Multiverse (Stephen King)
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In the books, it is a mysterious force that leads all living (and unliving) creatures. It is the will of Gan, the approximate equivalent of destiny or fate, in King's fictional language of High Speech. Ka can be considered to be a guide, a destination, but is certainly not a plan—at least, not one that is known to mortals. Ka is not necessarily a force of good or evil; it manipulates both sides, and seems to have no definite morality of its own.
Concepts involving ka
Because of the importance of ka to the world of King's Dark Tower, many phrases in the High Speech use the word ka, such as:
- ka-babbies: young ka-tet members.
- ka-tel: a class of apprentice gunslingers.
- ka-mai: ka's fool.
- ka-me: ka's wiseman; the opposite of ka-mai.
- kas-ka: a prophet
- ka-shume: a unique feeling that a ka-tet is destined to break soon.
- te-ka: ka's friend.
- Can'-Ka No Rey: the red fields of none, where the Dark Tower lies.
- tet-ka can Gan: the navel (specifically, the navel of Gan).
- kas-ka Gan: singer of Gan's song/ prophet of Gan.
- ves-ka Gan: the Song of the Turtle.
A ka-tet is a group of beings brought together by ka. "We are ka-tet. We are one from many," says Roland Deschain on the day before the Battle of Algul Siento. Ka-tet is the belief that a group of people can be tied together by fate, or ka. It is said that a group has shared "khef" or the water of life. Sometimes the symbol of water is used literally, as in a ritual Roland and his ka-tet performs the night before the battle of Algul Siento. In the seventh novel, Susannah Dean, who ends up understanding ka maybe more than Roland himself, comes to the understanding that in simple terms, "ka-tet" means family.
References in other works by King
|Look up ka in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Ka is mentioned in some of King's other books, including Hearts in Atlantis, Desperation and Insomnia. The characters James Eric Gardener in The Tommyknockers and Rosie McClendon in Rose Madder also ponder ka. It is mentioned in The Stand by Judge Farris when he observes a crow outside his window that he believes is Randall Flagg shortly before he is killed by Flagg's men.
The Purpose and the Random
The Random and the Purpose are like the red and the black squares on a checker board, defining each other by contrast.— Lachesis
The Purpose and the Random are concepts elaborating the "grammar" of All-World introduced in Insomnia. The Purpose and the Random are driving forces on the different levels (worlds or realities) the Dark Tower connects. There are even stronger forces, like the Higher Purpose and the Higher Random. It is not totally clear whether these higher forms are multiple individual beings sharing a common aim, or if they are underlying forces not bound to personal forms. Both the Purpose and the Random have so-called agents, middlemen between ordinary human beings ("Short-Timers") and the god-like All-Timers. Clotho and Lachesis are agents of the Purpose, while Atropos is an agent of the Random. Central is the idea that the Purpose and the Random need to be in balance.
The Higher Purpose and the Higher Random
For each field exist higher beings which seem to be god-like. While arguably Gan or Maturin would belong to the Higher Purpose, the Crimson King or It are beings of the Higher Random.
[...] beyond the Short-Time levels of existence and the Long-Time levels on which Lachesis, Atropos and I exist, there are yet other levels. These are inhabited by creatures we could call All-Timers, beings which are either eternal or so close to it as to make no difference. Short-Timers and Long-Timers live in overlapping spheres of existence – on connected floors of the same building, if you like – ruled by the Random and the Purpose. Above these floors, inaccessible to us but very much a part of the same tower of existence, live other beings. Some of them are marvellous and wonderful; other are hideous beyond our ability to comprehend, let alone yours. These beings might be called the Higher Purpose and the Higher Random...or perhaps there is no Random beyond a certain level; we suspect that may be the case, but we have no real way of telling. We do know that it is something from one of these higher levels that has interested itself in Ed, and that something else from up there made a countermove. That countermove is you, Ralph and Lois.— Clotho
List of worlds and universes
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|All-World||The Dark Tower|
|Eddie Dean's home universe||
||The Drawing of the Three|
|The Stand universe||
|The Regulators timeline||