- “Do you fear death? Do you fear that dark abyss? All your deeds laid bare? All your sins punished? I can offer you...an escape.”
- ―Davy Jones[src]
Davy Jones is the legendary supernatural sailor and an antagonist in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean series. Portrayed by Bill Nighy, he is first introduced in the film Dead Man's Chest, and has appeared in the sequel At World's End. When the original Disneyland attraction was revamped in 2006, Davy Jones was added to the ride. Among other appearances, the character appears in The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios, as well as several books and video games.
Once a mortal pirate, Davy Jones was saddled with the responsibility of ferrying the souls of deceased sailors to the Land of the Dead, that is until he forsaken by the sea goddess Calypso. The condemned captain of the Flying Dutchman, Davy Jones preys on wayward sailors lost at sea. Those who wish to avoid death and final judgment serve Jones aboard his haunted vessel, eventually becoming a part of the ship itself, forever enslaved to its terrifying captain. Davy Jones also commands the Kraken, a great squid-like beast of the sea.
Once a mortal pirate, Davy Jones was known to be a great sailor. He fell in love with the sea goddess Calypso, who charged him of the duty to ferry souls who died at sea to the other side. After ten years of service, he could set foot on dry land and spend one day with Calypso. Jones devoted himself to the duty he was charged with for ten years. But whenever Davy Jones came ashore, Calypso was nowhere to be found. Enraged by her betrayal, Jones plotted with the First Brethren Court and showed them how to bind her into human form; the Court agreed with him to imprison her forever. But the pain it caused him was too much to live with, so Davy Jones carved out his own heart and locked it away in the Dead Man's Chest. Abandoning his duty, Davy Jones then returned to the seven seas, only now sailors everywhere would fear him to the death, for Jones had turned fierce and cruel, with an insatiable taste for all things brutal.
Davy Jones had a strong Scottish accent which was accented by various vocal and facial tics, and had an unctuous and mocking laugh. He would commonly extend vowel sounds and was known to release water through his mouth when in despair or rage. Despite Jones' vicious nature, his character has appeared to be deeply influenced by situations involving love and passion, as a result of the ruined relationship he had with Calypso, the sea goddess, in the past. Davy Jones' character fell madly in love with the goddess Calypso. His character's passionate nature is rarely shown to others, such as when he plays his theme on the pipe organ whilst shedding a single tear over Calypso and ultimately meeting her aboard the Black Pearl. He had cut out his own heart, but even then, not even Calypso thought Davy Jones was cruel.
Being the captain of the Flying Dutchman gave Davy Jones the chance to journey between the land of the dead and the living. This was most likely the reason for his other supernatural traits, including the abilities to teleport himself and walk through solid objects. Jones was also able to restore the Wicked Wench when he raised the ship from the depths, after it was burned and sunk by the East India Trading Company. However, Jones could not step on land but once every ten years and by abandoning his duty as the ferryman to the afterlife he brought a curse upon himself and his crew which caused their transformation into fish-men.
Jones kept a pipe organ on board the Flying Dutchman, and played it seemingly on a daily basis. Utilizing the tentacles that made up his "beard", Jones would play his organ in a way that could only be matched if played by three or more ordinary human organists. The song he often played was the same as the one played by his locket. In times of intense emotional anguish, Jones would use his organ to vent his anger and suffering. It was through his organ that he would show his more sensitive and troubled side.
Davy Jones' appearance was not unlike that of many other sailors; but after abandoning his duty, he had gradually taken the appearance of various aquatic flora and fauna. In his new form, Jones' head resembled an Octopus, with a "beard" of forty-six tentacles hanging from his face. During his duel with Jack Sparrow, he lost one of his two larger tentacles. A siphon was located on the left side of his face, making up for his lack of a human nose. He had a crab claw for his left arm and his right leg resembled that of a crab, which in turn resembled a peg leg. Davy Jones's hat, which was a tricorn, had its front corn was bigger then the other two and divided, so that its silhouette resembled devil horns.
Jones' only weapon was a sword he normally carried attached to his belt. Before using the small sword of the then-deceased James Norrington, Jones carried an old barnacle-encrusted broadsword at his side.
