I believe that King did not know where the story was going when he wrote the first book or two. This may, of course, strengthen his argument that the story was told through him rather than by him. Still, he seems undecided as to the reality of his characters and their worlds. Are we to take this series merely as a tale told by a “word smith,” or are we to believe in it? Are these characters going to connect with us in a deep way, or are they only part of King’s personal mythology? Or, is Stephen King opening himself up, as few authors do, and allowing us full access to his imagination and subconscious so that we may identify with what he hopes is a universal tale? I opt for this last theory.
One must wonder how he and the series will be regarded in 100 years. Will King be the Dickens of our time, in which case vast reference volumes and concordances shall be written? Or will he be yet another semi-forgotten author which just a few people will be interested in? This series is good; his writing matures (yet calcifies) over the 30 years it took him to write it. This may be his best shot at respectability and remembrance amongst our posterity.