Pirates of the Caribbean/Characters

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Here are the trope profiles for Disney's most successful live-action series (four so far) of films, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Main Characters[edit | hide | hide all]

Captain Jack Sparrow[edit | hide]

Played by: Johnny Depp (2003-present)

"Me, I'm dishonest. And a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly! It's the honest ones you want to watch out for, 'cause you can never predict when they're gonna do something incredibly... stupid."

An on-off pirate captain, who is or isn't mad due his Obfuscating Stupidity. His fondness of freedom, love of rum and good portion of randomness makes him a total Wild Card, so you can never predict what he will say or do next. Everything he does varies from very dangerous to just plain weird. How does he stay alive, then? Indy Ploy, Speed Chess or just dumb luck? No-one knows. What we do know, is that you'll need to keep a close eye on your wallet (and ship), because he certainly isn't stupid; in fact, he is a Magnificent Bastard who's simply waiting for a proper opportunity to strike. Oh yeah, he can parley himself out of any deal or use people to his advantage ... Almost.

  • Affably Evil
  • Anti-Hero: Type IV --> Type III
    • Acts much more heroic in the fourth film however.
    • While being far more ruthless and cold blooded at the same time. Good Is Not Nice very definitely applies.
  • Anything That Moves: In his subconscious at least. The second film appears to confirm that he is straight but hey... he's Captain Jack Sparrow. Also, see Bi the Way a little further down.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Very often at the receiving end of one, sometimes in succession. And he often deserves it.
  • The Artful Dodger
  • Back from the Dead: Major plot point in the third movie.
  • Badass Abnormal: He's temporarily immortal in the first movie.
  • Badass Long Hair: That distinct beaded-dreadlock hairstyle now bears his name.
  • Bad Habits: "Impersonating a cleric of the Church of England." Too bad we never hear more about that.
  • Being Good Sucks: One of the patron saints of this trope, as No Good Deed Goes Unpunished when you're Captain Jack. There's actually a written example of this one of the later drafts of the Curse of The Black Pearl screenplay, when Jack realizes Elizabeth will drown if he doesn't rescue her: "Norrington and several other men pick their way down the cliffs. They are too far away to get to her in time. Jack scowls. He has no choice -- and it pisses him off."
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With damn near about everyone.
    • Lampshaded a couple times that most of his former lovers frequently attempt to kill him.
  • Bishonen: To the point of Agent Peacock: One of several in this franchise.
    • Semi-lampshaded in the fourth, where Angelica says he was the easiest famous pirate captain for her to impersonate. (Jack wasn't particularly pleased.)
  • Beware the Silly Ones / Beware the Nice Ones: Despite acting insane and camp half the time, he is very, very dangerous, and other pirates have dismissed him as being too nice. While he generally avoids killing, he made an exception for when he believes the victim has crossed the line Barbossa who came back and had a Heel Face Turn, Davy Jones (sort of by proxy) Cutler Beckett and Blackbeard. Messing with Jack is generally a very bad idea.
  • Bi the Way: Depp has said as much in interviews, remarking on the situation any sailor finds himself in -- at sea for months, no women on board, perhaps an "extra ration of rum" -- and the practicality of being...flexible about one's preferences. In his research he's found that sort of thing to be historically accurate.
  • Blessed With Luck
  • Blue and Orange Morality
  • Breakout Character: Would you believe that Jack wasn't intended to be the lead character of the films as of Curse of the Black Pearl?
  • Breath Weapon: Jack seems to have caught onto his own brand of knock-out gas -- breath described by Gore Verbinsky as smelling like "a donkey's ass" that is so bad, it can victimize people. Even the Kraken's fabled thousand-rotting-dead-guys-breath isn't so bad to him.
  • Byronic Hero: Intelligent, adaptable, seductive, introspective, struggles with integrity, and an outlaw.
  • Camp Bisexual: Considering what was said in Bi the Way above, it is safer to qualify him like this. Campy he certainly is, after all.
  • Catch Phrase:
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mildly in the first two, very much so in the third movie. Being dead and in Limbo/Hell all alone will do that to you.
  • The Chessmaster/Indy Ploy: As lampshaded in the third film, it's hard to tell if Jack plans everything out in advance, or makes it up as he goes along. In the same film he sets into motion a plan to get aboard the Flying Dutchman during the final battle by manipulating the other characters, but it's also clear that he didn't have control of everything and was quickly improvising at the Brethren Court.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Let's count them shall we? First he allies with Will with the intention of using him as leverage to get his ship back from Barbossa. He allies with Norrington against Barbossa and then tries to ally with Barbossa against Norrington, and then almost immediately double-crossing both of them. And that's just the first movie.
    • What really makes this complicated is that sometimes, he seems to backstab someone, but eventually it is all part of the plan. For instance, in the first movie, he makes a deal with Norrington, gets sent in, and then makes a deal with Barbossa. He tells the latter that the navy is outside coming for them, and tells them to break the curse later (saving Will's life in the process) and attack Norrington's ship. While this seems to be backstabbing the good Commodore, he told Norrington he was going to send the pirates out, so his ship could cannonade them to pieces. In other words, he didn't backstab him; he helped him. Ok, he didn't see that "take a walk" coming, but still.
    • On the DVD commentary for the first movie, the writers mentioned often that Jack was about 10 steps ahead of everyone else. Surely, he wings a lot of what he does, but there's a method to his madness, no doubt.
    • Lampshaded in Curse of the Black Pearl about how often he changes sides;

Elizabeth: Whose side is Jack on?
Will: At the moment?

