Brown (white wig)
6' 0" (1.83 m)
|Also known as||
|Ship(s) captained or crewed|
|Behind the scenes|
Theodore Groves was an officer of the British Royal Navy and the East India Trading Company. Bewigged and resplendent in his uniforms, Groves acted under the Union Jack, owing his allegiance to King George II and Country. Groves had shown true loyalty to his crew members, no matter what disaster occurred.
With the forces stationed at Port Royal, Groves served as an Royal Navy officer under the command of Commodore James Norrington. Officer Groves participated in a search party for Elizabeth Swann, the daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann, which was delayed after Captain Jack Sparrow took the HMS Dauntless in order to commandeer the HMS Interceptor, with the help of the blacksmith apprentice Will Turner. Over a year later, Groves was promoted to lieutenant and served aboard the HMS Endeavour, the flagship to Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company. Lieutenant Groves accompanied Beckett's armada in their war to wipe out piracy from the world. After the titanic battle between the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman, Groves gave the order to abandon ship when Beckett couldn't give an order while the two ships turned upon the Endeavour and fired.
Several years later, Groves returned to serve His Majesty's Navy alongside Lieutenant Gillette, most notably during the quest for the Fountain of Youth. Both Groves and Gillette would serve under the command of former pirate Hector Barbossa, now a privateer in King George's court, aboard the HMS Providence to reach the Fountain before the Spanish. After journeying past Whitecap Bay and San Miguel, Barbossa's crew fought against Blackbeard's crew of pirates and zombies at the Fountain. It was during this battle that Lieutenant Commander Groves was shot by The Spaniard while holding the British flag.
Not much is known of Theodore Groves' life, but it is known that he became part of the British Royal Navy at a young age. By the 1720s, Groves was a Royal Navy officer, serving as one of the many Navy men stationed in Port Royal, the British colony in the Caribbean. Officer Groves would have served under James Norrington.
Groves continued serving in the British Royal Navy even after James Norrington was promoted to the rank of commodore. Later, the Royal Navy suffered an attack from the Black Pearl, which carried a band of pirates led by Hector Barbossa. It was during this attack that Governor Weatherby Swann's daughter Elizabeth Swann, who was kidnapped by the pirates. On the day of Norrington's search for Elizabeth, Officer Groves assisted Commodore James Norrington's men in prepping the HMS Interceptor for the voyage. As Groves alerted Norrington to Lieutenant Gillette's predicament of being put aboard a longboat, the notorious pirate Captain Jack Sparrow attempted to commandeer the HMS Dauntless from the Port Royal harbor with the help of the young blacksmith named Will Turner. Groves accompanied Commodore Norrington and his marines as they sailed the Interceptor toward the Dauntless to board her.
However, once they came aboard, Norrington and his men were left only to watch on helplessly as Sparrow and Turner jump ship and fled aboard the Interceptor. Norrington and Groves ordered the crew to ready the cannons to fire at the Interceptor, though Groves didn't see reason to fire on their own ship. Before Norrington's men could fire the cannons, the steersman alerted to Norrington that Jack Sparrow disabled the rudder chain, thereby making the Dauntless unmovable. This daring maneuver impressed Groves, who voiced his admiration of Jack Sparrow, to a point of stating that he was the best pirate he'd ever seen. Commodore Norrington, however, did not share the sentiment, given the evidence and his experience with Sparrow.
Groves participated in the search for Elizabeth, under the command of Norrington. Later, he fought against Barbossa's undead pirates aboard the Dauntless at Isla de Muerta. He and the Commodore climbed onto the ship halfway through the battle, he skillfully dueled with Twigg in sword combat. He survived the battle, and remained in service as an loyal officer of the Royal Navy.
East India Trading Company
Months after James Norrington resigned his commission in the Royal Navy, Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company arrived to the Caribbean and took control of the town of Port Royal. At some point during Beckett's control, Groves switched allegiances to serve as an officer of the Company, in which Groves was promoted as one of Beckett's lieutenants. After Beckett gained control of Davy Jones' ship, the Flying Dutchman, Lieutenant Groves would be stationed aboard Beckett's flagship, the HMS Endeavour, around the time a venture to rescue Jack Sparrow in Davy Jones' Locker was underway. With the help of Sao Feng's crew of the Empress, Beckett's crew of the Endeavour was able to capture the Black Pearl, until Feng was betrayed by Beckett and switched sides again. Groves once again commented on Jack Sparrow's skill and good fortune, after the pirate escaped the Endeavour to rejoin his crew and, at the exact same time, damaged the Endeavour to the point where Beckett's men wouldn't be able to pursue.
