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Eleanor Guthrie
Eleanor 648x1080
Vital statistics
Title Merchant
Gender Female
Status Deceased (bled out from a cut inflicted by a Spanish soldier)
Ships None
Relationships Max (Ex-Lover/Friend)
James Flint (Friend)
Madi (Friend)
Richard Guthrie (Father; deceased)
Mr. Scott (Slave, formerly/Friend, deceased)
Charles Vane (Ex-Lover; deceased)
Woodes Rogers (Husband)
Appearances First: I.
Portrayed by Hannah New
Gallery Eleanor Guthrie Gallery
"To say we have seen the end of Eleanor Guntrie is to, well, not to know her."
Jack Rackham[src]

Eleanor Guthrie was the beautiful, determined daughter of Richard Guthrie, the wealthiest black marketeer in the Bahamas and the chief fence/supplier for the many pirate crews of New Providence Island. Left by her father to oversee all his dealings with the pirates in Nassau, Eleanor owned and operated the tavern on Nassau’s main street. Eleanor wielded considerable influence, leading her to form a pact with Captain Flint that will either bring her dream of complete independence to fruition, or doom it entirely.

Unfortunately, while her relationships with Max, Flint and Madi improved, she was killed in Season Four by a Spanish soldier, protecting Madi.

Biography

Background

Eleanor was probably born in England, but moved to Nassau as a young child. She is the only daughter of Richard Guthrie, the wealthiest black marketeer in the port. She was educated by her father’s houseboy slave Mr. Scott. Her mother was killed in the Rosario Raid of 1703, when a Franco-Spanish force sacked Nassau, essentially ending English governance. Afterwards, Nassau would become a haven for pirates, and her father their chief fence.

When she was 17, her father moved to Harbour Island, leaving his business in the hands of Eleanor and Mr. Scott. Seeking to stamp her authority on Nassau, Eleanor conspired to throw the most feared pirate off the island; Edward Teach. First, she offered Teach’s ally, Captain Hornigold, control of the fort. Then, Eleanor became the lover of Teach’s protégé, Charles Vane, and convinced him to switch sides. Teach had no choice but to leave Nassau.

Eleanor’s relationship with Vane has since ended, but she has become the merchant queen and dominant authority in Nassau.

Season One

Eleanor runs the front end of the smuggling businesses, dealing directly with the pirates. A young woman in the presence of ruthless men, Eleanor has learned to take care of herself, fearing no one. Needing money to bribe fellow crewman into backing Flint, Gates goes to the bar for a loan, expecting to be rejected. Against the advisement of Mr. Scott, who says it wouldn't be smart to loan money to somebody who could die or be replaced at any moment, Eleanor decides that backing Flint is the right move and gives him a loan of a thousand pieces of eight.  

Eleanor1

Later that night Eleanor finds out that Vane was involved in the death of an important member of Flint's crew, one that Gates had just left after convincing him to support Flint. Eleanor runs the tavern and in the process also finds Vane. In a flash of anger she slaps him in front of his crew. Vane hits her back, striking her hard enough to cause her to fall to the floor. They head into a back room to talk in private, and Vane follows and warns her not to make him forget that he once loved her.

Eleanor leaves and heads upstairs, followed by Max. The two proceed to make love, with Max leaving the next morning.

Another morning, Eleanor wakes, nude, and broods over the possible sightings of British ships. Should law come to the island, Eleanor's entire way of life would be shattered. Max, still in bed, beckons her over and  suggests that Eleanor break away from her father and go into business for herself. The two then proceed have sex again before Eleanor leaves.

Vane arrives sometime later hoping to convince Eleanor to give him the good leads he used to receive when the two were together. Eleanor flatly refuses; stating that she isn't holding out on him because of their past like he believes, but because she doesn't like how he handles his crew, Vane storms out.

Another visitor, Captain Flint, puts Eleanor in a better mood. He tells her about his ambition of turning the island into its own thriving nation - a Nation of Thieves. He explains that if he can get the supplies and support he needs to take the Urca de Lima, a Spanish treasure galleon, it could forever change the island. Despite the high costs and risks, Eleanor agrees to support Flint.

However, her plans interact negatively with Max's, who is working as a middle man to sell a schedule stolen by John Silver, and vital to Flint's plans. When Eleanor finds out, she begs Max to join her, but Max wants to leave the island, and is heartbroken that Eleanor wont join her. Max latter sneaks out, planning to leave the island.

