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Headscratchers / IT

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It laying eggs
  1. Seriously, it's existed since before the Big Bang, and it's been on earth for thousands upon thousands of years, why wait until 1985?
  2. If It is just a physical manifestation of the deadlights, how can there be more than one of It?
  • Might be that It's existence as a manifestation of the deadlights made It capable of being pregnant simply because It willed it. Or... this isn't the first litter It has birthed.
    • It might just be that he never wanted to have kids before. Being beaten once scared it enough to realize maybe it should have children. It didn't want competition before.
      • Or maybe that was the most terrifying thing It could do to the gang, create more of Itself...
      • Considering what sort of creature It is, whatever passes for its gestation/incubation period might be several thousand years long. It could have started its egglaying as soon as possible, for all we know.
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    • Though wasn't It already gravid in the fifties? Doesn't one of the adult Losers (I think Ben or possibly Ritchie) realize at some point that the reason Stan insisted they all swear to come back if It ever returned, and possibly why he took his own life when It did awaken again, was that he noticed Spider!It having the egg sack when they were kids?
    • Because now, in 1985, Derry has become It's true haunt ("a feeding place for animals"). Derry's population has steadily grown over the last few hundred years, and now the town and its surrounding areas can conceivably sustain a whole population of Its. An entire region of Maine infested with Its, all killing children. After that, who knows? All of New England? The East Coast? North America? The world?

Why did It completely wipe out the first European settlement over It's lair?
Shouldn't It have left some of them alive so that It would have more people to feed on 25 years later?
  • Maybe it saw in their minds or souls that more people would come eventually, so It saw no reason to stint Itself?
  • Maybe It was just starving. Wasn't that the first meal It had since It arrived on Earth?
  • Maybe It feed on them without considering the possibilities of these puny mortals until later.
  • Maybe It found this exotic new meat so tasty that It ate them all before considering there might not be anymore of them.
  • It's possible to wipe out a settlement without killing all of its residents. After all, the stories had to come from somewhere; if no one survived, no one would know.
    • The "stories" such as they were came from outside observers: people who didn't live in the Derry Township knew of its existence, and at some point some of the outsiders came to investigate, and found that there was no one there. There are no stories about what happened to the people in the town because they all did disappear.

Why does It need Henry Bowers to kill the Losers If It has so much power?
  • That was pretty explicit. It's power is based on fear and emotion. If they have strong enough will, they can overcome It's power through various mental techniques as, ultimately, they do. Henry, on the other hand, is a purely physical being and can kill regardless of his victims' state of mind.
  • "Magic wouldn't work on Henry. He was too stupid."
  • "I can only get 'em if they half believe, but you can get 'em no matter what."

In the mini-series, what form did IT take on in the sewers?
The glowing thing that flies over the Losers in that four-way intersection later appears on the Giant Spider's chest. Does that mean that IT was in that (then-unrevealed) form when it killed Henry's friends and turned Henry's hair white, or was it just "the deadlights"? Yes I know the sewers were a bit cramped for a creature like that to move around in, but it is IT after all.

Do the adults not see Pennywise and all the weird things he makes happen or are they intentionally ignoring them?
  • Pennywise/It is deliberately only appearing for the Losers. It can manifest itself clearly for anyone It wants to, or only appear for a select few. The reason it's visible only to the Losers in most scenes, while everyone else doesn't see It, is because It enjoys fucking with them.
  • Actually, in the book, when the town ganged up to shoot an outlaw Bonnie And Clyde style, several people DID see Pennywise. And each of them saw Pennywise carrying the same type of weapon as he himself was carrying (a subtle hint at the manipulation It invests in Derry). It isn't so much that It and Pennywise are Invisible to Normals as it is that they are conditioned not to notice It most of the time. Like the Perception Filter from Doctor Who or the S.E.P. field from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.
Georgie's Death
So we know Pennywise eats kids, right? So... did he just take Georgie's arm for a snack? In the book, Georgie bleeds to death and his body doesn't leave where he was attacked and I can only assume the same occurs in the film. Why did Pennywise go through all the trouble for an arm (an arm of a small child at that) when he could have just eaten the boy as a whole. Was it to cause fear in the other kids?
  • It doesn't require actual flesh for sustenance, It feeds on terror. Sometimes It toys with It's victims before killing them, sometimes not. A psychotic sewer clown that just tore your arm clean off is pretty damn terrifying.
  • I got the impression that if It kills you, It "owns" you. Like taking claim on your soul and then gaining sustenance on that, and that Georgie ended up in Its deadlights. Although the death of Patrick Hockstetter seems to imply It gaining physical sustenance from the flesh of the victims as well, as the book states Patrick only awoke once after being taken - when It began to eat. The book also says at some point that frightening Its prey makes them taste better, like seasoning the meat. Perhaps it's a combination of the two? Spider!It (and/or Pennywise) needs actual food to sustain its physical form while the other part of It feeds on the souls/spirits/what-have-you.
  • Basically, yes. It is an Eldritch Abomination, but It has a physical manifestation in Pennywise. A physical manifestation needs physical sustenance, but Pennywise is just the tip of the iceberg - the Spider / Deadlights, the actual Eldritch Abomination, feeds on fear, terror and despair. Pennywise is almost like the hairs of a Sundew plant - there to bait children into being ensnared by It, generating the terror that It needs to sustain itself, while Pennywise sustains himself with human flesh. In classic H. P. Lovecraft fashion, It takes Georgie's sanity and mind right before Pennywise takes his arm.

