One Piece chapter 1086: As the Holy Knights' leader is Garling Figarland, Shanks is teased to be a Celestial Dragon

It's highly possible that Shanks was born as a Celestial Dragon, but rejected his heritage (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

With the official release of One Piece chapter 1086 scheduled for June 12, 2023, readers will have to settle for the issue's raw scans and fanmade translations for a few more days. This chapter will be the latest before a one-month break and will have plenty of revelations regarding the lore of the series.

Among the intriguing topics featured in the issue is the disclosure of the leader of the Holy Knights, the World Government's elite soldiers. To the delight of fans, not only the character's name is revealed, but his appearance is fully shown.

When the Holy Knights' darkened figures were shown in One Piece chapter 1083, fans immediately noticed that the silhouette of one of them strikingly resembled that of "Red Hair" Shanks. While the leader of the Holy Knights is not Shanks, he may be a person very close to him.

Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to chapter 1086.

Shocking spoilers for One Piece chapter 1086 may have revealed the father of Shanks

Who are the Holy Knights in One Piece?

One Piece chapter 1083 showed the silhouettes of the Holy Knights (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
One Piece chapter 1083 showed the silhouettes of the Holy Knights (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

The Holy Knights were first mentioned in chapter 1054, when "Kurouma" Tensei, the director of the Marine Criminal Investigative Service, reported to Fleet Admiral Akainu that the Holy Knights intervened to settle the quarrel between Saint Mjosgard and Saint Charlos.

First introduced as high-ranking World Government members tasked to solve disputes between Celestial Dragons, the Holy Knights received further focus in chapter 1083. The issue disclosed them as elite warriors whom the World Government sends to perform punitive raids in any insurgent kingdom.

Monkey D. Dragon, the leader of the Revolutionary Army, notably hyped the Holy Knights, claiming that once they make their move, the real battle begins. In One Piece chapter 1083, the Holy Knights were only shown as darkened silhouettes.

The alleged connection between Shanks and the Holy Knights

Shanks with his typical posture, clothing, and sword (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Shanks with his typical posture, clothing, and sword (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Chapter 1083 left One Piece fans shocked, as the silhouette of Holy Knight, who, being in the middle, appeared to be the leader of the group, resembled Shanks. The individual's body and clothing were similar to that of "Red Hair." He held a sword seemingly identical to Gryphon's and even carried it with the same posture and on the same side.

Thus, many fans started speculating that this particular Holy Knight could be "Red Hair" himself. Some readers theorized that there could be "two Shanks," the pirate whom all fans know and another one who is a member of the Holy Knights. This individual would be Shanks' twin brother.

With Shanks being rumored to have a Celestial Dragon heritage as a former member of the Figarland Family, the same household may have another son. This would explain why the Five Elders would never meet a major outlaw like "Red Hair." Everything would make sense if the person they met during the Reverie wasn't Shanks but his twin brother, who is a Holy Knight.

After all, readers were shown someone with the same appearance as that of Shanks, but the Five Elders never called the person by name. Moreover, Shanks' distinguishing physical features, the scar, and the lost arm, were never shown in his meeting with the Five Elders.

So far, Shanks is surrounded by a unique, mysterious, and charismatic aura. He never resorts to violence unless left with no other choice, preferring a peaceful and diplomatic resolution of conflicts. Despite being the youngest of the Emperors, Shanks is easily the most influential among them.

Being one of the few characters who can fight on equal grounds with Dracule Mihawk, Shanks has an exceptional reputation for strength. A former apprentice of Gol D. Roger, Shanks inherited the latter's fighting style and possibly something more, given the mysterious words the Pirate King once whispered to him.

Even Shanks' childhood friend, Buggy, considered him Roger's destined heir. Being Luffy's role model and inspiration, as well as the sworn enemy of Marshall D. Teach "Blackbeard," Shanks will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in One Piece's final saga.

Garling Figarland, the leader of the Holy Knights

While the theory relied on some solid basis, those points were just red herrings that Eiichiro Oda used to tease his readers. As revealed by the raw scans of One Piece chapter 1086, the leader of the Holy Knights is neither Shanks nor his twin, but a man called Garling Figarland.

As seen in the scan, Garling is an old man whose long pointy hair and beard resemble a crescent moon. He wears sunglasses and carries a sword which is indeed very similar to Shanks' Gryphon.

The chapter doesn't show Garling's capabilities as a fighter, but, considering his status as the leader of the hyped Holy Knights, it's implied that he is a powerful individual. Given the weapon he carries, Garling is most likely a very strong swordsman.

Living up to the Holy Knights' dreadful reputation, Garling immediately proved himself to be ruthless. The latest page of One Piece chapter 1086 reveals that he executed fellow Saint Mjosgard, which is seen crucified and bleeding profusely while the other Celestial Dragon are celebrating.

Mjosgard was punished for allowing Sai and Leo to hit Saint Charlos, saving Mermaid Princess Shirahoshi from the latter's clutches. Garling commented on the issue, claiming:

"Those who defend trash are even worse than trash itself."

With Shanks being 40 years old, it goes without saying that Garling can't be his twin brother. Concurrently, the age difference and the fact that both are connected with the Figarland Family may hint at Garling being Shanks' father, or at least his uncle.

Summing up, is Garling Figarland the father of Shanks Figarland in One Piece?

Among the many mysteries regarding Shanks are his origins (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Among the many mysteries regarding Shanks are his origins (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

The relationship between Shanks and the World Government is enigmatic. Since the release of One Piece Film: Red, fans assumed that Shanks is a former Celestial Dragon native to the Figarland Family. The Five Elders questioned if Uta was a Figarland based on the fact that she was known as the daughter of Shanks.

This would only make sense if, according to their knowledge, Shanks is a Figarland too. Admittedly, it's possible that Shanks is a former Celestial Dragon. As a one-year-old infant, he was found by Roger and Rayleigh in God Valley following a major incident that happened in the same location.

With the Celestial Dragons being involved in the event, fans speculated that Shanks, whose parents were never shown, maybe the son of two nobles. Many years later, the Five Elders, the highest-ranked Celestial Dragons, seem to hold Shanks in special regard. Despite him being a notorious pirate, they granted him a private audience.

In One Piece chapter 1086, Garling Figarland was described as "an old king who played an important role in the God Valley incident," i.e., the same place where a one-year-old Shanks was found. With Shanks being rumored to be a Figarland, coincidences are too many to be ignored.

Admittedly, there's a high chance that Shanks is the son of Garling. However, while the "Red Hair" is a very honorable man who respects life and hates violence, Garling immediately showed himself as a wicked individual. Granted, father and son don't necessarily have to share the same view of life.