The HMS Dauntless was the flagship of the British Royal Navy forces stationed at Port Royal in the Caribbean. She was captained by Commodore James Norrington and served as the Navy's main show of force against piracy in the Caribbean.
Crossing from England
The earliest known use of the Dauntless was that it carried Governor Weatherby Swann and his daughter, Elizabeth Swann, from England to Port Royal eight years prior to Norrington's promotion to the rank of Commodore. At this time, he served aboard as a Lieutenant, with Joshamee Gibbs as one of his crew. It was the Dauntless that happened upon the wreck of a merchant vessel destroyed by the Black Pearl, and its crew saved the only survivor; a young Will Turner floating on debris from the ship, who accompanied those onboard to Port Royal.
Based out of Port Royal, the HMS Dauntless became known as the power in the Caribbean over the next eight years, presumably under the command of now-Captain Norrington, and was the scourge of many a pirate organization. Even the cursed crew of the Black Pearl showed fear at the vessel's name, such was its reputation. However, after Norrington was promoted as Commodore, the Black Pearl launched an attack on Port Royal to secure the last of 882 Aztec coins hoarded at Isla de Muerta. The Dauntless apparently did not participate in the battle, since Commodore Norrington himself remained at Fort Charles during the siege.
Temporarily taking the Dauntless
The Dauntless remained anchored at the Port Royal harbor when not in use, and it was from here that Captain Jack Sparrow and his accomplice, Will Turner, attempted to commandeer it following the raid. The pirates boarded and took control of the vessel, forcing Lieutenant Gillette and his men into the longboats, but the two were unable to steer the ship into open water by themselves. The Commodore's men caught up in the HMS Interceptor and boarded the Dauntless, only to find the ship deserted. Stealing the Dauntless had not been Sparrow's intention at all—as he proved by brazenly commandeering the Interceptor after disabling the flagship's rudder chain to ensure they were not followed, causing her to crash into Gillette's longboat.
Isla de Muerta
The rudder chain was ultimately repaired, in time for Norrington to launch a search for Elizabeth Swann, who had been captured during the Pearl's earlier attack on Port Royal. Her smoke signal was spotted by the Dauntless on a desert island, and both Swann and Sparrow—marooned along with the girl by Hector Barbossa—were brought aboard. Sparrow convinced Norrington to pursue and ambush the Black Pearl at Isla de Muerta, but the ambush soon turned against the Navy marines when Barbossa's cursed pirates infiltrated the Dauntless and engaged its crew in combat. Norrington soon joined the fight, and once Will Turner lifted the pirates' curse, the marines recaptured their vessel and placed the surviving pirates under arrest.
Pursuit of the Black Pearl
The Dauntless returned to Port Royal to imprison the pirates and convey Jack Sparrow to his execution in Fort Charles, though the pirate again escaped Norrington's clutches. The Commodore, overwhelmed by recent events, forestalled pursuit for a day, but soon continued his chase of the new captain of the Black Pearl.
During one of his later pursuits, Norrington almost had caught the Black Pearl off the coast of Tripoli, until they came across a hurricane. Norrington and most of the crew survived, but the Dauntless was destroyed.
Behind the Scenes
- The Dauntless was portrayed by a floating set build atop of barges. These sets were re-used to portray the HMS Endeavour. Therefore the Dauntless seems to be a sistership of the Endeavour.
- In the non-canonical Disney Adventures comic book The Buccaneer's Heart!, the Cursed crew, led by Bo'sun, commandeers the Dauntless with Weatherby and Elizabeth Swann on board. Fortunately, the combined efforts of Jack Sparrow's crew and the spirits of the Buccaneer's Heart drove the pirates off, and the Dauntless was returned to Norrington.
- "Bad luck to have a woman on board, too. Even a miniature one." - Joshamee Gibbs concerning Elizabeth Swann
- "It's a fine goal to be sure, but it seems to me that a, a ship like that makes this one here a bit superfluous, really." "Oh, the Dauntless is the power in these waters, true enough, but there's no ship as can match the Interceptor for speed." - Captain Jack Sparrow and Murtogg</p>
- "Well, because...because the HMS Dauntless, pride of the Royal Navy, is floating just offshore, waiting for you." - Jack Sparrow to Hector Barbossa