Captain James Hook is the antagonist of J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and its various adaptations. The character is a villainous pirate captain of the Jolly Roger brig, and lord of the pirate village/harbour in Neverland, where he is widely feared. Most importantly, he is the archenemy of Peter Pan. It is said that Hook was Blackbeard's boatswain, and that he was the only man Long John Silver ever feared. But he is said to be afraid of crocodiles and probably other reptiles.
Hook wears a big iron hook in place of his right hand, which was cut off by Peter Pan and eaten by a saltwater crocodile. The crocodile liked the taste so much that he follows Hook around constantly, hoping for more. Luckily for Hook, the crocodile also swallowed a clock, so Hook can tell from the ticking when he is near. Hook hates Peter obsessively due to his cockiness (and the removing of his hand) and lives for the day he can make Peter and all his Lost Boys walk the plank.
Hook did not appear in early drafts of the play, with the capricious and coercive Peter Pan as the closest thing to a "villain" in it. The pirate captain was created for a front-cloth scene to be staged in front of the curtain while the set was changed from Neverland back to the Darling nursery, depicting the children's journey home. Barrie expanded the scene, knowing how much children were fascinated by pirates, and expanded the role of the captain as the play developed. The character was originally cast to be played by a woman: Dorothea Baird, the actress also playing Mary Darling. Gerald du Maurier, who was already playing George Darling (and the brother of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies), persuaded Barrie to let him take the additional role instead, a casting decision that has since been replicated in many stage and film productions of the Peter Pan story.
Barrie states in the novel that "Hook was not his true name. To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze." He relates the tale of how Peter Pan cut off his hand and fed it to the crocodile, setting up the rivalry between them. Barrie explains that "he was Blackbeard's boatswain, and that he was the only man Long John Silver ever feared". It is implied that he attended Eton College and Balliol' in the play; Hook's final words are "Floreat Etona", the College's motto. Barrie confirmed this in a speech delivered in 1927 to the first hundred at Eton College entitled "Captain Hook at Eton".
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