Literature: Wizard and Glass
Preceded by The Waste Lands
.Wizard and Glass
is Book IV of Stephen King
's Epic Fantasy
series The Dark Tower.
The series' plot takes the backseat as readers are treated to an extended Flash Back
of a tale
from Roland's past
Followed by Wolves of the Calla
Wizard and Glass provides examples of the following tropes:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Bad boys want bad girls, as well. Coral Thorin and Eldred Jonas shack up. They each state that the other is the best lay they've ever had.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Roland to Jonas. "Who sent you west, maggot?"
- Artifact of Doom: Maerlyn's Balls.
- Back Story: Pretty much the entire book is this to the rest of the series.
- Bad Moon Rising: Specifically, the Demon Moon is considered a bad omen.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Susan is sweet, kind and stunningly beautiful.
- Being Watched: Rhea, and others, are able to do this through Maerlyn's Rainbow.
- Black Comedy: A joke about a literal dead baby is vital to the plot.
- Click Hello: The first confrontation between the gunslingers and the Big Coffin Hunters features a chain of one after another.
- Coitus Uninterruptus: Jonas and Coral are having sex when they hear the oil patch getting blown up by Roland's team. They don't stop, because they "had reached the point where it was impossible to stop, even under threat of death or dismemberment."
- Comedy as a Weapon: Eddie vs. Blaine.
- Cross Over: The protagonists enter the universe of The Stand, post-Captain Trips.
- Crystal Ball: The Grapefruit. Later revealed to be an Artifact of Doom.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Masturbation Equals Love.
- Dirty Cop: All the Mejis lawmen are in on the conspiracy.
- Dirty Old Man: Hart Thorin, to a T.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Mejis is this to Mexico.
- A Fête Worse Than Death: Charyou tree!
- Geodesic Cast
- The Gunfighter Wannabe
- The Gunslinger: Roland of course, but in this book we see other gunslingers, and failed gunslingers.
- Hate at First Sight: Rhea hates the young and beautiful Susan when she's called up on to examine her purity because she's young and beautiful, which eventually becomes a huge snarled mess.
- Heartbroken Badass
- Immune to Bullets: Walter and Randall can't be hit with bullets from Roland's world. The ones from Jake's, however...
- Interspecies Romance: Rhea and her snake, which was once a human rival.
- Karma Houdini: Clay Reynolds survives the events of the story, but the narration lets us know that he was killed shortly thereafter in an unrelated shootout.
- Kill 'em All: Even the characters who survive in Roland's story are dead by the time he tells it, except for Sheemie.
- Logic Bomb: Faced with an insane but brilliant A.I. that has challenged them to a riddle contest, Eddie forces it to guess the punchlines of bad jokes. It guesses them correctly, but doing so causes it great strain. Under a barrage of them, each more illogical than the last, Blaine finally short-circuits.
"Why did the dead baby cross the road? Cause it was stapled to the chicken."
- The Man Behind the Man: Kimba Rimer for Mayor Thorin.
- The Man Behind the Curtain: a theme of the entire series, but this book explicitly discusses the concept.
- Mexican Standoff: What could be the most over-the-top straight version ever. Depape holds Sheemie hostage, Cuthbert gets the drop on him with a slingshot, Reynolds points a gun at Cuthbert, Alain sneaks up on Reynolds and puts a knife to his throat, Jonas puts a gun to Alain's temple, and Roland gets behind Jonas with a knife to his back.
- Minion Shipping: Eldred and Coral.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Speculated to be the cause of Susan's aunt's heart attack.
- My God, You Are Serious
- Nightmare Fuel: In-universe example; Susannah says that she used to have nightmares about the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz.
- No Sense of Humor
- Roland, at least relative to Eddie, who cracks too many dead baby jokes. Roland actually gets pretty pissed at Eddie's "ridiculousness" at various points, only to end up apologizing once it saves them all.
- Blaine can guess the punchlines of jokes, but he hates the illogical nature of them, to the point that they can become a Logic Bomb.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Cuthbert. If he's not smiling or joking around, expect serious shit to go down.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Roland unleashes one on Blaine. (Blaine gets so angry that he interupts Roland before he could finish it).
I could call you a sucker of cocks, for instance, but you have no mouth. I could say you're viler than the vilest beggar who ever crawled the lowest street in creation, but even such a creature is better than you; you have no knees on which to crawl, and would not fall upon them even if you did, for you have no conception of such a human flaw as mercy. I could even say you fucked your mother, had you one. I can call you a faithless creature who let your only companion kill herself, a coward who has delighted in the torture of the foolish and the slaughter of the innocent, a lost and bleating mechanical goblin who-
- Red Right Hand: Eldred Jonas has white hair, a limp and a quavery voice, all of which are apparently the result of the traumatic beating he received when he failed his trial to become a gunslinger. His failure is probably the reason why he's such a scumbag.
- Shout-Out: The climax directly recreates the climax of The Wizard of Oz.
- Sex as Rite-of-Passage
- The Sheriff: Herk Avery.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Roland and Susan.
- Stout Strength: The bouncer at the Mejis bar has an enourmous belly.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Tick-Tock Man gets saved by Richard Fannin (or Randall Flagg?) only to have him die almost immediately by the hands of the ka-tet.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Using a Logic Bomb.
- Tattooed Crook: The Big Coffin Hunters all have a tattoo of a blue coffin on their hands.
- Their First Time: "If you love me, then love me."
- Town with a Dark Secret
- Traumatic Haircut: Rhea hypnotizes Susan and orders her to cut off her hair after losing her virginity. However, when she tries it, Roland stops her.
- The Western: "Is it a Western?" "All Roland's stories are Westerns."
- What Happened to the Mouse?: At the end of the flashback, Roland's mother gives him a belt. He promises to tell his ka-tet the story of how he lost the belt, "for it bears on my quest for the Tower." Whether he tells the ka-tet or not, he never tells the reader; the belt is never mentioned again either in the main series or in any of the side materials.
- Wicked Witch: Rhea. Played dead straight.
- Your Mom: Eddie to Blaine: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Or, as we used to say back in the neighborhood, 'You can rank me to the dogs and back, but I'll never lose the hard-on I use to fuck your mother.'"
- Roland to Blaine: "I could even say you fucked your mother, had you one."