Beckett: You're mad!
Jack: Thank goodness for that, because if I wasn't, this would probably never work.

  • Death Glare: He directs a black-ice glower at his target when he shoots Barbossa.
  • Double Entendre: In OST: "I support the missionary's position."
    • AWE: "Listen to the Tool."
  • Escape Artist: On multiple occasions.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: He is played by Johnny Depp after all.
    • I wonder what Lt. Groves was thinking?
  • Fake Brit
  • Famed in Story: Jack has carefully cultivated his own legend.
  • Flanderization: In Dead Man's Chest. For some, he gets better in the third film. And others still consider him perfectly in character throughout the trilogy, taking into account the flexible morality and sanity of the cast, along with the fact that he spent some time completely isolated in Davy Jones' Locker.
  • A Friend in Need: When it matters most, Jack will do the right thing. (But don't count on it before that point.)
  • Genre Savvy
  • The Gunslinger: While Jack is a mostly competent swordsman, Word of God is that he's actually far more skilled with firearms and other ranged weaponry. We see some of this, too; in Dead Man's Chest he manages to shoot and ignite a falling barrel of powder with a musket at a range that would make the shot hard without rifling, and in the same movie he chucks a coconut at one of the Dutchman's crewmen and easily nails him in the head, despite the guy running full-tilt AND being a good distance away.
    • More impressive still: in the third movie he shoots the coveted Chest from Davy Jones' hand, on the first try, whilst swinging amongst the ship's rigging. The Lone Ranger couldn't have done better.
    • In fact, each of the first three movies includes a crucial moment where Jack has to make one shot count... which he always does.
  • Handsome Lech
  • Heterosexual Life Partners - Arguably, him and Gibbs.
  • Honor Before Reason - Because even if it may not seem so, when he says...
  • I Gave My Word - And he will keep it, in word and spirit, unlike Barbossa.
  • Insistent Terminology: That's Captain Jack Sparrow, thank you very much.
    • It comes back to bite him on the ass when Jack tries to claim that he was only a Captain of the Black Pearl for two years before he was mutinied, so the wish he asked of Davy Jones was not fulfilled for the full 10. Davy barks back that the mutiny only proved he was a poor Captain, and Jack kept on referring to himself as a Captain for the entire time.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jack's whole character arc, since a decade before the first movie at least, is caused by the fall out of a good man learning that Being Good Sucks, as every time he does something that isn't at least 60% selfish, it comes back to bite him in the ass. The bigger the bite, the more shy he is of being bitten again. Because of this, he will almost always act purely within his own self-interests, and will even push it as far as it will go (like being prepared to let a hundred people die in his place, or being tempted to sacrifice thousands upon thousands of lives just to save his own skin), but while Jack's conscience is whisper quiet, it will usually force him at guilt-point to save the day. At the last possible second, of course.
  • Large Ham: Depp is clearly having fun in the role. In the third movie, there's even Ham-to-Ham Combat with himself!
  • Loveable Rogue: Classic example.
  • Made of Iron: In Dead Man's Chest, Jack freefalls what looks like several hundred feet down a canyon and lands little more than dazed at the bottom. We're expected to believe that falling through a few flimsy rope bridges on the way down slowed him up enough.
  • Manipulative Bastard: With some limits.
  • Memetic Badass: Jack treats himself like one, explaining away anything he does or plans to do, no matter how improbable or amazing, as "I'm Captain Jack Sparrow".
  • Mr. Fanservice: Oh, yeah!
  • Mysterious Past: The movies only give small, plot-relevant pieces of Jack's backstory. Word of God goes a bit farther, describing the precise circumstances of how he became an outlaw and made a deal with Davy Jones (Jack freed a cargo of EITC slaves, for which Beckett branded him a pirate and sank his ship), but it's still far from the complete story.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Why do people with bad breath always wanna tell you secrets?
  • Not Me This Time: A rare heroic example in the fourth movie: In the beginning of the movie, Jack Sparrow was told many times by both friends and enemies that he was trying to get a ship as well as recruit various people into attempting to find the legendary Fountain of Youth. Turns out, Jack Sparrow, for once, wasn't responsible for this, and gets into a fight with the one who actually did the deed: Angelica disguised as Jack Sparrow.
  • Not So Different: In On Stranger Tides, Jack organizes a mutiny, later betrays a another pirate and maroons her an island with a pistol and one shot. Of course, his motivation is far more understandable and less selfish than Barbossa's, but one would assume his grim outlook on mutineers has acquired an asterisk.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He comes off as The Fool... or is he?
  • Rebellious Prince: if you take said backstory into account. When your father is - at least in the Pirate King's absence - probably the highest recognized authority among pirates, it would be a rebellious act to become a honest merchant sailor in the East India Trading Company...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Will's red, Jack keeps focused on what he wants and what he has to do to get it while Will tends to get carried away in brief fits of naive brashness. Will's stakes in the adventures are also purely emotional (Elizabeth and his father) compared to Jack seeking more practical rewards.
  • Rules Lawyer
  • Talking Your Way Out
  • Trickster Archetype
  • Villain Protagonist
  • Wild Card: You can generally trust Jack to do the right thing in the end. What he does leading up to that, on the other hand, ranges from the heroic to the bastardly to the just plain weird.
  • The Wonka: Appropriately, since Depp's played that role too.
  • Word of Gay: Depp says things will happen between pirates and cabin boys at sea. Cue legions of fangirls crying "I Knew It!!"
    • He also insists that Jack has syphilis.
    • And then there's that kiss he has with himself... (even though that person was actually a girl disguised as Jack Sparrow).
  • X Marks the Hero: As of On Stranger Tides.

