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Crew of The Walrus
Played By: Toby Stephens
"I'm not just gonna make you rich. I'm not just gonna make you strong. I'm gonna make you the princes of the New World!"Captain James Flint, real name James McGraw, is the Captain of the pirate ship Walrus, and known throughout the West Indies as being the most feared of all the Golden Age pirates. His charisma masks a deep, simmering rage, and a propensity towards breathtaking violence. In order to hold off the British and Spanish forces he’ll make himself ruler of Nassau through any means necessary.
- Actually Pretty Funny: His reaction to the Maroons' trusting Silver over everyone not to betray them for money.
- Anti-Hero: Flint is a ruthless pirate with a tragic past, noble goals, and general civility.
- Arch-Enemy: As far as he's concerned, the whole of England. Charles Vane in Seasons 1 and 2.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: With Vane, of all people, in the Season 2 finale.
- Badass: You don't become captain without being a legendary badass. Proven when he kills Singleton in one-on-one combat, beating him to death.
- Badass Beard: He has one.
- Badass Longcoat: His default outfit.
- Batman Gambit: In episode "X", he advises Dufresne to avoid the shipping lanes on their way back to Nassau, as he knows the crew will want to take any prize they come across despite their depleted numbers and fatigue from a long ordeal at sea. Dufresne, distrustful of Flint, does the exact opposite. Flint was counting on this, and that Dufresne's inexperience would result in failure, giving Flint the opportunity to retake command. It works.
- Beard of Evil: In line with him being a Villain Protagonist.
- Bi the Way: While still a Royal Navy lieutenant in London, he lived in a polyamorous relationship with Thomas and Miranda Hamilton.
- The Captain: The quintessential pirate example.
- Combat Pragmatist: When it comes to fighting with swords, he's not above cheating. Of course, pirates aren't exactly known for rules.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Kicked out of the Navy, exiled from England, and lost the two people he loved most.
- Despair Event Horizon: After Miranda's death.
- Face Death with Dignity: What he was doing while on trial and awaiting execution. Then Vane comes in, cue Back-to-Back Badasses.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: During his days in the Royal Navy. Part of what attracted him to Thomas and Miranda Hamilton.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He can go from being rather polite to pulling a gun on you within two seconds.
- Foregone Conclusion: He was a Posthumous Character in Treasure Island. However, in Treasure Island, he died only a few years before the book, and given how the series sets itself twenty years before the book, it could go either way.
- Heartbroken Badass: The deaths of Thomas and Miranda hit him really hard, pushing him straight into a Despair Event Horizon.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: He tracked down Alfred Hamilton and killed him in a manner that was implied to be slow and painful. As horrible as what Flint did was, there's no question that Alfred Hamilton deserved every second of it.
- My Greatest Failure: Everything he does throughout the series can be traced back to Thomas Hamilton's death. Not only did Flint originally feel responsible for his lover's imprisonment, but after spiriting both Miranda and himself out of England, he was unable to return in time to save Thomas from Bethlem Hospital.Flint: The only thing I'm ashamed of is that I didn't do something to save him when we had the chance.
- The Plan: He plans on raiding a Spanish treasure galleon carrying five million dollars worth of gold in order to finance the militarization of Nassau; he admits that he doesn't think that he can make it capable of withstanding an out and out war with either the Spanish or the British, but he hopes to make it strong enough to force a truce; instead of being wiped off the map as pirates, they may live as a relatively autonomous colony with a sympathetic governor.
- Revenge: As Miranda points out, one of Flint's main reasons for his actions is getting revenge for what happened to Thomas Hamilton.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Amps it up to this after finding out what happened to Thomas was the result of betrayal by their friend Peter Ashe, and Miranda's murder due to her reaction to the revelation. Once Flint escapes custody, he orders a full bombardment of Charlestown from his warship, leaving the city a burning, smoking ruin in his wake.
- Sanity Slippage: Grows steadily for unstable as the season passes. He gets over it by Season 2. Then goes right back in Season 3.
- The Storyteller: His ability to weave words around his crew is what Mr. Scott says was the reason he gained power so quickly in Nassau.
- Straight Gay: Flint has loved both men and women, though nothing in his demeanor suggests that he's anything but traditionally straight.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Practically says it word for word when tried in public, after Miranda's death. With her gone, and his chances for peaceful reconciliation on his terms with England gone, he decides to simply declare war on all of civilisation with all notion of mercy utterly shot away.
- Tragic Keepsake: An old copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. It's eventually revealed that this was the last gift Flint received from Thomas before their betrayal.
- Tranquil Fury: He doesn't say a word or move a muscle, but when the people of Charlestown start throwing fruit and vegetables at Miranda's corpse, it is clear Flint is utterly enraged.
- Visionary Villain: He has a grand design of organizing the pirates into a stable force capable of opposing the British and the Spanish.
- Undying Loyalty: To Thomas and Miranda Hamilton.
- The Unfettered: Nothing will stand in the way of The Plan. Not Billy, not Gates.
- Wicked Cultured: Part of what distances him from his crew is his classical education.
- Worf Had the Flu: He's on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle at the hands of Blackbeard in their duel over control of the pirate fleet; it's explained that this is largely due to him having not yet recovered from weeks of starvation, and that at his best it would have been a more even contest.
Played By: Luke Arnold
"If your interests and mine were adverse to each other, there was a good chance I'd cross you to save myself. At the moment, I don't believe our interests are adverse to each other."A lowly sailor turned pirate recruit, John Silver is a born opportunist. He insinuates himself into the crew of Captain Flint while secretly possessing the “schedule” Flint so dearly wants. A staunch individualist, Silver resents authority of any kind, a quality that brings him into direct conflict with Flint, even as events conspire to make them reluctant partners in the quest to take the Treasure Fleet.
- An Arm and a Leg: His left leg has to be amputated after it is brutalized by Vane's quartermaster with a sledgehammer for several minutes.
- Becoming the Mask: He's able to secure his place in the crew by conning them into thinking he has their best interests at heart. The fact that they believe he has their best interest at heart, how much faith they place in him because of it, and the lengths they're willing to go to for him because of it has an effect on him, to the point that by the second season finale, he truly does have their best interests at heart.
