Series Spoilers: Thoughts on Leaving (and Grieving) Roland's World

  • New to the board or trying to figure out how something works here? Check out the User Guide.
  • New 2019 Hours: The message board is closed between the hours of 4pm ET Thursday and 8:30am ET Tuesday.

    As always, the Board will be open to read and those who have those privileges can still send private messages and post to Profiles.

Opopanax

Well-Known Member
Dec 11, 2014
53
261
#1
I posted this on Goodreads, as well. I hope I'm not breaking any rules by doing that, but I didn't feel like re-writing the same thing, and I'm hoping for other insights from people here:

I read the first three books years ago, as they first came out. Then, waiting for W&G to come out, I kind of got sidetracked and never went back, although I think I've read almost everything else King has ever written.

Now I've come back to the Dark Tower series and read them all voraciously, with a new eye. I've gotten to the end, and I'm still digesting. It's left me with a lot of questions, not to mention the strongest sense of grief I've ever experienced while reading fiction.

SPOILERS AHEAD, OBVIOUSLY

Since Jake died I've been waiting for Roland's premonition about Oy to come true, and the two days it took me to get from Eddie's death to Oy's have felt like a funeral. My mind keeps lighting on them as I go about my day, and the grief breaks open again, fresh and sharp. I've never quite had the deaths of fictional characters hit me so hard - especially Oy. He was my favorite. Poor, brave, staunch Oy. I loved him.

I'm left with all these questions:

1) If Roland just has to do this all again, what did his ka-tet sacrifice their lives for? So he could see his baby-clout and Susan's pyre and then start over again?

2) If this is one of the keystone worlds where time only runs in one direction, how can he go back? I assume it's because the Tower itself is both outside those worlds and also contains them, so those rules don't apply. So:

3) When he goes back again, will he meet the same ka-tet? Will Eddie, Jake and Oy be alive again, or will he meet a new ka-tet and sacrifice them as well?

4) When he goes back, are the Beams being Broken again?

I see that the Beam told him that he could have spent three seconds - THREE SECONDS - picking up the Horn of Eld, which has always, always bothered me. So, the fact that he has it on this next go-round gives me hope that the regret he felt at losing Jake might be something he can rectify this next time around. So, too, might he be able to hold his sharp tongue and keep from saying such awful things to Oy the night before Oy's death... which maybe doesn't have to happen.

Twinners: are they the same people? The same souls? Or is Eddie Dean waiting in the clearing for Susannah while she lives in the Takuro-Spirit New York with other-Eddie, other-Jake and dog-Oy?

On a last note, I found a reading-sequence that seems to have enriched this experience for me: I-IV, Salem's Lot, V, VI, It, VII. Any other suggestions?

I just finished VII last night and Wind Through the Keyhole came in the mail today. Seeing them all alive and together again stings a bit, like watching videos of people we know are dead. Still can't believe how terrible I feel.

I know that we can't require things of artists; we're so nasty that way: we don't want our favorite bands to depart from the classics we know and love and branch out in new directions (FREE BIRD!!!). We want our favorite writers to tell the stories we want to hear and resolve things the way we want them to go. It's ungrateful. I'm just trying to come to terms with the way this has made me feel.

I so hoped, after Roland took his flight through Maerlyn's Grapefruit, that once the inevitable tragedies had happened, our beloved Stephen would give us the kind of resolution we finally got at the end of Doctor Sleep, when (SPOILER SPOILER TURN BACK NOW) Danny finally got to see his father again, after all those years, and they shared that one lovely moment together. I wanted Jake and Eddie and Oy (oh Oy oh Oy) to be together and witness Roland's triumph. I wanted to see that they had met well and gladly in the Clearing - or better yet, when the Beams were healed, that they were alive again. I'm grateful that Oy got a hero's death; he wasn't human, but he was a real character with a real destiny and a profoundly important part to play, and that did my heart good.

But that's not what we got. And perhaps that's because that's not what Stephen King found when he peered into Gan's navel and told us what he saw there.
 

VultureLvr45

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2012
2,651
13,703
Maryland
#2

You raise many great questions and offer lots of wisdom Sonnet. The characters become like family, we don't want to see them hurt or in pain. Would love to see everyone gathered around the campfire again and hear stories from Detta /Susannah, Jake, Eddie, Roland maybe in a 'fairy tales' or short story type of collection. Endings always suck no matter which way you slice it. All we can do is take what gift he gives to us, and be really thankful for the words whispered by his muse.
 

champ1966

Well-Known Member
Dec 3, 2011
4,008
10,834
53
Wakefield Yorkshire England
#3
Great post. In answer to question 2)- from what I could gather The Keystone World is our world, the one Roland visits with Eddie to meet Sai King. The rest of the worlds in the books, Mid World etc are not,and so travelling back in these worlds is feasible.

Have you got SK's DT A Concordance by Robin Furth? A must read for such an avid DT fan.
 

Opopanax

Well-Known Member
Dec 11, 2014
53
261
#5
Great post. In answer to question 2)- from what I could gather The Keystone World is our world, the one Roland visits with Eddie to meet Sai King. The rest of the worlds in the books, Mid World etc are not,and so travelling back in these worlds is feasible.

Have you got SK's DT A Concordance by Robin Furth? A must read for such an avid DT fan.
Next on my list, actually. I mean, as soon as I'm not too sad to reapproach. I feel so silly taking this so hard. I'm a normal, well-balanced person, I swear.

