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The True Knot are a group of quasi-immortal "vampires" who employ torture to feed on the life force, known to them as "steam," of children who are gifted with the Shining. They are an unknowably old group, and there were at one point so many of them that there were many splinter groups — hence their being the "True" Knot. They are a main antagonist in Doctor Sleep, currently led by Rose the Hat, with Crow Daddy as her second-in-command, and Snakebite Andi as their youngest turn.

They all abandon their rube names for their more unconventional names, possibly to further fit in with "RV people," possibly due to their disgust with rubes. Examples of this are Pea and Pod, who are twins and look alike, and Greedy G, who enjoys gambling and flaunting her victories. It also appears that they change their names slightly to match the standards of the time and place which they travel through. Examples of this are Rose the Hat, formerly known as the Irish Rose, and Tommy the Truck, who was formerly known as Tommy the Wagon. Also Grampa Flick, whose backstory is that he is a war veteran, changes his story of which war he is a veteran of as the years pass.

They own many businesses and campgrounds/rest areas secretly to cover up their meetings, turnings, and feeding. One of these is Bluebell Camp ground outside of Sidewinder, Colorado, where the Overlook Hotel once stood, now the Overlook Lodge is present there. It is mentioned in the book that there were once over two hundred, but by the time the events of the book take place, there are forty-one remaining, driving fourteen campers.  Only certain members of the True Knot are able to detect children with the shining, but they are all, on some level, psychic, as they were able to predict 9/11, to the point of knowing something bad would happen months in advance.

Turning Process

The True Knot only consume the steam of children with The Shine, but if an adult with The Shine has a unique ability they find desireable, they will attempt to recruit and "turn" them. According to a conversation with Rose the Hat to Snakebite Andi, they will not consume adults because it would be like eating bad meat from an old cow. According to Rose, if they refuse their memories could be wiped and their power taken away.

If a recruit agrees to be turned the members gather around them in a circle and begin a call & response type of chant lead by Grampa Flick. A container (filled with a child's steam) is opened and the potential recruit is to inhale it and consume it. At this point, the process is painful and survival is not guaranteed. The recruit feels all the pain of the tortured child when they died and their body begins to change (disappear to varying degrees). A member of the true Knot, then gives them more steam if they survive, possibly to give them a taste of an enjoyable experience. The new recruit is now turned.

Weaknesses

  • Disease (being so old, they have not developed immunity to modern diseases and can contract diseases through steam)
  • Regular trauma that can kill a normal human

