One of the biggest mysteries in all of One Piece is why Shanks bet on Luffy to become a better pirate than him. Why did Shanks trust Luffy to do so? And why did Shanks give Luffy the straw hat – his most prized possession, which belonged to the previous Pirate King himself?

Based on discussion within the One Piece community, I have come to multiple conclusions.

The Gomu Gomu fruit is special, and is integral to bringing the ‘dawn’ that the minks prophecized about. The person who consumes it will be responsible for finding One Piece and bringing the dawn to the world.

Shanks stole the Gomu Gomu fruit from the World Government in order to find someone who could bring the dawn to the world, as asked of him by Gol D. Roger.

Shanks ‘bet’ on Luffy because he ate the Gomu Gomu fruit. Not because Luffy was special in any way, but because Shanks wasn’t looking for a second and Luffy accidentally made himself the person responsible for bringing the dawn by eating the Gomu-Gomu fruit. Also, all things that Luffy said the same words as Roger to Shanks.

Shanks did not bring about the dawn of the world himself because, for some reason, he and his crew can’t eat devil fruits, and thus could not use the Gomu-Gomu fruit themselves to bring about the dawn. Hence why Shanks was carrying the fruit around with him and looking for someone else to eat it.

He bet on Luffy to find One Piece, become the pirate king, and bring the dawn to the world. Let me explain why Shanks bothered to do this in the first place.

First, I believe Roger entrusted Shanks to do this. As we all know, Roger and his crew traveled to Raftel and learned pretty much everything about the world of One Piece, including the purpose of the ancient weapons. The ancient weapons are necessary for destroying the Red Line, creating the All-Blue, and bringing the dawn of the world. Basically, Roger learned what the One Piece was, and he learned how to bring the dawn of the world.

It’s safe to say that Roger wanted to bring the dawn of the world. The dawn of the world involves the destruction of the Red Line and the dethroning of the Celestial Dragons – and what did Roger want people to do? Find the One Piece. But the question is; why didn’t Roger bring the dawn himself? If he found One Piece, then he had all he needed to do so, right?

In Roger’s own words, they were simply too early. Roger was dying of a disease. Even though they had found One Piece, Roger would run out of time before he could actually bring the dawn of the world. As many have speculated before me, that is why Roger purposefully called the world to adventure and started the Great Pirate Age, so someone else could bring the dawn.

I also believe that them lacking the Gomu-Gomu fruit was a reason why they could not bring the dawn.

I believe part of Roger’s plan was entrusting Shanks to find the right person to bring the dawn. You may be asking why Roger needed to do this. Well, look at people like Blackbeard. He definitely seems like someone who is capable of becoming the pirate king and finding One Piece – but as we all know, he’s evil and cruel. Roger enlisted Shanks to find a good person who would find the One Piece, and to prevent morally-corrupt people like Blackbeard from finding the One Piece.

Roger was probably worried about this because of people he met, like Rocks D. Xebec. Rocks wanted to destroy the celestial dragons. Doesn’t that sound very similar to what the One Piece is? The destruction of Mariejois and the end of the reign of the Celestial Dragons?

There must have been something wrong with Rocks and his methods for Roger to have stopped him from bringing about what Roger himself also wanted to happen. Considering how Blackbeard is inspired by Rocks, Rocks was probably a cruel, vicious scumbag, just like him. And since Roger seemed like a decent guy, (at least from what we see of him in the flashback,) he probably didn’t want Rocks to be the one who obtained One Piece.

And that is also why Shanks is so concerned about Blackbeard. Shanks, while only being an infant at the time of the God Valley incident, most likely learned about Rocks through Roger. Shanks sees how Blackbeard is inspired by Rocks, how he is terribly evil, and how he’s on-track to obtaining One Piece. That’s why he went to both Whitebeard and the World Government – he wanted them to stop Blackbeard from gaining any more power so he wouldn’t find One Piece, destroy the World Government/Marines/Celestial Dragons, and take over the world.

Thus, I think the person Shanks chose to bring the dawn is Luffy. This is represented with the straw hat; Roger handed it down to Shanks, who handed it down to Luffy. The hat is supposed to represent the task of bringing the dawn to the world. But why did Shanks choose Luffy? I believe Shanks was NOT AT ALL originally going to choose Luffy, and that Luffy eating the fruit by mistake forced Shanks to give him the straw hat and trust him with bringing the dawn. Do you remember Shanks being completely shocked at Luffy eating the fruit? It was because of how dire the consequences of Luffy eating the fruit were. Shanks no longer had any other options to choose from besides Luffy. Either he went all in on Luffy being able to bring the dawn, or nothing.

So that’s why I think Shanks was carrying a Gomu-Gomu, and that’s also why I think Shanks chose Luffy. The Gomu-Gomu is integral to bringing the dawn of the world, and that is partly why Roger could not do that. He did not have the fruit, so he could not bring the dawn.

I believe we will get the actual reason why some time in the future, but for now, that’s all we know. If you’ve read this far, thanks for taking the time to read through my ramblings. I’m not the most effective writer, but I hope I was able to bring some interesting ideas to the table.

Theory by LewdBigPepe