Will’s Death hides a detail that makes his original ending perfect

Will Turner has a large bow in Pirates of the Caribbean that transforms from blacksmith to pirate captain, but his death hides an extra tragic detail.

Will Turners The Pirates of the Caribbean fate was tragic, but there is a hidden detail in his death scene that gives him the perfect original ending. Director Gore Verbinski ended his trilogy with 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Although the film was criticized for its intricate plot, the film is still full of bold ideas and memorable scenery, as well as small details that strengthen the franchise’s characters.

Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner began as a shy but impulsive blacksmith, hopelessly in love with Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). Together with Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), Will learns to accept that the law sometimes has to be broken. Over three The Pirates of the Caribbean film, Will reluctantly agrees with his pirate legacy and is torn between his love for Elizabeth and the liberation of his damned father from the franchise’s legendary Flying Dutchman.


Related: Pirates of the Caribbean movie timeline explained

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End culminates in a fantastic final match during a maelstrom. It is striking and inventive, but most important of all is the focus on themes like love and sacrifice. Despite the film’s shortcomings, its heart remains intact and the central trio gets an appropriate ending to their stories. Will’s death scene, however, is made perfect by a specific detail that is easy to miss – he gets stabbed by the same sword he made at the beginning of the first film. This sword effectively represents Will’s journey and is a poignant reminder of its previous owner, serving as a tragic symbol of the trilogy’s love triangle.

POTC: Will Turner's death

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl introduces Will as he delivers a ceremonial sword to Governor Swann (Jonathan Pryce). The weapon is intended to be a gift to the newly appointed Commodore James Norrington (Jack Davenport). The Sword in particular reappears in the third film, returning to Norrington after joining Cutler Beckett’s (Tom Hollander) ranks. Norrington eventually finds redemption by rescuing Elizabeth from the Dutchman, sacrificing himself and stabbing Jones as a way to reprimand his offer to join his cursed crew. This is how Jones ends up with the weapon during the final battle, where he ironically kills Will with his own craft. It is an admirably subtle moment. The Sword is clearly visible in only two short shots, whereas a smaller film would have made a great effort to overemphasize its symbolism. Instead, the emotions of the scene still take precedence, and the sword remains a small, but no less effective, character detail.

Connecting Will and Elizabeth’s doomed romance to Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and Calypso (Naomi Harris) was one of several surprisingly dark ideas in Verbinski’s trilogy. The Sword is based on the tragedy of the story and represents how much Will has changed from the naive blacksmith in the first film. From a man who allegedly despised pirates, to becoming it himself, Will receives one of the strongest character arcs. Being killed by a symbol of his former identity is an incredibly fitting end to his story. The sword also ensures that Norrington’s presence is felt in the third act, despite the fact that his death was never mentioned. Although the admiral redeemed himself, he still metaphorically tears Will and Elizabeth apart, alluding to the love rivalry that began in the original. The sword is also involved in a night of revenge. Norrington was killed by Will’s father, Bootstrap Bill Turner (Stellan Skarsgård), and the pirate’s son subsequently dies from Norrington’s sword. It highlights the series’ amoral world, and The Pirates of the Caribbean is not afraid to suggest that all good deeds have a price.

The first two The Pirates of the Caribbean sequels had a notoriously hasty production, which led to many of the third film’s problems. However, small but meaningful details like the sword help tie the trilogy together. Will did not remain dead, but this symbol in his death scene proves that far more forward-looking planning was invested in these films than is generally assumed.

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