yellow Coats and Everything’s Eventual have 19 letters.
- N.: In the short story N., N., says that 19 is a bad number.
Examples from Discordia
- Throughout Discordia you control a character who goes by the name Op19.