Captain William "Will" Turner Junior[edit | hide]

Will 8007.jpg

Played by: Orlando Bloom (2003-2007)

Jack Sparrow: One question about your business, boy, or there's no use going. This girl... how far are you willing to go to save her?
Will Turner: I'd die for her.
Jack Sparrow: Oh good. No worries then.

Blacksmith of Port Royal, who loves Elizabeth Swann, the governor's daughter. He was found shipwrecked and (presumably) orphaned roughly ten years before the first movie takes place. Excellent swordsman, but a little too naive when it comes to dealing with pirates, before he takes some levels and understands how the world really rolls in those circles. Proceeds to continue his Badass training and power-leveling in the course of second and third movies and eventually becomes the captain of the legendary Flying Dutchman.

Jack: "Who makes all these [swords]?"
Will: "I do! And I practice with them three hours a day!"

  • Mr. Fanservice
  • Informed Ability: According to the writers, Will is suppose to be the best Sword Fighter in the series. While he does take part in some of the most impressive fights, Will rarely got to show off his skills in a straight up one-on-one fight.

Will: You ignored the rules of engagement. In a fair fight, I'd kill you.
Jack: Well that's not much incentive to fight fair, is it?


Captain Elizabeth Swann Turner[edit | hide]

Lizzy 1641.jpg

Played by: Keira Knightley (2003-2007)

I've had it! I've had it with wobbly-legged, rum-soaked PIRATES!

Governor Swann's daughter, essentially a modern girl trapped in an eighteenth-century world, and keeper of the MacGuffin in the first film. Somewhere between The Hero, the Action Girl and The Heart, she's the access character who -- like the audience -- grew up with heavily romanticized pirate stories. She's kind of a fan girl when if comes to pirates, but is a brilliant strategist when given the chance, and takes a level in badass between the first and second movies. Elizabeth is the center of a Love Triangle (or rather a Love Trapezoid) that contains Will, Jack and Norrington all trying to get with her. Fans can't make up their minds on whether she grew more Badass or more annoying during the films, because of the huge fanbase of slash-ficcers who would like to stone her to death for messing with the male characters. Despite this, she is most certainly not The Ishmael. Becomes the Pirate King in the third movie.

Norrington: You are not a sailor, you're not a military man... do not make the mistake of thinking you are the only one here who cares for Elizabeth.


Captain Hector Barbossa[edit | hide]

Hector 6339.jpg

Played by: Geoffrey Rush (2003-present)

Barbossa: Still thinkin' of running, Jack? Think you can outrun the world? You know the problem with being the last of anything, by and by there be none left at all.
Jack: Sometimes things come back mate. We're livin' proof, you and me.
Barbossa: Aye, but that's a gamble of long odds, ain't it? There's never a guarantee of comin' back. But passin' on, that's dead certain.

The bad guy of the first film, he controls the undead crew of The Black Pearl who Rape, Pillage and Burn every city they ran on while trying to collect every single piece of the magical Aztec Gold that cursed them when they stole it and spent it on booze, games and hooke...oh sorry, pleasurable company. He's the very picture of a Magnificent Bastard and, as it pits him against the protagonists, he bites the big one. But fate has more in store for Barbossa, and he is later resurrected for the third film by Tia Dalma when the heroes (and other forces) need him and Jack to return. He's a Smug Snake who's big on the double-cross and willing to take out anyone who stands in his way, but really, he's just trying to take control of his life back. A lot of viewers are confused by his actions in the third film, assuming they contradict his depiction in the first movie, but (like David Xanatos) his character doesn't change, just his enemies. Barbossa remains an arrogant dick, though, and is always convinced -- and manages to convince others -- that his straightforward plans are foolproof. He then proceeds to shoot himself in the foot, along with the feet of anyone naive enough to follow him. Takes over Blackbeard's ship and crew at the end of the fourth movie, and gains his powers.

  • Affably Evil
  • Anti-Hero: Type IV in the third and fourth films, he's still not very trustworthy and you can't rely on him to do the noble thing, but you can count on him to help you fight the far more dangerous foes.
  • Anti-Villain: Type I in the first film. According to his backstory, Barbossa wanted a life on the sea and found piracy to be more fulfilling than other means. He also demonstrates a much more noble side in the subsequent films.
    • The writers have stated that their intention with Barbossa in the first film was to give him subtle moments where the audience would question, if it were not for the curse, would he more than likely be one of the good guys?
  • Big Bad: Of the first film. However due to the Curse, its arguably not by his own choice.
  • Cool Sword: In the fourth movie, two of them. Firstly, he poisons his usual weapon to give him the edge against Blackbeard due to losing his leg in their first encounter. After this gambit pays off, he takes the Sword of Triton as well as the Queen Anne's Revenge as the prize, gaining with it many of Blackbeard's magical powers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Very much so. In the first film alone:

Elizabeth: Captain Barbossa , I am here to negotiate the cessation of hostilities against Port Royal.
Barbossa: There are a lot of long words in there, Miss, we're naught but humble pirates. What is it that you want?
Elizabeth: I want you to leave and never come back.
Barbossa: I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request. (leans in as Elizabeth looks confused) Means "no".

