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Thread: *Spoiler* Based *Spoiler* Question about the tale within the tale

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    John F. Kennedy Random321321 is on a distinguished road

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    Default *Spoiler* Based *Spoiler* Question about the tale within the tale

    So, I don't really understand how Roland's mother is reading him a story in which there is a character (Covenant Man) who is so obviously Marten/Flagg. How would Marten have ended up in a children's story? How would Gabrielle not have recognized that as him? How would Roland seemingly not recognize Marten as the Man in Black much earlier if he knew this story by heart? Did Marten actually spend time as a tax collector, or is that part fiction?

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    I don't understand how Roland's mother could read him such a looooong story as a kid. The kid would have either fallen asleep or gotten bored early with that tale. It went on and on and on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtdman View Post
    I don't understand how Roland's mother could read him such a looooong story as a kid. The kid would have either fallen asleep or gotten bored early with that tale. It went on and on and on.

    Marten/Flagg indentifies itself as the Ageless Stranger. He can shift his face as he pleases, plus he can probably jump from one level of the Tower to the next.

    mtdman, at the beginning of Wolves of the Calla, Roland was enthusiastic about storytelling. So it would only be natural that he'd love such a long story.

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    John F. Kennedy Random321321 is on a distinguished road

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    He is identified as a man of the court in Gilead, and he even signs a letter MB. I mean, how could Gabrielle/Roland be unaware that it was Marten? And...all my other questions?

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    For one, this story could not really be that old because hasn't it only been a couple thousand years since Arthur Eld? If so, then it is possible for Flagg to be in it because we learn in The Dark Tower that he is 1,500 years old give or take a few. Also, we know from The Stand and especially from The Eyes of The Dragon that he likes to spend time in one kingdom long enough to cause issues and then move on only to return a few generations later. This is probably one of his early attempts to screw with Gilead by planting the seeds of resentment through his harsh treatment to those paying taxes to Gilead. He most likely left for awhile to destroy other kingdoms before he came back as Marten to finally end Gilead.

    As for Roland not recognizing him, I think that answer is in this very book when Roland said Cort thought he was slow-witted and had no imagination. This is just a tale to Roland and since it happened hundreds of years ago it probably never crosses his mind that it could be the same person. You have to also remember that we have a lot more information about Flagg/Broadcloak than Roland does. All he really knows as a kid is that Marten is a magician in his father's court that his mom is sleeping with. He doesn't know that he really can wield magic and has the ability to change appearance or anything about all his adventures in other worlds. He doesn't learn these things until it is too late. As for Gabrielle, she probably started telling this story before meeting Marten and by the end MAYBE SHE DID KNOW. She was under his spell enough to sleep with him and even try to bring about her husband's death so why would she tell Roland if she knew?

    Something that bothered me more are other timeline issues like how the Crimson King is already on the tower in this tale when he only gets there a little before Roland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RUBE View Post
    For one, this story could not really be that old because hasn't it only been a couple thousand years since Arthur Eld? If so, then it is possible for Flagg to be in it because we learn in The Dark Tower that he is 1,500 years old give or take a few. Also, we know from The Stand and especially from The Eyes of The Dragon that he likes to spend time in one kingdom long enough to cause issues and then move on only to return a few generations later. This is probably one of his early attempts to screw with Gilead by planting the seeds of resentment through his harsh treatment to those paying taxes to Gilead. He most likely left for awhile to destroy other kingdoms before he came back as Marten to finally end Gilead.

    As for Roland not recognizing him, I think that answer is in this very book when Roland said Cort thought he was slow-witted and had no imagination. This is just a tale to Roland and since it happened hundreds of years ago it probably never crosses his mind that it could be the same person. You have to also remember that we have a lot more information about Flagg/Broadcloak than Roland does. All he really knows as a kid is that Marten is a magician in his father's court that his mom is sleeping with. He doesn't know that he really can wield magic and has the ability to change appearance or anything about all his adventures in other worlds. He doesn't learn these things until it is too late. As for Gabrielle, she probably started telling this story before meeting Marten and by the end MAYBE SHE DID KNOW. She was under his spell enough to sleep with him and even try to bring about her husband's death so why would she tell Roland if she knew?

    Something that bothered me more are other timeline issues like how the Crimson King is already on the tower in this tale when he only gets there a little before Roland.
    and why is he at the top of the Tower when
    DT7 spoiler
    Spoiler:
    He is at the lower level of the tower when Roland reaches the tower


    Does whatever a spiderman does.

