The nature of Pennywise and his powers (spoilers within)

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César Hernández-Meraz

Wants to be Nick, ends up as Larry
May 19, 2015
571
4,143
38
Aguascalientes, Mexico
#21
The heading of the topic warns of spoilers. Enter at your own risk.

But yes, we are talking about Pennywise, so DT things should be behind spoilers. Did I get the right stuff behind spoilers?
Yes, thank you.

I may be one of the few left without having read The Dark Tower, but we never know who else may be reading and we can still save them. :D
 
#22
Yes, thank you.

I may be one of the few left without having read The Dark Tower, but we never know who else may be reading and we can still save them. :D
It it makes you feel better, that spoiler was pretty much a non-spoiler. The fact that there is a big evil out there is pretty much revealed early on so it shouldn't ruin any surprises for you.
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
56,659
206,943
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
#23
First off, just a note; loving this board. No arguing or name calling that I've seen, just good old fashioned, solid discussions about our favorite books. Gotta love it.

So one thing I wanted to get other thoughts on (and there may be no definitive answer) is the nature of Pennywise's powers; specifically, how he changes shape.

We know a few things from the book.

  1. He can appear as a clown, and does so frequently through history as a means to lure children close enough to get them.
  2. He can appear as the thing a viewer is most afraid of, and whatever that form is appears to be dictated by the victim; this ability, then, is somewhat involuntary.
  3. While "locked" into this form he is obliged to abide by the physical rules that form will follow; for example, being vulnerable to silver as a werewolf.
  4. His ability to appear as something you are afraid can work differently on different victims at the same time. During their fist visit to Neibolt Street, Richie sees him as the teenage werewolf, but Bill sees him as the clown...at the same time.
  5. If one person "calls out" a form, however, he may appear as that form to anyone who sees him at the time who was present for the call out. During the second Neibolt visit when the whole Losers club goes looking for him, no one sees him in any true form until Richie yells "It's the teenage werewolf", whereupon Pennywise takes that form for all of them.
  6. He can appear as something totally innocent; his appearance as Mrs. Kersh was fine until he started to change her.
  7. He can, however, modify the appearance he takes to some degree to make it scarier, without changing form completely. For example, he appears as a clown, but has giant razor shaped teeth in a couple of incarnations that he doesn't have later. He also changes Mrs. Kersh from a stately older lady into an old hag, gradually while Beverly is with him.
  8. He can choose to appear with no disguise at all, in which case they see the spider form of him. He only does this "at home".
  9. The size and number of objects he appears to be are not limited; he can be one big thing (like the bird) or many small ones (like Patrick's creepy flying leeches).
  10. He can also manipulate the enviroment as part of his power; Beverly's old house, for example, looked like a nice apartment, and then the Gingerbread House from Hansel & Gretel while Beverly was there.

Okay. So given all that, how much control do you think Pennywise has over his appearance? In some ways it seems like he can pretty much appear to be anything he wants, whenever he wants. My issue there, or question rather, is if he can change at will, why would he LET himself be forced to appear in a vulnerable form? Richie sees him as the werewolf; fair enough. But the second they shot him in the eye and it damn near killed him, you' d think he would immediately change to something else...something over which silver had no effect. But he didn't; he let them bluff him and actually had to run from them. And in his own inner monologue, he questions whether his power is actually working against him, rather than for him.

Kind of sticky, but a fun thought-problem to work through, I think. I figure his ability to mirror your fear is sort of involuntary. That is, he can choose to turn it "on", but when he does, he CAN'T choose what he looks like. He has to turn it "off", and pick a form by himself at that point...usually the clown in some form or other. So when he's mirroring your fears, he isn't controlling what he looks like. But when he wants to appear as something else - like a clown, or an old woman - he CAN choose it, knowing that whatever it is may not be something the victim is afraid of (and indeed, he seems to do that on purpose).

Thoughts from others? I know, I know...probably way to detailed a bit of minutiae. Just something fun to kick around!
It's just pure evil, that's all

11-22-63 Welcome.JPG
Glad you like the board!

If you want bickering go the SK FB site (or so I hear)

Not that you DO want it - oh - never mind - what were we talking about?
:oops::rolleyes::)
 

recitador

Speed Reader
Sep 3, 2016
1,704
7,937
35
#24
First off, just a note; loving this board. No arguing or name calling that I've seen, just good old fashioned, solid discussions about our favorite books. Gotta love it.

So one thing I wanted to get other thoughts on (and there may be no definitive answer) is the nature of Pennywise's powers; specifically, how he changes shape.

We know a few things from the book.

  1. He can appear as a clown, and does so frequently through history as a means to lure children close enough to get them.
  2. He can appear as the thing a viewer is most afraid of, and whatever that form is appears to be dictated by the victim; this ability, then, is somewhat involuntary.
  3. While "locked" into this form he is obliged to abide by the physical rules that form will follow; for example, being vulnerable to silver as a werewolf.
  4. His ability to appear as something you are afraid can work differently on different victims at the same time. During their fist visit to Neibolt Street, Richie sees him as the teenage werewolf, but Bill sees him as the clown...at the same time.
  5. If one person "calls out" a form, however, he may appear as that form to anyone who sees him at the time who was present for the call out. During the second Neibolt visit when the whole Losers club goes looking for him, no one sees him in any true form until Richie yells "It's the teenage werewolf", whereupon Pennywise takes that form for all of them.
  6. He can appear as something totally innocent; his appearance as Mrs. Kersh was fine until he started to change her.
  7. He can, however, modify the appearance he takes to some degree to make it scarier, without changing form completely. For example, he appears as a clown, but has giant razor shaped teeth in a couple of incarnations that he doesn't have later. He also changes Mrs. Kersh from a stately older lady into an old hag, gradually while Beverly is with him.
  8. He can choose to appear with no disguise at all, in which case they see the spider form of him. He only does this "at home".
  9. The size and number of objects he appears to be are not limited; he can be one big thing (like the bird) or many small ones (like Patrick's creepy flying leeches).
  10. He can also manipulate the enviroment as part of his power; Beverly's old house, for example, looked like a nice apartment, and then the Gingerbread House from Hansel & Gretel while Beverly was there.

