An intriguing theory from One Piece suggests that Dragon’s father might not be who fans have been thinking this whole time.
ask anyone A piece fan what is the parental status of Monkey D. Luffy, and you will probably get the same answer: Luffy is the son of Monkey D. Dragon, who is the son of Monkey D. Garp, while Luffy’s mother remains shrouded in mystery . This seemingly conventional wisdom has held true ever since the two senior members of the Monkey Family were officially reintroduced in the Post Enies Lobby arc, with no further clarity since then.
However, one Reddit user may have found an explanation that turns everything A piece world on his head. In their position,u/dfd2002 theorizes that Garp is not Luffy’s paternal grandfather but rather his maternal grandfather, and Dragon’s father is someone quite different – Rocks D. Xebec, the former pirate the most notorious in the world. So how realistic is this theory?
It sounds like an absurd premise at first glance. After all, isn’t it established that Garp is Dragon’s father? On closer inspection, however, this was never made explicit in the A piece manga. garp is Luffy’s grandfather – the resemblance between the two is a dead giveaway – while Dragon is Luffy’s father, but Garp never claims Dragon is his son. Garp specifically says that Luffy is “my child’s child”, which seems like a clumsy way to phrase it unless you consider that Eiichiro Oda deliberately avoids gendered language in an effort to cover up the reveal.
Physically speaking, Dragon is the odd one out in the Monkey family, lacking the Cheshire Cat smiles and round faces of Garp and Luffy. Instead, Dragon’s features are very angular, with a thin, lanky face and a pointed nose. Pair that with his wild long hair and it’s a physical description that fits Rocks more closely than Garp.
If u/dfd2002’s theory is true, then Dragon is taking after his father more than just physical means. Both men oppose the tyranny of the World Government and Celestial Dragons, though Rocks did so as a bloodthirsty pirate who sought to amass as much power as possible. Dragon, meanwhile, seems to do so out of a sense of justice, as the leader of the Revolutionary Army. Xebec was the most wanted pirate of his life, while Dragon is the most wanted criminal of his life. The idea of a father and son leading similar lives and fighting similar battles – despite ideologically opposing reasons for doing so – is a conflict brimming with dramatic potential.
It’s all well and good, but his name is still Monkey D.Dragon. Why would he have Garp’s last name? As u/dfd2002 indicates in their post, it is not uncommon in Japan for a husband to adopt his wife’s surname, in a custom called mukoyōshi. This happens when the wife’s family is more noble than the husband’s – or when the husband comes from a shameful background. As the daughter of the Marines’ greatest hero, Dragon’s wife undoubtedly comes from a higher status than the son of the most infamous pirate. Xebec’s legacy was such that the World Government attempted to erase it from the history books to protect the peace, undoubtedly painting a target on Rocks D. Dragon’s back. It makes perfect sense that he would adopt the monkey name in an attempt to conceal his identity.
Being the grandson of an evil pirate also adds a new dimension to Luffy’s character. Although Luffy has never let genetics define him, the world pushing expectations based on his lineage is a recurring theme in A piece. As Woop Slap ominously reflects on Chapter 96, becoming a great pirate might be Luffy’s destiny. It’s a seemingly throwaway line – why would it be Luffy’s fate, as the son of a revolutionary and the grandson of a marine, to become a pirate? – unless you consider that Woop Slap knows more than he lets on about Luffy’s bloodline.
As for how this revelation would impact the rest of A piece, the fear of letting Xebec’s heir become the Pirate King is sure to have the World Government going all out against the Straw Hats during the series’ final war. It also adds another layer to Luffy and Blackbeard’s inevitable showdown – with Blackbeard heir to Xebec’s will and Luffy heir to Xebec’s blood, Rocks’ legacy is sure to play a big part in the endgame.
Luffy’s parentage has been a mystery for most of the series. There are still so many readers who ignore Dragon, and there is hardly any information about Luffy’s mother. If u/dfd2002’s theory is true, however, there’s a very good reason why Oda kept the subject matter a mystery. Whatever revelations await both the audience and Luffy during A piece‘s grand finale, it will undoubtedly make for one of the show’s most tantalizing dramas.
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