Time for another round of Why I Love That Bad Guy! I alluded a while back that this fellow was coming, and now, finally, I can pay tribute to the great…
Name: Captain James Hook
Origin: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, a 1904 play and 1911 book.
History: Captain Hook, head of the pirate ship Jolly Roger, was said to be “Blackbeard’s boatswain” and “the only man Long John Silver ever feared”. He is Peter Pan’s archenemy, tirelessly seeking vengeance since the boy cut off his right hand and fed it to a crocodile. The beast enjoyed the taste so greatly that it followed Hook endlessly, hoping for another. It eventually got its wish, when hero and villain engaged in a final duel that ended with Peter kicking Captain Hook from his own ship into the croc’s waiting jaws. Though he met his end, Hook died with the satisfaction that Peter had finally shown “bad form”.
- He is, quite literally, a classic villain. If anyone were to tell me that they’d never heard of Captain Hook, I would call that person a liar. He’s been recreated in so many different ways — books, Disney films, comedies, dramas, modern reinterpretations and television shows — because he offers such a versatile personality.
- He has (when it suits him) a code of honour. He speaks often of “good form”, particularly in the book, where he is irritated by Peter’s apparent ease with showing such honour.
- Traditional views of Hook show him as having a certain elegance in his diction. Nothing nicer than a smooth-talker.
- He has a handlebar moustache. Perfect for twiddling maniacally while plotting Peter Pan’s death.
- He is confident. How can I tell? Just look at the flamboyancy of his costume…
- He has the ultimate villain handicap — a hook for a hand. Bad guys always seem a little bit badder when they have scars on display.
- Two words: Colin O’Donoghue. Have you seen Captain Hook in the TV series Once Upon A Time? Talk about your unexpected eye candy… (Ladies, I’ve provided a photo down below for your viewing pleasure…)
I Would Love Him More If…
- …he were less of a coward. I’m thinking particularly of the Disney film, where he frequently and awkwardly clambers over Smee to avoid the ticking horror of the crocodile. Comic relief, sure, but no one likes a cowardly bad guy.
- …he hadn’t been an afterthought. That’s right — in Barrie’s early drafts, Hook didn’t exist. Mischievous Peter himself was the closest the book had to a villain.
- …he were a ninja. Ninjas kick arse.
“He’ll crow. He’ll fight. He’ll fly. And then… he’ll die.”
Hook: “Proud and insolent youth, prepare to meet thy doom.”
Peter: “Dark and sinister man, have at thee.”
– Peter Pan (book/play)
Interesting Fact About Captain Hook:
As one might assume, Captain James Hook was not born with the name “Hook” — hell of a coincidence that would have been, huh? However, in what is perhaps one of the greatest, most ambiguous quotes I’ve ever read, Barrie writes:
“Hook was not his true name. To reveal who he really was
would even at this date set the country in a blaze.”
- Love The Bad Guy