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Henry Bowers

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"I'll kill you, you little fucking pansy."
―Henry threatening Patrick Hockstetter
Henry Bowers is the psychopathic school and neighborhood bully and the secondary main antagonist of the novel It and its 1990 made-for-TV adaptation.

Early Life

Raised in a poor, violent environment by his mentally ill father, Butch Bowers (an ex-marine who reputedly went insane and psychotic after being relieved of his war activities), Henry rapidly developed into a hateful, loathing individual who would often display immediate negative and stereotypical feelings towards those around him (particularly his classmates).

Erosion to Insanity (1958)

During and prior to the summer of 1958, Bowers torments the Loser's with several acts of violence, such as partially carving his name onto Ben Hanscom's belly, killing Mike Hanlon's dog with raw meat lodged with insect poisoning, breaking Eddie Kaspbrak's arm, and white washing Stan Uris' face in the snow until it bleeds. Following a fierce rockfight with the Loser's in July, Henry becomes more and more sadistic and even goes as far as to swear revenge to the Losers after the fight. His deteriorating sanity becomes apparent during his attacks on Eddie and Beverly.

In late August, It provides Henry with a switchblade to which he uses to kill his crazy abusive father. Under the influence of It, Henry alongside his friends, Victor "Vic" Criss and Reginald "Belch" Huggins, chase the Losers down through the sewers. Under Derry, It then takes the form of Frankenstein's Monster, and kills Vic and Belch in front of him, though Henry still manages to escape. Henry was eventually framed and convicted for most of the murders that occurred throughout the summer.

He was committed to the Juniper Hill Asylum. He counts how many nightlights he burns out (four) and remains there until May 29, 1985.

Return and Death (1985)

Henry Bowers 30 years later

Henry Bowers as an adult in the 1990 film.

In 1985, It is unable beat the Loser's Club alone - so It takes the form of one of Henry's deceased friends Vic, and makes him do It's dirty work. (In the film adaptation, it is Belch who appears to Henry and persuades him to go after the grownup Losers.) It also kills Koontz (one of the guards of the mental hospital) in the form of a tall doberman to stop him from preventing Henry's escape. Bowers eventually found where the members of the Loser's Club were hiding. He encounters Mike at the Derry Public Library and engages in a violent brawl with him. Using his old switchblade provided by It, Henry stabs Mike's thigh, cutting his femoral artery (although Hanlon manages to wound him with a open-letter knife in self defense). With the guidance of It (this time in the form of Belch Huggin's reanimated corpse), the severely injured Bowers then moves on to the Derry Town House, where he plans to kill the remaining Losers, one by one. He begins by knocking on Eddie Kaspbrak's door and attacking him, breaking Eddie's arm in the same place he did in 1958, before Eddie is able to get the better of Henry and finish him with a broken water bottle.

It is unknown what was the inspiration behind his name although it was most likely Henry Francis Bowers who was an American politician, or he could have been named after Henry Robertson Bowers who was the lieutenant of the ill fated Terra Nova Expedition.

Trivia

  • He is similar to Ace Merrill, as they both confront their victims outside of school.
  • Henry is mentioned in the novel 11/22/63 by Beverly and Richie while talking to Jake Epping about the whereabouts of the Dunning family.

Appearances

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