Do Losers Shine?

Well, according to mild YouTube celebrity MatPat… they might.

The title might be a little confusing, so let me back up a notch; in the Stephen King/Joe Hill multiverse (if you want to call it that), plenty of folks show evidence of psychic ability. While many of those folks are one-offs or with no discernable pattern to it, a good lot of them are gathered up and described as either “Shining” or possessing “The Touch.”

The most famous of those is probably little Danny “Doc” Torrance, hailing from The Shining and later revisited in the pages of Doctor Sleep, but there’s been literally dozens since.

So far as the Losers in that title, I’m referring to the Loser’s Club, a gang of seven pre-teen misfits who are tortured by the otherworldly IT, also known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. You know, that guy who’s on everything right now due to the ridiculously popular movie.

There’s spoilers ahead for It, and probably a few for The Shining and Doctor Sleep, so be warned.

The other day I came across The Film Theorist’s newest video, and it got me thinking. I’ll drop it here, so you can watch it (and drop him a like/subscribe if you’re of a mind; you should, he’s awesome) and then come back.

All set? Good.

Now, for the most part, I am totally on board with this theory. It fits, in a lot of ways. There’s a few little niggles – mainly the “required” abuse factor in shining, which, to be fair, does apply to most examples, but MatPat’s statement for Richie Tozier from It is a trifle thin, and not in line with what we see of his parents in the book, and it utterly neglects Abra from Doctor Sleep, who has no significant trauma before she starts to shine – but all in all, it’s interesting and tidy.

I’d even take it further; that when Pennywise/IT discusses “salting the meat” it’s actually doing something similar to the True Knot from Doctor Sleep or Manx in NOS4A2, basically torturing the victims to get them to cough up their shine/steam (or why the Crimson King in the Dark Tower harvests breakers, or Mr. Munshun tortures the kids in Black House to prep them for being breakers.) All well and good.

The only flaw I see here – that’s a real flaw, anyway, and not just nagging details – is when our fearless host postulates that all the evil things/places are actually to be laid at the feet of IT, and that perhaps the “little naps” he/she/IT takes are just periods where it’s elsewhere.

To that I say no, and no, and no again. For one, the Overlook’s problems in The Shining and Doctor Sleep seem to be fairly well cemented as being human (or, in the case of the True Knot, semi-human) taint. The ground might be cursed, true, but there doesn’t seem to be some hungry thing hanging out underneath the hotel. Further, when the ghosts follow Danny in Doctor Sleep, they’re traveling quite a bit farther than Belch and Victor did in It, and Pennywise’s reach seems limited by such factors; the idea that his Derry-self would have problems past 30 miles or so, but his Colorado-self can hightail it to Florida if the mood strikes seems kind of silly to me. I’d sooner assume that whatever is underneath/within the Overlook is actually Tak from Desperation and The Regulators. Which may not be too far-fetched, but that’s a whole other theory; too bad there’s not a decent version of Desperation on the big screen, or maybe we could convince MatPat to get on that one… hmm. (If you’re reading this MatPat, which I doubt, but which would amuse me greatly, you should totally do it. There is a terrible version of Desperation out there…)

Anyway. Just thought I’d share. Check it out. And what about the rest of you? Anything you could add – or counter – in that theory? Any other pet King-universe theories you’ve got and want to share? Let us know down below!

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