Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came
Published on , under Writings, tagged with reviews, rants and fan-fiction.
I tend to be very critic with the movies and books I consume. And, if the ideas behind them are any good, I get hooked and start to think of ways they could be improved.
Since many people tend to canalize this spark in some form of fan-fiction, I figured, why not do the same?
In this case I'll write about the Dark Tower book series, which I read a long time ago.
In my opinion, Stephen King's magnum opus ended up being too ambitious. I think he felt this urge to finish it somehow, after the accident of course, and the fact that he was sober didn't help his inspiration either.
To my liking, not many people disagree with me:
[...] Wolves of the Calla, Song Of Susannah (UGH!) and this, The Dark Tower. They all seem to have been written in a rush after King's brush with mortality when he was hit by that van. What a waste of all the great material he had to work with. If I was rating the first four books, my review would have been five stars. Unfortunately...
Hated the way the vast world of the gunslinger kept getting smaller, with constant trips back to good old New York, to dabble in real estate and investing in Microsoft. Real friggin' epic. [...]
A Goodreads review by Thomas
My attempt at fixing everything¶
I loved the first and second books as is, they are brilliant, you can almost feel the effect of Stephen's high state of mind, high... get it? The Waste Lands is where the story starts to deteriorate. I would have never resurrected Jake and I would forget about the whole idea of 19, The Wizard of Oz, Ka-tet Corp, Angul Siento, Calvin Tower, Mordred and Dixie Pig. This all could have been great material for a sequel of Salem's Lot, but here it felt weird.
This is how I would mix and re-organize the world of the Dark Tower, based entirely on content from the series.
1. The gunslinger¶
First edition of course, stays almost intact, with some tweaks though.
Allie, the bartender girl, asks Roland when was the last time he has been with another woman or loved anyone. Here, he narrates the story of little sisters of Eluria, just before he started chasing the Man in Black.
This plays the nice effect on how Roland tells a story within a story when, once at Brown's place, recalls his time spent in Tull.
The town folk, rallied by the preacher woman, has beaten, raped and disfigured Allie. She begs Roland to kill her. O Discordia! she screams before getting a headshot (Discodia! cries Zoltan, the crow has been listening all along).
In the last palaver, the Man in Black also mentions the reasons behind following the Crimson King:
You think that John Farson or I are on the wrong side. But what makes you believe you are on the right one?
Every light casts a shadow. The Crimson King might have gone mad and reclused in the Tower, his ways are mysterious, yes. But that doesn't affect my reason to be on his cause.
Sometimes in order to create, one must first destroy. The problem with this whole good & bad thing is that chaos is not evil any more then order is good.
Balance between chaos and order is necessary. With no chaos nothing would ever change or be created. Without order nothing could ever thrive once it is created. Conflict forces change and change is how progress happens, progress demands sacrifice. Creation demands destruction.
The Crimson King has started a revolution, and for it to succeed, the world as we know it hast to end, the Tower must fall!
2. The drawing of the three¶
Pretty much stays intact too.
When Roland looses his fingers laments with O Discordia!
We learn more about Jake, how he skips school to visit the vacant lot and the Rose, etc, through the eyes of Jack Mort. The pusher is an accountant in the North Central Positronics Corporation, as well as a psychopathic killer.
Jake sees Roland instead of Jack Mort before getting pushed and ran over by a truck. Roland realizes he has been recognized and is suddenly ashamed of the boy judging him and does nothing to prevent Jack Mort from killing the boy. Roland killed him twice.
3. The wind through the keyhole¶
Oy joins the ka-tet.
We learn about Roland's youth at Mejis when they are waiting for the starkblast.
Roland laments Susan's death with O Discordia! (ordia! cries Oy) When the ka-tet returns from Mejis, they bring the Grapefruit orb and a kid with them, Sheemie, who is now an orphan because of the Big Coffin Hunters killed his parents.
