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Jacob Magellan Portman is a male Librarian. He is the main protagonist of the Peculiar Children series and the male deuteragonist of the film. He is the son of Maryann Portman and Franklin Portman and the grandson of Abraham Portman.      


Early life[]

Abraham Portman played an important role in Jacob's childhood, telling him stories about his past, including stories of hollowgasts and the peculiar children residing in Miss Peregrine's loop. Jacob was fascinated by these stories as a child, but stopped believing in them as he got older.

At the age of twelve, he was in a community theater production of Oliver Twist playing Orphan Number Five. He suffered stage fright so severe he faked a stomach flu and ended up watching the show from the wings in costume with a barf bucket between his legs.

Jacob's first kiss was with a girl named Janine Wilkins at a birthday party, who claimed she felt tired of being a "kiss virgin" and then swore Jacob to secrecy. Emma tells Jacob that Janine fancied him, as "a girl doesn't lose her kiss virginity to just anyone."

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children[]

Jacob Portman is first seen as a young child. He discusses how his grandfather showed him photos of the peculiar children, but grows up believing these tales were false and figments of his grandfather's imagination.

Jacob receives a concerning phone call from his grandfather while working at Smart Aid. Because of the severity of the call Jacob calls his father and tells him about the conversation, which Franklin dismisses. Jacob calls up his friend Ricky Pickering who drives him back to his house.

They rush to his house only to find him slain at the hands of a mysterious beast. With his dying words, Abraham tells Jacob what he thinks to be a riddle, but are actually straightforward instructions. The "riddle" is about passing the old man's grave and going into the time loop, and Jacob believes this is more of his grandfather's ramblings. Jacob then catches a glance of the creature that murdered his grandfather only to find that others can not see it. Dr. Golan, Jacob's psychiatrist, suggests that he takes a visit to Wales. Jacob is accompanied by his father to Wales where he finds an old suitcase filled with more pictures of the peculiar children. During one of his adventures, Jacob visits his grandfather's old orphanage where he encounters Emma Bloom, his grandfather's old love interest and a peculiar with the ability to manipulate fire. Jacob then stumbles across a bar, where the people accuse him of being a Nazi and at this point, Jacob has unknowingly entered the loop his grandfather told him about. Emma and an invisible boy named Millard Nullings rescue Jacob and take him to Miss Peregrine, as Emma believes him to be a wight. Miss Peregrine then informs Jacob about his grandfather's past with the peculiar children, and Jacob is introduced to the other peculiar children that his grandfather had shown him pictures of.

Hollow City[]

At the beginning of the Hollow City, Jacob Portman doubts his ability to keep all of the children safe, for he doesn't know how to completely use his peculiarity. As the story progresses, his peculiarity develops the more he uses it. While deciding whether to leave the children and go back to his normal life or not, he is sleepwalking. At the end of his dream, Abraham reveals to him "Don't fight the pain, that's the key.. It's telling you something. Welcome it, let it speak to you. The pain says: Hello, I am not other than you; I am of the hollow, but I am you also." At the end of the sequel, when Jacob is about to be eaten by the hollow that followed him, Emma and Addison escape from the wights. He thinks to himself that he is as good as dead and can't do anything else but just stop fighting. Then, a strange thing happens: the pain shifts and becomes something else. He has discovered something quiet and gentle. That is when Jacob realizes that he can control the hollows as long as he stays calm and concentrated.

Library of Souls[]

Jacob is first seen taming a hollowgast, afterward known as The Rogue Hollow.

A Map of Days[]

The Conference of the Birds[]

The Desolations of Devil's Acre[]



Jacob is described as a skinny person. Emma has called him handsome, though it could be partially because they were dating at the time.


In Library of Souls, Jacob describes himself as "cautious by nature, a planner--- someone who likes to know what's around the next corner and the corner after that." After entering the peculiar world, where everything was uncertain and dangerous at the time, he had to become "flexible and sure-footed and brave." The new Jacob is ready for anything, while the old one, which has not been completely erased, wants something to hang on to.


