|This article is about the sea creature known as the "Kraken". You may be looking for the soundtrack theme, "The Kraken".|
|Also known as||
|Behind the scenes|
- "Well, if you believe such things, there's a beast does the bidding of Davy Jones. A fearsome creature with giant tentacles that'll suction your face clean off, and drag an entire ship down to the crushing darkness...The Kraken. They say the stench of its breath is like...Imagine, the last thing you know on God's green earth is the roar of the Kraken and the reeking odor of a thousand rotting corpses...If you believe such things."
- ―Joshamee Gibbs to Will Turner[src]
The Kraken was a legendary sea monster, a leviathan sent to prey on unwary ships and mariners. A fearsome creature with tentacles, closely resembling a giant squid, the Kraken was said to be the length of 10 ships. This terrible beast would be a subject of many legends and lore that circulated for centuries on the Seven Seas.
Few had seen the Kraken and lived to tell the tale. The word "Kraken" was first heard in seagoing lore and mythology, referring to a creature whose many arms or tentacles could reach to the top of a ship's mainmast and could without any great effort capsize a fully-rigged vessel. The huge suckers on the Kraken's tentacles were strong enough to pull the flesh clean away from a sailor's face. Under Davy Jones' command, the Kraken brought Jones ever more souls to join his crew aboard the Flying Dutchman, dying sailors forever impressed into servitude on his cursed ship.
After becoming a marked man with the Black Spot, ensuring that the Kraken would come, Captain Jack Sparrow attempted to find the Dead Man's Chest, which contained the heart of Davy Jones. Jack planned to use the heart to make Jones call off the Kraken. However, Jack's plan ultimately failed as he ended up facing the merciless Kraken as it dragged both Jack and the Black Pearl to the depths of the ocean. Afterwards, to the dismay of Davy Jones, who then served under the East India Trading Company, the Kraken would face death as Lord Cutler Beckett's forces was bearing down on the seas.
- "I don't think it's 'Kraken,' anyways. Always heard it said 'Kray-ken.'"
"What? With a long 'A'? Na-na-na-na, 'Kroh-ken''s how it's pronounced in the original Scandinavian, and 'Kraken''s closer to that."
"Well we ain't original Scandinavians, are we? 'Kray-ken.'"
"It's a mythological creature, I can calls it what I wants!"
- ―Pintel and Ragetti[src]
Legends of the Kraken go back many years of seagoing mythology. The word "Kraken" was first heard in 12th-century Norwegian legends, referring to a creature the size of an island, and usually depicted as a giant squid. In these legends, the Kraken normally lived at great depths, but have been sighted at the surface and have reportedly attacked ships. The Kraken's many tentacles could reach to the top of a ship's mainmast and could without any great effort capsize a fully-rigged vessel.
In Norse mythology, the Kraken was a creature from the sea so large that on the surface it was mistaken for a chain of islands. Seamen were often lost when they camped on what they thought was an island, only to be drowned when the creature swam back to the bottom of the sea. It had large tentacles and suckers with which it could seize large ships and drag them down. The Norse believed the Kraken would rise to the surface at the end of the world.
Davy Jones' pet
Most stories told say that the Kraken was Davy Jones' obedient leviathan, sent to do his bidding and prey on unwary ships and mariners. The Kraken was commanded to prey upon ships, which ultimately condemned many souls aboard Jones' cursed vessel, the Flying Dutchman, dead sailors forever impressed into servitude. The terrible beast could be summoned from aboard the Flying Dutchman, with the use of a giant capstan hammer that sent a shock wave through the ocean that served as a call to the creature. Jones would at times recite a chant while his crew summoned the beast.
The Kraken was unleashed upon those who had been marked with a Black Spot, and could only be called off if Jones himself removed the mark. A person given the Black Spot would be ruthlessly tracked down by the Kraken, and even items of clothing or personal belongings left by the target would attract the creature on its hunt. Davy Jones was further able to order the Kraken to attack specific ships he wanted attacked. If one possessed the heart of Davy Jones, that person could control not only Jones himself, but the Kraken as well, which in effect gave the person control of the oceans.
Search for the Dead Man's Chest
Chasing Jack Sparrow
- "Jones' terrible leviathan will find you, and drag the Pearl back to the depths and you along with it!"
"Any idea when Jones might release said terrible beastie?"
"I already told you, Jack. Your time is up. It comes now, drawn with ravenous hunger to the man what bears the Black Spot."
