- "I have had more than enough experience dealing with pirates!"
- ―Elizabeth Swann
Elizabeth Turner (née Swann) was the daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann. With an adventurous spirit and the need to break social boundaries, she had long been fascinated with the freewheeling world of buccaneers to a point of learning a song about pirates as a child. Over the years, Elizabeth blossomed into a beautiful young lady, though was never satisfied with the affluent, domestic life she had been born into. Both Jack Sparrow and Will Turner change Elizabeth's notions of romance and adventure forever, soon learning that all the rules she believed in are meant to be broken.
Born in London, England, Elizabeth led a fairly sheltered life of privilege throughout her childhood. Since the death of his wife, Governor Swann had raised his daughter on his own. Much to her father's dismay, pirates had always fascinated Elizabeth when she was a girl, mainly on the HMS Dauntless' voyage from England to the British colony at Port Royal on the vibrant and prosperous island of Jamaica. When the Dauntless crew rescued young Will Turner, a mysterious shipwreck survivor from a pirate attack, she recognized the "pirate medallion" he wore. Little did she know what adventures would stem from this fateful encounter. Eight years later, Elizabeth's cozy world was turned upside down after Captain Jack Sparrow rescued her from drowning: lured by the medallion, cursed pirates kidnapped Elizabeth. She was brought aboard the Black Pearl, a captive of Hector Barbossa, and was taken to Isla de Muerta. Days after Will Turner joined forces with Jack Sparrow, the cursed pirates were defeated with the assistance of Elizabeth's betrothed, Commodore James Norrington. In return for his help, Elizabeth aided Jack Sparrow in escaping from the gallows, and then left Norrington for Will Turner, her path chosen.
About a year later, Will and Elizabeth were just on the verge of marrying when they were arrested by Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company for saving Jack Sparrow. In exchange for Elizabeth's freedom, Will sets out to retrieve Jack's unique compass for their freedom. However, because Weatherby Swann's failed attempt to help his daughter escape, leading to his reluctant loyalty to the Company and Beckett, Elizabeth fled to Tortuga to find Will Turner. Elizabeth retrieved Letters of Marque intended for Jack before stowing away aboard the Edinburgh Trader. After meeting with Jack Sparrow in Tortuga, Elizabeth agreed to help find the Dead Man's Chest in order to save Will Turner, who was tricked into serving on board Davy Jones's ship, the Flying Dutchman. By the end, Elizabeth took part in a battle which led to her delivering Jack Sparrow to the Kraken in order to save Will and other members of Jack's crew. But guilt led to Elizabeth joining a resurrected Barbossa in saving Jack, now trapped in Davy Jones' Locker.
After successfully rescuing Jack Sparrow, the Black Pearl escaped from the Locker, but not before Elizabeth discovered her father's death at the hands of Cutler Beckett. Elizabeth then joined the desperate quest to gather the nine Pirate Lords of the Brethren Court, their only hope to hold back the fearsome tide of Beckett, who gained control of Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman. Prior to the conclave, Elizabeth was guest aboard the Empress, the flagship of Sao Feng, who believed Elizabeth to be the capricious sea goddess Calypso imprisoned in human form. Having fell to the Flying Dutchman, Feng passed on the title of Pirate Lord and his Piece of Eight to Elizabeth before his death. During the meeting of the Pirate Lords, Elizabeth became the new King of the Brethren Court.
During the final battle against Beckett's Armada, Will and Elizabeth were married. Shortly after Davy Jones stabbed Will Turner, Will himself pierced Jones' heart, thereby becoming the new captain of the Flying Dutchman. After the pirates' victory, Will and Elizabeth spent one day with each other, during which time they conceived a child. Before Will left to serve aboard the Dutchman for ten years, Elizabeth promised to keep his heart, now locked in the Dead Man's Chest, safe.
Years later, her son destroyed the Trident of Poseidon which broke all the curses of the sea. This freed Will from the Dutchman and she would be reunited with her husband.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Dealing with Pirates
- 1.3 Fate intervenes
- 1.4 Fight to the finish
- 1.5 Retirement
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Equipment and skills
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Appearances
- 6 Sources
- 7 Notes and references
The crossing from England
- "I think it would be rather exciting to meet a pirate."
- ―Elizabeth Swann to James Norrington
Elizabeth Swann was born to Weatherby Swann and an unknown female, and raised in London, England. At some point in Elizabeth's childhood, her mother died and Weatherby Swann began raising his daughter on his own, even after he became Governor. As a child, Elizabeth gained interest in the subject of piracy, romanticizing them in her obsession, believing that it would be "exciting to meet a pirate." Elizabeth still held that belief when she sang a song about pirates on-board the HMS Dauntless, en route to the Caribbean.
While the Dauntless sailed through the Caribbean Sea, young Elizabeth Swann was singing the pirate shanty until one of the sailors, Joshamee Gibbs, warned her about the superstition of singing about pirates in an unnatural fog before Lieutenant James Norrington intervened. Although Elizabeth expressed her fascination for the subject of piracy, both Norrington and Governor Swann showed their concern, with Norrington stating that he intended to see all pirates get "a short drop and a sudden stop". Shortly afterwards, Elizabeth discovered a young boy, lying unconscious atop a floating piece of driftwood, the only survivor of a pirate attack on a merchant vessel.