In young Jack Sparrow's teenage adventures, Davy Jones shows interest in the Sword of Cortés, also sought by Jack. With the Sword unavailable, Jones set out to find the Timekeeper.
When Jack Sparrow was a young man, Davy Jones helps the Brethren Court to identify the traitor among them. With Jones' help, the traitor is identified as Borya Palachnik, the Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea. After Cutler Beckett sank Jack Sparrow's ship, the Wicked Wench, Davy Jones approaches Sparrow for a deal: Jones will raise the Wench back from the depths, allowing Sparrow to be captain for 13 years if Sparrow agrees to serve aboard the Flying Dutchman for 100 years.
Thirteen years after making the deal to raise the Black Pearl from the depths, Jack Sparrow owed the legendary Davy Jones his soul. To remind Jack of his debt, Jones sent Bootstrap Bill Turner, a friend of Jack's who joined Jones' crew, as an emissary to warn Jack to repay his debt, in which he has to serve aboard the Flying Dutchman or he would be sent to Davy Jones' Locker. Bootstrap Bill gave Jack Sparrow the Black Spot, thereby having Jack marked for death by Jones' terrible leviathan, the Kraken.
Days later, during a thunderstorm at night, Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl arrive at what seems to be the Flying Dutchman, but is really a scuttled ship destroyed by the Kraken. The real Dutchman rises from under the sea and the surviving crew members were rounded up by the Dutchman crew, so that they could choose to join his crew aboard the Dutchman. Of the men captured on board was Will Turner, who was tricked by Jack Sparrow to search on the scuttled ship. Davy Jones himself approaches the fearful crew and asks, "Do you fear death?", and offered them "an escape". After one frightened sailor answers that he will serve, Jones responds mockingly, his crew then proceeding to laugh. He realises that Will Turner, one who is neither dead nor dying, is on the ship because of Jack Sparrow wanting to settle his debt. Tempted to accept that offer, Jones spotted the overlooking Pearl, he teleports to the ship to confront Sparrow. Despite Jack's excuse that he was only captain for two years until Hector Barbossa's mutiny, Jones refused to listen, stating that he was "a poor captain, but a captain nonetheless", and also reminds him of his constant self-introduction as "Captain Jack Sparrow". Ultimately, the two agreed that Jack will bring Jones one hundred souls to replace his own within the next three days. Keeping Will as a "good-faith payment", Jones removes the black spot from Jack's hand, and allowed Sparrow to go on his way to collect the remaining ninety-nine souls.
As the Dutchman sailed one rainy night, Davy Jones played his organ until there was a commotion on deck. When he went to investigate, Jones discovered Bootstrap Bill trying to save Will Turner, his son, from the Bo'sun's lashing. Making the connection between the two, Jones became highly amused and then forced Bootstrap to have Will punished by Jimmy Legs or by the hands of Bootstrap himself. Knowing that Bootstrap would prefer his hand, Jones watched as Bootstrap Bill begrudgingly give Will five lashes. Later, Will challenges Davy Jones to a game of liar's Dice, the purpose of which was to find out where Jones hides the key to the Dead Man's Chest. Fearing for the safety of his heart, though refusing to show weakness in front of his crew, Jones agreed. The stakes for which they gambled were Will's soul for an eternity of service, against the key to the Chest. Although Will was saved by his losing father, Bootstrap Bill, Jones did give Will a glimpse of where he kept the key to the Chest.
The next morning, Davy Jones realizes that Will Turner stole his key, and had escaped with the aid of his father. Knowing Will was aboard the Edinburgh Trader, Davy Jones forced Bootstrap Bill to watch as he summons the Kraken to destroy the ship carrying Turner. However, he was not discovered among the wreckage, and, sending Bootstrap Bill to the brig, ordered the survivors to be killed. Shortly afterwards, Davy Jones knew that Will had been sent by Jack Sparrow to steal the key, so he ordered to sail for Isla Cruces to retrieve the Chest before Sparrow could get it. However, upon reaching Isla Cruces, Jones spotted some of Jack Sparrow's crew on the deserted island through his spyglass. Since Davy Jones himself couldn't set foot on land for nearly a decade, he ordered Maccus to lead a handful of crewmen to go ashore and seize the Chest in his stead. He ordered the ship to dive before sending his crew ashore; they later returned with the Chest in possession.
