Who is Peter Pan Based On and Why Do You Think He is the Angel of Death?

Who is Peter Pan Based On and Why Do You Think He is the Angel of Death?

I saw an image today that states that the character of Peter Pan was an angel that held kids’ hands on their way to heaven. I was curious so I looked up if there is any truth to the statement. The closest I got was that James Matthew Barrie (J. M. Barrie), the author of Peter and Wendy, lost his brother David two days before the young man’s 14th birthday. David Barrie died in an ice-skating accident which deeply affected both James Matthew and his mother, J.M later wrote that his mother took solace in the concept that David would never grow old and leave home. It’s possible that the idea of Peter Pan begins somewhere in the loss of David Barrie.

In Chapter 1 of Peter Pan, titled Peter Breaks Through, Wendy Darling and her mother discuss the interesting imaginary character called Peter.

At first Mrs. Darling did not know, but after thinking back into her childhood she just remembered a Peter Pan who was said to live with the fairies. There were odd stories about him, as that when children died he went part of the way with them, so that they should not be frightened. She had believed in him at the time, but now that she was married and full of sense she quite doubted whether there was any such person.

Peter Pan appears to act as a psychopomp during that bit in Chapter 1. A psychopomp historically functions as a guide during transition periods in humans’ lives. So, it seems there is a connection between Peter and the point in time when he begins to interact with the children.

Now that we know the ideas that may have influenced J.M. Barrie’s creation of Peter Pan, here’s a bit on where Pan’s name comes from according to Wikipedia:

Barrie created Peter Pan in stories he told to the sons of his friend Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, with whom he had forged a special relationship. Mrs. Llewelyn Davies’ death from cancer came within a few years after the death of her husband. Barrie was named as co-guardian of the boys and unofficially adopted them.

The character’s name comes from two sources: Peter Llewelyn Davies, one of the boys, and Pan, the mischievous Greek god of the woodlands.

As we uncover the history behind Pan, a character that embodies timeless concepts of innocence and immortality, we discover that the meme that inspired this post may be onto something.

Peter Pan is an Angel of Death, Boom, Childhood Ruined

The statement on the picture may not be completely true but it instigates a search for answers, in this case the question becomes “Is Peter Pan the Angel of Death?” I don’t think so, but I do think that J. M. Barrie was motivated and inspired by death in his life.

What do you think? I’d love to know what brought you here and what you think about Peter Pan, let me know in the comments below.

Dennis Bonilla

Dennis Bonilla is a user experience designer and digital strategist who co-founded Unified Pop Theory with his friends. Dennis is a trend finder and idea maker who is inspired by individuals that believe the world can be changed one great project at a time. Dennis can be reached on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.

135 Comments

  1. Angela Maria - 05/22/2016

    Lost Boys are America, not knowing they have a family…a family that goes back through the ages to the very Beginning…Genesis. Their Savior even told them He came for the ‘lost’ ones and that they must be as ‘children’ to enter the kingdom of Heaven. AMerica has been stripped of the knowledge of her family…the bloodline of the man, Jacob, renamed Israel.

    • Angela Maria - 05/22/2016

      Peter Pan. The name “Pan” means “god of flocks” or “shepherd”. Peter is “stone” or “rock”. The “rock” is symbolic of the Law of Liberty in Biblical symbolism. Peter Pan? the shepherd of the flock who upholds the Law of Liberty? Fits with the “free” nature of Peter Pan.

      • Angela Maria - 05/22/2016

        Is Peter Pan’s “shadow” his “being”, his “spirit” through time? Jesus asked his disciples “who do you say I am?” The disciples replied with known persons from the past…the Old Testament past… implying that those that were, will walk again until they have completed the job or built the character to “enter into the Rest”; in other words “get off the wheel”.

  2. sam - 04/10/2016

    honestly i think this is part true. however, it the story it was told that only peter pan never grew up, not all the others

  3. Kara - 03/31/2016

    Does that mean Wendy dies when she is took to neverland

  4. Carolyn - 03/21/2016

    I think he represents a lead to heaven that the kids have cancer and tinker bell is the light on the way to never land (heaven) and Captain Hook is the cancer. The click in the movies is the count downto death.

  5. LOL - 03/15/2016

    I believe that these comments are way off base. Peter Pan isn’t a single entity or person, but represents the spirit of being a child. The Pirates are the “adults” come to make them behave like responsible people. Wendy is the embodiment of the spirit trapped between two world. She has real world responsibilities placed upon her. However, she is still but a child both in her physical being and her lack of experience. Peter is the leader of the children who never want to grow up, never want to take responsibility. Tinkerbell embodies the belief in “god” some magical force that will always look out for them and keep them safe from becoming an adult. Neverland is “childhood”, a place free from having to work, pay bills, interact with others that you don’t like. ” If the lost boys leave childhood, leave Neverland, if they go and experience the real world, then they will not be able to return, they will become adults.

