Pennywise the Dancing Clown aka It is the main antagonist of It, a novel which was written by Stephen King. It is a mysterious monster which lives in the sewers under the town of Derry, Maine, and often kills children. The monster often takes the shape of a clown and calls itself Pennywise. However, the creature can take on other forms, including Dracula, Jaws, Frankenstein's monster and the moon. Adults cannot see the monster, so It has never been caught or killed.
In the 1990 TV film adaptation of It, Pennywise is portrayed by Tim Curry. In the future remake of the film, Pennywise will be portrayed by Bill Skarsgard, after the original cast Will Poulter left the crew.
Fictional character biography
Earliest carnage It caused
It is part of the disasters that occur every 30 years in the Maine town of Derry, and It is the reason the childhood of Bill Denbrogh and his friends became a living hell.
For millions of years, It lived beneath the ground under what would later become the town of Derry, awaiting the coming of humans, which It somehow knew would eventually arrive. Once people settled over the place where It lived, It began a cycle of hibernating for long periods and waking approximately every 27 years. The times when It awoke were always marked by an act of great violence. Another great act of violence would take place at the end of Its spree, before It went back into hibernation:
- 1715 – 1716: It awoke. What happened as a consequence is unknown.
- 1740 – 1743: It awoke and terrorized the local people for three years. At the end of that time, 300 settlers mysteriously disappeared from Derry Township.
- 1769 – 1770: It awoke. What happened as a consequence is unknown.
- 1851: It awoke. A man named John Markson poisoned his family before killing himself by eating a white-nightshade mushroom, dying in agony as a result.
- 1876 – 1879: It awoke. A group of lumberjacks were found murdered.
- 1904 – 1906: It awoke. A lumberjack named Claude Heroux used an axe to murder several men in a bar. Soon afterwards, was chased by a mob of townsfolk and hanged. It returned to hibernation after there was an explosion at the Kitchener Ironworks. The explosion killed 108 people, 88 of them were children who were taking part in an Easter egg hunt.
- 1929 – 1930: It awoke. Some of Derry's townspeople gunned down the Bradley Gang, a group of gangsters. It returned to hibernation after a racist organization called the Maine Legion of White Decency, burned down The Black Spot, a nightclub for African-American soldiers.
In 1957, a nasty storm swept Derry and caused a flood.
George Elmer Denbrough, a child who lived in Derry, was bugging his brother William "Bill" Denbrough as the storm was happening. Bill then gave him a boat from under his bed. George was about to go outside but Bill told him to not go far and George told him he would not. George was sailing his little paper boat across the sidewalk when the boat happened to land right into the sewer in which It lived. It happened to save his boat and, in the form of Pennywise, tried to make idle conversation with George. George did not speak at first, and when It tried to open him up by showing him a balloon, George responded that he was not supposed to take things from strangers. It sarcastically commented on his father's wisdom, introduced himself as "Pennywise the Dancing Clown".
George was about to turn and leave, but Pennywise stopped him by showing George his boat. Pennywise then beckoned George to come get his little paper boat, with promises of rides, cotton candy, and all other surprises down there. When George asked if they floated, Pennywise responded in the affirmative. When George reached down to grab his boat, Pennywise grabbed George's arm and told George that if he was with him, he would float too.
After this, Pennywise bit off George's left arm and left him to bleed to death. The dying George was found by a nearby gardener. After George died, Bill's stuttering grew worse than before.
George's death unleashed a series of murders and disappearances of children in Derry. Eight months after George's death, Bill and his friends Mike Hanlon, Ben Hanscom, Eddie Kaspbrak, Beverly Marsh, Richie Tozier and Stan Uris organized a team called the Losers. They were are bullied by Henry Bowers and his friends including Vic Criss and Belch Huggins. Furthermore, they all suffered from Pennywise's evil conspiracies.
The Losers met Pennywise and made their first encounter against him. Pennywise was defeated, but It didn't die. The Losers all know that one day, It will return...
Twenty-six years later, all the people who were terrorized by Pennywise as children got back their memories of It after a young girl was mysteriously murdered. They all went back to their hometown and had a final encounter with Pennywise.
Finally, Bill took Pennywise's heart out from Its body. It died and the nightmare was finally over.
It's notable forms
- Its real form as seeing in human's knowledge is a giant black spider, which is implied by Audrey to be actually female. However, in the Macroverse, Its true form is implied to be the Deadlight. When Tom Rogan sees Its true form, he fell down dead.
- Pennywise the Dancing Clown: Pennywise is It's favorite disguise, which the creature uses to lure children. The clown form features heavily in the story.
- George Denborough's photo, when Bill examines his brother's photo album.
- The voice of Betty Ripsom, one of Its victims, overheard by Betty's parents through a drain to taunt them. In the 2017 film, Bev heard the voices of all of the victims of It from the sewers before being binded by hairs from the drain and being soaked in a fountain of blood.
- The moon: It changes into the shape of the moon while making Henry Bowers do It's dirty work.
- Frankenstein's monster: It becomes Frankenstein's monster as it encounters Henry Bowers and his sidekicks, Victor Criss and Belch Huggins in the sewers under Derry. In this form, It decapitates Victor.
- Victor Criss: It transforms into the form of Victor, and drives a red Plymouth Fury car (possibly the demonic car Christine) to collect Henry.
- A mummy
- Belch Huggins
- A leper
- A giant bird like a crow
- The Creature from the Black Lagoon
- A werewolf
2017 Film exclusive
- Burning hands behind a smouldering door, when It appeared in front of Mike accompanying Mike's parents crying for help
- Gerogie's ghost when It appeared in front of Bill
- Judith, a deformed flutist woman coming out of a painting and appearing in front of Stan, with her appearance akin to Amedeo Modigliani's paintings
- A doll in the form of a dead Richie
- A headless zombie boy symbolizing a Kitchener Ironworks victim
- "You have no power. This is the power; feel the power, brat, and then speak again of how you come to kill the Eternal."
- "We all float down here, Henry! We all float! When you're down here with us, you'll float too! Kill them all! Come visit, anytime. Bring your friends!" (As the moon)
- "Won't do you any good to run girly boy." (As a leper)
- "Come to me! Come to me, children! See how we all float down here! How we all float!" (As Pennywise)
- "You all taste so good when you're afraid!"