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    Jack Sparrow 

Captain Jack Sparrow
"Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!"

Played By: Johnny Depp, Anthony De La Torre (young) Other Languages

Appears In: Tales of the Code Wedlockednote  | The Curse of the Black Pearl | Dead Man's Chest | At World's End | On Stranger Tides | Dead Men Tell No Tales

"You will always remember this as the day that you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!"

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 Manipulative 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.

  • 0% Approval Rating: Despite his charisma, Jack isn't popular among his crewmates and has been abandoned by them at least once per film. This is less for personal reasons than the fact that Jack is a pirate In Name Only. While he likes the more romantic aspects of piracy like the freedom, the endless alcohol, and the search for treasure, he dislikes the things that actually make piracy a lucrative profession: killing, pillaging, and kidnapping. This tends to leave his crew without a single coin by the end of every adventure.
  • The Ace: Despite his apparently constant drunkenness and bad luck, he is in reality a feared and respected Pirate Lord, a Manipulative Bastard who can consistently outplay several key characters, a Benevolent Boss who actually cares about his crew and is Heterosexual Life-Partners with his first mate Master Gibbs, a silky-smooth talker, an expert marksman, a Ditzy Genius who is an omnipresent Spanner in the Works for the villains, and a master swordsman who bested Davy Jones.
  • The Alcoholic: He loves his rum. When stranded on an island with Elizabeth in the first film, he was more upset about her destroying the rum in a huge bonfire than the shade or the food.
  • Ambiguously Bi: He's shown on screen to be interested in women and has considerable Ho Yay with other male characters, and Johnny Depp has said that he's bisexual.
  • Anti-Hero: He will always do the right thing in the end, and he doesn't like unsavory methods of living forever, but he is still a manipulative, treacherous and at times even rude fellow.
  • The Artful Dodger: His first scene in the first movie ends with him bribing a dock worker to get out of giving his name, and then stealing the bribe and more before leaving. The guy had no idea.
  • Attention Whore: He has a tendency towards this. When James Norrington calls him the worst pirate he ever heard of, he just replies gleefully: 'But you have heard of me'.
  • Back from the Dead: Jack is eaten by the Kraken at the end of the second film, and his resurrection is a major plot point in the third film.
  • Bad Habits: "Impersonating a cleric of the Church of England." He must have fond memories of that scheme because it's the only one he chuckled at before his hanging.
  • Badass Longcoat: Often wears a knee-length leather coat, and is both a competent swordsman and an excellent marksman.
  • Badass Normal: He holds his own against supernatural beings through a combination of fighting skill, guile, and a little bit of luck.
  • Being Good Sucks: One of the patron saints of this trope, as No Good Deed Goes Unpunished when you're Captain Jack.
    • Rescue Elizabeth from drowning? Sentenced to hang for being a pirate.
    • Refuse to Just Shoot Will because he's blocking the door and unarmed? Get bashed in the head by his drunk, loser boss... and then get imprisoned to be hanged.
    • Come back to save his crew from the Kraken? Get left behind and devoured by it. Though, granted him trying to slither out of a deal with Davy Jones was the only reason it was following them in the first place.
    • Save a friend, Will, from a fatal wound? Lose a chance for immortality because it was used to save the friend.
    • Stage a rescue for Gibbs who's about to hang? Be captured and sentenced to hang yourself.
    • A deleted scene from the third movie suggests that the whole reason he ended up branded a pirate in the first place was because he refused to transport slaves and set them free instead. If one takes the novels as Canon, he knew that Beckett would enslave the people of the lost island.
    Jack: People aren't cargo, mate.
    • In the first movie, it's implied that his morality is part of the reason Barbossa mutinied against him in the first place. When he suggests peacefully meeting with the crew of the Interceptor, Barbossa has this to say:
    Barbossa: Now, y'see, Jack, that's exactly the attitude that lost you the Pearl. People are easier to search when they're dead.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Many of his past lovers slap or attempt to kill him.Though Jack does lampshade it when he feels like he deserves it, such as stealing a former lover's ship.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't mess with his favorite ship. When Barbossa tells Jack that the Pearl was sunk, Jack drops his usual quips and lunges at him from across the table.
    Jack: [being restrained] If that ship be sunk properly, you should be sunk with it!
    • Disloyalty is another — especially since his former first mate Barbossa instigated a mutiny against without any provocation.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He is only questionably sane and often humorously bumbling; other pirates have dismissed him as being too nice. Nevertheless, he is one of the more formidable minds on the sea as well as a Pirate Lord, and smarter characters take note of this. While he generally avoids killing, he has made exceptions for those he believes deserve to die (a fate that is usually earned). Barbossa (though he came back and had a Heel–Face Turn), Davy Jones, Cutler Beckett, and Blackbeard all met their ends when they crossed him. Messing with Jack is generally a very bad idea.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: His moral code revolves around freedom. If stabbing someone in the back leads to greater freedom, then it is a moral action. He later explains this to Will. The only things that matter in the world "are what a man can do and what a man can't do", and points out that if he'll die in fair combat, "well then, that's not much incentive for me to fight fair, now is it?"
    • It does lend more significance to his statement about people not being "cargo", because to be a slave is to be denied one's freedom.
    • He's an Immortality Seeker, but when he learns that the Fountain of Youth will mean that someone else will die from it, Jack hesitates. It's less the idea of killing someone that holds him back as it is taking away someone else's freedom of choice that bugs him.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Not mindset-wise - he certainly would not be fitted to any era where piracy has ended (or at least, where there are no unexplored frontiers) - but skillset-wise. Jack is the single best marksman in the series, pulling off shots that would be impressive with modern firearms, nevermind smoothbore blackpowder guns... which takes place in an era where the number of shots you can fire in succession is equivalent to the number of guns you're carrying at the time.
  • Born Lucky: A trait often remarked about him is that he has a lot of luck when pulling his stratagems. It's why even his Indy Ploys work. This trope is inverted at the beginning of Dead Men Tell No Tales. There, Jack has had a streak of bad luck. When denying it, a seagull shits on his shoulder.
  • 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?
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite coming across as a total idiot, he is probably the best pirate around.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: It's honestly kinda hard to tell if it's this or something else considering it's Jack we're talking about, but in World's End, when Barbossa reminds Jack that he shot him the last time they met, Jack looks at him with a vaguely bemused smile and cheerfully responds, "No, I didn't!" before moving on.
  • Byronic Hero: Intelligent, adaptable, seductive, introspective, struggles with integrity, and an outlaw. Utterly self-serving, but will Never Hurt an Innocent.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Despite feeling like Being Good Sucks, whenever Jack has to do something unsavory, he usually revels in it. When Jack and Will swordfight in the first film, Jack openly cheats in the fight. Not only does he not mind that he cheated, but he points out that he doesn't have much incentive to fight fair.
    Will Turner: You cheated!
    Jack Sparrow: Pirate.
    Will: In a fair fight, I'd beat you.
    Jack: Then there isn't much incentive for me to fight fair, isn't there?
  • Career-Revealing Trait: The brand on his wrist, which immediately reveals that he's a pirate to anyone who cares to look - as it does to Commodore Norrington in the first film.
  • Catchphrase: "You shall always remember this as the day that you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!" At least that's what he tries to say; he rarely gets to finish it. And the one time he does, he gets caught anyways.
  • The Chessmaster: 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, and it's implied that he and Elizabeth came up with the plan together.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He manipulates Will, Elizabeth, Barbossa, and the entire Royal Navy during just the first film alone, playing every side off of each other in order to get the best possible outcome for himself. Throughout the series, Jack proves himself to be a Wild Card simply because of how unpredictably his allegiance is going to shift. Lampshaded in Curse of the Black Pearl.
    Elizabeth: Whose side is Jack on?
    Will: At the moment? [shrug]
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mildly in the first two, with Will wondering in Curse of the Black Pearl if his being marooned and going mad from isolation and deprivation was why he was... Jack. Per Gibbs, "Reason's got nothing to do with it." He's very much so in the third movie - being dead and in Limbo/Hell all alone will do that to you. This gets another lampshade at the beginning of Dead Man's Chest, when he can't figure out his own heading.
    Marty: Have you noticed lately, the captain seems to be acting a bit strange?
    Gibbs: [silently stares at him]
    Marty: ...-er.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • The only thing that saves him from defeat at the hands of Will Turner, a technically superior swordsman, is his willingness to cheat. He'll use low blows, the environment, and hostages if he thinks it'll get him the upper hand in a fight.
      Will: You ignored the rules of engagement. In a fair fight, I'd kill you.
      Jack: Not much incentive for me to fight fair, is it?
    • In a more subtle example, Jack's sword of choice is a sabre, which is slightly longer than the typical sword, giving him the advantage of having more reach.
  • Confusion Fu: Quite possibly his biggest strength is how damn unpredictable he is; no one has any idea what he's doing at any given time. Those that think they do are the ones that lose the most. Just before the climax of the first film, Jack looks like he's played all the angles just for the sake of getting a brief upper hand, which gets Barbossa to drop his guard. That's exactly what Jack was hoping for, because he does it just to get the curse broken and kill Barbossa.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: During the climax of Dead Man's Chest, he abandons his crew to the Kraken to save his own hide. However, he ultimately can't leave them to die and returns to help fight the Kraken off.
  • Crazy Is Cool: invokedJack's plans run on the idea that they're Crazy Enough to Work, and he's confident in them to do so while everyone just thinks he's nuts. In just the first movie, he holds a boat upside-down underwater to have air to breathe, noting to Will that there's often a very thin line between brilliance and madness. Invoked and promptly lampshaded in the third film.
    Beckett: You're mad!
    Jack: Thank goodness for that, because if I wasn't, this would probably never work.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Belated example in the third film. While discussing with the rest of the Brethren Court what course of action they should take to deal with Beckett and Davy Jones, he points out that releasing Calypso is just as likely to result in her destroying them as retribution for the first Brethren Court imprisoning her in human form as it is for her to aid them. During a brief conversation with Jones only a few minutes earlier, Tia Dalma outright admits this is exactly what she plans on doing to the Brethren Court once they release her. Were it not for Will figuring out that Davy Jones was the one who taught the Brethren Court how to imprison her in the first place and passing that knowledge onto her before she could follow through with her plans, she would have dragged every pirate there to a watery grave.
  • Cultured Badass: When he first encounters members of the Black Pearl's cursed crew, he warns them that the deepest part of Hell is reserved for traitors and mutineers, suggesting at least a passing familiarity with Dante's Inferno. During At World's End, he's shown to have a full poem tattooed across his back, and later on manages to effortlessly go from English to Latin and back in the space of a single sentence.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jack enjoys making a wide variety of witty quips whenever the opportunity presents itself.
  • Deal with the Devil: According to supplementary material, Cutler Beckett had Jack's ship, the Wicked Wench, razed and sunk when Jack refused to transport slaves. Jack struck a deal with Davy Jones to raise his beloved ship and renamed it the Black Pearl. Then Barbossa mutinied him for ten of the thirteen years Jack had bargained for.
  • Death Glare: He directs an icy glower at his target when he shoots Barbossa, and then again as he watches Blackbeard get torn apart by the Fountain of Youth.
  • Deuteragonist: Pop Culture Osmosis has ensured that Jack is the most popular character. And he's certainly the most memorable part of all of the movies. But he's arguably not the main protagonist of the first film. Or at least wasn't intended to be. That would be Will Turner. However, by ''Dead Man's Chest', the character's popularity fuelled by Johnny Depp's iconic performance assured that he would be the main focus of the series moving forward. The first trailer for the sequel implied as much.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: When face to face with the Kraken at the end of Dead Man's Chest, he knows he's trapped and is doomed, but nonetheless draws his sword and faces off against the Kraken as it drags the Black Pearl down.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Those that aren't out to simply kill him often try to exploit him for their own gain, confident in their ability to ditch or betray him when the situation calls for it. They're often sadly mistaken, but given who they're dealing with, it's more of a case where the dog was going to bite them regardless.
  • Dreadlock Rasta: He wears his hair in dreadlocks, and he's quite outspoken for freedom.
  • Eaten Alive: He dives headlong into the Kraken's mouth at the end of Dead Man's Chest.
  • Enemy Mine: With practically everyone. In the third film, he amusingly notes that everyone who has come to rescue him from Davy Jones' Locker has attempted to kill him at some point, with Elizabeth as the only one among them to have actually succeeded.
  • Escape Artist: On multiple occasions, he's escaped from cuffs, cells, enemy ships out at sea, you name it. He's even escaped from being dead after being sent to Davy Jones' Locker. The man just cannot be kept down.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In his big introduction scene, Jack is sailing majestically into Port Royal atop of a ship, like some magnificent sea dog, but it turns it's a tiny dingy boat that's slowly beginning to sink. His attempts to dump out the water are proving to be futile, so he stops to pay respects to some skeletons outside Port Royal. Noticing the sign that states "Pirates, Ye Be Warned", he gives a quick look of exasperation. He arrives at Port Royal among astonished onlookers, on top of the boat, proudly, just as his ship sinks to the bottom of the harbor he casually steps onto the docks like this is nothing. Then he promptly bribes the dock owner and steals his money at the same time. All this establishes a ridiculous, drunk-appearing Pirate, master of staying-alive who'll betray anyone and that reality bends over backward to make him look awesome.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • While presenting himself as a ruthless pirate, when faced with a choice, Jack has shown a strong reluctance to kill anyone who is not actively trying to kill him as Captain Jack Sparrow but just going after him because he's a pirate. His first duel with Will only lasted so long because Will 'insisted' on the fight as Will was only fighting a pirate rather than out of a grudge against Jack, and Jack avoided killing any of the soldiers pursuing him during his escape from Buckingham Palace. When he first learned that the Fountain of Youth only 'worked' by taking the years from someone else to sustain the life of the drinker, Jack explicitly stated that his desire for the Fountain had significantly lessened.
    • On a more personal note, Jack has given up two different chances at prolonged (if not eternal) life in order to save Will and Angelica from imminent death.
    • He's also disgusted by slavery and refuses to have any part in it as a trader or moving captives and a deleted scene from the third film reveals his grudge with Beckett is borne from Jack being hired to run cargo for him but upon finding out that he was moving slaves, he freed them instead.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: When William tells Jack he's named after his father, Bill Turner, you can see the gears moving in Jack's head. Towards the film's climax, Jack even admits he was playing all the angles ever since he learned what Will's name was.
  • Face Death with Dignity: While he'll pull every dirty trick he knows to cheat his impending death, when he's trapped with no way out and he knows it, he doesn't face his end like a coward.
    Jack: Hello, Beastie.
  • Famed In-Story: Jack has carefully cultivated his own legend. It comes back to bite him in the arse in the fourth film, where he keeps being mistaken for an imposter, after Angelica raised a crew under the name of "Jack Sparrow".
  • Fatal Flaw: His fear of dying is what drives much, much of the plot and then some.
  • A Friend in Need: When it matters most, Jack will do the right thing but don't count on it before that point.
  • Friendly Enemy: In spite of Jack and Barbossa having butted heads and crossed swords for decades, their undeniable respect and understanding of each other makes them lifelong friends in all but name. Jack's respect for his first mate is shown by his genuine grief for his Heroic Sacrifice to save his long lost daughter.
  • Friendly Pirate: The first pirate in the series to be depicted as such, being a Noble Demon who abides by a code of honor as he does his pirating. After getting marooned, Jack allies with Will Turner out of circumstance, but later permanently adopts a Lovable Rogue nature. Yes he's a pirate who will still steal and cheat, but he's also one of the good guys and pretty good company at that.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Even those who do call him a friend are perfectly aware that Jack is the sort of person who'd steal all their cash, drink all their rum and abscond to Tortuga with their mum if given half the chance. This is why none of the main characters reply when he asks, "Did no one come to save me just because they missed me?" Only Marty, Cotton, Pintel, Ragetti and Jack the Monkey raise their hands.
  • A Girl in Every Port: Captain Jack Sparrow returns to a port he'd visited before and immediately receives a slap from one of his spurned exes, Scarlett. He insists that he didn't deserve that. Then another exe turns up, Giselle, and also slaps him. That time, he begrudgingly admits, "I probably deserved that." It's implied that she is far from the only such woman. By the end of the original trilogy, he's somehow managed to seduce the same women once more... until his ship is stolen.
  • Girly Run: The arms-flailing variety.
  • Guile Hero: Objectively speaking, he is a very good fighter. He's also overshadowed by many other characters and tends towards fighting with words when his sword fails him.
  • The Gunslinger:
    • While Jack is able to compete with and even occasionally dominate the best swordsmen in the series, the creators state that he's actually much better with a pistol than a sword. In Dead Man's Chest he manages to shoot and ignite a falling barrel of gunpowder with a musket at a range that would make the shot hard even with 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 chest from Davy Jones' hand, on the first try, whilst swinging amongst the ship's rigging, during a maelstrom, while the ship is caught in a whirlpool. 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. Probably what's most awesome about all of this, is that it's all from Jack training himself. As additional books and material point out, Jack simply took a bucket of shot, a keg of powder, and several empty bottles of rum. When he was through, he could hit 9 out of 10 that he threw out there.