Okay. So given all that, how much control do you think Pennywise has over his appearance? In some ways it seems like he can pretty much appear to be anything he wants, whenever he wants. My issue there, or question rather, is if he can change at will, why would he LET himself be forced to appear in a vulnerable form? Richie sees him as the werewolf; fair enough. But the second they shot him in the eye and it damn near killed him, you' d think he would immediately change to something else...something over which silver had no effect. But he didn't; he let them bluff him and actually had to run from them. And in his own inner monologue, he questions whether his power is actually working against him, rather than for him.

Kind of sticky, but a fun thought-problem to work through, I think. I figure his ability to mirror your fear is sort of involuntary. That is, he can choose to turn it "on", but when he does, he CAN'T choose what he looks like. He has to turn it "off", and pick a form by himself at that point...usually the clown in some form or other. So when he's mirroring your fears, he isn't controlling what he looks like. But when he wants to appear as something else - like a clown, or an old woman - he CAN choose it, knowing that whatever it is may not be something the victim is afraid of (and indeed, he seems to do that on purpose).

Thoughts from others? I know, I know...probably way to detailed a bit of minutiae. Just something fun to kick around!
I'm impressed with the detail and effort you put in here, so don't feel bad about it. Good job summing up. As you've noted, IT has a lot of control, just look at how many times she affected the environment around someone as well as appearing. And the shape shifting is very much at will, look at the photo album encounter (with all, not just richie and bill). But since she uses people's imagination as a source for choosing shapes, she's also vulnerable in those shapes because of said imagination and beliefs.
 

John13

Active Member
Sep 25, 2016
39
149
32
#25
I think that IT is just a haunting of an unknown nature that haunts Derry. IT came from space and for unspecified reasons cannot escape the area and its stuck there. Because it is bored it commits all these crimes, hunting children and causing all these violent incidents. I dont think it feeds on people, it just kills for pleasure. One issue i have with IT, is that it seems so powerful that it sounds stupid how IT cannot kill the children whenever IT wants. I mean this thing does not just hide in the sewers. It seems to be all around the city, affecting the minds of people, entering houses through the toilets and doing many things simultaneously. For example, in the end he attacks the adults at the sewers but at the same time he sends a nurse to kill Mike. Its all over the place something that i frankly find quite scary but at the same time it begs the question why is so incapable of killing these children

The other theory i have is that IT is a haunting that has taken over derry and materializes only when the human mind is "mature" enough to see IT in a more conventional form. Its an interesting interpretation but its also a bit flawed
 

recitador

Speed Reader
Sep 3, 2016
1,704
7,937
35
#26
I think that IT is just a haunting of an unknown nature that haunts Derry. IT came from space and for unspecified reasons cannot escape the area and its stuck there. Because it is bored it commits all these crimes, hunting children and causing all these violent incidents. I dont think it feeds on people, it just kills for pleasure. One issue i have with IT, is that it seems so powerful that it sounds stupid how IT cannot kill the children whenever IT wants. I mean this thing does not just hide in the sewers. It seems to be all around the city, affecting the minds of people, entering houses through the toilets and doing many things simultaneously. For example, in the end he attacks the adults at the sewers but at the same time he sends a nurse to kill Mike. Its all over the place something that i frankly find quite scary but at the same time it begs the question why is so incapable of killing these children

The other theory i have is that IT is a haunting that has taken over derry and materializes only when the human mind is "mature" enough to see IT in a more conventional form. Its an interesting interpretation but its also a bit flawed
couple problems with the theory. the book states specifically from It's pov that It does in fact feed on people. it even mentions becoming their greatest fears to make the "meat taste sweeter" or something to that effect. the losers club was brought together by another force, a force for good. they were chosen. so it could be argued that they were under a sort of protection. the other potential theory is It got distracted/bored/overconfident and let them get away because It had plenty of victims to chose from, and It didn't need them specifically. there was mention of at least one kid in 1985 who saw It and got away (shark in the canal). the violent incidents were noted as potential sacrifices to start and end each cycle (seeing as how they had one majorly violent event on each end of every murder cycle). i don't recall any specific time It was in two places at once, although it could be possible with It's level of power, but in your example, It wasn't actually attacking the adults in the sewer at the same time, as they formed a circle and sent their power to mike to overcome the nurse.

which is not to say It would never kill just for sheer pleasure. It is evil after all. EDIT to add: i just remembered that everyone that saw It during the bradley gang shootout, saw It in a different position, which is technically more than one place at a time, but all during the same incident in the same general area, so i'm still not sure if that really counts.

sorry, i'm a real nerd for this book lol
 

John13

Active Member
Sep 25, 2016
39
149
32
#27
You are correct that IT mentions that it kills to feed but i still believe that as an unknown entity IT doesnt really needs to feed with children to survive. It kills for sheer pleasure. There is certainly a connection between IT and the minds of the people but i am unsure what that connection is. Although this theory is flawed i do believe that IT emerges when the mind is mature. Could it be a manifestation of evil that needs negative feelings like anger or fear to emerge?
 

