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Thread: Patrick Danville General Discussion *SPOILERS*

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    Silverloch John_and_Yoko will become famous soon enough John_and_Yoko's Avatar

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    Default Patrick Danville General Discussion *SPOILERS*

    I was just thinking about The Dark Tower again (yeah, even though it's been weeks since I finished reading it) and something just occurred to me. Call me crazy if you want, and maybe I am just grasping at straws, but tell me what you think....

    One of the few things that bothered me about The Dark Tower was Patrick Danville. Not his existence in the storyline, I don't mean that, nor even the fact that the prophecy in Insomnia didn't play out exactly (or the fact that the Calvins suggested it might not be entirely accurate--which is basically a retcon).

    What bothered me was how little we see such a crucial character to the story. We first see him as a very young child in Insomnia, from the point of view of others for the most part (like a minor character), until we learn of his true significance. Then we don't hear of him again until the final volume of The Dark Tower, where he does really little more than erase the Crimson King (thus fulfilling his destiny). He isn't even introduced until late in the volume, during the last leg of Roland's journey.

    Now, again, my beef isn't with the idea that his existence might be a too-convenient deus ex machina, but rather with the fact that we learn so little of his story. We don't know when or how he came to be imprisoned by Dandelo, nor do we learn what happens to him (alone of all the characters) after Roland reaches the Tower. Why?

    My thought is still just a preliminary thought (and rather outrageous) so I wanted others' opinions on it--but what if Patrick were effectively representing a Robert Browning figure?

    Think about it--it's not until the last part of this volume that Stephen King starts taking direct inspiration from the Browning poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" (the point of origin for inspiring the epic), rather than simply making use of its tone and themes. Dandelo is even referred to as being the "hoary cripple" at the beginning of the poem. And who does Roland encounter after this (and who is the last one remaining with him until he reaches the Tower--where the poem ended)? Patrick Danville.

    Patrick is an artist--admittedly he draws rather than writing poetry, but the magic his art produces means that it hardly matters, as it amounts to the same thing. His art cannot be distinguished from reality. Perhaps, then, his role (other than the prophecy from Insomnia about destroying the Crimson King) is to serve as an outside, objective observer of what happens to Roland on the last leg of his journey. This would certainly explain why he has so little to do other than the obvious.

    Also, his drawing of Roland, the Tower, and the Red King in Insomnia doesn't include himself, even though he's with Roland when he reaches the Tower. Perhaps because he thinks of himself primarily as an outsider? Even the fact that Patrick is mute in The Dark Tower (an odd decision--I was honestly hoping to hear him speak!) might play into this idea, since Robert Browning is dead and thus can no longer speak, write, or create in any way.

    Of course, there are discrepancies (like Robert Browning wasn't mentally deficient as Patrick became), and I don't know if Stephen King had that on his mind as early as Insomnia. For that matter, I don't even know if the idea occurred to him at all, I'm just speculating. But certainly it also serves another omission I noted--namely that it mentions Robert Browning as a previous medium for the telling of the tale (before Stephen King), but we don't get to see Browning (except through his poem) as we saw Stephen King in the final volumes of The Dark Tower. If I'm right, and Patrick Danville is a substitute Browning figure, this would clear up that omission as well.

    Anyway, just my musings. Any thoughts?

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    Traveler mdcphoto is on a distinguished road

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    My head hurts for too much thought but you do have some really interesting thoughts here.

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    Silverloch John_and_Yoko will become famous soon enough John_and_Yoko's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdcphoto View Post
    My head hurts for too much thought but you do have some really interesting thoughts here.
    Sorry, I do tend to ramble when I think about things.... But I do like to think about them.

    Anyway, thanks for your comment, and I hope to get more views on this postulation soon....

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    John and Yoko, you have given me a new appreciation for Patrick Danville's role. I'd always been bothered by his appearance at so late in the story with little or no explanation as well as the deus ex machina element of it. However, I'd not thought anything about his absence in his drawing in Insomnia. I'd always considered that it was because he was able to see into Roland's world and had that vision at some point. I like your interpretation.
    It'll take a lot more than words and guns,
    A whole lot more than riches and muscle.

    The hands of the many must join as one.
    And together we'll cross the river.

    Puscifer, "The Humbling River"


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    Silverloch John_and_Yoko will become famous soon enough John_and_Yoko's Avatar

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    Wow, thank you very much for posting!

    Yeah, my mind had kind of wandered, I was just thinking about the specific references to the Browning poem and that got me thinking about how Patrick was really the only one present for that portion of King's epic--plus Patrick is never considered to be part of Roland's ka-tet even though Susannah and Oy are still with Roland when they meet Patrick (and even though Patrick is the only one with Roland when the latter reaches the Dark Tower).