War Against Piracy
- "Orders?! Orders, sir?!"
- ―Theodore Groves to Cutler Beckett
As Beckett rallied an armada to fight the Brethren Court with, Groves remained onboard the Endeavour as Beckett's second-in-command lieutenant. Groves remained with Beckett when the armada found Shipwreck Cove and during the battle between the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman around Calypso's maelstrom. After the Pearl emerged victorious, Groves looked at the ship with his spyglass, wondering what the pirates were waiting for before Beckett had the Endeavour prepare for attack. However, until the Dutchman reappeared and, joining with the Pearl, turned to attack the Endeavour at a full broadside. Standing next to Beckett, Groves stared out and saw their doom before nervously asking Beckett for orders. When Lord Beckett failed to respond to the attack from the Pearl and the Dutchman, Groves gave the order to abandon ship. Unlike Beckett, Groves and the other crewmen raced for the rail of the Endeavour before its destruction.
- "All hands! Abandon ship!"
- ―Theodore Groves before jumping overboard the Endeavour
After the defeat of Beckett's Armada, Theodore Groves went to London, where he would work closer with His Majesty King George II as he returned to a life in the British Royal Navy. At some point in the next few years, Groves was promoted to lieutenant commander and stationed aboard the HMS Providence, the pride of the King's fleet. Groves would serve under the command of Hector Barbossa, former pirate captain of the Black Pearl who had become a privateer and trusted advisor of King George's Court. After Jack Sparrow escaped from St. James's Palace, the Providence was sent sent to find the legendary Fountain of Youth before the Spanish. Groves was present when Barbossa interrogated Jack Sparrow's comrade, Joshamee Gibbs. When the pirate refused to cooperate, Groves and Gillette tied a noose to prepare Gibbs' hanging. Gibbs then revealed to be in possession of a map to the Fountain of Youth. Before any exchange could be made, Gibbs burned the map, ultimately forcing Barbossa to bring him aboard the Providence as Gibbs memorized every route in the map that led to the Fountain. And so Groves accompanied Barbossa's crew aboard the Providence at dawn.
Race to the Fountain of Youth
- "Captain. Sir. I am unhappy to report rumors, sir, among the crew, as to our destination."
"Shut your trap and make way. [Groves doesn't move] That's the way of it, then?"
"No disrespect, sir."
"What do the men fear? Say it. Speak the words."
- ―Theodore Groves and Hector Barbossa
Several days into the voyage, Groves had Gibbs brought to the helm, by Barbossa's orders, so he could provide a heading. Gibbs told Barbossa that they were going in the right direction, as he saw three Spanish galleons, commanded by The Spaniard. Barbossa, Groves and Gillette ordered the crew to their battle stations. Groves asked Barbossa for orders as the ships came closer. Though the crew of the Providence prepared for battle, the Spanish ships simply passed without opening fire. Knowing that they've fallen behind, Barbossa and Groves ordered the crew to make more sail.
Later, as the crew of the Providence became wary of their destination, it was Groves who confronted Barbossa about the rumors. The privateer revealed that they were heading for Whitecap Bay, home to deadly mermaids. As the crew were immediately stroked with fear, Groves attempted to calm the men down, though one of the crewmen raced for the railing and jumped overboard. Barbossa was ultimately able to inspire confidence into the other crewmen and ordered full sail to Whitecap Bay. After the Providence arrived to the Bay, Groves went to shore with Barbossa, Gillette, Gibbs, and a handful of the crew.
While ashore, they examined the aftermath of a skirmish that had recently occurred, particularly a deceased mermaid. Groves suggested to Barbossa that they must move hastily before being interrupted by the sounds of an assault on the Providence by the feared creatures. Groves, driven to action by the distant battle, urged Barbossa to return to the ship and aid the men under his command. The privateer, however, pulled his pistol and nonchalantly asked Groves again what he believed he was hearing. Groves begrudgingly accepted Barbossa's instructions and took notice along with Gibbs when the Providence slipped beneath the stirring sea. With reluctance, Groves and Gibbs led the few remaining crewmen of one of the Royal Navy's best ships on their next heading.
Infiltration of the Spanish camp
- "Hold here, Lieutenant Commander. Wait for my signal."
