Once upon a time, when I was looking for pictures on Google Images for people who looked more or less like the characters I was seeing in my head, I simply could not find anyone who looked like Smee!
This was surprising, since my picture of him was similar to the “Smee”s I’d seen in the movies. But nothing I found felt quite right.
That’s when I stumbled upon Lars: a man who embodied Smee not only in face & beard, but in spirit:
This sweet, ginger-haired man jumped into freezing Norwegian waters to save a duck which was trapped under the ice.
I asked myself, what kind of person would do that?
Well, Lars, of course, but also…Smee.
A large part of what defines Smee’s character is that he’s the type who would help others before himself, almost to a fault. It’s why he’s put up with Captain Hook’s antics for so long with a smile on his face.
And part of what draws Smee to the Captain is that Hook is, in many ways, a duck trapped under ice. The only difference is, a duck knows when it’s drowning, and Hook doesn’t.
But the similarities didn’t stop there!
On a completely separate occasion, I was looking up if the word “smee” meant anything. It wouldn’t have surprised me if JM Barrie gave him that name for a reason, and since those who arrive in Neverland don’t remember their own names, I needed that reason.
Well, I’m not sure if the one I found was the one Barrie intended, but I did discover that a ‘Smee’ or ‘Smew’ is a type of duck not dissimilar to the one Lars saved:
Wouldn’t it be beautiful if Smee was nameless for longer than average in Neverland (because no one cared enough to name him), until one day he saw a duck struggling in the water—trapped somehow—and jumped in fully clothed to rescue it, without a second thought?
Then, of course, he would be named after the type of duck he saved, and keep it as a pet and let it ride on his shoulder.
Naturally, Hook would disapprove, since the proper pirate shoulder decoration is a parrot.