I’m sure people have already put all of this together, but I just put it all together and wanted to share my thoughts on the current state of who has what, and what that means for the story in the near future.

So, let start by stating who has what for sure:

Straw Hats: 3 Road Poneglyphs – Zou, Big Mom, and Kaido.

Heart Pirates: 2 Road Poneglyphs – Zou and Kaido.

Kid Pirates: 2 Road Poneglyphs – Big Mom and Kaido.

Those are the ones we can be confident about (plus Big Mom and Kaido each having one, but that’s irrelevant, at least for now). But there are a couple of big names that probably have at least 1, but it’s never technically been confirmed:

Blackbeard: So, he definitely stole a rubbing while abducting Pudding, right? I’m pretty sure that’s a common consensus anyways, so I’ll assume that he does. However, he is currently fighting the Heart pirates for theirs, so the next time we see him, he could have 3 Road Poneglyphs -Zou, Big Mom, and Kaido.

Shanks: Now, this might be a controversial opinion, but what if Shanks isn’t the one who hid the missing fourth Road Poneglyph? That’s what a lot of people have been thinking, pretty much since we found out that it used to be on Fishman Island and now isn’t. But, if we ignore that assumption, Shanks is still very interesting, since he already knew where all of the Road Poneglyphs were from his time with Roger.

Therefore, I propose the following: Shanks became a Yonkou only 6 years ago, which means that by the time he was in a position to start gathering rubbings, there were only 2 easily available ones. Those would be the ones on Fishman Island, and Zou. The other two had been under Big Mom’s and Kaido’s thumbs for many years at that point, and we know Shanks didn’t want to stir the pot too much yet.

So, if we assume that the one on Fishman Island was moved by someone else, they probably would have done that well before Shanks was at the stage in his pirate career to pursue it. Instead, I think Shanks still has 1 rubbing, but this time, it’s from Zou, which is much more interesting for him to have at the current moment. Since he *fought* the Kid Pirates in the most recent chapter, he gained possession of their two rubbings, meaning at the current moment, Shanks also has 3 Road Poneglyphs – Zou, Big Mom, and Kaido’s.

This means that we could very soon see in the story that all of the Yonkou have the same 3 Road Poneglyphs. Which is BIG NEWS on it’s own, but there are a couple of other things that have been revealed in the story recently that makes this news HUGE.

One thing that’s bugged me for a long time is that, for everyone in the One Piece world, simply having a Poneglyph or rubbing meant very little. Sure, you may have had a piece of the puzzle, but you didn’t know how to use it at all. Except for the Straw Hats.

So to me, ever since the Straw Hats got their Road Poneglyph, it felt like they were leagues ahead of the competition. That changed a little when Pudding was introduced as having the potential to decipher them, but ever since we knew Big Mom was coming to Wano, I didn’t consider it a possibility anymore.

But, wait. Do you remember how Blackbeard (likely) got his rubbing of Big Mom’s Road Poneglyphs? He raided her territory and stole Pudding, bringing her back into relevancy. Which means that he potentially has a way of actually deciphering the Poneglyphs.

That’s nice for Blackbeard and all, but we already knew he was being set up as an end series enemy for the Straw Hats, so it’s not surprising that he got a way to keep up with them. But what about Shanks? Well, what island is he currently on? And what was recently revealed to also be on that island?

All of the research from Ohara, the same thing that allowed Robin to learn how to read the Poneglyphs. And we know it’s been there since shortly after the Ohara incident, which means Vegapunk probably isn’t the only person to have studied their research. With Shanks’ obvious connection to Elbaf, it isn’t a leap to think he also can decipher the Poneglyphs.

With all of that text dump above, that means that for the end game of One Piece, not only will all of the Yonkou have the same 3 Road Poneglyphs in their possession, they all have deciphered the information from them, or will soon enough. There will quite literally be only a single piece of the puzzle left before someone finds the One Piece and becomes the Pirate King. That would be by far the closest anyone has been to Pirate King since Roger, and it will be 4 of the most powerful entities in the world all at the same time.

But wait! I can already hear you saying. What about Buggy?! What about him? It’s Buggy, and with his endless potential to fail upwards, I can absolutely see him getting the same advantages Luffy, Blackbeard, and Shanks have. The only difference is that I believe he’ll get it in some ridiculous way that no one is going to predict.

Or Caribou steals the info from the Straw Hats and gives it to the Cross Guild, as he is free on Egghead at the moment, and the Sunny is unguarded. But I don’t like Caribou and would like to think about him as little as possible. Honestly, the only important people for this discussion are the other Emperors besides Buggy, but I do think that he’ll somehow end up on the same playing field as them.

TLDR: All of the Yonkou could soon hold the same 3 Road Poneglyphs, and have a way to decipher them, putting everyone right at the finish line at the same time.

Theory by kylethat4 (https://www.reddit.com/user/kylethat4)