Edward Teach
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Vital statistics
Title Captain
Gender Male
Status Deceased
Ships Revenge
Relationships Charles Vane (Protégé; deceased)
Israel Hands (Ex-Crewmen/Enemy)
Jack Rackham (Rival/Ally)
Anne Bonny (Rival/Ally)
James Flint (Rival/Ally)
Woodes Rogers (Enemy)
Appearances First Appearance : XIX.

Last Appearance : XXXI.

Portrayed by Ray Stevenson
Gallery Edward Teach Gallery
"And I know that you're conflicted about what you have left behind. But the question is whether you can cling fast to the truth we both hold in our hearts, the truth that makes us of the same mind."
"And what truth is that?"
"That a lion keeps no den. Because the savanna, all the space within it, everything that walks and crawls upon it belongs to him.
"
―Edward Teach and Charles Vane[src]

Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was a fearsome pirate captain in command of the mighty ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge. Blackbeard will return to Nassau to settle some unfinished business, but a great deal had changed during his absence, and he will have to disrupt cemented alliances and challenged new ones to achieve the impossible.

Biography

Background

Edward Teach was one of the pirate captains who operated from New Providence Island at the beginning of the eighteenth century. He was one of the original co-writers of the Pirates Charter and the mentor of Charles Vane, who he sees as the son he never had. One day, shortly after taking Vane onto his crew, they spent two weeks careening on an unnamed island.  Teach led Vane and some men inland. Even then, Teach knew that he and Vane were extremely similar, and it seemed that they were fated to matter to each other. While resting by a spring, the sun climbed up over the trees, shining off the pool. At that moment, a massive snow white bird, as large as a boar, flew before them and landed on the water. Teach told Vane that there were men in his mother's hometown in Clifton, a suburb of Bristol, that would have considered that bird an omen of good fortune, but there were men in the East who thought it a bad omen. When asked what he thought, Vane replied he thought it meant "dinner."

He foundeed the Pirate Republic  in Nassau when he lead the pirates of Nassau in ousting Governor Robert Thompson. Teach's second, Israel Hands, was the one who killed Thompson's wife and son. Over time, Hands became jealous of Teach's new protege, Vane. This lead to a falling out between Teach and Hands, which led to a public beating of Hands before all the crews on the beach, followed by Teach having Hands shot in the face, barely missing his eye. Hands then became an outcast, living in the Wrecks. However, a few years later, Vane became the lover of the black marketeer Eleanor Guthrie, and she convinced him to switch sides and to join with her. This, combined with the fact that Benjamin Hornigold had also joined her, with the promise of being named Steward of the Fort, Teach had no choice but to leave Nassau, or kill Vane.

Blackbeard abandoned the life on the high seas and took the Royal Pardon, settling in the Colonies. Living in Virginia and Carolina under the false name Drummond, he was landed gentry, and was doing well. For eight years, he went through nine wives in search of a son. But he was just deeply unsatisfied, falling and succumbing to the society he left behind, with no heir apparent.

Season Three

In Bath,  Carolina, Blackbeard learns that the Guthries have been deposed in Nassau. He decides the time is right to return to Nassau, and reconnect with his former protégé, Charles Vane, whom he regards as the son he never had. Before he can leave, the brothers of his latest wife, Mary, board his ship and demand that he keep his vow to their sister. 

The three march into his cabin, and Teach calmly asks if he can help them. Tom answers that Teach is Drummond (his alias), Mary's husband, they are Mary's brothers. Teach then names Caleb and Tom, but cannot recall Edgar's name, so Edgar answers for himself. Teach asks if they came all they way from Williamsburg just to tell him that they are upset with him and Tom replies that they came to make sure Teach honors his vows to their sister, saying he'll either be Mary's current husband, or her late one.