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    John F. Kennedy Random321321 is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by RUBE View Post
    For one, this story could not really be that old because hasn't it only been a couple thousand years since Arthur Eld? If so, then it is possible for Flagg to be in it because we learn in The Dark Tower that he is 1,500 years old give or take a few. Also, we know from The Stand and especially from The Eyes of The Dragon that he likes to spend time in one kingdom long enough to cause issues and then move on only to return a few generations later. This is probably one of his early attempts to screw with Gilead by planting the seeds of resentment through his harsh treatment to those paying taxes to Gilead. He most likely left for awhile to destroy other kingdoms before he came back as Marten to finally end Gilead.

    As for Roland not recognizing him, I think that answer is in this very book when Roland said Cort thought he was slow-witted and had no imagination. This is just a tale to Roland and since it happened hundreds of years ago it probably never crosses his mind that it could be the same person. You have to also remember that we have a lot more information about Flagg/Broadcloak than Roland does. All he really knows as a kid is that Marten is a magician in his father's court that his mom is sleeping with. He doesn't know that he really can wield magic and has the ability to change appearance or anything about all his adventures in other worlds. He doesn't learn these things until it is too late. As for Gabrielle, she probably started telling this story before meeting Marten and by the end MAYBE SHE DID KNOW. She was under his spell enough to sleep with him and even try to bring about her husband's death so why would she tell Roland if she knew?

    Something that bothered me more are other timeline issues like how the Crimson King is already on the tower in this tale when he only gets there a little before Roland.
    Fair answer, but this suggests the story is true, which I also find troubling.

  8. #8
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    How would Marten have ended up in a children's story?
    He's been around along time. This story actually seems to be based on fact.
    How would Gabrielle not have recognized that as him?
    In much the same way that some people dont think Andre Linoge from Storm of the Century is Flagg. Also, its stated in the series that Flagg has messed with her head which would effect her thinking on such an issue. In fact, I think stories like these are how Steven Deschain knew Flagg was a traitor for at least two years before the events in Mejis.
    How would Roland seemingly not recognize Marten as the Man in Black much earlier if he knew this story by heart?
    Firstly, the memory of this story is only triggered after the starkblast sweeps in (he had even forgot the signs of an incoming starkblast). This isn't too surprising - Roland is approx 1000 years old by this point and unlikely to remember everything. Secondly, he didn't even figure out Walter was Marten until the end of The Gunslinger so I dont think he would connect him to this story (things may have changed after telling his new ka-tet however....).
    Did Marten actually spend time as a tax collector, or is that part fiction?
    I believe it is historical fact written up as a story.
    Something that bothered me more are other timeline issues like how the Crimson King is already on the tower in this tale when he only gets there a little before Roland.
    and why is he at the top of the Tower when....
    The Crimson King was also presented like this in Wolves of the Calla. However, it is not a timeline issue because in Black House the Crimson King is said
    Spoiler:
    to be pent in the Tower yet have a second manifestation in his Court and Castle. He is in two places at once.


    Here is a link to a post of mine in The Crimson King thread detailing all we know about him, including quotes/evidence from comics, DT novels, and DT related novels. If you've read everything, or dont mind spoilers about this character, you should find it useful in answering your query:

    http://www.thedarktower.org/palaver/...l=1#post325583

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    It has been awhile since I have read Insomnia or Black House so I guess I wasn't taking the dual Crimson King theory into account. Thanks for the reminder.

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    I gathered that the actual version told by Gabrielle to Roland and told to Bill by Roland was shorter and way more one-dimensional.

    It stepped from a simplified oral tale into a proper King prose story with all of their speech, thoughts and visual/aural perceptions richly described once Part 1 segued into Part 2 and then transitioned back out again to the beginning of Part 3.

    There's no way Gabrielle or Roland are going to remember things like the 12-digit North Positronics serial number on the back of Daria!!!!
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    John F. Kennedy Random321321 is on a distinguished road

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    So Gabrielle/Roland inserted Marten into the story? That's also strange.

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    Not really, al stories get embellished and grow with each telling. There is no saying that the covenant man was described the same way to Roland by his mother, or the the retelling to Billy in his cell - which was really Roland telling his Katet, things would get smudged and grow different with each telling surely? And the narrator would be tempted to make a likeness of an enemy to the bad man in the book?