- Berserk Button: Insults regarding his missing leg; suggesting he's an invalid, weak and helpless because of it. Dufresne made this mistake while attempting to intimidate Silver, and paid for it with his life.
- Character Development: Silver gradually progresses from a selfish and cowardly opportunist to a brave pirate quartermaster who feels burdened by his obligations to his fellows.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: After losing his leg, he insists on wearing a peg leg despite his stump failing to heal properly, refuses aid from other crew members and keeps knocking himself out trying to remain useful.Silver: All this shit we've been through the last few months, do you wanna know what the most terrifying part of it's been? "We'll take care of you."
- Future Badass: Not only will he become of the badass of Treasure Island fame, he will become the only pirate that Captain Flint fears.
- Guile Hero: Oh so very much, although he's not quite as smart as he thinks he is (or rather, everyone else is just as smart or smarter than he is).
- Handicapped Badass: After the Season 2 finale, he is this. Special mention goes to what he did to Dufresne. After Dufresne insulted him for being a cripple, calling him a half-man, Silver brained him with a tankard and then proceeded to stomp him to death, making a point to use his steel peg-leg to crush Dufresne's skull.
- Heel–Face Turn: While his morality has always been complicated, over the second half of Season 2 he gradually comes to care about the crew more than just himself.
- Irony: In Season 2, he betrays Flint to Rackham for a larger share of the Urca gold, though he later abandons his claim to it in order to stay on the Walrus crew as Quartermaster. In Season 3, the Maroons trust him above all the other pirates not to betray them for money, the irony of which isn't lost on either Rackham or Flint.
- Lovable Coward: In the first season and a half. He's a good deal of fun, even if he does abandon his post and keep his head down at the first sign of the odds stacking against him. However, as the crew becomes increasingly loyal to him, he becomes increasingly loyal to them, and it starts to overpower his self-preservation instinct.
- Lovable Rogue: Silver gleefully declares himself an opportunist.
- Non-Action Guy: John Silver has never been a seasoned fighter. With the less of his leg, he's not expected to take part in the Walrus crew's battles.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: Almost to the point of being asexual. Even during his initiation to the crew, which is a visit from five prostitutes all at once, he was far more interested in the page of the logbook he stole, and as far as hew was concerned, the girls were little more than an inconvenience.
- Opportunistic Bastard: John Silver is a self described opportunist and will latch onto any chance to advance his position or at least keep himself from getting killed. When told that in a few months his usefulness will be gone and he will probably be killed he merely sees this as a time to make friends with his captors. Most of the other major characters have some sort of plan or goal they are working toward but Silver simply jumps at any opportunity that presents itself and goes where it takes him.
- Perma-Stubble: He starts off sporting this look, but during his months at sea on the Walrus he lets it grow out into a full-blown Badass Beard.
- The So-Called Coward: Ultimately becomes this; when Vane's quartermaster demands that he name ten Walrus men that he can convince to crew jump so they can sail away, abandoning Flint, Vane, and the other men ashore, he refuses, having come to realize that the men look to him because they feel he has their interest at heart. He endures several minutes of brutal torture that ultimately costs him his leg, and still refuses to give in.
- Undying Loyalty: To the men of the Walrus. This is best exemplified when he is below-decks with one of the ship's carpenters, patching up holes while the rest of the crew is trying to get the ship through a storm in one piece. The ship is hit hard, and a cannon traps the carpenter as water rushes in. Despite there being nobody there but him and the carpenter, Silver does everything he can to free the other man as the water-levels rise, and when he fails, he's reduced to desperate, anguished screaming as he tries and fails to pull the man above the water. When another member of the crew finally finds them, Silver is in the middle of a minor Heroic B.S.O.D..
William "Billy Bones" Manderly
Played By: Tom HopperBoatswain of the pirate ship Walrus, Billy Bones is key to smooth operations on the ship, and is widely assumed to be the next quartermaster should anything happen to Gates. Billy’s belief in the righteousness of the pirate cause will be continually tested as he’s drawn deeper and deeper into Flint’s plans for the future.
- Chekhov's Gun: Near the end of Season 2, Flint explains Billy's backstory: he was the son of anti-impressment activists before he was Press-Ganged into the Royal Navy, and later freed by the crew of the Walrus. At the end of Season 3, Billy wages a shadow war on Nassau using nothing but propaganda and precisely applied force. This seems somewhat out of character for him, until one remembers that Billy was taught to do just that since he was a child.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Is on the receiving end at the beginning of Season 2, courtesy of Captain Hume utilizing a technique learned from the Spanish, in which he's left exposed to the elements in a leather vest which is periodically soaked with water, causing it to constrict over a span of six days. Supposedly, on the seventh day, the vest will tighten to the point that it shatters the ribcage, puncturing internal organs.Hume: And on the seventh day, you'll rest. Who knew? They have a sense of humour."
- Gentle Giant: Towers over pretty much everyone else, and is pretty much the nicest guy on Flint's crew.
- Never Found the Body: Apparently goes overboard in "VI.", with the strong implication that Flint pushed him, which is all but admitted to the next episode. He shows up again in Season 2.
- Nice Guy: One of the nicest in the entire show.
- Not Quite Dead: Revealed in Season 2 to have survived his fall in to the sea (see above), having been picked up by the Scarborough and imprisoned by Captain Hume.
- Only Sane Man: Along with Gates and the rest of the crew, he thinks the Captain's plan is utterly insane and wants to get back to just raiding ships.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He hates Flint for scheming against the crew, murdering Gates, and for in all likelihood having attempted to murder Billy himself. But he works with him because he believes Flint represents the best hope of defending Nassau and the pirates against the English.
- You Can't Go Home Again: He was Press-Ganged at a young age and forced into three years of indentured servitude, until the crew of the Walrus liberated him. When given the opportunity to face the man who'd pressed him, he killed that man where he stood. After that, Billy felt he could never return home as his father would not accept a murderer as a son.
