Wendy Darling
Wendy Moira Angela Darling is a fictional character, the female protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

 of Peter and Wendy
Peter and Wendy
Peter and Wendy, published in 1911, is the novelisation by J. M. Barrie of his most famous play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up...

by J. M. Barrie
J. M. Barrie
Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in Scotland. He moved to London, where he developed a career as a novelist and playwright...

, and in most adaptations in other media. Her exact age is not specified in the original play or novel by Barrie, though she is implied to be 12 or 13 years old or younger, as she is "just Peter's size" and he still has all his baby teeth. Likewise, her hair color has variously been blond
Blond or blonde or fair-hair is a hair color characterized by low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin. The resultant visible hue depends on various factors, but always has some sort of yellowish color...

e, brown
Brown hair
Brown hair is the second most common human hair color.Brown hair varies from light brown to almost black hair. It is characterized by higher levels of the dark pigment eumelanin and lower levels of the pale pigment pheomelanin. Its strands are thicker than those of fair hair but not as much as...

, or black
Black hair
Black hair is the darkest and most common of all human hair colors globally. It is a dominant genetic trait, and it is found in people of all backgrounds and ethnicities. It has large amounts of eumelanin and is less dense than other hair colors. Black hair is known to be the shiniest of all hair...

. Wendy is portrayed in the Disney movie with a blue ribbon in her hair and blue nightdress. Wendy expresses an innocent adoration for Peter as soon as they meet, and is honest to herself and company throughout the entire book, play or movie. As a girl who is beginning to "grow up", she stands in contrast to Peter Pan, a boy who refuses to do so, the major theme of the Peter Pan stories. In the beginning, Wendy hesitates to escape to the Neverland, to take care of her brothers and accompany her mother, but in time, she shows passion for magical events and adventures.


In the novel Peter Pan
Peter Pan
Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie . A mischievous boy who can fly and magically refuses to grow up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang the Lost Boys, interacting with...

, and its cinematic adaptations, she is an Edwardian
Edwardian period
The Edwardian era or Edwardian period in the United Kingdom is the period covering the reign of King Edward VII, 1901 to 1910.The death of Queen Victoria in January 1901 and the succession of her son Edward marked the end of the Victorian era...

 schoolgirl. The novel states that she attends a "kindergarten school" with her younger brothers, meaning a school for pre-adolescent children. Like Peter, in many adaptations of the story she is shown to be on the brink of adolescence
Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and mental human development generally occurring between puberty and legal adulthood , but largely characterized as beginning and ending with the teenage stage...

. She belongs to a middle class
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 household of that era, and is the daughter of George Darling, a short-tempered and pompous bank/office worker, and his wife, Mary. Wendy shares a nursery
Nursery (room)
A nursery is usually, in American connotations, a bedroom within a house or other dwelling set aside for an infant or toddler. A typical nursery would contain a crib , a table or platform for the purpose of changing diapers , as well as various items required for the care of the child...

 room with her two brothers, Michael and John. However, in the Disney version, her father decides that "it's high time she found a room of her own" and kicks her out of the nursery for "stuffing the boys' heads with her lot of silly stories", but changes his mind at the end of the film after he returns home with his wife after the party.


Wendy is the most developed character in the story of Peter Pan, and is often considered the central protagonist. She is proud of her own childhood
Childhood is the age span ranging from birth to adolescence. In developmental psychology, childhood is divided up into the developmental stages of toddlerhood , early childhood , middle childhood , and adolescence .- Age ranges of childhood :The term childhood is non-specific and can imply a...

 and enjoys telling stories and fantasizing. She has a distaste for adulthood, acquired partly by the example of it set by her father, whom she loves but fears due to his somewhat violent fits of anger. Her ambition early in the story is to somehow avoid growing up. She is granted this opportunity by Peter Pan, who takes her and her brothers to Neverland
Neverland 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...

, where they can remain young indefinitely.

Ironically, Wendy finds that this experience brings out her more adult side. Peter and the tribe of Lost Boys who dwell in Neverland want her to be their "mother" (a role they remember only vaguely), a request she tentatively accedes to, performing various domestic tasks for them. There is also a degree of innocent or implied flirtation with Peter (thereby forming a love triangle
Love triangle
A love triangle is usually a romantic relationship involving three people. While it can refer to two people independently romantically linked with a third, it usually implies that each of the three people has some kind of relationship to the other two...

 with Peter's sometimes-jealous fairy
A fairy is a type of mythical being or legendary creature, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural.Fairies resemble various beings of other mythologies, though even folklore that uses the term...

 friend Tinker Bell). In the Disney version she also becomes jealous of Princess Tiger Lily after the Princess kisses Peter. (In fact, she becomes so jealous she turns on her heel and marches back to Hangman's Tree. In the original script of Barrie's book, Peter and Wendy, Wendy asks Peter, towards the end of the book, if he would like to speak to her parents about 'a very sweet subject', implying that she would like him to speak to her parents about someday marrying her.

