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    Jack Sparrow 

Captain Jack Sparrow

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sparrow_jack.jpg
"Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!"
Played By: Johnny Depp; Anthony De La Torre (Young Jack Sparrow)
Voiced by: Bruno Choël (French)
"This is the day you will always remember as the day 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 Magnificent Bastard who's simply waiting for a proper opportunity to strike. Oh yeah, he can parley himself out of any deal or use people to his advantage... almost.


  • 0% Approval Rating: It took Barbossa three days to get near-everyone on the Black Pearl to turn on Jack, with only Bootstrap Bill objecting. By the time Dead Man's Chest starts, the crew have gotten fed up with Jack's antics that they're on the verge of a new mutiny, Mr. Gibbs included. Come At World's End, thanks to Jack being... well, Jack to everyone, everyone only wants Jack back for their own reasons, and the only people who admit to genuinely wanting to rescue him are Pintel, Ragetti, and Jack the Monkey (whom it should be noted Jack has shot repeatedly). Come the end of that movie, it takes a few days before they all abandon Jack in Tortuga again.
  • The Alcoholic: He loves his rum.
  • 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.
  • Anything That Moves: In his subconscious at least. One of his doppelgänger hallucinations in Davy Jones' locker makes romantic advances on a goat.
  • Arch-Enemy: Of the main antagonists, Cutler Beckett and Armando Salazar hold the most extreme hatred toward Jack. Beckett, the man who branded Jack a pirate and sank the Black Pearl, desires Jack dead so badly that when he holds Jack's compass (which points to what the holder wants most in the world), it points directly to Jack. Salazar in turn lost his life and pride because Jack outwitted him, and now, as a vengeful ghost, one of his primary goals is to find and kill Jack. After he becomes a living man again, he abandons his loyal crew to drown just to catch and kill Jack.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Very often at the receiving end of one, sometimes in succession. He often brings it upon himself; "That one I deserved".
  • 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.
  • 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 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? Sentence 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.
    • Save his crew from the Kraken? Get left behind and devoured by it.
    • 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.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't mess with his favorite ship. When Barbossa tells him that the Pearl was sunk, he 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. While he generally avoids killing, he has made exceptions for those he believes deserve to die (a fate that is usually earned). Barbossa (but 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.
  • Bi the Way: Johnny Depp has said as much in interviews, remarking on the situation any sailor finds himself in — at sea for months, no women on board, perhaps an "extra ration of rum" — and the practicality of being... flexible about one's preferences. In his research, he's found that sort of thing to be historically accurate.
  • 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?"
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Not mindset-wise - he certainly would not be fitted to any era where piracy has ended - but skillset-wise. Jack is the single best marksman in the series... 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?
  • Breath Weapon: Jack seems to have caught onto his own brand of knock-out gas — breath described by Gore Verbinsky as smelling like "a donkey's ass" that is so bad, it can victimize people.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite coming across as a total idiot, he is probably the best pirate around.
  • Byronic Hero: Intelligent, adaptable, seductive, introspective, struggles with integrity, and an outlaw. Utterly self-serving, but will Never Hurt an Innocent.
  • Camp Gay: Or Camp Bisexual anyway. Considering what was said in Bi the Way above, it is safer to qualify him like this. Campy he certainly is, after all.
  • Card-Carrying Villain:
    Will Turner: You cheated!
    Jack Sparrow: Pirate.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Savvy?"
    • "Bugger!"
    • "You will remember this as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!" At least that's what he tries to say; he doesn't always finish the sentence. He did, however, manage to say it in its entirety only once.
  • 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.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Lampshaded in Curse of the Black Pearl.
    Elizabeth: Whose side is Jack on?
    Will: At the moment?
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mildly in the first two, very much so in the third movie. Being dead and in Limbo/Hell all alone will do that to you. This gets a lampshade at the beginning of Dead Man's Chest, when he can't figure out his own heading.
    Marty: Have you noticed lately that 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."
      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.
    • Apparently, Jack is the worst swordsman, but the most experienced fighter.
  • 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.
  • 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 Awesome: invoked Invoked and promptly lampshaded in the third film as shown in the quote below. Jack'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.
    Beckett: You're mad!
    Jack: Thank goodness for that, because if I wasn't, this would probably never work.
