- "What was the ritual again? Water from the Fountain, and a mermaid's tear..."
"And two silver Chalices. One cup with the tear, one without."
"So one with the tear and water in both. How complicated, is it not?"
"Both get water. One gets the tear. The person who drinks the water with the tear gets all the years of life from the other."
"How many years? Ooh."
"All the years that they have lived, and they could have lived...if Fate had been kinder."
- ―Jack Sparrow and Angelica
Discovery of the Ritual
Throughout history, people have sought a way to remain young forever. This hope was regarded as just a dream, until the Spanish conquistador Ponce de León made his dramatic discovery: the Fountain of Youth. The origins of the Profane Ritual, however, is unknown. After Ponce de León's search for the Fountain in the early 1500s, the legends of the ritual spread, though what it was and what was required was not known in common lore. It is unknown how many times this ritual was performed, but it has been proven to been performed by the dead mermaid corpses in the Jungle Pools and the Fountain itself.
Quest for the Fountain of Youth
At some point prior to the search for the Dead Man's Chest, Angelica traded her ring with sorcerer Tia Dalma for the secret of the Profane Ritual. Through unknown circumstances, Captain Teague learned about the ritual. Near the quest for the Fountain of Youth, Teague warned his son, Jack Sparrow, who was searching for the Fountain, to find out every detail before setting sail. After meeting Angelica in the Captain's Daughter, Jack inquired her about the ritual before he was knocked out for about five days, and discovered he was shanghaied aboard Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge.
Later, Jack acquired more knowledge about the Profane Ritual while in a dance of deception aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, where he convinced Angelica to tell him the rules. It was here that Jack learned that the ritual requires water from the Fountain of Youth that must be drunk from the two silver Chalices of Ponce de León. The person drinking from the Chalice that containing both water and a mermaid's tear, and the person who drinks the water with the tear would get all the years of life from the other. Realizing that the ritual requires a victim, Jack commented that his desire for the Fountain was greatly lessened.
The quest would lead to collecting the items needed for the Profane Ritual. Blackbeard's crew captured a mermaid named Syrena after the battle at Whitecap Bay, and Jack retrieved the Chalices that the The Spaniard's crew took from the Santiago. By the end of the quest, the Fountain of Youth itself would be found, where Blackbeard's crew fought against Hector Barbossa's crew. The battle resulted in the Spanish succeeding in their mission to destroy the Fountain and Blackbeard's death in the hands of Barbossa.
Despite the Fountain of Youth being destroyed, Jack Sparrow ran to the fallen, cracked basin and filled each Chalice as the water was running out, getting the very last drop. He added the mermaid tear to one of the cups before going to Angelica and Blackbeard, both fatally wounded from Barbossa's poisoned sword. Jack brought the Chalices to them and tried to convince Angelica to drink from the one with the tear. Angelica said that Blackbeard should drink the cup with the tear so that he may earn more time to redeem his soul. However, Jack tried to convince Blackbeard to save Angelica, his own daughter, by drinking from the Chalice that takes life. But instead, Blackbeard quickly drank out of the cup with the tear and told Angelica to save him. Though she was shocked at her own father's betrayal, Angelica willingly drank from the other Chalice. However, Jack revealed that he may have made a mix-up on which cup was which.
Almost instantly, upon realizing that Jack had tricked them both, Angelica's wound heals and the flowing waters of the Fountain rushed towards Blackbeard. The Fountain's waters completely surrounded Blackbeard, entwining him as his flesh began to rot away. Angelica stared in horror as Blackbeard's skeletal arm reached out to her before the waters cleared away and Blackbeard's skeleton collapsed, dead.
Legends tell that everlasting life can be found at the Fountain of Youth, but only those who possess the knowledge of the ancient ritual can achieve their heart's desire.
First, the two silver Chalices of Cartagena must be found, for the ceremony requires not just a seeker of youth but also a victim whose years will be consumed. Both must drink from the Chalices, at which point all the years of the victim's life will be transferred to the seeker.
Whitecap Bay must then be reached, for only here can mermaids still be found. One of these beautiful yet savage creatures must be captured and forced to do the seeker's bidding. Only a mermaid's tear, placed in one of the Chalices, will set the rejuvenating forces to work.
- See also: Chalices of Cartagena
These cups, inscribed "Aqua" ("water") and "de Vida" ("of life"), had a worth beyond the silver from which they were fashioned. Stolen years ago from the city of Cartagena, the Chalices had seen many owners, and much blood had been spilled in their name.
A Mermaid's Tear
A mermaid's tear may sound like one of the romantic ingredients of a quaint fairy tale, but in fact, no prize could be harder to win. As proud and ferocious as the sea they live in, mermaids do not weep lightly. It was said that a mermaid's tears of joy were more potent.
The Fountain of Youth
- See also: Fountain of Youth
- "Water...from the Fountain of Youth."
Through dense jungle, beyond the wreck of the Santiago, and past the Jungle Pools is the mystical spot known as the Fountain of Youth. Finding the Fountain is not enough, however—you need a guide who knows the right words to make the water rise up. Enter the cavern by the Jungle Pools and follow the path toward the upward-flowing waters that possess incredible powers. For here, the laws of nature are not as known, and men make the choices of gods. To enter the Fountain's chamber, one must speak the words inscribed upon the two Chalices: "Aqua de Vida".
Behind the scenes
- In real-world history concerning the legends of the Fountain of Youth, there were no rituals or ceremonies needed for the Fountain to be used.
- While it wasn't confirmed onscreen in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, it is quite possible that the Profane Ritual was written in the log of the Santiago. That would explain The Spaniard's interest in the Chalices of Cartagena, if only to destroy them along with the Fountain. In the film's visual guide, a page chronicling the ritual appears to be written in an old book, making the idea more possible.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (First appearance)
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide
Notes and References
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide, pg. 24-25: "The Secret of Eternal Youth"
- Not many characters knew about the Profane Ritual prior to On Stranger Tides.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- "The more certain point is that Angelica had to trade the ring (given to her by Jack) prior to P2, so that it would be there for Jack to steal. Meaning that Angelica was plotting her assault on the Fountain for some time." - Terry Rossio
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide, pg. 50-51: "Jack and Angelica"
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide, pg. 66-67: "The Ritual Begins"