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John Silver
Silver 648x1080
Vital statistics
Alias Long John Silver
Title Cook
Quartermaster
Gender Male
Status Alive
Ships Parrish's ship
Walrus
Spanish Man O' War
Relationships James Flint (Captain)
Billy Bones (First Mate/Enemy)
Madi (Lover)
Israel Hands (Former Captor/Enemy/Ally)
Dufresne (Enemy; deceased)
Woodes Rogers (Enemy)
Appearances First: I.
Last: XXXVIII.
Portrayed by Luke Arnold
Gallery John Silver/Gallery
"-Because I don't want to be a pirate, I'm not interested in the life, I'm not interested in the fighting, I'm not interested in the ships. Don't care much for the sea while we are on the subject."
―Silver to Flint

John Silver, better known as Long John Silver, is a lowly sailor-turned-pirate and a born opportunist. He insinuates himself into the crew of Captain Flint while secretly possessing the Urca schedule that Flint so dearly wants. A staunch individualist, Silver resents authority of any kind, a quality that brings him into direct conflict with Flint, even as events conspire to make them reluctant partners in the quest to secure the pirate haven of Nassau.

At the end of the series, he survives at the final battle and is reunited with Madi.

Biography

Background

Not much is known about John Silver's past. He claims that as a child he spent three year at the St. John's Home for Poor Orphan Boys, although Captain Flint realises that the origin tale is clearly fabricated. At some point in his life, he became a merchant seaman serving on Captain Parrish's ship, somewhere in the West Indies.

Season One

As a crewmember aboard Parrish's vessel, Silver witnessed the attack of the pirate ship Walrus. Not enthused at the idea of being involved in a naval battle against pirates, Silver ran below deck and blockaded himself in a room along with the ship's cook. During the battle, a scuffle between Silver and the cook began over an item that had fallen from the cook's grasp. Silver killed the cook and was captured by the crew of the Walrus. Realizing that a cook would stand a good chance at being spared by the pirates, Silver offered his services as a cook to the crew of the Walrus and was accepted.

Silversurrender

Silver surrenders.

Silver eventually learned that the item he battled with the cook over was a page that was torn from his former ship's log. At first, Silver does not fully understand the significance of the page until Captain Flint explained to the crew of the Walrus that the page was the sailing schedule of a Spanish galleon that they were seeking to catch as a prize.

Arriving at Nassau, Silver was confronted by two pirates who told him that all new recruits must meet Blackbeard. Fearing that he was about to meet the infamous pirate captain, Silver was relieved to discover that Blackbeard is actually the name of a uniquely endowed prostitute who, along with other prostitutes, began an orgy with Silver. One of these prostitutes, Max, noticed that during the orgy Silver's attention was focused on a particular item that was lying on the floor with his clothes. When Silver woke up, Max was standing in possession of the item. She had devised that the item must be of great importance for him to have paid such attention to it and proposed to Silver that she can help him sell whatever it is, as long as she could keep half the profit. When she asked Silver what it was, he honestly responded that he did not know. Believing that the document came from a logbook that was in Captain Flint's cabin, Silver and Max row out to the Walrus, which was anchored and sitting empty while the crew were ashore. Once in the Captain's cabin, Silver discovered the logbook hidden in a drawer and only then figured out what he had in his possession.

Silverjump

Silver jumps overboard.

Silver was soon found out by Flint and was forced to jump overboard to escape. When he made it ashore in Nassau, he ran to Max and demanded that they must move forward with the sale to Charles Vane and Jack Rackham. During the attempted exchange, Vane's violence unnerved Silver and he didn't emerge from his hiding spot to give the schedule to Vane. Instead, he was surprised by Billy Bones, who was trying to capture him. In act of self preservation, Silver memorized the page before burning it. This way, no crew that captured him could kill him. Silver was then captured by Flint and Bones. He transcribed much of the schedule to paper for Flint, but left off some important information, lest Flint have him killed.

Silvercook

Silver: the bad cook.

So as to not alert the crew, Flint let Silver maintain his position as ship's cook. Silver was a terrible cook and after getting the crew sick, had to learn from Flint how to properly cook a pig. In an effort to win favor with Flint and Bones, Silver began infiltrating himself with Morley, Randall, and Turk, three members of the crew who were still opposed to Flint's captaincy. During his spying, he overheard Morley talking to Bones about Flint's relationship with a "Mrs. Barlow". Silver eventually reported this information to Flint. This seemed to gain Silver a little more trust from Flint. While the ship was being careened, it fell over and trapped Randall by his leg. Flint was having difficulty pulling Randall out when Silver, who was thinking fast, threw his butcher's knife to Flint so he could amputate Randall's leg.

