In the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, we know that Bootstrap Turner (Bill Turner) is thrown to the bottom of the ocean by Barbossa and his crew. He may be alive due to the curse until it is broken at the end of the first movie.

However, in the second movie, he comes to Jack Sparrow to give messages from Davy Jones. So how does he end up with Davy Jones from the bottom of the ocean. I believe he says something to Jack, but I am not able to understand fully. What deal did he make and why?

5 Answers 5


This is the conversation between Jack Sparrow and Bootstrap Bill when the latter came to deliver Davy Jones' message and the black spot:

Jack: And to what do I owe the pleasure of your carbuncle?
Bootstrap: He sent me. Davy Jones.
Jack: So it's you, then. He shanghaied you into service, eh?
Bootstrap: I chose it. I'm sorry for the part I played in the mutiny against you, Jack. I stood up for you. Everything went wrong after that. They strapped me to a cannon. I ended up on the bottom of the ocean, the weight of the water crushing down on me. Unable to move. Unable to die, Jack. And I thought that even the tiniest hope of escaping this fate, I would take it. I would trade anything for it.
Jack: It's funny what a man will do to forestall his final judgement.
Bootstrap: You made a deal with him too, Jack. He raised the Pearl from the depths for you. Thirteen years, you've been her captain.

So, Bootstrap was at the bottom of the ocean where, at some point, Davy Jones came and offered him the service as a way out.

This must have happened at some point in time before the end of the first movie, or Bootstrap would've just died (and floated to the land of the dead, as we saw those souls do in the first half of the third movie), which would've been his way out and he wouldn't have been desperate enough to accept Davy Jones' offer.


There is a common sailors' phrase: "Davy Jones' Locker" which means "the bottom of the ocean":

Davy Jones' Locker, also Davy Jones's Locker, is an idiom for the bottom of the sea: the state of death among drowned sailors and shipwrecks. It is used as a euphemism for drowning or shipwrecks in which the sailor(s)'s and/or ship(s)'s remains are consigned to the bottom of the sea (to be sent to Davy Jones' Locker).

The origins of the name of Davy Jones, the sailors' devil, are unclear, with a 19th-century dictionary tracing Davy Jones to a "ghost of Jonah". Other explanations of this nautical superstition have been put forth, including an incompetent sailor or a pub owner who kidnapped sailors.

So, Bootstrap Bill Turner ended up with Davy Jones because that's what happens to all drowned sailors (at least, that's what happens in the world of Pirates of the Caribbean).

From farther down the Wikipedia article:

The concept of Davy Jones was conflated with the legend of the Flying Dutchman in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, in which Davy Jones's locker is portrayed as a sort of purgatory, with Davy Jones being a captain assigned to ferry those drowned at sea to the afterlife before he corrupted his purpose out of anger at his betrayal by his lover, the sea goddess Calypso.

  • He didn't drown, though, as he was undead/immortal thanks to the curse of the Aztec Gold, and while Davy Jones' locker is a mythological metaphor for "the bottom of the ocean" in non-fiction, in the universe in question (PotC), it's not quite the same. Davy Jones recruits dying people who wish to postpone their deaths into his ship, to be part of the Flying Dutchman's crew. That's what Bill did as a way to end his suffering under the weight of the water crushing down on him. Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 7:00
  • ... There's no way to perfectly align the absurd fiction in the films with an old metaphor for dying and the afterlife.
    – Catija
    Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 12:45
  • All I can say as a response is, "Exactly". Your answer is looking at real-world (non-fictional) mythology about Davy Jones and trying to reconcile it with an explanation, which would be fine if it lined up with the movie's in-universe lore/logic - in this case, it does and doesn't. It is not true what you say that Bootstrap Bill Turner ended up with Davy Jones because that's what happens to all drowned sailors. He did it to end his suffering. Others who are dying also get a choice to postpone their death, they do not end up in his crew by default, purely because they drowned. Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 13:01
  • I still think it's really cool to reach for the actual, out-of-universe mythology to back-up your answers, it's just that it just happens to have led you to make claims that don't really hold water with regard to the movie's in-universe logic. Bill could have continued to endure the pain, and drowning or otherwise dying sailors can choose to continue dying until death - they do not by default end up in his crew, which your answer implies. I know you make a note about the ferry, but, again, the distinction is not clear enough, especially because you're saying that's what happens to all Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 13:04
  • The chosen answer, for example, is more in-tune with the movie-s logic and in-universe mythos. Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 13:05

In the film Davy Jones is supposed to be ferrying souls lost at sea into the Locker so they can be at peace.

However, the Davy Jones in the film is not doing his job properly, hence the weird/fish/ocean/coral like appearance of him and his crew.

Instead, Davy Jones is attacking pirates and sailors and offering them a choice, to die or to serve on his ship.

Davy Jones: Do you fear death?

This is how bootstrap Bill joined the ship. He was given the same choice.

"They strapped me to a cannon, I ended up on the bottom of the ocean, the weight of the water crushing down on me. Unable to move...unable to die, Jack. And I thought that even the tiniest hope of escaping this fate...I would take it. I would trade anything for it."

This is also why Tia (Calypso) says to Davy Jones:

You have corrupted your purpose, and so yourself.

When Will Turner becomes the new Davy Jones - he does the job properly. That is why he looks normal.


K, that might be all in well, but that doesn't explain how jones found him at the bottom of the ocean. You only can go to the locker after death... So unless he was still down there when the curse was broken, he never would have died, and there for jones never would have approached him.

  • 1
    This answer looks like a comment under the accepted answer. You should only write an answer if you're really answering it. You have to earn a minimum reputation of 50 to comment on posts. .
    – Nog Shine
    Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 4:08

So there for, he sat at the bottom of the ocean for a good ten years or so, then the curse was broken, and jones found him and made him a deal. He accepted. It might also be possible that he joined Jack's crew, shortly after Jack made a deal with jones and had raised the burnt arse lusty wench from the depths and renamed it the black pearl, only to lose it two years later to Barbossa.

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