  • Handsome Lech: He's had several lovers, allegedly (all of which inevitably slap him) and flirts with Elizabeth.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Gibbs. Through all five movies, Gibbs is the only person he's never betrayed. He even put himself in danger to bust him out in the fourth movie. Subverted come the fifth movie where Gibbs and the few other crewmen abandon Jack for being such a sad excuse of a captain, but by the end he's at Jack's side once again, so Double Subverted all in all.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Deleted scenes and Expanded Universe materials show that Sparrow tried to become an honest sailor with the East India Company. However, Beckett branded him a pirate and destroyed his ship when he was ordered to transport slaves but freed them instead.
    • There are hints that maybe Captain Jack isn't quite so happy go lucky as he at first seems.
      Barbossa: The world used to be a bigger place.
      Jack: The world's still the same size, mate. There's just... less in it.
  • Historical In-Joke: Calico Jack, whom Sparrow is loosely based on, was Born Unlucky and was considered one of the worst pirates in history, making Jack Sparrow a Foil.
  • Honor Before Reason: Because even if it may not seem so, when he says I Gave My Word.
  • Idiot Ball: In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, when he is tied to a pole, dangling above firewood, a few sparks from a dropped torch fall near the tinder and wood. Jack's attempt to douse the flames is to blow into the sparks. Do you think it helps?
  • I Gave My Word: And he will keep it, in word and spirit. It just may take a while.
  • Immortality Seeker: His primary goal in the films, other than maintaining captaincy over his beloved Black Pearl is finding a means of indefinitely extending his life, be it cursed Aztec gold, becoming captain of the Flying Dutchman, or drinking from the Fountain of Youth. None of them have worked out thus far. Note that in all of these cases, he had the opportunity to achieve his goal. He just didn't find the tradeoffs to be worth it. note 
  • I'm Not Doing That Again: His response to blowing up a lighthouse and nearly himself with it and then diving off to the ground several feet below.
    Jack: Did everyone see that? Because I will NOT be doing it again!
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: See The Gunslinger. Practicing on Jack probably helped.
  • Improvisational Ingenuity: Is this to a tee. Despite often finding himself in over his head, he is able to hold his own against armies of supernatural beings, legal authorities and other pirates using anything he can use to his advantage.
  • Indy Ploy: Jack does this so much there's a good argument to be made for renaming the trope after him instead. He usually has no better idea of what he's about to do next than anyone else and tends to rely more on his wits, guile and usually just blind luck to sort things out than any kind of tactics.
  • Insistent Terminology: That's Captain Jack Sparrow, thank you very much. It bites him on the ass when Davy Jones points out that even though he lost his ship through mutiny, he kept calling himself Captain Jack Sparrow, therefore the deal was honored.
    Davy Jones: You have a debt to pay. You've been captain of the Black Pearl for thirteen years. That was our agreement.
    Jack: Technically, I was only captain for two years, then I was viciously mutinied upon.
    Davy Jones: Then you were a poor captain, but a captain nonetheless! Have you not introduced yourself all these years as "Captain Jack Sparrow"?
  • Irony: He plays by his own rules and follows his own agenda, but people often don't tend to realise that he's actually surprisingly trustworthy (albeit, as he himself admits, in a rather dishonest sense — "a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest"). Several times throughout the movies, he actually keeps his word to the other characters entirely, only for them to end up backstabbing him under the belief that he's going to backstab them eventually and they'd better get in first. The problem is that he's only trustworthy in the long term, not the short term - or the medium term, come to that. He even lampshades how people always keep distrusting him in the second film after finding the titular Dead Man's Chest:
    Norrington: You actually were telling the truth.
    Jack: I do that quite a lot, yet people are always surprised.
    Will: With good reason!
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Whether it's in a platonic or romantic sense, Jack gave up what was probably his only change at immortality to ensure that Elizabeth wouldn't become a widow.
  • Jaded Washout: By Dead Men Tell No Tales. The Pearl is still trapped in Blackbeard's bottle, so he's reduced to slumming it around the Isle of St. Martin and is so bad at that that even Gibbs abandons him because he's too drunk to even pull off a bank heist. Heck, even the British government doesn't consider him a threat — offering only a measly pound for his capture.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: For all his scheming and plundering, there is a good heart somewhere in there and you can always rely on Jack to do the right thing, even if it's usually only after he's tried everything else first:
    • Gives up the chance for immortality to save Will when he is mortally wounded by Davy Jones.
    • Notes that his desire for the Fountain has significantly lessened when he learns that it 'works' by taking the years from someone else to sustain the drinker.
    • Stops fighting seriously when he is told Henry actually receives the wounds he's given even though Salazar is possessing the body.
    • A deleted scene reveals that upon finding out that he was unknowingly running slaves for Beckett, he immediately freed them.
  • Knows the Ropes: He can manipulate and hitch a ride on ship riggings with the same ease he uses to open bottles of rum.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Despite his so called and mostly fabled promiscuity, there was one woman he did love: Angelica. Subverted in that it didn't stop him from leaving her — twice. To be fair, the second time she'd spent most of the film trying to kill him - or in league with someone who would.
  • Large Ham: Loud and gesturing and fond of theatrics.
  • Leitmotif: The most prominent in the series - and in fact accompanies many funny or actiony scenes featuring many other characters as well simply because they only vaguely involve him.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: His relationship with Barbossa has evolved into that by the fourth film. According to Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush, they would be unstoppable together, if they put away their constant bickering and past grievances. Johnny Depp thinks that Barbossa secretly enjoys his unique role in Jack's life and would be annoyed, if someone tried to take over that role.
  • List of Transgressions: His list is so long that only the 'most egregious' need to be recited to justify his hanging.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: He certainly believes it. The main thing stopping him from successfully living forever isn't the consequences of immortal life, it's what he has to pay (and who he has to step on) to get it. When he finds out that the Fountain of Youth drains the life from someone else to sustain the drinker, for example, Jack's willingness to find the Fountain plummets.
  • Loophole Abuse: In Dead Man's Chest, he tries to invoke this to avoid paying for his Deal with the Devil with Davy Jones; the deal was that he would be captain of the Black Pearl for thirteen years and then serve Jones on the Flying Dutchman, and Jack points out that technically, he was only captain for two years before Barbossa mutinied against him. Jones doesn't go for it:
    Jones: Then you were a poor captain, but a captain nonetheless. Have you not introduced yourself all these years as Captain Jack Sparrow?
  • Lovable Rogue: An affable pirate whose popular with the ladies (who eventually slap him), though not as much as Will.
  • 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.
    • During another fall, he is wrapped in ropes, so when he falls the ropes unravel and spin him like a yo-yo unwinding, allegedly slowing his descent enough that the impact didn't kill him. During a filming accident, the stunt man who performed this scene was half-crippled and very nearly died: in reality, the centripetal force resulting from being spun around that fast by a rope attached to your waist shatters your hip bones.
    • Likewise in Curse of the Black Pearl where he falls off of a hundred foot high cliff, without the handwave applied to Elizabeth that her enormous gown acted as a parachute to slow her descent.
    • Given that he has to be alive to pay his debt to Davy Jones, one interpretation is that his deal might be what allowed him to survive these falls.
  • MacGuffin: Holds one of the nine pieces of eight needed to free Calypso from her bonds. His are Moroccan beads he got from a French woman with a questionable reputation and a Siamese coin, one of the first two bits he ever pirated. As for the second bit, he bought his iconic tricorn hat with it.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Manipulates everyone by using what they want.
  • Married at Sea: He proposes that he and Elizabeth do this in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. He had the right idea, but he's not the one who marries Elizabeth.
  • Memetic Badass: Invoked. 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".
  • Mysterious Past: The movies only give small, plot-relevant pieces of Jack's backstory. The creators' words go 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.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent:
    • Other pirates better stay out of his way. Dogs of the East India Trade Company better not even glance at him. But if you're an honest, good-hearted (wo)man, he's practically at your mercy. It's cost him immortality three times.
    • On a more general example, Jack has never been shown fighting to kill anyone who wasn't actively trying to kill him as 'Captain Jack Sparrow', going to great lengths to evade and escape soldiers who were just chasing him because he was a pirate rather than because they had some vendetta against Jack himself.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In-universe example. If anyone ever tells Jack that he's the "worst pirate I've ever heard of" he is quick to respond with "but you have heard of me."
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Why do people with bad breath always wanna tell you secrets?
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: When he saves Elizabeth in the first film it almost leads to Norrington having him hanged.
  • Noodle Incident: During his List of Transgressions, he seems awfully fond of the time he posed as a member of the clergy. One has to wonder what he did during that time — odds are it involved a lot of sex. In On Stranger Tides, when he meets Angelica:
    Angelica: What were you doing in a Spanish convent, anyway?
    Jack: Mistook it for a brothel. Honest mistake.
  • Not Me This Time: A rare heroic example in the fourth movie: In the beginning of the movie, Jack 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 that Jack, for once, wasn't responsible for this, and gets into a fight with the one who did the deed: Angelica disguised as Jack.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: In On Stranger Tides, Jack organizes a mutiny, later betrays another pirate and maroons her on an island with a pistol and one shot. His motivation is far more understandable and less selfish than Barbossa's (he liked the woman, but couldn't trust her), but one would assume his grim outlook on mutineers has acquired an asterisk. It is this: (as one character points out) those pirates had signed up to sail under "Captain Jack Sparrow", so technically it's not a mutiny. Besides, this island was right on top of a well-travelled trade route.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He comes off as The Fool... or is he?
  • One Bullet Left: During the mutiny, he was given a pistol with a single-shot. He carried it for over 10 years, intending to use it kill Barbossa.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • It's easy to miss, but when Jack shoots a newly mortal Barbossa in the first film, it's the only time in the entire series in which he's grimly serious. (It was less obvious when the film was first released, but thanks to Flanderization of the character, it's now striking.)
    • In a deleted scene in At World's End, it's revealed that Jack became a pirate not because of some zany scheme involving booze and women, but because he set slaves free. When Beckett reminds him of this, Jack without a hint of humor, states, "People aren't cargo mate."
    • Also from At World's End, but a scene that made it in, when the crew of the Black Pearl is sailing back from Davy Jones's Locker, they see the deceased souls passing by in small boats. When Elizabeth sees her father among the departed, she is overjoyed and takes it as a sign that they've returned to the living world. Jack is the one, in a solemn but gentle tone, to tell her that they haven't returned. When Elizabeth, in her grief, desperately tries to cast a line out to her father and then try to go to him, Jack is just as silent as the rest of the crew.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: While in the first film Jack Sparrow was shown to rely on the Batman Gambit quite a bit, the other films have also shown him to be quite the opportunist as well, and sometimes, it's not clear which one he is, this or The Chessmaster.
    Groves: Do you think he plans it all out, or just makes it up as he goes along?
  • Pet the Dog:
    • In On Stranger Tides, he claims credit for standing watch during the mutiny in order to spare the man who chose not to raise a cry. Blackbeard, however, has him pegged, and discovers it to be the cook. Five minutes later, the crew is missing one cook.
    • In At World's End, he's spent the entire movie trying to take over the Flying Dutchman and inherit Davy Jones' immortality. When Jones fatally stabs Will, Jack is obviously horrified. He puts a knife in the dying Will's hand and has him stabs Jones' heart, ensuring that Will would survive, and giving up his own chance at immortality.
  • Pinball Protagonist: In On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales. Whereas in the previous three movies he had been a proactive character whose agenda helped drive the plot, here he's unwillingly dragged along on adventures that mostly center around other people, with there being nothing for him to gain in the end.
  • Pragmatic Hero: After returning from Davy Jones' locker, he's merely willing to lie, cheat, and steal to deal with Beckett, Davy Jones, and Blackbeard, as opposed to his former Unscrupulous Hero ways.
  • Pretty Boy: Angelica notes that he was the easiest pirate captain for her to impersonate. Even more so when he was younger; the Jack in Salazar's flashback could almost pass for a young woman.
  • Red Baron: According to Salazar, Jack became known as Jack the Sparrow after how he taunted Salazar into chasing him from the crow's nest "like a little bird." Presumably it got shortened to just "Jack Sparrow" over time.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Will's red in the first trilogy in terms of motivation. 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 brashness. Will's stakes in the adventures are also purely emotional (Elizabeth and his father) compared to Jack seeking more practical rewards. By personality Jack's unpredictable nature makes him more Red and Will's upbringing makes him more Blue. Jack also wears a Red Bandana, and Will gets a blue one when he becomes captain of the Flying Dutchman.
  • Runaway Bride: Gender Flipped in Tales of the Code: Wedlocked. He promised to both Scarlett and Giselle to marry them, then doesn't show up on the wedding day, as both women were preparing for it and find out they've been duped and put on auction. It's the very reason he gets slapped when they meet him again on the isle of Tortuga in Curse of the Black Pearl. And it is also the reason why the small boat he took to travel to Port Royal had holes that made it take water.
  • Sanity Slippage: Not that anyone else notices, but his time in Davy Jones' Locker takes its toll on his mind, and he suffers from (admittedly amusing) hallucinations throughout the third film, though he seems to get better by the end.
  • Screw Yourself: On Stranger Tides has Jack Sparrow locked in an intense duel with Angelica disguised as Jack Sparrow. It ends when one kisses the other and says "I've always wanted to do that."
  • Shrouded in Myth: Many tales have been told about him, several of which have been embellished by Jack himself. For example, when Gibbs tells Will the story that Jack escaped a deserted island by strapping two sea turtles together to use as a raft, Jack proceeded to claim the rope he used to do so was his own back hair.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Jack splices a lot of fancy sentences into his standard speech before switching back to normal.
  • Storyboard Body: He has the poem,The Desiderata tattooed on his back.
  • Talking Your Way Out: He did no less than three times in the first film: Will to get him out of jail, Barbossa to give him the Pearl in exchange for Norrington and Norrington to backstab Barbossa.
  • Technician vs. Performer: As opposed to Barbossa, sort of Played With.
    • Barbossa is a smart, but somehow slow-thinking strategist who plans his steps ahead. Jack is a quick-witted improviser.
    • Regarding sword-fighting, Jack is said to be one of the weakest swordsmen in the franchise despite his proper education by a professional Italian swordsman. Barbossa, on the other hand, had to learn on his own way.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: His backstory, given in Expanded Universe materials and deleted scenes, reveal that Jack initially didn't want to be a pirate and tried to find legitimate work as a merchant for the East India Trade Company. However, one day he discovered his cargo was slaves, and he promptly freed them. For this, Cutler Beckett sank his ship and branded him a pirate, leading Jack to embrace it and vow to care only for himself from that point forward.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: By the time of the fifth movie, Jack has really been hit with this. He's drunk out of his skull all the time, clearly is in way over his head and only survives through dumb luck. Considering that he's a) drunk out of his skull all the time, b) implied to have been like that, even by his standards, for quite some time, this is not entirely surprising.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: In the first trilogy, he's willing to go so far as conning people into selling their souls to Davy Jones in order to get free of his debt. His brush with death and Davy Jones' locker changes that a bit.
  • Verbal Tic: Tends to end many sentences with a particular word, especially if he's explaining something, savvy?
  • Villainous Cheekbones: This unpredictable, barely-trustworthy pirate has high cheekbones despite being an good guy.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • In the original trilogy, with Will. The two betray each other multiple times each throughout the three movies, and Jack takes any opportunity he can to disparage Will's equipment (even telling an entire tribe of cannibals he's a eunuch), yet each clearly has a level of admiration and respect for the other (and both of them try to think like the other on at least one occasion each). When it counts, they're also each willing to make sacrifices to save each other's lives. Will risks being hung himself by rescuing Jack from the gallows, and Jack gives up the immortality he desperately wants to save Will's life.
    • By the fourth film, he and Barbossa seem to have reached this kind of relationship, in a pirate sort of way.
  • 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. Lampshaded by Will and Elizabeth during the Final Battle of Curse of the Black Pearl.
    Elizabeth: Who's side is Jack on?
    Will: At the moment?
  • The Wonka: He's the strangest ship captain you'll ever meet and it's because he's so strange that he is good at what he does.
  • "X" Marks the Hero: As of On Stranger Tides.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: Jack seems to have caught onto his own brand of knock-out gas — breath described by Gore Verbinski as smelling like "a donkey's ass" that is so bad, it can flatten people. To put it in perspective, his breath is so foul that being inches from the maw of the Krakken, whose breath is noted to be one of the most foul, putrid stenches to ever exist, he barely even shudders at it.

