Study Guide

It Chapter 22: The Ritual of Chüd

By Stephen King

Chapter 22: The Ritual of Chüd

Aww yeah. It's Chüd time.

1.

  • Welcome to 1958. Bill, as per usual, is holding the gang together. The big spider is racing towards them, and everyone is freaking out.
  • Bill basically walks up to the spider and stares into its eyes. They're all set to have a heart-to-heart talk. The Ritual has begun.

2.

  • It asks Bill what he's doing there, and Bill says, essentially, "Hello, my name is Bill Denbrough. You killed my brother. Prepare to die."
  • It says, basically, "Oh hi. My name is Eater of Worlds."
  • Bill decides to bust out the "He thrusts his fists…" rhyme.
  • It doesn’t like that very much.
  • Luckily, there's another presence there in the void: the Turtle.
  • No, really: there's a big turtle present.
  • The turtle is huge and multi-colored and says that he made the universe when he had a bellyache. 
  • So don't blame him for how it turned out.
  • The Turtle is obviously the Big Good to It's Big Bad.
  • Also, the Turtle talks about something called The Final Other, which created the Turtle and It.
  • We're not going to lie: this scene is trippy. The Turtle literally has galaxies dancing in its toenails.
  • Do yourself a favor and actually read this bit.
  • The voice of the Turtle fades and Bill is worries that he's going to be sucked into a cosmic void where It has more power.
  • Bill knows he has to stay on this plane of existence and speak to It in a regular voice…and then, maybe he could vanquish it.
  • The Turtle says that there is only Chüd, and that Bill has to bite his tongue. And Bill does—not with his teeth, but with his mind.
  • Yes. We know. Like we said, it gets trippy.
  • This mind-bite really frustrates It, and Bill laughs.
  • Bill continues to have a really mind-bending conversation with the Turtle and with It, and it's clear that he's winning against It.
  • Bill bounces back to the reality of It's lair, where It is a spider, and everyone shrieks that the spider's web is coming apart.

3.

  • Now we're in 1985…and Bill is talking to the spider.
  • Some things never change.
  • The spider makes jokes about Bill being bald, which isn’t the nicest thing to do.
  • Bill realizes that, this time, he has to kill It.
  • He concentrates on doing the whole mind-bite thing.

4.

  • The other adults stand and watch what's basically a replay of twenty-seven years prior. Except that this time, Audra and Tom Rogan are suspended in the spidey-web.
  • Suddenly, Beverly cries out that something is going wrong.
  • Bill is convulsing, with blood coming out of his nose.
  • The spider, it seems, is going to kill Bill's body while Bill's mind is out careening through hyper-space.
  • Bill's voice, from some other sphere, screams that the Turtle is dead.
  • Oh Turtle. We hardly knew ye.
  • So Richie pulls up and does one of his famous impressions, which gives him time to grab the spider's tongue…in one of those trippy mental-bites.
  • The spider tries to attack Richie by sending him a searing headache, but Richie abides and bites down—mentally, of course, even harder.
  • Richie and Bill tumble through the void, feeling like they're getting closer to vanquishing It.
  • But then Richie realizes he's losing his mind-bite grip. He needs backup.

5.

  • Enter…Eddie.
  • Eddie's watching all of this, trying to figure it all out.
  • Bill is lying on the ground, not looking too hot. Richie is in a staring contest with the spider, and it looks like the spider is winning.
  • So Eddie makes a flying, heroic leap at It…and expresses his inhaler into its eye.
  • No, we're not making that up.
  • The spidey screams in pain, and then promptly bites off one of Eddie's arms.
  • He sees all his friends crowd around him. Beverly is weeping.
  • Richie calls him Eds, and all he can think to say is "Don't call me Eds…"
  • Then he dies.
  • Bye, Eddie.

6.

  • We're back up top, getting the Derry weather report.
  • It's apocalyptic. Lightning hits the church, and every single toilet and drain in the city reverses.
  • The Derry Mall is shaken by explosions and the Derry Bank basically blows up. Thousands of dollars just…fly away.

7.

  • Time for more 1958 goodness!
  • And, um, this is basically the most problematic and notorious scene in all of Stephen King. Get ready.
  • They're heading back up to the surface of the world, and for whatever reason the Losers feel like their bonds of friendship have eroded.
  • Probably because they think that It has been permanently taken care of.
  • They're also lost in the sewers.
  • They're all wondering what to do, and then Beverly has an idea.
  • She says it's something that will bring them together and, for whatever reason, help them get out of the sewers. Also, to make things extra creepy, she says it's something her father told her about.
  • It's something that will show the Losers how much she loves them.
  • "Who's first?" she asks…

8.

  • …and then we're back in 1985, and Eddie's arm is gone. And Eddie is also gone.
  • But It is getting up again. Beverly stays with Eddie and Bill and Richie go after It.
  • But first, Bill sees Audra swinging around in the web.
  • He essentially tells her to sit tight, that he'll be back.

9.

  • Richie and Bill follow It's trail of blood and find a bunch of eggs—what is described as It's miscarried children.
  • So Richie and Bill stomp of the eggs: basically crunching their way down a line of spiders the size of rats.

10.

  • It can sense Bill and Richie coming, and it can also feel the fact that It's dying. There's only one thing to do: fight to the death.

11.

  • Beverly is hanging out with Eddie's corpse and thinks back: she was all of the Losers' first love.
  • Then she has a pretty convoluted meditation on birds, before we get to the creepy heart of this "first love story."

12.

  • Okay: trigger warning.
  • This scene contains deeply, deeply inappropriate sex.
  • Ready? Here's what happens.
  • First, Eddie has sex with Beverly. He's kind of scared.
  • She basically thinks about birds.
  • Then Mike has sex with Beverly. Then Richie does. More thoughts about birds, more hesitation. 
  • By the time Stan has sex with her she feels some pleasure.
  • But it's with Ben that there's actual real pleasure. She orgasms, as does Ben. There's also a weird meditation on how people call "sex" "It."
  • Oh, cool. A link between sex and a creepy sewer clown.
  • Bill is last and it's very sweet, making-love style sex.
  • Anyway, when this deeply creepy and upsetting child-orgy scene is over, the kids find their way up to the surface again.
  • Woo-hoo?

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