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- "Whoah, whoah, hang on a minute! I just...I just need to understand something. Right, so. You will fight against them, they will fight against you all on account of him wanting to kill him? Where is the sense? Exactly. I say, let them fight each other! While we lay back, watch, have a drink, place some wagers! Eh?!"
- ―Jack Sparrow
The Battle for the Fountain of Youth was the climatic battle at the end of the quest for the Fountain of Youth. Though it was initially fought between Blackbeard's pirate crew and Hector Barbossa's British crew, The Spaniard's loyal crew entered the Fountain's chamber.
At the end of their quest, with the help of Jack Sparrow, Blackbeard and his crew, consisting of pirates and zombies, had found the legendary Fountain of Youth. After the arrival of a British crew led by Barbossa, a seemingly reformed pirate and privateer who had a score to settle with Blackbeard, the two crews engaged in battle. The fight was disastrous for some of the parties involved, resulting in the near wipe-out of the British crew, the death of the Blackbeard and his zombie crewmen, and the desertion of the rest of surviving members of Blackbeard's human crew who decided to join Barbossa, who returned to piracy. The only side who accomplished their goal was the Spanish, who successfully destroyed the Fountain of Youth.
Negotiations with Blackbeard
After stealing the Chalices of Cartagena from the Spanish Royal Navy, Jack Sparrow went to catch up with Angelica, Blackbeard and his crew, who were successful at obtaining a mermaid's tear from Syrena. Jack presented the Chalices tied onto a wild boar held on a leash by his friend Joshamee Gibbs, but wasn't willing to give them away so easily. Jack's first request was that Blackbeard brought no harm to Angelica, but Blackbeard admitted that she had never been in harm's way. After negotiations for the return of Jack's compass and the freedom of Gibbs, Blackbeard considered it done. Jack gave his compass to Gibbs. Now in possession of the Chalices, Jack and the crew went on with the search for the Fountain of Youth.
Having the route to the Fountain of Youth memorized, Jack Sparrow searched through the jungles to find the cave entrance to the Fountain. After searching through many huge palm fronds, Jack spotted a water droplet travelling up on one of the fronds, defying gravity. He watched it as it crawled upwards, then starts toying with it between his fingers. Jack then squinted through it, spotting a rock wall in front of him with the archaic symbol of the Fountain. The droplet broke free of Jack's finger and floated upwards, just as Jack discovered the cave entrance.
Torches lit and in hand, the Quartermaster led Jack, Angelica, Blackbeard, and the rest of the crew as they climbed down a steep incline to the cavern. As they journey deep inside the cave, the crewmen observe the stalagmites and stalactites. Salaman broke a piece off, which resulted in another piece of stalactite dropping onto a pirate's shoulder, killing him instantly. The crew moved on, as another pirate put the dead one's hat back on. Going much deeper inside, the Quartermaster waved the torch across a wall—a dead end.
Upon seeing the seemingly end of the quest, Angelica began to suspect that Jack didn't know where he was going. It wasn't until Jack unsuccessfully attempted to gain entrance into the Fountain of Youth, by hitting the two Chalices against one another, that everyone realized that Jack had never been to the Fountain.
Arriving at the Fountain
Angered by the revelation, Blackbeard ordered the Quartermaster to kill Jack Sparrow. The Quartermaster fired his pistol but Jack shielded himself with the Chalices and the bullet ricochets off them. Blackbeard aimed his own pistol at Sparrow, who started to read the words inscribed on the Chalices, Aqua de Vida". Water gradually started rising up along the walls, collecting into a pool above their heads. Jack then climbed onto Scrum's shoulders, holding his sword and poked the pool—the sword was sucked into the water, right before Jack Sparrow himself was sucked into it. Jack then appeared into a misty environment. Picking up his sword from the ground, Jack found himself in the Fountain of Youth.
Jack continued forward as Angelica, Blackbeard and the rest of the crew arrived. Right in front of them was the Fountain itself, a natural stone archway-like basin with water dripping through. Jack walked up to the central stone reaching to touch the water, but Blackbeard stopped him, stating that he'll be the first to drink from it. However, Angelica turned to see unwanted visitors emerging out of the fog, and Blackbeard knew exactly who it was.
