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The Entire One Piece Timeline Explained

Considering there's been over a thousand episodes and a bunch of tie-in movies, even superfans of "One Piece" can be forgiven for forgetting some of the minor — maybe even major — plot points. Following the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Pirate crew as they seek out the Grand Line and the legendary One Piece treasure, "One Piece" is among the most well-known and beloved anime shows of all time. It's a shonen series full of incredible abilities and colorful anime violence, but there's also plenty of political intrigue and lore to wrap your head around.

The world of "One Piece" is every bit as complex as the story itself. The globe is dotted with islands and spanned by two lines. The Red Line is a strip of land that circles the planet at an angle, and the Grand Line is a shipping lane that crosses it, creating four seas known as the Blues. The Grand Line goes all along the archipelago into the New World and beyond — and it's rumored that the famed One Piece treasure can be found at the end of it. Get ready for a journey through the "One Piece" universe as we break down the entire timeline.

Ancient history

The so-called Void Century began around the year 600, as a great civilization with weapons of mass destruction dominated the planet. Eventually they disappeared, leaving only the mysterious Poneglyphs. A century and a great war later, twenty kings came together to form the World Government, censoring the entire Void Century and outlawing any research on the Poneglyphs.

Around two centuries before Monkey D. Luffy's adventures on the Grand Line, the World Government allied with Fish-Man Island following centuries of hate and secured a peace agreement by outlawing slavery. Then, about 30 years prior to the start of the series, Gol D. Roger discovered he had a fatal disease and entered the Grand Line for his final journey. At the same time, Nico Olvia embarked on a Poneglyph expedition, leaving Ohara and her daughter Robin behind. Approximately five years later, the oracle Shyarly's father left her in the care of 15-year-old Arlong, and she predicted the Great Pirate Era as well as the coming of a Mermaid Princess.

What followed was a three-day battle between the Rogers and Whitebeards, with Oden joining the Rogers. When a man refused to labor in the weapons factory, his execution led to an attack on the Flower Capital by Oden's samurai, and Oden dreamed of opening Wano Country's borders. Later, the Rogers arrived at Laugh Tale, having conquered the entire Grand Line. Gol D. Roger was thus made the Pirate King, and he sent his crew off to enjoy peaceful lives.

The Great Age of Pirates

The pirate world was shaken to the core when the Pirate King, Gol D. Roger, was sentenced to death by the Marines. Before meeting his end, Roger gave a speech that teased the location of his fabled treasure, the One Piece. This is how the Great Era of Pirates began. Nico Olvia, meanwhile, was freed by the Marines and returned to Ohara and her daughter Robin. Robin was the only survivor when the government assassins later burned Ohara to the ground, so she went on the run.

20 years prior to the start of the series, the folk hero Oden tried to open up Wano Country, but was executed. His wife Toki used magic to send a crew 20 years into the future. At the same time, Boa Hancock and her sisters were enslaved by a Celestial Dragon. A few years later, Queen Otohime began a petition among the merfolk to coexist peacefully with the World Government.

Around a decade and a half before "One Piece" kicked off, Fisher Tiger (after several years of enslavement by the Celestial Dragons) struck out for Fish-Man Island. 12 months later, he scaled the Red Line and started a rebellion, aiming to free all the slaves. They reclaimed their slavery marks as marks of the sun, forming the Sun Pirates. A few years later, Shachi and Penguin's parents died in a tsunami, leaving them to be raised in a life of crime by Shachi's aunt and uncle. Boa Hancock became empress of the Kuja and joined the Seven Warlords of the Sea. It was around this time that a 20-year-old pirate named Shanks arrived in the hometown of one Monkey D. Luffy.

The East Blue Saga

When he meets Shanks, Luffy is inspired to become the Pirate King and sets out on his journey. He soon meets up with aspiring Marine Koby, and in Shells Town, they encounter the pirate hunter Roronoa Zoro, who joins the crew.

Luffy and Zoro meet a thief called Nami in Orange Town. Nami hates pirates, but joins them anyway, making for an unlikely crew as they fight the rule of Buggy the Clown. Nami becomes the team's navigator and the newly named Straw Hat Pirates acquire the Going Merry, a seagoing vessel. They are joined by Usopp, and face off against the Black Cat Pirates.

