anthologies

Castle Rock Season 1 & 2 Explained: Who is The Kid

Castle Rock season 1 left us with an underwhelming ending and a lot of questions after piling up mystery upon mystery. But the biggest question remains who The Kid really was. Was he really the Devil, or in fact an alternate Henry Deaver, or maybe something else entirely? Let’s explore some theories. And maybe the second season can provide us with some answers?


What we have learned from season 1 

The only actual fact we have learned in the last episode of the first season that it was ‘our’ Henry who pushed his father Matthew of the cliff. Right after Matthew told Henry in implicit wording that he was panning to kill Ruth and wanted to raise Henry all by himself in his insane religious and spiritual ways. So what Henry did was defend himself and his mother. Does that make him a villain? Maybe not, but depending on how you look at the real identity of The Kid and how he ended up, ‘our’ Henry might be. 

Read the full review of Castle Rock season 1, here.


Is The Kid the Devil?

Stephen King does make use of the concept of the devil, for example in Needful Things, where Leland Gaunt is a demon who acquires souls from his customers. Fun fact is that Alan Pangborn is the sheriff in this novel that takes place in Castle Rock. So that could be a clue that The Kid and Leland Gaunt could be one and the same. But maybe Leland Gaunt is too insignificant in the Multiverse created by Stephen King. So who else could The Kid be?


Is the Kid Randall Flagg? 

But Stephen King writes about other more human-demonic beings like Randall Flagg. He is the main antagonist in The Stand and is a demonic figure, causing havoc, destruction and death everywhere he goes. He is also known as the Man in Black or Walter o’Dim, or Walter Padick, the villain in The Dark Tower series and the nemesis of Roland Deschain. He has supernatural powers like necromancy and prophecy. 

Although he first appears in The Stand which takes place in another universe than the Mainstream universe where the events in Castle Rock and Jerusalem’s Lot, Derry and Haven take place, the Schisma can connect them all, making it easy for him to jump universes. In Castle Rock there’s a Schisma that Matthew refers to as the Voice of God. It makes a special unpleasant sound and is also a portal to another dimension or time. It strongly reminds of a Thinny in the Dark Towers series. 

It makes sense that The Kid could be Randall Flagg , because he also appears in The Dark Tower series as the antagonist of Roland which takes place in Keystone Earth, which is also connected with the Mainstream universe. He wants to claim the Dark Tower for himself and rule as a god. 

While The Dark Tower series is Stephen King’s magnum opus and a book series that has created a universe of its own, that also connects many other stories, it’s a possibility. Castle Rock is supposed to bring new independent stories, but with some big connections to the Stephen King Universe. So it makes sense.

Fun fact is that The Stand is an upcoming tv-series and Randall  Flagg will be played by Alexander Skarsgård, the older brother of Bill Skarsgård who plays The Kid.


Is The Kid It or something like It?

The Dark Tower series is also connected to the novel It. It is revealed to be the nemesis of The Turtle, a creation of The Other/Gan Stephen King’s God in his Multiverse. Gan emerged from the primal chaos of the Prim and has manifested himself as the Dark Tower. He speaks through the voices of the can-calah, that are called angels by men.

The Turtle, called Maturin, is one of the twelve animal entities who are the Guardians of the 6 Beams that hold up the Dark Tower itself. The Turtle calls It, the spider, his brother, but there’s no spider guarding the beams. So it could be that It is the Turtle’s Twinner, a common phenomena in Stephen King’s novels. A Twinner is a doppelgänger either from another dimension or time. 

It emanates from the Macroverse, a void, another dimension. These species are called Deadlights. It feeds on the fear of people and causes death and destruction and violence, while he shape-shifts into people’s worst nightmares. 

But It torments Derry, and it would be strange if he suddenly also shows up in Castle Rock. So it would be too complicated if The Kid actually was It. But he could be an entity just like It, another Twinner from one of the other guardians. Or maybe even a child of It, who turned out to be pregnant. It would explain why The Kid mentions that ‘he has waited 27 years for Henry’. 27 Years is the number of years It sleeps in order to wake up and causing death and destruction, causing people to act violently. 

