How many of us grew up wishing to fight on the high seas, rescue damsels in distress, and fight against pirates? Maybe you wanted to be the pirate and rebel against an oppressive overlord who was hellbent on destroying peace. What it comes down to is that we all love pirates. We love to hear their sea shanties and tales of adventures. Here are five of my favorite pirates that never really existed in the real world. Feel free to add in your own.
Captain Jack Sparrow
He is Disney’s Pirate Lord of the Caribbean, as played by Johnny Depp, in the popular series. Jack Sparrow is a fictional pirate that goes through life with a cunning wit and an art to escape even the most nefarious traps. In the original concept of the Black Pearl, Sparrow was viewed as a supporting character, but quickly became a lead after Johnny Depp joined the cast. He is a pirate with a code, a handsome, metrosexual rake, and, depending on your perspective, good or bad. The popularity of the character is such that Sparrow was named the second best action character of all time, following Indiana Jones.
The antagonist of J.M. Barrie’s play, Peter Pan: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, Captain Hook is the quintessential pirate of fiction. He commands the ship, The Jolly Roger, and was the boatswain of Blackbeard and the only man that Long John Silver ever feared. In the play, the Captain wears an iron hook in place of his hand that was cut off by Peter Pan and then swallowed by a crocodile. The crocodile is still chasing Hook for more human flesh. Typically in the play, the part of Captain Hook and the father, George Darling are one and the same. It was Barrie’s belief that “all grown ups are pirates.” The part of Captain Hook was not in the original writing of the play. He was a painting on the front cloth, but Barrie knew children loved pirates and added the part in. While Barrie did not give Hook a first name, he is commonly referred to as “James Hook”.
Robert deNiro plays this part of a pirate captain on a sky ship. Here he ends up having a chance encounter with Tristan and Yvaine. He takes them in and transports them back towards Wall. While on his sky ship, the two fall in love and learn some very interesting parts about Captain Shakespeare. The movie is based upon Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name, however, Captain Shakespeare is no where to be seen. While deNiro has a large part in the film, a character by the name of Captain Johannes Alberic who only has a bit part in the book.
Dread Pirate Roberts
Portrayed in the book, The Princess Bride, by William Goldman, the Dread Pirate Roberts is the pseudonym of Westley, Princess Buttercup’s love interest. Roberts is known to never take captives from his conquests. It is revealed in the story that Roberts is not one man, but a series of pirates. When one Roberts wishes to retire, he brings in his first mate to take his place. In the movie of the same name, it is suggested that the Spaniard, Inygo Montoya would take Westley’s place. However, in the novel, there is no such reference to anyone. There are possibly 7 different Dread Pirate Roberts.
World Series Champions Pittsburgh Pirates (post 1979)
The Pittsburgh Pirates get added to this list because they haven’t won a World Series since 1979. In all fairness, they have won the World Series five times, starting back in 1909. Lately, they haven’t done so well. Their last division title was in 1992. The team was started in 1876 and was in a group of independent professional teams crossing the country. Throughout the years, the Pirates have had several famous players: Ralph Kiner, Bob Friend, Pie Traynor, Willie Stargell, and Bobby Bonilla amongst them.