Played By: Mark Ryan
"There are no legacies in this life, are there? No monuments, no history, just the water. It pays us and then it claims us, shallows us whole."Gates is the Walrus’s Quartermaster, elected representative of the crew’s interests, and a check on the power of the ship’s captain. Gates is by far the most senior member of the crew; he is loyal to Captain Flint to a fault and is very much aware he’s playing a younger man’s game.
- Bald of Awesome: Extremely bald, and rather awesome.
- Character Death: Flint snaps his neck when he puts The Plan in jeopardy.
- Death by Pragmatism: Is killed by Flint for attempting to abandon him when a Spanish warship shows up, which was not part of the plan.
- Forensic Accounting: When tasked with finding Silver and the missing logbook page, he spends most of the day following the appraiser. He knows that anyone who tries to sell such a valuable item on New Providence will request payment in easily transportable jewels and will call in the appraiser to make sure the jewels are real. By following the man who is going to handle the money, Gates can figure out who is involved in the transaction and where it is taking place.
- Honest Advisor: To Captain Flint. He tells him in no uncertain terms what the crew thinks of him and how tenuous his grip on leadership is, frequently calling him out for his actions.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Again, to Flint. He pretty much handles most of the more practical day-to-day business while Flint plots and dreams.
- Knuckle Tattoos: They read "HOLD FAST".
- Like a Son to Me: Says this word for word of Billy, which pushes him to defy Flint when the latter pushed Billy overboard to silence him.
- One Last Job: He views the treasure galleon as a chance at a final big score that will let him quit piracy on his own terms.
- Gates: You can't thieve forever.
- Only Sane Man: He'd likely make a better captain than Flint. He's practical, fair-minded and aware of the crew's needs.
- Tattooed Crook: He sports an impressive collection of tattoos, likely acquired over a lifetime of piracy.
- Villain Protagonist: At the end of the day, he's still a pirate.
Played By: Jannes Eiselen (Season 1), Roland Reed (Season 2)The ship's accountant for the Walrus. His job is to add the prices of stolen goods and to make an account of the payments to be doled out to the crew.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He comes across as a bookish Non-Action Guy, who's understandably apprehensive about going into combat. After being drafted into the boarding party in the fifth episode, he ends up ripping a man's throat out with his teeth. Becomes even more pronounced in the Season 1 finale when of all the pirates, its Dufresne who leads the crew's revolt against Flint and he even shoots Flint when Flint tried to ignore him.
- The Evil Genius: He's the ship's accountant, and has more of an education than the other pirates.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Has a minor one when the crew fails under his command in taking a British merchant sailor as a prize.
- Important Haircut: After his first combat and promotion to Quartermaster, the crew has him shorn and tattooed as an "initiation."
- Jumped Off The Slippery Slope: Way back in Season 1, he was a dorky accountant and then a reasonable quartermaster. However, in Season 2, once he let his hatred of Flint get the better of him, he became increasingly slimy and self-centered, and by the third season, he really only cares about himself.
- Karmic Death: Is killed off in Season 3 by Silver. Dufresne let his personal hatred for Flint override his concern or loyalty for the Walrus crew and lead him to side with England. Silver took to his role as Quartermaster whole-heartedly, with his concern for the men trumping all else.
- Man Bites Man: Pulls this the first time he goes into combat, killing his first opponent by ripping his throat out.
- Underestimating Badassery: Fatally underestimated John Silver.
Played By: Lawrence JoffeA pirate and member of Captain Flint's crew. Despite losing his sanity during a fight, he has not lost the loyalty from the crew.
- Life-or-Limb Decision: His left leg is trapped beneath the Walrus' keel during a careening accident and there's no time to dig him out. Silver quickly throws Flint a cleaver.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Silver plays with the possibility that Randall's half-wit persona is entirely an act. If it's true, he's not revealing anything.
Played By: Andre JacobsA pirate and ship's master on the Walrus. An extremely competent and knowledgeable sailor, DeGroot's job is seeing to the maintenance of the ship and advising on matters of sailing.
- Badass Bookworm: Despite being an ageing man whose primary strength is his intellect and experience, DeGroot is no push over in a fight, and he is quite often in the thick of things.
- Ignored Expert: Quite often, such as the careening incident in Season 1, Mr. DeGroot's very sound advice is ignored, resulting in unnecessary deaths.
- The Smart Guy: DeGroot has forgotten more about sailing a ship than most sailors will know in their lifetimes. When it comes to matters such as maintaining the ship, making the best use of the wind, or general seamanship, he is the man to go to for advice.
- Tattooed Crook: He has a tattoo of a sea turtle on his neck.
Played By: Alistair Anthony Moulton BlackA pirate and doctor on the Walrus. His job mostly involves him working on the injured crew after they take another ship.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Warns Silver that patients often loose their bowels during amputations.
- Combat Medic: On the Walrus.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: When Randall accuses Silver of thievery, Howell is in favour of killing Randall rather than missing out on his share of the five million dollar prize they stand to acquire with Silver's knowledge of the Urca's schedule.
Played By: Winston ChongA pirate on board the Walrus, and the only Asian man in the cast.
- Badass: Alongside Dooley and Joshua, he's one of the best fighters on the Walrus crew.
- Katanas Are Just Better: He seems to think so, and it's made clear in a throw-away scene that he has exacting standards for the sharpness of his blades.
- The Stoic: Joji always seems to have a grim frown on his face.
- Token Minority: He's the only Asian in the cast, likely Japanese, given his preference for katanas. How he got to the Atlantic is anybody's guess.
- Torture Technician: It's never seen, but Gates and Billy threaten Silver with a session with him. When Silver tells them it wouldn't help much, they reply "You haven't seen Joji work," implying he is very good.
- The Voiceless: As of the Season 3 finale, he has yet to say a word. It's quite possible he doesn't understand English.
Played By: Laudo LiebenbergA pirate on board the Walrus, and one of the crew's most skilled fighters.
Played By: Richard LukunkuA pirate who serves on the Walrus under Captain Flint.
- Badass Is shown to be a competent fighter in the pilot.
- Bald of Awesome: Being a pirate and all.
- The Big Guy: Is pretty big, and is the first one to charge into the merchant ship's hold.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Invoked. He wears a set of piranha teeth in battle to be intimidating, but actually has a normal amount of teeth.
