View Poll Results: Knowing what Roland knew, would you have dropped Jake

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  • Yes

    26 46.43%
  • No

    30 53.57%
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Thread: Roland's choice *HARD spoilers*

  1. #226
    Servant of Gan Brainslinger will become famous soon enough Brainslinger will become famous soon enough Brainslinger's Avatar

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    I wouldn't either. At least I hope not...

    Even if the destruction of the universe was the other option... it would just seem something out there while the hanging boy was right here and now (to quote a certain furry friend from another book.)

    Not sure if that paragraph makes sense... I could phrase things better sometimes.

    And lets fact it, Walter is hardly the most trustworthy person in the world is he? If I were in Roland's shoes (and I understand this thread is about knowing in hindsight, but please bear with me) how would I know I'd get the information I required if I caught up with Walter anyway? Sure water(Walter)flows downhill etc, but even with hindsight I'm not sure Walter really gave much information away.

    Spoiler:
    Mind you his information did lead to the doorways, and it's possible Roland might have taken another route from the place of bones... yet I can't help thinking his road would have still led to the beach. Even though it was a bit of a roundabout route.

  2. #227
    Gunslinger Apprentice Whitey Appleseed is on a distinguished road Whitey Appleseed's Avatar

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    I hope never to be in such a situation. I voted no. (Evened up the vote.) Then I looked at the different versions again, original and revised. The choice definitely provided Roland with a different destiny,here the tracks had been worn away, under the sun of reason, and it was if they had never been. He didn't actually drop him, though, did he, he stepped over where Jake dangled, his legs carried him in a sudden leap through the entropy that held him, aboe the dangling boy... Yeah, okay, nitpicker's club, he did drop him.

    What does the imagery suggest about his choice, though? The tracks ended there. They'd been pumping through the dark, on the track laid out for them, the track that was there, a predestination of sorts, symbolically if nothing else. Wouldn't the correct choice, if such a thing exists, to have taken up farming with Brown, in the desert? We know what would have happened if Roland would have stopped, grabbed Jake by the wrists, and pulled. It would have ended there. We'd be out a story, or a longer story, but the tracks still ended there.

  3. #228
    Servant of Gan Brainslinger will become famous soon enough Brainslinger will become famous soon enough Brainslinger's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey Appleseed View Post
    We know what would have happened if Roland would have stopped, grabbed Jake by the wrists, and pulled. It would have ended there. We'd be out a story, or a longer story, but the tracks still ended there.
    Well, he probably wouldn't have caught up with Walter if he'd rescued Jake. I'm not certain the quest would be up though. Walter gave hims some interesting information as to the nature of the Tower and the multiverse, but not a whole lot concerning his immediate quest (and he wouldn't need to understand all that to continue his quest.)

    Of course Walter also told him to go to the beach where the drawing took place, so I suppose it's possible he might not have drawn the others. On the other hand, it's ka they should meet... so maybe he would have still made his way down there anyway. Water flows downhill.... etc.

    Interesting food for thought.

    Drawing of the Three and The Waste Lands spoilers:
    Spoiler:
    I wonder what would have happened if he had still prevented Mort from killing Jake's younger self in those circumstances? Would his Jake have winked out? Would his memory have split again, Jakes' here, not here, requiring the whole rigmarole with the doorway later, pretty much as it happened? Hmmm.

  4. #229
    Traveler Asharak is on a distinguished road

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    10 pages, and nobody has mentioned the fact that the entire bridge was collapsing? As described Roland just barely got out in time before the entire thing fell into the abyss. If he had tried to save Jake he would have died as well, though emotionally it would have probably felt better to just try anyway.

    I can’t really see how one single boys life could be worth the destruction of the tower, and by that extension all worlds and existence itself, past, present and future being destroyed.

  5. #230
    Gunslinger Apprentice Delah is on a distinguished road Delah's Avatar

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    I always figured the bridge collapsed as a way to let the reader know that Jake was really dead -- otherwise, who's to say he couldn't just do a chin up and walk away later, off camera? Plus, if Roland doesn't spend however many moments agonizing over whether to bend over and pick Jake up, if he - theoretically -- picked Jake up immediately after he fell, he'd still have time to get to solid ground.

    To answer the poll, no, I wouldn't have dropped Jake. To expand, I don't see it as a choice between the Tower (and infinite universes, blah blah) and the life of one boy. I did initially, but on re-reads I gained a different perspective. Roland's not trading Jake's life for saving the Tower or even seeing the Tower -- although that's what Roland tells himself. Roland trades Jake's life for a conversation with Walter. Roland knows the MIB has information about the Tower. He doesn't know what, he doesn't know how helpful it is, he doesn't even know who the MIB is, if he'll lie or tell the truth. He just knows the man has information he wants, information that may help him get to the Tower, and the MIB makes it clear that the price of that information, of any conversation, is Jake's life. And Roland decides to pay it. Well, Jake pays it, but you get the idea.

    What continues to stun me on further re-reads of the series is how Roland, who is so practical and pragmatic, never actually realizes how royally he screws himself over by letting Jake die. If you choose -- somehow -- to disregard the morality of him allowing an 11 year old boy to die, the fact remains that once Roland gets his coveted conversation with Walter, its. virtually. useless. Like Bev Vincent says in The Road to the Dark Tower; once you funnel out the bull and the metaphysical history lesson, there is only one useful piece of information Roland gets out of his palavar with Walter -- go West. Hip hoo Ray. Roland let Jake die so that he could get Triple AAA approved directions to the Tower. Never mind that there are other parts of the series where Roland chooses directions at Random -- like in W&G, when they've fallen off the Beam -- and he chooses correctly. Never mind that there are only two choices of direction where Roland can go anyway. He's told to the West and he gets verification of what the oracle already told him -- that he needs three to reach the Tower. Of course, what the Oracle and Walter don't tell him is that Jake is one of those three.

    I understand -- and its stated various times in later books -- that Roland doens't like to think about dropping Jake, and doesn't want to sit down and write out a pro/con list after he gets Jake back in TWL, but the fact remains that its a huge screw up and from a pragmatic, practical assessment, it gains him virtually nothing. he doesn't get any vital new, useful information on the Crimson King or the Wolves or the Tower itself. He doesn't get any new abilities -- the power of drawing is already in him, Walter says that. He gets the info on going west. I guess that's one for the pro column. But the negative consequences are so enormous: he loses the first member of his new ka-tet, he kills someone he loves on purpose, he creates the circumstances that lead to the later paradox, which eventually lead to him having to draw Jake again and therefore lead to Susannah, the speaking Ring and Mordred. And he damns himself. He gains virtually nothing. Killing Jake doesn't save the Tower; it doesn't get him to the Tower any sooner and it doesn't give him any essential information about the Tower or the journey there that Roland hadn't already heard before.

  6. #231
    Citizen of Gilead stone, rose, unfound door is on a distinguished road stone, rose, unfound door's Avatar

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    I agree with ManOfWesternesse that saving Jake would not damn the Tower. However, Roland never had to save Jake. He should have because he already loved Jake from the start, or he wouldn't have brought him along at all. Roland in TG was not exactly the sentimental type so why would he rescue Jake if he didn't feel that the kid could be important for him? This makes dropping Jake even odder, though.

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