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    Quote Originally Posted by candy View Post
    Not really, al stories get embellished and grow with each telling. There is no saying that the covenant man was described the same way to Roland by his mother, or the the retelling to Billy in his cell - which was really Roland telling his Katet, things would get smudged and grow different with each telling surely? And the narrator would be tempted to make a likeness of an enemy to the bad man in the book?
    Like the fathers are naming the princess same with their daughter's while they are telling them stories.
    I agree. This may be the reason.
    I also agree that it could be actually a true story, and Rube's explanation above fits best, mostly. TI do not think Roland's slowness is pure stupidity that he wouldn't be able to put things so obvious together. It is because, things are obvious to us.
    That is why this quote...:
    Quote Originally Posted by RUBE View Post
    You have to also remember that we have a lot more information about Flagg/Broadcloak than Roland does. All he really knows as a kid is that Marten is a magician in his father's court that his mom is sleeping with. He doesn't know that he really can wield magic and has the ability to change appearance or anything about all his adventures in other worlds. He doesn't learn these things until it is too late. As for Gabrielle, she probably started telling this story before meeting Marten and by the end MAYBE SHE DID KNOW. She was under his spell enough to sleep with him and even try to bring about her husband's death so why would she tell Roland if she knew?
    ...sounds me perfect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by candy View Post
    Not really, al stories get embellished and grow with each telling. There is no saying that the covenant man was described the same way to Roland by his mother, or the the retelling to Billy in his cell - which was really Roland telling his Katet, things would get smudged and grow different with each telling surely? And the narrator would be tempted to make a likeness of an enemy to the bad man in the book?
    Very good point, Candy. I'm glad to see there's still TDT related discourse on this site.
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    what Bruno said

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

    bears are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Traveler BobbyOodle is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by RUBE View Post
    For one, this story could not really be that old because hasn't it only been a couple thousand years since Arthur Eld? If so, then it is possible for Flagg to be in it because we learn in The Dark Tower that he is 1,500 years old give or take a few. Also, we know from The Stand and especially from The Eyes of The Dragon that he likes to spend time in one kingdom long enough to cause issues and then move on only to return a few generations later. This is probably one of his early attempts to screw with Gilead by planting the seeds of resentment through his harsh treatment to those paying taxes to Gilead. He most likely left for awhile to destroy other kingdoms before he came back as Marten to finally end Gilead.

    As for Roland not recognizing him, I think that answer is in this very book when Roland said Cort thought he was slow-witted and had no imagination. This is just a tale to Roland and since it happened hundreds of years ago it probably never crosses his mind that it could be the same person. You have to also remember that we have a lot more information about Flagg/Broadcloak than Roland does. All he really knows as a kid is that Marten is a magician in his father's court that his mom is sleeping with. He doesn't know that he really can wield magic and has the ability to change appearance or anything about all his adventures in other worlds. He doesn't learn these things until it is too late. As for Gabrielle, she probably started telling this story before meeting Marten and by the end MAYBE SHE DID KNOW. She was under his spell enough to sleep with him and even try to bring about her husband's death so why would she tell Roland if she knew?

    Something that bothered me more are other timeline issues like how the Crimson King is already on the tower in this tale when he only gets there a little before Roland.
    You guys have to take into consideration that some things, in children stories more present than others, are exaggerated just for the sake of getting the point across. Being at the top of a tower is much more striking than being imprisoned at a lower level.

    And he doesn't get there a little before Roland, right? I thought that he was there, and had been causing the world's moving on since Roland's start journey which is *SPOILER* *SPOILER* like over 3000 years. And that's why he is going crazy, being locked out of, but still on the tower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyOodle View Post
    You guys have to take into consideration that some things, in children stories more present than others, are exaggerated just for the sake of getting the point across. Being at the top of a tower is much more striking than being imprisoned at a lower level.
    A very good observation

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    "So, I don't really understand how Roland's mother is reading him a story in which there is a character (Covenant Man) who is so obviously Marten/Flagg. How would Marten have ended up in a children's story? How would Gabrielle not have recognized that as him? How would Roland seemingly not recognize Marten as the Man in Black much earlier if he knew this story by heart? Did Marten actually spend time as a tax collector, or is that part fiction?"

    A good set of questions, and some good answers have already come forth. But to continue this idea, I found similar questions plagued me after reading this: While Roland's mother and Roland himself didn't seem to recognize Marten as the tax collector, what troubled me much more is that Eddie, Susannah, and Jake didn't speak up about this after the tale was told to them! They just seemed to nod, smile, and say, "great story, Roland!" That seemed unrealistic to me. Can't you picture Eddie giving out a sarcastic inquiry? "Uh, hey there big, tall, and ugly...you ever notice something about that tax collector? Had quite the tittering laugh, not unlike that creep we just ran into in the Emerald Castle?" While yes, we have more information about Marten Broadcloak, definitely the rest of Roland's ka-tet have enough info the make this connection after their Oz experience.

