"For 27 years, I dreamt of you. I craved you... I've missed you!"
"You'll float too!"
It (also commonly known as Pennywise) is an ancient alien/eldritch monster and the title character and main antagonist of Stephen King's best selling and award winning 1986 novel of the same name (and subsequent television It (Mini series) and two duology film adaptations (IT (film) and IT: Chapter Two).
It is a shape-shifting creature known as a Glamour who is billions of years old. Although It lived on planet Earth for many years, It originated in a void/dimension outside the regions of space known as the Macroverse. Since Its true identity is unclear, due to its shape-shifting abilities and being from another universe, Its real name and species are called Deadlights, but few know this, which is why it is referred to as IT. The form of a female spider seems to be Its true physical form on Earth (or at least that is the closest thing the human mind can comprehend), living deep below the fictional town of Derry, Maine. It can morph into any other human animal, nonhuman animal or object (including combinations thereof). This ability is useful for, A) appearing as the target's loved ones or friends to manipulate them or lure them into a trap or B) appearing as the target's worst psychological fear. However, Its favorite and most common form is that of a circus performer named "Pennywise the Dancing Clown," as most small children love a clown and generally, it seems that the people in Derry happily accepted the presence of a stray circus performer.
Its real name (if indeed, it has one) is unknown. Although, several times in the novel, It calls itself by the name Robert “Bob” Gray. This may be an allusion to real-life child cannibal Albert Fish, who reportedly used the name "Robert Gray" as an alias. He may also get his first name from Robert "Bob" Bell, the man who originally portrayed Bozo the clown.
Its primary goal is to feed on humans, generally preferring children over adults since they were easier to scare and manipulate. According to the creature, frightened flesh tastes better and uses fear to "salt the meat".
It originated in an undiscovered void containing and surrounding our entire Universe, another far off universe referred to as the "Macroverse." (A concept related to Todash Darkness from The Dark Tower Novels).
Other evidence from this series suggests It is the creation of a separate omnipotent creator referred to as "the Other" (who may be the entity Gan). This "Other" helps the defeat of it at the end, and may also be responsible for the creation of "The Turtle", who is It's natural enemy. In It the novel, the Turtle refers to It as his "brother".
It may be one of, or a Twinner of, the six greater demon elementals mentioned by Mia in Song of Susannah (as the Spider is not one of the Beam Guardians). It's possible that there are other creatures of the same species as It, due to the fact that It is revealed to be pregnant.
It arrived on Earth in a massive cataclysmic event similar to an asteroid impact, landing in a location in North America that would eventually become Derry, Maine. Once people settled over this location, It adopted its usual pattern of a 27-30 year hibernation, waking to kill and eat. Each awakening and return to hibernation is sometimes marked by a violent and tragic act, such as a mass murder, suicide or weather event. In the period between, a series of child murders occurring in Derry are never taken too seriously or solved. It is outwardly explained that a series of murders, no matter how gruesome, don't get reported if they happen in the small town. However, the real reason is that the influence of It prevents anyone from investigating too deeply.
- 1715 – 1716: It painfully awakes.
- 1740 – 1743: It starts a three-year reign of terror that culminates in the disappearance of over three hundred settlers from Derry Township (similar to the lost Roanoke Colony, which was founded as a logging town.)
- 1769 – 1770: It awakes again.
- 1851: IT awakes when a man named John Markson poisons his own family, then commits suicide by eating a white nightshade mushroom, causing an excruciating death.
- 1876 – 1879: It awakes, then returns to hibernation after murdering a group of lumberjacks who were later found near the Kenduskeag Stream.
- 1904: It awakes when a lumberjack named Claude Heroux murders a dozen men in a bar with just one axe. Heroux was promptly pursued by a mob of townsfolk and hanged. In 1985, when Mike asks a witness, if he saw anyone he didn't know that night or seemed out of place. He remembered seeing "a comical sort of fella". He also said he had seen him a few more times since.
- 1906: It returns to hibernation when the Kitchener Ironworks explode, killing 108 people, 88 of whom were children at an Easter egg hunt.
- 1929: It awakes when a group of Derry citizens ambushes and kills the Bradley Gang, a group of robbers and murderers. The town, including its police chief, pretends it never happened. However, a witness later recounts the tale to Mike Hanlon, including seeing a clown in farmer's attire participating in the slaying.
- 1930: It returns to hibernation when the Maine Legion of White Decency, a Northern counterpart to the Ku Klux Klan, burns down "The Black Spot", a nightclub known to cater to African-Americans at the nearby army base[note 1]. IT appears at the location as a giant bird with balloons on its wings, witnessed by Mike's father William Hanlon.
- 1957: It awakes when Dorsey Corcoran is beaten to death by his stepfather, Richard Macklin. In October, Georgie Denbrough dies from blood loss, when his arm is torn off by Pennywise. This prompts Bill Denbrough (Georgie's older brother) to investigate, leading to the discovery of IT. He, along with several other victims of IT's torment, performs the Ritual of Chüd, which wounds It and forces it to return to an early hibernation.
- 1984: It awakens when three bullies assault Adrian Mellon and Don Hagarty, a homosexual couple. The bullies throw Mellon off a bridge and IT, in the form of Pennywise, attacks and kills him.
- 1985: It is finally defeated and physically killed in another Ritual of Chüd by the adult Bill, Richie, Beverly, Eddie, and Ben.
- In the 1990 adaptation, events occur slightly later, with Georgie's disappearance occurring in 1960 and ITs death in 1990.
Timeline (2017 film)
- Derry starts as a beaver camper until 91 people vanish. The rumored cause is plague or slaughter by Indians, but there are no signs of an attack. The only evidence is the presence of bloody clothes at the Well House.
- 1908: IT awakens after the Kitchener Ironworks explosion, where 102 people die (88 kids and 14 adults).
- 1935: IT awakens after the Bradley Gang shootout.
- 1962: IT awakens when the The Black Spot is burned down by a cult.
