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Thread: Dark Tower questions (SPOILERS GALORE!)

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    Default Dark Tower questions (SPOILERS GALORE!)

    I am new here and I may be posting points you have already discussed/disregarded… but I have been reading the DT series for around 4 years (I deliberately had breaks between the books in order to enjoy the journey and to allow a sense of time between the stories). I finished the last book yesterday and first of all, I loved the ending. It is tragic and horrific, however at the same time gives a beautiful sense of hope for, what I believe, will be Roland’s final journey to the Tower.

    Obviously you have all been through this ending before, and have undoubtedly encountered the enormous amount of unanswered questions. I do not wish to bring up things you are sick of hearing about, but I am really hoping you may have collectively worked out some answers/ideas to these questions.

    Before I go on, I need to make it clear that some of these may be silly questions, I have only read through the series once after all.

    • Why did a different version of Jake from Dutch Hill start remembering the death of the version from under the Way Station? Could it be that Roland, Jake, Eddie, Susannah and Pere are in a way immune to the realities of the worlds (in particular keystone earth and death) due to Ka from the Tower itself, at least until their fates have been fulfilled? It would also explain why Jake and Eddie Toren started to dream about Susannah (probably after the other versions of Jake and Eddie died). It would also explain why Jake knew Pere was going to die for good – because he had finished fulfilling his destiny.

    • How, if in the Keystone world time runs one way, can Roland and Eddie have returned to 1977, then Roland and Jake to 1999 only weeks afterwards? Is this because you can travel forward in time, but not backwards? If that is the case then why couldn’t Roland and Jake have gone to, say, 1998?

    • When Roland returns to the start of his journey at the end of DT7, do the beams reset? Does Jake return to class and Eddie return to heroin addiction? (I.e. does everything skip back in time?) Or does time stay and only Roland himself get sent back, and is this why he has been walking for such a massive amount of time? I can’t really remember the first book but I feel like I remember people commenting on the fact that Gilead fell thousands of years earlier. Could this be because he has been stuck in this loop? If this is the case, then would that mean he would have a new ka-tet each time, as time marches on normally while Roland starts his quest again and again.

    • LAST QUESTION (sorry!): exactly how much power is Stephen King (fictional) supposed to have in the stories? I know they have to go back to save him, but if he didn’t write/finish the stories what exactly was supposed to have happened? Because if he plays a monumental part, then it would be quite different this time round as Roland has the horn…

    Anyway, like I said, sorry I am a newbie -- I am just looking for some insight, ideas, and ideally (but unrealistically) answers.

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    I think time goes forth for everyone else. Alternate histories exist. Roland may generate these divergent timelines. Or he might bring them together. I rather like the latter, in that the Tower is presumed to be the lynchpin of worlds. If Roland is meeting all the pasts that are, it means they're all part of the story.

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    I am Alexander from Germany and I have question in terms of Jake Chambers.

    In The Dark Tower: The Waste Lands in Chapter 2 „Key and Rose“, we learn about the relationship between Jake and his father Elmer. The following section concerns my question:

    „John Chambers, who was Jake to the three or four boys who were almost his friends (if his father had known this little factoid, he undoubt-edly would have hit the roof), was finishing his first year at The Piper School. Although he was eleven and in the sixth grade, he was small for his age, and people meeting him for the first time often thought he was much younger. In fact, he had sometimes been mistaken for a girl until a year or so ago, when he had made such a fuss about having his hair cut short that his mother had finally relented and allowed it. With his father, of course, there had been no problem about the haircut. His father had just grinned his hard, stainless steel grin and said, The kid wants to look like a Marine, Laurie. Good for him. To his father, he was never Jake and rarely John. To his father, he was usually just “the kid.”

    Why would his father hit the roof or why would he be mad? Is it due to the fact that he was not allowed to have friends or was it because of the fact that he was called Jake?

    Maybe his father just wouldn‘t approve that people call him „Jake“? Was his father that shallow-brained?

    Thanks for your insights on this matter!

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    Yes, he was. Proud, probably, too. I imagine he was the one who picked the name and for someone else to corrupt it would piss him off.

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    Traveler Alexander will become famous soon enough Alexander will become famous soon enough

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Vincent View Post
    Yes, he was. Proud, probably, too. I imagine he was the one who picked the name and for someone else to corrupt it would piss him off.
    Thnx for your reply! Maybe this could be the reason why Jake accepts his „nickname“. He can‘t identify with the name his father gave him. With the nickname Jake, he creates a distance between him and his parents. I mean his father calls him „the kid“. He his so disconnected from his son that he can‘t even come up with a proper nickname or diminutive for John.

