With the Pirates of the Caribbean movies more accessible than ever, and a summer season void of blockbusters, this month were diving deep into Disneys swashbuckling series. Grab your cutlass and hoist the colors: here be Polygons take on all things PotC.
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise juggles a lot of balls, but perhaps one of the most gripping threads is romance. Throughout the original trilogy, Elizabeth Swann is the central point of a triangle formed by Will Turner, Jack Sparrow, and James Norrington. The films end with Elizabeth choosing Will but was he the right choice?
To discuss the pivotal romance in the original Pirates trilogy, three Polygon staffers Karen Han, Emily Heller, and Petrana Radulovic convened to talk over Elizabeths three potential beaus, as well as all of the other high-seas heartthrobs introduced throughout the series.
Karen: Id like to start with the Big Three: Will, Jack, and Norrington. You guys have told me before that you both love Will why is that?
Emily: I do love Will Turner. I love a boy who pines.
Karen: So there was never any competition?
Emily: No, and in fact, I was annoyed whenever Jack Sparrow would get flirty with Elizabeth, and whenever anyone I talked to was into Jack Sparrow. I was anti-Jack Sparrow.
Petrana: I did not like Jack in the way a lot of people I know did. I do love a charming rogue, and as an audience surrogate crush, I get it, but I never wanted him for Elizabeth.
Karen: Please expand on why you love Will so much.
Petrana: I think Orlando Bloom is very cute. I think that was 85% of it, especially when I watched those movies. I also like a good childhood best friend love story, and I liked that it was mutual. They were both into each other, and society didnt like it, but they decided, hey, fuck society.
Emily: For me, I love a loyal character who has a moral code that they stick to even when theyre teaming up with someone who is not necessarily sticking to that. Whats interesting is that I was not an Orlando Bloom gal, I was not into Legolas. I was into Sam, that was my guy. Its that sort of loyalty that I really dig.
Petrana: I do like that Will has these principles. Norrington is the other character who has a strict moral code, in contrast to Jack, but his is a code of honor, which is hot in its own right. Whereas Wills devotion is to the people he loves.
Karen: The next logical talking point is Norrington, because he is the third love interest, but I feel like hes someone no one really considered until his arc in the second and third movies.
Petrana: I actually saw the movies in reverse order. I wasnt allowed to watch them because they were scary, so I saw the third one with my friends when I was old enough, then I saw the second one with my cousin. I finally saw the first one because I told my parents I was really into those movies. I think seeing them in reverse really elevates Norringtons story. He sacrifices himself for Elizabeth, and he was really hot in the second one. But then you watch the first one and its weird that she knew him when she was 11 and he was, like, 25.
Emily: I did not think of Norrington as anything other than an obstacle between Elizabeth and Will in the first movie. I agree that he was hot in the second and third movies. Removing that powdered wig really helped him out there.
Karen: So in the second and third movies, were you no longer like, Get him out of here, Will and Elizabeth need to kiss, because it was clear that Will and Elizabeth would get together?
Emily: I think because it was clear that Norrington did not have a chance with Elizabeth, that she was in love with Will and it was great, I did not see him as a threat then, and he was allowed to be cute without being a hindrance. The second movie is actually where I got really mad about the Jack Sparrow stuff, because thats where Elizabeth kisses him, and the look on Wills face when he sees it happen is devastating, because he doesnt know why shes doing it!
Petrana: The kiss is for the greater good! She kisses him for Will! Its the only way to save all of their asses. But he doesnt know that, so its dramatique.
Karen: So both of you, from the beginning, were like, She should be with Will Turner, there is no alternative, this is who she should choose. I will say I havent found Orlando Bloom attractive until very recently starting from when he was a villain in the Three Musketeers movie. I wasnt in love with Will while watching these movies. But I wasnt in love with Jack Sparrow, either. I was more interested in Norrington because of his redemptive arc; thats the story trope that really works for me. I find it interesting that both of you were with Will Turner from the beginning, because I feel like so much of the fandom thinks she shouldve gotten with Jack Sparrow.
