Stranger Things, It

The Duffer Brothers Sent Their Fear of ‘It’ to the Upside Down

**Stranger Things season 2 spoilers below**








If you or one of your friends has a Netflix subscription, then you’ve probably finished the second season of Stranger Things. If so, you were probably devastated when Bob got his chest devoured by a bunch of Demogorgons. It was very sad and, for those of us who have a lifelong connection to Sean Astin (i.e. Samwise Gamgee), it was deeply disturbing.


When Bob started becoming a real father figure to Will, that’s when I knew I wanted him to be around for a while. The Duffer brothers are true Jedi masters of emotionally manipulating their audience. They made Bob incredibly relatable when he began talking about his backstory in episode three. He tells Will about his childhood nemesis, a clown named Mr. Baldo. Bob had to face off against the clown in his dreams, which Mr. Baldo made his home. And where did Bob live at the time? Maine.


Will Byers

Image Via Netflix


If this sounds similar to Stephen King’s It, that’s because the Duffer brothers are smart and make artistic decisions like these intentionally. Though some fans believe Stranger Things occupies the same universe as King’s Pennywise, the Duffer brothers have sounded off.


Speaking to Vulture, Matt Duffer said:


Well, we both have a problem with clowns. I’ve had it my entire life. I had it when I was really little, so when there were clowns at a party, it was a real problem for me. Then in 1990, we saw the It mini-series and Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise really messed me up.


So yeah, I think [Bob’s clown story] was really me describing something that just freaked me out. I didn’t have that experience myself. I just had nightmares like that.


Note Duffer does not outright deny the possibility that Stranger Things and It exist in the same universe. It seems a little unlikely, though, considering he also says that Stephen King does exist in the world of Stranger Things. Some of the characters have read his work. So if King exists in the same world as the Upside Down, then maybe it was not It that inspired Stranger Things, but Stranger Things that inspired It.


Feature Images Via Netflix and Warner Bros.