Towerpedia:Rhea Dubativo

Rhea Dubativo is a fictional character in author Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Also known as Rhea of the Cos, she is resident witch of the town of Hambry, and lives with her two familiars, a snake, Ermot, and a cat, Musty.

Early Life

Rhea grew up on a farm in the southern part of the Barony of Delain. She was not pretty, like her sisters, or clever, like her brothers, but she had an exceptional memory and a strong propensity to be spiteful. Anyone who dared cross Rhea would live to regret it.

Sharp in tongue as well as temper, Rhea never saw the good in anything. She believed that only the powerful survived, and she was determined to be as powerful as she could be.

By the age of twelve, Rhea’s ability to hold a grudge was legendary. If Rhea believed someone had slighted or crossed her, that person met with a terrible misfortune. Her favorite game as a child was Princess, a game she created where she was ruler of the world and everyone else her slaves. Of course the neighborhood children would not play this game, but Rhea found ample playmates in the muddy bog that bordered her family’s farm.

One day, while at her strange game, Rhea felt something sharp blow into her eye. It turned out to be a fragment of the Laughing Mirror Maerlyn had created when the world was new. The speck that entered Rhea’s eye was full of the cruelty and evil of the Outer Dark, and it distorted reality, making good things appear ridiculous and evil things handsome. Because Rhea’s natural tendency was to see this way, the speck instead affected her perception of magic.

Later Years

Rhea traveled from town to town, practicing her magic and spreading misery and unhappiness wherever she went. Anyone she helped also suffered an adverse affect as a result.

Rhea also knew how to ward off death. Her life extended beyond ten natural life spans, but it took a toll on her physical appearance, leaving her a twisted, ugly version of her former self.

Eventually a spider demon came to collect Rhea’s spirit, but she was not ready to give up her mortal life. She begged the demon for a chance to extend her time on earth, and the demon sent her to the town of Hambry, in the Barony of Mejis. The demon told her a traveler of the line of Eld was to come there some time in the future and fall in love with a local girl. Rhea’s mission was to ensure that no child came of the union.

Mejis

Living in the Cos with Ermot and Musty, Rhea was known as the local witch. She was the one who verified Susan Delgado’s virginity before she was taken to Hart Thorin’s bed as his gilly. She was also entrusted with the Grapefruit, one of the Wizard’s Rainbows and technically the property of John Farson.

It is Rhea’s obsession with the Grapefruit that eventually leads to her discovery of Roland and Susan’s relationship. The Grapefruit shows Rhea all the ugly secrets of the residents of Hambry, and eventually leads her to see the lovers and discover their secret. Rhea is determined to thwart the relationship, and is ultimately responsible for Susan’s becoming a sacrifice on the Reap fire.

Original artwork by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove

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References

David, Peter, & Furth, Robin. The Gunslinger Born #5. Marvel Comics, August 2007.

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

King, Stephen. Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, Book IV). Viking Adult, 2003. ISBN 0670032573

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