The Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship that appears in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean series. Based on the legend of the same name, the Dutchman is first introduced in Dead Man's Chest, and has appeared in the sequel At World's End. Among other appearances, the Dutchman appears in The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios, as well as several books and video games.
While the origin of the Flying Dutchman is unknown, the ship was most notably captained by Davy Jones, who was saddled with the responsibility of ferrying the souls of deceased sailors to the Land of the Dead, until he forsaken by the sea goddess Calypso. The condemned captain of the Dutchman preyed 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. Upon Jones' death, the Flying Dutchman received a new captain, Will Turner, who set about fulfilling the duty for which the ship was originally designed for.
Design and appearance
The look of the Flying Dutchman was inspired by the 17th century Dutch fluyt vessels and the Vasa, a real-life Swedish warship which sank in 1628. The Flying Dutchman has sails that make it easier to sail against the wind. However, it was unable to maintain pursuit of the Black Pearl, which had an edge with a following wind, making it the only ship to outrun the Dutchman. The ship is heavily encrusted with marine life that reflects its strong ties to the sea, apparently a result of a curse that turned the crew into monsters as when broken with Davy Jones' death, the ship itself loses all of the marine life attached to it and reverts to its original form like its crew does.
In ship-to-ship combat, the Flying Dutchman is armed with port and starboard guns. The gunports on the gun deck are in the shape of faces, each one with a unique facial expression, with the ports appearing at the mouths. On the bow, she mounts a pair of chasers, each in the form of a triple-barreled culverin, giving her an incredible range during a chase. This enables the Flying Dutchman to continually fire at ships it is pursuing. However, it was unable to maintain pursuit of the Black Pearl, which had an edge with a following wind, while the Dutchman was said to be faster with a headwind. In such cases, Jones' crew called upon the Dutchman's most potent and powerful weapon. In addition to her overwhelming firepower, the Flying Dutchman also has a massive Capstan Hammer used to summon the Kraken, a beast that does Davy Jones' bidding. The Kraken can also be summoned by the Black Spot, which any member of Jones' crew can deliver the mark to a victim.
The prow of the Flying Dutchman resembled a fanged mouth, and featured a carved figurehead resembling the grim reaper. In addition, the vessel's hull appears to be constructed entirely from driftwood, with every surface encrusted with barnacles and other aquatic flora and fauna from the sea bed. Shortly after Jones' death, the driftwood fell away revealing that underneath it was actually made of gold and bronze and presumably got its barnacled appearance due to the curse that had turned Jones' crew into sea creatures. The curse was now broken when Will Turner became the new captain.
Command of the Flying Dutchman was originally given to Davy Jones by the sea goddess Calypso. Because the two were in love, Davy Jones agreed to an immortal life, with a single day out of every decade to spend with his love. In exchange, Jones would ferry the souls of those who died at sea into the afterlife, as well as saving those who were shipwrecked and drowning. The dimension these souls passed through became known as Davy Jones' Locker, and the Flying Dutchman could pass through it accompanied by the green flash. However, Jones was forsaken by Calypso, who did not meet him on his first day ashore. Both heartbroken and enraged, Davy Jones allied himself with the First Brethren Court and bound Calypso into human form. After this betrayal, he carved out his heart, thereby leaving a geis cast upon it and the Dutchman. Whoever stabs Jones' heart, theirs must take its place and captain the Flying Dutchman, as the ship must have a captain.
The heartbroken and bitter Davy Jones abandoned his duty and returned to the seven seas. As a result, the Flying Dutchman itself became cursed, just as Jones was. While its crew slowly transformed into amalgamations of sea creatures, the Dutchman itself became crusted with barnacles, sea life, and the bodies of those crew members who stayed in her service too long. To keep his fate intact, Davy Jones locked his heart in a chest on Isla Cruces, hiding it from the world.
While tracking down the Flying Dutchman, Jack Sparrow tricked Will Turner into believing a scuttled ship (recently destroyed by the Kraken) was the Dutchman. Emitting terror and potency to those unfortunate enough to cross its path, the Flying Dutchman first appears when it rises from the sea to claim its victims' souls following a Kraken attack. Jones offered the survivors a choice: either embrace death or postpone the judgment and serve for one hundred years aboard the Flying Dutchman. Upon speaking with Will Turner from the ship wreckage, Davy Jones faced Jack Sparrow aboard the Black Pearl, demanding to settle his overdue debt of being captain for 13 years. In the end, the two agree that Jones can have 100 souls in exchange for Jack Sparrow's; keeping Will Turner as "a good faith payment", Jack only needed to find 99 more. Having sealed the deal, Davy Jones and his crew returned to the Dutchman.