    Hector Barbossa 

Captain Hector Barbossa
"You best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner..."
Click here to see him under the Aztec gold's curse

Played By: Geoffrey Rush Other Languages

Appears In: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Dead Man's Chest | At World's End | On Stranger Tides | Dead Men Tell No Tales

"There's never a guarantee of comin' back. But passin' on, that's dead certain."

The villain 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 makes an uncredited cameo in Dead Man's Chest, resurrected for the third film by Tia Dalma when the heroes (and other forces) need him and Jack to return. He's ambitious and big on the double-cross, willing to take out anyone who stands in his way, but really, he's just trying to take control of his life back. By the third movie, he's graduated to something of a weird uncle to Elizabeth especially, despite his originally having kidnapped her and threatened her life, and a particular respect develops between them (to the point of Elizabeth asking him to perform her and Will's marriage ceremony, albeit in a hurry). Barbossa remains arrogant, 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 foolish enough to follow him. Takes over Blackbeard's ship and crew at the end of the fourth movie, and gains his powers.

  • Affably Evil: Barbossa is something of a gentleman pirate, being very soft-spoken and cultured, and can be surprisingly honorable at times. Played for Laughs in later films, when he makes several attempts to act like a gentleman with great wealth- his taste is rather arty, but he doesn't have much class to go along with it.
  • Agent Peacock: According Geoffrey Rush, Barbossa dresses like a very courtly gentleman from the previous era, implying his secret wish to belong to the upper-class. He wears a lot of jewellery, is really proud of his big black hat. Played for Laughs in On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales, when he dresses like an upper-class nobleman and even puts on a beauty mark, while he is still having nail fungus, bad teeth, and adust skin.
  • Anti-Hero: Nominal Hero 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. He fully becomes this trope in the fifth, especially as regards his love for his daughter, Carina.
  • Arch-Enemy: Used to be Jack's, due to stealing his ship, but their rivalry has gotten much more friendly over the years.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Implied in the first film. The Black Pearl's crew are five seconds from mutinying, until Barbossa draws his sword and asks who's willing to actually challenge him. They hesitate, and remember at that point they have almost Complete Immortality!
  • Back from the Dead: He gets resurrected at the end of the second movie by Tia Dalma.
  • Bad Boss: Downplayed but with both the crew of the Black Pearl and even more openly while a privateer. This is probably because he has no respect for 'King's men.' That said, he was willing to shoot Pintel just to test whether the curse had worn off. Only the fact that it hadn't saved him. Which itself led to his crew getting incredibly annoyed. If it hadn't been for Jack and Will's presence, the crew would've mutinied on him then and there. So he didn't value their lives too much either.
  • Big Bad: Of the first film since he leads the raid on Port Royal that causes the movie's plot. However due to the Curse, it's arguably not entirely by his own choice.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Blackbeard and the Spaniard in the fourth film as they all search for the fountain of youth.
  • Big Good: Arguably of the third film. He’s the one leading the crew on their journey to save Jack and is concerned with the welfare of all pirates, being the one who convened the Fourth Brethren Court. In the climax, even with Elizabeth being elected king, she asks him to take command of the Pearl so he can man the ship during the battle.
  • Book Ends: In the fourth film, he is once again a pirate captain on a legendary ship armed with supernatural power - and he gets his old hat from the first film back.
  • Boring, but Practical: After five years with his peg leg, he still walks with a crutch, possibly due to being more reliable than just the leg.
  • Breakout Character: Despite being killed off at the end of the first film, he was popular enough to be brought Back from the Dead at the end of the sequel and since then has become a staple of the franchise, outlasting everyone save Jack himself.
  • The Captain: Despite often being a villain, his crew is usually inspired by his bravado, and he is proud of running a tight ship.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Barbossa has a habit of turning on people at the first opportunity, including taking the Pearl from Jack twice. He even tries doing it with Tia Dalma.
  • Comfort Food: According to the the creators, this is why Barbossa was always going on about apples. He eats apple slices with a knife and fork in On Stranger Tides, and later seems to be eating cubed apples with chopsticks in Dead Men Tell No Tales.
  • 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.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Falls to his ultimate death in this pose.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: He's Carina's father, and left her in as loving an orphanage as he could find because he didn't feel that he could give her a good enough life. He genuinely cares about her even as an adult, even though he doesn't tell her who he is until immediately before his Heroic Sacrifice to save her.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • When he first meets Elizabeth.
      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. [Beat] Means "no".
    • When he's negotiating with Will for Will's blood.
      Barbossa: Name your terms, Mr. Turner.
      Will: Elizabeth goes free.
      Barbossa: Yes, we know that one, anything else?
    • When tossing Jack and Elizabeth overboard.
      Barbossa: Jack, Jack, did ya not notice? That be the same little island we made you governor of on our last little trip.
    • Warning Elizabeth when they're meeting another captain.
      Barbossa: Remember your place in front of Captain Sao Fang. He's much like myself, but absent my merciful nature and sense of fair play.
  • Death by Depower: Dies when the curse that makes his crew immortal undead is lifted.
  • Death by Irony: He left Jack with a single bullet in a random Island of the Caribbean (presumably so Jack could kill himself). He's later killed with that bullet. Also, his main goal in the first film is to remove the curse that makes him immortal and he dies in the very same moment the curse is broken.
  • Death Is Cheap: Subverted. At first, thanks to his resurrection, it looks like anyone can come back, but in the third film, it's shown that he was only brought back because the person doing the resurrecting (a god, no less) needed him for something, and he himself states that trying to come back to life is a very long gamble. Dies again, this time for real, in the fifth movie, in a Heroic Sacrifice for Carina, and to a lesser extent for Henry and Jack.
  • 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.
  • The Determinator: Barbossa's planning process might be explicitly slower and less adaptable to problems than Jack's, but Barbossa manages to accomplish every single one of his long term goals throughout the series: he collected every single cursed coin after losing them, freed Tia Dalma as per their deal and got Jack out of Davy Jones's Locker, and his vengeance on Blackbeard for losing the Pearl was so certain that Blackbeard got a prophecy about it. Jack may meet you and fleece you in the same minute, but if you have something Barbossa wants, he'll get it.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: When he accosts Tia Dalma, she reminds him she was the one who resurrected him and briefly reduces his hand to a skeleton as a warning. Barbossa reminds her why she had to resurrect him and has her sent to the brig.
  • 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.
  • Enemy Mine: In the third movie he teams 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.
  • Entitled Bastard: He really thinks he deserves to be captain of the Black Pearl instead of Jack. In the fifth film, after he restores it he proceeds to take control of it, again despite at this point having an entire fleet over his control.
  • Establishing Character Moment: He first scolds Bo'sun of hitting Elizabeth who has invoked the right of parley, apologizes to her for that, speaks to her sarcastically with some fancy words, and honors their bargain only to the letter, making it clear to her that he's an advocate of flexible interpretation of the Pirate Code.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His loving relationship with his pet monkey Jack, and his daughter Carina, whom he abandoned in hopes she could find a better life than as a pirate's child.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: As much as he will screw Jack over at literally every available opportunity, he has literally gone to hell to rescue Jack, indicating that he — and only he — is allowed to screw over Jack — if anyone else (possibly barring Elizabeth, whom everyone is scared of) tries to do so, Barbossa will kill them. It's his and Jack's enjoyment of being pirates — they're worthy opponents to one another.
  • 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: Barbossa has a magnificent cackle that sounds frighteningly bloodthirsty.
  • Evil Plan: In the first movie, Hector Barbossa seeks to acquire an old, cursed treasure of his and sacrifice an innocent to break the curse.
  • Ex-Big Bad: He's the Big Bad of the first movie and Jack's Arch-Enemy. In the sequels, he becomes an Anti-Hero and Jack's ally, if still a selfish and treacherous one.
  • 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.
    • When he first meets Elizabeth, she parlays with Barbossa to where he promises to leave Port Royal... without letting Elizabeth off the ship. He justifies it by saying that her return to shore wasn't part of the agreement, that she's not a pirate in the first place (therefore the pirate code doesn't apply), and "they're more what you might call 'guidelines' rather than actual rules". He does this because he thinks he needs Elizabeth's blood to lift the curse, so he twists the rules to keep her onboard.
    • After Will and Jack find Elizabeth, Will threatens to kill himself and doom Barbossa to be eternally cursed unless Elizabeth goes free. Barbossa agrees to the terms, but then releases Elizabeth and Jack onto a stranded deserted island where they have no hope of rescue. Barbossa justifies this by saying that he'd agreed that Elizabeth would go free, but Will "failed to specify when or where".
  • Expository Hair Style Change: In the first three movies he has scruffy and unkempt hair and beard (lampshaded by Jack once when he exclaims: "And trim that scraggly beard!"). At the beginning of the fourth movie, he's not a pirate anymore but works for the government; this time he wears his hair in perfectly trimmed curls (it's probably a wig even) and looks much more well-groomed (justified, as it's expected for such a job to look presentable). During the movie his hair gets scruffy again as he starts to lean to the unlawful side again.
  • Expy: As an undead pirate with a massive beard and a tendency towards being a Large Ham, he is very reminiscent of LeChuck.
  • Fatal Flaw: His weaknesses (and also his biggest motivations to get along in life) are his Pride and Vanity and they might even cause his demise (he was vain enough to think that he could seduce Elizabeth which she took advantage from). Jack often manipulates him by feeding his ego and when he isn't manipulating him, he is mocking him for being an Agent Peacock.
  • Foil: In the fifth film, he is this to Blackbeard from the fourth film. Both had a long-lost daughter out of wedlock whom they were later reunited with. However, while Blackbeard took Angelica under his wing as a pirate, manipulated her, and was willing to sacrifice her to prolong his own life with the Fountain of Youth, Barbossa considered Carina his "treasure", thought he was unworthy to be the father of such a talented young lady, and ultimately sacrificed his own life for hers.
    • This also extends to their how they treat their crewmen (who incidentally consist of the same people after Barbossa defeats Blackbeard). Blackbeard tyrannically ruled over his crew through fear and intimidation and saw them as expendable, stating that “If I don’t kill a man every now and then they forget who I am.” Barbossa (who himself was a more subtle version of that in the first film) by the fifth film, while still fearful, treats them more benevolently in comparison where he’s willing to share the profits with his crew, and is visibly uncomfortable seeing them getting killed by Salazar in cold blood while captured. When Blackbeard is dying, his crew immediately turn to Barbossa’s allegiance, whereas when they hear about Barbossa’s death, they remove their hats in respect.
  • Friendly Enemy: In spite of Barbossa and Jack having butted heads and crossed swords for decades, their undeniable respect and understanding of each other makes them lifelong friends in all but name. According to Johnny Depp, Barbossa would even be annoyed, if Jack had a bigger frenemy than him.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a pirate and a great warrior. He's also highly educated, Wicked Cultured, sharp enough to match wits with Jack Sparrow, and a skilled astronomer.