As Norrington's men searched the burning wreckage, Governor Swann asked Elizabeth to watch over the boy, which she did dutifully. When the boy roused, Elizabeth learned his name, Will Turner, before he slipped back into unconsciousness. Elizabeth then noticed a gold medallion, with a skull, about Will's neck. Fearing he was a pirate, Elizabeth took the medallion from Will, so that the ship's crew would not suspect that he was associated with pirates. As Elizabeth stood alone on the stern of the Dauntless, taking a look at the medallion, she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. Looking up, she caught a glimpse of a pirate ship, the Black Pearl, hoisting a flag with a skull, moving silently through the thick fog. This moment would haunt Elizabeth for the next eight years, never forgetting it. Little did she know what adventures would stem from this fateful encounter, and the trouble the medallion would bring.
Dealing with Pirates
The Governor's daughter
- "Does a father need an occasion to dote upon his daughter?"
- ―Weatherby Swann to Elizabeth Swann
Upon arriving to the British colony at Port Royal on the vibrant and prosperous island of Jamaica, Governor Swann set himself up in a mansion overlooking the harbor town. Elizabeth made her home there also, while Will started work at a blacksmith's forge in the town. He and Elizabeth became good friends over the next eight years, although Elizabeth's high status appeared to draw a divide between them, making Will reluctant to show his true feelings for her. Both had fallen in love, but neither were prepared to admit it. Over the years, Elizabeth blossomed into a beautiful young lady, although drove her father to distraction with her willfulness and disregard for propriety.
Eight years after they first met, both Elizabeth and Will had both become teenagers, and Elizabeth still carried the medallion with her. She attended James Norrington's promotion ceremony at Fort Charles, wearing a corset that was far too tight for her (a recent gift from her father, all the latest fashion in London), and spent much of the time trying to keep herself from fainting. After the ceremony, James asked for a moment alone with Elizabeth out on the battlements, during which he proposed to her, having realized that all he was missing in his life was marriage to a fine woman. Elizabeth was surprised, and this, coupled with the constricting corset, caused her to faint and topple over the battlements. She plunged into the water far below, narrowly missing the rocks, and sank to the sea bed. As she sank, and unknown to her, the medallion sent out a ripple, confusing Mullroy and Murtogg who were on the Interceptor.
Fortunately for her, Captain Jack Sparrow had arrived in Port Royal, and, witnessing Elizabeth's fall, dove into the water to save her. Bringing her up to the dock, Sparrow cut off her corset, and Elizabeth took a gulp of welcome fresh air. Sparrow also noticed her medallion, and showed interest in it. Before he could say more, Norrington and his men arrived to arrest the pirate, despite Elizabeth's protests. However, Jack suddenly turned on Elizabeth, holding her hostage while his effects were returned to him, before making a spectacular escape. Shaken, Elizabeth returned to the mansion, where she reflected on the day's harrowing, yet exciting, events.
Aboard the Black Pearl
- "Wait! You have to take me to shore! According to the Code of the Order of the Brethren—"
"First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement, so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the Pirate's Code to apply, and you're not. And thirdly, the Code is more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner."
- ―Elizabeth Swann and Hector Barbossa
That night, at the Governor's mansion, a maid named Estrella removed a bed warmer from the fireplace and slid it between the sheets at the end of Elizabeth's bed. Estrella and Elizabeth briefly discussed the events of that day—during which Elizabeth had been rescued and subsequently threatened by Jack Sparrow, though got into the subject of Commodore Norrington's earlier proposal to her. Finally noting suggestively, Elizabeth's affection for Will Turner, rather than James Norrington, Estrella left the room. Elizabeth began reading a book, toying absently with the medallion around her neck until the flame from her lamp diminished and went out, and the room went dark.
Shortly afterwards, Elizabeth's cozy world was turned upside down when the Black Pearl launched an attack on Port Royal. Lured by the Gold Medallion that Elizabeth wore around her neck, detected after the ripple was sent out, the pirates storm the governor's mansion. Elizabeth was chased through the mansion by Pintel and Ragetti, and was unable to defend herself with a sword, as it was stuck in the ornamental shield. Fortunately, she was able to request parley before they could harm her. However, this seemed to please Pintel, who stated he would honor the Code of the Brethren if it meant Elizabeth would go to their captain without a fuss.
When Elizabeth was taken aboard the Black Pearl, she was there to negotiate with Captain Hector Barbossa. While talking to Barbossa, she used the gold medallion to strike a bargain. Her threat to drop it overboard made the captain cooperate. Believing the pirates would hold her for ransom if they knew she was the Governor's daughter, Elizabeth gave her surname as "Turner", claiming she was a maid in the Governor's household. This seemed to greatly interest the pirates, though they appeared more taken with her medallion. She traded it in exchange for a ceasefire, resulting in the pirates leaving Port Royal with Elizabeth still on board. She protested, but Barbossa explained three flaws in her negotiations, most importantly that she failed to mention her return to shore in the negotiations, finally finishing by welcoming her aboard. With no choice, Elizabeth sailed from the port, still on board as a captive of Barbossa.
- "You best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner. You're in one!"
- ―Hector Barbossa to Elizabeth Swann
Later, Elizabeth was invited to dine with Barbossa in the captain's cabin of the Pearl. Barbossa proceeded to relay the tale of Hernán Cortés and the cursed Aztec gold. Elizabeth, a pragmatic woman, firmly refused to believe the "ghost story" about Barbossa and his crewmen being cursed men. Although, during her attempt to escape his clutches, she stabbed him in the chest with a knife—only to find it neither killed nor even hurt him. Shocked, she stumbled out of the captain's cabin and into a nightmare, as the crew were revealed by the moonlight in their true, skeletal forms. In Elizabeth's dreams of an adventurous life, she did not imagine herself being tossed in the air by a crew of skeletons. After her terrifying chase around the moonlit deck of the Black Pearl, she spent the rest of the night cowering in a corner of Barbossa's cabin.