John13

Active Member
Sep 25, 2016
39
149
32
#29
Symbolically speaking IT is just a reflection of Derry. The clown is how Derry looks from the outside(a pretty little town). But just like the clown commits all these horrible crimes, the citizens of Derry commit similar(or even more disturbing) crimes. IT comes again and again every 27 years(when the adults have grown up and its their time to pass on their own phobias and traumas to their kids)
 

Reactor

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2009
76
41
Szirmabesenyo, Hungary
#31
The Wiki makes a very good overview on It's abilities and nature, so I firmly believe we can treat the things written there as a useful creature analysis.
It is a very powerful and nasty creature, but is far from being almighty, and has its limits. Ye, It can shapeshift with ease, but is prone to the "T-1000 problem", namely it cannot copy or mimic machines, or cannot transform itself into a rock, a puddle of water or something non-living. Sure, It can become partially invisible, but cannot become fully invisible. It is smart and sly, but I have doubts about its lexical knowledge and IQ, and its smartness appears to be pretty selective and creature-bound: Werewolves, winged leeches or reanimated corpses can not (and will not) act smart and tactical, and It does seem to do illogical things several times, deliberately letting the prey escape with a thought of "gah, just run away and tell this to whom you like, nobody will believe you anyways". It also seems to be powerless if the actual victim is sleeping or unconscious, since It cannot transform to any shape then, with no image to take from the unconscious mind. It could also regenerate after receiving damage, but we never see It actually taking a severe, extreme hit. I strongly doubt that It could recover after being minced by explosives, missiles or high caliber guns. And no, It is not invulnerable by any ways.
 

JMR

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2017
242
1,403
38
#32
I know this is old thread...but the reason the silver bullet work is because the kids wanted it to work. it like when the inhaler had acid and burn it. Or when they called out birds and he felt safe. They gave those things power to beat it. That`s why it lures you will colorful balloons or creeps you out. Not only is twisted but your to busy running to think your fork or fist or anything will save you.
 
#33
It is a very powerful and nasty creature, but is far from being almighty, and has its limits. Ye, It can shapeshift with ease, but is prone to the "T-1000 problem", namely it cannot copy or mimic machines, or cannot transform itself into a rock, a puddle of water or something non-living.
What makes you believe this? :) Are you basing this on the fact that we don't see the monster do this? I think that would be a very unwise assumption. Let me point a few things out. The forms it takes are all from the minds of others, but that doesn't mean that it cannot choose the form it wants. The clown, for example, isn't always what everyone fears. Quite often, the monster uses the clown to "pass" among people. The clown's outfit can change. We see in the very first scene that the monster chose its eye color to be be a pretty blue like Bill's eyes, because it wanted to get closer to Georgie. It didn't want to scare him. It made Georgie smell and hear the circus. It made Stan the man hear and smell things from a carnival. It can become multiple things as in dead boy(s) or weird bug things. Do you see where I'm going with this? While I agree with you that everything the monster has ever taken the form of has likely come from someone's mind, that doesn't mean it can only take those forms that a person is thinking of right at that moment. It has a portfolio. If you doubt that, think about Mrs. Kersh that adult Bev meets, i.e. a woman the monster manifested by aging the looks of a woman from an ancient men's magazine that Bev saw as a kid. Now think about the fun house effect when the glamour is changing the house on Neibolt. I think you are assuming way too much about what the creature can and cannot do. Perception is reality and we are talking about a creature that warps perception. Do you think Bowers really road in a fancy car driven by his dead buddy? Or was the car just as much a manifested part of it as its dead driver? If the monster can make itself into a car, I expect it can be a rock, a machine, or anything else. It simply takes the template from our minds. We are an endless well of possibilities for it.

Sure, It can become partially invisible, but cannot become fully invisible. It is smart and sly, but I have doubts about its lexical knowledge and IQ, and its smartness appears to be pretty selective and creature-bound: Werewolves, winged leeches or reanimated corpses can not (and will not) act smart and tactical, and It does seem to do illogical things several times, deliberately letting the prey escape with a thought of "gah, just run away and tell this to whom you like, nobody will believe you anyways". It also seems to be powerless if the actual victim is sleeping or unconscious, since It cannot transform to any shape then, with no image to take from the unconscious mind. It could also regenerate after receiving damage, but we never see It actually taking a severe, extreme hit. I strongly doubt that It could recover after being minced by explosives, missiles or high caliber guns. And no, It is not invulnerable by any ways.
Again, I think you are making a few leaps of logic here which aren't supported by the evidence. The creature does lots of things which do not seem logical to us because it isn't like us. When it terrorizes prey it is because it is "cooking" it. The monster likes to flavor its meals with fear. It picks on children because they are easier to scare. A fundamental truth about the monster is that it is LAZY. It is an apex predator living it its own private reserve. It simply doesn't like to work that hard. The monster can get quite tactical and is wicked intelligent when motivated to do so, but ninety-nine times out of a hundred it has no reasons for such effort. We are ants to the monster. We pose no threat. Killing one child is very much like killing another. Think about it this way, you are collecting butterflies in a field filed with hundreds of them. Do you focus in one specimen and run yourself ragged trying to chase that one or do you just swipe at any of the countless ones (all the same to you) that float around you? Does a shark attack a school of fish looking to eat a specific one? The monster we often just call Pennywise doesn't have any need to bother. Miss one kid, another will be through any moment now.

