Edward Newgate, more commonly known as Whitebeard, was the captain of the Whitebeard Pirates. Whitebeard was one of the four Emperors of the sea, also known as the Yonko. Together, he and his crew conquered many lands and almost destroyed society in the One Piece world. So let’s start with Whitebeard himself, who is widely regarded as the strongest man in the world.
To give a brief overview, He was a powerful yet honorable man. Unlike other pirates, he commanded his crew with true respect, treating every member like a son. In turn, every member of the Whitebeard Pirates is extremely loyal to their captain and they opt to call him “pops” instead.
He was also described as the man closest to the One Piece, but instead of claiming it and becoming the next pirate king, he decided to keep balance in the pirate world. To explain why He is so different from the average pirate, we have to go more into detail. To begin, Edward Newgate was born on the island of Sphinx.
As an nation, Sphinx had been too poor to pay their Heavenly tribute to the world Nobles and lost the protection of the world government. As a result, this led to the island becoming a lawless place where many children were orphaned. Newgate was one of these children and because of this, he vowed to save his island from poverty.
He would accomplish this by becoming a great pirate and sharing his earnings with his home island. However, Whitebeard’s place as an orphan also gave him a strong desire to have a family. This is why he calls and treats every member of his crew as his sons. As stated, this is why He commands the most loyalty out of any crew in the series.
Even if he is betrayed and beaten by one of his sons, He will still show them mercy. But this is not to say that He is weak in any capacity. Not only is he known as the strongest man in the world, but in the One Piece community, he’s often regarded as top 3 most powerful characters in the series.
Not top 10, not top five, top three. See, not only does He have complete mastery in all three types of hockey, but also the most powerful devil fruit in the entire show. The Gura Gura no Mi, or the Quake-Quake fruit, is often cited as the most powerful devil fruit in the world simply for his destructive capabilities with his fruit powers. On top of his mastery of hockey, He became known as the rival to the pirate king.
Speaking of the rivalry, Roger and Whitebeard were surprisingly close friends despite them being opposed to each other completely. Towards the end of his life, Roger made a proposition to He. He could either learn the location of the One Piece or learn the secrets of the will of D. Whitebeard chose the latter option since wealth, fame, and power aren’t really his thing.
Because of this, he was described as the man who sat before the throne. But in exchange, He learned about the will of D and had a greater understanding of the new generation. On the topic of his crew though, Whitebeard commanded a 16 Division Fleet consisting of over 1600 members and was allied with a further 43 other pirate crews. Each division is led by a division commander who is extremely powerful in their own right.
Now, the commanders aren’t all equal to each other. Some can fight Admirals while others can barely hang with Warlords. And this is what a lot of people get wrong about One Piece. See, One Piece isn’t a series where you can put certain labels on characters. For instance, many people in the community often label characters as Admiral level, Yonko level, first Commander level, second Commander level.
Like it’s not that simple, because there are characters like first division Commander Marco, who are consistently fighting Admirals and two commanders at once, or we have a character like Blackbeard who is a Yonko, but physically he’s no stronger than say a pre-time skip Luffy. I do believe that there is a definitive scale of power in One Piece, but it really comes down to one-on-one matchups instead of just broader categories.
That’s why when it comes to power scaling the series, you see more definitive rankings rather than something like a tearless blog. But even then, rankings such as like a top 10 or a top 30 are still not that accurate. For instance, if you put someone like Sanji up against, let’s say, Sugar, you would think that Sanji would win easily, but if Sugar touches him, it’s a GG.
But if you put Sugar up against someone like Usopp, then it’s not that clear-cut because he’s a ranged fighter, even though Sanji would completely destroy him. So yeah, when it comes to power scaling One Piece, it really comes down to one-on-one matchups rather than broader tiers.
But moving past my little rant, though, some of the most popular commanders on Whitebeard’s crew include Marco the Phoenix, Diamond Jozu, Vista, and Fire Fist Ace, who’s not only the brother of Luffy but also the son of Roger. Batches goes to show how Noble Whitebeard was; he literally took in his rival’s son and didn’t antagonize him at all. However, Ace would ultimately be the reason for the Whitebeard Pirate’s downfall.
Now, while the Whitebeard Pirates were a force to be reckoned with, they were still no match for an actual well-thought-out plan. See, over 20 years before the series began, Marshall D Teach, AKA Blackbeard, joined the Whitebeard Pirates, and through the years, he would rise through the ranks to the point where he was offered the position of second division Commander.