It is also mentioned that Castle Rock is different, that evil lurks there and that everything bad that happens, people blame the town. The same goes for Derry, the town where It dwelled, where he resides in the sewers, while The Kid is also found under the ground, hidden away, although not by choice. Fun fact is that Bill Skarsgård also played It/Pennywise in the new It films.


Is The Kid an alternate Henry Deaver?

If The Kid is telling the truth, then it’s a simple story. The Schisma is real, ‘our’ young Henry went through it and ended up in an alternate universe where Ruth and Matthew had a son who wasn’t stillborn. Ruth did leave with Henry and with Allan, which changed the lives of them and Molly. If alternate Henry and Molly helped ‘our’ Henry, who was found by Matthew in the woods and held prisoner for 27 years, also without aging, to get back and alternate Henry ended up in 1991, then ‘our’ Henry is the real villain for imprisoning alternate Henry in the present. Ironically he has become the jury who sentences someone to a life-sentence imprisonment. 

But that’s what The Kid told us. So is it the truth? Well, Henry doesn’t remember. He only remembers pushing Matthew off the cliff. So what if he is lying, where did ‘our’ Henry go for 11 days? Did he still end up in alternate 1991 and was captured by Matthew and finally found and rescued by alternate Henry? It could be. Even if alternate Henry is a lie.

Alternate Henry’s only part was that he found ‘our’ Henry in the basement, but Molly could have also found him as a real estate agent and being in the council. She helped ‘our’ Henry get out of prison and wanted to bring him to the woods so he could get back to his own time. Alternate Henry’s role is nonessential and he had no active part. Strange though, is how Molly got mysteriously stabbed. Was it that historical woman whom they chased or if alternate Henry didn’t exist, was it The Kid all along who was trapped in the Schisma and found its way out with ‘our’ Henry, ending up in 1991, after killing Molly?

This last theory can also be a partial truth about alternate Henry, who did exist but was taken over by The Kid while stepping into the Schisma where The Kid was trapped. Well, you can see you can come up with a lot of theories that can all make sense. And there’s more.

If The Kid just showed up from the Schisma and his story is a total lie, where did Henry go for 11 days? He could have been caught in the Schisma, making him to the outside world disappear for 11 days, but in fact to him it were only seconds, transporting him to the future. If The Kid is really one of the villains above or a new one, then he probably can peak inside their minds telling them everything about themselves, thus creating a believable story.

We don’t have a lot to go on, and Stephen King’s universe is so vast that many possibilities seem plausible. The Kid can even be something new entirely. Or it can connect all the villains above. We won’t know if we don’t get some definite answers. 


What we have learned from season 2

What we now have learned is that The Kid is definitely not an alternate Henry Deaver. So he lied and that brings us to the big question what really happened to Henry those 11 days? We also did learn that the Schisma is real, so did he vanish into the Schisma and immediately reappeared 11 days later? Or did he go to an alternate dimension? And that brings us back to the reasoning above, with multiple plausible possibilities.

Read the full review of Castle Rock season 2, here.


The 1619 Cult of The Angel

New in the second season is the rise of the Cult. They were the first settlers in Jerusalem’s Lot, then called New Jerusalem. They didn’t pick good land and animals were dying and the people were starving. When a girl called Amity Lambert stood up against the old ways she was banished along with Augustin. At the cliff, (from which Henry pushed his father), she meets an Angel, who turns out to be The Kid. He then shows himself as a tall dark-cloaked figure surrounded by bright light. After this encounter the crops start to grow and the land becomes prosperous. Amity becomes the prophet of The Angel. She leads a holy crusade in his name. It is also clear now that it was Amity who killed alternate Molly. So, this seems to imply that Henry did travel to an alternate universe. 

But the time wasn’t right for the Cult and The Angel to conquer the world and the Cult committed suicide in a ritualistic manner so they would be brought back to life 400 years later, as prophesied by The Angel. Augustin would be the first to rise and Amity would be the last, to bring a new age.


