Now that the first trailer for the fourth and final season of Black Sails is out, there is one giant mystery. Well, there are several, like where were Jack and Anne and what was going on in that eerie final shot featuring someone dragging a probably-dead body along an empty beach. But the main question is: who was providing that ominous voiceover?
“There isn’t a good man among them,” a male voice with an English accent says, as we cut from Flint to Silver to Max to battles. “Not anymore. Good men are not what the moment requires. The time calls for dark men to do dark things.”
The accent is most similar to Flint’s and Blackbeard’s — which rules out Rackham, Silver, or Featherstone — but the pitch is different. The cadence also doesn’t match Billy, Rogers, or any of our central male characters. Granted, it could be a random narrator they decided to put in the trailer for the sake of drama, but Black Sails rarely does anything that’s less than deliberate. We can therefore assume it will be significant to the story. Here are the most likely possibilities about who it might be.
1. Jim Hawkins
Because this is the final season, Black Sails will be approaching Treasure Island more than ever. The season 3 finale planted the seeds of Silver and Flint’s rivalry, the idea of black spots, and the legendary status of Long John Silver. Though showrunners Jonathan Steinberg and Robert Levine told me the Season 4 ending might stop shy of the tale, it’s still within the realm of possibility that Jim Hawkins could make an appearance. Now, in the novel, he’s still a boy, and this mysterious voice is clearly that of a man — but it could be an adult Jim reflecting back on the stories he’s heard from Long John Silver.
2. Jacob Garrett
Although the voice doesn’t match any of our male focal characters, there’s a chance it belongs to a side character we’ve already met. The most prominent background male characters to emerge from Season 3 were the cage-dwelling Ben Gunn, who joined the Walrus crew after Flint talked their way out of the Maroon camp, and Jacob Garrett, who we first met in Season 2, when he was hitting on the demure-looking redhead he had no idea was Anne Bonny. Recall that at the end of Season 3, Ben Gunn and Jacob Garrett aided Billy in mercy-killing the slowly suffocating Charles Vane by pulling his legs down — defying Eleanor and the British rule in the process. They also sat by Billy’s side as he penned the letter signed by “Long John Silver” in the Season 3 finale. Gunn’s accent leans more Irish, ruling him out, but Garrett is a possibility.
3. Israel Hands
Israel Hands is a Treasure Island character who has yet to appear in Black Sails. Intriguingly, he was both a real historical figure and a fictional pirate in Treasure Island. Historically, he sailed with Teach, and Robert Louis Stevenson also used him as one of Long John Silver’s men. If the show decides to introduce him, Season 4 would be his debut, which would explain why his voice would be unfamiliar.
4. An older version of Silver, Billy, or Flint
The voice sounds older than Silver or Billy and the cadence is off from Flint’s, but it’s possible the show will age-up our Treasure Island characters for some kind of epilogue. Also keep in mind that, unless the show diverges from history and the Treasure Island canon, many of those who survive the upcoming events are destined to become alcoholics — which could strain the vocal chords.
5. A British officer
It’s unlikely that Charles Vane will be the only pirate to hang before the story ends. Although his execution was expedited, with little dialogue from the British officers, recall that his Season 2 trial with Flint was filled with spectacle, including speeches from Peter Ashe and his ilk. The Season 3 teasers were ballsy enough to prominently feature Vane’s final speech — who is to say the vocals in this trailer aren’t going to end up featuring in another death scene? They could be the words of a British officer at another pirate trial.
6. Charles Vane from beyond the grave
Just kidding. That voice would be unmistakable.
Black Sails Season 4 will air in January on Starz.