Pennywise vs. Maturin the Turtle: Which Stephen King Character Is More Powerful?

Pennywise vs Maturin the Turtle Connection and Who is Stronger

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One thing is for certain: Pennywise is a terrifying monster. Aside from the creepy clown guise, he can manifest as a person’s worst fear, which helps him hunt down children in the fictional town of Derry, Maine. However, unbeknownst to many is that Pennywise actually has an arch-enemy, and this particular enemy is none other than Maturin the Turtle – yes, a turtle. In Stephen King’s novels, Maturin is described as a giant, benevolent, God-like turtle who accidentally created the universe when he vomited it after a stomach ache. 

Maturin is also responsible for maintaining balance in the Macroverse (a universe from which he and Pennywise originated). Meanwhile, Pennywise is a malevolent and nightmarish clown that uses a variety of supernatural powers to prey on children and, in general, wreak havoc on the inhabitants of Derry.

At first, it may seem that Maturin is puny compared to Pennywise and his arsenal of supernatural abilities; however, is that really the case? Is Pennywise really strong enough to take down a godly turtle? Furthermore, what makes these two perfect enemies?

Maturin and Pennywise are polar opposites in the sense of creation vs. destruction. Maturin created the universe, but Pennywise destroyed a piece of it (Derry and its people) with his powers. However, Pennywise’s abilities can only affect humans and only work within Derry; this limitation ultimately makes him inferior to Maturin.

The two entities are undoubtedly very complicated, and several sentences are simply insufficient to explain them. Throughout this article, we will better understand the two by looking deeper into their strengths and weaknesses, a brief overview of their origin, and the chemistry between their rivalry. Let us begin with the most infamous of the two – Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

Pennywise’s origin & powers

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Before we discuss Pennywise, it is important to note that the clown guise we all recognize is actually exactly that – a guide. Underneath all that lies an evil and horrific cosmic deity named IT. IT was born in a dark void of the Macroverse.

After Maturin accidentally created the universe, IT came to Earth and landed on what would eventually become the town of Derry. This is why IT’s abilities seem to only work within the boundaries of Derry; the town is essentially part and parcel of IT’s existence. Every 27 years, IT awakens from a long slumber and feeds on the town’s children. 

To help itself with this, IT shapeshifted into the form of a prominent circus clown who performed in Derry to be able to lure his prey (since clowns are both scary and amusing to kids). As you may have guessed so far, yes – this particular clown is none other than Pennywise the Dancing Clown. For the rest of this article, we will just keep referring to IT as Pennywise. 


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Now that we know where Pennywise originated, how did he gain his powers? What gives Pennywise “life“ is a complex and otherworldly form of energy called Deadlights. In simple terms, Deadlights are dark and evil energy that manifests as bright orange lights. Pennywise heavily depends on Deadlights as the source of his wide array of supernatural abilities, and these are:

Psychic powers:

Pennywise’s main attack method is using Deadlights to capture and eat his prey. To aid in the hunting, he uses a subset of abilities:

Mind control – Pennywise can control a person’s overall way of thinking. This allows him to spark violence within Derry and immediately make people forget what transpired.

Possession – Pennywise can take full control of any human and use this to get to someone.

Telepathy – To know his prey’s weaknesses, Pennywise reads their mind and then exploits the knowledge by shapeshifting into his prey’s worst fear. 

Hallucinations – Pennywise can create illusions to be used as bait. A notable illusion is the floating red balloon.

Insanity – When a human is exposed to Deadlights, they either immediately die or become insane. Since Pennywise is composed of Deadlights, any human who sees his true form will instantly pay the price.

Shapeshifting and other physical abilities:

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Size alteration – Not only can Pennywise shapeshift to anything, but he can also change it’s size to his liking.

Eye color – Pennywise’s eyes are colored blue when baiting his targets and then turn yellow when he goes for the kill.

Teleportation – Pennywise can teleport anywhere but apparently not outside Derry territory.

