Billy Bones

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Name: Billy Bones
Occupation: Pirate,
Title/Rank: Boatswain (Bosun), Quartermaster, First Mate
Status: Alive (Black Sails) Deceased (Treasure Island)
Fandom: Black Sails Treasure Island
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Billy Bones is a fictional character in Robert Louis Stevenson's book Treasure Island. Billy Bones is also a main character in Starz's TV series Black Sails, which is a prequel to the original novel.


Treasure Island

Black Sails

Formerly William Manderly, Billy Bones was born in London. His parents were Levellers. Billy was press ganged into service in the Royal Navy at a very young age. When his ship was captured by Captain Flint, he took the opportunity to join the pirate crew.

Many of Captain Flint's actions, put Billy Bones in a position where he must choose between his Captain's orders and what he believes to be right. He does not trust his Captain, and in season 1, he investigates rumors about Mrs. Barlow and Maria Aleyne.

It is Billy who creates the myth of Long John Silver in his efforts to subvert British rule on New Providence Island. His creation elevates John Silver to a position equal to Captain Flint and puts the two men in direct conflict.

In season 4, Billy betrays the pirates and helps the British navy and Billy is forced to take up arms against his former shipmates.


Slash fics pairing Billy Bones with other male characters on the show are most common. None of these pairings are canon in the show. Many shippers noticing Billy's lack of interest in a "fuck tent", inferred that he many be uninterested in women and trying to hide an attraction to men. Some fics feature a fear of period typical homophobia and closeted gay characters.

The most common het pairing is Abigail Ashe/Billy Bones. On her journey aboard the Walrus, Abigail asked Captain Flint about Billy, commenting that he doesn't look like a pirate. These two characters never spoke to one another but that only encouraged determined shippers. Also eagle eyed viewers wondered how Billy was aware of the contents of Abigail's diary in the season 2 finale, when they had never interacted on screen.