Warning: Spoilers for At World's End.

In At World's End, the newly minted badass Elizabeth Swann is

elected Pirate King

and becomes what seems to be a pretty awesome pirate.

But, in spite of her newfound love for sea, she then ends up as a good ole damsel-on-a-shore waiting for her pirate man. Which, all right, Disney is Disney.

But she's the Pirate King. So what happens to that? According to the PotC Wiki,

In the novel On Stranger Tides, which was used as the basis for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Blackbeard is unofficially known as the Pirate King.

I find this a little confusing, I suppose. Elizabeth wasn't an unofficial Pirate King. She was a bona fide first-since-way-back-when officially elected Pirate King.

So I'm curious if there is any word on it - whether she remained an official but ineffectual Pirate King, or whether she revoked that title to make room for her new damsel status, and there was no king once again. I'd like to know whether Elizabeth's kingship was directly addressed by any of the makers.

  • 6
    During the Brethren Court in At World's End, Jack Sparrow specifically calls Elizabeth, "King of the Brethren Court". It's possible it's a limited duration kind of title. So since the Brethren Court was convened specifically to counter Cutler Beckett and the East India Trading Company, once that was over, she no longer held the title. Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 20:32
  • Maybe she chose to abdicate the title?
    – amflare
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 20:56
  • 3
    @amflare Maybe, but maybe she didn't. I couldn't find word on it. If it's a plot hole - like the one in my other question about Will Turner's heart - then it's a bit harder to just shrug off. The whole "Pirate King" concept seems like it would be pretty important - and the pirates treat it as such. And yet, there is very little screen time dedicated to it, and all of it within the second half of one of the movies. And the movies don't seem to even bother with somehow concluding it, choosing instead to just say "meh" and move on. It's weird.
    – Misha R
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 4:45

1 Answer 1


I do not have word from the makers, but I think we can come to a conclusion based on the context in the film.

  • The First Brethren Court was convened to bind Calypso so that pirates could rule the seas.
  • The Nine Pieces of Eight were used in this binding and issued to the Pirate Lords.
  • During the events of At World's End, the Fourth Brethren Court is convened and Elizabeth Swann is elected King.
  • The Nine Pieces of Eight had also been collected by Barbosa and subsequently used to free Calypso.
  • The end result being, no more pieces of eight and Calypso being free.

This end result effectively signals the end of the Brethren Court as their purpose (keeping Calypso contained) and the proof of membership (the Nine Pieces of Eight) no longer exist. Therefore, the court is effectively disbanded and their King along with it.

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