|For other uses, see William Turner (disambiguation)|
5' 10.5" (1.79 m)
|Also known as||
|Ship(s) captained or crewed|
Attack on Port Royal
|Behind the scenes|
- "No cause is lost if there is but one fool left to fight for it."
- ―Will Turner
Will Turner, born William Turner Jr., was the only child of William "Bootstrap Bill" Turner and his unnamed wife. In his life, Will Turner was an accomplished blacksmith by trade, an excellent swordsman by pursuit and a budding pirate by fate. After embarking on several adventures with Captain Jack Sparrow, Will embraced his pirate heritage as he pursued his own purposes. Despite Will's best efforts to adhere to the social class structure, he realizes that some rules are meant to be broken.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Will was raised by his mother in England and believed his father was a respectable merchant sailor. When his mother died, Will began searching for his father while wearing a gold medallion. Rescued from a burning shipwreck, Will first met Elizabeth Swann aboard the HMS Dauntless. Upon arriving to Port Royal, Will Turner became a blacksmith under John Brown. A simple craftsman, his life revolved around his work, and his distant longing for a woman he knew could never be his wife. After Elizabeth was kidnapped by Hector Barbossa's crew of the Black Pearl, Will joined forces with Captain Jack Sparrow to save her while being pursued by Commodore Norrington's men and facing cursed pirates. Though he was initially shocked and dismayed when Jack revealed that his father was a pirate, Will Turner managed to save Elizabeth. In return for his help, Will aided Jack Sparrow in escaping from the gallows at great risk to his own.
About a year later, Will and Elizabeth were on the verge of marrying when they were arrested by Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company for saving Jack Sparrow. Will Turner sets out to retrieve Jack's unique compass in exchange for their freedom. After meeting with Jack in Cannibal Island and visiting the voodoo mystic Tia Dalma, Will Turner was tricked into serving on board Davy Jones's ship, the Flying Dutchman, where Will met up with his father, Bootstrap Bill. Will promised Bill that he'd try and free him from Jones's servitude, a promise Will saw throughout the search for the Dead Man's Chest and the war against piracy, where he joined a resurrected Barbossa in rescuing Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones' Locker. Despite his best efforts, Will would try and do everything he could to honor that vow but not forgetting that he still loved Elizabeth.
During the final battle against Beckett's Armada, Will and Elizabeth were married by Barbossa at the Black Pearl. Shortly after being stabbed by Jones, Will himself pierced Jones' heart. Because he had killed Jones, Will became the new captain of the Flying Dutchman. After the pirates' victory, Will and Elizabeth spent one day with each other, during which time they conceived a child, before Will left to serve aboard the Dutchman for all eternity. He was freed from the curse and reunited with his family approximately two decades later when his son Henry broke the Trident of Poseidon in 1751, ending all curses of the sea.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life
- 1.2 Blood Repaid
- 1.3 Strange adventures
- 1.4 Father and Son
- 1.5 A Touch of Destiny
- 1.6 Decades of service
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Equipment and skills
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Appearances
- 6 Sources
- 7 Notes and references
As an infant, Will Turner lived with his parents in North Carolina until his father abandoned him and his mother to join the crew of the Black Pearl. Through unknown circumstances, Will moved with his mother to England where she raised him by herself. Will had believed his father was a merchant seaman, a "good respectable man who obeyed the law". When his father sent an Aztec Medallion, Will thought it was just an exotic trinket that his father had picked up on his travels. At some point in his youth, Will's mother died.
The Crossing from England
After his mother died, Will Turner began looking for his father while wearing the gold medallion, soon boarding a British merchant vessel that traveled to the Caribbean Sea. However, Hector Barbossa's cursed crew attacked Will's ship. The only survivor of this pirate attack, Will Turner was spotted, lying unconscious on a piece of driftwood, by young Elizabeth Swann aboard the HMS Dauntless. Pulled from the sea, the Dauntless crew found that he was drifting amidst the murdered crew and burning wreckage of the British ship. Told to care for the half-drowned boy by her father, Governor Weatherby Swann, Elizabeth was left to watch over the unconscious boy as Lieutenant James Norrington's men set about searching the wreckage for more survivors. Will roused in time for he and Elizabeth to introduce themselves before he lapsed back into unconsciousness. Elizabeth then noticed the medallion around Will's neck, though was worried that he was a pirate. Fearing that Norrington would have Will hanged, Elizabeth took the medallion from Will before he was taken below decks. While Will thought the medallion was lost during the rescue, Elizabeth kept the medallion in her possession for the next eight years.
Life in Port Royal
After arriving to the town of Port Royal, Governor Weatherby Swann and his daughter Elizabeth moved into a grand mansion while Will was apprenticed to John Brown, a local blacksmith. Swordsmith Will Turner became a simple craftsman. Will became proficient at his trade, and it could be said that he carried out many, if not all, of the duties neglected by his often drunk master. He also began forging a number of swords, and practiced with them for hours at a time at the smithy. He had developed a hatred towards pirates, and wanted to be able to best one in single combat should the opportunity arise.
During this time, Will's friendship with Elizabeth developed further, but it grew into something more romantic as they grew older. His life revolved around his work, and his distant longing for a woman he knew could never be his wife. Despite Will's feelings towards the girl, he remained reluctant to reveal his true feelings towards her, likely due to the social divide between them. Even eight years after they met, Will grew to be the man of Elizabeth's dreams. However, he does not dare reveal how he feels, for Elizabeth's father would never let them marry. A governor's daughter was too good for a lowly blacksmith.
