Towerpedia:Maerlyn's Rainbow

Maerlyn’s Rainbow is the term used for a number of talismanic objects featuring in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Also known as the Bends ‘O the Rainbow or the Wizard’s Rainbow, it is comprised of thirteen magical glass balls of different colors, which show only the dark side of what they see.

The colors are given in the Gunslinger Born #2 comic as being; crimson, orange, yellow, pink, dark blue, dark green, indigo, lime, azure, violet, brown, pearl grey and black.

Creation of the Rainbow

Maerlyn, spawn of the Prim, spun the waters there into twelve different colored seeing spheres. After creating the twelve, Maerlyn created Black Thirteen, the ball that contained only the evil that existed between worlds.

The fact that there are thirteen balls is quite significant. Twelve represent each Guardian of the Beams, and Black Thirteen represents the Tower itself.

However, unlike the White, which could be said to be the best of human nature, the balls encourage our baser emotions, with their corrupt images and crude desires. Therefore, what the balls more honestly seem to represent are the aspects of the twelve demon elementals and the Crimson King.

Once the balls were created, Maerlyn cursed them so that they would bring only sorrow and despair to the people who used them.

Maerlyn and some of the Prim demons arrived unannounced at Arthur Eld’s coronation, offering the spheres as a gift. Eld realized the balls were cursed and ordered they be shattered. When this proved impossible, Eld ordered the spheres be buried in a cave and never seen again.

The attraction of the balls was too strong, however. Thieves were eventually drawn to the cursed spheres and they entered the world once again.

Location of the Spheres

Although most of the spheres were lost over time, a few are still believed to be scattered throughout Mid-World.

The Blue One was last known to be in the possession of a tribe of mutants. The Green One was thought to be hidden in the city of Lud, and the Orange One was last seen in the ruined city of Dis. The Pink one, known as Maearlyn’s Grapefruit, was in the hands of John Farson until the Big Coffin Hunters took it to Hambry and gave it to Rhea Dubativo for safekeeping. The Grapefruit eventually was taken to Gilead by Roland, Cuthbert and Alain.

Black Thirteen was given to Pere Callahan by Walter, who used it to send the Pere to Calla Bryn Sturgis. It eventually ended up in the possession of Roland, and later Jake and the Pere again, who stashed it in a locker at the World Trade Center.

At one time, the Crimson King had six of the thirteen spheres at Le Casse Roi Russe. He smashed all of them when they showed him Roland’s victories in Calla Bryn Sturgis and the Devar-Toi.

All thirteen balls can still be seen, represented in stained glass in the oriel window at the top of the Tower.

Original Artwork by Mike Beck



David, Peter, & Furth, Robin. The Gunslinger Born #2. Marvel Comics, May 2007.

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

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