    Sadly, I see the US society becoming one more like the lost boys, more people opposing anything that looks like adulthood, parents, authority. Not even questioning if the suggestions are right or functional. “A pirate said it, it must be bad and fought against” . In complete fantasy about what real life consequences for their actions are.

  6. Maddy K. - 02/14/2016

    Peter Pan could be an angle of death who fell in love with a girl who was thinking of committing suicide. Because, at least from the movies, pan seems to have an interest and I don’t have a doubt that Peter was at least some what interested in Wendy and at the beginning Wendy is facing a life issue she feels could be enough for her to want to kill herself. Another theory could be drugs. Peter Pan is a form of drug dealer metiphorically Peter is trying to get the boys and Wendy to experience never land or being high. Wendy refuses and goes back home or to being sober. That kind of makes sense because she growing up and she’s sort of the one her brothers look up to which would make sense as to why they wanted to go to “neverland” as well. This could also be a reason why flying and clouds was such a big reference and happy thoughts. It’s them getting high and neverland is there euphoria.

  7. Joshua Frazier - 02/04/2016

    I would imagine that the kids that peter pan takes are victims that are put into comas and this is there never ending dream land till the plug is taken out and then they return home to death.

  8. nightgaunt49 - 01/08/2016

    Look at Neverland as one of the realms created by the Fairies who are powerful, mercurial and dangerous with their vast powers. They are essentially super insects who have reached a level of intelligence far beyond us. And yet have little or not empathy as part of their make up. Why Peter (penis) Pan (use of penis) is like that. Truly a psychopath who has no empathy for others and looks at a chair as they do a person. Breaking the chair or killing someone feels the same.
    The only thing that motivates them is boredom to end it with excitement. Including taking risks which also include sexuality and violence if they want.

    I would like to have read any notes J.M.Barrie had and any thoughts on his construction of the story and its characters. He lived a hard life surrounded by death both of adults and children I can see figuring into his fantasy fiction. But then original fables and fairy tales are all about danger and life and death. Too bad Disney altered it to be so happy and harmless.

    Perfection is in the imperfect mind of the beholder. So humans I think could not deal with whatever is perfection if it can even be reached for anything.

  9. cyp - 10/27/2015

    Peter Pan is a person that kidnaps children and after playing with them kills them. Neverland is just the place where he takes the children after they are kidnaped. He is a child at mind and sees himself as a child but this is not necessary true. Peter Pan is just a monster version to some pretty evil real humans out there.

  10. Aurora - 10/03/2015

    The same post brought me here

  11. Mike Fulmer - 10/02/2015

    In a recent trip to the Holy Land, we visited Caesarea Philippi. We learned about a temple built for he false god named Pan that was supposed to be the god between this world and the next. There was a pool of water there that was so deep (had no bottom) that many pagans believed that it was the gate to the netherworld. That’s why this false god “Pan” was created. He was half man, half goat, and played a flute. Got your attention???
    Jesus walked many miles with his disciples to this place to ask them “who do men say that I am?”
    Peter gives the famous quote “thou art the Christ, son of the Living God.” Jesus is actually the true God between this world and the next. He calls Peter “the Rock” that he will build his Church on, and the gates to the netherworld will not prevail against it. Many people at that time believed that they were standing at the gate to the netherworld. Go Jesus, as the false god Pan is defeated!!

    Symbolism between the Movie Peter Pan and the bible

    Pan – Half man half goat–false god. supposed to be the god between this world and the next, leads the lost boys to never land.
    Gates of the “nether world”- in movie the boys are taken to “never land”
    lost boys—have no “father” or “mother” Jesus tells us that God is “Our Father”…..

    Captain Hook is missing eye, a hand and a foot—–Jesus says that it is better to pluck out your eye, cut off your hand, or your foot if it causes you to sin and not enter heaven.

    Peter denies Jesus 3 times before the rooster crows. Peter Pan crows victoriously in the movie

    In the movie, his name is “Peter” Pan???

    Jesus dies on Golgotha (called the place of the skull). There is a place in the movie called skull island.
    I’m not even going to compare tinker bell to an angel, even though both have wings…and there is a battle between good and evil, and Peter Pan does fly from this planet to Never Land….Open your eyes!!!!!
    I’m sure that there is much more symbolism that I have missed, but I can assure you that this is not a good thing to embrace, as it was not created to build up the faith of a Christian family. Disney, shame on you!! What are you really doing???? Why does a fairytale move designed for entertainment need to have such pagan origins and influence???? There is one God between this world and the next, and His name is Jesus!!!
    Mike Fulmer

    • Myriam R Roberts - 10/05/2015

      English Victorian Public schooling was a mix of the Church of England King James Bible , Legends of King Arthur and the wizard Merlin but most of all the Classical myths and other political writings of Greece and Rome were studied and obsessed over. Check out how C S Lewis has the Great Lion dance with Bacchus /Pan in the Naria series. The United Kingdom is a Celtic/Roman country with ancient pagan roots which are everywhere. What most English people do is merge cultures; that’s why we fell in love with India so much is stories and colour were amazing. That’s what Barrie did. We love myths and folklore in the UK.

