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|“||You'll float too.||„|
|~ IT's most famous quote, referring to causing its victims to "float".|
|“||I'll kill you all! I'll drive you crazy and then I'll kill you all! I am every nightmare you ever had, I am your worst dream come true. I am EVERYTHING you ever were afraid of!||„|
|~ IT as Pennywise to the Loser's Club.|
|“||I am eternal, child. I am the Eater of Worlds and of children!||„|
|~ IT boasting to the Losers.|
|“||For twenty-seven years... I dreamt of you. I craved you. Oh, I've missed you! Waiting for this very moment... TIME TO FLOAT!||„|
|~ IT after he came back from his cooling-off period and message to the Losers Club while he takes his spider form.|
It (sometimes capitalized as IT), also more commonly known as Pennywise, the Dancing Clown, is the main antagonist of Stephen King's 1986 coming-of-age horror novel It, as well as its 1990 TV miniseries adaptation and the remastered 2017-2019 film duology of the same name. It is the archenemy of the Losers Club's very own Bill Denbrough.
It is a horrific and malevolent cosmic entity that is billions of years old, spawned in the void of the Macroverse, which is also otherwise known as the Todash Darkness. An unknown number of centuries or even millennia ago, it came to planet Earth to feed. It lives in the sewers of Derry, awakening every twenty-seven years to prey on the town's children, feeding on their fears and using the writhing bright orange lights that comprised its own life essence known as "Deadlights", a dangerous and eldritch form of energy (which is used as a dark magical weapon by another monstrous Stephen King villain known as the Crimson King), to make them "float" before killing and devouring them.
This twisted extra-dimensional entity had a form a human could only comprehend as a giant spider, but It would almost always disguise itself as a clown named "Pennywise the Dancing Clown" to attract children so that it could capture and kill them as they were an easier target. It could also morph into any form it wished, generally based on its victim's fears.
Due to its shapeshifting abilities, the true identity of the creature is never established. It seems to have no real name, gender or identifiable species, thus the creature is only referred to as "It" by its enemies, although it is part of an obscure race of shapeshifting monsters called by its Gaelic name "Glamours".
It encounters a group of local Derry children collectively nicknamed the Losers Club in 1956. It attempts to devour them, but they not only survive, but manage to hurt, battle and partially defeat It. The Losers Club grow into adults twenty-seven years later, and return to Derry after forgetting everything to battle It once again and kill It.
- 1 Portrayals
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Forms Taken by IT
- 5 Quotes
- 6 Victims
- 7 Other Media
- 8 Trivia
- 9 External Links
- 10 Navigation
- In the 1990 two-part miniseries, It was portrayed by Tim Curry, who also played Simon Doonan in Titanic, Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Ben Ravencroft in Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost, Maestro Forte in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, Billy Flynn in Criminal Minds, Lord of Darkness in Legend, Kilokahn in Super Human Samurai Syber-Squad, Drake in The Pebble and the Penguin, Big Brother in Johnny Bravo, Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island, Dr. Slicer in Recess, Belial in The Legend of Atlantis, Hexxus in Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, Farley Claymore in The Shadow, Thaddeus E. Klang in TaleSpin, General Von Talon in Valiant, Anatoly Cherdenko in Command Conquer 3, Slagar the Cruel in Redwall, Professor Calamitous in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers, Taurus Bulba in Darkwing Duck, Anatoly Cherdenko in Command Conquer 3, Wadsworth in Clue, Darth Sidious in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Evil Manta in The Little Mermaid, Mouse King in Barbie in the Nutcracker, Philippe in Barbie and The Three Musketeers, and El Malefico in Mucha Lucha: The Return of El Malefico.
- In the 1998 Indian TV series Woh (an unofficial adaptation of the book) It was portrayed by Liliput.
- In both the 2017 film It and its 2019 sequel It Chapter Two, It was portrayed by Bill Skarsgård, who also played Richard Persson in Crownjewels and Willard Russell in The Devil All The Time.
|“||Let go. Be afraid. You all taste so much better when you're afraid.||„|
|~ IT to the Losers.|
A pitiless, unreasonable, cowardly and completely heartless sadist, It is a bully and monster right to its very core.