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    I completely forgot Jake was a nickname, and he was actually named John by his parents. Huh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Vincent View Post
    Yes, he was. Proud, probably, too. I imagine he was the one who picked the name and for someone else to corrupt it would piss him off.
    Thnx for your reply! Maybe this could be the reason why Jake accepts his „nickname“. He can‘t identify with the name his father gave him. With the nickname Jake, he creates a distance between him and his parents. I mean his father calls him „the kid“. He his so disconnected from his son that he can‘t even come up with a proper nickname or diminutive for John.
    I don't think there is really any significance in the nickname. In my family there are 4 generations of "William" (Sr, Jr, III and IV) My father is "Bill", I'm "Bill Jr." my son is "Billy" and my grandson "Liam". It's more a matter of individualizing each of us so when someone yells "Bill" 4 people don't come running!!! LOL

    I think you may be reading something into it more than was intended. The relationship between, John and Jake was what it was. The nickname likely had nothing to do with it other than as I stated above. The nickname "Jake" was probably decided for him by his parents right after he was born and he had nothing to do with it, IMHO
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    Default Hyperborean Wanderer

    Hi everyone,

    Does anyone know why the bookstore guy called Jake the „Hyperborean Wanderer“? Is it a reference to a wanderer from another land or „world“? Is „Hyperborea“ in this context a reference to Roland‘s world?

    Thnx for your insights!

    Alex

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    Tower was probably just making a literary joke about Jake playing hookey from school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Vincent View Post
    Tower was probably just making a literary joke about Jake playing hookey from school.
    Thnx! That could be it! Maybe outside school is the Hyperborean paradise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin1958 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Vincent View Post
    Yes, he was. Proud, probably, too. I imagine he was the one who picked the name and for someone else to corrupt it would piss him off.
    Thnx for your reply! Maybe this could be the reason why Jake accepts his „nickname“. He can‘t identify with the name his father gave him. With the nickname Jake, he creates a distance between him and his parents. I mean his father calls him „the kid“. He his so disconnected from his son that he can‘t even come up with a proper nickname or diminutive for John.
    I don't think there is really any significance in the nickname. In my family there are 4 generations of "William" (Sr, Jr, III and IV) My father is "Bill", I'm "Bill Jr." my son is "Billy" and my grandson "Liam". It's more a matter of individualizing each of us so when someone yells "Bill" 4 people don't come running!!! LOL

    I think you may be reading something into it more than was intended. The relationship between, John and Jake was what it was. The nickname likely had nothing to do with it other than as I stated above. The nickname "Jake" was probably decided for him by his parents right after he was born and he had nothing to do with it, IMHO
    My extended family had a run on the name "Tom". My great grandpa was named Tom. My grandpa was named Tom but for years went by his middle name "Eugene". My grandma usually just called him the "old man".
    My uncle was named Tom but typically went by "Tommy". Then my aunt had a son and also named him Tom. So Tommy got older and started going by Tom and the younger Tom went by "Tommie".

    My parents gave me a name that nobody else in the family has on purpose. Then I started kindergarten and had 3 other kids in my class with a variation of my name.

    I've never understood why Jack or Jake are nicknames for John.
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    Probably more than you wanted to know:

    Jack, the commonest pet-name for John, has caused a good deal of difficulty owing to the natural assumption that it must be derived from the French Jacques and should therefore logically represent James rather than John. The problem was cleared up by E. W. B. Nicholson in a little book entitled The Pedigree of Jack and of Various Allied Names (1892). He showed that there is no recorded instance of Jack, Jak, Jacke, or Jakke ever being used to represent Jacques or James, and that no statement in favor of the French connexion has been produced from any early writer. He then proceeded to elucidate and illustrate with examples the development of Johannes [the standard Latin nominative form] to Jehan [the standard Old and Middle French oblique form] and Jan [the standard Middle Dutch form], whence, by addition of the common suffix -kin [a uniquely English suffix], we get Jankin, which as a result of French nasalization becomes Jackin [this is the same nasalization that gets us Harry from Henry], and was finally shortened to Jack. There was a similar development from Jon to Jock (the Scottish form of the name).

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    The first time I ever heard Jack as a nickname for John was the dad on The Wonder Years.

    Now that we've thoroughly hijacked this thread...
    Hearts are tough, she said, most times hearts don't break, and I'm sure that's right . . . but what about then? What about who we were then? What about hearts in Atlantis?

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    John Holbrook Vance wrote under the name of Jack Vance.
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    Hi Bev!

    So Hyperborean is maybe a reference to Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith? An der Wanderer is the fact that Jake skips school and wanders off through the city?

    Alex

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    I don't really see a Lovecraft connection. In Greek mythology, the Hyperboreans were a mythical people who lived in the far northern part of the known world. It was "terra incognita" to the Greeks. They believed that people from Hyperborea lived to the age of one thousand and enjoyed lives of complete happiness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Vincent View Post
    I don't really see a Lovecraft connection. In Greek mythology, the Hyperboreans were a mythical people who lived in the far northern part of the known world. It was "terra incognita" to the Greeks. They believed that people from Hyperborea lived to the age of one thousand and enjoyed lives of complete happiness.
    So one could say that wandering off in the streets instead of going to school and searching for a happier place makes Jake the Hyperborean Wanderer? I mean he left school and everything to find a better place. He is not happy being in school, not happy with his parents and he’s going insane. So he has to move on to another land, world, terra incognita, his very on „happy place behind the North Wind“. Maybe it could be interpreted that way on a wider scale?

