In Pirates of the Caribbean, whoever has the Aztec gold gets cursed.

But Elizabeth had the gold coin with her which Bootstrap gave to his son Will before he was tied to a cannon and dropped to the ocean floor.

Barbossa states that they were cursed because of Aztec gold.

Also in the fight between Jack and Barbossa, Jack takes a gold coin and he was also cursed.

Why didn't Elizabeth get affected? Or was she also cursed and nobody noticed?

  • 3
    I think you have to physically remove the treasure yourself to be cursed. It doesn't get passed on.
    – bobbyalex
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 3:22
  • My reading is that 'if any mortal removes but a single piece...'. Jack Sparrow certainly palmed one, and received the curse. So, it seems to imply that Jack already had taken one at some time...?
    – user31846
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 2:23
  • He takes during the conversation with Barbossa, like few mins before it is revealed that he becomes immortal.
    – Panther
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 19:30
  • 1
    It's weird that you focus on Elizabeth and not Will, who she got it from.
    – Flater
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 11:38

4 Answers 4


Elizabeth didn't get cursed because she didn't take the coin from its original chest, the coin got passed on to Will Turner and then Elizabeth, Bill Turner was the one that took that same coin from the chest and he got cursed.

Quote from conversation between Barbossa and Elizabeth about the curse:

"...So the heathen gods placed upon the gold...a terrible curse. Any mortal that removes but a single piece from that stone chest shall be punished for eternity."

The crew that stole the gold from the original chest got cursed, but before they realized that, they already spent their aztec gold on different places.

If the curse was spread just by touching the gold there would be a lot more undead people, including Elizabeth and Will, which is not the case.

Confusion might be when Jack took the gold coin from the original stone chest later on and gotten cursed for a short period until he returned it back.

  • 3
    where did you get that quote, as it disagrees with the script as I read it.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 20:15
  • 2
    From PoC wiki,that's the quote as I remember from the movie I watched.Here is the only clip I managed to find of that part online youtu.be/Lu_oqP4JB3g?t=3m20s
    – Mentales
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 0:43
  • 4
    @ArunkumarTK: This answer seems to pretty clearly say that Jack took the coin from the chest whereas Elizabeth didn't. How is that failing to answer your question? If you have objections to the answer you should probably make them clearer.
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 12:10
  • 3
    @ArunkumarTK: I was not saying anything except that this answer addresses your question and that if you didn't think so you should make your objections clearer as you now have. As for your objections I will now state that from the youtube clip it does suggest that the curse effects those that take the treasure from the chest. This clearly explains the difference between Jack and Elizabeth. We have no evidence to suggest that the captain didn't let people take their share from the chest so it seems like the most likely answer. Anything else requires making things up which isn't necessary.
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 13:46
  • 2
    @ArunkumarTK - I don't think they ever mentioned that every single member of the crew got cursed,the story in the "Curse of the black pearl" is set about 10 years after the curse,those who didn't get cursed could have already died or simply left the ship when they realized it is full of undead people :O ...why would they spend 10 more years trying to break the curse they don't have.
    – Mentales
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 17:29

For the same reason that young Will Turner wasn't cursed after wearing the medallion. After young Will is rescued in the beginning of the first movie, young Elizabeth finds the medallion on young Will, and not wanting him arrested and hung as a pirate, takes it and begins wearing it herself. Neither of them were cursed by that act.

It wasn't the simple act of holding, or being given a piece of eight from the cursed treasure. It was the personal choice of stealing one.

  • Bootstrap Bill takes a coin (with greed, as treasure) and is cursed.
  • Bootstrap gives the coin to his son (who receives it as a gift without envy or greed), who is not cursed.
  • Elizabeth takes the coin with the good intention of saving Will (not with envy or greed), and is not cursed.
  • Captain Jack Sparrow later takes a coin off the pile (with the bad intention of killing Barbossa) and is cursed.
  • Finally Jack (the monkey) steals a doubloon (with greed, as treasure) and is cursed.

Just for @Logarr:

     Would that I could.

He produces the medallion, lets it dangle from his fingers.

               BARBOSSA (CONT'D)

     Do you not know what this is,

     It's a pirate medallion.

     It's a piece of the treasure of Isla de
      Muerta .

Elizabeth gives an infinitesimal shrug, intrigued despite herself.

               BARBOSSA (CONT 'D)
     Ah, so you don't know as much as you
      pretend. Back when Cortes was cutting a
      great bloody swath through the New
      World, a high priest gave. him all the
      gold they had, with one condition: that
      he spare the people's lives. Of course,
      Cortes being Cortes, he didn't.
     He'd've made a great pirate, that one.

Barbossa stands, moves to a shelf. Puts a key to a medium- sized polished wooden box -- the Captain's chest. Opens it.

               BARBOSSA (CONT'D)
     So the priest, with his dying breath,
      called on the power of the blood of his
      people, and put on the gold a curse. If
      anyone took so much as a single piece,
      as he was compelled by greed, by greed
      he would be consumed.

Inside the chest are charts, some gold, a sextant -- and a few pages of a Mayan CODEX, pieces of tree bark inscribed with Mayan glyphs. Barbossa removes them carefully, sets them on the table. Pours over them.

               BARBOSSA (CONT'D)
     Within a day of leaving port for Spain,
      the treasure ship carrying the gold ...
      something went wrong. The ship run
      aground, every man aboard dead, save
      one. He survived long enough to hide
      the gold ashore.

     Over time, the dark magic of the curse
      seeped into the place, making it a
      cursed island. An island of death. Isla
      de Muerta.

from Pirates-of-the-Caribbean

As you can read: ...put on the gold a curse. If anyone took so much as a single piece, as he was compelled by greed, by greed he would be consumed.

The curse was not on the chest, but the gold. And for the curse to be "activated" the gold doubloon needed to be taken, with greed as the motive.

  • 11
    I doubt there's anything to do with intent in regards to the curse. It's a simple matter of "Did they take it out of the chest or not?"
    – Logarr
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 17:45
  • 6
    "Jack Sparrow later takes a coin off the pile (with the bad intention of killing Barbossa)" - this is not my reading. He took the coin so he couldn't be killed. He was also wanting to kill barbossa but I don't see that the coin helped him to kill, just stopped him from being killed... Also your phrasing in your second paragraph needs adjusting. Its clearly not "the personal choice of stealing one" since Elizabeth she did steal it, no matter what her intentions were (I certainly don't remember her being given it or having permission to take it).
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 12:26
  • Just curious, are those quotes from an old script or from the actual finished movie?
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 13:07
  • 1
    @MacCooper: From the video linked from the comments in another answer it suggests that this is not the final script. The site it comes from doesn't seem to have a reference that I can see offhand to suggest whether this is an old version, user error or something else.
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 13:48

My reading of the situation is that the curse only affects someone if they take it from the chest.

  • 5
    It's probably more a case of intent. The pirates with the stolen gold didn't all necessarily take it from the chest physically, but were party to the thievery. Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 16:33
  • @MeatTrademark Well it might be that the curse is mildly "intelligent" in that it can tell that the pirates were all thieving from the chest. They all took a share of the chest. If it were just a matter of "who physically removed it", then they'd just have the monkey pass it to each of them one by one.
    – user64742
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 23:35
  • 2
    They didn't know about the in advance did they? Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 23:49

Barbossa explains it in the movie. The person is cursed if they remove the gold from the stone chest. Elizabeth nor Will did this ergo; not cursed. Each person who was cursed physically removed gold from the chest on the Isla de Muerta. It may not be in the script, but it's on film.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .