Before we go to the meat of the topic, I must ask: Has anyone read Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy?
Well, in short, it’s about a guy who goes and trespasses Hell, accompanied by Virgil, the Roman poet, and then explores every little detail out of it. He finds out about the 3 hells: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. He spends a week, for a way to get out and once he arrives in Paradiso, he understands the mystery of God’s divinity and humanity.
Aye, don’t be too put off by its complexity and its religiosity.
I’ll make an effort to explain this easier. Trust me.
In Skypiea, Oda wrote the exact name of the literature, as a title on chapter 275:
Funnily enough, Oda has added titles in the Skypiea arc that relate to it in some way.
We have Symphony, Oratorio, Fantasia, Play and Quintet in the Skypiea arc.
Dante’s Alighieri’s Divine Comedy has inspired a lot of poets, writers and musicians to write a work that illustrates the Divine Comedy. Amongst those were Franz Liszt, who wrote 2 pieces based on this work, and Tchaikovsky, who wrote a symphony fantasia.
Some people even made plays, that tell this story in their own way.
And indeed, the Skypiea story is related to Dante’s Divine Comedy.
In the Divine Comedy, Dante ascends from Inferno, up Mount Purgatory, to the top, arriving to the 3rd hell: Paradiso. In One Piece, Luffy and his crew climb up the knock-up stream, to get to Skypiea, where Enel self-proclaimed himself as God, who sees all and punishes those who are against his rule.
One thing to note however, is that Luffy climbed from “Paradise“, to Skypiea. This contrast could imply that Skypiea, despite looking like Paradiso in the Divine Comedy, may have actually represented inferno, due to Enel’s rule of the land and the turmoil caused by him.
At Impel Down, we see Luffy descending down the different levels of torture, and going deeper and deeper where the harsher tortures were. Indeed, at Impel Down, we see 6 different levels, with increasing severity of torture from 1 to 6.
Its structure resembled something similar to Purgatory, in Dante’s Divine Comedy. However, its patterns of torture represent Inferno more. Hence, it is a combination of both hells put together.
NOTE the similarity between Purgatory and Impel Down:
1). In Dante’s Divine Comedy, Dante sees how Purgatory was structured. It was arranged into 9 terraces (see pic above). Inferno however, was arranged into 9 concentric rings with increasing severity of torture. A 10th ring is also present in Inferno, which is located at the centre, where Satan was chained up.
Purgatory is indeed, similar in structure to the 6 levels of Impel Down. (Note that the sea of Paradise is at the top of Impel Down, like how Paradise is in Purgatory). Inferno was similar to the tortures of Impel Down
2). One shocking similarity is that in level 5 of Impel Down, prisoners having bounties more than 100 million are locked up, with no protection from the cold. We also see winds present, facilitating the freezing of the condemned. In level 9 of Inferno, sinners who have committed treachery and betrayal are trapped in ice for all eternity. The deeper level 9 is, the worse the conditions, leaving sinners frozen, with the icy winds freezing their flesh.
3). In Dante’s Divine Comedy, level 8 of Inferno were divided into 9 “bolgia’s”. At this level, counterfeiters and those who committed fraud were condemned, subjected into boiling lava for all eternity. It was named as the “heat hell”. Similarly, level 4 of Impel Down had boiling lava too, in which the condemned were at times, mercilessly thrown there.
4). Both One Piece, and the Divine Comedy had icy conditions as being more severe than the heat hell. At Impel Down, Ice was at level 5 and heat was at level 4. At Dante’s Inferno, Ice was at level 9, and heat was at level 8 of the ring.
5). Both Dante and Luffy talked to the condemned, and even recognized people they knew long before. Dante recognized a man who committed suicide after being wrong accused, and kicked the head of Bocca degli Abati, a traitor of Florence, where he lived. Luffy recognized Buggy, Mr 2 and Mr 3. He even scolded Crocodile for his past actions against Vivi.
6). Both Dante’s Inferno and Impel Down had beasts that savagely devoured and gave living hell to the condemned. At Impel Down, we saw the mythological creature Minotaurus. We also see beasts like the Blugori, and Sadi’s subordinates. At Inferno, we see the mythological creatures, Harpy – which devoured those who committed suicide; the Cerberus, which guarded the gluttonous; and the Minotaurs, which ate those who committed Violence.
7). The well in Crimson hell used by Luffy and Buggy to fall to level 4 in Impel Down is similar to the well Virgil and Dante used to descend to level 9 of Inferno. Only difference was that the giants aided Virgil and Dante’s fall.
Of course, Oda would add variations using his own originality and creativity, which is why we see the “Crimson hell” as among the punishments used in Impel Down. However, the concepts inspired from the Divine Comedy are still there in Impel Down.
Now let’s move on to Blackbeard.
What do we know about Blackbeard?
– He killed Thatch, and ate the strongest logia.
– He killed Whitebeard, and ate the strongest paramecia.
– His ship bear the flag of 3 skulls
– He has weird body structure, as commented by Marco
– He’s a disgusting man, as commented by Jinbe in FI.
