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Thread: That Thing, You Can Only Talk About If You've Finished the Series

  1. #826
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin1958 View Post
    I still maintain that Roland is a representative of humanity and therefore a metaphor for the whole human race. As we "get it right" so does Roland. The significance of the horn is a reward for humanity's progress. IMHO
    bears can't help feeling that this view diminishes Roland somehow...
    Do the people serve the king, or does the king serve the people?

    I agree in theory Roland should be linked to humanity -- he founds a corporation and changes the course of history in one world -- but I'm not so sure he really is, as King wrote the tale. It's a messed up moral that suggests the hero should just worry more about himself... and such a suggestion runs contrary to every other theme in SK's career.

    I think that when we ask why this happened to Roland, of course we need to start by finding basis for comparison: Is it true that other people usually go to Heaven or to Hell? If so, what makes him different? Or is this fate simply supposed to stand for one or the other of those, or the usual road thereunto? OR is that whole belief just not true in TDT mythos? Is Roland in fact being treated worse than most are for some reason, or is he for some other reason actually better off than the rest of us?
    Well, he does have a sort of sick immortality, but I have always thought of Roland as a kind of "Tragic Hero" and not really a "person" so to speak. Don't get me wrong he lives and breathe's and thinks and has choices, but he is also a kind of "tool" or mechanism of "Gan". It's very difficult for me to put into words, but he does have a certain "Mythic plight" IMHO I guess the best way to put it might be that "Roland" is a part of "Gan's" being much like the Holy trinity of God, Son and Holy Ghost.

    We're getting rather deep here!!! LOL


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  2. #827
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    I have been thinking that it may just be metaphor for humanity's generational struggle. The tragedy of life as we know it is that one only obtains wisdom when one is no longer able to use it. You struggle to build a life, and then you die. At most, you get to see your child begin his own struggle. So it's like, even if there is a welcome at the top of the Tower, there's always a hero trying to reach it. The world as a whole never changes. The quest continues no matter how many try to complete it.

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    I've been reading Michael Moorcock's Elric novels/short stories/comic scripts, and the concept there of an Eternal Champion is reminiscent of Roland...or perhaps I should say what King did with Roland is reminiscent of Moorcock's Champion. Thus, I like the idea that the Tower uses Roland to protect Itself. It offers him the allure of knowledge behind the "breaking down" of his world, only to snatch it away once the present threat to the Tower is removed and Roland is near the end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayson View Post
    I too wonder why the desert, particularly for those who feel the loop is some kind of "do-over" that Roland has to get "right" before he is released from the cycle. As far as that goes, I think Lisa's answer is as good as any.

    For me, not necessarily believing that the loops are the same every time, I think there are two reasons of "why the desert." (1) I think the only thing that is the same is Walter and the desert is where he found Walter's trail, and (2) with the cyclical ending, King wanted to bring things back to the literal beginning of the series.
    True, after all, KA is a wheel

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    Default victory for the few who get it right.

    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    I have been thinking that it may just be metaphor for humanity's generational struggle. The tragedy of life as we know it is that one only obtains wisdom when one is no longer able to use it. You struggle to build a life, and then you die. At most, you get to see your child begin his own struggle. So it's like, even if there is a welcome at the top of the Tower, there's always a hero trying to reach it. The world as a whole never changes. The quest continues no matter how many try to complete it.
    I think there is Victory for a very few who get it right. Roland did not at the end of this series anyway, Why? maybe because he IS a gunslinger keeps chosing this path. You know...the whole "the road to life is narrow and few are the ones finding it..."

  6. #831
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    Seeing Jayson's post quoted reminds me how much I miss him being here with us.
    The Awesomest fled across the desert and The Awesomer followed.

    If you rescue me
    Iíll be your friend forever


    I wish that I could write fiction, but that seems almost an impossibility. -howard phillips lovecraft (1915)



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    Is it possible that this whole story is a sort of purgatory for Roland? Maybe he has already died, and each time he goes through this quest it cleanses his sins and teaches him to be a better man. He clearly becomes much more emotional and attached to his ka-mates throughout the series. Maybe when he finally completes his journey and has cleansed his sins, he'll find the "Clearing at the end of the path" when he walks through the door at the top of the Dark Tower. Maybe his real life was similar to this journey, but he was forced to complete it again and again until he was ready to enter the clearing. Or maybe his real life was something completely different, and all of this was just his own afterlife.

