↳ Elizabeth Swann, Pirates of the Caribbean
Elizabeth rowed slowly, mindful of where she was. The Empress was a spot in the distance now, the way she wanted it. This had to be private.
She checked her compass again, making sure she was still heading the right way. Only a few more minutes now.
She continued rowing. Stroke, stroke, stroke. A thoughtless task, allowing thoughts to enter her mind. The way he had looked at her, one last fleeting glance. A single shot to ensure her safety.
She never had made peace with herself for not doing anything more, to help him, to save him. But he saved her without a second thought. And how had she repaid him? By shoving it to the back of her mind, where she wouldn’t think about it and could concentrate on other things. A few seconds’ remorse — that was what he had died for.
At last, she arrived (as near as she could tell) at the place where they had parted ways for good. So to speak. She drew the oars into the boat again.
She sat, silent for a minute. Suddenly, she felt nervous. It had seemed so simple in her mind - come and pay her last respects to the fallen Commodore. (In her mind, that is how he would remain — the Commodore. Not the pitiful drunkard of Tortuga, nor the Admiral achieved by deceit and betrayal. The dead deserved to be remembered as they were in the best of their life, and so the Commodore he would remain.)
She didn’t know how to begin. He either was there, as some form of a spirit, or he wasn’t there at all. And either possibility equally attributed to her nerves.
“James,” she said, finally allowing herself to think his name. She paused a moment, waiting in anticipation for a signal, some sign to let her know that he was there. None came, and she continued.
“Thank you for… Well, everything. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here right now. But you would probably still be alive. Thank you for your sacrifice — for all your sacrifices…
“I didn’t really understand some of your decisions. Most of them, actually. And I’m not going to pretend to. But I know that you were just trying to be a good man. And… And even though you had your downs, it only made the good times all the better. You were a good man… Such a good man. So much better than I ever was. So much better than I ever could be. I - I was selfish and thoughtless and now you’re lying at the bottom of the ocean. It should be me.” Her voice became louder, her words coming faster.
“Why does fate have to be so cruel? Where are my damn negative consequences? I didn’t get any. I fought and won and everything went right. But, you!” she laughed weakly and without humor. “You did nothing but help me. Even when I never did the same for you. And you paid my price for me. You paid more than my life was worth.”
She had to stop for a minute to get control of her voice. She hadn’t thought it would affect her this way, but she was glad it did. The pain, the dull ache in her chest served as a reminder that she did this to him. And she would gladly accept that pain over the additional guilt of not being able to feel anything at all.
“You were the bravest man I knew, and I will never forget it.”
She couldn’t say anything after the whispered words, only felt hot tears streaming down her cheeks. She sat in silence broken only by the sound of her breathing and the splash of water against the side of the rowboat for an unmeasured amount of time. Day faded into night, and the moon rose, shining brightly on Elizabeth.
She sees him sail away, and feels as though her heart should break.
She picks up her sword, her gun, her hat, and the girl she once was vanishes into an unwanted history, leaving a legend to sail out of that cove. She chooses not to stay in Shipwreck for long; she drinks with Jack’s father and laughs at how alike they are, takes on crew to replace those who fell and rum enough to keep them happy, and that’s all. The Pearl and the Empress sail side by side for a spell, but part ways soon enough. Something about Tortuga, she believes, and she shakes her head softly as they sail out of view - Barbossa and Jack’s truce won’t last long, she’s sure of that. But it is not her business, and the sea is calling.
It’s the kraken that gives her the idea. They pass the island where its body lies, though they don’t stop; for a second the breath catches in her chest, her heartbeat loud in her ears, and then she’s shouting for them to turn the ship about.
She buys what she needs in the closest port, veins fizzing with adrenaline she hasn’t felt since the battle, and then they’re sailing south with nothing but her memories to guide her.
But she knows those waters, and her course is true.
She loses two men to the cold.
The others mutter to themselves about madness, about mutiny, but it never becomes more than a whisper. Her sword held to their necks and the calm determination in her eyes takes care of that.