- "You need to find yourself a girl, mate...Or, perhaps the reason you practice three hours a day is that you've already found one, and are otherwise incapable of wooing said strumpet. You're not a eunuch, are you?"
"I practice three hours a day so that when I meet a pirate, I can kill it!"
- ―Jack Sparrow and William Turner
Eight years after the sailing on the crossing from England, Governor Weatherby Swann requested of Mr. Brown a sword for Captain Norrington, due to be promoted to Commodore. Will forged the sword himself, and delivered it to the Governor's estate. There, he met Elizabeth, but his polite and reserved manner, still present after all these years of friendship, irritated her, and they parted on less than good terms.
Will returned to the blacksmith's following the ceremony, where he was confronted by Captain Jack Sparrow, a pirate currently being hunted by Norrington's men. Will's noble nature caused him to engage Sparrow in a duel, during which he displayed his skill with a sword. "You know what you're doing, I'll give you that," quiped Jack as pirate captain and swordsmith are almost equally matched. Will's training gave him an advantage over Jack, who only managed to avoid losing to Will by acrobatic blade work and old-fashioned cheating when he pulled his pistol out. Even now, Will refused to back down, though Jack was reluctant to shoot the boy—and thus waste the single shot contained within his gun, which Jack was saving for Barbossa. His moment of indecision gave Mr. Brown enough time to rise and knock Jack unconscious (with his empty bottle of rum) and reap congratulations for hisefforts from Commodore Norrington, whose stiff manners towards Will (who was socially beneath him) caused him to ignore Will's part in the capture.
Jack was imprisoned, and Will continued working at the shop. However, when the Black Pearl launched a surprise attack on the port, he joined the fighting, defeating a number of marauding pirates. However, he was overcome in the battle, and knocked unconscious. Meanwhile, the smoke from the cannon fire grew thicker and thicker as the battle raged on. Down in the cell next to Jack's, a few pests were trying to trade the watchdog a bone for the keys he held in his mouth. Then a cannon ball blew a hole in the prison cell next to Jack's. Jack wached as the punks escaped while he still was trapped behind the filthy bars. When Will awoke, the attack was over, and he soon learned that Elizabeth had been kidnapped by the pirates. Will demanded that Commodore Norrington hunt down the attackers, but with no leads as to the ship's whereabouts, Norrington could do nothing.
Will, however, was not satisfied. He was fiercely loyal to those he cared about, and would not leave Elizabeth in danger. Though it pained him to do so, he made a bargain with Jack Sparrow, freeing him from prison in exchange for information on the Black Pearl. Doing so, he used a trick he knew from being a blacksmith and the same trick was later used by Sparrow to escape the Flying Dutchman's brig. After declaring that he would do anything to save Elizabeth—even die for her—Will accompanied Jack as he commandeered the HMS Interceptor, the only ship that had a chance of catching the Black Pearl. With this, Will committed his first act of piracy, a fact that did not sit well with him. He became further conflicted when Jack revealed that his father, whom Jack had known, had been a pirate and a good man, and it was a pirate's blood that ran in Will's veins.
Finding the treasure
- "You know, for having such a bleak outlook on pirates, you are well on your way to becoming one. Sprung a man from jail...commandeered a ship of the fleet, sailed with a buccaneer crew out of Tortuga...and you're completely obsessed with treasure."
"That's not true! I am not obsessed with treasure."
"...Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate."
- ―Jack Sparrow and William Turner
The Interceptor made it to Tortuga, where Will was given his first real taste of a pirate's life. He became somewhat overwhelmed by the cut-throats, drunks and bar brawlers that frequented the Faithful Bride, though he remained astute enough to overhear a foreboding discussion between Jack and an old friend, Joshamee Gibbs. As the pirates set out to procure a crew, Will considered the chance that Jack was preparing to betray him, to use him as "leverage" with Barbossa.
Will's doubts over the wisdom of continuing with his mission grew when he was presented with Jack's motley crew. He hardly considered them "able-bodied", but nevertheless agreed to sail out with them for Isla de Muerta.
At some point during the journey, the Interceptor encountered the British merchant vessel Earl King, captained by McGlue. Will and Jack disguised as Royal Navy officers and boarded the King, but Captain McGlue realized that they're pirates. The crew of the Interceptor boarded the King, captured the entire crew, and looted the ship.
During the voyage, Will learned more about Jack himself; he was once captain of the Black Pearl, but had been betrayed by Barbossa and left for dead. As he and Jack set out alone for the island, Will also discovered the pirates were to keep to the Code, meaning that any man who fell behind would be left behind. Despite Jack's insistence to the contrary, Will kept staunchily to his bleak outlook on pirates.
Upon reaching Barbossa's treasure cave, Will witnessed the supposed sacrifice of Elizabeth, though it transpired that the cursed pirates believed they needed only a drop of her blood, and her life was spared. She was still far from safe, however, so Will took matters into his own hands. Not trusting Jack to help him, Will knocked the pirate unconscious, and rescued Elizabeth from the middle of the pirate assembly. He escaped with her, and the medallion, back to the Interceptor, which promptly left without Jack.
The blood of a pirate
In the hold of the Interceptor, Elizabeth returned Will's medallion to him, and he realized that it was his blood, not Elizabeth's, the pirates required to lift their curse. Angry and despairing, Will drove Elizabeth away, yet again forestalling the chance of romance between them. Will soon learned that the Black Pearl was in pursuit, though unknown to Will, Jack was on board, and had informed the crew he knew whose blood they needed. After the fight between the Black Pearl and the Interceptor, Will, who was thought to have perished in the destruction of the latter, jumped aboard the Black Pearl. He grabbed a pistol and threatened to shoot himself. Will, despite Jack's protest, identified himself to the perplexed Barbossa as the son of Bootstrap Bill, whose blood was needed to lift the curse. Barbossa agreed that, in exchange for setting Elizabeth free and not harming the crew, Will would surrender to them and not shoot himself.
