The thing about the “you wear fine things well” scene is like. Let’s take this from Ed’s perspective.
You’re the meanest sonofabitch on the seven seas. Everybody knows your name. You reputation alone can win the day before you even fire a shot.
And you are fuckin bored.
So bored that the instant you get wind of some weirdo who appears to not be even a little impressed by you, you run to meet him. And by god, the first thing he says to you and your lustrous black beard is: “Do you work for Blackbeard?”
It immediately rotates your worldview. “Never thought of it like that before. Yeah, I suppose I do.”
But then he tells you about retirement. And you think, yeah. Yeah, actually, that sounds great. How do I do that?
Well, a fuckery of course! A good one, too. Something worthy of Blackbeard, with a tiger or something. But the important part is that there’s a corpse—the corpse of a man you made sure is similar enough to you in height and build to wear your clothes.
So now you’ve got a plan. You’re great at plans! And all you have to do is learn how to be a fancy ponce so you can go live the fancy ponce retirement of your dreams. Easy as that. How hard can it be to learn how to use silverware?
But it all goes wrong, doesn’t it? Catastrophically wrong. You struggle with the basics because you panic, and when’s the last time you panicked? Then you’re laughed out of a room by people who would wet themselves if they knew who you really are, and it occurs to you, suddenly, miserably, that if you go through with this, if you choose this life, you will never have that crutch again, because Blackbeard will be dead.
Worst of all, though, is the blooming doubt that this is what you want. This glittering world is meant to be your scrap of silk writ large. You’re not sure if it is, any more. You’re not sure if a world like that exists.
Well. Now, along comes this silly man. You wrote him off as naïve because why else would he ever want to be a part of your world? Why would he claim he wanted to be “like Blackbeard” when he has his secret passages and model ships and summer linens? But you’ve seen what he’s running away from, now. You’ve seen he’s as much a master of that world as you are of yours. And you feel understood. You feel like an equal.
So when he tells you in the moonlight that you belong with that piece of silk, and it belongs with you, you believe, suddenly, that there’s a place in the middle, between your worlds, where you’re still yourself but you wear silk and eat marmalade and talk to handsome men in the moonlight. And Stede fits there, too.
the lighthouse/kraken motif/imagery is driving me up the wall guys... because ed thinks they're a warning, and stede thought at first they guide people home, when in reality it's both, and they both think they’re the monster... there's this quote by ocean vuong that makes me screaming