Gunslingers are fictional characters in author Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Protectors of the Way of the Eld, also known as the Way of the White, Gunslingers endure rigorous physical and mental training before earning the sandalwood-gripped guns they wear.

Gunslingers begin their training in the grassy yard behind the Great Hall. Their teachers, Cort and Vannay, teach them many things, including military tactics, gunplay, hand-to-hand combat, tracking, hunting, hypnotism, science and magic.

Gunslingers also must memorize the Gunslinger Litany, which is as follows: “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye. I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind. I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart.”

To prove themselves, trainees must battle Cort in the grassy yard and defeat him. They are required to enter from a gate to the west. If they are successful, they are given the nickel-plated revolvers of a first-year Gunslinger and allowed to leave through the gate to the east as men. If they fail, they are sent back through the gate to the west in exile, never to see their families or friends again.



Flamini, Anthony. The Dark Tower: Gunslinger's Guidebook. Marvel Publishing, Inc., 2007.

Furth, Robin. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance. Scribner, 2006. ISBN 0743297342

King, Stephen. The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book I, Revised). Viking Adult, 2003. ISBN 0670032549

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