- Scary Black Man: In battle at least, otherwise he's rather relaxed and playful.
Played By: Anthony BishopA crew member for the Walrus, and the assumed next in line under Captain Flint. Singleton is fairly open about his dislike for the captain, and its known that he is attempting to bring the majority of the crew to his side so he can replace Flint.
- Badass: Singleton rips through groups of men like nothing, slicing throats and snapping necks. He even gives Flint a very good run for his money, and only lost because Flint fought smarter.
- Bald of Evil
- Boisterous Bruiser: Violent, angry and one of the best fighters on the crew. When he fights Flint for the captaincy, he favors a screaming hack-and-slash style in contrast for Flint's more graceful, educated style.
- Due to the Dead: Averted. After his death, the crew celebrate their incoming wealth and piss on his corpse.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: His face is covered in jagged scars, which suit his rather unpleasant personality.
- The Starscream: He plots to overthrow Flint and become captain. However, it's not as devious as many other examples of the trope. He makes it clear from the get-go that he wants to be captain, and he goes about it through the proper channels of getting crew support to make it happen.
- Starter Villain: Set up to be the rival to Flint who will oppose him at every turn, then Flint kills him at the end of the first episode.
Crew of The Ranger
Captain Charles Vane
Played By: Zach McGowan
"As I am free, I hereby claim the same for Nassau. She is free today, and so long as I draw breath, she shall remain free."Charles Vane is Captain of the pirate ship Ranger. Possibly the next great pirate captain on New Providence Island, he is known for his vicious temper as well as his tremendous financial success.
- Amazon Chaser: Of a sort. Though Eleanor isn't a fighter, she is an extremely strong-willed young woman, and Charles' hallucination of her in "IV" makes it very clear that it was her inner steel, her refusal to play the part of the weak little girl, that made him fall in love with her.
- Anti-Villain: Back in the first and second seasons, when he was still a villain, Charles Vane had standards that he didn't like breaking. He was disgusted with what his men did to Max, and made it clear that he only allowed it because he had no choice. He later had Jack put an end to it, although that "end" involved killing her, and it's not clear if he did so as a mercy or because he didn't want Eleanor to find out. Though he was as ruthless as Flint, he was not nearly as cruel as many of the other pirates, such as Ned Lowe.
- Badass Boast: Charles Vane is a veritable fount of these:
- Early in Season 1, simply introducing himself as "Charles Vane, of the Ranger" is enough to make an obstinate captain back down.
- In "XVI", after killing Richard Guthrie, Charles pins his plans for Nassau to Guthrie's dead body:"I was once a slave. I know too well the pain of the yoke on my shoulders and of the freedom of having cast it off. So I'm resolved, I will be no slave again. And as I am free, I hereby claim the same for Nassau. She is free today, and so long as I draw breath, she shall remain free. Richard Guthrie was engaged in an effort to see her return to the rule of a king, to see the yoke returned. He betrayed Nassau, and thus, as always, to traitors... I made clear the price for the girl (the Spanish man-o-war). You should have known me well enough to know, one way or another, I was going to claim it. And once I do, I'll be returning to Nassau to settle the rest of my accounts."
- Barbarian Long Hair: Charles Vane's long hair serves as an easy visual short-hand for him being more wild and savage than the rest of the pirates. The only pirates who have hair as long as his are his second crew, who are very much like him in temperament.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Subverted. At first, it seems like he was this to Eleanor, given how he hit her (after she hit him first) in the first episode and his generally vicious and uncompromising demeanor. However, it's made clear that he truly loved Eleanor, and both times they entered into a relationship with each other, she ended up using him and betraying him, breaking his heart in the process.
- Big Bad: He was shaping up to be the first in the show, which was only reinforced when he decapitated Ned Lowe. However, as of the Season 2 finale, what with the threat of Britain taking center stage, he and Flint resolve their differences and ally against a common foe.
- Cigar Chomper: Usually seen with a cigar between his teeth.
- The Dreaded: Demonstrated when another captain sheepishly backs down from a confrontation as soon as Vane reveals his name.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Because of his Freudian Excuse, Vane despises slavers. In the Season 3 premiere, in response to a slave-ship captain throwing his cargo overboard, Vane brutally kills him by throwing him overboard as well. He even lampshades it, telling the captain that if he had known where Vane had come from, he would have made very different choices.
- Face Death with Dignity: Coupled with Defiant to the End. Charles refuses all attempts to get him to renounce piracy; when asked for final words, he delivers a speech to the crowd gathered to watch his hanging, urging them to fight British rule; tells the hangman to "Get on with it, motherfucker," and when the cart he's on begins to pull away, he makes a point of walking to the edge and jumping off instead of letting it be pulled out from under him.
- Famous Last Words: To his hangman: Get on with it, motherfucker.
- Freudian Excuse: Vane was raised a slave, and this fuels his desire to never be bound to servitude again, either personally, or on a grander scale of submitting to England.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Kills a man in episode seven while wearing nothing but sand.
- Genius Bruiser: Make no mistake, Vane may be an impulsive brute now and then but he is extremely intelligent, cunning, and observant, with a surprising capacity for eloquence. He was one of the few people who saw how vulnerable Eleanor's position was in Season 2, why Ned Lowe was dangerous to Nassau, why Flint had to be saved from the hangman of Charlestown, and eventually why he himself had to hang to rekindle Nassau's rebellious nature when everybody else thought it would have the opposite effect.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Bears a distinctive brand on his chest which marks him as a former slave labourer in Albinus' lumber camp.
- Guttural Growler: Has a very low, scratchy voice.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Especially in the first season, Vane was frequently on the verge of attacking everyone. He mellows out in the second season.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He has two: in "XXVI", when he, Flint, and Anne Bonny raid the convoy carrying Jack and a cache of gems to be shipped off to Havana, Flint leaves with the cache, but Charles stays behind to break Jack's chains. When he's shot and wounded by Woodes Rogers, and with colonial militia incoming, he orders Jack and Anne to flee while he stays behind to hold them off. Then, in "XXVII", as he is about to be executed with Billy about to stage a rescue attempt, Charles catches Billy's eye and signals him to stop, as he, unlike the rest of the cast, understands that his death is exactly what Nassau needs.
