As One Piece enters its final saga, the number of mysteries that remain will slowly begin to be solved. Fans have always come up with their own theories and speculations, but Eiichiro Oda likes to play around with expectations, always remaining unpredictable in the process. The mysterious Monkey D. Dragon has remained an enigmatic figure since his introduction in the Loguetown Arc nearly two decades ago.
He is One Piece’s most wanted man, the leader of the Revolutionary Army, the son of the legendary seafaring hero Garp and, above all, the father of Monkey D. Luffy, the series’ protagonist. If Dragon is a legend in his own right, audiences know next to nothing about him. Her backstory, her relationship with Garp, her non-existent relationship with Luffy, and more have yet to be detailed, but some of her design details may provide clues to her past.
The most striking thing about Dragon’s character design is the tattoo on his face. An X-shaped pattern criss-crosses the left side of her face, with an interesting red and black color combination. Such tattoos have only ever been seen in one group of people: the Skypeians.
The Skypeians are the native tribe that lives on the sky island of Skypeia. Their culture and patterns are obvious references to actual native tribes, and the markings on their skin are no exception. The fact that Dragon shares the same tattoos as them is not a mistake, but exactly what that means is open to interpretation at this time.
It is unlikely that Dragon was born in Skypeia, simply because Garp, his father, would have had no reason to go to Skypeia. Unless Garp married and had a child with a woman from Skypeia, it’s more likely that Dragon traveled there in his youth and integrated into the tribe in some way, which earned him his tattoo. If the tattoos are indeed of Skypeian origin, they could help explain another mystery surrounding Dragon: whether he possesses a Devil Fruit.
When Luffy was about to be executed in Loguetown by Buggy, lightning struck the stand he was being held on. Later, when Luffy was apprehended by Smoker, a strong wind rose, just as Dragon touched Smoker’s shoulder to free Luffy. None of these things can be a coincidence, and yet Dragon hasn’t been seen with these mysterious abilities since.
If Dragon does indeed possess a fruit, combined with the native symbolism on his face, it’s possible that Dragon is the user of the mythical zoan devil fruit, the Tori-Tori no Mi, Pattern: Thunderbird. The Thunderbird is a spirit bird in native North American mythology said to have the ability to control powerful storms, lightning, and thunder.
In Algonquin iconography, the thunderbird is depicted in the form of an X, with the body in the shape of an X, and the wings and head turned to the side. The dragon’s supposed abilities and their similarities to the powers of the mythological creature make this connection almost certain.
The thunderbird is also said to fight the creatures of the underworld, especially the great horned serpent, to protect the inhabitants of the world. The thunderbird is also said to be an enforcer of morality, punishing wrongdoers with impunity.
The revolutionary army is on a mission to fight against the Celestial Dragons, the nobles who control the events of the world. The celestial dragons could easily be the interpretation of the great horned serpent of the myth, which would link the link between the dragon and the thunderbird.
While the Dragon is unlikely to actually come from Skypeia, it seems to have at least some connection to the land above the clouds. Her tattoos, overall design patterns, and abilities point to this. The Devil Fruit he alludes to could also turn out to be something completely unexpected. Fans have already waited twenty years to see what Dragon can do, a few more years won’t hurt.