To die would be an awfully big adventure.
~ Peter Pan

People may think that they actually know the story behind Peter Pan, the Boy who Never Grew Up, and his adventures as told by the Scottish novelist J. M. Barrie. However, what people may not know is that Peter Pan had a darker personality than he does in future portrayals of the young boy, especially his counterpart in the Disney films.


Like his mainstream counterpart, this Peter Pan is usually described as an adventurous, brave and strong boy with a strong code of honor. However, he also has a darker side, as he can be cruel, merciless and even sadistic on occasion. Despite this, he does have times of remorse and has a strong honor code; the only person he outrightly disrespected and even tortured is Captain Hook. 

In fact, more often the story makes it clear Peter is not evil or bad in nature, his acts and actions are simply a by-product of his immaturity, by being in Neverland he will never actually grow up, and he outright refuses to do so. Meaning he can't change, however on a few occasions he shows signs suggesting he is aware of tragedy of never growing up, such as when watching his departed friends from the window, he acknowledges the joys of having a family are one he'll never be able to share.


In the original novels, Peter Pan had a careless, almost heartless attitude, which can partially be explained since he is just a boy. However, it is mentioned off-handedly that Peter had cut off his nemesis Captain Hook's hand once, and fed it to the crocodile (thought the novel implies this is simply one part, alibet a major one, of there one going rivarly). There's also the statement from the author himself that whenever his crew of Lost Boys grew older, or there were too many of them, he would "thin them out."

This could be interpreted as either him killing the boys when they got older, or simply exiling them to places unknown. However, this is only mentioned in the books themselves, not in the film adaptations of the novels. He can also get downright nasty or cocky, which may or may not be slightly better in the adaptations of the novels.

However the stories also make it very clear he's got a very complicated personality, Peters got a very strong sense of honor and refuses to ever break his word, even when it would be more beneficial for him to. He also has a high level of childhood naiveté, as he's unable to grasp the idea that people might not follow his standards of honor.

Although arrogant and not above being spiteful at times, Peter mostly cheerful and nice to others, generally turning nasty only when things happen that upset him. Peter regularly joins and leads the Lost Boys in battle, despite them only being children. Its even mentioned that on occasions where he feels they have to much of an advantage he will join in with the opposing team. However neither he, nor any of them seem to grasp the concept of death, seeing there battles as just one big game.

He comes close to grasping Death, is when thinking he's going to drown on Skull rock, and rather than seeing it as a tragedy, Peter seems to partially look forward to it, describing it as "to die would be an awfully great adventure." The only he truly grasps the horrors of death is when Tinkerbell nearly dies and he's overcome with shock.



  • Many fans have adopted the notion that Captain James Hook is actually the good guy as Peter Pan is the antagonist, with the ideas that many of Hook's "pirates" are actually exiled Lost Boys who escaped Peter's gang or the Boys who found the truth of Peter's true evil intentions towards them and so Hook promised them a better future in his crew.