  12. Ruth Santori - 09/04/2015

    I believe “Neverland” as a place where agnostic parents, who do not believe in Jesus Christ, find solace, believing that they, and the children they love, will go to some fairytale world, versus suffer the wrath of the Creator, who has always laid out the rules, but they chose to ignore, due to media, beliefs based upon that of their friends etc. “The fear of God” is real, brothers and sisters, and fairytale stories will not give you a hall pass from the suffering you will endure by believing the Evil of this world. Read your Bible, pray that God’s mercy covers your children, and that your faith covers them, in their lack of knowledge, and ignorance/lies of this world. Pray that the blood of Christ covers your children during End Times. God Bless you all.

    • david - 09/25/2015

      Fuck Christ. Fuck all those that put any real world trust into these less than fairly tales. It’s all bullshit, there is no god, only physics. Only math can give you the answer we all seak, sorry to ruin your moment of awakening with *cough* mhmm *truth*.

      • Melissa - 10/02/2015

        Um no , there is a god FYI he created you. The worlds view on Christians is not always true or right. So I resent that. Second if you don’t like fairy tales and shit like that. Then don’t effing comment.

      • Godlover - 11/24/2015

        Religion is a way for people to believe in a higher being and higher purpose. This whole article is about Peter Pan, not your atheist beleifs! Now go worship your upside down cross and bippidy boppidy back da fuck out!

      • layla - 12/21/2015

        why don’t you believe in god?

      • layla - 12/21/2015

        so do you believe we came from monkeys? bc that’s not valid. did u see this formation from monkey to human?.. no u didn’t.. have we seen god? most answers are no,but we have faith. we don’t need to see to believe in the true god

      • Lolo Thomas - 02/22/2016

        I realize you probably think you are really smart and scientific and shit, but you literally spelled seek wrong. Plus, people are entitled to their own opinions and their is not a difference between fact and truth. (Do not get into a debate with me over this, I will win.) Anyway, what you believe is not necessarily true, but then again neither is the belief of the people you are insulting. No one knows the truth until they die, at which point, they cannot come back and tell you. So I would keep your opinion to yourself if it against the opinions of others, especially since you could very well be completely wrong. Yes, I am also a scientist, but I believe that there is some higher power, and an amazing realization will come when one dies. Truth and fact are the same. And you are a jackass.
        Over and out.
        Lolo Thomas

      • A.H.K - 03/22/2016

        Ya’ll obviously need Jesus

    • Morgan Rhyne - 05/11/2016

      Why in the world has an interesting post about Peter Pan turned into this. I mean, it’s just nonsense. There are several post on here like this and it really disturbs me. It’s a fun story. Children don’t worship the devil because they read or watch Peter Pan. They develop imaginations and play. I don’t blame kids for not wanting to grow up when adults are turning something fun and magical into something disturbing and sick.

  13. Samantha Nelson - 09/03/2015

    okay so here is my theory! Neverland is a sort of limbo for children who are in a coma or with some sort of near death experience.In Neverland you are faced with a series of difficult decisions either join Captain Hook aka the devil or follow Peter Pan an angel but if you remember your parents after an exceeded amount of time and never land you can return home to your familyor go to heaven but if you choose to be a Pirates a criminal then you are doomed to grow old and to be filled with hatred aka hell. in some movies and/or stories The Lost Boys return home with Wendy but given the considerable amount of time they were in limbo/Neverland it took Wendy’s stories of her parents to help them remember theirs also I believe the Lost Boys were a group of Boy Scouts who were in a coma due to a bus accident on the way to camp

  14. Carissa - 07/20/2015

    I am a big fan of Disney and all the secret messages and meanings. After I heard this one today, it all made sense. Do you guys remember when the dad puts Nana outside and the mom is worried that the children won’t be safe because Nana can’t pretect them. This could be the moment they die. And if I remember right the parents never come back to see them suggesting they are not in real time anymore and the children have died. And then, if you think about the lost boys, well, their story is probably something along the lines of a Boy Scout group went on a trip and these boys were killed. Anyway, it’s fun to think about. I also like some of your other comments. ??????????

  15. Doug Eames - 07/12/2015

    It may also possibly be that Neverland represents the eternal realm accessed via the creative imagination. That which we commonly refer to as “heaven” and “the afterlife” is understood by some to be a timeless dimension that is accessible to us at all moments, even our living ones.