Not only is It a deadly and dangerous predator who enjoys devouring its prey (even and especially children, as they are easier to both trick and frighten), but It enjoys toying and "bullying" its victims, terrifying them, tormenting them and harassing them before finally slaughtering them as fear "floods the body and salts the meat", according to It. It also bullies the Loser's Club verbally, namely Bill, mocking his stutter and, on top of that, the loss of his little brother, even using that sadness to take advantage of him. It possesses a psychopathic sense of humor and loves to taunt its victims, taking glee in terrifying them and torturing them. It absolutely delights in its monstrous cruelty and evil acts, making it a cruel monster out for death and fear and not just a predator out for survival as some fans assume.
It also has the character of an arrogant narcissist, allying with, caring for and loving absolutely no one and nothing but itself. It views itself as above Maturin the turtle spirit calling the latter "stupid" and looking down on him for his good-hearted and supportive nature. Like all evil godlike figures, It sees humans as inferior creatures, who exist solely to be toyed with and eaten.
It is highly intelligent and is a clever and manipulative trickster, shown whilst in the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown when it is more than capable of acting in a warm and friendly manner to give the prey (most notably Georgie) a false sense of security and manipulating Henry Bowers into murdering his father and the losers. Pennywise is loud, jovial, cheerful, merry, sociable and charming towards children, politely offering them the chance to visit his circus and eat free food. This is the closest thing to kindness in It's soul and it is just a façade to fool its prey, so it can kill them and devour them. Some versions are so cruel that they have a hard time keeping this facade up. Aside from this, It doesn't have so much as a shred of redeeming quality or anything that could detract from its twisted and evil nature.
Ironically, despite being a horrifying creature who preys on fear, It is a true coward at heart. When its victims have overcome their fears of it, It can be pounded into a helpless and terrified pulp. Ultimately, it is pathetic and cowardly once his victims actually face it together. It is terrified of starving and dying, as shown in its final moments when it becomes a blubbering wreck.
Also, for all his bravado and impressive medley of powers, Pennywise is also rather hedonistic and emotionally immature. He often does whatever appeals to him instantly and never seems to plan ahead or take precautions. He also has a childlike need to cause a commotion and get attention rather than get on with killing his opponents. His arrogance and shortsightedness are ultimately what had led to his undoing. He felt the need to take on all the Losers together to reaffirm his supposed invincibility rather than accept his limitations and pick them off while they were separated.
It's greatest weakness is that it underestimates the goodness of humanity, love and friendship, leading to his eventual demise once the Loser's Club join together and fight him together. This is when its cocky arrogance works against it. Even with its powers, the Loser's Club are still able to defeat it when they work together. This also shows that It lacks proper fighting skills as the kids were able to beat it despite lacking experience for the most part.
In the 2017-2019 film duology, It is even more depraved than his original incarnation. He is not only a sadistic monster, but he rarely bothers to fake being affable towards anyone, and even when he tries to appear friendly, his underlying creepiness still oozes through and he clearly struggles very much to act like a normal human. Instead of using his Pennywise façade, he clearly prefers to corner and terrify his victims before going straight for the kill. Furthermore, while he is still a coward, the remake ramps up his more insidious side by portraying him as someone who cannot live without tormenting someone else. All of this makes him an arrogant sadist who will do anything to kill or otherwise maim others. When It is about to be defeated by the Losers, he simply and mysteriously tells them that they had all grown up, instead of insulting or snarling them, like he was proud to find worthy opponents. It could, however, just be a sarcastic way of insulting them, with him being angry to be defeated for good and seeing that the Losers are not afraid of him anymore.
Much like the 1990 miniseries, It is depicted as not having eggs implying that it was the only creature of this caliber to exist (unless the book implied that It asexually reproduces). Also unlike the novel where Derry is nearly destroyed immediately following the supposed death of It, the Neibolt house is the only casualty. It also does not enlist Tom Rogan with abducting Bill's wife Audrey as both characters had minimal appearances. IT also manipulates Henry into murdering his father while speaking through some hostess while he never used someone in the book nor miniseries to make Henry end his father's life.
