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Stephen King's real Alter Ego *Spoilers*

Discussion in 'The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower' started by Osvaldo Pinali Doederlein, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Stephen's self-character is a fascinating part of the story, clarifying and consolidating the DT's peculiar metaphysics of parallel universes. Still, I propose that the Stephen King character in the book is also there to misguide readers, so we can't see the author's real representation in the entire series. (Spoiler alert...)

    Here's my theory: Stephen's true alter ego is actually the Crimson King. And it's not just because the "King" in both names, though this is also part of the disguise—"hiding in plain sight"—it's a common name, and kings common beings in fantasy, nothing to see there right?

    First off, the Crimson King is the most elusive character of the whole series. He's mentioned early and often, but never appears anywhere, until the very end of the final book. Still, the CK is the great creative energy of the whole story: since the beginning of the first book, it's by his initiative (or his many minions') that the world had moved on, Gilead was destroyed, the Tower will fall etc. Every important event of the plot has the CK's machinations behind it: he is the real protagonist of all the Dark Tower's timeline; our "heroes" just his antagonists, trying to stop him.

    The final fight between Roland and the CK is very enlightening. We have the confirmation that the CK is a madman: how else you would describe the author of all this craziness? And his power over that universe is almost God-like, but still limited when it comes to what he really wants, like destroying the beans, taking the Tower, or defeating Roland. His attempts to kill Roland with a bunch of sneetches is really pathetic, and this is on purpose, it's not that Stephen King wouldn't be able to create a more convincing showdown. Sneetches are toys, adapted from Harry Potter's books (where they are not even weapons); just a big hoax. And he needs Roland's gun to open the Tower because that gun represents the Tower's fictional universe, which his author can mess with as much as he wants, but he cannot really "enter"; it's a metaphor for the frustration of any fictionist, who creates a world only his creatures can fully experience... Then the CK is defeated by another Artist, who simply erases him off the universe. This closes a full circle in the maze of parallel universes, where some of them are manipulated by a creative mind from another. Notice also that Patrick, the artist, is another miserable, tortured soul whose single grace is his art; basically an idiot-savant, another exaggerated satire of the Writer himself.

    Which role the CK plays in the Tower's universe? Not his declared, superficial goals of domination. His real role is to make everybody's lives miserable. The Crimson King is the ultimate cause of all suffering from all other characters... to focus on Roland alone, every loss he suffers, every pain he feels, and every terrible sacrifice he forces himself to make—who is behind this lifetime of torture? The Crimson King is causing most of it. But the deep answer is, the story's author, Stephen King, is the true cause of all of it. And the suffering is not less real just because his characters are fictional. His invented universes have some kind of reality, even if its only the emotional reality shared by millions of readers who believe it... the Writer is the great villain.

    And the torture never ends. In the final ending, the Tower sends Roland is back in time, forced to live everything again. The Tower once again, represents the book; it even contains a "table of contents" of Roland's whole life. Roland will take the same beating from his unforgiving Ka, for every reader who picks a new copy of the Dark Tower... notice that Roland goes back to the point where the first book started, not to the very beginning of his life (it would seem more logical to start again from the day of his birth). The Author is kind enough to give him some hope that next time may be different, but it's false hope (maybe just a favor to his readers, so we don't get too depressed with Roland's horrible fate). Or maybe it's the faint hope that these books will not survive forever; some day in a really distant future, the last reader will close the last copy of The Dark Tower, Stephen King will be a long-forgotten artist, the wheel of Ka will stop spinning and Roland Deschains and his troupe will finally rest in peace.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2014
  2. Dana Jean

    Dana Jean Dirty Pirate Hooker Moderator

    Welcome to the board. Very interesting take on the journey.
    VultureLvr45, Shoe, Neesy and 4 others like this.
  3. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    Interesting thoughts! I like it a lot better than the appearance of Mr. King himself in the last books. To be honest, I completely disliked that one facet of the story.
    blunthead, Shoe, Neesy and 4 others like this.
  4. mustangclaire

    mustangclaire There's petrol runnin' through my veins.

    Welcome! And what a post... Crumbs, I wish I could think of other stuff to say other than "I loved this book"....:wink2:
    blunthead, Shoe, Neesy and 4 others like this.
  5. king family fan

    king family fan Prolific member

    blunthead, Shoe, Neesy and 2 others like this.

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ..quite the scenario, but I still prefer the goofy/addled version of Steve, as he "drew" himself...
    blunthead, Shoe, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  7. Neesy

    Neesy #1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side

    I did not read your spoiler, but unfortunately when I replied it opened up the spoiler, so I am now typing this line with my eyes averted from the letters above it :hopelessness:

    Welcome anyway - after I read the whole DT series I won't need to avoid these spoilers anymore! :cheerful:
    p.s. keep posting and I hope you like it here :saturn:
    blunthead, Shoe and VultureLvr45 like this.
  8. taylor29

    taylor29 Well-Known Member

    I have mixed feelings about Stephen King putting Stephen King in the story. In a way, I like it because the Dark Tower is his world. As a writer, I love the idea that we're compelled to write by something bigger than ourselves and there have been times when I have felt as though the words weren't my own. On the other hand, I shake my head at the audacity. Good grief, the ego. Ultimately, I give Mr. King a break - dammit all to hell, it's hard to resent a guy who brought such incredible characters into being.
    VultureLvr45 and blunthead like this.
  9. prufrock21

    prufrock21 Well-Known Member

    Stephen King's alter ego just happened to "move on," so you won't find it in The Dark Tower. You might find it in Danse Macabre, however.
    Neesy and blunthead like this.
  10. RandallFlagg19

    RandallFlagg19 Well-Known Member

    "The Crimson King is the ultimate cause of all suffering from all other characters... to focus on Roland alone, every loss he suffers, every pain he feels, and every terrible sacrifice he forces himself to make—who is behind this lifetime of torture? The Crimson King is causing most of it. But the deep answer is, the story's author, Stephen King, is the true cause of all of it" - Osvaldo Pinali Doederlein

    And beyond King is Ka. I think Stephen King has mentioned that there is some of his writing where he can explain how he created it, but there is also a lot of his writing that is beamed into him and forced through him but is not created by him.
    In the middle of writing this epic journey Ka slammed into Stephen King as manifested in the form of a van, the epic tale then transformed into “(Chide) King to the Dark Tower Come Come Commala” from “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”. The crimson king at the beginning of the Journey belongs to Roland, the Crimson King at the end of the journey is for Stephen King.
    Although Stephen King tried to be consistent with Roland’s Journey through the end of the book series, his own journey manifested and integrated into the story.
    Neesy and Walter Oobleck like this.

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