- "And the blood to be repaid?"
"That's why there be no sense in killing you...yet."
- ―Elizabeth Swann and Hector Barbossa
Upon arrival at Isla de Muerta, Elizabeth reluctantly sailed into the treasure-filled caves with the cursed crew. In the cave, she saw the Chest of Cortés and was forced to take part in a blood ritual. After a rousing speech, Barbossa attempted to lift the curse by returning the final cursed coin into the chest, with a portion of Elizabeth's blood—believing it to be the blood of a Turner. The ritual failed, and Barbossa asked Elizabeth if her father was William Turner, and she told him "No". When refusing to reveal who and where Turner's real child was, Barbossa knocked Elizabeth to the ground. Fortunately for Elizabeth, while Barbossa and his crew were arguing, Will arrived in time to flee the island with her and his medallion.
She was brought aboard the HMS Interceptor and was shocked to find more pirates, though the friendly face of Joshamee Gibbs set her slightly at ease. But a challenge brought out the best in Elizabeth. The Interceptor was summarily pursued by the Black Pearl. She took command by helping the crew devise stalling tactics to aid their escape, such as trying to outrun the Pearl in some nearby shoals, and later ordered the crew to perform a clubhauling maneuver to take the fight to the Pearl. As the ship turned for attack, Elizabeth shouts "Fire all!" to start the battle. She even fought hand-to-hand with the marauding pirates, though was captured while trying to save Will.
Elizabeth and the rest of the crew were taken aboard the Black Pearl, and was later forced to walk the plank along with Jack Sparrow, while the Pearl returned to Isla de Muerta with Will. Elizabeth wound up marooned with Captain Jack on a desert island, where she was horrified to discover that this bold pirate had no idea how to escape. She taught the pirate a sea shanty and got him drunk enough to remove him as an obstacle in her attempt to escape.
When Jack came around the next morning, he found Elizabeth burning his stock of rum to create a huge bonfire, a smoke signal that ultimately attracted the attention of the HMS Dauntless, out searching for Elizabeth, although Jack made a big fuss about it. Aboard, she accepted Commodore Norrington's proposal, though only as a persuasive method to ensure he helped rescue her true love, Will. Norrington realized this, but was pleased nonetheless.
The Royal Navy set up an ambush for the pirates, though Elizabeth was locked in Norrington's cabin by Gillette for her safety. However, Elizabeth escaped and tried to persuade Jack's crew to help in the fight after freeing them, though they simply commandeered the Black Pearl and left Elizabeth to row to Isla de Muerta alone. She arrived in the treasure cave in time to aid Will in fighting Jacoby and other cursed pirates. They were an effective fighting team, though Elizabeth was almost killed when Barbossa attempted to shoot her during a tense stand-off. However, Jack and Will worked together to remove the curse at the opportune moment, killing Barbossa and saving not only Elizabeth but the crew of the Dauntless as well.
Elizabeth approached Will in the aftermath, apparently to express her feelings towards him, though Will believed that they would not have a relationship as Elizabeth had agreed to marry Norrington. They left the island on uncertain terms.
Following the return to Port Royal, Elizabeth witnessed the build up to Jack's execution at Fort Charles. While she was against his execution, her father reassured her otherwise by saying that they are all bounded by the law. It was here that Will had came up to her and professed his love for her after eight years. Elizabeth was shocked by this revelation, but when she realized that Will had a rescue attempt in progress, she knew she had to do something.
At the right moment, by pretending to faint, Elizabeth distracted Norrington and her father long enough to allow Will to save Jack. During the rescue, Will and Jack were surrounded by Norrington's men. Above all, Elizabeth followed her heart and so she stood beside Will's side, in opposition to Norrington and her father, in order to spare both Will and Jack's lives. After Jack's escape to the Black Pearl, Elizabeth and Will shared their first kiss on the battlements of Fort Charles, Elizabeth accepting Will not as a blacksmith, but a pirate. Even her father realized that he could not persuade Elizabeth to change her mind.
A marriage interrupted
- "Lord Beckett! In the category of questions not answered—"
"We are under the jurisdiction of the King's governor of Port Royal, and you will tell us what we are charged with."
"The charge...is conspiring to set free a man convicted of crimes against the crown and empire and condemned to death. For which the—"
"For which the punishment, regrettably, is also death."
- ―William Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Weatherby Swann and Cutler Beckett
Elizabeth and Will's relationship remained strong over the next year, and Elizabeth became highly proficient at using a sword thanks to Will's training. They were set to be married at Port Royal, though the arrival of Lord Cutler Beckett interrupted proceedings. Beckett had both Elizabeth and Will arrested for their role in the escape of Jack Sparrow, though Will was offered a chance to go free by making a deal with Beckett. Elizabeth, though was forced to languish in the Port Royal prison, set to wait for Will's return, frustrated over her ruined wedding.
- "You sent Will to get you the compass owned by Jack Sparrow. It will do you no good."
"I have been to the Isla de Muerta. I have seen the treasure myself. There is something you need to know."
"Ah, I see. You think the compass leads only to the Isla de Muerta, and so you hope to save me from an evil fate. But you mustn't worry. I care not for cursed Aztec gold. My desires are not so provincial. There's more than one chest of value in these waters."
