In the latest chapter, Shanks revealed that he intends to join the fight for the One Piece. He and Ben Beckman said down and drank sake as if to renew an old oath. What is Shanks’ true motive? This theory will aim to explain what his plan is.
The first clue is in what Shanks says after his crew says that they are excited to see Luffy again. Shanks has no intention of meeting Luffy in Wano. He’s not saying he doesn’t want to meet Luffy at all, it’s just that Wano is not the right place.
We know from chapter 903 that Shanks does want to meet Luffy and that it will happen soon. So Shanks does intend to meet with Luffy but he has other plans for the location of the meeting.
With this in mind, it makes more sense why Shanks wants to target Bartolomeo in retaliation for Bart burning down his flag and replacing it with Luffy’s. By making an example of Bart, Shanks will be effectively sending an official challenge to Luffy.
But why does Shanks think it is necessary for himself and Luffy to fight? It seems quite clear that Shanks doesn’t really care about becoming Pirate King and I doubt he really wants the One Piece for himself. That leads us back to this scene from chapter 96.
In this scene, the people of Foosha Village are celebrating the news of Luffy getting his first bounty. Woop Slap tells them not to celebrate but then Makino comments that Luffy is following his dream. Woop Slap then asks. “Is it his dream of his fate?”
Meanwhile, in this same chapter, Shanks received this same news from Mihawk. With a smile on his face, he says. ‘So you’ve come out, at last, Luffy.’ This implies that Shanks had a plan for Luffy from the beginning.
Now we know for sure that Shanks was aware of the true significance of the Gomu Gomu no Mi when he took it. Somehow he got inside information on CP9 transport and intercepted their ship.
If Shanks knew that the Gomu no Mi was really the Nika fruit then what else did he or does he now know? If he knew that much then surely he knows more about the prophecy of Joyboy and perhaps also the Two Sovereigns. If Shanks knows about the prophecy of Joyboy then that would explain why he was waiting for Luffy to unlock the awakening of the Nika fruit. Before they meet, Luffy has to be ready to be able to achieve something concerning the Joyboy prophecy.
What is it that Shanks wants to ensure that Luffy is able to achieve? Maybe that can be explained by considering why Shanks gave Luffy the straw hat.
If Shanks knew the true significance of the Gomu no Mi, then in this moment he was effectively imposing the destiny of Joyboy on Luffy. At first, this would seem to clash with Luffy’s dream of becoming Pirate King and desire to be free. That brings us back to the scene from 96
The issue of whether or not Luffy will follow his dream or his fate is something that eventually has to be settled. When it comes down to it, this is why Shanks needs to fight Luffy. Shanks wants to test if Luffy is ready to fulfil not only his dream but also his fate as Joyboy.
So Shanks true goal is to make Luffy ready to fulfil the will or fate or Joyboy, but what exactly is it that he needs Luffy to be ready to achieve? Maybe that it can all be explained by what Roger told him on the day that the Roger pirates disbanded.
It’s unclear what exactly Roger told Shanks but it seems likely that at least one of the things he said to him was about Joyboy and the prophecy. It is likely that Roger entrusted his will to Shanks in this moment and asked him to find Joyboy when the time comes. Roger was too early.
This may have originally been intended by Roger to refer to his unborn son and this leads to the possibility that Ace was meant to be Joyboy but that’s a tangent from this theory. We know that Shanks entrusted the will of Joyboy to Luffy because he gave him the straw hat.
The significance of the straw hat representing the passing on of Joyboy’s will brings us to the connection that may explain Shanks’ end goal. There is another straw hat in Mariejois and this one likely belonged to the original Joyboy.
It seems highly likely that Shanks is also aware of this other straw hat and of the existence of Imu. Shanks is able to gain audience with the Gorosei and is respected by Sengoku. It is very possible that he knows the truth about Imu.
This raises the question, why was Imu looking at the giant straw hat in the first place and why did he later tear up posters of Luffy, Blackbeard and Shirahoshi? What is Imu afraid of?
I believe that what Imu is afraid of is that the prophecy of the Two Sovereign. If this is the case then I believe that this is the task that Shanks is trying to prepare Luffy for. This would also connect to why Roger was too early, since Poseidon had not been born yet.
When and where will this event occur? I believe that this has to happen in Elbaf. Elbaf is inspired by Norse mythology, so I believe Elbaf arc will be a Ragnarok style war and the location of Luffy and Shank’s fight. Ragnarok ends with the appearance of two saviours of the world.
Shanks will fight Luffy at Elbaf to make him ready for the meeting of the Two Sovereign so that Joyboy’s promise can be fulfilled. Roger found the One Piece but he was too early to fulfil it’s purpose and part of that is fulfilling this promise.
If Imu is afraid of this event occurring then it seems likely that if it were to happen, Imu would take desperate measures to prevent it, like a new great cleansing. This is probably how the last meeting was prevented, but, ‘surely all will go well this time.’
I believe that Shanks intends to make sure it succeeds this time. Shanks is aware of Imu and the significance of the straw hat and the Nika fruit, so he likely knows Imu is afraid of this event. Shanks’ true goal is the meeting of the Two Sovereign and preventing the Day of Disaster.