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Max
Max 648x1080
Vital statistics
Title Madame
Gender Female
Status Alive
Ships None
Relationships Eleanor Guthrie (Ex-Lover/Friend; deceased)
Anne Bonny (Lover)
Georgia (Lover)
Jack Rackham (Friend)
Idelle (Friend)
Appearances First: I.
Last: XXXVIII.
Portrayed by Jessica Parker Kennedy
Gallery Max Gallery
"The world is so full of surprises. Let it surprise you."
―Max to Eleanor Guthrie[src]

Max is a seductive, cunning, and cool-headed prostitute in the brothel on Nassau. In Eleanor Guthrie, she’s found a kindred spirit, a lover, maybe even a savior, but when her aspirations and Eleanor’s begin to conflict, their relationship, and Max’s well-being, take a dark turn for the worse.

Background

Max was born into slavery, possibly somewhere in Haiti since she speaks French creole. She was the child of a slave-woman and the slave-owner. As a child, she would watch while the slave-owner’s trueborn daughter ate and read and danced in the safety of the big house. Max has always wanted that life for herself. At the start of the series she is working as one of the many prostitutes in Noonan's brothel.

Season One

One day, Max and a number of other girls are hired as a welcoming gift for John Silver. Despite several beautiful women in bed with him, Silver's eyes keep drifting to the page he took from the Ship's cook. After the other women leave, Max confronts Silver and asks him its importance. She then threatens to turn him in to his Captain, unless he cuts her in on the profits. Silver reluctantly agrees.

Later that night, Max helps Silver sneak aboard the Walrus to discover the meaning of the page. In Flint's cabin, he finds the book the page was torn from; a ledger owned by the previous Captain. Silver realizes that it's the schedule of the Spanish treasure galleon L'Urca de Lima.

Returning to the brothel, Max finds her lover Eleanor Guthrie, bruised and shaken after a confrontation with her former lover Charles Vane. Max takes Eleanor to her room to clean her up and comfort her, before the two have sex.

Vanemax

Vane assaults Max.

Later, Max approaches Jack Rackham and offers to sell him the Urca schedule. The two set up a meeting for the purchase. However, the meeting is abruptly broken up by Vane, who accuses Max planning a doublecross. He eventually relents, though not before vowing to kill her should the deal go south. 

As soon as they leave, Max is next confronted by Hal Gates and Billy Bones with Eleanor, who have figured out that she is working as a middle man for Silver with the Urca schedule. Much to Max's shock and pain, Eleanor insists that she must give up the page. After confessing to the men the plan to sell the schedule to Vane, Max pleads with Eleanor to leave the island with her and start a new life. Eleanor turns her down, but offers Max protection from Vane. Feeling betrayed by Eleanor, Max later sneaks out of the brothel, intent on leaving the island alone. However, she is caught and imprisoned by Vane and his men.

Max beaten-0

While a captive, Max is routinely beaten and raped by Vane's men. After some time, Vane asks her why she refused Eleanor's protection. Max tells him that he of all people must understand the pain of losing Eleanor's affection. Vane relents and tells Rackham to sneak her off the island after dark.

Despite Rackham's attempt to get her away, he is caught by several of the Ranger's crew led by Hamund, who refuse to give her up. They proceed to assault her right in the street. Her screams attract a crowd, and eventually Eleanor. Enraged, Eleanor beats the men off Max and announces that none of them will ever do business on the island again, unless they abandon Vane and join Flint's crew. Max, still hurt from Eleanor's rejection and feeling guilt for Vane losing his crew, offers to remain Vane's captive until her debt is paid off.

While "paying off" her debt, she continues to be abused by the Ranger's crew. She tries to convince them that they would get more pleasure from her if they treated her gently, but Hamund continues to mistreat her. Hamund's abuse of Max especially distressed Anne Bonny, who was abused herself by her ex-husband. Bonny eventually reluctantly reaches out to Eleanor, and together they lead Hamund and the others into an ambush where they kill them all. Afterwards, Max is allowed free and returns to her room in the brothel.

