William "Will" Turner, Jr. is a fictional character, and main character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. He is played by Orlando Bloom (and as a child by Dylan Smith in a flashback scene). Will is a blacksmith's apprentice working in Port Royal. He is in love with the governor's daughter, Elizabeth Swann, although he is a lower social class. Will is an exceptional swordsman, although he lacks actual combat experience compared to other duelists. Although mild mannered, Will is brave, as seen when he confronts Captain Jack Sparrow in a sword fight and by his response to Barbossa's attack on Port Royal. He is loyal to those he cares about and would risk everything to protect them, especially Elizabeth. This trait is seen throughout the films as Will's character develops more by his reaction to unforeseen circumstances rather than his personal ambition or deliberate choices. Most likely he would have continued plying his trade, never presuming to rise above his current station, pining for the woman he believes he can never have. At his best, Will is clever, heroic, and courageous and never shirks responsibility or leaves an obligation unfulfilled. He can also be preoccupied and brooding and, early on, demonstrated rather simplistic and naïve views, although he matures and deepens into a complex character as the films progress.
Will's final costume in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is reminiscent of Errol Flynn's swashbuckler movie roles. There is also a nod to Douglas Fairbanks when Turner uses his knife to glide down the ship's sail in Dead Man's Chest, just as Fairbanks did in the 1926 film, The Black Pirate.
Will is twenty-years old as the series begins. He has shoulder-length, brown hair, worn loose or tied back in a short ponytail. Throughout the first movie, he wears a puffy-sleeved white shirt, a simple brown jerkin, brown breeches, thick brown stockings and leather shoes with metal buckles. In the second and third movies he wears various outfits including a fine suit and tri-corn hat for his wedding that is typical of upper-class gentlemen. In the second film, he also wore a leather jacket over a white embroidered shirt and, as requested by Orlando Bloom, boots. In both sequels, he is also seen wearing a leather cord necklace with what appear to be charms and other trinkets hanging from it. In the third film, he predominately wears a puffy-sleeved maroon shirt, a black leather vest, and boots. Sometime between Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, Will wears a tiny gold hoop earring throughout the third film. Just after Will becomes immortal, he appears in a green bandana and a bit of blue eye make-up. His hair changes from slightly oily and curly in the first and second movie to dryer and fuller, possibly the effects of sailing. When he returns from the next world ten years later, in the movie's "Easter egg" scene, he is wearing a puffy-sleeved white shirt, the leather necklace, and a green bandana. He also bears a scar on his chest where his heart was carved out.
In one scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl when Turner and Jack are fighting in the blacksmith's shop, there is a glimpse of Orlando Bloom's wrist tattoo of the Elvish word for "nine". Bloom and the other actors except John Rhys-Davies who comprised the nine "Fellowship of the Ring" members in The Lord of the Rings trilogy have this same tattoo to commemorate their participation in the films. While some felt his tattoo should have been covered for his "Pirates" role, the producers simply stated, "Will has a 'pretty' tattoo on his wrist."
Will is "Bootstrap" Bill Turner's only child. According to Jack Sparrow, Will strongly resembles his father, both in appearance and ability, which is true because Will has the ability to sword fight like an older man. However, his father was absent during his youth in England, and Will grew up believing him to be a merchant seaman. After his mother died, Will, then about twelve years old was raised up at Port Royal working as a blacksmith. The Pearl had been searching for the medallion that Bill Turner sent to Will, which Barbossa needed to break the Aztec curse. When Elizabeth fell into the water while wearing the medallion, it sent a 'pulse' that 'called' the Black Pearl to Port Royal.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black PearlEdit
- Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Will Turner is introduced to the story as a young boy who is rescued at sea by the British navy, the sole survivor of a pirate attack. Aboard the ship is Port Royal's new governor, Weatherby Swann, and his daughter Elizabeth, then aged twelve years. It was Elizabeth who spotted Will clinging to the floating wreckage, and he was placed under her care for the voyage's duration. Discovering a gold medallion around his neck, she hid it to prevent anyone from mistaking him as a pirate.
