Calling all Dark Tower fans! What gift do you give a member of your ka-tet when they leave?
March 24, 2006 7:50 PM   Subscribe

A close friend of ours is moving away in a few days and I'd like to get him a token of our friendship to take with him. I know he's a huge fan of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, so I'm trying to come up with a symbolic object or phrase from the books that would be meaningful. I read the books myself a while back, but am terrible at remembering details and I won't have access to them in the next few days to look anything up. Any ideas?
posted by platinum to Human Relations (17 answers total)
Best answer: A small, palm-sized sculpture of a turtle, preferably in scrimshaw.

The turtle is a sign of goodness and beauty in the Dark Tower universe, and in the story, the sculpture it's a powerful magic object the good guys use.

Either that or an old-West style revolver with sandalwood grips. There are non-firing models available.
posted by frogan at 8:05 PM on March 24, 2006

Old West gun replicas for sale
posted by frogan at 8:07 PM on March 24, 2006

How about a book of Robert Browning's poetry?
posted by Loto at 8:14 PM on March 24, 2006

Would a signed first edition be appropriate? Might be findable via AddAll or some place like that.
posted by johngumbo at 8:36 PM on March 24, 2006

If you're thinking of getting him a signed first Betts Books in Bangor, Maine is the place to go.

But I think the Turtle idea is great.
posted by anastasiav at 8:39 PM on March 24, 2006

Patent Art for Dark Tower Game
posted by blue_beetle at 8:47 PM on March 24, 2006

Even simpler than a turtle and just as meaningful -- a single rose, with a quotation from Roland Deschain: "We are Ka-tet, we are one from many." If you are looking for something more permanent, perhaps a sculpture or a painting of a rose?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:49 PM on March 24, 2006

Sorry, blue_beetle, "Bazaar Closed"! Wrong Dark Tower.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:51 PM on March 24, 2006

.45 long colt cartridge key chain. After the scene in the book where he tries to find the right .45 ammo in the New York gun store, make sure its not .45 acp or one of the many other 45's.
posted by 445supermag at 8:56 PM on March 24, 2006

Michael Whelan (who painted and drew the artwork for books 1 and 7 of the series) has posters and prints of some illustrations available at IIRC, prices are around $30 and up.
posted by Prospero at 8:15 AM on March 25, 2006

"Go then, there are other worlds than these."

Despite the bleak context in the books (it's the last thing Jake says before he dies the first time) I've always found those words a little inspiring.

Might make a nice engraving on a plaque or something with a turtle or a replica pistol. I always saw the pistols as symbolic of justice in the stories, but I'm a white suburbanite git who probably missed the whole thing.
posted by TeamBilly at 9:12 AM on March 25, 2006

Things that came to mind which haven't been mentioned: A pocketwatch, a book of riddles with the answer pages ripped out, a small horn.

You could also look at TowerWiki and its parent site for ideas.
posted by gnomeloaf at 11:09 AM on March 25, 2006

"Go then, there are other worlds than these."

Despite the bleak context in the books (it's the last thing Jake says before he dies the first time) I've always found those words a little inspiring.

Yeah, this is one of the quintessential lines of the book - and since he's moving away, it has a nice bittersweet resonance in reality, too.

Other potential objects: purple grass (from the trippy what-is-reality? discussion in book 1), a key (Eddie carved one out of wood and Jake found a silver one, and they both unlocked a door between worlds), or, if you don't mind a bit of the grotesque, a small bird's skull (Cuthbert's "lookout").

I've always thought it would be awesome to have something that resembled either the Pink Grapefruit or Black 13 (big swirly glass orbs). Although perhaps that's an invitation to danger...
posted by brookedel at 8:20 PM on March 25, 2006

On his shell, he carries the earth. (Hey, I might have to get one of those. Too cool.)
posted by atholbrose at 10:28 PM on March 25, 2006

Platinum -- just wanted to commend you for being such a good and thoughtful friend. I know your friend will be touched by whatever gesture you make, and the friendship is sure to continue.
posted by CMichaelCook at 1:14 PM on March 26, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you all for your ideas! We tried a couple of places yesterday and I was able to find a carved turtle, not scrimshaw but as close as I could get. I included a small card in the box that said "We are ka-tet. We are one from many."

He was a part of our band for many years and we really did feel like a ka-tet, so this sentence just felt right. We gave it to him today and he was really moved. We're going to miss him greatly.

Thanks to everyone, there were some wonderful ideas. Atholbrose, that turtle charm is adorable, I just might have to get one for myself! Special thanks to frogan for the turtle idea and Rock Steady for finding the quote. And thank you to CMichaelCook for your sweet words, they are much appreciated.
posted by platinum at 12:07 AM on March 27, 2006

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