- 1989: IT awakens to eat kids for a year before going into hibernation. Georgie Denbrough dies by Pennywise biting his arm off and dragging him into the sewers. Bill Denbrough (Georgie's older brother) and the Losers' Club investigate, which culminates in his (and other victims of IT) finding of its den and forcing IT to go back into hibernation when the monster falls into a deep well. The Losers' club learns from Beverly about the future and they swear that, if IT returns one day, they will come back to destroy it once and for all.
Timeline (2019 film)
27 years after the events of the first film, It resurfaces when a group of homophobic teenagers beat up and toss a gay man named Adrian Mellon off the bridge. He then slaughters Adrian in front of his lover before presumably using his blood to write a message to Mike about its return. As such, It wasted no time in hunting the children of Derry, such as when it uses empathy to lure a young girl named Victoria into getting closer to it under the false assumption that he'd help make the birthmark on her face disappear. To further torment Bill, It sends him a skateboard, explicitly letting him know that it was going to go after the young Dean next. Realizing that Dean was heading to the carnival, he chases after him into the hall of mirrors. Unfortunately, It gets the upper hand and gruesomely kills the young boy in front of him. Horrified to have lost another young boy after Georgie, Bill decides to head to the Neibolt house to personally kill It after Henry wounds Mike and Eddie.
After each member of the Losers Club went down their own quests to retrieve artifacts from their pasts to complete the Ritual of Chud, the ritual seems to work when it traps Its deadlights inside of the vase, but it goes awry. A giant version of Pennywise emerges, revealing that the original natives who had performed the ritual were immediately slaughtered by It. This version of It is a combination of its default form Pennywise the Dancing Clown and the Giant Spider as described in the book. It then warps the Losers Club into different nightmarish scenarios, but they inevitably overcome their fears. It traps Richie in its deadlights, forcing Eddie to grab the pole Beverly gave him earlier and attacks Pennywise with it under the belief that it could kill It. Unfortunately, Pennywise impales Eddie with one of its spiderlike appendages, swings him around like a ragdoll, and tosses him, leaving him with a large wound in his abdomen.
This one act proves to be its undoing, however, when the Losers Club realize that in order to defeat it, they had to make it believe it was smaller. Despite its insistence that it was the "eater of worlds," the remaining Losers insult the clown repeatedly until It is forced into a smaller, infantile form. It attempts to lash out at Mike, but is too weakened. To its horror, Mike reaches into its chest and grabs its beating heart. It tries to grab it to no avail, and is left crying like a baby, its final words being "Look at you...you've all grown up!" with weak laughter.
The Losers each mutually take ahold of the heart and crush it slowly. It reacts in pain until the heart exploded into a pasty substance, killing it and avenging the deaths of all its victims including Georgie. It falls silent as its body turning to ash. After its death, Richie tries to coerce Eddie's corpse awake, not accepting that he was truly gone. His attempts of taking the body with him fail when Its lair and the Neibolt house start to crumble and collapse in response to its master's demise. The Losers are forced to leave Eddie's body in It's lair, and the Neibolt house collapses on itself, sinking into a hole in the ground.
The reasons behind It’s actions is that it eats for its own survival and satisfaction and then it goes dormant usually after a year's worth of feeding. It is a deadly predator that primarily hunts for food. But only if it can scare its prey before feasting on it.
It is a predator of humans, and prefers children to adults. Most importantly, It desires to consume those it has made terrified of Itself. The creature implies that this enhances the flavour. It's preference for children prey may be due to how they taste, but also may be due to the fact that children are easier to scare.
It's only goals are to eat and sleep. It will hunt and kill for a year, before entering a 27-year dormancy. It manipulates the awareness and attention of the People in Derry, both to mask its activities and isolate its victims. This enforced apathy and lack of awareness also masks the anomalous murder spikes during Its active phase.
It manipulates its prey and the town through both mundane and psychic means. In the most grand sense, It uses its power to maintain the prosperity of Derry despite the gruesome murders that regularly occur there, thus securing its food supply.
It will manipulate its prey by promising what they want, but can also determine their psychological fears and utilize them to provoke or cow those it faces. In the guise of Pennywise, It can be disarming, charming and seem nice to the kids it hunts, usually to lure them into secluded spots before attacking.
It has psychic influence enough to keep the entire town of Derry in a subtle, apathetic ignorance to its activities. Adults are less inclined to care about the missing persons of the town and do not react in any intense manner when violence occurs even in front of them. It is able to make its prey experience hallucinations that are very hard to discern from reality.
It has some ability to control the actions of others, most blatantly when It provokes Henry Bowers psychotic tendencies to kill his father and friends, and later acts as its agent in hunting the Losers. Even 27 years later Bowers remains submissive to It.
In this iteration, It is more directly impacted by the mental state of those it attacks and, conversely, is vulnerable to it's own mental state.
It is less able to harm or kill someone who isnt afraid of it and is vulnerable to the Losers Club when they become angry and assault it, nearly killing it in the process. Ultimately, Its form is a reflection of its mentality. When the Losers confront it with its weakness, childishness and their lack of fear, it progressively becomes smaller and smaller.
It is able to take any shape it desires, but is in turn bound to the nature of that shape. This proves to be its undoing: Eddie nearly chokes It when it takes the form of a leper and is small enough for him to do that. When sufficiently weakened, the Losers kill It by crushing the heart it must have in the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
No one knows the true form of IT since it first existed in an inter-dimensional realm referred to as "deadlights". Bill Denbrough comes close to see the "deadlights", but defeats IT before this happens. The true form of the "deadlights" exists outside the physical realm. Any living being that sees the "deadlights" goes insane almost instantly. Bill comes dangerously close to seeing the deadlights and the shape behind the shape for a brief moment. He described IT as an endless, crawling hairy creature made of orange light.
Throughout the novel, IT is generally referred to as male; however, late in the novel, the characters come to realize that IT is most likely female, due to its true form in the physical realm being that of a giant pregnant female spider. This revelation prompts Audra Denbrough to say, "Oh, dear Jesus, IT is female." This, however, is not its true form; it's just the closest representation of it in our universe. Due to its pregnancy, it’s very possible that a male of the same species as IT existed at one time.
