Despite the majority of Stephen King’s work dealing with either supernatural monstrosities or the monstrosity of humanity or whatever The Tommyknockers is about, the famed author is actually pretty accessible to his fans. In particular, the 74-year-old Mainer keeps an active social media presence and frequently uses Twitter to express his feelings on politics, world events, and bongos. He also apparently pays attention to who has been writing about him (Hi, Stephen!), as he recently addressed an article on Screenrant comparing two of his most famous creations. This particular article attempted to rank Pennywise the Clown (from his novel It and various adaptations) and Randall Flagg (who has appeared in a number of his works across multiple media). Ever the scamp, King responded by implying that Pennywise and Randall Flagg are the same entity. Check out the dramatically capitalized Tweet for yourself:
To those who do not slavishly follow the tangled mythology of Stephen King’s works, this is not as weird of a claim as it seems. King has always been heavily self-referential in his writing, with multiple books and stories taking place in the same locations (most famously the fictional towns of Castle Rock, Maine and Derry, Maine) and sharing characters. While this is both a charming tendency to Easter Eggs (that has been inherited by his son, the excellent novelist Joe Hill) and the result of the only limit on King’s imagination being the bounds of New England, it started to get more complicated. Basically, at some point in the 1970s, Stephen King started to tie the majority of his books into a single literary multiverse, centered around his mammoth Dark Tower series, which involved multiple realities, continuities, time loops, and eventually King himself as a character within his own books. To make it even more complicated, characters that appear in one book would appear in different guises in others, making a complete task of keep track of who is in what and when a maddening task (though that’s what King fans signed up for when they started enjoying things).
So, what Stephen King is saying that Tweet is that Pennywise the Clown, who enjoys doing evil things from the sewers of Derry, and Randall Flagg, who enjoys doing evil things around the entirity of time and space, may be different manifestations of the same essential horror. In various books, Randall Flagg is known as Walter o’Dim and Marten Broadcloak, so he already has a few known identities, while Pennywise itself is a shapechanger and appears in multiple forms throughout It. All this said, the two characters being the same does not line up with what Stephen King has previously revealed about the characters, as his fans quickly assembled to reunite the guy who created them:
This Tweet was most likely Stephen King just having some fun with fans and the intricate mythology of his bibliography. After all, the man is still pumping out novels and short stories at a furious pace and is involved in the many different adaptations of his work being constantly produced. It’s probably just fun for him to poke the myth a little bit and see the sparks fly.