Roland Deschain is the central protagonist and hero of The Dark Tower. He is the son of Steven and Gabrielle Deschain and is the last of a long line of "gunslingers", peacekeepers and diplomats of Roland's society. He is also the final human descendant of Arthur Eld. His image and personality are largely inspired by the "Man with No Name" from three of Sergio Leone's westerns, though his quest and many of his personal and internal conflicts are drawn from Robert Browning's poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.
Roland is also very old, and stated to be immortal (he is approximately 336 or 337 years old at the end of his quest).
Powers and Stats
Tier: 9-B physically, 9-A with his revolvers
Name: Roland Deschain
Origin: The Dark Tower
Age: 336 or 337 years old (appears to be late 30s or early 40s physically)
Classification: Human, Gunslinger of Gilead
Powers & Abilities: Superhuman Physical Characteristics, Enhanced Senses, Expert Gunslinger, Immortality (Type 1), potential psychic powers, minor Mind Manipulation (Was taught a minor form of hypnotism by Marten Broadcloak in his youth), Resistance to diseases and radiation (Has spent most of his life completely unaware of the fact that he is afflicted with chronic radiation sickness and multiple forms of Hepatitis) as well as Mind Manipulation and Empathic Manipulation (Fought off a dust devil's mental illusions while weakened from food and water deprivation. Beheld a vision of the birth of the universe inside of a single atom in a blade of grass, which was stated immediately afterwards to have been capable of driving a normal man insane. Completely immune to Randall Flagg's psychic powers, which include mind reading, mind control and emotional manipulation)
Speed: At least Subsonic combat speed with Supersonic reactions (Can shoot and reload his revolvers with such speed that he appears to be using machineguns. Able to shoot down sneetches, which travel faster than the eye can see. Has shown comparable combat speed to Randall Flagg, and during a fight with him, was able to block multiple speeding bullets with nothing but his gun)
Lifting Strength: Superhuman (Effortlessly broke a man's wrists. Snapped a man-sized wolf's neck with his bare hands when he was only 14. Tossed a man into a wooden shelf with enough force to smash it into pieces, and did so with only one arm.)
Striking Strength Wall Class (Punched through a dirt wall. Demolished a wooden doorway with a single kick as a teenager. )
Durability: Wall level (Survived being shot in the chest with multiple firearms at once, followed by taking a direct blow to the head from a man far stronger than him physically. Was still able to fight after falling four stories into a moving bus. Withstood getting hit with a steel beam hard enough to send him flying, then stood back up after having a large pile of stone debris dropped on him from above)
Stamina: Superhuman. Managed to survive walking across a desert for eight days without food, two of which he had also gone without water. Was up and moving after getting shot in the chest multiple times and being struck in the head hard enough to knock him unconscious. Won a fight after falling out of a window into a moving bus, getting stabbed with glass, having a bullet puncture his hand, being knocked into a wall with a steel beam and having several pounds of concrete dropped on him while he was down. Was still fully capable of fighting and outgunning numerous enemies despite being half-dead from a debilitating sickness.
Range: Standard melee range physically. Up to several hundred meters with his revolvers. (Scored a headshot on a man who was far enough away that a normal person required binoculars in order to see him)
Standard Equipment: The Horn of Eld. A combat knife. A custom gun belt. A "grow bag" which generates items and supplies. The Guns of Deschain. (Two revolvers forged from the melted-down steel of Excalibur.)
Intelligence: Well above average. Supernaturally skilled in combat, particularly so in terms of firearms training and marksmanship. Extremely observant and attentive to details, especially in regards to hunting, tracking and maintaining awareness of his surroundings. Is also exceptional at locating traps, including those which have been hidden and camouflaged.
Weaknesses: Obsessed with his quest for the Dark Tower. Possesses a rather straightforward approach to most conflicts, and has stated himself that he has trouble 'thinking around corners'. (Though this rarely ever seems to affect his combat ability)
- Shooting/Aiming Skills: Roland is extremely adept at using his guns, managing to score nigh-impossible shots with a relative ease. He is capable of tagging enemies from impossible distances, as well as shooting incredibly small targets such as bats and garden snakes. He's able to hit unseen targets by ricocheting bullets off multiple surfaces, as well as gun down flying projectiles in midair, shoot through a sniper scope from several meters away, and even redirect his own bullets by shooting them mid-flight. He also happens to be proficient at knife-throwing, being capable of flinging his knife with lethal accuracy.
- Reloading Skills: Roland uses unconventional methods to reload his guns faster than other firearm users. His reloading is so fast that the average eye compares his shooting to that of a machinegun, and he is capable of putting six bullets into his revolver within a single sweep of his hand.
- Enhanced Senses: Roland's senses border on the supernatural. His hearing is acute to the point of letting him hear a drop of blood hit the ground from across a village (while in the middle of a battle), his eyesight has allowed him to spot the Crimson King from as far as five miles away, and he managed to track down Jake Chambers from a great distance while using nothing but his sense of smell.
- Resistance: Through means unknown, Roland has developed a high resistance to outside influence, be it physical, mental or emotional. He has resisted mind control (including those of Randall Flagg), and has fought off illusions and glamours from demons, witches and succubi.
Note: While it is implied that Roland's guns might have been able to kill the Crimson King's avatar prior to him becoming undead, this theory was never proven and its basis lies in the in-universe legend that the guns are capable of killing immortals. (Similarly to Excalibur, the sword which was melted down in order to forge them) The legend itself also holds no context inside or outside of the story, and the supposed immortal-killing aspect of Roland's guns has never been shown at any point within the series.
Furthermore, Patrick Danville failed to completely erase the Crimson King's avatar from reality even after he was empowered by the Rose, a source of power comparable the Dark Tower itself. This fact alone would mean that Roland's guns would need to be capable of doing damage on a higher-dimensional level in order to kill the Crimson King's avatar on their own, a feat which is far beyond what the guns have ever shown to be capable of.