- "Pirates had infected the seas for generations. So I vowed to eliminate them all. And then, there was this boy. Jack Sparrow. He took everything from me... And filled me with... rage."
- ―Armando Salazar
Armando Salazar was an undead pirate hunter who operated from the 18th century during the Age of Piracy. Hailing from the country of Spain, he was a Spaniard, originally an officer of the Spanish Royal Navy, the capitán of the Silent Mary and a former nemesis of Jack Sparrow who he blamed for his downfall. With his crew by his side, Salazar terrorized the Seven Seas and murdered thousands of pirates, but a young pirate named Jack Sparrow outsmarted the ruthless capitán, seemingly ensuring his downfall by luring him into the Devil's Triangle where he was killed, along with his crew, in an explosion. However, Salazar was resurrected by the supernatural powers of the Triangle with his crew as the undead. Hungry for revenge, he escaped from the Triangle and set out on a blind mission of vengeance to find the legendary Trident of Poseidon to finally eliminate all pirates in the world, but mostly to kill Jack to avenge everything that he had lost.
- "I've heard stories of a mighty Spanish captain who's hunted and killed thousands of men."
- ―Hector Barbossa
Not much is known about Salazar's early life except that he joined the Spanish Royal Navy, becoming an officer. He rose through the ranks, earning several high military decorations over the years until he became a capitán in command of the Silent Mary, a powerful ship of the line. At some point during his career, Salazar made a vow to exterminate all the pirates on the high seas. He became so successful and famous that some of the stories of his pirate hunting expeditions claimed that he had hunted down and killed thousands of pirates.
Attack on the pirate fleet
- "Follow him in!"
- ―Armando Salazar
One day, the Silent Mary encountered a pirate fleet of ten ships. Despite being outnumbered, the Spanish attacked the pirates, quickly demonstrating to their opponents that the firepower of the Silent Mary and the skills of her crew were far superior to those of all the ships and crews in the entire pirate fleet. The battle ended disastrously for the pirates with the majority of their fleet destroyed. As the Silent Mary sailed through the burning wrecks, Salazar was satisfied with his latest victory over the outlaws that he intended to eliminate. When he noticed a few surviving pirates among the wrecks, flying the improvised white flag as a sign of surrender, Salazar calmly ordered his men to shoot them all, giving them no quarter.
When his men finished their grisly task, Salazar set his sights on the only pirate ship left afloat. Not wanting to let a single pirate escape him, Salazar ordered his men to follow the pirates. The Spanish gave chase as Salazar personally took the helm of the Silent Mary following the pirate ship toward a mysterious island shrouded in darkness, the Devil's Triangle. As the pirate ship approached the entrance to the Triangle before them, the pirates threw ropes around the nearby reefs off the port side of the ship. The loop caught the reef, tightening, and causing the ship to swiftly turn to the left, as the helmsman, a young man named Jack Sparrow steered the ship in the same direction.
Knowing his men didn't have enough time to make the same maneuver and wanting to avoid collision, Salazar kept the Silent Mary on her course, sailing straight ahead. As the Spanish sailed past the pirate ship, Salazar glanced at Jack Sparrow one last time before the Silent Mary entered the Triangle, accelerating through the unknown waters and quickly hitting the nearby rocks, severely damaging the bow and knocking the entire crew off their feet. The impact resulted in a massive explosion from the amount of gunpowder on the ship, engulfing the ship in flames and burning alive its entire crew. Salazar was also killed in the explosion, but his body fell overboard, slowly sinking to the bottom of the sea.
However, even death was not the end of Salazar. As his body begun to sink to the bottom of the sea, the body was suddenly struck by streaks of eerie red light, resurrecting Salazar as the undead by the mysterious supernatural powers of the Triangle where he was now trapped with his men who were brought back from the dead in a similar fashion. Unable to escape from the Triangle, Salazar and his men of the undead spent several years in a cave, plotting their revenge on Jack Sparrow.
Quest for the Trident of Poseidon
Attack on the Monarch
- "Jack Sparrow. Do you know this pirate?"
"Only by name."
"Find Sparrow for me, and relay a message from Capitán Salazar, and tell him... Death will come straight for him. Will you say that to him? Please?"
- ―Armando Salazar and Henry
Many years after their imprisonment in the Devil's Triangle, Salazar and his men spotted the Monarch, a British Royal Navy warship, entering their cave. As the Monarch came to a halt, Salazar's men ran across the water, boarded the ship and launched a surprise attack. Due to their ghostly powers, the Spanish easily slaughtered the British and even Salazar joined the fight, killing a few British sailors with his rapier. Finally, he personally confronted the British captain, strangled him, and threw his corpse into the fire.
