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The following is a list of fictional canonical objects in the Pirates of the Caribbean films . Created and produced by the producers of the trilogy, the objects often play a relevant key plot or symbolic role either in one, two or all of the films. A major reference tool in this article is the official canonical Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide.[1]

Aztec MedallionEdit

The fictional Aztec Medallion played a key role in The Curse of the Black Pearl[2].Previous to the Pirates films, the gold was a gift from the Aztec civilization to Spanish conquistador, Hernando Cortés: "blood money paid to stem the slaughter he wreaked upon them with his armies," told character Barbossa to Elizabeth Swann.[1][2] The gold did not satisfy him, but merely filled him with greed.[1][2] So "heathen gods" placed a curse on the gold which inflicted Barbossa and his crew when they found it: those who remove a piece from the chest shall be damned.[1][2] To punish the crew for mutinying against Jack Sparrow, Bill Turner sent the final piece - the Aztec medallion - to his son Will.[2]

In film one, Elizabeth spots Will (floating overboard) from the Dauntless. The ship Will was onboard was taken as being attacked by pirates.[2] After noticing the medallion on his neck, Elizabeth removes it from Will out of dread that he may be convicted as a pirate. Eight years later she falls into the water (unable to breathe because of her corset) and the medallion releases a blast. That night, the Black Pearl arrives at Port Royal and attacks. Elizabeth is taken hostage after she attempted to extort Barbossa with the medallion he and his crew search for. She lies that she is "Ms. Turner". At Isla de Muerta, Barbossa discovers that Elizabeth's blood needed to lift the curse is not useful as she does not carry Bill Turner's blood.[2] Will rescues her and after the Black Pearl fights with the Interceptor, Will declares himself son of Turner. He is returned to Isla de Muerta an after a series of events, the medallion is return with his bloodstains. The curse is lifted, the crew is arrested by the Royal Navy, and Barbossa dies from a gun wound. In s scene after the credits, Jack the Monkey takes a piece of gold and becomes skeletal in the moonlight.[2]

Beckett's branding ironEdit

Cutler Beckett's branding iron is elaborately designed and it "allows him to inflict a special kind of punishment."[1] With it, he scars a P onto captured pirates' forearm. The branding iron is only seen in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest when Beckett looks at its red-hot P-shaped tip, and proclaims that he and Jack Sparrow have "left our marks on the other."[3] His mark on Jack was the P-shape he branded on him previous to the films. Jack led to freedom a cargo of slaves under the control of the East India Trading Co. His actions enraged Beckett, and so he sunk the Black Pearl (then called the Wicked Wench) and branded Jack a pirate. The P-shaped scar is first seen in The Curse of the Black Pearl when James Norrington lifts Jack's right-arm sleeve.[2] And it is seen again in Dead Man's Chest after the scene with Beckett and the iron.[3]

Dead Man's ChestEdit

The Dead Man's Chest made its first appearance in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and reappeared in At World's End. It was small and bore carvings resembling tentacles. Its lock resembled a heart when locked and a crab when unlocked, like the love lockets of Davy Jones and Calypso. Its key had a unique double stem design.[1] Jack Sparrow found a drawing of the key in a Turkish prison.[3]

In pain from Calypso's betrayal of his love, Jones carved out his beating heart and locked it away in the Dead Man's Chest, which was left buried on Isla Cruces, Jones keeping the key with him, hidden. The second film made it evident that rumors about the chest and its contents were common throughout the pirates' universe; whosoever acquired the heart could control Jones, and thus the oceans' realms.

Film appearancesEdit

The driving force in the plot of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is the quest to find the chest.[3] The characters have different reasons for wanting it. Cutler Beckett arrives at Port Royal to arrest Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, and James Norrington.[3] Having failed to find Jack, Beckett is willing to set Elizabeth free in exchange for Jack's compass, which should lead him to the chest. Meanwhile, Jack has set out to find the key. Jack owes Jones his soul and wants the chest in order to keep his soul in exchange for Jones' heart. After a series of events, Jack becomes willing to barter his compass for the key, and after hearing the lore of the chest from Tia Dalma), Will steals the key from Jones.[3] Later, Jack, Elizabeth, and Norrington arrive at Isla Cruces and find the chest. Will arrives with the key, and he, Jack, and Norrington engage in a three-way swordfight for it. Meanwhile, Jones’ crew attempt to retrieve the chest from Elizabeth, Pintel and Ragetti. Jack winds up with the chest, opens it, stows the heart in a jar of dirt, and leaves the chest locked. In a turn of events, Norrington steals the heart, distracts Jones' crew with the empty chest, and is left behind. He is later picked up by a Royal Navy ship and presents the Jones' heart to Cutler Beckett with the Letters of Marque, all in exchange for a commission as admiral. At the end of the film, Jones opens the chest and lets out a cry of anguish at discovering that the heart is not in it.[3]

