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I found this line (attributed to Jake Chambers, and referring to the rest of his Ka-tet) in Bev Vincent's analysis The Road to the Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus:

“I love them, but I hope I die before it gets me so bad it stops making any difference if the ones against me deserve [to die] or not.”

I've tried to find this passage in the books themselves (checking every instance of the word "love" in those books in which Jake appears) and on Google, with no success.

Does this passage actually appear in The Dark Tower series, and if so, where?

  • I tried searching that with -"the road" and got some really depressing stuff about suicide. – user31178 Apr 7 '16 at 4:09
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+500

Probably, but not in the finished draft

I contacted Bev Vincent, author of The Road to the Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus. Here's what he had to say:

Jonah:

When I was writing The Road to the Dark Tower, I was working from the first draft manuscripts of the final three books. I received later drafts of books 5 and 6 in time to incorporate any corrections or changes King made to the quotes I had pulled from them, but I did not have the opportunity to see the revised MS of the final book before my book went to press. So there are several quotes from The Dark Tower in my book that do not reflect what was finally published. I’m pretty sure that’s the case here.

Bev

So Vincent suggests that this quote was from a pre-publication manuscript of The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower. This seems most probable to me, since the quote is sufficiently dissimilar to any existing one to be misremembered, and Vincent probably wouldn't fabricate it.

This makes sense in the apparent context of the quote. Jake has just killed several people, but he spares the dish-washer Jochabim.

“North of there, if you do like it or if you don’t,” said the washerboy. “Will’ee kill me, lad? I don’t want to die, sad as I am.”

“I won’t be the one to kill you if you tell me the truth. Did a woman come through here?”

The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower

According to Vincent in The Road to the Dark Tower, his thoughts are that Roland, Eddie, and Susannah would have killed him without a second thought, thus prompting the quote:

“I love them [Roland etc.], but I hope I die before it gets me so bad it stops making any difference if the ones against me deserve [to die] or not.”

Certainly Jake seems a kinder character than Roland, so it seems likely this might have occurred in one of King's earlier drafts.

The quote is probably from the initial draft of The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower.

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+250

The article "Paradox, Reconciliation, and Redemption in The Dark Tower Series" by Dr. Hilary S. Webb contains a nearly identical version of the quote:

He says of his ka-tet, “I love them, but I hope I die before [the urge to kill] gets me so bad it stops making any difference if the ones against me deserve it or not.”

Comparing this to the version in the original question, we can infer that the actual quote is

“I love them, but I hope I die before it gets me so bad it stops making any difference if the ones against me deserve it or not.”

From Webb's article, it appears that this line was written in The Dark Tower V: The Wolves of the Calla:

As Father Callahan implies during DT5: The Wolves of the Calla, Roland’s obsession with the Tower leaves him at risk for confusing his own will with the will of ka. Such is the nature of addiction, in which one invariably trades faith (the essence of magic) for the will of the ego’s obsession. The addict, like Roland, seeks short term, quick-fix solutions instead of surrendering to the flow of higher meaning. This is the lesson that Jake is called upon to teach Roland, for despite Jake’s own desire to see the Tower, he never sacrifices his own humanity to do so. We see evidence of this each time Jake puts himself at risk to save his friends, even when doing so results in his own death. Unlike the others, Jake refuses to kill the innocent, even those who have aligned themselves with the forces of Discordia. He says of his ka-tet, “I love them, but I hope I die before [the urge to kill] gets me so bad it stops making any difference if the ones against me deserve it or not.”

However, as pointed out by @WadCheber in comments below, the quote simply does not appear in The Dark Tower series — book V or otherwise. So it seems that both Vincent and Webb are in error. Since the Vincent work had appeared earlier (thanks @Jonah), it seems that Vincent is the likely source of this erroneous quote.

  • Searched the Kindle edition of Wolves of the Calla for "against" - many results, but not that quote. Searched for "I love" - several results, not that quote. Searched for "deserve" - five results, not that quote. Searched for "I hope I die" - no results. – Wad Cheber Apr 10 '16 at 19:58
  • Checked the next volume (Song of Susannah) for "Deserve" - three results, but not that one. Checked volume VII (The Dark Tower) for "deserve" - many results, but not that quote. Volume IV (Wizard and Glass) - not that quote. Volume III (The Waste Lands) - the word "deserve" isn't used at all. Volume VIII/4.5 - "deserve" appears three times, but not in that context. – Wad Cheber Apr 10 '16 at 20:01
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    And if you google either half of the quote from the Webb article in quotation marks - either "I love them, but I hope I die before" or "gets me so bad it stops making any difference if the ones against me deserve it or not”, the only results are from Webb, Vincent, and this question and answer. – Wad Cheber Apr 10 '16 at 20:29
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    @WadCheber : So many comments! I believe you. I don't have searchable editions (just the ACTUAL books!) and so I couldn't verify it myself. I wonder who started this, Vincent or Webb? – Praxis Apr 11 '16 at 1:26
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    @WadCheber : Update to answer in light of your comments and Jonah's. – Praxis Apr 11 '16 at 2:14
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I have looked through the mentioned articles and searched a few versions of the book myself and have found like @WadCheber nothing at all.

I think the quotes do not exist

This is due to the fact that 3 or 4 people have know looked for them and found nothing. I would suggest that Stephen King may have written this in a draft or notes that were never published and this is where the quote came from. The other possibility is that it appears in a foreign language version of the book or a first edition that does not appear on the internet however both these are highly unlikely and in my mind don't really matter as they are so unlikely.

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