When asked about their creative processes, both #StephenKing and #DavidLynch have claimed that their inspiration comes from outside themselves; that they are mere vessels through which their ideas float, if you will. But is it really possible to not be influenced by those around you, consciously or unconsciously, or are Lynch and King just getting their ideas from the same sinister dimension?
With Season 3 of #TwinPeaks just about to crawl over the couch at us (May 21, Peaks fans!) and the #ITmovie set for a reboot coming out in September of this year, now is a great time to look back at both works. While doing just that, I started to piece together a theory that connects the two. While both on-screen adaptations came out in 1990 and are now set for new additions, 27 years later, could they have even more in common that we previously thought? Well, there are certainly more than a few similarities, but the most intriguing one lies in the spooky resemblance between the two main villains, Killer Bob and Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Indeed, their similarities are so great that it raises the question: Could they in fact be one and the same?
Let's take a look at the evidence!
*Needless to say, spoilers for the first two Twin Peaks seasons and IT lie below.*
Bob And Pennywise Share A Name
Did you know that Bob is Pennywise's real name? Yeah, neither did I, but if you read the book, you'll discover that Pennywise is just his clown form, which he takes to most easily lure in children. In the book, he says on multiple occasions that his real name is Robert (or Bob) Gray — although it's also possible that Bob is just another alias for this spider-like fiend from the Macroverse.
While Bob from Twin Peaks shares this same innocuous name, it also comes as no surprise that this malevolent spirit has gone by other aliases throughout the centuries. But this villainous duo's same-name dilemma does warrant the question: Is it a coincidence that two of the freakiest, otherworldly #horror icons — created within four years of each other — are both named Bob?
If you were blown away by this Pennywise name reveal, check out eight other things you might not have known about Pennywise in our video below:
They Both Come From Another Dimension
Stephen King's creation IT comes from the void of space encompassing the universe known as the Macroverse, or the Todash Darkness (as further explained in The Dark Tower, which is coincidentally also getting its own film adaptation starring Idris Elba).
Twin Peaks' Bob also comes from a mysterious dimension known as the Black Lodge, which, as Deputy Hawk describes the legend, "must be passed through on the way to perfection." The Black Lodge is a place of pain and evil, and it is extremely powerful; those who are not courageous enough to confront it are easily corrupted.
They Can Take Many Forms
Both Pennywise and Bob are shape-shifters. While Pennywise's preferred Earth disguise is as a terrifying clown, s/he also appears as other humans with whom his/her victims are familiar. At the end of the book, s/he even appears as a giant female spider, which is the closest earthly shape to IT's true form in the Macroverse.
Similarly, Twin Peaks' Bob is also able to inhabit the bodies of others, possessing their souls for his own means. But instead of becoming a massive spider, Bob shares an affinity with owls, inhabiting their bodies to observe through their eyes. The owls are most certainly not what they seem!
They Feed Off The Fear Of Others
Both Pennywise and Bob get their energy from fear or, as it's known in the Black Lodge, garmonbozia (a negative spiritual energy consisting of fear, pain, and suffering). Just as Pennywise feeds off children because it's easier to make them afraid (and apparently fear is like salt on meat), Twin Peaks' Bob is summoned by fear, and he lives for it. At the end of Season 2 (Episode 28), Agent Cooper presents this hypothesis after seeing Bob appear right when Josie dies:
"Upon reflection, I believe there's a connection between his appearance and Josie's fear. He was attracted by it. He may even feed off it."
His idea was that she was frightened to death, so Bob came literally skulking out of the woodwork to find her fear. Perhaps Bob was even in her, too, possessing her to carry out the dastardly deeds that led to her demise.
They're Both Effortlessly Terrifying
Both Pennywise and Bob have the power to terrorize without actually doing much. Now, this might be down to the comparatively limited gore in cinema in the early '90s, but there's a reason why we still talk about these two villains in 2017. It's also worth noting that what we don't see often scares us more than what's shown explicitly.
It's clear that these two demonic entities from another dimension have horror cred in spades, and their original cinematic forms will continue to haunt our dreams long into the future. Chronologically, Stephen King's novel IT came first in 1986 and the mini-series starring Tim Curry aired on ABC in November 1990. David Lynch and Mark Frost's Twin Peaks aired from April to June of 1990. Whether or not they are indeed the same character, or Twin Peaks took inspiration from Stephen King's novel, or the whole thing is one giant coincidence, 1990 sure was an industrious year for Bob!
tl;dr Name? Check. Origin in an otherworldly, dark dimension? Check. Shape-shifting? Check. Feeding off fear? Check. Terrifying by default? Check.