George Darling is the husband of Mary Darling and the father of Wendy, Michael, and John. His characterization varies substantially from one version of the story to the next, but each characterization views him as a practical man that views Peter Pan as childish nonsense at first, and is especially concerned with his daughter Wendy, who is about to come of age and mature. His physical appearance also changes considerably from one version to the next. He is a rather pompous and blustering bank/office clerk, and is concerned about his social status at the lower rung of the middle class in the society of his day.
At the beginning of Peter and Wendy, Barrie stresses George's practicality above all else. Like his wife Mary, he was very pleased with the arrival of each of his children, but was concerned about the expense of raising them. When Wendy arrived, he added up each of the various anticipated costs by the pound, shilling, and penny, including figures for each of the childhood ailments he expected (such as mumps and the flu), and he had to be persuaded by Mary to fudge the numbers just enough to allow them to keep her. He repeated the same procedure with each of his sons. When the Lost Boys arrived expecting to be taken in, he hesitated only because his feelings were hurt at not having been asked before Mary agreed, but quickly proposed that they stay in the drawing-room. "Mind you, I am not sure that we have a drawing-room, but we pretend we have, and it's all the same."
This change of attitude comes about from his remorse over the disappearance of the children to Neverland. Because he had dismissed the stories of Peter Pan as nonsense, and had prevented Nana from protecting the children by putting her outside, he blames himself. As punishment he puts himself in the doghouse, even to the point of having Nana's kennel (with him inside) conspicuously transported to the office and back each day. He refuses to come out, to the point that Mary feels she has to confirm that he really is doing it as punishment, not because he likes it. (This is possibly the origin of the expression "in the doghouse".)
Appearance in adaptationsEdit
- Main article: George Darling (Disney)
- Main article: George Darling (2003)
It states that George and Molly Aster were childhood friends in their neighborhood of Kensington Gardens, and it is hinted in that story that he had a crush on her. Since Molly is a nickname for Mary, and his wife was named Mary in Peter and Wendy, it is assumed that Molly later married George Darling, and gave birth to Wendy, John, and Michael. It is confirmed in the third book.
He is named after George Llewelyn Davies.