When Flint was planning the expedition against the Urca, he told Eleanor that he would need heavier guns to fight such a large ship. Despite Mr. Scott's consternation that they couldn't do so, Eleanor agreed to assist him in finding the larger cannons. Eleanor later told Scott that she was going to get the guns from a large merchant ship that would soon be coming into port, the Andromache captained by Dyfed Bryson.

Eleanor then visited her father's bedside where she requested his help in Flint's expedition. He refused her completely and did not even speak to her. Eleanor then told him that at this point after being blacklisted, he only had two choices: to help her with the expedition or go back to Boston to their family as a failure.

Eleanordefends

Eleanor defends Max.

When a meeting was set up between Vane and Flint to discuss a collaborative expedition against the Urca, Eleanor was impressed by Vane's "proper" behaviour. She later approached him in his tent and the two had sex. However, the moment was soon spoiled when she heard screaming from outside the tent. The screaming was coming from Max, who was being sexually assaulted in the street by some of Vane's men. Eleanor soon realized that Vane had kidnapped Max and was letting his men use her for sport. Eleanor made a public declaration blacklisting Vane and his crew from doing business ever again on the island. She then gave Vane's crew the option of joining Flint's crew if they ever wanted to work again as pirates. This declaration totally castrated Vane's pirate operation, leading him down a fateful path.

When the Andromache arrived in port, Mr. Scott insisted that Eleanor should not do anything violent to take the guns from Bryson. Eleanor promised him that she wouldn't. Eleanor's father eventually seemed to come around to the idea of helping Eleanor and spoke to Bryson privately. Bryson then told Eleanor that he would give her the guns. However, when Bryson and Eleanor's father were speaking privately, Scott noticed that Eleanor had several armed men standing guard ready to take action. Scott saw this is a terrible betrayal. Partly because of this, Scott would throw his support behind Mr. Guthrie, who was secretly planning to sabotage the whole operation. The Andromache left port without giving the guns to Eleanor and taking Mr. Scott as a slave.

With Flint off the island chasing the Andromache and Mr. Scott missing, Richard Guthrie took advantage of the situation and stated to everyone on the island that he would be leaving and would no longer be able to purchase their goods. This had the potential to ruin Eleanor. However, knowing that the Royal Navy was now paying special attention to pirate activities on Nassau, Eleanor came up with a bold plan. Her idea was to form a legitimate shipping consortium with several prominent pirate captains on the island. This would give her an air of legitimacy that might keep the cargo and money coming in despite the presence of the Navy.

When the Walrus returned to port, they were carrying several slaves they had rescued from the Andromache, including Mr. Scott. Upon their reunion, Scott pleaded with Eleanor to free the slaves. She eventually did and sent the freed male slaves to work on the Black Hind, one of the ships in the Consortium, and brought the female slaves to her tavern to work. Despite this charity, Scott decided that he could no longer work around Eleanor and took a position on Captain Hornigold's ship, the Royal Lion.

The consortium S1E8

As the Consortium was about to get under way with their first mission, Vane returned with a large group of men and took over the fortress that controlled the island. He demanded that Eleanor make him a partner in the Consortium or else he was going to destroy all of her ships in the harbour with the guns from the fortress. Without any options, Eleanor relented and agreed to make him a partner.

Season Two

A new pirate arrives in Nassau called Captain Edward Low. He immediately causes problems, capturing prizes intended for other captains, and demanding the full price for his cargo despite it being stained with blood. Low warns Eleanor in her own bar that he is not a man to be messed with.

Captain Low’s quartermaster, Meeks, approaches Eleanor for help in replacing Low as captain. After the meeting, Low and his men approaches him in the bar. As his men hold him down on a table, Low decapitates Meeks in front of the whole bar. Eleanor immediately demands that Low leaves. Her man, O’Malley, pulls a sword, and the two fight, with Low killing O’Malley. Afterwards, Eleanor implores Vane to help her with Low, and tells him of a mysterious “valuable cargo” on his ship.

