From an epilogue of the play Peter Pan: The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by J. M. Barrie, he writes that after Wendy returns to her real home, Peter comes to visit her years later.

Wendy has grown up and has a daughter of her own, who Peter takes to Neverland.

This happens again with Jane's daughter, Margaret.

How old is Peter Pan? When did he run away from his parents and become the first Lost Boy?

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    As I tried to tell you in my answer: 1: How old is Peter Pan? Nobody knows, because the author doesnt say in any books or plays. 2: When did he run away? Nobody knows, because the author doesnt say. But the author is a bit to and from about the "running away" part, as the story is a littlebit different in the different books and plays. In some he is the first lost boy, in others he takes over "command" of the lost boys tribe.
    – WizardOz
    Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 10:55
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    There is an (unproven) fan theory about Captain Hook being one of Peter's lost boys who escaped based on this quote from the book “The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out; but at this time there were six of them, counting the twins as two." Acc to this theory Peter Pan is at least older than Hook. m.reddit.com/r/AskScienceFiction/comments/1n0f43/… the fareries wiped his memory, he can be thousand years old.
    – user68762
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 10:00
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    Wow, "...Peter thins them out" could take a really dark turn ...
    – Paul
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 15:08

6 Answers 6


This snippet from wikipedia sums it up nicely about his age:

The notion of a boy who would never grow up was based on J. M. Barrie's older brother who died in an ice-skating accident the day before he turned 14, and thus always stayed a young boy in his mother's mind. Ironically, the "boy who wouldn't grow up" has appeared at a variety of ages. In his original appearance in The Little White Bird he was only seven days old. Although his age is not stated in Barrie's later play and novel, his characterization is clearly years older. The book states that he has all of his baby teeth

About the running away part, same source:

Peter does not know his parents. In Kensington Gardens Barrie wrote that he left them as an infant, and seeing the window closed and a new baby in the house when he returned, he assumed they no longer wanted him. In Starcatchers he is said to be an orphan, though his friends Molly and George discover who his parents are in Rundoon. In Hook, Peter remembers his parents, specifically his mother, who wanted him to grow up and go to the best schools in London to become a judge like his father and have a family of his own. After Peter "ran away" to Neverland, he returns to find his parents forgot about him and had another child (the gender of Peter's sibling is revealed to be another boy in "Peter and Wendy").

  • That doesn't answer the question... Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 10:07
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    Well, it kind of does, as the author dont give the answer, if you read the quotes.
    – WizardOz
    Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 10:47
  • Hmm.. If you use "Peter and Wendy", I'd estimate his age to be no more than perhaps 25 plus the sibling's age... Could get more accurate if other family members' ages are hinted at =D
    – Izkata
    Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 0:40
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    Without Peter and Wendy, it's even possible that Peter's parents had moved out of that house and been replaced by some other family at the point when he came back and found the window closed; The book never actually specifies how long he was out before coming back. Well, presumably the house was still there, but besides that.
    – user867
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 4:57
  • @WizardOz I guess the question is how old is Peter, as in how many years have passed since he was born, not how old was he when he "turned immortal". Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 17:39

In the book (I didn't read the play yet), it is said that the time doesn't go exactly the same way in Neverland (aside from the fact that people there don't grow up). In one of the chapters, Barrie explains that the days don't always last 24 hours, but sometimes they do, and so on. But anyway, as Peter doesn't grow up, we can assume that he is physically the same age he was when he ran away, so… 7 days.

Yes, forget the Disney version with a 12 years old boy. In the book, it seems that Peter is only a baby who can walk and talk. (In the illustrations of the edition of the book that I own, he is drawn as a baby).

  • Don’t you think the play would have noted if he were literally a baby? Where does it say he ran away when he was seven days old? If that information comes from Peter, I doubt it can be trusted.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 7:06

Peter Pan was first published in 1906 therefore Peter is at least 110 years old & Barrie was born in 1860 therefore Peter is less then 156 years old.

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    Why is it that Peter Pan could be no older than Barrie? Also, I suspect that the question was how old he was in the play, not how old he would be now.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 7:04

It's 14 (he is an old boy) near 15, he yet not turned in an teen. He is imature. But, in fact Peter age is unknown he do it secretly he is "always" 14.

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    Please can you provide some evidence for this claim?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 8:18

I am in the Peter Pan Jr. play (for junior-high/certain high schools) playing Peter Pan, and my director has explained that Peter is energetic, jumpy, arrogant, and distracted easily, like a small child or someone in their early teens. J.M. Barrie's brother died before he turned 14, and as such, we could quickly assume that his age comes from this. (I would also hope that this was true anyways; both Tiger Lily and Wendy kiss him in the Disney animated film, and Wendy is 12-14!)

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    Its better to back your answers with facts. Perceptions are not considered as answer.
    – HBhatia
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 5:29

i am playing Peter Pan in our next play and a song from this states "For a start, you'll become too tall". this could possibly infer that he does 'grow' very slowly and physically and so the reason why he can walk and talk but the way he does is quite child like and quotes he does say sound a lot like what a 8 to 11 year old could say like never saying goodbye as it means forgetting. I also saw 2011's Neverland and he seems 14 in that and he could have 'ran away' to a 'pickpocket' group and then travelled to Neverland. there are so many theories that we will never know are true but that's why o love Peter Pan so much because we can always theorise and never find the answer out, that way no one is wrong or right. I particularly love the idea that we never know as it leaves our imaginations to run wild and for me that's very comforting because we don't have to follow something set and it is open up to everything. however, I support the idea that he ran away on the day he was born but where? personally, passed on Wikipedia (which I never entirely trust but for the sake of research) I think his physical appearance may be around 14 but his mind if far too naïve and immature in a child-like sense.

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    First off, some punctuation would be lovely. Secondly, the song you're referencing is One Big Adventure by George Stiles & Anthony Drewe. It's based on Peter Pan, but I don't think the writers had any special insight into JM Barrie's play other than the original text which doesn't mention his age.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 18:33

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