Well... normal. That might be a stretch. :upside:

I'm actually thinking of going right back to the beginning and starting over - which I've only done once in my life, with LOTR, many moons ago.
 

champ1966

Well-Known Member
Dec 3, 2011
4,008
10,834
53
Wakefield Yorkshire England
#9
This reminds me so much of having arguments with mistake junkies a couple of years ago. When they were saying that SK had made loads of historical mistakes in 11/22/63. " there wasn't that kind of car then,police cars had red lights not blue" etc etc ad naseum. To which my reply was.11/22/63 isn't set in our world"the keystone world" you can't travel back in time here, any constant (DT) reader would know that.
 

Ves-Ka Gan

Active Member
Feb 9, 2015
39
151
49
#10
I posted this on Goodreads, as well. I hope I'm not breaking any rules by doing that, but I didn't feel like re-writing the same thing, and I'm hoping for other insights from people here:

I read the first three books years ago, as they first came out. Then, waiting for W&G to come out, I kind of got sidetracked and never went back, although I think I've read almost everything else King has ever written.

Now I've come back to the Dark Tower series and read them all voraciously, with a new eye. I've gotten to the end, and I'm still digesting. It's left me with a lot of questions, not to mention the strongest sense of grief I've ever experienced while reading fiction.

SPOILERS AHEAD, OBVIOUSLY

Since Jake died I've been waiting for Roland's premonition about Oy to come true, and the two days it took me to get from Eddie's death to Oy's have felt like a funeral. My mind keeps lighting on them as I go about my day, and the grief breaks open again, fresh and sharp. I've never quite had the deaths of fictional characters hit me so hard - especially Oy. He was my favorite. Poor, brave, staunch Oy. I loved him.

I'm left with all these questions:

1) If Roland just has to do this all again, what did his ka-tet sacrifice their lives for? So he could see his baby-clout and Susan's pyre and then start over again?

2) If this is one of the keystone worlds where time only runs in one direction, how can he go back? I assume it's because the Tower itself is both outside those worlds and also contains them, so those rules don't apply. So:

3) When he goes back again, will he meet the same ka-tet? Will Eddie, Jake and Oy be alive again, or will he meet a new ka-tet and sacrifice them as well?

4) When he goes back, are the Beams being Broken again?

I see that the Beam told him that he could have spent three seconds - THREE SECONDS - picking up the Horn of Eld, which has always, always bothered me. So, the fact that he has it on this next go-round gives me hope that the regret he felt at losing Jake might be something he can rectify this next time around. So, too, might he be able to hold his sharp tongue and keep from saying such awful things to Oy the night before Oy's death... which maybe doesn't have to happen.

Twinners: are they the same people? The same souls? Or is Eddie Dean waiting in the clearing for Susannah while she lives in the Takuro-Spirit New York with other-Eddie, other-Jake and dog-Oy?

On a last note, I found a reading-sequence that seems to have enriched this experience for me: I-IV, Salem's Lot, V, VI, It, VII. Any other suggestions?

I just finished VII last night and Wind Through the Keyhole came in the mail today. Seeing them all alive and together again stings a bit, like watching videos of people we know are dead. Still can't believe how terrible I feel.

I know that we can't require things of artists; we're so nasty that way: we don't want our favorite bands to depart from the classics we know and love and branch out in new directions (FREE BIRD!!!). We want our favorite writers to tell the stories we want to hear and resolve things the way we want them to go. It's ungrateful. I'm just trying to come to terms with the way this has made me feel.

I so hoped, after Roland took his flight through Maerlyn's Grapefruit, that once the inevitable tragedies had happened, our beloved Stephen would give us the kind of resolution we finally got at the end of Doctor Sleep, when (SPOILER SPOILER TURN BACK NOW) Danny finally got to see his father again, after all those years, and they shared that one lovely moment together. I wanted Jake and Eddie and Oy (oh Oy oh Oy) to be together and witness Roland's triumph. I wanted to see that they had met well and gladly in the Clearing - or better yet, when the Beams were healed, that they were alive again. I'm grateful that Oy got a hero's death; he wasn't human, but he was a real character with a real destiny and a profoundly important part to play, and that did my heart good.

But that's not what we got. And perhaps that's because that's not what Stephen King found when he peered into Gan's navel and told us what he saw there.
Sorry to bring up this thread now, but I've gotta say just don't try to dissect all these details. It'll drive you mad! It's fantasy and it just goes to show what a great piece of work the whole thing is. It leaves you with so many questions. And I think that's exactly what Sai King wanted.
 

Mr. Gray Robert

Well-Known Member
Aug 28, 2015
61
178
Dallas, Texas
#11
This reminds me so much of having arguments with mistake junkies a couple of years ago. When they were saying that SK had made loads of historical mistakes in 11/22/63. " there wasn't that kind of car then,police cars had red lights not blue" etc etc ad naseum. To which my reply was.11/22/63 isn't set in our world"the keystone world" you can't travel back in time here, any constant (DT) reader would know that.
Something I've wondered about 11/22/63. Does it take place on the same level of the Tower as IT? Richie and Bev say they have a feeling the "guy in the clown suit" won't be back but in IT Bill starts forgetting on his bike ride home...thoughts?
 
The Institute - Coming September 10th, 2019