It: Chapter 2 ending explained and how it differs from Stephen Kings book

The tale of Pennywise and the Loser’s Club has finally come to an end. It: Chapter 2 (opens in new tab) marks the final part in the Andy Muschietti-directed saga. How exactly did things end? And what were the major differences between the It: Chapter 2 ending and the one in the book? Look no further, as we have all the answers here. But first…

Spoilers for the It: Chapter 2 ending ahead. You have been warned…

Still here? Then you have witnessed the Loser’s Club finally bring down the creepy clown Pennywise and restore peace to Derry. Of course, things were not exactly easy for our group, as Eddie dies, leaving Ritchie and the gang utterly heartbroken.

It: Chapter 2 shares many similarities with Stephen King’s book. Like with the source material, the movie begins with a hate crime, the character Adrian Mellon being beaten up and then murdered by Pennywise. The Loser’s Club also forget about the threat of Pennywise after leaving Derry for 27 years, which happens in both.

Things deviate slightly when the Club start remembering their childhood again. In the movie, Mike, who remained in Derry and calls them all back (Stanley does not make it), gets the other gang members to pick up tokens from their past so they can complete the Ritual of Chüd. In the book, the group all walk around Derry, but merely so they can remember what happened to them, rather than to collect artefacts for the ritual. 

Once all the tokens are collected, the Loser’s club venture into the depths of Derry to face off against Pennywise for the last time. In the movie, they defeat the nightmare creature because they “believe” they can – something the Shokopiwah tribe, who taught Mike the Ritual of Chüd, never did.

This, however, differs from the source material. In the book, The Loser’s Club – not including Mike, because he is not present during the final battle having been hospitalised by Henry Bowers – do the ritual and then enter the Macroverse.

Yes, there’s a thing called the Macroverse, which is a different plane of being where the mystical turtle Maturin lives and where Pennywise came from. The gang venture there by using the Deadlights – which controlled Beverly for a few minutes in the first movie – in Pennywise’s mouth. While in the Macroverse, Bill talks with the turtle Maturin, who convinces him to overcome his fear of Pennywise (who has taken the form of a spider) and to crush the spectre’s heart. Bill does this and peace is restored to Derry.

In the movie, we see the group likewise overcome their fear of Pennywise, but with no help from a turtle (there is, though, a deleted scene with the turtle (opens in new tab)). Instead, the group all come together and the clown shrinks in stature until they all take hold of his heart and crush it together. Team work! 

Derry, in the movie, is not ravaged by a storm, unlike in the book where the town is destroyed by the weather. There’s also a major subplot centring on Beverly’s abusive husband and Bill’s wife that does not feature in the movie. We spoke to director Andy Muschietti about why this storyline was left out of the movie, and you can read that interview here (opens in new tab).

Another slight difference: while Eddie dies in both versions, he perishes from being impaled in the movie and his arm being bitten off in the books. In the books, Pennywise’s spider form also lays a load of eggs, which the Loser’s Club destroy, but this is missing from the movie.

We also spoke to Muschietti about how Stephen King came to have a cameo (opens in new tab). It: Chapter 2 is in cinemas now.

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