- ―Elizabeth Swann and Cutler Beckett
Her father was not prepared to see Elizabeth hanged for helping Sparrow, and used his connections to free Elizabeth and book passage back to England. However, their hasty flight was intercepted by Mercer, though Elizabeth managed to evade his clutches. With a gun, she confronted Lord Beckett in his office, warning him about the treasure of Isla de Muerta, to which she was certain that Cutler was after and was under the impression that Jack's compass can only lead to, hence Beckett's desire to obtain it. But an amused Beckett - fully aware of the treasure's cursed nature, as well as the compass' true worth - assured her otherwise, by saying that there is more than one chest of value and thereby suggested that perhaps Elizabeth can leverage his interest with something else, maintaining his calm and knowing that she would not fire upon him as that would alert everyone to where they are. Then she forced him to sign and give her the Letters of marque that would ensure Will's freedom, telling Beckett to consider her holding him at gunpoint taking of the document as compensation for his arrival ruining her wedding, only for Beckett to reply that his coming to prevent that was attributable to the whims of fate - with himself merely as chess piece that effected its capricious will. And with a clear idea of what she intends to do with those letters, Beckett bade Elizabeth informing her that, in the end, he will still expect that compass to come into his possession, unnerving and even subtly humiliating her with his overweening composure. With them in her possession, she fled to the harbor and stowed away aboard the Edinburgh Trader, discarding her wedding dress in favor of the guise of a cabin boy in order to go incognito.
Back with Pirates
- "Come to join me crew, lad? Welcome aboard."
"I'm here to find the man I love."
"I'm deeply flattered, son, but my first and only love is the sea."
- ―Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann
Elizabeth used the crew's superstitions against them to convince them to make port at Tortuga, where she jumped ship in an attempt to find Will, starting at his last known location. In the Twelve Daggers tavern, Elizabeth encountered James Norrington, who had resigned his commission some months before, and was now embroiled in a bar fight. Elizabeth knocked him unconscious, but later tended to him, musing on his ill fortune.
She accosted Jack Sparrow as he prepared to board the Black Pearl, stating that she was searching for Will. Jack, although reluctant to let her on board at first, used this to his advantage, first explaining that Will had been press-ganged into service aboard the Flying Dutchman, then convincing her that locating the Dead Man's Chest would result in Will's rescue. Elizabeth was too preoccupied with finding her fiancé to question Jack's motives, and used his mysterious compass to locate Isla Cruces.
The crew set sail in the direction determined by Elizabeth, who revealed Beckett's deals with Will and herself. Jack took the Letters of marque from her, asking that she "persuade" him to give them back. Elizabeth did not rise to the bait, though became confused over her feelings when the compass, which pointed to that which its user wanted most, appeared to indicate Jack. Later on in the voyage, she professed her feelings that Jack was, deep down, a good person, and would soon have a chance to prove it. Jack denied this at first, but using curiosity, Elizabeth stated her certainty of Jack's goodness. The two almost shared a kiss, though Jack broke away when the Black Spot reappeared on his hand. Elizabeth took this to confirm her thoughts on Jack's good nature.
The crew arrived at Isla Cruces, where Norrington uncovered the Dead Man's Chest. Before Jack could open it however, Will arrived, and Elizabeth flung herself into his arms, kissing him vigorously. However, the reunion then turned into a confrontation when Will, Jack and James engaged in a swordfight over the chest. Elizabeth was forced to stand by helplessly watching as they fought for their goals (and maybe also her love), until Pintel and Ragetti made off with the chest. She pursued them, but was forced to do battle with Davy Jones' cursed crewmen in the jungles of the island, putting the pair's swords and Will's training to good use.
Elizabeth and the others made it back to their longboat, though Norrington departed to provide a distraction for Jones' crew. The Pearl set sail, but was confronted by the Flying Dutchman. Once again, Elizabeth aided the crew in outrunning their enemy, and together with Will formulated a plan to attack the Kraken when it was summoned to destroy the ship. During the fight, Elizabeth was stunned to see Jack rowing away, alone, to an island on the horizon. Calling him a coward, Elizabeth turned back to the fight, intent on helping Will.
- "It's after you, not the ship…It's not us. This is the only way, don't you see? I'm not sorry."
- ―Elizabeth Swann and Jack Sparrow
Jack ultimately returned to save his mates, and drove the Kraken off long enough to abandon ship, proving Elizabeth right about Jack. Elizabeth, however, realized that the leviathan was not after the ship or the crew, but Jack himself. She used the pretense of admiring Jack for returning to lure him into a kiss, distracting him long enough to chain him to the mast. She reasoned that it was the only way the crew would be safe, but Jack responded by calling her a pirate, confirming his idea of her being a pirate.
Shaken, Elizabeth fled the ship, leaving Jack to his grisly fate in the Kraken's maw. She boarded the longboat with the crew, not knowing that Will had witnessed the kiss, and had assumed that Elizabeth had fallen in love with Jack. Their issues still remained unresolved when the crew arrived at Tia Dalma's shack on the Pantano River. There, Tia Dalma proposed a mission to World's End to rescue Jack and the Black Pearl from Davy Jones' Locker. Elizabeth accepted, mostly out of guilt over her actions, and was shocked to find Hector Barbossa alive and well, and ready to captain the crew on its voyage.
Fight to the finish
Battle in Singapore
- "You protect her?"
"And what makes you think I need protecting?"