When the monster finally gets motivated, i.e. it comes to learn specific prey are a threat (or just anger it) it is downright tactical in how it approaches things. It puts Bowers in motion. It controls key people in the town. It becomes vindictive and targets the Losers selectively going after Bev because she HURT it in Neibolt and for a moment It believed she could kill it. The simple truth is until the showdown in the house on Neibolt, the creature simply didn't consider the Losers any different than the countless other children it had hunted, killed, and on occasion missed before. The monster lazily could care less. Hunting wasn't personal. When they hurt it, everything changed. You question the creature's logic, as in why didn't it creep into their rooms at night and kill them in their sleep? You seem to take the fact that it didn't as proof that it cannot. I consider that unlikely. Let's get back to logic. Let's talk about an immortal, monster and how it thinks. For the first time in its long life it is afraid. It feels pain. It has started to suspect (even though it doesn't want to believe it) that there is some Other or force behind these particular children. At Neibolt the monster stuck its finger in a socket and it got zapped. It naturally was leery of direct confrontation. Everything went weirdly quiet after that while it carefully plotted.

So logically you have a predator which is carelessly hunting its favorite butterflies. It doesn't care which get away and which get caught because it gets all it wants anyway. It has all the time in the world to catch them. Besides, why over exert oneself? Then one day it notices a new type of butterfly in the mix which can sting like a bee. It gets hurt. Its life is disrupted. It resolves to get rid of these mutants and make them pay for stinging it. It doesn't want to get stung again so it watches, waits, and plans carefully to try and get all of them at once with a nice big net. In this context the creatures reasoning is painfully clear and logical to a fault. You just have to truly put yourself into its mindset, profile it if you will, to understand the things it does and why.
 

Reactor

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2009
76
41
Szirmabesenyo, Hungary
#34
Well, it took me more than a thousand re-reads, and several analysis periods, carefully contemplating on what It did in the book and what It should have done instead, this is where my conclusion comes from :) Believe you me, I considered this reply very carefully, since as you skillfully pointed out, no person can understand or comprehend It's full capabilities, therefore a wrong assumption can very easily lead the person's death, who gets attacked by It.
You're right about that a clown is a preferred form of It, and It utilizes it mostly when on "neutral grounds", after all, It is after kids, and even the book mentions, which kid would not like a clown (actually, there are precedents that several didn't). As for the actual monster outfits, It needs to read the victim's mind, but that monster will be the that person's very own horror image until the person actually shouts it out loudly what is it (this is what happened at the 29 Neibolt Street showdown). Richie shouted "It's the Teenager Werewolf", and It's shape solidified into the Teenager Werewolf for everyone else, so it became a common monster. Uh, same goes for the Bird. Mike saw it once, told the others, and the Bird actually appeared in the sewers. As for the first Neibolt Street attack, Bill saw a clown-faced devil (according to the book), whilst Richie saw It as a werewolf, since Bill did not see the matinee movie.
As for the manifestations, they are real enough to cause harm, but I believe they're not actual living parts of It. Popping It's balloons for instance, would not cause any harm to It. Henry's switchblade, for instance. As for the Plymouth Fury, that may or may not have been real. If it was a manifestation, I can understand why it worked - It can take the information out of anyone's mind, so once he probes the mind of a car mechanic or someone who knows what a car is made of, how does it work and such, then It could manifest one, though there might be limits to this ability. But I am 100% sure It could not transform itself to a car, or any other machine for that matter, because of the moving parts, battery, fuel, and pretty much everything else which needs a car to work. It could probably mimic the appearance of machines, but it would still be living tissue having only the looks of solid metal. If someone would be scared of the Terminator, or a nasty Strogg creature from Quake 4, then It could probably assume its form, however, since It is a living creature as it is, it cannot become metal, steel, stone or anything else which does not have life in it.
The second reason is that machines or non-living things are generally not scarry, they cannot really be used to terrify people, so It would see no reason to shapeshift into one anyway.
This intelligence may very well apply to living creatures with special methods of attack. If It would shapeshift into Medusa, people could not be turned to stone simply by looking at Its eyes. Also, It is completely devoid of any projectile attack methods, has only melee attacks. So if It would shapeshift into...um...an Imp from Doom 3, it would be scarry as hell, could scratch and bite, but could not throw fireballs at all. Technically as long as the victim keeps its distance, he'd be safe from It.

As for the second paragraph, you're mostly right, It didn't know these boys are going to team up against It for the kill, so It could allow the luxury to let'em escape. It just seemed strange in contrast to when It actually acts smart and tactical, trying to outwit the victim instead of scaring the living sht out of him. And when the victim is sleeping, there is no image to project, so It simply cannot materialize itself into any shape. Without shape, it cannot kill anything. This is clearly reinforced when Eddie Corcoran dies, It immediately loses its shape. In Patrick's case, however, Beverly was in the close proximity, and could witness the winged leeches, so they remained there, and even attacked Bev until she finally left. When all the Losers have returned, there was no one to scare, so the remaining leeches lost their shape, and reunited with It.
 

Brooks

Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2014
99
426
38
#35
Robert and others,

Very good thread and I've learned a lot from it about IT. I disagree with one of Robert's comparisons:

"It doesn't want to get stung again so it watches, waits, and plans carefully to try and get all of them at once with a nice big net."

IT doesn't want all the losers to come after it together. Individually? No problem. IT will hunt you down. Together, the losers are powerful. Bill convinced Stan to combat IT otherwise they were weak without the unity.

Other than that, very informative thread.
 