  • 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 Jack is the most popular, and he's certainly the most memorable part of all of the movies, but he's not actually the protagonist of the first three. That would be Will Turner. By On Stranger Tides however, Will and Elizabeth were left out and the plot focused on Jack. However by Dead Men Tell No Tales they both return and Jack has to take a backseat to their child.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In his big introduction scene, Jack's in a small 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 just as his ship sinks to the bottom of the harbor, and 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 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, going to great lengths to avoid killing Will when Will was only fighting him as a pirate rather than because he had a grudge against Jack himself, avoiding soldiers trying to catch him after his escape from Buckingham Palace, and giving up two different chances at prolonged (if not eternal) life in order to save Will and Angelica from imminent death.
  • Eureka Moment: When William tells Jack he's named after his father, Bill Turner, you can see the gears moving in Jack's head.
  • 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 genuinely grief for his Heroic Sacrifice to save his long lost daughter.
  • 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 mains reply when he asks, "Did no one come to save me just because they missed me?" Only Marty, Cotton, Pintell and Ragetti and Monkey!Jack raise their hands.
  • A Girl in Every Port: Captain Jack Sparrow returns to a port he'd visited before and immediately receives an Armor-Piercing Slap from one of his spurned exes. He begrudgingly admits, "I deserved that." It's implied that she is far from the only such woman, and the end of the original trilogy sees him seducing two 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, Word of God is 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 (all of which inevitably slap him) and flirts with Elizabeth.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Gibbs. Through all four movies, Gibbs is the only person he's never betrayed. He even put himself in danger to bust him out in the fourth movie.
  • 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. There's just... less in it.
  • Honor Before Reason: Because even if it may not seem so, when he says I Gave My Word.
  • I Gave My Word: And he will keep it, in word and spirit. It just may take a while.
  • 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!
  • 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?
  • 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 
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: See The Gunslinger. Practicing on Jack probably helped.
  • Insistent Terminology: That's Captain Jack Sparrow, thank you very much. It bites him on the ass when Davey Jones points out that even though he lost his ship through mutiny, he kept calling himself Captain Jack Sparrow, therefore the deal was honored.
    Davey 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.
    Davey 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 — "you can always rely on a dishonest man 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.
  • 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 Empire 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.
    • Gives up the chance for immortality to save Will when he is mortally wounded by Davy Jones.
    • Stops fighting seriously when he is told Henry actually receives the wounds he's given even though Salazar is possessing the body.
  • 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 promiscuity, there was one woman he did love: Angelica. Subverted in that it didn't stop him from leaving her — twice.
  • 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.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: 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.
  • List of Transgressions: His list is so long that only the 'most egregious' need to be recited to justify his hanging.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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. Word of God goes a bit farther, describing the precise circumstances of how he became an outlaw and made a deal with Davy Jones (Jack freed a cargo of EITC slaves, for which Beckett branded him a pirate and sank his ship), but it's still far from the complete story.
  • 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.
  • Nice Hat: Possibly one of Jack's fetishes. He loves his tricorner hat - a Running Gag in the second film is his constantly trying on new hats to replace his lost hat - offers a nice hat to Barbossa in the first film, and loves Will's new hat at the end of the film, possibly being the Trope Namer has he remarks, "And Will... Nice Hat!"
  • 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?
  • Noodle Incident: During his List of Transgressions, he seems awfully fond of the time he posed as clergy. One has to wonder what he did during that time - odds are it involved a lot of sex.
    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: 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-traveled 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.)
  • 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.
    Bosun: 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, has never had the oppotunity to get a proper education, but had to learn on his own way.
  • Trickster Archetype: Always screwing authority in pursuit of freedom and as wily as they come.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In On Stranger Tides, he is shanghaied into service on Blackbeard's ship, and goes about setting up a mutiny. During the critical meeting, he learns the most salient fact that no one has so much as seen Blackbeard once, and, given that the supposed first mate is Angelica, whom is an established liar (the rest of the crew he was shanghaied with were originally brought in under the premise that they were to sail with "Captain Jack Sparrow"), he is lead to conclude that Blackbeard does not actually exist and that the whole affair (zombie pirates included) is a sham. He soon discovers that Blackbeard does indeed exist.
  • X Marks the Hero: As of On Stranger Tides.
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    Barbossa 

