We are approaching One Piece’s finale and we know that the only way to get to Laugh Tale is by gathering all 4 Road Poneglyhs which will indicate its location.
We know for sure that three of them are already in the hands of some characters that we know all too well. Both Luffy and Law have the one found in Zou and the one found in Wano. Kid also has the Wano one thanks to Law and like Luffy he also has the one located at Whole Cake Island. In the recent cover stories we saw Aokiji and Van Auger kidnapping Pudding at Whole Cake Island which obviously means they got a copy of the Road Poneglyph too.
The question now is: who has the fourth one?
We know that the fourth Road Poneglyph was originally located at Fishman Island but was later moved by someone.
There are various characters that we can think could have it: Teach, Vegapunk, Buggy, etc. but the reality is that narratively speaking there is just one character in particular that makes more sense than all the above, namely Shanks.
First of all, I don’t think the fourth Road Poneglyph is on some other remote island. Primarily because whoever moved it must have entrusted it to someone strong enough and above all important enough to protect it, and also because the final war is now approaching, and it would not make sense for Luffy to find the fourth Road Poneglyph by chance and head to Laugh Tale without any problems.
Among the 5 final competitors directed to Laugh Tale which are Luffy, Law, Kid, Teach, and Shanks, the latter is certainly the most mysterious. Ironically, he’s the character that besides Luffy we’ve known the longest but know the least about. What is his real goal? Why is he taking action just now and what exactly was he waiting for? Obviously, it is logical to think that if Shanks hasn’t acted much all this time, he has at least one starting point and therefore at least 1 Road Poneplyh, the one removed from Fishman Island. He was part of Roger’s crew but did not arrive at Laugh Tale due to Buggy’s illness but he probably knew the location of the 4 Road Poneglyphs and only started to move now because he understood that Luffy has already grouped 3 of them.
Another interesting thing to look at is who owns the most Road Poneplyghs at the moment. If Shanks owned the fourth the result would be as follows:
Analyzing this table we notice very interesting things:
Luffy owns 3 and is currently not clashing with anyone.
Teach owns 1 and is fighting Law who owns 2 others.
Shanks owns 1 and is about to fight with Kidd who owns 2 others.
Narratively speaking, the clashes Teach vs Law and Kid vs Shanks are certainly exciting and awaited but their outcome is quite obvious. Shanks has been waiting for more than 20 years to enter the scene, while Teach is obviously Luffy’s number 1 nemesis for obvious reasons. As much as I like Law and Kid as characters, there are several reasons why I think they’re going out:
- Kid and Law are no emperors. Kid and Law together defeated Big Mom but still didn’t become Yonkos. Why? Because they don’t have a fleet, territories, and not even a minimally comparable crew to those of Luffy, Teach, Shanks, and even Buggy (Cross Guild).
- Kid and Law’s primary function has always been to be rivals to Luffy, but it was obvious from the start that they weren’t going to make it to the end. Law in addition to being at a natural disadvantage with Teach, the chances of him coming out on top are even less if you think that Teach has half of his crew with him which certainly compared to that of Law is much more dangerous. Kid has to face Shanks and his entire crew and it is unlikely that Killer, Wire, and Heat will be able to face Benn Beckman, Lucky Roo, Yasopp, and the rest of the crew on their own.
- They have none that can read Poneglyphs. Teach kidnapped Pudding who might be able to read them but that’s not sure. Shanks probably has a way to read them too. It wouldn’t make sense for him since he waited so long to finally join the main story but not be able to read what brings him to Laugh Tale. Luffy has of course Robin so no other explanation is needed.
With Teach and Shanks victorious both would take 2 Road Poneglyph each from the two supernovas and would have 3 just like Luffy. The result would be the following:
Could this mean we will have a Luffy vs Shanks vs Teach (vs Buggy) final battle to Laugh Tale?