Jacob is meant to be a librarian of the Library of Souls. It is revealed at the end of Chapter 8 and the beginning of Chapter 9 in the first book that, like his grandfather, Jacob has the ability to see hollows, unlike other people, peculiar or not, who could only see their shadows. Jacob later finds that he is able to talk to and control hollows and starts to develop it. Two times after he and many hollows get sleep-dusted, he comes out able to control all of them at once, up to dozens. Aside from seeing hollows, as a librarian, Jacob can also see and touch the soul jars in the Library of Souls. His ability to control hollows comes from his descending from ancient, tri-tongued peculiars similar to modern hollows (although they were not soulless). According to Bentham, these ancestors' remnant is stronger in Jacob than his grandfather.

In The Desolations of Devil's Acre, although Jacob is at first unable to control Caul's stronger, evolved hollows because he doesn't know their new language, he still has a connection to them, one deeper than language. He is able to repeat some words of the new language after Horatio, and starts to understand it after a minute. The collective brain reboot from sleep dust allows him to inhabit them just as he did in Library of Souls, as the deepest minds of all hollows are the same.


Abraham Portman[]

For a while after I got here, I thought about it all the time. I wanted to know his opinion on everything. I wanted to tell him what I was doing, show him who I was becoming. I thought he'd be--- [Proud.]

Jacob, The Desolations of Devil's Acre

Abraham is Jacob's grandfather, who immigrated from Poland to Wales and then, finally, to America. Growing up, Jacob calls him the most fascinating person he knew, and the two were extremely close. Due to Abe's knowledge of peculiars, he is initially discredited as being senile. It was he who told Jacob stories of the children's home and was very insistent that Jacob believes him, as he was aware of Jacob's peculiarity, he himself sharing the talent. His stories made a six-year-old Jacob want to become an explorer in order to have a life half as exciting as Abe's. As he got older, Jacob stopped believing in the stories. His father told him about the horrors of Abe's past, that the stories Jacob heard were an exaggerated version of the truth, and Jacob felt ashamed for being jealous of Abe's life and tried to be grateful for his own safe, normal one.

After Abe was killed by Malthus, his stories would eventually lead to Jacob's discovery of Miss Peregrine's home. By the time of The Desolations of Devil's Acre, Jacob states that he used to really miss his grandfather, wanting to talk to him and show him who Jacob was becoming to make him proud. However, soon Jacob found that what he thought of himself is more important than what Abe would have thought, and started to move on. He still misses his grandfather as a "low, background kind of ache," but now thinks it better that Abe "stays gone."

Emma Bloom[]

You give me strength I didn't know I had. You make me better.

Jacob to Emma, Hollow City
The kiss

Jacob and Emma as portrayed in the film.

At first glance, Emma mistook Jacob for Abraham and grew increasingly angry at the prospect of Abe having grandchildren, since he had once promised such things to her. After Miss Peregrine confirmed his human and genealogical status, she warmed to him, initially regarding him as the bearer of bad news. She befriends him easily, flirting all the while. His feelings for her contributes to why he decided to abandon his normal life for the peculiar world. The two demonstrate easy cooperation when called for and enter into a relationship during Hollow City. Despite the other reasons for Jacob staying in the peculiar world to help rescue Miss Peregrine, his ultimate one reason is that he wants to be part of any world that Emma is in. He risks a lot, but in doing so he has met people more alive than anyone he'd known before, has done things he'd never thought he could do, and survived things he never thought he could. It is painful to him when he sees Emma hurt, and is scared when she is in danger. He tells Emma that she makes him stronger and better.

However, they break up in A Map of Days after she phones Abe, and they recognize that Emma is not completely over Abe, and their feelings being unequal. For Jacob, around 10 percent of the reason is their age difference, and their inability to relate. They end up going back to being "just friends." Emma still shows a bit of jealousy, though, as Jacob moves on by falling in love with Noor, and Jacob sees that her pretending they were only ever just friends isn't working. Emma looks at him in a way so that even Noor can easily tell that they used to be together. In a talk about what happened between them, Jacob tells her that she made him face the fact that he would never be his grandfather, and now knows that she had never really given her heart to him in the first place. Jacob also admits to himself that with Emma, he had never felt what he does with Noor: he describes his and Emma's old relationship as chaste and Victorian. In The Desolations of Devil's Acre, Jacob in his mind states that he still loves Emma, but in "a dimmed and dusty way." In the end, they are still close friends and strong partners to each other.

