Captain Will Turner is the deuteragonist of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Living on Port Royal since childhood after being rescued by Elizabeth Swann, Will established himself as a humble blacksmith, though was burdened by his mysterious past and harbored romantic affections for Swann. His life would take a massive turn when Port Royal fell under a pirate attack, resulting in the kidnapping of Elizabeth. Turner channels his inner pirate and sets sail alongside the infamous Jack Sparrow to rescue his love, and in doing so, ushers in a new age of piracy that would ultimately result in Turner wedding Elizabeth, conceding a child, and becoming the new captain of the Flying Dutchman for ten years.
Born with the name "William Turner", Will was the only child of Bootstrap Bill Turner. According to Jack Sparrow, Will looked just like his father. However, Will's father was absent during his early childhood, so Will was raised by his mother while living in England. Will grew up believing his father to be a respectable merchant seaman. After his mother died, Will went out in search for his father. Prior to this, he received a gift from his father: a gold medallion, which Will thought was just an exotic trinket that his father had picked up on his travels. Unbeknownst to Will, the crew of the Black Pearl has been searching for the gold medallion, which was needed to break an ancient Aztec curse.
As The Curse of the Black Pearl opens, young Will Turner is pulled from the Caribbean Sea drifting amidst the murdered crew and burning wreckage of a British ship attacked by pirates. That day, aboard the H.M.S. Dauntless, he met young Elizabeth Swann, the daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann. Elizabeth takes from the unconscious Will a souvenir a medallion bearing the skull of a pirate’s Jolly Roger hoping to save his life. Will ended up living a life in Port Royal as a blacksmith's apprentice. Over the next eight years, Will and Elizabeth maintain a respectful friendship, although Will must conceal his true romantic feelings for her. Though being a blacksmith provides him a respectable occupation, it makes him unsuitable to be with Elizabeth. Another suitor, Captain (later Commodore) James Norrington, a man socially superior to Will in nearly every way, seems likely to win Elizabeth's hand. Meanwhile, Will has developed into a master craftsman of fine swords, although it is his oft-drunken master who usually claims credit for Will's exquisite workmanship. When Will gave Governor Swann the ceremonial sword he made for Norrington's promotion, Swann believed his master forged it.
Later, after Commodore Norrington's ceremony, Will saw that his soldiers were hunting Jack Sparrow, who hid in the blacksmith's shop. The two confront each other, with Jack having familiarity with Turner before engaging in a sword fight, ending with Sparrow outwitting Will in the duel, Will claims Jack "cheated". Though Will was defenseless against Jack aiming his pistol, Jack himself was knocked unconscious and jailed by Norrington. That night, the Black Pearl attacks the town of Port Royal and kidnaps Elizabeth Swann, despite trying to negotiate with the wily Captain Barbossa. In the wake of Elizabeth's kidnapping, Will Turner joins forces with Jack Sparrow in a gallant attempt to rescue Elizabeth and recapture the Black Pearl. Even though Will hated pirates, he feels justified in resorting to piracy if it is to save Elizabeth. Stranded with no apparent way to pursue Barbossa, Jack and Will have no choice but to "borrow" a vessel. So they jump aboard the Interceptor, the Royal Navy's fastest ship, and made way for open water. To steal the Interceptor, the two had to trick Commodore Norrington by stealing the Dauntless.
As the Interceptor sails, Will talks with Jack Sparrow. Inquiring why he chose to help upon learning his name, Will learns that his father was a pirate named "Bootstrap" Bill Turner. Despite Sparrow's comments that Bootstrap was "a good man," Will remains deeply conflicted over his new-found lineage. In this same conversation, Will spoke of Jack ignoring the "rules of engagement," and would have killed Sparrow in a fair fight. Sparrow retorts, "That's not much incentive for me to fight fair then, is it." He impresses upon the naïve young man that the only rules that matter are, "What a man can do, and what a man can't do." The two sailed to Tortuga, where Jack met with Joshamee Gibbs to recruit a ragtag crew and raced toward the mysterious Isla de Muerta. Unbeknownst to Will, a cursed treasure has doomed Barbossa and his crew to live forever as the undead, the moonlight eerily transforming them into living skeletons. The curse they carry can be broken only if the plundered treasure is restored in total and a blood debt repaid.
