Pirates of the Caribbean character
Hector Barbossa
Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End
Geoffrey Rush as Hector Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
Gender male
Profession Pirate Captain
Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea
First mate
Ship(s) served on Cobra
Black Pearl
Hai Peng
Queen Anne's Revenge
Weaponry Knife
Hand grenades
Sword of Triton
Bounty 10000 Guineas
Family Carina Smyth (daughter)
Appearance(s) Film series
Video games
Legends of the Brethren Court books
The Price of Freedom book
Kingdom Hearts II
Portrayed by Geoffrey Rush
Brian George (video games)

Captain Hector Barbossa was a fictional character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, portrayed by Australian actor Geoffrey Rush. Barbossa was first introduced in the series' first installment Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) as the villainous and treacherous captain of the Black Pearl after committing mutiny against the ship's previous captain, Jack Sparrow. Having met his demise in the climax of the film, his character is revealed to have been resurrected at the end of Dead Man's Chest (2006). In the third film At World's End (2007), it is shown that Barbossa is also one of the nine pirate lords in the Brethren Court, the Pirate Lords of the Seven Seas. In the fourth film On Stranger Tides (2011), he has become a privateer in the British Royal Navy and is ordered to accompany Sparrow on an expedition for the Fountain of Youth. Barbossa made his final appearance in the fifth film, Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), in which he dies to protect his daughter Carina.


Barbossa's first name, "Hector", was revealed in a director's commentary on the Curse of the Black Pearl DVD, but no character says it until the third film of the series (when the heroes rescue Jack Sparrow, and Barbossa greets him, Sparrow says: "Ah, Hector! It's been too long! Hasn't it?"). Co-star Johnny Depp played a decisive part in providing the name.[1]


The Curse of the Black PearlEdit

Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Barbossa is captain of the pirate ship, the Black Pearl. He was originally the ship's first mate under Captain Jack Sparrow. Barbossa persuaded Jack to reveal the bearings to Isla de Muerta where a chest of Aztec gold was hidden. After Sparrow divulged the location, Barbossa and the crew mutinied and marooned Sparrow on a tiny island, with only a single-shot pistol with which to commit suicide. For the next ten years, Barbossa believed that Jack was dead.

Barbossa and the crew found the Aztec treasure, but ran afoul of a curse placed upon the gold by the Aztec gods, which rendered the pirates undead. To lift the curse, the crew needs to return all 882 coins to the chest and offer their blood. They still need the blood of their former shipmate Bootstrap Bill Turner; Turner was the lone holdout against the mutiny. Believing the crew deserved to remain cursed for betraying Jack, he sent one coin to his son, Will, who wears it around his neck as a medallion. In retaliation, Barbossa tied Bootstrap to a cannon and threw him overboard; it was only afterward that the pirates learned of the requirement for Turner's blood. For years, Barbossa searched for the last coin, which was now possessed by Elizabeth Swann. Barbossa sets sail for Port Royal after detecting a "signal" when the coin touched the sea. Unknown to him, Jack Sparrow is also in Port Royal.

Barbossa Skeleton

Barbossa's cursed-skeleton form.

Believing Elizabeth is Bootstrap's daughter (and thus, the means to breaking their curse), Barbossa abducts her and takes the medallion. He reveals their curse en route to Isla de Muerta. Elizabeth's blood is offered, but the ritual fails. Will, aided by Sparrow, rescues Elizabeth and escapes with the medallion. Sparrow is taken prisoner aboard the Pearl, and Barbossa pursues them. Barbossa learns Will's true identity and tricks Will into believing that Jack, the crew, and Elizabeth will be freed. He instead maroons Jack and Elizabeth on a deserted island while he takes Will to Isla de Muerta to be killed. As Barbossa is about to kill Will, Sparrow makes another unexpected return. Jack reveals to Barbossa that he has led the British Royal Navy to the island, and he convinces Barbossa to capture the HMS Dauntless, leaving Jack the Black Pearl.

While the undead pirates battle the Royal Navy, Jack duels Barbossa. When Barbossa attempts to kill Elizabeth, Jack fatally shoots him. Barbossa questions why Jack has wasted a shot on an undead pirate, while Will returns the final coin to break the curse. Barbossa begins to bleed out from the bullet wound, and his last words are "I feel...cold."

