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. He is the villainous captain of the galleon Jolly Roger, where he commands a crew of pirates through guile and others' fear of him. He wears a big iron hook in place of one hand, which was cut off by Peter Pan and eaten by a 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 sound when it is near. Hook has sworn revenge on Peter for this.
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." Despite some speculation as to whom Barrie was referring, it seems likely that he was simply teasing, and had no historical figure in mind. Hinting at a resumé for the character, Barrie explains that "he was Blackbeard's boatswain, and that he was the only man Long John Silver ever feared". In the play, Hook's final words are "Floreat Etona", the motto of Eton College, and Barrie confirmed in a speech delivered in 1927 at Eton that Hook had been a student there.
In Barrie's story, Hook captures Wendy Darling, the girl who loves Peter and whom Peter views as his surrogate mother, and challenges the boy to a final duel. When Hook is beaten, Peter Pan kicks him overboard to the open jaws of the waiting crocodile below. Just before his defeat, however, he takes a final jab at Peter by taunting him about his "bad form". Peter, with the callousness of youth, quickly forgets Hook and is said to go on to find a new nemesis, but Hook's popularity has made him a staple of sequels, the title character of a big-budget Hollywood feature film, and a household name.