However, it turns out that Blackbeard was just using the Whitebeard Pirates to reach one of the most OP devil fruits in the series, The Yami Yami Nomi, and Blackbeard acquired this devil fruit by murdering fourth division Commander Thatch. This would cause Ace to go on a Manhunt for Blackbeard as he was one of the crew members that felt most betrayed.
However, Ace fell for Blackbeard’s plan as he was defeated on Bonaro Island. Blackbeard was able to accomplish this by using the powers of the Yami Yami Nomi, which is said to be the counter to all devil fruits, and by using Ace as a bargaining chip. Blackbeard became a Warlord of the sea shortly after this.
Ace was scheduled for Execution at Marie green Ford, which was just a ploy by the Marines to goad He into a conflict. Despite the very obvious goal of the Marines, He took the bait and decided to save Ace.
So the Marines mustered all of their forces, including the three Admirals and the five remaining Warlords. He did the same, calling in his entire fleet and all of his allies in this battle known as The Paramount War. Whoever came out on top would be the ruler of the One Piece World.
There was absolutely no room for error, until Luffy fell out of the sky and pretty much ruined the plans for both sides. But even so, whoever won this battle would be Justice itself. The battle raged on, and both sides had the upper hand multiple times until Ace was freed by his brother.
However, while the objective was complete, Whitebeard realized that he’s a 72-year-old man, and he probably should be senile right now, so why not just die at Marine Ford while his crew escapes? In an ironic twist of fate, though, the Whitebeard Pirates could not leave their Pop Saddai. Their loyalty being their greatest downfall.
This case was especially bad for Ace as he continued to fight by Whitebeard’s side until he died protecting Luffy. With Ace dead and the crew morale low, Blackbeard showed up to finish the fight. And while he almost died trying to kill a half-dead Whitebeard, the Blackbeard Pirate stepped in to end the life of the strongest man in the world.
And after 267 sword wounds, 152 bullet wounds, 46 cannon wounds, a light beam from Kizaru, and three magma fists, this man died standing, with no injuries on his back whatsoever, because throughout his entire career as a pirate, he never once ran from a fight. A true dog if I’ve ever seen one.
After the Paramount War, the Whitebeard pirates still remained. The burial of Whitebeard and Ace was also assisted by the Red Hair Pirates, who were actually the ones who ended the war. However, during the two-year time skip, the Whitebeard Pirates, now led by Marco, were completely destroyed by the Blackbeard Pirates.
This event was known as the Payback War, and it saw the complete annihilation/assimilation of Whitebeard’s crew. Despite that, though, the remnants of the Whitebeard pirates still remain today. In fact, Marco actually helps out as a doctor on the island of Sphinx, which is now a prosperous land because of Whitebeard’s success.
Also, as a side note, Edward Weevil, the alleged son of Whitebeard, is tracking down the remnants of the crew and killing them off for treasure. Basically, the reason I mention him last is because he’s big dumb, and I literally almost forgot about him while writing this blog, which just goes to show how forgettable he is in the actual story.
But yeah, that was the Whitebeard Pirates explained. Let me know if I missed anything, as this is a pretty big topic. Seriously, some of the commanders like Ace and Marco can have entire blogs to themselves. But in my opinion, the Whitebeard Pirates are kind of mid when it comes to the Emperors.
I mean, when you watch the Paramount War Saga for the first time, they seem very interesting, but after the Yonko Saga, they kinda… I don’t know… their designs aren’t as cool as they used to be. I mean, Marco is literally the definition of cool, but the other ones, such as Jozu and Vista, kinda are just not as good as Katakuri and King. I think that this is a symptom of the Whitebeard Pirates being introduced very early on in the series.
Also, Whitebeard’s commanders don’t get anywhere near as much focus as Big Mom and Kaido’s. That’s not to say that the characters are written poorly at all, because the Whitebeard Pirates literally carried that whole arc and they were just introduced in that arc.
I don’t know how Oda does it, but he has a way of making us care about characters that we haven’t even seen before, and he did this perfectly with the Whitebeard Pirates, as Whitebeard’s death is probably the best in the whole series.
But that’s just my opinion, and I’m interested to see yours down in the comments below. An Ichigo blog is going to come out next week, so uh, yeah, bye.
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.