Upon arriving at Isla de Muerta, where Barbossa has taken Elizabeth, Will suspects that Jack Sparrow intends to use him to bargain back the Black Pearl. They watched as Elizabeth was forced to take part in a blood ritual. The ritual failed, however, and Barbossa asked Elizabeth if her father was William Turner, and she told him "No". When refusing to reveal who and where Turner's real child was, Barbossa knocked Elizabeth to the ground. Fortunately for Elizabeth, while Barbossa and his crew were arguing, Will Turner arrived in time to flee the island with her and his medallion. Before he rescued Elizabeth, Will knocked Jack out and left him behind. But even though they sailed a fair distance aboard the Interceptor, the Black Pearl was in high pursuit. Although the Interceptor tried to outrun the Pearl, both ships engaged in battle. Ultimately, Barbossa's crew won the battle, having successfully taking back the medallion and sinking the Interceptor. To Jack's dismay, Will reveals he is Bootstrap Bill's child, having his role in lifting the curse, and demanded that Elizabeth be freed and Jack's crew would not be harmed, or he will shoot himself and fall overboard, foiling Barbossa's plan to break the curse. Barbossa agrees but applies another loophole, keeping Jack's crew imprisoned while making Elizabeth and Jack Sparrow walk the plank near the same island Jack had been left on ten years earlier. While Will and the crew are thrown in the brig, Will learns from Pintel that when Barbossa (then first mate aboard the Black Pearl) and the crew mutinied and marooned Sparrow, only Bootstrap defended him and was infuriated by Barbossa's betrayal. Pintel revealed that Bootstrap was tied to a cannon and thrown overboard after it was learned he sent a gold medallion to Will so the crew would remain under an ancient Aztec curse as punishment for betraying Sparrow. To break the curse, the last medallion and Turner's blood must be returned to the Aztec chest.
Now taken as Barbossa's prisoner, Will was to be sacrificed in order to lift the curse. Luckily for Will, both Elizabeth and Jack were able to escape the island and persuade Commodore Norrington to sail for Isla de Muerta to save Will Turner. Norrington sets an ambush while Jack persuades Barbossa to form an alliance; he tells him to delay killing Will or lifting the curse until they have taken Norrington's ship, Dauntless. Having lowered the numbers of Barbossa's forces, Jack and Will engage in a thrilling confrontation with Barbossa and his remaining men. During the battle, Will saw Jack seemingly killed by Barbossa, but Jack is immortal just like the other pirates; he had stolen one of the medallions for himself in case such an encounter ever arose. Meanwhile, Elizabeth escapes her confinement and sneaks aboard the Pearl to free Jack's crew, who leave Jack behind and sailed with the Pearl while Elizabeth heads to the island alone to save Will. Looking over, Elizabeth watched as Barbossa and Jack slashed at each other, nothing more than skeletons in the moonlight. "Whose side is Jack on?" Elizabeth asked, upon seeing that Jack had taken on his old crew's curse. "At the moment?" Will retorted sarcastically. In the end, Sparrow and Will succeed in lifting the curse; Sparrow shoots Barbossa just as Will drops the last two medallions, stained with his and Jack's blood, into the chest. No longer immortal, Barbossa collapses and dies while the now-mortal pirates aboard Dauntless surrender.
