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Battle of Calypso's maelstrom

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Shipwreck art "We are an unimaginative lot when it comes to naming things."

The title of this article is conjectural.
Although this article is based on canonical information, the actual name of this subject is pure conjecture. Please see the reasons for this title in the "Behind the scenes" section below, and/or the relevant discussion on the talk page.

"Then what shall we die for? You will listen to me. Listen! The Brethren will still be looking here to us, to the Black Pearl, to lead. And what will they see? Frightened bilge rats aboard a derelict ship? No. No, they will see free men, and freedom! And what the enemy will see is the flash of our cannons. They will hear the ring of our swords, and they will know what we can do. By the sweat of our brows, and the strength of our backs...and the courage of our hearts. Gentlemen...Hoist the colors."
Elizabeth Swann[src]

The Battle of Calypso's maelstrom was an act of war between the armada of the Brethren Court and the armada of the East India Trading Company. It became the deciding battle in Lord Cutler Beckett’s War on Piracy.


"Prepare every vessel that floats. At dawn, we're at war."
"And so...we shall go to war!
Elizabeth Swann and Sri Sumbhajee[src]

The decision to go to war against Lord Cutler Beckett and his forces was made by Elizabeth Swann during the fourth meeting of the Brethren Court, during which she was voted as Pirate King. Under her authority, the combined fleets of the Pirate Lords sailed out to assemble off Shipwreck Island, and await the arrival of Beckett's armada, having located Shipwreck Cove through the use of Jack Sparrow's compass, given to Beckett by Will Turner.

Beckett's armada arrived in full force; almost three hundred vessels, easily outnumbering the fleet of the Brethren.[1] The fleet, led by the Flying Dutchman and with Beckett himself present aboard his flagship, the HMS Endeavour, was an imposing sight. This motivated Jack Sparrow to call for parley.


"Advise your Brethren. You can fight, and all of you will die. Or you can not fight, in which case only most of you will die."
"You murdered my father."
"He chose his own fate."
"And you have chosen yours. We will fight. And you will die."
"...So be it.
Cutler Beckett and Elizabeth Swann[src]
Parley AWE

Parley on the sandbar.

The meeting between the leaders of the fleets was held on a sandbar between both armadas. Elizabeth Swann, Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa confronted Cutler Beckett, Davy Jones and Will Turner, with both Swann and Beckett vowing to show no mercy to the opposing side. During the brief meeting, a trade was made: Sparrow for Turner, to appease Davy Jones. Before Jack was traded, Barbossa took his piece of eight with the help of his monkey, Jack.

Beckett Soldiers AWE

Lord Cutler Beckett ordering his men to ready the fleet.

With the battle lines drawn, the crews returned to their respective flagships. After arriving on the Endeavour, Beckett order his men to ready the fleet for the battle. While Beckett believed otherwise, the pirates had one additional strategy to employ before going to battle. Upon arriving on the Black Pearl, Barbossa forcibly took the very last of the nine pieces of eight from Elizabeth's possession.

Releasing Calypso

"Be there some manner of rite or incantation?"
"Aye. The items brought together, done. Items to be burned...and someone must speak the words: 'Calypso, I release you from your human bonds.' "
"Is that it?
Joshamee Gibbs, Hector Barbossa and Pintel[src]

Barbossa had collected all nine pieces of eight from the Pirate Lords and prepares to use them as part of a ritual to release the sea goddess Calypso from her human form, as Tia Dalma. Though Elizabeth and Will were reluctant to employ such a risky gambit, Barbossa ignored them, with both himself and Ragetti speaking the words to release Calypso.

The incantation was a success, and the goddess grew in size. Barbossa then implored Calypso to spare himself, the Pearl and his crew, and to focus her rage on those who had betrayed her—with Will supplying the name of her betrayer, Davy Jones. The goddess then exploded into millions of crabs, showering the Pearl's crewmen before disappearing into the sea.

Barbossa Kneeling AWE

Hector Barbossa and the crew of the Black Pearl releasing Calypso.