Wendy eventually learns to accept the virtues of adulthood, and returns to London, having decided not to postpone maturity any longer.

In an episode included in the novel and later incorporated into some productions of the play, Wendy has grown up and married, and has a daughter, Jane. When Peter returns looking for Wendy (not understanding that she would no longer be a young girl, as time escapes him while he is in the Neverland), he meets Jane; Wendy lets her daughter go off with him, apparently trusting her to make the same choices. The same scenario later plays out between Jane's daughter, Wendy's granddaughter, Margaret. (We don't actually see this happen. Barrie states [at the very end of the book] that Jane has a daughter, Margaret, who will one day go to the Neverland with Peter Pan, and that the same thing will happen with Margaret's future daughter and future granddaughter, and on and on, for as long as children believe in fairies.)

Physical Appearance

Wendy is generally depicted as a pretty girl with soft features, twinkling eyes and either blonde, brown or black hair. While Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell are portrayed as the figures of exotic, magical beauty, Wendy represents the conventional, flirtatious young mother figure, and ultimately, it is she who captures the attention of Peter Pan.

The name Wendy

The first name Wendy
Wendy is a given name generally given to females in English-speaking countries.The name is found in United States records from the 19th century; Wendy Gram, a female resident of Ohio, was born in 1828, and the name Wendy appeared over twenty times in the U.S. Census of 1880...

was very uncommon in the Anglosphere
Anglosphere is a neologism which refers to those nations with English as the most common language. The term can be used more specifically to refer to those nations which share certain characteristics within their cultures based on a linguistic heritage, through being former British colonies...

 until after the story of Peter Pan and Wendy Darling became well known, and its subsequent popularity has led some to credit Barrie with "inventing" it. Although the name Wendy was used to a limited extent as the familiar-form of the Welsh
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

 name Gwendolyn
Gwendolyn is a Welsh female first name, derived from Gwendolen.-Meaning:Gwendolyn is derived from the Welsh words "gwen" and "dolen" or "dolyn". Both words have multiple possible meanings. The word "gwen" can mean "white", "fair" or "blessed". The word "dolen" can mean "ring", "bow" or less...

, it is believed that Barrie took the name from a phrase used by Margaret Henley
Margaret Henley
Margaret Emma Henley was the daughter of William Ernest Henley and his wife Anna Henley . Margaret's friendship with J. M...

, a five-year-old girl whom Barrie befriended in the 1890s, daughter of his friend William Henley
William Ernest Henley
William Ernest Henley was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem "Invictus".-Life and career:...

. She called Barrie her "friendy-wendy", which she pronounced as "fwendy-wendy". She died at the age of five and was buried, along with her family, in Cockayne Hatley
Cockayne Hatley
Cockayne Hatley is a small village in Bedfordshire dating back to Saxon times , bordering on Cambridgeshire, 3 miles east of Potton, 6 miles north-east from Biggleswade and 9 miles south-east from St. Neots. The village's population in 1891 was 104.The soil is strong clay with clay subsoil...


Portrayal in film

  • Peter Pan
    Peter Pan (1924 film)
    Peter Pan is a 1924 adventure silent film released by Paramount Pictures, the first film adaptation of the play by J. M. Barrie. It was directed by Herbert Brenon and starred Betty Bronson as Peter Pan, Ernest Torrence as Captain Hook, Mary Brian as Wendy, and Virginia Browne Faire as Tinker Bell...

    (1924 silent live-action film) - Mary Brian
    Mary Brian
    Mary Brian was an American actress and movie star who made the transition from 'silents' to 'talkies'.-Early life:...

    . The actress was 18, but publicity materials claimed she was 16.

  • Peter Pan
    Peter Pan (1953 film)
    Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and based on the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by J. M. Barrie. It is the fourteenth film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and was originally released on February 5, 1953 by RKO Pictures...

    (1953 animated film) - Kathryn Beaumont
    Kathryn Beaumont
    Kathryn Beaumont is an English actress, singer, school teacher, and a Disney Legend who was born in London. She is best known for playing the voice of both Alice, in Disney's Alice in Wonderland and Wendy in Disney's Peter Pan...

    . Disney
    The Walt Disney Company
    The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into...

    's Wendy is portrayed as being a mother first and foremost, with all the classical ideas of how to be a mother and care for people. She appears bossy but well-meaning, and slightly taken with Peter. She also appears at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meetable character.

  • Hook
    Hook (film)
    Hook is a 1991 American fantasy film directed by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, and features Maggie Smith, Caroline Goodall, Charlie Korsmo, Amber Scott, and Dante Basco. Hook acts as a sequel to Peter Pan's original adventures, focusing...