  8. #833
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    wouldn't it make dummies of all the others?

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  9. #834
    Traveler BobbyOodle is on a distinguished road

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    I am confused about his restarting in Mohaine desert too, especially since he obviously re-did stuff in the past. Case and point, the horn of Eld.

    The reason King did this, I believe, is first and foremost, he wanted an ending where the beginning was the ending, and that he loved the line "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed" so much that he had to use it again.

    But the story context wise is that Ka is wheel. And it never stops.

    My question for you folk is; do you think that Roland is above Ka? (or just the deschain's for that matter)
    Do you think that he was made a part of ka? What's the word, for puppet of Ka? Cordelia in Wizard and Glass was one. What if Roland is just a puppet of Ka?

    Also, I think that the Tower (or Ka) wants Roland to do his story right. I think Roland has to let his whole Ka-tet either 1) survive with him and make it to the Tower or 2) find a life for them as there was a life for Susannah. The Tower doesn't think that Roland's true and final family should die the way that they did.

    I think starting over at Mohaine is more for the reader than for the timeline. It brings you back to directly the start, and since he obviously re did other aspects of his life, this wasn't his only starting point.

    Thoughts?

  10. #835
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    It's a punishment and a reward at the same time. That's the real paradox. Roland thinks he's sent to that moment precisely because it's too late for him to change anything, which would just be vindictive if you view the Tower as the power above him. Maybe the point that things further back can in fact also change is exactly what the horn means, and the reason it represents his chance of redemption.

  11. #836
    Fundraiser Emeritus Merlin1958 has a reputation beyond repute Merlin1958 has a reputation beyond repute Merlin1958 has a reputation beyond repute Merlin1958 has a reputation beyond repute Merlin1958 has a reputation beyond repute Merlin1958 has a reputation beyond repute Merlin1958 has a reputation beyond repute Merlin1958 has a reputation beyond repute Merlin1958 has a reputation beyond repute Merlin1958 has a reputation beyond repute Merlin1958 has a reputation beyond repute Merlin1958's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyOodle View Post
    I am confused about his restarting in Mohaine desert too, especially since he obviously re-did stuff in the past. Case and point, the horn of Eld.

    The reason King did this, I believe, is first and foremost, he wanted an ending where the beginning was the ending, and that he loved the line "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed" so much that he had to use it again.

    But the story context wise is that Ka is wheel. And it never stops.

    My question for you folk is; do you think that Roland is above Ka? (or just the deschain's for that matter)
    Do you think that he was made a part of ka? What's the word, for puppet of Ka? Cordelia in Wizard and Glass was one. What if Roland is just a puppet of Ka?

    Also, I think that the Tower (or Ka) wants Roland to do his story right. I think Roland has to let his whole Ka-tet either 1) survive with him and make it to the Tower or 2) find a life for them as there was a life for Susannah. The Tower doesn't think that Roland's true and final family should die the way that they did.

    I think starting over at Mohaine is more for the reader than for the timeline. It brings you back to directly the start, and since he obviously re did other aspects of his life, this wasn't his only starting point.

    Thoughts?
    Well see now these questions seem to be answered in large part by my "pet theory" that Roland is the metaphorical representative of the evolution of mankind. As "we" make ourselves better as a people then conversely that is reflected in Roland's choices in the loop.

    I believe I elaborated on this "theory" of mine much better in earlier posts. It's my "story" and I'm sticking to it!!! LOL


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  12. #837
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyOodle View Post
    My question for you folk is; do you think that Roland is above Ka?
    yes

    Ask not what bears can do for you, but what you can do for bears. (razz)
    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (pablo)

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  13. #838
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyOodle View Post
    My question for you folk is; do you think that Roland is above Ka?
    yes
    Explain why you think so, say please and thank ya.
    Haha, sorry I'm just re-familiarizing myself with the slang.

