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File:Peter pan 1911
Illustration of Peter Pan playing the pipes, with Neverland in the background by F D Bedford, from the novel Peter and Wendy published in 1911.

Neverland (also spelled Never Land or expanded as Never Never Land) is a fictional world featured in the works of J. M. Barrie and those based on them. It is the dwelling place of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, and others. Although not all people in Neverland cease to age, its best known resident famously refused to grow up, and it is often used as a metaphor for eternal childhood (and childishness), immortality, and escapism.

It was introduced as 'the Never Never Land' in 1904 performances of the theatre play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by Scottish writer J. M. Barrie. In his 1911 novelization Peter and Wendy, Barrie referred to 'the Neverland', and its many variations were 'the Neverlands'.[1] In the earliest drafts of Barrie's play, the island was called 'Peter's Never Never Never Land', a name possibly influenced by the contemporary term for outback Australia.[2] In the 1928 published version of the script, it was shortened to 'the Never Land'.

Neverland has been featured prominently in subsequent works, either adapting Barrie's works or expanding upon them. These Neverlands sometimes vary in nature from the original.


Nature of Neverland

The novel explains that the Neverlands are found in the minds of children, and that although each is 'always more or less an island', and they have a family resemblance, they are not the same from one child to the next. For example, John Darling's 'had a lagoon with flamingos flying over it' while his little brother Michael's 'had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it'. The novel further explains that the Neverlands are compact enough that adventures are never far between. It says that a map of a child's mind would resemble a map of Neverland, with no boundaries at all.[1]

According to the authorized 2006 sequel Peter Pan in Scarlet, the island was pushed up from the ground by imagination. The unauthorized 2004 prequel Peter and the Starcatchers presents it as a normal island, named by Peter after the Never Land, the sailing vessel on which he was sent away from civilization.

In Barrie's original tale, Peter led Wendy and her brothers to Neverland by flying 'second to the right, and straight on till morning' for many days, though it is stated in the novel that Peter made up these directions on the spot to impress Wendy, and that they found the island only because it was out looking for them. In the 1953 Disney film, Peter Pan, the word 'star' is added to the directions Peter speaks: 'second star to the right, and straight on till morning.' That phrase is widely quoted, and was used again in the 1991 movie Hook. In Peter Pan in Scarlet, the children get to the Neverland world by flying on a road called the High Way, and the island is located in a sea known as the Sea of One Thousand Islands.

The passage of time in Neverland is ambiguous. The novel Peter Pan mentions that there are many more suns and moons there than in our world, making time difficult to track. Although widely thought of as a place where children don't grow up, Barrie wrote that Lost Boys eventually grew up and have to leave, and fairies there lived typically short lifespans. According to Peter Pan in Scarlet, time froze to the children as soon as they got into Neverland.


Map of Neverland created by Walt Disney Productions as a promotion for its 1953 film Peter Pan. Users of Colgate-Palmolive's "Peter Pan Beauty Bar with Chlorophyll" could obtain the map by mailing in three soap wrappers and fifteen cents.[3]

Most of the adventures in the stories take place in the Neverwood. The Lost Boys build the Wendy house here, and it is also the location of the Home Underground, where Peter and the Boys reside.

The mermaids live in Mermaids' Lagoon and can often be found brushing their beautiful hair. This is also the location of Marooners' Rock. It is not very safe for mortals to come anywhere near here at night, for it is the most dangerous place in Neverland.

The "Black Castle", which is referred to in the 2003 film. It is an old abandoned castle, with stone dragons all over it. It is one of the places where Tiger Lily was taken by Captain James Hook.

Neverpeak Mountain is the huge mountain that is right in the middle of Neverland. According to Peter Pan in Scarlet, when a child is on top of Neverpeak Mountain, he or she can see over anyone and anything and can see beyond belief.

The Maze of Regrets is a maze in Peter Pan in Scarlet where all the mothers of the Lost Boys go to find their boys. This was thought to be a maze of witches before the League of Pan ran into Mr. Smee.

Pixie Hollow is where Tinker Bell and her tiny fairy friends live and dwell in Disney's Tinker Bell movies and related books.