Captain Hector Barbossa

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/barbossapotc.jpg
"You best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner... you're in one!"
Click here to see him under the Aztec gold's curse 
Played By: Geoffrey Rush
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 is later resurrected for the third film by Tia Dalma when the heroes (and other forces) need him and Jack to return. He's a Smug Snake who's big on the double-cross and willing to take out anyone who stands in his way, but really, he's just trying to take control of his life back. A lot of viewers are confused by his actions in the third film, assuming they contradict his depiction in the first movie, but (like David Xanatos) his character doesn't change, just his enemies. Barbossa remains 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, however his taste is rather arty.
  • 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 NiceHat. PlayedForLaughs in On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales, when he dresses like an upper-class nobleman and even puts on a BeautyMark, 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.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: 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, its arguably not entirely by his own choice.
  • 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.
  • 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 Word of God, 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.
  • 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: State your demands.
      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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Exact Words: Barbossa will always stick to what he has promised. Which isn't to say that he won't have fun as to how he interprets said promises. See Rules Lawyer below.
  • 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 Badass Beard and a tendency towards being a Large Ham, he is very reminiscent of LeChuck.
  • Famous Last Words:
    • In the first movie. "I feel... cold."
    • And in the fifth movie, when Carina asks him who she is to him: "Treasure!"
  • 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, is seen as more “benevolent” in comparison where he’s willing to share his 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 Heroic Sacrifice 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 where he had to let Elizabeth go. In essense he keeps his word to the letter, but not the spirit.
  • 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 movie 4. Blackbeard took the Pearl from him and did his thing that made the ship attack the sailors, with the result that Barbossa's leg was caught in the rigging. He sliced it off to show he was master of his own fate.
  • 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 Tell No Tales reveals he is Carina's father.
  • 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".
  • Noble Demon: A vagabond with the romantic soul of a poet, Barbossa's heart is as noble and honorable in spirit, and not just the image of the Gentleman Thief he strives to live up to.
  • 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 British navy as an excuse to exact revenge on Blackbeard for the latter stealing the Black Pearl which also cost him his leg.
  • Not So Different: In the fourth movie, Barbossa has his ship stolen by Blackbeard and becomes consumed with his desire for vengeance. He briefly becomes employed by the crown as well, defecting in the end. Karma's a bitch, but at least Jack and Barbossa have some common ground. 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.
  • 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.
    • 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]
  • 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.
  • Reality Ensues: 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.
  • 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...
  • 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 Carribean), 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 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, has never had the oppotunity to get a proper education, but had to learn on his own way.
  • 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.
  • 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 

Captain William "Will" Turner, Jr.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/turner_william.jpg
Played By: Orlando Bloom
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.note 
    • 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.
  • An Axe to Grind: Uses an axe as a backup weapon during the first film and can throw it with lethal accuracy, as Jacoby finds out the hard way. The only reason Jacoby can live to tell the tale is due to the Curse.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Word of God states 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 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.
  • Nice Guy: Will is one of the most decent and well meaning men you could ask for.
  • Nice Hat: At the end of Curse of the Black Pearl, he wears an extravagant feathered cap one might expect from one of The Three Musketeers. Bonus points for Jack invoking the Trope verbatim upon seeing it, and William grinning as he said it.
  • 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.
  • Psychopomp: What he becomes in the third movie since he took over Davey 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 

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

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/elizabethpotc.jpg
Played By: Keira Knightley
"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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Damsel out of Distress: In the first movie where she arranges for her own rescue and otherwise gets herself out of trouble.
  • 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.
  • Good Bad Girl: Elizabeth is "so ready to be married" to Will Turner.
  • 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.
    • Interestignly enough, they're all killed by the crew of the Flying Dutchman. note 
  • 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: Word of God said 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".
  • Of Corset Hurts: "You like pain? Try wearing a corset!" she 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.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: In one of the non-canon comics, Elizabeth recieved 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.
  • Simple Staff: Wields a pole during the climax of Curse of the Black Pearl.
  • 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.
  • 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 and Pirate King.
  • 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.

    Norrington 

Lieutenant/Captain/Commodore/Admiral James Norrington

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/norringtonpotc.jpg
Click here to see him after his fall from grace. 

Played By: Jack Davenport
"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.
  • Adorkable: A deleted scene in the first movie shows that he's so invested in maintaining a Stiff Upper Lip that when he's truly overcome by joy at Elizabeth's acceptance of his proposal, all he can do is grin hugely and sputter "Oh. Excellent."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: To Beckett in the third film, as 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, and his determination to catch Jack causes him to lose his crew and position in the Navy.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In the first and third movie, he gives up pursuing Elizabeth so she can be with Will.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Very subtly. "This is a fine sword. I would expect the man who forged it to show the same care 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 absolve 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.
  • 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 and Harsher in Hindsight.
    Norrington: One good deed is not enough to save a man from 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.
  • 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 honorable men into complete scoundrels" come off like foreshadowing.
  • Not So Different: 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 has earned 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 

Henry Turner

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/henryturner.jpg
Played By: Brenton Thwaites; Lewis McGowan (12 years old); Dominic Scott Kay (9 years old)
"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 math 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 the movie 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.
  • 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.
  • Go Look at the 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.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Inheirited 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 has it in himself to kill anyone.
  • I Will Find You: Not wanting his father to roam the boundry 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.
  • 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.
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    Carina 

Carina Smyth

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/carinasmyth_5.png
Played by: Kaya Scodelario

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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • Hot Scientist: A beautiful young woman who is fascinated by math, science, and time. However, she is unable to get a formal degree at a university because she is a woman.
  • 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 before Henry rescues her.
  • 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.
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: When she says she's a horologist, Jack and his crew believe this means she's a prostitute. 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 on 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 become the father of such a lovely lady.

    Gibbs 

Joshamee Gibbs

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12_mcnally-pg-horizontal_7476.jpg
Played By: Kevin R. McNally
Voiced by: Jacques Frantz (French)
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.
    • 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.
  • Father Neptune: The spitting image of the "old and wise man of the sea" archetype.
  • Guile Hero: In the fourth film. He escapes the hangman's nose 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 on board 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.

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