After Gabrielle Deschain's matricide, Roland and Jamie DeCurry are sent to Hambry, to investigate reports of a skin-man murdering people. Vannay gives them silver bullets just in case the story is not made up.
They are also commanded to deliver Sheemie to Serenity, which is nearby. The sisters that run the place agree to adopt the orphan boy.
They stay for one night there and one of the sisters proceeds to narrate a story the wind through the keyhole to the orphans and injured the sisters are also taking care of.
Again, a story within a story.
Within the following days, they finally they defeat the skin-changer.
On they way back to Gilead, the stay one more night at Serenity, and before leaving, Roland receives a note written by his mother during her stay in there.
In this note, his mother reveals that Marten has predicted that Roland will one day kill her. Although this has caused her to slowly lose her sanity, in the end she forgives Roland and asks that he forgive her infidelity to his father and betrayal of Gilead in return. She also warns him:
Be careful my boy. Some enemies don't have weapons, but sharp words. And words are sometimes deadlier.
Roland never talks about this with his father.
4. The wolves of Calla¶
They find Calla (the far end of their known Mid-World) after chasing someone who was visiting the North Central Positronics Dogan.
The Dogan becomes the standard metaphor for the internal workings of the brain of the ka-tet and Mia's possession.
There is a door they cannot open with the Crimson's King eye graffited in.
They are later introduced to the town folk, dance the Commalah, etc.
The kat-tet receives Black Thirteen from the cult that worshiped doors, the Mannis. Eddie sees Roland's past in it and how he will betray them for the Tower. Roland sees all the ones he left behind because of his quest, Sussanah who can hold many personalities gets possessed by Mia, a demon from the Prim that inhabited inside the orb, that now starts to grow in her and wants the to steal the orb, reach for the tower and free all the creatures that inhabitant the Prim.
We understand why Roland is how he is, and why he wants to set the Tower aside to help this town, to redeem himself. His determination for the tower is succumbing now, he feels guilty, he is not as cold-hearted as he once was.
Jake, Allie, Susan, Gabrielle, Sister Jenna, his friends are dead. Death surrounds everyone that Roland becomes keen on. He knows his ka-tet will follow a similar destiny, and that's hunting him, giving him nightmares, he tells no one but Talitha, the matriarch of the town, during the sessions where she helped him with his arthritis. She also makes Andy, her robotic personal assistant, fond of telling horoscopes, promise that will help Roland in times of need.
I'm leaving this world soon, Roland. Some are born and some are dying — adds, looking at the children play with Andy on the street.
She dies of age, but gives Roland possession of her cross to lay at the Tower. At her burial Andy says O Discordia! (ordia! echoes Oy).
The ka-tet finds out that has been keeping secrets from each other, and Black Thirteen is the culprit, so they reconcile and share mind (like the Dogan metaphor that will later be used to defeat the wolves).
Eddie gets knighted as a gunslinger, after receiving Roland's training and martial knowledge. Sussanah becomes a sister of Oriza — women mustn't bear guns.
Roland is hiding with the kids of Calla waiting for the wolves when they attack. Many folks die, including children.
They notice that someone has given information. Eddie dies in this fight, he was not true knight after all. His body is buried with his gun, and a rose is planted in his grave like a gunslinger funeral. In front of all the new graves, Roland gives a speech, that ends with: O Discordia! The Tower demanded another sacrifice, now Roland is determined to end this curse. Ka is a wheel, and again, for saving the day, he must pay with blood of his loved ones, and looses his ka-tet again.
They burn the jaw of the Man in Black, and ask the fire a question, the fire answers with a vision of the traitor visiting the Dogan. The traitor did it so that his daughters may survive. He begs for mercy before getting hanged:
I, Roland Deschain of Gilead, son of Steven, last in the line of Eld, protector of the Dark Tower, sentence you to die.
Sussanah gets finally possessed and tries to murder the gunslinger, in the fight manipulates Oy (again with the Dogan metaphor) to attack Roland, he looses an eye.
