After a long waiting time, Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Eiichiro Oda’s globally popular One Piece manga is finally here. And while we’ll have to wait for the first impressions to settle in before concluding the show’s reception, we can, in the meantime, answer some burning questions about the live-action adaptation and its contents. In this article, we will reveal the true name of Captain Roger, who was executed at the beginning of the series.
The live-action adaptation of One Piece states that Captain Roger’s real name is Gold and lists him as Gold Roger. His real name, though, is Gol D. Roger, as per the manga; it is unclear why the live-action adaptation made this distinction, but it did, and Roger was renamed Gold in the series. This defeats the point of the Will of D., but it has yet to be seen how important that is going to be for the live-action adaptation. Also, this change is not that uncommon, as some non-English dubs of the anime series have also renamed Roger as Gold Roger, so this change isn’t all that surprising.
The rest of this article will be dedicated to the legendary pirate, Captain Roger, whom we will refer to as Gol D. Roger, as that is his real name. We will tell you a bit about him and his role and then explain the confusion surrounding his name in the live-action series. Roger is an exceptionally important character in the series, and we thought that fans of both iterations might want to know why this change happened. The article will contain a certain amount of spoilers for those who have not read the manga or seen the anime, but those who need not worry.
Captain Roger’s name is Gol D. Roger, not Gold Roger
Gol D. Roger was a legendary pirate who achieved everything possible. As captain of the Roger Crew, he had garnered wealth, power, and fame by sailing around the Grand Line and becoming the first and only so far to hold the title of King of the Pirates. He was executed in his native town of Loguetown in the Blue, 22 years before the present timeline, ushering in a new pirate age, the Golden Age.
At the beginning of his journey, Roger meets Silvers Rayleigh, who has just docked his boat at a jetty, and asks him if he would like to shake the world with him, making him his first mate. At the time, he was wearing a straw hat. Over the years, he has traveled to many places, including Skypiea, where he makes a lasting impression at Gan Fall, and to Water 7, where the Fish-Man and shipwright Tom builds and gives him his dream ship, the Oro Jackson.
Eventually, Roger becomes a fearsome pirate who takes on anyone who threatens him and his ideals. He and his gang fends off Shiki and his fleet of ships when he offers to start a revolution and rule the world with him since he and the Roger pirates have discovered the secret of the ancient weapons. He also exchanges blows again and again with Whitebeard.
One day, he also meets Squad and his gang. Roger’s crew kills everyone but the captain. According to a report from Rayleigh, Roger is suddenly struck down by an incurable disease. So he orders his crew to leave the gang, bit by bit so that the Marines and the World Government don’t notice that the gang is dissolving bit by bit. When only a few members are left, he meets up with Whitebeard again to drink sake with him and explains the secret of the “D.” in his name. He also reveals to him what Laugh Tale Island is all about and then hands himself over to the Navy.
On his last journey, he also finds love in Rouge, with whom he fathers a child a few months before his death. While in prison, Roger, in a private conversation with his closest rival in the Navy, Vice Admiral Monkey D. Garp, asks that he take care of his offspring as he is innocent and should not suffer from his father’s crimes.
When the day of his execution arrived, many onlookers and pirates came to witness and honor his legacy. He was ultimately executed publicly by being beheaded, as far as the manga is concerned, but not before revealing to the world the existence of the One Piece treasure and ushering everyone to go look for it, which directly led to the beginning of the Golden Age of Pirates.
Now, this is Roger’s story. But what about his name? Initially, even the One Piece manga named him “Gold Roger,” as per the Wiki, which means that Oda did not intend for him to have the Will of D. initially, or the translators made an error. Be that as it may, his full and real name was revealed to be Gol D. Roger, but the nickname “Gold Roger” also lingered on, so it can be stated that “Gold” Roger is his actual nickname.
And that is what the live-action adaptation stated, so as far as the live-action continuity, which is its own alternative universe, is concerned, Captain Roger’s name is Gold Roger and not Gol D. Roger. But why the change? Especially since Luffy was introduced immediately as Monkey D. Luffy!
You might think that the D. initial is something irrelevant, but it is actually a manifestation of the Will of D., which is an exceptionally important part of the One Piece lore, one we have already written about here. It is not just part of the name; it is a symbol of great and important power, but even the manga hasn’t cleared it up yet.
This is why the fact that Roger was renamed Gold, i.e., that he wasn’t named Gol D., is relevant for the series and why we are talking about it. But this is not unique to the live-action series, so I do not think that there is an issue with the live-action series per se, at least as far as this is concerned. Namely, a lot of anime dubs (non-English ones) have also renamed Roger as “Gold Roger,” especially in the early episodes of the series.
So, this can mean one of two things. Either this is a continuity error that will be remedied later in the series, which doesn’t seem to be all that plausible, seeing how Oda oversaw the production of the live-action series. He would have certainly voiced his concern here, or we’re dealing with a “trick” that will actually set up a big reveal later on if the series ends up being renewed for a second season.
The latter seems to be a more plausible interpretation, and knowing that Oda was heavily involved, we somehow think that this is the proper interpretation of the reasons behind the renaming.