I’m a pretty casual One Piece reader, and I don’t usually theory-craft. I do participate in the community, but by no means do I have a full and complete understanding of the lore. So there’s probably some stuff I’ll have missed, maybe even some very obvious stuff. But this little thought has been nagging at me ever since that big frozen straw hat was first revealed in the manga, so I figured I’d just throw it out there. And I’m sure I’m not the first one who’s had this thought either, but I can’t say that I’ve personally seen this particular theory around yet, so here goes!

I think Oars was Joyboy. Or at least one of his incarnations.

Wouldn’t it be just like Oda to hide such an important figure in plain sight as a shambling (albeit very destructive) zombie? Let me explain.

As I said, this theory first began to take shape in my mind when we saw the frozen straw hat at Mariejois. Because it’s giant-sized, most of all. But also because we got this little scene with Oars:

He was looking for his hat, and had to make do with the corner of a building instead. And of course, back then, we assumed it was just Luffy’s personality making itself known, because it was Luffy’s shadow that was implanted in the corpse. But as we’ve seen with Ryuma, it’s not impossible for at least parts of a zombie’s original personality to remain – what if Oars wasn’t just like Luffy because he had Luffy’s shadow, but because he resembled Luffy a lot in life too? It would be a genius (and very Oda) way to hide something like that in plain sight!

And Oars acted a lot like Luffy. Maybe more than a shadow imitation should allow. So what if the hat he was looking for wasn’t Luffy’s straw hat, but his own? Frozen, just like Oars was before he got reanimated?

While we’re comparing Luffy and Oars, I feel like I should also mention our somewhat recent revelation that the Gumo Gumo No Mi was considered an important Devil Fruit even before Luffy ate it. Why was the navy transporting it secretly?

We don’t know the true answer yet, but it’s a pretty popular theory that it’s a fruit that was previously associated with Joyboy. So not just inherited will, but also potentially inherited powers. I’m not sure how I feel about that possibility personally, but it is a possibility, and I will treat it as such:

Oars was expecting his body to stretch for his attacks, and was then very confused when it didn’t. Later, when Moria helped him accomplish as much, he said the stretching felt familiar, and he used Luffy-like attacks very naturally. Again, it could just be Luffy’s shadow talking – but that could also just be what Oda wants us to think.

Lastly, there’s Oar’s legacy. He’s known as “the Continent-Puller”, and here’s how the wiki describes his legend: Oars was an evil giant called the Continent-Puller. Legend has it that he amassed countries and islands under his control and his band of villains.

“Evil”? From whose perspective, I wonder? If it’s the world government who considered him as such, that word might be very relative. And “band of villains”? Sounds a lot like a pirate crew to me. From what we know/assume about Joyboy, he was someone who united all the different races of the world under his protection. He gave them freedom. And sure, why wouldn’t he also physically bring their homelands together? That way, no one has to leave their home behind! Sounds like something Luffy would maybe even do, if he was big enough to physically move whole continents…

So yeah. I think there’s a very good chance that the only ones who would’ve considered Oars ‘evil’ would be the ruling class. Much like they consider the Straw Hats evil now.

And there you go. That’s all I’ve got for the time being. As I said, I’m mostly a casual reader, so there’s probably a bunch of holes in this theory. Please don’t go too hard on me. I just wanted to share my thoughts!

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