In return for his help, Will aided Jack Sparrow during the pirate's execution in Port Royal. Will, believing Sparrow deserves to live, declares his love for Elizabeth before attempting to rescue Sparrow from the gallows. They escape but are quickly caught by Norrington's redcoats. Though Commodore Norrington and Governor Swann are reluctant to arrest Will, they were disappointed in his disrupting Sparrow's execution. Will says his place was between Norrington and Jack. Elizabeth intervenes and declares her place alongside Will. Realizing Elizabeth loves Will, Norrington concedes Elizabeth's hand to him. Jack Sparrow, meanwhile, gave his farewell (telling Will "...Nice hat") and falls off the fort and into the bay just as the Black Pearl sails into view. While Jack is hauled aboard, captain of the Pearl once again, Norrington graciously gave both Will and Elizabeth the best of luck and wished them a happy life before saying he'll give Jack Sparrow one day's head start. As Norrington's men leave, Governor Swann inquired about Elizabeth's decision, as Will was a blacksmith. Knowing she made the right decision, as Will was also a pirate, Elizabeth and Will shared their first kiss.
For the next year, Will and Elizabeth's relationship remained strong, to a point of Will training Elizabeth on how to use a sword, and were on the verge of marriage. However, on their wedding day, Port Royal had unexpected guests: Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company. Arriving at the altar, Elizabeth sees Beckett and his men with Will shackled in irons. Despite the help from Elizabeth's father, Governor Weatherby Swann, both Will and Elizabeth are charged with execution for aiding Jack Sparrow's escape from his death sentence; with their punishment being also death. Former Commodore James Norrington is also implicated, although he has since resigned his commission and disappeared.
While Elizabeth was in prison, Will was brought to Beckett's office, where Beckett offers clemency if Will can find Jack Sparrow and retrieve his compass. Beckett also possesses Letters of Marque with which he intends to recruit Jack as a privateer in the employ of England. Will and Governor Swann later visited Elizabeth's cell, where Will told Elizabeth of Beckett's deal. Despite Governor Swann's mistrust of the situation and of Beckett, a ruthless East India Trading Company agent, Will leaves to start his search for Jack in Tortuga. Ultimately, Will finds the crew captive on a cannibal-inhabited island, where Jack became the chief of the Pelegostos tribe. Unfortunately, finding himself thrust into Jack's misadventures once again, Will was put into a bone-cage along with other members of Jack's crew. They escape and are unexpectedly reunited with Pintel and Ragetti. Jack agrees to give Will his compass if he helps him find a key, claiming it would help save Elizabeth. To find it, Jack had the Black Pearl sail to the Pantano River to seek out the help of flamboyant soothsayer Tia Dalma.
On the way, Will Turner inquires on Jack being afraid of the open ocean. Joshamee Gibbs tells of an even more terrifying threat: Jack owes a debt to the legendary Davy Jones, who captains the ghostly Flying Dutchman. Jack wants to escape his debt or end up in an afterlife in service of Jones, otherwise, he'll be hunted by the Kraken. Upon entering Tia Dalma's shack, the mystic takes a particular interest in Will, proclaiming he has a "touch of destiny" and knew his name. Dalma reveals to Jack's crew that the key goes to the Dead Man's Chest, which contains Davy Jones' heart. Determined to retrieve the key, Will joins Jack's crew in finding the Flying Dutchman, where Will soon finds himself stranded on a wrecked vessel that Jack deviously claimed was Jones' ghost ship. When the real Flying Dutchman suddenly arrives, Jack attempts to barter Will to Davy Jones to repay his blood debt, but Jones refuses, saying one soul is not equal to another. In the end, Jones keeps Will as a "good faith" payment and demands an additional 99 souls; otherwise, Jack would be hunted by the Kraken.
Tricked into squaring Jack's debt, Will Turner now serves on board Jones' ghost ship, the Flying Dutchman. Now an indentured sailor aboard the Dutchman, Will Turner met up with his long-lost father, "Bootstrap" Bill Turner. Learning Will made no pledge to serve Jones, Bootstrap warned him to escape the ship. But Will first needed to find the key Tia Dalma spoke of, which he learned is in Jones' possession. Watching the Dutchman crew play Liar's Dice, Will challenges Davy Jones to a game, betting his soul against the key to the Dead Man's Chest. Bootstrap joins in, and purposely loses to save his son from eternal enslavement. Though Will's plan was to not win or lose the game, but to find out where the key was kept. Will steals the key from Jones while he sleeps in his cabin and, with Bootstrap's help, escapes in a longboat. Before leaving, Will promises to use the heart to free his father. The Edinburgh Trader rescues Will, but Jones' summons the Kraken to destroy it. Realizing that Jack is after the Dead Man's Chest, Jones had the Dutchman sail to Isla Cruces where the chest is buried. Unbeknownst to Jones, Will survives and stows back aboard the Dutchman towards their destination.
