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I'll kill you all!
~ Henry Bowers

Henry Bowers is the local bully and secondary antagonist of the novel It, its minisereies, and its film adaptation. He is the Losers' arch-rival and the leader of the Bowers Gang.

He is portrayed by Jarred Blancard as a kid and by Michael Cole as an adult in the 1990 miniseries, and will be potrayed by Nicholas Hamilton as a teenager in the 2017 film adaptation.

Biography

Beginnings

Henry had a hate-filled childhood. From the start, he was abused psychologically by his abusive Nazi father, Butch Bowers. Butch encouraged Henry to hate all foreigners, and hate women, because in Butch's words women were "whores" and Henry grew up with a nihilistic, hatemongering attitude. Butch prompted Henry to be a bully. Butch once carved a swastika upon the Hanlon farm gate, having a strong hatred for the Halons (just because they were black) and Butch was nearly imprisoned for this hate crime. However, he told Henry to hate Mike Hanlon, and never mix with him.

It was around this time Henry became a sociopathic bully. He "befriended" Mike's dog, and called it the offensive name "nigger dog". He then began to feed it poisoned meat, and eventually he overfed it so it choked and died. Henry took pride in doing this cruel act.

It (novel)

Henry Bowers first appears when Ben Hanscom is doing an exam before Summer holidays. Henry is known to be a troublemaker, and although the teachers are fully aware of his cruel nature they turn the other cheek — partly due to IT's influence, and partly due to their law-abiding nature.

Henry asks Ben if he can copy from his paper, and Ben stubbornly refuses. Henry then whispers that Ben is dead. On the way out of school, Ben is ambushed by Henry and his two best friends and fellow bullies, Vic and Belch, who get him just when he comes out of the library and Henry taunts Ben about his weight, and then threatens to carve his name onto Ben’s stomach. Ben thinks it’s a joke until Henry gets out his knife. Vic and Belch are horrified and tell Henry to stop, but Henry begins carving H onto Ben’s stomach. Ben then kicks Henry in the chest and throws himself down the hill into the Barrens. Henry comes looking for Ben in fury, but only finds Bill and Eddie. Henry and his friends destroy the dam that Bill and Eddie were building, calling it a “baby dam”; Ben later befriends the two by telling them how to build a real dam.

Henry begins having a mental breakdown over the following weeks. He also has hatred for Richard Tozier, and chases the kid through the middle of town, also in broad daylight, and Henry storms through department stores with the intent of killing or maiming Richie. Henry gets himself and Richie banned from the store because of his aggressive chase. Thankfully, Richie loses Henry and is subsequently threatened by the giant statue of Paul Bunyan which is possessed by IT and nearly kills him.

Later, Henry begins to hear voices calling to him, which is IT. He is awoken in the middle of the night, and goes outside clad just in boxers, and hears the Moon talking to him. IT is really speaking to him, but Bowers is no longer sane enough to tell truth from fiction. Henry obeys IT's commands to kill the Losers, and he begins hunting them down. Henry one day sees Mike on the street, and with his entire gang Vic, Belch, Patrick Hockstetter, Peter Gordon, Moose Sadler and Gard Jagermeyer, he gives chase to hunt Mike.

They chase a terrified Mike to the rubbish dump in the Barrens, and on the way, Henry begins throwing fireworks in an attempt to kill Mike. He confesses that he murdered Mike's dog. Mike breaks down in tears upon hearing this. Mike then gets to the Losers, and after a tense standoff, Henry begins the Rock fight by fighting Bill and the others. Henry's gang retreats, one by one, when the rocks hit them, and Henry is sorely wounded by rocks and he is left to sulk before vowing to kill all the Losers before Summer is over.

After the Rock fight, Henry begins to dissolve into full madness and develops an even stronger hatred for the Losers. As "revenge" for the rock fight he ambushes Eddie with some of his friends Vic, Moose, and Patrick and breaks his arm in broad daylight in the town center. When Beverly recounts witnessing Patrick Hockstetter's death, she explains that she witnessed Patrick give Henry a handjob at the dump. When Patrick threatens to tell, Henry retaliates by threatening to tell everyone about Patrick's fridge that he uses to kill animals.

