|This article is about the Governor of Port Royal. You may be looking for Weatherby, a member of Hector Barbossa's cursed crew.|
6' 0" (183 cm)
|Ship(s) captained or crewed|
|Behind the scenes|
Weatherby Swann was the Governor of Port Royal and representative of the English Royal Navy. Appointed by the King of England, Weatherby Swann was the proud official of the British colony at Port Royal on the vibrant and prosperous island of Jamaica. Undoubtedly Swann was charming and polite but it was no secret that he hadn't the skill to govern his rebellious daughter Elizabeth.
Ever since the death of his wife, Governor Swann had raised his daughter Elizabeth on his own. Over the years, Elizabeth had blossomed into a beautiful young woman, although at times drove her father to distraction with her disregard for propriety. Despite Will Turner being the man of Elizabeth's dreams, Weatherby Swann would never let them marry as a governor's daughter was considered too good for a lowly blacksmith. Rather, he'd let her be betrothed to the debonair and ambitious Commodore James Norrington, a marriage which would have brought her wealth and respect. Ultimately, even Weatherby realized that he could not persuade Elizabeth to change her mind about wedding someone she first met when they were children, one who was a blacksmith that had pirate in his blood who also had a strong sense of what's right and what's not.
Ruling over a British colony demanded a certain authority, though his grand mansion was far from the squalor of Port Royal's docks and slums. Governor Swann's civilized world was turned upside down when the Black Pearl launched an attack on Port Royal. As cannon balls battered the stone walls of the Fort Charles, dithering Governor Swann quaked with fear at every blast. The cursed pirates storm into the governor's mansion, taking his daughter Elizabeth as captive. Days after launching a search mission for his daughter, Governor Swann and Commodore Norrington found Elizabeth marooned on a desert island with Captain Jack Sparrow, a pirate who threatened her before. Governor Swann took part in the skirmish with the cursed pirates aboard the Dauntless. About a year later, Weatherby Swann had to help secure the freedom of Elizabeth and her fiancé Will Turner, who were arrested by Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company on their wedding day. After helping her escape prison, Governor Swann reluctantly gave his loyalty to the Company, and by extension, Lord Beckett. Weatherby had since been searching for Elizabeth for months, traveling with Beckett in hopes of finding her before she was caught and executed as a pirate.
But when Beckett learned that Weatherby Swann had knowledge regarding the secret of the recently-acquired heart of Davy Jones, he decided that the governor's usefulness had run its course. However, even after death, Weatherby Swann was able to pass on the information before crossing over to the next world while the crew of the Black Pearl was stranded in Davy Jones' Locker.
Not much is known of Weatherby Swann's early life, only that he was born in Great Britain. He married an unknown female and raised a daughter, Elizabeth, who was born in London, England. Prior to the Swann family sailing on the crossing from England, Weatherby's wife died. Since the death of his wife, Governor Swann had raised his daughter Elizabeth on his own, despite her growing fascination of pirates. He also met Cutler Beckett, the ambitious official of the East India Trading Company.
The Governor of Port Royal
Sailing for Port Royal
Sometime during the 1720s, King George I appointed Weatherby Swann as the Governor of the British colony at Port Royal, the colonial capital of Jamaica located in the central Caribbean. The Swanns made the crossing from England aboard the HMS Dauntless, under the command of Lieutenant James Norrington. Although Elizabeth expressed her fascination for the subject of pirates, much to her father's dismay, both Lieutenant Norrington and Governor Swann showed their concern, with Norrington stating that he intended to see all pirates get "a short drop and a sudden stop". The passengers of the Dauntless happened upon the burning wreckage of a merchant vessel. Although Lieutenant Norrington believed this to be the work of the powder magazine, Joshamee Gibbs took it to be the work of pirates, though Governor Swann only took it as an accident. When the crew rescued Will Turner, a survivor from his pirate attack, Weatherby told Elizabeth to care for the half-drowned boy.
Life of Propriety
- "Does a father need an occasion to dote upon his daughter?"
- ―Weatherby Swann to Elizabeth Swann
After arriving to the town of Port Royal, Will Turner became a blacksmith apprentice while Weatherby Swann and his daughter Elizabeth lived in a grand mansion set in the fashionable St. Paul's district, far from the squalor of Port Royal's docks and slums. Governor Swann and Norrington would become friends during their time in Port Royal, and Norrington proved to be highly loyal to the Governor, putting down Port Royal's rise through his efforts.