In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, the chest is originally kept aboard the Endeavour under the supervision of Cutler Beckett, who forces Davy Jones to do his bidding: Jones mercilessly destroys pirate ships for the East India Trading Co.[4] Governor Weatherby Swann learns too much about the heart and is killed on Beckett's orders. For safety, it is relocated aboard the Flying Dutchman, in the captain’s quarters.[4] Marines are stationed around the open chest with bayonets pointed at the beating heart. Admiral Norrington supervises. Norrington, however, is later killed by Bootstrap Bill Turner, and Mercer takes his place.[4] In the battle between the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman in a maelstrom), at the climax of the film, Jack fights Jones for the chest atop a yardarm, where Jones loses the key, and Jack, the chest. Later, when Jones threatens to kill Will, Jack beholds Jones' heart in his hands after having prevailed in opening the chest. Jones nevertheless stabs Will in the heart, and Jack is left the crucial decision whether to stab the heart himself, thus gaining immortality, or to help Will stab it, preventing Will's death. He helps Will stab it and kills Davy Jones. The Dutchman's crew carve out Will's heart and place it in the chest.[4]

After the battle, Will returns and consummates his marriage with Elizabeth. His heart in the chest, he gives it to Elizabeth for safekeeping, saying, "It has always belonged to you."

Jack's CompassEdit

Jack's Compass has always had a presence in the entire film series. It was first seen in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) where it leads Sparrow and his crew onboard the Interceptor to Isla de Muerta.[2] It is noted that the compass does not point north, and only Jack Sparrow is able to read the strange device. In Dead Man's Chest (2006), Cutler Beckett wants the compass as it can lead him to the thing he most desires: the Dead Man's Chest. Jack later tells Elizabeth Swann that the compass points "...to the thing you want most in this world..."[3] By At World's End (2007), the compass comes into play in a complex web of negotiations among Beckett, Will Turner, and Jack Sparrow.[4]

The compass was given to Jack by Tia Dalma, a voodoo priestess and incarnation of Calypso, at some time prior to the film's story.[3][1] It is small and light brown, with a domed cover of pure lapis lazuli.[1] Under the lid is painted a map of the skies. The compass disk is sliced from a walrus tusk, and in its center is mounted a central shadow vane, making the compass useful also as a sundial.[1]

Beckett's Letters of MarqueEdit

File:LETTERS OF mARQUE.JPG

The fictional Letters of Marque that Cutler Beckett carried to Port Royal in Dead Man's Chest were signed by King George II of Great Britain and bear his seal.[1] Beckett planned on exchanging the Letters for Jack's Compass. The Letters would make Jack free of charges and "a privateer in the employ of England."[3] Will Turner states that Jack would not see employ the same as being free.[3] Elizabeth Swann extorts Beckett later on to sign the Letters and stamp his seal, because they are not valid without his signature, as so they can serve to Will. She later shows Jack the Letters and reveals that Beckett wants the compass. James Norrington, who has been convicted to hang and is now a low-life, notices the Letters and their value to him. At the end of the film, Mercer (Beckett's henchman) presents Beckett with the Letters on which Norrington filled out his name. He takes in exchange the Letters for Davy Jones' heart which Beckett hoped to find with Jack's compass.[3]

The first few words of the Letters read "...the Grace of God of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland...".[1] The portrait of on the top left is of George II. This sets the period of the films, something which has been unknown.[1]

Pieces of EightEdit

The Pieces of Eight are the Pirate Lords' key into the Brethren Court, a meeting of Pirate Lords' in troubled times to pirates. Each piece of eight is kept by its owner secretly and with great care.[1] Instead of being something of value, they are, simply put, "wasteless pieces of junk."[1] They are so because the first time the Pirate Lords met, they had no money and had to use random objects, but they are generally refered to as the "Nine Pieces of Eight" because, according to Gibbs, it sounds more 'piratey' than "nine pieces of whatever we happened to have in our pockets at the time".[1] Pieces of Eight are passed down to succession of captains of pirate ships or family relations.[4] They make their appearance in At World's End.[4]

