Pennywise the Dancing Clown

It (also known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown or Robert Bob Gray) is a Monster from the Movie and Novel IT. First appearing in Stephen King's IT, a novel which would spawn a film adaptation that would create one of Horror's most iconic characters.

It disguises it's self as Pennywise the Dancing Clown and has been terrorizing children for centuries. Although not commonly known, the It creature has been featured in several other Stephen King Novels such as Dreamcatcher and The Tommyknockers.



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It was part of the disasters that occur every 30 years in the Maine town of Derry.

Unlike many horror monsters before him, Pennywise the Dancing Clown was not against killing children; in fact, the scary monster actually preferred to kill children as they were an easier target, and perhaps this was why he chose the form of a clown, a figure that both entertains and terrifies many young children. The clown also had razor sharp teeth.

At any rate, as the film progressed, a group of children known ironically as the 'Losers' Club' banded together to kill Pennywise and end his murderous reign--after he had killed the brother of one of them--and apparently succeeded after tracking him down to his lair--however, Pennywise, being a lesser-aspect of a higher being, was not going to stay dead forever, and he swore revenge on the gang for his defeat before he vanished into nothingness.


Years later, Pennywise kept his promise and came after members of the gang, who were all adults in the present day, to kill them. This prompted the gang to reform and battle Pennywise again in order to kill him yet again and save themselves from his wrath -- at the end of the movie, the gang did manage to defeat Pennywise again, but in that final battle, he took the form of a spider-like monster rather than the clown disguise (which he
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used for most of the film). He was killed when Bill pulled out his heart.


The film lacks many elements of It that the novel had 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.

After arriving to Earth, It would sleep for approximently 28 to 30 years at a time, then awaken to reek chaos and feed (primarily on the fear of children). It was able to take many more forms than the film depicted, including werewolves, bats, leeches, and even Jaws (what is jaws? jaws like the movie jaws?). Anything a child was afraid, It could become.

Also in the novel, It was only able to be stopped when Bill performed the Ritual of Chud.

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It apparently originated in a void containing and surrounding the Universe, a place referred to in the novel as the "Macroverse" (a concept similar to the later established Todash Darkness of the Dark Tower Novels). Its real name (if, indeed, It has one) is unknown—although at several points in the novel, It claims its true name to be Robert Gray—and is christened It by the group of children who later confront it. Throughout the book, It is generally referred to as male; however, late in the book, the protagonists come to believe that It may possibly be female (due to Its manifestation as a large female spider). Despite this, Its true form is never truly comprehended. Its final physical body is that of an enormous spider; this is, however, the closest the human mind can get to approximating its actual form. Its natural form exists in a realm beyond the physical, which It calls the "deadlights". Bill Denbrough comes dangerously close to seeing the deadlights, but successfully defeats It before this happens. As such, the deadlights are never seen, and Its true form outside the physical realm is never revealed, only described as writhing, destroying orange lights. Coming face to face with the deadlights drives any living being instantly insane (a common H. P. Lovecraft device). The only known person to face the deadlights and survive is Audra Phillips.

Its natural enemy is "The Turtle", another ancient Macroverse dweller who, eons ago, created our Universe and possibly others. The Turtle shows up again in King's series The Dark Tower. The book suggests that It, along with the Turtle, are themselves creations of a separate, omnipotent creator referred to as "the Other". The Turtle and It are eternal enemies (creation versus consumption). It may in fact be either a twinner of or the actual one of the six greater demon elementals mentioned by Mia in Song of Susannah, as the Spider is not one of the Beam Guardians. It arrived in our world in a massive, cataclysmic event similar to an asteroid impact, in the place that would, in time, become Derry, Maine.

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Through the novel It, some events are described through Its point of view, through which It describes himself as the "superior" being, with the Turtle as someone "close to his superiority" and humans as mere "toys". It describes that it prefers to kill and devour children, not by nature, rather because children's fears are easier to interpret in a physical form and thus children are easier to fill with terror, which It says is akin to marinating the meat. It is continually surprised by the children's victories over It and near the end, it begins to question if It is not as superior as It had once thought. However, It never believes that the individual children are strong enough to defeat It, only through "the Other" working through them as a group.


For millions of years, It dwelt under Derry, awaiting the arrival of humans, which It somehow knew would occur. Once people settled over Its resting place, It adopted a cycle of hibernating for long periods and waking approximately every 27 years. Its awakening is always marked by a great act of violence, and another great act
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of violence ends Its spree and sends It back into hibernation:
  • 1715 – 1716: It awoke.
  • 1740 – 1743: It awoke and started a three-year reign of terror that culminated with the disappearance of over 300 settlers from Derry Township, much like the Roanoke Island mystery.
  • 1769 – 1770: It awoke.
  • 1851: It awoke when a man named John Markson poisoned his family, then committed suicide by eating a white-nightshade mushroom, causing an excruciating death.
  • 1876 – 1879: It awoke, then went back into hibernation after a group of lumberjacks were found murdered near the Kenduskeag.
  • 1904 – 1906: It awoke when a lumberjack named Claude Heroux murdered a number of men in a bar with an axe. Heroux was promptly pursued by a mob of townsfolk and hanged. It returned to hibernation when the Kitchener Ironworks exploded, killing 108 people, 88 of them children engaged in an Easter egg hunt.
  • 1929 – 1930: It awoke when a group of Derry citizens gunned down a group of gangsters known as the Bradley Gang. It returned to hibernation when the Maine Legion of White Decency, a Northern counterpart to the Ku Klux Klan, burned down an African-American army nightclub which was called "The Black Spot".
  • 1957 – 1958: It awoke during a great storm which flooded part of the city, and murdered George Denbrough. It then met its match when The Losers' Club forced It to return to an early hibernation when wounded by the young Bill Denbrough in the first Ritual of Chüd.
  • 1984 – 1985: It awoke when three young homophobic bullies beat up a young gay couple, Adrian Mellon and Don Hagarty, throwing Mellon off a bridge (echoing real life events in Maine). It was finally destroyed in the second Ritual of Chüd by the adult Bill Denbrough, Richie Tozier, Beverly Marsh, Eddie Kaspbrak and
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    Ben Hanscom , though this triggered the collapse of the water tower, flooding the town.

In the intervening periods between each pair of events, a series of child murders occur, which are never solved. The book's surface explanation as to why these murders are never reported on the national news is that location matters to a news story—a series of murders, no matter how gruesome, don't get reported if they happen in a small town. However, the book's implied reason for why the atrocities go unnoticed is far more sinister: It won't let them.