Every One Piece fan loves Luffy, the main character of Eiichiro Oda's masterpiece. Luffy's easygoing demeanor, combined with his unwavering determination, makes him one of the most cherished anime protagonists.
Aiming to become the Pirate King, Luffy, along with his friends, set sail to find the One Piece, the legendary treasure left by Gol D. Roger. Following his triumph over Kaido during the Wano Arc, Luffy was declared one of the Four Emperors.
During his adventures, Luffy has often found himself in peril. To overcome these issues, he has resorted to life-shortening techniques, as well as experiencing near-death situations.
Due to this, some fans have started theorizing that the One Piece series could end with a shocking conclusion: Luffy's death. Follow this thread to learn more.
Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to Chapter 1067 and reflects the opinions of the writer.
What will be Luffy's fate at the end of the One Piece series?
Several powerful One Piece characters died of illness
Surprisingly, an outstanding fighter becoming ill and dying as a result of illness is not unheard of in One Piece. Instead, this has become sort of a recurring trope in the series, as proven by the stories of Ryuma, Roger, and Whitebeard, three immensely powerful characters.
Ryuma was a legendary samurai renowned as the "Sword God" for his unparalleled swordsmanship. People hailed him as "King", considering him the strongest warrior in the world. He single-handedly protected Wano from pirates as well as the World Government.
Even hundreds of years after Ryuma's death, his skills and accomplishments remain legendary. Despite Wano being blessed with other great samurai, such as Oden Kozuki, people still consider Ryuma to be the one worthy of the moniker "Wano's Greatest Hero."
A testament to his immensely powerful Armament Haki, Ryuma was able to make his sword a Black Blade. No one else except him and Dracule Mihawk, the World's Strongest Swordsman, was ever able to achieve this feat.
Ryuma died undefeated. He suddenly contracted a sickness that proved to be fatal for him. Given that he died at a relatively young age (47), this occurrence was somewhat surprising.
Gol D. Roger would need no introduction. He was the first and only one, alongside his crew, to reach Laugh Tale and find the One Piece. His legendary achievements earned him the title "King of Pirates" and inspired the Great Piracy Era.
Roger was an immensely strong individual. His Haki was all-powerful. Only Monkey D. Garp, the Marine Hero, and Edward Newgate, the World's Strongest Man, could fight at his level.
Roger was able to fend off his enemies, but at one point, he got infected by an incurable disease. Knowing that his sickness meant an unavoidable death, after ending his journey, Roger let the Marines capture and execute him.
Feared and respected all over the world as "Whitebeard", Edward Newgate was a great pirate. Initially, he was one of the main members of the Rocks Pirates. He later became the captain of the Whitebeard Pirates.
Newgate's Quake-Quake Fruit and immense Haki granted him the title of the World's Strongest Man. He was able to fight on equal grounds with Gol D. Roger, the man who would later become the King of Pirates.
Whitebeard also became one of the Four Emperors. However, at one point he fell ill. His health deteriorated to the point where he needed medical assistance and was unable to use his Conqueror's Haki.
Knowing his fate was sealed, Whitebeard attacked Marineford head-on. Despite old age and sickness weakening him, he nearly destroyed Marineford with his earthquakes and died a heroic death after fighting the Admirals and Blackbeard.
Ryuma, Roger, and Whitebeard are characters who are regarded as among the strongest, if not the absolute strongest, of their generations. They were all undefeated in their prime incarnations but died of illness.
Hence, One Piece author Eiichiro Oda clearly has a tendency to utilize the insurgence of a sudden incurable disease as a narrative device to get rid of a powerful character. If he chooses to do the same for Luffy, it wouldn't be unprecedented.
Why Luffy dying at the end of One Piece has become a popular theory
The One Piece fandom is rife with theories regarding Luffy's untimely demise. Some fans believe that he will walk the same path as the previous Pirate King, meaning that Luffy will find the One Piece and die afterwards, becoming a legend and an inspiration for the next wave of pirates.
While no one doubts that Luffy will find the One Piece and become the Pirate King, realizing his dream, many think that these accomplishments will come at the cost of his life. This is mostly based on the fact that the Gom-Gom Fruit, in exchange for his convenient abilities, has been stated to stress Luffy's body.
Luffy's Gear 2 transformation causes him to increase the blood flow in his body, providing him with more oxygen and nutrients. This greatly enhances his speed and physical strength. Luffy's metabolic rate increases so much that his sweat vaporizes so quickly that his body appears to be steaming.
The use of Gear 2 has been shown to put immense strain on Luffy's body. He frequently fainted during the usage of this form, as well as remaining completely unable to move for some time after a prolonged usage of the transformation.
After witnessing Gear 2, Rob Lucci compared its process to doping and speculated that using this technique would dramatically reduce Luffy's lifespan. Luffy neither confirmed nor denied this. He just declared that nothing would matter as long as he could protect his friends.
During desperate situations that required him to throw his heart over obstacles to save his brother Ace, Luffy needed to be injected with Emporio Ivankov's hormones. According to Ivankov, this would significantly shorten Luffy's lifespan.
