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You might be looking for another page with a similar name. If so, visit Roger (disambiguation) or Jolly Roger (disambiguation).

Jolly Roger was a human man who is now an undead skeleton.


In life, Jolly Roger was a feared 17th century pirate; the first mate of the infamous Henry Morgan, he followed his captain to Morgan's Island, where Morgan had buried his treasure, and dueled him in his subterranean headquarters, eventually stabbing Morgan through the neck, killing him. However, Roger was unable to locate Morgan's treasure, which he had already buried in a completely different part of the island; it would only be unearthed over two centuries later, and only thanks to advice from Morgan's own ghost, by Yellow Beak, Donald Duck and his nephews.[1]

Roger later became the helmsman (and possibly the captain) of the Royal Fortune, a galleon he was eventually unable to prevent from crashing on the treacherous rocks of Hurricane Lagoon near the entrance to Dead Man's Cove. Forever standing at the helm of his wrecked ship, Roger became one of the many cursed skeletal pirates whispering ghastly warnings about the evils of piracy to visitors to Dead Man's Cove,[2] startling more than one still-living pirate with his chilling undead appearance.[3]

Another pirate, Captain Hook, named his ship the Jolly Roger, presumably in homage to the legendary first mate of Captain Morgan — although it might also have been a reference to another bit of piratical paraphernalia named for Roger, namely the iconic skull-and-crossbones flag itself.[4]

Behind the scenes

Jolly Roger was first mentioned in the 1942 story Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold. The skeletal Helsman identified in concept art by Marc Davis as “Jolly Roger” made his debut alongside the rest of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in 1967.

A rebooted version of the character was given greater prominence in the world of the Pirates of the Caribbean live-action films in the video game Pirates of the Caribbean Online. This villainous incarnation of the character is depicted as a contemporary of Jack Harness, captain of the ship the Harkaway, who gained his skeletal appearance from a curse placed upon him by a voodoo witch-doctor.

Although one might assume the name of Captain Hook's ship is merely a reference to the pirate flag itself, it is worth noting that Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth, an unofficial prequel to J. M. Barrie's original Peter Pan, posits that Roger Peter Davies was a schoolmate of a young James Hook at Eton, with Hook himself giving him the nickname of “Jolly Roger” which he would later quote when naming his ship. None of these details are, however, confirmed for the Prime Universe version of Hook, whose backstory already differs from J. V. Hart's novels in many respects.

Unlike Henry Morgan, he is not a historical character, with the actual origin of the name for the skull-and-crossbones pirate flag being shrouded in mystery and likely having nothing to do with a specific pirate called Roger.

Voice Actors

  • Steven Jay Blum (Pirates of the Caribbean Online, actually an alternate version of the character)

Notes & References

  1. Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold (1942).
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean (1967).
  3. Concept art by Marc Davis (see infobox).
  4. Peter Pan (1953).