Will: "Elizabeth goes free."
Barbossa: "Yes we know that one, anything else?"

Barbossa: "Jack, Jack, did ya not notice? That be the same little island we made you governer of on our last little trip."

  • Death by Irony
  • Death Is Cheap
  • Demoted to Dragon: He was the main antagonist for Curse of the Black Pearl, the first film. In the fourth movie, he nominally works as a mercenary for King George II.
    • Dragon with an Agenda: The only reason Barbossa agreed to look for the fountain is because he wants to find Blackbeard.
  • Dual-Wielding: During his fight with Blackbeard, he dual wields his poisoned sword and crutch! It pays off for a while, then he loses the crutch and nicks him with the blade while he's otherwise distracted.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: (Says Barbossa.)
  • Enemy Mine: Pretty much his whole role in the third movie consists of teaming up with Will, Elizabeth, and Jack (all of whom he has reason to hate) to stop Beckett. He does seem to have at least parted with the former two on friendly terms, but convinced Jack's crew to mutiny (again) to help him go after the Fountain of Youth. But even then, this time he leaves Jack in Tortuga with wenches rather than on a deserted island alone. Does this once again in On Stranger Tides, where he teams up with Jack for a chance at Blackbeard, who took the Pearl.
  • Epic Fail: Barbossa and his big ideas...
  • Evil Counterpart: To Jack. The writers' and director's audio commentary for Curse of the Black Pearl at one point refers to Barbossa as "the dark side of Jack Sparrow".
  • Evil Laugh
  • Exact Words: Barbossa will always stick to what he has promised. Which isn't to say that he won't have fun as to how he interprets said promises. See Rules Lawyer below.
  • Handicapped Badass: Loses a leg in On Stranger Tides, though is still a very effective combatant.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Part of the reason Barbossa loses in the first film. He does it again in the third film with bad results.
  • How Do You Like Them Apples?
  • I Gave My Word: Zigzagged, he does keep his word when he tells Elizabeth he'll leave Port Royal, and agrees to Will that he'll set Elizabeth free and not harm the crew. However, he doesn't let Elizabeth leave and points out her terms never included her release, and mocks Will that he never said where he had to let Elizabeth go. In essense he keeps his word to the letter, but not the spirit.
  • Large Ham: His attempt at getting Calypso back to goddess form: "CA-LYP-SO! I RELEASE you from your human bonds!!" If that's how a lover says those words, one wonders how many ladies went deaf after meeting Barbossa.
  • Life or Limb Decision: The reason why he has a peg leg in movie 4. Blackbeard took the Pearl from him and did his thing that made the ship attack the sailors, with the result that Barbossa's leg was caught in the rigging. He sliced it off to show he was master of his own fate.
  • Meaningful Name: Barbossa can be read as Latin for "Bony Beard".
  • Not in This For Your Revolution: Implied in regards to his "loyalties" to the crown. He doesn't actually care about preventing the Spaniards from using the Fountain of Youth as much as he only worked with the British navy as an excuse to exact revenge on Blackbeard for the latter stealing the Black Pearl which also cost him his leg.
  • Not So Different: In the fourth movie, Barbossa has his ship stolen by Blackbeard and becomes consumed with his desire for vengeance. He briefly becomes employed by the crown as well, defecting in the end. Karma's a bitch, but at least Jack and Barbossa have some common ground.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Appears for approximately ten seconds at the end of Dead Man's Chest and promptly steals the film.
  • Pet the Dog: Repeatedly in At World's End, marrying Will and Elizabeth, and showing genuine happiness for them to boot. He also gets all of them on the Black Pearl when Jack refuses to take Will, Elizabeth, Pintel, Ragetti and Barbossa aboard to escape the locker, when he had no reason to need any of the four around.
    • Also, one might consider Barbossa's loving relationship with his pet monkey one big PTD moment.
  • Precision F-Strike: Gets one in the bloopers (though it's censored) for the third film:

You blew me hat off, ya bitch!

  • Pride
  • Privateer: In the fourth movie. It turns out he "sold out" to the Crown only to get a chance to make even with Blackbeard, and he tears his letter of marque at the end.
  • Rules Lawyer: Moreso than any other character, and it blows up in his face.
  • Screw Destiny: Makes several statements along these lines in the third and fourth films.
  • The Starscream: Barbossa to Jack before the events of the first film.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Barbossa's temptingly simple schemes tend to attract morons.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: He has a very "Long John Silver" turn of phrase. Also, with his West Country accent, he may be the only English character in the films even capable of a real "Arr!"
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Apples.
  • Villain Protagonist: In movie 3.
  • Warrior Poet: As far as pirates go he's one of the most well-spoken and eloquent of the ones shown in the films, show genuine sadness at the signs the age of piracy is coming to an end, and when the situation calls for it he can be very poetic and moving (again, for a pirate).

