The Pirate King

When it comes to the master of the high seas, there is none more infamous than the cunning Captain Hook.  This devious villain is the antagonist originating in J.M. Barrie’s children’s classic Peter Pan.

Captain Hook is the commander of the Jolly Roger and lord of the pirate harbor in Neverland.  Rumor has it that Hook was Blackbeard’s boatswain and the only man that Long John Silver ever feared.  In short, he is not someone you want to mess with.  After all, he does wear an iron hook in place of his right hands, which could be used to do a fair amount of damage.  However, even the most fearless of men still have their own fears.  For Hook, it is the sight of his own blood and a saltwater crocodile, which swallowed Hook’s hand and follows him, craving more of the delicious taste.  Fortunately, the pirate captain is cued in every time the reptile is around, as a ticking clock can be heard from the crocodile’s stomach when his presence is near.  And like every man, Hook also has big dreams.  These dreams are seeking revenge on Peter Pan for cutting off his hand and seeing Peter and his followers, the Lost Boys, walk the plank.  It is true that Hook is truly evil, but a heroic protagonist couldn’t exist without a strong archenemy to foil plans and get in the way.

Pirate Complete Costume:

Pirate Complete Costume

Captain Hook’s journey into existence almost didn’t happen, as he was not originally a character in the early drafts of J.M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan, which served as the source material for all future Peter Pan stories.  The pirate captain emerged as a character for a scene to be performed in front of the curtain while the set changed from Neverland back to the Darling household.  Due to audiences embracing this character and children’s interest in pirates, Barrie lengthened the scene and gave Hook more of a prominent role as the work progressed.  Interestingly enough, the role of the malicious pirate was initially going to be played by a woman until one of the male cast members convinced Barrie to let him take the part.  This casting decision set the standard for casting in all Peter Pan film and stage adaptations.

While Hook’s appearance changes in varying degrees with various Peter Pan versions, Barrie’s description of the captain’s appearance is still been at the foundation.  Barrie described Hook as “cadaverous” and “blackavized” with blue eyes and dark curls resembling “black candles” from afar.  He is also depicted as having an attractive countenance and being elegant and articulate.  In regards to dress, Hook is often seen wearing a feathered hat, knee breeches, and a red, black, or blue coat.  This apparel is based off the description in Barrie’s novel.  In film, animation, and stage, Hook is often portrayed as tall, slender, and distinguished.

Wide Pirate Belt:

Wide Pirate Belt

In addition to Peter Pan films, Hook also has made appearances or been referenced in the Shrek and Pirates of the Caribbean films among others, as well as in video games, television shows, and even the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony.  He has quite a nice track record, making him one of the greatest, if not the greatest, pirate of all!

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