The Brethren Court is comprised of nine pirate lords from different seas. There have been four Brethren Court meetings over the centuries. The First Court met when they mutually agreed that the goddess, Calypso, should no longer rule the seas and oceans. With help from Davy Jones, her lover, they entrapped her within human form. Many years later, the Fourth Court meets to address Lord Cutler Beckett's assault on piracy. When Captain Barbossa proposes releasing Calypso to help them fight Beckett and the East India Trading Company, the other pirate lords initially refuse, fearing Calypso's vengeful wrath.
Each pirate lord always carries a "piece of eight" insignia. The "pieces" are actually various small trinkets, used as the original court members were so poor that they lacked any money among them, Gibbs sarcastically commenting that "the nine pieces of whatever we happened to have in our pockets at the time" wasn't considered "piratey" enough. Each "piece of eight" must be presented to verify a pirate lord's identity, and it is handed down to that lord's successor when he or she dies.
The Fourth Court includes main characters Jack Sparrow, Hector Barbossa, and Elizabeth Swann (Sao Feng's successor), as well as Chinese Mistress Ching, Indian Sri Sumbhajee Angria, African Gentleman Jocard, Turkish Ammand the Corsair, Spanish Eduardo Villanueva, and French Capitaine Chevalle. Jack Sparrow's father, Captain Teague, is a former pirate lord, although he is now the keeper of the Pirata Codex and the prison dog which supposedly escaped Pelegosto by using sea turtles, mirroring Jack's lie about escaping the deserted island. After every other lord votes for him or herself to be the "pirate king", Jack votes for Elizabeth, giving her the plurality.
Although they don't make an appearance physically in Kingdom Hearts III, the events there still follow At World's End and were mentioned several times during the story events of the world.
In the opening cavern sequence of this ride, the skeletal corpses of the Brethren Court members can be seen sitting at a table. It is unknown how they died or what they were doing on Treasure Cove which lead to their apparent deaths. Only six pirate of the nine lords appear here, namely: Captain Teague, Capitaine Chevalle, Ammand, Eduardo Villanueva and two unidentified members.
- The Brethren Court is based on the historic Brethren of the Coast, an alliance of pirates in the Caribbean which was active during the latter-end of the 17th century. Unlike in the film, the brethren was limited to the Caribbean and rather than having equal ranking members they were all lead by Sir Henry Morgan, a former buccaneer who had become the deeply corrupt governor of Port Royal, Jamaica. The group stopped existing by the time of the Golden Age of Piracy, its closest counterpart being the Flying Gang of Nassau.
- In original scripts and concept-art, the Brethren Court would have included famous pirates such as Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, John "Calico Jack" Rackham and Captain Hook. In the final film the only character based on a famous pirate is Mistress Ching who is inspired by the historic Madame Ching.
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