Eight years after sailing the crossing from England, Captain James Norrington, one of the Lieutenants on board the Dauntless during the crossing, was promoted to commodore. Governor Swann had arranged a ceremonial sword to be made, to be delivered by blacksmith Will Turner. On the morning of Norrington's promotion ceremony, Governor Swann gave Elizabeth a dress, said to be the latest fashion in London, which he hoped for her to wear for the ceremony. As they rode towards the ceremony, Governor Swann expressed his hope that Elizabeth would demonstrate a bit more decorum in the presence of Commodore Norrington for all he had done with the town of Port Royal. Governor Swann and Elizabeth attended the promotion ceremony at Fort Charles, during which Norrington proposed to Elizabeth. Shocked, and finding it difficult to breathe in a corset her father had insisted she wear, Elizabeth fell from the fort's battlements, but was rescued from a watery grave by Captain Jack Sparrow.
Despite the fact that Sparrow had saved his daughter's life, Weatherby ordered him to be shot, then called for a hanging when Norrington revealed he was branded as a pirate. After the infamous pirate held Elizabeth as hostage, Jack managed to escape Norrington's clutches despite being manacled. Norrington was later able to capture Sparrow, though it would not be the Swanns' last encounter with the Captain.
- "A moment, please. Elizabeth? I want you to know I believe you made a very good decision today. Couldn't be more proud of you. But a good decision, if made for the wrong reasons, can be a wrong decision."
- ―Weatherby Swann to Elizabeth Swann on William Turner
That night, Swann's cozy world was turned upside down when the Black Pearl launched an attack on Port Royal. As Governor Swann and Commodore Norrington walked along the far wall of Fort Charles, speaking very briefly about Norrington's proposal to Elizabeth, they both hear cannon fire in the distance, prompting the commodore to tackle the governor to the ground seconds before a cannonball impacted right next to them. Weatherby witnessed the opening stages of the battle from the Fort Charles, though the fort's garrison found it hard to defend itself. As cannonballs battered the stone walls of the fort, the ramparts were no place for dithering Governor Swann, who quaked with fear at every blast. Ultimately Commodore Norrington ordered Swann to barricade himself in his office.
Lured by the Aztec gold medallion that Elizabeth wore around her neck, a band of pirates stormed the Governor's mansion. By the time Governor Swann returned to his wrecked home, his beautiful daughter was kidnapped and sailing away from the port, a captive of Hector Barbossa. The next morning, Governor Swann assisted Norrington in formulating a plan to rescue her. Ultimately, the Royal Navy dispatched its vessels in a sweep of the Caribbean, and Weatherby joined Norrington aboard the Dauntless.
Marooned with on a desert island with Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth burned his stock of rum. The huge fire alerted the Navy and the two were rescued the next morning. Climbing aboard the Dauntless, Elizabeth revealed that Hector Barbossa planned to sacrifice Elizabeth's childhood friend Will Turner at Isla de Muerta. Despite his daughter's pleadings, Weatherby refused to condone a rescue mission, stating that the boy was responsible for his own actions, having engaged in the act of piracy. However, Elizabeth was able to persuade Norrington otherwise by promising to marry him in exchange of rescuing Will, and Weatherby accompanied the Navy forces to Isla de Muerta.
On board the Dauntless, the Commodore ordered Elizabeth to remain in the captain's quarters and out of harm's way. But Governor Swann, while talking to his daughter, underestimated her spirit and determination and discovered that she has escaped using knotted bedsheets so she can help Will. Weatherby Swann was in the process of leaving to report Elizabeth's escape, only to be greeted by the sight of a marine being stabbed repeatedly with his own musket by a skeletal pirate: the cursed crew had sneaked aboard the Dauntless to overcome its crew by surprise. Horrified, Swann slammed the door and hid. He was soon discovered by a bloodthirsty skeletal pirate and only just escaped his grasp, though the pirate managed to grab the governor's wig. Engaging in a tug of war over the hairpiece, Swann seized a nearby candlestick and brought it down on the arm holding the wig. But Swann's ordeal wasn't over; to his horror, the arm of his cursed assailant came off and had a life all of its own. Armed with the candlestick, Weatherby was forced to fight against the skeletal arm, managing to briefly beat it into submission. However, it sprang back to life and attempted to attack him again when he picked it up, though he was able to shut it inside a dresser drawer. Even then, the arm still resisted, and the trembling Governor was forced to hold the drawer shut as the entire dresser shook with the appendage's efforts to free itself. When the dresser stopped shaking, the Governor opened the drawer to investigate, and promptly slammed it shut again in horror: the arm had turned into a very real (severed) human limb. At the same time, cries of "huzzah!" rang out from the decks and Swann was delighted to see why: the pirates' curse was lifted and the Dauntless was back in British hands. The Governor promptly joined in the celebrations on deck, shaking his finger at a nearby pirate in a scolding fashion. The rescue mission had been a success, and on the return voyage to Port Royal, Weatherby offered Turner clemency if he did not interfere in Jack Sparrow's fate—as the pirate, in Norrington's custody, was set for execution at the fort.
