When One Piece Chapter 631 came out, we all knew that this was foreshadowing for the events of Wano. After all, this arc was hyped up since Thriller Bark, and we expected it to be heavy in reveals. So far, it has been, but there is still one big mystery to uncover, who was this man casually drinking with Crocus?
Some people predicted that he is Oden, but we know for a fact that he died, executed by Kaido in front of everyone. Yes, it wouldn’t be the first fake out death, but it would be the first to have such unsatisfying implications.
During the second act of Wano, people expected him to be one of the two missing Red Scabbards (at the time, Kawamatsu and Denjiro), but Kawamatsu has been revealed to be a fishman and imprisoned in Udon for years, and Denjiro was Kyoshiro (not Zoro’s master, as a lot of people expected). Thus, it couldn’t be either of them.
Since we know that Crocus was the doctor of the Oro Jackson, seeing him being so friendly with someone clearly led me to believe that this man was part of Roger’s crew. And I think he is Scopper Gaban.
The Role of Scopper Gaban.
My view is the Roger Pirates disbanded knowing exactly 20 years from now they will have to find the one who will be the next King. So, Crocus is monitoring the entry to the Grand Line, and basically can dictate which Log Posse starting point. When Luffy proposes to follow the Whiskey Peak route, Crocus has a look of surprise and asks if he’s sure. Luffy does so and ends up on the “Correct” path that Roger went on the final Voyage and Crocus knew Luffy was on the right path that the rest of the Super Novas didn’t take.
Rayleigh waits at Sabaody, where every Paradise crew has to go to and runs a coating shop, so he can be the second check before they go to the New World. Rayleigh saw the Straw Hats and knew that they weren’t ready, so he trained Luffy. Scopper has probably gotten the word that Luffy is the approved candidate, and left from the South Blue to return to the Grand Line. He’s going to catch up and be the final test.