When the Walrus went off in search for the Andromache, Flint ordered that Silver stay behind, lest he be killed in the coming battle.
Hamund and Silver S1E6

Hamund threatening Silver

After Eleanor's meeting to attempt to reopen trades, ended by Benjamin Hornigold's ultimatum, Silver attempted to convince her to take the deal, as she had little choice. She came to him later, telling him she needed his help in a matter involving Hamund, one of the few remaining members of Vanes crew. When he refused, she told him he doesn't have a choice, as he needed friends, and she was the only person who could keep Flint from eventually killing him. Silver was then instrumental in the rouse that resulted in Hamund and other members of the Ranger crew being killed. 

A few days before the Walrus set out to find the Urca, Silver's secret was outed by Randall, who told the tale of Silver's theft of the schedule to Dufresne, De Groot, and Dr. Howell. The trio were confused about what to do because if they were to reveal the tale to the crew as a whole, then the whole expedition would surely come to an end. De Groot eventually decided to have Silver memorize an entire page of text from one of Dr. Howell's medical books as a test to see if Silver really did have the outstanding memory required to memorize the Urca's schedule in so short a time. Silver protested that this was a terrible test because he had days with the Urca's schedule and could have memorized it at any time, not just in the few minutes he had with it before he destroyed it. Once he had finished the test, Silver privately pleaded with Randall to change his story. Silver knew that Randall was being kicked off the ship because of his handicap. He then promised Randall that he would promise to the crew that he would take care of Randall and that way Randall could join back with the crew. When De Groot confronted Silver and informed him that he failed the test, Randall began shouting that everyone was a thief, thus making everyone think that he had just been lying the whole time. Once again, Silver escaped.

Silver finds Flint S1E8

During the chase for the Urca, Silver spent much of his time trying to take care of Randall. He attempted numerous times, but failed, to convince Randall to wear a special prosthetic that Dr. Howell had designed for him. When Flint killed Gates, Silver was the first to arrive to assist Flint in covering up the incident. When Dufresne came to investigate Gates' death, Silver confronted him and appeared to convince him to go along with Flint's plan. When Flint attempted to trick an approaching Spanish Man O' War into thinking that the Walrus was just a Spanish merchantman, Silver was used as the voice of the crew and convinced the Spanish ship to move on. Once Dufresne staged the mutiny and shot Flint, Silver fired one of the ship's cannons at the Spanish Man O' War, making it necessary for the Walrus to engage the ship in battle. When the Walrus was wrecked in the subsequent battle, Silver was one of the few crew members to survive, washing up on shore along with Flint.

Silver tells Flint that they’re both going to be charged for all this nonsense. Flint asks Dufresne why they didn’t just kill him, but Dufresne just take them to an outcrop where they can spy the shipwrecked of the Urca, which was caught in the horrible storm. They watch with excitement as the men try to collect up all that lovely gold.

Season Two

Ep9-1

Flint explains that the remaining Walrus crew don’t have enough men to get the gold; however he does put forth another plan to take the Spanish Man O’ War. He proposes that two men sneak onto the Spanish ship and overtake the skeleton crew. In exchange for a pardon, Flint volunteers for the mission. Much to Flint’s exasperation, Silver also volunteers; he needed a fighter for the plan.

Flint and Silver swim to the Spanish ship, and pull themselves aboard, to find a room full of Spanish sailors quietly sleeping in their hammocks. They stealthily make their way above deck, and kill the look-out. However, the ruckus wakes the Spanish crew and they are captured.

Below  decks,  Flint  and  Silver  are  tied  to  chairs  as  three  Spanish  sailors  begins  to  interrogate them. The leader states that he will let one of them go, but only the one who tells him what he wants to know. Silver immediately spills all the beans, and is untied. As the Spaniard is about to shoot Flint, Silver cracks him over the head and they manage to subdue the two remaining men in the room. While the remainder of the Spanish crew attempts to enter the room, they are surprised by the Walrus crew, who successfully kills the remainder of the Spaniards.

