|“||I am eternal, child! I am the eater of worlds, and of children. And you are next!||„|
It, also known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown or Bob Gray, is the primary antagonist of Stephen King's horror novel of the same name and its subsequent adaptations. It is an ancient, demonic entity that preys upon the residents of Derry, Maine, roughly every twenty-seven years. It primarily appears in the form of a clown.
It was portrayed by Tim Curry in the 1990's miniseries and Bill Skarsgård in the 2017 film.
An entity that existed before the creation of the universe, It originated in a massive void known as the "Macroverse". It is the natural enemy of "the Turtle", another being from the Macroverse who is responsible for the creation of our universe. It's true form is a mass of orange lights known as the "deadlights"; any living being who gazed upon It's true form would be driven insane.
It arrived on Earth during prehistoric times, landing in what would later become Derry, Maine. There, It hibernated for millions of years until human settlers colonized the land. Awakening from it's slumber, It fed upon the settlers and began a cycle of hibernation; approximately every 27 years, It would awaken from hibernation and feed upon the residents of Derry. To feed upon a victim, It would take on the physical form of what its victim most fears. It's preferred targets were children, as their fears were easier to embody in physical form. These murders would remain unsolved, due to It subtly manipulating the town to forget these events.
Awakening from its hibernation in 1957, It begins preying upon the children of Derry once more, it's first victim being six-year-old George "Georgie" Denbrough. Taking the form of a clown called "Pennywise", It lured Georgie towards him before tearing his arm off, leaving Georgie to bleed to death.
A group of children, each of whom have had an encounter with It, form a group known as the 'Losers' Club', led by Bill Denbrough, Georgie's older brother. Killing one of the Losers' bullies, Patrick Hockstetter, It writes a message to the Losers in his blood, warning them that It will kill them. It later attacks the group in the form of a werewolf, but the Losers manage to force It to flee into the sewers. Now viewing the Losers as a threat, It manipulates the Losers' primary bully, Henry Bowers, to attempt to kill the Losers.
The Losers arrive in the sewers to track down It, but are pursued by Henry Bowers and his friends. While in the sewers, It attacks the bullies, brutally murdering Henry's friends and driving Henry insane. Bill, using the "Ritual of Chüd" and with help from the Turtle, manages to defeat It and send it back into its slumber.
On July of 1984, It awoke from its slumber and soon resumed its murder spree. This prompted the former members of the Losers' Club, now adults, to return to their home town to stop It once and for all. However, one member of the group, Stan Urus, commits suicide out of fear of having to face It again.
Upon returning to Derry, the group has only the dimmest awareness of why they are there, due to their reduced memories of what transpired when they were children. At Mike's suggestion, the group splits up to explore different parts of Derry in order to regain their memories. During their exploration, the group is terrorized by different manifestations of It. It also releases the adult Henry Bowers from the mental asylum and instructs him to kill the Losers. When this fails and Henry is killed, It appears to Beverley's abusive husband, Tom, and has him abduct Bill's wife Audra and bring her to It's lair. Upon seeing It's true form, Audra is rendered catatonic and Tom drops dead from shock.
The group descend into the sewers to confront It, where they find that It has transformed into a giant spider. Bill and Richie, using the Ritual of Chüd, enter It's mind, but get lost in it. To bring Bill and Richie back, Eddie injures It with his aspirator, but is killed in the process. It is forced to flee, pursued by the remaining members of the group, who learn that It has laid eggs. The group destroy the eggs and then destroy It's heart, finally destroying the creature.
PortrayalsIn the 1990 television miniseries, It was portrayed by famous British actor Tim Curry.
In the 2017 film, It was portrayed by Bill Skarsgård. Will Poulter was originally casted to play the role, but he dropped out due to scheduling complications. Spanish actor Javier Botet was cast to play the of the Leper, one of It's other forms.