Lost Boy

Even as a child I thought Peter Pan was a dick.

I remember seeing the Disney film and hating him. I hated the way he bullied and manipulated the lost boys, the way he pitted Wendy and Tinkerbell against each other and then both against Princess Tiger Lily (we won’t discet the casual racism of Disney film today, that would be a whole different aventure).

I was however fascinated by the idea of Neverland, of how the boys never aged, why the pirates didn’t either and yet were adults, by fairies (well fairy), mermaids. flying, and adventure.

Between that and my love of a retelling I couldn’t resist Lost Boy. It seems that I was not alone in my feelings toward Peter. Christina Henry’s Peter is an evil, bullying, manipulator, who does exactly as he pleases and doesn’t care who gets hurt.

Jamie is his best friend, the first boy he ever brought to the island. He hardly remembers the Other Place or his parents. Just a song and a smile that wasn’t a smile.

While Peter replaces boys as quickly as they disappear, Jamie cares for them. Particularly Charlie, a boy who was too small to be taken, too small to fight or play the way Peter wants to. Peter hates anything that stops him being the sun that all revolve around and the love and attention that Jamie gives the other boys is unbarable to him.

Jamie begins to see the faults in Peter. As he grows away from Peter he grows up. It becomes clear that the boys devotion to Peter is a reflection of Jamies, that by losing Jamie Peter will lose them all. Peter destroys any means of escape as the number of boys drops further by the day. Finally challenging Jamie to Battle with only 3 left to witness. Peter can not die linked as he is to the island. Nor will he kill Jamie. But the death of their friendship is the birth of a Captain, and a never ending fued.

All because Peter lies.

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