Dead Man's ChestEdit

Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Barbossa does not appear on-screen until the final scene. Having met his demise in the previous installment, Barbossa is resurrected by Tia Dalma in order to save Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones' Locker. In the scene, Tia Dalma says they will need a captain who knows the waters of World's End. Barbossa enters, biting into a green apple, showing his fully restored human form.

During a previous scene at Tia Dalma's hut, someone's lower body can be partially seen lying on a bed in a back room; this is most likely Barbossa. Jack the Monkey perches on a boot-clad leg, alluding to Barbossa being resurrected.

To keep Barbossa's return a surprise, Rush was not credited for his role.

At World's EndEdit

Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Barbossa joins forces with Will, Elizabeth and the Black Pearl crew to rescue Jack from Davy Jones' Locker.

To reach World's End, the gateway to the Locker, Barbossa needs the navigational charts belonging to Sao Feng (Chow Yun-fat), the Pirate Lord of the South China Sea. During a meeting with Feng, Barbossa and Elizabeth admit that they are planning to retrieve Jack Sparrow, Feng's enemy. Feng is furious over an earlier attempt by Will to steal the charts, but after the East India Trading Company attacks his bathhouse, he is persuaded to loan them the charts and a ship.

Barbossa and the crew sail to World's End, eventually arriving in Davy Jones' Locker. There they find Sparrow and the Black Pearl. Sparrow finally agrees to be rescued, though he and Barbossa continually dispute who is captain. Jack and Barbossa eventually command different sides of the ship, often while issuing orders simultaneously. While searching for an escape route, Sparrow and Barbossa form a tenuous alliance when Jack is told that Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) now possesses the heart of Davy Jones and is eradicating pirates.

Returning to the living world, the crew saw land and stop to restock supplies. Distrusting one another, both captains go ashore with a landing party, leaving Will temporarily in command. Barbossa tells Sparrow that as two of the nine Pirate Lords, they must attend the Brethren Court convening at Shipwreck Cove, although Jack refuses, intent on seeking immortality. A surprisingly eloquent Barbossa urges Sparrow to look beyond his own self interests and consider the greater good, telling him piracy is being exterminated and there is little nobility or purpose in being the only pirate left in the Caribbean.

Sao Feng arrives in his warship, the Empress, claiming the Pearl and betraying Will. Barbossa implies that Elizabeth is the goddess Calypso; she leaves with Feng in exchange for the Pearl. Will is thrown into the brig by Sparrow as Barbossa and Sparrow head to Shipwreck Cove.

It is revealed that Tia Dalma, who is in fact Calypso in human form, resurrected Barbossa in order for him to free her from her mortal form. After she angrily reminds him of the reasons she brought him back, Barbossa points out that she needs to keep him alive, since he is also one of the pirate lords.

At the Brethren Court, Barbossa proposes releasing Calypso from her human form to help them fight Beckett. He argues that the first court imprisoned the goddess only because it served their own needs, but in doing so, they provided an opportunity for forces like Beckett to threaten them. The other lords remain opposed, however, fearing the sea goddess' power and revenge. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Swann, who has succeeded Sao Feng as the Empress' captain and the Pirate Lord of Singapore, arrives at the court. Elizabeth is elected Pirate King and declares war on Beckett. Unnoticed, Barbossa steals the Pieces of Eight from the other Pirate Lords.

As the pirates prepare for battle, Barbossa frees Calypso by burning the Pieces of Eight. He pleads for her intervention, but Calypso refuses to aid either Davy Jones or the Brethren Court and furiously summons a giant maelstrom.

Barbossa takes the Black Pearl into battle against the Flying Dutchman; amidst the combat, he reluctantly pronounces Will and Elizabeth married. After Beckett's defeat, Barbossa again commandeers the Pearl, stranding Jack and Gibbs in Tortuga. The crew demands that Barbossa share the bearings to the Fountain of Youth, mirroring the original mutiny that made Barbossa the Pearl's captain. Barbossa agrees and unrolls the chart, only to discover that Jack has stolen the map.