Petrana: The fact that her choice is very clear from the beginning makes the other men good for the audience to project upon. Jack doesnt have a love interest until Penlope Cruz in the fourth movie (which doesnt count).
Emily: I never really went for the bad boy thing, I remember I got really mad at my sister for being really into the Phantom of the Opera. Thats part of why I wasnt into Jack Sparrow. If I was going to go for a bad boy, I would be into a bad man, i.e. Captain Barbossa.
Petrana: I have to wonder what it is specifically about Jack that I didnt get, because I usually do go for the rogue. I think the key thing missing is the heart of gold. Jack doesnt really have it. Hes an interesting character, but lacks the ride-or-die appeal of Will.
Karen: Yeah, the interesting thing about the end of the second movie is that hes trying to make an ultimately selfish and very villainous choice. So, of the three main love interests, the consensus is, two out of three, that Elizabeth made the right choice. But who would you pick?
Petrana: Will, but if Norrington kept his look from the second movie, that might sway me a little. I am very shallow and I love a man with dirty blonde hair.
Emily: I would also choose Will, but I do, as a 27-year-old woman versus a 10-year-old girl, understand the appeal of Norrington being much more established, and a more stable life is appealing to me, personally, as a tired adult.
Petrana: Will as a blacksmith has a stable income, but Will as captain of the Flying Dutchman doesnt.
Karen: He doesnt have a stable income, and the only thing thats stable is he can only come see you once every 10 years or whatever. What do you guys think of the way Will and Elizabeths story ends?
Petrana: I was looking into this because I was curious. In the directors commentary, they say that, because Elizabeth was faithful to him, the curse was broken, which I clung to as a little girl. Of course, they retcon that in the fifth movie, but I loved that tragic trope. There is the big question of why she doesnt just go with him. Her dad is dead, so why not?
Karen: Yeah, there is nothing preventing her from going with him. But I guess if you want to live in a nice house you wouldnt go because the Flying Dutchman is not very nice. Now, I want to dig into Emilys comment about Captain Barbossa. Personally, I wouldnt not choose Barbossa.
Emily: I love Barbossa, especially as hes juxtaposed with Jack Sparrow, because where Jack is morally ambiguous and kind of loosey-goosey and his whole thing is this stumbling rockstar thing, Barbossa is not loosey-goosey. He is controlled, he is tight, he knows exactly what his code is, which is none. I love that he absolutely does not care about anything besides his very specific goals. When he bites into the apple and the juice runs down his face? Its hot. Im sorry. Also he has a monkey, and thats cool.
Karen: Did you find him attractive during the first movie or is this something that has cropped up as youve grown up?
Emily: In the first movie, I was terrified of him. By the third movie, I was into him. I was 15, and I was like, Yeah, I like this guy. I was still all-in for Will, but I had some tinglings of, What about him, though?
Karen: Petrana, Im curious if there are any other characters that you looked at and were like, Hm, I do like them.
Petrana: Im not even sure if its romantic but I think Tia Dalma deserves so much more. I want to know more about her and Calypso. Her whole thing is kind of handwaved. Also Naomie Harris is just a beautiful woman.
Karen: I like when she turns big and then turns into a bunch of crabs. I do like that thats her ending: I am a sea goddess, goodbye. My huge crush was Davy Jones. I was so obsessed with him when these movies came out, and for a long time afterwards. I dont know if my crush on Bill Nighy came first or if liked Davy Jones first, but hes just so mysterious and cool. When I was 13, I was so into him that my friends made me a poster that was just a collage of pictures of Bill Nighy on a bunch of printer paper. They also got me a little piece of official movie merch which was a pen with a Davy Jones head-topper on it, which I treasured. I think its still in my childhood bedroom. That one moment where he turns into a man in the moonlight was hot. Not that Davy Jones with a squid face wasnt hot ... I dont look at Davy Jones with a squid face and think, I want to kiss him, but I dont look at him and think I dont not want to kiss him.