- ―Tai Huang and Elizabeth Swann
Elizabeth journeyed with Barbossa to Singapore, intending to procure Sao Feng's navigational charts. Elizabeth sailed through the backwaters of the city in a peapod canoe, singing a refrain from Hoist the Colours. She was confronted by Tai Huang, and met up with Barbossa before arriving at Sao Feng's bath house. Elizabeth had heard stories of Sao Feng's terrifying nature, and had come prepared with a veritable arsenal of weapons about her person, namely several pistols and one grenade. She was forced to remove these, along with her outer clothing, before entering the bath house.
Feeling exposed, Elizabeth nevertheless remained strong-willed in confronting Sao Feng, but was unprepared for the revelation that Will had been captured attempting to steal Feng's charts, and was being held in the bath house. Elizabeth tried a bluff when Sao Feng asked if they knew the thief, but could not help a cry of shock when Feng made to stab Will. Following this, the negotiations turned sour, with Elizabeth calling Sao Feng a coward for hiding in Singapore, but an interruption by Mercer and the East India Trading Company created an uneasy truce between Barbossa and Feng.
Elizabeth fought in the battle that followed, progressing out into the Singapore harbor, where she was ultimately reunited with Will. However, she still had not yet explained the meaning behind her kiss with Jack aboard the Pearl, so their relationship remained distant. The crew boarded the Hai Peng, lent to them by Sao Feng, and set sail for World's End.
Davy Jones' Locker
- "Why should I sail with any of you? Four of you have tried to kill me in the past, one of you succeeded."
- ―Jack Sparrow on Elizabeth Swann
Barbossa, using the bartered charts, led the group through a frozen ocean and over the World's Edge. Elizabeth was worried they would all die, but Barbossa pushed her concern aside as they plummeted over the edge. They landed in Davy Jones' Locker where they found Jack and the Black Pearl. At first, Jack didn't believe them to be more than a hallucination until he saw Elizabeth. But even afterwards, Jack refused to sail with them, stating that four among them had tried to kill him, and that Elizabeth was the one who had actually succeeded. Nevertheless, Jack eventually allowed them to sail with him, due to his compass not working in the Locker.
Elizabeth and Will's relationship became stronger after they learned the truth, with Elizabeth explaining her actions. Later that night, Elizabeth saw her father, Weatherby Swann, among the dead passing through the ocean of the locker; initially believing that this meant that they had returned to Earth, but was horrified to learn otherwise from Jack. After attempting to bring her father aboard, Elizabeth had to be held back by Will to prevent her from leaving the ship. Weatherby Swann refused to go back to Earth with them, and promised to give her regards to her mother, after relating some of the nature of the Dead Man's Chest, intriguing Jack and Will.
- "It's my father, we've made it back! Father! Father here, look here!
…Elizabeth. We're not back. "
- ―Elizabeth Swann and Jack Sparrow
After that night, Elizabeth was noticeably more sullen, sadly brooding on losing yet another thing in life. Yet she was still able to help the crew tip the ship to escape the Locker. A tense standoff occurred after they returned, which had Elizabeth with pistols at Barbossa and Jack, all uneasy at first. However, when Jack proclaimed he would leave the pirates to their fate against Beckett, Elizabeth turned on Jack, reminding him he was a pirate, and he owed it to his cause to help. This standoff was defused by wet powder, though during a fresh water expedition on Kraken island, Elizabeth chose to remain on board.
Shortly after dispatching the crew, the Black Pearl was captured by Sao Feng and given to Lord Beckett and the crew of the HMS Endeavour. Elizabeth questioned Will on his actions, yet he responded like she did previously, "It was my burden to bear." After Sao Feng learned that Beckett would not be giving him the ship, Barbossa convinced Sao Feng that Elizabeth was Calypso in human form and that he could have her if he helped them escape. Sao Feng took Elizabeth aboard the Empress and fired at the Endeavour, allowing Barbossa's crew to escape. Due to being held by Sao Feng, Elizabeth would not partake in the skirmish that took place.
During the voyage to Shipwreck Cove, Elizabeth was treated like a slave by Sao Feng, still believing her to be Calypso. Not much later though, the Flying Dutchman attacked the ship, on the orders of Beckett, who wanted Sao Feng to pay for helping Jack Sparrow escape. He was hit by a cannon ball, and was impaled by a piece of wood. In his last moments, Sao Feng, still believing Elizabeth to be Calypso, made her captain of the Empress and gave her his piece of eight, thus making her a Pirate Lord. When Tai Huang came down to see what had happened, Elizabeth told him that she had been made captain. Tai Huang did not believe her, but when Davy Jones asked for the captain he pointed to her, perhaps so as not to be punished by Jones if he was the new captain. Elizabeth and the crew of the Empress were then taken prisoner aboard the Flying Dutchman.
While on the Flying Dutchman, Elizabeth met Bootstrap Bill Turner, Will's father. He was becoming more a part of the ship since he was locked in the brig and was experiencing some mental deterioration. Yet he still managed to carry on one good conversation, stating that if Will slew Jones, he would have to take his place. Elizabeth was greatly saddened by this revelation, seeing Will's dilemma more clearly now. She also met James Norrington again, who had become an admiral under the East India Trading Company. She accused him of murdering her father. Knowing Elizabeth would never accept him, Norrington freed her crew from the brig. Elizabeth was reluctant to accept his help at first, but was soon convinced otherwise in order to save her pirate crew and those at Shipwreck Cove. She tried to make Norrington come with her, but the arrival of Bootstrap Bill forced him to shoot the escape rope. Bootstrap took advantage of the moment and stabbed Norrington. Though she was devastated about the death of one of her oldest companions, she escaped with her crew on the Empress.