On Stranger TidesEdit

Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Hector Barbossa is now a privateer in King George II's Royal Navy. Barbossa reveals that the Black Pearl was attacked off the coast of Hispaniola by the Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard's pirate ship. Using his magical sword, Blackbeard brought the Pearl to life, causing it to attack its own crew. Barbossa believes the ship was destroyed and that he is the only survivor; he escaped, but lost his leg during the getaway. He now uses a peg leg and crutch and regrets the fact that he did not go down with the Pearl after the attack. Although Barbossa claims the British Navy recruited him by offering a "nice retirement package", his true intention is to seek revenge against Blackbeard.

King George summons Barbossa for a meeting. Barbossa realizes that the King has captured Jack Sparrow to commission him as a crewmember of Barbossa's. Jack escapes, and Barbossa is sent on an expedition to locate the Fountain of Youth before the Spanish. Barbossa, commanding the Template:HMS, forcefully enlists Joshamee Gibbs to help to find the Fountain and pursue the Queen Anne's Revenge. Blackbeard, with Jack Sparrow now aboard, arrives at Whitecap Bay.

Blackbeard captures a mermaid. Her tears, along with two magical chalices, are needed to activate the Fountain. The Providence is sunk during a mermaid attack, forcing Barbossa and the crew to search for the Fountain on foot. Barbossa hikes through the rainforest and secretly collects poison frogs to poison his sword for a final fight with Blackbeard. He finds Sparrow alone at Juan Ponce de León's decaying flagship, but realize the chalices are missing; the Spanish found them first. Barbossa and Jack enter the camp and steal the chalices, but the Spanish recognize them as enemies and arrest them. Barbossa reveals his true intentions to Jack, and they both escape in a final struggle for the chalices.

The two agree to join forces against Blackbeard, and Sparrow leads Blackbeard's crew into a trap located at the fountain, where Barbossa engages Blackbeard in single combat. The Spanish arrive and destroy the fountain due to their Catholic beliefs. Barbossa gets up and fatally stabs Blackbeard with his poisoned sword, then claims Blackbeard's magical sword, the Queen Anne's Revenge, and assumes command of Blackbeard's crew. Renouncing all ties to the Crown, Barbossa once again returns to piracy.

Dead Men Tell No TalesEdit

In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Barbossa has become a very wealthy pirate lord who commands a whole fleet of ships.

Barbossa learns that an undead pirate hunter, Armando Salazar, is threatening his fleet. Barbossa promises to lead Salazar to Jack Sparrow in return for sparing his fleet. Using Sparrow's magical compass, Barbossa leads Salazar in search of Sparrow. Salazar reveals his history with Sparrow to Barbossa, threatening to kill him if he does not find Sparrow by sunrise. Just as Barbossa's time is up, they encounter Sparrow's ship, the Dying Gull, and attack. Sparrow escapes to an island, and Salazar's crew cannot follow; their curse prevents them from setting foot on land.

Barbossa promises to go to land and retrieve Sparrow, but he and his crew double cross Salazar to team up with Sparrow, Joshamee Gibbs, Scrum, Henry Turner and Carina Smyth, whom Barbossa seems to recognize. Barbossa uses Blackbeard's sword to release the Black Pearl from its imprisonment in a bottle, and they attempt to use it to outrun Salazar. That night, Salazar catches up to the Pearl and captures Henry Turner.

Barbossa reveals in a conversation with Jack that he is Carina's father. He left Carina on the door of an orphanage after her mother's death to give her a chance at a normal life, along with a journal with a red ruby on its cover. This journal contains a map which leads to the Trident of Poseidon.

Carina uses the ruby to part the sea, revealing the path to the Trident of Poseidon. Breaking the Trident destroys all of the curses linked to the sea, resulting in Salazar and his crew becoming mortal as the sea closes in on them. Jack, Henry and Carina try to climb to safety after the Black Pearl lowers its anchor into the collapsing trench, while Salazar climbs up the chain to pursue Jack. With Carina between Salazar and Jack, Barbossa jumps down the chain and sacrifices himself to kill Salazar. This gives Sparrow, Carina, and Henry a chance to escape. Before dying, he reveals to Carina that he is her father and that he loves her.


In the "Becoming Barbossa" featurette on the "Lost Disc", Geoffrey Rush shared his personal take on Barbossa's history: his family was noble but poor, and he ran away from home when he was 13. He went to the sea, and seeing how well the captains and officers lived, decided to become a captain himself. At first, he wanted to be an honest seaman, but quickly recognized that piracy was easier and more lucrative.