  14. #839
    Traveler BobbyOodle is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin1958 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyOodle View Post
    I am confused about his restarting in Mohaine desert too, especially since he obviously re-did stuff in the past. Case and point, the horn of Eld.

    The reason King did this, I believe, is first and foremost, he wanted an ending where the beginning was the ending, and that he loved the line "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed" so much that he had to use it again.

    But the story context wise is that Ka is wheel. And it never stops.

    My question for you folk is; do you think that Roland is above Ka? (or just the deschain's for that matter)
    Do you think that he was made a part of ka? What's the word, for puppet of Ka? Cordelia in Wizard and Glass was one. What if Roland is just a puppet of Ka?

    Also, I think that the Tower (or Ka) wants Roland to do his story right. I think Roland has to let his whole Ka-tet either 1) survive with him and make it to the Tower or 2) find a life for them as there was a life for Susannah. The Tower doesn't think that Roland's true and final family should die the way that they did.

    I think starting over at Mohaine is more for the reader than for the timeline. It brings you back to directly the start, and since he obviously re did other aspects of his life, this wasn't his only starting point.

    Thoughts?
    Well see now these questions seem to be answered in large part by my "pet theory" that Roland is the metaphorical representative of the evolution of mankind. As "we" make ourselves better as a people then conversely that is reflected in Roland's choices in the loop.

    I believe I elaborated on this "theory" of mine much better in earlier posts. It's my "story" and I'm sticking to it!!! LOL
    Okay, so what is the endgame goal? What happens when mankind has evolved enough that Roland makes all of the right choices? And if humankind takes a turn for the worse, and becomes a cruel, morbid, awful dictatorship in its entirety? Would Roland then try to take over or destroy the tower instead of saving it?

    With just thinking about your theory, is the "Mankind" that you are thinking about just every mankind in every world in the concept of everything? As in, the non-keystone worlds.

  15. #840
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyOodle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyOodle View Post
    My question for you folk is; do you think that Roland is above Ka?
    yes
    Explain why you think so, say please and thank ya.
    Haha, sorry I'm just re-familiarizing myself with the slang.
    I might have to go through my earlier posts (I've posted a shit ton of arguments on this subject in last eight years), but in short: the Dark Tower reads to me as a thoroughly Christian book, whether Sai King himself wanted it or not. A man, Roland or you or me, is above such a void concept as Ka, by definition of man: a being created in the image of God and endowed with free will

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

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  16. #841
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyOodle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin1958 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyOodle View Post
    I am confused about his restarting in Mohaine desert too, especially since he obviously re-did stuff in the past. Case and point, the horn of Eld.

    The reason King did this, I believe, is first and foremost, he wanted an ending where the beginning was the ending, and that he loved the line "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed" so much that he had to use it again.

    But the story context wise is that Ka is wheel. And it never stops.

    My question for you folk is; do you think that Roland is above Ka? (or just the deschain's for that matter)
    Do you think that he was made a part of ka? What's the word, for puppet of Ka? Cordelia in Wizard and Glass was one. What if Roland is just a puppet of Ka?

    Also, I think that the Tower (or Ka) wants Roland to do his story right. I think Roland has to let his whole Ka-tet either 1) survive with him and make it to the Tower or 2) find a life for them as there was a life for Susannah. The Tower doesn't think that Roland's true and final family should die the way that they did.

    I think starting over at Mohaine is more for the reader than for the timeline. It brings you back to directly the start, and since he obviously re did other aspects of his life, this wasn't his only starting point.

    Thoughts?
    Well see now these questions seem to be answered in large part by my "pet theory" that Roland is the metaphorical representative of the evolution of mankind. As "we" make ourselves better as a people then conversely that is reflected in Roland's choices in the loop.

    I believe I elaborated on this "theory" of mine much better in earlier posts. It's my "story" and I'm sticking to it!!! LOL
    Okay, so what is the endgame goal? What happens when mankind has evolved enough that Roland makes all of the right choices? And if humankind takes a turn for the worse, and becomes a cruel, morbid, awful dictatorship in its entirety? Would Roland then try to take over or destroy the tower instead of saving it?

