Fans of author Stephen King’s work know of the shared universe that his various novels share throughout their various plots. With The Dark Tower serving as the hub of what was once branded the “Connected KINGdom”, novels have crossed over each other’s dimensional rifts from time to time. Most famously, King’s novel IT has referenced and been referenced more than a couple times in his pantheon, and now the series based on his son Joe Hill’s novel, NOS4A2, is getting in on the fun.
And it’s all thanks to Pennywise the Dancing Clown appearing on a very special map, according to the show’s star Zachary Quinto:
There’s a moment in the show where Charlie Manx unfolds a map of the United Inscapes of America and Pennywise Circus reveals itself. I think people will catch that if they're looking for it. There are some parallels, I think, between Charlie Manx and Pennywise.
Key to the lore of NOS4A2’s universe is the United Inscapes of America, which serve as special stops in the universe of Joe Hill’s writing. Several landmarks of note are the “Lovecraft Keyhole” from Hill’s Locke & Key saga, as well as other locations that NOS4A2 has explored, such as Charlie Manx’s “Christmasland” and heroine Vic McQueen’s “Shorter Way” bridge. You can see this for yourself, in a screencap from the first episode, shown below:
Those stops are creations from the imaginations of characters in NOS4A2 that bleed into the real world, through some sort of interdimensional weirdness. Sure enough, Zachary Quinto’s interview with THR confirmed that included on that map is Pennywise Circus, located right in the great state of Maine.
It’s a clever reference to Stephen King’s work, for sure, but so far it seems to be the only one that NOS4A2 has admitted to as of yet. Again, the United Inscapes of America is more the universal map of the Joe Hill fictional universe, and with past books like Horns and Heart Shaped Box also being referenced, there’s plenty of room to keep this strictly in Hill’s wheelhouse. Something that even Quinto admitted as he continued to discuss the concept:
There are these overlaps and echoes of Joe's dad but totally in its own world. He's able to take that lineage and carry it in his own direction, which I respect a lot.
That being said, it feels like not only a touching tribute between the literary canon of father and son’s works, but it also feels like a possible door between their worlds, should they ever decide to open it. Should it ever come to that, may we suggest a battle between Pennywise and Charlie Manx, to see whomever can claim the most kids as victims?
You can continue to ride the St. Nick Parkway this week, as NOS4A2’s next episode airs Sunday night at 10:05 ET on AMC. Should you be interested to see what else is airing during these summer months, head over to the 2019 Summer TV and Streaming premiere schedule.