  • Good Counterpart: Good is stretching it, but by the time of the fifth movie, Barbossa has become a new Blackbeard who's more honorable and less ruthless in his treatment of the crew of the Queen Anne's Revenge as well as his recently discovered daughter.
  • Good Parents: In a remote way, to Carina. More specifically, he didn't think he could be this trope, so he made sure to find someone who could be, and left her with the means to make her fortune later, which in a weird way cycles around to this.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Following on from aforementioned last words, he smiles just before keeling over. Not to mention his proud smile of having earned the love of his daughter Carina as he dies a second time to save her life.
  • Handicapped Badass: Loses a leg in On Stranger Tides, though he's still a very effective combatant.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: To the point of Wild Card status, but without Captain Jack's guarantee of doing the right thing in the end. 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 noble side in the subsequent films.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Dead Men Tell No Tales, he jumps from the anchor that Jack, Carina, and Henry are climbing up in order to kill Salazar and protect Carina.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: A ruthless brigand and murderer who is nevertheless fiercely loyal to the few people that he loves (or at least, respects), and can be surprisingly soft-hearted, sentimental and romantic when his guard is down.
  • Hypocrite: "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."
    • All the while negotiating a clandestine deal with Calypso. Though in fairness, that deal he and Calypso had made was not what makes him a hypocrite. That's just him holding up his end of the bargain. What makes him a hypocrite is how he tries to get Calypso to take down the entire armada in exchange for keeping his promise. In the end though, thanks to Elizabeth's Meaningful Echo, he gives up on his hopes for it and decides to adhere to it.
  • 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 when or where he had to let Elizabeth go. In essence he keeps his word to the letter, but not the spirit.
  • Indispensable Scoundrel: Barbossa starts as an outright villain, but over the course of the series he works with just about every main character and faction depending on whose aims best align with his own. As a competent naval leader, infamous pirate and one of the very few characters who can keep up with Jack Sparrow's scheming, he's got a wide range of contacts and skills and is very useful to have on your side...if you can keep him there.
  • Killed Off for Real: His death in the fifth film is for keeps, especially given how Tia Dalma said in the third film she couldn’t bring back somebody who was at peace with their death. Barbossa, having just reconciled and saved his daughter, is more than at peace.
  • Kinda Busy Here: Will and Elizabeth ask him to marry them during the battle with the Flying Dutchman in the maelstrom.
  • Large Ham: A very strong contender for the title of largest ham in the whole franchise.
    • His attempt at getting Calypso back to goddess form: "CALYPSO! 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 him.
    • He also seems to love emphasizing "ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!".
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: The reason why he has a peg leg in On Stranger Tides. 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.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: His relationship with Jack has evolved into that by the fourth film. According to Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush, they would be unstoppable together, if they put away their constant bickering and past grievances. Johnny Depp thinks that Barbossa secretly enjoys his unique role in Jack's life and would be annoyed, if someone took over that role.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Dead Men Tell No Tales reveals he is Carina's father.
  • MacGuffin: Holds one of the nine pieces of eight needed to free Calypso from her bonds. His is a wooden prosthetic eye which is kept in a very safe place by his crewman Ragetti.
  • Meaningful Name: Barbossa is close to Barbarossa, a 15th century Ottoman corsair whose nickname "Papa Oruç" was mondegreened into Barbarossa (Redbeard in Italian).
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Barbossa" comes from the Latin for "Beard of Bones".
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: As Jack points out, Barbossa's mutiny did save him from the same curse that afflicted the rest of the Black Pearl.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: He casually sidesteps the Interceptor's mast falling on him.
  • Noodle Incident: At World's End reveals that Barbossa has taught Jack the Monkey to shoot a gun. Just what in the name of Davy Jones' Locker occurred to make that an actual necessity?
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: 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 Royal 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" Remark: 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. Also much like Jack, he's a trickster, far more intelligent than he lets on and a charismatic leader. In the commentary for the first film, the writers even compare them as though they were two demi-gods, playing chess with the lives of the other characters.
  • Notorious Parent: He is a dangerous pirate responsible for numerous crimes and Dead Man Tell No Tales reveals that he is Carina's father.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: With respect to Jack.
  • Papa Wolf: The moment Carina is in danger, Barbossa decides that Carina is worth dying for — something Jack also thinks as he throws him the sword — and Barbossa takes Salazar, who has put his daughter in danger, to the depths of the ocean at the same time.
    Carina: Who am I to you?
    Barbossa: Treasure.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Repeatedly in At World's End.
      • Marrying Will and Elizabeth, and showing genuine happiness for them to boot.
      • He 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.
      • While he does steal the Pearl and maroons Jack again, this time he does leave Jack in Tortuga instead of a deserted island.
    • This little moment in On Stranger Tides:
      Barbossa: [reveals a hidden stash of rum in his peg leg]
      Jack: I want one of those.
      Barbossa: [immediately shares his rum]
  • The Peter Principle: While there were no complaints about Barbossa when he served as Jack's first mate, the cursed crew have outright said that ever since Barbossa became captain, every decision he's made has led them from "bad to worse". In the first movie, the crew blames him for their curse because he was the one who led the mutiny against Jack, brought them to the treasure, and then prolonged their suffering by sending Bootstrap Bill to the bottom of the ocean before they could get his blood to lift the curse. In Stranger Tides, he loses the Black Pearl to Blackbeard after stealing it from Jack at the end of At World's End.
  • Pride: Barbossa thinks very highly of himself. In Curse, Jack even plays this to his advantage by goading Barbossa's ego.
  • 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 up his letter of marque at the end.
  • Prophecy Twist: In Dead Men Tell No Tales, Shansa tells him that Jack's compass will lead him back to his "treasure". Barbossa believes that it's all the wealth he's lost thanks to Salazar's attacks. It's actually his long-lost daughter Carina, which is only further proven when, after they meet and Barbossa realizes who she is, the compass points toward her while in his possession.
  • Rules Lawyer: Zigzags between playing straight ("An act of war can only be declared by the pirate king.") to inverting it ("They're more like 'guidelines' than actual rules".) depending on what suits his purpose. For the former, he probably just didn't want to call the rules "guidelines" in front of Captain Teague.
  • Screw Destiny: In the fourth film he goes as far as cutting his own leg off to prove that no one controls his fate but he himself.
  • Sense Freak: During the first film, he makes it pretty clear to Elizabeth that the years he's spent unable to feel anything have taken a toll.
    Barbossa: For too long, I've been parched of thirst and unable to quench it. Too long I've been starvin' to death and haven't died. I feel nothin'! Not the wind in my face nor the spray o' the sea, (reachs out toward Elizabeth's face) nor the warmth of a woman's flesh...
  • Seadog Peg Leg: Subverted. He's probably the only peg-legged pirate in fiction who has to walk with a crutch, being entirely unused to a stiff pole where his leg used to be.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Played for Laughs with a throwaway line in the original ("I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request... means no!"), but he does retain a penchant for arcane speech in the sequels.
  • The Starscream: Originally, Barbossa was Sparrow's first mate, until one day he and several other pirates on Sparrow's ship decided to get rid of their captain by throwing Sparrow overboard, and as a result Barbossa becomes their captain instead.
    • The sequels establish that he was apparently the Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea before that, and apparently sought to take over Jack's territory (the Caspian Sea being landlocked and poorer than the Caribbean), though this raises a lot of questions.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Barbossa's temptingly simple schemes tend to attract fools.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Starts out as one of these to the real-life stories of Blackbeard. Eventually becomes the new Blackbeard at the end of the fourth film, albeit more honorable than the original.
  • Taking You with Me: He sacrifices himself to bring Salazar down into the seas with him in Dead Men Tell No Tales.
  • 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!"
  • Technician vs. Performer. As opposed to Jack, sort of Played With.
    • Barbossa is a smart, but somehow slow-thinking strategist who plans his steps ahead. Jack is a quick-witted improviser.
    • Regarding sword-fighting, Jack is said to be one of the weakest swordsmen in the franchise despite his proper education by a professional Italian swordsman, keeping up with those better than him by agility, copious Indy Ploys and more than a little Confusion Fu (as well as the fact that he's a superb marksman, even in the most adverse conditions). Barbossa, on the other hand, has never had the opportunity to get a proper education, but had to learn on his own way, and thanks to experience and pragmatism and planning ahead can match up with the best trained swordsmen in the franchise despite his advanced years - and, later, his peg-leg.
  • Tempting Apple: His Trademark Favorite Food are green apples, and he's seen interacting with one in all four movies. In the first movie its used as a metaphor to his desire to feel something again, and it's telling that the first thing he does upon returning from the dead is taking a bite out of the apple.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: In the first film, it is established that he is "so evil that Hell itself spat him back out," which turns out to be ironic once he actually comes back to life in the sequel.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Apples.
  • Victory Is Boring: In the fifth film, he has become the rich rogue he had always wanted to be, but has no idea what to do with his power and money, so surrounds himself with useless luxury, showing his Agent Peacock attitude.
  • Villains Never Lie: He might leave out some information, but everything he says is true and he holds to every promise he makes to the letter. He will happily exploit Exact Words and abuse vague phrasing though, and spells this out when called on it several times. One gets the impression that if he ever retired from piracy he'd have great fun as a contract lawyer.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: By the time the fourth film rolls around, you could largely classify his and Jack's relationship as friendly in a pirate sort of way; they even share a drink while they're tied up by the Spaniards.
  • Wicked Cultured: Only hinted at in the first film, played straight in the fourth and fifth films. He really does aspire to be more than a pirate.
  • Warrior Poet: As far as pirates go he's one of the most well-spoken and eloquent of the ones shown in the films, shows 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).
    Barbossa: 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.
  • Wild Card: Even more so than Jack himself. Barbossa aids or hinders the heroes as he sees fit. He's only ever on one side: his own.
  • Worthy Opponent: Captain Jack Sparrow. Even after leading a mutiny against Jack for the Black Pearl, he volunteers to lead a rescue mission to search for Jack Sparrow when he is taken down to Davy Jones' locker, and he has secretly been an admirer of Jack's daring escapes.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When he was first mate to Jack Sparrow, he tells Jack that there should be an equal share of the treasure, including the coordinates. The night after Jack gives up the bearings, Barbossa and some of the rest of the crew mutinies, stranding Jack on a deserted island.

