One of the quiet joys of studying Stephen King’s works is realizing that the majority of them occupy a shared actuality. Some of it comes together with his characters — supporting figures specifically — who leap from novel to novel, nevertheless it additionally entails locations, conditions and related Easter eggs referencing earlier works. TV and film diversifications of his books make notice of it every so often — notably the Castle Rock TV collection, which was predicated on the interconnectivity of all of it — however most are involved with telling their very own tales relatively than acknowledging others. King’s writing, then again, may be very totally different, with quite a few cross-references directing readers to different works. Unless the apocalypse is concerned, most of his works appear to happen in the identical universe.
That extends to Pennywise, one in all King’s most celebrated creations and the go-to popular culture supply for demonic clowns in all places. The monster first graced the pages of King’s opus It and benefited from two sensible Pennywise performances in a pair of adaptions: Tim Curry’s within the 1990 ABC miniseries and Bill Skarsgård within the two-part film adaptation from 2017 and 2019. With the prequel collection Welcome to Derry on the best way — overlaying the origins of Pennywise and his early incursions within the titular Maine city — it is price noting the variety of instances he is been talked about in different King works. A quick checklist of every one follows — omitting It for apparent causes — organized so as of publication. Interestingly sufficient, none of them concerned Pennywise instantly: solely second-hand references.
“Gray Matter” (1973): One of King’s earliest printed works involved a completely totally different sort of monster: a person turning into a large blob after ingesting a foul can of beer. But within the midst of it, one of many characters relates an apocryphal story a couple of big spider found within the sewers, as large as a canine and feeding on cats and related small animals. The description matches Pennywise’s true kind and habitat, and whereas it is unlikely King had the story deliberate out that early, it suggests the start of the artistic course of that may finally change into It.
The Tommyknockers (1987): One of the primary novels King printed after It concerned a crashed alien spaceship slowly reworking the residents of a close-by city into monsters. Its protagonist, Tommy Jacobs, ventures into Derry at one level however is actively hallucinating and imagines he sees a clown leering at him from a sewer grate. It’s an apparent nod to Pennywise, although the hero’s unreliable psychological state means that it may all be in his head.
Insomnia (1994): King’s novel about sleeplessness and the unsettling issues it uncovers is ready in Derry, and references to the occasions of It are peppered via the textual content. The creatures in Insomnia serve the Crimson King, the first antagonist in King’s Dark Tower collection, and it’s advised that Pennywise shares their background. They could even be the identical entity since each characteristic “Deadlights” that Insomnia makes reference to as properly.
Dreamcatcher (2001): Like The Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher entails an incursion from outer house and has little to do with Pennywise. It does happen close to Derry, nevertheless, and instantly mentions the occasions of It. One of its protagonists, Jonesy, states that the Derry murders had been defined away as a serial killer who appreciated to decorate as a clown. The city additionally comprises a plaque to the Losers’ Club, which has been vandalized with the tag “Pennywise Lives!”
11/22/63 (2011): King’s time-travel thriller entails a portal from the fashionable period to 1958, the place a pair of mates journey in an effort to forestall the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In the method, they return to the Derry of the previous and work together with Losers Club members Beverly Marsh and Richie Tozier, who’re within the midst of their summer-long battle with Pennywise.
Elevation (2018): Elevation is ready in one other of King’s famous cities — Castle Rock — however nonetheless finds a technique to slip in reference to Pennywise. The highschool’s Halloween dance includes a native band named Big Top, which adjustments its title to Pennywise and the Clowns for the night time.