    (1991 live-action film) - Maggie Smith
    Maggie Smith
    Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, DBE , better known as Maggie Smith, is an English film, stage, and television actress who made her stage debut in 1952 and is still performing after 59 years...

     plays an elderly Wendy, who is being honored for her lifetime of work in finding homes for orphans. Her granddaughter Moira is the wife of Peter Banning (Robin Williams
    Robin Williams
    Robin McLaurin Williams is an American actor and comedian. Rising to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork and Mindy, and later stand-up comedy work, Williams has performed in many feature films since 1980. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance...

    ), the former Peter Pan who has grown up and forgotten his life in Neverland. During a flashback to Peter's childhood, a younger Wendy is played by Gwyneth Paltrow
    Gwyneth Paltrow
    Gwyneth Kate Paltrow is an American actress and singer. She made her acting debut on stage in 1990 and started appearing in films in 1991. After appearing in several films throughout the decade, Paltrow gained early notice for her work in films such as Se7en and Emma...

    . (Peter's and Moira's daughter, Wendy's great-granddaughter, is Maggie, a common pet name for Margaret, the name of Jane's daughter, Wendy's granddaughter, in the original book by Barrie.)

  • Return to Never Land
    Return to Never Land
    Return to Never Land is a 2002 American animated film produced by DisneyToon Studios in Sydney, Australia and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is a sequel to the 1953 film Peter Pan, based on J.M...

    (2002 animated film) - Kath Soucie
    Kath Soucie
    Katherine Elaine Soucie is an American voice actress. She is sometimes credited as Kath Soucie, Katherine Soucie, Kath Souci, Kath E...

     voices a grown-up Wendy who has raised her children on tales of Peter Pan. Her role is minimal in this portrayal, but at the end of the film she is briefly, but happily, reunited with Peter.

  • Peter Pan
    Peter Pan (2003 film)
    Peter Pan is a 2003 fantasy film released as a joint venture of Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures and Revolution Studios. P. J. Hogan directed a screenplay co-written with Michael Goldenberg which is based on the classic play and novel by J. M. Barrie. Jason Isaacs plays the roles of Captain...

    (2003 live-action film) - Rachel Hurd-Wood
    Rachel Hurd-Wood
    Rachel Clare Hurd-Wood is an English actress. Her break-out role was as Wendy Darling in the 2003 movie Peter Pan.-Personal life:Rachel Hurd-Wood was born in London, England, the daughter of Philip and Sarah Hurd-Wood...

    . In this film, as in Barrie's original treatment, Wendy easily falls into a mothering role with her male companions, but is conflicted by her romantic feelings towards Peter, who reacts with incomprehension and annoyance. She is also more adventurous than in most adaptations, taking part in the conflict with the pirates including the sword fighting. The film also develops Barrie's hint that Wendy has incipient romantic feelings for the more mature and virile Hook, showing that she is growing up in spite of her intentions.

  • Tinker Bell
    Tinker Bell (film)
    Tinker Bell is a 2008 computer animated film based on the Disney Fairies franchise produced by DisneyToon Studios. It revolves around Tinker Bell, a fairy character created by J. M. Barrie in his play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, and featured in the 1953 Disney animated film, Peter...

    (2008 animated film) - America Young
    America Young
    America Young, born 6 December 1984 in Santa Fe, New Mexico is an American actress and producer.-Filmography:*Abandoned - 2010*The Binds That Tie Us - 2010*The Dead Undead - 2010*Dreamkiller - 2010*Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 - Dagger...

    . In Tinker Bell, Wendy is the recipient of a long-forgotten ballerina music box that Tinker Bell has repaired. Wendy is much younger in appearance than in 1953's Peter Pan.

Portrayal in television

In the anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 series Peter Pan no Boken
Peter Pan no Boken
is an anime series by Nippon Animation, and directed by Takashi Nakamura and Yoshio Kuroda, which first aired in Japan on the Fuji TV network between January 8, 1989 and December 24, 1989...

(Adventures of Peter Pan), which is a part of the World Masterpiece Theater
World Masterpiece Theater
is a Japanese TV anime staple that showcased an animated version of a different classical book or story each year on 7:30p.m. on Sunday. It originally aired from 1969 to 1997 then resumed in 2007....

, a rather tomboy
A tomboy is a girl who exhibits characteristics or behaviors considered typical of the gender role of a boy, including the wearing of typically masculine-oriented clothes and engaging in games and activities that are often physical in nature, and which are considered in many cultures to be the...

ish Wendy has a pivotal role in the second part of the series, which depicts a completely original story where Peter Pan, the Lost Kids and the Darling siblings must save a young witch named Luna from the clutches of her evil grandmother, the witch Sinistra, and Wendy is the one who truly saves her. She's also shown directly antagonizing Captain Hook when he kidnaps her in the first part, yelling at him and even impersonating his mother at some point to manipulate his fears against him.