  16. mia - 06/15/2015

    Just curious because Iv’e wondered about this theory ever since I seen this exact picture on Facebook, If Peter Pan was an angel that took children to heaven, Why did the children return and Wendy got older? And I’m also curious I know In the original Peter Pan I think the “Lost Boys” stay with Peter but In the Peter Pan made in 2003, Don’t they come back with Wendy and her brothers?

    • mapaxis - 05/12/2016

      I think the Neverland experience may be some sort of temptation experience.

      I know Barrie wrote Mary Rose much later, but that story is about a girl who goes to an enchanted island and it really messes her up.

  17. J Littlemiss - 03/14/2015

    in the 2003 movie, at the end the lost boy, slightly, gets adopter (or reunited) with Wendy’s aunt, who I think was his actually mother. My theory is, that she had a miscarriage, which would explain why she wanted wendy to grow up so quickly (because she never got the chance to have a child herself), and also why she knew his name and was so happy to see him. Also, in this movie, they say something about “a kiss being a symbol of a woman who has been to heaven and back again,” … like wendy!!

  18. aaron - 02/24/2015

    Nope but true, read the book, more then just the first chapter! It states that Peter kills the kids if they grew up on Nederland, which they tend to do!

  19. Figy - 12/24/2014

    I’ve done years of research on dmt and near death experiences, and the one thing I find fascinating is that with these event most people recall being greeted by a loving entity or entities that “walk” with them further into the experience. To me this sounds like a Peter Pan type character, and maybe it’s not so far fetched.

  20. slumpy204g - 11/28/2014

    Why would heaven be filled with pirates, man eating crocodiles and mermaids that try to drown teenage girls?

    • jajwjwjwjsjjaja - 12/04/2014

      maybe because it’s all in a child’s mind.

    • Lily - 12/18/2014

      Hahaha right on smartass

    • Axel - 12/24/2014

      Neverland is just a stoppen on the was to haben to make it easier for those kids.

    • Sarah - 12/29/2014

      Peter is an animated character used to represent the angel of death who promises children to never grow up in neverland ( die and go to heaven). The pirates are children who believed peter pan’s promise but they grew up so they try to get their revenge by killing him (its not about the revenge of the amputated hand and having a hook instead) . The mermaids are the women of heaven, for each man’s ideal wonder woman appears in heaven. The crocodile represents time , for captain hook keeps getting older and death is keeping up with him.

      This is based on my research. Look up hoor al ayn ( the women of heaven). Interesting I might suggest.

      • Leia Alva - 01/03/2016

        This is very smart, but you make mewant to cry, I wish I had never seen this, im a kid who believed in a world of imagination, this is a Disney movie for kids, if peter pan was an angle of death, it wouldn’t be labeled 5 and up, would it? Im not trying to offend you but this made me so upset I cant go to sleep. I cannot believe some of peoples comments, if my smaller siblings saw this, they would literally see the dark void of death and probably BE in Neverland. So you made me have mixed emotions ON LIFE. And im a RAINBOW UNICORN kinda person D’X

    • Ash - 02/20/2015

      It was like a fantasy land full of the children’s dreams and adventures

    • Hannah - 04/22/2015

      Not saying this is the reason why, but if you think about it all of the places on Neverland are places that Have to do with death. Hangman’s tree (Pan’s hideout), Cannibal Cove, Mermaid lagoon (mermaids are also called sirens and sirens are known for singing a beautiful song to lure sailors to their death), and Skull Rock. Not to mention the fact that pirates were known for killing people and so were Indians, and they happened to be the only other people on the island that we haven’t mentioned.

    • trinity - 06/12/2015

      Well it is a story that he did make up. But also, the lost boys are small children right. Also they don’t want to grow up. To children pirates, crocodiles and mermaids is a great adventure. Also they are dead anyway, they can’t die again.

    • chay - 06/28/2015

      I think the pirates were demons also the crocodiles and mermaids, disguised as other , and that’s why peter always had issues with them

      • Destiny - 12/24/2015

        I believe that Peter Pan was an angel who guides lost spirits to never land because to a lot of people it is thought that when you go to heaven you never grow up therefor never land represents Heaven but because there were the different islands, pirates, man eating crocidials, mermaid(sirens), and many otherwise awful things I kinda think that the different islands and neverland represent the waiting place between Heaven and hell for the people who could go to either heaven or hell like children perhaps the lost boys were in neverland (heaven) and the pirates and Indians were in hell and when Wendy and her brothers come along they are in the waiting place not sure if they should go to heaven or hell but they were also in my opinion not totally dead because there are many people who have died maybe on an operating table or maybe are on the verge of death in coma who have come back to life I believe this because at the end of the movie Wendy and her brothers go back to their homes with the lost boys and the aunt knows one of the boys names so I’m guessing the the lost boys were not totally dead either but getting back to the aunt she knew one of the boys instantly and he knew her so I’m guessing she had a miscarriage or it was her son who may have died at that age so my theory is the peterman is an angel who guides lost spirits to heaven and Wendy and her brothers must have Been near death because Peter Pan kept coming to their window and therefor they are near death the lost boys probably like Boy Scouts who got in a car accident who are probably in like a coma and don’t remember who they are and. Are in the waiting place between heaven and hell and at the end or the movie they are brought back to life and that’s and. So is Wendy and her brothers but one of the boys was not part of like what I think may have been a Boy Scout troop cuz hr is the only one to remember someone that’s my theory