Teach apologizes and says he has somewhere he needs to be, but Tom insists that he is going with them. Teach says he understands their anger, but any promise made using the word "forever" is simply an agreed upon lie. He goes on to say that there is no such thing as forever, and everything moves towards its end. As you get closer, the louder the clock ticks, and someone will no longer want to deprived of happiness because of that promise. Teach tells Tom and his brothers that he explained all this to Mary, and she told him that she would not protest their separation. 

At this point, Tom angrily questions if Teach is calling their sister a liar. Teach calmly answers that considering they're standing before him, he can think of at least three lies she told them. The first, she likely told them that he retired from a prosperous trade, what she neglected to mention was that trade was high seas piracy. The second, she told them his name was Drummond, but when he was a pirate, he went by Teach. The third, she led them to believe that they could point their swords at him, and live to tell the tale. Teach slowly rises and reveals his full armament of pistols, before telling them that that was less than the truth. He quickly shoots the three brothers. Tom lives long enough to crawl to the door before expiring. 

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Blackbeard arrives in Nassau, at night, and asks a man by the docks where he can find Vane. He finds Vane in his tent on the beach. Vane is at first unclear of Teach's intentions, but Teach tells Vane that he forgives him for betraying him for Eleanor. Teach and Vane sit down with Jack Rackham to discuss their plans to defend Nassau from the approaching English fleet. Teach is less than impressed at Rackham's status as a partner, because he remembers Rackham as a scrawny crew member. He sees it as a sign that Nassau has become weak.

Rackham and Vane continue with their plan to defend Nassau without him. However, with the fort not yet finished, and their only true navel strategist Captain Flint missing, some are resigned to defeat. Blackbeard offers to step in and coordinate the pirate fleet, provided that Vane becomes his protégé again.

The pirates fight to save Nassau proves short-lived. Governor Rogers offers pardons to all pirates, save Vane, and most accept. Vane is trapped in the fort, with a price on his head. When Vane tries to fight his way to the docks, he is eventually outnumbered in an alleyway. Fortuitously, Blackbeard appears, and the two combine to fight their way to Blackbeard’s ship. 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 Blackbeard to sail away.

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Blackbeard and Vane capture a Spanish ship, and find Spanish intelligence notes that mention Vane, Nassau, and a spy within Rogers’s entourage. Flint eventually tracks them to Ocracoke Island, wanting Vane to rejoin him in retaking Nassau, and bring the fleet with him. Teach refuses to step aside lightly. To decide the matter, Flint and Teach choose to duel. Teach wins the duel, but before he can deal Flint a mortal blow, Vane steps in, having finally decided his loyalty. Vane fights off Teach to the point that Teach lays down his sword and orders them both off his island.

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Weeks later, Blackbeard and his fleet are still encamped on Ocracoke Island, when news reaches them that Charles Vane has been hanged in Nassau. Teach leads his fleet to the Maroon Island to confront Flint over his part in Vane’s death. However, when he arrives, Rackham persuades him join the fight against the English fleet. While the two fleets engage cannon fire, Anne Bonny leads a boarding party swimming unnoticed to capture one of the English ships. They open fire on the rest of the fleet, forcing them to retreat. The victory may have convinced Teach to respect Rackham.

Season Four

After their victory on the Maroon Island, Blackbeard and the alliance of pirates set their sights on retaking Nassau. As the Revenge approaches the harbor, Jack Rackham asks to give a speech. What was supposed to be an invasion of overwhelming force, only ends in disaster. Woodes Rogers continues to demonstrate his cunning; before the approach, he intentionally sank ships as a hidden blockade. Most of pirate fleet run aground on the underwater wrecks, within range of Nassau’s cannons, and bloody carnage quickly ensues. The only ship not caught is Blackbeard’s, which exchanges fire with Fort Nassau, taking damage to the rig in the process. They are forced to make a tactical retreat to draw Woodes’ fleet away from the survivors. They head north with Woodes Rogers' Three Sloops on their tail. Knowing that between the damage to the Revenge's rig and the agility of the sloops compared to the man of war, they have no way of maneuvering a broadside on them, Teach orders the guns hauled in and for the crew to prepare to repel boarders. Anne Bonny is tentative about this plan, and Teach says he thought she was the one without fear. Anne replies that it isn't fear to want to do a difficult thing intelligently. The Redcoat's ships come alongside and they board. 