Did Ben and Beverly (in the movie) forget along with the others?
What a sad and terrifying thought: two newlyweds, madly in love, with a baby on the way, wake up one morning and realize they have no idea how they first met or how they know one another. All they remember is that they're married.
  • I imagine they'll have some sort of memories of spending their childhoods together in Derry, then meeting up again as adults, realizing they had been in love all along, having a whirlwind affair, and getting married. Thanks to Laser-Guided Amnesia, they'll forget all the traumatic circumstances surrounding their times in Derry, and just remember the good times. Bev will remember leaving her first husband, but will forget that he pursued her to Derry (in the novel) and died there. No doubt they will construct an agreeable backstory between them to account for any missing details. It'll help that they are undoubtedly in love by the end of the story; it's open to question if that's natural or whether "something" (the Other?) has seen to it they'd end up together as a reward for their role in defeating It.
  • Hey, it worked out for Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore...

What happened to Henry's mother?
In one section of the book it is mentioned that Butch Bowers and Rena Davenport had been courting for eight years, or since Henry was about four years old. In another it is stated that Butch's wife finally left him and Henry in 1956 after years of abuse. Was Butch with Rena Davenport for six years of his marriage?
  • The simplest explanation for this discrepancy is that it was just a blunder. In a novel of this size and scope, there are bound to be at least one or two....even considering an author like King's (not to mention his editors') attention to detail. Just ask Daniel Defoe, who has Robinson Crusoe strip naked, swim out to the slowly sinking shipwreck, and then fill his pockets with stuff he's going to need. Since much is made of Rena Davenport and her Sunday-night bean-suppers in Chapter 17, and Butch's wife (Henry's mother) gets just an offhand mention in Chapter 13, King possibly forgot about the wife and neither he nor his editors caught the inconsistency.

Storm drain cover
Just curious, but why do some novel covers show the storm drain where Georgie dies? This was the opening scene, and just a one-scene event.
  • It's iconic, and kicks off the plot. A storm drain and a paper boat are practically synonymous with IT.
  • It's also a nice creepy and unsettling image. Storm drains are dark, dank, and lower-than-eye-level, meaning that someone — or something — malevolent could be lurking inside watching you without you really knowing.

Stan's suicide
Why did Stan do it? If he didn't want to go back to Derry, why not just... not go back to Derry? I know he made a promise to return when It came back and if he didn't show up, they WOULD call... but he could've just gone on an impromptu vacation or something. Or even... unplug the phone.
  • Stan didn't even remember his time in Derry until the moment Mike called. When all the memories came flooding back, he may have gone mad from the revelation.

Was It physically present in every manifestation?
Possibly a deliberate headscratcher, intended by Stephen King to be ambiguous. It seems clear that for all the shape-shifting, It is still a physical being, existing in a particular location at a particular time. It has to come and go from particular locations such as the house on Niebolt Street. So what about appearances that seem to materialize out of nowhere? In many of these, no one is actually killed— perhaps some of those were simply terrifying visions It sent, or cases of individuals sensing Its malign influence on the town. One example: when the kids play pretend about the Barrens being the Amazon jungle, and mention the danger of piranha in the river, one of them actually sees fish resembling orange pom-poms. Was It really there? If so, why didn’t It kill the kids right then? Or was it just a taunt-at-a-distance?
  • I believe IT always does have a physical form but it also a chess master with telepathic abilities. So in some cases it may very well be tricking them into luring where the real physical form actually is. The Shapeshifter Lock Form seems to be one trick that messes with these abilities. Though to be fair none of the Derry characters he feeds on or fights are that super smart or devious. There might be other ways to trick it up, if IT actually went up against someone or something that could play speed chess with IT.