Later, Vane boards Captain Low’s ship under the pretext of offering a partnership. Low quickly sees through the subterfuge, and the two begin a fight below decks, whilst above decks Vane’s crew is silently killing Low’s crew. Vane comes out on top of the fight, and places his head on a stake on the beach as a warning. After seeing Low’s head, Eleanor goes to Vane in the fort, and the two make love. When they are finished, Vane shows Eleanor the “valuable cargo”, Abigail Ashe the daughter of Peter Ashe, the governor of the Carolina.

Captain Flint eventually returns to Nassau, furious to find Vane now commanding the fortress. He demands that Eleanor do something about Vane before he attempts to bring the Urca gold back. Eleanor tries to be a mediator between Flint and Vane, but as tensions rise, she asks Mrs. Barlow for help to soften Flint’s stance. Mrs. Barlow comes to Nassau, but during their conversation Vane attacks him, having sneaked out of the fortress. Eleanor breaks up the fight with a musket, and forces the two to negotiate. Flint offers to stand his men down from attacking the fortress, if Vane will give Abigail to him. Vane demands the Spanish Man O’ War in return, but Flint balks at the demand. Afterwards, Eleanor assures Flint that Vane will agree to the original terms.

Ep15-12

Eleanor goes to the fortress to try and persuade Vane, but he still refuses. The two have sex, after which Eleanor quietly takes the keys from Vane as he is sleeping, and goes to Abigail’s cell. They flee through the deep corridors out a secret gate. As Eleanor is locking the gate behind her, Vane appears. He pleas that he killed Low’s crew for her, and if she takes Abigail his own men will kill him. Despite Vane’s pleas and threats, Eleanor locks the gate and walks away with Abigail.

Afterwards, the fortress is sealed and silent. Eventually, Rackham and Featherstone batter the door down, and find it abandoned, save for the crucified corpse of Eleanor’s father, Richard Guthrie. The note pinned to his body states that Vane intends to track Flint to Charles Town, and take the Man O’ War he demanded for Abigail.

Ep17-7

Meanwhile, Eleanor has become suspicious of Max, and hires Mrs. Mapleton to spy on her. She learns that Max and Rackham are conspiring to send the Colonial Dawn to retrieve the Urca gold, while Flint is in Charles Town. Eleanor sends assassins to kill Rackham and his senior crew. However, before Eleanor can learn whether her plan worked or not, she is taken prisoner by Benjamin Hornigold and Dufresne. They deliver her to the British forces in the Bahamas in return for ten pardons.

Season Three

Black-sails-season-3-luke-roberts-hannah-new

In England, Eleanor is lingering in a dank jail cell awaiting the inevitable, when a man enters. He is Woodes Rogers, the new governor of New Providence Island. He offers her a full pardon, if she will help him restore order to Nassau. He asks her for a list of men who can be swayed and those who cannot. She tells him to civilize Nassau only one man need concern him, Charles Vane.

On the journey to Nassau, Rogers and Eleanor grow close, often discuss his goals in Nassau, and her history with the pirates. Rogers eventually reveals that he’s raised the money for this enterprise by promising to subdue Nassau within two months. He also undertook to find and return the remains of the Urca gold to the Spanish. As they approach Nassau, they learn that Flint may be dead after Hornigold chased him into a storm.

Eleanor ships

However, in Nassau, they find a resolute defence flying the flag of Blackbeard. Eleanor convinces Rogers to send Hornigold into the port to make a pardon address. Much to the pirates chagrin, many of the men begin to lay down their arms. That night, with English fleet blockading the harbour, Teach and Vane send a fire-ship straight at their line. Rogers’s fleet break their formation allowing them to sail away.

Rogers has removed all resistance from the port, and recovered most of the Spanish gold. Rogers quickly starts to form a governing council, composed of leading merchants from Nassau and the Governor’s men, although on Eleanor’s advice, Max is not selected. However, Max has made herself a power in her world, and will risk all to remain at the top. She entices Governor Rogers with her share of the Spanish gold in return for a place on the governing council.

Later that night, Eleanor and Rogers are celebrating their new-found wealth with a kiss, when they are interrupted by Eleanor’s handmaiden, Mrs Hudson. She admits to being a Spanish spy, that the Spanish know much of the gold was traded for pearls, and insists the Governor must return all of the Urca gold, including the shares of Rackham and Anne, who have fled.

