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For other uses, see Crew of the Black Pearl (disambiguation)
Barbossa Crew.jpg
Cursed crew

Jack Sparrow[1]
Hector Barbossa[2]


Jack Sparrow (formerly)
Hector Barbossa

Notable members

Jack the Monkey
Bootstrap Bill Turner
Scurvy Joe
and many others


Black Pearl
Cursed crew's pirate ship
Cursed crew's merchant ship


Isla de Muerta


Caribbean Sea


Crew of the Black Pearl

First appearance

The Curse of the Black Pearl

Latest appearance

The Legend of Jack Sparrow

"Look! The moonlight shows us for what we really are. We are not among the living, and so we cannot die. But neither are we dead. For too long I've been parched of thirst and unable to quench it. Too long I've been starving to death and haven't died. I feel nothing. Not the wind on my face, nor the spray of the sea...nor the warmth of a woman's flesh. You best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner. You're in one!"
―Hector Barbossa to Elizabeth Swann.[src]

The Cursed crew[3] was a pirate crew of the Black Pearl. A notorious band of scoundrels, cutthroats, murderers, drunkards and desperadoes, this crew of miscreants was most notably led by the nefarious Captain Hector Barbossa.

Originally sailing under Jack Sparrow, the crew participated in the quest to find the Treasure of Cortés at Isla de Muerta. Barbossa, who was Jack's first mate aboard the Black Pearl, led a mutiny against Jack and marooned him on a desert island. Sometime after finding the treasure, the crew suffered under the Aztec curse; a curse they originally thought to be a ridiculous superstition and didn't believe to be true. Barbossa's crew were doomed to live forever as the undead, the moonlight eerily transforming them into living skeletons. To lift the curse, Barbossa led his crew in search of all 882 pieces of the Aztec gold, which must be restored in total with a blood debt repaid. The crew would spend ten years finding all the gold and trying to lift the curse. After the curse was lifted, the crew was taken as prisoners of the British Royal Navy. They later escaped from their prison and would be led by Bo'sun following Barbossa's death.


Captain Jack Sparrow

Recruiting a Crew

"Finding a new crew in Tortuga...I feel like we've been here before, Hector, don't you? What do they call that? Deja-booty?"
"You leave it to me, Captain. I'll find us a new crew. I'll take care of everything.
Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa[src]

Jack Sparrow showed up in Tortuga, at which time he was captain of the Black Pearl, where he recruited a crew with the intention of going after the treasure of Isla de Muerta with the help of his compass.[1] At this point in time, Bootstrap Bill Turner was a member of Jack's crew, and Hector Barbossa was Jack's first mate. A bunch of pirates were recruited in Tortuga, who would take part in Barbossa's own sinister plans.[4][2] At least two members of the crew, Pintel and Ragetti, who had previously sailed with Barbossa on the Cobra[5], were more loyal to Barbossa than Jack. With the new crew assembled, the Black Pearl then embarked on its quest to find the treasure.

The Mutiny

"See, three days out on the venture, the first mate comes to him and says everything's an equal share. That should mean the location of the treasure, too. So, Jack gives up the bearings. That night, there was a mutiny. They marooned Jack on an island and left him to die, but not before he'd gone mad with the heat."
Joshamee Gibbs concerning Jack Sparrow[src]

Captain Barbossa's crew of the Black Pearl.

The crew of the Black Pearl go sailing out in their quest, using coordinates that Jack Sparrow was able to get from his unique compass. Three days into the voyage, Barbossa coerced Jack into giving up the exact location of the island, saying that if the crew was going to have a share of the treasure, they should know where they're going. And so, Jack gave Barbossa the bearings to Isla de Muerta. It was by this point that Jack had already told the crew the tales surrounding Isla de Muerta, including the curse that lied upon the treasure. The crew ended up not believing in the curse, with Barbossa himself having said, "Ridiculous superstition!"[3] That night, Barbossa led the crew in a mutiny against Jack Sparrow, in which Barbossa assumed command as the new captain of the Black Pearl. Jack, who hated Barbossa for violating the Code[1], would be thrown overboard. Barbossa would have given Jack a pistol with a single shot before marooning his former captain on a desert island, where he would be left to die. Bootstrap Bill, while he probably didn't participate in the mutiny, given that he had a good relationship with Jack Sparrow, stayed on board with Barbossa's crew.[4]

