Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece series is known for introducing us to a variety of amazing characters. Most of them have been grouped in one way or the other, usually belonging to some organizations rather than smaller groups, or pirate crews. Some of these groups are more famous while others are less famous. Some are stronger, whereas others are weaker. This article is going to be dedicated to one of those groups, a subgroup of the World Nobles (or the Celestial Dragons), known as the Five Elders. In this article, you’re going to find out who they are, how strong they are and how important they are to the story.
Who are the Five Elders in One Piece?
The Five Elders are the Highest Authority of the World Government. Comprised of five men, they lead the political organization of the World Government, and as such, they essentially rule most of the globe (wherever their jurisdiction extends). In the New World, Pirates such as the Emperors are beyond their jurisdiction and control. They are the five men who rule over the Marines, the Cipher Pol, and those who have made a pact with the Seven Warlords of the Sea.
So far, their identities and origins have not been revealed in a clear and detailed fashion. Due to their actions, and especially their affiliations, they are among the main antagonists of the series. They are also the highest ranking Celestial Dragons, having authority over the rest of them. The members of the Five Elders are:
He is the one who talks the most when the Five Elders intervene. He was the one who talked about keeping the pirate emperor Shanks in check before he gets out of hand, he also said that he is not someone who seeks to overthrow the world alone. He also talked about Luffy’s relationship with Garp and how Blackbeard is making the move on him after the Battle of Marineford. He is the one who ordered the CP0 to intervene in the fight between Luffy and Kaidou.
He spoke with Professor Clover during the Ohara Incident and ordered Spandine to shoot the archaeologist for trying to divulge the name of the Old Kingdom. After the War at the Summit, he questioned the connection between Luffy and Silvers Rayleigh and indicated that Blackbeard knew perfectly well the extent of the territories conquered by the late Edward Newgate.
He picked up Monkey D. Luffy’s new wanted poster and commented on Crocodile’s betrayal. He added that they can’t let Luffy run free. He also remarked that Aokiji doesn’t take his position seriously, with his reckless actions being proof according to our old man.
When the war against the Whitebeard Pirates was over, he lamented Jinbe’s defection from the ranks of the Warlords of the Sea (which caused a breakdown in the inter-species relationship) and pointed out how Blackbeard’s unique characteristic (of possessing two Devil Fruits) allowed him to get closer than any other pirate to the vacant spot of Emperor.
He is the one who demanded a replacement in the Seven Warlords of the Sea to fill the vacancy left by Crocodile, and he is the one who responds to the Marines to report that Shanks and Whitebeard have met successfully. After the Battle of Marineford, he was cleaning his sword as he commented on the collapse of the Three Great Powers and how to reoccupy the three remaining vacancies in the Seven Warlords of the Sea, as well as that the «D» is a name that means «danger» to the world.
This elder was the one who declared that the balance between the Three Great Powers should not collapse. After the death of Whitebeard and the arrival of the New Era, he talked about filling the positions of the Seven Warlords of the Sea with influential pirates, and wonders if Marco the Phoenix and the rest of the Whitebeard Pirates, or yet one of the other three Four Emperors, would be able to take down Blackbeard. It was he who revealed the real name of the Gomu Gomu no Mi.
How strong are the Five Elders?
Being the head of the World Government, they are the rulers of the world and have complete control over the Government as well as affiliated organizations such as the Police, Navy, Impel Down and Cipher Pol units. Even the Admiral Commander-in-Chief and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armies have no choice but to submit to their decisions. The only person with higher authority than them is the enigmatic ruler Im.
They can issue a Buster Call on any island they deem threatening and can revoke a Warlord’s title if they deem them no longer worthy of abiding by their duties. Observing the world from the Holy Land of Mary Geoise, they are primarily concerned with maintaining the public image of the World Government.
Indeed, they will do everything to remain credible in the eyes of the citizens, even if it means ordering a Buster Call on an entire island in order to conceal the existence of the Missing Century, ignoring the defeat of Gecko Moria against Luffy in Thriller Bark and to turn a blind eye to the escape of dangerous criminals from Level 6 of Impel Down, even if it means endangering citizens by doing so.
Some of their decisions, such as silencing the prisoner escape from Impel Down, had enraged Ex-Admiral Commander-in-Chief Sengoku, who was a proponent of Absolute Justice. Being the most influential Celestial Dragons, their authority is absolute in most cases. However, the Council did not object to Doflamingo’s blackmail into believing the world (and especially Law and the Straw Hat Pirates) that he had given up his title of Warlord of the Sea, because the Corsair has the means to blackmail the Celestial Dragons due to his nature as an ancient Celestial Dragon and his knowledge of the national treasure of Mary Geoise.
Koala said that the real enemy of the Revolutionaries was not the World Government, but rather the Celestial Dragons who have control over this entire political organization. During the Levely Arc, an advisor explains to Sterry that the Five Elders are positioned above the usual Celestial Dragons. They also authorized the release of Arlong from the Sun Pirates when Jinbe joined the Warlords, in an effort to improve relations between Fish-men and humans.
However, it can be said with near certainty that the Council wields considerable power and might, as they are considered to be the officials of the Government, being above (hierarchically speaking) the Commander-in-Chief of the Armies, under the orders of the World Government, Kong.
Moreover, the Marines followed their orders without hesitation regarding the liberation of Arlong for example, which is a proof of their influence, because such a decision goes against the World Nobility, due to the fact that many pirates of the Sun were former slaves whom the World Nobility wanted to recover, although this did not stop Saint Miosgard from trying to recover them.
They have absolute control of everything that is published in the newspapers and they make sure to maintain it, they can cover up any inconvenience to the government at their convenience. These political powers aside, the balance of power between each of the 5 Elders is currently unknown. However, their obvious muscles, scars, and possession of a sword in the bald old man seem to indicate that each of these men has combat experience.
How important are th Five Elders?
The Five Elders are a very important group in the world of One Piece. Although the true extent of their powers and desires is still shrouded in mystery, a lot is known about them nonetheless. They are a scheming group of snobbish bigots and it is going to be interesting to see how far they are willing to go to achieve their goals. They have controlled a lot of the events from the story and since the manga is entering its final saga, we’ll probably be seeing more and more of them in the future.