|Status||Deceased (Killed by Flint)|
|Relationships|| James Flint (Captain)|
Eleanor Guthrie (Friend)
Billy Bones (Friend)
|Appearances|| First: I.|
|Portrayed by||Mark Ryan|
|Gallery||Hal Gates Gallery|
- "There are no legacy's in this life are there? No monuments, no history, just the water. It pays us, and then it claims us, shallows us whole."
Hal Gates was the Walrus’s Quartermaster, elected representative of the crew’s interests, and a check on the power of the ship’s captain. Gates was by far the most senior member of the crew; he was initially loyal to Captain Flint to a fault and was very much aware that he was playing a younger man’s game.
As a young man he sailed under the command of Henry Avery. It is unknown exactly how Gates came to join Flint's crew, but it is clear that it was obviously sometime well before spring of 1715, as he was already a high ranking officer, a quartermaster, in the Walrus's crew. Captain Benjamin Hornigold implied that Gates had been serving at sea around 50 years.
Gates first appeared below the decks of the captured merchantman taking inventory of the goods they had captured. Behind a blocked door he found John Silver who offered to join the crew of the Walrus. Atop the deck, he confronted Singleton and called him out for trying to add more members to the crew who would be sympathetic to Singleton, were a vote against Captain Flint to be called. Gates brought the news of Singleton's future attempt at a coup to Flint where Flint revealed that Gates had placed crew members loyal to Flint in vital spots to guard against such an overthrow attempt. In Nassau, Gates was tasked with keeping the vote tally on Flint's side instead of Singleton's and to do so he needed bribe money. He visited Eleanor Guthrie and persuades her to give him a thousand pieces of eight to help secure Flint's captaincy. He took the money and went to visit Mosiah the de facto leader of the African members of the crew. If Mosiah and his Africans put all their votes behind Flint, Singleton would lose the election. Gates persuaded Mosiah to back Flint. He did so without paying out the bribe money because he says that the bribe money had already been spent buying and securing 16 other votes in favour of Flint. Convincing Mosiah to support Flint later caused Mosiah to lose his life when word reached Charles Vane, who has been secretly supporting Singleton for his own schemes.
After Singleton was branded a thief and killed, Bones confided in Gates, informing him that the "stolen page" they got off Singleton's body was blank. When Gates and Bones took this information to Flint, Flint told them that while Singleton was not the thief, it was nevertheless somebody on board. When they figured out it was Silver, he escaped the ship, and was followed by Gates and Bones.
Instead of chasing around the island looking for him, Gates figured it would be better to follow Frasier, one of the local appraisers, as he would be needed in figuring the value of whatever gems they used instead of coins. This paid off, and they followed him to Max, who was working as a middleman for Silver. Gates was with Flint and Bones later that night when they finally captured Silver.
In order to fight the Urca, Flint knew that they would need two ships working together. He proposed that Gates captain the second vessel. Though they originally were going to use the Lion, Captain Hornigold's ship, they eventually ended up with Vane's ship the Ranger, along with most of her crew.
During the hunt and subsequent battle against the Andromache, Bones continually approached Gates expressing serious concerns about Flint and his motivations. Aboard the Andromache, Bones found a letter that allegedly implied that Flint was going to betray his men. When they were fleeing the approaching Scarborough, Bones fell overboard whilst he and Flint were working to free some debris from the ship.Once the Walrus arrived back in Nassau to prepare for their expedition against the Urca, Gates finally confronted Flint about everything that had been going on, including Bones's death. Flint admitted to him that he was planning on taking an extra share of the Urca proceeds for himself. Gates had finally had enough of his old shipmate. He told Flint that he was going to support him on the mission against the Urca, but after that, they were finished as colleagues. At some point before they set sail against the Urca, Gates confided the truth about Flint to Dufresne. Dufresne suggested that they overthrow Flint and Gates agreed. During the expedition, Gates gave Dufresne a hand written letter wherein Gates admitted his complicity and knowledge of Flint's heinous actions and intentions. When they were confronted by a Spanish Man O' War, Flint demanded that he and Gates's ships fight the mammoth Spanish vessel. When Gates flatly refused and stated that he was taking the Ranger back to Nassau, Flint assaulted him from behind and after a struggle, killed him by snapping his neck.
Gates is the most senior member of the Flint’s crew, and is very well liked and respected by the men. He possesses a powerful ability to persuade others, which makes him one of the more diplomatic pirates. He is also quite intelligent. When tasked with finding Silver and the missing schedule page, he follows the appraiser, knowing that anyone who tries to sell such a valuable item will request payment in easily transportable jewels and will need the appraiser to make sure the jewels are real.
Gates and Captain Flint form a strong partnership; Gates handles most of the more practical day-to-day business with the crew, while Flint plots and dreams. Although he is loyal to Captain Flint to a fault, he is an honest adviser. He tells him in no uncertain terms what the crew thinks of him and how tenuous his grip on leadership is, frequently calling him out for his actions. He also has a very close relationship with Billy Bones whom he considers to be "like a son" to him.
He is advancing in years, and very much aware he is playing a younger man’s game. He views the Urca gold as a chance at a final big score that will let him quit piracy on his own terms.
- Gates has a tattoo on the back of his head of the "All Seeing Eye of Horus", an ancient Egyptian symbol.
- Gates also has "HOLD FAST" tattooed across his knuckles. This is also the title of actor Mark Ryan's biography. It is also possible that this is a reference to the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World as one of the characters has the same tattoo and this is a common phrase and concept throughout the movie.
- Gates wears a bandage in some scenes after his meeting with Mosiah. This is explained in a deleted scene where Mosiah makes Gates take a blood oath that he will give extra profit to Mosiah and the other African members of the crew upon the capture of their next prize.
- "Let me see if I have this right. This is the fourth prize in a row from which the profits will barely exceed the expenses it took to win it. Singleton's out there trying to convince your crew to torture that poor bastard of a captain simply 'cause he hasn't worked out how to get them to do it to you. But all's well because you've discovered that the information we can't tell anybody we're looking for exists on a page...that we don't have."
- ―Gates to Flint[src]
- "My fault. That was my fault. When I said we would need to keep our tempers in check, I failed to clarify that we would need to do so for the duration of the meeting. Entirely my fault."
- ―Gates to Flint
- IX. (Mentioned only)
- X. (Mentioned only)
- XII. (Mentioned only)
- XIII. (Mentioned only)
- XVII. (Mentioned only)
- XXI. (Mentioned only)