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Stephen King Wiki

Anne Marie "Annie" Wilkes-Dugan is a major antagonist of the Stephen King multiverse.

Serving as the main antagonist of Misery, its film adaptation, and the main protagonist of season two of Castle Rock. She is also a mentioned character in Haven: "As You Were" and Bag of Bones.


Early life[]

Annie was born in Bakersfield, California and she graduated from the University of California at the Los Angeles nursing school in 1966. While serving as the head maternity nurse at a hospital in Boulder, Colorado, several infants in her care died under mysterious circumstances. She was tried for their deaths, but she was acquitted for lack of evidence. But the press — which called her "the Dragon Lady" — strongly implied that she was in fact guilty. Paul also learns that she killed several patients at other hospitals where she worked, but no one noticed because they were either very sick or suffered debilitating injuries beforehand. Annie also killed her father, her childhood neighbors and their father — a hitchhiker she once slept with — all totaling almost 70 people.

Paul also finds out that Annie used to be married to a physical therapist named Ralph Dugan, who later divorced her, citing "mental cruelty". Annie was clearly angry at him for leaving her, but, to Paul's surprise, she didn't kill him. The reasons for Annie's leniency in this case are not explained in the novel.

Castle Rock[]

Annie Wilkes was played by Lizzy Caplan in Season Two of Castle Rock. A nurse and superfan, Annie is battling with mental health issues. Along with her half sister, Joy, she ends up waylaid in Castle Rock, Maine during a feud between warring clans.


She is Paul Sheldon's alleged number one fan, although she is actually a lonely psychopath who is completely obsessed with him. Wilkes is stalking Sheldon after he leaves the Silver Creek Lodge, and when his car gets into a bad accident as a result of a strong blizzard and his driving impaired by a good amount of champagne he'd been drinking in celebration, she rescues him, taking his manuscript for his latest book along the way. She takes him to her isolated home and slowly nurses him to health, easing his pain with doses of a heavy, opioid-based drug named Novril, to which Paul becomes addicted and therefore easier to control. The drugs had another purpose — to act as stimulant in order to keep Sheldon's mind fertile in order to continue his writing.

She is dangerously insane and bipolar, and has an averse reaction to profanity (her own vocabulary limited to child-like words such as "cockadoodie"). Her punishments grow more and more severe as she grows less complacent with Paul's behavior or slow progress. She first forces him to drink soapy rinse water she'd used to clean a wall in his room and later forces him burn the only copy of the book, Fast Cars, which he'd been writing at the lodge before she found him. Later, after finding out Paul had escaped his confinement when she was out, she sedates him in bed and uses an axe to cut off his foot, cauterizing the bleeding stump with a torch.

After Paul finishes the book, Annie plans a murder-suicide, but this is foiled when Paul burns a fake manuscript of Misery's Return (the real manuscript having been hidden under the bed) and then exhaustively shoves charred pages down her throat before she trips on the typewriter and hits her head on the mantle. Paul is rescued, but then he realizes that she had survived his attacks, but succumbed to her head injuries after she crawled out to the barn, her hands wrapped around a chainsaw, intending to use it on Sheldon. Paul suffers from post-traumatic stress following the ordeal, haunted by memories of her.

Large misery blu-ray11

Annie's death.

The film's version of her death is a little different. The basic premise is the same. Paul distracts Annie by asking for another champagne glass and then douses the manuscript of Misery's Return in lighter fluid. He then lights a match, and when she protests, he tells her that he learned it from her and then lights the book on fire. She tries to put the book out, desperate to find out what happened to Misery, but to no avail. Paul then lifts up the heavy metal Royal typewriter above his head and drops it on Annie's head. Paul attempts to flee in his wheelchair, but Annie draws her Colt Cobra revolver and shoots Sheldon in the arm, then trying to strangle him. Sheldon gets the upper hand by pressing her eyes with his thumb and then tackling her onto the ground. Sheldon again gets the upper hand by shoving the burning pages down her throat in a failed attempt to strangle her. Annie kicks him in the crotch and attempts to flee, presumably to get another weapon, but Sheldon swings his leg out and trips her, causing her to fall headfirst onto the typewriter, presumably killing her. Sheldon crawls away, but Annie, barely alive, attempts to kill Paul for the last time. Paul gets the upper hand when he grabs the steel doorstop and beats her to death with it, fracturing her skull. A bloodied Annie looks at Paul with regret and then falls on top of him, dead.

Months later, back in his home in New York City, Paul is having lunch with his publicist, who asks if he would consider writing a non-fiction book about his captivity at the hands of Annie Wilkes, to which Paul declines. Paul sees Annie momentarily, only to realize his mind was playing tricks on him and another woman is their waitress, implying he may be suffering from nightmares or hallucinations as a result of the ordeal.



She is portrayed as a psychopath with a number of unnamed mental health disorders. Annie's personality is characterized by violent mood swings, alternating between sweet and charming to blind fury.

Despite her clearly evil actions, Annie has a very rigid moral code that she strictly follows and expects others to conform to and she feels especially obligated to “correct” those who violate her principles. Annie also regards herself as a devout Christian and believes that God often speaks to her and instructs her. Annie abhors profanity, becoming enraged if it is ever used in her presence. She is obsessed with the Misery Chastain novels by Paul Sheldon and has difficulty distinguishing between them and reality. A reclusive individual who lives by herself, Annie is prone to bouts of depression and appears to have severely low self-esteem. During her depressive favors, she binge eats and self-harms.

Annie is a control freak with a strong desire for power over others and shows pronounced sinister tendencies, not only torturing Paul for disobeying her but also murdering countless infants during her tenure as a nurse. Interestingly, Annie's intelligence is a subject of debate. She sometimes seems slow-witted and unsophisticated, mispronouncing don Perignon for instance but she is also highly perceptive, manipulative, cunning, and capable of thinking quickly as well as having graduated from the University of Southern California and pursuing a medical career across the country, albeit marred by the occasional unfortunate bout of infanticide. Forensic psychologist Reid Malloy states that Annie's personality is a virtual catalogue of personality disorders. She shows signs of schizoid, schizotypal, and obsessive compulsive personality disorders respectively as well as bipolar and sadomasochistic features.

Castle Rock[]



Misery (book)[]

  • Krenmitz Family:
  • Carl Wilkes:
  • Andrea Saint James
  • Ernest Gonyar:
  • Hester "Queenie" Beaulifant:
  • Elderly deaths:
  • Paulette Simeaux:
  • Child of age three:
  • Laura D. Rothberg:
  • Infant deaths:
  • Girl Christopher:
  • Andrew Pomeroy:
  • Paul Sheldon:
  • Duane Kushner:

Misery (film)[]


  • She was portrayed by Kathy Bates in the film adaptation of Misery, who won a Best Actress Academy Award for her efforts, becoming the first and currently only actor/actress to win for a Stephen King adaptation.
  • Despite clearly being mad at her husband for divorcing her, she did not kill him. The reasons for this are unknown. 
  • King once said publicly real world serial killer Genene Jones was partly an inspiration for Annie Wilkes. Jones was a nurse known for an extensive career of working in maternity wards of hospitals ad pediatric clinics in Texas. When she was staffed, patients started to more often be in critical condition or die, most often infants. Jones was eventually arrested for overdosing babies, one who was killed, in her last clinic she was employed at. She has since been suspected of grievously overdosing hundreds of infants in the facilities she was employed at, killing an estimated total of 85 babies. Jones was only convicted of one baby's murder, until she was to be paroled in recent years, when prosecutors jumped to convicting her of more murders of babies and successfully keeping Jones imprisoned.


Photo Gallery[]