Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki


Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki
Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki
For other uses, see Dead Man's Chest (disambiguation)

"The Dead Man's Chest! Open the chest with the key, and stab the heart. Don't stab the heart! The Dutchman must have a living heart or there is no captain! And if there is no captain, there's no one to have the key!"
Wyvern to Will Turner[src]

The Dead Man's Chest, also known as the chest of Davy Jones was a chest of unknown origin which contained the still-beating heart of Davy Jones. After carving out his own heart, Jones locked it in the chest and buried it on Isla Cruces, hiding it from the world.

Years later, Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company set his sights on retrieving the fabled Dead Man's Chest. According to legend, whoever possessed the chest gained control of Davy Jones, thereby controlling the seas, and Beckett intended to use this power to destroy every last pirate of the Caribbean once and for all. Upon gaining possession of the chest, Beckett took over the seas, with the Flying Dutchman destroying pirate ships without mercy. In a battle that raged at the center of a massive maelstrom, created by the enraged goddess Calypso, Davy Jones' heart was pierced and he died, finally free for all eternity. The chest was ultimately given to Elizabeth by Will Turner, the new captain of the Dutchman.


Origin of the Chest[]

"Well...there is a chest. A chest of unknown size and origin."
"What contains the still-beating heart of Davy Jones!"
"Thumb, THUMP!"
"And whoever possesses that chest possesses the leverage to command Jones to do whatever it is he...or she...wants. Including saving our brave William from his grim fate.
Jack Sparrow, Pintel and Ragetti to Elizabeth Swann[src]

The heart of Davy Jones inside the chest.

After Calypso betrayed him, by not meeting him after his ten year-duty to ferry souls in Davy Jones' Locker, Jones carved his own heart from his body. He placed it within the Dead Man's Chest, which was subsequently buried in Isla Cruces, so it could be safe from potential mutineers aboard the Flying Dutchman and away from his haunted sight.[2]

The only key that could open the chest was kept on Jones' person, hidden beneath his tentacled facial extremities. Many of the legends, concerning the chest, say that whomsoever opened the chest and obtained Jones' heart would control Davy Jones, the Flying Dutchman, his crew and the Kraken beast—effectively controling the entire ocean. For many years after Jones buried the chest, it was safe at its resting place, for not many knew where the chest was or even that it existed.[1]

Search for the Dead Man's Chest[]

"I care not for cursed Aztec gold, my desires are not so provincial. There's more than one chest of value in these waters."
Cutler Beckett[src]
DMC discovery

The discovery of the Dead Man's Chest.

When Captain Jack Sparrow was given the Black Spot by Bootstrap Bill Turner, and told he was required to repay his debt to Davy Jones, Sparrow embarked upon a quest to locate the Dead Man's Chest, in order to save himself from a life of servitude to Jones. With the help of Elizabeth Swann and his mystical compass, Jack was able to find the chest, while Will Turner stole the key from Davy Jones aboard the Flying Dutchman. Fighting off Turner, James Norrington in the duel for the key, Sparrow eventually opened the chest and took the heart. The pirates Pintel and Ragetti made off with the now-empty chest, while Sparrow stored the heart in a jar of dirt.[1]

Jack before opening Davy Jones' Dead Man's Chest

Jack Sparrow opening the Dead Man's Chest.

While Jones' crew were battling for the chest, Norrington found the heart as he stole Jack's Letters of Marque, and took both items for himself. He then absconded with the chest ostensibly to draw Jones' pirates away from Elizabeth and her companions. However, once deep in the jungle, Norrington gave up the chest to the pirates and fled—with the heart secreted about his person. The crew of the Flying Dutchman returned the chest to Jones, who opened it after the destruction of the Black Pearl, only to find the heart missing. Jones feared that the heart had been lost along with Jack Sparrow and the Pearl, which were both taken by the Kraken. Though in actuality, Norrington brought the heart along with the Letters of Marque to Lord Cutler Beckett in an attempt to regain his life as a British officer.[1]

War Against Piracy[]

A loose cannon[]

"Go, all of you, and take that infernal thing with you! I will not have it on my ship!"
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, because I will. Because it seems to be the only way to ensure that this ship do as directed by the Company.
Davy Jones and Cutler Beckett[src]

With the chest and heart of Davy Jones in his grasp, Beckett exerted his control over Davy Jones using the might of the Dutchman to further his own cause to exterminate piracy. The heart was soon returned to the chest and stored in Beckett's quarters aboard the HMS Endeavour. But upon seeing the aftermath of the massacre of pirate ships led by the Flying Dutchman, Beckett had the chest transferred aboard the Dutchman in order to remind Jones who was in command.[3]

The chest would be kept in the captain's quarters aboard the Dutchman, where it would be guarded at all times by soldiers of the East India Trading Company, led by Admiral James Norrington. After Norrington was killed by Bootstrap Bill Turner, Jones believed he was free, though Ian Mercer summarily took command of the Dutchman and retained control of the chest. The chest would then be guarded by Mullroy and Murtogg, who were armed with two large swivel guns that they would aim at the chest.[3]

Murtogg Jack Mullroy AWE

Jack Sparrow stealing the chest from Mullroy and Murtogg.

Battle for the Chest[]

"The chest! Hand it over!"
"I can set you free, mate."
"My freedom was forfeited long ago.
Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow[src]

The chest remained in the captain's cabin up until the battle of Calypso's maelstrom. Mercer was killed by Jones, who then took the key to the chest, though by this point Jack Sparrow had snuck the chest out from under the noses of its guards, Mullroy and Murtogg.[3]

Chest reclaimed

Davy Jones holding the chest before being shot by Jack Sparrow.

As Jack was making his escape, he was confronted by Jones on the deck of the Dutchman, leading to a duel up in the ship's rigging. During the fight, Jones claimed the chest, though Jack shot it from his hand, incidentally causing it to land on Hadras' head and send him toppling overboard. William Turner took the chest as he boarded the Dutchman, but lost it when Bootstrap Bill Turner attacked him.[3]

Jack eventually opened the chest and prepared to stab the heart, thus achieving immortality. Unfortunately, at the moment of Sparrow's triumph, Jones stabbed Will in the heart. This forced Jack to choose between gaining immortality or saving his ally. He then altered his plan of becoming immortal and ensured that Will stabbed Jones' heart, defeating Jones. Bootstrap Bill then cut out Will's own heart to replace Jones', locking it in the Dead Man's Chest, sealing Will's fate.[3]

Will gives DMC

Will Turner giving Elizabeth Turner the chest.

New owner of the chest[]

"It's always belonged to you. Will you keep it safe?"
Will Turner and Elizabeth Turner[src]

Now, as the new captain of the Flying Dutchman, Will must ferry the souls to the next world. Before he left to ferry souls, he gave the chest (and his heart) to Elizabeth Turner for safe keeping.[3]

It is unknown what happened to the chest after Turner returned from his duty after his son released him from his curse.[4]

Behind the scenes[]


The Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Dead Man's Chest.


Notes and references[]