Pennywise Isn't the Only Member of IT's Species (In Stephen King's Books) -BB
IT’s shape-shifting monster Pennywise the Clown is one of Stephen King’s greatest villains, but The Dark Tower books introduce another of ITs species. Stephen King’s library of novels and short stories plays host to dozens of memorable antagonists, including The Stand’s Randall Flagg, Salem’s Lot’s Kurt Barlow, and The Shining’s ghost-filled Overlook Hotel. Perhaps the most iconic though is IT, a shape-shifting alien being most commonly seen in its default form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
IT truly seems like a one of a kind creature, but that’s actually not the case. While these concepts are left unexplained in the IT adaptations, the creature hails from another realm called the Macroverse, a place thought to be related to the Todash spaces found in The Dark Tower series. The Todash darkness holds within it unimaginable monsters akin to Lovecraftian old ones, and IT is most likely just such a creature, albeit one that landed on Earth near what would become the town of Derry, Maine.
Another plot point not mentioned in the IT adaptations made so far is that the creature is a female, or at least seems like one, as in King’s book IT lays eggs. These eggs are seemingly destroyed before they can hatch, but fans have often wondered whether one might’ve survived. We don’t know either way for sure, but if an IT baby did live, The Dark Tower monster called Dandelo might be of that lineage.
Dandelo enters The Dark Tower story in the very last book of Stephen King’s epic dark fantasy series, simply called The Dark Tower. Dandelo, a shape-shifter who uses the alias Joe Collins, lives in a friendly-looking house on Odd Lane in the White Lands of Empathica. He’s encountered by the trio of Roland Deschain, Susannah Dean, and Oy, who almost end up dying at his hands. This is because Dandelo feeds off emotions, and takes the form of a standup comedian to prey on the laughter of Roland and his companions. They end up escaping this predicament and killing Dandelo with help from Stephen King himself, as the author inserts himself into the story in an extremely meta turn of events.
It turns out Dandelo had been holding Insomnia character Patrick Danville captive, and feeding on different emotions at different times, as each has its own flavor. This includes fear, the preferred seasoning of IT’s Pennywise. Adding to the parallels between the two are that Dandelo’s true form is insect-like, while ITs is a massive spider, and the fact that Dandelo makes use of a maintenance robot called Stuttering Bill, in a clear reference to IT’s Losers‘ Club. When the final Dark Tower book first came out, many King fans assumed Dandelo actually was IT, but King denied that, instead offering up the notion that the two creatures of are of the same species. Whether Dandelo might be ITs offspring remains unclear.
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