- ―Hector Barbossa to Theodore Groves
The Providence crew continued on as they made their way through thick jungle, with Barbossa collecting small poisonous dart frogs along the way. Groves would assist Barbossa in his collecting by carrying the jar full of Barbossa's frog collection. Later, after Barbossa collected one more frog, Barbossa left the crew as he journeyed ahead onto Ponce de León's legendary ship, the Santiago. Later, Barbossa would return from the Santiago with pirate Jack Sparrow, who would join Barbossa's crew in their attempt to infiltrate the Spanish camp and retrieve the two silver Chalices of Cartagena.
By Barbossa's orders to Groves, the crew had to wait for the signal while he and Jack continued on infiltrating the Spanish camp. Though they were both captured, Jack managed to escape by his own means and slingshotted himself from two palm trees. While Jack was distracting Spanish soldiers, Groves came to Barbossa's aide, believing that Jack's escape was the signal. He freed his captain of his bonds and from the palm tree that he was tied on. Groves, while carrying Jack's effects, then ran with Barbossa to the other crewmen in haste. The crew did manage to accomplish their goal, as Jack was able to steal the Chalices. While Jack rejoined with Blackbeard and his pirate crew, Barbossa and Groves along with the other Providence crewmen followed them from a distance.
Battle at the Fountain
- "This land is hereby forever claimed in the glorious name of His Majesty, King George—"
[Groves is shot and killed by the Spaniard]
"...Someone make a note of that man's bravery."
- ―Theodore Groves and The Spaniard
When the pirates found the Fountain of Youth, the crew made a surprising entrance, with Barbossa proclaiming Blackbeard as his prisoner. But Blackbeard didn't want to go down without a fight, so he and Barbossa ordered both their crews to fight. After a brief interruption from Jack Sparrow, who questioned the crews fighting each other when the quarrel was between Barbossa and Blackbeard, the battle inevitably ensued. Groves fought valiantly against the pirates, but almost all of his fellow crewmen, including Gillette, were soon dead. Later in the battle, The Spaniard and his soldiers suddenly arrived at the Fountain with a large force, outnumbering both the pirates and the British. Trying one last attempt to fulfill the crew's mission, Groves ran up to the Fountain, held the British flag in his hands and proclaimed the Fountain as the property of King George. But at the same moment, The Spaniard shot Groves, instantly killing him.
After asking one of his officers to make a note about Groves' bravery, The Spaniard revealed their true intention: rather than use it for gaining eternal life for their King, the Spanish came to destroy the Fountain. The Spaniard smashed the Chalices and ordered his men to destroy the Fountain. While The Spaniard confronted Blackbeard during the destruction of the Fountain, Groves' body was carried away by two British marines.
Personality and traits
Theodore Groves was a 'by the book' naval officer, holding the rank of lieutenant while serving in the East India Trading Company and the British Royal Navy, committed to battling piracy. At some point, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander and served as first officer onboard the HMS Providence, under the command of privateer, Hector Barbossa. During his career, he became one of the finest officers of the Royal Navy.
Although he was the upholder of the law, he had an admiration for the life of a pirate. This can be seen when he gave comments about Jack Sparrow's successful escapes from James Norrington and Cutler Beckett. Though he had an interest in a pirate's life, he remained in service of the King's Royal Navy and the East India Company.
- "Steady! Steady, men! Find your courage! Or be ready to purpose your fear!"
- ―Theodore Groves to crew of the Providence
Groves also displayed remarkable courage and care for his men. When it was necessary, he was able to give the order to abandon ship when the Endeavour was being destroyed. He almost went against orders from his own captain and protested against the idea of leaving the crew of the HMS Providence to die at the hands of mermaids. Groves has also shown acts of bravery, like when he announced the Fountain as King George's property, despite the fact that he and his surviving men were vastly outnumbered and outgunned. After shooting Groves, The Spaniard asked one of his men to make a note of Groves' noble action.
Equipment and skills
- "Hands, come about! Run out the guns! We are to fire on our own ship, sir?"
"I'd rather see her at the bottom of the ocean than in the hands of a pirate."
- ―Theodore Groves and James Norrington
Having much experience, Theodore Groves had many skills as a former lieutenant and lieutenant commander of the Royal Navy. He was excellent with a musket and a sword in battle as he was able to hold out against Barbossa's undead pirates during the battle of Isla de Muerta as well as survive fighting Blackbeard's pirates during the battle of the Fountain of Youth. It was only after the latter skirmish when Groves perished, shot down by The Spaniard.
Behind the scenes
- Theodore Groves was portrayed by Greg Ellis in The Curse of the Black Pearl, At World's End and On Stranger Tides.