Lifting the curse
- "For nearly a year, I've been telling myself that I killed you to save you."
"You killed me?"
"I lifted the curse you were under knowing it would mean your death. But, at least, you would no longer suffer the fate handed to you by Barbossa."
- ―Will Turner and Bootstrap Bill Turner
Barbossa, a man of his word, set Elizabeth free—to be marooned on Rumrunner's Isle with Jack Sparrow. The crew then threw Will to the brig as the Black Pearl sailed to Isla de Muerta to lift the curse. Near the end of the voyage, Will learned what happened to his father through Pintel and Ragetti. As Pintel continued to talk, Will lowered his head. His father was a man who knew right from wrong and who had made these pirates pay; a good man, and a pirate. Will had spent all his life hating pirates, but now everything had changed. Arriving to the island, Barbossa was set to spill all Will's blood, but the unexpected arrival of Jack Sparrow halted Will's sacrifice. He explained to Barbossa that the HMS Dauntless was waiting outside (and discreetly grabbed a piece of the treasure, thus cursing himself), convincing Barbossa to wait to lift the curse until the opportune moment—a phrase Will identified as an indicator that Jack was not siding entirely with the pirates. Trusting Jack, Barbossa sent his crew to attack the Dauntless.
In the cave, Sparrow suddenly, without any notice, pulled a sword from one of Barbossa's crewmen, threw it to Will, and began dueling with Barbossa while Will began fighting the remaining members of Barbossa's cursed crewmen in the cave. Elizabeth, after escaping from the Dauntless, joined Will and helped him blow up three crewmen. Jack saw that only Barbossa was left, and cut himself, and threw his piece of the gold to Will. Will cut himself and was about to drop both pieces into the chest when Barbossa pulled his pistol and aimed at Elizabeth. Jack pulled his pistol and fired at Barbossa's heart. Barbossa was surprised, but then turned around and saw that the curse had been lifted. Barbossa fell dead.
When Will Turner reversed the curse by returning the last Aztec coins to the chest, he technically killed his father because at that moment, somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, Bootstrap Bill became mortal. So Will has been tortured, living with this guilt.
- "On our return to Port Royal, I granted you clemency. And this is how you thank me? By throwing in your lot with him? He's a pirate!"
"And a good man."
- ―Weatherby Swann and Will Turner
Upon returning to Port Royal, Governor Swann gave Will Turner clemency for his previous actions. Jack Sparrow, on the other hand, was sentenced to hang in Fort Charles. Noticing Cotton's Parrot during the hanging, Will then rushed to save Jack's life, at great risk to his own. After admitting his love to Elizabeth in the presence of Governor Swann and Commodore Norrington, Will disappeared into the crowd before pulling out his sword and headed towards the gallows to save Jack. As the plank fell, he threw his sword into it, creating a plank for Jack to stand on. He pulled out another sword, and began dueling with the executioner, who hit the rope, releasing Jack.
Fighting off the Royal Marines, he and Jack ran toward the Fort's edge. They ran and used the rope that Jack had removed from his neck to knock over the Royal marines attacking them. Reaching the Fort's exit, they were surrounded by the Royal Marines attacking them. After both Norrington and Governor Swann confronted Will and Jack, Will revealed that he might be hanged as a pirate himself, though his conscience would be clear. Elizabeth then joined her true love, Will Turner. Seeing these turn of events, Governor Swann order the marines lower their weapons. Jack used this opportunity, and escaped into the sea, where the Pearl waited for him. Norrington realized that Elizabeth loved Will, not him, and conceded. Governor Swann also realized that this was where her heart truly lay. Will and Elizabeth then shared a long, passionate kiss.
St. Piran's Blade
- "It's called St. Piran's Blade—A legendary weapon used...well, used a really long time ago. It's been lost for centuries, but now I know where it is."
"That's quite a treasure you've stumbled upon, Jack! They say that St. Piran's Blade has magic properties."
"You're a swordsmith, Will, so I knew you'd be interested."
- ―Jack Sparrow and Will Turner
For some time, Will resumed his usual activities, working in John Brown's blacksmith shop, but not for long. Shortly after the Battle of the Isla de Muerta, he and Elizabeth were summoned by Jack to Tortuga. They had a meeting in the Faithful Bride tavern where Jack told about the St. Piran's Blade, a supposedly magical sword which he accidentally sent to the bottom of the sea by sinking the ship which carried it. The meeting was interrupted by Jack's former crew which became undead once again. Will and Elizabeth were captured but Jack managed to escape.
The cursed pirates forced Will and Elizabeth onto their ship and took them to their secret hideout. They also retrieved the treasure from the ship Jack sank, including the St. Piran's Blade. The cursed pirates waited for the Black Pearl to arrive so they could send her to the bottom of the ocean. But instead, Jack sneaked into the fort and freed Will and Elizabeth. Jack fought against the cursed pirates with St. Piran's Blade, but when Elizabeth took it, the sword started glowing with fire, because she was the only person with the heart pure enough to activate the sword's power. The cursed pirates were easily defeated and their ship was heavily damaged by the cannon fore from the Pearl. After the battle, Will and Elizabeth persuaded Jack to give them the magical blade so they could donate it to some museum.
War for the Caribbean
- "On my word, do as I say or I'll run you through!"
