Rose Walker is the daughter of Miranda Walker and Burt Paulsen. She also has a brother named Jed. The two were estranged, as her father had taken him when he left Miranda. Burt Paulsen died a few years before "The Doll's House" takes place, and Jed had been sent to live with their grandfather. When he died, he is living with his abusive aunt and uncle at the beginning of the story arc.
Rose's grandmother was a woman named Unity Kinkaid. She was supposed to be the next dream vortex, a mortal who becomes the center of the dreaming and threatens to destroy it by bringing all dreams together. It falls on Morpheus to locate and eliminate these vortexes before they can do any damage. Unity never became the vortex, however, due to being unconscious from "sleepy sickness". While Morpheus was imprisoned, Desire, having sworn to get her brother to spill family blood in order to invoke the Furies upon him, raped and impregnated Unity. The vortex trait was passed on to Rose through Miranda.
Miranda and Rose traveled to England to meet Unity, and Rose returned to America to find her little brother soon after so he could meet their grandmother, too. She moved into a house owned by Hal Carter (a drag queen), Barbie and Ken (a yuppie couple), Zelda and Chantal (a lesbian couple with a spider fixation) and Fiddler's Green, who'd escaped from the Dreaming in the time Morpheus was imprisoned and was going by the name Gilbert.
Rose managed to track Jed down with Gilbert's help, but by time she got their her aunt and uncle were dead and Jed had been taken by the Corinthian, a psychotic nightmare who'd also escaped in Dream's absence. The two checked into a hotel that, unbeknownst to them, was hosting a serial killer convention in which the Corinthian was the guest of honor. Rose was attacked by one of the serial killers but saved by Morpheus. While this was going on, Gilbert found Jed in the Corinthian's car. They took him to a hospital and Rose went home and slept. While sleeping, the vortex aspect of Rose began to suwreak havoc. Morpheus noticed and went to destroy her, but Unity appeared in the dream and sacrificed herself for Rose.
After beating an agoraphobia she developed after the horrors she'd endured, Rose took up writing. She was writing a book on 50's television programs and living off her grandmother's inheritance in an apartment under Lyta Hall's, and babysitting Lyta's son Daniel when he was taken by Loki and Puck. Rose also looked after her former housemate, Zelda, who'd contracted AIDS. Due to the lose of her "heart" in the elaborate sacrifice of her grandmother, Rose had stopped aging and lost the ability to love.
While visiting Zelda she receives a message through Zelda from her dead grandmother that if she goes to see her she'll give her back her heart. Rose departs for England and meets Paul Maguire the curator of her grandmother's retirement home to find out more about her grandmother and who she also stays with while she's in London She also falls in love with a Jack Holaday, a wealthy lawyer. After finding out he's been unfaithful Rose ends the relationship.
While exploring Paul Maguire's home Rose meets her Grandfather/mother Desire. Desire has some effect on Rose and she reveals her true feelings on love and then she bursts into tears finally regaining her heart and learning to feel again.
In the storyline "The Wake" Rose and Jed attend the funeral of dream. She just found out she's pregnant by Jack Holaday. She confides this to her brother Jed and Lyta Hall who understandably after her own experiences tells her to kill the child. Rose decides to keep the baby at the end of the story.