Roland shoots Oy who dies in his hands, it's last word is Tower. He is left with a big scar in his face and from now on he will wear an eye patch.
Mia gets caught by Andy, when trying to escape with the orb. With some remnants of magic and magnets she is later exorcised by the Mannis. They throw Mia through a portal in the Doorway Cave to the Todash.
After that Sussanah decides to stay at Calla as a sister of Oriza, since Talitha had no descendants, the sisters will hold elections.
This is my Tower Roland, you must go on your own.
The town folk complain that the Gunslinger intervention was for worse, more people died, and now the town must be rebuilt. He is asked to leave and never to come back. He is banished from Mid-World, his own world.
5. The Waste lands¶
Roland returns to the North Central Positronics Dogan, and with help of Andy, opens the locked door. A terminal tells them about Lud, where the wolves come from.
That is where the beam starts. We learn a bit about the myth of the guardians.
They leave to Outer-World with Black thirteen.
In Lud, we enjoy all the post-apocalyptic cyberpunk goodness ala Mad Max, graffitis of the Crimson King eye and some slow mutants too.
We learn that gangs stole kids to give them to Dandelo, a minion of the Crimson King, who roont them, a monster similar to IT.
Dandelo feeds from emotions, so it is Andy the one that kills it by self-destructing, saving Rolands life.
Roland finds that there are good people still in this ruined world. The kids that returned roont, were helped by some good folk (someone saved my life tonight?). When he kills one of the pubs in a confusing episode, someone says:
You didn't have to kill him, it was his birthday today, O Discordia...
Blaine kills everyone and leaves following the path of the Beam.
6. The Dark Tower¶
Roland beats the train with a stupid riddle Curthbert once told him, at the battle of Jerico hill. We learn a bit more about it, the fall of Gilead and also the fate of Farson.
After passing some of the worlds of other stories — the Tower is collapsing and all the worlds are blending, Roland is left in the final stop, Keystone Station, the door to the Dark Tower, the only one in All-World. The old ones built this station and tried everything to open that portal, yet never successfully.
Blaine commits suicide.
Black Thirteen wakes up, starts to vibrate and with a deafening sound grows and expands distorting reality, absorbing everything like a blackhole, including Roland. The gunslinger has this vision of the rose that holds all the suns and all the universes that Jake saw in NYC, and all the lovecroftian beings of the Prim in between worlds. Wakes up in the crimson fields of Can'-Ka No Rey.
My alternative ending¶
Once Roland reaches the Dark Tower, this is how I imagine the final encounter.
I put special attention to the opening line:
Alone he was when he started his journey, and alone is how Roland finally reached the Dark Tower.
The Tower is the apotheosis of all towers. It is sculpted from a single huge stone. It is not man-made.
The monolith, black of course, is cracked, and blood, of course, is coming out it's cracks.
The Tower is bleeding. That blood feeds the surrounding field of roses. The Tower is alive, but in agony, it's roots are drying up.
The entrance is a huge sandalwood door and depicts all the twelve guardians of the beam engraved on it. A name in high speech is written on top — Roland, of course.
I come in the name of Steven Deschain, he of Gilead!
I come in the name of Gabrielle Deschain, she of Gilead!
I come in the name of Cortland Andrus, he of Gilead!
I come in the name of Cuthbert Allgood, he of Gilead!
I come in the name of Alain Johns, he of Gilead!
I come in the name of Jamie DeCurry, he of Gilead!
I come in the name of Vannay the Wise, he of Gilead!
I come in the name of Hax the Cook, he of Gilead!
I come in the name of David the Hawk, he of Gilead and the sky!
I come in the name of Susan Delgado, she of Mejis my true love and mother of my son!
I come in the name of Sheemie Ruiz, he of Mejis!
I come in the name of Aunt Talitha, she of River Crossing, and will lay her cross here, as I was bid!
I come in the name of Oy the brave, he of Mid World!
I come in the name of Eddie Dean, he of New York!
I come in the name of Sister Susannah, she of New York!