  21. zay - 11/21/2014

    I heard that original version of Peter pan,Peter pan was a killer and he did it for fun as well.

  22. Sylvia Rose McLendon - 10/28/2014

    In the movie the Lost Boys do not remember their mothers, which also might have something to do with Disney and his relationship with parents, also: Smee says to Hook that he hopes Hook starts feeling better and that he hasn’t smiled in a while. I sort of buy this theory, but I’m looking for a different one.

  23. Louiseb - 07/15/2014

    Also does anyone else get frustrated when so many people think the quote “you know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you” is from Peter Pan by JM Barrie. as much as I love it, they’re wrong, its from Hook!

    • Ebster - 11/28/2014

      I came here because I’m looking for fan theories regarding the fate of Peter Pan’s Mom and younger brother.

      In “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens” (also by JM Barrie) Peter’s true backstory is revealed (not the version he tells everyone else). It’s a beautiful story and I think studying it will help clear up a lot of the misconceptons people often have about the character and what he represents.

      There is a theme of childhood development and childhood death in these books, but I think it’s mostly in a metaphorical sense. Peter can represent a child who died not knowing he was loved and unable to develop psychologically because of that.

      The Lost boys are not literally dead, they have the opportunity to return to their families just like Peter did.

      To children who die young Peter is said to act as a companion on their journey to the afterlife.

  24. LouiseB - 07/15/2014

    I’ve been a HUGE fan of peter pan ever since I was young (all the films, the play, musical and novel). I also saw this meme and was slightly heartbroken as I’ve always dreamed of going to Neverland but I also find all these theories interesting. I’ve had the idea to write a book/script/film, very loosely connected to Peter pan and JM Barrie; it would be a sort of prequel with Barrie’s great great great granddaughter in modern day (note the word ‘loosely’ as I know Barrie did not have any children) or perhaps instead the greatgreatgreat granddaughter of one of the Llewelyn Davies boys (would need to do some research to what seems plausible). She has a wild imagination, becomes friends with a mysterious boy at school and then in an extreme attempt in believing she can fly, falls off a balcony (titanic-style :P) and then the mysterious boy, who happens to be called peter, can fly and catches her, and takes her to neverland….perhaps, after looking at these theories, when she returns, everyone is in shock as she was supposedly dead and “Peter pan is an angel who children hold hands with on the way to heaven”- maybe? ofc there would be all these other thoughts to consider e.g. who is hook, who was wendy? etc
    what do u think?

    • Matt Ahbadah Leathers - 09/02/2014

      That’s awesome. I’d read it. :b

    • drake - 09/05/2014

      Might be a little sadder, but I think the story would be better fit to end either literally or metaphoricly implying that jumping off the balcony led to her demise and that peter took her to heaven for good. (The stort could be allegorical for suicide, peter being her depression. Every time she sees and speaks to him it could represent her suicidal thoughts) definitely the more crestfallen route, but I think it could be a good novellette or short story.

    • Floor Creyghton - 12/29/2014

      That’s awesome! Please send that to me when it’s done i’d love to read it any part of it frankly. it’s fcreyghton@gmail.com please send it!

    • Gemma - 01/16/2015

      Sounds amazing. Please do it. I would definitely want to see this. Good luck x

    • Nicole - 06/08/2015

      OMG you must send me this once finished. Glittzgurl96@gmail.com

    • Amanda - 03/23/2016

      Hook could be the evil government who tries to get rid of all those childhood dreams, because he was neglected as a kid. (Just a thought) and he could be mean in your book because he was abused and was forced to grow up and a young age 🙂 (again just a thought) and Wendy could come from a family where hey pre was a lot of death (chickenpox back then, no meds) or she could be historical like the titanic person lol.

  25. Krista - 07/01/2014

    If you listen closely to You Can Fly/We Can Fly is says “You see it when you die”

  26. taebug - 05/20/2014

    Neverland is nt heaven.. this story U all talk about is nt the original story…but is a remake… jus kno the shadow was a demon

  27. Roxanne - 05/20/2014

    I never thought of it until I saw that post on Facebook and now my 3 year old son loves Peter Pan. All I know is that I’m really sad about people’s theories 🙁 the dead children, neverland being heaven, it’s really sad 🙁

  28. Courtney - 05/09/2014

    Thanks! The show ended up being absolutely beautiful. The kids reall got this concept and made it their own! i was so proud of them. It was a lot of fun and very moving.

