Warning! This article contains spoilers. If you haven’t finished reading The Dark Tower Book VII, leave now!
Special thanks to The Dark Tower Forums. Some of the ideas in my theory about the ending come from there. Although the ideas were on the tip of my tongue, I couldn’t actually put them into words until I read them on those forums. But what Roland finds at the top of the dark tower comes directly from me.
How many times I cried
My Favorite Parts
My Thoughts on the Dark Tower and the Ending
The Dark Tower epic is about Roland’s most important loop in the Tower – his second to last. Roland actually made it to the tower in his first trip – he’s just been stuck in it ever since. The Tower is allowing him to redeem himself and make up for all those he has sacrificed in his journey to the Tower. We can only imagine what Roland did and how many people died to reach the Tower the first time. Through repetition, the Tower teaches Roland that there are more important things in this world than just reaching the Tower.
On this second to last trip, we hear Roland’s thoughts when he is reunited with Jake in The Drawing of the Three, “No Jake, I’ll never let you drop again. But then again Roland wonders if that is true.” In Book VII, Roland decides in the truck on the way to save SK that he will die in Jake’s place. However, Ka intervenes, Roland’s leg gives out, and Jake jumps in front of the runaway truck. His willingness to die to keep Jake safe is his saving grace and breaks the loop once and for all.
This time in the loop it will be different and it will be his last trip to the Tower. We know this because of how SK chose to put the poem “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” at the end of the book right after the coda. According to the poem, Roland blows his horn at the base of the dark tower.
Roland has been drawing the same Jake, Susannah, and Eddie on each loop. How else could they have these skills? Also, the first time they were on horseback, Eddie thought he had done all of this before. There are probably many other hints throughout the books, but I don’t have the time to reread them all.
And lastly, what is at the top of The Dark Tower?
After Roland calls the names of all he’s lost, he blows his horn at the base of the Dark Tower. The doors open for him for the final time. He walks into the Tower and sees the symbols from all the critical moments on his life and throughout every trip to The Dark Tower. Slowly he starts to realize just how old he really is and just how many times he’s been to the dark tower as he examines every room. When he reaches the top, the door, instead of saying Roland, it says, “Redemption”. As he opens the door, he hears the sound of his horn reverberate throughout the Tower, possibly blown by Gan himself. He sees every name he called at the base of the tower smiling at him, including his father, his mother, Cort, Vannay, Curberth, Alan, Susan, and his ka-tet, even the one with the gold-rimmed eyes.
Roland runs towards their outstretched hands as they stand in the clearing at the end of the path.
Tell SK thankya for such a great series of books.
Long days and pleasant nights.