Emily: I mean, if we want to talk crushes that the room will not relate to: Jonathan Pryce, man.
Karen: Hes a devoted dad and has a nice house!
Emily: I like the wig, but also when he takes off the wig. Hes got that messy wig hair. Its good. Also, those Turner genes are strong because Id absolutely smooch Bootstrap Bill. Stellan Skarsgrd ... hes daddy, I dont know what to tell you.
Karen: Big, big same. Hes a hunk! More of a hunk than Will, in my opinion. Those barnacles aint nothing to me! I do have to bring up that when we were discussing this roundtable, Emily, you brought up the pirate Ragetti.
Emily: Yes! Specifically because of the scene where theyre doing the ritual to return Tia Dalma to her true form as Calypso, and the ritual says they have to speak to her like theyre talking to a lover. I love Barbossa, but he does this big, performative voice, and then Ragetti just walks up to her and whispers into her ear. She does this little shiver. I would, too. Also, Mackenzie Crook is a cutie.
Karen: I do love Pintel and Ragetti a lot. They are extremely cute together. OK, so what if Pirates of the Caribbean was a dating sim? If you were playing it right now, who would romance?
Emily: I think Governor Swann, just to see if the game would let me.
Petrana: I will say that I would not pick Will because he and Elizabeth were a first OTP for me, and I wouldnt want to mess with it. I want go with Norrington because I think that would be a challenging route. Whenever Im playing a game with romance options I have to choose the one that would be an uphill battle. (Disclaimer: this is not how I approach real-life romantic relationships.)
Karen: You have to fix him. It reminds me of Cullens route in Dragon Age: Inquisition, where you have to get him over his drug addiction.
Petrana: I picked that route.
Karen: I know you did. Obviously, I would romance Davy Jones. He was always my number one in Pirates of Caribbean. I was never into Will, Jack, or Norrington. I am fully aware he was not in the first movie, but I dont care. I love him. I love his little claw. Hes like a big octopus! Also, I feel like a new relationship would be good for him.
- Watching four disturbances in the Atlantic Basin; one in the Caribbean - Wink News - September 6th, 2020
- Why Rich Americans Are Fleeing To The Caribbean This Winter - Forbes - September 6th, 2020
- Caribbean Flavors to Shift the Palate, from Yardy - The New Yorker - September 6th, 2020
- Soca Artists Kes The Band Is Back With New Live Album Just In Time For Labor Day Weekend - Essence - September 6th, 2020
- Travel (virtually) to the island of Curaao through these photos - USA Today 10Best - September 6th, 2020
- Keeping an eye on an area in the Caribbean - kjas.com - September 6th, 2020
- Global Warming Could Bring More Hurricanes to the Caribbean: Study - Nearshore Americas - September 6th, 2020
- Who are the Jews of Jamaica and the Caribbean? - Patch.com - September 6th, 2020
- Caribbean Chef Stands Out with Hawaiian Cuisine - Caribbean News - caribbeannationalweekly.com - September 6th, 2020
- Palladium Hotel Group announces new Fall openings in Mexico and the Caribbean - Travel Daily News International - September 6th, 2020
- Caribbean Business And Finance Report - Caribbean and Latin America Daily News - News Americas - September 6th, 2020
- THE VIEW FROM EUROPE: Why vaccine nationalism should concern the Caribbean - Barbados Advocate - September 6th, 2020
- Disturbance in Caribbean Sea expected to strengthen into tropical depression - Tampa Bay Times - September 4th, 2020
- Caribbean islands respond to record COVID deaths - NYCaribNews - September 4th, 2020
