The HMS Interceptor was a brig in the British Royal Navy serving under King George II, most notably under the command of Captain, later Commodore, James Norrington. As a ship in the British fleet, the Interceptor was purported to be the fastest vessel commissioned to His Majesty's service. Many believed it to be the fastest in the Caribbean, but this view was only held by those who either had never heard of or did not believe in the Black Pearl.
With the Interceptor as his flagship, Norrington had chased and captured some of the Caribbean's most fearsome pirates. The ship would be docked at Port Royal, until Elizabeth Swann, daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann, was kidnapped by Hector Barbossa's crew of the Black Pearl. Elizabeth's childhood friend, Will Turner, joined forces with Jack Sparrow to commandeer the Interceptor from Commodore Norrington, in a gallant attempt to rescue her. Throughout the voyage, they sailed to Tortuga, where the duo recruited a ragtag crew, and through a storm to reach the island of dead known as Isla de Muerta. After a battle with the Black Pearl, the Interceptor was destroyed.
It is unknown when the Interceptor was built, but she would eventually serve the British Royal Navy as the fastest vessel commissioned into King George II's fleet. The Interceptor was commanded by Captain James Norrington. Under Norrington's command, the Interceptor proved perfect for chasing and capturing the most fearsome pirates in Caribbean waters. The Interceptor would be stationed in the British settlement of Port Royal, Jamaica. When Norrington was promoted to commodore, the Interceptor remained under his command.
Located at the docks of Port Royal, the Interceptor was guarded by two members of Captain James Norrington's Royal Marines, Mullroy and Murtogg, while Norrington himself was promoted as commodore. When Jack Sparrow arrived, in the market of a new ship, he attempted to make the Interceptor his own ship by distracting the two redcoats into an argument over the existence of the long-feared Black Pearl. Unfortunately for Sparrow, it wasn't a success, resulting in his imprisonment within Fort Charles prison.
The day following Sparrow's capture and the attack on Port Royal, Will Turner was able to convince Jack Sparrow to help him rescue Elizabeth Swann from Captain Hector Barbossa and his cursed crew. Though to achieve this plan, Sparrow had Turner join him in commandeering the Interceptor. After staging a diversion by seemingly attempting to capture the HMS Dauntless, the two prepared their next move. With Commodore Norrington's men occupied with the Dauntless, having sailed out on the Interceptor, Jack and Will quickly boarded the Interceptor and set sail before Norrington's marines could return aboard the Interceptor. Commodore Norrington then gave Royal Navy officer Groves the order to ready the long-nines to sink the Interceptor. However, Norrington's order hasn't been executed as the rudder chain of the Dauntless was disabled by Jack and Will, to ensure they were not followed.
Journey to Isla de Muerta
Jack and Will arrived at Tortuga, where they met with Joshamee Gibbs, who assembled a crew to man the Interceptor. Jack inspected the crew before accepting them into his crew, which ended with Jack having an interesting reunion with one of his former lovers, an angry Anamaria. In order to placate her, Jack was forced to agree to give Anamaria the Interceptor, in exchange for her old boat, which Jack had stolen before. In the meantime, Jack remained in command for the venture.
At some point during the journey, the Interceptor encountered the British merchant vessel Earl King, captained by McGlue. Jack and Will disguised as Royal Navy officers and boarded the King, but Captain McGlue realized that they're pirates. The crew of the Interceptor boarded the King, captured the entire crew, and looted the ship.
Later, after Elizabeth's rescue, Anamaria and the absent Jack's crew attempted to outrun the Black Pearl. The crew tried to make it to nearby shoals due to having a shallower draught than the Black Pearl, and so began tossing anything which wasn't necessary overboard, including heavy cargo and ammunition. Unfortunately for the crew, their pursuers used the Pearl's sweeps to gain on the Interceptor. Instead, the crew opted to fight and loaded everything remaining into the guns, including silverware. To gain surprise the crew dropped the starboard anchor as the Pearl approached, causing the brig to swing out. Had the Pearl's crew been mortal pirates, the Interceptor's cannons would have killed many as they fired improvised grapeshot. However, the vessel was boarded by the cursed pirates, and, after a fierce battle in which the Interceptor's mast was cut down, the crew was captured.
Held aboard the Pearl, the crew looked on helplessly as the Interceptor was destroyed.
Design and appearance
The HMS Interceptor was a sleek two-masted brig purported to be the fastest vessel commissioned to His Majesty's service in the British Royal Navy fleet. Flying the Blue Ensign from the peak of the gaff and the Navy pennant from the masthead, the Interceptor was a commissioned Royal Navy vessel of Captain, later Commodore, James Norrington. Under Norrington's command, the Interceptor had chased and captured some of the Caribbean's most fearsome pirates. The Interceptor was armed with cannons on two decks and had several swivel guns. Thanks to her fine lines, the Interceptor was fast and could turn quickly, but she was no match for the Black Pearl.
In addition to her speed, the Interceptor carried 16 cannons and 2 swivel guns. Along with her marines, this armament made the brig a match for the majority of pirate vessels, normally small sloops, brigs or schooners. Unlike most ships of her size, the Interceptor had a raised quarterdeck which housed four of her guns, two swivel guns, and the helm. The raised quarterdeck allowed six of the ship's guns to be housed in an enclosed gundeck about the same level as the remaining guns of the brig's forecastle. Most small vessels such as brigs were not tall enough to have enclosed gundecks.
Behind the scenes
- The HMS Interceptor was portrayed by the Lady Washington in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
- The Lady Washington was a full-scale ship replica of the first American vessel to make landfall on the Pacific Northwest Coast in 1789. According to Les Bolton, executive director of Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, the Lady Washington was a very appropriate choice to star as the Interceptor. "Vessels of her type were considered very handy and maneuverable, and quick to accelerate. They'd move in quickly and easily harass larger, more powerful ships, which is exactly how the Interceptor is used in the movie." The Lady Washington was the only real ship used in the film and it should be noted that The Curse of the Black Pearl was the second film in which it was used, being the first Star Trek: Generations.
- The captain of the Lady Washington was employed to give directions and advice to Johnny Depp for his scenes behind the wheel of the Interceptor.
- In the video game Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow, the Interceptor was attacked by the Spanish galleon captained by Carrera de la Vega. However, it is unknown if this event was real or just one of Jack Sparrow's tales.
- The Interceptor makes a non-canonical appearance in Kingdom Hearts II, where it is ultimately destroyed by Luxord and his troops. In the game, it serves as a transport for Sora, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Jack Sparrow.
- The Rumrunners's ship which saves Jack Sparrow from Rumrunner's Isle in The Curse of the Black Pearl video game looks exactly like the Interceptor.
- 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)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow
- The Accidental Pirate!
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online (Mentioned only)
- Kingdom Hearts II (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Visual Guide
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide
Notes and references
|Crew of the HMS Interceptor|
|Pirate ships in Pirates of the Caribbean|
|British Royal Navy ships in Pirates of the Caribbean|