- ―Bootstrap Bill Turner and Jack Sparrow[src]
In the past, Jack Sparrow made a deal with Davy Jones, where Jones raised the Black Pearl from the depths and allowed Jack to be captain. Thirteen years after his deal, Jack was given the Black Spot by Bootstrap Bill Turner, on behalf of Jones, ensuring the Kraken would come for him. Now a marked man, Jack Sparrow was now forced to avoid the open water to escape Jones' "beastie". Knowing he couldn't escape forever, Jack sought out to find the Dead Man's Chest, which contained the heart of Davy Jones. He planned to use the heart to make Jones call off the Kraken. Ultimately, however, Jack Sparrow was forced into a confrontation with the merciless Kraken, where he went down with his beloved Black Pearl. Witnessing this, Jones stated that Sparrow's debt was paid.
Prior to destroying the Black Pearl, the Kraken destroyed several other sailing vessels throughout the search for the Dead Man's Chest. One of which was a fishing boat, that had a short sailor and a large sailor trying on Jack's hat, by violently yanking it underwater in mere seconds. Another ship was attacked at some point before Jack Sparrow and Will Turner needed to find the Flying Dutchman, an attack that had few psychologically traumatized survivors and at least one of the crewmen's face was sucked completely off.
Attack on the Edinburgh Trader
- "Let no joyful voice be heard! Let no man look up at the sky with hope! And let this day be cursed by we who ready to wake...the Kraken!"
- ―Davy Jones[src]
After Will Turner escaped from aboard the Flying Dutchman, he found refuge aboard the merchant vessel Edinburgh Trader. Using the capstan hammer, Davy Jones and his crew summon the Kraken to attack and destroy the Edinburgh Trader. Before the attack, the Edinburgh Trader lurched to a stop, and water around the ship began to churn and bubble, indicating the Kraken's arrival though some of the crew believed they hit a reef. Then the Kraken grabbed Captain Bellamy with one of its giant tentacles and rose it high in the air, much to the fear of its crew, before slapping the screaming captain down upon the water. The terrible creature appeared from the depths and began its attack.
Arms of the huge creature swoop up the starboard side of the ship, clearing men from the deck, smashing the longboats. The Burser appeared with a wedding dress, believing it was responsible for the Kraken, and tried to offer it, but he too was grabbed by a giant tentacle. Sailors grab weapons to hack at the tentacles, to little effect, and were lifted into the sky and then smashed as one of the masts broke and fell. During the onslaught, Will Turner took his sword and slashed at one of the tentacles. Two of the Kraken's tentacles rise up high above the crew and crashed down, smashing the vessel in half as the creature killed nearly all the crew. While he was momentarily submerged underwater, Will Turner briefly caught a glimpse the sea monster before hiding aboard the Dutchman.
Attack on the Black Pearl
When the Flying Dutchman fell behind in pursuing the Black Pearl, Davy Jones' crew summoned the Kraken to finish it off. Again, the Kraken caused the Pearl to lurch to a stop, and the water around the ship began to churn and bubble. Based upon his previous experience aboard the Edinburgh Trader, Will Turner warned the crew that the Kraken was going to attack. Slowly, the Kraken's tentacles made their way over the railings. But Will had known that the Kraken would attack on the starboard side from his earlier encounter with the creature, and the gun deck cannons were ready. Will ordered the crew to fire the cannons into the monster's tentacles, severely wounding them and forcing the Kraken to momentarily retreat.
Because the Kraken's tentacles destroyed all the ship's longboats, except one being used by Jack Sparrow, the crew of the Black Pearl prepared for another Kraken attack. The Kraken returned and smashed the cannons before attacking the rest of the Pearl. Will then has kegs of gunpowder and rum loaded into a cargo net and hoisted aloft. Moments later, it appeared that the Kraken was going to win this battle, as nothing the pirates did to stop the monster worked. One of the crewmen, Ragetti, was able to chop one of its tentacles off before Elizabeth Swann was dragged away. Though he originally intended to leave, Jack Sparrow returned to the Black Pearl and shot the barrels, blasting the monster's tentacles in the resulting explosion. The wounded Kraken again withdrawn, momentarily retreating as its tentacles got off the ship.
Knowing that the Kraken would attack again, now angrier than ever, Jack Sparrow ordered all the surviving crewmembers to abandon ship. Elizabeth Swann, however, was smart enough to figure out that the Kraken was only after Jack, and so the only way to stop the chain of attacks was to leave Jack to the Kraken so that she and the other survivors could row away. Elizabeth was then able to chain Jack to the mast, then left with the crew. Right after Jack was able to free himself, the tentacles of the Kraken snaked onboard, having finally found Jack.