There are fairies in Neverland, and they are the primary magic users of Neverland. They are allied to the Lost Boys and against the pirates. It is hinted that the fairies actually created Neverland. The most famous is Tinker Bell, Peter Pan's companion. JM Barrie wrote that "when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces,... and that was the beginning of fairies".[4]

According to the Disney Fairies franchise, the Never Fairies (and associated sparrow men) live in Pixie Hollow, located in the heart of Neverland.[5] As stated in the Tinker Bell film, after the baby's first laugh breaks into numerous (bubble-looking) pieces, any piece that can blow with the wind and survive the trip to Pixie Hollow becomes a fairy, who then learns his/her specific talent.

In the part of the story where Peter Pan and the lost boys built a house for Wendy on Neverland, Peter Pan stays up late that night to guard her from the pirates, but then the story says: 'After a time he fell asleep, and some unsteady fairies had to climb over him on their way home from an orgy. Any of the other boys obstructing the fairy path at night they would have mischiefed, but they just tweaked Peter's nose and passed on.'[6]

Lost Boys

The Lost Boys are a tribe of orphan boys flown to Neverland by the fairies using their fairy dust. They reside in tree houses and caves, and live for adventure. They are a formidable fighting force despite their youth and they make war with the pirates, although they seem to enjoy a harmonious existence with the other inhabitants of Neverland. Their leader is Peter Pan.

"Children who fall out of their prams when the nurse is not looking. If they are not claimed in seven days, they are sent to the Neverland."

--Peter Pan


The crew of the pirate ship Jolly Roger have taken up residence off-shore, and are widely feared throughout Neverland. Their captain is the ruthless James Hook. How they came to be in Neverland is unclear. After James Hook's death, the Jolly Roger is taken over by Peter Pan, to use to fly everyone back to London.


There is a tribe of wigwam-dwelling American Indians who live on the island, who refer to themselves as 'Redskins', although Barrie himself referred to them as the Piccaninny tribe. They have an imposing tribal chief, whose daughter, the princess of the tribe, is called Tiger Lily, and she has a crush on Peter Pan. (As most of the girls in Neverland do, including the mermaids.) The Redskins are known to make ferocious and deadly war against Captain Hook and his pirates, but their connection with the Lost Boys is more lighthearted. For 'many moons' the two groups have captured each other, only to promptly release the captives, as though it were a game. It is also unclear how the Redskins came to be in Neverland; they may have gotten there through shamanistic rituals. They have apparently been in Neverland for some time though, as it is stated they know Neverland better than anyone.


Mermaids live in the lagoon. They enjoy the company of Peter Pan but seem malevolent towards anybody else, including the fairies. In J.M Barrie's world mermaids are not as they are in story books, they are 'dark and dangerous creatures in touch with all things mysterious'.

Animal Kingdom

Anthropomorphic animals live throughout Neverland, such as bears, tigers, lions, deer and crocodiles.

Other Residents

Other inhabitants of Neverland are suggested by Barrie, such as witches, although these are not elaborated on.

See also


  1. ^ a b Barrie, James Matthew (1911). Peter and Wendy. De Vinne Press. pp. 267 pages. 
  2. ^ A History of the Phrase 'Never-Never Land' at
  3. ^ Hopkins, Martha; Michael Buscher (1999). Language of the Land: The Library of Congress Book of Literary Maps. Washington, DC: Library of Congress. p. 187. ISBN 0-8444-0963-4. 
  4. ^ Peter Pan' Play and novel, JM Barrie'
  5. ^ Monique Peterson, In the Realm of the Never Fairies: The Secret World of Pixie Hollow, Disney Press, 2006
  6. ^ J.M.Barrie, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy, Oxford University Press, 1999 - and all other unabridged editions


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




From Never + land.




neverland (plural neverlands)

  1. An ideal or imaginary place; a dreamworld.

Usage notes

This term was most famously used in J.M. Barrie's Book, Peter Pan, as the name of the fictional island that the Darling children travel to with the title character.


See also

Simple English

Neverland is a fictional island that is the setting for the novel Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Peter Pan, his gang of "Lost Boys" and Tinkerbell, the fairy, live on Neverland. A gang of pirates led by Captain Hook and a band of Native Americans ("redskins" in the story) also live on the island.

Neverland is a land of fantasy where no one gets older and Peter Pan remains a child forever. To reach Neverland, Peter Pan states one must fly "second to the right, and straight on till morning".

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