    And that got me to thinking along these lines, like how this "Browning" interpretation of Patrick's role might explain a lot of choices on Stephen King's part that appear odd at best, poor at worst.

    And that, of course, got me thinking back to Insomnia again and realizing he'd drawn the part where Roland reaches the Tower (which hadn't happened yet) but wasn't in it himself, even though Patrick IS with Roland when he actually does make it there.

    Anyway, I'm glad I've given someone new appreciation for Patrick's role, because I myself was bothered by how little we get to know such a crucial character in the saga.

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    West Coast sarah is on a distinguished road sarah's Avatar

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    I was just thinking about The Dark Tower again (yeah, even though it's been weeks since I finished reading it)
    that is why we are all here. We can't stop thinking about it either.

    Great post, btw. Thank you.

    Personally at first, I was bothered by everything Patrick Danville. It just all seemed too easy. It was like Stephen King put his people through hell and back, hunger and cold, fighting and dying, all to have some kid come in and just erase the CK. It just seemed like King had this kid in his pocket to be the problem of the moment solver. I didn't like it.

    But now, I see that many people played their small roles to help the gunslingers on the their way. Patrick did that. He had is small part to play and that is why we were introduced to him in Insomnia. We had to at least know his name so he could fulfill his part. Just like all the other who passed through.

    Was his role perfect? For me, not even close, but I'm learning to live with it.



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    sugarpop <3

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    The White! MonteGss is on a distinguished road MonteGss's Avatar

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    I also appreciate your post and this thread. I, however, am very interested in hearing what obsurejude had to say on the matter. He is, afterall, the resident expert on Robert Browning's poem (in my opinion at least).

    It took me about five times to actually get through Insomnia and after I did get through it, I wasn't too impressed. I like Patrick and DT7 but did think his role rather small. Hmmmm....I guess I will wait a bit before expanding my ideas.....like I said I would love to hear what jude has to say on the matter. *



    *This is in no way implying that everyone else's opinions don't matter...I just know from personal correspondence that jude really digs RB and I would love to hear his thoughts.

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    Au Naturale theBeamisHome is on a distinguished road theBeamisHome's Avatar

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    I think I felt much the same way about Patrick as you did John and Yoko... although I didn't go anywhere near comparing him to Browning... I was bothered by the fact that we didn't get to really know his back story.. Maybe those are things left up to fanfiction.... hmmmm

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    The White! MonteGss is on a distinguished road MonteGss's Avatar

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    Fanfiction is the devil.

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    Au Naturale theBeamisHome is on a distinguished road theBeamisHome's Avatar

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    lol... i've never written any... or read any either for that matter... i've just heard rumors of it..

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    The White! MonteGss is on a distinguished road MonteGss's Avatar

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    DEVIL!!!



    Deal with the real thing....that's what I say.

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    Au Naturale theBeamisHome is on a distinguished road theBeamisHome's Avatar

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    Sai King needs to do back stories for all the awesome important not-so-minor characters

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    Banned obscurejude is on a distinguished road

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    Thanks for the kind words Monte.

    I will comment in detail within the next couple of days. I'm off from work and have been thinking about some of these things myself recently.

    I'm not sure how much Patrick ties in directly to Browning (is there a particular stanza you had in mind J and Y?) and I think a case could be made that the hoary cripple was Walter (which was in King's mind as early as the gunslinger based on the afterwards of the first three books).

    Yes, the interconnectedness of life and art are certainly significant themes for King and particularly the DT Series (although Duma Key, Rose Madder, and the Dark Half immediately come to mind as well). Is it just the thematic relation to Browning typology that you are referring to J and Y, or is it a particular part of the poem? You mentioned Dandelo, and implied that Patrick fit some kind of chronology. I'd be extremely interested if you have something specifically from the poem to discuss.

    Also, and this might refer to Maerlyn a little more specifically, but I think Patrick being able to erase the CK has to do with the CK not existing in bodily form (remember he killed himself before setting out for the Tower). I have a long argument I've been working on for several weeks and I'm not ready to spill it, but it is another way to think about Patrick's unique artistic gifts that don't tie him directly to Browning.

    Anyways, more later I promise. Thank you J and Y for taking an invested interest in Browning. He doesn't get a lot of focus around here and that makes me and Woofer sad.

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    The White! MonteGss is on a distinguished road MonteGss's Avatar

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    Cool! I await your response.

    I also think there might be something to Patrick's ability to erase the CK having to do with the CK's "suicide." I'm not sure I belive Patrick could have erased, say Roland or Suze, from existence.