Pirata CodexEdit

The fictional Pirata Codex was only seen briefly in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.[4] However, it plays a significant hidden role in the series. It is a weathered, handwritten book with yellowing pages. The codex encompasses of pirate codes, or referred to as "Guidelines," which aid pirates in solving disputes without murder.[1] Elizabeth mentions in Curse of the Black Pearl that the codex was "set forth by Morgan and Bartholomew." One right that pirates use in the films is the right to Parlay. However, the Complete Visual Guide states that pirates rarely consult the fictional codex, as most of them can't read.[1] It is kept by Captain Teague (Jack Sparrow's father) and the prison dog (first seen in film one) carries the key to it.[1][4] Recipes for rum, amends related to special cases governing piracy in the South China Sea, and inkspots (from resulted attempts at fine calligraphy) are found throughout the book.[1] A bookmark of blood-soaked garter is used as well.[1]

During filming with Keith Richards, Sparrow's father, a hollowed version was used to reduce the weight, which would otherwise have made it impossible for Richards to carry. The place in the book in which Richards was to open it was the only part with interior detail.[4] This was because he originally had problems opening it to the right page.[4]

Pirate Lords' globeEdit

The globe of the Pirate Lords' is seen when Elizabeth Swann enters the Brethren Court and thrusts her sword into it.[4] This symbolizes the pirates right to plunder the world and "also marks a desire to put away their while they are gathered together to Parlay."[1] The thrusting of the swords into the globe is a tradition kept by the Pirate Lords when they meet for the Court.[1]

Sao Feng's MapEdit

Sao Feng's map comes into appearance in At World's End.[4] The fictional charts are made of rotating disks which make out strange symbols, images, and phrases [1] In The Complete Visual Guide, it is stated that its purpose is to "lead sailors astray - for only the truly lost can find a place that cannot be reached." When a tiger is made up, a safe passage is assured. For security reasons, Sao Feng keeps the charts in his uncle’s sacred temple (until Will turner attempted to retrieve them). In At World's End, Hector Barbossa and Elizabeth Swann seek the charts to navigate to Davy Jones' Locker to bring back Jack from the dead land.[4] To return to the world of the living, the map tells Jack "up is down" to turn upside-down the Black Pearl. At the end of the film, he runs away with the map and goes in search of the Fountain of Youth.[4]

Terra IncognitoEdit

Terra Incognito (Latin: "unknown land"; see terra incognita) is a fictional world map or mappa mundi painted upon character Cutler Beckett's office wall, making its first and only appearance in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Arriving at Port Royal, with great ambitions for the fictitious East India Trading Co., he employs an artisan to create the map for him. Throughout the film, the Terra Incognito is slowly being completed by the artisan.[5][6][7] On this map, Beckett has the artisan record areas of the world under the influence of the Company. During his stay at Port Royal, Beckett is constantly brought reports of the Company's "growing power and new discoveries."[8] For this reason, the map has its blank sections filled in progressively as new ports, countries and towns fall under the power of the Company.[8]

The map is a crude depiction of the world as known in the 18th century, depicting the continents and seas accompanied by their latin names. For the continents: North America, America Septen Trio Nalis; South America, America Meridio Nalis; Europe, Evrope; Asia; Africa; and Australia, Hollandia Nova. Within the continents, their rivers are also drawn, and at their borders with the seas, hundreds of names of ports are written in small lettering. The map also features the oceans: Atlantic Ocean, Mare Atlanticum; Indian Ocean, Oceanus Orientalis; the seas west of China and Japan, Oceanus Chinesis; and the Pacific Ocean, Mare Pacificum. Within these bodies of water are painted small ships and islands.[8]

Other details of the map include: two length scales, Miliaria Germanica Communia and Miliaria Gallica Communia; a sea at the bottom encompassing of sea creatures, ships, and ice bergs; and a crest stating, "Britannia prout divila fuit temporibus Anglo-saxonvm praefertim durante illorum heptarchia." The Terra Incognito is also crossed with a series of latitude and longitudinal lines. It also includes the: Arctic Circle, Circulus Arcticus; Tropic of Cancer, Tropicus Cancri; the equator, Circulus Æquinotialis; and the Tropic of Capricorn, Tropicus Capricorni (the map is missing the Antarctic Circle and the continent of Antarctica). On the top of the map, a ribbon proclaims, "Nova totius terrarum orbis geographica ac hydrographyca tabula".[8]

The whole map in its entirety can be viewed in a two page spread in the book, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide.[8]

SymbolismEdit

ReferencesEdit

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