Noor Pradesh[]

...I felt an overwhelming gratitude for Noor. She could make me feel so much with just a word or two--- because I never doubted she meant them. She was never fake with me, never for a second. She was guileless without being naive. Two more line items on a growing list of things I loved about her.

Jacob's narration, The Desolations of Devil's Acre

After ending his romantic relationship with Emma, Jacob eventually falls in love with and enters another relationship with Noor.

She initially does not trust him, but warms up to him. They have a connection over both thinking they were normal and suddenly being thrust into the peculiar world, and Jacob is relieved that she seems to show wonder over peculiar things, rather than revulsion. The first night she arrives in Devil's Acre, she hugs him, and Jacob feels "something small but powerful turn in [his] chest." Despite his dislike of the fame he has in Devil's Acre, he did hope that Noor would find him impressive. When he tells her about his old life, he finds it nice that they are connecting over the same feelings when they entered peculiardom, and it makes him feel less alone.

They deeply care about each other's safety, Noor being the first one to bring up that they're not letting Jacob go alone after Miss Peregrine asks for him to come to America to deal with a situation that involves a hollow. Jacob, in turn, is glad that Noor is not the one coming along, as he dislikes the idea of voluntarily bringing her near a hollow.

They first display their feelings out in the open in The Conference of the BIrds when she hugs and tells Jacob to take care of himself, that she needs him in one piece, and Jacob kisses her for the first time (albeit on the top of her head). When Jacob finds the time to think about her, he realizes that his feelings toward Noor are more chemical and visceral than with Emma, as well as tender. He can picture her face and feel 10 to 20 percent less stressed, and imagining being close to her and kissing her turns his tension into desire. Jacob later kisses Noor for real, and they become a couple. He feels dazed when she holds his hand. It makes him lose his grip on everything else, but he wants to hold on forever.

Maryann and Franklin Portman[]

Maryann Portman is Jacob's rich, socialite mother. Demonstrating extreme vanity, it is often mentioned that she enjoys showing off her wealth. Although well-meaning, she and her son have a rocky relationship, she believes that her son has gone quite mad, and he resenting her blatant disaffection for him. Franklin is Abraham's son and father to Jacob. He and his son clearly demonstrate a somewhat closer relationship than Jacob and his mother, both understanding one another to some degree. It is he who accompanies Jacob to Wales in the first novel but then thinks that they shouldn't have gone to Wales.

At the end of The Desolations of Devil's Acre, Jacob talks to his freshly memory-wiped parents for the last time. He tells them that he is no longer angry at them, understanding that they could not have expected and did not sign up for dealing with Jacob's peculiarness, although they could have tried harder and been more open minded. Jacob also tells them that he is leaving them and the normal world. Although suffering from the side effects of being memory-wiped, Maryann cries and calls Jacob her little boy, while Franklin says goodbye and good luck. In the moment before they exchange a final "love you," Jacob feels like he and his father are a million miles apart and as close as they'd ever been.

Ricky Pickering[]

He was Jacob's best and only friend before the peculiar children came along. He is a screw-up and a rebel, but Jacob is friends with him because they are beneficial to one another: Jacob helps him to not fail English while Ricky acts as a bodyguard to Jacob in the halls. Ricky was with Jacob when he found Abraham Portman dead in the woods.

Their friendship becomes strained when Ricky doesn't believe Jacob that there was a hollow that killed Abe, neither knowing that hollows cannot be seen by normals. Ricky shoves Jacob hard before leaving Jacob's house, and it would be months before they see each other again.

Bronwyn Bruntley[]

Bronwyn is a friend of all at the home, including Jacob. She accompanied him, along with Emma and Millard on the expedition to locate Miss Peregrine in the first and second novels.

The Rogue Hollow[]

Jake has a soft spot for this particular hollow, as stated by Emma Bloom. When the hollow was set to work Bentham's machine, it screeched in pain, bleeding, and Jacob yelled, "You said it wouldn't hurt him!" Their connection is also strong enough so that Jacob can get it under his control far faster than other hollows, which has saved him multiple times in the books.



  • Jacob was born on Halloween.
  • His middle name, Magellan, is the surname of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. This reflects Jacob’s early ambition to be an explorer.