Turner, however, disregarded this, and staged a rescue attempt at the fort that ended in a confrontation on the battlements. Norrington was set to hang Turner as well as Sparrow, but when Elizabeth decided to stand by Will in opposition of Norrington, Weatherby ordered the marines surrounding them to stand down. Sparrow escaped, and Elizabeth professed her love for Will. Weatherby was concerned over his daughter's choice, but nevertheless accepted it.
War of Jolly Roger
Some time after Sparrow's escape, Weatherby went on a long overseas journey. During his absence, Port Royal suffered an attack from Jolly Roger, an undead pirate captain. The attack was unsuccessful, but Weatherby offered a reward of 1,000 doubloons for Roger's head, and heads of all his undead officers and crewmembers. But that didn't stop Roger from attacking other islands and ports in his war. It was said that during this time, he was once spotted drinkin' rum and ale at the Rowdy Rooster tavern acting like Jack Sparrow.
Dealing with Lord Beckett
- "Make way. Let me through! How dare you. Stand your men down at once! Do you hear me?"
"Governor Weatherby Swann, it's been too long."
"It's Lord now, actually."
- ―Weatherby Swann and Cutler Beckett
About a year after the battle of Isla de Muerta, Elizabeth and Will were set to be married, and, despite Norrington's disgrace some time earlier, Weatherby Swann remained Governor of Port Royal. However, the peace was upset by the arrival of Lord Cutler Beckett, with whom Swann had previous dealings with. Beckett bore arrest warrants for Elizabeth, Will and Norrington, and though Will was later released as part of a bargain with Beckett, Elizabeth remained locked up despite Weatherby's best efforts. Both he and Will visited Elizabeth in the prison to inform her of Will's deal with Beckett to recover Jack Sparrow's compass, though Swann was reluctant to follow it. When he was accosted by the soldier on watch and addressed as "Mr. Swann", he quickly told him that he was still the governor: "Do you think I wear this wig to keep my head warm?". Ultimately, Weatherby felt his duty as a father took precedence over his duty as Governor, and freed Elizabeth from jail and attempted to send her back to England, having procured passage with an old friend, Captain Hawkins, to whom he gave a letter for the King. However, this action had been foreseen by Beckett, who dispatched his aide Ian Mercer to intercept Weatherby, murdering Hawkins in the process. The Governor was caught, though his daughter managed to slip away.
Animosity grew between Swann and Beckett, though the latter decided to keep Swann in his position as Governor, if only to ensure Beckett's superiors in England received good reports from the Governor's office. Beckett ultimately forced Swann to choose between his daughter and his own life when he revealed his ships were in pursuit of Elizabeth and her colleagues. Only Weatherby's loyalty to the East India Trading Company would ensure her continued survival. Weatherby, defeated, accepted.
- "They know."
"I can order Admiral Norrington's silence. He'll obey; it's what he does."
"And the governor?"
"Yes. Well, every man should have a secret he carries with him to his grave."
- ―Ian Mercer and Cutler Beckett
With the capture of the heart of Davy Jones, Lord Cutler Beckett's fleet expanded upon the acquisition of the Flying Dutchman, the East India Trading Company became a far more dangerous and potent threat in the Caribbean. For months, Governor Swann had been searching for his daughter Elizabeth, ever since he helped her escape her cell in Port Royal and realized she fled into the dark night. Weatherby knew she would have gone to find Will Turner and Jack Sparrow among the pirates. But since that night, he had not seen nor heard from her. By traveling with Lord Beckett and the newly-appointed Admiral James Norrington, he had hoped to find her before she was caught and executed as a pirate.
Although he was reaching breaking point, Weatherby Swann continued to serve Beckett, having joined him aboard the Endeavour and at least one visit aboard the Flying Dutchman after it had destroyed a fleet of pirate ships. Through unknown circumstances, he became curious about the Davy Jones' heart and soon discovered its secret. Upon learning this from Mercer, Beckett realized the Governor's loyalty was short-lived and, with Beckett's increased power, knew that his usefulness had run its course. So in order to keep their secret, Beckett and Mercer had Weatherby Swann killed through obscure means. After Admiral Norrington asked for him, Beckett deceived him and told Norrington that Swann went back to England.
