5 Stephen King stories that will play into Castle Rock Season 2

Castle Rock -- "Henry Deaver" - Episode 109 - A world beyond these walls. Molly Strand (Melanie Lynskey) from left, Bill Skarsgard and Wendell Deaver (Chosen Jacobs), shown. (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu)
Castle Rock -- "Henry Deaver" - Episode 109 - A world beyond these walls. Molly Strand (Melanie Lynskey) from left, Bill Skarsgard and Wendell Deaver (Chosen Jacobs), shown. (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu) /

With the premiere date for Castle Rock Season 2 looming on the horizon, here are five Stephen King stories that will no doubt play a part in the new season.

Just in time for Halloween, Castle Rock is returning to potentially haunt your nightmares, or frustrate you. Your mileage may vary in that regard. Regardless, Castle Rock will be coming back to Hulu on Oct. 23.

Some out there, with an ingrained love for the Stephen King, will doubtlessly want to have a jump on what to expect this season. If the upcoming season is anything like the first, there will be no shortage of King Easter eggs that you’ll want to keep an eye out for. What better way to do that than to know what to look for in the first place.

It should be noted that is by no means an exhaustive list and there will almost assuredly be references in Season 2 that aren’t covered by these stories. That being said, let’s begin with the easiest and most obvious of nods.

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1. Misery

One of the most prominent faces that will be appearing throughout this season of Castle Rock is a name that fans and non-fans alike will be familiar with: Annie Wilkes, played by Kathy Bates in the film adaptation. This time around, Masters of Sex alum Lizzy Caplan will be picking up the mantle of everyone’s favorite deranged superfan with what is expected to be a kind of origin story for the iconic character.

Additionally, Wilkes’ teenage daughter Joy (a show creation) will be played by Eighth Grade star Elsie Fisher and will presumably be witness to her mother’s mental decline as she becomes more and more the woman we know from Misery.

2. The Sun Dog

To fulfill last season’s meta-narrative of King alums, like Sissy Spacek and Bill Skarsgard, getting cast in the series, Tim Robbins has joined as Reginald “Pop” Merrill.  Fans will recognize Pop from “The Sun Dog,” one of the novellas from “Four Past Midnight.”

Pop is the patriarch of the Merrill family, which appears multiple times throughout King’s Castle Rock stories, and, in the novella, runs a shop called the Emporium Gallorium. He also operates as a high rate money lender and sells supposedly paranormal goods. On the show, as far as we know, Pop is dying of cancer and is facing some sort of reckoning from his crime family.

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3. Needful Things

Many seasons of Castle Rock will likely have a connection in some way to “Needful Things” and particularly unavoidable when you are talking about the Merrill family. In the novel, Sherriff Alan Pangborn consistently butts heads with John “Ace” Merrill, who is being played by House of Cards‘ Paul Sparks on the show.

Ace is taking control of the Merrill family as far as crime goes and going up against another group. He’s not the only Merrill, other than Pop, who will pop up this season. Also here is Ace’s brother Chris, played by Matthew Alan from 13 Reasons Why, who is being billed as the peacekeeper of the family.

Castle Rock
Castle Rock — “Henry Deaver” – Episode 109 – A world beyond these walls. Bill Skarsgard, shown. (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu) /

4. Salem’s Lot

Jerusalem’s Lot as a setting may be little more than set dressing for this season but it’s here nonetheless. This section is especially notable, however, as it features two characters that have no basis in the Stephen King universe.

Nadia and Abdi Omar, played by Call the Midwife‘s Yusra Warsama and Captain Phillips‘ Barkhad Abdi, respectively, are two characters in Jerusalem’s Lot that will be fending off the Merrill family in an undefined conflict. Abdi is attempting to build a Somalian community center in Jerusalem’s Lot and Nadia is a medical doctor at a hospital in the town who will no doubt get wrapped up in everything at some point.

Beyond that, who knows? Maybe vampires will get involved in the plot at some point. It is Jerusalem Lot, after all.

5. The Body 

When you hear Ace Merrill’s name, there’s a decent chance that your mind goes back to a group of kids trying to find a dead body and coming up against Ace. This might be a good one to keep an eye out for if only have your bases covered going into the season. It also might be good to get a refresher on the type of person Ace was earlier in his life.

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Are you excited for Castle Rock to come back on Hulu? Let us know in the comments.