What Are the Top 7 of Pennywise Weaknesses? Unexpected Rating

FEB 03, 2023 AT 08:16 AM


Stephen King’s Pennywise is undeniably one of the most famous horror classics of all time. Society instantly revered the horrific shapeshifting clown. This is proven by ITS highly successful TV and movie adaptions.

Do not make the mistake of assuming that these accolades mean Pennywise is flawless. We all have our weaknesses. An ancient evil that enjoys torturing people and dining on terrified kids between long periods of subterranean hibernation is no different. 


If you have wondered whether Pennywise is invincible, this article will prove to you that he is not. 

Here are the top seven weaknesses Pennywise does not want you to know about. 

1) Silver Bullets

Most strengths can also be flipped into weaknesses. Pennywise’s ability to transform into various creatures, including a leper, clown, werewolf, or monstrous bird, has been used against him. This is proven by the fact that Pennywise’s ability to transform into a werewolf makes him susceptible to silver. Whenever IT transforms, IT is bound by all the laws of its new shape. 

The Losers Club famously took advantage of Pennywise’s weakness. They melted down silver earrings into slugs. These silver slugs were used to weaken Pennywise. Though the silver bullets do not take Pennywise down, they buy the Looser’s Club enough time to regroup. Pennywise becomes so weak that IT has to retreat. The Looser’s Club uses the precious time to plan its next move. 

2) Imagination

A creature that preys on people’s fears must be able to tap into their imaginations. In another case of strength turning into weakness, Pennywise’s ability to tap into victims’ imaginations can be used against him. A victim with enough willpower can flip the script on Pennywise by denying ITS existence; the strongest can manipulate his imagination. 

Who can forget the scene where Eddie Kasprak one-upped his friends? While they kept Pennywise at bay by repeatedly thinking, “you are not real,” Eddie melted Pennywise’s face using an inhaler full of acid. Though this does not kill IT, the Losers Club is able to stop Pennywise’s advance for some time. They also prove that anyone committed enough can manipulate ITS imagination right back. 

3) Adulthood

Eddie Kaspbrak's death can attest to Pennywise's ability to kill adults, but IT prefers to whet its appetite on young children's anxieties before feasting on them. The older you get, the less power Pennywise has over you. As you age, your childish naivety and imagination are stripped away by life’s harsh realities. Pennywise struggles to take root because there is less to hold onto daily. 

The Losers Club had escaped Deryy and moved on with their lives. They were almost successful in forgetting their mission to forget Pennywise… Until IT came back to haunt them twenty-seven years after the original horror. As adults, the Loser’s Club is better equipped to fight off IT. They even successfully perform the ritual of Chaud to defeat IT. 

Granted, there is still a lot we still need to learn about Pennywise. He may have previously feasted on adults. However, as shown in both the novel and the film versions, young children are Pennywise's preferred treat. Like most monsters, IT figures out that children make easier prey than adults. 

4) Time and Distance

You probably already know ITS origin story. Pennywise crash-landed on earth from another dimension hundreds of years before the events narrated in Stephen King’s best-selling novel. IT then claimed the area as its own and hibernated there, awaiting the rise of humankind. 

As a result, the unfortunate residents of Derry are the main focus of its sporadic terror campaigns. IT is confined to this particular geographical region. You have nothing o fear from Pennywise if you do not live in Derry. 

You’d think a being capable of interdimensional travel would not be stuck in one place, but you’d be wrong. IT has never spread outside the boundaries of Derry. 

This is an obvious disadvantage. While mentally influencing the Losers Club's decisions and way of life, while in Derry, Pennywise does not pose a threat to them when they leave Derry. Potential victims might easily flee the area and avoid being subjected to Pennywise's terrifying chokehold.

Although it might be much simpler said than done, Pennywise has yet to overcome this weakness. Lucky for IT, victims are unaware that leaving Derry is good enough to defeat Pennywise. 

Another distinct disadvantage is that IT has to quasi-hibernate for twenty-seven years after completing a feeding ritual. Such a long hibernation is much less scary than a terror that is unleashed, let’s say - every full moon. 

5) The Ritual of Chüd

No horror film worth its bone will lack a creepy and complex ritual that captures the viewer’s imagination. The Ritual of Chüd is arguably one of Stephen King's IT's crucial and oddest plot elements. This ancient ritual is essentially a battle of wills. 

This battle features a psychological war between the Loser’s Club and Pennywise. It diminishes each side's resolve with the aim of complete annihilation. Before Bill Denbrough faces up Pennywise in the first novel, he learns about the ritual from a book titled "Night's Truth" from the public library in Derry. 

At the first trial, the ritual fails because the Losers ignore the turtle Maturin's advice to ensure the deal is finalized. For this mistake, the Loser’s Club cannot vanquish IT the first time. They allow Pennywise to escape their grasp and return to torture them twenty-seven years later. This, unfortunately, allows IT to get away.

Nonetheless, when the members of the Loser’s Club performed the Ritual of Chud twenty-seven years later - as adults - it was a resounding success. The ritual vanquished IT and allowed the Loser’s Club to live the rest of their lives without fearing Pennywise would return to haunt them. 

6) Maturin 

Maturin is a character in Stephen King's best-selling series "The Dark Tower," The huge turtle protects the beams that support the Dark Tower. It resides outside of the known cosmos and serves as a kind of universe's focal point. 

Think of Marturin as the center of the universe. In fact, King suggests that Maturin created the world as we know it after getting sick to his stomach and throwing up the universe. It makes you wonder where King posits Marturin comes from. We know Maturin is a deadly archnemesis who ensures that ITS victims are not hopeless in their battle against the ancient evil.  

The Macroverse's Maturin, an equally potent celestial creature with the expertise and knowledge to permanently dethrone Pennywise. Without Maturin’s help, the Loser’s Club would not have stood a chance against Pennywise. 

It was not enough that Bill uncovered the book containing the Ritual of Chud. Maturin is the one who explains to Bill how the Ritual of Chüd functions. Following the counsel of this cosmic turtle, he and the other Losers can finally vanquish Pennywise.

7) Courage

Pennywise is known to feed off his victims' fear. Which horror movie villain doesn’t delight in horror? This is why IT shapeshifts into his victim's biggest fears and stalks them for some time before killing them. It wants to ensure their flesh is tenderized and spiced by as much fear as possible. IT scared victims are much more delectable than those caught off-guard.

Just like every villain has their kryptonite, Pennywise’s Achille’s heel is courage. The brave you are, the harder it is for IT to take on a horrific roller coaster ride.

In the final act of Andy Muschietti's "IT," the Losers, save for Beverly, who has been abducted, plunge into the sewers to put an end to Pennywise, presumably forever. Through their courageous actions, the Losers Club triumphs. Pennywise is defeated due to their courage and cohesion being too much for him to handle.


Though Pennywise will live on in infamy, IT does not rank among the top three scariest horror villains. This does not mean IT does not deserve adoration. It only means that anyone who does not live in the fictional town of Derry may have a tough time being terrified of IT.