The Dark Side of Neverland

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

When it comes to Disney films, we all remember them as happy and full of magic and song. However, some of them have slightly more depressing and sad backgrounds. Sometimes the original versions of the stories are incredibly dark and morbid.

Peter Pan is no different. This story, written by J.M. Barrie, is as dark as any other fairy tale Disney has made a version of.

Fan theories also run wild with this story. However, these are simply theories and have no proof behind them and have been created for discussion purposed and for fun. That’s if you can call the morbid theories fun.


The Dark Truth

Barries Brother

Barrie lost his older brother David in a ice skating accident at just 13 years old. Barries mother never got over the death of her son and would even dress Barrie up so she could pretend she had never lost her boy. She gained little comfort knowing David would remain a child forever. This tragedy engrained the idea of preserving childlike innocence into Barries mind and gave him some of the inspiration for Peter Pan.

Child Murder

When Wendy first travels to Neverland, Tinkerbell convinces one of the Lost Boys that Peter Pan wants the ‘Wendy bird’ killed. So, one of the boys shoots her with a bow and arrow and she narrowly survives. Feeling guilt ridden, Tootles, the Lost Boy that shot Wendy, begs Peter Pan to kill him.

Another instance of attempted murder of a child is when Captain Hook slashes at Peter Pan with his hook. Peter lies on a rock in Mermaid Lagoon waiting to either bleed to death or to drown from the incoming tide. Charming.

Hooks End

Unlike in the Disney movie where Hook skims his way across the ocean away from the Crocodile, in the original book, his end is far more gruesome. Peter Pan kicks the evil Pirate over the side of the boat where the crocodile is waiting for him. Hook is then rather brutally gobbled up by the Crocodile never to be seen again.

Fan Theories

Peter Pan kills the Lost Boys

This first theory came from the following quote from the book: ‘The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out; but at this time there were six of them, counting the twins as two.’ It is seen from this sentence that once the Lost Boys start to grow up, Peter no longer wants them in Neverland, so kills them.

Peter Pan was an Angel

Another theory was that Peter Pan was simply an angel that would guide young children to heaven on them passing away. This is why the children of Neverland never grow up; they’re dead. This one is a particularly powerful metaphor should it be true. To think that Peter was simply a guide for those whose lives had been taken from so cruelly young. No on wants to be alone in death and this could give some comfort to very sick children.

Captain Hook is the Good Guy?

One user on the website Reddit came up with the idea that Captain Hook is the good guy. If we refer back to theory number one, where Peter kills off the young boys, it is seen that James Hook made it his job to stop Peter from kidnapping and murdering young boys. Perhaps he wasn’t a pirate. Just a concerned citizen wanting so save some kids lives.

Do you know of any other fan theories to do with the story of Peter Pan? Share them in the comments below.

a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below


2 thoughts on “The Dark Side of Neverland

  1. I had no idea that J M Barrie lost his brother growing up which affected his childhood too and obviously inspired the book, that’s so sad! I was intrigued by the fan theory that Hook is the hero of the story too, that’s one I hadn’t heard before, but I did know about the angel theory, which I do think is quite sweet in some ways and does match the film quite nicely, but I just like reading about the fan theories, they’re fun aren’t they? Loved this post! – Tasha


  2. I never knew how dark Peter Pan was! I knew about the fact that everyone might be dead and in heaven, but never realised about them killing each other. It has been a while since I’ve watched the film though so maybe I just need to refresh my memory haha.


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