Acoustic Post - The Dark Tower - a writer's journey

By Devilline Stone

I’m a strange reader when it come to epic series. When I truly love a story, part of me doesn’t want it to end. The Dark Tower was no exception, and I certainly dragged my feet on my way to book seven. I have a few friends who have read it. Everyone told me, “Let me know when you finish. I’m dying to know what you think of the ending”. Well, I have finished and I’m here to blog about my thoughts on the ending, on the entire story for that matter.

Let me start by saying, I loved this series. I’ve always loved epic fantasy. This series was an exceptionally written adventure story that had me engrossed the whole ride. I rank it up with my favorites, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones. I’m not going to talk about the quality of the writing. I love Stephen King.  I love the descriptions, the nostalgia, the horror, and everything about his imagination.  What I am going to do is take a wild guess at the underlying meaning behind this epic adventure.

I think Stephen King wrote this story for writers. I think it is ultimately about the journey of writing a story. I believe Roland is the best version of Stephen King as a writer. He’s determined, focused and on task. He is going to get to that Tower at any cost, even the lives of those he loves. I believe the Crimson King, is the worst version of Stephen King as a writer. He’s lazy, selfish, egotistical and ultimately would rather end the universe (not finish the story, not let Roland get to the Tower). Mordred is the ego of the Crimson King. 

Every time Roland and his ka-tet encounter a challenge in progressing to the tower, the writer is distracted. He’s watching spaghetti westerns, he’s reading Harry Potter, and even writing other stories. All these things present themselves in the Dark Tower as points when the path to the Tower stagnates. Roland always finds a way to push forward eventually, even if he must go to Maine and confront the storyteller himself, even if he must borrow weapons from another writer’s story, even if Roland and his ka-tet need assistance from characters in other King stories. 

Now let’s talk about that ending. What’s the last weapon the Crimson King uses to try to defeat Roland? Sneeches! Can’t even invent his own weapon. He’s that Lazy! After he is ‘erased’, Roland still feels the eyes of the Crimson King following him. He’ll never really be gone, because they are actually one. We all have a worst version of ourselves. We may win sometimes, but our demons are never that far behind. 

Then, he opens the door, and he’s right back where he started!  What else happens when a writer finishes a story? Someone else reads it. Then someone else reads it. Sometimes people are reading it simultaneously (Todash?). Each time things are slightly different because we all bring our own imaginations to a story as we experience it. There’s no way around that. If people keep reading, Roland has his purpose and the universe continues in infinite iterations. 

Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m just looking for motivation to finish just one of my own works in progress. If I’m off base, my apologies to Mr. King. Whatever the reason, I found this series, like all his books, to be an absolute inspiration. All hail the Crimson King and Roland Deschain!

Disclaimer: All the views expressed in this post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Acoustic Post or its members.

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