What’s the story behind the Celestial Dragons in One Piece?

I must express my utmost frustration with the introduction of new characters in One Piece. It seems like every time I turn around, there’s another addition to an already extensive roster. Sabo, Luffy’s mom, Usopp, Ace, Mihawk, Buggy, Robin, Vivi, Zoro, Whitebeard, Blackbeard—the list goes on and on, with pirates sporting beards of every color imaginable. If One Piece continues to introduce more characters without resolving the existing ones, I might just lose my sanity and unleash my fury on my poor television set with my own two fists. The sheer number of characters in One Piece has reached a point where it’s becoming difficult for me to keep track, and it’s interfering with my ability to differentiate between fictional characters and the real people in my life. I found myself apologizing to Frankie, a long-time friend since grade school, for neglecting our friendship in favor of prioritizing fictional undead skeleton musician Brook. It’s an absurd situation, and unfortunately, Frankie didn’t understand, resulting in the loss of one friendship.

Now, let’s delve into the topic of the Celestial Dragons in One Piece. Brace yourself for a detailed history lesson.

About 800 years ago, the world of One Piece consisted of separate kingdoms. Among them, the Great Kingdom stood as the most powerful and ambitious. Like many ancient empires, the Great Kingdom sought to expand its dominion forcefully, which naturally did not sit well with the rulers of the other kingdoms. In response, 20 smaller kingdoms united to form an alliance against the Great Kingdom’s tyranny. Their combined strength led to the downfall of the Great Kingdom, to such an extent that even its original name has been lost to the annals of history. In the present era of One Piece, knowledge about the Great Kingdom is extremely limited, as the World Government strictly forbids any academic study of this ancient civilization.

But why such secrecy? Well, after the Great Kingdom’s defeat, the 20 victorious kingdoms convened a meeting in a place known as Mariejois. It was during this gathering that they decided to establish a new world order. Nineteen of these rulers, seeking to assert their dominance, renamed themselves the Founders of the World and became the Celestial Dragons. However, one ruler named Queen Lily of Alabasta resisted joining the ranks of the Celestial Dragons. She believed that such a title would corrupt those who bore it, turning them into tyrannical despots. And it seems she was right. The Celestial Dragons expelled Queen Lily from Mariejois, forcing her into exile, the details of which remain unknown.

The descendants of the 19 Celestial Dragons eventually formed the modern World Government. Their families have maintained an unbroken 800-year dynasty, solidifying their status as the ruling class of the One Piece world. They have also managed to forge alliances with other kingdoms across the four blue seas, leading to their designation as the World Nobles. These World Nobles exercise absolute control over the world, supported by the might of the Marine forces. Their totalitarian worldview perceives the people they govern as “lesser beings,” reducing even kings and queens to the status of commoners. Such chauvinistic beliefs have fueled countless atrocities and human rights abuses, yet the World Nobles enjoy protection from any repercussions by summoning powerful Marine Admirals to defend them. According to Pappag, each successive generation of World Nobles has surpassed the previous one in terms of tyranny, with the current generation being the epitome of cruelty.

The Holy Land of Mariejois serves as the seat of power for the World Nobles, where they are overseen by a council known as the Five Elders. These enigmatic figures hold unrivaled authority, even among their fellow Nobles. Their identities remain shrouded in secrecy, with only one of the Five Elders having their name revealed thus far. The exact means by which they attained their positions of power over the World Nobles remains unknown. However, even more enigmatic is the ruler to whom they owe allegiance—a figure known as Im.

Im is the de facto ruler of the entire world, occupying the Empty Throne within the confines of Mariejois castle. Astonishingly, Im’s existence remains concealed from the rest of the world, including the majority of the World Nobles themselves, who are kept in the dark. The Five Elders act as Im’s representatives, executing their orders without question. Currently, little is known about Im, except that they are regarded as one of the most ruthless and indifferent leaders in the world of One Piece. Im’s command led to the tragic destruction of the island of Ohara, resulting in the genocide of thousands of innocent lives. The reason for this brutality? Ohara’s pursuit of knowledge concerning artifacts from the ancient Great Kingdom. While the specifics remain uncertain, it is likely that Im is a descendant of the original Celestial Dragons. However, Im’s power surpasses that of their predecessors in unimaginable ways.

One could argue that Im’s cruelty and authority elevate them to a level beyond that of the Celestial Dragons themselves. Perhaps a fitting term for them would be “Celestial Asshat” or “Celestial Dickhead.” Regardless, it is evident that Im’s presence casts a shadow of fear and oppression over the world, and their role in the intricate web of power within One Piece is nothing short of captivating.

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Luffy, One Piece, Zoro, Sanji, Nami, Jinbe, Ace, Garp

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