- "What say you, Captain Swann, King of the Brethren Court?"
"Prepare every vessel that floats. At dawn, we're at war."
- ―Ching and Elizabeth Swann
Elizabeth arrived at the meeting of the Brethren Court late, but still timely, now in a more suitable Chinese garb. There she revealed, much to the surprise of everyone present, that Sao Feng had made her a pirate lord. She stated that they would need to battle the East India Trading Company, as her time aboard the Dutchman had revealed that Beckett knew of their location. A heated debate ensued, and with the help of Jack, the other lords were almost convinced of the need to fight. Yet Barbossa then pointed out that to attack them now would be an act of war, which only a Pirate King would be able to declare. At that point, Jack called for an election of a Pirate King and surprised everyone present by voting for Elizabeth. As the only Pirate Lord with more than one vote, she was elected Pirate King.
With the power of the Pirate King, Elizabeth was able to declare war on Beckett, Jones, and the East India Trading Company. After a parley on the sandbar, she witnessed the release of Calypso, at the hands of Barbossa. Seeing that the wind was on their side, she then sailed on board the Black Pearl and participated in battle against the Flying Dutchman in a massive maelstrom created by Calypso. While fighting on the Black Pearl, both Will and Elizabeth realized that they may not make it out of the battle. And so, Elizabeth was married to Will Turner, with Barbossa presiding over the impromptu ceremony. To conclude the wedding, Will and Elizabeth kissed passionately in the ongoing battle.
The pirates won the battle, though the price was heavy for Elizabeth. Will Turner had to become captain of the Flying Dutchman in order to survive a fatal wound delivered by Davy Jones, meaning she would only see him once every ten years. Before he left, on the day of their honeymoon Will gave Elizabeth the Dead Man's Chest, saying that his heart had always belonged to her, and asking her to "keep it safe". Then they kissed passionately, after which Will told her to "keep a weather eye on the horizon." Will departed on his vessel, disappearing in the green flash at sunset.
Raising a son
Shortly afterwards, Elizabeth returned to Port Royal, retiring from active piracy, though she retained her Pirate King status. About nine months later, she gave birth to a son. Young Henry Turner accompanied his mother to wait for his father's return ten years after his departure. The Flying Dutchman appeared with a green flash, signifying Will's return from the Land of the Dead.
Despite some people saying that Will could be released if Elizabeth remained faithful to him, twelve years after his initial inheriting of the captaincy of the Flying Dutchman, Will was still imprisoned and bound by its rules. During that time Elizabeth lived with Henry in an old lighthouse on the southern coast of Jamaica, across the bay from Port Royal. One night, she was walking through the house when she stopped in front of Henry's room. She asked her son through the door if he was asleep, and when he didn't reply she walked away, unaware that the boy was actually awake and that he was planning to be reunited with his father that night.
When Henry grew up, he went off and joined the Royal Navy, leaving his mother to live alone. Eventually, Henry managed to break the legendary Trident of Poseidon, destroying all curses in the sea, including his father's obligation to sail on the Dutchman.
With the curse broken, the Dutchman anchored in the bay in front of Elizabeth's house and Will came ashore to be reunited to with his family. From afar, Elizabeth witnessed the ship's arrival before she came out of the forest behind her house running to Will, overjoyed to see him again. Husband and wife embraced each other after many years of being apart before sharing a passionate kiss, while watched by their son Henry and his new girlfriend Carina.
After many years of separation, that night Will and Elizabeth shared a bed as husband and wife for the first time in their lives. Despite the heavy storm going on outside, Elizabeth soundly slept beside Will. However, Will awoke in the middle of the night by what at first appeared to be just a nightmare. Believing that he was just having a bad dream Will hugged Elizabeth, as he returned to sleep while failing to notice on the floor the traces of the apparently resurrected Davy Jones' visit. Her further fate is unknown.
Personality and traits
- "One word, love. Curiosity. You long for freedom. You long to do what you want to do because you want it. To act on selfish impulse. You want to see what it's like. One day you won't be able to resist."
- ―Jack Sparrow to Elizabeth Swann
In fine silk clothes, Elizabeth Swann looks every inch a lady. The daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann, Elizabeth played the part of the perfect governor's daughter but secretly Port Royal society bored her. She dreamed instead of a life of adventure. Even as a young woman, she never forgot the moment as a child when she glimpsed a pirate ship, the Black Pearl on her voyage from England to the Caribbean. At once both thrilling and frightening, it stood for everything she yearns for: excitement, danger, and freedom. Elizabeth was a beautiful, increasingly strong-minded and determined woman who often knew her own mind, having a fiery attitude and was headstrong. As a child, Elizabeth was not fond of her role as the governor's daughter. Maturing into an independent woman, Elizabeth developed a strong personality and a bright intellect. Elizabeth was known for having compassion for her friends, and would go to great lengths to help them, whenever she could.
Even as a child, Elizabeth would often speak her mind even if it meant offending others. During her time as Pirate King of the Brethren Court, Elizabeth proved to be very charismatic and encouraged the pirates to face off against the East India Trading Company Armada which showed that she had a talent for leadership. When the time came, Elizabeth wasn't afraid of a fight. Starting out as spoiled rich governor's daughter, Elizabeth ultimately became a woman who bucks convention and becomes as fierce and competitive a fighter as Will Turner and Jack Sparrow.