Members

  • Grampa Flick (their oldest member by turning and presenting age) (real name Jonas Flick)
  • Rose the Hat (real name Rose O'Hara)
  • Crow Daddy (real name Henry Rothman)
  • Snakebite Andi (real name Andrea Steiner)
  • Jimmy Numbers
  • Walnut (real name Peter Wallis)
  • Barry the Chink (real name Barry Smith)
  • Petty the Chink
    • Barry the Chink's wife. Dances with Grampa Flick at one point. She is the first to notice Grampa Flick cycle. She is present when he begins dying. Rose believes she is a lazy gossip, only good for nagging. She laughs at Billy Freeman trying to do a cartwheel, and is afterward killed by the infected steam of Concetta.
  • Tommy the Truck
    • The first member of the True Knot to die in the book. He was formerly known as Tommy the Wagon, and was initiated into the True Knot by Heavy Mary ninety years prior. It is possible that they were married or in a relationship, as they slept together.
  • Heavy Mary
    • Close to Tommy the Truck. Initiated him into the True Knot, and contemplates suicide after his death. It is possible that they were married or in a relationship, as they slept together. She is also stated to have been with the True Knot almost as long as Grampa Flick. She is killed at the end by the infected steam of Concetta.
  • Pea and Pod
    • Known as The Little Twins, they are the ones who push Grampa Flick in a wheelchair whenever he has not consumed enough steam to be able to walk. They are also young enough to still look like children, if they have just consumed steam. They were turned when they were twelve years old. After Crow Daddy captures Abra and Billy they track police reports to see if they are being followed. After Rose decides to hunt Abra, they leave the True Knot along with Sweet Terri Pickford.
  • Silent Sarey (real name Sarah Carter)
    • Described as a pretty, pallid woman who never speaks. She has a low voice and a speech impediment, and due to this, rarely speaks. She is able to make herself unnoticeable, nearly to the point of invisibility. She is first seen bringing Rose the canister of steam to initiate Andi into the True Knot. She has a relationship with Andi, and is upset when she dies. She is among those who notice Rose react to the raiding party being killed, and later, after Crow Daddy's death, tries to comfort her. They spend the night together after losing their partners. During the final confrontation at the Overlook Lodge, she is sent to the shed to kill Abra, to avoid being sensed while the other members of the True Knot are in the lodge, and as a result, ends up the only remaining member of the True Knot other than Rose not to be killed by the infected steam of Concetta. Instead, she is killed by the ghost of Horace Derwent, who Dan releases to help them.
  • Token Charlie
    • Owns one of the vehicles of the True Knot, a Bounder. His name is possibly due to him being the only African-American in the True Knot. Shares a joint with Baba the Russian at Andi's initiation. He is among those who notice Rose react to the raiding party being killed. After the True Knot starts to break apart, Rose does not believe he will abandon her after the True Knot splinters. He is ultimately one of the last members to stay with the main group. He has a very minor ability to track those with the shining, but at the end, this is the most any remaining member has, apart from Rose. He is told to use it to check for when Abra and Dan are coming, and does so. only to be killed when Dan releases the infected steam of Concetta.
  • Baba the Russian (possibly misprinted twice as Baba the Red)
    • Shares a joint with Token Charlie at Andi's initiation. Later she or Steamhead Steve's wife help Black-Eyed Sue take care of Grampa Flick when he becomes ill. Present when Grampa Flick begins dying, close to Harpman Sam. When Silent Sarey tries to comfort Rose, either she or Baba the Red, as well as Sweet Terri Pickford, move to make room. After Rose decides to hunt Abra, she and Steamhead Steve leave the True Knot. It is possible she and Baba the Red are the same person, as only the character "Baba" is referred to as helping Black-Eyed Sue take care of Grampa Flick, as well as holding on to Sweet Terri, and Steamhead Steve leaves the group with her instead of Baba the Red, who is stated to be his wife.
  • Apron Annie (real name Anne Lamont)
    • Able to cry on command, later travels with Long Paul and Grampa Flick when tracking Bradley Trevor. She and Big Mo later take care of Grampa Flick, and she is the one to notice he is dying. She is later present when he dies. Later goes with Diesel Doug and Dirty Phil to meet Crow Daddy after he captures Abra and Billy. After Crow Daddy's death, all three decide to leave the group and go on their own.
  • Black-Eyed Sue
    • Able to cry on command. Later helps "Baba" take care of Grampa Flick when he becomes ill. She has a minor ability to locate those with the shining. She is killed at the end by the infected steam of Concetta.
  • Dirty Phil (real name Phil Caputo)
