The Dark Tower

The other day I finished reading book seven of the Dark Tower series. This marks my second time through the entire series, and I must say that it got even better this time around. I have a feeling this is going to turn into a rambling mess about the final book, which people complained about, so if you have not read the series, I apologize, you should tune in later for another post or something.

Things I Loved
The deaths. Yes, that sounds morbid, but each death of a main character is moving and we get to see how they helped changed Roland for the better.

-Eddie’s death comes early in the book, and it’s actually kind of shocking by how abruptly it happens. As Roland travels along, he continues to use phrases that Eddie often used.

-Jake’s death was the saddest. He gives his life to save Stephen King. Roland thinks of him as his son, which is a huge change from the first book, where Roland considered him “the boy” and decided to let him fall. I do believe that Roland would have given his life to save Jake, which is as close to Roland giving up the tower as possible.

-Oy’s death was the most heroic. The one time we see Roland truly vulnerable, he falls asleep with no one capable to keep watch against Mordred. The spider-boy attacks, but Oy steps in and gives his life to save Roland (or as Oy would say Olan). The sad part was, how regretful Roland is about the way he treated Oy before he died. Roland would have considered Oy’s death to be a sacrifice for the tower, or for his own survival (as with David the hawk), yet now he mourns his friend’s death like it were any member of the ka-tet.

-Walter/Randall Flagg: I know many people disliked the way “the man in black” met his end (being eaten by Mordred). They claim that it was just a way to set up how powerful Mordred is and that it did not live up to the hype of the showdown between Flagg and Roland.

For me though, it reminds me of how in Lord of the Rings, you keeping thinking that at some point Sauron and Aragorn will have this great sword fight, yet it never happens.

The only more fitting death for Walter, would be if Jake would have shot him with the Ruger (since it seemed to scare Flagg in book IV). I think Jake killing him would have really been a nice touch, but instead Roland’s other son does the deed. I love how Flagg thinks his thinking cap can block Mordred, which it does not.

I also loved the ending, well both endings. The first ending is great because Roland opening the door to the tower is the perfect ending. I love that King also lets the reader know that you can stop there. I love though, how we get to go along with Roland as he travels towards the top of the tower. When he gets there he realizes he has done it before and that he is going to start over. There is a lesson in there about wanting things so badly. I wonder if Roland will break the cycle now that he has the Horn of Eld?

I also wonder if the reason characters seemed to get those odd premonitions (such as Jake saying that the rose in the vacant lot is the universe, or all universes, and not knowing how he knows that) is because they have been locked in this cycle as well…something to ponder I suppose.

A TV Series
As most people, J.J. Abrams bought the rights for $19 (or so I have read a few places). This makes me hope they will make the series into a TV show, especially on HBO or something.

I have spent the last few days thinking about how awesome this show would be. Hell, I have even started breaking down how each season should go. I would post all that stuff, but I am sure only one person is going to read this.

I have also heard that Christian Bale would be a good Roland, and all I can say is…NO. I just do not picture Bale when I read the books. Bale does not seem to fit the description of “old long, tall, and ugly.”

Obviously, a young Clint Eastwood would probably be perfect, unfortunately my time machine is broken. I would say going with unknowns would be the best bet, maybe a semi-star for Roland. Who would you cast? And do not give me any names like Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt…absolutely not.

Here is an old mock trailer someone did. I actually love the idea for Pere Callahan…

11 thoughts on “The Dark Tower

  1. Good stuff. I always love reminiscing about the story. Of course a younger Clint Eastwood would be perfect for the part of Roland, but even if he was younger, would he really take part in an HBO series anyway? I think the best route would be, as HBO often does with its serieses, taking relative unknowns and making them stars. I would hate for one of the characters to be someone really recognizable because then it would be harder to get into the character. However, I do think Christopher Walker would be a great Walter.

    And I totally agree with your stance on how Walter died. Totally disappointing and after reading The Stand, I was even more disappointed. Walter is practically a super bad-ass God and maybe, just maybe, they had Mordred kill him because they didn’t see any angle for how Roland could possibly beat him. It would be like Batman vs Superman or something. But, they are the writers so you’d think they could have figured something exciting out…maybe like the entire remaining members of the Ka-Tet isolating him and an intense battle ensuing. I think that would have been a better way for Eddie to die, although honestly I forget how he did. Any other ideas?

  2. I definitely think unknowns would be the best bet, it’s so hard to imagine anyone as Roland…

    Speaking of Walken as Flagg, I thought it would be cool to use the guy who played Flagg in the Stand miniseries and have him be the Tick-Tock Man. Especially when Flagg comes and puts him back together.

    I think the idea of using a gun from our world to kill Flagg is the best bet. In book IV when Roland draws his gun, Flagg laughs at him and says something like “that gun won’t work on me.” Probably because they are both remnants of the Prim. I think Jake killing Flagg would have been cool, especially since Flagg used him to mess with Roland in the first book.

    Eddie gets shot after the battle of Blue Heaven (Algul Siento). The warden before he dies shoots him in the head, which causes Eddie to die slowly, and he starts rambling things, such as “beware of Dandelo.”

  3. Yea that’s how I thought he died, in that town where they work on keeping the Tower intact. What do they call the arcs that hold up the universe? With the turtle and bear? Damn I need to reread this stuff.

    I never saw The Stand miniseries. For one, I could not picture Gary Senise as Stu. Worth watching?

  4. The Beams and Algul Siento is where the Breakers (Ted from Hearts in Atlantis) are trying to break the Beams which will cause the Tower to fall.

    It’s not too bad, especially for an 8 hour thing (or however long it is). Rob Lowe plays Nick…The dude that plays Flagg is pretty cool (except for the weird Satan imagery).

  5. I definitely wouldn’t picture Lowe as Nick. I was just looking at the cast and I don’t like any of it haha. I pictured Nick as a shaggy haired younger guy, like 25 or so (I think he was 27 in the book?). Lowe is too…pretty..for lack of a better word.

  6. Shawn has been planning the movies/series in his head for years. He recently reread it and I wish I had the time to reread it. Gotta love Stepahn King.

  7. I would love to hear his ideas sometime. I always picture them doing any of the scenes where the gunslingers draw their guns (and people can barely see their hands move, like when Jake draws his gun to shoot the plates in book V) in a certain way. Zach Snyder has killed the slow-motion look, so in order to make it different i think it would look cool if everything else was slow, but you speed up the gunslingers, so it is blurry and hard to follow them and then stop everything as they fire their gun leaving only the sound of the gun (and also their mantra) hanging in the air….

  8. Also, the biggest problem in making this into a tv show is Jake. That is the problem they had on Lost with Walt, it was only 90 days on the island, but Walt went from being 10 to like 14 in a very short time, easy way out of that: get rid of him. Unfortunately, Jake is not a character that you can get rid of…

    Two solutions to the problem. Introduce Jake in season one, and let him die towards the end, but film his coming through for season two at the same time.

    Or, start the show at Drawing of the Three, and tell Roland’s tale through flashbacks (Abrams loves that idea…) Unfortunately, that makes Jake’s first death meaningless to the audience (you have to get to know him and start to care for him, and then watch Roland let him drop…)

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