Villain Spotlight: Blaine The Mono
It’s been a heavy reading season folks. I know you have all been frothing at the mouth for a new Villain Spotlight, and as your just and fair ruler, I would be honored to provide you your medicine. It really has been a heavy reading season for your boy Arthur, and in the midst of consuming every page of I possibly can of the Dark Tower series, I find myself constantly thinking about one thing…riddles. Deep in the City of Lud sleeps a terrifying giant of steel and speed. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Blaine The Mono.
Now for those of you who have not ready the Dark Tower series, and I still count myself one of you as I still have two books left, Blaine the Mono is some scary shit. Our Gunslingers have been through quite a bit since they were drawn together. Between reunions and traveling through a wasteland of death and despair, it has all been nothing in comparison to the terror that awaits them once they get to their intended destination. See, they need a way to travel quite a ways without having to walk there, and even if they tried to walk there, it would be impossible as they would surely die. Only one choice at that point, Blaine the Mono.
I know you are all wondering why a train would be scary in any way unless it was derailing, but what if the train was sentient and really, really enjoyed fucking with you in horrible ways? That’s what I thought. Blaine the Mono is a monorail train, obviously, and in order to board this train, our Gunslingers had to travel through the City of Lud, which is a horrible land of mutants and murderers. The worst part is that they get separated in the process of getting there, and through chases and shooting, amongst other things that I don’t want to spoil for you, they finally get to Blaine…only to realize he is still sleeping. A sleeping train. If that doesn’t send chills up your spine then you may need to talk to someone. Blaine is a pain, and a train, and his appearance is far beyond plain. A menacing tube of metal and malice, just looking upon his form makes you shiver. That is what we are dealing with.
Upon unlocking the code and narrowly escaping death in the process, our Gunslingers finally board the train, and now the real horror starts. Just waking the guy up was scary in its own right, as he almost fried them with lightning upon waking. Bellowing questions and making you want to enter the fetal position, Blaine does not give rides for free. Bet your life, or you don’t ride at all. Upon boarding, the Gunslingers are treated to a relatively fancy cabin, but that only makes what happens that much worse. See, Blaine likes riddles, and if you don’t provide him with one that he cannot answer, you will die. And not just you, but everyone including Blaine. He is not above speeding himself into a wall as he knows this will be his last ride anyway. Why would he not want to take you with him? That is what makes him terrible. His utter lack of sympathy for you, and the snarky way he speaks to you as if he relishes the thought of your death, which he does. Funny thing though, our Gunslingers are actually rather adept at riddles, particularly Roland, but that doesn’t stop this from being an all out mental war against a sentient murder train.
How do you even have a mental battle with a train? It seems ludicrous, but once things get going, you realize how dire things are for the heroes. Blaine taunts and mocks them at every turn, even showing the ability to make himself translucent in an attempt to show them what awaits them below if they fail to win this battle. Imagine how frightening it must be to be in that cabin, knowing that time is ticking and if you don’t come up with a good enough riddle for what is essentially a super computer monorail to be stumped with, you’re going to speed at 900 miles an hour into a fucking wall. Fuck that. That just seems so horrible. Yet, our Gunslingers aren’t the normal type, and they take the gunless fight right to him, and it comes down to sheer luck, and a very unexpected source of brilliance. I really want to tell you how things turn out, but it would be an injustice to the one who sets things straight. I’ll give you a hint though, some people just can’t take a joke.
Even after the whole issue with Blaine is resolved, his menace and terrifying visage is felt throughout the rest of the series. Stephen King has provided us with a sort of terror that shouldn’t be into something that is all encompassing. I love Blaine the Mono, simply because of the sense of dread his name and the foreboding nature of his introduction into the book. It was perfectly done, and I don’t think I could have asked for more. My imagination is very vibrant and fantastical, so as soon as I began reading his entrance, my mind immediately started tossing lightning bolts and menacing flashes of light into my thoughts. It was amazing in its ability to just form this horrible picture in my mind just with those words. Good work Mr. King. If I ever do finish my work, I can only hope to create a figure so full of horror and malice as Blaine. Here’s to you Blaine, you riddling bastard.
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