On Isla Cruces, all parties arrive and Will Turner reunites with Elizabeth Swann, who escaped jail and, along with James Norrington, joined Jack aboard the Black Pearl. Will and Elizabeth kiss since they have found each other at last. Key in hand, Will intends to stab the heart to kill Davy Jones. But he finds himself at the tip of Jack's sword and caught in a three-way duel between himself, Sparrow, and Norrington, all claiming the heart to pursue their own goals. The fight went across the island, where Will had been able to grab the key twice, though Jack's crew also faced members of Davy Jones' crew. In the chaos, Jack unlocks the chest, removes the heart, and hides it in the jar of dirt, only for Norrington to secretly remove it and then pretends to sacrifice himself by drawing the Dutchman crew off with the chest, which he gives to them. Before they escaped, Jack knocked Will out with an oar.
Aboard the Black Pearl, Jack's crew see the Flying Dutchman appear, confronted by Davy Jones' crew. But to Will's amazement, the Black Pearl is able to outrun it. Realizing they had the upper hand in speed, Will believed they could take the Dutchman, but Jack preferred to negotiate. However, Davy Jones summons the Kraken once again to take down the Black Pearl. Drawing on his previous experience fighting the sea monster, Will leads the crew in temporarily fending it off. Using a net full of explosives, the crew gained enough time to abandon ship. When Elizabeth realizes that Sparrow is the Kraken's sole prey, she distracts him with a passionate kiss while handcuffing him to the mast. Unknown to her, Will witnesses this and believes Elizabeth now loves Sparrow. From the longboat, Will and the crew watch the Kraken drag the Black Pearl and its captain to Davy Jones' Locker.
To seek refuge, Jack's crew rowed the longboat to Tia Dalma's shack. As they mourn their captain, Will is particularly despondent, though not only about Elizabeth and Jack. Tia understands his despair with the Black Pearl Will could defeat Davy Jones and free his father. Gibbs proposes a toast to their fallen captain, to which Will glumly raises his mug. Seeing Elizabeth's teary face and believing she loves Sparrow, he nobly tries comforting her. "If there was anything that could be done to bring him back..." Tia Dalma interrupts, asking would they all be willing to find Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl. Will was among the pirates who said "aye". Tia Dalma says that to travel to World's End, the crew will need a captain who knows those waters. To everyone's astonishment, a resurrected Captain Barbossa descends the stairs.
By this time, Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Company has control of the Flying Dutchman and Davy Jones, thereby taking over the seas. Will Turner joins Elizabeth Swann and Captain Barbossa to gather the Brethren Court, their only hope to defeat Beckett. But one of the Lords is missing Captain Jack Sparrow, now trapped in Davy Jones' Locker, thanks to his encounter with the Kraken. They go on a rescue mission, but must first obtain a map leading to the Locker, and a ship, that will take them off to World's End. Each character also has a self-serving motive for rescue Jack, and, to succeed, must maintain an uneasy alliance despite distrusting one another. For Elizabeth, it is an opportunity to alleviate her guilt for sacrificing Jack to the Kraken to spare herself and the crew.
Will's journey throughout is his concern for his father, Bootstrap Bill. He feels he needs to rescue his father from the fate that he's been destined to live on the Flying Dutchman with Davy Jones and his crew. Now Will's objective is to reconnect with his father and, at the same time, somehow maintain his relationship with Elizabeth. By the time At World's End begins, Will has embraced the Pirate's Code to pursue his own purposes. A promise has been made that he will save his father's life, and Will will try and do everything he can to honor that vow, not forgetting that he still loves Elizabeth, and wants to get her back into his life.
