In The Dark, There Be Dragons

Lately, I’ve been fully immerse in the Starz show Black Sails, the 4-season prequel to R.L. Stevenson’s Treasure Island which tells the story of Captain Flint, Billy Bones and Long John Silver in a terrifyingly realistic historical setting. There be dragons? Oh yes!

Beyond the swashbuckling, so much of this show resonates with what I care about as a storyteller that I even re-watch it in binge sessions. Don’t worry. I will spare you harping on about my admiration for the storytelling, the characters, the actors, the set and essentially everything else that is brilliant about this production.

Except this bit where Captain Flint (Toby Stephens), dead-tired of fighting against “civilised society”, proceeds to take the words right out of my mouth [no spoilers]:


They paint the world full of shadows, and then tell their children to stay close to the light. Their light. Their reasons, their judgements. Because in the darkness, there be dragons.

But it isn’t true. We can prove that it isn’t true.

In the dark, there is discovery. There is possibility. There is freedom…in the dark. Once someone has illuminated it.

~ Captain Flint (Black Sails S4E10)

So embrace your nightmares. You won’t regret it.


there be dragons

One thought on “In The Dark, There Be Dragons”

  1. Em says:

    ‘Here be Dragons’ then. While Mr Stephens gives a convincing portrayal of the tired-to-the-bone Flint, I am glad there were subtitles included. It took me half the vid to realize that he spoke English. Still, the character’s sentiments can undoubtedly be echoed by people. So well done, picking this excerpt.

    Btw, you might be interested in Mr Stephens’ directorial debut In Vitro, a short film which also stars Rupert Penry-Jones. Careful though, the short has a difficult, even disturbing premise.

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