Also his true form is 3 rotating orbs of concentrate energy rather than anything remotely resembling a mass of orange crawling lights or an arachnid. Although Pennywise takes on the shape of a drider, this is not its true form and instead a form that's best equipped to deal with an attack from multiple opponents. IT also dies for good this time, and there is no implication suggesting he may be still alive. Bill Skarsgard added new layers to IT's personality, explaining that the clown got a thrill from being defeated and experiencing fear, and believed the clown subconsciously wanted to be killed, or to cease existing. In that respect, he won. However it is debatable if Andy Miscuietti also shared this interpretation and if it is true, it only applies to the recent continuity and not the miniseries or the novel.
No matter the version, It is a walking embodiment of fear and sadism, and the embodiment of pure evil.
Powers and Abilities
Being an interdimensional cosmic being, IT was an extremely powerful entity. Although its true form exists outside of time and space in the Macroverse, the powers demonstrated by its earthly avatar include:
- Psychic Power: IT possesses an insane level of psychic power. It can steal people's souls and entrap them within the Deadlights (IT's true form). It can also create psychic hurricanes capable of destroying entire towns. When battling the Losers, IT created a psychic storm that devastated downtown Derry.
- Mind Control: In addition to its immense psychic power, IT is capable of controlling the mind and actions of a person. It is implied that it controls and influences the mind of every adult in Derry or perhaps even the entire nation, as they are all ignorant of the terrible murders that take place there.
- Possession: IT also has the ability to possess people, this was shown when it possessed Mr. Keene in order to get Eddie to leave Derry.
- Telepathy: IT can read the minds of anyone he chooses to target. It often uses this to learn a victim's fears and exploit this with its shapeshifting ability. It can also implant thoughts and projections into people's minds.
- Physical Illusions: In addition to its telepathy, IT can also create physical illusions, such as balloons floating against the wind, making his face appear on the moon or the smell of popcorn and rotting corpses. It can also use this to cause a person to hallucinate. It typically uses this power along with its shape-shifting to lure in or terrify victims.
- Shapeshifting: IT can transform into any form it pleases, whether it be the form of a person, flying leeches, zombies, a giant spider, etc. IT often uses this power to take the form a victim fears most.
- Size Alteration: In addition to it's shape-changing abilities, IT is able to manipulate and alter the size of it's many forms, from big to small. For instance, when IT, as Pennywise, ambushed and attacked the Losers after emerging from a projector screen, it appeared to be about 5 times larger than normal.
- Eye Color Alteration: IT is capable of changing the color of it's eyes to fool it's prey, especially children. For example, when IT meets Georgie, it's eyes are a friendly blue, and when it attacks and kills Georgie, it's eyes change to an evil yellow.
- Teleportation: IT can also teleport between locations in an instant. However, it has never been seen teleporting outside of the Derry City limits.
- Partial Invisibility: This was clearly stated in several cases, most notably when the adult Beverly encounters Pennywise at the place where she used to live or when the adult Ben Hanscom encounters IT in the public library. This suggests that only those who actually believe or have knowledge about IT's existence are able to see IT, although IT can become fully visible to anybody when it is necessary or wishes to do so. One notable moment was when IT helps Henry Bowers to escape from Juniper Hill, one of Henry's cellmates and then the guard also witness IT next to Henry.
- Near-Invulnerability: IT is not a true physical entity, so it cannot be killed or harmed by conventional means. The only known way to harm Pennywise is to perform the Ritual of Chud, which involves The Turtle and Gan (two multiverse beings) lending their psychic power to the person performing it. They both lent their power to the Losers numerous times when they faced IT, giving them the power to harm it. Bill likened fighting Pennywise as "fighting smoke".
- Immortality: IT's early avatar has existed on Earth since primordial times and has existed even longer in the Macroverse (a void outside of time and space that surrounds our own universe). The Ritual of Chud is the only known way to kill the earthly avatar. However, it is heavily implied that IT's true form still exists within the Macroverse and is eternal and can never truly be killed.