  29. Denean - 04/22/2014

    I came here because I know a beautiful-spirited, strong, independent, selfless 16-year old girl who is dying of terminal brain/spine cancer; and my ONLY comfort in wondering/undertsanding why the Good Lord would call such a person to Heaven is to compare Peter Pan calling Wendy to Never-Never Land… like, he’d never-never do so… unless he really, really needed her… to help take care of all the other angel babies.

  30. Paul Bonsell - 04/03/2014

    I think most artists create based on what effects them in their lives. Perhaps death and the experiences around death inspired aspects of this story for J.M. Barrie. But I think children moving back and forth from the afterlife and Pan being the guide as the fundamental story here is a bit of a stretch…as romantic a notion it is that wendy, although pressured by Pan to stay, refuses the temptation of death and returns home to grow up, ultimately I think there are a lot of little stories at play here. And as in any good piece of art, left to a whole realm of interpretations. Like Courtney, the drama teacher, which is also a wonderful, imaginative way to express this story and find meaning in it that is special to her and her class.

  31. Karma - 04/01/2014

    The lost boys NEVER came back.. you might want to re-watch the movie

    • Laura Ess - 04/01/2014

      Better to read the original book surely? You can get a free copy at
      http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22984

      • Little and Fierce - 10/27/2015

        Now that would be revolutionary: actually read the book (or the several versions of the story Barrie wrote, starting with the play) – the problem is that most people writing here would rather believe their own half-baked theories than the actual words written by JMB. I don’t mean that there aren’t some interesting conclusions you can draw about his own life that fed into the story (like Henley’s daughter who died at five years old ten years before he wrote the first version, but apparently called him her “fwendy” – since she couldn’t pronounce her “r”s – giving rise to the name “Wendy”) He also had strange relationships with the children of his friends: his psychology is much more interesting than crack-pot Christians and near-death experiences…

    • Nyala Grace Skye - 05/16/2014

      Read the book…in the end the Lost Boys cone back, are adopted by the Darlings, and Wendy grows up. Then, all of Wendy’s female descendants get the same deal she did; they’re all allowed to go with Pan for one week to help with spring cleaning.

  32. Colin Buell - 03/24/2014

    Wendy and the boys came home at the end of the story. Either they or zombies or Peter Pan is most definately NOT the angel of death. Just another fairy living with the fairies

  33. Courtney - 03/14/2014

    I’m a middle school drama teacher and am currently directing a production of Peter Pan. I love all of these ideas-I have adapted my piece (because I have an almost all female cast). That the lost boys are like the tomboyish aspect of female childhood that has to be relinquished in order to become a “proper young lady”. Basically the story is about a girl who gets into a fight with her dad and he throws down the gauntlet: it is time for her to grow up, “this is the last night in the nursery” so she falls asleep and dreams of the world she created in her stories. All the characters represent some aspect of what a “lady” is to Wendy. The pirates are each some aspect of her mother’s personality, hook is like her dad. (They are the villains, after all ;). The Indians or “indigenous” people of never land are an embodiment of ancient feminine wisdom and goddess energy, the mermaids are the stepford wives-to-be or debutante types, and the faeries are telling the story with tink and an ensemble of little pixies. I’m pretty stoked on this project. Today was the first run-through and I am now considering throwing in the “elephant in the room”. That Wendy had an older brother who died, the darlings have lost a child and are grieving. And for her to give up her childhood is to give up the lost sibling. OR-mr darling lost HIS brother and has forgotten. And Pan is the ghost of his brother?? Hmm…so many directions I could go with this now! Great conversation here!

    • KayyBee - 04/29/2014

      This is beautiful. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your comment!!!

    • Kat - 12/05/2014

      I would love to see this adaptation and bravo to you for taking a total goddess interpretation!

    • Gemma - 01/16/2015

      Great ideas. Would love to see it. Not soo keen on the me darlings brother idea but really like the Wendy’s older brother twist. Good luck x

    • Jennifer Rounds - 04/15/2015

      Absolutely astonishing idea for an adaptation of Peter Pan through a woman’s perspective! I was wondering if you might have recorded the production or have the script online. I would love to read it! You really should consider proposing the script to Vday/1billionrising creator Eve Ensler!

    • nightgaunt49 - 01/08/2016

      With an all Female cast you may want to change the name since Peter is another word for penis. Find one for vagina then go for it. If a female can play the male part of Peter Pan so can one change the name to better represent the feminine without hiding it. I wonder when someone will take and do “Peter Pan” correctly and show what Barrie was talking about. First of all read the original works first. Don’t count any adaptions least of all Disney’s. Do the same with any fiction like Tarzan an Wizard of Oz and Frankenstein etc. first.