    • Shares a Bounder with Greedy G. Goes with Diesel Doug and Apron Annie to meet Crow Daddy after he captures Abra and Billy. After Crow Daddy's death, all three decide to leave the group and go on their own.
  • Diesel Doug
    • Goes with Apron Annie and Dirty Phil to meet Crow Daddy after he captures Abra and Billy. After Crow Daddy's death, all three decide to leave the group and go on their own.
  • Steamhead Steve
    • Baba the Red's husband. Drives a Winnebago. He plays cards with Greedy G, Baba the Red and Bent Dick when Crow Daddy is killed. He tries to discourage Rose from getting revenge. After Rose decides to hunt Abra, he and Baba the Russian leave the True Knot.
  • Baba the Red (only mentioned twice, possibly just a misprint of Baba the Russian)
    • Steamhead Steve's wife. She or Baba the Russian help Black-Eyed Sue take care of Grampa Flick when he becomes ill. She plays cards with Steamhead Steve, Greedy G and Bent Dick when Crow Daddy is killed. When Silent Sarey tries to comfort Rose, either she or Baba the Russian, as well as Sweet Terri Pickford, move to make room. It is possible she and Baba the Russian are the same person, as only the character "Baba" is referred to as helping Black-Eyed Sue take care of Grampa Flick, as well as holding on to Sweet Terri, and Steamhead Steve leaves the group with Baba the Russian instead of Baba the Red, who is stated to be his wife.
  • Greedy G (real name Greta Moore)
    • Enjoys gambling. Shares a Bounder with Dirty Phil. She plays cards with Steamhead Steve, Baba the Red and Bent Dick when Crow Daddy is killed. Rose considers her not very smart, but loyal and unquestioning, and does not believe she will abandon her after the True Knot splinters. She has a minor ability to locate those with the shining. She is killed at the end by the infected steam of Concetta.
  • Long Paul
    • Travels with Apron Annie and Grampa Flick when tracking Bradley Trevor. Later notices Rose react to the raiding party being killed. Rose does not believe he will abandon her after the True Knot splinters. He is able to persuade rubes to do what he wants them to. He informs Rose that Abra is calling them, and that he has measles. He also tells her that Black-Eyed Sue and Greedy G have a slight ability to locate those with the shining, and Token Charlie has a little bit more. He is killed at the end by the infected steam of Concetta. His last words are "What in the hell is that?"
  • Short Eddie (real name Ed Higgins)
    • Big Mo's husband, one of the cooks for the group. He and his wife are the first to notice when Rose reacts to the raiding party having been killed. He is killed at the end by the infected steam of Concetta. His last words are "I love you" to Big Mo.
  • Big Mo (real name Maureen Higgins)
    • Short Eddie's wife, one of the cooks for the group. She and Apron Annie later take care of Grampa Flick. She is present when he dies. She and her husband are the first to notice when Rose reacts to the raiding party being killed. She is later shown, upon Crow Daddy's death, to have contracted the measles. After Rose decides to hunt Abra, she tries to leave the True Knot along with Pea, Pod and Terri, but they reject her because she is sick. She is killed at the end by the infected steam of Concetta. As they die, her husband tells her he loves her. She attempts to reply, but dies before she is able to.
  • Harpman Sam
    • Present when Grampa Flick begins dying, close to Baba the Russian. He is among those who notice Rose react to the raiding party being killed. Rose does not believe he will abandon her after the True Knot splinters. He is killed at the end by the infected steam of Concetta.
  • Toady Slim
    • Feeds information to Crow Daddy on which roads to take back to the True Knot after he captures Abra and Billy. Rose later contemplates having him empty the bank accounts and cancel the credit cards of those who abandon the group. He later gives the phone to Rose when Abra calls a second time. He is killed at the end by the infected steam of Concetta.
  • Bent Dick
    • Plays cards with Steamhead Steve, Baba the Red and Greedy G when Crow Daddy is killed. Rose does not believe he will abandon her after the True Knot splinters. He is killed at the end by the infected steam of Concetta.
  • Sweet Terri Pickford
    • A member who has not contracted measles by the time of Crow Daddy's death. She and "Baba" hold each other in fear, and later break apart when Rose decides to hunt Abra in revenge. After Rose decides to hunt Abra, she leaves the True Knot along with the twins Pea and Pod.
  • Fat Fannie
    • One of those who Rose believes will not run following the splintering of the True Knot. She is killed at the end by the infected steam of Concetta.
  • Hands-Off Hans
    • A member who died before the events of Doctor Sleep. He was a Dutchman who was electrocuted by a falling power line in a windstorm in Arkansas after World War II. He is mentioned when Grampa Flick dies.
  • Katie Patches
    • A member who died before the events of Doctor Sleep. She drowned. She is mentioned when Grampa Flick dies.
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