Powers and Abilities
- Lower-tier Omnipotence: IT has an immense amount of power with only Maturin being its equal and Gan its only superior.
- Telepathy: IT can detect emotions and memories of an individual, though apparently not thoughts, at least not from those who possess enough courage or willpower. It uses this ability to exploit fears, but also to implant thoughts. IT can also communicate through the mind, as seen with adult Richie Tozier (in the library) or adult Henry Bowers (at Juniper Hill in the novel).
- Mind Control/Possession: IT can control the minds and actions of a person or several people simultaneously. This is demonstrated by affecting the minds of Derry citizens (at least those with weaker wills) to make them indifferent about any terrible events that they see. Evidence suggests that this control does not extend beyond Derry. The text also suggests that IT can erase memories or knowledge. Also, IT takes control of Norbert Keene's body to get Eddie to leave Derry.
- Shapeshifting: IT can transform into any kind of being, including forms that may not be physically possible or exist in reality. This ability is not restricted by space or uniformity, as IT can appear in multiple places as multiple beings. In the novel, when transitioning forms, its body becomes an orange amorphous goo. Additionally, changing form in this manner appears to exert energy, as when IT is injured, it reverts to a giant spider. However, this form is only the closest the human mind can understand to its true one and not exactly what the children see. IT also has limitations on its appearance depending on who is seeing it and how afraid they are. For example, when Bill and Richie enter the house on Neibolt Street, Richie sees IT as a werewolf while Bill sees it as Pennywise, instantly realizing that "this is the clown that killed Georgie".
- Illusions: IT seems to have no limit to what illusions can be created, but primarily uses them to instill fear, which means they must be realistic enough to do so. These illusions are physical (they can be touched and last beyond any given amount of time, though some of it may also be physical matter generated by IT, such as the blood left in Beverly's bathroom that only she and the other Losers could see) and can include smell (such as popcorn or rotting corpses). Also, IT can make its illusions visible only by certain people. Sometimes, when the victim sees through the illusion, they will cease to exist (although this may be the will of IT). However, one must see through the illusion perfectly. It is quite possible that some of his illusions are more akin to hallucinations that he telepathically plants in the minds of his victims using their fear, with the elaborate and apparently reality-bending visions (such as in IT: Chapter Two, where Bill relives his memories of first seeing IT in the form of Georgie in the basement of his old house, all while actually being submerged in underwater) having no true effect on the real world.
- Invisibility: IT can appear (usually as Pennywise) to only certain people and stay invisible (in both sight and sound) from others. This is seen in a few instances, like when adult Beverly encounters Pennywise at her former home or when adult Ben Hanscom encounters it in the public library. This suggests that either A) only those aware of IT's existence are able to see them when invisible or B) IT can control who to appear visible by will. When it helps Henry Bowers escape Juniper Hill, one of Henry's cellmates and a guard witnessed it being next to him.
- Telekinesis: IT can make inanimate objects fall, float around, and or behave supernaturally without touch. This includes locking doors, bending space-time, gravity, and remotely adjusting electronic devices.
- Psionics: IT can steal people's souls and entrap them within the "deadlights". At the end of the story, a psychic storm nearly wipes out the town of Derry.
- Chlorokinesis (plant manipulation): When IT, in the form of a leper, encounters Eddie, it touches several plants and causes them to die. This is not an illusion as the effect persists long after.
- Weather Control: IT may be able to affect the weather in Derry's region. On more than one occasion when the Losers face it, the weather changes into a thunderstorm (most notably at the final confrontation which actually results in the devastation of Derry's downtown region).
- Teleportation: IT can teleport to any location within Derry. However, it cannot seem to leave the city. This may be because, as Bill says "Derry is IT" and "IT is Derry."
- Telepathy: IT can detect emotions and memories of an individual, though apparently not thoughts, at least not from those who possess enough courage or willpower. It uses this ability to exploit fears, but also to implant thoughts. IT can also communicate through the mind, as seen with adult Richie Tozier (in the library) or adult Henry Bowers (at Juniper Hill in the novel).
- Superhuman Strength: IT can tear the heads and limbs of human bodies with extreme ease, either with arms or mouth (as Pennywise or any humanoid form).
- Superhuman Speed: Bill notes that IT can move at extreme speeds, claiming that it was way faster than an "express train".
- Invulnerability: While IT is clearly not invincible, it can heal at superhuman levels, but the rate tends to vary for unknown reasons. In the 2017 film, IT is stabbed through the head with an iron spike, which merely disorients it, as it is able to retreat into the sewer. In the novel, when IT manifests as a bird, Hanlon hits the bird's eye and feet with broken tiles, the bird retreats. When Bill and Richie encounter IT as a werewolf, it can almost instantly regenerate after being shot in the head with a handgun. IT is not a true physical entity, thus cannot be killed or harmed by conventional means. The Ritual of Chud is the only known way to truly harm and kill it. IT's resilience can also be affected by the form it takes, as most humanoid forms that it takes can be harmed in some way, as it must abide by the limitations of each of its forms.
It underestimates and scorns all of mankind. In many cases, it leaves an open escape route for victims and lets them run away. Because of this narcissism, It makes mistakes and does illogical things.
The presence of courage and heart are Its main weaknesses. This appears to have a phycological effect that installs fear and enables it the inability to function properly in its physical form.
Given that it feeds on fear, it makes sense that courage and heart can overcome it. Once the Losers are united, their strong shared will and love for each other successfully overpowers It. This allows them to form a psychic connection and "send power" to each other, even across distances.
It can be taken by surprise and can be physically assaulted if the attacker demonstrates no fear of it. Additionally, "belief" can affect It, such as the use of silver (which is a fictional weakness of supernatural entities) and an inhaler believed to contain battery acid.
The novel states that IT must obey the laws of its form. This means that IT possesses the vulnerabilities of whatever form it take, such as a vampire's vulnerability to sunlight or winged leeches obeying physics of flight.