As the Flying Dutchman sailed through a storm, Davy Jones spent his time in his enormous cabin, endlessly playing a haunting tune on his massive coral-encrusted pipe organ. Jones would use the tentacles of his beard to play for hours, tortured by a painting of the sea and a small statue of his lost love Calypso just above the keyboard. Simultaneously, Will Turner is reunited with his father, "Bootstrap Bill" Turner, who is an indentured sailor aboard the Dutchman. Shipboard life is harsh, and the crew is often whipped by the cruel bo'sun, Jimmy Legs. Will is also flogged, although it is his father who delivers the lash to spare his son from the bo'sun's sadistic hand. Boostrap and Will learn about the Dead Man's Chest from Wyvern, who had already became a part of the ship. After a game of Liar's Dice, Bootstrap Bill helps Will steal the key to the chest and escape the Dutchman. However, upon discovering Bootstrap's treachery, Jones summons the Kraken to destroy the Edinburgh Trader, a merchant ship Will climbed aboard on. As the ship sunk, Will sneaks back aboard the Dutchman as a stowaway, making his way to Isla Cruces where Jones' heart is buried in the Dead Man's Chest.
After arriving to Isla Cruces, Davy Jones discovers Jack Sparrow's crew have already stepped ashore. Jones ordered the Dutchman to sail down underwater, where several of his crewmen went to retrieve the Dead Man's Chest at his stead. The crewmen later returned aboard, having successfully retrieved the chest. When Jack's crew returned aboard the Black Pearl, the Dutchman rose out of the sea right next to them and started attacking. The attack led to a chase, in which the Pearl outruns the Dutchman. With the Pearl out of range, Davy Jones once again unleashes the Kraken, which drags the Pearl and Jack Sparrow to the depths. After witnessing the Kraken's attack, worry touches Davy Jones' eyes. With mounting concern, Jones went to look at the Dead Man's Chest, only to an empty chest -- his heart was gone. Enraged, Jones thought it was Jack Sparrow's doing and screamed 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 of the East India Trading Company has the heart of Davy Jones, thereby having gained control of the Flying Dutchman and its malevolent captain, Davy Jones. The Dutchman now roams the seven seas, unstoppable, destroying pirate ships without mercy, under the command of Admiral Norrington. Beckett's aide, Mercer, said that nothing can hold against the EITC armada, not with the Flying Dutchman at the lead. However, a quest was undertaken to gather the the Brethren Court and, unbeknownst to Jones, saving Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones' Locker. An evil on the seas that even the most staunch and bloodthirsty pirates have come to fear, the Flying Dutchman first appears rising from the depths, mercilessly destroying pirate ships with its cannons. However, this irritates Lord Beckett who wants prisoners to interrogate about the Brethren. To ensure Jones does as he is ordered to, Beckett places Admiral James Norrington and a squad of EITC marines aboard the Dutchman, where they were to guard the Dead Man's Chest, as to remind Jones he is under their control. The Dutchman accompanies Lord Beckett's flagship, the HMS Endeavour on its mission to eradicate piracy.
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. After the attack, Davy Jones's crew put Elizabeth and the Empress crew into the brig while the Empress was towed by the Dutchman. Elizabeth's crew managed to escape the Dutchman with Admiral Norrington's help, although he is killed by a deranged Bootstrap Bill Turner. Upon seeing the dead admiral, Jones's crew attempt a mutiny against the East India Trading Company marines stationed on board the Dutchman. However, upon reaching the captain's cabin, some of Beckett's soldiers organized a defense, which includes Mullroy and Murtogg aiming a cannon at the Dead Man's Chest. Holding the key to the chest, Mercer proclaims that the Dutchman is under his command.