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Blackbeard and his crew manage to turn and defeat the pursuing British sloops, and return to blockade Nassau port. On the way there, he has his men execute a number of captured soldiers.  He sends a message in the form of a ship full of hanging corpses, and demands one thing… Eleanor Guthrie at the end of his sword, or he will continue the blockade and execute the remaining 61 prisoners. Skeptical that Rogers will comply, Blackbeard then orders Anne Bonny to lead a vanguard into town from the west to kidnap Eleanor, instead of pursing the Governor’s ship which is preparing to sail. Bonny replies that there isn't a good way in from the west, and Jack suggests approaching form the lagoon. Teach says to just get it done and retreats to his cabin. However, Bonny confides to Jack Rackham that she has no more room in her heart for vengeance. It’s up to Rackham to relay these sentiments back to Blackbeard.  Teach tells a story about his time sailing with Vane. He tells Jack the story involving the massive bird they encountered while careening, and how a young Vane answered "dinner" when asked about his thoughts on its meaning. Rackham  then eloquently persuades him by invoking their mutual fondness of the late Charles Vane; Vane always focused on the best move to achieve their ultimate goal. Right now, the best move is to kill Rogers and end the war rather than focusing on revenge against Eleanor. They are then surprised by cannonfire from the fort, and Reuben informs him that Rogers is fleeing under cover of the fort's guns. Teach orders that they raise the anchor and set a course to pursue Rogers. 

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At sea, Blackbeard is closing in on the Governor’s ship. After a lengthy chase, Rogers misses his tack, allowing Teach to catch up to him. Teach briefs Jack on the plan. After opening with volleys of cannonfire, Teach and Bonny will lead the vanguard aboard the Lion in longboats. Before leaving, Teach asks Rackham if he has ever captured a ship the size of the Revenge. When Rackham answers no, he asks again, to which Rackham answers "sure," which Teach deems satisfactory. After raking the ship with cannon fire, Blackbeard leads the boarding party. Once aboard, something doesn’t feel right and with good reason. Rogers springs his trap and a bloody battle ensues. Teach fights his way to Rogers and engages him in a duel. The two are evenly matched, with Teach being larger and stronger, while Rogers is younger and faster. However, Teach is disarmed and surrounded and the unthinkable happens; Blackbeard is captured, held at gunpoint by half a dozen Redcoats. Rackham and the crew aboard the Revenge watch helplessly from afar, and raise the white flag.

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Rogers has Blackbeard strung up by the ankles over the side of the ship. Right before going over the side, Teach defiantly smiles at Rogers. While the crew look on, Blackbeard is callously keelhauled, dragging him under the ship covered with razor sharp barnacles. After the first pass, he’s bloodied and scraped. The second pass sees Blackbeard apparently dead, as his entire body is flayed, but not so; he coughs up sea water. Everyone looks on as Blackbeard’s brutalised body is dragged from the water for a third time; miraculously still alive and defiant to the end. Woodes grand moment has been ruined, and he petulantly shoots him in the head at point blank range as Teach tries to rise. Lieutenant Kendrick then proceeds to cut off Teach's head.  Later, Rogers sails to Havana to enlist Spanish aid in driving the pirates out of Nassau, which had fallen to the pirates in his absence. To prove to the Spanish authorities that he does not care about eh ongoing war between their two empires and his only goal is ending piracy, he presentes them with Teach's head.  After taking over the Lion from the skeleton crew he left on it, Jack Rackham arrives in Nassau. Flint explains that he made a bargain with Eleanor Guthrie to exchange the cache of Urca de Lima gems for Fort Nassau, allowing for the safe departure of all of Rogers' remaining allies from the island. Rackham replies that he has seen Rogers' bloodlust, and that he won't agree to it. Jack cites the fact that outnumbered, Rogers defeated Edward Teach in battle through sheer force of will. 