Captain Barbossa

Finding the cursed treasure

"I hardly believe in ghost stories anymore, Captain Barbossa."
"Aye. That's exactly what I thought when we were first told the tale. Buried on an island of dead what cannot be found, except for those who know where it is. Find it, we did. There be the chest. Inside be the gold. And we took 'em all. We spent 'em and traded 'em and frittered 'em away on drink and food and pleasurable company. The more we gave 'em away, the more we came to realize...the drink would not satisfy, food turned to ash in our mouths, and all the pleasurable company in the world could not slake our lust. We are cursed men, Miss Turner. Compelled by greed, we were, but now...we are consumed by it.
Elizabeth Swann and Hector Barbossa[src]

The cursed crew of the Black Pearl.

Although having believed that the curse that former captain Jack Sparrow spoke of was a mere ghost story, Captain Barbossa's crew had the Black Pearl sail on, pressing towards Isla de Muerta. Locating the island of the dead, the crew found and plundered its treasure: 882 pieces of Aztec gold that lied on the stone chest of Cortés. At some point prior to finding the island, Barbossa would get a pet monkey, who also took at least one piece of the treasure, that he would name "Jack", after his old captain. They would then go out spending and trading every bit on food, drink and pleasurable company, eventually ridding themselves of all the gold pieces. It was only at this point that the crew began to discover that they were cursed. They suffered a living death, in which no amount of food, drink or pleasurable company would satisfy. When they stepped into the moonlight, the grim effects of the curse were plain to see: the crew's flesh vanished from their bones, eerily transforming them into walking skeletons; while in the daytime, their true decayed selves were covered by appearance of their former selves. Therefore, each member of the crew was doomed to reside as members of the undead for their transgression.[4]

Losing Bootstrap Bill

"Ol' Bootstrap Bill? We knew him. It never sat well with Bootstrap what we did to Jack Sparrow—the mutiny and all. Said it wasn't right with the Code. That's why he sent off a piece of the treasure—said we deserved to remain cursed. So what Captain Barbossa did, he strapped a cannon to Bootstrap's bootstraps and the last we saw, he was sinking to the crushing black oblivion of Davy Jones's Locker. It was only after that we learned we needed his blood to lift the curse."
Pintel to Will Turner[src]

Barbossa's crew soon learned, possibly through reading the Aztec writing on the stone chest[1], that the only way to undo their curse was by putting all the Aztec gold back into the chest. And so the now-cursed crew attempted to reclaim all 882 pieces of the Aztec gold, in order to lift their curse. Bootstrap Bill Turner, on the other hand, did not join this desperate search. He had been feeling guilty because of what they did to Jack Sparrow, believing that it wasn't right with the Code, so far as to say that the crew deserved to be cursed for what they did and to remain cursed. That was when Bootstrap sent his piece of the treasure to his child in England, because he never wanted Barbossa's crew to be able to lift the curse. In response, an angered Barbossa had Bootstrap Bill tied to a cannon and thrown overboard, eternally drowning but unable to die because of the Aztec curse. He was left to suffer at the crushing depths of the bottom of the ocean. It wasn't until after Bootstrap was thrown overboard did the crew learn of an additional requirement to lift the curse: all who stole but a single coin from the chest had to pay the heathen gods in blood, which now seemed impossible with Bootstrap lost to them. However, a chance of salvation lied in Bootstrap's child, who had both his coin and Turner blood in his veins.[4]

Reclaiming all pieces

"881 we found but despaired of ever finding the last. We've paid the blood sacrifice owed the heathen gods."
Hector Barbossa to his crew[src]

The crew searching for pieces of the Aztec gold.

And so, with their slight ray of hope of lifting their curse, the cursed crew set out to find all the scattered pieces of the Aztec gold, using the caves of Isla de Muerta as a base to store their plundered loot. The treasure on Isla de Muerta included huge quantities of gold and silver bars and coins, which came from raids on Spanish ships heading back to Seville from the country's colonies in Mexico and Peru. But some of the most valuable pieces are jewelry stolen from wealthy passengers on ships the Black Pearl attacked.[6] Sightings of the Black Pearl had been reported all over the world, ranging from Madagascar to Newport to Singapore[7], where the infamous pirate ship preyed on ships and settlements, and was believed to have left no survivors. Due to the immortality and prior fighting experience of most of the crew members, the crew was always a deadly threat. Stories and legends arose about the Black Pearl, being "crewed by the damned" and Barbossa himself characterized as "a man so evil that Hell itself spat him back out".[4]

