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I'LL KILL YOU ALL! Ha-ha! I’ll drive you crazy, and I’ll kill you all! I’m every nightmare you’ve ever had! I am your worst dream come true! I'm everything you ever were afraid of! RARGH!!!
~ It's famous quote.

It (sometimes capitalized as IT), more commonly known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, is the main antagonist of the Stephen King novel IT and film of the same name. It was a demonic extra-dimensional entity who would almost always disguise itself as a clown to attract children, so that it could capture and kill them as they were an easier target.

In the 1990 film, he was portrayed by Tim Curry. In the 2017 remake, he will be played by Bill Skarsgard.

History

Film

It was part of the disasters that occurred every 27 years in the Maine town of Derry.

IT was never against killing children. In fact, it actually preferred to kill children as they were an easier target. That was probably why it chose the form of a clown, a figure that both entertained and terrified many young children. It had razor sharp teeth that it could use to kill people.

As the film progressed, a group of children known as the Lucky Seven (also mockingly referred to as the "Losers' Club") banded together to kill Pennywise and end it's murderous reign (after he had killed the brother of one of them) and apparently succeed after they tracked him down to it's lair. However, Pennywise, being a lesser-aspect of a higher being, was not going to stay dead forever and it swore revenge on the gang for it's defeat before it vanished into nothingness.

27 years later, Pennywise kept it's promise and came after members of the gang, who were all adults in the present day, to kill them. That prompted the gang to reform and battle Pennywise again in order to kill it yet again and save themselves from it's wrath. At the end of the film, the gang did manage to defeat Pennywise again, but in that final battle, it took the form of a spider-like monster that was revealed to be it's  true form rather than the clown disguise (which it used for most of the film). It was killed when they pulled out it's heart. After they killed it, the gang left its corpse to rot.

Novel

The film lacked many elements of It that the novel included. In the novel, It was an eternal entity that was almost as old as time itself. It was the natural enemy of Maturin (The Turtle), who both existed in the Macroverse. Its awakening was always marked by a great act of violence, and another great act of violence ends Its spree and send It back into hibernation. It committed other crimes not mentioned int he film, such as murdering over 300 settlers some time from 1740-73, as well as a group of lumberjacks between 1876 and 1879.

It also took on many more forms than in the film, such as Dracula, a homeless leper, a giant bird, Frankenstein's Monster, leeches, piranhas, the witch from Hansel and Gretel, Tony Tracker, the statue of Paul Bunyon, the Gill-man, Jimmy Donlin's mother, a giant eye, Dorsey Corcoran's re-animated corpse, and the shark from Jaws. It is also responsible for deaths of Alvin Marsh, and Beverly's husband, Tom Rogan, once the later goes looking for her when she goes to Derry. Also in the novel, he appears to Henry as Victor Criss instead of Belch. When It appears to one of the guards at the asylum Henry Bowers is kept at, it takes on the form of an 8-foot tall Doberman Pinscher, as opposed to a cross between the clown and a rottweiler in the film. The film also reverses Ben and Stan's worst fears. In the novel, Pennywise appeared to Ben as the mummy, and to Stan as the rotting corpses, while in the film it was the other way around.

Also in the novel, It was only able to be stopped when Bill performed the Ritual of Chüd. The book also implies that It may be female, given it laid eggs when it's spider form.

Another detail left out of the film is that It's spider form is not that of its official true form; it is merely the closest representation of its true form that the human mind can comprehend.

Powers and Abilities

It possesses the powers of shapeshifting, telekineses, teleportation, weather control, telepathy, and possession. It can read the minds of It's victims and uses that power to turn into their worse fear, and even make them hallucinate. It's true form, being the deadlights, is capable of driving mortals insane, as it put Audra in a coma. It can also invade people in their dreams and kill them.

Despite It's vast powers, It's weaknesses are that it can be defeated if it's victims show bravery and love in their heart. Also, It's forced to obey the laws of it's physical shape, making it limited to the traits of such shape.

Reception

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.

In Other Media

Quotes

The Turtle can't help you.
~ IT to the children.
Float? Oh yes, indeed they do. They float! And there's cotton candy.... They float. They float, they float, Georgie, and when you're down here with me, you'll float too.
~ Pennywise (IT) before killing Georgie Denbrough.
Say hello to your friends, Beverly! You'll die if you try to fight us, Beverly. You'll die if you try! You'll die if you try to fight us, Beverly. You'll die if you try. You'll die if you try. You'll die if you try. You'll die if you try...
~ Pennywise (IT) to young Beverly Marsh.
I am eternal, child! I am the eater of worlds, and of children. And you are next!
~ Pennywise (IT) to the Losers Club (the Lucky Seven) while attempting to kill Stan Uris.
What's the matter? One balloon not enough? TRY A BUNCH!
~ Pennywise (IT) psyching out Richie at the library.
Kiss me fat boy!
~ Pennywise (in the form of Beverly Marsh) to Ben Hanscom.
Silly boy! You still think you can see "me". Ha ha. You can never see me, you can only see what your little mind can allow! Go! Now! For if you stay, you'll lose your little mind, in my dead lights. Like all the others. Like all the others.
~ Pennywise (IT) to Bill Denbrough and the Lucky Seven.
Excuse me sir. Do you have Prince Albert in a can? You do? Well, you better let the poor guy out.
~ IT to Richie Tozier.
How do you like it out here, Little Friend? Do you like it? Do you love it? Do you give it 98 points because it has a good beat and you can dance to it? Can you catch it on your tonsils and heave it left and right? Did you like meeting my friend the Turtle? I thought that stupid old fuck died years ago, and all for good he could do you, he might as well have, did you think he could help you?
~ IT taunting Bill after he met the Turtle.
NONONONONONONONO!
~ IT's last words

Gallery

Videos

Trivia

  • Its favorite form, Pennywise the Dancing Clown, was designed after Bozo, Clarabell, and Ronald McDonald.
  • It shared many similarities to Freddy Krueger:
    • Both were shape-shifters.
    • Both haunted the dreams of their victims.
    • Both were child killers.
    • Both appeared to know their victim's worst fears.
    • Both were mind-breakers.
    • Both were thought-forms (though Freddy can become real if he is pulled out of dream world).
    • Both were evil from the past.
    • Both had witty, yet insane personalities.
    • Both were Pure Evil.
  • It was believed by many fans to be the world's greatest horror movie villain.
  • 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.
  • He was similar to the Scarecrow and Room 1408, another Stephen King villain: They intended to drive their victims mad before they killed them.
  • It was similar to The Ancient Enemy and was possibly Dean Koontz's inspiration for that villain, as both were shape-shifting monsters who lived in the sewers and believed themselves to be gods.
    • Also It shared another similarity with the Ancient Enemy when IT kept sadistically saying "You'll die if you try to fight us", and spoke in plural instead of just one. That might be a possible reference to the demon spirit, Legion in the Bible.
  • It also shared a similarity to Mysterio:
    • Both were masters of illusion.
    • Both could teleport, even though Mysterio could teleport over longer distances than It.
      • Its illusions were also more realistic.
  • It was also similar to a third Stephen King villain named Carrie White, who was also telekinetic.
  • Along with Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Pennywise was regarded as one of Tim Curry's best known roles.
  • It makes a cameo in another one of Stephan King's films, The Tommyknockers, where it simply sat and waved.
  • In the WWE games (WWE 12 and beyond), It (Pennywise the Clown) could be created.
  • 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).
  • It shares many similarities with Killer BOB from Twin Peaks:
    • Both of them are demons and the personification of evil.
    • Both of them are anarchistic mass murderes.
    • Both of them are shape-shifters and possessors.