8 Alternative Endings To Stephen King Novels That Were Originally Planned

8 Alternative Endings To Stephen King Novels That Were Originally Planned
Image credit: Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros.

From deleted epilogues to completely rewritten plots, Stephen King has a history of revising his books.

For nearly six decades, Stephen King has been known around the world as the King of Horror, shaking up pop culture with his original and sometimes truly terrifying works. King is also one of the most prolific writers: he has written 65 novels, 12 short story collections, 5 non-fiction books, 19 screenplays for movies and TV series, and has worked in many other formats, from graphic novels to musicals. Not surprisingly, the author's creative process involves regular editing and rewriting of previous material. In this context, we would like to introduce you to 8 instances in which the plots of his popular novels could have taken a completely different course.

8 Alternate Endings to King's Iconic Novels

1. After the Play — The Shining

2. Flagg survives the nuclear explosion — The Stand

3. Father Callahan's grim end — 'Salem's Lot

4. Annie gets the best book — Misery

5. Walter's certain death — The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger

6. Completely rewritten novel — Blaze

7. Ideas from the unpublished novel — Under the Dome

8. Jake and Sadie never meet — 11/22/63

Writing a book is an incredibly resource-intensive process that requires a creative spark, a great deal of focus and attention. Moreover, even when plots are outlined, new ideas may arise by the time they are committed to paper, or previous storylines may prove less relevant. Take George R.R. Martin, for example. We've been waiting 12 years for The Winds of Winter, the sixth novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which the author has been slow to finish because there's always something to revise, rewrite, edit, or simply delete.

Stephen King is no exception, and his career is littered with alternate endings suggested after the plot was written, retconned storylines, or ideas that began long before the novel was written but took on a completely different form along the way.

For example, did you know that Misery was originally intended to have a much more gruesome ending? While in the final draft of the novel Paul Sheldon managed to escape from his deranged fan Annie Wilkes, King's original plan was to give Annie what she wanted: to skin Paul and use him as a cover for the novel she was forcing him to write. Well, maybe it's for the best that a more hopeful ending came out!