The crew recovered from this unexpected event, and prepared for war, though Barbossa believed the cause was now lost. Elizabeth Swann though gave a rousing speech to the men, reminding them that the Brethren would be looking to the Black Pearl to lead the attack. The colors of all pirate vessels present were raised, and the Pearl sailed out to meet the Flying Dutchman in ship-to-ship combat. Convinced of his superiority, Beckett only sent out the Dutchman to do battle.


The Wrath of Calypso

"Captain Barbossa! We need you at the helm."
"...Aye, that be true. Brace up yards, you cack-handed deck apes! Dying is the day worth living for.
Joshamee Gibbs, Elizabeth Swann and Hector Barbossa[src]

The Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman sailing into the maelstrom.

Although it appeared that the pirates stood little chance of defeating Beckett's armada, Elizabeth convinced the pirates to fight anyway, dying in defense of their freedom if necessary. The Black Pearl then sailed off to battle the Flying Dutchman. The battlefield was leveled somewhat by Calypso herself, who created a great storm over the sea, and formed a massive maelstrom between the two oncoming ships. Davy Jones assumed control of the Dutchman from the overwhelmed Ian Mercer, while Barbossa matched his maneuvers from the helm of the Pearl.

Crew swinging

The crew of the Pearl and the Dutchman boarding.

Both galleons circled the whirlpool, and though the Dutchman initially had the advantage of Bow Cannons, or Chase Guns, eventually the two ships came to bear. At that point, both ships began trading broadsides and the crewmen of both ships prepared for boarding. Mercer, after giving the order to board, was killed by Davy Jones after his guards were caught by cannon fire, and Jones left the helm to reclaim his heart.

"The chest! Hand it over!
"I can set you free, mate."
"My freedom was forfeited long ago.
Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow before they duel each other.[src]

While the battle raged, Jack Sparrow escaped from the Dutchman's brig and made to flee with the Dead Man's Chest, intent on killing Jones and taking command of the ship himself. However, Jones confronted him, engaging Sparrow in a fierce duel. During the fight, Jack lopped off Jones' tentacle holding the key to the chest, and subsequently shot the chest itself from Jones' grasp while up in the rigging. However Jones had also succeeded in snapping Sparrow's sword in half.


Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow fighting for the chest.

"Elizabeth. Will you marry me?"
"I don't think now's the best time.
Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann[src]

Meanwhile, both the Flying Dutchman and the Black Pearl were locked in battle in the abyss. Onboard the Black Pearl, Will and Elizabeth fought side-by-side, later realizing they might not survive the battle. With this in mind, they asked Barbossa, as captain of the ship, to marry them.

Will and Elizabeth during their wedding

Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann during their wedding.

Although he was busy fighting the enemy, he decided to wed them. Between dueling East India Trading Company marines and Dutchman crew members, the two pirates were wed, and shared a kiss as the maelstrom worsened. After that, the crew of the Pearl resumed fighting without interruptions. Will then swung over to the Dutchman, intent on freeing his father, Bootstrap Bill Turner, as he'd noticed Jack fighting with Davy Jones.

The Death of Davy Jones

"Tell me, William Turner. Do you fear death?"
"Do you?
Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow[src]
Jack Will Elizabeth Maelstrom AWE

Jack, Will, and Elizabeth when Davy Jones' heart was stabbed.

Landing on the deck of the Flying Dutchman, Will was attacked by his father, who had begun to lose his mind due to spending so long aboard the ship. Will stalled him, reminding him of the promise Will had made to free him, pinning him on the ship with his own knife. At this time, the newly wed Elizabeth Turner boarded the ship and put up a fierce fight with Davy Jones. Jones disarmed her, but Will intervened, stabbing the captain in the chest. Unfortunately, Will had forgotten about Jones having no heart, and he was subsequently knocked to the ground by Jones's crab leg. Seeing Elizabeth and Will look at each other, Jones realized they were in love and threatened to kill Will.

Davy Jones Death AWE

Jones after his heart was stabbed by Will Turner.