I come in the name of Jake Chambers, he of New York and other worlds!
I am Roland of Giliad and I come as myself.
You will open to me!
Somewhere in the crimson fields, new roses appear for every name. After all, every rose that surrounds the Tower belongs to someone whose name has been spoken up at this place, in this story or in another universe perhaps.
Roland blows Cuthbert's horn to open the door. The crows resting on the top of the tower take flight, scared by it's loud and deep sound. And the door opens.
The inside is void. Only spiraling steps lit by stained glass windows a symbol of royalty. A hundred? Or a thousand maybe? He begins to climb.
The windows are beautiful, their reflection results in a mesmerizing rainbow of vivid colors. This craft has been long forgotten, even when Gilead was still a thing. He remembered Vannay has taught him they were made from unknown materials and perhaps some magic of old.
After a while, he takes some time to recover and realizes there are images portrayed on the windows. Pictures that tell the origin of it all, strange figures and symbols the Man in Black had shown him the long night they met.
There are lots of strange scenes shown too. He doesn't really know what they represent or what they mean, but some are very notable. There is a very creepy looking clown looking at him from some sort of drainage, twin sisters at the end of a hallway full of doors, a strange looking rabid dog, a huge black man behind bars, a man and a teenager dumping woman's body in a well behind a barn, humanoid creatures but with the heads of animals. He keeps climbing.
To his surprise, the murals now tell the legend of Arthur Eld, the fall of Gilead, and his life, Alain and Cuthbert, the battle at Jerico hill. More steps. The lovely girl at the window — his true and only love Susan.
He perceives distinctive smells of lost memories, voices from a distant past, thoughts unspoken in old dreams. The pictures are in motion. Or is it an illusion?
Eluria, the Mohaine desert, Jake (Go then! There are other worlds than these), the Man in Black — he shivers. The lobstrosities (Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum?) and doors by the beach, Eddie, Sussanah, Talitha, Oy. Everyone is there.
It feels it's been a lifetime climbing. This thought clicked in his mind in a weird way.
More and more steps until he finally reaches the top.
In a moment of doubt, he realized he was scared. The end of his quest was right behind that door. That was scary. What truths lay behind? Would he dare take a peek behind the courting of existence?
The Tower has been the price to pay for the life he chose. It would be a great relief to think of himself as a minion of Ka, but he had other choices, he always had.
I'm here because of my matricide. Or Jake. I have forgotten the face of my father.
He could have escaped with Susan, or stayed in Callas with Eddie and Susannah, he could have let the Man in Black go and spare Jake's life, maybe even teach him the ways of Eld. But no. He never gave up on the Tower, he just kept going like a slow mutant, never resting on the consequences, on the ones left behind.
And all for what? What if nobody was there?
Maybe this strange place of despair is another world's hell.
I am already dead, that's got to be it.
Death, yet not for you. The Man in Black has said with a smirk at the Golgotha by the sea. That horrible smirk, gods damn you!
Thinking too much ahead is no good. I might as well just put an end to this journey.
There is a bookcase full of books and a strange typing machine on a desk, with a piece of yellow paper and a writing in low speech. Alone he was when he started his journey, and alone is how Roland reaches the Dark Tower. — he reads, it makes no sense to him.
There is a red door, with the same eye he has seen before, painted on top. The eye of the Crimson King. The door is already opened and it leads to the rooftop.
I'm up here! A voice yells from the rooftop.
A sudden relief flows through Roland's body. There is somebody after all.
He draws his weapons and goes up.
The sunset has started. He sees the never ending sea of roses, laying under the infinite shade cast by the Tower. The crows, black as the Tower, are back, standing on the ledge.
The Crimson King, is there, wearing glasses and dressed in a red robe.
He is seated next to a lit furnace. A greenish smoke comes out of it, with a familiar smell. It's the devil's grass.
The Crimson Kings looks at the guns and then back to Roland. Childe Roland to the dark tower came! Long days and pleasant nights, Sai — says.
