The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower

Plot summary

Beginning where book six left off, Jake Chambers and Father Callahan battle the evil infestation within the Dixie Pig, a vampire lounge in New York City featuring roasted human flesh and doors to other worlds. After fighting off and destroying numerous ‘low-men’ and Type One Vampires, Callahan sacrifices himself to let Jake survive. In the other world, in Fedic, Mia, her body now physically separated from Susannah Dean, gives birth to Mordred Deschain, the biological son of Roland Deschain and Susannah. The Crimson King is also a “co-father” of this prophetic child somehow, so it is not surprising when “baby” Mordred’s first act is to shapeshift into a spider-creature and feast on his birth-mother. Susannah grabs a gun, wounds but fails to kill Mordred, eliminates other agents of the Crimson King, and escapes to meet up with Jake. Aging at an accelerated rate, Mordred later stalks Roland and the other gunslingers throughout this adventure, shifting from human to spider as the need arises, seething with an instinctive rage toward Roland, his “white daddy.”

In Maine, Roland and Eddie recruit John Cullum, and then make their way back to Fedic, where the ka-tet is now reunited. Walter (known in other stories as Randall Flagg) has dreams of grandeur in which he plans to slay Mordred and use the birthmark on Mordred’s heel to gain access to the Tower, but he is easily slain by the infant when Mordred sees through his lies.

Roland and his ka-tet travel to Thunderclap, then to the nearby Devar-Toi, to stop a group of psychics known as Breakers who are allowing their telepathic abilities to be used to break away at the beams that support the Tower. Ted Brautigan and Dinky Earnshaw assist the gunslingers with information and weapons, and reunite Roland with his old friend Sheemie Ruiz from Mejis. The Gunslingers free the Breakers from their captors, but Eddie is mortally wounded after the battle and dies a short while later. Roland and Jake pause to mourn and then jump to Maine of 1999 along with Oy, in order to save the life of Stephen King (who is a secondary character in the book); the ka-tet have come to believe that for some unexplained reason, the success of their quest depends on King’s surviving to write about it through his books.

The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (Kindle Edition)


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They discover King about to be hit by a van. Jake pushes King out of the way but is killed in the process. Roland, heartbroken with the loss of the person he considers his true son, buries Jake and returns to Susannah in Fedic with Oy, where they depart and travel for weeks across freezing badlands toward the Tower.

Along the way they find Patrick Danville, a young man imprisoned by someone who calls himself Joe Collins but is really a psychic vampire named Dandelo. Roland and Susannah are alerted to the danger by Stephen King, who drops clues directly into the book, enabling them to defeat the vampire. Patrick is freed and soon his special talent becomes evident: his drawings and paintings have the strange tendency to become reality. As their travels bring them nearer to the Dark Tower, Susannah comes to the conclusion that Roland needs to complete his journey without her. After discovering Patrick’s magical abilities in his drawings, Susannah asks Patrick to draw a door she has seen in her dreams, which lead her out of this world. He does so and once it appears, Susannah says goodbye to Roland and crosses over to another world.

Mordred finally reaches and attacks Roland. Oy viciously defends his dinh, providing Roland the extra seconds needed to exterminate the were-spider. Unfortunately, Oy is impaled on a tree branch and dies. Roland continues on to his ultimate goal and reaches the Tower, only to find it occupied by the Crimson King. They remain in a stalemate for a few hours, until Roland uses Patrick’s special abilities to draw a picture of the Crimson King and then erase it, thus wiping him out of existence. Roland gains entry into the Tower while Patrick turns back home. The last scene is that of Roland crying out the names of his loved ones and fallen comrades as he had vowed to do. The door of the Dark Tower closes shut as Patrick watches from a distance.

The story then shifts to Susannah coming through the magic door in an alternate 1980s New York where Gary Hart is President. Susannah throws away Roland’s gun (no longer functioning on this side of the door), rejecting the life of a gunslinger, and starts a new life with alternate versions of Eddie and Jake, who are brothers with the last name of Toren in this world and who do not remember Susannah or their previous journey. It is also implied that an alternate version of Oy, a dog with a long neck whose barks sometimes sound like words, will also join them.

King inserts an “Afterword” which warns readers to close the book at this point, consider the story finished with a happy ending, and not venture inside the Tower with Roland. For those who do not heed the warning, the story resumes with Roland climbing to the top of the Dark Tower. He encounters various rooms with sigils or signs of his past life. When he reaches the top of the Tower, he finds a door marked “ROLAND” and to his horror, he realizes he has reached the Tower countless times before. He is sucked through the door only to be teleported back in time to the Mohaine desert, with no memories of what has just occurred, ending the series where it began in the first line of book one: “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” The only difference is that Roland now possesses the Horn of Eld, gifted back to him for partially realizing the value of love and life (such as not seeing people as tools to be expended on his quest) on this pilgrimage to the Tower. It’s implied that every time Roland reaches the Tower, something has changed from the last, and his humanity is regained piece by piece. With the Horn it is now possible (but still not certain) for Roland to finally end his quest once and for all. And so, Roland sets out to catch the Man in Black once again.

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