The Ending Of It: Chapter Two Explained

How well does the sequel to 2017’s It adapt
Stephen King’s classic novel while tying up all the loose ends from the first installment? Let’s roll up our sleeves, wade into the sewers
and dig into the details of how the saga ends. This is the ending of It: Chapter Two explained. And before you open the door labeled “very
scary,” be warned: Spoilers await you. Stephen King’s novel It isn’t just the story
of a creepy clown terrorizing some kids and then returning to do it all over again when
they’re adults. There’s a whole cosmology to the saga, which
includes a giant, godlike turtle that coughed up the known universe when it had a tummy
ache. Aside from a few subtle nods here and there,
the movies mostly sidestep the ancient, interdimensional mythology of the book, but one element does
show up in It: Chapter Two – the true form of It. When he goes to visit the Shokopiwah tribe
and takes one of their vision-granting concoctions, Mike learns that It came to Earth in a meteor
strike that left a crater in Derry, and is made up of “Deadlights,” mostly orange but
sometimes-blue spheres of light of immense power. Though the lights can be seen in brief moments
in the first film, It appears entirely as deadlights as Chapter Two reaches its climax,
and even after taking on other forms, the deadlights are still visibly powering the
creature, becoming increasingly weaker as the Losers literally bring It down to size. It’s true form is revealed because the Losers
perform the Ritual of Chüd, a ceremony that differs pretty wildly in the movie from the
way it works in the book. The movie’s take on the ritual involves each
member of the club burning a “token” of his or her childhood and reciting a chant to make
the Deadlights turn dark, then trapping the Deadlights inside a pyramid-shaped relic Mike
stole. The ritual is the key to defeating It in the
book, though it takes two tries 27 years apart. But the Losers’ attempt essentially fails
in the movie, at least at first. That’s because it’s revealed Mike lied to
everyone in an attempt to simply bring them all back together. The ritual wasn’t successful before when the
Native Americans tried to do it, and it doesn’t kill It when the Losers try this time, either. At least, not until they’ve gone through the
wringer just a little bit more so they can truly overcome the fears that feed It. Richie isn’t exactly a tough nut to crack. “All right, Rich. What are you afraid of?” “Clowns.” His token for the Ritual of Chüd is a literal
token from the local arcade. And, as is so often the case in the transition
from childhood to adulthood, his fear has morphed into anxiety. The adult Richie throws up twice in It: Chapter
Two and threatens to leave Derry several times because he just can’t stand the idea of losing
what he’s gained as a famous stand-up comedian. Richie spends the first half of Chapter Two
mercilessly needling his childhood pal Eddie, and he doesn’t hesitate to call Stanley the
weakest of the Losers when he finds out about Stanley killing himself. He can be mean, and has a hard time expressing
his real feelings. Richie has to visit the synagogue where Stanley
had a disastrous bar mitzvah, and more significantly, come to openly care about the well-being of
his closest friend Eddie, whom he finally can admit he loves, to overcome his self-absorption
and play a part in defeating It. For Eddie’s part, the fear he has to overcome
is also a sort of self-obsession. His hypochondria and fear of bodily harm are
paralyzing. They hamper him from taking action both as
a child and as an adult, like when he’s confronted with Stanley’s bug-like severed head or trying
to rescue his mother from the leper he keeps seeing It as. It isn’t until he gives up one of his “gazebos”
– his malapropism for “placebo” – in the form of his inhaler for his token and comes to
believe in the monster-killing power of a makeshift spear fashioned from a metal fencepost
that he can work up the courage to mount a full frontal attack on It, weakening the monster
before the rest of the Losers can deal their final psychological blows. Eddie is fatally impaled, but in the service
of saving his friends. After a lifetime of being frozen with fear,
his final act is one of bravery. Even nearly 30 years after his brother Georgie’s
death, Bill is still plagued by guilt and feelings of responsibility. He finds himself shouting down a storm drain
just like he did in his youth, and he conveniently gets Georgie’s paper boat back from Pennywise
to use as his token in the ritual. He fears not being able to save the people
around him. Eventually he tries – and fails – to save
another young Derry boy from suffering a fate similar to Georgie’s at the end of Pennywise’s
teeth. It takes a full-on envisioned confrontation
with his younger self during the final showdown with It for Bill to come to terms with what
happened and absolve himself of blame, telling himself that he was, in fact, a good older
brother. With that resolved, he can help destroy It,
and maybe finally write a decent ending to his next novel. Though Ben has grown from a chubby, bullied
kid into a handsome, successful man, he still clearly feels ostracized. He notably keeps himself at a remove from
his co-workers at his architecture firm, videoconferencing in from his massive, empty house. Meanwhile, Beverly is in an abusive marriage
that mirrors her relationship with her father. When she returns to her childhood home, it’s
unfamiliar and inhabited by a woman who turns into a rampaging, unclothed monster. Nowhere really feels like home to her. After some amnesia-based uncertainty about
who really loved whom on Beverly’s part, Beverly and Ben finally find the linchpins to work
through their fears: each other. Beverly brings the postcard with the poem
Ben wrote for her to the Ritual of Chüd, and Ben brings the yearbook page Bev and no
one else signed. As Ben is made to think he’s being buried
alive in the Losers’ secret hideout and Bev finds herself drowning in blood in the bathroom
stall where she was tormented by bullies, they reach out to each other and break free
of It’s spell. Much like his parents found themselves trapped
as a raging fire killed them, Mike has trapped himself in Derry while everyone else left
and forgot all about what happened there in 1989. “The farther away, the hazier it all gets. But me, I never left. So yeah. I remember all of it.” He has appointed himself the chronicler and
expert on all things It, convening with the Shokopiwah in hopes of unleashing ancient
secrets in time for the returning Losers to defeat the creature. And it works – just not the way he originally
suspected. More than the Ritual of Chüd, one little
proverb about living things having to abide by the rules of the shape they inhabit ends
up being the key to taking down Pennywise. When Mike remembers that detail, he sets off
a chain of events that leads all the other Losers to bring the monster down to size with
their words, calling It little more than a clown. Their name-calling shrinks Pennywise down
so small that they can easily pull out his still-beating heart and destroy it. Mike thrives as someone who rallies his friends,
as signified by the way he brings a rock Beverly threw at the town bullies as his token. A major difference from the book’s ending
is that all the movie Losers leave Derry with the memories of their encounter with It intact
– but to everyone’s surprise, without the literal scars from when they cut their hands
to signify their blood bond at the end of the first movie. The pain is exorcised. Bill writes a book that’s very similar to
Stephen King’s It. Ben and Beverly go on boat excursions together,
having finally found true companionship. Richie finishes carving his and Eddie’s initials
into a fence, finally revealing how much he cares. Mike leaves town at last. And everyone receives a letter from Stanley,
written before he killed himself. In the letter, Stanley gives a rationale for
his decision to kill himself: Not to escape facing down It, but to prevent his friends
from dying because he wasn’t sure he could take another round with the creature. He knew if the Losers weren’t unified, they’d
all die. When the adult losers look in a shop window
and see the reflections of their younger selves, Stanley’s there. “I never felt like a loser when I was with
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