Over the next eight years, Will and Elizabeth maintain a respectful friendship, although Will must conceal his true romantic feelings for her. Will is now an apprentice to a Port Royal blacksmith. And although this provides him a respectable occupation, being lower class means he is unsuitable to court Elizabeth, even though she may (secretly) reciprocate his feelings. Will also has a rival for Elizabeth's affections, Commodore James Norrington, a man who is socially superior to Will in nearly every way and 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 takes credit for Will's exquisite workmanship. Will is also an exceptional, self-taught swordsman. The DVD commentary states that he is the best among the characters in the film, including Barbossa, Norrington, and Jack Sparrow. Will lacks practical fighting experience, however. When Sparrow outwits him in a duel, Will claims Jack "cheated" by 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." It is a lesson Will is unlikely to forget.
Initially, Will is depicted as an honorable, but rather simple, character whose actions are primarily driven by his emotions rather than reason, particularly when someone he cares about is threatened or endangered. However, as he matures throughout the trilogy, he is guided more by logic and experience and gradually realizes that the lines between what, or who, is right and wrong are often obscured. Will is always motivated by love and loyalty to protect friends and family. For now, however, he appears to follow the convention that obeying rules, working hard, and knowing one's station in life will result in fair treatment and a secure livelihood, even if there is little opportunity for social advancement. It is a fateful twist of irony that Will, a peaceful and law-abiding man, learns that his father was the pirate William "Bootstrap Bill" Turner, who served aboard the Black Pearl when it was commanded by Captain Jack Sparrow. Despite Sparrow telling him that Bootstrap was "a good man," Will remains deeply conflicted over his new-found lineage. Will learns that when First Mate Barbossa and the crew mutinied and marooned Sparrow, only Bootstrap defended him. Captain Barbossa had Bootstrap tied to a cannon and thrown overboard after 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.
Even though Will is a model citizen and despises pirates, he feels justified in resorting to piracy and forming an alliance with Jack Sparrow if it is to save Elizabeth. After commandeering a navy ship and recruiting a crew in Tortuga, Will and Sparrow sail to Isla de Muerta where Barbossa has taken Elizabeth. Unknown to Will, Sparrow intends to use Will to bargain back the Black Pearl. When Will learns his role in lifting the curse, he barters himself to Barbossa to free Elizabeth and the crew, although Barbossa tricks him. In the end, Sparrow and Will lift the curse together; Sparrow kills Barbossa, and the pirate crew is defeated. At Sparrow's execution in Port Royal, Will, who believes Sparrow deserves to live, declares his love for Elizabeth before attempting to rescue Sparrow from the gallows. They are quickly captured, but Will refuses to abandon Sparrow. Elizabeth intervenes and saves Will by declaring her love for him. Will is pardoned while Sparrow escapes by falling off the rampart and into the bay where the Black Pearl is waiting.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's ChestEdit
- Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Will returns with the other main characters from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. In this film, his appearance has become more pirate-like, reminiscent of Errol Flynn's swashbuckler movie characters, and reflects Will's evolution from naïve boy to world-wise man. For aiding Jack Sparrow's escape, Will and Elizabeth are charged just prior to their wedding ceremony by Lord Cutler Beckett, a man made wealthy and powerful by profits from the East India Trading Company. They are charged with death penalties for helping in the escape of Captain Jack Sparrow. Beckett offers them clemency if Will finds Sparrow's compass. He also has a Letter of Marque with which he wants to recruit Jack as a privateer.
In order to save Elizabeth, Will hunts for Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl. He finds the crew captive on Pelegosto, a cannibal-inhabited island. They escape, and Jack agrees to give Will the compass if he helps him find a key, although he has no idea what it unlocks. Will, Jack, and the crew visit Tia Dalma, a voodoo priestess who takes a particular interest in Will and proclaims that he has a "touch of destiny" about him. Dalma tells Jack the key is to the Dead Man's Chest containing the heart of Davy Jones. The crew searches for Jones, and Will soon finds himself stranded on a wrecked vessel that Jack deviously claimed was Jones' ghost ship, the Flying Dutchman. 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 unequal to another. Instead, he keeps Will as a "good faith" payment and demands an additional ninety-nine souls. Otherwise, Jack must surrender or face the Kraken. Sparrow once made a bargain with Davy Jones to raise the Black Pearl from the ocean bottom and to make Jack captain for thirteen years. Sparrow would then serve aboard the Dutchman for a century.
