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"Feast your eyes, captain. All of them, faithful hands before the mast. Every man worth his salt. And crazy to boot."
Joshamee Gibbs on the motley crew[src]

Matelot was a pirate operating in the 1720s around Tortuga. In 1728, he was recruited in Tortuga by Captain Jack Sparrow prior to the pursuit of the Black Pearl as part of his motley crew, assembled to go after Sparrow's enemy Hector Barbossa. Matelot sailed the HMS Interceptor to Isla de Muerta during Will Turner's attempt to rescue Elizabeth Swann from Hector Barbossa's cursed crew, but was soon imprisoned with the other crewmen in the brig of the Black Pearl. After taking the Black Pearl, Matelot served under Jack Sparrow's command, embarking on several misadventures until the crew eventually began to doubt Sparrow's leadership. Matelot was among around half of the crew who wished to overthrow Jack and elect a new captain, Leech. They finally got their chance when the crew were captured by the Pelegostos Tribe and held captive on their island, with several of the would-be mutineers kept in one large bone cage and several pirates loyal to Jack held in the other. Leech and his cohorts attempted to abandon Jack's loyal followers on the island, but ended up falling down a ravine to their dooms.

BiographyEdit

Quest to Isla de MuertaEdit

In 1728, Matelot joined the motley crew of a commandeered British Royal Navy vessel, the HMS Interceptor, under notorious pirate Captain Jack Sparrow and rogue blacksmith Will Turner. He had been hired by Sparrow's first mate, Joshamee Gibbs, in Tortuga alongside eleven other crewmen, and was inspected by Sparrow, Gibbs and Turner there before agreeing to join them on their quest to regain Sparrow's beloved former ship, the Black Pearl, from his mutinous former first mate Hector Barbossa. They first sailed through a treacherous storm, during which Matelot and the other crewmen were soaked in the rain as several members of the crew began to doubt Sparrow's apparently broken compass. The following morning, Matelot and the rest of the crew looked over the railing of the Interceptor into the sea as the ship passed through a dangerous passageway, watching several sharks and other fish below them as the ship moved slowly onwards with the parrot of one member, Cotton, singing eerily. The pirates soon snapped back to work on orders from their captain. They later arrived at their destination, Isla de Muerta, where Sparrow and Turner went into the island alone, leaving the crew behind, ordering them to keep to the Pirate's Code.[1]

Will later came back out without Jack, instead with a rescued Elizabeth Swann, but the crew kept to the code and went on without him. When the Black Pearl attacked the Interceptor, Matelot manned the ship's cannons alongside Marty, Cotton, Moises, Tearlach, Kursar and Ladbroc. Matelot and the rest of the cannoneers survived and were taken prisoner, along with the other crewmen, by Barbossa's cursed crew to be imprisoned, left under the watch of two cursed pirates, Mallot and Grapple. However, they were later freed from their cell by Elizabeth and, despite the latter's futile attempts to convince them to go back for Will and Jack, took over the Black Pearl, leaving her on a longboat. Though they refused to help her rescue Will and Jack from Isla de Muerta, the pirates, now under Gibbs and crewman Anamaria with ten new recruits, later rescued Jack from the gallows and allowed him to become captain once more.[1]

Further adventuresEdit

Matelot continued to serve under Sparrow for the next year, however he, Leech and many other crewmen secretly planned to lead a mutiny against Jack. They were unhappy with Jack's leadership, and felt they needed to do more "pirate" things. Matelot was not present as Jack arrived aboard the ship in a coffin using the arm of a skeleton as an oar, having escaped from the Turkish prison, and showed his crew their next goal, to locate a mysterious key apparently leading to something "shiny". When Jack suddenly woke everybody up in the middle of night, they rushed to their stations, shocked at their Captain's strange behavior, especially when he ordered them not to retrieve his hat when it was thrown overboard by Jack the monkey. Later, when they made port at the nearest land on demands from a desperate Jack and were captured by the cannibalistic Pelegostos Tribe, many of the crew were killed, with Sparrow unwillingly becoming chief of the tribe, whilst Duncan was put into a bone cage made by the skeletons of his former cohorts dangling from a bridge between two cliffs with fellow crewmen Leech, Ladbroc, Duncan and two others, opposite a cage containing Gibbs, Cotton, Marty, Ho-Kwan, Lejon and later also Will Turner.[2]

Screen Shot 2018-12-29 at 7.59.59 pm

Duncan, Leech, Matelot, Ladbroc and the other two pirates falling to their deaths.