  34. Laura Anne Seabrook - 03/03/2014

    That just makes him a “pschopomp”, not an angel, just like Mercury or Iris.

    • Antonio - 03/21/2014

      A psychopomp can be angel. Look it up.

      • Laura Ess - 03/23/2014

        “can be”, rather than “can only be”, and there’s a big difference between Psychopomp and “the Angel of Death”. Psychopomps (like Virgil in “The Divine Comedy”) can take people to the other side, and BRING THEM BACK. I suspect The Angel of Death offers only a one way trip.

        It’s just more conversion/adaptation of non Christian mythology to a Christian sensibility.

  35. Angela - 02/24/2014

    Although I liked the film growing up, the Peter Pan character made me uneasy and I didn’t know why. I also felt sorry for the lost boys, and also for Captain Hook, and the way Peter bullied him! It makes sense that Peter does represent death, my uneasiness just falls into place and it really hit me when I saw that meme! Although I haven’t read the book, I would say Peter is the personification of death, but not an angel of death. He displays too many negative qualities for him to be an angel I’d say.

    • dulcineha - 07/11/2014

      I think that peter is an angel that takes children to a beter plays but i dont now the fact that he takes Wendy to NEVERLAND?

      • dulcineha - 07/11/2014

        oh and 1 more thing that story they say that peter is a demon sorry for my langueg but i think thats bullshit becuse shore the girl that saw peter sirvived to tell the story i thout it was stupid i even sed thouse same words in red and it did NOT happen nothing so i tell all of you to not belive everithing you read shous the most resanible 1 becous yea she fell doun in the floer were sharp cristals were ware that thous even come from. I admet that i realy thout that was true but dame siriusle just think about it OK.

  36. Collette - 02/21/2014

    Where does caption hook come into it? My friend came up with this theory, Peter Pan was a boy who lived forever, tricked kids to follow him and as soon as they started to grow up he killed them and the ones who got away turned into pirates and that’s why hook was after him when he tried to escape pan cut of his hand…

    • sashabean - 11/24/2014

      thats a good theory

    • Laurel Khutulun Lee - 02/25/2015

      well hook is always played by the same actor as mr darling, so make something of that if you will!

      a good theory is that its the part of an adult which hasnt grown up but needs to. if youve read the book then mr darling’s childish and narcissistic behaviour is what pushed the children away and allowed them to be taken. perhaps that part of him must be killed so that he might be humbled enough to be able to have his kids back.

      i like your theory, though there is a speech called Hook at Eton by Barrie, and he mentions numerous times about his high education before becoming a pirate

    • cyp - 10/27/2015

      except for the part with turned into pirates which is pretty good guess is not a theory. It is the actual original book. Peter is murderous psychopath. Oh and and he hunts and kill pirates for fun.

  37. matt - 02/21/2014

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I simple dont think it was the aurthers intention for peterpan to be persieved as an angel. More so that he is an example of childhood freedom and expression. And saying that neverland is heaven or purgatory is like saying that Narnia is heaven or purgatory like, and for that matter you could throw in lilliput or the land of the lost.

    • alice - 04/27/2014

      narnia was based on christianity and heaven even the author said that aslan is her version of a mythical jesus. look it up. so yeah you basically contradicted yourself there….

      • Christopher - 05/08/2014

        Just figured I’d comment on this because Clive Staples Lewis better known as C.S. Lewis was Christian yes BUT The Chronicles of Narnia were based NOT ONLY on Christianity but on Greek, Roman and Celtic Mythologies as well. Much like J.R.R. Tolken’s work The Lord of the Rings which focused on using Christianity as well as Norse, Germanic, Slavic, Celtic, Greek, Persian, and Finnish Mythologies. In addition it was also written around the same time as Chronicles of Narnia circa 1954 – 1955. In fact both authors were very good friends and would often collaborate on ideas for their respective novels. Just wanted to inform you about both authors.

  38. John lewis - 02/20/2014

    I just watched the film ‘finding neverland’ and thid explains alot aboit peter pan

  39. Kathleen - 02/20/2014

    I just saw this image and can’t help but feel a little heart broken, but also a bit hopeful and excited by this idea. I never really put much thought into why or how the story was created – really wasn’t even a fan until my 2 year old fell in love with Jake and the Neverland Pirates. As a child, I always felt so sad for the lost boys, but couldn’t really determine why. The initial thought of all those children being dead hit me like a ton of bricks because my son has told me countless times that he’s going to go to Neverland some day. Upon further thought and finding this, I began to wonder if Peter was the being leading the children to a better place, and if the reason Wendy could always leave stemmed from the author’s brother passing and him needing a way to visualize it to cope with it… but maybe the author dreamt of his brother often and Wendy coming and going is a representation of children being able to “visit” their loved ones in a dream. Or maybe I am over thinking it.