Why didn't the adult gang load up on guns and weapons before going down into the sewers in 1985?
They already knew that a slingshot would hurt It, so wouldn't a machine gun do a lot more damage? Obviously that stuff would have been really hard to get when they were kids, but you can't tell me a small town in Maine in 1985 doesn't at least have a hunting and fishing store, if not a Dick's Sporting Goods.
  • Mike Hanlon did collect a variety of equipment to help them explore underground, though no weapons are mentioned. In the event they were chased underground with no chance to get to the equipment, but it’s still true Mike doesn’t seem to have considered including weapons. Why not? The slingshot worked in 1958 because It took a werewolf form and they believed silver bullets (actually slugs) would work on a werewolf. As adults, could they easily anticipate It would take a form, or they could by belief force It into a form, that would be vulnerable to guns? Or would they more instinctively assume It would be Immune to Bullets? This was an enemy for which being Genre Savvy would be both a strength and a weakness, depending on how things went down, and Mike would likely assume that whatever happened, it wouldn’t be as easy as using a gun.

Is there significance to the Robert/Bob Gray name Pennywise uses?
We first see It when it meets Georgie and introduces Itself as Bob Gray, also known as Pennywise. The name Bob or Robert Gray comes up now and again through the novel, but is never explained. When Bev meets It in the form of “Mrs Kersh,” who claims to be Robert Gray’s daughter, Mrs Kersh says her father likes his joke— suggesting there is supposed to be some joke or significance in the name. The 2019 movie suggests there was an actual Bob Gray, who performed as Pennywise and from whom It got the idea for that form, but the novel never says anything about it. (Even in the movie, the appearance of the “real” Bob Gray is in Mrs Kersh’s apartment and may be just part of Its illusion.) Does the name have a meaning that explains the “joke?”

Pennywise being stupid and a ridiculous assumption
  • In the miniseries, Pennywise has ample opportunities to kill three of the Loser's Club easily, but doesn't. He could've easily killed Ben at the swamp, Eddie in the showers, and Richie in the basement. They were completely alone, defenseless, no one was around who could've helped, and their bodies wouldn't have been found in enough time for him to get busted so why doesn't he just kill them then and there? Also, why does Beverly assume that one old man going inside means the ENTIRE town is in on It? Isn't it more likely that the old man went inside because he didn't want to risk getting roughed up by three young able-bodied men and/or was going to call someone more able to help? Just one old man not helping Beverly meaning the entire town is It is a pretty ridiculous assumption.

    • The one man in the scene is representative of a general trend. She recalls how none of the adults ever seemed willing to help anyone, but as film is a visual medium, it needs something to convey that visually. In her mind, there were probably dozens of instances where adults could help and chose not to, but there was no need to show this.

Forgetting all about that damn clown
  • Why do the Loser's Club have no memory of their encounters with Pennywise? Facing off against an otherworldy child-killing monster doesn't seem like something that you could easily forget! I know that they might have been so traumatized that they blocked it from their memory but not ONE of them had PTSD about this whole thing? With Bill., I would assume he would remember something like that since his brother's death was involved.
  • There was the whole "It's influence over the town and its inhabitants" thing. It was explicitly stated to be an effect of Derry.

Henry Bowers is still alive
  • Henry Bowers is in the nuthouse after confessing to murdering the kids. How is he still alive? None of the parents of the murdered kids tried to kill him after he confessed? No one paid off one of the guards to stab/shank him to death? Not one parent paid him a visit and attempted to murder him? If my child had been murdered and someone fessed up to it and that person had a history of being a violent sadistic bully, I wouldn't be satisfied with them being locked up in the loony bin; I'd be out for their blood and would mount their head on my wall.
    • A lot of child murderers are still alive in prison; the grief of losing a child would be immense but killing Henry wouldn't bring them back and could possibly lead to them getting arrested or killed themselves in the process- and make the situation far worse for any other surviving relatives.
  • Two reasons: 1) No doubt the parents of Derry would have killed Henry if they'd had the opportunity...but they didn't. The police arrested Henry for the murder of his father as soon as he stumbled out of the Barrens. By the time they got around to pinning the child-murders on him, he was already in jail and, child-murderer or not, it would have been the police's job to keep him safe until he was tried and convicted. 2) (and probably the most likely reason) The townsfolk might have still been under It's influence, and It convinced them to settle back into their usual complacency—murderer captured, justice served, nothing more to see here—because It knew It might need Henry alive and well 28 years down the road.

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