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Captain Edward "Blackbeard" Teach (c.1680-1718) or alternatively Captain Edward Thatch is a historic pirate with connections throughout the Disney Parks mythology.

History[]

History[]

Blackbeard was the moniker of an infamous pirate from the golden age of piracy. He captained a fleet of ships lead by his flag-ship The Queen Anne's Revenge and was infamous for his strategy, well equipped vessel, and psychological-warfare. He got his nickname due to his braided beard which he laced with lit fumes which covered his head in smoke while he also wore six pistols strapped to his chest as a means of intimidating his enemies. Due to how much he mythologized himself, it is unclear to what extent which stories were and weren't true.

Blackbeard's true name is unknown but he commonly went by the aliases of Edward Teach and Edward Thatch. It is often theorized that he may have been a mercenary, soldier or privateer during the War of the Spanish Succession AKA Queen Anne's War which was a history known to many golden-age pirates. He died in North Carolina in the year 1718 at the hands of American soldiers, having allegedly been shot 10 times, stabbed 20 times and beheaded with his head having been mounted from the front of the ship.

Disney films[]

Blackbeard's Ghost[]

Within this film it was revealed that the 10th wife of Blackbeard was a woman named Aldetha Teach who cursed him to be a ghost bound in limbo. The crew of the Queen Anne's Revenge went on to turn the ship into a hotel after being marooned in North Carolina with the estate being run by their descendants centuries later.

Around 1968, Blackbeard's ghost would be brought back by a track-coach named Dean Walker who would go on to befriend the spirit seeking redemption. The film ends with Blackbeard reuniting with the souls of his crew and heading off on a ghostly ship.

Pirates of the Caribbean (film-series)[]

In these films, Blackbeard (despite being a white English man) is an avid practitioner of voodoo magic equipped with the magical Sword of Triton that allowed him to control ships. By the 1730s (decades after his death) he would seek the Fountain of Youth to try and avoid his prophesied death at the hands of his enemy Captain Hector Barbossa. At the fountain he would be stabbed by a poisoned blade by Barbossa only to drink from the wrong goblet of youth and wither away into a skeleton.

Disney Parks[]

Blackbeard was an infamous pirate captain during the golden age of piracy, best known as captain of the Queen Anne's Revenge. At some point he had a daughter in the form of Angelica Teach who he gave up to a Spanish Catholic monastery to be raised. Amongst his ships, he might have at some point commanded a vessel known as The Wicked Wench though the ship itself would be captained by one Hector Barbossa, potentially succeeding Blackbeard or having worked under him.

At some point in time, Blackbeard became enemies with one Captain Jack Sparrow. The two competed for the Treasure of the Mediterranean where Sparrow's crew was assisted by the sea goddess Calypso who disdained Blackbeard.[1] Blackbeard lost this treasure to Sparrow's crew as a result vowed revenge on the pirates.

In 1718, he traveled to North Carolina where he beached the Queen Anne's Revenge and abandoned their crew. After an encounter with American soldiers, Blackbeard was supposedly killed by one Lieutenant Robert Maynard. Said death either did not occur or were proceeded by Blackbeard's resurrection. Following this event he reunited with his daughter Angelica and also repaired the Queen Anne's Revenge with modifications such as Greek fire and a crew of zombies.

Blackbeard had Angelica serve as his first-mate aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge. The two became trading affiliates with one Trader Sam whom they traded a spyglass with. Following Teach's death, Blackbeard's ghost would haunt the cursed island of Isla Tesoro in the Caribbean Sea which was previously raided by the Wicked Wench and turned to a pirate-haven.

Appearances and allusions[]

A Pirate's Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas[]

Blackbeard is the main-antagonist in a mission named after him where guests representing Jack Sparrow's crew compete with Blackbeard for the Treasure of the Mediterranean, one of seven treasures of the goddess Calypso.

Pirates of the Caribbean[]

1967-1997[]

Blackbeard as he appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.

Blackbeard originally appeared as the captain of the Wicked Wench, the pirate ship seen attacking the town of Puerto Dorado on Isla Tesoro in-search of its cursed treasure. Blackbeard is also the name of one of the boats boarded by guests from Laffite's Landing of the Blue Bayou in the Disneyland version of the ride.