Elizabeth was also quick-witted and clever. When she goes aboard the Black Pearl to "Parlay" with Barbossa, she uses the Gold Medallion to strike a bargain. Her threat to drop it overboard makes the captain cooperate, but she soon finds out she was foolish to trust him. Barbossa sails away, with Elizabeth still on board. Some challenges brought out the best in Elizabeth. With the Black Pearl in hot pursuit of the Interceptor, most women of her time would have taken cover. Instead Elizabeth is in the thick of the fighting. She takes command, figures out a way to turn the ship, and shouts "Fire all!" to start the battle. Marooned with Captain Jack on a desert island, Elizabeth is horrified to discover that this bold pirate has no idea how to escape. While Jack drinks himself senseless, she burns his stock of rum. The huge fire alerts the navy and they are rescued the next morning.
Much to her father's dismay, pirates have always fascinated Elizabeth. As a young girl on the voyage aboard the HMS Dauntless, she sang a pirate shanty. When the crew rescued a survivor from a pirate attack, she recognized the pirate Medallion he wore. Growing up, Elizabeth read too many books on the subject, gaining much knowledge on piracy including the hallowed Code of the Brethren, set down by Morgan and Bartholomew. She also romanticized the image of piracy as an obsession, but her notions of romance and adventure would change forever in a transition to go from her romantic notions to the cutthroat, dirty reality of piracy. In Elizabeth's dreams of an adventurous life she did not imagine herself being tossed in the air by a crew of skeletons. After her terrifying chase around the moonlit deck of the Black Pearl, she cowered in a corner of the captain's cabin. Despite her earlier fear, Elizabeth also had a little pirate in herself. And even though she thought she knew a lot about pirates, she soon learned that all the rules she believed in were meant to be broken.
- "Elizabeth Swann. There is more to you than meets the eye, isn't there? And the eye does not go wanting."
- ―Sao Feng
Rescued as a child at sea, Will Turner first met Elizabeth when they were children, when Will was rescued after pirates attacked the ship on which he was sailing. Will fell in love with Elizabeth but at first he was reluctant to tell her about his feelings because of their social divide. Eight years after they met, Will was the man of Elizabeth's dreams. However, he dared not reveal how he felt, for Elizabeth's father would never let them marry; a governor's daughter was too good for a lowly blacksmith. But above all, Elizabeth followed her heart. Marriage to Commodore Norrington would have brought her wealth and respect, but she would rather wed a humble blacksmith-turned-pirate and become Mrs. Elizabeth Turner. Even her father realized that he could not persuade Elizabeth to change her mind. Will and Elizabeth were on the verge of marrying a year later, until Lord Cutler Beckett interrupted their well laid plans by arresting them. Although they had trust issues throughout the war against piracy, the two were married at the final battle with Beckett's Armada. When Will was fatally wounded by Davy Jones, Elizabeth was devastated, believing him dead after she was forced to leave the Flying Dutchman. Elizabeth's despair turned to joy when Will was at the helm of the Dutchman. They spent the remainder of their one day together, in which the two conceived a child, before Will left for his ten-year duty.
Even the infamous Jack Sparrow himself showed some level of interest in her, to a point of saying they were very much alike. Elizabeth was attracted to Jack, mainly because of her idea of a piratical life, also struggling with choosing between him and Will Turner during the search for the Dead Man's Chest. In spite of joining forces on several occasions, it is unknown where Jack and Elizabeth stood in terms of trust. Even though Jack saved Elizabeth from drowning, he threatened her life so he could escape Commodore Norrington's men. Another example Elizabeth's act of handcuffing Jack to the mast of the Black Pearl, delivering him to the Kraken, even though Jack saved the Pearl's crew in the Kraken's second attack. However, Elizabeth wanted to save Will Turner and the other crewmembers by giving time to escape. Although she told Jack "I'm not sorry" before leaving him, there was a certain amount of guilt that Elizabeth felt about her actions. Despite their differences, Elizabeth joined the voyage to rescue Jack from Davy Jones' Locker and Jack gave the final vote that made Elizabeth the King of the Brethren Court as well as helping save Will Turner from death aboard the Flying Dutchman.
Shortly after his promotion ceremony, Commodore James Norrington spoke his mind to Elizabeth, telling her she became "a fine woman" as he proposed. Above all, Elizabeth followed her heart, which led to leaving Norrington for Will Turner. But she dreaded the thought of being a commodore's wife, respectable but dull, even though marriage would have brought her wealth and respect. Even after losing Elizabeth to Will, James Norrington still had feelings for her, but as an old friend.
Appointed by the King of England, Weatherby Swann was the proud Governor of Port Royal. Since the death of his wife, Governor Swann has raised his daughter Elizabeth on his own, but it's no secret that he hadn't the skill to govern his rebellious daughter. Over the years Elizabeth has blossomed into a beautiful young lady, although at times she drove her father to distraction with her willfulness and disregard for propriety. Prior to the battle of Isla de Muerta, Governor Swann orders Elizabeth to remain in the captain's quarters of the Dauntless and out of harm's way. But he underestimated his daughter's spirit and determination, having discovered that she escaped using knotted bedsheets so she could help Will Turner. Despite their different opinions, Elizabeth still loved her father, even after finding out about his death at the hands of Lord Cutler Beckett.
As the perfect governor's daughter, wearing fine silk clothes, Elizabeth Swann looked every inch a lady with her hair elegantly swept up. Elizabeth also wore a delicate antique lace trim and many fashionable dresses. Most notably on the day of James Norrington's promotion ceremony, a tightly-laced corset beneath the dress made it hard for Elizabeth to breathe, so she used a fan to give slight relief from the tropical sun. Laced tightly into a corset and fashionable dress, Elizabeth feels suffocated. She's happier disguised in sailors' clothes that let her move easily.