During times of hibernation or healing, It may be vulnerable to surprise attacks. However, other books in the Stephen King universe (such as Dreamcatcher and Hearts in Atlantis) imply that IT may still be alive at the end of the story.
Other beings like Gan, who is superior to It, and Maturin, who is its equal, could kill It.
IT assumes thirty-two forms in the novel.
- Pennywise the Dancing Clown: The main and favorite form that the creature takes. Pennywise wears a baggy silk suit of silver with orange pompoms and a collar ruff. He has a white face and a bald head, with red hair on either side. His mouth has a red clown smile. He wears large white gloves and is usually carrying a bunch of balloons. Stephen King based his appearance on Ronald McDonald, Bozo the Clown, Clarabell the Clown, and John Wayne Gacy.
In the 1990 miniseries, the outfit is more colorful with orange pompoms, blue sleeves, and a yellow body. In the 2017 movie, Pennywise returns to having a silver suit, similar to Italian opera clowns, and orange hair. His face has two red lines starting above his eyes, streaming down the cheeks, and ending at the corners of his mouth. His nose is not genuine but painted red. Most often, his eyes are orange, but IT can change them to appear more familiar. They also are often looking in different directions.
The form of a friendly and funny clown is the easiest to invoke a sense of safety and comfort without needing to know anything personal about the victim, thus why IT uses it so often.
- George Denbrough: IT appears as Georgie to Bill throughout each adaptation in various places.
- Dorsey Corcoran: Eddie Corcoran's brother, who was murdered by his abusive stepfather for climbing on a ladder in their garage.
- The Creature from the Black Lagoon: This form scares Eddie Corcoran, a classmate of the children, when he is afraid to go home and show his dad his report card.
- Betty Ripsom: One of IT's victims (in 1957), her voice is overheard by her parents through a drain.[note 3]
- A Giant bird: Resembles a combination of a crow that attacked Mike Hanlon as a baby and Rodan, a giant Irradiated Pteranodon which first appeared in a 1956 Japanese monster movie of the same name.
- The Werewolf from the 1957 horror film I Was a Teenage Werewolf: IT takes this form during the encounter with Richie and Bill while in the mansion on 29 Neibolt Street. (It is even wearing a Derry High School blazer.)
- A leper/diseased vagrant: When Eddie first encounters IT under the porch of the house on 29 Neibolt Street. Eddie assumes the man has leprosy when it is, in fact, untreated syphilis.
- The Mummy from the 1932 Boris Karloff film: Ben Hanscom recalls seeing a mummy in Pennywise's clown costume walking towards him on the frozen canal, carrying balloons that float counter to the wind.
- The Crawling Eye from the Hugh Beumont film: The Crawling Eye encounters the children under the city.
- Alvin Marsh: Beverly's abusive father.
- A swarm of winged leeches: Leeches who attack Patrick Hockstetter.
- A school of piranhas: Eddie is frightened of crossing the stream because of the piranhas.
- Bruce from Jaws: seen by a boy named Tommy Vicananza in the Derry Canal in 1985.
- Dracula: resembling Kurt Barlow from Salem's Lot: Dracula appears on a staircase in the Derry Public Library to Ben Hanscom below. The vampire has a mouth filled with Gillette razor blades positioned at odd angles that slash bits of its flesh every time it speaks. The vampire taunts Ben about the deceased Stan Uris as parts of its face and blood are spewed down onto the library patrons below, unbeknownst to anyone but Ben.
- A Paul Bunyan statue: (referred to as "The Giant"), encountered by Richie outside of town.
- Tony Tracker: The manager of a trucking depot which had a baseball field behind it during the Losers' childhood, seen by Eddie at the trucking depot in 1985.
- Greta Bowie: A female classmate of the Losers who died in a car crash a few years after 1958, seen by Eddie at the trucking depot in 1985.
- Patrick Hockstetter's decomposing corpse: Seen by Eddie at the trucking depot in 1985.
- Leper Version of Reginald "Belch" Huggins: Seen by Eddie at the trucking depot in 1985. In zombie form later gives Henry Bowers a lift to the Derry Town House to murder the remaining Losers' Club members in 1985.[note 4]
- Frankenstein's Monster from I Was A Teenage Frankenstein: when encountering Henry Bowers and his cronies, Victor Criss and Belch Huggins in the sewers under Derry.
- A Doberman Pinscher: When appearing to Henry Bowers in Juniper Hills Mental Institution. This breed of dog is the animal the guard on duty fears the most, so IT turns into an eight-foot-tall version. In the 1990 film, it was a Rottweiler instead of a Doberman Pinscher.
- A ghost-moon: While convincing Henry Bowers to do its dirty work.
- Victor "Vic" Criss: To convince Henry Bowers to help IT.
- Jimmy Donlin's mother: Dead and eaten, appears to one of the inmates at Juniper Hills.
- The head of Stan Uris: Full of white feathers inside Mike's fridge. Appears again as a jack-in-the-box when Henry fights Mike in the library. Mike sees Stan's head before it changes to Belch's head, while Henry sees Victor's head.
- Mrs. Kersh/Witch: from Hansel and Gretel. Beverly Marsh visits her former home and finds a woman named Mrs. Kersh living there. Mrs. Kersh then transforms into the witch, revealing that she is actually IT.
- Decomposing children's corpses: perceived by Stan Uris as he enters the Standpipe and remembers the tale of kids who drowned in the water tower's reservoir.
- The deadlights: when Henry Bowers and the Losers encounter IT. This is as close to its truest form as can be explained.
- Giant Spider: the true physical form of IT on Earth.
Forms of IT in the 1990 miniseries
IT assumes sixteen forms in the 1990 miniseries.
- Pennywise the Dancing Clown
- Mr. Hanscom
- Swampy Skeleton
- George Denbrough
- The Mummy
- Alvin Marsh
- Gas Station Attendant
- Mrs. Kersh/The Witch
- Rotton Lady/Alvin Marsh
- Blue Zombie Belch Huggins
- Stanley Uris's Head
- Beverly Marsh
- A Doberman pinscher
- Freaky Fortune Cookies
- The Deadlights
- Giant Spider Monster
Forms of IT in the 2017 film
IT assumes thirteen forms in the 2017 film.