"Better were the days when mastery of the seas came not from bargains struck with eldritch creatures, but from the sweat of a man's brow and the strength of his back alone. Y'all know this to be true."

The Black Pearl[edit | hide]

Joshamee Gibbs[edit | hide]

Played by: Kevin McNally (2003-present)

Former Royal Navy sailor, old seadog and quarter master of the Black Pearl, Mr. Gibbs is Jack Sparrow's right hand man. Gibbs is also perhaps the only person in the whole series who can stand being with Jack Sparrow for several days without turning on him.

  • Cool Old Guy
  • Father Neptune
  • The Lancer: To Jack Sparrow
  • Mr. Exposition
  • Mysterious Past: So, how did he become a pirate? And when did he met Jack for the first time?
    • And how is it his appearance has hardly changed since the first film??
      • The writers imply that, as we see him taking a good long sip from a hip-flask in the flashback in the first movie, his love of drinking was the reason why he left (or got thrown out) of the Royal Navy. There's more Rum in piracy.
  • Only Sane Man: Compared to the rest of the main characters, at least.
  • Talks Like a Simile
  • Translator Buddy: He is the only one who understands what Cotton's parrot's non-sensical phrases actually mean.
  • Warrior Poet: Often waxes lyrical when explaining various plot-points.

Pintel and Ragetti[edit | hide]

Pintel played by: Lee Arenberg (2003-07)
Ragetti played by: Mackenzie Crook (2003-07)

An inseparable pair of pirates who crew on the Black Pearl under both Barbossa and Jack. Their personal incompetence and bizarre personal quirks result in their mostly providing comic relief (they're genuinely menacing precisely once in the series- in their first appearance facing off against the Governor's unarmed staff and an untrained Elizabeth. Against anyone else, they're way out of their league).

Cotton[edit | hide]

Played by: David Bailie (2003-07)

An old, bearded pirate with no tongue. The parrot over his shoulder speaks for him; how he trained it to do that is a mystery.

Marty[edit | hide]

Played by: Martin Klebba (2003-07)

A dwarf pirate hired in Tortuga. He has the best sight among the pirates and often serves as the lookout.

Jack The Monkey[edit | hide]


Royal Navy / East India Trading Co.[edit | hide]

Commodore/Admiral James Norrington[edit | hide]

James 3433.jpg

Played by: Jack Davenport (2003-07)

Commodore of the Royal Navy and a fiance of Elizabeth, before he hands her to Will, who has an almost obsessive need to catch Jack Sparrow. (Briefly, but it was enough.) However, at the end of the first movie he considers Jack his Worthy Opponent, and gives him a day's Mercy Lead. His act of generosity couldn't have impressed the higher authority, and when he goes out after Sparrow, he chased him into a hurricane, for some reason, and his ship goes down with almost all hands. He is disgraced from the Navy and ends up with a serious case of Heroic BSOD and becomes a pirate, dropping from noble officer to borderline Anti-Hero who is desperately looking an opportunity to get his old job back. This opportunity comes when the party finds the key item of the sequels, the heart of Davy Jones, whose owner controls the seas. James - seeing it as a free ticket back to his old, happy and presumably wealthy life - steals it and brings it to the new Big Bad Lord Cutler Beckett as a token and he is restored to his normal life, and even given a promotion. But after learning what a Smug Snake Beckett is he saves Elizabeth and the party from his clutch losing his life in the process.

Lord Cutler Beckett[edit | hide]

Beckett 8203.jpg

Played by: Tom Hollander (2006-07)

The Big Bad of the second and third movies and a professional dog kicker. Also obsessed with catching Sparrow because of their old grudges. Dangerously intelligent and determined, he wants to purge the seas of pirates. His primary plan to achieve this is to find the heart of Davy Jones, so he can control him as a Weapon of Mass Destruction, and scarily, he succeeds in it, thanks to the help of James Norrington. He might've succeeded in his plans, if he wouldn't have played his cards wrong, being arrogantly sure he's already won the game. He then promptly suffers his Villainous Breakdown, but - as a comfort - get a massive action villain explosion as his demise, when two ships blow his flagship to splinters. He does some pretty horrible things, like order the hanging of a child.