Roland, not sure what how to respond, says nothing.
Please put those guns down, and hear me out first. I'm not the enemy you think I am. — The Crimson King added. You must be exhausted from your journey. So am I.
What do you mean? Asked Roland.
It's getting chilly, come, take a seat by the fire Roland, it's about time we talked. Fires makes for good conversations, wouldn't you agree? We are going to have a clear starry night, it seems, how appropriate.
Roland sits. First comes smiles, then lies. Last comes gunfire — says to himself, as if preparing for the palaver to come.
Anyways. Since I've thought about this moment for a long time, I decided it would be best to choose my words very carefully, you deserve it.
I wrote you a letter — says as he unfolds a piece of paper he took out from his sleeve.
The Crimson King clears his voice — Ready?
Roland is mute, but nods accepting the invitation.
Dear Roland — begins to read out loud.
I know why you came all this way for. You are looking for answers. But... each answer leads to more questions. And when we think we have all the answers, the questions change.
Too many questions and you then see how small you are. Not good for someone like you.
So I'll give you something better instead.
You have not forgotten the face of your father. This is what you were made for.
All this sacrifice, your existence, all the blood, all the tears, your loved ones left behind, their names echoing in the Tower right now, and everything your ever cared, was used to construct this dark place.
Every door you have opened in your life, has been inside this tower. It will withstand the eons of time, and your story will prevail in it's murals, and in other worlds too, Roland. Trust me on this.
Inasmuch there wouldn't be a final judgement without free will and temptation, there wouldn't be a redemption if I hadn't put you through tough tests Roland, so that I did.
I won't fight you, rather I'm here to help you. That is the power of sacrifice. That is the power of death.
This time, I am the sacrifice, and death is freedom for us both.
The Crimson king takes a moment, a deep breath and continues.
This Tower is also my prison. — exhales. It's been my obsession, a heavyweight burden, and one of my most ambitious projects. One I though would never be able to finish.
I like stories that seem to fit into a bigger pattern, and for me, this one was part of it, King says. Everything that I've written for a long, long time has always been with the tower in the corner of my eye.
We all have our Tower, our epic quest. You are part of mine, gunslinger.
One grows fond of every character and story that tells. Each tale casts a universe into existence, each one takes a piece of you, it feeds from your imagination until it is alive. This process is a wonderful mystery and an exhausting task.
It's all in my mind, hunting me until I write it down, until it is born. You, this tower, everything...
I've put you through difficult situations, tried to stop you, time and time again, but you stayed on track in your crusade. I made you that way, Roland. Your road to the Tower is paved in blood. Mine is paved in ink. All roads are different, because all towers are different. Yet we both had to walk them together.
We know it demands a lot of sacrifice, it might even mean our end, yet it is our duty to keep going on, for that we are destined to find it and climb it's steps. That is our redemption and we pay the price.
I'm afraid all of this could fall apart at anytime. You don't get an idea how close I've been to death, and with that, the end of this all. O Discordia! — the The Crimson King laments. (Discordia! cry all the crows around).
Would I risk destroying your world as well as the other worlds I have touched with and drawn from my imagination? Would I risk it all?
But if I have to be honest, it is not truly me who creates, you know. To peek into Gan's novel does not make one Gan, although many creative people seem to think so. No writer is Gan — no painter, no sculptor, no maker of music. We are kas-ka Gan. The prophets of Gan.
How does this all fit in the grand scheme of things? Where is the Tower of all towers? What would the nature of such tower be? Who will wait for us atop? Will anyone be there?
That I don't ask... It might be... mmm... unwise.
Too many questions and you then see how small you are. Not good for someone like me.
What matters is that this is your tower. You had to be here, gunslinger, it was your inevitable destiny. It was very important for me that you made it.
Deep inside you knew this could have ended differently, but you needed this tower to give meaning to your decisions.
All things must come to an end, and this one story, your story and my role in it, is no exception. It's time we say our goodbyes, Roland.
