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Thread: The Fate of Flagg..SPOILERS!

  1. #26
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    I agree with all of the above.

    Quote Originally Posted by unclelouie View Post
    <...> the ultimate prankster got played at the end. I think of it has beautiful irony. <...>

    2) Walter might have been Roland's "oldest enemy", but let's face it... not his "greatest enemy". I think that Walter was obsessed with Roland. I get the feeling Roland rarely thought twice about Walter while on the journey. Walter was sort of an annoyance to Roland when he ran into him, but honestly...... during Roland's journey... throughout 7 novels... he runs into Flagg like, what twice? Walter died without the dignity of having ever gotten to face off with Roland after he told him to denounce the Tower.<...>
    Perfectly stated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unclelouie View Post
    I Walter might have been Roland's "oldest enemy", but let's face it... not his "greatest enemy".
    Then who was?


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    I don't think he had any, not since Mejis anyway. He did have obstacles on his way to the Tower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by unclelouie View Post
    I Walter might have been Roland's "oldest enemy", but let's face it... not his "greatest enemy".
    Then who was?

    Sai King states in DT VII that Walter is not Roland's "greatest enemy", but his "oldest enemy", hence, my putting those words in quotations.

    If I had to guess who Roland's greatest enemy would be though, I'd guess... probably himself.

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    That's what Mordred states, and he's a spider who spends most of the book suffering from massive bowel movements.

    Regardless, it's clear out of all of Roland's actual enemies, Flagg was the one who caused him the most misery and grief over the course of the series and was the closest thing he had to a personal antagonist. Even if King doesn't want to admit it, that he would bring Flagg back in TWTTK as the antagonist of a largely unrelated story to Roland's quest shows just how massive Flagg is to his canon.


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    I do not doubt Flagg's importance in the cannon at all. I think he is a vital part of the series.

    In "The Gunslinger", I'd say Flagg was Roland's prime adversary. I mean, the novel starts with...

    .."the man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed". You almost get the sense in the first book that the whole series is going to center around Roland *and* The Man in Black (aka Walter). But it doesn't. However, Walter's palaver with Roland at the end of the novel is central to the reader's understanding of Roland's quest, and it comes back around full circle in DTVII before Mordred disposes of him.

    So yes, Walter is vital to the core. But not, IMO Roland's greatest enemey. I mean.... Flagg has so many outside interests.... (ie The Stand).

    I will conclude though, that anytime Walter/Flagg made an apperance in the DT novels, I was always pleased. Whether it be his palaver at the end of Gunslinger. The flashback to the Way Station in DT V with Callahan.

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    Also more palatable to know that it was at least Rolands offspring that did him in.
    I thought it was all nicely built up. Roland cant seem to Kill Flagg whether not powerful enough, or smart enough, yet mordecai kills him, which now sets the reader up with great expectation. How will Roland fair against Mordecai when he could not even conquer Flagg.
    dun dun dun....

  8. #33
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    It's that type of logic -- killing off a major antagonist to make a new one more of a major threat -- that pissed me off the most about the way King handled Flagg. Flagg, even if he was arrogant and not as half as powerful as he pretended to be, deserved better than being canon fodder.

    And King easily could have come up with a way to get rid of Flagg without Mordred. When he introduced the concept of "Todash darkness" in DT6, I figured King was planning to toss Flagg in there and have him float in darkness for the rest of eternity. Or do something like the Horcruxes and have Flagg's power tied to the Wizard's Rainbow that when they're destroyed, he weakens. I mean, he had the Crimson King defeated with something that literally appeared at the last minute without any sense of build-up.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    Even if King doesn't want to admit it, that he would bring Flagg back in TWTTK as the antagonist of a largely unrelated story to Roland's quest shows just how massive Flagg is to his canon.
    Another proof of Flagg's importance lays in the fact that he's in both the opening line of The Gunslinger and the very last sentence of DT 7.

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    ... and both times he fled.

    Imagine a prize fighter. Only another prize fighter can be considered his adversary; but someone who puts banana peel under his feet is only a nuisance. That's what RF was for Roland, and that's all he ever could be to people who can't be manipulated.

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    There's more than one way to be an adversary. I'm pretty sure Roland would view the man who pretty much destroyed everything he held dear as more than the equivalent of a banana peel under his foot.


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  12. #37
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    You can break a leg on a banana peel. You can break the neck. I think, however, that it all depends on how we understand "adversary". I believe this kind of relationship must be mutual, like love, and involve equality. Otherwise, it's not enemies we are talking about, but someone who does something - like Roland who walks to his Dark Tower - and someone who interferes with the process. It makes him an obstacle rather than an enemy. It doesn't make Flagg less important, or less dangerous, God forbid - it's just a different kind of relationship.

