|For other uses, see William Turner (disambiguation)|
William Turner, also known as Bill or Billy Turner, though more commonly referred to as Bootstrap or Bootstrap Bill, was a pirate who operated in the Seven Seas. Though with the requisite betrayals of the pirate's life, Turner was a loyal cohort of Captain Jack Sparrow. Renowned as a pirate and a good man, Bootstrap Bill Turner was the father of Will Turner, who followed in his buccaneering footsteps.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Bootstrap Bill had once been a member of Jack Sparrow's crew aboard the Black Pearl, where he would regretfully play a part in Hector Barbossa's mutiny against Jack. While Jack was thrown overboard, Bootstrap Bill stayed on board with Barbossa's crew and joined them in finding and taking every bit of the treasure of Cortés. After falling under the Aztec curse, Barbossa's crew had to return the treasure they took. However, Turner tried to renege his position on Sparrow by sending a gold piece to his son Will, believing that the mutinous crew deserved to remain cursed for betraying Jack and the Pirate's Code. In response, Bootstrap was tied to a cannon and thrown overboard by Barbossa, eternally drowning but unable to die because of the curse. He was left to suffer at the bottom of the ocean.
Prior to the curse's lifting, Bootstrap made a deal with Davy Jones to alleviate his eternal suffering, selling his soul for one hundred years of servitude aboard the Flying Dutchman. Bootstrap Bill soon appeared like the rest of the Dutchman crew, covered in barnacles and crustaceans, a slave to Davy Jones. Thirteen years after Jack Sparrow's deal with Davy Jones, Bootstrap Bill was sent as an emissary to warn Jack of his debt. Bootstrap later reunited with Will Turner when the later was Davy Jones's prisoner for a short while. Sworn to rescue his father, Will had made Bill a solemn promise: he would return to the Dutchman and free him from Jones' hold. As time went by, he was gradually losing himself and literally becoming a part of the ship. Near the end of the War Against Piracy, Bootstrap Bill lapsed into total dementia. After the final titanic battle of the war, Will Turner became the new captain of the Flying Dutchman, where Bootstrap remained willfully.
Billy Turner was born during the late 17th century, and lived on the Isle of Man with his Aunt Erin, Uncle Seamus and dog, Crumbs. He was given a ticket aboard the Sea Star to North Carolina as his hometown was in a dire situation after all the fish died. Billy was arrested after the Sea Star's captain, David Donovan, called him a stowaway when his ticket was classed as counterfeit (a fact unbeknownst to Uncle Seamus who gave Billy the ticket) by the Royal Navy.
Adventures with Jack Sparrow
- "Billy! My name is Billy!"
"Well Billy it is, then. But Billy is no name for a sailor. I recently met a pirate—a fellow named Renegade Robbie. You'll be needing a proper pirate name, too, of course. Like Bloody Billy. You are a pirate, aren't you?"
- ―Billy Turner and Jack Sparrow
Billy was subsequently jailed, and taken aboard a naval ship to Port Royal to be hanged. But along the way, was freed by Arabella Smith and Jean Magliore, who had infiltrated the ship trying to get the records of the Fleur De La Mort, aboard which Jean and Arabella were crewmembers under Arabella's mother, Laura. Billy successfully managed to convince them to free him, and stole the records to gain their trust, whilst the naval crew were preoccupied with an attacking sea monster.
- "And Billy! Billy Turner! It really is ye! Ye've made it out alive! Ye found Jack!"
- ―Arabella Smith
Billy was furious to learn that the Sea Star was responsible for the sea monster's attacks and for placing the Isle of Man in its poor state. Killing the sea monster, Billy stranded Donovan and the First Mate aboard a desert island. He joined the Fleur's crew, under Captain Laura, and helped Jack Sparrow defeat Captain Torrents.
The Black Pearl
- "I mean, you want me to join your crew. Thanks, Jack, flattered, but I'm not looking for work. I'm just trying to get home."
