The Void Century has been one of the most mysterious time periods in One Piece and hides many secrets.
One Piece has been going for more than two decades now and has climbed up and retained its position as the most popular series.
However, what exactly makes One Piece so interesting? Sure it has epic fight scenes and great characters, but what else? What makes it so different from the rest?
What differentiates One Piece from other shows is its incredibly well-developed world and the blurred divisions between good and bad.
While the World Government has been portrayed negatively, many things show us that it might not be as simple as that.
What happened during the Void Century is probably one of the biggest mysteries of One Piec.
Many theories have been going around for years in the fandom, hints have been deciphered many times, and every detail has been scrutinized time and time again.
How close are we to finding out the true history of One Piece? Only Oda knows. But for now, let’s see what the Void Century is all about.
1. What is the Void Century?
The Void Century is a period of 100 years that has remained largely undocumented. The events of this time-period are dubbed to be the “true history” of the world, whose study has been forbidden by the World Government.
Events in the Void Century took place 700-800 years before the current timeline of One Piece. Everything we know about it comes from the poneglyphs that are inscribed in a language only a few know how to read.
Currently, only Robin, members of the Three-Eyed Tribe, and the people who can hear “the voice of all things” are able to translate the inscriptions on the poneglyphs.
The Void Century, i.e., the “true history” of One Piece, contains dangerous secrets that can potentially throw the world into chaos once revealed.
It is believed that only when one reached the island of Laugh Tale (Raftel) can they be qualified to understand what happened during those 100 years.
Currently, the Roger Pirates, Whitebeard, and the higher ups of the World Government know about the Void Century, or at least of some events that occurred during that time.
2. What Happened During the Void Century?
This undocumented period of 100 years, also known as the Void Century, is host to several events that shaped the world of One Piece as it is today. Three things of utmost importance define the Void Century.
I. The Great War
The Great War that ended with the fall of Shandora was one of the most important events of the Void Century.
Shandora, built by the ancestors of Shandia, was attacked by the Twenty Kingdoms, whose alliance then took the name of the World Government.
The Shandia struggled to protect their poneglyph and guarded it even after Shandora crumbled to ruins.
This event is important because it establishes some connection between the World Government’s establishment and the Moon inhabitants.
Exploring this connection in more detail might lead us to arrive at some conclusions about what exactly happened during the Void Century.
Not sure what this Moon business is all about? Check out the article below for full coverage of this topic! (Enel’s Great Space Operations in particular)
II. The Great Kingdom
The Great Kingdom’s existence during the Void Century is one of the most well-guarded secrets in the world of One Piece.
The Great Kingdom was an enemy of the World Government that was destroyed 800 years back. It existed during the Void Century, and everything from its name to its history remains a mystery.
First mentioned by Professor Clover during the destruction of Ohara, everything we know about the Great Kingdom comes from him and the poneglyphs.
It is believed that the philosophy adopted by the kingdom was so intolerable by the twenty kingdoms that they banded together to destroy it.
After succeeding in this conquest, the twenty kingdoms adopted the name “World Government” and took extensive measures to prevent the Great Kingdom’s existence from leaking out.
If the mere existence and idea of the Great Kingdom presents a threat to the World Government, one can’t help but imagine just how great it was at its peak and how it was ultimately destroyed.
III. The Ancient Weapons
The World Government needed an argument to justify hiding the Void Century events, and the Ancient Weapons took on this responsibility.
The Ancient Weapons are weapons capable of mass destruction and are fabled to be capable of bringing the world to an end.
There are three known Ancient Weapons – Pluton, i.e., an ancient battleship, Poseidon, i.e., a Mermaid with the ability to control Sea Kings, and Uranus.
The World Government took advantage of the Ancient Weapons’ fearsome reputation and forbid any and all research on the Void Century, claiming that any knowledge gained about the weapons could result in a global war.
The Ancient Weapons have also been theorized to be intrinsically linked to the Ancient Kingdom and its destruction.
3. Who is Joy Boy?
Joy Boy acts as a linchpin of the Void Century. He was an extremely relevant figure that contributed much to the events that occurred 800 years back.
He was first mentioned during the Fishmen arc when Robin read about Joy Boy and his connection to the Fishman Island on a poneglyph.
Joy Boy had a close relation to the merfolk and was a friend to the Mermaid Princess, i.e., Poseidon, of that time. He played a part in Noah’s creation and promised Poseidon to bring the merfolk back to land.
However, due to uncertain reasons, he could not keep his promise and regretted it his whole life.
What kept Joy Boy relevant this whole time is that he’s the one who left behind One Piece on Laugh Tale. Undoubtedly, his existence is one of utmost importance in unraveling what happened during the Void Century.
4. What is the True History in One Piece?
Now that we have covered mostly everything that we know about the Void Century, which isn’t a lot, there are a few theories that attempt to figure out the true history of One Piece.
One of the most popular Void Century theories draws parallels between the One Piece world and the Chinese myth of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors.
The theory places the Five Elders as the Five Sovereigns and three other mysterious beings as the sovereigns, one of whom is assumed to be Im.
By drawing connections between the myth and One Piece’s world, the theory talks about the origin of the Devil Fruit, the treasure of Mariejois, and how it all ties in with the Void Century.
It begins with the assumption that the Great Kingdom was a flourishing country that attracted the twenty kingdoms’ ire.
After forming an alliance and labeling themselves as “Celestial Dragons,” they desired to take over the world by first destroying the Great Kingdom.
To do so, they enlisted the help of the third Sovereign, created one Devil Fruit, and fed it to their ruler, who then became the National Treasure.
After using its power to defeat the Great Kingdom, the ruler could not contain the Devil Fruit’s power, whose essence leaked out, thus creating an entirely new wave of Devil Fruits.
This would also explain why there’s a straw hat (possibly belonging to the ruler) on top of what seems like a coffin.
At this point in time, the Celestial Dragons had already become a supreme existence and utilized the powers of the second Sovereign, who is assumed to be omniscient.
This Sovereign possessed a nine-tailed Chinese mythical fox’s powers and used her abilities to erase the memories of the Void Century.
While this theory seems far-fetched, it ties in nicely with the Chinese myth and makes one wonder whether it might be what Oda had in mind.
5. About One Piece
One Piece is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since July 22, 1997, and has been collected into 95 tankōbon volumes.
The man who had acquired everything in this world, the Pirate King, is Gol D. Roger. The final words he said at the execution tower were, “My treasures? If you want it, I’ll let you have it. Look for it; I left all of it at that place.”
These words sent many to the seas, chasing their dreams, headed toward the Grand Line in search of One Piece. Thus began a new age!
Seeking to be the greatest pirate in the world, young Monkey D. Luffy also heads toward the Grand Line in search of One Piece.
With his diverse crew joining him along the way, consisting of a swordsman, marksman, navigator, cook, doctor, archaeologist, and cyborg-shipwright, this will be one memorable adventure.