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Original Flying Dutchman Ship Explained - Screen Rant - September 4th, 2020
- Coast Guard and Partners Seize Cocaine and Apprehend Suspected Smugglers in Caribbean Sea - HSToday - September 4th, 2020
- Renewal Interview Waiver Updates | US Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS - US Embassy in Barbados - September 4th, 2020
- Pirates of the Caribbean: What The "Mark" Was That Jack Left On Beckett - Screen Rant - September 4th, 2020
- Wonder of the Seas to be floated out on Friday - Royal Caribbean Blog - September 4th, 2020
- Latin America & The Caribbean - Weekly Situation Update (3-9 August 2020) as of 10 August 2020 - Bahamas - ReliefWeb - August 10th, 2020
- How to get a second passport in the Caribbean - Business Insider - Business Insider - August 10th, 2020
- Havana, the 'Paris of the Caribbean,' gets its own Eiffel Tower - Reuters - August 10th, 2020
- Latin America & The Caribbean - Monthly Situation Snapshot - As of 6 August 2020 - World - ReliefWeb - August 10th, 2020
- June, A Month of Many Celebrations: Caribbean Heritage and LGBTQIA+ Pride (Opinion) - Skidmore News - August 10th, 2020
- Pirates Of The Caribbean 6: 5 Things We'd Want In A New Movie (& 5 That We Don't) - Screen Rant - August 10th, 2020
- Pirates of the Caribbean: News, reviews, and how to watch the movies - Polygon - August 10th, 2020
- What a Year Without Caribbean Carnival Means for the Region - Cond Nast Traveler - August 10th, 2020
- Pirates Of The Caribbean: 10 Things Everyone Missed About Jack Sparrow - Screen Rant - August 10th, 2020
- COVID-19 Emergency Response Latin America and the Caribbean Report: Based on Internal Situation Report N 16 (August 5, 2020) - Bolivia (Plurinational... - August 10th, 2020
- Level 3 Travel Advisory for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean - US Embassy in Barbados - August 10th, 2020
- Nigel Spence: The Recipe for the Perfect Pig Caribbean Journal - Caribbean Journal - August 10th, 2020
- Belize Is Postponing Its Tourism Reopening Caribbean Journal - Caribbean Journal - August 10th, 2020
- Take your taste buds to the Caribbean and help support Kent hospice charity - In Your Area - August 10th, 2020
- St Vincent and the Grenadines Adds Quarantine for US Travelers - Caribbean Journal - August 10th, 2020
- 9 Saint Lucia Resorts That Are Open Right Now Caribbean Journal - Caribbean Journal - August 9th, 2020
- Royal Caribbean, Marriott and Cisco Earnings on Tap in Week Ahead - TheStreet - August 9th, 2020
- Pope finances 168 projects in Latin America and the Caribbean - Malaysian Christian News - August 8th, 2020
- Haiti is Planning to Reopen to Tourists - Caribbean News - caribbeannationalweekly.com - August 8th, 2020
- Javier Bardems black mouth goo in Pirates of the Caribbean, explained - Polygon - August 8th, 2020
- A taste of the Caribbean coming to Manchester - The Manchester Journal - August 8th, 2020
- US travellers advised to avoid non-essential travel to Caribbean - Loop News Trinidad and Tobago - August 8th, 2020
- Reactivating the Caribbean during the COVID-19 Pandemic | By Kristina D'Amico - Hospitality Net - August 8th, 2020
- Royal Caribbean CEO updates on resuming cruises, President's cruise, which ships will sail first and more - Royal Caribbean Blog - August 7th, 2020
- Chow It Up This Weekend - Caribbean and Latin America Daily News - News Americas - August 7th, 2020
- MMC Latin America and the Caribbean 4Mi Snapshot July 2020 : Impact of COVID-19 on Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Peru - Peru - ReliefWeb - August 7th, 2020
