Wednesday, May 27, 2015

For the Love of Pan

A while ago, I was watching Once Upon a Time for something to focus on while I worked on art commissions. Drawing can be an absorbing thing, but it can also be tedious for me if I have nothing for my brain to chew on, at least peripherally. I’d seen the first season and a half when the show first came out, but I’d fallen away from it when it lost most of my interest. However, I picked back up – and when season three hit, I was floored. I had to stop drawing while I watched so I could pay attention to the one character on the show (besides Rumple) that had caught my interest – Pan. Here was a magnificent and sinister twist on a timeless story. Plus, Pan was portrayed by then-seventeen-year-old Robbie Kay, who held his own against veteran actors like Robert Carlyle. In fact, I still hold that they’re the two best actors to ever grace the show. It happened very quickly – I had a character crush in about 0.6 seconds. (Not a cougar thing, I promise. The kid was seventeen.) Pan stole the show for the entire half-season he was in it, and when he left the show felt so lackluster that I quit watching it – again. Pan was the best villain Once Upon a Time ever had – and here’s why.
• The build-up. Hearing about Pan and Neverland from others – like Hook and Rumple – was brilliant. It was like hearing rumors about something and wondering if they’re really as bad as everyone says. It gave us a beautiful platform for Pan before he was actually introduced – and he lived up to the expectations.
• ‘He may look like a boy, but he’s a bloody demon.’ Pan is a childhood playmate. He’s a happy dream. He’s the face of an angel – with the heart of a selfish and sinister villain. Having someone who looks like a boy toy with and terrorize older characters on the show added to the eeriness of it all.
• There are times when we actually sympathize with Pan – even though we know that pretty much everything he’s done has been for purely selfish reasons. Why do we sympathize? WE DON’T BLOODY KNOW, we just do.
• The family ties. They lent a strand of familiarity to him, which also increased his ‘villain’ factor – after all, he’s Rumple’s father, Neal’s grandfather, Henry’s great-grandfather, Belle’s practical father-in-law – and he looks like a kid. I thoroughly enjoyed the twisted complications – it’s true when they say in-laws can be a real mess.

• He’s clever. He’s so clever that most of the time, we have no idea what he’s up to. He was ready for this back when Henry was an infant. He manipulates and schemes and he’s good at it.
• He’s strangely likable. He’s infuriating, annoying, bad – but his twisted sense of ‘fairness,’ as well as his cocky, arrogant humor and cavalier attitude made him impossible for me to hate, or even dislike.

• He views everything as a very serious (very deadly) game. You never know whether he’s going to let you off the hook or if he’s going to take this move seriously.

• The ayyyebrows. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Let me show you. It’s important.



• I’m super excited for the Heroes reboot, in which Robbie Kay will star as an undetermined character, but I can’t help wishing Pan could come back to Storybrooke. He brought quality and excitement to the show after it had begun to dull, and if he ever comes back you can bet everything you own that I’ll be watching it again.

What about you? Who's your favorite Once Upon a Time villain? Did you love Pan, or did you hate him (or both)?


  1. Pan was definitely my favorite villain too, the whole time when he was on Once was my favorite part of the show. He was so clever and twisted into so many characters' stories. And yeah, the eyebrows. ;) Nice post!


  2. I stopped watching OUAT midway through the first season, but after seeing a bunch of spoilers from the third season, I've been considering picking it up again. Now I'm really curious about Pan- I had NO idea he was a villain, and the thought intrigues me.

    1. Seriously - even if it's just for Season 3A, watch it. Watch it, because Pan is bloody brilliant.

  3. I have a mega huge villain crush (that's a thing, I hope) on Pan. He's so cool. And adorable. And also very evil, oops.