- ―Will Turner to a pirate
When the infamous undead pirate Jolly Roger attempted to take over the Caribbean, Will sided with the forces that were opposing him. On one occasion, he visited the island of Rambleshack, which was at the time under the attack from Jolly Roger's Army. At the warehouse he met a pirate who escaped from the island's prison just a few moments earlier. After recognizing the pirate as Jack Sparrow's friend, Will gave the pirate a rusty cutlass so the pirate could have at least some protection from Jolly Roger's troops. Later, Will returned to Port Royal, where he met the pirate again, and gave the pirate some fencing lessons.
Father and Son
- "Lord Beckett! In the category of questions not answered—"
"We are under the jurisdiction of the King's governor of Port Royal, and you will tell us what we are charged with."
"The charge...is conspiring to set free a man convicted of crimes against the crown and empire and condemned to death. For which the—"
"For which the punishment, regrettably, is also death."
- ―William Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Weatherby Swann and Cutler Beckett
About a year after their declaration of love, Will and Elizabeth were set to be married. During this time, Will had taught Elizabeth how to handle a sword, and continued to work in the smithy. On the day of their wedding, however, Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company arrived in Port Royal with warrants for the arrest of Will, Elizabeth and former Commodore, James Norrington. Will was taken captive in the smithy, and brought to the chapel, where Elizabeth waited. With their marriage interrupted, Will could only declare how beautiful his fiancée looked in her wedding dress, while Beckett revealed their arrest—and scheduled execution—was the result of freeing Jack Sparrow the year before.
Finding Jack Sparrow
- "What about Jack!? I won't leave without him!"
"...Time to go."
- ―William Turner and Jack Sparrow
Although Elizabeth remained incarcerated, Will was offered a bargain with Beckett himself: the couple would earn their freedom if Will procured for Beckett Jack's mysterious compass, offering Letters of marque, and the chance to become a privateer, to Jack. Will, left with no other choice, accepted, and bid farewell to Elizabeth, setting out for Tortuga to begin his search for Jack Sparrow.
Will's search for the Black Pearl led him, by way of rumor and supposed sightings, to Isla de Pelegostos. There, he found Jack Sparrow as the chief of the Pelegostos, a cannibalistic tribe that inhabit the island. It wasn't until he was taken as prisoner, along with Joshamee Gibbs and the other crewmen of the Pearl, that he learned that Jack was set to be eaten by the Pelegostos tribe. With Will's help, Jack and the crew of the Pearl escaped, and it was on the Pearl that Will asked Jack for his compass. Jack agreed to give Will the compass, if he helped him find the key to the Dead Man's Chest.
The Heart of Davy Jones
- "You have a touch of destiny about you, William Turner."
- ―Tia Dalma
Will, Jack, and the crew traveled upriver, through the Pantano River, to meet with Tia Dalma. She took a particular interest in Will, whose name she had somehow divined, stating that he had a touch of destiny about him. Tia informed Jack that the key would unlock the Dead Man's Chest, containing the heart of Davy Jones.
The crew set out to find Jones, though Will soon found himself stranded on a wrecked vessel that Jack deviously claimed was Jones' ghost ship, the Flying Dutchman. When the real Dutchman suddenly surfaced from the ocean, Jack attempted to barter Will from Davy Jones to repay his debt, though Jones refused, claiming that one soul was not equal to another. Instead, he press-ganged Will into service.
Aboard the Dutchman, Will had a shock encounter with his father, Bootstrap Bill Turner, who had become an indentured sailor on the Dutchman. With their connection revealed to Jones, Bootstrap was forced to whip Will who was blamed for a mistake on the ship. Will later got acquainted with his father and learned of the rules of the ship. Once Bootstrap learned Will didn't make an oath, he implored him to escape but Will wanted to know where the key to the chest was. After observing the crew bet their services, Will challenged Davy Jones to a game of liar's dice, betting his soul against the key to the Dead Man's Chest.
Bootstrap joined in and purposely lost to free Will from an eternity of servitude, at the cost of his own freedom. That night, Will stole the key from Jones himself, and escaped aboard a longboat, though not before vowing to one day free his father. A passing ship, the Edinburgh Trader, rescued him, but Jones summoned the Kraken to destroy it. Will survived and stowed back aboard the Dutchman, now headed for Isla Cruces where the chest containing Jones' heart was buried.
Fight for his father
- "I keep the promises I make, Jack. I intend to free my father. I hope you're here to see it."
- ―William Turner
Arriving at Isla Cruces, Will was reunited with Elizabeth, along with Jack and James Norrington, already in possession of the chest. Will made to stab the heart—thus killing Davy Jones and setting free his father—though found himself at the point of Jack's sword, and summarily caught in a three-way duel between himself, Jack and Norrington, all intent on claiming the heart (and perhaps Elizabeth's love). Jack managed to unlock the chest and take the heart, though Norrington later stole both it and the Letters of Marque. Will was knocked unconscious by Jack to stop him from stealing the heart for himself, and was rushed aboard the Black Pearl to escape Jones' crewmen.
The Black Pearl set sail and managed to outrun the Flying Dutchman—a point that did not escape Will's attention—though it was unable to escape the Kraken. Drawing on his previous experience fighting the monster, Will led the crew in temporarily fending the beast off, giving them time to abandon ship. Realizing the Kraken was only after Jack, Elizabeth distracted him with a passionate kiss while chaining him to the mast. Will witnessed the kiss, and believed Elizabeth was in love with Jack. From the longboat, the crew watched on as the Kraken dragged the Pearl and Jack into the sea.
