Everyone has grown up hearing stories of swashbuckling ship captains who would fight off pirates, high seas, and storms bravely. These captains are some of the most enduring characters who have many books, comics, and movies made on them. In this article, we will explore the stories of the most famous captains of ships.
Most Famous Captains Of Ships (FICTIONAL)
1. Captain Nemo
Captain Nemo is a fictional character created by science-fiction author Jules Verne. He is also known as Prince Dakkar. He made his first appearance in the 1870 Novel called ‘Ten Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’. He also appeared in the novel ‘The Mysterious Island’ in 1874. He is the son of an Indian Raja of Bundelkhand.
He is a mysterious man and a scientific genius. He also has a famous submarine called the Nautilus. The name ‘Nemo’ means no one in Latin. This signifies the mysterious nature of the character.
Captain Nemo has appeared in many film adaptations of Jules Verne’s novels such as ‘10,000 Leagues Under the Sea’, ‘Mysterious Island’, ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’, etc. Many actors have portrayed him.
2. Davy Jones
Davy Jones is a fictional character who is said to be the captain of the legendary ghost ship called the Flying Dutchman. Most people know him as the antagonist of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.
According to the films, Davy Jones fell in love with a sea goddess named Calypso who assigned him the task of ferrying the souls of all the people who died at sea to the next world. He was hence given the Flying Dutchman. She promised to meet him ashore after ten years but failed to appear.
Hence, Davy Jones turned to an antagonist and played an important part in the story of the film series. Davy Jones was portrayed by Bill Nighly, though most of the character was computer-generated.
Some of the earliest mentions of Davy Jones are found in the novels ‘Four Years Voyages of Capt. George Roberts” written by Daniel Defoe in the year 1726 and “The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle” written by Tobias Smollett in 1751.
His name is also the origin of the idiom ‘Davy Jones’ Locker’ which is a nautical superstition meaning the bottom of the sea. This means the death of the drowned sailors and pirates and their entrance into the afterlife. This superstition was popularized in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is also used in the film series.
3. Captain Hook
Captain Hook is a popular fictional character most famous as the antagonist of the play, ‘The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up’ by J.M Barrie and as Peter Pan’s archenemy. His real name is Robb Harwood. One of his hands was cut off by Peter Pan and then eaten by a crocodile.
He replaced his severed hand with an iron hook. This is why he is called Captain Hook. His two biggest fears are the crocodile who ate his hand and the sight of his own blood. The crocodile is always after Captain Hook after getting a taste of his blood.
Captain Hook is also said to be Blackbeard’s boatswain. He was also the only man of whom Blackbeard was afraid.
Captain Hook has made several appearances in films and TV shows including the 1953 Walt Disney adaptation of Peter Pan and in the sequel Return to Never Land. He is also the main antagonist of the Disney Junior series ‘Jake and the Neverland Pirates’
4. Davos Seaworth
Davos Seaworth is a character from the infamous book series called ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ and its TV adaptation ‘Game of Thrones’. Now a knight, Davos Seaworth used to be a Tyroshi smuggler and pirate. He soon became the captain of his own ship and later one of the most infamous smugglers of the seven kingdoms.
He was born in Flea Bottom, in the lower section of the society. In the story, he becomes a loyal servant, advisor, and supporter of Stannis Baratheon after Robert’s Rebellion. Many of his seven sons also served on Stannis’ fleet. He is currently the captain of Black Betha and is one of the most important figures of his side.
5. Hector Barbossa
Hector Barbossa is another fictional character from the popular movie series ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. He appears in all of the films of the series and is one of the most important characters in the film. He dies at the end of the first film but is resurrected later. He is one of the Pirate Lords. He was portrayed by Geoffrey Rush.
He was born in a poor family but ran away from home at the age of 13 in order to become a sailor but later took up the life of piracy. He also briefly captained the Black Pearl. At the end of the fifth film, he sacrifices his life in order to save his daughter from Captain Salazar.
Other than the films, he appears in Pirates of the Caribbean video games and the Legends of the Brethren Court book series.
6. Captain Haddock
Captain Archibald Haddock is a fictional character from the famous comic series called, ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ by the Belgian cartoonist Hergè. He is a seafaring pipe-smoking Merchant Marine Captain and is one of the best friends of Tintin, the main character. He is always seen as the first person to help Tintin with his mysteries.
He makes his first appearance in The Crab with the Golden Claws.
He had a first mate Allan, who kept him drunk to run the ship for smuggling opium. Hence, Captain Haddock appears to be an alcoholic and a weak character. He soon regains his dignity and his command but never gives up on whiskey or rum. Throughout the series, he is humane, quick-witted, and sarcastic.
His ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock, is sometimes hinted to be one of the descendants of Louis XIV, the French Sun King.
