Most One Piece characters belong to a group, an organization, or a crew. This is something that Oda is prone to doing and it doesn’t really surprise us to see a character belong to one or more groups. Some of these groups are more open than others, but one of the most closed and most mysterious groups are the World Nobles, also known as the Celestial Dragons. This mysterious group is one of the primary antagonists of the series and while its membership is exclusive and very limited, people still wonder about the members. In this article, we are going to tell you whether Shanks is a Celestial Dragon or not.
Shanks is not a Celestial Dragon, as far as we know now. Namely, “Red-Haired” Shanks is a pirate and one of the Four Emperors, i.e., he cannot be a Celestial Dragon. And while his unclear past allows for some future changes to his story, at this moment – from what we know now – Shanks is not a Celestial Dragon, but this might change in the future.
The rest of this article is going to be split into two sections. The first is going to explain the Celestial Dragons because we have to establish who they are and how one become a member of this group. The second section is going to elaborate further on why Shanks is not a Celestial Dragon in One Piece.
How does one become a Celestial Dragon (World Noble) in One Piece?
The Celestial Dragons, or the World Nobles, claim that their nobility status stems from the fact that they are the descendants of the Founders of the Government. Thus, it was decreed from the creation of this Organization that the descendants of the Founders will enjoy quasi-divine privileges. As a result, they have such a high opinion of themselves that they refuse to breathe the same air as the rest of the world and live wearing a bubble that acts as a mask that allows them to breathe air that is clean.
The Celestial Dragons boast of possessing “the blood of the creators of this world”, and for them, this condition is enough to justify their actions. This fact alone allows them to even ignore the law at will when it goes against their personal interests. They have no respect for justice, and because they cannot be punished for their crimes or actions (due to their status), they have no remorse or regret.
Some people, however, are willing to ignore this reality when the need arises and attack Nobles without worrying about the consequences, such as Fisher Tiger and Monkey D. Luffy.
The Celestial Dragons are so unpopular among the citizens, especially among the escaped slaves, that if given the chance, all would immediately try to kill them. In addition, following the resignation of Donquixote Homing from the World Nobles, he and his family were mistreated and even nearly stoned by the population, too happy to have a Celestial Dragon as a scapegoat to express all their resentment and hatred.
However, while the commoners and former slaves despise these people, the nobles seem to idolize them. As in the Kingdom of Goa, where the nobility of this country went to great lengths to properly receive a Celestial Dragon who came to visit this kingdom. Even after witnessing the presumed death of Sabo, who was shot by Saint Jalmack, Sabo’s own parents were more concerned about not angering the Celestial Dragon than worrying about the fate of their child.
Kid considers them a prime example of the degree of corruption and absurdity of this world. However, if a Celestial Dragon chooses to give up their status and live among “normal” people, then those nobles, along with their family members, would be considered traitors, and permanently stripped of their privileges and immunities.
Their arrogance is seen in the way they treat their slaves; indeed, we see on several occasions that they use them as mounts. After Sharlia, the sister of Saint Charlos, killed Devil Dias, she immediately asked her father to buy her a new slave, as if it were an easily replaceable object, even a toy, and not a person.
Although the “normal” people bow down in their presence, they fear and despise the Nobles due to their arrogance and the cruelty they show, but dare not attack them because attacking them also means s attacking the World Government and such an act consequently results in the arrival of an Admiral.
As you can see, the Celestial Dragons are a very closed group. Basically, there is no way of entering the group save by being born in it. The only way to actually become a Celestial Dragon is to be born into a family that is a descendant of the Twenty Kings from the old days. There is, as far as we know now, no way of entering the group in any other way. Let us now see whether Shanks is a part of the group or not.
Is Shanks a Celestial Dragon?
There are a lot of theories surrounding Shanks’ history. And while we’re hopeful that the upcoming movie, Red, is going to reveal more information about Shanks’ past, what we know about him makes it easy for us to get an answer to the question of whether he is a Celestial Dragon or not. You probably know the answer by now, but let us see.
Being born into the group is, as it seems, the only was to get inside, which means that Shanks doesn’t qualify for membership, at least not based on what we know. Sure, it might turn out that Shanks’ parents were Celestial Dragons and that he himself would be one of them had Roger not raised him as his own son.
This would certainly account for Shanks’ lack of fear when approaching them, as well as for the fact that he had almost free access to the Five Elders, which is a rare privilege to the outsiders. On the other hand, he is a Yonko and a pirate, both of whom are enemies of the Celestial Dragons, so there’s that. We just hope that Oda clears this up soon.
Be that as it may, these are the reasons why Shanks is not a Celestial Dragon in One Piece.