Reactor

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2009
76
41
Szirmabesenyo, Hungary
#36
It perplexes me however, how come It didn't unleash the remaining winged leeches on Beverly. Apart from the slingshot and a few ball-bearings, she couldn't ward off the attack of a full swarm of them. One of them actually scored a hit on Bev, and even though she managed to mince the second one, there still were a handful of those nasties left outside, and maybe even more inside the Amana refridgerator (though we could deduct 20 or so, which attacked Patrick).
For some reason, It didn't seem to care about Beverly...maybe was too busy eating up Patrick, and sending two of them leeches against Beverly was only a half-hearted attempt, yet, It would have a chance to finish her off as well. Hell, It even thought about giving the leeches wings to make'em more effective and deadly. Being simply leeches was terrifying for Patrick, so the wings weren't there for scare purposes, but to make sure Patrick won't stand a chance. Once again, It was acting smart and strategically, while at other times, It doesn't. This is quite fascinating...
 
#37
Well, it took me more than a thousand re-reads, and several analysis periods, carefully contemplating on what It did in the book and what It should have done instead, this is where my conclusion comes from :) Believe you me, I considered this reply very carefully, since as you skillfully pointed out, no person can understand or comprehend It's full capabilities, therefore a wrong assumption can very easily lead the person's death, who gets attacked by It.
I think the problem is that you are considering the creature scientifically, as if it is some animal following the evolutionary trail. You are looking for cause and effect based on what we see it do (and what we do not see) and applying limitations based on these observations. If we were studying a physical creature that is driven by physical needs and mortal considerations, that would be the most logical way to approach things. The monster that has come to "haunt" Derry is none of those things.

You're right about that a clown is a preferred form of It, and It utilizes it mostly when on "neutral grounds", after all, It is after kids, and even the book mentions, which kid would not like a clown (actually, there are precedents that several didn't). As for the actual monster outfits, It needs to read the victim's mind, but that monster will be the that person's very own horror image until the person actually shouts it out loudly what is it (this is what happened at the 29 Neibolt Street showdown). Richie shouted "It's the Teenager Werewolf", and It's shape solidified into the Teenager Werewolf for everyone else, so it became a common monster. Uh, same goes for the Bird. Mike saw it once, told the others, and the Bird actually appeared in the sewers. As for the first Neibolt Street attack, Bill saw a clown-faced devil (according to the book), whilst Richie saw It as a werewolf, since Bill did not see the matinee movie.
Again, I think you are confusing preferred method of attack with only method. The monster "likes" to take a form of fear from the victim's mind so that it can season the meat. It doesn't have to do this. The creature is quite capable of taking a victim any number of ways. Sometimes it just "rides" a person and murders them in their sleep. Are you forgetting that it was going to torture, rape, and murder Beverly using her father as a vessel? Are you forgetting that it was going to use a guy working at the hospital to murder Mike (in his sleep no less)? The creature with a thousand faces also has a thousand methods. It has vast powers far beyond what we see day to day. They are mentioned in the book. They are implied all the time. Your question appears to be why doesn't it use them more effectively? We will come back to this later. I don't want to go too far on a tangent from what I am directly answering in the quote above. The monster clearly prefers to attack an individual (alone) when it can because getting the perfect form that will scare everyone is going to be more challenging. What scares one person is unlikely to scare another. We see this problem played out when the Losers battle It in the sewers, long before they reach its lair. It doesn't have to solidify into one monster for the group. If you will remember, Richie saw the werewolf chasing them when Bill and Richie were on the bike. Bill saw the clown. An interesting question which we don't know the answer to is what would have happened if it had caught them. I suspect that Richie could have been clawed by werewolf claws, but Bill would have been bludgeoned or somehow mauled in an appropriate way to how he perceived it. This is another tangent (but an important one) we will come back to later. The only thing that is truly important about the Losers coming to agreement on what it looks like is that they are all on the same page of what it is at that moment, what it can do, and more importantly what can hurt it. I think the monster would have been perfectly content for all of them to continue to see it differently, frozen by their own personal terrors, while it killed them. What is important to understand is that it didn't settle on the werewolf, that form was impressed upon it by the Losers. By opening itself up to use their personal fears against them, it made itself vulnerable to being molded by them. That doesn't mean it couldn't have simply chosen something for itself from its portfolio. Of course it could have... but up until that point... it has no reason to truly fear them. It simply acted as it always acts because why not?