I say thankya.
The Crimson King looks at Roland, folds the letter again and throws it inside the furnace. Millions of sparks ascend into the night sky.
They both observe the constellations sprawling above in silence. All twelve guardians are there, shinning brightly, perfectly aligned around the tower. Polaris and the sword of Eld can easily be appreciated in all their splendor too.
The gunslinger, didn't like he just heard, it made him unease. Plain as he is he cannot fully grasp the meaning of the letter. Shivers run through his spine.
Feels bitter and empty. Is that it? Maybe he is just under a spell again. Maybe is the devil's grass.
I know you are a bit overwhelmed now - says the Crimson King. Believe me, this is not any easier for me either than it is for you. I don't know how much could I bear if I were you. What universal truths would I have to swallow once I get to my Tower.
Back to silence.
Both stare at the fire for what seemed a very long time. The furnace makes the eyes of the curious crows shine in different colors. They have been hearing everything, observing, waiting.
I can feel you are judging me — says the Crimson King. Don't judge me, for I just write what I see.
So you are a seer — Roland commented finally, with a dry voice.
Well, I guess you could put it that way... — The Crimson King responded.
Who are you?
I have many names, the Crimson King is one of them, it is how I'm known here, in this level of the tower.
But my real name is Stephen, Stephen King, no pun intended. I'm a writer, a puppeteer, the man behind the curtain — and gestures with his fingers as if typing in the air.
Roland simply stares back at him. He can't put words in his mouth. His mind is working slowly. Irritated, like after three days of insomnia. He is suffering a headache. He shivers. Perhaps is the weed, perhaps he has been enchanted, perhaps he is inside a dream.
You still don't get it, do you? I am your maker, Roland. Consider yourself lucky. How many get that chance? I hadn't, yet... I hope...
I know there's someone greater than me. There always is. Remember gunslinger, the greatest mystery the Universe offers is not life but size. Size encompasses life, and the Tower encompasses size.
Size! Size! The crows echo.
Size... Size... That word resonates inside Roland's head. He senses he is being fooled, pushed to the edge of sanity. That headache doesn't let him think with clarity. Some enemies don't have weapons, but words. And words are sometimes deadlier. Worse than poison.
Bullshit, you are a charlatan, that's what you are. Enough of this! — says irritated. I want to hear no more.
The Crimson King shrugs.
First comes smiles, then lies... — Roland starts to say.
Last comes gunfire... — the Crimson King interrupts. And nods, accepting the deal. Death is nothing but another door.
Tonight — the Crimson King continues — redemption and death are tied together. Death, gunslinger, yet not for you.
It is in your destiny to kill me. Do what you have to do. I will move on, I'm mortal after all, you will soon find out.
Just like that... What will happen after? — Roland asked.
Another door waiting for you downstairs. Where it leads it won't matter to me anymore, another tower perhaps!
What?! I though this was the Tower!
Yeah, well... Ka is a wheel. But that is too pessimistic a view.
Through the mist of Ka, all things fade. Flesh, stones, even the stars disappear eventually. Enough turns of the wheel and the past becomes a memory of the past, forgotten, dead. But dead doesn't mean gone. There are other worlds than these.
These words send shivers to Roland.
After a smirk, the mad king continues — New life life emerges. The future turns into the past in a constant flow. The world moves on.
From the wrong perspective it manifests as a never ending cycle, but it is spiraling upwards in nature. Just like the steps of this tower. Seen from above it would appear you were walking in circles, yet you were moving.
Things repeat, yes, but, with effort and sacrifice, with blood and tears, a little better than before.
See, one does not swim in the same river twice. The river is not the same river, and you are not the same one. You are not the same person you were one second ago and you won't be the same person the next tower to reach.
Roland is loosing it. That feeling frightens him. He needs to get back to firm ground now. Words are poison.
So... — the Crimson King stands up and walks up to the ledge of the Tower — I'm ready whenever you are. I would jump, but I never had the courage Roland, so I'm counting on you.
