One Piece is a larger-than-life adventure featuring larger-than-life characters with incredible powers. It’s not surprising that the series’ creator Eiichiro Oda finds inspiration in real-world mythology, among the most epic tales ever told.
One Piece is rife with mythological allusions from throughout the world, like Elbaf, a nation of giants that directly alludes to Norse mythology, Sengoku’s Buddha Devil Fruit, and Momonosuke’s connection to Momotaro, a Japanese folktale. Another possible allusion to a mythological story from one of Earth’s oldest civilizations, Egypt, is in Blackbeard and Luffy’s friendship.
Blackbeard from One Piece and the mythological Egyptian god, Apophis
In Egyptian mythology, Ra, the sun god, and Apophis, the deity of chaos and darkness, are sworn, enemies. Ra travels through the sky on his divine barge, the sun, each day, illuminating the entire planet before spending the night in the underworld. Every time Apophis made his way through the shadows, he tried to murder Ra, but he always fell short.
The god of darkness, Apophis, also possesses the power to cause earthquakes, making him a lot like Blackbeard from One Piece, who possesses both the Yami-Yami no Mi and the Gura-Gura no Mi. A serpent-like creature supposed to resemble Blackbeard is another way that Apophis is represented. The serpent is a symbol of deceit and cunning in folklore, and Blackbeard embodies both qualities. He searched for the Yami-Yami no Mi for many years, sneaking into the Whitebeard Pirates to get his hands on it. To gain their trust, Blackbeard deceived his crewmates into believing he was one of them, only to betray them as soon as they discovered the Devil Fruit he was seeking.
The broad serpent motif is another thing that links Blackbeard to Apophis. Except for Apophis, snakes in Egyptian mythology are portrayed differently from those in other civilizations, frequently as regal and benevolent beings. In One Piece, Blackbeard smashes another mould, just as Apophis is the snake that does. Clan D, of which Blackbeard is claimed to be a member, is portrayed as being courageous in the face of death and frequently passing away grinning. But every time Blackbeard is about to perish, he cries out for compassion or makes an effort to escape.
Luffy, Nika and the Egyptian Sun God, Ra
The relationship between Luffy and Ra is increasingly clear. Luffy was so severely hurt during the Onigashima Raid combat with Kaido that even his fans believed he had passed away. However, the Devil Fruit abruptly awoke her true skills, showing that it was Hito-Hito no Mi, Model: Nika, and not Gomu-Gomu no Mi.
In the mythology of One Piece, Nika is the sun god who is said to spread joy wherever he goes and tries to make the unhappy smile. Ra, who is thought to be the father of all creation who entered the universe to expel the preexisting darkness, is strongly associated with such goodness.
Another link between the Straw Hats captain and the actual Sun God was made possible by learning the genuine name of Luffy’s Devil Fruit. The Thousand Sunny, the vessel the Straw Hats travel in, has a lion’s head on its figurehead that also unmistakably resembles the sun.
All signs lead to Sun God Luffy sailing over the world of One Piece, liberating oppressed peoples, and bringing joy while riding a sun, which is a very literal interpretation of the myth. Many individuals in the story implied that Luffy would usher in “the dawn of the world,” but the narrative has yet to elucidate this idea. A simple interpretation might suggest that Luffy would improve the world in some way, but for now, it’s just another link to Ra, who creates dawn each day.
Fans believe Blackbeard to be Luffy’s final foe in One Piece. Even if it hasn’t been confirmed, a final fight between the Gods of Light and Darkness would be a fitting conclusion for both of these characters.