"But Billy, lad! Take a look at my ship! The Black Pearl, Billy—remember the stories we used to hear about the fastest ship in the world? This is it! But it's even faster now."
"Not faster than Davy Jones's ship, the Flying Dutchman."
- ―Billy Turner and Jack Sparrow
Years later, Billy joined Jack Sparrow's crew aboard the Black Pearl, recently risen from the seas by Davy Jones. Billy helped Jack find several vials of Shadow Gold to be found around the world, often providing a brooding sense to the crew. He revealed that he had eventually made it to North Carolina, and had married a girl who had given birth to a son there.
- "I'm sorry for the part I played in the mutiny against you, Jack. I stood up for ya. Everything went wrong after that."
- ―Bootstrap Bill Turner to Jack Sparrow
After the quest for the Shadow Gold ended, Bootstrap Bill would remain aboard the Black Pearl, taking part in Jack Sparrow's quest for the treasure of Cortés. Three days out into the voyage, Jack's first mate Hector Barbossa rallied the crew in a mutiny against Jack. While it is possible Bootstrap Bill probably didn't participate in the mutiny, there was a version of events where Bootstrap stood up for Jack, then doesn't participate in the mutiny, stepping aside but doesn't take action to stop it. A man of the Code, Bootstrap did what's right by him and stuck by the Code by staying with the crew. When the mutiny took place, Bootstrap was the only crewmember who did not side with Barbossa completely. However, Bootstrap was unable to nor prevent Jack being marooned on a desert island. Days afterwards, using the bearings acquired from Jack himself, Captain Barbossa was able to find Isla de Muerta. Bootstrap continued to serve on board long enough to take his share of the treasure of 882 pieces of Aztec gold. But Barbossa's crew would soon regret their taking the treasure.
- "Never sat well with Bootstrap, what we did to Jack Sparrow. The mutiny and all. He said it wasn't right with the Code. That's why he sent off a piece of the treasure to you, as it were. He said we deserved to be cursed...and remain cursed."
- ―Pintel, Ragetti and Joshamee Gibbs
At some point after spending and trading their pieces of the Aztec gold, every member of Barbossa's crew would learn that they had become cursed. Believing that their torment came from the treasure, the now-cursed crew attempted to lift the curse by reclaiming all 882 pieces of the Aztec gold. However, while Barbossa's crew wanted to lift their curse, Bootstrap Bill still felt guilty of betraying Jack Sparrow by taking part in Barbossa's mutiny, knowing that it wasn't right with the Code. And so Bootstrap sent a piece of the treasure to his son, Will Turner, avowing that the crew deserved to remain cursed for what happened to Jack. Barbossa would eventually learn of this action and became angry with Bootstrap Bill.
- "They strapped me to a cannon, I ended up on the bottom of the ocean, the weight of the water crushing down on me. Unable to move...unable to die, Jack. And I thought that even the tiniest hope of escaping this fate...I would take it. I would trade anything for it."
- ―Bootstrap Bill Turner to Jack Sparrow
In response of Bootstrap Bill's treachery, Barbossa had a cannon strapped to "Bootstrap's bootstraps," and thrown overboard. The last the crew saw of Bill Turner, he was sinking to the "crushing, black oblivion of Davy Jones' Locker," and was left to suffer a life at the bottom of the ocean. Although he was eternally drowning, Bootstrap Bill was unable to die because of the Aztec curse. It wasn't until after Bootstrap was thrown overboard did Barbossa's crew learn of an additional requirement to lift the curse: all who stole but a single coin from the chest had to repay the heathen gods in blood, including Bootstrap's. And so with the curse having an unlikely chance of lifting, Bootstrap Bill was left to suffer at the bottom of the ocean.
- "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
Despite Bootstrap Bill Turner's intention to have Barbossa's crew remaining cursed, the crew still found their hope restored. When Will Turner reversed the curse by returning the last Aztec coins to the stone chest, he technically killed his father because at that moment, somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, Bootstrap Bill became mortal. However, instead of dying at sea, fate had a different plan.