Both groups attempted to swing their cage towards the cliff side in order to climb up to reach the peak, but as the Black Pearl needed only six men to crew it, Matelot and the others in his cage promptly instead attempted to abandon the other crewmen and take over the Pearl. However, they ended up suffering a brutal death when they were startled by a snake, and as a result let go of the cliff side, snapping the rope holding them up and letting their cage fall down a ravine. All six of them perished.[2]

Behind the scenesEdit

  • Matelot was played by Rudolph McColam in The Curse of the Black Pearl and Dead Man's Chest.
  • Despite having been killed early in Dead Man's Chest, Matelot can be seen in the background of several battle scenes later in the movie loading cannons and fighting. This is due to some footage originally shot for The Curse of the Black Pearl being used in the second movie.
  • "Matelot" is a French word meaning "seamen". In pirate slang, "Matelot" referred to a pirate who was in a union known as "matelotage" with another pirate; they shared all their possessions, even their wives, and if one of them died, the other succeeded him.[3]

AppearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  3. Jan Rogozinski, Pirates! Brigands, Buccaneers, and Privateers in Fact, Fiction, and Legend [1]
Motley Crew

Captain: Jack Sparrow
HMS Interceptor
AnamariaCottonCotton's ParrotCrimpDuncanJoshamee GibbsKursar
LadbrocMartyMatelotMoisesQuartettoTearlachWill Turner

Captain: Joshamee Gibbs
HMS Interceptor/Black Pearl
AnamariaCottonCotton's ParrotCrimpDuncanKursarLadbroc
MartyMoisesQuartettoElizabeth SwannTearlachWill Turner


Captain: Jack Sparrow
Black Pearl
AnamariaCottonCotton's ParrotCrimpDuncanJoshamee GibbsLadbroc
MartyMoisesQuartettoTearlach


Captain: Jack Sparrow
Black Pearl
CottonCotton's ParrotCrimpDuncanJoshamee GibbsHo-KwanJack the MonkeyLeechLejonMartyMoises


Captain: Jack Sparrow
Black Pearl
CottonCotton's ParrotJoshamee GibbsJack the MonkeyLejonMartyWilliam Turner Jr.


Captain: Jack Sparrow
Black Pearl
CottonCotton's ParrotCrippled manJames NorringtonJoshamee GibbsIrish manJack the MonkeyLejonMartyElizabeth SwannSkinny manSweepyVery old manWilliam Turner Jr.


Captain: Hector Barbossa
Hai Peng
CottonCotton's ParrotTia DalmaJoshamee GibbsTai HuangJack the Monkey
MartyPintelRagettiElizabeth SwannWill Turner


Captains: Jack Sparrow / Hector Barbossa
Black Pearl
CottonCotton's ParrotTia DalmaJoshamee GibbsTai HuangJack the Monkey
MartyPintelRagettiElizabeth SwannWill Turner


Captain: Hector Barbossa
Black Pearl
CottonCotton's ParrotJack the MonkeyMartyMullroyMurtoggPintelRagetti


Captain: Jack Sparrow
Dying Gull
BollardCrembleJoshamee GibbsMartyPikeScrum


Captain: Joshamee Gibbs
Dying Gull
BollardCrembleMartyPikeScrum


Captain: Jack Sparrow
Dying Gull
BollardCrembleJoshamee GibbsMartyPikeScrumCarina SmythHenry Turner


Captains: Jack Sparrow / Hector Barbossa
Black Pearl
BollardCrembleJoshamee GibbsJack the MonkeyMartyMullroyMurtoggPikeScrumCarina SmythHenry Turner


Captain: Jack Sparrow
Black Pearl
BollardCrembleJoshamee GibbsJack the MonkeyMartyMullroyMurtoggPikeScrum
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