- "Elizabeth. Are you dead?"
"I think I am."
"No, you can't be."
- ―Weatherby Swann and Elizabeth Swann
Weatherby's spirit entered the realm of the dead, where it encountered Elizabeth and the rest of her crewmates, having journeyed into Davy Jones' Locker to rescue Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl. Weatherby was concerned that Elizabeth had died, though when she assured him otherwise, stating that he believed he himself had while relieved to her she was alive. He told her what he had learned about the heart, thus giving the recently-rescued Jack the information for his initial plans for immortality. Elizabeth attempted to save him by having board the Pearl, though Weatherby was by now beyond the point of rescue. As he disappeared into the mist, Weatherby told her that he loved her promised to give Elizabeth's love to her mother, with whom the hapless Governor would soon be reunited. As Weatherby's boat sailed on into the mist, Tia Dalma assured that he was at peace.
- "I'll give your love to your mother then, shall I?"
- ―Weatherby Swann last words to Elizabeth Swann
Posthumously, Swann became father-in-law of Will Turner as originally planned due the latter's wedding with Elizabeth. He also became grandfather with the birth of Will's and Elizabeth's son Henry Turner.
Personality and traits
- "Lieutenant Norrington, I appreciate your fervor, but I'm, uh, I'm concerned about the effect this subject will have upon my daughter."
- ―Weatherby Swann to James Norrington
Appointed by the King of England, Weatherby Swann was the proud Governor of the British colony at Port Royal on the vibrant and prosperous island of Jamaica. Death warrants drawn up await Governor Swann's signature before executions could proceed. Undoubtedly, Swann was charming and polite but it was no secret that he hadn't the skill to govern his rebellious daughter Elizabeth, let alone an entire island. Although Governor Swann claimed that everyone was bound by the law, he was still willing to break the law to keep Elizabeth safe, helping her escape from prison when she was sentenced to be executed. At first, Weatherby hated pirates but after discovering that Elizabeth was in love with Will Turner, he grew more accepting of them, realizing that not all pirates were bloodthirsty savages. Governor Swann even considered that Jack Sparrow had more honor than Cutler Beckett, who used Swann's political connections to further his own cause. When he last saw his daughter when he entered the realm of the dead, he told her he was very proud of her.
Since the death of his wife, Governor Weatherby Swann had raised his daughter Elizabeth on his own. Much to her father's dismay, pirates have always fascinated Elizabeth. Despite this, Weatherby Swann loved his daughter and was known to dote upon her at times, once asking her if a father ever needed any reason to do so to his daughter. Over the years Elizabeth had blossomed into a beautiful young lady, although at times she drove her father to distraction with her willfulness and disregard for propriety. On board the Dauntless, Swann underestimated his daughter's spirit and determination and discovers that she had escaped using knotted bedsheets so she could help Will Turner. Above all, Elizabeth follows her heart. Despite being proposed to by the debonair and ambitious James Norrington, she rather wed a humble blacksmith and become Mrs. Elizabeth Turner. Even her father realized that he could not persuade Elizabeth to change her mind. However, Swann originally believed that a governor's daughter was too good for a lowly blacksmith. Weatherby Swann was also very calm when he met Elizabeth in Davy Jones' Locker and, although he knew he was dead, made no attempt to join Elizabeth in returning to the world of the living.
Ruling over a British colony demanded a certain authority, and Weatherby Swann dressed to impress in aristocratic attire. His fashionable frock coat was made by his London tailor, while his frilled cravat came from Paris. Other attire included a tricorn hat trimmed with luxurious ostrich feathers and a curled, grey wig that covered his head, both of which were essential parts of his appearance. Although the wig often made his head hot and itchy, Swann felt undressed without it, due to it befitting his status as Governor. It was believed to be a shame that he didn't pay as much attention to his work as he did to his appearance. It's possible that Weatherby Swann kept up contact with London, and more importantly the latest London fashions, as he knew what the ladies were wearing and so knew what to buy his beloved daughter Elizabeth for a gift.
By the time of his employ under the East India Trading Company, Governor Weatherby Swann no longer wore a cravat made with lace, rather wearing a plain white one tucked into his waistcoat collar due to the tensity of his concern over his daughter's well-being.