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    Banned obscurejude is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonteGss View Post
    Cool! I await your response.

    I also think there might be something to Patrick's ability to erase the CK having to do with the CK's "suicide." I'm not sure I belive Patrick could have erased, say Roland or Suze, from existence.
    Ahhh. Remember the eyes remained too- a literary reference to the soul.

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    Silverloch John_and_Yoko will become famous soon enough John_and_Yoko's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by obscurejude View Post
    Thanks for the kind words Monte.

    I will comment in detail within the next couple of days. I'm off from work and have been thinking about some of these things myself recently.

    I'm not sure how much Patrick ties in directly to Browning (is there a particular stanza you had in mind J and Y?) and I think a case could be made that the hoary cripple was Walter (which was in King's mind as early as the gunslinger based on the afterwards of the first three books).

    Yes, the interconnectedness of life and art are certainly significant themes for King and particularly the DT Series (although Duma Key, Rose Madder, and the Dark Half immediately come to mind as well). Is it just the thematic relation to Browning typology that you are referring to J and Y, or is it a particular part of the poem? You mentioned Dandelo, and implied that Patrick fit some kind of chronology. I'd be extremely interested if you have something specifically from the poem to discuss.

    Also, and this might refer to Maerlyn a little more specifically, but I think Patrick being able to erase the CK has to do with the CK not existing in bodily form (remember he killed himself before setting out for the Tower). I have a long argument I've been working on for several weeks and I'm not ready to spill it, but it is another way to think about Patrick's unique artistic gifts that don't tie him directly to Browning.

    Anyways, more later I promise. Thank you J and Y for taking an invested interest in Browning. He doesn't get a lot of focus around here and that makes me and Woofer sad.
    Thank you very much for posting! I was honestly hoping someone who knew more about Browning than I did would post here and give their own thoughts.

    I didn't really have any one particular stanza in mind, I was mostly referring to Part Four, Chapter VI of Volume VII, where Roland and Susannah discover the poem and read the stanzas that were specifically pointed out to them.

    I myself had heard the idea of the "hoary cripple" being represented by Walter and was in fact surprised to see it referring to Dandelo in this volume. But the fact that it made mention of that (I'm not even considering the possibility that the characters are misinterpreting it--which is nevertheless a possibility) made me think of Part Four, Chapter V up until Part Five, Chapter III of Volume VII as the "Browning" part of King's epic.

    And the mention of Stanzas I, II, XIII, XIV, and XVI only seemed to add to the idea that King was directly referencing Browning here. I and II mention the hoary cripple with his staff (don't remember Walter having a staff or anything like it--besides, I don't recall Walter actually lying about anything, as Dandelo did), XIII and XIV mention the horse ("Lippy," another reference to Browning), and even XVI refers to Cuthbert--that's in the past already, so it isn't inconsistent with the interpretation. I've read the poem a few times already, but don't remember anything more specific offhand, I may have to look at it again....

    But mostly it was looking at the first and last stanzas that made me link Patrick Danville to Robert Browning in terms of chronology. Roland first meets Patrick after Dandelo has been defeated--it is Dandelo who's kept Patrick prisoner. If Dandelo is the "hoary cripple," then that corresponds to the beginning of the poem. Likewise, Patrick leaves Roland when the latter reaches the Tower and calls out everyone's name, which naturally corresponds to the end of the poem. The Epilogue and Coda neither feature Patrick nor correspond to anything in the Browning poem. Also, Roland's second ka-tet has already been broken by the time he reaches Patrick, and only further breaks up afterward--plus Roland's done all that ka meant for him to do, so he's basically just finishing what he started, as Childe Roland is doing in the poem. And Patrick is the only one who accompanies Roland on his travels along the Beam toward the Dark Tower but isn't considered a member of his ka-tet (plus we know so little of him). Add that to his art being connected with reality and he seems so much like an outsider chronicling what's going on--and specifically doing so with the "Browning" portion of the story.

    As I myself stated, that all might just be coincidence and I may be trying too hard to fit the two together, but that's why I'm glad to have a Browning expert listen to my idea--even if you decided ultimately to refute it, at least you took the time to listen and explain what you thought--and perhaps you'll interpret it better, being more familiar with Browning than I am. I'm very interested in what you have to say on the matter.

    I also like your idea of Patrick's ability to erase the Crimson King being related to the fact that the latter already killed himself and made himself "undead"--that hadn't even occurred to me, and I'm interested in hearing more about it when you're ready to reveal. I think that would fall into this same general topic (unless such exists elsewhere already) since the main topic is discussing and interpreting Patrick's role in the saga.

