Monkey D. Luffy is the protagonist of One Piece, and he is one of its most popular characters. Fact. Monkey D. Garp is a Marine Vice Admiral and Luffy’s grandfather, which is why he is one of only a small number of Marine officers whom the fans actually like. Fact. But Luffy and Garp have had a pretty complex relationship, so much, in fact, that some fans keep wondering whether Garp even loves Luffy in the first place.
While it is a strange form of love, Garp does love Luffy in his own specific way. Monkey D. Garp was actually Luffy’s first caretaker before leaving him with Curly Dadan, and he knows that Luffy is actually the son of Monkey D. Dragon, Garp’s own son. So, there is no doubt that he knows they are grandfather and grandson. On the other hand, they’re on opposite sides, and while Garp can be somewhat lenient to him, he won’t really help him. He does love Luffy but is a very specific brand of tough love.
The rest of this article is going to dig deeper into the relationship between Garp and Luffy, as we are going to explain how they are related, whether Garp does, indeed, know that they are related, and whether he actually loves Luffy. They’re a funny duo that cannot be denied, but some details need additional explaining, which is why we have come up with this article for you. Of course, some spoilers will be present, so be careful how you approach the text in question.
Garp, naturally, knows that Luffy is his grandson, and he does love him in his own special way
Former Navy Vice-Admiral Monkey D. Garp, also known as Garp the Fist, is currently an instructor in the Navy. He is the one responsible for Koby and Helmeppo’s instruction. He played an important role with Sengoku and Whitebeard during the Gol D. Roger era, but he had earned his reputation as a hero before.
He is Monkey D. Dragon’s biological father, Portgas D. Ace’s adoptive grandfather, and Monkey D. Luffy’s grandfather. He has the Will of D., as his name suggests, as it begins with the letter D. With Gol D. Roger’s assistance, he defeated Rocks’ crew, earning him the title of “Hero of the Navy.”
As you can see, Garp is a very important character in the series. Still, while his story is usually perceived through that of Luffy, he also has some very interesting individual moments that we are, sadly, not going to tackle in this article, as this article is going to be dedicated to Garp and Luffy, i.e., their relationship and their exact relation. This is a very interesting topic, indeed, so there is definitely a lot that can be said about it.
The first issue is the nature of their relationship. As we have said, Monkey D. Garp is the father of Monkey D. Dragon, which means that he is, ultimately, the biological grandfather of Monkey D. Luffy. Dragon left Luffy when he was a child in Garp’s care, and Garp, as we have seen, did indeed take care of both him and Ace while they were quite small.
In that aspect, he can be considered as their father, as he was the only fatherly figure they had at the time (Dragon was absent, and Roger was dead). Of course, Garp did not care for them for too long, as we know that both of them ended up in the care of Curly Dadan, whom both Ace and Luffy considered to be their mom and whom Garp trusted enough to let her take care of his grandson and adopted grandson.
So, when the events of One Piece begin, and Garp first finds out about Luffy and his exploits (regardless of which version you consider), he does know who Luffy is, and he is well aware that his grandson has become a pirate, which absolutely makes sense, seeing how Oda never really wanted to keep that fact hidden.
What he did hide was Garp’s identity, which is why Garp wore a dog hat in the beginning from the fans, as he did not want some of the fans to recognize Garp as Luffy’s grandfather, although Garp himself knew that fact quite well. And now that we have established this, we can actually discuss whether Garp loves his grandson, as the two of them had a very specific relationship, probably because they were so similar.
In the past, as we have established, Garp did take care of his grandson Luffy, so much so that the latter doesn’t even remember ever having a father. At the age of seven, though, he left him in the care of Curly Dadan, claiming that letting him grow up in the peaceful village of Foosha hadn’t tempered him enough. Later he subjected him to harsh tests that put his safety at risk, all to make him a strong Marine.
Although, as a parental figure, Garp has been rather absent and harsh with his grandson, so much so that he has never hesitated to physically hit him in order to educate him, he still has a deep affection for the latter.
For example, in Water Seven, he deliberately decides not to capture him because he is his grandson and communicates this to his superiors, only to be rightly taken back by Sengoku, who orders his immediate capture. His bond with Luffy is also such that it is enough to overcome the fact that the two of them are on opposite sides of the law, as demonstrated when, during the war for supremacy, he lets himself be hit voluntarily by his grandson, allowing him to reach the gallows on which Ace is located.
Although he claims that Luffy was misled by Shanks’ ideas, which pushed the boy to go to sea and become a pirate while he wanted him to follow in his footsteps, he remains proud of his grandson’s exploits, as demonstrated when he learns of his breaking into Impel Down in an attempt to save Ace. However, when he learns that he is heading to Marineford to join the war, he is visibly concerned.
As you can see, Monkey D. Garp was not an ideal father figure, but he did love Luffy, and he cared deeply for him. Even though the boy has become a pirate, he still cares for him; he won’t help him directly, but he won’t capture him either, despite his loyalty to the Marines. He did the best he could – his love is a form of tough love, but it is sincere in its toughness, and that is all that matters in the end, as it confirms that Garp does care about his grandson.