Trafalgar D. Law in the anime 'One Piece'
(Toei Animation)

Why Law’s Fate Is the Subject of So Much Speculation in ‘One Piece’

With the Egghead arc, One Piece has officially entered the beginning of the end. The deeper into Egghead you venture, the more you get the feeling that One Piece is actually, really going to end one day. Hell, mangaka Eiichiro Oda once said that when Vegapunk enters the manga, One Piece is in endgame territory.

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A fair share of epic shounen series kill off characters in their final acts. It’s a typical climactic move. The question is whether One Piece will do the same. On one hand, at an equivalent moment for the series pre-timeskip—spoilers!—Oda proved he isn’t beyond killing beloved characters with Ace’s and Whitebeard’s deaths at Marineford. On the other hand, One Piece has recently been retconning some key deaths, like Saul’s. (Which can be a good move if done for a reason which advances the story, as this does.)

This brings us back to one of my best boys, the Surgeon of Death, Trafalgar Law. At the outset of the Egghead arc, Law’s crew challenges Blackbeard’s to an all-out battle for the find Road Poneglyph. As a major Law fan, this made me both incredibly excited and worried sick. Law is strong, but his crew as a whole isn’t known for its absurd strength, like Luffy’s or Blackbeard’s. You get the sense Law carries most of the weight.

Law’s crew gave us some cause for relief when they began majorly damaging Blackbeard’s ship, showing their prowess from the water. But is that really going to be enough? Will Law and his crew make it out alive?

Law’s fate, explained

Major spoilers for the Egghead arc ahead! These events have happened in the manga, but not in the anime.

Thing were looking pretty hopeful for Law and the Heart Pirates at the outset of their battle with the Blackbeard Pirates. That itch of doubt and concern never really went away, but for a moment, you think that maybe—just maybe—they’ll make it out on top. Or at least make it out at all.

Unfortunately, the battle goes south pretty quick. For better or worse for the sake of my heart, most of that happens off-screen. By the time we see what’s happening, the Polar Tang, the Heart Pirates’ beloved submarine, has been destroyed. Blackbeard lords over Law, gloating about what he’ll do once he gets the Ope-Ope No Mi (which, remember, has the ability to make someone immortal if the user sacrifices themself). Law, meanwhile, is in incredibly bad shape.

But then, heroically, incredibly, Bepo transforms into his Sulong form with the help of some drugs he got from our boy Tony Tony Chopper. Bepo grabs Law and flees with him to sea. Law begs Bepo to go back for the crew, but the crew had already decided to prioritize Law’s life above all else. Because even though they’re pirates, they’re nice guys (and a single nice girl).

So, is he dead, or … ?

Even though Law seemed to be actively dying, the fact that Oda makes a point of showing Law and Bepo getting away is enough to mean that they’re both still alive. He’s not going to make a whole dramatic scene of Bepo rescuing Law, only for us to learn when we next see them that Law died on Bepo’s back at sea. That’s not very One Piece. And I’d also argue that’s just anti-climactic, poor storytelling.

The fate of the rest of the Heart Pirates—including Penguin and Shachi—is similarly unknown, but looks much more grim. Best case scenario, they’ll be taken to Blackbeard’s stronghold on Fullalead as prisoners. Worse case scenario, Blackbeard leaves them on Winner Island to die.

But depending on where your character fan loyalties lie, you might be able to look on the bright side. The contrast of—vague spoilersKid’s whole situation actually gives me more hope Law is okay. Sorry, Kid fans. I am really, truly sorry.

Where Law will go from here, though, is still the subject of speculation. My favorite theory is that Bepo and Law will somehow end up bumping in with Sword, the semi-rouge Navy faction which just launched an operation on Fullalead to capture Captain Koby. The Heart Pirates’ utter defeat at the hands of Blackbeard could well mean the end of Law’s career as a pirate captain. As bitter of a truth as that might be, it gives Law the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of his mentor Corazon and “joining the Navy” in a fashion by allying with Sword.

I’m just trying to be positive here.

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Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.