What If Aokiji is actually loyal to Blackbeard? I just want to say right off the back, no, I’m not implying that Aokiji has gone dark side, he is empathetic person he always was, it’s actually quite the opposite, a Blackbeard viewpoint shift.
So I’m going to start off by saying that Aokiji being “undercover” under the Blackbeard we know of, would make no sense, because Blackbeard would sniff that out as easily as we did. Aokiji is a known force in the world of One Piece and Blackbeard would know of him well, if not even potentially know some stuff on SWORD (Drake is a new generation, there is a reason people like Rosinate were undercover and not people like Momonga with long careers). Either way, it’d be obvious for him either way that Aokiji was up to something, and we are all expecting the “oh no, Aokiji was found out, how could Blackbeard ever know that Aokiji was a traitor, legasp”. But what if Aokiji is TRULY loyal (well in a goal sense, not submissive, but two powerful forces in union) to Blackbeard?
So let’s look at Blackbeard, what are the main things about him that we know?
He was picked up by Whitebeard early in his life, his ship and we suspect his inspiration (be it son, master, or Luffy/Roger situation) was Xebec based, and he seems to keep his crew members are arm reach. He also is amassing power (for what beyond simply calling himself Pirate King?), and that he essentially would have lived out his days as an irrelevant no one if he hadn’t found the Yami Yami no Mi.
Blackbeard’s goal isn’t nearly as simple as “become Pirate King”. He isn’t after freedom like Luffy. Whitebeard would have been fine if he had went off and started his own career as a pirate captain, and probably would have supported him as an ally or financially for it in the offset. The fact that he was fully ready to die in obscurity, even not taking up a position as a Commander of the crew (despite Shanks saying he was dangerous even before he acquired the power of Yami Yami no Mi) speaks to this. And of course it’s not about wealth, he was falling into obscurity by choice, he wasn’t after getting land, money, or anything.
Ultimately I think a lot of this will be revealed as we learn more about Xebec’s death, the motivations of Xebec, Roger and Garp, and how the World Government/Im-sama fit in, but let me continue on for now.
So Blackbeard is not seemingly in this for personal gain, given his willingness to die as a seemingly fodder character. He, despite not having the Yami Yami no Mi, decided to attempt at attacking Shanks to kill him (keep in mind, he’d have nothing to gain).
So Blackbeard must have a real reason to dislike Shanks, and his goal might align with Xebec’s. I’m going to bring forth the proposition that Blackbeard’s goal is to defeat/kill Shanks and the World Government (not the Marines, he showed no particular contempt for the Marines or Aokiji). Aokiji is in alignment for this as they are both not fans of the Gorosei and Im-sama’s shady actions.
*Theory by HopOnTheHype