- Pennywise the Dancing Clown
- Georgie Denbrough: After claiming the young boy as his victim, IT frequently torments Bill by taking Georgie's form. It did this mainly by running around in a yellow raincoat, but at one point meets him face-to-face in the Denbrough basement with his face deteriorating. Later, while under Neibolt House, It uses Georgie's form again in an attempt to trick Bill into lowering his guard, but the ruse fails and Bill shoots It in the head, forcing It to return to Its Pennywise form.
- Librarian: One of the librarians turns to stare at Ben ominously while he reads the book detailing the history of Old Derry, appearing closer and closer until a few moments later. The librarian is the only person apart from Ben who is moving. The following moment, a red balloon appears in the place the librarian had been standing.
- Headless Child: While Ben Hanscom is reading a book detailing the history of Old Derry, he sees a black and white photograph of the aftermath from Kitchener Ironworks explosion, where many children were killed during an Easter Egg hunt. On close examination (possibly provoked by IT), a child severed's head can be seen in a tree. Almost immediately afterward, Ben sees a smoking egg that leads him downstairs to the library basement. When he hears footsteps coming downstairs, he sees the body of a burnt child with no head. The headless child chases him through the maze of shelves, soon after morphing into Pennywise.
- Judith: Stanley Uris is afraid of a woman in a painting (credited as Judith) in the office of his father, Donald Uris. The woman, depicted in the style of Italian painter, Amedeo Modigliani, is rendered with an elongated face and fingers. This woman left the painting and frightened Stan into leaving the office. The woman later chased swiftly attacked Stan in the sewer, briefly feasting on his face until it was scared off by his friends. The woman's head appeared one last time to frighten Stan but was knocked back a few moments later.
- Infected Leper: Because Eddie's fear was infections, IT became an uncurable-stage leper. As the leper, IT emits growling noises and creaks open the door as Eddie walks past IT's residence, causing Eddie to be distracted and drop his pills. As he reaches to pick up the last one off of the pavement, the leper takes it and asks if it will "help" him, proceeding to chase Eddie around the corner of the house and into the back yard. The leper later caused Eddie to fall onto a table and break his arm when inside the Neibolt Street house. When IT was attacked by the Losers', IT became a leper once more and vomited on Eddie, causing the latter to kick the former which resulted in IT morphing into Beverly's father.
- Charred Hands: Mike Hanlon sees the charred hands of his burning parents and other fire victims attempting to escape from behind a padlocked door.
- Clown: A clown appears on a stage at an event the Loser's Club are near, but no one appears to be interacting with it or acknowledging its existence, making it very likely that it was a form of IT used to observe the children.
- Richie Tozier (doll): When Richie look at the coffin and his missing paper with the blood paint "FOUND," he pulls the body bag and sees a doll version of himself with bugs consuming it and closed the coffin until IT came out.
- Betty Ripsom: A victim of IT, Betty Ripsom's zombified corpse attacks Patrick Hockstetter in the sewers. Her head and torso later appear behind a door in the Neibolt Street house.
- Eddie Kaspbrak: In the Neibolt Street house, IT appears to Bill and Richie as Eddie's head emerging through an old mattress. He asks them if they "want to play loogie," then spews caustic blood before disappearing back inside.
- Werewolf: After an iron rod is impaled into IT's head, IT partly develops several werewolf characteristics, such as an elongated mouth and grin, as well as a monstrous hand.
- Mummy: During the Loser Club's final encounter with IT as children, IT briefly takes the form of what appears to be a mummy wrapped in bandages, which uses them in an attempt to pull Ben into its snapping mouth before being hit with a chain by Bill.
- Alvin Marsh: While the Losers are fighting off IT, it attempts to scare Beverly by transforming its head into her father's, but she violently jams a rod down its throat in response.
Forms of IT in the 2019 film
IT assumes twenty-three forms in the 2019 film.
- Pennywise the Dancing Clown
- Patrick Hockstetter's corpse: Patrick Hockstetter's zombified corpse appears to an adult Henry Bowers from under the latter's bed and hands him a knife.
- George Denbrough
- Infected Leper: The leper is shown in an illusion detailing Eddie as a child leaving his mother to be infected by a naked leper breaking free from chains. Later, an adult Eddie encounters the leper, now fully clothed, but forces It back and strangles It until It vomits a black liquid onto him, then disappears. Eddie's ability to harm It in the form of leper causes the Losers to realize that It is bound by the limitations of the form It chooses. The leper's head appears one final time on a giant, Spider-form Pennywise for a very brief period of time.
- Sonia Kapsbrak
- Mrs. Kersh: An apparently sweet and gentle elderly woman, who lives in Beverly Marsh's childhood home.
- The Witch: Mrs. Kersh emerges from a dark hallway in Beverly's house, stomping out as as a disproportionate, grey-skinned, naked Witch-like monster with a mouth visible on its throat and bulging eyes.
- Robert "Bob" Gray: Soon after the Witch attacks, an adult Beverly sees IT, but instead of Pennywise, It is more human and appears as a man with a large forehead with orange hair, putting clown makeup on as It changes into Pennywise.
- Paul Bunyan statue: A Paul Bunyan statue with razor-sharp teeth and bats flying out of its mouth terrorizes a young Richie.
- Adrian Mellon: IT briefly takes the form of a zombified Adrian Mellon to pass Richie a flyer for his own funeral before Pennywise appears atop the Paul Bunyan statue.
- Demonic Beverly: IT takes the form of Beverly until it insults Ben Hanscom and transforms into a demonic Beverly with a flaming head and orange eyes, which chases Ben down a hallway.
- Stanley's Head: The fridge in the Neibolt Street house is opened once again after 27 years, but instead of Pennywise being in the fridge, a Young Stanley emerges from a twisted position. Stanley's head rolls off of its torso and spider legs begin bursting out of it. The head-spider attacks the adult Loser's Club until it is stabbed and thrown into a wall, proceeding to limp away.
