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Why IT Waits 27 Years Between Attacks

It Chapter 1 2 Losers Pennywise

When IT is fully awake, a number of murders and tragic events take place in Derry, only to be followed by a long period of quietness for about 27 years - so why is that? Stephen King’s novel IT reminded readers why clowns can’t be trusted, presenting a one-of-a-kind villain: an evil, shape-shifting entity that can take the form of anything it desires in order to lure victims into its trap or target their biggest fears – or both. However, IT’s favorite shape is that of Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

IT has many peculiarities, and one of the most mysterious is the fact that it waits between 27 and 30 years between attacks. The 1990 miniseries mentioned this but didn’t really explore it, and it’s unknown if and how IT: Chapter 2 will address this characteristic. Luckily, the novel shed some light on the matter while also keeping some details secret, just to add to the mysticism of the creature.

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Related: What Does Pennywise Really Look Like In IT?

IT arrived on Earth through an event similar to an asteroid impact, landing in what would later become Derry, Maine. Once there, IT adopted its usual pattern of hibernation that lasted between 27 and 30 years, awakening to kill and eat and then going back to sleep. However, each awakening (which lasted roughly a year to 18 months) and return to hibernation was marked by events of great violence. For example, it awoke in 1929 when a group of citizens killed a band of robbers called the Bradley Gang (with a witness reporting a clown in farmer’s attire participating in the murder) and went back to sleep when the Maine Legion of White Decency burned down the nightclub “The Black Spot”, where a giant birth with balloons on its wings was seen.

However, IT’s hibernation phase doesn’t mean its presence didn’t affect the town somehow. It’s power (and evil) was such that it prevented the people in Derry from truly investigating all the murders and violent events, causing a sort of willful forgetfulness among residents, mostly adults – which is also a big theme in the novel, how adults seem to never notice what their children are going through. As there’s no absolute time frame when it comes to IT’s hibernation, the IT miniseries chose to let it sleep for 30 years, and the film went with 27, just like the novel.

This way, IT had full control of Derry from the sewers, as it influenced the whole town while asleep and terrorized a big number of residents when awake. IT is a very rich story with a lot of details and a full mythology behind it, so it’s understandable that some elements are not fully explored in the adaptations, but the source material will always be there to answer some questions.

Next: Other Stephen King Stories Set In Derry

Key Release Dates
  • IT Chapter Two (2019) release date: Sep 06, 2019
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