As Jack Sparrow's crew returned aboard the Black Pearl, the Flying Dutchman rose out of the water beside them. Sparrow confronted Jones and taunted him with a jar of dirt, until Jones ordered to attack the Pearl. Giving chase, the Pearl outruns the Dutchman. Despite his crew thinking they're giving up, Jones summons the Kraken instead and it attacks the ship. After two attacks, the Black Pearl was finally pulled down into Davy Jones' Locker along with Jack Sparrow as Jones surveys on his spyglass. With the debt settled, Davy Jones attends to the Dead Man's Chest, opening it only to find his heart missing. Shocked and believing, that Jack Sparrow took the heart with him to Davy Jones' Locker, Davy Jones screams "Damn you, Jack Sparrow!" in anguish, instilling fear and pain in his crew.
But it was James Norrington who stole Davy Jones' heart. Norrington gave the heart to Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company, now given the leverage to force Jones and his crew to do his bidding.
By this time, Lord Cutler Beckett has the heart of Davy Jones, thereby having control of the Flying Dutchman and its captain. The Dutchman now roams the seven seas, unstoppable, destroying pirate ships without mercy, under the command of Admiral Norrington. A quest was undertaken to gather the the Brethren Court and, unbeknownst to Jones, saving Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones' Locker. During the quest, Tia Dalma reveals that Davy Jones was charged by Calypso, the sea goddess and his lover, to ferry the dead to the next world; in return, Jones could step upon land for one day every ten years. But Jones abandoned his duty and became a monster.
In his command, Beckett orders Davy Jones to attack pirate ships in the seas. But upon seeing the massacre, Beckett is infuriated when Jones uses his habit of leaving no one alive in the process; and Mercer, Beckett's assistant, names Jones "a loose cannon". By this point, Beckett had Jones kill his "pet", the Kraken. Because he wanted prisoners to interrogate, Beckett had the Dead Man's Chest brought aboard the Dutchman, infuriating Jones, along with armed EITC gunmen to shoot Jones's heart should he disobey. The EITC soldiers would be led by Admiral James Norrington, the very man who presented Jones' heart to Beckett.
Later, the Dutchman was signaled to attack the Empress, the ship of the Pirate Lord Sao Feng; Feng is killed but not before giving Elizabeth Swann the title of captain and Pirate Lord. Davy Jones's crew boarded the vessel and apprehended the crew. When Jones asked the Empress crew about their captain, the crew pointed to Elizabeth. Jones was in disbelief that she was the captain, but Admiral Norrington recognized her, and ordered the ship to be towed. Elizabeth and her new crew are imprisoned in the brig until Admiral Norrington helps them escape the Dutchman. Norrington was mortally wounded by a mentally deranged Bootstrap Bill Turner while freeing Elizabeth's crew. Upon arriving at the scene, Davy Jones asked James Norrington if he feared death. Norrington then speared Jones with his ceremonial sword before dying. Not affected by the attack, Jones said "I take that as a no." Pulling out Norrington's sword, Jones admired the blade and kept it for himself. Jones' crew then attempts mutiny as they kill the EITC soldiers on the Dutchman. However, Mercer still possessed the key to the Chest, and organizes a defense which includes Mullroy and Murtogg aiming a cannon at the Chest, forcing Jones to continue under Beckett's service.
By the time the Flying Dutchman caught up with Cutler Beckett's ship, the Endeavour, Beckett himself had summoned Davy Jones. When Jones walked into Beckett's cabin, he was shocked to see Will Turner once again, this time having tea with Beckett. It was here that Davy Jones learns of the quest to rescue Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl from the Locker as well as the threat of Calypso. Jones claimed that the world was rid of Calypso, but he was rebuked by Turner, who informed him that the Brethren Court intended to release her. Hearing this, Jones divulge that he made an agreement with the First Court to imprison Calypso forever by showing how to bind her in human form. Will then realized that Davy Jones had loved Calypso wondered after which betrayal he cut out his heart. As Jones and Turner came close to exchanging blows, Turner made clear of his terms for leading them to Shipwreck Cove. Jones said that he would only accept if Calypso was murdered. Turner then told Jones that she was imprisoned on the Black Pearl, which has now sailed to Shipwreck Cove, leading Beckett to ask Turner how he intended to lead them there. Turner then pulled out Jack's compass, a mystical item that could lead its user to the thing that they wanted most.