    Will Turner 

Captain William "Will" Turner, Jr.

Played By: Orlando Bloom

Appears In: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Dead Man's Chest | At World's End | Dead Men Tell No Tales

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.

A blacksmith from 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.

  • Alleged Lookalikes: Several characters will comment on how he's a "spitting image" of his father. When "Bootstrap Bill" does show up, the two don't remotely resemble each other. Considering that Bill is now a sea creature, mistakes can be forgiven. It's worth noting that he does somewhat resemble Bill's actor when he was a young man, enough for aging to make up the difference, especially with over a decade of hazy memories to work off.
    • Averted with his own son, Henry, whose appearance as cast by Brenton Thwaites lines up fairly well with how you'd expect a child of Will and Elizabeth to look.
  • Always Save the Girl:
    Jack: (believing Will to be a hallucination) William, tell me something: Have you come because you need my help to save a certain distressing damsel, or, rather, Damsel in Distress? Either one.
    Will: No.
    Jack: Well, then you wouldn't be here.
  • Ancestral Name: Shares given name with his father, William "Bootstrap Bill" Turner, whom he is said to be a "spitting image" of.
  • Anti-Hero: By the time of the third movie the pirates he's been associating with have rubbed off on him, and he's willing to make deals with Sao Feng and Cutler Beckett to betray everyone else to secure the safety of Elizabeth and his father.
  • Back from the Dead: In the third film he's killed and becomes undead as Captain of the Dutchman after Jones. By the end of the fifth film, he's fully restored to life.
  • Badass Bystander: To Jack's surprise in the first film, that blacksmith's apprentice is not only blocking his path to freedom but puts up a good fight. As it turns out, on pure technical skills, he's the best swordsman in the franchise. Jack being Jack, cheats.
  • Benevolent Boss: His first act as captain of the Flying Dutchman is to forgive the debts of all his crew members and then properly serve as a ferryman instead of slave owner.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Returns as the Captain of the Flying Dutchman during the climax of the third film.
  • The Blacksmith: Will is the swordsmith variant, and a superb one at that, with more or less everyone who examines the sword he made for Norrington at the start of the first film remarking on its quality. Even Jones is impressed.
  • Blessed with Suck: It all depends on how you view the Curse of Davey Jones' locker.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Elizabeth. The first scene of the first movie is their meeting as children.
  • Denying the Dead Parent's Sins: He almost kills Jack for calling his father a pirate, until he comes around to the idea.
  • Distressed Dude: The second half of the first movie involves rescuing him from nearly the exact same situation as Elizabeth.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: By the end of the third movie, he became an Immortal Captain of the Flying Dutchman.
    • By the end of the fifth movie however, his son breaks his cursed bond to the Dutchman and he is Brought Down to Normal again.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His entire swordfight with Jack in the first film reveals he is not just a humble blacksmith.
    Jack: Who makes all these [swords]?
    Will: I do! And I practice with them three hours a day!
    Jack: You need to find yourself a girl, mate.
  • Friendly Pirate: He becomes a pirate by the end of the first film, but otherwise remains firmly heroic.
  • Guile Hero: Starting in the second film.
    Will: I said to myself, "Think like Jack."
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A heroic (for this series) example; but you need to pay attention to notice it. If you follow the journey of Will's Sword through the movies: It gets forged for Norrington, lost or taken away after his fall from grace, regifted to him by Beckett, stabbed into Davy Jones as one last act of defiance and subsequently taken by Jones, dropped by Jones during his fight with Jack on the mast, retrieved from a random crewman (not before he's killed with it) by Jones and lastly Used to deliver the killing blow to Will by Jones. Presumably, he then takes it as his own again. Also qualifies as an extremely roundabout Chekhov's Gun.
  • Honor Before Reason: His insistence on honor and propriety and such things is what makes him such a contrast with Jack. According to Jack, it also makes him dangerous to selfish minded pirates because they can't predict when he'll do something "stupid".
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: To the blacksmith he works for, Mr. Brown. Brown is a drunkard who doesn't do any of the work, leaving Will to do the work such as making swords, which are of exceptionally high quality. Most assume they are his master's work, though Norrington sees straight through it, remarking when he gives his blessing - and a veiled warning to treat Elizabeth right - that he expects someone who made such a magnificent sword to show the same care in all aspects of his life.
  • I Gave My Word: He'll go to suicidal lengths to keep a promise, especially the one he makes his father in the sequels.
  • In the Blood: "But pirate is in your blood, boy, so you'll have to square with that some day..."
  • Irony: In "At Worlds End" he is fatally stabbed by Davy Jones with the same sword he created in the first film.
  • Like Father, Like Son: He doesn't have alot in common with his father, but his own son, Henry, is like him in almost every way. Henry even wants to free him from the Flying Dutchman even though he's only known him for one day, much like he himself wanted to save his father, who abandoned him to become a pirate.
  • Love at First Sight: He says he fell in love with Elizabeth the moment he met her.
  • MacGuffin Super-Person: Will is "the child in whose veins flows the blood of William Turner" and as such, a MacGuffin in the first film, as noted above.
  • Master Swordsman: The creators claim him to be the finest one in the franchise on a purely technical level. Unfortunately, all of the foes he faces in the saga make up for their relative lack of skill with their willingness to use dirty tricks.
  • The McCoy: He often balances Jack's pragmatism with a more human side to things, at least in the first movie. In the sequels things get murkier.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: He develops into a schemer and a manipulator sufficient to rival Jack, when needed, and perfectly will to indulge in Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and do a Deal with the Devil to protect Elizabeth and Bootstrap. He remains a genuinely nice and heroic person, by and large, and really doesn't want anyone hurt - but that won't stop him.
  • Nice Guy: Will is one of the most decent and well meaning men you could ask for. This does not mean it's a good idea to cross him.
  • Papa Wolf: In the opening for Dead Men Tell No Tales he's shown to be very protective of his young son and is terrified when the boy vows to save him. Even though it hurts him, he encourages Henry to forget about him. Fortunately, Henry is his and Elizabeth's son.
  • Parental Abandonment: Will's father Bootstrap became a pirate while his mother died when he was young, so Will came to the Caribbean to look for his father.
  • Psychopomp: What he becomes in the third movie since he took over Davy Jones' job as ferryman of those who died at sea. He's free of this duty by the end of Dead Men Tell No Tales.
  • Red Is Heroic: Wears a crimson shirt in the third film.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Jack's Blue in the first trilogy in terms of motivation. 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 brashness. Will's stakes in the adventures are also purely emotional (Elizabeth and his father) compared to Jack seeking more practical rewards. By personality Jack's unpredictable nature makes him more Red and Will's upbringing makes him more Blue. Jack also wears a Red Bandana, and Will gets a blue one when he becomes captain of the Flying Dutchman.
  • Sole Survivor: Will appears to be the only person who survived an attack by the Black Pearl in the first film's opening.
  • The Straight Man: A lot of the franchise relied on Will's seriousness and dourness setting up Jack's antics.
  • Supporting Protagonist: He is the protagonist of the original trilogy, with him and Jack getting the most focus of the series and his character development from a naive man to a complex man gets the more focus than Elizabeth's development (though Elizabeth's is greater). However, it is Jack who is truly driving the plot through his schemes.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While he remains basically a good person he becomes a lot more manipulative and underhanded in the sequels than he was in the first film, something strongly hinted to be Jack's influence - which he lampshades. To be fair, a large part of it is circumstantial necessity, when he Had to Be Sharp with all the schemers around him.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Part of Will's Character Development is growing to accept the fact that a person who is technically an outlaw or a criminal can still be a good person at heart. Like Jack. Or his Dad. Or himself, by the end of the series.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He starts as a competent swordsman, but naive and inexperienced, but by the third movie he's a lot smarter.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Jack, and supplying most (but not all) of the vitriol.
  • The Watson: Asks questions to prompt exposition from Jack or Gibbs.

    Elizabeth Swann 

Her Majesty Captain Elizabeth Turner (née Swann), Pirate King of the Brethren Court

Played By: Keira Knightley

Appears In: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Dead Man's Chest | At World's End | Dead Men Tell No Tales

"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 Heroine, 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.

