The Stranger Things Character That Hints At A Connection To Stephen King’s IT
Part of the appeal of Netflix’s hit sci-fi horror series “Stranger Things” is that the series serves as both a new story filled to the brim with terror and mystery, while also functioning as a love letter to the horror flicks of years past. The series spends much and more of its time evoking the look and feel of the 1980s — and sometimes even directly references the horror movies of the decade themselves — one example being when the main cast dress as the Ghostbusters for Halloween.
The series follows a group of children in the 1980s as they fight supernatural monsters and contend with a shady branch of the U.S. government trying to keep those supernatural entities under wraps, and while the premise alone is all too familiar to fans of ’80s horror, it’s the showrunners’ enthusiasm for the genre that gives the story life and makes it entertaining for audiences new and old.
As such, the show is chock-full of easter eggs and references to just about every piece of horror media you can imagine. In fact, there’s one character whose backstory seems to imply a direct connection to another franchise from the godfather of horror fiction himself, Stephen King.
Bob Newby, Superhero
In the series’ 2nd season, we’re introduced to Bob Newby (Sean Astin), a goofy “former nerd” who manages a RadioShack in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, and who becomes a love interest to Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder). Bob instantly became a fan favorite for his kindhearted personality and affinity for puzzle solving, which made his untimely death at the end of the season all the more tragic.
With his appearance being cut so short, we never truly got to dive into Bob’s character as much as fans might have wanted — which is a shame considering his backstory actually included a connection to Stephen King’s “IT.”
In the Season 2 episode “The Pollywog,” Bob reveals that as a child he was tormented by dreams and nightmares about a demonic clown that kept offering him a balloon — which sounds exactly the way Pennywise the clown tormented the children in “IT” (via Digital Spy).
Add in the fact that Bob grew up in Maine (where “IT” takes place) and that the timeline of the show means Bob would definitely have been a child during Pennywise’s attacks in the 1950s, and it seems like the evidence is too much to overlook. More than likely the scene is simply another one of the series’ many references, but it still seems to point to a genuine connection between the Netflix series and one of Stephen King’s most iconic villains.