After being struck by Magellan's poison, Luffy was on the brink of death. Emporio Ivankov offered to inject him with his hormones. At the cost of ten years of Luffy's life, the Emporio Healing Hormone would give the young pirate a slim chance of surviving the poison.
Luffy, determined to do anything to save Ace, accepted. He was in excruciating pain for the next 20 hours after the injection. Ivankov later administered his "Emporio Tension Hormone" to Luffy in order to restore his vitality and strength.
During the battle in Marineford, Luffy collapsed from exhaustion as well as the wounds he received. For this reason, he asked Ivankov to be injected with Tension Hormone again, despite the dangerous consequences of giving his body energy it was not prepared to handle.
Luffy's new transformation, the Gear 5, seems to have some drawbacks as well. Because the form consumes so much energy, when Luffy snaps out of Gear 5, he begins to age and suffers from severe exhaustion and fatigue.
To transition back, Luffy needs to force his heart to beat in the rhythm of the "Drums of Liberation". While Gear 5 has never been stated to reduce Luffy's lifespan, both the accelerated aging and the forced manipulation of his heart rhythm are not a blessing for his health.
How Luffy's eventual death could be prevented
Despite multiple clues that could indicate that Luffy has stressed his body and shortened his lifespan to the point where he could die early, the series has also evidenced many narrative devices that could prevent this sad outcome from happening.
First of all, we have Chopper's dream. A reindeer who ate the Human-Human Fruit and became able to behave like a human, Chopper is the doctor of the Strawhat Pirates. His dream is to become the greatest doctor in the world.
Chopper inherited this will from his mentor, Dr. Hillk, who used to dream about living in a world free from illness and pain, where everyone could be healthy and happy. As his disciple, Chopper wishes to turn Hillk's dream into reality.
During the series, Chopper has accumulated great medical knowledge, which he will likely further increase. If Luffy's health were to deteriorate, Chopper would be able to heal him. Otherwise, he would fail as a medician, meaning that his dream would never be realized.
It goes without saying that it's absolutely unlikely for a Strawhat to not achieve his dream at the end of the series. Thus, if ever necessary, Chopper's medical knowledge will not fail to help Luffy. There's also the possibility of Trafalgar Law using his Ope-Ope Fruit to save Luffy's life.
Law is not only a skilled doctor who has previously saved Luffy, but he is also the owner of the Ope-Ope Fruit, which enables the user to perform a miraculous "Immortality Operation." This technique grants the target eternal youth. However, this result comes at the cost of the user's life.
The Immortality Operation is an emergency tool, but it's not impossible for it to be used. With Luffy saving his life and defeating Doflamingo in the Dressrosa Arc, Law owes a lot to him. If Luffy's risks dying, Law may use his Devil Fruit power to save him, even at the cost of sacrificing his own life.
Moreover, taking everything into account, even if Luffy lost some of his lifespan, that shouldn't be enough to cause his premature death. The author, Eiichiro Oda, stated that the average lifespan for a normal human in the One Piece world is 140 years.
As such, even if Luffy loses a few decades, he would still have a lot of time ahead of him. He is 19, and his journey is close to the end, given that Eiichiro Oda declared that the series has entered its endgame.
He lost ten years because of the drawbacks of the Emporio Healing Hormone. Concerning the two shots of the Emporio Tension Hormones, it wasn't said anywhere that those would take years off Luffy's lifespan.
So, even assuming that Luffy's lifespan before the hormones was around 100 years (which would be a lot inferior to the average lifespan of 140 years), he would still have 90 years ahead of him after the injections.
Even assuming that Gear 2's repercussions took years from him, it doesn't seem feasible for Luffy to have lost more than a few years because of that. Especially considering that during the time skip, he mastered Gear 2, meaning that his body wouldn't feel those drawbacks anymore.
Taking this into account and considering Luffy's current age, he should have all the time in the world ahead of him. Unless One Piece will feature a further time skip of several decades, Luffy should be able to become the Pirate King and live to tell his tale.
The theory that Luffy would die after becoming the Pirate King is quite widespread among One Piece fans. However, it seems to be more of an urban myth than something with a concrete possibility of happening.
At the age of 19, Luffy is already relatively close to realizing his dream. The ten years he lost after Emporio Ivankov's injection aren't making much of a difference when the average lifespan of a human in the One Piece world exceeds 100 years.
While Gear 2's drawbacks may have shortened Luffy's life a bit, those are old news after the start of the post-time skip narration. It's unlikely that Luffy lost several decades of his life just because of the strain of Gear 2 in the pre-time skip.
While the sudden death of a rather powerful character due to health issues is not unseen in One Piece, it seems unlikely that Oda will let Luffy enjoy the realization of his dream for a brief time, considering how long fans, and the main character himself, have been waiting for this.
Unless Oda wants to shock everyone with a dramatic end to the series, One Piece has a greater likelihood of ending with a big party than with the death of the main character.
Poll : Do you think that Luffy will die shortly after becoming the King of Pirates?