To acquire the necessities, Barbossa was to meet with Sao Feng, the Pirate Lord of the Singapore, while Will attempted to steal the navigational charts but was captured. Ostensibly, the group's mission is to rescue Jack Sparrow from the Locker, but, like the others, Will has a secret motive: to retrieve the Black Pearl and free his father from Davy Jones. When Mercer and the East India Trading Company soldiers attack Sao Feng's bathhouse, Feng strikes a secret bargain with Will—Jack Sparrow in exchange for the Black Pearl. Will and the others journey to World's End on Feng's ship, sailing over an enormous waterfall into Jones' Locker. There, they find a delusional Jack aboard the Pearl. After some convincing, Jack sets sail with them, although he and Barbossa dispute who is captain. It was at this point Will learns that Elizabeth left Jack to the Kraken. And though he now understands why Elizabeth has been so distant and despondent, she believes that her unrelenting guilt over causing Sparrow's doom is her burden alone to bear. Will tells her their relationship will not endure if they lack trust in one another and make their choices alone.
However, after returning to the living world, Will's bargain with Sao Feng is exposed. When Elizabeth insists he explain why he withheld this, Will retorts that it was his "burden to bear", much to Elizabeth's anger. But Sao Feng betrays Will in lieu of another bargain with Lord Cutler Beckett, though Beckett double-crosses him. Feng then offers Barbossa the Black Pearl in exchange for Elizabeth, who he mistakenly believes is the sea goddess, Calypso. Ignoring Will, who didn't want Elizabeth involved, Elizabeth agrees to Feng's terms in exchange for the crew's safety. After escaping from Beckett's flagship, the Endeavour, Jack orders the crew to send Will to the brig. But Will soon escapes and plotted to leave a trail for Lord Beckett to follow to Shipwreck Cove, the Brethren Court stronghold. Jack catches him, but surprisingly hands Will his magical compass before pushing him overboard, apparently intending for Beckett to find them. Clinging to a floating barrel, Will drifts helplessly towards the Endeavour.
While having tea with Cutler Beckett, Will Turner bargained with both Beckett and Davy Jones: in exchange for Will's help, Jones must free his father and Beckett must guarantee both Will and Elizabeth's safety. During the parley, Will is reunited with Elizabeth, who was now captain and Pirate Lord (by the mortally wounded Sao Feng); she was also voted the Pirate King. Elizabeth also tells Will that having been aboard the Dutchman, she now understands his burden, but fears that his cause (saving his father) is lost, though Will disagrees. In the end, Elizabeth swaps Jack for Will after realizing Jack and Will plan to have Jack stab the heart.
Barbossa steals all nine "piece of eight" and uses them to free Calypso. Will discloses that Davy Jones betrayed her to the Brethren Court. After Calypso was freed, which caused the pirates to lose hope, Elizabeth delivers a speech, refusing to surrender or retreat. She convinces the pirates to make one last stand in battle. The Black Pearl then engages the Flying Dutchman in a titanic showdown around a maelstrom. During the climatic sea battle, Will proposes to Elizabeth, claiming it may be their only chance to wed; Realizing this, Elizabeth orders Barbossa to marry them; they exchange vows amid the fighting and share their kiss. As the fight continues, Will board the Dutchman, only to fight against his father Bootstrap Bill. Will defeats his father but says he wasn't going to kill him because of his promise. Simultaneously, Davy Jones duels with Elizabeth, and before Jones could deliver the final blow, Will rushes to her defense, only to lose his weapon in Davy Jones' unharmed body. Jones then mortally wounds Will with, ironically, the same sword Will crafted for Commodore Norrington over a year prior. Jack, who now possesses Jones' heart, sacrifices his bid for immortality to instead save Will, guiding Will's hand to stab the heart, killing Jones. Bootstrap Bill Turner, having regained his senses, carves out his dead son's heart and places it in the Dead Man's Chest before the Dutchman dives into the abyss.