The British arrive
Hector Barbossa, a privateer in service to King George, stepped forward to lead Theodore Groves, Gillette and the rest of his crew to the Fountain to confront Blackbeard and his men. Angelica realized that Jack had brought them there. Declaring Blackbeard as his prisoner by stating the crimes he had committed, including the loss of his leg, Barbossa pulled out his sword. Blackbeard pulled his own sword out, questioning if Barbossa was going to face him with it. Feeling that Fate had caught up to him, with his prophesied death coming true, Blackbeard vowed to have one last fight. Blackbeard ordered his crewmen to kill Barbossa's men.
Fight to the bitter end
Just as everyone pulled out their weapons to fight, Jack burst in between the parties, briefly stopping the fight. He questions the sense in both sides fighting just because of Barbossa's desire to kill Blackbeard, and suggested letting the captains fight each other, while everyone else lays back, watches, drinks and place wagers. Scrum agreed to the plan. However, Barbossa rejects Sparrow's idea and orders his men to attack and Blackbeard orders his men to leave no quarter. The battle commenced as the two captains engaged in a duel to the death.
The crews of the Providence and the Revenge clashed against each other in the battle, while Barbossa and Blackbeard put up a fierce fight. In their deadlock battle, Barbossa blocked Blackbeard's attack with his sword and crutch, then they resumed slashing at each other until Gillette got in the way and was fatally stabbed by Blackbeard's sword. Barbossa pushed Gillette's dead body aside and continued his fight with Blackbeard.
The Quartermaster killed one of Barbossa's men, who dropped his sword. Philip Swift tried to use the sword to break free of his bonds until the Cabin Boy freed him. Another of Barbossa's men appeared and tried to chase the Cabin Boy, so Philip tried to stop him, however he was slashed in the stomach. He clutched the wound and, avoiding the battle, ran away to the Jungle Pools to free Syrena from the same fate that other mermaids endured at the pools. Syrena disappeared as she swam through one of the pools.
As the fight went on, Angelica ordered Scrum to toss her the Chalices and to take the mermaid's tear to the Fountain. Scrum made his way up until Jack appeared, where they briefly dueled for the tear. Jack took the tear from Scrum by kicking him in the stomach—only to find himself threatened by both Angelica and Scrum, who pointed their swords at him. Jack tossed the tear into the air, Angelica tried to grab it, which caused her and Scrum to throw their swords up in the air as well, and both swords end up in Jack's hands. After another toss around, Jack ended up with the tear and Scrum ended up with the Chalices. Jack kicked the Chalices out of Scrum's hands over to the other side of the Fountain. Jack and Angelica then raced towards them.
Meanwhile, the British and the pirates continued to battle, though as time went on, it was clear that Barbossa was losing the fight, with most of his men being slaughtered by Blackbeard's crew by the time it starts to end. After a long and intense bout of swordplay, Blackbeard grabbed Barbossa's crutch and chopped it in half, leaving the privateer slightly unbalanced. However, Barbossa was still able to fight Blackbeard until the infamous pirate tripped the privateer to the ground. Though it looked as if the duel was at its end, Barbossa still had a smile on his face, which infuriated Blackbeard who was about to finish him off. But Blackbeard wasn't to be given that chance, as Barbossa pointed out to him, as more unwanted visitors arrived.
The Spanish arrive
From out of the fog, The Spaniard appeared, backed by soldiers carrying tall banners of the Spanish Monarchy. Jack and Angelica noticed the Spanish's presence during their chase for the Chalices. The fighting ceased as more Spanish soldiers arrived, surrounding all of the British and the pirates. At that moment, Theodore Groves ran toward the Fountain, dropping his sword and unfurled the Union Jack, attempting to proclaim the Fountain in the name of King George. But the Spaniard simply took a pistol and shot Groves, though he admired the bravery shown and asked one of his men to note it.
The Spaniard then spotted the Chalices in Jack's hands and walked towards him, but not before Jack handed them to Angelica. Forcefully taking the Chalices, the Spaniard held them up and, stating that only God could grant eternal life, revealed the Spanish's true intentions—the destruction of the Fountain of Youth. He dropped the Chalices and stomped on them, then tossed them into a deep pool and ordered his men to destroy the Fountain. Blackbeard watched as the Spaniard's men start to do his bidding.