1997-2006[]

Following a 1997 refurbishment inspired by scenes from Blackbeard's Ghost, a portrait of Blackbeard (as portrayed in the film) could be spotted in the possession of a couple of pirates attempting to abandon the rest of the crew with their stolen goods. This portrait was a prop from the film, recycled for the attraction. In 2006, both the portrait and animatronics of Blackbeard would be removed in-favour of Barbossa from the film-series.

A portrait of Peter Ustinov's Blackbeard which once appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.

2011-2018[]

For a relatively short period of time, the Pirates of the Caribbean films' portrayal of Blackbeard appeared as a ghost in the grottos of Isla Tesoro. As guests passed by, his face would materialize on a waterfall along with that of Davy Jones to give ominous warnings about the cursed treasure and haunted island.

Disneyland Paris[]

McShane's Blackbeard projection, used in Disneyland Paris

Blackbeard has made three notable appearances in Disneyland Paris' Pirates of the Caribbean. He still appears as the captain of the Wicked Wench in these attractions and also his ghost still appears on a waterfall, here in a log-house built in a Caribbean lagoon near a graveyard of ships. For many years he made an additional appearance, engaged in a sword-fight with a swashbuckling citizen of Puerto Dorado but this animatronic was replaced with that of a one-eyed lady-pirate.

Furthermore, Blackbeard's daughter Angelica Teach from the fourth film is the former proprietress of the restaurant Captain Jack's (formerly the Blue Lagoon) before having lost the restaurant to Jack in a duel.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure[]

A wanted-poster for Blackbeard can be seen alongside those of Davy Jones, Barbossa and Captain Jack Sparrow in this attraction's queue, set within the fictional Fort Snobbish of Treasure Cove.

Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island[]

Chests marked as containing Blackbeard's treasure can be seen on the rafts to Jackson Island.

Seven Seas Lagoon[]

Blackbeard Island is the name given to an island area in the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Tortuga Tavern[]

A mural of Blackbeard appears in this tavern-themed restaurant run by Jack's old crew-mate Arabella "Bell" Smith. Blackbeard is listed in a book of customers as Edward Teach with crew-mates such as his daughter Angelica also being mentioned.[2]

Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar[]

In Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar is a spyglass with a note from Sam saying he, "Traded this from a mean looking pirate with a black beard...and a pretty daughter". This is clearly referencing Blackbeard as-well-as his daughter Angelica from the Pirates of the Caribbean films.[3]

Both Trader Sam bars have bottled ships in the likeness of The Wicked Wench which was Blackbeard's ship in the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The bottled Wench here being shown to come to life and sink (a borrowed effect from the Adventurers Club). This might be connected to how in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Blackbeard was shown to keep a collection of real bottled ships.

In other media[]

Films[]

Blackbeard's Ghost[]

Blackbeard is deuteragonist of this comedy-film where he was played by Peter Ustinov.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides[]
Blackbeard serves as the main-antagonist of this film.[]

Printed-materials[]

Peter and Wendy[]

In this 1911 book, Blackbeard is referenced as having been the former captain of Captain Hook with a young Hook having served as his boatswain.

Connections[]

Atlantis: The Lost Empire[]

In an unused draft for Atlantis: The Lost Empire, it would have been revealed that Milo and Thaddeus Thatch were in-fact descendants of Edward Thatch, Blackbeard. In the final film they retain the Thatch surname meaning that this very likely might still be the case.

Haunted Mansion[]

In this attraction Madame Leota is the name of the clairvoyant responsible for materializing and summoning the spirits of the Mansion. The spell she uses can be found on pages 1312-1313 in her spell-book along with the words, "Kree Kruh Vergo Gaba Kalto Kree", the same words written by Aldetha Teach used to bring Blackbeard back from death.

Trivia[]

  • Blackbeard was once proposed to be one of the ghosts in the Haunted Mansion by Marc Davis.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Jack Sparrow's father Edward Teague is modelled after Blackbeard from the original ride and his name is an apparent portmanteau of Edward Teach.

References[]

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