The first Dark Tower book was about a singular character, but this book introduces the reader to a host of new characters. These characters are introduced by a clever way of introducing the basis of this series: The Tower. Roland, the protagonist, may need these people to get to the tower, but the dimensional travel of the tower is helping him out on his journey. It is an interesting idea to drive a reader in by throwing a lot of settings around from different times and worlds. In the previous book, the protagonist seemed to only need himself, and having him have to rely on others is an interesting story telling method.
Forcing a character who is prone to being alone and to himself was a big plot point in the book. King decided he wasn’t going to do this in the most traditional way. He forced a gunslinger (who might I add sacrificed a child for his goal of the tower) from another world to go into the mind of a handful of other characters. Roland is motivated to do this by forcing him to have these characters in his world so he may find the tower. it may be frustrating to him to deal with people with many different ideals, but he keeps going on because of the motivation for the tower. The first person he must get on his side is a heroine addict from another world that he must put his life into the hands of. I would not say that is a classic story, so it brings in readers with the ridiculousness of it. The reader has to admire King for putting a story together that stays serious and sometimes comical about a gunslinger from a kingdom like town, and a heroine addict who smuggles cocaine underneath his armpits.
All of the people that Roland needs to gather are from cards that he received in the previous book. A very creative way to expand on this is when Roland was dying and Eddie (the heroine addict) was trying to nurse him back to health. After being attacked by a giant lobster, he was starting to die of infection and lack of food. So once Eddie was in Roland’s world he had to get them to the next door and nurse Roland at the same time. Roland was the protagonist so every time he blacked out the scene would skip to another. Every time the scene skipped it seemed to be skipping to the next section. Every section the heading read “shuffle” which expanded on how the cards are shuffling to find out who they would meet next. It is a very creative way to introduce another character and reference the cards.
In conclusion, adding more characters for a loner character to bond with added a lot to the series. Roland would do anything to get to the tower and fulfill his promise. he would never be able to avenge everyone he’d grown up with and stop the man in black. Once more King surprises his audiences with a wacky story about the Tower that still seemed to stay serious.