William Turner, Jr. is a character from the Pirates of the Caribbean film-series with some connections to the greater Disney Parks mythos.
William Turner, Jr. was born during the 1700s in Great Britain, the son of an unidentified woman and the pirate Bootstrap Bill Turner though William would believe him to have been a merchant. Bootstrap was a crew-mate aboard the cursed vessel known as The Black Pearl and passed along to William a cursed Aztec gold medallion which the crew of the Pearl needed to lift their curse.
Bootstrap would later be executed by the crew of the Pearl by having his bootstraps strapped to a cannon sent overboard into the sea for sympathizing with their mutinied captain, Jack Sparrow. William's mother would die of unknown causes and following this a young Will Turner tried to make a crossing from Britain to North America aboard a sailing ship. Due to the curse of his gold medallion, this alerted the crew of the Black Pearl which devastated his vessel with Will as the sole survivor, being saved by another ship making for Port Royal, Jamaica with its governor Weatherby Swann and his daughter Elizabeth who stole Will's medallion.
On Port Royal, Will grew up as the apprentice to a drunken blacksmith who left Will to do all of the work in crafting blades and metalwork. Due to the Black Pearl's attacking of his ship, William grew up with a deep hatred for pirates and piracy which lead him to practice sword-fighting three hours a day in-case he ever met with a pirate. In the early 1720s, the Black Pearl raided Port Royal and kidnapped Elizabeth Swann believing her to be the daughter of Bootstrap Bill who they needed the blood and medallion of to lift their curse. To save Elizabeth, Will freed the pirate Captain Jack Sparrow from Port Royal's prison in hopes of setting out to save her.
Along the way to save Elizabeth, William learned of his true heritage from Jack along with the apparent nobility of piracy in the face of the imperialism, classism and xenophobia of the British empire. Together, Jack, William and Elizabeth lifted the curse of the Black Pearl, restored Jack as the ship's pirate captain, killed its evil Captain Barbossa, and William later confessed his love for Elizabeth. Years later, Elizabeth and Will's marriage would be interrupted by the British Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company arresting William and Elizabeth for crimes against the crown in assisting Jack Sparrow. To try and save them, Will made a bargain with Beckett to track down Jack and acquire his enchanted compass that lead to whatever its user wanted most in the world.
William went about the plan only to be betrayed by Jack and Shanghai'd into slavery aboard the supernatural vessel The Flying Dutchman under the evil sea-god Davy Jones who Jack owed a debt to. Aboard the ship, William met his undead father Bootstrap Bill who made a bargain with Jones to have his curse lifted and be freed from the depths of the sea in-return for his servitude aboard the Dutchman. William would later escape the Dutchman and set upon hunting down the heart of Davy Jones in the Dead Man's Chest on Isla Cruces to stab and free his father's soul from Jones.
In the August of 1729, William would marry Elizabeth aboard the Black Pearl in a battle with the Flying Dutchman. William would later be stabbed in the heart by Jones himself but saved by Jack who used the dead William's hand to stab the heart of Davy Jones. This resulted in Jones' death and William's resurrection as the immortal captain of the Flying Dutchman. His own heart would be carved out and placed within the Dead Man's Chest before being left in the possession of Elizabeth who he had a child with.
Appearances and allusions
Tom Sawyer Island
This Disneyland attraction set at some point following 1835 features multiple allusions to Will Turner. The Dead Man's Chest appears within Dead Man's Grotto, presumably holding Will's heart while being haunted by the ghost of Davy Jones. Additionally, Will is identified as being proprietor of a blacksmith's shop on Jackson Island, Missouri (the attraction's setting) with a receipt identifying him as having been active on the isle in the 1750s. Also in Dead Man's Grotto, letters for Will's wife Elizabeth Swann and a portrait of her can be found amongst treasure in the possession of the undead pirates Pintel and Ragetti.
It should be noted however that Will and the rest of the Pirates film cast are not mentioned at all within the St. Petersburg Journal article at the Raft docks that provides the island's "Tom Sawyer" framing device, which could imply these elements merely exist within the imaginations of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and anybody else taking part in their pirate games on the island.
The Great Movie Ride
Jack Sparrow and Will Turner briefly appeared in the ride video at the end of this attraction.
A portrait of the Flying Dutchman is hung in the Ravenswood Manor of Thunder Mesa as part of the collection of Big Thunder Mining Company owner Henry Ravenswood. It is unknown if it portrays the ship from its time under William as captain but is explicitly the film version of the ship which William captained.
The Dead Man's Chest was in the collection of S.E.A. member Captain Mary Oceaneer aboard her RV Oceaneer Lab. Considering that Oceaneer obtained the chest during the latter-end of the 19th century, William was the last known owner of the chest before Oceaneer acquired it.
The Flying Dutchman from the films used to appear as a sort of attraction in Castaway Cay, again given the setting of the island William was the last known captain of the ship.