They set sail for Nassau on the Man O’ War, but Dufresne informs Flint and Silver that though they have escaped with their lives, they will still be kicked off the crew. When alone, Silver tells Flint that he knows him well enough to realise that he plans to regain the captaincy, and return to steal the Spanish gold.

Goingson

Silver is brainstorming a way to ingratiate himself with the crew, when he sees Randall spitting on another man’s plate. Silver realises there a many seething resentments within the crew. He begins to give a daily “goings-on” speech of petty grievances. Initially, this only results in him getting beaten, but when he tells of a man having sex with the ship’s goat, the crew turn on the man involved instead. Thus, Silver has finally accomplished his goal.

With Flint having also succeeded in turning the crew against Dufresne, and become captain again, they return to Nassau to find much has changed. Hornigold’s flag no longer flies over the fort, which is now held by Charles Vane. They start to plan to remove Vane from his fortress.

Flint sends Silver to the beach to use his very particular set of skill to persuade the unaffiliated pirates to join his side in attacking the fortress. While there, Silver learns that another Walrus man has washed up on shore, none other than Billy Bones. Silver immediately realises that Billy could make a bad situation much worse. He chains up Billy in a hut, and tries to convince him that Flint is doing the right thing. However, Silver eventually gives him the key and releases Bones.

Silver continues to support Flint, even as Hornigold turns against him when Flint proposes calling off the attack on the fortress, in exchange for the hostage Abigail Ashe. With the vote for captaincy tight, Silver goes to the brothel to find a missing crew member called Logen. At the brothel, he finds Max who then takes him to the room where Logan lays dead. Silver comes up with a plan to create a fiction where Logan and his lover have run off together to New Providence. When Max questions why Silver would help her cover up the death of his own crew member, Silver just says that things in Nassau are complicated enough; though it is probably as much in return for how badly their plot with the Urca schedule turned out for Max.

Ep15-2

However, Silver has begun to realise that Flint is no longer interested in the Spanish treasure. During the vote for captaincy, Nicholas and Vincent, the two men charged with keeping an eye on the Urca gold, return to Nassau. Silver speaks to them first and learns that the Spanish sailors on the beach had all become ill and died, leaving the gold virtually defenceless. He convinces them to lies, in a plan to claim a larger share of the gold for themselves. Silver brings them to Flint and they tell him that two Spanish ships arrived and took every piece of gold off the beach.

With the end of the search for the Urca gold, Silver tells Flint that they are no longer a team. However, Flint convinces Silver to go speak to the men on his behalf by telling Silver that there is no other place in the world where Silver matters other than with the crew. Silver then speaks to the men about Flint’s plan to return Abigail to Charles Town, so that one day they can live their lives not as wanted men, but as free men.

In the brothel, Max is enjoying a drink alone when Silver interrupts her. He asks Max if she knows of a crew who would be willing to go and collect the Urca gold; Jack Rackham’s crew.

On the Spanish Man O’ War to return Abigail to Charles Town, John Silver sees Nicholas and Vincent sniggering together. He confronts them below decks, warning them not to do anything that might give away their scheme. When Nicholas walks away, Silver tells Vincent that Nicholas has the potential to be a problem. The next day, Nicholas is sent up the main mast to release the sails. Vincent reveals to Silver that he has taken care of the problem with Nicholas, and moments later, Nicholas falls to his death, thanks to a sabotaged footing rope. Silver is aghast.

With Flint in Charles Town to exchange Abigail, Vane and his crew attack the Spanish Man O’ War by stealth, killing many of Flint’s crew and capturing the rest, except for Silver and Vincent who hide below deck. Silver tries to delay Vane from leaving the harbor by sabotaging the rope to the fore-mast, which he succeeds in doing but they are captured in the process.

Meanwhile, Flint is arrested in Charles Town, and Vane proposes to free Flint because if the most feared pirate in Nassau is hung then nobody will ever fear the pirates of Nassau again. He takes the most loyal half of his crew with him, leaving the rest to guard the ship under his right-hand-man Jenks.

Ep18-25

Silver is unchained and taken below deck, despite his crew's protests. Jenks demands that Silver influence several of Flint’s men to join his crew, so that he can adequately sail the Man O’ War back to Nassau. Despite being given a chance to get away himself, Silver has come to care for the crew more than just himself, and selflessly refuses. Enraged, Jenks proceeds to crush his leg with an axe. While this is happening, Flint’s crew escape their chains, take over the ship again, and rescue him.

