May 24 2017 8:30am

Will Elizabeth Swann Get the Happy Ever After She Deserves in New Pirates of the Caribbean?

Elizabeth Swann, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Will Elizabeth and Will End Up Together Forever?

It’s summer, time for another installment in the iconic Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Take your eyes off of Jack Sparrow for a moment and ponder the magnificence of the true hero of the Pirates of the Caribbean films….Elizabeth Swann. 

Ahoy! Spoilers ahead, mateys!

In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, young Elizabeth saved shipwrecked youth Will Turner by stealing the gold coin he wore so Will wouldn’t be accused of piracy. As the movie progresses, it’s Elizabeth who continues taking action to save herself and true love Will, parlaying with Barbossa, hiding her and Will’s true identity, rescuing herself and Jack Sparrow when they’re marooned on a desert island.

Following in the bootsteps of true-life pirate Mary Read, Elizabeth is all about saving her man, no matter what it takes. In the first film she was cast more-or-less as a love interest, but by the second and subsequent films, Elizabeth Swann grows into a woman of action, a pirate captain, someone who twists the plot to save the day. She chains Jack Sparrow to a mast to allow everyone else to escape in Dead Man’s Chest. She vows revenge for her father’s death and becomes Pirate Lord of the South China Sea in At World’s End, and she marries Will, but he becomes bound to the cursed Flying Dutchman and can only visit her once every ten years…or so we’re led to believe.

SEE ALSO: Love Don’t Live Here Anymore: Top Films with No HEA and Why We Love (or Hate) Them

There’s a scene post-credits where Elizabeth and her nine-year-old son see a flash of green and the Flying Dutchman appears on the horizon as Will returns to his family. Is it only for one day? According to IMDb, “In the DVD commentary, the screenwriters state that because Elizabeth remained faithful to Will for the interim 10 years, and [since] he fulfilled his duty to ferry souls to the next world, he is freed from the Flying Dutchman.”

The following film, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides capsized like a badly rigged schooner in the reviews, despite having Ian McShane as Blackbeard because…there was no Elizabeth Swann. 

Now we have the new film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Elizabeth and Will are listed in the credits, even though they’re left out of the IMDb summary: “Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea...”

“Every pirate at sea” could include the Pirate Lord of the South China Sea, Captain Elizabeth Swann. We can only hope she’ll grab her cutlass, hoist the Jolly Roger, and ensure that her family is together for all time. Frankly, I’m far more interested in what Elizabeth is up to in this film than I am in seeing Jack Sparrow be Jack for the fifth time.

The screenwriters are not bound by the conventions of romance writing, so the question remains: Can we hope “Willabeth” will finally get their HEA in this fifth PotC installment? 

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Darlene Marshall writes award-winning historical romance, mostly about pirates, privateers, smugglers, and the occasional possum. You can read more about her and her books at

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
The ONLY reason I'm at all curious about this new Pirates film is for Elizabeth, Will, and their son. I don't have any expectations for what the story will be but I *am* hoping they get a bit of happiness at last.
Jennifer Proffitt
2. JenniferProffitt
Oooh, I like that note about the Commentary--that they lived Happily Ever After because she was faithful and Will did his thing. I wish they had made that more clear in the movie. It seemed like they were saying goodbye for another ten years rather than saying hello again!
Jennifer Proffitt
3. JenniferProffitt
@HeatherWaters--SAME. I want a movie that is JUST them. No Jack.
Carmen Pinzon
4. bungluna
I've stopped watching action movies with love interests because Hollywood writers seem to think that the token female is just window dressing and can be easily replaced.

As for Jack, after the third movie he just got soooo old. Not worth my time or money.
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