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

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

    One simple question..
    why does he have to restart the loop from the middle of the desert? Why from there?

    ETA: This thread is now an amalgamation of all the other existing loop threads - it's your place to discuss anything and everything pertaining to the loop.
    Last edited by Darkthoughts; 12-28-2008 at 04:08 PM.

    Roland would have understood.

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    We've just been discussing this in another thread Here's what I posted:
    Why the desert? Well, thats the point at which he realises he can attain the Tower, its no longer a dream, it becomes a reality. Therefore all decisions from that point on, he tries to justify in the Towers name, which is why I'd imagine the Tower has an "issue" with it

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    Very good question. I'll mull it over with Lisa's wonderful feedback there...
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

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    And a backrub sir?

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    Yes, with some of that cat oil...
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

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    Big Coffin Hunter jayson is on a distinguished road

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    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.

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    Yes, the non mythological real world reason, I agree, would probably very much be that King wanted to complete the circle...or wheel do ya kennit

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    Nigel Tufnel Odetta has a spectacular aura about Odetta has a spectacular aura about Odetta has a spectacular aura about Odetta's Avatar

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    Maybe I'm just really basic here, but I thought it was because that is where WE are first introduced to Roland.

    Maybe it's not all about HIS journey. Maybe it's about ours.
    There's a fine line between stupid and clever.

    You can't really dust for vomit.

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    Yeah, thats what I meant in that post right above yours
    But in terms of "why?" as far as Roland would see it, I think theres other answers.

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    Big Coffin Hunter jayson is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odetta View Post
    Maybe it's not all about HIS journey. Maybe it's about ours.
    That is exactly what I meant, though you put it much more elegantly I did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkthoughts View Post
    We've just been discussing this in another thread
    That's where the idea came from..
    I keep on thinking of it.

    Roland would have understood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_of_G 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.
    I DESPISE that idea, it brings to mind the movie Groundhog Day (which I love) and to me that debases the series to the point where it's cheap and tawdry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TerribleT View Post
    I DESPISE that idea, it brings to mind the movie Groundhog Day (which I love) and to me that debases the series to the point where it's cheap and tawdry.
    Agreed again T. To me anyway Roland has more to save then just himself, as opposed to Bill Murray who had only to achieve his own enlightenment. I too love that film, though as a religious studies major I had to watch it for several classes and wrote at least one lengthy paper on it so it became kind of academic for me. I did give my professor a new way of looking at the title though that he has continues to use in his subsequent lectures [in short, Bill Murray needed to become self-less, in other words, to not see his own shadow]. For Roland, I feel there is more to it than that [not to mention I still don't think Roland is selfish].

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TerribleT View Post
    I DESPISE that idea, it brings to mind the movie Groundhog Day (which I love) and to me that debases the series to the point where it's cheap and tawdry.
    if there had never been such a movie, would you feel the same?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TerribleT View Post
    I DESPISE that idea, it brings to mind the movie Groundhog Day (which I love) and to me that debases the series to the point where it's cheap and tawdry.
    if there had never been such a movie, would you feel the same?
    Good point.

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    This passage is right after they've left River Crossing from Susannah's perspective....

    Now she understood that Roland had been much more than a cop riding a Daliesque range at the end of the world. He had been a diplomat; a mediator; pehaps even a teacher. Most of all he had been a soldier of what these people called "the White," by which she guessed they meant the civilizing forces that kept people from killing each other to allow some sort of progress. In his time he had been more wandering knight-errant than bounty hunter. And in many ways this still was his time; the people at River Crossing had certainly thought so. Why else would they have knelt in the dust to receive his blessing.

    Roland says to Jake...

    "Right is what this is all about," Roland said. "But if you look too long at the small rights (like saving little boys from falling.), Jake-the ones that lie close at hand-it's easy to lose sight of the big ones that stand further off. Things are out of joint-going wrong and getting worse. We see it all around us, but the answers are still ahead. While we were helping the twenty or thirty people left in River Crossing, (or saving little boys from falling) twenty or thirty thousand more might be suffering or dying somewhere else. And if these is any place in the universe where these things can be set right, it the Dark Tower."

    I still don't buy off on the concept that somehow Roland will be redeemed by not dropping Jake.

    Matt, is it ok if I double post the in the Roland's choice thread? I think it's as relevant there as it is here.

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    anticipating Matt's answer, I take upon myself the responsibility to say it is perfectly ok. In certain situations it may be better to post the same things in different threads than providing a link to what already is posted (for example, if you expect discussions to develop in separate threads along different lines).

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    I just assumed that it started at the desert to truly epitomize the long dry future he will have, and it will begin and end until he can figure out how to break the cycle. Would we as readers have been more moved if he had begun at a lush forest? *I* think not.. but that's just an idea of mine that may change.

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    And do you think it's possible he doesn't always have to start in the desert or it's a law?
    (We know the loops change.)

    Roland would have understood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_of_G View Post
    Agreed again T. To me anyway Roland has more to save then just himself, as opposed to Bill Murray who had only to achieve his own enlightenment. I too love that film, though as a religious studies major I had to watch it for several classes and wrote at least one lengthy paper on it so it became kind of academic for me. I did give my professor a new way of looking at the title though that he has continues to use in his subsequent lectures [in short, Bill Murray needed to become self-less, in other words, to not see his own shadow]. For Roland, I feel there is more to it than that [not to mention I still don't think Roland is selfish].
    I think Roland is definitely selfish. his 'loop' is purposely designed to have scenario similar to Mejis and, we'll find out if maybe, Jericho Hill. All the same he lets Jake fall. He chose the tower over Jake, who is the catalyst for the story. Whether it is for duty or obligation or simply because, over all else, he needs to see it and touch it and go to the room at the top. He still lets Jake drop. All obstacles set before Roland are interconnected tests.


    As for the desert, it's a logical place to begin. It's desolate, no life, it's dry and Roland is alone. The tower is in a field full of roses (roses are hard to grow) and it's the end the complete opposite of a desert. Due to heat it and exhaustion and dehydration it wouldn't be uncommon to feel a moment of vertigo and have a slight hallucination. It's the kind of thing that would be forgotten about after taking a sip of water from a waterskin and continuing on. Brown is his first encounter, where he recalls David, his hawk, the first of many sacrifices to come. I'm still not beyond Brown being Flagg or Fannin due to him also being at the waystation with Callahan while Roland was leaving with Jake.

    In terms of the loops, well we all know Eddie is in reverence to Cuthbert and Jake is to Allain well the name Susannah is symbolic as well. Wasn't Susan pregnant with Roland's child before she burned? Well, Mordred is Roland/Susannah/Crimson King so it's as if the baby he never got to father is suddenly there. That's why I think the back story is so important. Of course, I Haven't read Gunslinger Born yet but my friend just bought them all in a Hardcover book.

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    Try and get the comics if you can Mattrick, the hardcover doesn't include all the back story segments that were in the single issues.

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    How significant are the backstories?

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    Big Coffin Hunter jayson is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattrick View Post
    How significant are the backstories?
    There supplemental to the story so you don't "need" them, but the are exceptionally cool, and deal with a lot of the metaphysical stuff from the series [such as Gan and Maerlyn rising from the Prim, and the origin of the Wizard's Rainbow, and Arthur Eld stories and such].

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    Yep, "exceptionally cool" just about covers it

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