For those who aren’t aware, AMC’s new horror series NOS4A2 is based on a novel by Joe Hill, who happens to be the son of the Master of Horror himself, Stephen King.
As a result, many fans noticed quickly an easter egg in the NOS4A2 season premiere on a map that was used by the villain of the series, Charlie Manx.
The map, which is magical and used by the energy vampire to track and capture young children to feed on, has locations of importance to Manx and the Shorter Way Bridge showed up on it when Vic McQueen used it for the first time.
— NOS4A2 (@NOS4A2) June 3, 2019
It is called the Map of the United Inscapes of America and includes “Showing All the Stops Along The St. Nick Parkway.”
First, there are original locations on the map that exist just in this book (and some in the TV show), including The Shorter Way Bridge (Vic’s inscape), Christmasland (Charlie’s inscape), Watchful Snowmen, Giant Toys, The House of Sleep, and the St. Nick Parkway
Here is a look at some other names on that map that reference other works and why they create a large interconnected world with other Stephen King and Joe Hill novels.
The one that most people recognized immediately is the Pennywise Circus, likely because Stephen King is more famous than his son and also because It is recently back in the public conscious with new movies.
Of course, this is a reference to Pennywise the Clown, the pseudonym of the evil demon that terrorizes the kids in Derry, Maine. Sure, Charlie Manx drains kids of all their energy, but at least he takes them to Christmastown.
Pennywise just eats them.
— Sarah (@Dream_Legos) June 3, 2019
Anyway, that is just a scary connection.
The rest of the locations are from Joe Hill’s novels (which are all really good and should be read just as much as his dad’s brilliant works of horror).
The Night Road
Joe Hill’s first novel is titled Heart-Shaped Box, and is about an aging rock star named Jude who collects a lot of messed up stuff including a dead man’s funeral suit, which arrives in a heart-shaped box.
The suit is possessed by a ghost and wants to kill Jude and everyone he knows. The Night Road is where the dead travel in this novel.
The Treehouse of the Mind
The Treehouse of the Mind is a little more familiar to people because it was from Joe Hill’s second novel Horns, which was turned into a movie starring Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe.
Horns is a book/movie about a guy named Ig who gets drunk one night and wakes up to learn his girlfriend is dead. He has no memory of the night before, and … he has grown a pair of horns out of his forehead.
He was found not guilty for the murder but everyone believes he did it and he has no memories of the night to defend himself.
He also seems to have the power to make anyone tell him their ugliest urges and then forget they told him as well as forget about his growing horns. He can also make the people live out their urges, which makes his horns happy.
The Treehouse of the Mind is a treehouse that Ig and his girlfriend had sex in that was full of religious stuff. While there a banging noise started on its door, but when they checked no one was there.
The never found the Treehouse of the Mind again, but it was linked to his problems and held a very powerful secret.
The reference to the Lovecraft Keyhole is a lot of fun. While Joe Hill has some amazing works of fiction, possibly his masterpiece is the comic book series Locke & Key.
#NOS4A2 having a Locke & Key Easter egg totally cheeses my toast ❤️❤️❤️
— Nick (@monkeysaysficus) June 3, 2019
This story saw a father killed and then followed his three children and their grieving alcoholic mother moving to a mansion in the town of Lovecraft known as Keyhouse.
In this house, the kids begin to find keys that open doors to magical and dangerous places not knowing that a demon trapped below the house wants them to unlock the door that will free him.
Locke & Key will become a Netflix series so could there be an AMC and Netflix crossover coming?
“I feel like all of my stories take place in the same universe,” Hill told Bloody Disgusting. “There’s plenty more to explore there beyond just the events of the novel and the graphic novel.”
— Fiddler (@cFidd) June 5, 2019
Is it more than just Easter eggs?
While those names on the map are clearly Easter eggs, there is a chance that NOS4A2 could end up crossing over with another Stephen King property.
Stephen King wrote a sequel to The Shining called Doctor Sleep, focusing on a grown-up Danny who is struggling with alcoholism like his father but trying to use his Shining to help people, including a little girl who has the same powers.
A group of — ironically enough — energy vampires called the True Knot travel the country looking for young children who possess the Shine and then suck all their energy out so this group can remain young while the children die.
Sound familiar? Doctor Sleep is being made into a movie that will be released on November 8, 2019, by The Haunting of Hill House director Mike Flanagan.
— ComicBook NOW! (@ComicBookNOW) April 3, 2019
Anyway, Charlie Manx was mentioned in the Doctor Sleep novel. Dick Hallorann (who died in The Shining movie but lived in the novel) tells an adult Danny about a story his mean grandfather used to tell him where he said he would have Charlie Manx come to take him away.
It was just a mean thing to do, but it proves people in Stephen King’s shared universe know of Charlie Manx.
Move back to the NOS4A2 novel, and Charlie Manx talks about the special roads and locations from his map. He mentions gateways to Mid-World (from the Dark Tower series), Shawshank Prison, and yes, he explains how the True Knot (from Doctor Sleep) do what he does.
Charlie Manx and the True Knot exist in the same world. Stephen King’s stories all exist in the same universe, and this means Joe Hill’s stories also exist there. That means Pennywise and more could exist somewhere in the world of NOS4A2 as well.
NOS4A2 airs every Sunday night on AMC at 10/9c.