- The Pennywise Spider: After entering It's lair, the Losers see what It truly is, or so they think. It appears as a large version of Pennywise but instead of regular arms and legs, they are replaced with spider legs. It also has a hole in the back of It's head for aiming the deadlights onto the Losers.
- Betty Ripsom's legs: Betty Ripsom's legs and feet appear to Eddie and Richie behind a door in the Neibolt Street house, 27 years after her head and torso appeared in the same place.
- Pomeranian: Adult Richie opens a door and sees a Pomeranian dog.
- Monstrous Dog: The Pomeranian soon turns into a monstrous hellhound-like creature which scares both Richie and Eddie.
- Greta Keene: Greta is one of the forms It uses when trapping Beverly in the cubicle.
- Mr. Keene: Mr. Keene is one of the forms It uses when trapping Beverly in the cubicle.
- Henry Bowers: Henry, as he was in 1989, is one of the forms It uses when trapping Beverly in the cubicle. He delivers Jack Torrance's "Here's Johnny" line.
- Tom Rogan: Tom, Beverly's abusive husband, is one of the forms It uses when trapping Beverly in the cubicle.
- Alvin Marsh: Alvin, Beverly's abusive father, is one of the forms It uses when trapping Beverly in the cubicle. As a last resort when It is pushed back by the adult Loser's Club, It's head rapidly morphs into several creature forms used to terrorize the Loser's Club, including Alvin Marsh.
- Bill Denbrough: When Bill ends up underwater, and finds himself in an illusion, which resembles his old house's basement, as it looked when he saw IT posing as Georgie when he was younger. He then sees his younger self walk down the stairs to see Georgie. Georgie then appears as the same puppet IT used to scare Bill, but this time Bill was holding it, drowning the puppet afterwards. Young Bill walks up to Bill with the Bolt Pistol in hand and attempts to kill him, only for Bill to grab it out of his hand and hit his head with a bolt. His face then shifts into a terrifying creature face, attempting to attack Bill before heading back into the water below.
- Unknown Creature: As a last resort when It is pushed back by the adult Loser's Club, It's head rapidly morphs into several creature forms used to terrorize the Loser's Club, including an unknown creature resembling a rotting corpse with white hair.
- Judith: As a last resort when It is pushed back by the adult Loser's Club, It's head rapidly morphs into several creature forms used to terrorize the Loser's Club, including the Woman in Painting, even though Stan, who was afraid of the painting, is not present.
- Mummy: As a last resort when It is pushed back by the adult Loser's Club, It's head rapidly morphs into several creature forms used to terrorize the Loser's Club, including the Mummy, a form that apparently terrified Ben.
- Georgie Denbrough: A younger brother of Bill Denbrough and youngest child of Zack and Sharon Denbrough. His left arm is ripped off by IT. His screams were heard by Dave Gardener, who arrived only forty-five seconds after the incident, but George had already died of blood loss. In It 2017, his right arm is bitten off and is dragged into the sewers as the first victim.
- Betty Ripsom: A female classmate of the Losers and Henry's gang. She is killed by IT in the form of Pennywise on December 26th, the second day of Christmas. In IT 2017, Betty was not shown to be killed by Pennywise, but her missing posters are shown, and she is the lead zombie to meet Hockstetter.
- Matthew Clements: His corpse was discovered on a constructed roadway in late April. It was his death that enthused and pressured chief Borton (one of Derry’s local sheriffs) in developing a strict curfew for the rest of adolescents around the town.
- Edward "Eddie" Corcoran: On June 19th, 1958, while sitting on a bench, IT (in the form of his brother's reanimated corpse, Dorsey Corcoran) grabs Eddie on the ankle and chases him. Afterward, IT changes into the Gill-man. While running Eddie trips over a bench, and is grabbed by the throat and choked. As he is being choked, he tells the monster that it isn't real. His head is torn off, while he is trying to find a zipper on the Gill-man. He is killed on June 19th. In IT 2017, Stan discovered Eddie's right arm was chewed up on the standpipe.
- Veronica Grogan: Beverly Marsh tells the Losers that a friend of hers, Veronica Grogan, was killed by Pennywise in late June 1958.
- Patrick Hockstetter: In late July, while disposing of animal corpses, Patrick is attacked by IT in the form of several winged leeches which makes large holes in his body. He falls unconscious due to blood loss and shock. When he wakes, IT has already started eating him. Beverly witnessed his death. In IT 2017, Patrick went to the sewer to pursue Ben Hanscom until discovering zombie kids and attempting to escape before being trapped and devoured by IT as Pennywise.
- Esther Sinclair
- Reginald "Belch" Huggins: After killing Vic, IT pursues Henry Bowers but Belch defends him. IT easily overpowers him and mutilates his face. (miniseries)
- Victor "Vic" Criss: Killed by IT in the form of Frankenstein's Monster, which decapitates Victor. (miniseries)
- Adrian Mellon: A gay man who was assaulted by three youths, John "Webby" Garton", Steven Bishoff Dubay and Chris Unwin. Adrian was thrown over a bridge and killed by Pennywise while Chris and Adrian's boyfriend, Don Hagarty watched.
- Laurie Anne Winterberger (little girl on a tricycle): She was attacked between the 7th and 14th of February 1985, seven months after the death of Adrian Mellon.
- John Koontz: A guard at Juniper Hill mental institution, killed when IT turns into a giant Doberman Pinscher and mauls him to death.
- Tom Rogan: The husband of adult Beverly Marsh. When he arrives in Derry to kill Beverly, Pennywise hypnotizes him. He convinces Tom to capture Audra Phillips and bring her to his lair beneath the city. Upon seeing IT's true form, Tom drops dead in shock.
- Edward "Eddie" Kaspbrak: During the final fight, Eddie uses his inhaler (which he imagines as battery acid) on IT, which frees Bill and Richie from its "deadlights". In response, IT tears Eddie's arm off. He dies of shock and blood loss not much later (miniseries).