Will, Elizabeth, and the crew sought refuge at Tia Dalma's shack. As they mourned their fallen captain, Will was particularly despondent, although not only over Elizabeth and Jack. Tia understood his despair: with the Black Pearl, Will could have defeated Davy Jones and freed his father. When Gibbs proposed a toast to Jack, Will glumly raised his mug. Will then attempted to discover just how far Elizabeth would go to save Jack, were there a chance to do so. Tia Dalma proved an answer to this apparently hypothetical question, asking if Will, and the crew, would he be willing to travel to World's End to bring back Jack and the Black Pearl. All agreed, including Will. With that, the recently-resurrected Hector Barbossa revealed himself, and the quest began. Will however was truly only interested in bringing back the Pearl in order to free his father and had no interest in saving Jack.
A Touch of Destiny
At World's End
- "William, tell me something; have you come because you need my help to save a certain distressing damsel...or rather, damsel in distress? Either one."
"Then you wouldn't be here, would you? So you can't be here. Q.E.D. you're not really here."
- ―Jack Sparrow and William Turner
Turner journeyed to Singapore with the rest of Barbossa's crew, and attempted to steal Sao Feng's navigational charts to avoid a direct confrontation with the Pirate Lord. He was caught in the attempt, though at some point struck a deal with Feng unbeknownst to Turner's companions.
- "You weren't supposed to get caught!"
"It worked out the way I wanted."
- ―Hector Barbossa and Will Turner
Both Barbossa and Elizabeth denied they knew Will when he was revealed in Feng's bath house, though Elizabeth inadvertently betrayed him by reacting with horror when Feng made to stab him. Feng's men poised to fight Barbossa's crew when Will pointed out that Steng, believed to be Barbossa's spy, did not belong to either group. at that moment, soldiers from the East India Trading Company, led by Mercer broke into the bath house, forcing Feng, Will and the others to flee. During the fight, Will made good his deal with Sao Feng, obtaining the use of the Hai Peng.
Will sailed with Barbossa and the crew through the frozen ocean. Though throughout the voyage, he communicated little with Elizabeth. The Hai Peng went over the waterfall at World's End, with Will attempting to guide its descent.
Soon after they arrived in Davy Jones' Locker, where they met with Jack who had gone mad while in the realm. Will noted he thought they were hallucinations but Elizabeth helped Jack back to his senses by stating they've come to rescue him. When Jack refused to set sail with the group due to some being old enemies, as well as Elizabeth leaving him behind to the Kraken. Will was shocked to learn that was why she kissed Jack and realized she had no love for him. The crew later sailed the area as Will questioned Elizabeth on her acts as she replied it was her burden to bear. He later comforted her when she broke down after they saw the soul of her father sailing.
After escaping the locker, Will took part in a tense four-way stand-off between himself, Barbossa, Jack, and Elizabeth, although they had to temporarily put off their disagreements when it was proved that wet gunpowder rendered all their weapons useless. Later, after getting Jack and Barbossa off the Black Pearl, Will let Sao Feng on board the Pearl and was duly named captain, as per their deal.
Jack regained command of the Pearl. Will, however, attempted to lead Beckett to Shipwreck Island, leaving a trail of bodies tied to barrels. When Jack discovered this, he made a bargain with Will. When he saw Will in pain over having to choose between his father and Elizabeth, Jack came up with a plan that would benefit the both of them: Jack would kill Jones, thus granting him immortality, and Will would get both his father's freedom and could still be with Elizabeth. As part of the plan, Jack sent Will overboard, giving him his compass to lead Beckett to Shipwreck Cove. Will made it on board the Endeavour, and tricked Beckett into going to Shipwreck Cove.
- "Will you marry me?"
"I don't think now is the best time!"
"Now may be the only time!"
- ―William Turner and Elizabeth Swann
Before the climactic battle, Will, Lord Cutler Beckett, and Davy Jones struck parley with Barbossa, Jack, and Elizabeth. At the parley, Will was exchanged for Jack. Later, Will contributed in Calypso's release by supplying the name of the person who betrayed her by telling the First Brethren Court how to bind her: Davy Jones. Shortly, the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman sailed into battle in a massive maelstrom. Will fought alongside Elizabeth on the Black Pearl, and asked her to marry him in the middle of the fight. Elizabeth asked Barbossa to recite the vows, and they were wed while fighting off EITC soldiers and the Dutchman's crewmen.
Will later boarded the Flying Dutchman, where he was attacked by his maddened father, Bootstrap Bill. During the meleé, Will was thrown against a wall. Will soon gained the upper hand and knocked the sword out of Bootstrap's hand and had his sword at his throat. But after seeing Davy Jones preparing to kill Elizabeth, he rushed to her rescue, which resulting in being knocked down. Realizing that Will and Elizabeth love each other, Jones threatened to strike Will.
At that moment, Jack threatened to strike Jones' heart, shortly after taking it from the chest. Despite Jack's efforts to distract Jones, by threatening to stab his disembodied heart, Will was stabbed in the chest by Jones' sword, one that Will himself had forged. His life faded as his wife held him. Upon seeing this, Bootstrap snapped out of Jones' hold on him and attacked Jones. They struggled but Bootstrap was quickly thrown aside with Jones preparing to strike.
However, seeing Will dying, Jack gave up his own dreams of immortality and used the hand of the unconscious Will to impale Jones' heart with his broken sword. This act not only defeated Jones, but gave Will eternal life by making him the new captain of the Flying Dutchman. Will's father cut out his son's heart and placed it in the Dead Man's Chest, before the Dutchman was consumed by the maelstrom.
Jack and Elizabeth, on the other hand, escaped the maelstrom through the use of a parasail. As they escaped, they had no choice but to watch the Dutchman go underwater. After Jack and Elizabeth made it back aboard the Pearl, which also escaped the maelstrom, they prepared to attack the HMS Endeavour.
