Pirates of the Caribbean: The Secret Meaning Behind The Heroes’ Names – Screen Rant

Posted: January 25, 2021 at 4:36 am

The original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy had some clever lore, but few viewers noticed the secret double meaning of the heroes names.

The original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy had some clever lore, but few viewers noticed the secret double meaning of the heroes names. Released in 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was the first major studio blockbuster to focus on sword fights and swashbuckling since the infamous Renny Harlin flop Cutthroat Island was released eight years earlier in 1995.

Fortunately for Disney, The Curse of the Black Pearl was an unexpected hit with both audiences and critics. The creepy horror elements, mile-a-minute action, winning script, and game cast all won the movie a huge fanbase, and soon two Pirates of the Caribbean sequels were rushed into production. The sequels may not have recaptured the first films magic, but that could be attributed to how much evident care and attention to detail went into the script of The Curse of the Black Pearl.

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For example, few viewers would pick up on the naming motif shared by the heroes of the firstPirates of the Caribbeanmovie on first viewing, but theres a clever double meaning to each major protagonists surname. Whether its Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner, or Jack Sparrow, all three of their surnames are references to different families of birds, in keeping with the first movies motif ofwanting to fly free. The first film of the series, in particular, sees Will yearn to take flight from his boring existence as a blacksmiths apprentice, Jack Sparrow eager to be free from the more immediately impactful threat of the gallows, and Elizabeth yearning to break out of the gilded cage that is her upper-class existence as a lady.

A further look at each of the characters individual name proves that the writers of Pirates of the Caribbean put even more meaning into each moniker than is immediately obvious. Jack Sparrow is a reference to the bird of the same name, but Elizabeths surname Swann has another clever double meaning as swans are often associated with regality, like the comparatively privileged Elizabeth. Graceful and elegant, swans are also famously able to break a man's arm (as noted in Hot Fuzz), which makes for a fitting name for a heroine who progresses from captive to pirate lord as the series progresses.

But the more obscure name of the trio is Will Turner, whose name comes from terns. For anyone who somehow managed to pick up on that, theres actually a pretty major spoiler for his fate later in the Pirates of the Caribbean series hidden in the characters name. Terns are seabirds, and despite beginning the series as a blacksmiths apprentice, Will is eventually left wishing he never dreamt of a life at sea when the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie ends with him doomed to sail the seas for ten long years as captain of the Flying Dutchman (for any upset fans, its worth noting that the fifth film reveals he made it home to Elizabeth after the lengthy sentence).

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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Secret Meaning Behind The Heroes' Names - Screen Rant

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