  • Action Girl: Elizabeth increasingly occupies this role as she steps into the world of pirates. By the start of the third film, she undoubtedly qualifies and proves as much to a pirate mook.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Starts off as a very "Proper Lady" gal, but slowly sheds that skin to become a bona-fide Pirate Girl.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She developed an attraction to Jack Sparrow during Dead Man's Chest, though she clearly didn't want to admit it.
  • All Women Are Lustful: A justified example when funneled through her almost Single-Target Sexuality for Will - Elizabeth, after a year-long engagement with Will where they confined themselves to sword training as their most strenuous physical activity, is dangerously thirsty for her fiancé. As she ominously informs Cutler Beckett, when holding him at gunpoint and asked to demonstrate her perfect willingness to shoot him, "you denied me my wedding night." Beckett pauses, acknowledges this, and acquiesces to her demands of signing the letter of marque that would get Will off the piracy charges.
  • Anti-Hero: The lesser one of the main cast. While she does get a bit manipulative by the second and third films, she's nothing compared to Jack or Barbossa.
  • Audience Surrogate: Like the audience, she's grown up reading many romanticized pirate stories, and has an idea beforehand of what she thinks pirates are like.
  • Benevolent Boss: When Port Royal is attacked she gets one of her maids to safety.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played with- she suffers from some of the effects of a life at sea (such as dirt, sweat, and- most prominently- a severe sunburn that turns into a strong tan and her hair gradually fading from light brown to sun-bleached blonde, growing visibly stringy and damaged in the process), but rarely suffers any disfiguring injury, such as when the inhumanly strong Davy Jones backhands (or back-claws) her across the face without inflicting the slightest bruise.
  • Big Good: She becomes this in the third film when she is voted as the new Pirate King. She even leads the pirate army into battle against Cutler Beckett and his army.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Stated so by Keira Knightley with the "right" century being more like "late 20th" as stated under Audience Surrogate.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Will. It's easy to tell she's more interested in her blacksmith friend than Norrington.
  • Cowardice Callout: She delivers an impassioned criticism to Sao Feng overlapping with the "You Used to Be Better" Speech, citing how the other Pirate Lords of the Brethren Court are uniting to wage war against the East India Trading Company, but Sao Feng sits and cowers in his bathhouse instead. Sao Feng is insulted by her accusations, but simultaneously impressed by her boldness, so he doesn't retaliate.
  • Damsel out of Distress: In the first movie where she arranges for her own rescue and otherwise gets herself out of trouble.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes. See her opinion of corsets:
    Governor Swann: I'm told it's the latest fashion in London.
    Elizabeth: Well, women in London must have learned not to breathe.
  • Dude Magnet: Has been kissed by and caught the attention of at least four men.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Turned to piracy, fought two brands of cursed pirates, and separated from the man she loves for twenty-some years, but come the end of Dead Men Tell No Tales she and Will finally get the chance to be together again for more than a sunset.
  • Friendly Pirate: Particularly notable in that she becomes the Pirate King of the Brethren Court, but still keeps her heroic values from before her involvement in piracy.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: She starts out as just a Proper Lady, and then she Took a Level in Badass, or actually several levels, going from Guile Heroine to Action Girl to Pirate KING. Even in the first movie, although a gentle girl, she had a hidden fascination for pirate lore.
  • Good Bad Girl: Elizabeth is "so ready to be married" to Will Turner, and she ominously warns Beckett when holding him at gunpoint that he should remember that he robbed her of her wedding night. The latter causes him to a) pick up on the subtext, b) drop any remaining disbelief in her willingness to shoot him.
  • Guile Heroine: Outsmarts Jack. Four of Barbossa's crew have tried to kill him in the past; she's the one that succeeded.
  • Kiss of Death: Quite possibly. Any man she kisses while on the sea dies almost immediately afterwards.
    • Interestingly enough, they're all killed by the crew of the Flying Dutchman. note 
  • Manipulative Bitch: On the more heroic end of the scale, but she's more than capable of it when she perceives Will's life to be in danger. Hell, she even gets the better of Jack. There is a reason he refers to her as Will's "charming murderess." As he puts it in the same scene, "four of you tried to kill me, one of you succeeded."
  • Meaningful Name: A swan is a creature renowned for its grace and beauty, but also very dangerous, as anyone who's seen Hot Fuzz will know.
  • Mistaken for Gay: When she tries to join Jack's crew, disguised as a male to try and save Will Turner.
    Elizabeth: I'm here to find the man I love.
    Jack: [Beat, slightly uncomfortable] I'm flattered, son, but my first and only love is the sea.
  • Mrs. Hypothetical: The creators stated that Elizabeth most likely wrote the name "Mrs Elizabeth Turner" down plenty of times, which is why she ended up giving that alias when Barbossa first kidnapped her. That being said, some merchandise has given her married name as "Swann-Turner".
  • Ms. Fanservice: Averted. Elizabeth either wears the conservative dresses of the age or men's clothing. In the first movie, the crew of the Black Pearl eagerly watch as she strips off a dress, only to reveal that she's wearing the long undergarments of the time, revealing nothing.
  • Odd Friendship: Despite the events of the first film, she gets on surprisingly well with Barbossa, who effectively mentors her in piracy.
  • Of Corset Hurts: "You like pain? Try wearing a corset!" That said, she sometimes uses it to her advantage.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: At least this is her father's opinion. It's all the rage in England!
  • Official Couple: With Will at the end of the first movie, where they are engaged. Officially tying the knot takes another two movies.
  • Once per Episode: In each of the first three movies there's a joke about her being naked. In Curse of the Black Pearl Barbossa relays to her that she can either wear a dress and dine with him or dine with the rest of the crew naked, in Dead Man's Chest the captain of the Edinburgh Trader notes that their female stowaway (actually Elizabeth, who is disguised as a man) must be naked since they found her dress, and in At World's End she must disrobe completely (offscreen) and wear a simple bathrobe before meeting Sao Feng. What makes it especially ironic is that there is very little fanservice in the entire franchise, and none of it (barring a few cleavage shots) comes from Elizabeth herself.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: In one of the non-canon comics, Elizabeth received a sword that gave her godly powers, because she was more the only one who was truly pure of heart. Given how much of her true nature has been exposed in the sequels, it more than likely doesn't hold up.
  • Pirate Girl: As of the third movie, she is officially a pirate and not a Proper Lady visiting their world.
  • Rousing Speech: Her "Hoist the Colors" speech in At World's End inspires the pirates to fight against the East India Company.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Pulls off a "ghost on a ship" charade, to convince the crew of the Edinburgh Trader to change course for Tortuga.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Norrington noticed this in the first film and it is part of his proposal.
  • She Is the King: Once she becomes the Pirate King.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Was engaged to Norrington, shares an attraction with Jack Sparrow, yet loves Will Turner.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: The stinger of At World's End reveals that she has borne William a son. Unlike most examples, Will can return every ten years to see them. Also, by the end of Dead Men Tell No Tales, Will is allowed to come home for good.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: After escaping Beckett in DMC, she disguised herself as a young male sailor to get aboard the Edinburgh Trader.
    Elizabeth: (disguised as a boy) I'm here to find the man I love.
    Jack: ... I'm deeply flattered, son, but my first and only love is the sea.
    (Shortly later, Elizabeth reveals herself)
    Jack: ELIZABETH! (aside) Hide the rum.
  • Together in Death: Tries to invoke this trope by staying by Will's body as The Dutchman sinks into the maelstrom, however Jack saves her and Will is later resurrected, averting it.
  • Tomboyness Upgrade: She goes from a Proper Lady to Pirate King during the original trilogy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Will taught her how to use a sword. Unfortunately for her, this was all she and Will did during their engagement. Then in the third movie she goes and becomes the Pirate King, and not just King-in-Name-Only, she leads the pirates against the East India Company and does a damned good job of it.
  • Tritagonist: The third main character of the trilogy she participates in. The movies start from her POV two out of three times, and her actions drive the plot more than anyone else's, apart from Beckett. She also receives the most Character Development of the three original protags, coming into her own as a pragmatic, manipulative, Magnificent Bastard (one who can get the better of Jack) and Pirate King.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Even before she learns how to use a sword from Will (non-euphemistically, no matter how much she might have desired otherwise), she forms a Battle Couple with him. In the sequels, all of her most ruthless and manipulative actions are centred around protecting him.
  • What You Are in the Dark: As soon as everyone was out of sight, Elizabeth did not hesitate to use her feminine charms to seduce and murder Jack. Although she wasn't proud of it.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: At least in the first movie. Elizabeth grew up reading pirate stories, so she has a pretty good idea of how pirates are "supposed" to behave. She's constantly being surprised at how rarely they live up to her expectations in real life.

    James Norrington 

Lieutenant/Captain/Commodore/Admiral James Norrington
Click here to see him after his fall from grace.

Played By: Jack Davenport Other Languages

Appears In: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Dead Man's Chest | At World's End

"Vile and dissolute creatures, the lot of them. I intend to see that any man who sails under a pirate flag or wears a pirate brand gets what he deserves: a short drop and a sudden stop."

A young, dedicated naval officer and pirate hunter, James Norrington first appears as a teenage lieutenant escorting the Swann family on their crossing from England, and many years later, after his promotion to commodore, he proposes to Elizabeth after seeing She Is All Grown Up. Elizabeth's heart, however, belongs to Will Turner, and even Norrington comes to know it- when Elizabeth asks him to save Will for her sake, it sows the first seeds of doubt in her sincerity, and he ultimately settles for being a Romantic Runner-Up and wishes Will and Elizabeth the best in their relationship. By 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- letting an enemy go free was, at the time, a death sentence for a naval officer. This probably explains why he becomes so desperate to catch Sparrow that he pursues him into a hurricane, and his ship goes down with almost all hands. He resigns from the Navy in disgrace and flees before he can be court-martialed and ends up with a serious case of Heroic BSoD, dropping from noble officer to borderline Anti-Hero who is desperately looking for an opportunity to get his old job back and turning up again in the pirate stronghold of Tortuga as a filthy, drunken, unshaven mess. After Elizabeth prevents him from drunkenly attempting to kill Jack and fight off an entire tavern's worth of pirates, he ends up a deckhand on Jack's crew. 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, honorable life — steals it and brings it to the new Big Bad Lord Cutler Beckett as a token. He is given the new, higher rank of Admiral in the EITC's private armada and seems to have gotten his former status back, but it quickly becomes apparent that he, Jones and Elizabeth's father Weatherby Swann have become pawns in Beckett's game. He tries to use his position to subtly protect Governor Swann and look out for Elizabeth, and after learning Beckett had Swann murdered (and seeing the utter hatred Elizabeth feels for him after believing he was a part of it), he saves Elizabeth and her crew from Beckett's clutches, losing his life in the process.