- "Keep a weather eye on the horizon."
- ―William Turner to Elizabeth Turner before leaving.
Rising from the depths, the Dutchman returned, with Will at its helm, to join the Black Pearl in devastating the Endeavour with cannonfire. Beckett was speechless to know that he lost the war, and the rest of the crew of the Endeavour either abandoned ship or died in the attack. Beckett watched and endured the destruction of his ship and his death. Because of the Dutchman switching sides, the rest of the ships in the armada retreated, and the pirates expressed their victory.
Victory came with great joy for all of the pirates, but for Will and Elizabeth, there came a price. As captain of the Flying Dutchman, Will could only go on land for one day every 10 years. Will had one day with Elizabeth—their honeymoon, during which their marriage was consummated—before leaving to carry out his duty and ferry souls into the afterlife. Prior to leaving, Will gave Elizabeth the Dead Man's Chest, which contained his heart, stating that it had always belonged to her and hoped that she would keep it safe. During their one day together, Will and Elizabeth conceived a child, leaving her pregnant. Will departed on the Dutchman, disappearing in the green flash at sunset.
Decades of service
Ten years later
However, once Will returned to his duty, the years began taking their toll on him. The curse of the Dutchman slowly transformed the once young man who believed in true love, happy endings, and good always triumphing over evil into a broken man who was truly and utterly destroyed. Surrendering to his fate, Will wanted his son to have nothing to do with him anymore.
Reunion with Henry
Approximately two years after their initial meeting - a young Henry Turner, frustrated with his father being cursed to sail the seas but once every ten years - attempted to drown himself with the assumption that his father would attempt to save his life, thus allowing him to meet with him. His theory proved correct - as while submerged in the water, the Flying Dutchman emerged from the sea underneath him, thus saving Henry from death. As he caught his breath, Henry was confronted by his father, angered by his son's recklessness. Henry reiterated what he said to him before, that he would find him - and in response Will revealed his appearance, now covered in barnacles and seaweed in order to scare him away, reiterating that there was no place for him aboard the Dutchman, possibly trying to dissuade him from attempting to join his crew - although Henry was not fazed. Will warned him that the ship's crew would quickly realize he was there - cutting the rope attached to his leg while warning him to return to his mother and leave before it was too late.
Henry refused, telling Will that he would just return to him again even if he threw him off the ship. Angrily reminding Henry of his curse, the young child told his father of an item that could free him - the Trident of Poseidon. Dismissing it as a myth, Will hugged his son but became quickly frustrated when Henry voiced his desire to find Jack Sparrow and find the trident, ordering him to leave the sea and stop acting like a pirate, ironically attempting to protect his son from the very same fate his father before him tried to protect him from. Henry refused, telling Will that he wanted him to come home. Will apologised to Henry as the ship began to sink and told him that his curse would never be broken, giving Henry his necklace before telling him that he must let him go and accept his fate. Using the opportunity to look upon his son, Will expressed his love for him as the ship was once again submerged in water.
Freedom and reunion with Family
"Look at you, son. How did you do it? How did you break the curse?"
"Let me tell you a tale. A tale of the greatest treasure known to man."
- ―Will Turner and Henry
Nine years later, Henry succeeded in destroying the Trident - thus ending all curses in the sea and freeing Will from the curse of the Dutchman. Returning to dry land once more, Will was reunited with Henry who gave him back his necklace. Will hugged his son and expressed pride and shock that he was able to break his curse. He asked how he broke the curse and Henry promised to tell him the tale of how he freed him, which Will eagerly wanted to hear. At that moment, Elizabeth arrived and locked eyes with Will as the two embraced and kissed, now free to live their lives together.
That night, despite the fierce storm, they slept in the same bed as husband and wife for the first time. However, they were intruded upon. Thundering footsteps raised noise in the room as the being reached their bed, and Will was quickly awoken by the shadow of a menacing crab claw that could only belong to one man. When Will looked around, there was nothing around as he dismissed it as a bad dream and went back to sleep, but the water and barnacles below their bed painted a very real and terrifying truth - that Davy Jones was back from the dead. His further fate is unknown.
Personality and traits
The son of William "Bootstrap Bill" Turner, Will Turner was an accomplished blacksmith by trade, an excellent swordsman by pursuit and a budding pirate by fate. Until he met Jack Sparrow, swordsmith Will Turner was a simple craftsman. His life revolved around his work, and his distant longing for Elizabeth Swann, a woman he knew could never be his wife. Will believed his father was a respectable merchant seaman. When he sent Will an Aztec Medallion, his son thought it was just an exotic trinket that he had picked up on his travels. But his world was soon turned upside down, where he found himself sucked in a nightmarish world of pirates, ghouls, adventure, and betrayal. Will would be shocked and dismayed when Jack revealed to him that his father was Bootstrap Bill Turner, "a good man, and a good pirate." Will was then torn between two worlds—one imposed by the strict standards of society and the other dictated by the freedom of leading the pirate life. He soon embraced his pirate heritage as he pursued his own purposes; sailing the seas to save his father, find his true identity and reunite with his true love Elizabeth Swann. Despite Will's best efforts to adhere to the social class structure, he realizes that some rules are meant to be broken.
