First were the Seven Warlords of the Sea, the Shichibukais. Dracule Mihawk, Crocodile, Gecko Moria, Bartholomew Kuma, Boa Hancock, Jinbe, and Donquixote Doflamingo. Then came the four emperors, the Yonkou. Shanks, Whitebeard, Big Mom, and Kaidou. When they fell, the new pacifists, the Seraphim, appeared. Terrifying clones of the Seven Shichibukais, with the appearance of a child, Lunar blood, and new and terrifying powers derived from the Devil Fruit. And after them come the Holy Knights, the final enemy of One Piece.
The One Piece manga chapter 1083 was about Sabo and the Revolutionary Army, who revealed a lot of information about the World Government, Mary Geoise, and the Celestial Dragons. But the most important part of all has to do with a new enemy that might be the strongest so far, at least according to Dragon (Luffy’s father, supreme commander of the Revolutionary Army and considered the most wanted and dangerous criminal in the world). They are the Holy Knights, nine shadows whose mobilization means that “the fighting will begin”.
Who are the Holy Knights in One Piece?
We only have a silhouette for now, but that has not stopped the community from theorizing and speculating. The central shadow of the Holy Knights is very close to one of the manga’s most beloved characters. We are talking about Shanks, who after his mysterious meeting with the Gorosei to talk about “a certain pirate” has been in the spotlight of the fans and many have him as a possible traitor or even as the final villain of One Piece. It would make sense that he could meet with the World Government if he works for them, wouldn’t it?
Based on such a suspicious encounter and the central silhouette, many point to the redhead, and we have seen all kinds of conspiracies these days, some as a joke (or so we want to believe), like those that show that the Holy Knights are nine shadows, just the number of leading members Shanks’ band consists of:
Shanks’ Clone or Twin
Those who believe that Shanks has an evil twin brother seem to be more serious. This means that there would be two Shanks. One would be the Yonkou with whom Luffy made such good friends, but the other would be a Holy Knight under the orders of the World Government. The latter would be the one who met with the Gorosei in private. Supporters of this theory argue that Oda sometimes drew Shanks without a scar, and although we thought it was just because he forgot, according to the doppelganger lovers, it was not. According to them, it would have been on purpose. The appearances without a mark on his face would be breadcrumbs hinting at his existence. What’s worse is that Oda’s statements encourage them and give them wings:
Four Emperors Clones
Another of the most common ideas is that if the Seraphim are clones of the Seven Shichibukai, then the Holy Knights could be clones of the Four Emperors. It would make sense that the one in the middle would be Shanks, and if you look at the silhouettes, isn’t there one with horns (Kaido), one of Whitebeard’s dimensions, and two that could pass for Big Mom? Now the question is, who are the others, maybe the clones of Rocks’ pirates?
We all know how Shonen is given to recovering the great villains of the series in their final arc (it already happened to Naruto in the Great War, bringing back the dead Hokage and Itachi, for example). However, as some users remind us, we should never pay too much attention to the silhouettes that Oda uses to present the characters, as they are usually far from reality.
What if we had already seen the Holy Knights?
In short, Oda has just started a debate in which there are more questions than answers, but which shows that One Piece is at its peak and that big surprises are in store for the final stretch. We close with two curiosities. The first is a color spread for the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine from years ago with the Straw Hat Pirates dressed as medieval knights. You know how the author likes to move things along without us knowing. With nine Holy Knights, will there be a rival for every Mugiwara? And finally, we leave you with a sequence from the anime in which a mysterious figure approaches Im Sama, the terrifying King of the World. Could it be a Holy Knight and we didn’t even notice?