- Frederick Cowan: On May 6th, 1985, he was drowned and partially eaten by IT, in an unthinkable shape. When his mother, Mrs. Cowan, who heard screams and sounds of struggle, found him, the toilet was flushing repeatedly and she heard laughing from something that wasn't human. His back was broken, his skull fractured and the shower door was broken and blood was everywhere. The police believed that the killer went in the front door and then when they heard her coming, jumped out the window, even though the window was up was a small window and up 25 feet. He was two and a half years old.
- Victoria Fuller (IT Chapter Two Only): On September 5th, 2016. 7 year old Victoria, was lead away from her mother at a baseball game by a firefly. She follows the firefly underneath the bleachers until it is caught by Pennywise. Victoria and Pennywise share the fact that they are bullied because of how they look. Pennywise then promises to get rid of the birthmark on her face. As he counts from one to three, he stops at two. Victoria then says "you're supposed to say thre-" before having her faced chomped on by Pennywise.
- Dean (IT Chapter Two Only): On September 6th, 2016. After being screamed at by Bill Denbrough, a young Dean goes to the carnival. Bill later finds out that Pennywise is going after Dean, so he rushes to the place. Bill manages to spot Dean and makes his way into the mirror maze and chases after the young boy. As Bill repeatedly bumps into mirrors, he manages to see Dean a couple of times before losing him. Bill finally manages to clearly see Dean, and sprints towards him. Bill is stopped by a glass panel, separating Dean from him. Dean is freaked out by Bill, demanding that Bill stop following him. Dean and Bill hear squeaking noises and they see Pennywise behind the glass. Pennywise starts banging his head on the glass to break it and reach Dean. Bill desperately tries to save Dean but is unsuccessful, as Pennywise smashes the glass panel with his head and devours Dean, splattering blood everywhere, leaving Bill shocked and saddened.
- "There was a clown in the stormdrain. The light in there was far from good, but it was good enough so that George Denbrough was sure of what he was seeing. It was a clown, like in the circus or on TV. In fact he looked like a cross between Bozo and Clarabell, who talked by honking his (or was it her?--George was never really sure of the gender) horn on Howdy Doody Saturday mornings--Buffalo Bob was just about the only one who could understand Clarabell, and that always cracked George up. The face of the clown in the stormdrain was white, there were funny tufts of red hair on either side of his bald head, and there was a big clown-smile painted over his mouth. If George had been inhabiting a later year, he would have surely thought of Ronald McDonald before Bozo or Clarabell."
- ―IT's first appearance in the novel.
- "Then the clown’s face changed. And what little George Denbrough saw next was terrible enough to make his worst imaginings of the things in the basement look like sweet, angelic dreams; what he saw destroyed his sanity in one clawing stroke. And George knew no more..."
- ―IT as he soon kills Georgie.
- "Everything down here--floats."
- ―IT to Georgie.
- "Tell your friends I am the last of a dying race. The only survivor of a dying planet. I have come to rob all the women... rape all the men... and learn to do the Peppermint Twist!"
- ―IT to Beverly Marsh.
- "Why, what child did not love a clown?"
- ―It 
- "You have no power. This is the power; feel the power, brat, and then speak again of how you come to kill the Eternal!"
- ―IT to Bill Denbrough in the Macroverse.
- "I am eternal. I am the Eater of Worlds."
- ―IT to Bill Denbrough when the two meet on another plane of existence.
- "Let me go! Let me go and you can have everything you've ever wanted; Money, fame, fortune, power! I can give you these things. I can bring your wife back! I can do it, only I. She'll remember nothing, just like the seven of you remember nothing. I can't give you eternal life, but I can touch you and you will live long, long lives. 200 years, 300, perhaps 500! I can make you gods of the Earth if you let me go! IF YOU LET ME GO. IF YOU LET ME-"
- ―IT bargaining for its life
- "Hiya, Georgie. Aren't you gonna say hello?"
- ―IT's first words.
- "Oh, yes... They float, Georgie... They float... and when you're down here with me... YOU FLOAT TOO!"
- ―IT's final words to Georgie before killing him.
- "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..."
- ―IT to Beverly.
- "Excuse me, sir. Do you have Prince Albert in a can? You DO? Well, you better let the poor guy out! A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!"
- ―IT distracting adult Richie in the library
- "I'm every nightmare you've ever had. I'm your worst dream come true. I'm everything you ever were afraid of."
- ―IT to the children, appearing in a photo book.
- "Let go. Be afraid. You all taste so much better when you're afraid."
- "Kill? Me? Oh you are priceless, brat! I am eternal, child. I am the eater of worlds, and of children. And you are next!"
- ―IT to Bill, Beverly and Stanley.
- "Take your pick, B-b-b-Billy boy. Oh, except for the one on the end, that's already taken. Sorry."
- ―IT's first appearance to Bill, at Georgie's grave, standing in front of seven freshly dug graves.
- "Sorry I'm late! Well, let's see who's here! [to Bill] Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-B-B-B-Ba-Billy Boy! [to Richie] Richie! You still here? We never expected you to stick around! Nice nosejob. No one would ever suspect. [to Ben] Haystack. Puttin' on a little weight, huh? [to Beverly] Speaking of dads, Bevvy, yours isn't worried about you anymore. He loves your choice in men. [to Eddie] Wheezy! How's your sex life?... what's your sex life? [to Mike] Well, Mikey, you did it. You got us all back here. I guess it's cause it's the only way you'd ever see us since you're so lame, you'd never leave this town. I finally made it, guys! I'm in the deadlights now! And you know what? It's true what they say--we all float down here. And you will, too. In fact, they ALL float! *THEY ALL FLOAT!*"
- ―IT appearing as Stan's head in a refrigerator.
- "Silly boy! You still think you can see "me". Ha ha. You'll never see me, you'll see only what your little mind can allow! Go! Now! For if you stay, you'll lose your little mind, in my deadlights. Like all the others. Like all the others."
- ―IT to Bill
- "Hiya Georgie."
- ―Pennywise greets Georgie
- "Here, take it... Take it Georgie..."