Sometime later after Flint and Vane have escaped from Charles Town, Silver awakens inside the captain’s cabin. Flint informs Silver that he has been elected as the ship’s quartermaster. Silver tells Flint the lie that Vincent had confessed to him the truth about the Urca gold, and had sold the information to another crew.

Season Three

In the months following the events of Season Two, Flint, Silver and the Walrus crew have continued their reign of terror, raiding towns along the Carolina coast and killing magistrates. Silver as Quartermaster is struggling to control Flint’s increasing recklessness.

2 john silver

On the journey back to Nassau, they spot pirate Captain Hallendale’s ship drifting. Silver insists on investigating despite Flint’s reluctance. Onboard, they find it completely empty, save for the corpse of Hallendale. Too later, they realise it's a trap, when they spot the ship of Captain Hornigold, former pirate turned pirate-hunter. Hornigold approaches and offers them all pardons. Flint convinces the crew to reject the pardons, and escape into a terrible storm.

In the midst of the storm, Silver and Muldoon are below deck attempting to plug holes in the hull. Silver confesses that he feels useless with his leg gone, but Muldoon reassures him that the entire crew are indebted to him for Charles Town. Suddenly, a cannon comes loose and crushes Muldoon's leg. Unable to free him, Silver holds his hand as Muldoon slowly drowns.

303show 2560x1440

When the storm subsides, the Walrus is becalmed. Flint becomes increasingly tyrannical, dividing the crew into critical men who will be fed, the others not. Billy Bones tries to encourage Silver to stand up to Flint. When Flint casually executes two men for stealing food, Silver is convinced. During a trip to investigate a dead whale, Silver uses his smarts, and reveals how he deceived Flint and stole the Urca gold. He finally wins Flint’s respect, and his audacity is rewarded with the return of the wind.

The wind drives the Walrus to an uncharted island. As the crew recuperate, Silver and Flint consider all the pardons Hornigold offered. Silver fears this is the prelude to an attack on Nassau. If so, Flint fears the battle is likely already over. They are interrupted by a large force of well-armed ex-slaves.

The whole crew are taken at gun point, through a trap infested forest, to a large settlement and imprisoned. Billy Bones, Silver and Flint all deal with the direness of their plight in their own way. For Billy, he wants to escape through the trap laden forest. For Silver, he’ll talk his way out of it. And Flint, he doesn’t know if he has any more fights left in him. At night, Silver is taken to see the daughter of the Maroons Queen, Madi. He tries to convince her that they have similar hatred toward England. It seems to no avail, until the ‘away’ Maroon King arrives on the island, Mr Scott.

Flint is called before the Maroon Queen to discuss a proposed partnership. With Silver’s help, Flint polishes up his sliver tongue, and speaks honestly. He tells her that they can take things back together, starting with Nassau. The pirates and ex-slaves agree a partnership.

Black-sails-season-3-luke-arnold-02

Silver is left behind on the Maroons Island to solidify the partnership, while Flint searches out new allies, Charles Vane and Blackbeard’s fleet. During this time, Silver’s leg gets worse. Silver tries to insist on enduring the pain, but Madi convinces him to receive some medical treatment. The two bond during his painful treatment.

Flint returns to the Maroons Island, having failed to secure Blackbeard’s fleet. He now plans to go to Nassau, and find Rackham and Bonny and their cache of pearls. While there, Silver tries to recruit new men, by warning the pardoned pirates to rejoin Flint or else. However, Dufresne mocks his words as nothing but an empty threat. Silver knocks Dufrense down, and crushes his head repeatedly with his metal peg leg.

While Flint is trying to rescue Rackham and steal the cache of pearls, tension flares between the pirates and ex-slaves when Dobbs beats one of them, in retaliation for killing several of the crew before the partnership was reached. Silver and Madi deal with it, Madi orders her man to say nothing, while Silver has Dobbs beaten.

Preparing to pick up Flint, Hornigold‘s ship appears on the horizon. Hornigold follows the Walrus back to the Maroons Island, where Flint and Silver pull a daring move to turn the ships broadside on Hornigold. With a small army of ex-slaves on the beach, Hornigold is forced to fall back. Flint informs the Maroons Queen that they now have a week to prepare for the English attack.