    Then, another thing that stuck in my craw is that "North Central Positronics" is mentioned in the story. It doesn't exactly cause problems in the rest of the stories, but you'd think that when they see this stamped on multiple products in Mid-World, it wouldn't seem as mysterious. Roland might even mention it during the Shardik scene in book III. Of course, I know he didn't/couldn't because King hadn't written The Wind Through The Keyhole yet, but after Roland tells these stories, there could have been some discussion the ka-tet had about all of this. I can picture Susannah saying, "So, sugah, you mean to tell me this North Central Positronics company has been around your world so much that it even pokes its head up in your children stories? Wow...why didn't you ever mention it?" Roland could have just given a shrug at that point and that could have been it. But, I think it needed to be addressed.

    With these ideas, I think the book would have been better if after the tales were done, the ka-tet had a bit of palaver over some questions that should have been buzzing in their heads after hearing about it.

    I'd love to hear what ideas many of you might have on these questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Lund View Post
    "So, I don't really understand how Roland's mother is reading him a story in which there is a character (Covenant Man) who is so obviously Marten/Flagg. How would Marten have ended up in a children's story? How would Gabrielle not have recognized that as him? How would Roland seemingly not recognize Marten as the Man in Black much earlier if he knew this story by heart? Did Marten actually spend time as a tax collector, or is that part fiction?"

    A good set of questions, and some good answers have already come forth. But to continue this idea, I found similar questions plagued me after reading this: While Roland's mother and Roland himself didn't seem to recognize Marten as the tax collector, what troubled me much more is that Eddie, Susannah, and Jake didn't speak up about this after the tale was told to them! They just seemed to nod, smile, and say, "great story, Roland!" That seemed unrealistic to me. Can't you picture Eddie giving out a sarcastic inquiry? "Uh, hey there big, tall, and ugly...you ever notice something about that tax collector? Had quite the tittering laugh, not unlike that creep we just ran into in the Emerald Castle?" While yes, we have more information about Marten Broadcloak, definitely the rest of Roland's ka-tet have enough info the make this connection after their Oz experience.

    Then, another thing that stuck in my craw is that "North Central Positronics" is mentioned in the story. It doesn't exactly cause problems in the rest of the stories, but you'd think that when they see this stamped on multiple products in Mid-World, it wouldn't seem as mysterious. Roland might even mention it during the Shardik scene in book III. Of course, I know he didn't/couldn't because King hadn't written The Wind Through The Keyhole yet, but after Roland tells these stories, there could have been some discussion the ka-tet had about all of this. I can picture Susannah saying, "So, sugah, you mean to tell me this North Central Positronics company has been around your world so much that it even pokes its head up in your children stories? Wow...why didn't you ever mention it?" Roland could have just given a shrug at that point and that could have been it. But, I think it needed to be addressed.

    With these ideas, I think the book would have been better if after the tales were done, the ka-tet had a bit of palaver over some questions that should have been buzzing in their heads after hearing about it.

    I'd love to hear what ideas many of you might have on these questions.
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    King anticipated and addressed these issues in an afterword in the first draft of the manuscript. For some reason, though, this was removed in later drafts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Lund View Post
    While Roland's mother and Roland himself didn't seem to recognize Marten as the tax collector, what troubled me much more is that Eddie, Susannah, and Jake didn't speak up about this after the tale was told to them! They just seemed to nod, smile, and say, "great story, Roland!"


    Then, another thing that stuck in my craw is that "North Central Positronics" is mentioned in the story. It doesn't exactly cause problems in the rest of the stories, but you'd think that when they see this stamped on multiple products in Mid-World, it wouldn't seem as mysterious. Roland might even mention it during the Shardik scene in book III.
    I do have a BIG problem with this. Like the jack-out-of-the-box closure he is suddenly revealed to have achieved with his mother, it clashes with the original story, and devalues it.

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    John F. Kennedy Random321321 is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Vincent View Post
    King anticipated and addressed these issues in an afterword in the first draft of the manuscript. For some reason, though, this was removed in later drafts.
    Any hints about how he addressed them, since we'll never get to see it, seemingly?

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    Old Roland is telling the story that Teen Roland told Bill, which was in itself a retelling of a story Teen Roland heard when he was Kid Roland. So the original story may not have had the problematic details in it, and the version Teen Roland told might not have had them, either. Old Roland added them in the retelling.

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    John F. Kennedy Random321321 is on a distinguished road

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    Ah, ok. And Roland's mother's retroactive forgiveness for her own murder, did Old Roland make that up as well? Or maybe that wasn't addressed?

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    I believe it was walter, doing, as some have mentioned, plating his seed's of destruction.

    Part of the story say's that the people were tired of paying tax's and that they were waiting for man, a good man to change things. Plus seeing as it's said Merlin was trapped by the Crimson King, I find it plausible that this story was also a reference to the beginning of the end for Gilead.

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