Although One Piece is about pirates and their adventures, the Straw Hat has been a symbol from the very start of the series, and it is exceptionally important in the lore, as all fans will know. The iconic Straw Hat, which inspired Luffy’s nickname and the name of his crew, was initially owned by Gol D. Roger, then by Shanks, and is now in Luffy’s possession. But, in this article, we will go back in time a bit as you will find out how Shanks came into possession of the iconic hat.
It is known that Shanks received Gol D. Roger’s iconic straw hat when he was at least eight years old, but the exact circumstances are not known. We know that Roger accidentally found Shanks on his own ship and then decided to take care of him, and we also know that Shanks had a very close bond with Roger, who was a father figure to him. The straw hat was Roger’s treasure, and he probably gave it to Shanks because he saw something in him and could trust him, much like Shanks ultimately gave it to Luffy because he liked him and cared for him.
The rest of this article is going to be related to the legendary straw hat that initially belonged to Gol D. Roger, and that is, at this moment, a major symbol from the One Piece lore. The Straw Hat is an incredibly important part of the lore, and there is absolutely no doubt that it deserves all the attention we can give it, which is why it inspired this article. We are going to reveal all the known details to you. As for spoilers, some will be present, of course, but they will mostly be related to Shanks’ personal history, so be careful only if you’re not fully acquainted with it.
Shanks received Roger’s straw hat as a gift, but it is not known why exactly Rogers gave it to him
This story is, at the same time, the story of Shanks and the story of the iconic straw hat that is an incredibly important part of the One Piece lore. Shanks is one of the series’ best and most important characters, while the straw hat is a symbol that has been part of the lore since the first episode when it was identified as part of Luffy’s story.
Shanks and the hat are closely connected to Luffy, which is why we will tell you about them in this article. Allow us to start with the hat.
Roger’s Straw Hat is over 50 years old and was already accompanying the future King of the Pirates when he met Rayleigh and made him his first mate. He later passed it on to Shanks, which will be discussed later, and it became his trademark while he was still in Roger’s pirate crew. He would later pass it down to little Luffy in the Foosha Village village as a reminder of his promise to gather a strong pirate crew and find One Piece with them.
Since then, Luffy has seen the Straw Hat as a personal treasure, and anyone who tramples on it or damages it will face a good beating. Luffy rarely gives his straw hat to someone else as a sign of trust or to protect him from harm in serious battles. Nami and Usopp belong to the illustrious group of people who can wear the hat themselves for a short time.
As you can see, the iconic straw hat has a rich history, and with Luffy’s adventures, it’s history has become even richer. But, as we have said, Luffy’s period of ownership of the hat will not be the topic here, as we will go back to the time when Shanks owned the hat. So, let us see Shanks’ history.
Shanks was born on an island in the West Blue, but not much is known about his personal past, as his story – basically – begins with Gol D. Roger. When he was one year old, he was found by Roger’s Pirates in a chest in God Valley, so they took him in, and he became an apprentice. More than twenty-eight years before the beginning of the narrative, he became friends with Buggy, who was also an apprentice of the crew.
The two often argued with each other, and Rayleigh would often separate them. At that time, as we could see, Shanks had already had Roger’s hat on, so it can be assumed that he received it quite early; we know that he had it by the time he was nine years old, so it can be assumed that Roger gave it to him before that, so he was eight years old, or even younger when he actually received it.
Based on how Shanks treated it and how he carried it with him until he gave it to Luffy, we can assume that he respected the hat a lot and held it dear, as it was a gift from Roger, an influential person in Shanks’ life. What does that mean for our story here?
It shows that the hat has a lot of emotional value for the characters who carry it. Roger was seen with it when he first met Rayleigh, and it was, for a while, a trademark of his. Why he gave it to Shanks is unknown, but based on how Shanks likened his giving the hat to Luffy to when Roger gave it to him, it is assumed that Shanks earned it because of his traits and personality.
Shanks gave Luffy the hat as a motivational symbol when Luffy promised he would become the next Pirate King, so it is quite possible that Shanks said something similar to Roger and that Roger, cherishing such sincerity from a child, decided to give Shanks the hat as a symbol of motivation.
This, of course, makes a lot of sense because Shanks actually gave up on his dream to succeed Roger, meaning that before Roger’s execution, that had been his main goal; this is also what caused the big rift between Shanks and Buggy the Clown.
So, if we combine all these facts, we can form a pretty solid theory about this. We don’t know if it is true, to be honest, as Oda never revealed the circumstances we are talking about, but it could very well be that Rogers decided to give Shanks his hat because Shanks said something to him that was similar to what Luffy said to Shanks later, which prompted Shanks to give Luffy the hat at that moment. This is only a theory, but we think it is very solid based on what we know.