When Rackham returns to Nassau to seek a pardon, he is immediately taken into custody. Eleanor convinces Max to persuade Bonny to give up the cache in return for Rackham. However, on learning that Rogers has Rackham in custody, the Spanish demand that both the stolen gold and the man who stole it are handed over. Meanwhile, Eleanor takes steps to secure her own position by bedding Rogers.

When Eleanor tells Max that Bonny relinquished the cache with little resistance, and Max realizes something is amiss. Eleanor has no luck convincing the Governor’s men of a plot to ambush Rogers's convoy, so Eleanor turns to Hornigold who sends his militia after the convoy. They arrive too late to save the cache, but manage to capture Vane.

Eleanor redcoat

Eleanor stoically enters Vane cell. She accuses Vane of taking her father away from her just as they were reconciling their differences. Vane immediately calls her out on her fantasy, reminding her that her father ultimately betrayed her, and accuses her of siding with any man who would satisfy her ambitions. Inflamed, Eleanor bloodies her knuckles on Vane. Meanwhile, Rogers has been confined to bed with a fever, leaving Eleanor in charge until he recovers.

Billy Bones rouses hatred for Eleanor, condemning her as a tyrant, and demands that Vane be tried fairly in Nassau, rather than shipped off to England. However, Eleanor fast-tracks Vane’s trial and conviction overnight. Over time, Eleanor and Max have grown closer to each other. As they prepare to hang Vane, Max tries to warn Eleanor of the dangerous path she is on. Eleanor refuses to listen, and watches as Vane delivers a calm, heart-wrenching speech designed to stir up a rebellion, before dying on the gallows. When Rogers finally recovers, he agrees with her decision to publicly hang Vane.

As the English fleet prepare to attack Flint on the Maroon Island to recover the cache, Eleanor attempts to anticipate Flint’s plans, and involve more men and ships to wage war against Flint. However, the pirate rebellion begins in Nassau with the killing of Captain Throckmorton, and the promise of future retribution from a new elusive specter for the governing powers to fear, Long John Silver.

Season Four

EpXXIX-2

It is revealed that Eleanor has now married Woodes Rodgers, after he divorced his previous wife. Meanwhile, Eleanor is trying to reinvent herself as his genteel and docile wife, often seen sitting silently with her needlepoint.

After Rogers drives off the pirate invasion of Nassau, he bluntly informs Max that her tavern will be commandeered to host all the trials of the captured pirates. When Eleanor later dresses him down for turning on Max, Rogers reveals the cause of his anxiety; his spiteful ex-wife has pushed his creditors to foreclose on his massive debts. They come up with a plan for Eleanor to reach out to her family in Philadelphia to clear his debts. However, with Blackbeard having returned to blockade the port of Nassau, Rogers must head for Port Royal to lead him away.

EpsXXXIII-11

However before Eleanor can leave, John Silver rides into Nassau, and the city rises up against Captain Berringer’s hanging of the captured pirates with full public spectacle. As the pirates takeover Nassau, Eleanor flees to the fort and finds safety with the remnants of the Governor's redcoats. Max eventually joins her there, after being exchanged for the twenty pirate prisoners. Inside the fort, it’s now clear to Eleanor, who is revealed to be pregnant, that Nassau will never be what she wanted it to become. She concocts a plan with Max to leave Nassau behind them... for good. Eleanor holds a secret meeting with Flint and Silver, and strikes a deal to surrender the fort without a fight, in exchange for the Urca cache, with Flint standing as guarantor.

When Rogers returns, Mrs. Hudson rows out to his ship to persuade him to sail for Port Royal, and await Eleanor’s arrival with the treasure. Mrs. Hudson does her damnedest to convince him Eleanor is doing this out of devotion to him, but he refuses to listen and continues his approach. However, Eleanor makes her point by firing warning shots from the fort. It takes several shots to get him to leave the area… but not to Port Royal!

XXXIII 11

Later, Eleanor and Flint emerge from a tunnel under the fort, where Silver’s people are waiting to make the exchange, including Madi, the childhood friend who Eleanor believed was dead. They lead her to a secluded beach, but the only thing waiting from them is Jack Rackham with a small crew; the ship that was seen approaching was Rackham’s and not the one sent to retrieve the cache.

Trying to return to the fort, they find that Nassau is in the throes of a devastating Spanish invasion. Eleanor, Flint, Madi and her men are holed up at Mrs. Barlow’s abandoned house, when they spy a small band of Spanish scouts. As the Spaniards approach, Flint and the men kill everyone except for three Spanish soldiers who flee. Leaving two men behind, Flint and the others give chase.