- ―Pennywise, when taunting Georgie with the paper boat
- "What a nice boat. Do you want it back?"
- ―Pennywise asks Georgie if he wants his boat back
- "Where are you going Eds? If you lived here, you'd be home by now. Come join the clown, Eds. You'll float down here. We all float down here. Yes we do."
- ―Pennywise to Eddie
- "I lost it Billy. Don't be mad. It just floated off... But, Bill? If you'll come with me, you'll float, too.You'll float, too. You'll float, too. You'll float, too. You'll float, too. You'll float, too! You'll float, too! You'll float, too! You'll float, too! (Georgie's face begins rotting and his voice deepens demonically) YOU'LL FLOAT, TOO! YOU'LL FLOAT, TOO! YOU'LL FLOAT, TOO! YOU'LL FLOAT, TOO! YOU'LL FLOAT, TOO!"
- ―Pennywise as Georgie
- "Beep beep Richie!"
- ―Pennywise to Richie.
- "Time to float."
- "Tasty, tasty, beautiful fear."
- ―Pennywise to Eddie.
- "This isn't real enough for you, Billy? I'm not real enough for you? It was real enough for Georgie."
- "Step right up, Beverly! Step right up! Got change? Come float! You'll laugh, you'll cry. You'll cheer, you'll die. Introducing Pennywise the Dancing Clown!"
- ―Pennywise's introduction music box.
- "You will be."
- ―Pennywise to Beverly.
- "I WILL KILL YOU ALL!!"
- ―Pennywise during the final battle.
- "NO! I'll take him! I'll take all of you! I'll feast on your flesh as I feed on your fear... Or... you'll just leave us be... I will take him. Only him, and I will have my long rest and you will all live to grow and thrive and lead happy lives, until old age takes you back to the weeds."
- ―Pennywise seizes Bill and offers a bargain.
- ―Pennywise's last words before disappearing into the sewer.
- "For 27 years, I dreamt of you. I craved you. Oh, I missed you! Waiting for this very moment!"
- ―It to the Losers
- "TIME TO FLOAT!"
- ―It to the Losers
- "Why? Because you weren't there, Billy!"
- ―It tormenting Bill on Georgie's death.
- "Kiss me fat boy!"
- ―Pennywise tormenting Ben.
- "I know what you are! A madman."
- ―It to Mike.
- "Come out and play, Losers!"
- ―It to the Losers.
- "I can smell the stink of your fear!"
- ―It to the Losers.
- "You filthy little children!"
- ―It to the Losers.
- "I AM THE EATER OF WORLDS!"
- ―It boasting.
- "Close your eyes...If you don't believe...close them...and see."
- ―It to Beverly in the form of Robert "Bob" Gray.
- "HERE'S JOHNNY!"
- ―It to Beverly while using the form of Henry Bowers.
- "Look at you...you're all...grown up..."
- ―IT's final words before his heart is destroyed by the Losers.
- ↑ Dick Halloran, the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining is present and survives this
- ↑ One can then assume the sequel will take place in 2016, which would be twenty-seven years later
- ↑ In the 2017 film, Beverly is the one to hear her voice, along with Matthew Clements, Veronica Grogan, and Patrick Hockstetter. Her shoe is also found by Bill Denbrough
- ↑ The car they drive is a 1958 Plymouth Fury, the same demonic car in King's novel, Christine.
- ↑ referring to It causing Its victims' corpses to "float"
- ↑ PG1033
- ↑ Chapter 21, section 3 "It/May 1985
- It (novel)
- It (Mini series)
- Gray Matter (possibly mentioned)
- Dreamcatcher (mentioned)
- The Tommyknockers (possibly a hallucination)
- 11/22/63 (mentioned)
- Insomnia (mentioned)
- NOS4A2 (Mentioned)
- Dark Tower (2017 film) (Fairgrounds Gate)
- It (2017 film)
- Elevation (indirectly mentioned)
- It: Chapter Two (2019 film)
- Though It was believed to be deceased by the end of the book and miniseries and IT: Chapter 2 where It was killed, the first line in the book implies that It may have possibly survived. This seems likely as Pennywise is referenced to in a few of Steven King's other novels. These could set up for another book, however, in a recent King Reddit QA, he claims he doesn't have any plans to write one.
- One instance is in Tommyknockers (1987) when Tommy Jacklin goes to Derry on a supply run and thinks he sees a “clown with shiny silver dollar eyes” watching him from the sewers.
- Another instance is in DreamCatcher (2001) when Mr. Gray sees the plaque meant to remember the victims of Derry when the water storage standpipe was destroyed. Spray painted over the plaque are the words "PENNYWISE LIVES."
- Of the thirty-two forms It takes in the novel, fifteen are recreated in some way, shape, or form in either or both the 2017 and 2019 films.
- In the 2017 and 2019 films, Pennywise can be seen in certain images within each film, showing Its vast influence:
- Pennywise can be seen in the photograph of the children from the Ironworks Easter hunt.
- The graffiti mural in the alleyway where the Losers patch Ben up after he was attacked by Henry. Pennywise's face can be seen peering out from behind the wheel of the car in the mural. Curiously, Pennywise's face is not there when the Losers first arrive in the alley, nor is Its face present when Mike takes cover in the alley from Henry while delivering to the butcher.
- Pennywise's face is visible in the image depicting the first Derry settlers.
- Pennywise can be seen in the painting of Beverly and Tom above the staircase in their home. His face is visible behind Tom's shoulder.
- Pennywise is referenced in the Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem game Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE as an enemy resembling a clown, named Nickelwise.
- Though likely, it's unknown if It killed Peter Gordon, Moose Sadler and Gard Jagermeyer.
|Novel • Miniseries • Chapter One • Chapter Two|
|Bill Denbrough • Mike Hanlon • Ben Hanscom • Eddie Kaspbrak • Beverly Marsh • Richie Tozier • Stan Uris|
|Pennywise • Henry Bowers|
|Georgie Denbrough • Audra Phillips • Tom Rogan • Alvin Marsh|