Will meets "Bootstrap" Bill Turner, the father who abandoned him and his mother to become a pirate and who is now an indentured sailor on Jones' ghost ship. Will challenges Davy Jones to Liar's Dice, betting his soul against the key to the Dead Man's Chest. Bootstrap joins in and purposely loses to save his son, although he condemns himself to eternal enslavement. Will steals the key and escapes in a longboat, vowing to one day free his father. Will's determination to save Bootstrap will nearly become an obsession, in part because Will feels indebted to Bootstrap for helping him to escape with the key while condemning himself to eternal slavery. There are indications that Bootstrap may have supported his family in some way during his absence. A passing ship rescues Will, but Will's presence dooms it when Jones summons the Kraken. Will survives the attack and stows back aboard the Dutchman, now headed for Isla Cruces where the Dead Man's Chest containing Jones' heart is buried.
On Isla Cruces, Will is reunited with Elizabeth, who escaped jail. Also there are Jack Sparrow and ex-Commodore James Norrington, now a member of Jack's crew. They find the chest, and, key in hand, Will intends to stab the heart to kill Davy Jones. But he finds himself at the point of Jack's sword and caught in a three-way duel between himself, Sparrow, and Norrington, all claiming the heart. Norrington steals the heart and the Letters of Marque, escaping just as Davy Jones' crew attack.
The Black Pearl flees, outrunning the Flying Dutchman, but Davy Jones summons the Kraken. Drawing on his previous experience fighting the monster, Will leads the crew in temporarily in fending it off, gaining enough time to abandon ship. When Elizabeth realizes that Sparrow is the Kraken's prey, she distracts him with a passionate kiss while handcuffing him to the mast. Will witnesses this and believes Elizabeth now loves Sparrow. From the longboat, the crew watches as the Kraken drags the Pearl and Sparrow to Davy Jones' Locker.
Will, Elizabeth, and the crew seek refuge with Tia Dalma. As they mourn their captain, Will is particularly despondent, although not only over 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 tearful face and believing she loves Sparrow, he nobly tries comforting her, "If there was anything that could be done..." Tia Dalma interrupts, asking would he be willing, would they all be willing, to travel to World's End to bring back Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl. All agree, including Will. Tia Dalma says they will need a captain who knows those waters. To their astonishment, a resurrected Captain Barbossa descends the stairs.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's EndEdit
- Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Will is next seen when he travels to Singapore with Elizabeth, Barbossa, Tia Dalma, and the Black Pearl crew to bargain with Sao Feng, the Pirate Lord of the South China Sea, for a ship and navigational charts leading to World's End and Davy Jones' Locker. He is sent to steal the navigational charts from Sao Feng's uncle, but fails and is captured. Ostensibly, the group's mission is to rescue Jack Sparrow, but like the others, Will has a personal motive: to retrieve the Black Pearl so he can 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. There, they find a delusional Jack. After some convincing, Jack sets sail with them, although he and Barbossa dispute who is captain. Will learns that Elizabeth sacrificed Jack to the Kraken. Although he now knows the reason for Elizabeth's anguish, she believes that her unrelenting guilt over causing Sparrow's death is her burden alone to bear. They agree their relationship cannot endure if they lack trust in one another and make choices alone; their future together is uncertain.
Will has also made choices alone, however, and he helps Feng commandeer the Black Pearl, although Will only wanted the Pearl to save his father. But Sao Feng betrays Will in lieu of another bargain with Lord Beckett, although Beckett double-crosses him. Feng then offers Barbossa the Black Pearl in exchange for Elizabeth, who he mistakenly believes is the sea goddess, Calypso. Although Elizabeth may understand Will's underlying motives, she is frustrated that he made his choice alone. She agrees to Feng's terms in exchange for the crew's protection. And then when Elizabeth is on Sao Feng's ship, Sao Feng is killed. He makes her captain while he is dying. The last thing he said was forgive me, Calypso. Jack tosses Will in the brig, but he soon escapes. Still plotting to obtain the Pearl, Will leaves a trail for Lord Beckett to follow to Shipwreck Island, the Brethren Court stronghold, although Jack catches him. Rather than returning Will to the brig, Jack instead gives him his magical compass and pushes him overboard, apparently also intending for Beckett to find them. Will, clinging to a floating barrel, helplessly drifts towards Beckett's ship, Endeavour.