  • Affably Evil: For a man that wants to purge the world from pirates by mass-slaughter, he isn't really all that bad. He's very polite and well-mannered (even if you threaten him at gunpoint), is very generous when it comes to making deals and heck, even gives you free booze during the negotiations.
  • Ambition Is Evil
  • Angst Coma
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Lord Cutler Beckett, is it now?
  • Badass: A man who can stare down the barrel of a gun is seriously badass.
  • Big Bad: For the original trilogy, but he shared the spotlight with Davy Jones in the second, and finally took center-stage in the third.
  • Catch Phrase ("It's just good business")
  • The Chessmaster (Word of God confirms he's one of the smartest characters in the series. As of the end of Dead Man's Chest, he's holding all the cards.)
  • Complete Monster: Is also one of the most vile characters in the series.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Ted Elliott described him as, basically, "just a guy who wants to sell more cheeseburgers".
  • Deadpan Snarker: The guy lives and breathes snark.
  • Depraved Bisexual: In the third film it's implied that he has a Villainous Crush on Elizabeth but at the same time, there's clearly some history between him and Jack.
  • Did You Actually Believe?
  • Evil Brit: He's stereotypically (and inaccurately for the time period) English enough that he stands out in a cast of English, and other British, characters.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Jack.
  • Evil Gloating
  • Famous Last Words: "It was just ... good business..."
  • Gambit Roulette: Unfortunately in the end he draws the short straw.
  • Gory Discretion Shot : After the explosion on HMS Endeavour, we see from the water-perspective how his surprsingly still-in-one-piece body falls onto a EITC flag (that is floating in the water), where we can see his silhouette. Fortunately, we never see his body directly, because seeing what kind of explosion it was, it probably wouldn't be a pretty sight.
  • Graceful Loser
  • Insistent Terminology: Like Jack, Lord Becket insists on being called by his title.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Unlike Barbossa, Beckett is played completely straight and never for laughs; when he takes center stage in the third film, it's worked in as part of the transition to the epic format.
  • The Man Behind the Man
  • The Napoleon: Being teeny-weeny doesn't stop Beckett from trying to take over the Caribbean and beyond.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: While Beckett is allegedly a skilled duellist, he seems to consider actually getting his own hands dirty to be beneath him, and always works through his minions in the films.
  • Noodle Incident: His first run-in with Captain Jack Sparrow, wherein he branded Sparrow a pirate and was given an unmentioned mark in return. The films never elaborate on what went down between Sparrow and Beckett.
    • It has, however, been explained elsewhere. When Jack was working for the East India Trading Company, Beckett ordered him to deliver a cargo of slaves. Jack set them free instead. "People ain't cargo, mate." This unauthorized disposal of Company 'property' gave Beckett grounds to brand Jack as a pirate, forcing him into an outlaw lifestyle. What mark Jack left on Beckett is a blank for the audience to fill in- Beckett's expression when asked about it indicates it's a touchy subject.
  • Odd Name Out merged with Names to Run Away From Really Fast: By the standards that the other characters have normal 17th-18th century names Cutler isn't a name you'd expect to run to. Now, replace the 'l' with another 't' and read his name again.
  • Reality Subtext : The real life British East India Company was The Aggressive Drug Dealer that introduced opium to China.
  • Rules Lawyer
  • Smug Snake
  • Villainous BSOD:"It's just good business..."
  • Wicked Cultured
  • Would Hurt a Child: Let's face it, if he did today what he did in the third film, he'd be doing porridge for the rest of his natural life at the very least.
  • Xanatos Gambit: In the first movie he blackmails Will Turner into pursuing Jack in order to bring back his compass and sends Mercer to recruit Norrington so that even if one fails the other will succeed. Then in the second movie he plays Jack and Will against one another and would have succeeded in his plan if Will hadn't stabbed the heart of Davy Jones.

Mr. Mercer[edit | hide]

Played by: David Schofield (2006-07)

One of Beckett's most loyal henchmen with a definite violent and psychotic streak (Psycho for Hire?) who fills the absence of Norrington when he tags along with the other good guys. Despite having only a few scenes of screen time, he has gained a surprisingly large popularity among the fanbase, though we'll spare you the details.

Murtogg and Mullroy[edit | hide]

Murtogg played by: Giles New (2003, 2007)
Mullroy played by: Angus Barnett (2003, 2007)

An inseperable pair of British sailors who crew under Norrington. Their personal incompetence and bizarre personal quirks result in their mostly providing comic relief.


The Flying Dutchman[edit | hide]

Davy Jones[edit | hide]

Djones 7124.jpg

Played by: Bill Nighy (2006-07)

"Life is cruel. Why should the afterlife be any different?"

Formerly a human pirate captain who fell in love with Calypso the sea goddess, he acted as her agent, ferrying the dead to their final resting places. After she failed to show up for their scheduled ten-year rendezvous, he turned evil, ripped his heart out of his chest, quit his job and started to terrorize people with his legendary flagship, the Flying Dutchman, offering a 100-year period of servitude to dying sailors as an alternative to facing their deaths. Over time, his bitterness and his refusal to perform his proper function changed and twisted him to resemble Cthulhu's long lost brother and his crew to mutated sea monsters. His heart, locked in the titular Dead Man's Chest in the second film, becomes one of the many (and probably the most important) key items.

Jones: Jack SPAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!

  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Jones and Calypso. His anger at being spurned is perhaps justifiable, but in the third film she calls him on it, telling him he would not have loved her in the first place if she were not as fickle and unpredictable as the sea itself.
    • Together in Death: As he dies, he reverently whispers her name, before falling into the sea's embrace.
  • The Starscream: Davy Jones to Cutler Beckett in the third film.
  • Verbal Tic: Davy Jones-ah.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Originally Gore Verbinski wanted Jones to have a Dutch accent (considering the ship's name), but Nighy could not do one. So Nighy instead opted for Welsh, but thought it didn't sound threatening enough and switched to a harsher, somewhat Scottish accent.

The Kraken[edit | hide]

A monstrous, squid-like sea creature that is bound to do the bidding of Davy Jones. Spends most of Dead Man's Chest hunting Jack and finally catches him at the climax. In At World's End, it's killed off unceremoniously to hit home the theme of the passing of an age.

William "Bootstrap Bill" Turner[edit | hide]

Played by: Stellan Skarsgård (2006-07)

William Jr's thought-to-be-dead father, who gave Will his piece of the cursed treasure after his crewmates betrayed Jack, since he thought they all deserved to be punished for what they'd done. Barbossa and co. retaliated by tying him to a cannon and letting him sink to the bottom of the ocean. The sequels reveal him to be trapped in the crew of Davy Jones, and saving him becomes Will's main drive.