While the Brethren Court convened, Jones reunited with Calypso in her human shape of Tia Dalma, locked in the brig of the Black Pearl. Here, the two former lovers engage in a poignant conversation wherein several things between the two are revealed, such as the reasons for which Calypso did not meet Jones after his first decade of service on the Flying Dutchman and the subsequent mutation of Davy Jones. Tia Dalma touches his chest, and Jones is briefly seen in his original human form, including a long and full beard with multiple braids parallel to his facial tentacles. Tia Dalma says that after her release, she will fully give her love to him and that the Brethren Court will learn "How cruel I can be!" Davy Jones, despite his hatred, seems unable to truly hate Calypso and tells her that his heart will always belong to her, before leaving the Pearl.
The next day, there was a parley on a sandbar in between the Brethren Court's fleet and Beckett's armada, which outnumbered the pirates greatly. Standing on the sandbar was Will Turner, Cutler Beckett, and Davy Jones meeting with Hector Barbossa, Elizabeth Swann and Jack Sparrow. Because he couldn't step on land, Davy Jones stood on a bucket of water. During the parley, Jones brought up the debt which Jack escaped from, which then prompted Elizabeth to offer Jack in exchange for Will. It was agreed and Jack was given over to Jones, who later sent Jack to the Dutchman's brig. The pirates would not surrender, however, and battle was inevitable. Though Jones knew that Calypso would take care of the Brethren when they release her; but the tides had turned when Will Turner reveals to Calypso, at the moment she was freed, that Davy Jones was the one who taught the Brethren Court how to imprison her. As the winds blew, Cutler Beckett ordered to signal Jones to "give no quarter." At that moment, a storm formed spontaneously, and Jones took it as a sign that Calypso had been released, but realized it was for the worse.
As the Flying Dutchman and the Black Pearl sail into battle, a monstrous maelstrom was formed. Despite Mercer's protests, Davy Jones took the helm and steered the Dutchman straight into the swirling vortex, engaging in epic battle. Jones ordered the cannonneers to fire, and for several minutes, the two ships exchanged broadsides. After a stray cannonball hit the quarterdeck, Jones took advantage of Mercer's moment of weakness, killing him with his tentacles and retrieves the key to the Dead Man's Chest. While descending the stairs, however, Davy Jones spotted Jack Sparrow, out of the brig, with the chest in hand. Jones then tried to seize the chest, but ended up engaging Sparrow in an intense sword fight atop the mast of the Dutchman. Jack Sparrow almost beat Davy Jones until his sword was broken by Jones himself. The fight led to the deck, where Will Turner, who boarded the Dutchman, fought his father Bootstrap Bill Turner. Making his way through the battle on the Dutchman to get to the Chest, Jones continued his duel with Sparrow. After knocking Sparrow to the ground by Jones' massive crab arm. By the end of the battle, Sparrow acquires both the Chest and the key while Jones battles Will and Elizabeth.
Overpowering Elizabeth, Davy Jones closed in for the kill before he is subsequently impaled through the back by Will. Undaunted, Jones bends the tip of Will's sword so he cannot remove it and kicks him aside. Looking at the two, Jones realized their relationship before holding Will at sword-point, asking if he fears death. He is then interrupted by Jack asking "Do you?" as he holds Jones' still-beating heart and a sword in the other hand, taunting him in a desperate bid to save Will. Before Jack can stab the heart, Jones thrusts and twists his sword deep into Will's chest, leaving Jack visibly shocked. Suddenly, coming to his senses, Bootstrap Bill jumps upon Jones to fight him and briefly overpowers Jones, but is quickly defeated. Simultaneously, Sparrow helps Turner put his hand on his broken sword and plunge it into Davy Jones' beating heart. Seeing his heart stabbed, Jones staggers before looks up into the sky, in which a blast of lightning is visible, his last word being "Calypso." Davy Jones then tumbles backwards off the ship, and falls into the still raging maelstrom and Will takes his place as captain of The Flying Dutchman.
