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Why Davy Jones Killed The Kraken (& How)

The third Pirates of the Caribbean installment At World’s End wrapped up a lot of lingering mysteries, but why did Davy Jones kill his Kraken?

The third Pirates of the Caribbean installment At World’s End wrapped up a lot of the series’ lingering mysteries, but why did Davy Jones kill his Kraken, Pirates of the Caribbean‘s deadliest beastie? Although the first Pirates of the Caribbean film was adored by both audiences and critics, by the franchise’s third outing the series was growing too convoluted and complicated for fans to follow. At World’s End isn’t the worst movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as it managed to answer some questions left by its predecessors, but the 2007 outing was still overstuffed with too many villains and double-crosses, and the overambitious sequel contained far too many inconsequential subplots.

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For example, amidst all its lore and mythology building, At World’s End didn’t clearly explain the reasoning behind the death of the second film’s scariest antagonist, the Kraken. The Kraken is found washed up and dead by the former rivals and now-uneasy co-conspirators Captain Jack Sparrow and Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, but how did the legendary leviathan end up there and what compelled its master Davy Jones to kill it?

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The reason that the octopus-faced Davy Jones killed his pet and greatest weapon in controlling the high seas is that his new handler made him. Cutler Beckett is the original trilogy’s true villain, a representative of the East India Trading company who is hell-bent on ending the era of piracy. Beckett later remarks that he ordered Jones to kill his “pet”, proving he ordered Jones to put the Kraken out of commission for both strategic and symbolic purposes. It’s a significant moment not only for Beckett and Jones but also for the franchise as the Kraken’s Pirates of the Caribbean death means the end of Jones’ reign and by extension, the world of piracy.


How Did The Kraken Die? The Movie Never Showed It

The film deprives the audience of the poignant moment Jones carried out the command, instead cutting to the already-dead body. This sort of overly busy storytelling robs the moment of its emotional impact, which is a recurring Pirates of the Caribbean movie mistake. Viewers can’t be certain whether Jones simply commanded the beast onto the beach or actually had to do the dirty work of killing the thing himself, as the Kraken’s Pirates of the Caribbean fate is left offscreen. Judging by the brief glimpse of its carcass the Kraken died by beaching itself, as the corpse hasn’t been beheaded or finned when the heroes come across it.


The sight of Jones’ dead pet marks the end of an era for Pirates of the Caribbean stalwarts Jack and Barbossa who, in their terse exchange beside the body, acknowledge that their way of life is ending. It’s an elegiac moment as, while Jones’ decision to off his precious Kraken is an obvious strategic disadvantage, it’s also a metaphorical admission of defeat and concession to the East India Trading Company. Not only can Jones never use the monster against Beckett in the way he used it to (temporarily) kill Jack Sparrow, he’s now in the employ of the company and the time of libertine lawlessness is coming to a close.


Did Davy Jones Actually Care About The Kraken?

Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean

The death of the Kraken in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is a poignant moment because of its metaphorical meaning, but it’s also possible that Davy Jones would genuinely mourn the Kraken if he thought of it fondly as if it were a pet. There isn’t ample evidence to support that Jones felt such an attachment to the beast, however. He is moved by its death, but that could easily have more to do with his despair about the end of the piracy era than true sentiment. That said, having been bonded with the Kraken for so long could also have fuelled a deep personal attachment for Jones. Whatever the case, the Kraken is still one of Pirates of the Caribbean‘s most iconic creatures, and its loss was a weighty one despite occurring offscreen.


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