Even members of the British Royal Navy were not above superstition; Joshamee Gibbs was particularly mindful of drawing the attention of the "cursed pirates" during the HMS Dauntless's crossing from England to Port Royal. It was during this voyage that the Black Pearl destroyed a merchant vessel that carried young Will Turner, who had set out to find his father while wearing the Aztec gold medallion around his neck. Drawn by Will's medallion, the crew left a burning wreck in their wake, though were unable to recover the gold because Will, along with his piece of gold, had drifted towards the Dauntless, the power of those waters. And so the Black Pearl left without getting Will and the coin, which was taken by a young Elizabeth Swann, as she believed that if it were discovered, Will would be treated as a pirate and be killed. While looking at the medallion, Elizabeth Swann also saw the Black Pearl sailing away from the Dauntless through an unnatural fog. For the next eight years, the cursed pirates continued looking for all the gold.[4]

Promise of a cure

Barbossa's crew fights against Palaimon's army of souls.

"Need sailors' blood to keep you alive then?"
"No. I love sailors...but pirate souls feed my fire."
"Pity...'cause our souls be spoken for!
Hector Barbossa and Palaimon[src]

At some point during their desperate search for the Aztec gold, Barbossa's crew of cutthroats came across a mysterious castaway floating in the water. Noting that there were no dead bodies, and no blood to show that sharks ate them, Barbossa was curious on the situation. Later, while having dinner with Barbossa, the young boy introduced himself as Juan Ponce de León, the conquistador who located the legendary Fountain of Youth. Believing that the Fountain might hold the key to lifting the curse they're under, Barbossa ordered his men to chart a course to the cove where the Fountain was supposedly located. However, once they reached their destination, Barbossa's crew discovered that "Mr. De Leon" was actually Palaimon, a demonic Greek sea god who fed on the souls of sailors and pirates. Palaimon then summoned an army of souls, which the cursed crew were unable to hurt. Barbossa managed to defeat Palaimon by forcing him to fall into the sea, deducing that he he couldn't swim due to having found him clinging to a piece of floating wood.[8]

Blood of the Aztec Curse

Attack on Port Royal
"Me holds are bursting with swag. That bit of shine matters to us? Why?"
"It's what you've been searching for. I recognize this ship. I saw it eight years ago on the crossing from England."
"Did you, now?
Hector Barbossa and Elizabeth Swann[src]

About eight years after the Black Pearl's voyage from the crossing of England, and ten years after the curse fell upon them, the cursed crew of the Black Pearl had returned all but one of the 882 pieces of the Aztec gold, though despaired of ever finding the last piece. However, the gold called to the pirates after the medallion fell in the water. Knowing it was the last medallion, the last piece they needed to lift their curse, the pirates came after it. They followed the call of the gold piece to the British colony of Port Royal.[4]

"Elizabeth Turner" confronting Barbossa's crew.

The crew of Black Pearl arrived to Port Royal at night, blending in perfectly with the dark and cloudy night, followed by an eerie fog. Due to the cover, the Pearl was able to attack Port Royal unhindered. While cannonneers fired at Fort Charles, occupying the fort's attention, Captain Barbossa sent a raiding party to collect the final Aztec coin. Longboats emerge out of the fog, carrying armed pirates that began raiding and ransacking the town. Lured by the medallion's "call", a group of pirates storm into the governor's mansion.[4]

As the Black Pearl laid siege to the town, two of the crew, Pintel and Ragetti, brought a woman aboard the Pearl. The woman, who had the last Aztec gold medallion, introduced herself as "Elizabeth Turner" and persuaded the pirates to stop the attack in exchange for the medallion. Barbossa reacted to the name "Turner", which confirmed what he had suspected: she was the child of Bootstrap Bill Turner. Believing Elizabeth had "Turner blood", which they needed to lift their curse, Barbossa had her kept aboard as a captive. Captain Barbossa welcomed Elizabeth aboard the Pearl as the crew set sail for Isla de Muerta.[4]