Now, having joined this forum around a year ago, I realized that many people have observed the clue of Blackbeard’s flag, and the comment by Marco during Marineford being related. And indeed, many seem to attribute that Blackbeard had 3 bodies.
Many OP fans claim that if Blackbeard ate the strongest Logia (darkness-darkness fruit) and the strongest Paramecia (quake-quake fruit), then it’s confirmed that Blackbeard will also eat the strongest Zoan.
So far, many evidences in OP seem to have supported this claim.
First, we see the pirate flag bearing 3 skulls.
Second was Marco’s comment on Blackbeard having a different body structure.
Third was Jinbe, saying the Blackbeard pirates were hunting devil fruits
Fourth, we see Blackbeard having 3 guns and even 3 teeth missing in the manga.
3 missing teeth
After reading Dante’s Divine Comedy, one could suggest that Blackbeard’s character might have been an inspiration from Satan, in Dante’s Divine Comedy.
1). When Dante’s eyes meet Satan, in the deepest part of hell, he described Satan as having 3 heads of 3 different colors: red, yellow and black. Satan was also described as having black wings, which produced icy winds that froze the lake of Inferno as well as the condemned.
This could indeed, relate to Blackbeard having 3 skulls in his pirate flag. These 3 skulls represent Satan’s 3 heads.
Satan’s 3 heads are colored red, black and yellow, and this could also resemble the 3 different devil fruits: Logia, Paramecia and Zoan. This could imply that Blackbeard will eat the strongest Zoan in the future. This strongest Zoan fruit will be speculated later.
2). Satan was chained up in the darkest level of Inferno. This darkness had a purpose, which served to those who refused God’s gifts of light and warmth. Thus, God took away the gift of light and replaced it with darkness. Warmth was taken away, and was replaced by Ice.
This is similar to Blackbeard, eating the darkness-darkness fruit – the strongest logia, and having the elements of darkness intertwined with Blackbeard himself – i.e. HE becomes the element of darkness.
Another thing that’s worthy of note is that God’s intertwining of Darkness and Ice in Dante’s Inferno may have inspired Oda to place Aokiji as an ally with Blackbeard, as was mentioned in chapter 793. Thus, blending of Darkness and Ice.
3). In Dante’s Divine Comedy, it’s been stated that Satan betrayed God and was thus, punished. It was also given that when Dante saw a “cracked ruined slope” when he entered the ring of lust (the first ring), Virgil stated that this occurred in an earthquake that shook after the death of christ.
For the non-christians out there, God is referred to in the Christian religion as the “Father, son and holy spirit” in the Trinity.
Christ was the son of God.
During Marineford, Blackbeard encoutered his “Father”, Whitebeard and betrayed him. After having killed Whitebeard, Blackbeard stole his fruit and harnessed its powers of granting mighty earthquakes. Indeed, this is the Quake-Quake fruit and Blackbeard had this power after the death of Ace, who publicly called himself the son of Whitebeard.
Ace may have represented “Christ”.
– He has 3 letters in his name, representing the trinity
– He calls himself the son of Whitebeard, whom his subordinates call “Father”
– Some of his fire attacks like “Flame Commandment” and “Cross Fire” are related to the Christian religion, and that of Christ.
So Blackbeard betrayed his father (like Satan in Dante’s Divine Comedy) and had the Quake-Quake fruit, after the death of “Christ” (Ace), similar to the ground in Inferno being shook after the death of Christ in the Divine Comedy.
Now, having Blackbeard resembling Satan in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and him eating the 2 strongest devil fruits, it is clear that Blackbeard will one day, eat the 3rd devil fruit: the strongest Zoan. Recall, that the 3 heads of Satan may have represented the 3 different kinds of Devil fruits
Now, based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, I believe that Blackbeard’s final form, due to the last fruit he’ll eat, will be this:
The final devil fruit he’ll take will be the “Hito Hito no mi, model: Devil”
Here are a few reasons why I came up with this conclusion:
1). We see this AMAZING foreshadowing in Fishman Island, by none other than Usopp: Master of Foretellings. xD
“They don’t need the Hito Hito fruit, do they?”
THIS line itself just SCREAMS foreshadowing of what the Blackbeard pirates are really aiming for. Rumor had it they were hunting devil fruit users, but I believe they were hunting for this specific fruit for Blackbeard – the Devil Devil no mi.
2). We’ve already seen Sengoku’s devil fruit in Marineford. The Hito Hito no mi, model: Buddha. If a human-divine devil fruit like that existed in the One Piece world, then it is confirmed that something like the Hito Hito no mi, model: Devil will surely exist.
Like Satan in Dante’s Divine Comedy, Blackbeard will acquire black wings, with sharp teeth and claws, and a tough hide that could probably give him protection from the weakness he took after eating the darkness logia fruit.
I also believe he might not even be able to control such bizarre powers, probably resulting in him attacking his own crewmates, but that’s for another theory, once the history of the Blackbeard pirates are revealed.
Anyway, I apologize if this is a bit hard to read. I tried my best to make it readable, so hopefully you guys could survive after reading this theory. Hope it makes sense.
*Theory by Mr. Tiddles