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Calypso, Goddess of the Sea

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Calypso is a character from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and a primary character in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, played by Naomie Harris. She is the Goddess of the Sea, the long lost love of Davy Jones, and an associate of both Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).

She has been trapped in a human body by the nine Pirate Lords. In At World's End, the Brethren Court convened and debated whether to release her from her human shell to help the pirates wage war against Davy Jones and the East India Trading Company. She was Davy Jones's lover until the day came when Jones returned after his first ten years of servitude as captain of the Flying Dutchman, and she did not appear to meet him. The embodied form of Calypso is actually Tia Dalma. She is mentioned in the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide as follows:

When the pirates release Calypso from her human bonds, a bolt of lightning strikes the sea and a giant whirlpool is formed

Character History

Little is known about Tia Dalma's past before the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, save for an association with Jack Sparrow at some point prior to his recruitment of Hector Barbossa in Tortuga. It was thought they had been lovers — Jack confessed to having "known" her at a time when they had been "inseparable" — whereas Tia Dalma had provided him with his strange compass: a mysterious device that pointed to what the user wants most. (It is noted in the Commentary for Pirates of the Caribbean that the compass does not point to someone's deepest desire.) [1]

In the Young Jack Sparrow books, Tia Dalma is mentioned to have turned a girl named Constance into a cat. It is also revealed that Jack has known her since he was a child. However, in the movies, she appears younger than Sparrow (although not as young as Will and Elizabeth). This might be further evidence to her powers - not aging, or simply delaying the process. He also calls her "Mommy Dearest" in the seventh book, although this may be a sly reference to the book, Mommy Dearest, a story about a woman's abusive movie star mother.

Barbossa told Elizabeth in the first film that the Aztec gold was cursed by heathen gods and Jones mentioned that Calypso is a heathen goddess. This may imply that she created the curse from the first film, or at least had some part in it, but there is no supporting evidence.

Fictional Biography

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Tia Dalma is the voodoo priestess who lives in a dark and eerie swamp on Pelegosto. It was she who traded Captain Jack Sparrow his famous compass seven years prior for gold (as told in Disney Adventures). In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Sparrow seeks Tia Dalma's assistance for information about Davy Jones and the Dead Man's Chest. In exchange, he gives her Jack, Barbossa's undead monkey, whose sudden good behavior in Tia Dalma’s hut foreshadows Barbossa's presence when Jack is seen perching atop a pair of boots of an unseen individual in the adjacent room. Tia Dalma also foreshadows Will Turner's fate, stating he has "a touch of destiny", which was ultimately unveiled in the third film. She later provides shelter and comfort for the surviving Black Pearl crew after the Kraken destroys the ship and takes their captain. It is Tia Dalma who proposes sailing to World's End to rescue Jack; she then reintroduces the resurrected Captain Barbossa to the stunned survivors.


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Tia Dalma joins Barbossa, Will, Elizabeth, and the rest of the Black Pearl's motley crew as they travel to Singapore. There, they infiltrate Sao Feng's headquarters to acquire the navigational chart needed to sail to World's End and Davy Jones' Locker, barely escaping the clutches of the East India Trading Company. On the journey, she explains to Pintel and Ragetti that Jack Sparrow cannot be resurrected the same way Barbossa was because Sparrow was taken as both body and soul. When the crew finds Sparrow on the shores of the Locker, he implies that Tia Dalma is one of the four people who tried to kill him. She flirtatiously retorts that Jack enjoyed her fury at the time, a hint that they might have had a romantic relationship. [2]

As the group search for an escape route back to the mortal world, they encounter numerous souls adrift in the water. Tia Dalma explains that Davy Jones' duty as captain of the Flying Dutchman was to ferry the souls of those who died at sea into the next world. Believing that his true love, the sea goddess Calypso, had scorned him, he abandoned his duty and became the cephalopod-like monster he is now. Whilst caressing her locket, she reminisces that he was once human.

It is revealed that Tia Dalma is actually Calypso, bound into human form, and that she is actually more powerful than she first appeared in Dead Man's Chest. Her true motives for resurrecting Barbossa and Jack are unveiled when it is learned that both are Pirate Lords of the Brethren Court. Each has their respective "Pieces of Eight", the talismans necessary to free Calypso. She resurrected Barbossa to obtain his piece (actually Ragetti's wooden false eye), and aided Jack's rescue because his Piece went with him to Davy Jones' Locker. Upon arrival at Shipwreck Cove, she reminds Barbossa of her power by gripping his hand and temporarily reverting it to its formerly cursed state. She angrily warns him that it was only by her intervention that he is alive again and to fulfill their agreement. Undeterred, Barbossa locks her in the brig until she is to be released from her human shell. She and her estranged lover, Davy Jones, briefly reunite while she is imprisoned. Calypso says she still feels deeply for Jones, and explains why she failed to meet him on the appointed day, saying that Jones never would have loved her if not for her uncontrollable and unpredictable nature. Jones claims he no longer cares for her. Calypso chastises him for failing his duty to ferry souls to the other world. It was because he neglected his charges that Jones corrupted his mind and soul and become a monster, cursed to live eternally at sea. Calypso is also furious that the Pirate Lords trapped her in a human body and threatens to unleash her wrath upon them once she is released. She adds she will fully give her love to Jones, and it appears they reconcile. When she touches Jones, he momentarily transforms back into the man he once was. Before leaving, Jones wistfully remarks that his heart will always belong to her.

As the battle between the East India Trading Company armada and the pirates looms, Barbossa burns the nine Pieces of Eight in an unsuccessful attempt to free Calypso. It is Ragetti who releases her by properly whispering the incantation, as if speaking to a lover. Before Calypso is fully freed, Will tells her that it was Davy Jones who betrayed her by revealing to the first Brethren Court how to bind her into her human form. Bound by ropes and still trapped beneath human skin, she grows to nearly sixty feet high. Barbossa asks that she fulfill their agreement and use her powers to aid the pirates. In a fury, Calypso breaks free, transforming herself into thousands of small crabs that engulf the ship and flee into the sea. Refusing to intervene, her fury creates a violent hurricane and maelstrom that becomes the battlefield between the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman. Her wrath is vented both at the pirate lords for imprisoning her and at Davy Jones for his betrayal.

Filming the Maelstrom

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ends with an epic climatic ending where the pirates of the world and the forces of Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones face off in the middle of a massive maelstrom caused after the release of Calypso. Jerry Bruckheimer said that this " one of the grandest scenes in all of Cinema history[3]. The entire event is described in the book: Pirates of the Caribbean: A Complete Visual Guide in a section titled, The Wrath of Calypso.

Notes and references

External links

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