I think I’ve done it. I think I’ve figured out part of the mystery surrounding inherited will, the straw hat and lifts devil fruit.
SPOILERS (last warning)
We now know luffys fruit isn’t actually the gum gum fruit, in reality it’s the nika nika fruit. The extent of these powers is unknown but it essentially makes luffy a god and gives him an essential connection to joy boy.
Now let’s put together some facts:
1.) roger is the first person we saw in possession of the straw hat
2.) that hat was passed to shanks
3.) the straw hat is now in luffys possession
4.) when roger got to laugh take and saw the one piece he and his crew laughed
5.)”joyboy I wish I was born in your time”
6.) the general theme of inherited will is huge in one piece and it has been expressly stated so
7.) shanks stole the nika nika fruit some years ago from a government ship being escorted by whos who
8.) shanks is the only pirate in the world who’ve we’ve been shown had the privilege of meeting with the five elders.
Okay now that I have that all listed out let me explain my theory here:
Roger was the king of the pirates no doubt, but when he arrived at laughable it was clear to him that he was too early to be joyboy. Roger knew about joyboy through his ability to listen to poneglyphs and knew of the importance of inherited will. Knowing he would die soon from a disease and that he was too early to be joyboy he passed the straw hat down to shanks, the young crew Mate with the most potential. The straw hat here is significant but we don’t know why, my guess is it belonged to joyboy in the past and made its way into rogers hands, but that’s headcannon for now. For sure he passed the straw hat on to shanks tho and shanks grew up to be one of the most powerful pirates on the sea. I think shanks has special knowledge regarding joyboy, he either learned during his time with roger or during his own voyage. Seeing how roger passed the hat onto him, shanks believed roger saw him as the new coming of joyboy and sought out the nika nika fruit for himself. At some point shanks got the fruit from whos who and took it back to luffys hometown. While drinking in a bar, luffy, a boy shanks knew and ace’s (ROGERS SON) best friend or “brother”, eats the nika nika fruit sitting on the counter. The crew is flabbergasted because they know what the fruit really is, although when shanks explains what luffys done he describes the fruit as the gum gum fruit because there’s absolutely no reason to explain the complexity of the nika nika fruit and it’s history to a child. In fact that knowledge could’ve made luffy a target of the government from a young age, as the dissemination of said knowledge would be violating the rules surrounding the discussion of the void period. Anyways, seeing how this happens and seeing luffys reactions to wanting to be a pirate and standing up for what’s right shanks realized the truth. He was also too early, and this always smiling little kid eatinG the nika nika fruit confirmed in his head what was happening. Luffy is joyboy, not him. Realizing this he passed the hat on one final time, back into the hands of its destined owner. The hat itself a symbol of the freedom and joy luffy brings to places he adventures, and despite belonging to two other famous is seen as a symbol for luffy alone, even becoming his moniker.
When shanks returned to the grand line, his greatest rival, Mihawk lost interes fighting him Not because he lost his arm but because realized he wasn’t joyboy. When Mihawk met luffy he was intrigued because he knew that whoever the hat was passed down to would be special. He knew joyboy would attract incredible people to him and so this talented young swordsman with a conviction to be the greatest was of note. Remember Mihawk only agreed to train zoro when he. Said he was doing it for luffys sake, I think that’s significant.
I think shanks knowing about joyboy is supported by his conversations with the elders.