You’d think that after 2 decades of being published, most fans would understand what the Will Of D means in One Piece. But it’s not hard to see how things could get confusing. After all, 23 years of One Piece means there’s so much lore to sift through. And that’s why some things can get lost. But I always thought there are some aspects of the story that are pretty self explanatory. For example, the ‘D.’ we find sprinkled everywhere.
So, what is the Will Of D? Officially, it’s still this mysterious recurrence where certain individuals in the story have the initial ‘D.’ in their names. And those individuals are some of the most important people in One Piece, like Monkey D. Luffy aka the protagonist. Dr Kureha bought further interest by pointing out how Gol D. Roger shared that similarity with Luffy. Since then, we have not learned too much about the Will Of D, but we do know it’s a phenomenon so explosive that the World Government is trying to keep it buried. And that means something.
Then again, there are so many things in One Piece that you don’t really believe hold meaning, until a pattern emerges. But the Will Of D is a little too inconspicuous. I mean, not only is it part of the protagonist’s name, but also happens to be the name of the original ‘Pirate King’? Who just so happens to be the goal our protagonist is trying to reach? Not to mention all of the characters we meet, who end up picking up on the initial and either ask for an explanation, or react strangely towards it?
Something like the Will Of D is not all that mysterious, when you get down to it. In its essence, it seems to be a term that unites exceptionally amazing people under one initial. Sort of like what the ‘Will Of Fire’ was in Naruto Shippuden. But of course, that alone can’t be it. Eiichiro Oda doesn’t do things halfway, which means the Will Of D is going to be something massive when revealed. So today, let’s discuss what the Will Of D is and what it can end up meaning for One Piece, in yet another round of Lore Analysis!
The Will Of D: A Strength Unparalleled?
Originally brought up Dr. Kureha, the Will Of D feels more like an open secret, rather than something truly unknown. In a way, most fans realized that the D. has to mean something, considering it seemed to be popping up in the randomest of places. You didn’t really see names that had any other initial as a middle name. It was always just the D. So, what was going on?
It feels like a mystery, but really isn’t. It’s clear to see that the D. is symbolic, a sign that sets certain individuals apart from the masses. Monkey D. Luffy might be the first instance we saw of it, but it certainly wasn’t the last. And according to Donquixote Doflamingo, those individuals that have the Will Of D are extremely important, and they take great pride in it too. For people like Gol D. Roger, it’s an identity marker, a source of honor they want acknowledged and remembered. Which is why he was irritated when they pronounced his name without it, at his own execution.
And as they should, considering what the Will Of D appears to stand for. Which is a heightened sense of freedom and ambition, free from all things that might hold an individual back from embracing their dreams. So far, every person who has D. in their name has turned out to be someone vital to the plot that is ongoing at any given moment. They are the people making the changes, inspiring others to follow through.
Because that’s the other thing, right? It’s evident from Luffy alone that those that have the Will Of D, are extremely charismatic people, influencing anyone they meet. They are natural leaders, often commandeering a degree of loyalty and respect never seen before, on a mass scale. It’s how Luffy was able to grow the Straw Hat Pirates Crew into the Straw Hat Grand Fleet. The Will Of D makes him, and others, become beacons of hope for anyone that feels stifled by their circumstances.
But they do share more similarities than just that. Those that have the Will Of D are notoriously hard to kill. Or at least they don’t seem to fear death, only accepting when it becomes inevitable. However, even beyond that, those that possess the Will Of D seem to be a little more involved than we previously believed.
It’s All In The Name!
Okay, so here is where things get a little strange. Because as far as we can tell, the ‘family of D.’ is an actual thing. As in those who bear the D. in their name are related to one another. Which would explain Luffy, considering his grandfather and father were named Monkey D. Garp and Monkey D. Dragon respectively. So, it is hereditary.
But maybe it also works in the sense that it is a very extended family, or a very old one because numerous descendents that have D. initial in their names, can be found across the world. Even as far as the Arabasta Kingdom where everyone in their Royal Family holds the D. initial. And we’ve also seen that two members of the Will Of D can actually be married to each other, like in the case of Gol D. Roger and Portgas D. Rouge, who went on to become parents to Portgas D. Ace.
But there have been instances where those having the Will Of D have come from families with no history of it, like Trafalgar D. Law. So, it is hereditary, yes, but it can still emerge in individuals who show the promise for it. Which, when you think about it, makes a lot of sense. After all, it isn’t just about families passing on this great courage to their descendants. The entire point of the Will Of D is that you are an individual that doesn’t succumb to what is expected of you, that you surpass any limits you have been placed under.
It just so happens that most of them do pass it on to their own children, and so on and so forth. Also, they happen to be at the core of every major event that takes place in One Piece. Take from that what you will.
How The Will Of D Is The Heart Of One Piece:
After everything that has gone down in One Piece (And boy, is there a lot), you start seeing a pattern emerge. Which is that everytime something world altering has happened, or a secret has been revealed, it almost always ends up involving individuals with the Will Of D. Like, whether it’s directly or indirectly, doesn’t matter. Where there is a conspiracy, you can bet your boots someone with the D. will be lurking around.
But there is a completely reasonable explanation for this! You see, the Will Of D means you can’t stand for the injustice of being held back from reaching your best evolution. Especially when you’re, and I quote, the ‘Natural Enemy Of God’. Or well, what constitutes ‘God’ in the One Piece Universe, which are the Celestial Dragons. Which happens to be one of the creatures that Luffy has defeated before? Yeah, I’m just as astonished as you are. But this is what Donquixote Rosinante revealed to Trafalgar Law, when he realized what his full name meant.
However, there is the matter of what the Five Elders from the World Government believe. Imu, who is the strange entity sitting upon the Empty Throne, says that the Will Of D is related to their enemies, the Great Kingdom. And anyone that holds the Will Of D, could essentially dismantle what they’ve worked so hard to build in the Void Century. Which would explain why they are targeting Luffy so hard, doubling down on anyone who shows even the slightest bit of a similar spirit.
This is why the Will Of D is so integral to One Piece, and will likely play a huge part in the finale. It’s clear that Monkey D. Luffy coming from a line of those that have the coveted D. in their name, is no mere coincidence. But only time will reveal more information about that one!