As for the manifestations, they are real enough to cause harm, but I believe they're not actual living parts of It. Popping It's balloons for instance, would not cause any harm to It. Henry's switchblade, for instance. As for the Plymouth Fury, that may or may not have been real. If it was a manifestation, I can understand why it worked - It can take the information out of anyone's mind, so once he probes the mind of a car mechanic or someone who knows what a car is made of, how does it work and such, then It could manifest one, though there might be limits to this ability. But I am 100% sure It could not transform itself to a car, or any other machine for that matter, because of the moving parts, battery, fuel, and pretty much everything else which needs a car to work. It could probably mimic the appearance of machines, but it would still be living tissue having only the looks of solid metal. If someone would be scared of the Terminator, or a nasty Strogg creature from Quake 4, then It could probably assume its form, however, since It is a living creature as it is, it cannot become metal, steel, stone or anything else which does not have life in it. The second reason is that machines or non-living things are generally not scarry, they cannot really be used to terrify people, so It would see no reason to shapeshift into one anyway.
Every part of It is alive. Don't forget that even its saliva squirmed away in the sewer. This is a spiritual entity first, and only physical when it imposes itself on our reality so that it can affect physical things. The monster is a ghost, spirit, god, demon, or simply animus if you like. It has no form in the real world without expending effort to do so. It cannot affect the real world at all unless it takes a physical form or possesses someone appropriate and uses them. The trappings of the monster lead even us, the reader, astray from its true nature. It is a hungry ghost. Let us look to a similar spirit in the works of Tolkien, i.e. Ungoliant. She too was a cosmic entity, a spiritual creature who chose to take physical form. Her only desire was to eat. That was the extent of her ambition, i.e. to feed her personal hunger. The major difference appears to be that in Middle Earth the decision to go back and forth between flesh and spirit is more permanent. Ungoliant took physical form because that was what was required to eat. The same is true of Pennywise. Every illusion the monster creates, everything it spawns into the world, and each individual thing is part of itself and thus alive. The key is that the manifested parts of itself are bound to the laws of the manifestation. If it manifests itself as flying leeches, those creatures will simply have the ability (mental and physical) of the same. Let us not forget Hockstetter, who is driven by one part of It into another. When you talk about the creature being able to mimic a car, you are missing the point. It is't a mimic. It becomes a car. It becomes a vampire. It becomes flying leeches. Perception is reality. And for the last time, it doesn't HAVE to become something scary. That is merely a choice. We have seen it choose to be enticing countless times, to lure its prey closer.

This intelligence may very well apply to living creatures with special methods of attack. If It would shapeshift into Medusa, people could not be turned to stone simply by looking at Its eyes. Also, It is completely devoid of any projectile attack methods, has only melee attacks. So if It would shapeshift into...um...an Imp from Doom 3, it would be scarry as hell, could scratch and bite, but could not throw fireballs at all. Technically as long as the victim keeps its distance, he'd be safe from It.
It could do all of these things, but quite often that would defeat the point of the process. It is rarely looking for a clean, quick kill. It is trying to cook its meal and season it to taste. That process requires time and application. For adults it is too much work for a lazy creature to bother with. That doesn't mean it can't do it. It means it doesn't want to exert the effort. Therein lies a clue. It takes effort to shapeshift. That is why it often slips into the form of the clown, its default neutral. It takes effort to peer into a mind and pull out that fear. It takes effort to manifest it. It takes even more effort to manifest for lots of people at the same time. We see a clue in that again, supporting this notion, in why it prefers a one on one hunt, and why it will often blow off a hunt if/when the prey reaches a populated area. The creature is lazy and doesn't like to expend too much energy. We see implication in this too, i.e. why does it go to sleep? The long and the short of it is that the monster is feeding for a reason (or several) and hunting expends energy. You want to spend the least energy hunting you can, so that you profit energy in a successful hunt. It is actually quite logical. The seasoning of the meat, so to speak, is clearly important to the monster. The prey might just taste better, or perhaps that gives a bigger blast of power. The specifics aren't important here. What is important is that the monster clearly prefers to terrorize prey before eating it. Turning the victim off like a light is counterproductive to that. It only tries to kill that way when there is a need, and when it kills that way (i.e. not for feeding) it tends to use other agents or possessed dogsbodies.

As for the second paragraph, you're mostly right, It didn't know these boys are going to team up against It for the kill, so It could allow the luxury to let'em escape. It just seemed strange in contrast to when It actually acts smart and tactical, trying to outwit the victim instead of scaring the living sht out of him. And when the victim is sleeping, there is no image to project, so It simply cannot materialize itself into any shape. Without shape, it cannot kill anything. This is clearly reinforced when Eddie Corcoran dies, It immediately loses its shape. In Patrick's case, however, Beverly was in the close proximity, and could witness the winged leeches, so they remained there, and even attacked Bev until she finally left. When all the Losers have returned, there was no one to scare, so the remaining leeches lost their shape, and reunited with It.
Again, you are attributing too much knowledge to it, and a tactical approach you and I would apply after years of watching horror movies. :) You are clearly a very objective motivated person. But let's address Hockstetter and Bev. As I pointed out before, it truly becomes whatever form it takes. If it has already taken the form, there is no glamour effect. The slugs were already in the refrigerator. It had prepared a trap for Hockstetter. Beverly saw what Hockstetter saw. It is unlikely she shared the same fear as him. That means his manifestation, exactly, was visible to her. Those damn things were real. They were part of It, but quite real. They were a trap it set, solidified part of itself into reality (which is why Bev saw them the same... felt them in fact) and drove Hockstetter into another manifestation of It which was more "flexible" shall we say? :) As to Eddie Corcoran, it doesn't "lose" its shape... it just doesn't need it anymore. It drops the glamour because that is effort. Why spend energy you no longer need to spend? The evidence doesn't show the creature is forced to do anything it doesn't want to do. The only exceptions is when it is choosing to shapeshift and tap the minds of its prey. That potent power is also its weakness, if the prey figures out it can take advantage of it. Crosses don't hurt vampires. It is the belief in crosses that hurts vampires.