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    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

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  13. #38
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    I like the idea of jailing him in "todash darkness". Then he could have made some kind of appearance in a future story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    You can break a leg on a banana peel. You can break the neck. I think, however, that it all depends on how we understand "adversary". I believe this kind of relationship must be mutual, like love, and involve equality. Otherwise, it's not enemies we are talking about, but someone who does something - like Roland who walks to his Dark Tower - and someone who interferes with the process. It makes him an obstacle rather than an enemy. It doesn't make Flagg less important, or less dangerous, God forbid - it's just a different kind of relationship.
    I view them as adversaries as both men have an incredibly long history with one another and both hate each other; even if Roland is more concerned with reaching the Tower than settling old scores it's obvious that Walter/Marten is one of the most significant people in his life and one that he thinks back on frequently. Likewise, Flagg clearly hates Roland for reasons beyond meddling with his plans; he blames Roland for his involvement in the death of Gabrielle.

    An obstacle to me would better fit someone like Gasher or the Tick Tock Man someone who Roland has little history with or feelings towards besides defeating them.


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    Roland and Flagg need each other. It's a symbiotic, almost parasitic relationship. They're Batman and Joker of Mid-World. Flagg could potentially kill Roland but he needs a worthy adversary. Roland, from what we know, can't kill Flagg. Maybe he could, maybe not. He tried once and failed. Maybe an opportunity would've presented itself later but Mordred killed him so the point is moot. Also, would Roland have found the Tower without Flagg? Would he have found the ka-tet? Roland found out much through his palaver with Flagg and there was stuff that went over his head too.

    The only reason Roland "caught" Flagg was because Flagg wanted to be caught. He made Roland drop a kid just for the privilege of talking to him.

    Again, maybe Roland would have found the Tower on his own but I tend to think that even if he did, it would take him much, much longer. Roland certainly felt he needed to catch Flagg and force it out of him how to get to the Tower.

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    This whole debate, to me, is and always has been extremely interesting and simultaneously extremely uninteresting.
    In general, I agree with the "scene as written in DT7 was pretty good" position... but hey, whatever, if you know what I mean.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgc1999 View Post
    I like the idea of jailing him in "todash darkness". Then he could have made some kind of appearance in a future story.
    That's a pretty cool idea. Im sure he'd have made great pets out of the monsters from the Mist.

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    now that would be cool!

  19. #44
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    What ya think about the death of Boba Fett? My apologies to non-Star Wars fans, but I think it's a fair comparison. In the last movie, he suffered a rather undignified end -- knocked by accident into the mouth of the sarlacc. Of course, they brought him back for comic books very quickly: he is considered such a badass villain. So the question; was his survival more plausible than daring to write him off that way?

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    IMO the two are a bit different.

    Boba Fett IIRC was a minor character with a handful of scenes (and only a few words of dialogue) that became popular afterwards with the fandom so writers in the "Extended Universe" went on to give him more appearances and backstory and then George Lucas built him up in the prequel trilogy. So yes his fate is anticlimactic but retroactively so.

    Flagg on the other hand was established well before his death as a major character not only in the Dark Tower series but outside of them as well. Which makes it a lot worse IMO.


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    Well, yes, it's different. Audience feedback barely existed back then. That was just the beginning of the whole blockbuster franchise paradigm. Probably Darth Vader would not have been made into the protagonist if he hadn't been so popular with fans. But just how minor Boba Fett originally was is subjective, IMO: he was actually a pretty big deal, I remember, in the years between Empire and Jedi. I just think that none of us when the latter came out really expected the story later to go on indefinitely quite like it has. And I think one has make a special effort to maintain suspension of disbelief over that bridge to the E.U. in which Boba Fett runs around for several more decades. It's a very conventionalized type of fiction.

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    Re: Boba Fett

    I think CyberGhostFace got it right. Boba Fett was infact a minor character. He had little to no screen time, but he had a cool outfit, a cool ship, and a cool minor role. Basically, he was Daryl on Walking Dead before Daryl became a major character later in season 2...

    But when I was a kid, Boba Fett wasn't iconic. He was just a cool dude on Empire Strikes Back and Jedi. And indeed, it wasnt until MUCH later Boba Fett became a cult favorite. I remember around the mid 90s, when Star Wars toys were becoming big collectors items, Boba Fett became one of the more valuable figures, and I think that was when he started becoming a cult favorite. Then by the time Lucas re-relased SW in 1997 to theaters, it was then that Boba was a big hit.

  23. #48
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    Ok, maybe. But the relevant question is, if he'd been a bigger hit, would that have made it wrong for the writer to kill him?

  24. #49
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    It's hard to say.

    If Fett had been a more significant character then he definitely should have had a better ending than he got. It's not just that Flagg is popular, it's that he was also a very important character in the series.


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