Inside the Barlow house, Eleanor and Madi finally have a chance to talk. There are mixed emotions. Madi bitterly recalls how her parent really trusted no white people, not even Eleanor. Meanwhile, Eleanor is finally ready to leave this chaos; as long as it is to live with someone she loves who loves her back. By the end, it seems that the pair have reconciled somewhat with each other.

Unbeknownst to them, however, one of the Spanish scouts outside is not dead. He kills their two bodyguards standing outside. Sneaking inside, the Spaniard attacks them. Madi is knocked out, and a brutal brawl ensues with Eleanor. After getting slashed across her stomach, she manages to smashes an oil flash over his head, setting him on fire. As the house catches flames, Eleanor tries to save Madi.

XXXIV-1

Flint returns to Miranda’s house, to finds it completely ablaze. Seeming only Eleanor managed to escape. Flint holds her in his arms but she’s dying. In her final moments, she asks him whether Rogers is the reason the Spanish sacked Nassau. Flint knows full-well that Rogers is the cause of this, but does her the kindness of lying.

Personality

Eleanor is a beautiful, strong-willed, highly intelligent, and self-made woman, who does not allow a patriarchal world to stand in the way of her ambition. She wields considerable power and influence despite having to routinely deal with incredibly dangerous pirates, and dreams of building something lasting in Nassau by making it independent and self-sufficient.

However, she can be extremely self-centred. She will look allies in the eye and lie, while getting angry when others do the same to her, not seeming to realize her own hypocrisy. After learning of Mr. Scott's death and the survival of Madi, she goes immediately from mournful to self-pitying, lumping Scott in with men who used her and how that diminished her accomplishment; nevermind that Scott was protecting his family from slavery.

She seems to be unable to learn her limits and the costs of passing them. She's managed to betray almost all her allies at some point, often for understandable reasons, but she certainly places her own interests above friendships. In Season Three she claims to be determined to change, then promptly goes and hangs Vane, triggering a pirate rebellion in Nassau.

Her marriage to Woodes Rogers seems to be plagued by immaturity. She is trying to be someone she's not; an idealised genteel and passive wife. Meanwhile, she fiercely denies to her final breath that her husband would invite the Spanish to sack Nassau, despite evidence to the contrary.

Trivia

  • She is a femme fatale.
  • Eleanor’s mother died in the first Spanish raid on Nassau, so it’s so an ironic full circle that she would die herself in the second.

Memorable Quotes

"Well, Mr. Sanderson, I'm pleased to be in your company. Do you know why? Because you're an earner. Did I tell you what happens when I stand next to an earner? My pussy gets wet. In which case, I will go fuck myself."
―Eleanor to Sanderson, I.
"I think you misunderstand, I wasn't asking you to help me, I was granting you the opportunity to help me."
―Eleanor to John Silver, VI.
"You know when I first met you, I pegged you for an easy mark. But now, between you and Flint, I'm not certain who I should be more afraid of. I saw you earlier, after you lifted the ban. You were angry. Not just about Max. Those men out there, they made you admit you were wrong. They made you feel weak. I think you felt compelled to let everyone on this island know, that in this place, no one fucks with you and gets away with it."
―John Silver to Eleanor Guthrie, VI.
"You will turn on absolutely anyone, won't you?"
―Charles Vane to Eleanor, XV.
"I know Flint is dangerous, but he can be reasoned with. I know Rackham is devious, but all he cares about is his legacy. And because I have history with Charles Vane, I know him most of all. I'm all too aware what he is capable of destroying when he sets his mind on it."
―Eleanor to Rogers, XX.
"Eleanor Guthrie used that chair not just to vanquish her enemies, but to create new ones. Because some people can only understand themselves through the eyes of those who hate them. They thrive only on sowing the seeds of their own eventual destruction. Miss Guthrie has new clothes now. Miss Guthrie has new friends now. But to my eye, she looks the same."
―Mrs. Mapleton on Eleanor, XXVII.
"I have had enough of this...and I am ready for it to end."
―Eleanor, XXXII.

Image Gallery

Video

Black Sails - Convince Me01:05

Black Sails - Convince Me

References

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