Max and Eleanor S1E8

Rackham is now running the brothel, but struggling to stop the girls and Mrs. Mapleton robbing him blind. Max begins to assert some authority with the other girls, making them pay Rackham the full amount for their tricks. Impressed, Rackham fires Mrs. Mapleton, with Max becoming the new Madam of the brothel.

Season Two

With Max now the Madam of the brothel, she begins selling leads from the girls to pirate captains. When this is discovered, Bonny becomes angry with her. However, Rackham comes up with a plan to get his own ship and a crew, and use the leads that Max receives to enrich the three of them with equal profit of the spoils.

Max and Anne IX

However, due to his betrayal of Vane's crew, Rackham's attempts to raise a crew end in abject failure. This continues until Max finds out information on Ned Low's mysterious hostage for Charles Vane. In exchange he forgives Rackham and Bonny, so that they may sail again. Meanwhile, a tense three-way sexual relationship has develops between Max, Bonny and Rackham.

Max continues to demonstrate her shrewdness when she helps manipulate an influential pirate named Featherstone to join Rackham, along with 28 of his crew and their ship. However, the new crew will not accept both Max and Bonny receiving such a significant share of the profits. When Rackham tells Bonny she must stay ashore for awhile, Bonny storms off.

While Rackham is at sea, Bonny kills a sailor called Logan, as well as prostitute Charlotte in the brothel, in a foolish attempt to gain information on the Urca gold. Max promises to stand between Bonny and the consequences of her actions, and protect her. However, Bonny eventually decides to leave Nassau.

In the brothel, Silver comes to Max for help in his latest scheme. Silver admits to Max that when Flint's scouts returned on the island, they told him that the Urca gold was actually still at the wreck of the Urca; what had occurred was that the Spanish sailors on the beach had all become ill and died, leaving the gold virtually defenseless. He then asks Max if she knows of a crew who would be willing to go there and collect the gold.

Ep17-8

Soon, Rackham and his crew return to Nassau. Rackham is clearly distraught at Bonny's departure, but immediately begin preparations to retrieve the gold.

After Richard Guthrie funeral, Max brings bread and fruit from the girls in the brothel to Eleanor. Eleanor explains to Max there is now a war between her and Charles Vane over the future of the island, and everyone must now choose sides. Max exits feeling that Eleanor is up to something and demands that Rackham launch his ship as soon as possible. Her fear proves well-founded, when men try to assassinate Rackham and his quartermaster Featherstone. However, Bonny reappears and saves them, killing both men. Taking refuge in the brothel, Max insists that they must leave immediately.

When news of Eleanor Guthrie's arrest by the English reaches Nassau, Max is visibly upset, but her thoughts quickly turn to the future of the island. Max asks Idelle collect all the money the brothel and the girls have in reserve, and buys the interest in Eleanor's tavern.

Ep18-23

A short time later, Max is summoned to the beach from her new tavern. On the beach, Rackham and Bonny look a bit beat up, but alive. Rackham tells her that the Spanish men on the beach put up an admirable fight, but that they won the day. Rackham's crew also had to salvage the wrecked Walrus in order to carry all the gold back to Nassau. Rackham tells Max he wants to show her something "shiny" and takes her into the hold of one of the ships, revealing the long desired Urca gold. Max smiles in the light of the glittering gold.

Season Three

In the months since the end of Season 2, Max has established herself as Eleanor's replacement as the merchant queen of Nassau, while the Urca gold has been split between Max, Flint, Rackham, Vane, and their crews. However, fearing that the Spanish or English will respond in overwhelming force to the theft of the gold, Max tries to persuade Rackham and Bonny to exchange some of the gold for pearls, so it is easier to transport should they need to abandon Nassau. When Blackbeard arrives on the island, and proves himself a volcano building towards its inevitable eruption, Rackham agrees to Max's plan - as long as it's done quietly.

Her concerns are proven well-founded, as news soon reaches Nassau of the imminent arrival of Woodes Rogers and his fleet, intent of re-establishing English governance of the island. The pirates fight to save Nassau proves short-lived; Rogers offers all the pirates pardons and most accept, with only Blackbeard, Vane, Rackham, and Bonny fleeing. Max elects to stay and build a life for herself under English governance, ending her relationship with Bonny.