Servitude aboard the Flying Dutchman
- "All I could do was think. And mostly I thought if I had even the tiniest hope of escaping this fate, I would take it. Trade anything for it."
"That is the kind of thinking bound to catch his attention."
"It did. Davy Jones came. Made the offer. I could spend one hundred years before his mast, with the hope that after, I would go on to a peaceful rest. You made a deal with him, too, Jack."
- ―Bootstrap Bill Turner and Jack Sparrow
Prior to Will Turner's lifting of the Aztec curse, which technically returned Bootstrap's mortality, the cursed Bootstrap Bill was still trapped at the bottom of the ocean, with the weight of the water crushing down on him, unable to move or die. All he could do was to think, mostly the thought if he had any hope of escaping this fate, he would take it and trade anything for it. This attracted the attention of Davy Jones, captain of the Flying Dutchman, who had a love for a good bargain. Davy Jones came and offered Bootstrap Bill to serve aboard the Dutchman one hundred years before the mast. Cursed by the Aztec Gold and doomed to be trapped there forever, he had been more than willing to bargain with Jones when he had been found by the tentacled man. Convinced that a life of servitude would be better than his current state, Bootstrap sold his soul to Davy Jones to alleviate his eternal suffering. Having made the deal with Jones, Bootstrap Bill Turner joined Jones' crew, where he would become yet another lost soul to serve aboard the Dutchman.
- "It's the gift and the lie given by Jones. You join the crew and think you've cheated the powers, but it's not reprieval you've found. It's oblivion. Losing what you were, bit by bit, till you end up like poor Wyvern here. Once you've sworn an oath to the Dutchman, there's no leaving it. Not till your debt is paid."
- ―Bootstrap Bill Turner to Will Turner
It is unknown how long Bootstrap Bill served aboard the Flying Dutchman, but it is known that he was aboard for at least one year. During his time aboard, Bootstrap would begin his transformation that every member of the Dutchman had to undergo. He also grew to forget Barbossa, beginning to lapse into total dementia. The longer he was aboard, the more Bootstrap would learn about how life on the Dutchman played out; a man thought he'd cheated death, but he'd lose himself in becoming part of the Dutchman itself. Wyvern was a prime example, Bootstrap's in particular, of what would happen if a man served aboard the Dutchman long enough.
Meeting with Jack Sparrow
- "And to what do I owe the pleasure of your carbuncle?"
"Davy Jones. He sent me as an emissary."
"Ah, he shanghaied you into service, then."
"I chose it."
- ―Bootstrap Bill Turner and Jack Sparrow
Thirteen years after having made a deal with Davy Jones, Jack Sparrow's time ran out. So Davy Jones sent Bootstrap Bill Turner as an emissary to warn Jack that his debt was due to be paid. Bootstrap would find Jack Sparrow aboard the Black Pearl, having already taken it back from Barbossa one year prior. To Bootstrap's dismay, he learned from Jack himself that he retrieved the Pearl with the help of his son, William, who ended up becoming a pirate. During his brief visit, Bootstrap and Jack were catching up, in which time Bootstrap relayed his tale of ending up on the bottom of the ocean before taking Jones' offer, though Jack originally thought he was shanghaied. Bill Turner soon left the Pearl, but not before giving Jack Sparrow the Black Spot, thereby having Jack marked for death at the hands of Jones' leviathan, the Kraken. Having given his old friend Jones' warning, Bootstrap Bill returned to his duties aboard the Dutchman.
