Things They Keep Putting Into Peter Pan Adaptations That Weren't in the Book


Note: If you're looking to find out whether Peter Pan and the Lost Boys are dead, go to Are Peter Pan And The Lost Boys Dead?


1. The Lost Boys don't fly.
J.M. Barrie's novel makes it explicitly clear that the Lost Boys do fly. The pirates tie them up to keep them from flying away when they capture them, and by the end they're flying around over Hook's ship.


2. Nobody ages on Neverland at all.
The book disagrees. For a start, the very first line says "all children, except one grow up," not "all children except those who come to Neverland."

Peter says that the Lost Boys are children who fell out of their prams and remained unclaimed for seven days. This indicates that the Lost Boys arrive as infants and toddlers. Furthermore, the book states that when they "seem to be growing up," Peter "thins them out."

At the end of Peter Pan, we find out that the fairies of Neverland have extremely short lifespans - around or even less than a year in length. So it's clear that Neverland does not grant immunity from aging.

Furthermore, in Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, Peter flies away from home as a seven-day-old infant and lives with the birds in Kensington Gardens, where he didn't age at all. Although it's questionable whether this book takes place in the same continuity as Peter Pan (since Peter is perpetually a baby in this story and there's a replica of the familiar thimble/kiss scene with a different character), we do know that J.M. Barrie conceptualized Peter's perpetual youth as being a quirk of Peter, not where he lived.

Now, Peter Pan makes it clear that Captain Hook was contemporary with "Barbecue" - better known as Long John Silver from Treasure Island. This would mean that Hook lived during the mid-18th century, where Peter Pan is set during the early 20th century, making Captain Hook well over 150 years old. Exactly what's keeping Hook going is unknown, but it's safe to say that it's not simply being moored at Neverland.


3. Tinker Bell survives to the next generation.
As has been explained before, she's dead by the time Peter Pan returns for Wendy a year after their first adventure.


4. Tiger Lily is a princess.
When Europeans first met native Americans, they assumed the natives had social structures exactly like their own. However, they didn't - there's no such thing as an "Indian princess."

Tiger Lily was never referred to as a princess in either the play or the novel. The novel calls her "a princess in her own right." This doesn't mean she's literally a princess, but rather that she has qualities befitting a princess - such as being a skillful leader.


5. Captain Hook is ugly.
I feel a bit bad putting this here because in a few adapations, Hook has been an absolute hunk. However, this doesn't change the fact that some stories and adaptations have made him hideous.

While Hook is described as "cadaverous" (ie, looking somewhat like a corpse), he's also described as "handsome." In other words, he looks like one of those pasty vampire heartthrobs.


6. Peter Pan wears green.

The book describes him as wearing clothes made of "skeleton leaves." Skeleton leaves, which are the remains of leaves after the softer tissues have decayed, are not green.


7. Peter is a trustworthy source of information.
A lot of adaptations take things Peter said as absolute truth. However, the book makes it clear over and over that Peter has a terrible memory (the price of eternal childhood and innocence), and when he doesn't know the answer to something he'll often make one up. "Second to the right and straight on until morning" didn't actually mean anything; Peter just thought it sounded good.


Other things you might like:

Are Peter Pan And The Lost Boys Dead?
Questions People Ask About Peter Pan - Answered!
Peter Pan-Related Random Generators
Common Fairytale Myths Debunked



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