Will and Elizabeth are reunited after Will is exchanged for Jack during parley with Beckett and Davy Jones. Elizabeth tells Will she understands the burden he bears, but having been aboard the Dutchman, she now believes Bootstrap can no longer be saved, although Will disagrees. During the maelstrom battle, Will again proposes to Elizabeth, convincing her this may be their only opportunity to wed. Elizabeth calls on Barbossa to immediately marry them; they exchange vows amid the fighting.
After a climactic showdown with Jack atop the Flying Dutchman's mast, Davy Jones duels with Elizabeth. Will rushes to her defense, only to be trounced by Jones, who, ironically, now wields the same sword Will crafted for Commodore Norrington in Curse of the Black Pearl. While Elizabeth watches helplessly, Jones presses the blade to Will's heart. Jones menacingly asks, "Do you fear death?" However, Jack had gotten ahold of Jones' heart while the fearsome captain was distracted by Will and Elizabeth, and now uses Jones' ritual taunt against him in a desperate bid to save Will. Before he can make good on his threats and stab the heart, thus killing Jones and rendering himself the immortal Captain of the Flying Dutchman, Jones thrusts the sword deep into Will's chest, mortally wounding him. The act enrages "Bootstrap" Bill, causing him to regain his senses and attack Jones. Torn between immortality for himself and saving Will, Jack's affection for Will (and possibly for Elizabeth, whose heart would have broken at Will's death) wins out, and Jack places his broken sword in the dying Will's hand, guiding it to stab the heart, killing Jones. Jack is forced to drag Elizabeth away from Will's body, knowing that the ship is moments away from being sucked into the maelstrom. The two escape on a makeshift parachute that Jack hastily constructs, while "Bootstrap" Bill carves out the dead Will's heart and places it in the Dead Man's Chest, fulfilling Will's destiny to free the Flying Dutchman from Davy Jones' cursed corruption of his true mission.
The ship resurfaces with Captain Will Turner at the helm. He is now a psychopomp, bound to sail the Netherworld, ferrying souls to the other side. The Dutchman's crew, no longer under the curse of Jones' corruption, have reverted to their human forms. The Flying Dutchman joins forces with the Black Pearl, and together they destroy the Endeavour, killing Beckett and causing his armada to retreat. Will is allowed one day ashore before he begins his ten-year duty aboard the Dutchman. Elizabeth, a mortal, is unable to accompany Will to the Netherworld and can only be reunited with Will if he does not touch land or for a short time in World's End. "Bootstrap" Bill chooses to remain aboard with his son. Will spends his one allotted day with Elizabeth on an island where they consummate their marriage. Before returning to the Dutchman at sunset, he leaves the Dead Man's Chest containing his heart in her care. The Flying Dutchman disappears from the horizon amid the Green Flash.
An Easter Egg scene set ten years later follows the end credits. Elizabeth and their son (William "Will" Turner III) stand atop a cliff watching the horizon. As the sun sets, the Flying Dutchman appears with the Green Flash, Captain Will Turner aboard. While the film's writers explain in the DVD's commentary that Will could be released from his duties after the ten-year period if Elizabeth remained faithful to him, dialogue in the films and the leaflet inside the special edition 2-Disc DVD state that no matter what, any Captain of the Flying Dutchman is bound to the ship forever and may only step on land once every ten years. As it was not the film's writers who wrote the leaflet, it is assumed that the film's writers are correct.
Relationship with JackEdit
Throughout the trilogy, Will maintains a complicated and strained relationship with Captain Jack Sparrow. In the first film, Will, who despises pirates, is revolted by Jack. He helps to capture him in Port Royal, but when he later realizes that he needs Jack's help to rescue Elizabeth, he frees him from jail. Will eventually considers Sparrow a far better man than anyone realizes, and he willingly risks his own life to save him from the gallows.