Ghost stories
"There is one way we can end our curse. All the scattered pieces of the Aztec gold must be restored and the blood repaid. Thanks to ye, we have the final piece."
"And the blood to be repaid?"
"That's why there's no sense to be killin' you...yet.
Hector Barbossa and Elizabeth Swann[src]

As the Black Pearl cut through the dark waves under a moonlit sky, Elizabeth had dinner with Captain Barbossa, wearing a red dress he requested she wear. At first Elizabeth was "disinclined to acquiesce to his request", but reconsidered after Pintel said that her alternative would be dining with the crew naked. After Elizabeth thought the food was poisoned, Barbossa said there was no sense in killing her before talking about Elizabeth's medallion. Barbossa then told the story of how he and his crew became cursed, after taking the gold from the stone chest and spending it all. Despite Elizabeth believing this to be a "ghost story", Barbossa continued telling her his tale, adding that the curse could only be lifted when all the scattered gold pieces were returned in full and the blood repaid. Finally getting to his point, Barbossa told Elizabeth that she was the last blood sacrifice needed to lift the curse, saying "that's why there's no sense to be killing you. Yet."[4]

Still seated in her chair, Elizabeth stared at Barbossa, horrified, as he again offered her an apple. Elizabeth then came up out of her chair, trying to get away from Barbossa, until she used a knife she took from the table and stabbed Barbossa in his chest. Unaffected by Elizabeth's knife, Barbossa pulled it out with little effort, with blood on the blade. Elizabeth expected Barbossa to fall to the ground, but he didn't. "I'm curious," he said instead. "After killing me, what is it you're planning on doing next?"[4]

The cursed crew working on the main deck.

Turning in terror, Elizabeth burst through the doors of the cabin onto the main deck, where she saw Barbossa's now-skeletal crew working at their stations. Right in front of here, the crew of skeletons were at work swabbing the decks and coiling the lines. Screeching, Elizabeth tried to get away, but she fell, landing on a blanket in the cargo hold. A moment later, she was flung high into the air as skeletons pulled the blanket from beneath her. She came down, only to be caught by another skeleton as he swung by on a mast line. Terrified, she screamed again as she fell to the deck, while the skeletons kept working. Elizabeth ran over and hid under a stairway, until she let out another scream when Barbossa's monkey swung down beside her, scaring her with its skeletal appearance. Once more, Elizabeth jumped up, heading for the safety of the captain's cabin. But Barbossa was waiting for her just inside the doorway, out of the moonlight, and grabbed her roughly before jerking her back around and pulling her close. Barbossa explained the curse's effect on the crew before putting his hand in the moonlight. He revealed his full skeletal form as he said saying "You best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner. You're in one!" Barbossa took a bottle of wine, uncorked it with his teeth, and drank from the bottle—the wine running through his rib cage. Witnessing all this, Elizabeth ran back into the cabin. While Barbossa ordered his crew to get back to work, a terrified Elizabeth huddled in the far corner of the cabin, where she remained for the rest of the voyage.[4]

Isla de Muerta
"Gents, you all remember Captain Jack Sparrow? Kill him."
"The girl's blood didn't work, did it?"
"Hold your fire! You know whose blood we need."
"I know whose blood you need.
Hector Barbossa and Jack Sparrow[src]

The Black Pearl soon arrived to the Isla de Muerta, laying at anchor in one of the many rocky harbors that lined the island. Having retrieved the last medallion and believing Elizabeth was the daughter of Bootstrap Bill Turner, Barbossa's crew now intent on ending their curse. Once outside, Elizabeth's hands were bound as Barbossa placed the medallion back around her neck. Moments later, the crew set to the longboats and rowed toward a dark cave. In front of the longboat carrying Elizabeth, Barbossa stood in another boat, with the cursed monkey on his shoulder and an eager gleam in his eye. Soon, the curse would be over, and he would be a free man once more.[4]

The crew with Elizabeth at the caves of Isla de Muerta.