He also appears in some films and TV series, being portrayed by different actors.
7. Captain Pugwash
Captain Pugwash is a fictional character from a British comic series by John Ryan. He is a pirate. He sells the seas in his ship called the Black Pig. His crew members include a cabin boy Tom who assists him, two other pirates Willy and Barnabas, and a Master Mate.
His enemy is called Jake and he is the captain of the Flying Dustman, as a parody of the famous captain and ship from the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Captain Pugwash was created in 1950.
He is described as a pompous and likable man. He often boasts about being very brave but is actually quite stupid, greedy, and cowardly. He always gets in trouble but usually wins the day with the help of his mates. Although he is a pirate, he is never seen indulging in any kind of pirate activity.
8. Captain Flint
Captain J. Flint is a fictional character who appears in a number of novels, films, and TV series. He made his first appearance in the famous adventure book Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson published in 1883. He is one of the main characters of the book in which year was the captain of a pirate ship called The Walrus.
His ship had accumulated a huge amount of treasure which was buried by Flint and 6 members of his crew on an island known as the Skeleton Island in the Caribbean Sea. He later murders the six assistants which cement his legend as a bloodthirsty and ruthless captain.
He is said to have died in 1754 by the effects of rum in Savannah. Captain Flint had the map of Skeleton Island, referred to as Flint’s fist which had the location of the buried treasure. This treasure map later falls into the hands of the protagonist Jim Hawkins. In the novel, everybody is searching for Captain Flint treasure.
9. Captain Smollett
Captain Alexander Smollett is a fictional character from the classic adventure novel, ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson. He is the captain of the ship Hispaniola and is one of the most important characters of the story and one of the most famous fictional captains in the literary world. He helps the protagonist, Jim Hawkins to survive against pirates.
He initially comes across as a bitter, skeptical, and strict man but this image changes as the story progress. His suspicious nature eventually becomes justified. He is a stickler for following all rules and also expects all of his orders to be followed in the same way.
He not only appears in the novel but also in several film adaptations of it, being portrayed by different actors.
10. Captain Ahab
Captain Ahab is a fictional character. he is the protagonist of the classic adventure novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. He is one of the most famous ship captains in the literary world. He was created in 1851. The character was orphaned at the age of 12 months. When he was 18, he started out as a boy harpooner and later on grew as a character.
This character was the inspiration for the famous character of Captain Hook by J.M. Barrie. Captain Ahab is obsessed with a whale. Similarly, Captain Hook is obsessed with a crocodile. Captain Ahab has a desire to kill Moby Dick, a whale. This is what drives the story. Throughout the story, the dominant character trait of captain Ahab is his tyrannical nature.
Captain Ahab appears in not only the classic novel but also in several movies, TV, and video game adaptations. he is also featured in or directly or indirectly referred to in some comic books as well as songs.
11. William Turner
William Turner is a fictional character from the popular film series Pirates of the Caribbean. He is one of the most important characters in the series. He appears in four of the five films. He is the son of a pirate, Bootstrap Bill Turner. He has a wife named Elizabeth Swann and a son named Henry Turner.
At the beginning of the film, he is a blacksmith’s apprentice who is secretly in love with the governor’s daughter. When she gets in trouble with pirates, he sets off on a voyage to save her. He is a brave, kind, cunning, adaptive, and selfless man throughout the series.
In the third film of the series, At World’s End, he becomes the captain of the Flying Dutchman taking Davy Jones’s place.
William Turner is portrayed by Orlando Bloom. As mentioned before, he appears in 4 films. He has also made several appearances in video games.
12. Jack Sparrow
Jack Sparrow is a fictional character from the popular movie series Pirates of the Caribbean. He is without a doubt the most popular fictional captain in the world and this list cannot be completed without his name. He is the protagonist of the series and appears in all 5 movies. He made his first appearance in the first film in 2003.
He is one of the nine pirate lords of the Brethren Court. He is most famous for his witty and comical nature. from the beginning of the story itself, he is a very calculating, intelligent, and cunning man who always finds a way to get in trouble and then to get out of it.
He always prefers to end disputes by using negotiations and verbal force instead of physical force He is the captain of the ship The Black Pearl.
He has many enemies that include Hector Barbossa, the East India Company Davy Jones, Blackbeard, and Captain Salazar, all of whom he manages to deceive or defeat. He later becomes a frenemy of William Turner and Captain Barbossa.
He dies by getting eaten by a sea monster at the end of the second film but is later resurrected by Barbossa, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, his sidekick Joshamee Gibbs and his crew.
Jack Sparrow is portrayed by Johnny Depp. He makes appearances in all of the Pirates of the Caribbean films as well as several video games and books.