Henry is later sent a switchblade from IT, which he uses to murder his own father by stabbing him in the neck while he was sleeping. He then ambushes Beverly on the street, and begins abusing her, but she gives him a kick between his legs, damaging his balls so badly that they bleed as a result. Henry, full of insane rage, begins chasing Beverly to the Barrens. Henry, Vic, and Belch eventually chase the Losers into the sewers when they have nowhere else to run. Henry is traumatized when Vic and Belch are killed by IT, but eventually escapes after a long and traumatic experience in the dark sewers. He makes it home, and is immediately arrested by police for his father's murder.

Henry is framed by IT as the person who has been killing kids all summer, and with his father's murder a clear case, police urge him to confess to the other murders saying that people want justice and may act violently if he doesn't confess himself. Henry is imprisoned at Juniper Hill insane asylum. There, he is visited by IT some thirty years later. IT asks him to kill the Losers for good. He returns to Derry, posing as a concierge bringing Eddie news of his wife, and in a brief fight, Henry dies later during an attempt to kill Eddie who stabs him to death in self-defense.

It (1990 film)

His character is basically the same is in the novel. Here however, Henry is given a noticeably more greaser-type appearance with his leather jacket being colored brown rather than pink. After being humiliated by the seven main characters known as the "Losers Club" by him and his clique being defeated durinb the rock fight, Henry's sanity begins to finally deteriorate, with a final push from It. He and his two closest greaser friends named Victor Criss and Belch Huggins, followed the Losers to the sewers to kill them as revenge. Vic splinters off per Henry's orders to set up an ambush by back going out through where they came in and surprising them to chase them back towards Henry and Belch. While doing so though, Vic is surprised and killed by IT in the form of "Deadlights". Elsewhere, Henry and Belch (who are apparently unaware of Vic's death at this point) grab Stan Uris and Henry prepares to kill him with his switchblade while menacingly telling Stan to "think about every rock he threw" before he does so. While holding Stan, Belch notices a strange light eminating from a nearby pipe, which he points out to his friend. The mysterious light (which turns out to be the "Deadlights") bursts through the pipe, knocking Henry and Stan to the ground and grabbing Belch. Both of them watch in horror as Belch's body is dragged through the pipe and eaten. A shocked Henry calls out his friend's name, only for the "Deadlights" to remerge and, though sparing his life, terrifies Henry to the point where his hair turns white. Although he is not seen for the remainder of this first part, it is confirmed that Henry escaped from the sewers alive, but was eventually arrested by the police, who assume that it was Henry who committed all the murders that year (perhaps under It's influence). And Henry is found guilty and immediately placed into Juniper Hill mental asylum for the rest of his life.

30 years later, Henry is a middle-aged man still locked up in the asylum. When Pennywise returns he manipulates Henry to kill the main characters and helps him escape the institute where he tries to kill a now adult Mike Hanlon, the only African-American member of the club. When other adults from the Losers tried to save Mike, Henry accidentally stabbed himself with his switchblade in the process, and died.

Personality

Henry is abused by his crazed, alcoholic father, Butch Bowers, who taught Henry how to be racist. Due to his dysfunctional upbringing, Henry has developed a serious mental problem in which he thinks killing others is fine, (most likely sociopathy or schizophrenia).

Appearance

As a kid, Henry adopted a Grease-esque physique, he wore a pink (brown in the mini-series) leather jacket and oiled his black hair. He was slim and athletic as a kid. But when he got older, he had white hair from his encounters with IT, and was very chubby, and very insane. His sanity got worse because of the constant hate he was fed by his father Butch and also from IT. After death, his corpse had the unnerving habit of shifting its position slightly so it looked like he was going to revive as an undead being.