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Monthly Archives: June 2012
I know this is off topic, but I just finished reading the Stephen King series “The Dark Tower”. I know, I’m late to the party on this one, but after dealing with the ending of Mass Effect 3, I’m hit with another controversial ending.
Don’t read this if you have any intention of reading this series. The books are entertaining and worth the read, but like Mass Effect, you put so much time into a series you want an amazing ending. Lets just say you don’t get what you expect.
Some of the major complaints are that Walter (also known as Flagg and many other names) never confronts Roland and is killed by Mordred instead. Also, like in Mass Effect, a major player is added late in the last book. “The Artist” (Patrick) joins Roland and is able to alter reality by drawing or erasing what he sees.
There is no epic final fight Roland needs to do to get to the Dark Tower. With Walter/Flagg/etc. dead, Roland only needs to survive an attack from Mordred, who is nearly dead due to infection. Also, instead of battling the Crimson King, he simply has Patrick erase him out of existence. I do agree that this is a let down, but perhaps everything is orchestrated so that Roland’s friends die or depart him before he reaches the Tower because he must reach it alone.
The worst thing about the ending is that Roland is clearly drawn to the Tower for a purpose. This purpose is still not clear to the reader after King finishes the main story with Roland entering the Tower. (Riding off into the sunset if you will). After reading seven books, I feel like I deserve to at least know why this journey was necessary. At this point, King basically insults the reader by saying that everything that was up to this point was what he intends the reader to read and that the journey is more important than the end. If you’re going to pull that card, then why still write the end? I wanted to punch King at that moment. I’m guessing that he knew that there would be a huge backlash if he ended it that way, so he slapped on an ending.
The ending has Roland go to the top of the tower only to find that the door at the top sends him back to where the books started. He’s following the man in black in the desert. Roland is in a loop like the Greek myth about the guy that is cursed to push the rock to the top of the mountain only to have it fall just before reaching the top. (Sorry don’t remember the exact reference)
While I was annoyed by this ending and how King insults the reader for reading his ending, I’m not completely upset. I feel that King was writing this story for himself, not the readers. Roland is a reflection of King and King feels that he is in this cycle like Roland until he is able to become who he needs to be in this life. King writing himself into the book as a god-like prophet writing what is to come struck me as silly, but once again it was perfectly natural for King because he was reflected in so many ways through this series.
I have to admit that getting an unexpected ending like this might make me initially upset, it brings out a passion that I don’t think I would have had with a satisfying ending. I only wonder if King is really satisfied with the ending. I believe it still haunts him and that we may not have seen the last from this series, and I don’t mean the graphic novels.
John and Jessie review one of the biggest RPGs of the year: Mass Effect 3.
Note that we will be discussing the controversial ending and other spoilers in the next episode. This episode is about as spoiler free as we get.