(It is here, in these cold wastes, that she begins to show. She never once turns from her course, though she wonders, sometimes, if it would be the right thing to do)
She’s the first to see the darkness on the horizon.
She has everyone lash themselves to the ship - to the masts, the capstan, the wheel. The ship can take care of herself.
The smile on her face as the ship falls is huge.
The waters are still, at the end of the world. No longer do bodies drift in its currents, no longer do souls rest in rudderless boats.
She lets down a rope, tied to a bottleneck, and when she pulls it back the water inside is clear, fresh, not thick with the scent of rotting flesh as it had once been.
(She prays then, quickly, quietly, and her hand tightens around the hilt of her knife)
Her scar mirrors his.
He freezes when he sees it, but when he finally looks into her face his eyes are steady, and the hope in them is almost too much for her to take.
Will it work?
I don’t know.
i hardly believe in ghost stories, Captain Barbossa.
Jfc, this turned out way longer than I had wanted it to, haha.
You know how in The Dark Knight, when Heath Ledger says that line about being a dog chasing cars, but he “wouldn’t know what to do with one if he caught it?” That’s kind of like what I would imagine the Johnlock or Harry/Hermione community would be like if there was actually any canon lovin’ that took place, and that’s kind of like what the Jack/Elizabeth community was like pre-Dead Man’s Chest. When the kiss actually happened, I don’t think a lot of people knew what to do with it? (Espeeeeecially Will/Liz supporters.)
So, for a long time, I think a lot of people, myself included, thought it was kind of a half-assed, random, batshit crazy clusterfuck way to end a movie that people were already iffy about because it was so different from Curse of the Black Pearl. “Out of character” was a big phrase thrown around, not to mention it just seemed kind of…well, all the words I just mentioned. Really random.
However…like I mentioned in my previous rant; I think Elizabeth’s character went a lot deeper than most people thought, and, as it turns out, Elizabeth cuffing Jack to the mast was completely in character. Was it cold? Brutal? Even cruel? Perhaps more so than anything she’d yet done? Of course. But that’s what made it such a huge, epic moment for the finale, which Jack sums up perfectly: “Pirate."
There were little clues dropped in CotBP here and there that most people didn’t really consider when thinking about Elizabeth. Here’s a little bit of a list:
And that’s just movie 1. (Don’t even get me started on movie 3.)
Elizabeth is a girl who takes charge. When she isn’t taking charge, she’s being manipulative. When she isn’t being manipulative, she’s observing; planning her next move. I’m not saying she never feels any guilt or remorse, but you never see Elizabeth backing out of something she’s committed to. When she was slapped, she was somewhat gentler, but spoke back firmly and confidently to Barbossa. When she built the signal fire, she coherently and confidently proved to Jack that it was an educated decision and not a panicked move of desperation. When she cuffed Jack to the mast, she climbed quickly into the boat and fiercely urged them onwards.
If anything, Elizabeth might be a bit too forward-thinking and educated for a high-born English socialite of the time period to be realistic (at least in certain matters of self-preservation, survival, and piracy) - but as far as character developments go, everything lines up perfectly. In fact, any time she wasn’t showing those traits powerfully, Jack would be there in the same room showing them…and Elizabeth is gradually more and more fascinated by Jack throughout DMC, which is why she ends up more “piratey” at the end.
Confident. Brutal. Cold. But most definitely in character.
(In case it’s unclear, Elizabeth is like…my fave character haha. However, if you asked me about Will or Jack, I’m sure I could come up with some whoppers as well.)
I. arlington ; the wailin’ jennys II. below my feet ; mumford and sons III. blackbird ; sarah mclachlan IV. some nights ; tyler ward V. man down ; rihanna VI. my immortal ; evanescence VII. fallen ; imagine dragons VIII. feelin’ good ; the pussycat dolls IX. ocean blue ; jesse cook X. lost ; katy perry XI. dreams on fire ; suzanne grazanna XII. best of me ; christina aguilera
↳ [5/10] quotes: Elizabeth Swann, Pirates of the Caribbean