Shortly after rescuing young Will Turner, a survivor from a pirate attack, Elizabeth recognized a "pirate medallion" he wore. She took the medallion so that the ship's crew would not guess Will was associated with pirates. Elizabeth kept the medallion hidden for the next eight years, not realizing the trouble it would bring.
Equipment and skills
During her time as a pirate, Elizabeth wielded several different swords and during the Kraken's attack on the Black Pearl, she used a musket, though it was Jack who actually fired the weapon. Elizabeth also threatened Cutler Beckett with a pistol. After Sao Feng's death he gave her his piece of eight, making her into a Pirate Lord.
Elizabeth was a skilled swordswoman, which gave her the capability of holding her own against numerous enemies. It was shown during the battles in Isla Cruces and off the coast of Shipwreck Island. Elizabeth fought in perfect unison with Will Turner, and this was first shown when she went to rescue Will from Captain Barbossa's crewmen and later during the final battle against Beckett's fleet. She also managed to temporarily fend off master swordsman Davy Jones, and though she ultimately proved to be no match for the tentacled man, her brief, yet intense fight with Jones gave Jack enough time to take Davy Jones' heart from the Dead Man's Chest.
Behind the scenes
- Elizabeth Swann was portrayed by Lucinda Dryzek and Keira Knightley. Lucinda Dryzek portrayed Elizabeth as young girl in the very first scene in The Curse of the Black Pearl. Keira Knightley portrayed Elizabeth as a young woman for the remainder of The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End and again as an adult in Dead Men Tell No Tales. The character was voiced by Eliza Schneider in The Legend of Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, the At World's End video game and Kingdom Hearts II. Saori Yumiba provides her voice in the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts II.
- Screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio had never been shy about their belief that Elizabeth is the protagonist of the overarching story of the Pirates trilogy, stating that it's always been her story. However, many have considered Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow as the main character upon the success of the film series as well as his popularity. In an interview for At World's End, producer Jerry Bruckheimer stated that Elizabeth is a character who has an enormous arc. "She starts out as a kind of spoiled rich governor's daughter and, through the course of the story, becomes a woman who bucks convention and becomes as fierce and competitive a fighter as Will and Captain Jack."
- In the first screenplay draft of the The Curse of the Black Pearl, Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner were both twelve years old in the first scene, while both turned twenty in the main story taking place eight years later. However, as it was not revealed onscreen, it is unknown if it is canon or not.
- Elizabeth is the only one of the main characters of the first three POTC films that had no direct connection to piracy prior to The Curse of the Black Pearl.
- For the promotion of Dead Man's Chest in 2006, an action figure of Elizabeth Swann was made.
- The Pirates' Code/Guidelines states that Elizabeth's pirate flag is black with red skeleton; however, her crew aboard the Empress used a very different flag.
- In a 2017 interview, Brenton Thwaites commented that Elizabeth's appearance at the end of Dead Men Tell No Tales was not included in the film's original script. He added that Keira Knightley shot her scenes around 14 or 15 months after principal photograpy. This indicates that Elizabeth's inclusion in the film was a late decision.
- The character of Elizabeth shares similarities with Governor Elaine Marley from the Monkey Island series, just as Will Turner resonates with the series' protagonist, Guybrush Threepwood.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Missing Pirate
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (First appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (comic)
- Banshee's Boon (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Ghost Ship
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow
- The Accidental Pirate!
- Revenge of the Pirates!
- The Capture of Jack Sparrow!
- The Duel!
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- The Buccaneer's Heart!
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
- Kingdom Hearts II
- Pirates of the Caribbean Trading Card Game
- Pirates of the Caribbean PocketModel game
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Gods and Ghosts M
- Kingdom Hearts III
- Sea of Thieves: A Pirate's Life (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- According to Irene Trimble's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl junior novelization, Elizabeth was 20 during the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The timeline established in On Stranger Tides (which takes place in 1750) and Dead Men Tell No Tales (which takes place in 1751) sets the events of The Curse of the Black Pearl around 1728 which means Elizabeth was born around 1708.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, p.20-21 "Elizabeth Swann"
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Though not directly stated, Elizabeth does become Lord of the South China Sea as that was Sao Feng's previous title.
- By Sao Feng in At World's End.
- By Jack Sparrow in Dead Men Tell No Tales
- The first scene of The Curse of the Black Pearl
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (video game)
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online
- Zizzle.com: Dead Man's Chest "Heroes and Villains" series 1
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, p.18-19 "Governor Swann"
- Pirates of the Carribean presskit, accessed Dec 9, 2006
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- The writers and director of the films stated that Will could be freed of the Dutchman upon the end of his ten year service as captain if Elizabeth remained faithful to him, which she did. However, a leaflet inside the At World's End DVD says that he is still bound to the Dutchman. The "ten year faithfulness" theory was proved wrong in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
- Wordplay Forums: Pretty close ... posted by Terry Rossio (May 23, 2007).
- Henry Turner's map in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Novelization, p3.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- POTC3 Presskit
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, p.22-23 "Will Turner"
- Box Office Mojo: Interview: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio on 'At World's End'
- Wordplay: Pirates of the Caribbean first draft screenplay
- Keira Knightley Almost Wasn’t In ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean 5’ at HuffPost
|v • d • eCrew of the Edinburgh Trader|
|Crew of the Empress|
|Members of the Brethren Court|