- Historical-Domain Character: Charles Vane was a real person, and he was just as violent and psychotic.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Downplayed. This Charles Vane is no hero by any means, but whereas his real-life counterpart was so pointlessly cruel that nobody, not even other pirates, wanted anything to do with him by the end of his career, this Vane is more ruthless than cruel. He'll kill anybody who gets in his way, and he won't feel a shred of remorse, but he won't go out of his way to Kick the Dog like his real-life counterpart did.
- Hollywood History: He kills Ned Lowe even though in real life Vane was hanged before Lowe became active.
- Hot-Blooded: Vane can be rather temperamental, and has a tendency to not think before acting. However, when he manages to put a leash on these tendencies, he is capable of being extremely cunning.
- Inspirational Martyr: While Flint and Billy worry that his hanging would further demoralize Nassau's population and encourage the British, Charles himself turns out to understand his former pirate brothers a lot better. More shockingly, he also willingly goes to his death to move the town towards rebellion, refusing rescue when Billy gets into position.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Make no mistake, Charles Vane is a hard man who is, by his very nature, blunt and unyielding, even before one takes into account all the various acts of piracy. However, if you earn his friendship and loyalty, as long as you don't do anything to lose it, there are few better friends to have.
- Pet the Dog: After (just barely) defeating a Spanish marine, he not only gives the mortally wounded man a drink when asked, he compliments the man on his fighting ability. Also, Worthy Opponent.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives Eleanor one of these before he is set to be executed. When she makes him out to be the big villain and her the innocent victim, he calls her out on all the times she betrayed him first, and when she accuses him of taking away the father who loved her, he shoots right back with all the ample proof that her father never cared about her and that until shortly before she betrayed him (Vane), she never cared much for her father either.
- Sadistic Choice: He's given one in the Season 3 premiere. He's given a choice of keeping captured slaves and forcing them to work on Fort Nassau, or letting them go and letting the fort remain unrepaired, and Nassau defenseless. He chooses the former, and hates himself for it.
- Shipper on Deck: He finds Jack Rackham and Anne Bonny's relationship to be adorable.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Rackham, at first. They end up becoming like brothers as the show goes on. He also had this with Flint during their brief, brief partnership in Season 1, although by Season 3, their relationship has changed to one of mutual respect.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Spends much of his screentime stripped to the waist.
- Would Hit a Girl: When Eleanor punches him in the face, he doesn't hesitate to punch her right back.
- Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Not so much out of malice as to shatter her illusion that her father cared about her, he tells Eleanor that Richard Guthrie died begging for his life, and offered up Eleanor's life in exchange for his own.
Played By: Toby Schmitz
"When I came here, I had nothing but my name and my wits. A man in a place like this, surviving on those two things alone, he suffers indignities, slights, ridicule... But I overcame it. I used the wits to build the name."Rackham is the Quartermaster on the pirate ship Ranger, is the brains behind Captain Charles Vane's brawn, and in some ways even more dangerous than him.
- Agent Peacock: His foppish appearance and effete mannerisms tend to lead others to underestimate him or dismiss him entirely as a buffoon. He has, however proved time and again that he is very good at what he does.
- Camp Straight: He's rather effeminate at times, but straight.
- Combat Pragmatist: He's not above throwing booze in a man's face as an opening move to a fight, or going for his pistol when he's outmatched in hand-to-hand.
- On another level, throwing the booze had a different purpose: the red wine staining the man's shirt and skin made it difficult to tell just how much he was bleeding from the first (and only) cut Jack inflicted, so by the time he realized that Jack had cut an artery, it was too late - Jack knew he'd only have to withstand the man for a few seconds after that first slice.
- Deadpan Snarker: Rackham tends to have some of the best lines.
- The Dragon: For Vane, when he was still his quartermaster.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Back when he was still Vane's Quartermaster, he was an able manipulator and very good at 'helping' Vane make decisions.
- Historical-Domain Character: He's better known as 'Calico Jack' Rackham. However, this version of Jack Rackham is far more intelligent and competent than his real life counterpart, who was a raging drunk.
- Honest Advisor: As Vane's quartermaster, he wasn't afraid of Vane or of telling him the truth of their situation. This led to quite a bit of tension.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: To Vane, although it's a downplayed example. Really, it's not so much that he's any more intelligent or competent than Vane, he just has better impulse control, which is sometimes needed to rein his captain in.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Rackham's a talker and negotiator, while his lover Anne Bonny tends more toward solving problems with violence.
- Outlaw Couple: With Anne Bonny. Though they may argue and have their disagreements, and the business with Max in the second season made things touch and go for a while, the two are completely in love with each other,
- Phrase Catcher: People are always telling him "Fuck you, Jack!"
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He has an impressive vocabulary which he takes every opportunity to flaunt.
- The Smart Guy: He's very proud of his wits, and very quick to point out that they are his greatest asset. He even invokes the part of the trope about being a weak fighter.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Being the smart one, he often finds himself in this situation.Idelle: Just how fucking stupid are your men?Jack: It's hard to say.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Vane, at first. They end up becoming like brothers as the show goes on.
Played By: Clara Paget
"When someone gives you a life, it ain't truly your own. You owe some part of it back."Beautiful but cold-blooded, Bonny is Rackham's lover, and Vane's deadliest henchman. Her youthful looks mask a borderline psychopathic personality.
- Ax-Crazy: Anne is psychologically fragile, and while this can make her extremely endearing and vulnerable, it can just as easily switch to murderous rage at the drop of a hat.
- Badass: A notorious one with two swords and no compunctions about using them to cut down enemies bigger than her.
- Badass Longcoat: She has one.
- Bi the Way: She is in a long-term relationship with Jack, but she and Max also carried on with each other in the second season.
- The Brute: When she and Jack were still on Vane's crew, she was his muscle.
- Dark Action Girl: She's very handy with twin blades, and is extremely ruthless.
- Death Glare: She has a permanent glare from beneath her hat. It only drops when she's emotionally vulnerable.
- Dual Wielding: She carries a pair of swords which she wields with deadly efficiency.