Reuniting with a son
Days later, during a stormy night, Bootstrap Bill was working with his fellow crewmen until he finds his son Will Turner aboard the Dutchman. Seeing that Will had ended up on the same wretched vessel as himself, Bootstrap lets go of a rope that was holding up a cannon, thereby causing a disturbance which Will was blamed for. Before the bo'sun, Jimmy Legs, could give Will the punishment of five lashes, Bootstrap stopped him. With the familial connection between Bootstrap Bill and Will revealed, Bootstrap was forced to give Will the five lashes, by means of protecting him, in front of Jones and his crew. After the lashing, Bootstrap explained why he had to do what he did, which Will understood. Bootstrap then talked to Will about life aboard the Dutchman, warning him that he must get away upon learning that Will gave no oath. But Will confided to his father that he wasn't planning on leaving until having found the key, in which Wyvern popped from his place where he became part of the Dutchman to tell the two Turners the secrets of the Dead Man's Chest before going back to being part of the ship.
Bootstrap Bill later joined his son as he watched a game of Liar's Dice was played between the Dutchman's crew. To Bootstrap's surprise, Will challenged Davy Jones to a game, in which he was likely to lose. To save his son, Bootstrap Bill entered the game and purposely lost to save Will from losing. As a result, Bootstrap was sentenced to spend an eternity on the Flying Dutchman. Though Will was mad at his father's foolishness, he had gotten what he wanted: the key's location. With Bootstrap's help, Will was able to take the key from Jones in his sleep and escape the Dutchman. Before leaving, Bootstrap gave Will a black knife. Will took the knife with a promise that he'd find a way to free Bootstrap from Jones' servitude, saying "I will not abandon you. I promise."
The next day, Davy Jones would learn of Will's escape, which enraged him. And as punishment for his part in it, Bootstrap Bill Turner was forced to watch the Kraken attack the Edinburgh Trader, the ship on which Will was on board. As Jones' crew summoned the leviathan, Bootstrap watched in agony and with a heavy heart as his son was seemingly killed in this attack. Davy Jones, telling Bootstrap that he needed time alone with his thoughts, ordered Bootstrap Bill to be locked in the brig.
Time in the brig
- "You need time alone with your thoughts. Brig!"
- ―Davy Jones to Bootstrap Bill Turner
A few months later, by the time Lord Cutler Beckett assumed control of the Flying Dutchman following his acquisition of the heart of Davy Jones, Bootstrap Bill would still remain in the brig. The apparent death of his son Will Turner caused Bootstrap Bill Turner to sink into a state of madness, so much so that the process of assimilation into the Flying Dutchman accelerated, and Bootstrap's humanity began to wane. When Elizabeth Swann was thrown in the Dutchman's brig, she was able to coax Bootstrap into a conversation, though it was clear that he remembered little of his life. He still recognized the name of his son, however, and held on to the hope that William had promised to rescue him. When he realized who Elizabeth was, he lost hope for his own redemption. Bootstrap told her that Will would have to choose one of them and jokingly stated, "I wouldn't pick me." Elizabeth tried to wake him after he had merged with the ship again, but he appeared to have completely forgotten their prior conversation.
- "William! He's coming for me! Wait and see, you'll see...He promised."
- ―Bootstrap Bill Turner to Elizabeth Swann
Bootstrap Bill remained in the Dutchman's brig, until he heard the bars open in the middle of the night. Admiral James Norrington had helped free Elizabeth and the crew of the Empress to escape to their ship. In his maddened state, Bootstrap followed them to see what was going on. Having not realize Norrington's good intentions, he instead believed that Norrington was leading a prisoner escape and stabbed him in a killing blow. As Elizabeth escaped to the Empress, Bootstrap simply stood by while Norrington passed away. The mad-stricken Bootstrap Bill continued serving aboard the Dutchman on their way to Shipwreck Cove.
Fight against his son
- "I'm not going to kill you—I've made you a promise."
