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Parley (from French: parler – "to speak") is a discussion or conference, especially one between enemies over terms of a truce or other matters.[citation needed]

During the 18th and 19th centuries, attacking an enemy during a parley was considered one of the grossest breaches of the rules of war. The British Army was accused of multiple parley violations during the American Revolutionary War, specifically arresting Continental Army officers engaged in negotiations as traitors in addition to hanging uniformed despatch riders as spies.[1]

The term "congress" originally had a similar meaning.[2]

In popular cultureEdit

Below are some examples where a parley is a significant element of the plot.

  • In the Fear the Walking Dead episode, "The Unveiling", Jake Otto and Chief Qaletaqa Walker agree to parley, in order to spare bloodshed in their escalating feud over land. However, Madison Clark goads Troy Otto to violate the parley rules of engagement by leading a surreptitious "rescue mission" to extract Alicia from the Black Hat reservation. The rescuers are discovered, blood is shed, and the temporary truce is broken.[3]
  • In the Pirates of the Caribbean series, parley is a plot device introduced in the first film. Captain Barbossa explained that the parley is not a rule, as Elizabeth (the leading lady of the film) naively assumed, but merely a "guideline" adhered to by pirates.
  • In John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, the Adjudicator of the High Table negotiates a parley with Winston after John and Charon defend the Continental from the High Table enforcers and Zero and his men.


  1. ^ Oller, John, The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution, Da Capo Press (October 2016).
  2. ^ "congress". Oxford English Dictionry Online. Oxford, England, UK: Oxford University Press. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  3. ^ PenzeyMoog, Caitlin (July 9, 2017). "Fear The Walking Dead highlights how awful white people are". AV Club.