As the Spanish destroyed the temple, pulling down the columns with grappling hooks, Quartermaster and Gunner attempted to stop them. While this was going on, the Spaniard confronted Blackbeard calling him a fool for seeking what only faith can provide. Blackbeard contradicted that claim by saying that faith is enough to see, but also enough to blind. Then suddenly Blackbeard staggered forward as he felt a cut on his wrist. As Blackbeard turned, Barbossa stabbed him with his poisoned sword. Angelica ran to her father's side to remove the sword, but cut her hand and poisoned herself in the process. Seeing that Angelica was in danger, Jack ran to find the Chalices.
As the Spanish continued pulling down the columns, Jack searches through the pool where the Spaniard had tossed the Chalices in an attempt to find them. Barbossa picked up Blackbeard's sword and claimed it along with his ship and crew as payment for his lost leg. As Angelica desperately tried to help Blackbeard, the remainder of Blackbeard's crewmen left with Barbossa. The Spanish struggled with a large column as Gunner and the Quartermaster fought some of them. Jack looked up as the large column was pulled over and, before they had time to move, crushed the two zombies, as well as the Fountain. The Spaniard surveyed at the Fountain's debris and finished off his work by making the sign of the cross. The Spanish then leave.
By the time the battle ends, Blackbeard and Angelica were mortally wounded, nearly all of Barbossa's men were killed, the surviving members of Blackbeard's crew deserted him and exited the temple with Barbossa, and the Spanish won the battle with barely any struggle.
The Ritual Begins
Only Jack was left, still searches for the Chalices until Syrena emerged from the water holding the battered silver Chalices. Jack took them and Syrena told him to not waste her tear shortly before she disappeared back into the water. As Angelica and Blackbeard struggled painfully from the effects of the poison, Jack ran quickly to the fallen, cracked basin. Jack managed to fill each Chalice with a few drops of the water from the Fountain before it dried up. He added the mermaid tear to one of the cups. Jack then ran to Angelica and Blackbeard, to perform the Profane Ritual.
As both Blackbeard and Angelica lay dying, Jack offered them the Chalices. Angelica said that Blackbeard should drink the cup with the tear so that he may earn more time to redeem his soul. However, Jack tried to convince Blackbeard to save Angelica by drinking from the Chalice that takes life. But in his greed, Blackbeard quickly drank out of the cup with the tear and told Angelica to save him. Though she was shocked at her own father's betrayal, Angelica willingly drank from the other Chalice. However, Jack revealed that he may have switched the cups.
Upon realizing that it had been Blackbeard who drank the one without the tear, Angelica's wound healed and the flowing waters of the Fountain rushed towards Blackbeard. The Fountain's waters completely surrounded Blackbeard, entwining him as his flesh began to rot away. Angelica stared in horror as Blackbeard's skeletal arm reached out to her. Then the waters cleared away as Blackbeard's skeleton collapsed in front of a devastated Angelica.
In the Jungle Pools, a mortally wounded Philip Swift drags himself to one of the pools to get some water to drink and put on his wound. As he splashes the water, Syrena appears in front of him. In their reunion, they make amends, Philip saying that his mind is a peace because of Syrena. Syrena then told Philip that she could save him from dying. Philip then asked Syrena for forgiveness for all the trouble he brought to her. Syrena kisses Philip and takes him underwater with her.
A Pirate's Life
- "Jack, I have to ask. You had the Chalices, the water, the tear. You could've lived, maybe, forever."
"The Fountain does test you, Gibbs. But better to not know which moment may be your last, every morsel of your entire being alive to the infinite mystery of it all. And who's to say I won't live forever, eh? Discoverer of the Fountain of Youth. [Gibbs chuckles] I have no say in it, Gibbs. It's a pirate's life for me. Savvy?"