Is The Kid really an Angel?

When Annie Wilkes comes to Jerusalem’s Lot she kills Ace Merrill who threatens her and her daughter Joy. She dumps his body at a building site at the foot of the hill of the Marsten House. But the ground gives in and she discovers a hole where the coffins of the Cult are buried. She finds a secret passageway through the tunnels that lead up to Marsten House and escapes. 

But somehow, this is how Augustin is resurrected. His spirit now resides in the body of Ace Merrill. He resurrects the other Cult members by killing the townspeople of Jerusalem’s Lot and Castle Rock, so the Cult members can inhabit the bodies. At the celebration days of the 400 year anniversary a statue of The Angel is revealed, omitting a strange sound that almost everybody hears and everybody immediately is hypnotized. They want to use the townspeople as an army. But to what cause stays very much unclear. 

It’s also unclear what The Angel wants, who is watching from the cliff. How the statue can omit such a sound is also not explained, but it strongly resembles the sound of a Schisma. But when the sanctuary where the coffins were buried and the statue is blown up, the sound is gone and the people are freed. What happened to the surviving Cult members stays unclear. 


Is The Kid the Crimson King?

So the Kid posed as an Angel 400 years ago. What does this mean? It can still mean that he is Randall Flagg or an It kinda being. But now that he is called an Angel, a new possibility announces itself. 

Where Gan is God in the Multiverse, there’s also an archetypical figure of evil. That would be The Crimson King. He is a Lucifer-like being. He is the embodiment of pure evil and wants to destroy the Dark Tower to create chaos and rule this primordial chaos himself. He is the main antagonist in The Dark Tower series. He is a shapeshifter and is also called the Lord of Spiders. That would mean he rules It, but he also ruled Randall Flagg. He is the ultimate devil or Satan in Stephen King’s Multiverse. So The Kid would be in fact The Devil. While Matthew referred to the sound of the Schisma as the sound of god (Gan) it would be the ultimate blasphemy when The Angel claimed the sound and used it to be worshipped. Or it never was the voice of god to begin with. 

It would explain the transformation Henry witnessed on the cliff, where The Kid turned into a foul creature. About that, how did The Kid/The Angel escape his cage where Henry locked him up at the end of the first season? Could he always have escaped and was he just playing a game with Warden Dale Lacey? Was it his plan for Lacey to write everything about him down and research him what happened 400 years ago till now, so the Cult had all the information they needed? And then another thing: Where exactly is Henry Deaver? Is he still in Castle Rock or did he leave the place behind, not wanting to be a second Lacey?

It’s a real possibility that The Kid/The Angel is the Crimson King. His shapeshifting abilities for instance. Except what’s lacking are his blood shot eyes and his one red gleaming eye. That might be replaced by the Kid’s left eye that can operate all on its own, and his eyes are always a bit red. It could be a hint. And the Crimson King can fade in and out of reality, just like The Kid did in the last scene on top of the cliff after his plan failed. And he stays at the background letting all the people do the work for him, well that seems about right. 

But don’t rule out Randall Flagg just yet, because we have seen The Angel having necromancy powers and the ability to make prophecies. 

All the clues hint towards a being that transcends a mere common demon, or a Glamour creature emanating from the Macroverse, that feeds on fear. The Kid/The Angel has a plan, unknown to us at the moment, bigger than just to collect souls like a demon or to feed like It. The Kid/The Angel has a far more ambitious plan for the world(s). And for now Randall Flagg or the Crimson King seem the most likely characters to be The Kid/The Angel. But still, he can be altogether something totally new, surprising us with a new epic story and a new villain. We’ll just have to wait and see. 


Anyway, whoever The Kid or The Angel turns out to be, I really feel like reading all Stephen King’s novels again. After watching both seasons of Castle Rock I just want to immerse myself into his Multiverse and hunt down some easter eggs, hidden connections and more, reading all of it with fresh eyes. What about you?


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