Equipment and skills
As a member of the British high society, Weatherby Swann possessed a ceremonial sword. However, it is unknown if he ever used it in battle. He was seen wearing it on the day of James Norrington's promotion ceremony and on his daughter's interrupted wedding. When the cursed crew attacked the Dauntless, Swann used a candlestick to hit the arm of a cursed pirate after it came off and had a life all of its own.
Behind the scenes
- Governor Weatherby Swann was portrayed by Jonathan Pryce in The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End.
- In the 1990s, when director Steven Spielberg was planning to direct what became The Curse of the Black Pearl, he wanted to cast Sylvester McCoy as Weatherby Swann, but Disney didn't gave the permission to make the film. In 2002, during the early development of The Curse of the Black Pearl, Tom Wilkinson entered in negotiations to play Weatherby Swann. However, at the end, Wilkinson didn't sign for the part. According to Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski in the DVD commentary, Jonathan Pryce, whom Depp admired, was cast instead.
- According to the DVD commentary of The Curse of the Black Pearl, in early drafts of the film's script, Weatherby Swann was originally meant to be a minor character and wasn't supposed to accompany Commodore James Norrington in search of Elizabeth following her capture, remaining at Port Royal. The first draft of the film's screenplay stated that Swann sent Norrington and his crew in search of Elizabeth. However, Swann's role was eventually expanded when it was realized there were no principal characters present, apart from Norrington and his fellows, during the final battle between the crew of the HMS Dauntless and Hector Barbossa's cursed crew at Isla de Muerta.
- In the second screenplay draft of At World's End, as well as a deleted scene, after the destruction of the pirate fleet, Weatherby Swann attempted to stab the heart of Davy Jones with the bayonet of an EITC soldier's musket because Jones informed him that the Kraken had killed Elizabeth. However, he was stopped by Admiral Norrington. Jones then told him of the fate that would befall whoever stabbed his heart. After Cutler Beckett and Ian Mercer informed Swann of Elizabeth's survival, Swann left the room intending to end his association with Beckett. Afterwards, concerned with the issue of Swann knowing the secret behind Jones' heart, Beckett and Mercer decided to kill the governor. This is referenced in the At World's End video game, when Weatherby says to Elizabeth that he would have killed Jones if he could have had the chance. The first screenplay draft included a scene where James Norrington, with Wyvern's help, finds Swann's dead body aboard the Flying Dutchman.
- Several POTC material misspelled Weatherby Swann's name as "Wetherby", including Pirates of the Caribbean: The Visual Guide and The Complete Visual Guide.
- In the At World's End video game, Weatherby Swann's appearance at Davy Jones' Locker is shorter and Elizabeth doesn't throw him a rope to save him as she understands her father's fate. Instead, she promises Weatherby that Beckett will pay with his own life, something which ultimately happens at the end.
- In the At World's End junior novelization, Weatherby Swann's death is omitted and therefore, he doesn't appear at Davy Jones' Locker. As he doesn't appear afterwards, however, it could be implied that in the novelization, Beckett and Mercer didn't kill Swann at the sea.
- The timeline established in the film series sets Weatherby Swann's governorship of Jamaica between 1720 and 1729, a period when the island was historically governed by Nicholas Lawes, Henry Bentinck, John Ayscough, and Robert Hunter.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Missing Pirate
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (First appearance)
- Revenge of the Pirates! (Indirect mention only)
- The Buccaneer's Heart! (Non-canonical appearance)
- Breakout! (Indirect mention only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (film series)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Visual Guide
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide
Notes and references
- Estimation based on Jonathan Pryce's age during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and the fact that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides takes place in 1750, approximately twenty years after the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, itself over a year after the events of The Curse of the Black Pearl.
- James "Jim" Carson's calendar of Henry Turner's waiting for Will Turner's return from Dead Men Tell No Tales shows that Will Turner's first visit to his family after ten years of captaining the Flying Dutchman, which is shown in the after credits scene of At World's End, occurred in August 1739, which means the Battle of Calypso's maelstrom occurred in August 1729 which sets Weatherby Swann's death after the Destruction of the pirate fleet during the same year.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Jolly Roger Wanted Poster
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, p.18-19 "Governor Swann"
- One of the last production drafts for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest implies they met before Weatherby Swann became a governor.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide reveals only that Swann was "Appointed by the King of England", without naming the king. However, the timeline established in the fourth and the fifth film in the series and their tie-in materials sets the appointment during the historical reign of King George I.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, p.20-21 "Elizabeth Swann"
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, p.22-23 "Will Turner"
- The Doctors Who's Who - The Story Behind Every Face of the Iconic Time Lord at Google Books
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Greg's Preview at Yahoo!