In his life, Will Turner was a very brave and noble man who was willing to risk his life for people he cared about. He was extremely loyal, especially to Elizabeth Swann and he claimed that he would die for her if he had to. William was polite and humble to those higher ranked than himself but he was rarely congratulated or complimented during his time as a blacksmith. Will had grown up without a father figure, so he has to look to the role models around him, and in Port Royal, those are British Navy officers. When Will Turner and Jack Sparrow were thrown together, Jack opened Will's eyes to what it means to be a man. Jack taught him that he can't just blindly follow nonsensical rules; a man has to make his own decisions, right or wrong, and go after what he wants in life. James Norrington noted that Will possessed a rash personality and Will was willing to break the law if he felt it was necessary. For example he freed Jack Sparrow from prison after Elizabeth was captured by pirates and later saved Jack from being executed.
- "Elizabeth. I should have told you every day from the moment I met you...I love you."
- ―Will Turner to Elizabeth Swann
Rescued as a child at sea, Will first met Elizabeth when they were children. Will was rescued after pirates attacked the ship on which he was sailing. Will fell in love with Elizabeth but at first he was reluctant to tell her about his feelings because of their social divide. Eight years after they met, Will was the man of Elizabeth's dreams, though he knew her father, Governor Weatherby Swann, would never let his beautiful daughter marry a lowly blacksmith. That had changed, however, as Will and Elizabeth were on the verge of marrying a year later, until Lord Cutler Beckett interrupted their well laid plans by arresting them. Becoming a pirate, Will became more open about his feelings towards Elizabeth and they eventually married during the battle around the maelstrom.
- "Pirate is in your blood, boy, so you'll have to square with that someday."
- ―Jack Sparrow to Will Turner
Will also had strange relations with Jack Sparrow; although the two often betrayed one other, they were ultimately good acquaintances. Aside from their differences, they have saved each other's lives at times. When Jack faced the hangman, Will Turner rushed to save his life at great risk to his own. Though Will knows that he might be hanged as a pirate himself, he had a strong sense of what's right and what's not and his conscience would be cleared. Will saved Jack from his execution at Fort Charles for Jack's helping him at Isla de Muerta, though Will himself betrayed Jack at the island beforehand. On Cannibal Island, Will was not at first wanting to leave Jack behind, until he saw the Pelegostos running after him. Jack had his fair share of saving Will's life, most notably when Will was stabbed by Davy Jones, Jack gave up his chance of immortality and had Turner stab Jones' heart, granting him immortality and captaincy aboard the Flying Dutchman.
When Will Turner reversed the curse by returning the last Aztec coins to the chest, he technically killed his father because at that moment, somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, Bootstrap Bill became mortal. So Will has been tortured, living with this guilt until he reunited with his father aboard the Flying Dutchman, the ghost ship captained by Davy Jones. But in the depths, prior to his mortality returning, Bootstrap sold his soul to Davy Jones to alleviate his eternal suffering.
Will was also a man of his word and if he made a promise he would always stick to it. He promised to free his father Bootstrap Bill from Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman, and tried to do everything he can do to honor that vow but not forgetting that he still loves Elizabeth, and wants to get her back into his life.
As a blacksmith, Will Turner wore a simple jerkin as well as leather shoes with silver buckles. On the day he saved Jack Sparrow from the gallows, Will wore a feathered hat and an elegant red cape.
Equipment and skills
As a blacksmith, Will used many different tools in order to make weapons and other useful items and was a skilled craftsman. To make his swords, Will used a hammer, which Jack Sparrow used to try and free himself from his manacles after he escaped from James Norrington and his men. Will also briefly used a brand during his duel with Jack before grabbing a nearby sword.
Will's most commonly made item was a sword, which he practiced with three hours a day. Unlike the ceremonial sword he made for Commodore Norrington's promotion ceremony, Will's weapon looked simple. It had a plain cast-iron grip, and a "half-basket" hilt protected his hand. The blade was special as, by using the methods of Spanish swordsmiths, Will had made it immensely strong, yet light and flexible. It also had a double edged point for cutting and thrusting. Will proudly engraved his own name on this blade.
Despite being apparently self-trained, Will was as handy with a blade as any soldier. After making the swords, he practiced fencing with them for three hours each day. When he discovers Jack in the forge, pirate captain and swordsmith are almost equally matched. "You know what you're doing, I'll give you that," quips Jack, who only manages to avoid losing to Will by acrobatic blade work and old-fashioned cheating. Through experience, Will was a skilled swordsman, being able to duel Jack Sparrow as an equal, perhaps even a superior, during their first encounter, hold off Jack and James Norrington during their three way duel and fighting against numerous enemies during the final battle with Cutler Beckett's forces. Will was also capable of throwing either a sword or an ax with amazing precision, a skill he occasionally used with his swords with great accuracy. Jack told Will that he had excellent form and also complimented him on his footwork.
Behind the scenes
- Will Turner had two portrayers in the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films; in the first scene of The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dylan Smith portrayed the young Will Turner, while Orlando Bloom portrayed the adult Will Turner through the rest of the trilogy. Crispin Freeman voiced Will Turner in several video games, including Kingdom Hearts II, The Legend of Jack Sparrow, the At World's End video game, and Pirates of the Caribbean Online. Daisuke Hirakawa voices the character in the Japanese dub.
- Before Orlando Bloom was cast, actors James McAvoy and Tom Hiddleston were considered for the role of Will Turner.
- In the original story as composed by Disney executive Brigham Taylor, creative executive Michael Haines, and Josh Harmon of the studio's story department, Will was a prison guard at Fort Charles. A lowly prison guard, Will dreamed of becoming a member of the Governor'as elite guard, but his hopes were dashed when Defoe, the Captain of the Guard, cruelly rejected him in front of the Governor and his daughter, Elizabeth. When Elizabeth was kidnapped by the notorious pirate Blackheart, Will made an uneasy alliance with the roguish Jack, a prisoner and former member of Blackheart's crew. Will and Jack saved Elizabeth, defeated Blackheart, exposed Defoe's dealing with pirates, and returned to Port Royal, where Jack became the new Captain of the Guard, much to Will's dismay. In Jay Wolpert and Stuart Beattie's earlier drafts of the script Will's last name was Thornton.
