Roland Deschain Jake

5 Reasons why Roland Deschain is a Total Dick

The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger has Roland Deschain chasing the Man in Black across the desert. That’s all dark and bleak and romantic, and The Gunslinger is one of the best books in the series. But it’s also one of the hardest to read.

That seems to be a popular opinion anyway. But okay, maybe that’s too subjective a statement for your taste. Alright. Here are some good, hard reasons why Roland sucks.

Hear me, I beg.

Roland Deschain can’t play nice with others

1. Roland Lets The Boy Die

He lets The Boy die, then tramples over him to get to The Man in Black. Roland is basically a sociopath. You might say, “he’s letting Jake die for the greater good of saving the Dark Tower from falling.” If that’s your argument, then I just want to bring up that Josef Stalin killed 6 to 9 million people over the course of his reign of terror across Russia. And he did it for the good of the people. Communism was supposed to be a utopian paradise.

“The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic”

Attributed to Josef Stalin

Okay, okay, comparing Roland Deschain to Josef Stalin does feel a little ridiculous. But think about it. Just like Eddie is a heroin junkie, Roland is a tower junkie. You know what that means, don’t you? It means that Roland kills Jake Chambers so he can get a fix. That makes Roland a shitty person.

I have more reasons. Hear me out.

Hear me, I beg.

The Dark Tower

2. Roland is a Dick to Eddie

Sure, Roland helps Eddie kick the hard stuff, and for that we all say thankya. Because Roland is tough as nails, and there is some usefulness in that.

But he doesn’t trust Eddie. Even after Eddie comes through to Midworld, Roland still insists on using him like a pawn.

But, okay, I guess I’m willing to ignore that, since that happens during a time in Roland’s life where he’s at least trying to remember how to not just use people.

You know, like a sociopath who lacks empathy. I mean, honestly, if you look at it the right way, Roland and Mort (death, but not for you, Gunslinger) have something in common.

They both kill people to satisfy their addiction.

The difference is that Roland’s killing is a means to an end, whereas Mort’s killing is its own end. But judging someone’s reasons for murder is a slippery slope. At least, in general.

You know, philosophically.

And then there’s the riddling incident. Don’t get me started on the riddling incident.

3. Roland Deschain is a Total Dick About Eddie’s Riddles

Eddie Dean Riddle

When Eddie Dean first makes his “dead baby joke” around the campfire, Roland chastises him. Can you believe it? He is actually offended. I’m sorry, but Roland is one of those guys you can’t invite anywhere. The guy can’t take a freaking joke. Out of anyone in the ka-tet to be stuck in Midworld with, I would choose Roland last.

You know what? It’s more than just a lack of a sense of humor. The way he chastises Eddie for making jokes is actually hurtful. It makes Eddie ashamed to tell his jokes in the future.

And as a result, by the way, Eddie doubts himself so much that he almost decides not to make the joke at all. You know. The joke that killed Blaine and saved the ka-tet.

“He opened his mouth to say something—an Eddie Dean Special, something that would be both funny and stinging at the same time, the kind of remark that always used to drive his brother Henry dogshit—and then closed it again. Maybe long, tall, and ugly was right; maybe it was time to put away the one-liners and dead baby jokes. Maybe it was finally time to grow up.”

The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass, p. 32

The thing that kills me about this quote is that The Gunslinger is the only one who can still bully Eddie into doubting himself. And the only reason there’s no competition is because his brother Henry is dead.

Finally, Eddie Dean and Cuthbert Algood are twim, even if they aren’t the same person. And even in Roland’s past, he was a dick to Cuthbert.

4. Roland Deschain was Selfish with Cuthbert Algood and Alain Johns

Roland was a selfish asshole even way back when he, Cuthbert, and Alain traveled to Hambry as apprentice gunslingers. He exhibited the same behavior: getting his fix at the expense of his ka-tet!

But back in those days, Roland didn’t go to the tower to get his fix. He didn’t have to. Instead, Roland went to Susan. Too bad, because he almost broke up his ka-tet. Cuthbert had to sucker punch him in the side of the head to wake him up.

And even after all that happened, Roland “hated Cuthbert and always would.” Don’t you think that explains a lot?

Dark Tower Roland

“Roland began to cry. They were partly tears of gratitude, but mostly those of mingled shame and confusion; there was even a small, dark part of him that hated Cuthbert and always would. That part hated Cuthbert more on account of the kiss than because of the unexpected punch on the jaw; more for the forgiveness than the awakening.”

The Dark Tower IV: Wizard & Glass

I think it does.

5. Roland Deschain Makes Eddie Lie to Susannah

In The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla, Roland Deschain hides the fact that Susannah is pregnant.

At first, he hides it from Eddie, Jake, and Susannah (and I guess Oy, too, by association). That is bad enough. But when Eddie finally does find out, Roland Deschain makes sure Eddie Dean keeps Susannah’s pregnancy a secret. In other words, Roland Deschain makes Eddie Dean lie to his own wife.

If ye think I speak true, then I say thankya.

Thankya big-big.

Roland Deschain Jake
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