- ―Will Turner to Bootstrap Bill Turner
Bootstrap Bill Turner was still aboard the Flying Dutchman when it was battling with the Black Pearl around Calypso's maelstrom. During the later portion of the battle, Bootstrap found his son on deck, and engaged him in a duel. Will quickly disabled his father, but held back from killing him. The sight of his black knife, in addition to witnessing Davy Jones mortally wound Will in front of Elizabeth and Jack Sparrow, finally snapped Bootstrap out of his delirium. Realizing what happen, Bootstrap attacked Jones in a frenzy, but was quickly defeated. But before Jones could finish him off, however, Jack helped Will stab Jones' heart. Soon afterwards, knowing that the Dutchman must have a captain, Bootstrap cut out his son's heart to allow him to take Davy Jones' place after Jones fell into the maelstrom.
- "The Dutchman must have a captain."
- ―Bootstrap Bill Turner before carving his son's heart out.
Sailing with his son
- "Orders, sir?"
"You're no longer bound to the Dutchman. You're free."
"Aye. That's a fine thing, but...by my reckoning, I still have a debt that has to be paid. If you'll have me."
"On the wheel then, Mister Turner."
"Aye, Captain Turner."
- ―Bootstrap Bill and Will Turner
After Will became captain of the Flying Dutchman, the Dutchman resurfaced with the ship returning to its normal form. Bootstrap Bill and the other crewmen returned to their original human form. Like the rest of the crew, Bootstrap followed Will's orders and aided the Black Pearl in destroying the Endeavour. Afterwards, Bootstrap asked Will for orders, but Will only told him that he was now free. Though it was what they both longed for, Bootstrap decided to serve under Will, as he feels he owes Will for leaving him and for Will's rescue. With a smile, Will ordered his father to take the helm. Bootstrap then commented that there was a steep price for Will taking captaincy aboard the Dutchman: while the ship now had a purpose again, Elizabeth could not go on the voyages they're able to go on. Bootstrap Bill Turner would continue serving under Captain Will Turner's command.
- "This ship has a purpose again. And where we are bound...she cannot come. One day ashore, ten years at sea. That's a steep price for what's been done."
"Depends on the one day."
- ―Bootstrap Bill Turner and Will Turner
Personality and traits
- "I could say I did what I had to when I left you to go pirating, but it would taste a lie to say it wasn't what I wanted."
- ―Bootstrap Bill Turner
Known amongst fellow sailors as "Bootstrap" or "Bootstrap Bill", William Turner was a loyal cohort of the rogue, Jack Sparrow. Loyal, though with the requisite betrayals of the pirate's life, Bootstrap Bill played a part in Hector Barbossa's mutiny against his captain. Bootstrap was the one of few, if not the only member of Jack's crew who was against the plan to mutiny against him. After the mutiny, when Turner tried to renege his position on Sparrow, he was sent to the bottom of the sea, where he made a deal with Davy Jones and became part of the crew of the Flying Dutchman, and, hence, part of the ship itself.
Cursed by the Aztec Gold and doomed to be trapped there forever, Bootstrap had been more than willing to bargain with Davy Jones when he had been found by the tentacled man. But the price had been terrible: one hundred years of servitude. Bootstrap Bill was like the rest of the Dutchman crew now - covered in barnacles and crustaceans, a slave to Davy Jones. As time went by, he was gradually losing himself and becoming a part of the ship — literally. Long before the hundred years were up, he'd be lost forever, just another tortured soul swallowed up by the ship. After reuniting, Will had sworn to rescue his father. He had made Bill a solemn promise: he would return to the Dutchman and free him, no matter what it took.
Even Jack Sparrow told Bootstrap's only child, Will Turner, that his father was a pirate he was nevertheless a good man. Joshamee Gibbs agreed when Pintel was telling Will about him, defending him as one when Ragetti insulted him for his loyalty. Bootstrap believed that the pirates that had mutinied against Jack deserved to be cursed and so he sent a piece of Aztec gold to his son.