- Green Growth Has Made Dominica The Fastest Growing Economy In The Caribbean - Forbes - August 7th, 2020
- Davy Jones: A love letter to Pirates of the Caribbeans Kraken-summoner - Polygon - August 7th, 2020
- Could This Be The New Reggae Summer Anthem? - Caribbean and Latin America Daily News - News Americas - August 7th, 2020
- Elizabeth Swanns 16 Pirates of the Caribbean costumes, ranked - Polygon - August 7th, 2020
- Pope finances 168 projects in Latin American and Caribbean - Vatican News - August 7th, 2020
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Why The Black Pearl Is Really The Fastest Ship - Screen Rant - August 7th, 2020
- Caribbean finds there's no good answer to reopening - CNN - August 6th, 2020
- Optical Seismometer Survives Hellish Summit of Caribbean Volcano - HeritageDaily - August 6th, 2020
- Blue Hole Allows Researchers to Tap Into 2,000 Years of Storms in the Caribbean - SciTechDaily - August 6th, 2020
- Planet Hollywood Is Opening Its New Cancun Resort in December - Caribbean Journal - August 6th, 2020
- Pre-Screening at Airports Gains Ground in the Caribbean - The Weekly Journal - August 6th, 2020
- There Are Now Almost 40,000 Active COVID-19 Cases In The Caribbean - Caribbean and Latin America Daily News - News Americas - August 6th, 2020
- Kim and Kanye West head to fortress in the Caribbean to work on marriage - Evening Standard - August 6th, 2020
- Mexico and Caribbean Heat Up With Openings and Future Projects - Hotel Business - August 6th, 2020
- Health must come before the economy, insists top UN official for Latin America and the Caribbean - UN News - August 6th, 2020
- UK to be hotter than Caribbean as heatwave moves in - expressandstar.com - August 6th, 2020
- What Makes You Proud To Be Jamaican? - South Florida Caribbean News - August 6th, 2020
- St. Vincent Broadcaster Dies While Hosting Show - Caribbean News - caribbeannationalweekly.com - August 6th, 2020
- Sandals Is Reopening More Resorts in the Caribbean - Caribbean Journal - August 6th, 2020
- Latin America & The Caribbean - Weekly Situation Update (27 July - 2 August 2020) as of 2 August 2020 - Bahamas - ReliefWeb - August 4th, 2020
- Significant number of jobs predicted for the Caribbean by 2030 - NYCaribNews - August 4th, 2020
- IDB, ILO Predicts Significant Number of Jobs in the Caribbean by 2030 - caribbeannationalweekly.com - August 4th, 2020
- St Thomas Is Getting New Nonstop Flights on United Airlines - Caribbean Journal - August 4th, 2020
- Pirates Of The Caribbean: 10 Things Everyone Missed About Elizabeth Swann - Screen Rant - August 4th, 2020
- Bermudian MP sends Emancipation Day message to the Caribbean - Loop News Cayman - August 4th, 2020
- WAI Architecture Think Tank launches critical education platform modeled on Caribbean loudreading - The Architect's Newspaper - August 4th, 2020
- Caribbean - Wikipedia - August 4th, 2020
- Caribbean Map / Map of the Caribbean - Maps and ... - August 4th, 2020
- Brandon King bats for Black Lives Matter, to lend support Caribbean communities affected by pandemic - sportsmax.tv - August 4th, 2020
- Chef Niven Patel Opens Mamey and Orno at Thesis Hotel Miami - Miami New Times - August 3rd, 2020
- A room of one's own is bittersweet in this children's tale - Caribbean Life - August 3rd, 2020
- Local artist to host Caribbean-themed virtual exhibits Daytona Times - Daytona Times - August 3rd, 2020
- Unmasking Trends in Maritime Crime in the Caribbean - The Maritime Executive - August 3rd, 2020
- Top YouTubers in the Caribbean | Loop News - Loop News Cayman - August 3rd, 2020
- Tropical Disturbance taking its time coming together in the Caribbean - WKRG News 5 - August 3rd, 2020