Upon reaching the island's dark caverns, the crew unloaded all of their booty, while Barbossa prepared the blood ritual. Barbossa gave a speech to the crew, reminiscing of their search for the 882 pieces of the Aztec gold, and turned to Elizabeth to perform the ritual to lift the curse. He cut Elizabeth's palm with a knife, covered the medallion with her blood, and dropped it into the stone chest. Although they performed the ritual, the crew didn't feel any different. As a test, Barbossa shot Pintel with his pistol to see if the curse was lifted; but Pintel didn't die. Barbossa confronted Elizabeth, realizing that Elizabeth was not the child of Bootstrap Bill. A frustrated Barbossa then knocked Elizabeth unconscious, dropping Elizabeth's medallion as well. The crew then began to argue amongst themselves on their unsuccessful attempt to lift the curse. They blamed Pintel and Ragetti for bringing the wrong person, and then turned their attention to Barbossa, claiming every decision he had made has led them from bad to worse. But, when Barbossa brandished his sword, none of the crewmen dared to fight against their skilled captain.[4]

Barbossa's crew reunited with Captain Jack Sparrow.

The confrontation was interrupted by Barbossa realizing that Elizabeth escaped with the gold medallion. While searching for the oars to their longboats, which had gone missing, Barbossa's crew were surprised to see their old captain Jack Sparrow waltzing through the caves. Invoking the right of parley, Jack was brought before Barbossa, who was also shocked by Jack's survival. Barbossa then ordered the crew to kill him. However, as Jack had knowledge on whose blood the crew needed, Barbossa had no choice but to bring his former captain aboard the Black Pearl to find the medallion.[4]

Retrieving the medallion
"Strike your colors, you bloomin' cockroaches! Hands, grapnels at the ready! Prepare to board!"
Hector Barbossa to his crew[src]

The crew confronted by Will Turner.

While aboard the Pearl, Barbossa and Jack negotiated in the captain's cabin, until Bo'sun informed Barbossa that they were closing in on the HMS Interceptor, the ship that Elizabeth and the medallion were on. And so Barbossa sent Jack to the brig as the Pearl gaining on the Interceptor. Seeing the Interceptor crew throwing their cargo overboard, Barbossa ordered his crew to ready out the guns. From the mainsail, a flag unfurled, revealing the black-and-white skull and crossbones of the Jolly Roger. From the side of the Black Pearl, oars appeared and began to row, adding to the ship's already increasing speed. After seeing the Interceptor clubhauling, Barbossa quickly ordered the crew to turn the ship hard to port, and ordered a full broadside.[4] Barbossa waited until the Interceptor was alongside before ordering the crew to fire.[3]

The Black Pearl engaged the Interceptor in battle, which resulted in Barbossa's monkey Jack retrieving the medallion and Barbossa declared their hope was restored. After the Interceptor exploded, the crew was confronted by the real child of Bootstrap Bill Turner—Will Turner, who requested the safety of Elizabeth and Jack's crew. Barbossa agreed to those terms, but with a price: Will was taken as prisoner, while Jack's crew was sent the brig, and Elizabeth was sent with Jack Sparrow to the same island Jack was previously marooned on.[4]

Battle of the Isla de Muerta
"All hands to the boats! Apologies. You give the orders."
"Gents. Take a walk."
"...Not to the boats?
Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa[src]

Barbossa ordering the crew to "take a walk".

With Barbossa's crew having reclaimed the medallion, the Black Pearl had set sail towards Isla de Muerta once again, this time with Will Turner as their prisoner. Entering the caves, Barbossa once again aimed to lift their curse, this time with the intention of killing Will and using his blood in the blood ritual. However, his plans fell apart when Captain Jack Sparrow himself entered the cavern. Although Barbossa was initially shocked of Jack's reappearance, he resumed in his plan to kill Will, but not before Jack warned that the HMS Dauntless, captained by Commodore James Norrington, was waiting for the crew. Upon this revelation, Barbossa listened to Jack's proposal, which involved killing Norrington's men, thereby gaining a new ship for a fleet.[4]

The cursed crew marching underwater to attack the HMS Dauntless.

Agreeing to the matter, Barbossa sent his crew for attack, save for three of his men, Jacoby, Weatherby, and Monk. But to Jack's dismay, having planned on Barbossa's men using the longboats to fight Norrington's men aboard the Dauntless, Barbossa ordered the crew to go walk underwater, and ambush the Dauntless from below. Pintel and Ragetti were forced to distract the Dauntless crew before the other crewmen gave the full attack. Meanwhile, back at the caverns, just as Barbossa was beginning to trust Jack, a duel ensued between the two within the treasure cave. Although Barbossa was able to stab Jack, mortally wounding him, Jack revealed himself to be cursed, having taken an Aztec coin while he and Barbossa negotiated. Even though the duel was now pointless, Jack and Barbossa continued fighting throughout the caves.[4]

