Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki


Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki
Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki
For other uses, see Map (disambiguation)
DMTNT Concept Art Maps

The maps of the world, the sea, the sky and stars as seen in the Swift and Sons Chart House in Saint Martin.

"Jack Sparrow is a dying breed. The world is shrinking, the blank edges of the map filled in. Jack must find his place in the New World or perish."
Cutler Beckett[src]

A map was a visual representation of an area or territory, whether real or imaginary; a diagram of components of an item. Maps were used to search for various treasures as well as certain places.



Captain Jack Sparrow's compass and a drawing of a key sitting on at least a map of South America aboard the Black Pearl.

"Master Gibbs, short we are a map. Perhaps you'd be so kind as to provide us an heading."
Hector Barbossa to Joshamee Gibbs[src]

There were many types of maps throughout history, including naval charts and treasure maps, used by Royal Navy officers and pirates, among other sailors and adventurers. The day after Elizabeth Swann was kidnapped from Port Royal by Captain Hector Barbossa's cursed crew, Commodore James Norrington of the British Royal Navy studied the map of the Lesser Antilles, trying to establish the most likely course the pirates took. Not satisfied with Norrington's plan of action, young blacksmith Will Turner slammed his axe into the commodore's desk, through the map, cutting the island of Guadeloupe in half.[1]


Ponce de León's map of San Miguel.

Some maps showed the entire world, like the world map in Lord Cutler Beckett's office.[2] Sao Feng's navigational charts, known as the Mao Kun Map, was used to lead its reader to locate some of the world's more obscure, mystical, and supernatural places; the dates and distances could change and mislead the traveler who uses the map unwisely.[3] Sao Feng's map would be used by Hector Barbossa to find Davy Jones' Locker in the desperate quest to save Jack Sparrow, who later used a separate map within the charts at the beginning of the quest for the fabled Fountain of Youth.[4] Barbossa and Sparrow later found Ponce de León, now a skeletal figure lying in his bed aboard the stranded Santiago, peering at a map of San Miguel with a magnifying glass.[5]

Captain Toms' charts

The British map of the area west of the Windward Isles in the Lesser Antilles.

When the British warship, the Monarch, chased the pirate ship, the Ruddy Rose, into the waters west of the Windward Isles in the Lesser Antilles, which the young sailor Henry Turner identified as the Devil's Triangle, the Monarch's commanding officer Captain Toms checked his navigational charts, discovering that the area was into named simply "Uncharted waters" prior to an attack by an army of the dead led by Armando Salazar. Later, during Hector Barbossa's search for the Trident of Poseidon, the young astronomer Carina Smyth warned the weathered sea captain of the Black Pearl that his map was incomplete. Eventually, realizing the map was indeed in the stars, Barbossa allowed Carina to steer the Pearl. Following Barbossa's second death, Jack Sparrow reclaimed his captaincy of the Black Pearl, where Joshamee Gibbs took some navigational charts, asking Sparrow what would be their next heading. When Sparrow simply replied that they would follow the stars, Gibbs enthusiastically threw the charts behind.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

Blackbeard's cabin

The seafaring charts in Blackbeard's cabin.

"So I went back to an earlier idea that I had about a circular map with rings that represented metaphorical places to which you could travel, which I thought tied into the whole 'Pirates' theme. Gore and I had been talking about the notion that 'Pirates of the Caribbean' takes place during a time in history in which the maps weren't yet filled in, which means that anything is possible in the world. There are all these places in the world that are Terra Incognita-lands that are unknown-so they could have monsters, they could have magic, they could have new civilizations. I loved the idea that this map was very old, made before the Enlightenment, before people got so scientific about mapmaking, when they still blurred the geographical realities with metaphorical inner journeys which are as important as physical journeys."
James Byrkit[src]



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