  • Abusive Parents: He isn't one, but the Jack Sparrow book series indicates that his father, Admiral Lawrence Norrington, was one, and probably responsible for James' obsession with duty and honor. When James was swept overboard during a storm as a small boy, he was saved by a pirate - to which Admiral Norrington the elder responded that it would have been better for James to have drowned.
  • The Alcoholic: After losing everything in the Time Skip between the first and second movies he's taken to drinking extensively and spends a lot of time with a bottle in hand or puking his brains out. He's mostly sober again by the time of the third film, though a deleted scene shows that he needs small, but nearly constant, amounts of booze to cope with working under Beckett.
  • Anti-Villain: He really doesn't have a genuinely malevolent bone in his body. In the first movie, he's a straight Hero Antagonist, but by the second he's a desperate wretch of a man who's lost everything and just wants to get his life back, but, incensed by Jack's words, he does try to kill Turner, unfairly blaming ''him'' for his downfall. By the time of the third movie he's technically allied with Cutler Beckett, but it's plain from the start that he feels trapped and uncomfortable in this role, and things only go downhill from there.
  • Badass Normal: He can keep up with undead skeletal pirates, as he holds his own with Koehler.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In the second movie he brings Beckett the heart of Davy Jones in order to get his old life in the Navy back, or at least letters of marque allowing him to serve as a privateer (a legalized pirate working on the government's behalf). Instead, he gets a more prestigious rank than he probably ever dreamed of at that point- and quickly discovers he's been made The Dragon to a sociopath who wants the love of Norrington's life dead instead.
  • Beard of Sorrow: In the second movie. Losing his position, his prestige and the love of his life within about an year will do that to you.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: He goes from an honorable enforcer of the law in the first movie to less than even a proper pirate - alcoholic vagabond would fit better - in the second, after losing everything. When he gets his honor and status back, he quickly finds that the office he aspired to has become equally corrupt, and he struggles to live with himself under those circumstances as well.
  • Being Good Sucks: Norrington isn't without his flaws, but at heart he's a good man with a strong sense of morals and a respect for the rule of law. Unfortunately upholding these behaviors ended up costing him everything: he tacitly gave his blessing for Elizabeth to be with Will Turner in spite of his own love for her, and let Jack Sparrow get a head-start on his escape, which unfortunately meant that when he had to chase Jack down for being a pirate, he wasn't able to do it and tried to follow him through a hurricane, which cost him his ship and his crew, and he resigned his commission in disgrace. When he resorts to serving under Cutler Beckett to get his life back, he's clearly uncomfortable with the things Beckett is doing and ends up betraying him to help Elizabeth and her crew, which gets him stabbed in the heart.
  • British Stuffiness: Norrington is the classic stuffy Brit... at first.
  • Broken Ace: After the first movie. Despite- or perhaps because of- all his skills and prestige, when he falls, he falls hard.
  • Co-Dragons: With Mercer and Davy Jones to Beckett. He’s the one entrusted by Beckett to command Davy Jones aboard the Flying Dutchman. To be honest, he doesn't really enjoy it, and he has no choice but to obey.
  • The Comically Serious: Treats everything as a matter of grave importance and an opportunity to be dry and cutting, which frequently cycles around to Norrington coming off as a comical character in his own right in the first two films.
  • Cool Sword: The sword forged by Will in the first film, which reappears through the trilogy. Most everyone that has time to examine it comments on how nice it is.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Always an undercurrent in his character, and becoming his defining character trait (aside from his determination) when he has nothing left to lose in the second.
  • Demoted to Extra: He's a major character in Curse of the Black Pearl and Dead Man's Chest but his role is greatly reduced in the third film, almost bordering on Back for the Dead.
  • Determinator: His Fatal Flaw. Gibbs is aghast when he finds out that Norrington tried sailing through a typhoon to catch up to the Black Pearl.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Does this to Davy Jones in the third movie, during his Dying Moment of Awesome.
    Davy Jones: James Norrington, do you fear death?
    [Norrington defiantly stabs him with his last breath]
    Davy Jones: I take that as a no.
  • Disposable Fiancé: He's Elizabeth's fiancé during the first movie, but at the end he acknowledges she really loves Will and lets them be happy together.
  • Dodgy Toupee: A strange case not involving baldness — his white uniform wig has definitely seen better days and barely looks like a wig anymore by Dead Man's Chest, but he's initially still wearing it regardless, all the way up to when Jack makes him use it to scrub the deck instead. Unlike most examples of this trope, though, he has a full, rather attractive head of hair underneath.
  • The Dragon: Subverted; he's technically this to Beckett in the third film, but he doesn't have much choice and clearly doesn't really like his role- and eventually betrays Beckett in a way that indirectly leads to Beckett's death.
  • The Dreaded: Was a heroic version of this by the time of the first movie, and by the time of the second, even the usually unflappable Jack has an Oh, Crap! reaction to realizing their paths have crossed again. Considering Norrington only lost Jack’s trail because Jack was crazy enough to sail into a hurricane and Norrington was crazy enough to follow him…
  • Enemy Mine: Reluctantly became part of Jack's crew in the second film.
  • Expy: Norrington is inspired by Duncan from The Last of the Mohicans, except at sea instead of on land. What little Expanded Universe material there is for him adds biographical details from the life of Real Life Royal Navy Commodore (later Admiral) Augustus Keppel, who was, like Norrington, an inheritance-deprived younger son in his mid-twenties and hunting pirates at the time the films are set, who was also rejected by the only woman he ever proposed to.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: During the first half of the first film, he spends most of the time concluding from the evidence, quite reasonably, that Jack Sparrow is a drunken buffoon with no useful information—the former being based on his apparently pathetic equipment and lack of outside support, and the latter on the fact that he was neither freed nor killed in the raid, suggesting the enemy didn't care about him. But as the viewer has seen, Jack is actually extremely competent (if dotty) and does have a link to the Black Pearl, both for reasons Norrington hasn't heard about. Of course, after the theft of the Interceptor, he cottons on pretty quickly to the fact that Jack is, if nothing else, a threat.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Though he's Admiral of Beckett's private fleet by the third movie, he's clearly uncomfortable with it from the moment he's first summoned into the room with his new uniform and rank, and as it becomes increasingly clear to him that he's effectively sold his soul he shows more and more signs of trying to mitigate what he's become part of all the way up to the point of making a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Four-Star Badass: Very proficient at actually carrying out combat, not just ordering it- in fact possibly better than anyone he commands.
  • Gentleman Snarker: Mostly in the first film. Later devolves into just plain Tall, Dark, and Snarky.
  • Hero of Another Story: He is "the Scourge of Caribbean Piracy" and a naval commodore at a startlingly young age. Jack offhandedly mentions to Elizabeth that Norrington was responsible for catching most of the rum runners in the area.
  • Heroic BSoD: Failing to capture Jack, which was largely his own fault, regardless of what Jack says, hit him hard. It cost James his authority in the Navy, because he followed the Black Pearl through a hurricane which destroyed his ship, which caused him enough guilt that he resigned his commission even before a warrant was put out for his arrest. Losing Elizabeth to Will can't have helped, though he mainly associates Will with the ruination of his own life because of his letting Jack go as a favor to Will, and is only a bit wistful when talking to Elizabeth about her growing crush on Jack.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Stays behind to gain Elizabeth time to escape, and dies for it.
  • Hidden Depths: His subplot in the second film reveals that this honorable, straight-laced navy officer could have been a damn good pirate, retaining all of his intelligence and skill even when a drunken wreck, but also a skill at duplicity good enough to beat Jack at his own game!
  • Honor Before Reason: He decides to give Jack a Mercy Lead at the end of the first movie and decides to chase him through a hurricane during the Time Skip between the first and second films rather than give up the chase. Both instances cost him as his mercy results in him being given a warrant for his arrest and execution when Beckett manages to overrule the Governor's decision, and his determination to catch Jack causes him to lose his crew and position in the Navy.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: He's introduced in the first movie as a high-ranking member of the navy who gots a lot of respect from anyone and is implied to be quite wealthy. He is also shown to be a good person, as he clearly cares for Elizabeth, approves her relationship with Will and even shows respect to Jack Sparrow. Than comes the second movie and it's revealed he lost everything somewhere after the events of the first movie, now being an aggressive drunk who's desperate enough to join Jack's pirate crew.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • In the first movie, he spends the movie trying to confess his feelings for Elizabeth and he proposes to her during the movie. However, he gracefully steps aside when he sees that Elizabeth actually has feelings for Will, not him and he gives them his blessing before leaving.
    • In the third movie, he does show that he still carries a torch for Elizabeth but tells her that he knows the two can never be a couple because she's a pirate and he's a navy soldier. Norrington kisses her before helping her escape and ultimately sacrificing himself by shooting the tow rope, which allows Bootstrap Bill to fatally stab him.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Very subtly. "This is a beautiful sword. I would expect the man who made it to show the same care and devotion in every aspect of his life." He says this while said sword is very close to Will's face.
  • Inspector Javert:
    • His initial reaction to finding out Jack is a pirate even after he saved Elizabeth's life is to prepare him for execution.
      Norrington: One good deed is not enough to redeem a man of a lifetime of wickedness!
    • At the beginning of Curse of the Black Pearl he makes his feelings on pirates abundantly clear.
      Norrington: I intend to see to it that any man who sails under a pirate flag or wears a pirate brand gets what he deserves: a short drop and a sudden stop.
      [Gibbs makes the gesture of a man about to be hanged from a gallows noose]
    • He's also pursuing Will Turner, though this is because he's unaware of the latter's reasons. He holds no personal malice against Will once the matter is cleared up.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In the first film. He may be spend most of the film being a dick to Jack and Will, but he truly cares for Elizabeth and is a good man at heart. He's even one of the few men that Jack can't seem to manipulate (at least in the first film). When Jack pitches going after the Black Pearl on the merits of how well it will reflect on Norrington, the latter turns him down quite promptly because he has no interest in conducting such risky mission for his own benefit. But when Elizabeth asks him to do it as a wedding gift...
  • Killed Off for Real: One of many characters not to come back.
  • Last-Name Basis: Almost always referred to as (insert rank here) Norrington, or just Norrington. Only Elizabeth calls him James.
  • May–December Romance: Well, May-July. He met Elizabeth when she was still in her very early teens and he was nearly twenty, though it's hard to tell that he's meant to be that young.
  • Mirror Character: To both Will (a fundamentally good-hearted person who commits illegal actions only for good causes, though he finds- to his horror- that his delivering the heart to Beckett wasn't a good cause at all) and Jack (in the sense that they are both skilled leaders and wily quick thinkers). Some of the tie-in novels, and even the writers' commentary on the first film, note that had Norrington gone down a different path, he would have been a very noble pirate indeed.
  • Never My Fault: Generally averts this- he has a habit of frankly and openly admitting his mistakes, without any indication that he expects to be pitied. However, he falls hard into this trope in the second movie, where (probably while going through alcohol withdrawal) he abruptly accepts and internalizes Jack's blame of Will for where his life went wrong, and immediately turns on Will. By the third movie he's back to averting it, when he tells Elizabeth that even though he truly did not know her father had been murdered, he knows that this doesn't make up for his other sins.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After Jack tries to escape his hanging at the end of the first movie, Norrington decides to give him a day's head start out of gratitude for helping save Elizabeth. In Dead Man's Chest it's revealed he chased Jack into a hurricane, lost his crew, became disgraced and fell out of the Navy, turned to alcoholism and piracy himself, and now has a warrant for his arrest and execution for extending Jack the mercy in the first place (to say nothing of the court martial he would face for losing a ship and crew). It makes his exchange with Jack in the first movie, where he prepares to execute Jack for piracy even though he saved Elizabeth, all the more ironic.
    Norrington: One good deed is not enough to redeem a man of a lifetime of wickedness.
    Captain Jack: Though it seems enough to condemn him.
    Norrington: In-deed.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: To Beckett in the third movie because he's a corrupt merchant and he's an honorable officer. The unparalleled eye-roll he gives Beckett at every opportunity has to be seen to be believed. He only wishes to end piracy to defend the seas and make them safe for all honest seafarers not out of any personal ambition.
  • Not So Above It All: Handles his drunkenness so poorly and with so little dignity that he retroactively makes Elizabeth's statement that rum is "a vile drink that turns even the most respectable men into complete scoundrels" come off like foreshadowing.
  • Prince Charmless: He codes as this in his role in the first film in a very Disney way, but his actual character is a subversion. Besides being handsome with an impressive office and promising career, he has a number of heroic traits and no motive for wanting Elizabeth's hand besides that he loves her.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: His attitudes towards pirates notwithstanding, he treats his subordinates well and conducts business with cool efficiency. He also places the safety and wellbeing of others above his own glory, and by the third movie he shows clemency even to pirates after Elizabeth has thrown her lot in with them.
  • Redemption Equals Death: He realizes Beckett is a fiend and helps Elizabeth escape. Cue Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: He's not a bad man, he's just not Will, Elizabeth's true love.
  • Spanner in the Works: A rare version that works in favor for the antagonist. He isn't contacted by Lord Beckett at all, but he catches on to the value of the chest and heart quickly, and manages to steal it from under Jack Sparrow's nose, fake a heroic departure, and return to Port Royale to present the Heart to Beckett, allowing Beckett to become the Big Bad over everyone. No wonder Beckett promoted him straight to Admiral (not that James was in much of a position to refuse it at the time)!
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: In Curse of the Black Pearl he's lawful and righteous, just a tad misguided, and he is correct that Jack Sparrow is a pirate who in general deserve a hanging. It's just that he's not aware of the full story.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Beginning in the second movie, nothing goes right for him and even the things he wanted turn out poorly for him. What little expanded universe material there is for him suggests that this was actually how most of his life went, beginning with an abusive and disdainful father and only going forward from there.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not that he wasn't already a badass before, but in the second film he becomes much more competent and savvy in the world of pirates despite his fall from grace. He manages to trace Jack and his crew all the way to Tortuga despite being drunk out of his mind and having no crew, figures out that there's something off about Jack's story of how Will ended up on the Flying Dutchman - a suspicion proven correct when Will himself shows up to confirm that it was Jack who set him up to be there, and correctly deduces that Lord Cutler Beckett is willing to offer a pardon to anyone who finds him the treasure that Will, Elizabeth, and Jack are looking for. All of this ultimately allows him to be the Spanner in the Works and the one true winner of the second film, managing to escape with the heart of Davy Jones and the pardon, conning everybody (including Jack Sparrow himself) in the process, and presenting them to Lord Beckett - setting up the events of the third film.
  • Unkempt Beauty: While he normally looks prim and proper in his naval uniform, losing his grooming, his clean shave, and his wig just makes him handsome in a more rugged fashion.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: It's buried, but deep down, Norrington is almost painfully naive. It genuinely shocks him to realize that Beckett had Governor Swann murdered rather than keeping his assurance of having the Governor sent back to England a free man.
    • A deleted scene from the end of Dead Man's Chest shows that when he brought Beckett the heart, he fully expected that Beckett intended to kill Jones right then and there; it never occurred to him before then that he intended to work with that monster. Granted, all of this may have more to do with naivete regarding his trust in the honour of the higher authority figures in particular, rather than any belief in the goodwill of all men in general as his distrust of Jack can attest.
  • Worthy Opponent: Regarded Jack Sparrow as such, hence the Mercy Lead. Sparrow seems to show him some respect, but underestimates him at a very costly price.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Norrington conducts himself- most of the time, anyway- as though he's the romantic hero of a more traditional swashbuckling novel, or a Jane Austen love interest. This ends up biting him in the ass, and hard.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Downplayed. He holds off a maddened and brainwashed Bootstrap for a few precious seconds by force of character, before dying.
  • Younger Than They Look: He's only 18 in the prologue, but comes off considerably older due to still being played by Jack Davenport (who was about 29 at the time of filming). By the time he appears again in the main story at age 26 or so, he's switched from his own dark hair to a white wig that makes his age even more ambiguous. He really only manages to look his actual age in the second film, where his hair has outgrown the wig and he's grown a beard to match it.