- Regeneration: IT can also quickly regenerate when it does receive a wound. This was shown when IT instantaneously healed after being shot in the face by Bill and Richie when it chased them down Neibolt Street.
- Dream Invasion: It is also implied that IT can invade dreams, as it tells Eddie that it "will see him in his dreams" when taking the form of the leper at 29 Neibolt Street.
- Insanity Projection: No mortal mind can perceive IT's true form, even Bill when his psychic power was insanely boosted by Gan and The Turtle. Anyone who sees IT's true form is driven instantly insane or drops dead from shock.
- Chlorokineis/Flora-cide: With a touch, IT can instantly cause plants to die. This is shown when Eddie (young and adult) encounters It in its leper form. It must be distinguished from the illusions mentioned earlier as this effect persists long after It's appearance although it does not serve any practical purposes.
- Telekinesis: IT can manipulate inanimate objects making them fall, float around, and behave supernaturally. This includes locking doors and electronic devices. It can also affect human bodies, as demonstrated when it sent Eddie flying against a wall merely with a glance in his direction.
- Superhuman Strength: Although IT is not a physical entity, it is still capable of superhuman attributes. This was shown when IT could tear the heads and limbs off children with extreme ease.
- Superhuman Speed: Bill noted that IT can move at extreme speeds, claiming that it was way faster than an "express train".
- Superhuman Flexibility: IT can also bend and twist it's many body parts beyond normal limits. This is shown when Pennywise confronted Eddie. He was seen in a fridge all twisted and almost tied up, and when he came out of the fridge, he easily untied himself again.
- Physics: Pennywise has to obey the laws of physics so any shape and texture he adopts must abide by the shape of its form. If he wants to fly, he has to have wings, if he wants to crawl through tight spaces, he has to take on a small form.
- (Film-Series) Anger, insults, and his own fear: Aggression, physical violence, and verbal abuse while deprived of fear will cause Pennywise to shrivel and wither into a fetal blob. He will try to flee before he shrinks too much but if cornered, he will become an easy target.
Forms Taken by IT
IT: Chapter One
IT: Chapter Two
Stephen King's IT (1990 miniseries)
It: Chapter One (2017 film)
It: Chapter Two (2019 film)
In the episode "Island Adventure" of Family Guy, a fake movie trailer featured Quagmire hiding in the sewers, dressed as Pennywise and stalking women. He then requests help since he is apparently stuck in there. The title of the fake movie was "Gigg-IT-y".
How It Should Have Ended (HISHE)
It made its HISHE debut in the Villain Pub Halloween special "Penny For Your Fears" in the form of Pennywise, along with other horror icons such as Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Chucky, etc. It's design is based on Pennywise's 2017 incarnation. It also serves as the main antagonist of "How IT Should Have Ended" and as a cameo in "How Avengers: Infinity War Should Have Ended."
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
IT as Pennywise appeared in pony form in the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic IDW comic book "The Return of Queen Chrysalis", in one of the doors in Queen Chrysalis' Castle. Fluttershy opened IT's door and IT appeared, and said: "Hey, George!".
In the episode "Task Force", it was learned that the reason Fitz is so afraid of clowns it's because of a traumatic experience he had when he was a child. The flashback showed Fitz's childhood experience and it emulated the trailer for the 2019 IT movie.
In the episode "Bezt Friends", Pennywise briefly appeared in Uncle Grandpa's closet, while he was looking for Pizza Steve. Pennywise was about to kill him before he closed the door on him again.
Pennywise was featured along with other horror icons in the Halloween sale promotion for Vivziepop's Hazbin Hotel.
The Polar Express
When the Ebenezer Scrooge Puppet confronts Hero Boy in the abandoned toy car, a Pennywise puppet can be seen behind him.
- Main article: WOH
Space Jam: A New Legacy
In the 2021 Warner Bros. hybrid film Space Jam: A New Legacy, the sequel of the 1996 Warner Bros. hybrid film Space Jam, IT as Pennywise, alongside other villains from other Warner Bros. properties, such as Agent Smith, Lord Voldemort, the 1989 incarnation of Joker, and the Wicked Witch of the West, made a cameo as one of the speculators of Al-G Rhythm's basketball game.