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 the hard way, and will risk all to keep her place at the top. She approaches Governor Rogers, and enticed him with her share of the Spanish gold in return for a place on the council.

XXV 1

Governor Rogers has no time to celebrate his newfound wealth. He learns that the Spanish are insisting that ALL of the Urca gold must be returned, including Rackham and Bonny’s shares. Max proves that she has chosen to side with Rodgers and Eleanor, when she tries to persuade Bonny to return the cache after Rackham is arrested. However, Max is soon forced to make an awful and lonely compromise to remain in power; she must betray Bonny and allow Rackham to be handed over to the Spanish.

XXV 2

Meanwhile, Max employs the hated Mrs. Mapleton as the new madam in the whorehouse. However, this proves a mistake, and helps turn her friend Idelle against her. Idelle becomes a spy for the pirate resistance led by Flint. Idelle helps them plot an ambush on Roger’s convoy, transporting Rackham and the pearls to the Spanish.

Over time, Max and Eleanor have grown closer to each other again. When Charles Vane is arrested, Max tries to warn Eleanor of the dangerous path she is following. However, Eleanor refuses to listen, and fast-tracks Vane’s trial and conviction for piracy. Max watches on with increasing concern for the stability of Nassau, as Vane is shuttled into the town square, and hanged before a troubled crowd of former pirates. The pirate rebellion begins with the killing of Captain Throckmorton, and the promise of future retribution from a new boogieman for the governing powers to fear, Long John Silver. Max seems to seek to let the drama play out and once again land on the winning side.

Season Four

EpXXIX-2

Max remains allied with Governor Rogers and Eleanor in the hope that they can return commerce to Nassau. She even uses her network of spies to intercept a message from Billy Bones warning the invading pirate fleet of the hidden blockade of sunken ships. However, she’s increasingly concerned by the Governor’s methods; the spectacle of show-trials and executions of captured pirates after the failed pirate invasion is sure to lead to more defiance and instability.

One evening, Max gets a note from one of her spies asking her to a secret parley with John Silver and Israel Hands; Silver had been washed ashore during the disastrous invasion. At the meeting Silver tries to make a deal with Max; money for his favour when the pirates retake Nassau. However, Max is invested in going straight and pirates are bad for business. In acknowledgement of their former friendship, she won’t hand him over to redcoats, but will detain him and take him far far away from Nassau. As her men move in, they are single-handedly cut down by Hands, with Max barely escaping with her life.

XXX-max-berringer

When Rogers leaves Nassau for Port Royal to lead Blackbeard away, Max is left at the mercy of his odious second in command Captain Berringer. Berringer had a spy follow Max the night before, and knows she met with Silver. He has her arrested and threatens her with charges of treason if she doesn’t give up her informants. However, Max refuses and meets his gaze with equal resolve.

As Max predicted, the execution of the pirates results in a violent backlash, as Silver and the pirate resistance takeover Nassau. Max tries to flee with Eleanor to Fort Nassau, but is captured by Billy Bones. Max is handed over to Silver, who exchanges her for the twenty pirate prisoners. In Fort Nassau, Eleanor and Max concoct a plan to leave Nassau behind; they’ll surrender the fort without a fight, in exchange for Urca gold. Rogers is less than thrilled with the deal, but after a few warning shots, he seems to agree.

However, while Eleanor is off making the exchange, Rogers returns with an entire Spanish invasion fleet still determined to destroy the pirate threat in New Providence Island. Max rushes to warn Eleanor, but only finds Jack Rackham on the isolated beach. Jack isn’t too  happy to see her, but when he learns of the Spanish Armada, he allows her to join him aboard their ship.

XXXIV-12

At sea, Max asks to see Anne Bonny, who is bedridden from her fight with the English bruiser. Max tries to make peace with her but Bonny wants none of it. Silver and the rest of the survivors of the Spanish invasion join them on-board, and head for the Maroon Island. Max, however, will have her revenge for Eleanor’s death. She convinces Rackham to head to Philadelphia and seek help from Eleanor’s grandfather.

