PIRATES FROM HISTORY, THE PAGE AND THE SCREEN
In TimeRiders: The Pirate Kings, Liam and Rashim find themselves onboard a riverboat, captained by the unscrupulous Captain Teale. There are hundreds of pirates in books, films and on TV – often they are terrifying rogues who will stop at nothing to get to their treasure, but they can also be bumbling buffoons and figures of fun!
Here we’ve put together a list of some of the most interesting pirates from page and screen. Have we missed someone out? Have we got any of them completely wrong!? Who would be in your top 10 Pirates of all time?
Captain James Hook
Peter Pan by J.M Barrie
Arch nemesis of Peter Pan, motherless, wifeless and downright mean, Hook persists in driving his crew to rid the land of Peter Pan and the lost boys. However, he is destined to lose every time they meet, which does nothing for his good humour. Hook lost his hand and watch to a hungry crocodile that now follows him around relentlessly, instilling in him an extreme fear of clocks and anything that ticks!
Long John Silver
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stephenson
Despite appearances, Long John Silver is no conventional pirate. He certainly looks as you would expect; a parrot on one shoulder, eye-patch over one eye and a peg leg but his general manner is contradictory to the stereotype. Although perceived by Jim Hawkins as ‘intelligent and smiling . . . clean and pleasant-tempered’, to whom he shows genuine affection, he clearly displays conflicting characteristics. He is not afraid to show the cold, calculated streak when necessary – willing to kill without hesitation.
Originally a court Jester to the Spanish courts in 1632, One-Eyed Willy was banned for his outrageous stories and practical jokes. Forming a pirate company, upon the Inferno, he dared to take violent revenge on the King’s ships, stealing their ‘rich stuff’. Trapped by the British in an underground cave, Willy resolves to never give up his hoard, setting numerous booby traps through which only The Goonies come through unscathed.
Captain Abraham Smollett
Muppet Treasure Island
Captain Smollett, or perhaps Captain Kermit, is the pirate played by Kermit the Frog in Muppet Treasure Island. He is the capable captain of the schooner Hispaniola, commanding his crew with a kindly and patient manner.
Nancy Kington & Minerva Sharp
Pirates! by Celia Rees
Nancy and Minerva are the two unlikely girls who stand up to racial prejudice and abusive men in the 1700s and join the high seas in Celia Rees’ Pirates! Upper class Nancy befriends her slave girl Minerva and together the girls escape their tormentors and set sail for a life and adventure on the ocean waves.
Captain Jack Sparrow
Pirates of the Caribbean
Eccentric may be an understatement when describing Captain Jack Sparrow, brilliantly played by Johnny Depp in the four Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He is a free spirit in all aspects, particularly of the mind. Although dishevelled and permanently addled, he paints the picture of a rather unexpected hero. His character is one of parallels as his appearance and who he is in reality do not align: he often seems cowardly, but is actually rather diplomatic: he might appear completely off his rocker but has a strong sense of morality and a bizarre wisdom: he seems to live entirely in his own world but is very good at reading people and manipulating them to his own end.
Pirates of the Caribbean
A daughter of Blackbeard is only really going to have one occupation, even if her birthright isn’t confirmed. Angelica is a highly experienced and tactical sailor, she is also great with a sword – all attributes that make her ideal for piracy! Like the other pirates in the Pirates of the Caribbean series she schemes, lies, manipulates and deceives having learnt from the best – Jack Sparrow. However, unconventionally, she is adverse to her ‘father’s’ barbaric pirate techniques. Her true motivation for the life she leads comes from her faith and the desire to cleanse his black soul.
Captain Blackbeard (or Edward Teach)
One of the most infamous pirates of all time in books and films, appearing most recently in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Blackbeard was a notorious English pirate who operated in the West Indies in the early 18th century. Known for his long dark beard and his ruthless deeds, his piracy business boomed as often as his canons.
Captain Horatio Pugwash
Captain Pugwash by John Ryan
Pugwash is one of the jolliest pirates to be found! He is neither a ruthless rascal nor often caught committing acts of piracy. Although he boasts of being the ‘bravest buccaneer’ he can be quite stupid and very cowardly. Fortunately his more able crew of The Black Pig always come to his aid.
The Pirate Captain
The Pirates! by Gideon Defoe
The Pirate Captain is probably one of the worst pirates ever created but one of the best men! We first meet him in The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, where he has sunk the Beagle, met Charles Darwin and his ‘man-panzee’ Mister Bobo and vowed to return Darwin home and help him defeat his enemies. The Pirate Captain is vain, self-deluded and generally incompetent as a pirate but he is ultimately kind hearted, enabling him to earn the respect of his crew.