At that moment, Jack intervened, holding Jones' heart in his hand, his broken sword poised over it. In response, Jones plunged his sword into Will's chest, plunging Jack into a moral quandary, but worse, mortally wounding his friend. As Elizabeth tried to help Will, Bootstrap Bill suddenly recognized Will, and launched a frenzied attack on Davy Jones. He was pinned down for his own death, though before Jones could act further, he was wracked by a terrible agony. He turned to find Will, with Jack's help, had stabbed his heart before passing away. Uttering Calypso's name in a final lament, Jones toppled over the side of the ship and into the maelstrom, finally merged with the sea that he had been in love with.

Davy Jones' last words[src]

With the death of their captain, the crew of the Flying Dutchman appeared on deck as Jack grabbed Elizabeth as took her away from Will. To save his son, Bootstrap Bill used his knife to carve out Will's heart to replace Jones' in the Dead Man's Chest. Jack Sparrow fled with Elizabeth on a makeshift parasail, followed swiftly by Jack the Monkey. As they were able to fly away, they watched as the Dutchman sank into the subsiding maelstrom.

Final attack

"It's just...good business."
Cutler Beckett's last words[src]

The weather cleared up as Jack, Elizabeth, and Jack the Monkey glided through the air, soon landing into the ocean, where they were picked up by the Black Pearl. Despite the contrary advice of his colleagues, Jack Sparrow intended to face Lord Cutler Beckett in a fight to the death. With the Dutchman gone, and Lieutenant Groves noticing the Black Pearl was simply waiting in the calming sea, Beckett had the crew of the Endeavour prepare for attack. Assuming Jack still thought he would honor their deal to let Jack stay free, Beckett's real intent was to destroy the Pearl with no quarter. Beckett silently mused, "It's nothing personal, Jack. It's just good business."

As the Endeavour closed in on the Pearl, the Flying Dutchman reemerged from the depths. At first, Beckett believed that the Dutchman was still on his side. However, he did not know that Will Turner had stabbed Davy Jones' heart, so was unaware that Will was now the new captain, and that the Dutchman and its crew lost their sea-encrusted appearances and returned to their true forms. And so Beckett and his officers realized too late that the Dutchman was now against them. As the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman both closed in on the Endeavour, Cutler Beckett was now paralyzed with shock having realized that he had now lost. Groves was particularly concerned about what Beckett's orders were in these turn of events, though Beckett himself was unable to give any.


The Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman send the HMS Endeavour to her well-deserved fate.

The Pearl and the Dutchman flanked the Endeavour on both sides and, by their captains' commands, fired a full broadside. Despite his officers pressing Beckett to give an order, Beckett could only say, "It's just good business." It was after this moment that Groves gave the order to abandon ship. While Beckett still stood in shock, knowing that he met his end, the Endeavour crew either jumped overboard or were killed in the blasts. With no options left for himself, Beckett remained aboard his vessel as it was subjected to a devastating double broadside. Cutler Beckett descended onto the deck as the railing was blown out from behind him. Finally, the powder magazines caught fire, and detonated the Endeavour with one final explosion, throwing Beckett's lifeless body into the water.


New adventures

"Take what you can."
"Give nothing back.
Joshamee Gibbs and Jack Sparrow[src]
Pirates Victory

Cotton, Elizabeth, Barbossa, Gibbs, and Jack during the celebration of Beckett's defeat.

With Beckett dead, and the Endeavour destroyed, Beckett's armada is left leaderless and they retreat, the pirates were now free to go back to pirating without fear. Mullroy and Murtogg, who escaped by boarding the Black Pearl during the battle, join the Pearl's crew as pirates.

Because Will Turner became the new captain of the Flying Dutchman, he had to take over Davy Jones' original duties to ferry souls to the next world. Will freed his father from service aboard the Dutchman, but Bootstrap decided to remain with his son aboard the Dutchman. Knowing that Will only had one day ashore and ten years at sea, Will and Elizabeth consummated their marriage before Will left to do his ten-year duty.

Meanwhile, in Tortuga, Jack and Gibbs discover that Barbossa had led another mutiny against Jack by making off with the Pearl and leaving a dinghy in its place. After exchanging a customary farewell, Jack and Gibbs went on their separate ways. Gibbs went into Tortuga while Jack, with Sao Feng's charts, began his search for the fabled Fountain of Youth.


Notes and references

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide p92-93: "The Wrath of Calypso"

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