- The name "Theodore Groves" was originally made up by a group of fans on a forum with Greg Ellis' blessing. His full name wasn't officially revealed until On Stranger Tides was in production. His credited name was "Officer" in The Curse of the Black Pearl and At World's End ending credits. The name "Groves" first appeared in a late production draft for At World's End (titled Calypso's Fury) and the film's junior novel, though the character would be credited and named onscreen only as "Groves" in On Stranger Tides as well as related material. In the description of a promotional image for On Stranger Tides, the name "Lieutenant Theodore Groves" was used, despite the character having the title Lieutenant Commander in the film.
- Until the release of At World's End, due to Groves' absence in Dead Man's Chest, it was initially assumed amongst fans that he was killed when the hurricane destroyed the HMS Dauntless. However, with Groves' presence in At World's End, it's possible that Groves had resigned from Norrington's crew by that time. According to Joe Books Ltd's Pirates of the Caribbean comic book writer Chris Schweizer, Groves was meant to be featured in the planned eight and final issue of the series and it was to be revealed how he survived, but as the series was cancelled in the fifth issue, it's unknown if this is canon or not.
- In the revision screenplay draft of At World's End, Groves was supposed to order the crew of the HMS Endeavour to abandon ship and jump overboard before the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman opened fire at the Endeavor. In the finished version of the film, Groves gives the order after the Pearl and the Dutchman start firing at the Endeavour.
- According to Greg Ellis, Groves' role was expanded in On Stranger Tides, despite having a much shorter role ending with the character's demise in an early draft of the script. But after a rewrite, the idea was changed to keep Groves and Gillette (Damian O'Hare) with Hector Barbossa, who worked for King George II (Richard Griffiths) in the film.
- "I remember I saw a script and I think it was an early draft of the script, but I met a very early demise at the hands of, I think it was a mermaid, maybe attacking our ship. It went down and I got dragged deep into the water and then just appeared on the beach. Just when you thought Groves was fine, the rope that was tied around my leg snagged and dragged me into the ocean. I thought it's a really cool way, if Groves is going to go, that's a really cool way to do it. It was just that scene really, that scene and maybe one of the earlier scenes, and then after a rewrite, I think the notion was to keep Groves with Barbossa. The King had maybe said to Groves and Gillette, 'Keep an eye on him - even though he's working for me, we don't trust him. You go with him the whole way.' That's really what it was, Groves and Gillette traveling with Barbossa to keep an eye him for the king."
- ―Greg Ellis
- There was much confusion among fans as to whether or not Groves really died during the battle for the Fountain of Youth, given that he was shot in the stomach as well as being seen carried off by British soldiers. However, it was confirmed by director Rob Marshall in the On Stranger Tides audio commentary that Groves, along with Gillette, indeed died. However, Greg Ellis also mentioned a possibility that Groves may have survived the battle.
- In the LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean sets, Lieutenant Theodore Groves appeared as an officer of the Royal Guard rather than the Royal Navy, wearing a red uniform instead of blue. It is unknown if this was a mistake or false labelling.
- In the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Ultimate Sticker Book, Groves was mistakenly identified as Gillette and vice versa.
- Groves appeared in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game, featured as an unlockable character and also appearing in a cutscene in the "Port Royal" level. Though he was referred to as a Lieutenant, he wore the uniform of an Ensign as he did in The Curse of the Black Pearl.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (First appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (film series)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (junior novelization)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (junior novelization)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide
Notes and references
- Estimation based on Greg Ellis' age during the filming of The Curse of the Black Pearl. Ellis was 35 during the filming and 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.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- He was credited as "Officer" in the ending credits to The Curse of the Black Pearl and At World's End.
- Although Groves himself wasn't seen in the battle in The Curse of the Black Pearl, it is still possible that he was part of it.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Ultimate Sticker Book, p14
- Post from Lt. Groves at KTTC forums
- The Hollywood Reporter news article
- Peter Mountain Photo
- @schweizercomics Chris Schweizer on Twitter
- Worldplay: Calypso's Fury draft of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End script
- IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Greg Ellis talks 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' and 'Star Trek 2'
- Rob Marshall: And that's the end of Groves after four movies. Greg had a dramatic end. And we saw Damian before he gets slashed in the back, we lost Gillette, too.
- Greg Ellis wonders if his "Pirates of the Caribbean" character will be returning for the fifth film in this series
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Ultimate Sticker Book
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
|v • d • eCrew of the HMS Dauntless|
|v • d • eCrew of the HMS Endeavour|
|v • d • eCrew of the HMS Providence|