The gaping maw of the beast opened as it roared while blasting slime that hits Jack, and Jack's missing hat falls right in front of him. Putting on his hat, Jack says "Hello, beastie" as he pulled out his sword, preparing to battle the Kraken. As Jack swatted his way into the Kraken's mouth, the Black Pearl was wrapped up by the sea monster's tentacles. From the longboat, the crew of the Black Pearl watched as the Kraken dragged the Pearl, along with its captain, to the depths of the ocean. Witnessing this, Davy Jones declared that his debt with Jack Sparrow was settled.
- "I would have thought you'd learned that when I ordered you to kill your pet."
- ―Cutler Beckett to Davy Jones[src]
After obtaining the heart of Davy Jones, Lord Cutler Beckett gained control over Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman. With his forces bearing down on the seas, Beckett ordered Jones to kill the Kraken, most likely with the concern that Jones may command the beast to attack against the East India Trading Company. Because Beckett possessed Jones' heart, Jones did as he was commanded. It is unknown how the Kraken was killed.
Upon returning from Davy Jones' Locker, the crew of the Black Pearl discovered the dead beast's body washed up on Black Sand Beach, originally having thought it was a giant whale. Pintel and Ragetti cautiously approached the Kraken's corpse, until Pintel poked it with a long stick of driftwood. They mused on making profit from the creature, in which Pintel thought about declaring themselves as "Kraken Slayers". Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa reflected on their mortality after Jack looked into the beast's glazed eye. The Kraken had been the last of its kind. And here it laid, alone, nothing but a pile of rubbery tentacles were there.
The Kraken was a cephalopod-like beast, with a squid-like mantle, a number of long, suckered tentacles at the base of its head. Some of these were as thick around as a galleon's main mast, most significant were the two long forearms powerful enough to split a ship into fragments in mere seconds. The huge suckers on the Kraken's tentacles were strong enough to pull the flesh clean away from a sailor's face.
The Kraken used the tips of its tentacles to feel its way around a ship before deciding where best to strike. It also had a long, sharp tail similar to a squid and large round eyes with orange irises and black pupils. It had a large, maw-like mouth surrounded by fangs below its large eyes, and a massive body at least twice as long as its tentacles. The overall length of the Kraken was similar to the length of 10 ships, which would be approximately 1400 feet in total length. Its body resembles a massive, cuttlefish-like cephalopod.
In its life, the Kraken had destroyed many ships, which suffered casualties of dead or dying, and hunted down many marked with the Black Spot. The following list shows all known Kraken victims.
Behind the scenes
- In the making of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the Kraken was masterfully brought to life by a phalanx of visual effects artists at Industrial Light & Magic, the live-action elements meticulously calibrated with the visual effects plans. "The Kraken sequences were extensively pre-visualized," notes visual effects supervisor John Knoll, "and we were literally shooting specific pieces to conform to that animatic blueprint. The Kraken scenes are technically very complex, because there’s a lot of interaction with water and we see shots looking down the whole of the ship, with a dozen tentacles swarming around, picking characters off the deck. Putting the composites together are very difficult...every shot takes months of effort."
- The Kraken in Dead Man's Chest is inspired by a thousand years of seagoing mythology, including original Scandinavian legends. Its appearance was, perhaps, a tip of the hat to the famed giant squid in Walt Disney Pictures' own 1954 classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
- The word "Kraken" was first heard in 12th-century Norwegian legends, referring to a creature the size of an island, and usually depicted as a giant squid. In these legends the Kraken's many arms or tentacles could reach to the top of a ship's mainmast and could without any great effort capsize a full-rig vessel. So great was the creature's fame that it was even immortalized in British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "The Kraken," scribed in 1830. In the 20th century, stamp collectors could find the Kraken's image on postages from such diverse countries as Canada and even the Commonwealth of Dominica, one of the Dead Man's Chest host countries.
- The Kraken's appearance in Dead Man's Chest marks the first time the legendary creature had been realized using modern computer graphics, made by ILM, who also did the undead skeletons in The Curse of the Black Pearl as well as Davy Jones's crew.
- While the Kraken was seen in the game trailer (attacking a war frigate with its tentacles) and was playable in Call of the Kraken, it has yet to appear in Pirates of the Caribbean Online.
- In the At World's End video game, the Kraken's corpse could be seen resting in Davy Jones' Locker.
- The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow
- Jack Sparrow: The Siren Song (First mentioned)
- Jack Sparrow: Poseidon's Peak (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online (trailer only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Call of the Kraken
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (First appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (dead corpse)
- 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
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides takes place in 1750 which sets the Kraken's death in between Dead Man's Chest and At World's End at the end of 1740s.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, p72-73: "The Kraken"
- ↑ Story of Davy Jones and Calypso
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- ↑ Wordplay Forums: Kraken Attack by Terry Rossio
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (junior novelization), p.87
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (junior novelization), p.89
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 POTC2 Presskit