    Henry Turner 

Henry Turner

Played By: Brenton Thwaites; Lewis McGowan (12 years old); Dominic Scott Kay (9 years old)

Appears In: At World's End | Dead Men Tell No Tales

"I've read about a treasure, a treasure that holds all the power of the sea. The Trident of Poseidon can break your curse!"

The son of Will and Elizabeth Turner, determined since his childhood to end his father's tenure aboard the Flying Dutchman and return him home. He's spent his life sailing and learning the myths and lore of the sea, but his blind acceptance of the tales has put him at odds with the Royal Navy more than once, especially as he's always planned on allying with Jack Sparrow to achieve his goal.

  • Accidental Pervert: When he saves Carina from hanging, he's forced to hold her in such a way that any sense of propriety is thrown out the window. He tries to be more gentlemanly when she strips down to swim to an island later, much to Jack's annoyance.
  • Book Dumb: He doesn't quite grasp the maths and science behind Carina's thoughts, but is smart enough to realise that she's not a witch, so it seems that it's only maths and science he's not brilliant at.
  • Broken Pedestal: His first meeting with Jack is a huge disappointment for him as the fantastic stories of a wily pirate captain are attached to a drunkard in a prison cell who's only worth a single pound captured.
  • Cassandra Truth: It doesn't help his case when he's a low-ranking sailor barking out to his superiors, either.
  • Demonic Possession: By Salazar towards the end of Dead Men Tell No Tales in a bid to claim the Trident. It works, and Salazar immediately abandons Henry's body again.
  • Determinator: His entire life, he's worked towards breaking his father's curse and get his parents their happily ever after. This includes sinking himself into the sea to get his father's attention, going against his orders as a sailor (frequently, to the point where he's been kicked off more than a few ships), and serving as a distraction to the army present at Jack and Carina's execution in order to free them with no guarantee the plan wouldn't go south and that he'd die.
  • Divine Parentage: You could argue that, given that he was fathered by a psychopomp.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He gets this in The Stinger of At World's End.
  • Generation Xerox: It comes with inheriting his parents' adventurous natures. Also, he embarks on a similar quest of trying to free his father from the Dutchman that his own father did some twenty years beforehand.
  • Genre Savvy: He's spent the last 9 years studying all of the "myths" of the sea, so he knows perfectly well that All Myths Are True, and helps Carina find the Trident of Poseidon. The fact that he's known that he's the son of an undead psychopomp probably helped.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Inherited Elizabeth's golden hair. But unlike her, who had only one selfish goal (get married to Will) and would get treacherous and murderous to achieve it, Henry wants to get his father home for both himself and his mother so the three can be happy, and he doesn't truly have it in himself to kill anyone.
  • I Will Find You: Not wanting his father to roam the boundary between life and death and only return once every ten years, Henry sets out to find a way to break the curse and bring him home for good, for the sake of his family.
  • Military Maverick: He breaks rank in the beginning of the film to order the captain to turn the ship around and not pursue some pirates into a cave, and he gets his sleeves torn and thrown into the brig for treason for his trouble. It's mentioned it's hardly the first time that's happened.
  • Only Sane Man: He doesn't quite grasp the math and science behind Carina's thoughts, but he knows she's not a witch (at least not any kind he's read about) and that trusting her is the only way to find the Trident.
  • Retcon: In his first appearance in At World's End the character was credited as "Young Will Turner", sharing the name of his father and grandfather. In the fifth film, he's suddenly named Henry Turner with zero explanation. Apparently in the scripting process for Dead Man Tell No Tales, a separate character named Henry Maddox got merged with Will and Elizabeth's son, forgetting the character was previously named.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He looks exactly how you'd expect a child of Will and Elizabeth to look - to the point that viewers figured out his identity almost as soon as Thwaites was cast - and the studios didn't even bother trying to keep it a secret.
  • We Need a Distraction: He is the distraction, performing a crazy stunt at Jack and Carina's execution in order to buy time for Gibbs and the other crewmen to enact the real rescue.

    Carina Smyth 

Carina Barbossa (née Smyth)

Played By: Kaya Scodelario

Appears In: Dead Men Tell No Tales

A young woman fascinated by math and science who obtains a diary full of clues about the Trident of Poseidon.

  • Action Girl: More of an Action Survivor, but just the way she's introduced, picking her prison door and knocking out the prison chaplain, shows she's feisty and willing to throw punches.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Refuses to believe in magic and the supernatural even while being pursued by a ship of ghosts. It takes seeing the crew of the Silent Mary up close to change her mind.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Despite everything she faces (being tossed into a hay cart, jumping into sea, falling into a trap) her looks never get dirty or such.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": When she's about to be hung for being a witch and wants to deliver her last words, she silences an entire unruly crowd by bellowing "QUIIEEET!" at them.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: It's made obvious by the fact that the nebulous accusations of witchcraft have an awful lot to do with her being a woman with intellectual pursuits (it should be noted that witchcraft was actually not as big of a deal in the eighteenth century). An astronomer's shop she runs into early in the movie blatantly forbids women to enter, for example.
  • Bound and Gagged: The amount of time, she spends tied up, chained or captured during the movie, is really astonishing.
  • Brainy Brunette: She has dark brown hair and is intelligent enough to have educated herself in astronomy, maths, and horology.
  • Burn the Witch!: She is mistaken for a witch and sentenced to death by hanging before she is rescued by Henry.
  • Deadpan Snarker: During the double execution, when Henry is forced to rescue her in a rather, um, peculiar fashion.
    Henry: From this moment on, we are to be allies!
    Carina: Considering where your left hand is, I'd say we're more than that!
  • Disappeared Dad: She searches for the trident in the hopes that she can find out who her father is. Once Barbossa finds her again, he confides to Jack he hoped to never do so, and that the journal she's using for her research was left solely for her to get some cash.
  • Doorstop Baby: She was left at an orphanage's door with just her name and a diary left by her father.
  • Family Eye Resemblance: She has her father Hector Barbossa's striking sea-blue eyes.
  • Heroic Bastard: Margaret and Hector weren't married when she was born.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Rather, Like Father, Like Daughter. She's as adventurous as her father, to the point that once Carina learns who he is, decides to accept his surname.
  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: She hangs momentarily, but Henry manages to catch her before her neck can be snapped.
  • Meaningful Name: As she points out to Barbossa, her name comes from the shiniest constellation in the Southern sky, influencing her fascination for astronomy. And given captains, pirate or not, guide themselves by the stars, there was a reason for the name to come.
    • It also is an Italian term of endearment, "little darling". As proven by the compass pointing to her, she's what Barbossa holds most dear.
  • Meaningful Rename: At the end of Dead Men Tell No Tales, she changes her last name to Barbossa, in honor of her father.
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: When she says she's a horologist, Jack and his crew only hear the first part of this word. Horology is actually the study and measurement of time.
  • The Navigator: Using Galileo's diary and the constellation depicted on its cover is her method for finding the Trident.
  • Nom de Mom: With no idea who her father is, Carina goes by Smyth, her late mother Margaret's last name. After learning Barbossa is her father before he dies, she takes his name.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The diary previously owned by Galileo Galilei she uses to research for the trident's location. Barbossa stole it from an Italian ship.
  • Phrase Catcher: Her scientific knowledge is mistaken for magic, leading Carina to be frequently called a witch.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Likes to use some complicated words, most blatantly in her attempted Last Words to complain how the commoners are stupid (to the point most are reacting with "huh?").
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Given that her intellect gets her constantly accused of being a witch, she has every reason to think so. It doesn't help that she tends to use big words that go over everyone else's heads.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Once Jack Sparrow remembers a woman named Smyth, he proceeds to question how Barbossa managed to father such a lovely lady.


Joshamee Gibbs

Played By: Kevin McNally Other Languages

Appears In: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Dead Man's Chest | At World's End | On Stranger Tides | Dead Men Tell No Tales

Jack Sparrow: I thought you were supposed to keep to the code.
Mr. Gibbs: We figured they were more actual guidelines.

The longtime comrade and devoted first mate of Captain Jack Sparrow. Teller of tales, handy with a bottle, this veteran sea salt was truly a skillful sailor who cleverly navigated his way through many deadly situations. The often-soused but always reliable Gibbs had an encyclopedic knowledge in all manner of pirate lore of the seven seas and an epicurean taste for rum.

Once a sailor in His Majesty's Royal Navy, later an enthusiastic pirate, Joshamee Gibbs was a man who knew his way across every ocean, and into every pub. Gibbs was Jack Sparrow's most trusted comrade, one who cared as much about the Black Pearl as Jack himself did. On several occasions, Gibbs served under Jack's nemesis and rival, Hector Barbossa, but was never truly loyal to him compared to his true loyalty to Jack. Gibbs had an endless capacity to forgive, necessary when he sailed with Jack Sparrow, but lived a pirate's life and followed the Pirate's Code.

  • Agent Mulder: Extremely superstitious, even by sailor standards.
  • The Alcoholic: He's often seen taking sips out of his hip-flask.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: He's highly superstitious but he thinks Davy Jones' Kraken is just a legend. The way he talks about the Kraken seems to be saying, based on his tone of voice, that he really doesn't want to find out if it's true or not.
  • Cool Old Guy: Gibbs is perhaps the only character of the main cast who's never betrayed anyone.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Gibbs is genuinely shocked and saddened that Norrington tried to sail through a hurricane to capture Jack and his crew. Justified in that Gibbs served under Norrington, who was generally a Benevolent Boss.
    • Betraying Jack never once crosses his mind until the fifth film, where he becomes disgusted by Jack's excessive drunkenness and has to be bribed into retaining his loyalty.
    • Considers it low that Jack left Angelica despite having genuine feelings for her, which in turn led her to piracy.
  • Father Neptune: The spitting image of the "old and wise man of the sea" archetype.
  • Friendly Pirate: Quite possibly the nicest crew member onboard the Black Pearl, he has Undying Loyalty to Jack and he's very kind and affable to people he comes across. One wonders how someone like him even became a pirate to begin with - though the sheer amount of drinking might have something to do with it.
  • Guile Hero: In the fourth film. He escapes the hangman's noose by stealing Jack's map to the Fountain of Youth, memorising it, then burning the map in front of Barbossa, so he will have to bring him along.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Downplayed. He doesn't have anything against the female gender as a whole, but he's superstitious about women being onboard a ship.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He's the only main character that Jack Sparrow doesn't manipulate or betray at least once, and he realizes this. When Jack has to collect 99 souls to appease Davy Jones, Gibbs helps him without ever considering that he might end up as one of those 99.
  • The Lancer: As his Second-In-Command, he acts as this to Jack. Being the only character to never betray or be betrayed by him helps a lot.
  • Loser Gets the Girl: Scarlett and Giselle, since he was a Graceful Loser.
  • Mr. Exposition: Often expositions the hell out of everyone with nautical tales. He gets angry if you interrupt him, too.
  • Mysterious Past:
    • How did he become a pirate?
      • 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.
    • When did he meet Jack for the first time?
    • How is it his appearance has hardly changed since the first film??
  • Only Sane Man: Compared to the rest of the main characters, at least, he is more rational and has the fewest quirks, but there is still that superstitious streak.
  • Punny Name: Probably a play on "You're joshing me".
  • Running Gag: Being woken up with a bucket of water, after having passed out drunk in a pig-sty.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the fifth film, he is considerably more self-centered and untrustworthy, complete with having Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Despite how much of an asshole he was in the fifth film towards Jack and the crew, once he's back aboard the Black Pearl near the climax he immediately throws his all into fighting off Salazar's crew and is later shown steering the ship from falling into the chasm so Barbossa can save Jack, Carina and Henry.
  • Translator Buddy: He is the only one who understands what Cotton's parrot's nonsensical phrases actually mean.
  • Undying Loyalty: Whatever happens, he will never abandon Jack Sparrow. This is subverted in the fifth film, where Jack has become way too drunk and incompetent that even Gibbs decides it's time to leave for bluer seas, though he was at least apologetic to Jack about leaving him, unlike the rest of the crew. It takes a bribe from Henry to get him to come back to Jack.
  • Warrior Poet: Often waxes lyrical when explaining various plot-points.
  • The Watson: Asks the questions necessary to get Jack to expound on his plans.

Alternative Title(s): Pirates Of The Caribbean Captain Jack Sparrow