By the time the Flying Dutchman caught up with the Endeavour, Davy Jones discovered that Will Turner allied himself with Beckett. It was here that Jones learns of the quest to rescue Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl from the Locker as well as the intention of freeing Calypso. With Turner's help, the Dutchman and Beckett's armada were able to locate Shipwreck Cove, the meeting place of the Brethren Court; and from there, where Davy Jones met with Calypso aboard the Black Pearl. The next day, there was a parley on a sandbar in between the Brethren and Beckett's armada, with the Dutchman at the lead, which outnumbered the pirates greatly. In the end, because of Jack Sparrow's debt, Will left with the pirates while Jack was handed over to Jones. While Jack was sent to the brig, there was no surrender, however, and battle was inevitable. Though Davy Jones knew 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 Davy Jones to "give no quarter." At that moment, a storm formed spontaneously, and Davy Jones took it as a sign that Calypso had been released, but realized it was for the worse. The Flying Dutchman leads Beckett's armada in battle against the Brethren Court, led by the Black Pearl. The Dutchman and the Pearl engage in battle while entering a monstrous maelstrom created by Calypso. Despite Mercer's protests, Davy Jones took the helm and steered the Dutchman straight into the swirling vortex. The Dutchman initially had the advantage of chase guns, but soon came to a point of exchanging broadsides as the two ships sail further into the waters. During the first part of the battle, Jack Sparrow was able to escape the Dutchman's brig and retrieve the Dead Man's Chest from Mullroy and Murtogg. However, Jack was accosted by Davy Jones, who took the key from Mercer after killing him. Both captains engaged in single combat aboard the Dutchman while the crews began to board the other ship. The fight for the chest led to the deck, where Will Turner, who boarded the Dutchman, fought his now mentally-ill father Bootstrap Bill Turner. Making his way through the battle on the Dutchman to get to the Chest, Jones continued his duel with Sparrow. By the end of the battle, Sparrow acquires both the Chest and the key while Jones battles Will and Elizabeth. By the end of the battle, Davy Jones is killed when, aided by Sparrow, the mortally-wounded Will Turner stabs Jones' heart, and Jones falls off the Dutchman into the maelstrom. Upon Davy Jones' death, the Flying Dutchman crew gathered around the now-dead Will Turner, where Bootstrap Bill says "The Dutchman must have a captain" before carving out his heart. Simultaneously, Jack and Elizabeth escape the Dutchman, now being sucked into the maelstrom.
As the Black Pearl turned to face the Endeavour, the Flying Dutchman suddenly rose back out of the depths. There was tension at first, as it was unclear whether the Dutchman had really changed hands. However, the Dutchman re-emerged without any sea life, and the crew had reverted to their human forms. At the helm, Will Turner assumed command as the new captain of the Dutchman. Joining forces, the Dutchman and the Pearl face off against the Endeavour. Stunned by this unexpected alliance, Lord Beckett is unable to respond, and his crew abandons ship just as the Endeavour is being destroyed and Beckett is killed.
In the aftermath of the battle, Will freed Bootstrap Bill from his servitude aboard the Dutchman, but Bootstrap decides to remain with his son and took the helm. Bootstrap then told Will that the Dutchman has a purpose again; because Will Turner assumed his place as captain, he must ferry the souls of drowned seamen into the afterlife, as Jones had before him. Until then, Will had only one day ashore, before spending 10 years at sea. But as Elizabeth will not survive the journeys where the ship must travel, she is not able to join the crew. And so Will and Elizabeth spend their one day together before Will leaves aboard the Dutchman. Before setting out to fulfill his destiny as the captain of the Dutchman, Will left the Dead Man's Chest, containing his disembodied heart, in Elizabeth's care.
Ten years later, Elizabeth had already been raising a son, who named after his father. Young Will Turner was accompanied his mother to wait for his father's return ten years after his departure. As the sun sets, the Flying Dutchman appeared with a green flash, signifying Will's return from the Land of the Dead.
What happens afterwards is controversial. Some say that Will was freed from the service because Elizabeth remained faithful to him, while others say that he is bound to the Dutchman and must sail the seas for all eternity, the latter is revealed to be true in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales as Will is still bound to the ship.
The Flying Dutchman appears under Davy Jones' command.
Behind the scenes
- The Dutchman is based on the famous maritime ghost ship of the same name which, according to legend, is doomed to sail the seas for all eternity because its captain foolishly cursed God after sailing into a horrible storm off of the Cape of Good Hope, vowing to round that cape even if it took him until Judgment Day.
- The look of the ship was inspired by the 17th century Dutch flutes and the Vasa, a Swedish warship which sank in 1628.
- The Flying Dutchman was first mentioned in the 2003 video game, Pirates of the Caribbean. One of the first dialogues was "Not even the Flying Dutchman would have survived that storm!"
- The Dutchman appears in the 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides mobile game wherein the players can see it before they main menu pops-up.
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- ↑ The writers and director of the films state that Will could be freed of the Dutchman upon the end of his ten year service as captain if Elizabeth remained faithful to him, which she did. But a leaflet inside the At World's End DVD says that he is still bound to the Dutchman (it should be noted that this leaflet was not written by either the writers or director of the film).
- ↑ Wordplay Forums: Pretty close ... posted by Terry Rossio (May 23, 2007)