What are the Poneglyphs?
Poneglyphs look like large stone tablets with the Ancient Language inscribed onto them. We learned that they were created by the Kouzki clan near the end of the Void Century.
It seems they were made at a request by the Ancient Kingdom, when they realized they would be defeated by the organization which later turned into the World Government.
Their purpose was to entrust future generations about the truth of the Void Century. Any research into/about the Poneglyphs is forbidden by the World Government which was why the Island of Archeologist, Ohara, was destroyed by a buster call. So basically, the Poneglyphs are large indestructible books with information about the Void Century.
Next would be that there are approximately thirty Poneglyph in existence. The word “approximately” is a bit suspicious but its a number i am willing to go with since Oda also gave us a nice overview of these 30.
Keep in mind however that there might be more or less than 30 but for now this is what we can go with.
We can divide these 30 Poneglyphs in 4 categories with a couple of exceptions, the 4 categories are:
– Road Poneglyphs
– Tablets of Truths
– Tablets of Clues
– Poneglyphs involving the Ancient Weapons
Let’s start with the Road Poneglyps.
These Poneglyphs are different from the others in that they have a red colour. There are only 4 Road Poneglyphs in existence and their function is to lead someone to the legendary Island of Raftel (Laugh Tale). They can do this because on each Road Poneglyph a certain geographical location is inscribed.
Once you have all 4 locations you can converge the lines and at the middle would be where Raftel (Laugh Tale) is located. Its likely that this is where the name Road Poneglyphs come from, they provide the road so to speak.
The second category would be the Tablets of Truths, also known as Rio Poneglyphs.
The Tablets of Truths are the Poneglyphs that actually hold information about the history of the Void Century. What’s interesting is that Raftel seems to play an important part in revealing the truth but I will get to that later. For now let’s keep in mind that there are 9 Tablets of Truths (Rio Poneglyphs) in existence.
The third category are the Tablets of Clues.
These Poneglyphs are closely linked to the Tablets of Truths since each Tablet of Clues provides hints/clues as to where the Tablets of Truths are located. Since there are 9 Tablets of Truths in existence it would mean that there are 9 Tablets of Clues as well, one for each Tablet of Truth.
We have 4 Road Poneglyphs, 9 Tablet of Truths and 9 Tablets of Clues. Together combined we have 22 of the 30 Poneglyphs filled in.
The fourth and last category would be the Poneglyphs involving the Ancient Weapons.
Simply put these are Poneglyphs which hold information mainly involving the Ancient Weapons. Since, as far as we know, there are 3 Ancient weapons in existence (Pluton, Poseidon, Uranus), there should be 3 of these Poneglyphs as well.
However there seems to be evidence that supports that there are actually more Poneglyphs that are involved with the Ancient Weapons.
Let’s start with Nico Robin and the Poneglyph she read on Sky Island that involved the Ancient Weapon Poseidon. Robin explains to King Neptune that this Poneglyph stated that Poseidon was located on Fishman Island.
During her conversation with King Neptune she comes to the conclusion that Shirahoshi is the Ancient Weapon which she read about on Sky Island. However there are a couple of things which are strange about this conversation. Basically she only comes to the conclusion about Shirahoshi after she read the Poneglyph with Joyboy’s apology in the sea forest and having her conversation with Neptune. It was not something she knew before they arrived there.
Firstly it involved her reading Joyboy’s apology and hearing from Neptune that Joyboy was a person from the Void Century. Secondly it involved her hearing about the Sea Kings carrying away Noah and Neptune explaining they had protected Noah to have one day Joyboy’s promise fulfilled. And only after Neptune confirms that the power to command the Sea Kings was not the power of Joyboy but of a mermaid princess living in the Void Century does Robin come to the conclusion that that mermaid princess likely was Poseidon, same for Shirahoshi.
What I’m trying to say here is that the Poneglyph on Sky Island that involved Poseidon didn’t appear to have revealed anything else except for the name of the Ancient Weapon (Poseidon) and it’s location (Fishman Island).
Something similar can be said about the Poneglyph involving Pluton in Alabasta which was protected by the Nefertari family.
According to King Cobra there was no history written on that stone, it was only about the Weapon and its location. If this Poneglyph is similar to the one on Sky Island it likely only had for example the name Pluton and located there in the Kingdom of Alabasta. Nothing about what Pluton was or what its power is.