So let's get back to some of those asides from earlier. If we assume the creature is supernatural, i.e. a powerful spirit called the Deadlights from outside reality that has found a way through the cosmic barrier (either finding a pinhole or puncturing a small one), then we must accept that the creature known sometimes as Pennywise is a bit of the Deadlights oozing through that hole, a tendril of that thing's power. As spirit, it is limited to spirit. It is a corruption, unnatural, and simply wrong. It is from outside. It is a hungry ghost that has limited options. It can simply lurk and watch, perhaps influencing or possessing those few whose nature allows it, or it can become physical to feed its urges. To become physical is also to become vulnerable. It cannot affect the physical world without itself becoming somewhat vulnerable to it. The insane Deadlights are also alien to our world. It has no concept of form or function. It must, therefore, refract its evil light through the prism of our minds to take shape. The tendril, an Avatar if you will, is more logical and thinking than the Deadlights because that too is part of our reality. It isn't just the body of the creature that is refracted and made manifest in the image of our world, it is also the monster's mind. Here it can think. Beyond the barrier it is an endless babbling madness. The intellect, i.e. the very personality, of Pennywise came to be also drawing upon our world. It, like us, is a product of the time and place. This also means that in the unlikely event of its destruction, Pennywise is truly dead. Another tendril that manages to get through somehow would be a product of its time and place. Of course, the implication of the book is that the death of Pennywise has sealed off that level of the Tower to the Deadlights. The pinhole was sealed when the tendril is cut off so to speak.

But let's get cosmic shall we? Let's try to paint a physical picture of this to conceptualize it. Imagine the Deadlights outside of everything. Imagine that cosmic barrier between reality and whatever "outside" actually means. That hideous madness of lights wants in badly. Like an octopus trying to get at a fish inside a bottle, it is always gibbering and feeling its way around the cosmic barrier trying to find a way in. It finds (or makes) a tiny hole in the barrier through which its light shines. Can all of the Deadlights get through that hole? No. But now there is a beam of light shining across the Macroverse. Visualize that orange light, the barrier, and the beam of orange light coming through it. That light crosses the vast distance and BLAMMO comes out of the sky and blasts a hole on planet earth. That was just the initial impact so to speak. Now think about that light still beaming there. The initial damage is done, but that unnatural light coming through the pinhole from beyond is still bathing Derry. It is a flickering light to be sure, as beyond all reality the Deadlights seethe and churn and constantly seeking other ways in. Think of it as a pattern as the Deadlights move around doing "other" things. Sometimes the light burns bright, a solid beam if you will, on Derry every 27-30+ years or so. The rest of the time it is a flickering, faint light as the light of evil has moved around. The Avatar that is Pennywise exists in that light and is strongest (awake) when it is beaming. It sleeps the rest of the time. The light never fails entirely though, which is why the corruption and effect on Derry is always present. Think of that beam as a pathway across which this corruption and madness flows. It is a path that can go both ways, and does in fact like the end of an evil rainbow. The Losers found the end of that rainbow under Derry, i.e. the point of impact of the beam, where the thinny rests. One end is here; the other end is the Deadlights. Kill Pennywise and the tendril is severed or snaps back, and closing that pinhole in the barrier. The thinny remains as the barrier between this level of the Tower and the macroverse is thin now, but the cosmic barrier is another thing altogether. Out there the Deadlights seethe and pulse, circling the barrier to find other ways in.
 
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#38
It perplexes me however, how come It didn't unleash the remaining winged leeches on Beverly. Apart from the slingshot and a few ball-bearings, she couldn't ward off the attack of a full swarm of them. One of them actually scored a hit on Bev, and even though she managed to mince the second one, there still were a handful of those nasties left outside, and maybe even more inside the Amana refridgerator (though we could deduct 20 or so, which attacked Patrick).
For some reason, It didn't seem to care about Beverly...maybe was too busy eating up Patrick, and sending two of them leeches against Beverly was only a half-hearted attempt, yet, It would have a chance to finish her off as well. Hell, It even thought about giving the leeches wings to make'em more effective and deadly. Being simply leeches was terrifying for Patrick, so the wings weren't there for scare purposes, but to make sure Patrick won't stand a chance. Once again, It was acting smart and strategically, while at other times, It doesn't. This is quite fascinating...
It didn't unleash them because it didn't see her. One of the leeches did and it bit her. It acted as the form required. The point, as I made in other posts, is that It is limited by the shapes it takes. Most of the swarm was already fat, sluggish and gorge don Patrick. They didn't have the ability to chase her down. Of if you like, the other part of It was gleefully gorging on Hockstetter's soul and thus It was distracted and uninterested in her. As I said before, the monster is Lazy. A kid in the hand is better than wasting more energy chasing a girl in the dump. After all... it can always get her later.
 
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#39
Yes, well...yes. I do analyse the creature scientifically :) Which is quite interesting, since I do believe in monsters, fairy-tales and I do dabble in the flights of fantasy very often, yet, I somehow feel that It's nature and abilities can be described scientifically, since It is not all-mighty, has its limits, and must abide laws. You know...this is what I've missed from the novel, or from the Losers, if you prefer. A kid which'd act like a science officer of the team. It worked extremely well in the novel Alien. A kid like this would be an unimaginibly big help for the Losers, and they indeed were in a desperate need for a science officer-character.

It's mind-control abilities are clear as day, and It utilized them on Bevery's father or Mark Lamonica when its situation was looking pretty grim (albeit using Mark Lamonica to kill Mike wouldn't do much good if the Losers could kill It anyways). But hell, even a creature like It is prone to oversight. The universe's most basic element is mistake.
When discussing the nature of the different shapes and how It decides to take one single form with only minor differences, this is a harder topic. In fantasy books, the illusion created by a magician works only as long as something doesn't break it. For instance, if a magician creates an illusion that he turns into a mouse, and then open a door, the illusion would cease to exist. So if It desires to avoid such occurrence, breaking its own spell, it must choose a shape which'd "satisfy the needs" of everyone present. It's too bad the book didn't go into deeper details on this one, because this is quite a subject - how to make a mirror project the same thing to everyone in close vicinity. I think this is what the book meant by saying it was "imprisoned" in a shape. We cannot really understand or comprehend how these supernatural stuff work, since it seem to defy the current laws of physics, as we know it, but It is the great example that somehow something like can exist.

