Chapter 1048 is very thematic, it revolves around fire and freedom. From the start, Kaido sets himself on fire and announces that Wano’s hero burned to death.
We proceed to a flashback that takes us to the burning castle, the beginning of the slavery, we are shown everything Kaido and Orochi have done to this country.
When the flashback ends, we’re back at Orochi being engulfed by flames. At the end, Orochi is down and Kaido is still clashing with Luffy, but what I really get from this chapter is that flames are represented in two different ways.
The first one, the fire that burns and destroys, the one that Oden stood, that burned his castle, that took their freedom. The second is the flame that lights the darkness, it represents hope and freedom, the dawn and the sun, heavily implied on the fire lanterns.
I just feel like it’s very poetic for Kaido and Orochi to go down engulfed on their on burning flames.