With the battle effectively over, Salazar walked below deck, finding a single young sailor locked in the brig. Noticing several wanted posters on the floor, Salazar stabbed one of them with his sword to bring it closer to him. Seeing the face of Jack Sparrow, the man who cost him his life, on the poster, Salazar asked the young sailor if he knew the pirate. When the sailor replied that he knew Sparrow only by name, Salazar and his men walked through the bars, shocking the sailor. Salazar then asked the sailor to find Sparrow and give him a message about death coming straight for him.
After the battle, Salazar and his men returned to the Silent Mary. However, even though the British were all dead, with the exception of the young sailor Henry, Salazar had no intention of leaving the enemy ship afloat. He took the helm of the Silent Mary and steered her toward the Monarch, using his supernatural powers to bend the bow of his ship backwards, and opening the ship's hull like the jaws of a giant beast. The Silent Mary then crashed into the Monarch, causing the massive explosion that cut the British vessel in half, sending it to the bottom of the sea.
Escape from the Devil's Triangle
Sometime later, Salazar and his men managed to escape from the Devil's Triangle steering the Silent Mary into the open sea for the first time in years. Though the ship was now nothing but a wreck, she was kept afloat by Salazar's magic. The Spanish eventually planned to find the legendary Trident of Poseidon, the mythical artifact which would give them absolute control over the seas so they could continue their mission and kill all the pirates in the world, starting with Jack Sparrow.
Later, the Silent Mary encountered the Queen Anne's Revenge, a pirate ship captained by Hector Barbossa. As the Silent Mary approached the Revenge, Salazar once again used his powers to bend the bow of the Silent Mary backwards, leaving the pirate crew stunned and unable to react. Salazar then leaped onboard the Revenge, landing behind Barbossa.
Personality and Traits
Armando Salazar was never a good man, but he was a soldier who most likely followed a moral code. Before his death and rebirth, Salazar sailed the high seas for many years and during that time, earned himself a fearsome reputation, becoming a legend in his own right, albeit a terrifying one. Ruthless and sadistic, he was not a man to show mercy to his enemies even if they did surrender to him, which was proven when he ordered his men to execute pirates that were defenseless and helpless. He, however, had always been obsessed with killing pirates, he had devoted his life to eliminating all pirates from the Caribbean. His hatred for pirates was so great that he didn't even consider them men, but something that didn't even deserve to live.
This obsession eventually led him to fall for Jack Sparrow's trickery and lead him to his untimely demise. Following his death, Salazar was consumed with an uncontrollable rage, due to having been resurrected by the supernatural powers of the Devil's Triangle into an undead being, and a burning desire to get revenge on the man he held responsible for his fate: Jack Sparrow. Salazar was blinded by his hatred of Jack and was willing to take any action necessary to kill him to avenge everything that he had lost. Underneath his fearsome demeanor, Salazar was a man who simply could not rest until his vengeance was complete, but he was also a man who was trapped in eternal torment.
Equipment and Skills
Originally an officer of the Spanish Royal Navy, Armando Salazar was always dressed in a resplendent white and black uniform adored with three medals on the left side of his coat, proof of his many achievements during his service to his country. His favored weapon was a rapier, a slender, sharply pointed sword which was designed as a thrusting weapon, but he also used it for cutting or slashing attacks when in combat. Following his death and resurrection, Salazar's appearance resembled the undead with his uniform darkened and torn and his sword rusty, but his skills remained the same. As a vengeful spirit, he was more dangerous than he ever was as a living man because he gained supernatural abilities such as the ability to walk on water and through solid objects. He also had complete control over his ship, the Silent Mary, which he used to simply slice through other ships. Though the Silent Mary was nothing but a wreck, Salazar's powers made it seemingly indestructible. He also could bring to life the figurehead of his ship to protect him during combat. Combining those powers with his skills, Salazar was literally an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.
Behind the Scenes
- Captain Salazar will be portrayed by Javier Bardem in Dead Men Tell No Tales.
- Before officially casting Javier Bardem for Dead Men Tell No Tales, Christoph Waltz was rumored to be the original choice for the role. At that time, the character was referred to as "Captain John Brand", a feared pirate hunter who returned from the dead as a ghost to kill Jack Sparrow whom he held responsible for the death of his brother, Eric. Rumors claim that the name "Brand" was changed to "Salazar" to sound more Mediterranean to accompany Javier Bardem's Spanish descent.
- Salazar is the first main antagonist in the series to be Spanish.