Skip To Content

    The Little-Known Story Of Captain Jack Sparrow's Origin

    He didn't just spring fully formed onto the docks of Port Royale. The social circle of pirates is surprisingly small.

    Jack Sparrow was born in the middle of the Indian Ocean during a typhoon.

    Walt Disney Pictures

    The son of Captain Edward Teague and his unnamed pirate wife, Jack grew up in the life, bouncing between calling the infamous Shipwreck Cove home and being a cabin boy for his Pirate Lord (Lady?) Grandmother.

    In his teens, Sparrow captained his first ship, the Barnacle.

    Though barely a fishing fishing vessel, it was love at first sight. In the grand tradition of pirates, the Barnacle was commandeered from Tortuga by young Sparrow and his "friend" Arabella Smith. With a motley crew, including a young nobleman by the name of Fitzwilliam P. Dalton III on the run from an arranged marriage, they sailed the Caribbean for fortune and adventure.

    Turned out Dalton was James Norrington's cousin.

    During a sea battle between his father and young Jack Sparrow when Norrington was a child , James was knocked overboard. Saved by Captain Teague —because pirates have honor and who brings a kid to pirate fight — instead of gratitude James's father replies he'd rather his son have drowned then owe his life to a pirate. Suddenly Norrington's disdain towards Jack and willingness to shoot first makes way more sense.

    In the end, rogue pirates destroyed the Barnacle.

    You know that Code everyone goes on about? Rogue pirates had no code and were running roughshod over the seas, slaughtering whole crews and plundering without a care. In the end they were dealt with by the Brethren Court but not before irreversible damage had been done to the reputation of pirates as a whole.

    Bereft without his first love, Jack started working for the East India Trading Company.

    Walt Disney Pictures

    Specifically for Cutler Beckett. Beckett wanted Sparrow's pirate expertise to haul slaves but when he refused, they struck a deal where Sparrow would sail for the EITC using an old out-dated ship too expensive to convert for carrying slaves — the Wicked Wench. Jack would subsequently fall in love with this ship.

    A love that would lead to a series of unfortunate events.

    Manipulating Jack's love of the Wicked Wench, Beckett promised to sell the ship to him free and clear for one shilling if he'd only transport one shipment of slaves. Sparrow agreed but eventually his conscience caught up and he freed the slaves onto a mysterious island hidden by illusion where they'd be safe from the mechanizations of the East India Trading Company.

    But crossing a man like Beckett was not without consequences.


    In retribution for losing the "cargo," Beckett had Sparrow branded a pirate. To add insult to injury, he then forced Jack to watch as they burned the Wicked Wench. But Jack escaped custody, fleeing onto the Wench in an attempt to save her, only to be knocked unconscious by a falling beam and nearly drowning with his ship.

    Which is how he met Davy Jones.

    Realizing he was about to die, Sparrow summoned Jones in order to bargain. If Jones would save Jack's life — and that of the Wicked Wench — after captaining her for thirteen years he would give his soul to the Dutchman and become part of Jones' crew for one hundred years. Later this would explain why Jones demanded Sparrow bring him one hundred souls for reneging on the deal.

    Agreeing to the terms, Davy Jones raised the Wicked Wench.

    Walt Disney Pictures

    But her hull was still charred black from the fire and her sails burnt and full of holes. Due to her new appearance, and the fact he owned her properly now, Sparrow had the ship rechristened the Black Pearl.

    And he lived happily ever after with his ship...well at least for two years.

    All information courtesy of the Pirates Wikia.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form