- Eating the Eye Candy: At the end of Season 1, she stares at Max for quite a long time when she sees her naked.
- Even Evil Has Standards: She's visibly disgusted and upset when she sees and hears Max being raped and otherwise brutalized. When confronted by the fact that she's the one that turned Max over to the angry crew, her response is that she "only thought they'd kill you."
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Her back is heavily scarred from multiple floggings courtesy of her late husband.
- Historical-Domain Character: Anne Bonny is of course a famous figure in piracy.
- Nice Hat: Anne is rarely seen without her hat, which shadows most of her face, and in fact only ever takes it off behind closed doors. We don't even see her entire face until well into the first season.
- The Lad-ette: She's more masculine then her flamboyant lover, Rackham.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Jack is hers. In the second season, when he seemingly abandons her for Max, she is devastated, and she becomes increasingly depressed in between bouts of violence.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: With Rackham. See The Lad-ette.
- Outlaw Couple: With Rackham. Though they may argue and have their disagreements, and the business with Max in the second season made things touch and go for a while, the two are completely in love with each other,
Played by: Patrick Lyster
No matter how many lies we tell ourselves or how many stories we convince ourselves we're a part of...we're all just thieves awaiting a noose.A respected captain on Nassau, and the warden of the fort that provides security for the bay.
- Arch-Enemy: His first was Charles Vane, who snuck into and overtook his fort at the end of Season 1. Flint joins the list when he promises to help Hornigold retake his fort, and then reneges on his promise, as does Eleanor.
- Butt Monkey: During Season 2. Charles Vane has his fort, and every single one of Hornigold's attempts to get it back are shot in the foot by his own "allies."
- Character Death: After he's led into an ambush, he tries to ride down and kill Flint, only for Flint to shoot him with a musket.
- Cool Old Guy: During the first season, he's a grizzled old veteran who is, though authoritative, rather chill. It starts to wear away in Season 2 as his frustration over the lack of support for his attempts to retake the fort mounts.
- The Dog Bites Back: At the end of Season 2, after being stabbed in the back by virtually everybody on Nassau, Hornigold joins Dufresne in kidnapping Eleanor Guthrie and turning her over to Captain Hume of the Scarborough in return for pardons.
- Face–Heel Turn: switches sides at the end of Season 2.
- Historical-Domain Character
- Hunter of His Own Kind: After accepting the crown's pardons, he and Dufresne become pirate hunters under Woodes Rogers.
- Nerves of Steel: Whenever Hornigold is put into a fight, he is always eerily calm, and kills with calm precision.
- Nominal Hero: When he becomes a Hero Antagonist. Unlike Rogers, who is a reasonable man trying to restore order to the Bahamas, Hornigold is just as ruthless, selfish, and even cruel as the men he hunts. He just flies a different flag.
- Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Justified. During the first season, being an influential captain in possession of a fort, Hornigold doesn't do much pirating himself, and is content to sit in his chair overlooking the bay. During the second season, he had not ship, and so was forced to sit around on the beach, trying to retake his fort.
Played by: Ray Stevenson
"Strife is good. Strife makes a man strong. For if a man is capable of confronting death daily, functioning in the face of it, there's no telling what else that man can do, and a man whose limits cannot be known... is a very hard man to defeat in battle."The infamous pirate captain Edward "Blackbeard" Teach.
- Captain Colorbeard: The Trope Codifier
- Badass Beard: Obviously.
- The Dreaded: His piratical career has progressed to the point that the mere mention of his name strikes terror in honest men and pirates alike.
- Genius Bruiser: He is one, being both an extremely dangerous fighter and an excellent tactician, both militarily and otherwise. Also, he appears to only respect other genius bruisers, like Vane and Flint. He has no respect for Jack, despite his obvious wit and cunning, because he doesn't have the strength to back it up.
- The Gunslinger: Though all pirates use pistols, Blackbeard has a particular love for them. Whereas most pirates carry one pistol, maybe two, he carries a brace of four of them, and if given a choice, he'll default to pistols over swords even in the close-quarters fighting on a ship.
- Historical-Domain Character: Edward Teach was probably history's most infamous pirate.
- Large and in Charge: He stands 6' 4", towering over pretty much everybody else. This is accurate to historical accounts which describe him as a very tall man.
- Like a Son to Me: He feels this way towards Vane, bearing him no ill will for his betrayal. He even claims that the only reason he walked away instead of fighting the coalition against him — which he seems confident he could have defeated - was because he didn't want to kill Charles.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: In the Season 3 finale, he enters into a partnership with Flint, Rackham, and the Maroons to retake Nassau from Rogers. His previously stated position regarding the fate of Nassau — that he doesn't care about it — doesn't appear to have changed; he just wants revenge against Rogers and Eleanor for killing Charles.
- Revenge: His motivation after Vane's hanging.
- Social Darwinist: As the quote suggests, he finds himself disgusted by the prosperity that the Urca gold and Flint's terror campaign have brought to Nassau, with crews that have only taken prizes by surrender without being tested and hardened in battle, and captains unfit to lead going un-deposed because their crews are comfortable.
- The Worf Effect: Retroactively put into place; Eleanor reveals that she earned the respect of the pirates of Nassau by forcing out Teach, specifically because he was the strongest of them, the one they all feared. Zig-Zagged in that he claims that despite Eleanor, Hornigold, and Vane conspiring against him, he chose to leave rather than kill his protege.
- Tranquil Fury: He doesn't say a word when he learns of Vane's death. He barely even moves. But you can tell just by the look in his eyes that he's furious.
- Your Days Are Numbered: He's got a bit of shrapnel in his chest that's been making it's way closer to his heart for years now. He refers to it as a "grim timepiece" that's motivated him to go back on the account and seek out Vane's partnership.
Played by: Craig JacksonA pirate of good reputation in Nassau; not much of a fighter, but a man who knows his sailingcraft. He becomes Jack Rackham's first quartermaster.
- Big Fun: Featherstone is a big guy, and quite jovial.