Though serving under Davy Jones had hardened Bootstrap, to the point where he whipped his own son, he had actually done it as an act of compassion in order to save Will from being whipped by the sadistic Jimmy Legs. He later intentionally lost a game of Liar's Dice in order to save his son from becoming a slave of Davy Jones. Bootstrap's love for his son snapped him out of the madness he suffered from being on the Flying Dutchman for too long and when Will was mortally wounded by Jones, Bootstrap attacked his former captain in a fit of rage and grief. Bootstrap later chose to remain with Will when he became captain of the Flying Dutchman.
In his time under Davy Jones' command of the Dutchman, Bill had forgotten Barbossa. This was the effect of the deal with Jones, a symptom that worsened over time as Bootstrap eventually lapsed into total dementia. During his period of madness, Bootstrap had a conversation with Elizabeth Swann, but when she spoke to him again he had forgotten the conversation, even though it had taken place only moments earlier. When James Norrington helped Elizabeth escape from the Flying Dutchman, Bootstrap didn't understand Norrington's honourable intentions and came to the conclusion that he was a traitor and therefore stabbed him.
Equipment and skills
Bootstrap was a capable swordsman able to hold his own against his son Will, who was known to be an expert swordsman, longer than any of his fellow crewmen of the Flying Dutchman. Though it was forged from the native iron of the seabed, Bootstrap's sword does not look like much. A thick coating of rust has dulled and blunted the once-gleaming blade. Barnacles cling to the handle and guard.
His most well known possession was a small, black knife, which he later passed on to his son. He apparently had a connection to the knife as seeing it helped snap him out of his delirium.
Behind the scenes
- Bootstrap Bill Turner was portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård in Dead Man's Chest and At World's End.
- The fact that Will Turner technically killed Bootstrap Bill in The Curse of the Black Pearl was noted in Dead Man's Chest-related material. Director Gore Verbinski mentioned this fact in the audio commentary of the film's deleted scene "Begin to Forget". It was also said by Will Turner himself in the deleted scene as well as the film's junior novelization.
- In the making of the films, Bootstrap Bill was the only character who wore a costume on set. Everyone else on the crew of the Flying Dutchman, including Davy Jones, was completely 3-D Computer-generated. Their performances were recorded using motion capture during actual filming on the set, rather than in a motion capture studio during post-production.
- Jack Sparrow: Poseidon's Peak (First identified as Billy Turner)
- Jack Sparrow: Bold New Horizons
- Legends of the Brethren Court: The Caribbean
- Legends of the Brethren Court: Rising in the East
- Legends of the Brethren Court: The Turning Tide
- Legends of the Brethren Court: Wild Waters
- Legends of the Brethren Court: Day of the Shadow
- The Island of Fortune
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (First mentioned) (First identified as William Turner, Bootstrap or Bootstrap Bill)
- The Accidental Pirate! (Indirect mention only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (First appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- Kingdom Hearts II (Mentioned only) (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (film series)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Legends of the Brethren Court
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide
- The Secret Files of the East India Trading Company
Notes and references
- ↑ Estimation based on Stellan Skarsgård's age during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and the fact that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides takes place in 1750, a few years after the events of Dead Man's Chest.
- ↑ Zizzle.com: Dead Man's Chest "Heroes and Villains" series 1
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 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. Also important to note: Bill has forgotten Barbossa. This is the effect of the deal with Jones, a symptom that worsens over time as he lapses into total dementia. - Gore Verbinski
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
- ↑ Jack Sparrow: Poseidon's Peak
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: Legends of the Brethren Court
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Curse of the Black Pearl Audio Commentary with Screenwriters Stuart Beattie, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Jay Wolpert
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (junior novelization)
- ↑ Bootstrap Bill would have been aboard the Dutchman before the Aztec curse was lifted in The Curse of the Black Pearl, which took place one year before Dead Man's Chest.
- ↑ The Secret Files of the East India Trading Company, p.10
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (junior novelization)
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, pg.51
- ↑ Dead Man's Chest Deleted Scene "Begin to Forget"
|v • d • eCrew of La Fleur de la Mort|
|v • d • eCursed Crew|
|v • d • eCrew of the Flying Dutchman|