  • And I Must Scream: Barbossa wanted him to be trapped at the bottom of the ocean, unable to die until whenever they managed to remove the curse. He made a deal with Davy Jones to escape.
    • And then became a literal part of the ship in At World's End.
  • Berserk Button: Goes into a flying rage and attacks Davy Jones when he stabs Will. This distraction allowed Jack to help Will stab Jones's heart, thus killing him, and saving Will's life.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: All crewmen under Davy Jones slide slowly into this state.
  • Defiant to the End: In Dead Man's Chest, he's stuck with an eternity of service on the Dutchman, which after Davy Jones finds out that he helped Will escape, will not be at all pleasant for him.

Bill: What more can they do to me?

  • Defusing the Tykebomb: Will attempts it, but fails.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: And how.
  • Papa Wolf
  • Parental Abandonment
  • Trauma Conga Line: First he was cursed as an undead skeletal Pirate. Then Barbossa strapped him to a cannon and dropped him into the crushing depths of the ocean. Then he was rescued in exhange for becoming part of Davy Jones' crew. Then he wagered an eternity of service to the Dutchman attempting to prevent Will from doing the same. And then, after believing Will to be dead, he completely loses the will to live, accelerating the process that transforms crewmembers into part of the ship.

Queen Anne's Revenge[edit | hide]

Blackbeard – Edward Teach[edit | hide]

Played by: Ian McShane (2011)

  • Actor Allusion: There's more than a little Al Swearengen in Blackbeard.
  • Badass Beard
  • Badass Grandpa: Considering he has a grown daughter about Jack’s age, this makes him one of the oldest pirates in the series, quite an impressive achievement.
    • Going by the Real Life Blackbeard's birthdate, he would have been about 70 at the time this film is set; definitely an impressive achievement for a pirate -- and one the Real Life Blackbeard can't match, since he was caught and killed when he was about 40. (Captain Jack mentions having heard about his death, but he never does explain how he got out of it.) Of course, not that astonishing given that he's a magician and a necromancer.
  • Bad Boss: “If I don't kill a man every now and then, they forget who I am”
  • Card-Carrying Villain: “I’m a bad man."
  • The Collector: Of ships from defeated crews. Or it’s implied considering he has the Black Pearl among his collections.
  • Complete Monster: Acknowledged in-universe as one: When Philip witnessed Syrena being left to die while tied up to a tree by Blackbeard, he stated that he realized that Blackbeard is completely irredeemable, and even acknowledged that he was wrong about his hopes about Blackbeard being redeemable (which his religion taught everyone has a chance for redemption).
  • Cool Sword: The Sword Of Triton, which gives him some level of Mind Over Matter control over ships, allowing him to control them at will. It’s implied that the sword is also the root of his other supernatural powers. Taken from him by Barbossa at the end of the movie, along with his ship and crew.
  • The Dreaded: "The Pirate All Pirates Fear".
  • Evilly Affable: Especially in his debut aboard the Queen’s Anne Revenge. He becomes less so as the movie rolls so but there are still moments this crops up
  • Evil Sorcerer: See Hollywood Voodoo
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The fact that none of the deckhands in the Queen’s Revenge have actually seen him in person convinces Jack that they have all been fooled and they were not on Blackbeard’s ship. He’s wrong. Ironically, he ends up exposing himself when a mutiny is instigated by Jack Sparrow in order to lure him out.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: A master practitioner of it
  • Large Ham: Say it with me now: Mutineers HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG!
  • Magic Knight:Due to Hollywood Voodoo and The Sword Of Triton.
  • Oh Crap: The look on Jack’s and the mutinous crew face when he finally reveals himself is priceless
  • Pet the Dog: His borderline Papa Wolf feelings for his daughter.
    • Kick the Dog: Asking his daughter to sacrifice her life for his, as well as his deliberately making the Russian Roulette so that he wouldn't know which of the two guns contained the bullet when threatening Jack Sparrow with the death of his daughter.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: While he doesn’t outright say it, the spirit of it is there on his first conversation with Jack.
    • Rasputinian Death: Going by real-life accounts of his death, he was sliced 20 times, shot at least 5 to 6 times, and decapitated, with his decapitated body sinking to the ocean floor, which makes him eligible for this trope.
  • Screw Destiny: According to a prophesy, he is destined to die at the hands of the “One Legged Man”. He is searching for the Fountain Of Youth to escape this fate.
  • Shrouded in Myth
  • Take My Hand: A rather gruesome variation. His skeletal corpse reaches to grasp Angelica’s hand.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: In the end, he is mortally wounded by the “One Legged Man”, who, in a roundabout way, is still responsible for his death, even if Jack did the actual deed. In addition, he actually sealed his own fate by taking the Black Pearl, since the "One Legged Man" was a former member of the Black Pearl's crew, meaning he created the very thing that would do him in.

Angelica[edit | hide]

Played by Penélope Cruz

Philip[edit | hide]

Played by Sam Claflin

Zombies[edit | hide]


Other Crewmembers[edit | hide]

Other[edit | hide]

Tia Dalma/Calypso[edit | hide]

"Land is where you are safe, Jack Sparrow, and so you will carry land with you."

