I just saw It (2017), but haven't read the original book yet. In the opening scene, Pennywise lures Georgie into his sewer by acting friendly and making him laugh. It's not until Georgie reaches his arm into the sewer does Pennywise bite his arm off.

This behavior is a lot different compared to the rest of the movie, where Pennywise scares the other kids psychologically as much as possible before capturing them.

Why did he act so much more friendly to Georgie before hurting him?

  • 3
    does this need a new tag? it vs it-2017
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 8, 2017 at 17:44
  • @NKCampbell And it's chapter one.
    – user40790
    Sep 8, 2017 at 19:50
  • @NKCampbell Is this unique to the 2017 movie? Sep 14, 2017 at 20:58
  • I have no idea - haven't seen either
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 15, 2017 at 13:04

6 Answers 6


Haven't seen the new movie yet, however if Georgie was one of the first victims, it is likely that It was simply hungry and actually needed to eat, hence the luring in of the victim.

Act friendly, lure in the food, and eat quickly as opposed to make the victim fear to sweeten the meal and have to expend energy chasing it down.

This is of course dependent on what It actually requires for sustenance. Maybe flesh is something akin to oatmeal or a potato, able to sustain life but somewhat unappetizing while the psychological torment is like a dash of brown sugar or a pat of butter, sour cream and salt. Or perhaps it's something like the flesh is the free bread a restaurant puts on the table, and the fear is the main course.


Not sure we can answer why, but in the books, Pennywise doesn't seem to have too much trouble acting quickly.

In all of the initial encounters, the main characters almost get nabbed fairly quickly without a lot of fanfare. It had Mike's arm; Ritchie almost gets knocked out and is bleeding (or was that Ritchie's 2nd time?); and the leper goes for Eddie immediately. A little lead up and then an explosive pounce. Ben's and Stan's encounter seem less frenetic, but still ~120 second encounters.

I think the main difference with Georgie is that It had the boat as bait.

Haven't seen the movie, but once the group starts to form, It starts doing things like harassing Beverly via the plumbing and trying to use the crazy people etc. This seems like a deviation from the normal hunting M.O. that I can only guess the movie focuses on.

  • 1
    I'm not sure you got my question - all the other times we see It, it's being highly psychologically disturbing. I'm asking why it was friendly to Georgie instead of trying to frighten him before kidnapping him. Sep 8, 2017 at 20:46
  • 3
    Because he had the boat. Scaring Georgie negates the utility of the boat as bait. It is not averse to simply taking things that drop in Its lap, Adrian Mellon getting tossed over the bridge for instance. (Adrian may not be in the movie)
    – Yorik
    Sep 8, 2017 at 20:52

I too tought that this was a plot hole until I remebered what Pennywise said. Something like: "Grab the boat or Billie's going to kill you!" He was afraid of getting into a fight with his family and angering them so he reached down the sewer because he wasn't afraid of doing so, but of not doing it.


In the book, when IT grabs Georgie arm, IT changes its face into something so terrifying that it completely broke Georgie's sanity. IT used fear before killing him. It tried to do the same with the other kids, and it almost killed them a few times on IT's initial encounters with them. The mummy almost grabbed Ben's foot, the giant bird most certainly would have killed Mike if he had not so bravely fought it, and the leper was literally just a few centimeters from grabbing Eddie and killing him. I think that once The Losers Club came together was when IT switched up its MO. But it most certainly killed Georgie in a way that it normally killed children. The only difference is that it lured him in with the boat. Maybe it just took it as an opportunity to have its meal delivered to it? I guess we'll never know exactly.

  • Hey! Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! Make sure to check out the tour and How to Answer! Can you please provide the quote for the event in the book that you mention at the top? Thanks!
    – Mithical
    Sep 24, 2017 at 13:27

Pennywise does not need to scare his victims in order to kill them, he simply prefers to.

The reason he does this is because it supppsedly tastes better. He says it's like "salting the meat."

  • I understand that. So why didn't he scare Georgie? He was right there. It would have been pretty easy to salt him. Sep 14, 2017 at 21:45
  • Unfortunately, I don't think you will find an in universe answer. He just didn't.
    – Recelica
    Sep 15, 2017 at 21:08
  • 1
    Pennywise bit Georgie's arm off. Then let him writhe on the ground screaming before pulling him into the sewer. I think there's plenty of scare in that whole act to salt some meat.
    – Kai Qing
    Oct 2, 2017 at 16:21

Pennywise feeds off the fear as much as he does the consumption of Children. He needs them to fear him. Georgie's death has always been a big plot hole in the story. That's how the loser club survives him in the first hand they stood up to their fears.

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