In 2006, Davy Jones was placed in the ride as a projection in a waterfall found in a treasure-filled cave. On May 2011, to coincide with the release of On Stranger Tides, Blackbeard was added to the ride, portrayed by Ian McShane, as a temporary replacement of Davy Jones. In later refurbishments in 2011, projections of Blackbeard and Davy Jones were used alternatively through the ride at Disneyland; Davy Jones only appeared in Tokyo Disneyland, while Blackbeard only appeared in Walt Disney World.
The Pirates of the Caribbean sequence of World of Color originally ended with one of Davy Jones' head shots from the ride, where he laughs before saying "Aye, tales there be a plenty in this cursed place..."
Behind the scenes
- Davy Jones was portrayed by Bill Nighy in Dead Man's Chest and At World's End. He was voiced by Robin Atkin Downes in the At World's End video game. It is currently unknown who voiced the character in The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction.
- Before officially casting Bill Nighy, producers also met with Jim Broadbent, Iain Glenn and Richard E. Grant for the role, as well as Christopher Walken and Ian McShane (who was later chosen to portray Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides).
- In 2006, to coincide with the release of Dead Man's Chest, Davy Jones was placed in the POTC ride as a projection in a waterfall found in a treasure-filled cave. On May 2011, to coincide with the release of On Stranger Tides, Blackbeard was added to the ride, portrayed by Ian McShane, as a temporary replacement of Davy Jones. In later refurbishments in 2011 to 2012, projections of Blackbeard and Davy Jones were used alternatively through the ride at Disneyland; Davy Jones only appeared in Tokyo Disneyland, while Blackbeard appeared in Walt Disney World. A brief visual of Davy Jones from the ride could be seen in Disney's World of Color.
- In the 2012 attraction The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones is only heard taunting Jack Sparrow from aboard the Flying Dutchman. It is currently unknown who voiced Jones in the attraction.
- Regarding on how Davy Jones would speak, the Pirates producers needed something that would sound different from all the other characters and to give Jones a bit of power and authority. Director Gore Verbinski at one point suggested that Davy Jones should speak Dutch, taking from that Davy Jones' ship was called the "Flying Dutchman", or Norweigan. Though the previous suggestions were all authentic within the story, actor Bill Nighy decided to use a Scottish accent; despite the fact that Nighy's mother grew up in Glasgow, Nighy himself had stated it was because he could do an accent.
- Like the rest of the crew of the Flying Dutchman, except Bootstrap Bill Turner, Davy Jones was completely 3-D Computer-generated, Bill Nighy's performances were recorded using motion capture during actual filming on the set, rather than in a motion capture studio during post-production.
- Jones' face color was inspired by a coffee-stained styrofoam cup which was then scanned into ILM's computers to be used as the skin.
- The computer-generated imagery used to complete Jones was highly praised, and named by Entertainment Weekly as the second most convincing (after King Kong) computer generated film character in film history.  The work on Davy Jones and his crew by Industrial Light & Magic earned Dead Man's Chest the 2006 Academy Award for Visual Effects.
- Many reviewers have in fact mistakenly identified Nighy as wearing prosthetic makeup due to the computer-generated character's photo-realistic appearance.
- In addition to providing the performance for the computer-generated Davy Jones, Bill Nighy also portrayed Jones in his original human form before he cut out his heart and became cursed.
- Jones' human form, while not shown clearly in the At World's End, was shown in the action figure that was released. He wore black boots (ironically no Peg leg), a red pirate coat with golden trimmings and an orange waistcoat.
- In earlier drafts of At World's End, Jones had a sort of friendship with Admiral James Norrington due to their mutual dislike for working for Beckett; which might explain why Jones offered Norrington a place in his crew.
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