Warning: minor spoilers below.
If you thought Stephen King’s It was just a scary story about a clown named Pennywise, get ready to have your mind blown.
For those of us (including myself) who made it through all 1,163 pages of King’s beloved book, we were curious to see how Pennywise’s foe would be played out onscreen. We know the Losers’ Club fight off the demonic being, but we learn in the book the monster’s only true adversary is a — stay with me here — a gigantic turtle named Maturin who holds the world on his back.
The book dedicates a large chapter to Pennywise’s origin and rivalry with Maturin, and goes in depth about the creatures living in the Macroverse. While Maturin is kind and benevolent, It is evil and malevolent. The turtle helps young Bill Denbrough defeat It, but is unfortunately dead by the time the Losers battle It as adults.
Of course, zero of this backstory is played out in Andy Muschietti’s 2017 adaptation. There’s no mention of Maturin at all — or is there? Amongst a bajillion other important easter eggs, the internet spotted two sly references to Maturin. One of them was when the kids were swimming and thought they saw a turtle in the water, but the second reference is much more prominent.
Around the middle of the movie, Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) goes into his late brother Georgie’s (Jackson Robert Scott) room and sits on his bed. He notices a green turtle made out of LEGOs lying on the nightstand. Bill picks it up and absentmindedly plays with it, moments before he spots “Georgie” running down the hall. The elder Denbrough sibling races after his brother – which is actually one of It’s manifestations, since Georgie is already dead — and eventually catches up with him. But when Bill realizes this kid isn’t actually his little brother, he drops the LEGO figure, which breaks on impact.
Now, if you want to analyze that scene, you could argue the destruction of the LEGO turtle signifies Maturin’s eventual death and failure to save the Losers down the line. Or, you can just see it as a fun easter egg tossed in for fans of the book. Whichever floats your boat. (Sorry.)
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