In Philadelphia, Jack plans to speak with the Eleanor’s grandfather and win him as a partner in revitalizing Nassau, while imprisoning Rogers for causing the death of his granddaughter. Although Mr. Guthrie rejects his offer, Eleanor’s grandmother is the real brains behind the Guthrie business, and sees merit in his proposal. However, she will need convincing. Jack decides to bring Max to help make their case with Marion Guthrie. With the help of Max’s financial ledgers and feminine wiles, they convince her… but there is a catch. Rackham must kill the one man who will continue the never-ending circle of violence in Nassau; James Flint.

XXXVI-1

With the deal almost struck, Max and Anne stay behind in Philadelphia. Max tries to secure their alliance with Marion Guthrie, and she sees Max as a woman to be reckoned with, however there is a catch. Max must marry someone easily manipulated with little ambition, but a man from society none the less. However, she decides not to marry into Mrs. Guthrie's scheme, for fear that it will ruin her chances of rekindling things with Bonny.

After Jack’s confrontation with Rogers on Skeleton Island, he returns to Philadelphia to bring word that Captain Flint is no longer a concern to them; he’s not dead, but retired. Mrs. Guthrie isn’t exactly pleased with the outcome, but Max and Rackham assure her that Flint is now not a martyr to the cause and will never be heard from again. Seeming Mrs. Guthrie agreed as some months later we see that Nassau is now a flourishing legitimate port, while in the background the new Governor Featherstone shakes hands with yet more respectable business partner. From the balcony opposite, Max looks on with a smile, the real power behind the throne.

Personality

Max begins the series as a seductive and cunning prostitute with a knack for manipulating people, who dreams of a better life for herself through her powerful lover Eleanor. However, when her aspirations and Eleanor's conflict, Eleanor betrays her. Their relationship and Max’s well-being, take a dark turn for the worse. After, Bonny saves her from sexual enslavement to Vane’s crew, Max becomes far more assertive, first becoming the wily madam of the brothel, and later the owner of Eleanor’s tavern.

Max is very cool-headed, often playing both sides, in bed and in business, and landing on the winning side, such as convincing Vane to forgive Rackham, and converting the gold to pearls before the English invasion. She can be very loyal to her friends, protecting Bonny from the consequences of her actions, and running things in Nassau without creating enemies, unlike Eleanor.

Though Max becomes a power in her world after Eleanor's arrest, she recognises the fragile nature of her business empire. When the prospect of legitimacy presents itself, Max sides with the new English Governor against the pirates, though she eventually learns that to remain in power, requires awful and lonely compromises when she's forced to betray her lover Bonny.

Max's alliance with Rogers only leads to the destruction of everything she'd built, when he leads a Spanish invasion fleet to the port. The death of Eleanor reveals something of a vengeful streak in Max, as she invites Marion Guthrie to financially ruin Rogers. Max is usually led by her survival instincts, but in the end she rejects grandma Guthrie's plans for her, having learned from her mistake in betraying those she truly cares for.

Trivia

  • In the original novel, it's mentioned that Silver married "a woman of colour", which has led some to believe Silver and Max will eventually get together. However, this women of colour now seems far more likely to be the daughter of the Maroons Queen, Madi.

Memorable Quotes

"When the sea grows rough, you come to Max, Max is your harbour." ― Max to Eleanor.[1]

"When a man is being fucked he wants to know whose cock was in him." ― Max to Silver.[2]

“We could have left. We could have been free. He didn't do this to me. You did.” ― Max to Eleanor; III.

"She's not mad. She is adrift. Alone is the most terrifying way." ― Max about Bonny; XIV.

"You would be amazed what could change in a week in my bed." - Max to Rackham; XII.

“That fucking chair. To gain it, it demands you win partners, call them friends, make them promises. To keep it, it demands you break them all. One day when all is settled here, we should burn that fucking chair.” ― Max ponders the price of success; XXV.

"You and I both know that there are men on both sides of this war whose identities are so enmeshed in this conflict that they are more afraid of ending it than they are of losing it." ― Max to Eleanor; XXX.

References

Start a Discussion Discussions about Max

  • 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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