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    Yes, I'd buy that. Tower summing up Jake in a nutshell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Vincent View Post
    Yes, I'd buy that. Tower summing up Jake in a nutshell.
    Thnx. In Germany, we got something called „Glücksritter“ (knight of fortune). Maybe that‘s what the Hyperborean Wanderer is - a person in search for a better future. That would be a very poetic term if Stephen King had something like that in mind.

    However, maybe it‘s just me putting too much into it. That‘s part of the fun for me at least.

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    Hello everyone! I have a question regarding the „Demon and Door“ chapter. In section 15:

    Eddie's head rocked back; his eyes widened with shock. He stared at the gunslinger, then slowly raised his hand to touch the reddening handprint on his cheek. "You bastard!" he whispered. His hand dropped to the butt of the revolver he still wore on his left hip. Susannah tried to put her own hands over it; Eddie pushed them away.

    And now I must teach again, Roland thought, only this time I teach for my own life, I think, as well as for his.

    Somewhere in the distance a crow hailed its harsh cry into the stillness, and Roland thought for a moment of his hawk, David. Now Eddie was his hawk . . . and like David, he would not scruple to tear out his eye if he gave so much as a single inch.


    What does Roland mean that he has to „teach“ again? Does this refer to Eddie‘s statement that he does not care about his father?

    And why does Roland think that he needs to teach for his sake as well as for Eddie‘s sake? Is it because Roland needs Eddie to finish the key so that he doesn‘t go mad? And Eddie because he needs to overcome his insecurities?

    Thanks for help in advance.

    Alex

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwritecode View Post
    The first time I ever heard Jack as a nickname for John was the dad on The Wonder Years.

    Now that we've thoroughly hijacked this thread...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander View Post
    Hello everyone! I have a question regarding the „Demon and Door“ chapter. In section 15:

    Eddie's head rocked back; his eyes widened with shock. He stared at the gunslinger, then slowly raised his hand to touch the reddening handprint on his cheek. "You bastard!" he whispered. His hand dropped to the butt of the revolver he still wore on his left hip. Susannah tried to put her own hands over it; Eddie pushed them away.

    And now I must teach again, Roland thought, only this time I teach for my own life, I think, as well as for his.

    Somewhere in the distance a crow hailed its harsh cry into the stillness, and Roland thought for a moment of his hawk, David. Now Eddie was his hawk . . . and like David, he would not scruple to tear out his eye if he gave so much as a single inch.


    What does Roland mean that he has to „teach“ again? Does this refer to Eddie‘s statement that he does not care about his father?

    And why does Roland think that he needs to teach for his sake as well as for Eddie‘s sake? Is it because Roland needs Eddie to finish the key so that he doesn‘t go mad? And Eddie because he needs to overcome his insecurities?

    Thanks for help in advance.

    Alex
    My take: Roland now finds himself in the role of Cort. He has to turn someone into a gunslinger, which can be a harsh lesson. When Cort taught Roland, the only life in jeopardy was Roland's. If Roland failed, he'd be sent west and his promising, privileged life would be over. Now, Roland needs Eddie as much as Eddie needs Roland -- to survive this quest and all the hardships it entails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Vincent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander View Post
    Hello everyone! I have a question regarding the „Demon and Door“ chapter. In section 15:

    Eddie's head rocked back; his eyes widened with shock. He stared at the gunslinger, then slowly raised his hand to touch the reddening handprint on his cheek. "You bastard!" he whispered. His hand dropped to the butt of the revolver he still wore on his left hip. Susannah tried to put her own hands over it; Eddie pushed them away.

    And now I must teach again, Roland thought, only this time I teach for my own life, I think, as well as for his.

    Somewhere in the distance a crow hailed its harsh cry into the stillness, and Roland thought for a moment of his hawk, David. Now Eddie was his hawk . . . and like David, he would not scruple to tear out his eye if he gave so much as a single inch.


    What does Roland mean that he has to „teach“ again? Does this refer to Eddie‘s statement that he does not care about his father?

    And why does Roland think that he needs to teach for his sake as well as for Eddie‘s sake? Is it because Roland needs Eddie to finish the key so that he doesn‘t go mad? And Eddie because he needs to overcome his insecurities?

    Thanks for help in advance.

    Alex
    My take: Roland now finds himself in the role of Cort. He has to turn someone into a gunslinger, which can be a harsh lesson. When Cort taught Roland, the only life in jeopardy was Roland's. If Roland failed, he'd be sent west and his promising, privileged life would be over. Now, Roland needs Eddie as much as Eddie needs Roland -- to survive this quest and all the hardships it entails.

    Thanks again! So the hawk analogy becomes clear as well. I mean the hawk David could be a dangerous animal that‘s why Roland had to train him. The same applies to Eddie. He is now Roland‘s hawk and if not trained properly can be a danger to Roland and others. Or does this make no sense at all?

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