- The Creon: He's an able quartermaster who has his crew's respect, but he seems to have no interest in becoming a captain. After the conflict between Hornigold and Vane split his crew's loyalties, he left with most of his men, and his ship. Instead of setting out under his own banner, he went looking for another crew to join, and ended up in Jack's camp.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Though he's not as smart as Jack, he's got a good head on his shoulders, and like Jack, he becomes increasingly dismayed by the idiocy of his crew.
Played by: Tadhig Murphy—-
- Ax-Crazy: Truth in Television: Captain Ned Low is to this day considered one of few pirates who live up to the historical reputation of pirates being vicious bloodthirsty maniacs.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a distinct, intimidating scar over his right eye.
- Historical-Domain Character: Edward Low was indeed a British pirate active in the Caribbean with a reputation for vicious brutality. His career started a bit later than it's portrayed here, though.
- Hollywood History: Vane kills him even though in real life his career began long after Vane was executed.
- Off with His Head!: Charles Vane decapitates him and leaves his head on a pike with a note below it in order to send a message. The note read, "I angered Charles Vane."
- Starter Villain: He seems to be set up as Season 2's Big Bad but is decapitated by Charles Vane in the third episode of the season.
Played By: Hannah New
"Nassau is my father's house. It is my birthright, and I am obligated to see it set right."Eleanor Guthrie is the beautiful and determined daughter of Richard Guthrie, the wealthiest black marketer in the Bahamas and the chief fence/supplier for the many pirate crews of New Providence Island. Left by her father to oversee all his dealings with the pirates in Nassau, she owns and operates the tavern on Nassau’s main street. In contrast to her snooty, self-interested father, Eleanor dreams of building something lasting by making Nassau self-sufficient. She wields considerable influence, leading her to form a pact with Captain Flint that will either bring her dream of complete independence to fruition, or doom it entirely.
- Badass: She routinely deals with incredibly dangerous pirates without batting an eye and is fully capable of intimidating the likes of Charles Vane.
- Bi the Way: Has had relationships with Vane, Max, and Woodes Rogers, and appears to have genuinely been committed to all three of them at one point.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: She's managed to betray almost every other main character at some point — usually for understandable reasons, but she's definitely placing her own interests above her friendships.
- Establishing Character Moment: Being a walking Cluster F-Bomb.
- Fatal Flaw: As Vane points out, whenever somebody who cares for her ends up telling her hard truths, Eleanor ends up betraying that person for somebody who will tell her what she wants to hear. In other words, for a determined and and intelligent woman, she can be very self-centered and childish, leading to her making decisions she ends up regretting.
- Hypocrite: Eleanor has a bad tendency to become enraged when others do things to her that she's done to them. For instance, in the first season, she promises Mr. Scott that she won't try to coerce Captain Bryson into giving her his cannons if he refuses to comply while planning to do just that. In other words, she looked him in the eye and lied to his face. When her father did the same thing to her, she got angry, not seeming to realize her own hypocrisy.
- The Lad-ette: Not to the same degree as Anne Bonny, but she's perfectly capable of meeting very uncouth men on their level and swears like a... pirate.
- Self Made Woman: While most people think she simply inherited her father's empire, she claims that it was her and her mother that actually made the empire, leaving him to be the necessary male figurehead in the patriarchal world. In any case, after her father's empire crumbles, she quickly rebuilds her own in VI.
Played By: Hakeem Kae-KazimEleanor Guthrie’s right-hand. Formerly Richard Guthrie’s house slave, his loyalties will be put to the test as Eleanor allies herself more closely with Captain Flint.
- Honest Advisor: To Eleanor, whom he warns about making bad investments.
- Living a Double Life: As we find out in Season 3, he has a wife and daughter living in a secret location on an otherwise deserted island. His wife is the queen of the settlement there, and Scott sporadically sends her escaped/liberated slaves. All this is a total secret to his friends and associates.
- Number Two: He begins the series as Eleanor's right hand man. Eventually, after serving on Ben Hornigold's crew, he is promoted to Flint's quartermaster during their joint venture to retake Nassau's fort from Charles Vane. He stays on even after Flint and Hornigold's alliance is dissolved, only to be voted out in favour of John Silver.
- Only Sane Man: All Scott wants to do is keep the business stable, make some money, and minimize risk.
Played By: Sean MichaelA smuggler and the richest black marketer in the Bahamas. Because of this, he has become a powerful and dangerous man.
- Character Death: Charles Vane has him crucified at the end of "XVI". in order to send a message to Eleanor.
- Cruel to Be Kind: His reasoning for conspiring against Eleanor with Captain Bryson and Mr. Scott is that Eleanor is going to get herself killed if he allows her to continue on her current course.
- Dirty Coward: By Vane's account, he died begging for his life and even offered Eleanor's life in exchange for his own. Given everything that we've seen of him, this wouldn't be out of character for him.
- The Unfavourite: He seems to occupy this spot among his siblings.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He has a huge chip on his shoulder about his father and brothers considering him a failure.
Played By: Jessica Parker KennedyMax is a seductive, cunning, and cool-headed prostitute in the brothel on Nassau. In Eleanor Guthrie, shes found a kindred spirit, a lover, maybe even a savior, but when her aspirations and Eleanor’s begin to conflict, their relationship, and Max’s well-being, take a dark turn for the worse…
- Ambiguously Brown: She's multiracial, possibly Haitian, and has a strange accent somewhere between French and Jamaican.
- Badass Boast: Max indulges in these frequently, often focusing on her sexual prowess.
- In Season 2, Jack brings out this trait in Max when they compete over Anne."I believe that somewhere, somehow, you have known that she has wanted this, needed this for a very long time. I am giving it to her. And now that she has it, it would be exceeding difficult for her to let it go. This upsets you, this threatens you. I am sorry. There is nothing you can do about it.""The conflict within her. I had it under control. Right until the moment you walked in on her and me, for that was the moment you began the competition between you and me. What is happening here, the three of us, it is only temporary. A state of denial until she finally makes a choice."In response to Jack's incredulity that Max could expect Anne to forsake a lifelong bond after sleeping with her for only a week, her only response is, "You'd be amazed what can change in a week in my bed."
- And in Season 3, she's still in fine form.To Anne: "I own a tavern, a brothel, a tanner, a butcher... interests in a dozen other concerns on the street. I am the one they come to here when they need things, want things, fear things. In another time and another place, they would call me a queen."To Woodes Rogers: "You say you want to be a friend of Nassau. Well, I am Nassau."
