The Princess Bride is one of those classic movies that I’ve watched a million times, yet it’s not one that I’ve ever read fanfiction for. To be fair, I was pretty young when I first saw the movie, but that doesn’t explain not exploring the fandom every time I’ve re-watched it since. Fortunately, there’s always time to make up for past mistakes, and last week I found an excellent Princess Bride fic with lady pirates. More after the jump.
In The Pirate Bachelorette, author Scribe re-imagines everyone’s favorite swordsman, Inigo Montoya, as Ines Montoya. The genderbending is just one aspect of an excellent fic, however. The Pirate Bachelorette starts after the events of the movie and follows Ines as she recovers from her end-of-movie wounds. Once she’s up and about, Westley offers her the chance to sail with him on his pirate ship. Ines takes really quickly to pirating, and Westley, eager to get back to Buttercup and their new farm, bequeaths her the title of Dread Pirate Roberts as fast as is humanly possible.
Being the first female Dread Pirate Roberts is an adventure all on its own. For example, sometimes the merchants they’re raiding don’t believe that Ines can possibly be the Dread Pirate Roberts. Fortunately, Ines is very good with a sword, and when she doesn’t feel like bothering, she always has Fezzik to back her up. But being a female captain comes with some other issues.
“Do as she says,” Ines tells her crew. They mutter a little, but ready one of the longboats. The couple and their hostage walk slowly over, the cook first with the man’s knife at his back, followed by the woman waving her stolen rapier erratically. Ines is still trying to figure out what she’s missed when the woman turns abruptly and stabs her husband between the ribs with what looks like all her strength.
The cook takes advantage of the situation to sprint for the other side of the ship. Otherwise, everyone is frozen in shock. The man’s body hits the deck with a dull thud.
“Ugh, good riddance,” says the woman, and kicks him in the side with one of her pointy silver shoes. “Pig.”
There is a long silence.
“You’ve lost your leverage,” Ines points out after a moment, tilting her head toward where the cook is huddling behind Fezzik.
“Oh, like you weren’t going to kill us once we were in the longboat anyway,” says the woman. “There was never any way for us to get out of this alive. I just wanted to be the one to kill him, you can’t imagine how many nights I’ve spent dreaming of it. People tend to frown on that sort of thing, though. But, I thought, if we’re to be murdered by pirates anyway that does somewhat alleviate the worry of gossiping neighbors, and I had always wanted to put a knife through his heart. I’m glad I had a chance to do it before I died.”
At the end of this astonishing speech she raises her hands and waits.
There is another silence.
“Ines,” says Fezzik worriedly, “I don’t think we should kill the lady.”
Ines quickly gets tired of the Dread Pirates Roberts no survivors policy, and when they take a female noble prisoner, they take her on as part of the crew rather than kill her. Although Ines isn’t, by her own words, the best at strategy, she does know how to use a sword, and teaches her entire crew some lessons. Her ship becomes known as the place to go if one is a girl looking looking to escape unwanted marriages or if they just want some serious swordfights.
The entire fic is written in a style very reminiscent of the original prose of the book (and the movie), and, if the lady pirates, the banter, and the social critique inherent in girls gaining agency through piracy isn’t enough for you, it is also a really nuanced character study of Ines Montoya. You should definitely check it out today here on the AO3!