John Silver

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Name: John Silver, Long John Silver
Occupation: Pirate
Title/Rank: Cook, Quartermaster, Captain
Status: Alive (Black Sails) Alive (Treasure Island)
Fandom: Treasure Island, Black Sails
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Long John Silver is a fictional character in Robert Louis Stevenson's book Treasure Island. He also appears in other books, TV and movie adaptions of Treasure Island. John Silver is also a main character in Starz's TV series Black Sails, which is a prequel to the original novel.


Treasure Island

All the crew respected and even obeyed him. He had a way of talking to each, and doing everybody some particular service. To me he was unweariedly kind; and always glad to see me in the galley, which he kept as clean as a new pin; the dishes hanging up burnished, and his parrot in a cage in one corner. 'Come away, Hawkins,' he would say; 'come and have a yarn with John. Nobody more welcome than yourself, my son. Sit you down and hear the news.'

In the novel, Long John Silver is the archetypal pirate: cunning and ruthless, with a peg leg and a parrot named for Captain Flint on his shoulder. He was previously quartermaster under the notorious pirate Captain Flint and claims to have been the only man whom Flint ever feared. He is overall self-interested, but acts as a mentor to the Jim Hawkins, the protagonist. It is mentioned that he is married to a woman of African descent.

Black Sails

In the Starz TV series, John Silver is portrayed by Luke Arnold. He joins Flint's crew in an effort to save himself when his merchant ship is boarded by the pirates and his allegiances often change as he is always looking for opportunities to improve his lot. Flint recognizes his skill at manipulation and requires that he help keep the crew in line. Despite this, Silver develops a loyalty to his crew that leads to him selflessly refusing to betray them in season 2. This decision results in John losing his leg and being voted in as the new quartermaster of the Walrus.

In Season 3, to encourage revolt against the British in Nassau, Billy Bones creates a fearsome character Long John Silver. John is unaware of his shipmate's plan, but eventually steps up to the role of a living legend. In Season 4, he has begun a relationship with Madi, the woman who would be in wife in Treasure Island. Madi and Flint both want war with England, and Silver's relationship with them is strained as he comes to oppose their views. He ultimately betrays and usurps Flint, and it is implied that his relationship with Madi is irreparably damaged.

Very little is known about John Silver's past. The story is tell Captain Flint about his childhood is an admitted fabrication, created to control his story, and even his name is implied to be false. He is a manipulative character who can spin a story to his own advantage, but this skill allows him to rise quickly through the ranks of Captain Flint's crew, and becoming a rival to his former mentor.


Common Pairings

In the Black Sails fandom, the most common pairing is Captain Flint/John Silver. The canonical pairing of Madi/John Silver is also popular.

Threesome and Moresome fics are common, possibly due to the canon existence and acceptance of relationships with more than two people. The pairing of Captain Flint/John Silver/Thomas Hamilton is common, despite these three characters never sharing a scene together in canon. There are also a number of works with the pairing of Captain Flint/Madi/John Silver.

Many fics including John Silver as a main character are Disability fics, as John lost his leg in the canon of the books and TV show.





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