At the start of the second film, Will is ambivalent regarding Jack Sparrow, probably never expecting to see him again. When he is confronted by Lord Cutler Beckett, who is hunting Sparrow, Will claims Jack is "more acquaintance than friend;" although this is accurate, it may also be an effort to shield Jack or simply to downplay his association with him to protect himself and Elizabeth. However, Will again needs Jack's help to spare him and Elizabeth from Lord Beckett's death sentence, although Sparrow's "help" soon lands him aboard the Flying Dutchman as Davy Jones' captive. Jack does attempt to retrieve Will when he bargains with Jones for 100 souls in exchange for his own. Jones refused to release Will, however, likely suspecting that Jack cared enough for Will as a friend that keeping him captive would motivate Sparrow to fulfill his debt.
In the third film, Will cares nothing for Jack Sparrow, believing Jack has won Elizabeth's affections. Will agrees to help rescue Jack from Davy Jones' Locker only because he needs the Black Pearl to free his father from the Flying Dutchman. After a botched attempt to gain the Pearl for himself by delivering Jack and the crew (Elizabeth excepted) over to Sao Feng, Jack locks Will in the brig. After escaping the Pearl's brig, Will attempts to leave a trail for Beckett's ship to follow. Jack, whose role has become that of a mentor to Will despite their mutual distrust, discovers him. Jack and Will then have a lengthy conversation, during which they once again demonstrate their rather grudging respect for one another, and their mutual need for each other in fulling their respective plans. Will confides to Jack how he is torn between killing Davy Jones and freeing his father (and binding himself to the Flying Dutchman in the process) or staying with Elizabeth and leaving his father to an eternity of servitude. They come to a rather vague agreement that Jack will stab the heart of Davy Jones, thus giving him immortality, freeing Will's father, and allowing Will to stay with Elizabeth. The conversation culminates in Jack giving Will his compass and tossing him overboard, ensuring that he will be picked up by Cutler Beckett and Davy Jones and lead them to Shipwreck Cove, thus placing Jones' heart within Jack's grasp. This is done without Will's consent, however, and he glances at Jack and mutters "I hate him" and he floats off on a barrel. So the relationship between Will and Jack is once more in doubt.
Elizabeth is the most important person in Will's life, and anything or anyone that threatens her is his enemy, including Jack Sparrow. Although Jack represents a lifestyle that Will detests, he is often intrigued, puzzled, and even amazed by Jack Sparrow without sacrificing his own personal convictions or morals. He respects Jack even while often considering him unethical and distasteful, and ultimately deems him a pirate but "a good man". And though their relationship constantly teetered on either helping or betraying one another, depending on their respective circumstances, Jack proves that he cares for Will when he selflessly sacrifices his bid for immortality to save the fatally wounded Will. Jack has also been shown to have learned a few tricks from Will, such as how to escape from a prison cell. He uses the same technique that Will used to free him in the first film to escape from the Dutchman's brig.
Relationship with Elizabeth Edit
In the first film, he harbours a secret passionate love for Elizabeth but failing to realise that she shares this love, he continues to believe that she does not love him as more than an acquaintance. However, their relationship progresses when Will frees her from captivity by Barbossa. He refers to Barbossa a lying bastard after he sends Elizabeth overboard. They both care for each other, and when he is supposedly killed when they destroy The HMS Interceptor, she attacks Barbossa and laters tries to assemble the crew of The Black Pearl to save Will.
Video game appearancesEdit
Will Turner appears in the Pirates of the Caribbean world, Port Royal, of Kingdom Hearts II. In the Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts II as well as in the movies he's voiced by Daisuke Hirakawa, who was also the Japanese voice for Legolas, another famous character portrayed by Bloom. Crispin Freeman provided the voice of Will for the U.S. version of the game since Orlando Bloom was unavailable due to the filming of Dead Man's Chest. Freeman was also the voice of Will in the video game Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow and in the video game adaptation of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
Will Turner appears in the Pirates of the Caribbean Online game as the character who gives the player their first sword.
William is most commonly referred to by the name of Will, short for William. He is referred to as Master Turner or Turner by characters like Barbossa, James Norrington, Davy Jones, Lieutenant Gillette and Elizabeth.
He is referred to three times, once by Barbossa and twice by Jack Sparrow as a whelp. A whelp is a young man who shows inappropriate acts of boldness or lacking of deference. Sparrow has also said a couple of times to characters like Barbossa that Will is a eunuch and has a lovely singing voice. Sparrow also says to Barbossa he is his cousin's aunt nephew twice removed, which is a lie.