As they prepare, Flint discusses Silver’s recent actions. Flint recognizes a darkness boiling up inside Silver and warns him of its costly effects if it is allowed to remain unchecked. Mr. Scott soon passes away peacefully. Silver approaches Madi to offer her some condolence and the two embrace as Madi cries.

Silver defense

On the eve of battle, while Silver, Flint and Rackham are burying the cache of pearls, Silver learns the truth about Flint’s past. Afterwards, Silver surmises that although those closest to Flint often die tragically, he himself might actually be Flint’s successor. As proof that he is both loved and feared by the men, he gives Dobbs a key role in the ensuing battle. During the battle, Silver and Madi leads the defenders of the encampment, while Dobbs pretends to betray the pirates and leads Hornigold and the English soldiers into an ambush. Flint, Silver and Rackham defeat the English both on land and sea.

Meanwhile, in Nassau, Billy Bones stirs up rebellion and creates a new spectre for the governing powers to fear; Long John Silver.

Season Four

It is revealed that Silver and Madi are now lovers. After their victory on Maroon Island, Silver set his sights on retaking Nassau. As they approach, Flint worries the fragile alliance won’t hold, but Silver reassures him; he hasn’t considered murdering him in months. What was supposed to be an invasion of overwhelming force, only ends in disaster. Woodes Rogers continues to demonstrate his cunning by sinking ships as a hidden blockade. Most of pirate fleet run aground within range of Nassau’s cannons and bloody carnage ensues. However while abandoning ship, Silver’s metal boot gets tangled in the rigging, and almost drowns him.

Eps402-4

Later, Silver drags himself from the surf and onto a flotsam strewn beach, where Israel Hands finds him while searching for anything of value. Dragging him unceremoniously back to his shack, Hands intends to turn-in Silver for the bounty. However, Silver turns his silver-tongue on him; rather than betray him to the enemy of his pirate brethren, Silver thinks he knows someone who owes him money … Max.

That night, Max meets with the pair, and Silver tries to make a deal; the money for his favour when the pirates retake Nassau. However, Max is invested in going straight. In acknowledgement of their former friendship, she won’t hand him over to redcoats, but will detain him far away from Nassau. As her men move in, they’re single-handedly cut down by Israel Hands, with Max barely escaping with her life. Silver may have a formidable new ally.

EpsXXXI-4

Captain Berringer, however, had his men follow Max to the parley, and his redcoats suddenly arrive at their camp. When they’re finally cornered, Flint and his men turn up and save them. Afterwards, in a rare sweet moment, Silver is reunited with Madi. Berringer then lays on the hanging of the captured pirates with full public spectacle to draw Silver into a trap. Silver rides into Nassau flanked by Flint and Hands, but Berringer is ready with his redcoats. Inspired by their Pirate King, the townspeople join the revolt. Nevertheless, it looks like the redcoats have Silver’s pirates down, when Billy Bones and his men show up in the nick of time. In the end, the pirates takeover Nassau.

EpsXXXIII-3

In the aftermath, Silver confronts Billy over the damage done to the slave alliance by the Underhill raid. It is a tense exchange, with Billy pleading with him to remember a time when neither of them bought into Flint’s crusade; Flint will trample anyone in his way, even Madi. Silver is more than a little affected by Billy’s words. With Eleanor still holding the fort, Silver agrees to exchange Max for twenty pirate prisoners. Before the exchange, Silver asks her what she would have done with him when she tried to detain him. Max tells him of a place her spies found in Savannah where the English aristocracy send troublesome family members to be cared for in secret; the allusion to Thomas Hamilton being alive is clear.

EpsXXXIII-12

Later, Eleanor holds a secret meeting with Flint and Silver to strike a deal to surrender the fort in exchange for Urca cache. Silver immediately refuses, but watches helplessly as Flint accepts the deal, offering himself as guarantor. When, Silver tells Madi of the deal, he’s shocked when she sides with Flint, fully bought-in to his war against civilisation.

Meanwhile, Billy is becoming a problem, boldly offering to kill Eleanor and Flint during the exchange. Silver seems to agree, and later outside the tunnel Billy thinks he is waiting to ambush the pair. However, Jacob Garrett comes up and tells him that this isn’t so; Jacob has been charged with killing him. Nonetheless, Jacob refuses, telling the men that their oaths were made to Billy, when Long John Silver was just a fiction. Silver sends in Israel Hands who kills Jacob, and beats Billy to within an inch of his life.