The rest of the crew continued fighting Norrington's men of the Royal Navy aboard the Dauntless. Pintel and Ragetti soon came aboard, where they would discover that, while two of their men stood guard, the Black Pearl was sailing away, stolen from them by Jack's motley crew after being freed by Elizabeth. Nevertheless, they continued fighting on the Dauntless.[4]

The Curse Lifted
"Wait to lift the curse until the opportune moment."
Jack Sparrow[src]

Later in the battle, Elizabeth, who escaped from the Dauntless before it was attacked, arrived to the caves and aided Will in defeating Jacoby, Weatherby and Monk. Upon seeing this from his stalemate duel with Barbossa, Jack cut his hand and threw his coin, smeared with his blood, to Will, who dropped his own coin into the chest, lifting the curse at the most opportune moment: Barbossa was caught off-guard and shot in the heart by Jack himself with his pistol. Although Barbossa finally got what he wanted for the past ten years, to be able to feel again, he died from Jack's one shot that was still in his heart.[4]

The crew after their curse was lifted.

Simultaneously, the rest of Barbossa's crew fought the Dauntless crew until they noticed that each of them reverted back to normal, even though they were out in the moonlight. One of their own, Koehler, was mortally wounded by Norrington before this sudden change, and died. Realizing that they were now mortal and lost their advantage, the crew found themselves surrounded by Norrington's men of the Royal Navy, and so they were forced to surrender.[4]

Bo'sun's command

Second curse

"Scurvy cutthroats who turn into the bony undead under moonlight! Looks like your old crew is back from the grave again, Jack! Let's see to it that they rest in pieces, shall we?"
"Easier said than done, I'm afraid! It's bloody hard to kill something that's already dead!
Will Turner and Jack Sparrow[src]

The surviving crew members were taken back to Fort Charles to be executed, but soon escaped the clutches of the Royal Navy. They would return to Isla de Muerta to become cursed once more, vowing revenge against Jack Sparrow. They first made their reappearance at the Faithful Bride in Tortuga, where they kidnapped Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, though Jack saw to their rescue with the aid of St. Piran's Blade.[9] By this point, Bo'sun was serving as the leader of the crew, and set off on a quest to steal an Aztec Idol in Mexico. Bo'sun was briefly rendered invincible by the artifact, though it was immediately stolen by Jack, who left the crew marooned at sea.[10]

The crew later tried more subtle ways of getting revenge on Jack, such as ambushing him aboard a merchant vessel. However, the ingenious use of chain-shot by Jack's crew saw the cursed pirates sent overboard, and forced to make a long walk back to shore.[11] At some point following this, the entire crew returned to Isla de Muerta and lifted their curse again. They were arrested soon afterwards; so it is possible that pirate hunters were sent after them following this. It's presumed that they were all hanged, with the exception of Pintel and Ragetti, who escaped and later joined Jack Sparrow's crew aboard the Black Pearl.[12]


"A crew's got to eat, unless they're made o' skeletons. I'll tell you that story later, me hearty."
Joshamee Gibbs to a pirate[src]

The adventure against Hector Barbossa's cursed crew would be later recalled by the crew of the Dying Gull in 1751 when Sparrow ordered his men to pay him a tribute for being their captain.[13]

Everyday life

"You've seen a ship with black sails, that's crewed by the damned and captained by a man so evil that Hell itself spat him back out?"

The cursed crew at Isla de Muerta.

The crew was characterized as a group of scoundrels, murderers, malefactors, drunkards and desperadoes. They hailed from a dozen nations, including escaped slaves from West Africa and Hispaniola, and former members of the British Royal Navy. Some members once operated as privateers before peace-time saw the loss of their employment, forcing them to turn to piracy.[3]

Though they were described to be cutthroats by many, this depiction of them was biased. Like most pirates, many of them were mutual acquaintances, and many were known to have a sense of humor, even if their jokes were dry. One example was Jacoby's self sense of satisfaction after revealing to Will that he was not dead during the attack on Port Royal as well as Pintel and Ragetti's constant playful banter. However, despite their fierceness, the crew of the Black Pearl met fierce resistance as they swing across to the Interceptor. They were not used to such opposition. Crews attacked by pirates - even flesh-and-blood pirates - usually gave in without battle.[3]

Although all crewmembers had the same dream—to remove their curse—they did not show real team spirit. Nevertheless, there were some groups of two pirates who normally worked together, including:

The nature of these pairings is unknown, while some of them are relatives (Pintel and Ragetti are uncle and nephew), other seems to be not related, perhaps they are matelots.