    With just thinking about your theory, is the "Mankind" that you are thinking about just every mankind in every world in the concept of everything? As in, the non-keystone worlds.
    "Mankind" would be defined as that of the Keystone world. The more Mankind evolves the closer Roland gets to the room at the top and enlightenment. Just my pet theory is all. Initially I was pretty pissed at the ending, but this little theory helped me come to terms with it on subsequent readings. LOL


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  17. #842
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyOodle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyOodle View Post
    My question for you folk is; do you think that Roland is above Ka?
    yes
    Explain why you think so, say please and thank ya.
    Haha, sorry I'm just re-familiarizing myself with the slang.
    I might have to go through my earlier posts (I've posted a shit ton of arguments on this subject in last eight years), but in short: the Dark Tower reads to me as a thoroughly Christian book, whether Sai King himself wanted it or not. A man, Roland or you or me, is above such a void concept as Ka, by definition of man: a being created in the image of God and endowed with free will
    Oh, Stephen King! Creates a brilliant concept like ka, gets it all tangled up with horror. Of course, his God is kind of monstrous, too. Potentially at least. Hard to blame him though: real life itself can look pretty dark. But although there are cycles and wheels aplenty in nature, hope springs eternal.

  18. #843
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    This is a great point. I like what you said about the tower having an issue with Roland._

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    Quote Originally Posted by TerribleT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by R_of_G View Post
    [not to mention I still don't think Roland is selfish].
    Exactly, I see Roland's quest for the tower as an inherently selfless act, in the finest tradition of The Line of Eld, and Gunslingers. He never forgets the face of Steven Deschain, and there's a certain nobility about him which is at once barbaric, and civilized. I've always seen Roland, and gunslingers, for that matter, as knights of the highest order, of the finest character, training and courage. I do not think Roland pursues the tower because he wants to see it, although that's a bonus. I think he pursues the tower because he feels as though it's his obligation and duty. I think he would cry off of the tower in an instant if he felt he had some higher obligation which was less appealing to him.
    Roland feels like it's the right thing to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BROWNINGS CHILDE View Post
    I actually have a new bit of fan fiction that takes up the story where it left off. Tell me what you think.

    Spoiler:
    The Man In Black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed.... yaddah,yaddah,yaddah....plot development...character development....something about a train....new characters......tense moments....backstory.......something about wolves......a somewhat awkward, unnecessary installment....tragedy.....climax....catharsis.... .The Man In Black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed.
    The End.


  21. #846
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    A discussion last night got me thinking about the next loop in the story and I'm curious to hear others' thought on it.

    Do you think that Roland meets up with the same ka-tet in the next loop or does he draw new people?
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  22. #847
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    Quote Originally Posted by Girlystevedave View Post
    A discussion last night got me thinking about the next loop in the story and I'm curious to hear others' thought on it.

    Do you think that Roland meets up with the same ka-tet in the next loop or does he draw new people?
    Ka supplies what he needs, so if he has changed enough -- for example, if he doesn't drop Jake -- then perhaps he needs a different set of helpers along the way. I'm open to that possibility.

    I would say, though, that his current ka-tet has been with him in the past, because they acquire new skills (shooting, riding horses) so efficiently that it's like they've done them before...and they probably have.

  23. #848
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Vincent View Post

    I would say, though, that his current ka-tet has been with him in the past, because they acquire new skills (shooting, riding horses) so efficiently that it's like they've done them before...and they probably have.
    Good point. I've always been so focused on thinking about what may happen in the next loop that I never put much thought into whether or not they had been with him before. It does make sense considering the ease at which they learn things along the journey.
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  24. #849
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    The romantic in me likes the idea of the same ka-tet being drawn each time, but it's certainly a possibility that Ka chooses the Tet based on the needs of the current loop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Girlystevedave View Post
    I'm just nodding my head the whole time thinking "ok, stop now, please."

  25. #850
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    I like to think that in the next loop, Roland met up with the same ka-tet, but it happens much easier/quicker since Jake, Eddie, and Susannah were already together at the end of the story. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I like to imagine that he was able to draw them all at the same time on the next loop, therefore beginning their journey as Ka-tet with less resistance and struggle.
    "P.S. I can't believe you do that pen thing. Awesome. Just fucking awesome."
    ~Fernandito

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