I never read Lord of the Rings, nor have seen the movie (not really my style), so I can't really comprehend the two entities :) I only say what is common knowledge - or belief - about illusions. For the actual person, the illusion is real, until he can see thru it perfectly, breaking the spell. Most of the illusions made by It were real enough to harm, others were just like holograms (for instance, the ceiling rising up at Neibolt Street), or the balloons floating against the wind. They're just tools, not the actual being. The book also mentions by quoting It that there are indeed limits to this projection and illusion creation ability: adults' fears are much too complex for It to create an appropiate illusion for it.

It is quite interesting that you say that It is a lazy creature as it is, and doesn't like to put too much effort into hunting. This is quite funny, seeing how It spends most of its life sleeping, and is only awake for 1 year :) This life-cycle would mean It is actually very active during the awaken periods, but somehow, it's not. Some other times, It deliberately chooses a method which gives them much more victims, like the minced lumberjacks at the very edge of the Barrens, or the explosion in the Ironworks.

The Deadlights is certainly an interesting form of existence on its own, and without an actual physical form of It, they're utterly harmless - it exist beyond the Macroverse, where nothing else is, except the Deadlights, so while it is there, it cannot really be a threat on its own...kind of sealed away in its own existence. I never really thought about how to defeat or destroy the Deadlights, simply because humanity has no means or chance of ever reaching it (considering the fact that the boundaries of the universe constantly extend MUCH faster than any spaceship could reach, so technically, it's infinite distance). I just wonder what reason the Deadlights had to send its physical entity to Earth if it "mocks life" as the book says. The Deadlights may actually require killing inferior beings to prevail? I wish I know :)
 
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#40
I never read Lord of the Rings, nor have seen the movie (not really my style), so I can't really comprehend the two entities :) I only say what is common knowledge - or belief - about illusions. For the actual person, the illusion is real, until he can see thru it perfectly, breaking the spell. Most of the illusions made by It were real enough to harm, others were just like holograms (for instance, the ceiling rising up at Neibolt Street), or the balloons floating against the wind. They're just tools, not the actual being. The book also mentions by quoting It that there are indeed limits to this projection and illusion creation ability: adults' fears are much too complex for It to create an appropiate illusion for it.
Well, as a Constant Reader, I recommend the books. They are an immersive experience, even if the writing style is a product of its time. I also recommend Watership Down, which is a spiritual descendant, and superior. It is important, at least in my opinion, to read the great epics of fantasy. I include both Stephen King's It and Dark Tower series among that elite group. It is my personal opinion that if you enjoyed It, you will enjoy those. I think they are absolutely your style. If you are able to suspend disbelief in evil, magical clowns and immerse in the world of Derry, you can manage it for high fantasy and talking rabbits.

It is quite interesting that you say that It is a lazy creature as it is, and doesn't like to put too much effort into hunting. This is quite funny, seeing how It spends most of its life sleeping, and is only awake for 1 year :) This life-cycle would mean It is actually very active during the awaken periods, but somehow, it's not. Some other times, It deliberately chooses a method which gives them much more victims, like the minced lumberjacks at the very edge of the Barrens, or the explosion in the Ironworks.
Well... we have to be careful about confusing the big explosions of violence which herald its arrival and departure back to sleep. Minced Lumberjacks appear to be more fun for the monster than hunting. It seems kind of a spiteful bender before nap-time. Quite often the big slaughter at the end of a cycle seems to neatly tie up loose ends, or distract people from the horror that happened before. It could be doing this simply because its powers to cloud minds and cover its own existence is weaker while it is asleep. Thus, it does a big nasty show at the end so that all anyone is talking about or thinking about is the horror of that event. It might just do it for kicks. Perhaps both? If things like the minced Lumberjacks or detonated Ironworks are another form of hunting, providing it with unholy sustenance from the killed, that would open a new can of worms and horrific implications. But we can make a specific thread for following those implications if you like.

The Deadlights is certainly an interesting form of existence on its own, and without an actual physical form of It, they're utterly harmless - it exist beyond the Macroverse, where nothing else is, except the Deadlights, so while it is there, it cannot really be a threat on its own...kind of sealed away in its own existence. I never really thought about how to defeat or destroy the Deadlights, simply because humanity has no means or chance of ever reaching it (considering the fact that the boundaries of the universe constantly extend MUCH faster than any spaceship could reach, so technically, it's infinite distance). I just wonder what reason the Deadlights had to send its physical entity to Earth if it "mocks life" as the book says. The Deadlights may actually require killing inferior beings to prevail? I wish I know :)
Heh. You just can't get away from wanting to be scientific can you? To quote the book, "once you get into cosmological **** like this, you have to throw away the instruction manual." It isn't actually physical distance they are travelling, so I think you are bit off the beam there. The macroverse that Bill hurtles through with It isn't space. All of that infinite distance you are thinking of is actually contained within a single level of the Tower. I think the creature that is Pennywise simply enjoys feeding. Things are good from the Avatar's perspective, and it is slowly but surely achieving its goal of spawning. One can presume doing so will aid the Deadlights in cracking far more than just a pinhole into that reality. To an immortal, insane monster the countless centuries from a human perspective is nothing but a blink of the eye. I have my own philosophical ideas about the Dionysian nature of the Turtle and It (as well as the Other), but I also think that delves into the realm of needing its own thread and is perhaps more than most people want to know. Some mysteries are more magical when they are not solved.
 
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