The creature known as “IT” in Stephen King’s novels is a mysterious character. Not holding traditional motivations, the behavior and selection of victims seem random to a casual viewer. However, an exploration of what “IT” truly is provides an explanation for the creature’s behavior. Exploring its origins also helps explain why it’s in Derry, Maine and stays there for thousands of years up until it’s death.
Pennywise Lands On Earth
The origins of Pennywise are outside of Earth or the natural universe. Pennywise, or at least its physical embodiment on Earth, originated from the Macroverse. After an unknown period of time, Pennywise violently crashed on Earth and located itself in North America. After that Pennywise slept for thousands of years until the 1700s when it began its first attacks on humans.
Over the years, Pennywise developed a pattern of almost 30 years between attacks. During this time, Pennywise hibernated until it was usually disturbed by the outside world. Pennywise also developed a craving for children, favoring them over adults, during these years as well. Depending on the novel, miniseries, or recent movies, this is either due to children’s fear “salting the meat” or it needing fear to consume prey. Regardless, Pennywise utilizes Derry as its base of operations to satisfy its Earth-plane avatar.
Pennywise’s Influence On Derry
Outside of landing in Derry, Pennywise stayed in the town for centuries. The primary reason was the lack of attention from the town to its activities. Since Pennywise arrived in the town before it was formally established, it could always manipulate its residents. Whenever people wanted to look for a victim, Pennywise could orchestrate for the investigations to halt, draw no conclusions, or falsely accuse someone without further attention.
Pennywise also developed the ability to not only make others disregard mysterious events but have them forget things altogether during its hibernation. The effects of this are heightened when people leave Derry. It’s stated that people with “strong wills” and/or don’t fear Pennywise can resist its influence. In 2017’s IT (Chapter 1), it also seems as if Pennywise can make himself only visible to children during certain instances. This is shown during the scene where only Mike seems to see him yet none of the adults around him do.
So essentially, Pennywise originally landed in Derry as a complete accident. However, it stayed once it realized how easy it was to manipulate members of Derry. Unlike larger cities, Derry allowed Pennywise to eat and then hibernate without the majority of residents being the wiser. If people started investigating, Pennywise could just manipulate the investigation to dead-ends or to people that fit descriptions. This made Derry the perfect hunting grounds for a creature like It, which only cares about eating and sleeping.
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