Disney Plus’ ‘Peter Pan & Wendy’ is a fantasy-adventure film that reimagines the classic story of a boy who doesn’t want to grow up. It begins with Wendy Darling expressing her desire to remain a kid so she doesn’t have to go to boarding school away from her family. The same night Peter Pan, the boy she’d heard about in stories, comes to visit her and her brothers. He tells them that Neverland is a real place and invites them to join him in a life of adventure where they’ll never grow old.
Wendy and her brothers are happy to embark on this new adventure, but they soon discover it’s not all good. If Peter is real, then the evil Captain Hook is real too. And their enmity is just as real as it was in the stories. Slowly, Wendy discovers the shared history of Peter and Captain Hook. Here’s what she learns about them and why Hook hates Peter and wants to kill him. SPOILERS AHEAD
Why Does Captain Hook Hate Peter?
Before he was Captain Hook, he was a boy named James. He came to Neverland just like Wendy and her brothers. Peter Pan introduced him to this new world where they could do whatever they wanted and never worry about growing up and being adults. Peter and James became best friends and spent a lot of time in Neverland being children. But then, James started to miss the place he came from. He missed his mother and wanted to go back to meet her. This angered Peter, who was under the impression that whoever came to Neverland would never want to go back.
Peter banished James from Neverland, forcing the latter to go away into the sea alone. When he entered the real world, he couldn’t go back to his home. He was stranded at sea until the ship of pirates found him. They raised him into a pirate, and James spent years with them, still missing his family and mother. He blamed Peter for the life that he was subjected to, so when he became the Captain of the ship, he returned to Neverland with his fleet.
After all these years, James thought Peter would feel bad about what he did and would apologize. Instead, Peter remained the arrogant, self-centered boy he’d left behind. This inflamed James’ anger, and he vowed to teach a lesson to Peter. Still, Peter had the upper hand. With the help of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust, he could fly, while James couldn’t. Once, they dueled, and it ended with Peter cutting off James’ right hand, which was then eaten by a crocodile. This put an end to any justification of Peter’s actions and the possibility of reconciliation between them.
Assuming that he was originally right-handed, this would have been a colossal loss for James. He couldn’t fly, and he was getting old. Dueling was the only thing he could get better at and defeat Peter. Now, even that was taken away from him. This was a turning point for James, and he adopted the name, Captain Hook, owing to the hook with which he replaced his hand. This also led to the creation of the many rules on his ship, which include but are not limited to not saying Peter’s name and not bringing clocks on board the vessel.
While James had a lot to be angry about, Peter’s words hurt him the most. He thought they were best friends, and then one day, Peter simply banished him from Neverland because he missed his mother. Instead of being a friend and being there for him, Peter turned him into an outcast with nowhere to go. Things would have cooled down if Peter had apologized and accepted his mistake. But when that didn’t happen, Captain Hook nursed his hatred, waiting for the day he would kill Peter Pan.
With all that happened between them, Captain Hook’s hatred for Peter Pan is justified and makes him a sympathetic character, as opposed to the complete evil that Peter had painted him to be. The fact that the Captain just wanted an apology and his friend back is also confirmed by how he reacts when Peter finally accepts that he is wrong. In the end, when Peter returns to Neverland, Hook smiles, revealing that he is happy Peter survived and chose not to leave Neverland.
Read More: How Did Captain Hook Lose His Hand in Peter Pan & Wendy?