In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom, Barbossa is the pirate captain in the Caribbean. After his schooner, the Cobra, is attacked and destroyed by the infamous rogue pirates, he goes to Shipwreck Cove to inform the Pirate Lords of his disaster.[2] With the help of a young pirate Jack Sparrow, Barbossa discovers that the leader of the rogues is Borya Palachnik, the Russian Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea. After he was captured and sentenced to hang, Borya gave his Piece of Eight to Barbossa, thus making him the next Pirate Lord of the Caspian Sea.

Hector Barbossa is fond of apples, which appear throughout the first film. He offers one to the captive Elizabeth and later tells her that once the curse is lifted, he wants to eat a whole bushel. There are also apples in his cabin, and when Jack is taken to the brig, Barbossa grabs the apple Jack was eating and throws it in the water in anger. When he dies at the end of "Curse of the Black Pearl", an apple rolls from his hand; he brought it to eat as soon as the curse was lifted. His cameo appearance at the end of Dead Man's Chest shows him biting into his favorite fruit. In At World's End, he is shown eating one apple when aboard the Black Pearl. In On Stranger Tides, he is seen eating apple slices aboard his ship.

According to the audio commentary from the first Pirates of the Caribbean DVD (featuring the scriptwriters), Hector Barbossa is skilled with a sword, and is considered one of the finest swordsmen in the Caribbean. According to the commentary, Barbossa's skills are equal to James Norrington (Jack Davenport) and exceeded only by Will Turner. His prowess with a blade is evident in his duel with Jack Sparrow, and in the maelstrom battle against the East India Trading Company. In the first film, the Black Pearl crew were hesitant to attack Hector Barbossa, even simultaneously. The only person known to have survived a one-on-one duel with him is Jack Sparrow, in the treasure caves of Isla de Muerta—and even that was with the aid of a pistol. Geoffrey Rush comments that Hector Barbossa supposedly used a sword from a very young age, possibly as early as 13.

He uses the same flag as the notorious pirate "Calico Jack" Rackham.

File:Pirate Flag of Rack Rackham.svg

In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Visual Guide, Hector Barbossa is described as being attentive to his appearance, as his elaborate clothing shows. He wears a large ring bearing a lion's head symbol and has purplish blue ostrich plumes and a pheasant feather in his hat. His coat buttons are made from recast Incan silver, and his pistol once belonged to a Spanish pirate, won in a duel.[3]

Other appearancesEdit

  • In 2006, an animatronic Hector Barbossa was added (along with Captain Jack Sparrow) to the original Pirates of the Caribbean theme park ride at various Disney parks, wherein he appears as captain of the Wicked Wench.
  • Hector Barbossa is one of only five Disney villains ever nominated for the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain, the others being Davy Jones, Scar from The Lion King, Jadis the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3.
  • Hector Barbossa (along with another Black Pearl crewman) is pictured on the cover of issue No. 71 Piraten of WAS IST WAS, a German Knowledge-book series, aimed at children and adolescents.[4]
  • Hector Barbossa appears as a villain in the Pirates of the Caribbean setting, Port Royal, of Kingdom Hearts II. In the game, his role is copied and pasted from the film, with the exceptions of the presence of Sora, Donald and Goofy, his alliance with Pete and Maleficent, and his control over the Heartless. Due to the filming of the two sequels back-to-back, which resulted in Geoffrey Rush being unavailable, Hector Barbossa was voiced by Brian George in the English version. In the Japanese version, he is voiced by Haruhiko Jō.
  • Barbossa was made into several action figures by NECA. He appeared in the first wave of Curse of the Black Pearl figures in his human form; that same figure was re-released as part of the fourth wave of Dead Man's Chest toys. Barbossa's cursed form was released as a box set, which also featured Jack Sparrow as a zombie, and the chest of cursed Aztec gold. Then, he was also released in the At World's End figure line. However, he did not come with Jack the Monkey, who was released in a figure set along with Marty. Lastly, Barbossa was featured in "At Stranger tides" action figure wave with his peg leg and privateer suit.[5]
  • Barbossa was made as a plush toy for the M&M Dead Man's Chest.
  • Barbossa was one of the original characters available in the video game Disney Infinity released in August 2013


Barbossa was chosen by IGN's Orlando Parfitt as his 13th top fantasy villain.[6]


External linksEdit