Before the Black Pearl could face Beckett's ship, the Endeavour, the Flying Dutchman rises from the depths with Will Turner at the wheel and the crew reverted to human form. Now under Will's command, the Dutchman sails against the Endeavour and the combined firepower of the Pearl and the Dutchman destroys the Endeavour, killing Cutler Beckett and causing the remaining armada to retreat. However, while the battle was won, Will was bound to ferry souls to the next world. Despite Will freeing his father, Bootstrap Bill chooses to remain with his son. But Elizabeth, a mortal, is unable to accompany Will. Allowed one day ashore before beginning his ten-year duty aboard the Dutchman, Will spends his one day with Elizabeth on an island where they consummate their marriage. Before returning to the Dutchman at sunset, he entrusts the Dead Man's Chest containing his beating heart to her care. The Flying Dutchman sailed into the horizon and disappeared in a green flash.
Ten years later, Elizabeth had already been raising a son, who was named after his father. Young Henry Turner was accompanied by 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 on the Dutchman because Elizabeth remained faithful to him, while others say that he must sail the seas for all eternity, it's revealed that the latter is, in fact, true as seen in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales as Will is still bound to the Dutchman.
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Years after their meeting, Will meets his son Henry again, the child wants him to come home as he is not satisfied with only seeing him for a decade. Will tried to get his son to give up on him but the latter refused stating he has learned the Trident of Poseidon can free him but Will disregards it as a myth. He also forbids Henry from finding Jack Sparrow and gives him his necklace as he parts ways with his son.
Will is later freed of his curse by Jack and Henry, who destroyed the trident of Poseidon. He returns home where he reconnects with his son before sharing a happy reunion with Elizabeth and they share a kiss.
After reuniting with his family, Will now lives together with Elizabeth, Henry, and Henry's girlfriend Carina Barbossa. Due to the post-credits scene, which included an apparent appearance by Davy Jones, it has been speculated that Jones is once again the captain of the Dutchman.
Video gamesKingdom Hearts II when he first approaches Sora after the town is cleared of Heartless and tells about the kidnapping of Elizabeth Swan. Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Will approach Captain Jack Sparrow and ask him to sail them all to the Isle De Muerta, where the pirates have taken Elizabeth. After arriving Jack and Will sneak in the cave but Jack is hit in the head with an oar and rendered unconscious by Will. Will gets Elizabeth away from the pirates and takes her back to the boat where Sora and company are waiting they then set sail for Port Royal, leaving Jack behind.
While mending Elizabeth's wound Will learns that the pirates need his blood, not Elizabeths, to lift the curse after Elizabeth retells the story of how she found Will. The Black Pearl catches up to the Interceptor and in order to save his friends, Will threatens that he will commit suicide if Barbossa doesn't let his friends go. Barbossa agrees but ties everyone up in the captains quarters aboard the Interceptor and places explosives and heartless on the deck. Jack sets them all free with his hidden knife and with Sora's help, manages to save the ship and give chase to the pirates. On the island Sora, Jack, Donald, and Goofy defeat Barbossa and Will lifts the curse so Jack can finally kill him. Barbossa's crew members are either killed or thrown in jail and Jack, Sora, Donald, Goofy, Will, and Elizabeth sail back to Port Royal and Will and Elizabeth share an embrace.
Prior to the trio's re-visit, Port Royal is once again haunted by cursed pirates (and Nobodies). Will gathers volunteers and they sail to the Isle De Muerte to check on the treasure. Upon arriving Will's crew is wiped out by a mysterious man in a black coat and his cohorts. Will, almost dead, makes it back to the boat and attempts to sail back home.
Sora, Donald, and Goofy arrive and Elizabeth asks them to sail with her to go find Will. After Jack tags along, they find Will's ship floating in the middle of the ocean and Will unconscious. After Will explains what happened Luxord appears and summons the Grim Reaper which blows Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Jack to another ship. After the ship sinks, they end up in the ship graveyard where they are picked up by Will and Elizabeth. They all sail around the world's locations to locate the medallions Luxord stole.
After Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Jack defeat the Grim Reaper, Will and the others throw the chest with the cursed gold into the sea, thereby lifting the curse and assuring it will never be brought about again.
Will Turner will reappear in Kingdom Hearts III.
- ↑ 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)