A black-haired Wendy starred in Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates
Peter Pan and the Pirates
Peter Pan & the Pirates is an American animated television series based on J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan that originally aired on Fox Broadcasting Company from September 8, 1990 to September 10, 1991. Repeats continued to air until September 11, 1992. A repeat of the series' Christmas episode was aired...

, and was portrayed by Christina Lange. She was portrayed without a British accent and wore a crown of flowers in her short hair.

The Disney version of Wendy was featured as one of the guests in House of Mouse; however, despite the fact that Kathryn Beaumont was credited as providing Alice's voice, Wendy said nothing.

Portrayal in other media

  • The Disney version of Wendy is featured in the video-game Kingdom Hearts
    Kingdom Hearts
    is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square in 2002 for the PlayStation 2 video game console. The first game in the Kingdom Hearts series, it is the result of a collaboration between Square Enix and The Walt Disney Company. The game combines characters and settings from Disney...

    . In the game, Captain Hook believes she is a princess of Heart and is displeased when it turns out she's not.

  • In Alan Moore
    Alan Moore
    Alan Oswald Moore is an English writer primarily known for his work in comic books, a medium where he has produced a number of critically acclaimed and popular series, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell...

     and Melinda Gebbie
    Melinda Gebbie
    Melinda Gebbie is an American comics artist and writer, probably best known for Lost Girls, the three-volume graphic novel she produced in collaboration with writer Alan Moore, published by Top Shelf.-Biography:...

    's adult graphic novel
    Graphic novel
    A graphic novel is a narrative work in which the story is conveyed to the reader using sequential art in either an experimental design or in a traditional comics format...

     Lost Girls
    Lost Girls
    Lost Girls is a graphic novel depicting the sexually explicit adventures of three important female fictional characters of the late 19th and early 20th century: Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz and Wendy Darling from Peter Pan...

    , first published in full in 2006, Wendy is re-imagined as a middle-aged woman who (in an encounter with Oz
    The Oz books
    The Oz books form a book series that begins with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , and that relates the fictional history of the Land of Oz. Oz was created by author L. Frank Baum, who went on to write fourteen full-length Oz books, all of which are in the public domain in the United States...

    's Dorothy
    Dorothy Gale
    Dorothy Gale is the protagonist of many of the Oz novels by American author L. Frank Baum, and the best friend of Oz's ruler Princess Ozma. Dorothy first appears in Baum's classic children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and reappears in most of its sequels...

     and Wonderland
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures...

    's Alice
    Alice (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
    Alice is a fictional character in the literary classic, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There. She is a young girl from Victorian-era Britain.-Development:...

    ) recounts her sexual encounters with a local homeless boy who represents the "real" Peter Pan. The graphic novel faced disapproval from the Great Ormond Street Hospital
    Great Ormond Street Hospital
    Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children is a children's hospital located in London, United Kingdom...

    , which denied permission to publish the book in the European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

     while their copyright was still in force (through 2007).

  • In 2008 Disney campaign "Year of a Million Dreams", Wendy was portrayed by supermodel Gisele Bündchen
    Gisele Bündchen
    Gisele Caroline Bündchen is a Brazilian fashion model, occasional film actress and goodwill ambassador for the UN Environment Programme.In the late 1990s, Bündchen became one of the first in a wave of Brazilian models to find success...


  • The Wendy Trilogy, a feminist-minded retelling of the Peter Pan story as a three-song cycle, shows Wendy accepting, rather than refusing, Captain Hook
    Captain Hook
    Captain James Hook is the main antagonist of J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and its various adaptations. The character is a villainous pirate captain of the Jolly Roger brig, and lord of the pirate village/harbour in Neverland, where he is widely feared. Most...

    's offer to make her a pirate, and subsequently becoming mistress of the Jolly Roger
    Jolly Roger
    The Jolly Roger is any of various flags flown to identify a ship's crew as pirates. The flag most commonly identified as the Jolly Roger today is the skull and crossbones, a flag consisting of a human skull above two long bones set in an x-mark arrangement on a black field. This design was used by...


  • In the Peter and the Starcatchers
    Peter and the Starcatchers
    Peter and the Starcatchers is a best-selling children's novel that was published by Hyperion Books, a subsidiary of Disney, in 2004. Written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, the book provides a backstory for the character Peter Pan, and serves as a prequel to J. M. Barrie's novel Peter and Wendy...

    series, Wendy Darling is the daughter of Molly Aster, whom Peter has encountered while first discovering Neverland.
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