Silver delivers Billy to the plantation slaves to repair the alliance, on the condition that he survives their retribution. Once the slaves have had their pound of flesh, Silver visits him. He still considers Billy a friend, but the vendetta against Flint must be over. However, Billy is defiant, ending to conversation by telling him to live with the choice he’s made. However, when Silver meets with Julius, the leader of the plantation slave army, he’s thoroughly unimpressed, questioning the integrity of the pirates since Silver gave up a friend as a necessary sacrifice. Julius walks away with unclear intentions, even as word arrives that the Spanish have invaded.

Silver and his men entrench themselves on the Underhill estate, when the Spanish soldiers attack. All hope seems lost until Julius and his army show up, forcing the Spanish to retreat. However in the aftermath, Flint arrives with news; Madi is dead. Silver is distraught as Flint orders everyone to retreat to Rackham’s ships. However, returning to Maroon Island, they find it full of pirates and ex-slaves from all over the West Indies who want to join the rebellion.

XXXV-2

Later, Silver receives a letter from Rogers offering a deal; Madi for the cache of Urca gold. Silver, reeling from news that Madi is alive, wants to do the exchange, but Flint insists on a plan to rescue her. Silver has become weary of this war against civilization, but as they sail for Nassau, Flint reassures him that they have the right people to lead them once the war is won; Silver and Madi. He could be saying it sincerely, but for the first time Flint seems like the lessor of the two.

The next day with the Walrus in range, Rogers executes the men Flint sent ashore to rescue Madi. To Flint’s helpless bewilderment, Silver orders Israel Hands to bring up the Urca cache which he had dug up in secret. Rogers weighs anchor and sets sail for Skeleton Island, with the Walrus in tow. Enroute, Israel Hands insists that Flint will betray him and must die, but Silver won’t listen. Hands may be psycho but he isn’t wrong, catching Flint that night stealing the cache. However, he lets him go to prove his point. The next day, Long John Silver comes face to face with Rogers, and assures him that he’ll retrieve the cache and kill Flint.

XXXVII-1

Inevitably Flint proves himself utterly ruthless, killing five of the six men sent to kill him and burying the cache, before Silver finally confronts him. After all that’s happened, Flint is still willing to talk out their problems, even killing Dooley when he tries to intervene. However to Silver, Flint just killed yet another man in the name of his cause. Silver attacks. The fight is short but ferocious. The only thing that saves either one is the sound of explosions; Rogers has used their absence to attack the Walrus.

Things look bad for the surviving Walrus’ crew until there’s a signal from the Roger’s ship… Jack Rackham has arrived. While Rogers heads out to sea, Rackham picks up the survivors, and grudgingly allows Flint to take command of the pursuit of Rogers. As Rackham’s ship leaves the inlet, Rogers is waiting, and Flint orders him rammed. The fight occurs at all levels of the ship; Flint clashes with Billy high in the crow’s-nest, while Rackham leads the men on maindeck and faces off with Rogers. Meanwhile, Silver goes below in search of Madi, and meets… himself; a cowardly crewman who claims to be “just the cook.” The cook leads him to Madi’s cell where he’s reunited with his beloved.

XXXVIII-16

With Madi safe, Silver and Flint go ashore to retrieve the cache. Only… Flint won’t take him to it until he clears the air. This time, Silver has something to say. He believes he’s seen Flint’s war for what it truly is: the senseless violence of a man with nothing left to lose and just wants to see the world burn. Flint bites back that sooner or later, Silver will want proof that he mattered. However, Silver is resolute and begs Flint to yield willingly.

In the end, Silver explains to a devastated Madi that Flint has been taken to the Savannah plantation to be incarcerated with Thomas; reunited with the man whose supposed death gave birth to Flint, the old McGraw seemed to re-emerge. While in the end, Madi, who wanted the war as much as Flint, stays with him, it's implied that the relationship is irreparably damaged.

Personality

Silver begins the series as a born opportunist, conniving thief, expert liar, natural coward, and questionable cook; a man looking out for number one. However, he's also a highly intelligent charmer with an in-depth knowledge of human nature. He enters into the pirate world by accidental, weaselling his way onto Captain Flint’s crew to save his own hide. He resents authority of any kind, a quality that brings him into direct conflict with Flint, even as events conspire to make them reluctant partners.