- In Season 2, Jack brings out this trait in Max when they compete over Anne.
- Born Into Slavery: Her mother was a slave belonging to a wealthy landowner. Her father was the landowner.
- Lipstick Lesbian: In love with Eleanor, ends up bedding Anne quite frequently, and in Season 3 ends up in bed with a prostitute who looks a lot like Eleanor. Yes, she's had relations with men but being a prostitute it may have been no more than business, especially since she was being kept as a sex slave in the brothel.
- Ms. Fanservice: In case her cleavagey outfits and tendency to get nude didn't tip you off.
- Rape as Drama: She's kidnapped by Vane and 'punished' by locking her in a room and letting the entire crew rape her. This later happens again on the beach.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Max is incredibly articulate, especially for someone who wasn't allowed an education as a child, and she'll never use one word when ten will suffice. In scenes where she is paired with the equally gabby Jack, a simple question and response could stretch out for minutes.
- Sex Slave: Like other prostitutes in her establishment, she was a slave forced to work in the brothel. When Vane takes her prisoner, he keeps her as a sex slave for his crew.
Played By: Louise BarnesA mysterious woman connected with Flint. It is hinted at that she is the motivation for his hidden agendas.
"Thomas was my husband. I loved him, and he loved me. But what he shared with you? It was entirely something else."
- Bookworm: Always reading. Captain Flint brings her books from the prizes he takes.
- Boom, Headshot: She is Killed Mid-Sentence by Lord Ash's lackey Colonel Rhett in "XVII".
- Dead Person Conversation / Spirit Advisor: After her death at the end of Season 2, she appears to Flint to give him advice in his Dreams/Visions/Hallucinations.
- Declaration of Protection: Thomas Hamilton and James McGraw. She would do anything for them.
- Elegant Classical Musician: The first shot of her is when she is playing the virginal.
- Guile Hero: Seems to have had public affairs in order to hide her husband's sexuality.
- Happily Married: Despite Thomas' orientation, Miranda was more than happy in their marriage, accepted Flint with no small amount of glee, and remained in deep mourning for her husband ten years later.
- Lady And A Scholar: Like her husband, she's very intelligent and spends much of her time reading or writing.
- Morality Chain: She and Thomas formed both ends of Flint's. With Miranda's death, said chain is finally destroyed and the English learn just how vital the Hamiltons were to containing Flint's wrath.
- Nice Girl: Respectful and kind to everyone. She's much better at understanding and working around people's prejudices than Thomas or James.
- Undying Loyalty: To Thomas and James. Her fierce devotion to Thomas is also what ultimately led to her death.
- Widow Witch: Thought to be one by many of the residents of New Providence. Local gossip pegs her as a Voodoo Priestess who raised Captain Flint as a Zombie and controls him with her magic.
- Worst Aid: While redressing Flint's chest wound, she comments that "whoever tied this bandage was either blind or drunk."Flint: I think both.
Played by: Lise SlabberA prostitute on Nassau with a talent for extracting information from men. In the first season, she is the closest thing Max had to a friend, and in the second, she becomes Max' Number Two in the brothel.
- Ascended Extra: In the first season, she was just one of Max's colleagues, albeit the closest she had to a friend and the one with the most characterization. By the end of the third season, she had become a key member of Billy's conspiracy.
- Becoming the Mask: In a sense. She originally seduced Featherstone to get him to join Jack's crew, but as of the third season, though the precise nature of their relationship isn't clear, they have become at least somewhat closer, and she seems genuinely fond of him.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Max knows she's conspiring against the governor, but keeps her around anyway because that way she knows where the leaks are coming from.
- Honey Trap: She's an expert at getting people to give her information during sex.
- Number Two: From the time when Max becomes madam of the brothel at the end of Season 1 to when Mrs. Mapleton is reinstated as madam in Season 3, Idelle serves as Max's number two.
The British Empire
Played By: Rupert Penry-JonesThe son of Lord Alfred Hamilton. Ordered to find a solution for the pirates of Nassau before the series began.
"Thomas Hamilton fought to introduce the pardons to make a point. To seek change in England. And he was killed for it."
- Abusive Parents: What Alfred Hamilton did to him was horrific.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: What the Court and the Admiralty think of him.
- Driven to Suicide: After he is institutionalized by his father, faced with the crumbling of his plans for Nassau, and the prospect of never seeing James or Miranda again, he killed himself.
- The Gadfly: Miranda said Thomas would do this to get those around him to think.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: What draws him to both James and Miranda.
- Happily Married: To Miranda. Even if their sexualities didn't perfectly align, they were more than happy to stay together while also accepting Flint into their relationship.
- The Idealist: What inspired those around him, but led to his downfall.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Even Peter Ashe thought so.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: His freethinking ideas cause him to be abandoned by his peers and even his family.
- The Lost Lenore: To Flint.
- Morality Chain: One half of Flint's. It was Thomas' death that transformed Flint into the violently charismatic man he is in the show.
- The Paladin: Always strove to right wrongs wherever he found them.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Thomas may have died ten years before the series began, but he's still a crucial driving force behind the plot and everything Flint does against the British is done in Thomas' name.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: James certainly seems to think of him this way. Compassionate, outspoken, forward-thinking, and pacifistic, all traits that worked against Thomas in 18th-century England.
- Trauma Conga Line: His life went tragically wrong.
Played by: Luke RobertsThe newly-appointed governor sent to Nassau to stamp out Piracy in the Bahamas.
- Famed In-Story: His career as an explorer and privateer, and his autobiographical book detailing his adventures has made him something of a celebrity.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a jagged scar down the left side of his face which he received in the same battle that claimed his brother's life.
- Historical-Domain Character: Woodes Rogers was a prominent figure during the later years of the Golden Age of Piracy.
- Not So Different: Rackham believes this about the two of them, but Rogers doesn't seem to agree.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Though Rogers is more than capable of putting his foot down when needs be, he is willing to give his employees and subjects the benefit of the doubt, and he will always try to keep his word whenever possible.