It has been reported that Chuck Lines would be playing the role of IT. 
- IT (alongside Randall Flagg) is regarded as the most evil and popular of Stephen King's villains, and an immense icon in horror. In 2006, Wizard Magazine ranked IT the 15th greatest villain of all time.
- Ironically, Bill Skarsgård was born in the same year as the original film adaptation (by Tommy Lee Wallace) of IT: 1990, and the time when the 1990 movie was released for the 2017 movie is equal to the time when Pennywise (IT) tends to wake up to cause the capture and murder of its victims (being 27 years).
- Its favorite form, Pennywise the Dancing Clown, was designed after real-life clowns Bozo, Clarabell, and Ronald McDonald. Ironically, they all are portrayed as heroes whereas Pennywise is a villain.
- He has a pale white clown face with funny tufts of red hair on either side of his bald head, a big clown smile painted over his mouth and he usually wears big white gloves, like the kind that the classic Disney character Mickey Mouse always wore.
- He always held a bunch of balloons, all colors, like gorgeous ripe fruits in one hand.
- He was wearing a baggy silk suit with great big orange button-like pom poms.
- In some depictions/variations of the novel, he wore a bright electric-blue colored tie, flopped down his front where his orange pom poms are, brown leather clown shoes with yellow laces, and on his hands were big white gloves, like the kind both Disney heroes Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck always wore.
- In the 1990 TV miniseries, he wears a yellow baggy silk suit (with long arm sleeves colored both dark-cyan and indigo-purple, small dark-blue wrist collars, and ruffle-like bottoms of long leg sleeves having dark-cyan and indigo stripes), a black, seemingly-glittery leather vest with magenta thread pig, a three set of neck ruffles including two white ones and one in the middle that is colored both dark-cyan and indigo, and black leather shoes.
- In the 2017 live-action film adaption with 2019 sequel, he wears a gray suit with features including orange-red pompoms on its pointy shoes coming from medieval and Victorian clothing styles.
- It's nickname "Pennywise" is an actual word meaning extremely careful about the way one spends, even small amounts of money.
- Despite Pennywise being killed at the end of the book, it's implied that IT may still be alive in other books by King, such as Dream Catcher and Hearts in Atlantis.
- It makes a cameo in another one of Stephen King's films, The Tommyknockers, where it simply sat and waved.
- Pennywise was often seen as the primary reason that many people have a fear of clowns.
- Knowing all fears, It's most known form is probably Pennywise the Clown because it represents one of the known common fears, coulrophobia (the fear of clowns).
- Will Poulter, Mark Rylance, Ben Mendelsohn, Kirk Acevedo, Hugo Weaving and Tilda Swinton were considered for the role in the 2017 version, before Skarsgård was cast.
- Though CGI was used in some scenes, Bill Skarsgård was actually able to move his eyes in different directions in some scenes at the behest of Andy Muschietti. At first, it was uncertain if he was able to achieve this effect on his own, yet Skarsgård assures, "I can do that." The purpose of this was to add to an already unsettling and disturbing look to Pennywise.
- It is of the same species as another Steven King Villain, Dandelo. While It feeds off fear, Dandelo feeds off laughter. It is theorized that Dandelo was born from one of It's eggs, since Derry is a portal to the Dark Tower.
- In the 2013 supernatural horror book NOS4A2 by Stephen King's eldest son Joe Hill, one of the 9 imaginary Inscapes alongside the nightmarish Christmasland within the surreal World of Thought was a place called "Pennywise Circus" which was named after It's iconic familiar alias "Pennywise the Dancing Clown".
The Long Walk
The Dark Tower
Cycle of the Werewolf
Cain Rose Up
Word Processor of the Gods
Secret Window, Secret Garden
The Dark Half
Storm of the Century
Bag of Bones
Lunch at the Gotham Café
From a Buick 8
A Good Marriage
Gwendy's Button Box
In The Tall Grass
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer
The Gingerbread Girl
The Night Flier
Why We're In Vietnam