While his morality has always been complicated, over Season Two he gradually becomes loyal to the crew rather than just himself, and they him electing him Quartermaster. Mr Scott comments that no one other that Flint has gained influence faster than Silver.

However, he remains in Flint’s shadow, until he climbs into a longboat with Flint in Season Three, after just seeing him kill two crewmen in cold blood, and admits to stealing the Urca gold behind his back. He gradually grows to be both loved and feared by the crew, and not only Flint’s equal but possibly his successor when Billy names him the Pirate King of Nassau.

However, when Flint's war against civilisation comes between him and his lover Madi, and threatens to consume her, the partnership-turned-friendship between Flint and Silver shatters. He sabotages the war and in doing so he betrays his only true friend and the woman he loves.

Trivia

  • John Silver aka Long John Silver is a fictional creation of Robert Louis Stevenson. He is the morally ambiguous antihero in Stevenson's novel Treasure Island.
  • Silver is revealed to speak fluent Spanish.
  • In the series, he is an awful cook, while in the book set twenty years later his nickname is Barbecue and is considered an excellent cook.
  • In the season two finale, Silver’s lower left leg is amputated after being brutalized by Vane's quartermaster with a sledgehammer, giving him the one leg and a crutch famous from the book. Although, in the book he has lost his leg up to his hip, claims it happened while in the Royal Navy.
  • In the season three finale, Silver is given the name Long John Silver by Billy Bones, a reference to his threat to those who cross him that he has a long memory.

Memorable Quotes

"Why aren't you on deck with the crew?"
"I think the better question is why aren't they down here with us? You could be killed up there.
"
Merchant Ship's Cook and John Silver[src]
"He couldn't handle the thought of what you might to do him. I, on the other hand, would very much like to join your crew. My name is John Silver, and I happen to be a very good cook."
―John Silver, I.
"Captain Flint: Why won't I just kill you afterwards?
John Silver: Three weeks is a long time. We might be friends by then.
"
―Flint and Silver, III.
"I dont know how else to say this, but no. I suppose theres "fuck no", or "fuck you"."
―John Silver to Eleanor, 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, VI.
"-Because I don't want to be a pirate, I'm not interested in the life, I'm not interested in the fighting, I'm not interested in the ships. Don't care much for the sea while we are on the subject. But being a pirate on this crew awhile longer, endeavors me an opportunity I don't believe I can find anywhere else on earth, one big prize."
―Silver to Flint, X.
"It bothers you doesn't it... what they think? The things you've done... my God... it must be awful being you."
―Silver to Flint, XII.
"Until I know what you're going to say to the men, I can't let you say anything to the men."
―Silver to Billy, XIII.
"And right now his state of mind's so dark, it threatens to kill us all."
―Silver to Billy on Flint, XXI.
"We'll all face certain death with our own kind of lie. Billy's is that he can fight his way out of it. Yours is that you can talk your way past it. But for me... I don't know that I have any more lies left in me."
―Flint discusses their imprisonment with Silver, XXII.
"Your men are filled with anger towards England, as are mine, but my captain wanted England to see that anger and make them fear it."
―Silver tries to sway the daughter of the Maroon Queen, XXII.
"My name is John Silver, and I've got a long fucking memory."
―And so Long John Silver's name is born, XXV.
"To be both liked and feared all at once is an entirely different state of being... in which, I believe, at this moment, I exist alone. The men need to know they're in good favour with me. They need it, and there is nothing they won't do to make sure they have it."
―Silver espouses his belief he is Flint’s successor, XXVIII.
"If it makes you feel any better, I haven't considered killing you in months."
―Silver to Flint, XXIX.
"The threats have been made, the story’s been told, everybody in Nassau knows what Long John Silver’s return means, what’s expected of them when he does return...all that remains to do is for him to return."
―Flint to Silver, XXXI.
"What if the result of this war isn't beyond the horror? What if it is the horror itself?"
―Silver to Flint, XXXVI.

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Start a Discussion Discussions about John Silver

  • Could Max be a characters from Treasure Island book?

    9 messages
    • I think Max represents Mary Read in her relationship with Ann Bonny & Jack Rackham.   When they are caught and to be hung in England and ...
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Bonny https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calico_Jack

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