  40. Ricky Robinson - 02/20/2014

    I feel as if Neverland is heaven for children, with Adventure and excitement. Pan protects them and guides them. He is the angel of death and his shadow, the shadow of death that appears before he does.

    • nightgaunt49 - 01/08/2016

      Please don’t call Peter Pan—Pan. That is a totally different personage. An example ofan illustration by Humanity of the primal sylvan. Peter Pan is related to the God of Life, the forest, animals all living things. PP is just a scion of it as how J.M.Barrie was probably wanting to invoke from that name and how Peter is dressed and his capricious actions. Just like Nature which can give and take away life without remorse or feeling. The fairies too reflect nature in their own way. PP seems to have been changed from human toward the fairy from his pointed ears or perhaps from the Green God of the forest Pan. And to know Pan is to bring upon yourself pandemonium if you are a normal human. PP was also human and so was acting like a kind of liaison between the world of Pan and those of Humanity via the pocket dimension of Neverland. A human touched not just by the fairies but Pan himself.

      For Wendy and the children it was an adventure, but with real dangers and death. Though PP was made immortal he had no problem killing others whether enemies or friends to him it was what made things exciting that counted. And in Neverland the Lost Boys, who dressed as woodland creatures (the first of the Furries) were not allowed to grow up so they were slain before they joined the pirates or Indians to attack the remainder of the living playthings of Peter Pan. Dressing as animals could also be seen as a means of hiding in the forest from the Pirates or Indians and give them a chance to live a bit longer and also both role playing and invoking a kind of sympathetic magic to be closer to the sylvan woods.

  41. Emmanuel - 02/20/2014

    Think about that “Peter Pan” Angel of Death theory and add on “astral projection”, which is more common in children, and those kids that are “lost boys” are the ones who couldn’t find their way or refused to go back from “Neverland” (or Purgatory), home to their body. And Peter Pan was simply a guide for children to and from their “outer body experience”. The “grown-ups” are simply the dead souls trying to latch on the to the childs spirit to have the chance to be young again.. which Peter Pan helps fight off and protect the child spirit travelers. My theory.

  42. mireille - 02/19/2014

    I think the author indeed wrote this, inspired by his loss. But I don’t think we can deny that neverland was not a representation of heaven for children because of the evil or because Wendy and her brothers could leave Neverland if they wanted to. It’s still a fairy tale after all. And a world without parents, rules and with a lot of adventure… That is heaven to a kid. I think for the author, this was a way to imagine his brother in a wicked new world without rules or parents, instead of thinking about him as dead.

  43. Nay - 02/18/2014

    The story about the author was sad and made sense to how and why these characters were created.

  44. Michael DeBolt - 02/18/2014

    If this has any merit then Heaven has no girls besides Tink and she’s a fairy.

    • Nala - 10/02/2014

      No… There’s Tiger Lily (and other female Indians) and the mermaids, surely there’s more fairies and of course, Wendy. And I doubt we’ve seen the whole of Neverland.

  45. Victoria - 02/18/2014

    Then how would Wendy and her brothers get back, in the movie they did not die, they disappeared, and the lost boys are children that decided to stay and therefore became missing, I really don’t think that death
    was the point of the story.

    • Christie - 02/18/2014

      As for Wendy and her brother….I feels as though it was a dream or a vision. Much like Jacob and his Ladder in the Bibke.

  46. Youngricgdeedee@gmail.com - 02/17/2014

    Wow okay so my friend also told me about this post today and here I am lusting for answers. I do believe that peter was an angel in some fashion. It’s kind of freaking me out peter and share a lot similar traits
    The character appeared December 27 1904 / December 27 88 I’m a fashion designer … And my line is YCD “YoungCoutureDreams” so from truths I do believe he’s angel who posses a child like mentality a rebel a Capricorn

  47. Thoughtful - 02/17/2014

    Perhaps Neverland is aimed to be a child purgatory. Babies have not been seen in Neverland, therefore it could be to test children on petty sins like greed and jealousy in miniscule forms. For example, the contrast with good and evil etc.

  48. Christie McILroy - 02/16/2014

    Hi.
    i love this 🙂
    I posted this picture on Facebook and got several different views and ‘arguments’

    Anyways…my question is:
    Is Neverland heaven?
    although Neverland is a form of escape for children from the earthly world. However, Neverland is not a a perfect world. It is one which is still overrun by the same evils of the human condition(deceit,greed,jealousy etc) and so, it is this simple fact which explains that Neverland cannot be the exact representation of heaven

    So how is Neverland heaven in the statement above?

  49. Samantha Mims - 02/16/2014

    I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when this exact image came up. It got me thinking, so I did a Google search on it and lo and behold I found this post, which I might add, was pretty Interesting to read.

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