- ―Joshamee Gibbs and Jack Sparrow
Jack Sparrow had Angelica tied up aboard a longboat as he took her to Sola Fide Beach, a tiny desert island. Even though her own life was saved, Angelica told Jack that she hated him because he had her taking years from Blackbeard, her own father. Upon arriving, Jack threw Angelica a pistol with one shot. Angelica desperately tried to convince Jack not to leave her there by first trying to get him to admit that he still loved her, then telling him about a treasure with jewels and that she was pregnant with his child, but he refused to listen to any of them. Then Angelica told Jack that she loved him, to which Jack stated that he did as well. They leaned in to kiss each, but not before Jack ran for his dinghy. Angelica angrily called out to Jack and then used her pistol with one shot to try and shoot him, but missed. She was simply left to curse at him.
Meanwhile, Hector Barbossa finds the Queen Anne's Revenge docked on the protected cove of the island, proclaiming to himself that the Revenge was his. At the helm of the Revenge, Barbossa is given a hat by the Cabin Boy, who had found it belowdeck. After he puts on the hat, Barbossa pulls out his new sword, causing ropes to unwind and the sails unfurl. Then he points it towards the bow, and causing the Queen Anne's Revenge to go full speed. Barbossa takes full command as the Revenge sails to Tortuga.
Jack Sparrow rejoins with his loyal first mate, Joshamee Gibbs, who used Jack's compass to locate the Queen Anne's Revenge and sneak aboard to obtain the Black Pearl, as well as all the other ships that Blackbeard had magically shrunk and bottled. While they have no idea how to get the Pearl back to normal size, as well as Jack losing his chance of immortality, both the pirates are happy to live a pirate's life.
Behind the scenes
- The battle's name was taken from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score.
- In the On Stranger Tides junior novelization, Blackbeard is wounded but not as he is in the film. Instead of being stabbed while he is talking with The Spaniard, he is stabbed by Hector Barbossa during the battle.
- The character of Theodore Groves was originally going to not participate in the battle, as according to Greg Ellis, his portrayer, in an early draft of the film's script, Groves was to be killed by a mermaid at Whitecap Bay. However, the idea was scrapped and Groves' role ended up expanded.
- Writer Terry Rossio originally planned a subplot for the movie which would have shown the characters of Pintel and Ragetti in separate crews, each thinking that the other was dead, and then being reunited during the Battle for the Fountain of Youth at the film's climax. However, at the end, director Rob Marshall opted out of the idea as he feared their roles would be cut and that the subplot would not fit in the movie's main plot.
- There was much confusion among fans if Theodore Groves really died during the battle or not, given that he was shot in the stomach by The Spaniard as well as being seen carried off by British soldiers. However, although On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall, stated in the film's audio commentary that Groves, along with Gillette, indeed died; Greg Ellis, Groves' portrayer, had mentioned a possibility that Groves survived the battle.
- In the non-canonical LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game, The Spaniard and his crew uses a pig to destroy the Fountain of Youth. Also, during the battle, Hector Barbossa is the only member of the British Royal Navy to be present, as all the crewmen were apparently drowned when the mermaids sunked the HMS Providence at Whitecap Bay, leaving Barbossa and Joshamee Gibbs as the only survivors. Following the Fountain's destruction, Jack, Syrena and Barbossa would must put out of commission Blackbeard and use a Chalice of Cartagena to save Angelica while Blackbeard becomes a skeleton.
- In the LEGO set Fountain of Youth, apart that the Fountain of Youth was depicted completely different than in the actual film, the minifigures included are only Jack Sparrow, Blackbeard, and Skeleton and Hector Barbossa. Any other character that plays a pivotal role in the battle is included in the set, but the map included in the set depicts apart from the aforementioned characters Angelica and several soldiers of the British Royal Navy (many than in the actual film). Neither The Spaniard's crew or The Spaniard himself are included or referenced.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide
Notes and references
- As evidenced by interview with production designer John Myhre as well as what was written on the pirate execution sign, placed the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in 1750.
- IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Greg Ellis talks 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' and 'Star Trek 2'
- WORDPLAY/Archives/"We Sail With the Tide" by Terry Rossio at [www.wordplayer.com Worldplay Archives]
- Rob Marshall: And that's the end of Groves after four movies. Greg had a dramatic end. And we saw Damian before he gets slashed in the back, we lost Gillette, too.
- Greg Ellis wonders if his "Pirates of the Caribbean" character will be returning for the fifth film in this series