There are however cases in the story of people knowing more then this about the Ancient Weapons. Let’s start with Captain Vander Decken and Poseidon.
The Ancestors of Vander Decken had a legend that tells that an incredible power lay hidden below the waves. A mermaid princess with the ability to command even the Sea Kings. It was in pursuit of this legend that the first captain Vander Decken set sail to Fishman Island.
If we analyze this legend then Vander Decken seemed to know more about Poseidon that Robin did by reading the Poneglyph in Sky Island. Where Robin only knew the name and location, Vander Decken had a hint to the location (hidden below the waves) as well as knowledge of the identity (mermaid princess) and ability of Poseidon (command the Sea Kings). The only thing he didn’t seem to know was the name Poseidon, as far as we know.
We can say something similar about Crocodile in Alabasta. Crocodile knew the name of Pluton, that using it once would be enough to make a whole Island disappear and that it should sleep somewhere within Alabasta. Its unsure whether Crocodile knew Pluton was a battleship but he called Pluton “it” which could indicate he at least knew it wasn’t a person like Poseidon.
There are 2 more things we can conclude about Crocodile’s information.
The first is that Crocodile knew he needed a Poneglyph to learn more about Pluton (location etc.). The second would be that Crocodile wasn’t 100% sure Pluton really existed or that it was located in Alabasta.
The differences between Crocodile and Vander Decken are the following:
Vander Decken knew:
– hint to location (hidden below the waves)
– identity (mermaid Princess)
– ability (command Sea Kings)
– hint to location (wasn’t sure about it being in Alabasta)
– name (Pluton)
– ability (make a whole island disappear when used once)
This information is actually kind of similar. Where Vander Decken didn’t know the name he knew the identity. Where Crocodile might not have known it was a battleship (identity), he knew the name and that a Poneglyph was needed.
The main similarity could be the location. Vander Decken’s legend said hidden below the waves. This doesn’t outright reveal Fishman Island but its a pretty good indication. If for example Crocodile’s heard something about hidden below the sands it could be a pretty good indication of Alabasta.
Now the main point I’m trying to make here is that both cases could be an example of a second Poneglyph for each Ancient Weapon. Similar to the Tablets of Truths and Clues which deal with the history of the Void Century, we could have Tablets of Truths and Clues about the Ancient Weapons.
For example the Tablets of Truths could be linked to the Poneglyphs in Alabasta and Sky Island. These Poneglyphs state facts like the name and exact location, similar to Sky Island where it stated Poseidon was located on Fishman Island.
The Tablets of Clues could be linked to Vander Decken and Crocodile. These poneglyphs could provide hints/clues to the ancient weapons: hidden below the waves / hidden below the sands, ability to command Sea Kings / ability to destroy whole island.
This could also explain why Crocodile knew he needed a Poneglyph for the exact location. The differences between Crocodile and Vander Decken can be explained due to time/generations.
The legend of Vander Decken was from his ancestor who set out to Fishman Island to find Poseidon. That Vander Decken knew the identity of Poseidon but not the name could be explained because it was a legend that was retold in his family. For example during the retelling the name could have been forgotten. Furthermore its possible that they learned about a mermaid princess that had the ability to command the Sea Kings in the void century during their stay on/around Fishman Island.
As for Crocodile, his information is likely directly from the second Poneglyph about Pluton, as well as his knowledge of their possible being a second Poneglyph in Alabasta itself. This could explain why he knew the name but not the identity.
If my theory about each Ancient Weapon having two Poneglyphs is true we can fill out the overview a bit more giving us a total of 28 identified Poneglyphs.
This leaves us with 2 not yet filled in and these are the exemptions that don’t directly fall into one of the 4 categories.
The first of these would be the Poneglyph in the Sea Forest on Fishman Island which involved the apology of Joyboy. If I had to put it in a category then it would be a Tablet of Clues. This is because Robin named it a letter of apology. Later when she talks to Neptune she reveals that she learned the name Joyboy of this Poneglyph but she didn’t know who he was apologizing to untill Neptune revealed it was adresses to the Poseidon of the Void Century. And with that the Poneglyph system is explained, here is a final overview:
Theory by FrankyG