O Discordia. — King muttered.
Roland also stands up, and aims his heavy, ancient and deadly pistols at the Crimson King.
Oh.. Can I ask for one last whim? — the Crimson King asks.
When this is over and I'm gone, please, say my name. Will ya? — requested without waiting for an answer.
I just might. — Roland said with a nod and a still face.
After a few seconds of eye contact, as both may have been waiting for something else to happen, the suspense turned unbearable.
As the first rays of dawn appear in the horizon, couldn't help but notice how both epic an beautiful the scenery was from atop the Dark Tower. A surreal chant, almost a deafening battle hymn, emerged from the crimson fields below, the roses were waking up. They were no regular roses, they were spiritual beings, they were angels.
It's time — Roland thinks, it's now or soon this seer will play another of his tricks. It's time.
He fires his guns empty at the Crimson King. The whole twelve rounds.
Crows fly away with an alarmed cawing one more time. The creature that claimed to be his creator trips and falls down. His red robe contrast with the pitch black color of the Tower, it seems as if he was ablaze while falling.
Calmness slowly returns to Roland. As if the gunshots woke him up from a vivid nightmare. No more poisonous words are infesting his mind. The smoke from the pistols clears his thoughts and headache.
But his mind still wonders.
It is late to realize that he has been a minion of destiny, he has played his part in some divine plan. He was indifferent to his people, instead of his future. But that has been out of his control, hasn't it?
A feeling emptiness fills his soul. This is the end of his world. He has other place to go and no one is waiting for him.
Stares at the sunrise for a while, it is beautiful, it is silent, peaceful. His eye gets watery.
Boys don't cry maggot! Hears Cort shout him in his mind, yet it echoes all over the tower. That voice makes him smile. It is a sad smile though. When was the last time he cried? Nobody is watching now. Nobody is there. They are all dead. He allows himself to burst into tears. Tears that make the dark stone of the Tower, even darker.
After a while he is feeling replenished. Crying has an curious healing properties for the soul. He downs his water flask and begins the descent.
Once at the base, he notices that the cracks in the walls are sealed. The Tower seems to be healing.
He also observes the remains of the Crimson King, who is being devoured by the frantic crows, their eyes and beaks are red now. They don't get fed that often. It is a horrible sight.
Not long after, there is nothing but bones left. He kneels and grabs the skull.
Is this a trick or are you truly dead? How many lies did you tell me? — says Roland to it's hollow eyes.
Just as he was told, there is a door right in front of the Tower.
You were right about that at least... Sai King... — puts the skull into his bag.
The door is a ghostwood door. This one has no names written on it, but a single ancient rune, the rune of Unknown.
He gives the Tower one last glance and walks in. The door shuts, and vanishes. A new rose blooms in the infinite crimson sea.
As you can see it is heavily inspired by the encounter with the Man in Black, which I think was breathtaking. Both, the first and last book would finish in a similar manner. Ka is a wheel. And yes! The Crimson King is Stephen King. Or a part of his mind. The darkest part. We know that Marten did the same, he had multiple personalities. King has also played around this idea that you don't really know who you are sleeping with.
I think the idea of meta-fiction was really interesting, but I didn't like how King did it in the series. So I decided it would be best if it was used as a surprise resource in the end. I know it's a mix of deus ex machina and an open ending. But still feels like a worthy finale for an epic story.
Also with this twist in the story I have remarked the main ideas that are present throughout all the books, and all these ideas entangled with the meaning of the Tower:
- The O Discordia! phrase, that King said he heard in a dream.
- There are other worlds than these, many doors that lead to them. Death is nothing but another door.
- How Ka is a wheel, that also moves. Spiralling in nature.
- Size is the greatest mystery the Universe offers.
The vast and complex universe created by King is composed of all his novels together, tied around the Dark Tower. For me, he has accomplished his dream of creating something comparable in complexity to Tolkien's work.