    Anyway, thanks again for posting, and hope to hear more from you later!

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    Silverloch John_and_Yoko will become famous soon enough John_and_Yoko's Avatar

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    Just went back and looked over the Browning poem, and now I'm starting to wonder whether Stephen King took inspiration from it throughout the series, rather than just in one volume or another....

    Stanzas XXII and XXIII, with the fighters, remind me very much of the Pubes and Grays in Volume III, and especially taken with the next stanza, XXIV, the engine mentioned brings Blaine the Mono to mind....

    Ironic since Volume III is named after T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land." I read that and couldn't understand much of any of it, let alone see how it might have inspired Stephen King specifically other than the title....

    This is kind of going off-topic now, I know.... If there's already a poetry thread on these forums (meaning for discussing such poems as "Sundance" Browning's and "Butch" Eliot's and their relationship to King's epic), I hope someone will direct me to it. If not, one should be started (and I'm not the one to do it). Jude...?

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    The White! MonteGss is on a distinguished road MonteGss's Avatar

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    Although I dig the discussion...I personally would prefer if we focused only on Patrick here and talked about Browning's poem in the thread below.

    http://www.thedarktower.org/palaver/...obert+browning

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    Silverloch John_and_Yoko will become famous soon enough John_and_Yoko's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonteGss View Post
    Although I dig the discussion...I personally would prefer if we focused only on Patrick here and talked about Browning's poem in the thread below.

    http://www.thedarktower.org/palaver/...obert+browning
    Okay, thanks for the link (I actually asked for it in my last post)!

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    Banned The Lady of Shadows is on a distinguished road

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    i had actually been hoping that there would be a novel, or a novella even, featuring patrick at some point. showing us the intervening events in his life. giving some indication what happened to him, how he developed into
    who he did, etc., etc., etc.

    i'm not very comfortable with people just "dropping out of the sky" (or coming up out of the basement) which is what patrick seemed to do here. unfortunately, since "the tale is told" to coin a phrase, i think our chances of finding out more about patrick's life are relatively slim at best.

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    I haven't been so frustrated over a characters untold "what happened next" since The Princess Bride (Buttercup's Baby).

    For someone who's talent seemed so endless in its capabilities, I needed more of it. Did his power have limitations? Surely he could have drawn a picture of himself with a tongue? Where did he go? When did he draw the picture of Mordred standing triumphant over Llamrei, etc...

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    Citizen of Gilead Empath of the White is on a distinguished road Empath of the White's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonteGss View Post
    Fanfiction is the devil.
    One that I've danced with in the past

    I actually think that the prophecy was referring to Roland and Mordred. I view the spider-boy as another Horn Roland must reclaim. I'm sure I just made a few enemies there. Or it could possibly refer to Roland and Jake. Either pair would pertain to Roland being able to love again, after losing Susan, which I feel is essential for him to truly enter the Tower.

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    Silverloch John_and_Yoko will become famous soon enough John_and_Yoko's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Empath of the White View Post
    I actually think that the prophecy was referring to Roland and Mordred. I view the spider-boy as another Horn Roland must reclaim. I'm sure I just made a few enemies there. Or it could possibly refer to Roland and Jake. Either pair would pertain to Roland being able to love again, after losing Susan, which I feel is essential for him to truly enter the Tower.
    I'm not sure how you figure it referring to Jake, but your idea about Mordred seems interesting to me.

    Certainly it would explain why he's not a straight villain but someone a little more complex--despite only existing in a single volume.

    Not to mention his birthmark which would allow access to the Tower. I love thinking outside the box!

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    Along the Path of the Beam Babymordred121 is on a distinguished road Babymordred121's Avatar

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    I just had an interesting idea, going along with your notion that Mordred would have to be a part of the finale. If Roland wasn't one of the two men that Patrick was destined to save; in the perfect journey where Roland succeeds in regaining his compassion, he chooses to sacrifice himself in an actually satisfying battle with the Crimson King rather than to climb the tower, thus sparing the lives of his two sons, Mordred and Jake.
    Just one more wonderful idea that Stephen King could have gone with, but decided wasn't as worthwhile as "EEEEEeeEEEEeeeeEEEEEE!"

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    Banned obscurejude is on a distinguished road

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    J and Y, one thing that came to mind upon a recent re read is that Patrick isn't singular like Roland, Stephen King, and Robert Browning. What I mean, is that they darkle and tinct, and we've suggested this statement implies, at least in part, that said characters do not have twinners.

    When Roland and Suze are in Fedic, they see the Dark Tower, painted by a Patrick on another level of the tower.

    Its just something to think about...

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