Ragetti and Pintel swabbing the deck.

There was an antagony between Bo'sun on one side and Pintel and Ragetti on the other. The crew also seemed to have a dislike for their fortheir captain, Hector Barbossa, who led the crew in a quite tyrannic way. Despite this, all crew members worked together out of mutual necessity to find all 882 Aztec coins, and they handled their victims with extreme brutality. The crew cared about their ship and kept it clean; while the crew worked, Mallot and Jacoby performed music with a fiddle and a concertine. The fact that the Pearl's sails were in a very bad condition hints that the crew lacked a sailmaker.

On board the Black Pearl, where human sailors should be, a crew of skeletons was at work swabbing the decks and coiling the lines. In the moonlight, their bones glowed a bluish-white, and they were draped in tattered pieces of clothing. Only in the shadows, or daytime, could they go back to their human form.[4] The pirates looked forward to becoming human again. Barbossa, along with his entire crew, longed to taste food once more, which was why they kept a large amount of food, so that they have a variety about what they would eat first when the curse is lifted.[3]

Sometimes the curse had its advantages. Though the pirates were wandering the world as skeletons that cannot be killed, they were also indestructible phantoms that don't float in seawater the way mortals do. An example of this was when the crew staged a surprise attack on the Dauntless, moored in the shallows off the coast of Isla de Muerta, they simply walk upon the sea bed and climb up the ship's anchor. Their longing to lift the curse had also given them a sixth sense, that lured them to the scattered Aztec gold pieces. "The gold calls to us," they tell Elizabeth Swann as they find her with the Aztec medallion in the governor's house.[3]

Behind the scenes

Hector Barbossa's Jolly Roger.

Pirates take a walk. Art by Miles Teves.

  • In summer 2002, director Gore Verbinski had the outline of a story. One of the scenes he wanted Miles Teves to sketch out was a crew of "zombiefied pirates" jumping into the water and swimming over to a ship to attack it. But ultimately, Teves created a different concept of the pirates walking on a dark ocean floor, feeling it had an iconic impact, and handed it to Verbinski the following week with his other artwork. Teves' drawing ended up changing the film's script and appeared, in motion, up onscreen.[18]
  • Writer Terry Rossio stated the idea that the members of the cursed crew were converted into living skeletons only in the light of the full moon was because in those days the CGI was very expensive, so they chose to make the curse crew to only be transformed with the full moon's light, while the idea of made them look normal at day and skeletical at night was partially inspired by the film Ladyhawke.[19] Rossio's original idea was that the pirates appear as skeletons during the whole night regardless of the moon.
  • The cursed crew from The Curse of the Black Pearl were often mistaken as zombies, probably because most people would say they were the living dead,[20] whereas they were actually referred to as living skeletons. Zombies wouldn't be introduced in the films until On Stranger Tides, where members of the zombie crew were said to be "zombiefied".
  • Some members of the cursed crew including their leader Barbossa are pictured on the cover of WAS IST WAS band 71: Piraten.
  • In the non-canonical Disney Adventures comic book The Buccaneer's Heart!, the Cursed crew, led by Bo'sun, commandeers the HMS Dauntless, but they were later defeated by the ghosts of Blackbeard, Mary Reade, Henry Morgan, and Bartholomew Roberts.[21]
  • A group of similarly cursed pirates crewed the ghost ship known as the Black Pearl in the 1630s, though they were cursed under different circumstances involving an enchantment by an Incan priest-king who was crossed by their captain.
The Pirates of the Caribbean wiki has a collection of images and media related to Cursed crew.



Notes and references

vdeCursed Crew
Captain: Jack Sparrow
Black Pearl
Hector BarbossaBo'sunClubbaDog EarGrappleHawksmoorJacoby
ScarusScratchSimbakkaTwiggBootstrap Bill TurnerWeatherby
Captain: Hector Barbossa
Black Pearl
Bo'sunClubbaDog EarGrappleHawksmoorJack the MonkeyJacoby