Personality

Edward "Blackbeard" Teach’s piratical career is so notorious that the mere mention of his name strikes terror in honest men and pirates alike. He is an extremely dangerous fighter and an excellent tactician. Though all pirates use pistols, most carry one or two, he carries a brace of four of them. He also only respects captains with strength, like Vane and Flint, with no respect for the wits and cunning of Rackham.

He feels like Vane is the son he's never had, and bears him no ill will for his betrayal. He originally walked away from Nassau, because he would have been forced to kill him. Despite his seeming strength, he is dying from a piece of shrapnel in his chest, which is part of his reason for reconnecting with Vane. He doesn't say a word when he learns of Vane's death, but the look in his eyes shows his fury. He remains defiant to the end; even after being keelhauled three times, he spits blood in Woodes Rogers' face.

Trivia

  • Blackbeard's famed flagship, Queen Anne's Revenge, was an English frigate refitted by the French. It has not yet appeared in the show, but since it was not captured until late 1717, the series may be striving to reflect history in this respect.
  • Evidence suggests that Blackbeard was finally killed by Lt. Maynard, after he had been stabbed close to twenty times and shot five times. The series' death scene for him instead reflected a myth spread about his demise: that his beheaded corpse swam three times around the ship after it was tossed overboard, mirrored by the three times his body was keelhauled.
  • Blackbeard got his name due to braiding his beard with lighted tapers so as to appear more fearsome to his victims.
  • In the show, he mentions having had nine wives, but the real Blackbeard may have as many as fifteen. So he still has six to go.
  • Israel Hands was famously the First Mate of Blackbeard, in real life.
  • In real life, Blackbeard started his career as Benjamin Hornigold's second-in-command. In the show, this relationship is never mentioned, but Teach does mention that he sailed alongside Hornigold during the early days of the Pirate Republic.
  • Teach is shown with a number of different tattoos. These include the symbol from his flag: a horned devil skeleton stabbing a heart with a spear and holding an hourglass on his right bicep, an hourglass on his right shoulder, and two triangular symbols on his abdomen that were inspired by traditional Tahitian tattoos.

Memorable Quotes

"For years, I've laid my head down at night, and no matter where I was, there was an odor would arrive at my nose... Brine and hides and pitch and shit. The perfume of this place." - Teach to Vane in XX. "Strife is good. Strife makes a man strong. For if a man is capable of confronting death daily, functioning in the face of it, there's no telling what else that man can do, and a man whose limits cannot be known is a very hard man to defeat in battle." Teach to Vane and Rackham in XX.

"So we have one fleet and two men claiming it. There is only one way I know of to resolve that. Pistols, then swords." 

- Teach to Flint in XXIV.

"Charles is dead. The governor in Nassau hung him in the square. On the island I helped build, he thought he could do that and face no consequences. He failed to account for me." - Teach to Rackham in XXVIII.


"And just after he joined my crew... I spent two weeks careening on this shit island with no name. I knew right away he was different than the others. He was so like me when I was a younger man. And that he and I somehow were fated to matter to one another. I was consumed with the question of whether our similarities would be a blessing or a curse. So, whilst the others were careening, a number of us were inland by a spring. The sun climbs up over the top of the trees... in just a way that it shines off the pool... lighting up all around us. In that moment, a bird lands on the water... massive, snow-white beast, big as a boar. To this day, I've never seen anything like it. Between the sun and the size of it, it just felt... meaningful. The answer to a question I did not yet know how to ask. I told him that there were men in the east who would have seen in that bird the darkest of all omens, bringer of death. But then, there are other men near Clifton... my... my mother's home... who would've called it a sign of great fortune, an indication from the heavens that someone up there favored our endeavor together. And I asked him what he thought it meant. 'Dinner.'"

- Teach to Rackham in XXX.

Appearances

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