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Tia Dalma (Calypso)

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Tia Dalma, played by Naomie Harris, is a fictional 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, in which a significant amount of the plot revolves around her and her powers. It is revealed in At World's End that she is actually the sea goddess Calypso.

Character history

Little is known about Tia Dalma's past before the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, except for an association with Jack Sparrow at some point prior to his recruitment of Hector Barbossa in Tortuga. It is also known that she was Davy Jones' lover, and made him the captain of The Flying Dutchman. Jack also claims that she has tried to kill him before, although she claimed "he enjoyed it at the time", which Jack concedes to, admitting to having enjoyed it.

Before the Brethren Court confined her to a human body, she was the goddess Calypso. Jack confessed to having "known" her at a time when they had been "nigh inseparable" — Tia had provided him with his strange compass: a mysterious device that pointed to what the user wants most. When Calypso was captured, the pirates had tamed the sea, but also became less hardy, as regretted by Barbossa.

In the Jack Sparrow prequel books, Tia Dalma is said to have transformed a girl named Constance Magilore into a cat. It is also revealed that Jack has known her since he was a teenager.

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. It was she who traded Captain Jack Sparrow his famous compass seven years prior. In 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, Hector Barbossa's undead monkey.

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.

Foreshadowing

When Jack Sparrow gives Tia Dalma Jack the monkey, its sudden good behavior in Tia Dalma’s hut foreshadows Barbossa's presence when the monkey 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 also slyly revealed the fact that Davy Jones cut out his heart for her true love. When there was a brief debate over whether it was the sea or a woman, she replied, "Same story, different versions, and all are true." Also, we see Davy Jones listen to and play a heart-shaped crab locket throughout the movies. In At World's End, it is revealed that Tia Dalma/Calypso has a twin locket; which is a sign of their love. Tia Dalma's twin locket can be seen on a table in her hut in Dead Man's Chest.

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" by the Kraken while Barbossa died from normal, earthly causes, having been shot by Jack. When the crew finds Sparrow on the shores of the Locker and ask him to join them in their quest to defeat Jones he retorts that four of the crew (meaning Will, Barbossa, Tia, and Elizabeth) had tried to kill him. Tia flirtatiously responds that Jack enjoyed her fury at the time, which causes Jack to smile nostalgically, a hint that they might have had a romantic relationship.[1]

As the group searches for an escape route back to the mortal world, they encounter numerous souls adrift in the water. They see Elizabeth's father, who says 'he feels dead' and that he is also 'proud of her'. Tia Dalma says 'she mustn't leave the ship'. Will then restrains Elizabeth, and 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, and every ten years for one day he could come ashore to be with the woman he loved. Believing that his true love, the sea goddess Calypso, had abandoned him when he did come ashore, he abandoned his duty and became the monster he is now as a result. While 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 rendering it skeletal. She angrily warns him that it was only by her power that he is alive again and to fulfill their agreement or else Barbossa would be doomed with death if she did not become released from her human bonds. 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 meets his anger for her failure to meet him on the appointed day by saying that Jones never would have loved her if not for her uncontrollable and unpredictable nature. Calypso also 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 became a monster. Calypso is also furious that the Pirate Lords trapped her in her human form. Thus, her true motives are revealed: she plans to use her powers against the current court in revenge for the original turning her into a human. She will also 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. Jones' parting words betray that his heart will always belong to her.

As the battle between the East India Trading Co. 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 "Calypso, I release you from your human bonds". 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, enraging her. Bound by ropes, she grows to nearly sixty feet high, towering over the crew. Barbossa asks that she fulfill their agreement and use her powers to aid the pirates. Laughing, "Malfaiteur en Tombeau, Crochir l'Esplanade, Dans l'Fond d'l'eau!". Speaking in a form of French creole roughly translated Calypso is saying "To your graves wrongdoers, I bend your path, to the depths of the sea", cursing the brethren court for binding her into human form. Calypso breaks free, transforming herself into thousands of small crabs that engulf the ship and flee into the sea. Her fury then creates a violent hurricane and maelstrom that becomes the battlefield between the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman. Instead of aiding a particular side, her wrath is vented both at the pirate lords for imprisoning her and Davy Jones for his betrayal. The extreme conditions of the storm neutralize both the Pearl's speed and the Dutchman's firepower, permitting a fair fight. Later, Jones' last word would be the name of his lover before he tumbled into the abyss she created, becoming part of the sea at last.

Personality and appearance

In Dead Man's Chest, Tia appears to be quite mysterious and enigmatic. Her personality is flirty and playful (coinciding with the legend that the sea-goddess Calypso was something of a seductress), and she likes talking in riddles, perhaps taking joy in allowing people to figure things out by themselves. She speaks in Jamaican Patois ("Him carve out 'im heart", etc.) with a typical West Indian accent, pronouncing her "th"'s as "d"'s. The movie-based comic series of the same name depicted Tia Dalma barefoot, although it wasn't shown in the movies.

Tia Dalma's name is an anagram of Dalmatia, a region whose coast was a haven for pirates when it was known as the Roman province of Illyricum and prior to that, the pirate kingdom of Illyria, ruled at one time by the pirate Queen Teuta.

In At World's End, when she is finally revealed as Calypso, she appears to be a stern but benevolent goddess, but if roused to anger, her fury knows no bounds.

Notes and references

External links

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