Invisibility – Humans who faithfully believe in Pennywise will be able to see him; however, he can still choose to be invisible to anyone at any time.

Telekinesis – Pennywise can move different objects and even humans without physical contact.

Superhuman ability Pennywise is absurdly strong, fast, and flexible, and these attributes become especially powerful when combined with supernatural powers.


Regeneration – Considering that Pennywise is not an earthly creature, he will never be killed by earthly means.

Immortality – The only true way to inflict damage on Pennywise is via the Ritual of Chud, wherein Maturin and Gan (a god of all gods) temporarily empower the human performing it. Pennywise never truly dies and still exists somewhere in the Macroverse.

Despite his powers, Pennywise is still limited by the laws of physics, meaning that he is still affected by physical concepts like friction and gravity. However, Pennywise’s greatest weaknesses are his immaturity, superiority complex, and reluctance to accept said weaknesses. Pennywise prefers instant gratification and will do anything to get what he wants, even at the expense of mass destruction. 

He is always under the illusion that he is greater than he really is and even calls Maturin “old, lazy, and stupid. “ He also thinks that humans will never be able to outmatch him and that he is too unstoppable; however, it is this complacency that led to his demise when the Losers Club, the protagonists of IT, reunited as friends (IT hated love and friendship) and used the Ritual of Chud to defeat IT.


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Who is Maturin, and what are his powers?

Pennywise vs Maturin the Turtle Connection and Who is Stronger

Gan created Maturin to be a guardian of one of the Beams of the Dark Tower. All you need to know about the Beams is that they are essentially support structures of the Macroverse (which was created in the first place by Gan). 

Maturin is described as a gigantic, ancient-looking turtle with a very wise and kind personality like a grandfather. He is mostly dormant, as he rarely comes out of his shell. During the one time that he did come out of his shell, he unintentionally created the universe but quickly came back to his shell afterward. There is little information about Maturin’s full list of powers in King’s novels

We do know that Maturin was made formidable enough to become a guardian of a very important structure of the Macroverse and that he is capable of creating universes. We also know that Maturin can harm Pennywise through the Ritual of Chüd.

Furthermore, Maturin is a pacifist and prefers not to meddle with whatever transpires in the universe. However, if the universe starts to lose balance (which is what Pennywise keeps doing), then and only then will he start interfering. 

Due to the lack of information about him, it is hard to pinpoint Maturin’s weaknesses. It can be inferred that Maturin’s greatest weakness is simply natural causes. For instance, Maturin, despite being an omnipotent entity, still suffered from a stomach ache and even vomited because of it.

Maturin is apparently susceptible to death since Pennywise told Bill Denbrough (leader of the Losers Club) that the turtle died by “choking on a galaxy or two. “ However, it is possible that Pennywise was just lying to prevent Bill from fighting him.

What is the connection between Pennywise and Maturin the Turtle?

When Gan created good Maturin, he also created the evil Pennywise. It was inevitable that the pair would end up as natural enemies due to their innate differences. Maturin and Pennywise are representatives of good and evil, respectively. What connects the two together is the fact that they and their abilities are necessary for the balance of the universe. Maturin will create, while Pennywise will destroy. 

Who is more powerful, Pennywise or Maturin the Turtle?

Pennywise and Maturin are both undeniably powerful entities. Despite Pennywise having more abilities, these are only most effective when used against humans, and furthermore, they only seem to work within the boundaries of Derry.

Let’s look at it this way: while it is true that Pennywise destroys Maturin’s world, he only harms a minuscule portion of that world, and the volume of his destruction is only limited to that portion. This limitation is what precludes Pennywise from ever being able to overthrow Maturin.


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Despite the lack of information about him, we can establish that Maturin is strong enough to defeat Pennywise due to his role as a cosmic guardian and god-like characteristics. He was simply created that way to ensure balance in the universe. 

If Pennywise and Maturin would engage in a duel, Maturin would win easily. Yet he has not done so because he does not believe in direct confrontation and would rather only take action when the time comes.

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