- It's said that in the very first draft of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie that screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio wrote in the 1990s, which the rights to are allegedly owned by Amblin Entertainment, Will Turner was the lead role rather than Jack Sparrow. Director Steven Spielberg originally wanted to direct the film, but Disney didn't give permission to have the film made at that time, so when Amblin acquired the rights of this version of the script, Elliot and Rossio reworked it when they were to hired to write what became The Curse of the Black Pearl. According to Rossio, however, such first draft never existed and Spielberg was never involved.
- In the first screenplay draft of the The Curse of the Black Pearl, Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner were both twelve years old in the first scene, while both turned twenty in the main story taking place eight years later. In the film's presskit, Will is said to be 10 years old in the first scene. However, as it was not revealed onscreen, it is unknown if it is canon or not.
- On the DVD commentary of The Curse of the Black Pearl, the screenwriters reveal Will Turner was intended to be the best swordsman of all the main characters in the film series, comparing to James Norrington, Hector Barbossa, and Jack Sparrow in particular. Whether it remained so in the sequels is unknown.
- There was some controversy over Will's final fate in At World's End. Writer Terry Rossio posted on a forum that after ten years Will was able to leave the Flying Dutchman, as Elizabeth had remained faithful to him. He also stated that this was why Jones could not escape, as Calypso had abandoned him. However, Rossio's explanation was never mentioned in any official Pirates of the Caribbean material. A leaflet inside the At World's End DVD said that Will was bound to the Flying Dutchman for all eternity. The fifth film in the series, Dead Men Tell No Tales, confirmed that Will was cursed to sail the seas as captain of the Dutchman forever, just like Davy Jones. In regards to his thoughts concerning Will's fate, Rossio was not involved in the decision to retcon his explanation.
- In the 2012 attraction The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner was mentioned after Davy Jones says "Fire at will!" Jack Sparrow's response was, "Will?! Where are you, young William. Show yourself!"
- As the archetypal hero of the series, Will Turner shares similarities with Guybrush Threepwood from the Monkey Island games and other fictional characters, most notably Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, who Ted Elliott compared in the DVD commentary of The Curse of the Black Pearl.
- Will's name, as with Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann, is linked to birds; in this case, his surname (originally Thackery) is intentionally reminiscent of "tern". He also shares his name with the ornithologist William Turner.
- When rumors started in 2013 that Will Turner was to make a return to the franchise in Dead Men Tell No Tales, speculations arose that Will was to reappear in a pivotal role and that he was to decide Jack Sparrow's fate and create a new destiny for himself. However, it was debunked when the film was released.
- Before the release of Dead Men Tell No Tales, Will Turner was the only man to father a child in-series. This is ironic, as there was a running joke in the first two films claiming that he was a eunuch.
- Ironically, Will Turner was killed by Davy Jones with the sword of his own creation.
- The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow (Mentioned only)
- Legends of the Brethren Court: The Caribbean (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (First appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (comic)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Ghost Ship
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow
- The Accidental Pirate!
- Revenge of the Pirates!
- The Capture of Jack Sparrow!
- The Duel!
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Tides of War
- The Brightest Star in the North: The Adventures of Carina Smyth
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- The Buccaneer's Heart!
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
- Kingdom Hearts II
- Pirates of the Caribbean Trading Card Game
- Pirates of the Caribbean PocketModel game
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Gods and Ghosts M
- Kingdom Hearts III
- Sea of Thieves: A Pirate's Life (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- According to Irene Trimble's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl junior novelization, Will was 20 during the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. 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 which means Will was born around 1708.
- Zizzle.com: Dead Man's Chest "Heroes and Villains" series 1
- James "Jim" Carson's calendar of Henry Turner's waiting for Will's return from Dead Men Tell No Tales shows that Will'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 Will was killed by Davy Jones in August 1729.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, p.22-23 "Will Turner"
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Legends of the Brethren Court
- The Accidental Pirate!
- When Will reversed the curse by returning the last coins to the chest, technically he killed his father because at that moment, somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, his father became mortal. So Will has been tortured, living with this guilt up until this moment in time. But in the depths, Bootstrap sold his soul to Davy Jones to alleviate his eternal suffering. This happened prior to his mortality returning. - Gore Verbinski
- Revenge of the Pirates!
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Novelization, p10-11.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- POTC3 Presskit
- Pirates of the Carribean presskit, accessed Dec 9, 2006
- The Curse of the Black Pearl Audio Commentary with Screenwriters Stuart Beattie, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Jay Wolpert
- James McAvoy on a Pirates' curse | Day & Night | Life & Style | Daily Express
- My dad didn't think acting was good enough for me - he's proud of me now, says Thor star Tom Hiddleston - Daily Record
- Bring Me That Horizon: The Making of Pirates of the Caribbean, p45.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies, p114.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies, p120.
- 2020 Interview with Terry Rossio
- Wordplay: Pirates of the Caribbean first draft screenplay
- Wordplay Forums: Pretty close ..., posted by Terry Rossio (May 23, 2007)
- Terry Rossio's opinion on Will's final fate (May 31, 2008)
- Pirates Secrets Revealed: Top questions moviegoers had about Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Wordplay Forums: Re: Last names by Ted Elliott
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) at Blu-ray.com