Played by: Naomie Harris (2006-07)

A mysterious voodoo woman with unknown connections to Jack. Is actually the Goddess of the Sea trapped in human form, and was Davy Jones' lover before she betrayed him.

Captain Teague[edit | hide]

Played by: Keith Richards (2007-present)

Former Pirate Lord of Madagascar turned Keeper of the Pirate Codex, which he keeps with him at Shipwreck Cove. Still the most feared pirate in the world and Jack Sparrow's father.

It's not just about living forever, Jackie. It's about living with yourself forever.

Sao Feng[edit | hide]

Played by: Chow Yun-fat (2007)

Pirate Lord of Singapore and one of the nine lords of the Brethren Court. Elizabeth and Barbossa try to recruit him (and steal his charts) at the beginning of the third movie, and he bounces back and forth between loyalty to them and working for Beckett throughout the movie, finally settling on loyalty after coming to the (incorrect) conclusion that Elizabeth is Calypso. He's killed by the Flying Dutchman, but lives long enough to pass on his captaincy, lordship, and Piece of Eight to Elizabeth.

  • Advertised Extra
  • Attempted Rape: He tries to rape Elizabeth after she refuses his advances but gets blasted with a cannon before he can do the deed.
  • Dirty Coward: What Elizabeth calls him, though he generally seems less cowardly than self-interested.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's not happy when Beckett breaks his word at the drop of a hat. Sao Feng himself seems to always keep his word, even if only to the letter rather than the spirit.
  • Redemption Equals Death (As he's dying, he passes on his captaincy to Elizabeth and begs her to forgive him)
  • Yellow Peril: He fits a lot of stereotypes of the Asian villain, but isn't particularly better or worse than any of the other pirate characters, and is notably less evil than the white Big Bad.

Anamaria[edit | hide]

Played by: Zoe Saldana (2003)

The female pirate who Jack steals a ship from in Curse Of The Black Pearl. She also helps in the attempt to rescue Elizabeth from Barbossa in the same film.

Gibbs: These cages weren't built until after we got here.

Lieutenant Groves[edit | hide]

Played by: Greg Ellis (2003-2011)

Syrena[edit | hide]

Played by Astrid Berges-Frisbey

  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Presumably why she genuinely falls for Philip.
  • Fantastic Romance/Interspecies Romance: With Philip.
  • Heel Face Turn
  • Godiva Hair: In mermaid form.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Turns into one when forced to walk on land. In this situation, she looks no different from a non-clothed human girl.
  • Meaningful Name: Syrena sounds a lot like "siren". Or of course "sirena", which is Spanish for mermaid.
    • And in some other languages too!
  • Mermaid Problem: Averted by making the mermaids capable of turning their fins into legs.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Syrena's kin are definitely far from The Little Mermaid, as they charm men, drown them and eat them, even fashioning lassos from kelp or possibly their own hair to snare men from the shore. They can gather in hordes and sink a whole ship. Whether Syrena is any better is unclear, although what is clear is that from what little is seen of her character, she's far closer the Disney interpretation (IE, Ariel) than the other members of her species.
    • Of course, that's actually pretty close to the original concept of mermaids.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin
  • Shout-Out: When her glass coffin breaks, Syrena is forced to walk on land. Her tail changes to legs, and every step causes her agonizing pain. These details are obviously borrowed from Andersen's fairy tale. Also, the concept of her gaining legs if exposed to land are obviously borrowed from Splash.

Prison Dog[edit | hide]

  • God Guise: After the credits in the second film.

The Spaniard[edit | hide]

Played by Óscar Jaenada

An officer in the employ of the King of Spain; he's the first party to set out after the Fountain of Youth in the fourth movie but doesn't intend to use it- rather, he and his king see it as blasphemous and intend to destroy it.

  • Affably Evil: From the little we see of him, he gives off this vibe.

*BAM* "Someone make note of that man's bravery."

  • Anti-Villain: He's certainly ruthless and willing to kill anyone who stands between him and his goal, but doesn't seem all that malevolent otherwise; he simply passes Barbossa's ship by even though he had them outgunned and outnumbered, for example. Another instance is when, shortly after he busts Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa's attempts at stealing the chalices, he and his men could have easily just killed them right then and there, yet decided instead to simply tie them up to a palm tree.
  • Badass Spaniard
  • The Dragon: Or at least could be one in a sequel.
  • Enigmatic Minion: To the King of Spain
  • The Fundamentalist: Probably; see Knight Templar and Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Señorita, the chalices, por favor!
  • Karma Houdini
  • Knight Templar: Given his intentions for the Fountain, he either is one himself or is being paid enough to act the part. On the other hand, the Fountain of Youth is essentially an evil artifact, so it's still probably a good idea even if his objections were dogmatic rather than moral.
  • No Name Given
  • One-Scene Wonder: Almost. He's important to the plot, and has a couple of brief appearances, but his only substantial scene is the climax.
  • Pet the Dog: Although, he kill anyone who steps on his way, he refuses to kill a woman and kindly call her Senorita.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His duty to King and God is to destroy the Fountain of Youth. Anything that gets in his way is dead meat.

King George II[edit | hide]

Played by Richard Griffiths

King of Britain during the time of the movies; he has a brief appearance in On Stranger Tides.