Usopp becomes the Straw Hats' sniper and they head to the Baratie restaurant vessel. While they're there, it's attacked by Don Krieg, freshly back from the Grand Line and wanting to sail the Baratie when he goes back. We meet the Seven Warlords of the Sea for the first time, and Sanji joins the crew.

Finding Nami has stolen the ship, the Straw Hats follow her to an island controlled by Fish-Man Arlong. She admits she's one of his pirates and that she only joined them so she could steal from them. This is when Luffy's famous "Wanted" poster makes its debut.

Finally, Nami joins the crew for real. The Straw Hats head to Loguetown, where Gol D. Roger was born — and killed. This is the last town before you hit the Grand Line.

The Arabasta Saga

As soon as the Straw Hats enter the Grand Line, they encounter a giant whale that swallows the Going Merry. The mysterious Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday take the Straw Hats up Whisky Peak, where the people immediately throw them a party. Nefertari Vivi and Karoo unofficially join the crew at this stop. The Straw Hats agree to bring Princess Vivi to Arabasta, ending up at Little Garden, a huge island stuck in the prehistoric era. There are dinosaurs, as well as two giants that have been fighting for over a hundred years.

Things get serious when Nami catches a potentially fatal illness, forcing the reclaimed Going Merry to stop at Drum Island, where they're busy trying to establish a government. Thanks to the previous king, Wapol, there's only one doctor left: Kureha the witch, who lives at the top of a mountain that Luffy and Sanji scale. The exiled King Wapol returns for his country, and Kureha's aide Tony Tony Chopper joins the crew as the new doctor.

The Going Merry finally gets to Arabasta, which is on the verge of civil war. Things will get violent if Vivi doesn't clarify the fight's real cause for the rebels. Vivi and Karoo leave the crew and Nico Robin joins. It's at this point that we meet Luffy's "brother" Portgas D. Ace and learn more about the Poneglyphs, the ancient remnants of a vanished civilization.

The Sky Island Saga

Nico Robin, also known as Miss All Sunday, is now the crew's official archaeologist. Luffy has a decision to make after a ship inexplicably falls from the sky and the Grand Line compass (the specially constructed "Log Pose," which is the only way you can find your way through the complicated Grand Line) points directly up. He decides to head for Jaya for more information about a "Sky Island."

On Jaya, they meet Bellamy, a pirate who believes that one day pirates will not dream, and a man named Mont Blanc Cricket. It's at this point that the integral pirates Whitebeard and the fantastically named Donquixote Doflamingo appear for the first time. We also learn about the Five Elders, a council of the highest-ranked Celestial Dragons that lead the World Government and its Marines and have command over the Seven Warlords of the Sea.

Eventually, the Straw Hats ride the Knock Up Stream, which takes their ship to an ocean in the sky called the White Sea. There, they find a war in process between the Sky People and the natives of the so-called Upper Yard.

The Water 7 Saga

The Straw Hats finally return to the Blue Sea, with gold and dials from the Sky People of Skypiea. It's not plain sailing, however — they are met by the pirate Foxy the Silver Fox and forced to play in his "Davy Back Fight," wherein the winning crew takes crewmates from the losers. The Going Merry heads to the city Water 7 in pursuit of a shipwright or a carpenter who specializes in ships and boats. Trouble continues to follow them: They are accused of attempting to assassinate the Mayor, and must find the true enemy. They then have a small run-in with the government's assassination group CP9 and Usopp leaves the crew, as does Nico Robin.

Later, the Straw Hats join with the Franky Family and the Mayor's company to rescue Nico Robin and Franky. They attack Enies Lobby, the government stronghold where CP9 is based, and — having reached the end of their tether — declare war on the World Government. Other big changes in the "Enies Lobby" arc include power-ups for the crew and the sinking of the Going Merry, Luffy's first pirate ship. Down the Grand Line, Shanks tries to protect Whitebeard's subordinate Ace and other familiar faces return. Franky joins (and Usopp rejoins) the crew, we meet the Four Emperors of the Sea, and we get a new ship: The Thousand Sunny.

The Thriller Bark Saga

After departing Water 7, the Straw Hats are tricked by a drifting ship full of hungry and sick fishermen. Things only get worse for them when the Thousand Sunny is trapped in ice. Nami and Franky are able to determine that penguins are moving the icebergs around. The Straw Hats face off against the Accino Family, who are after their heads. They all end up imprisoned in an ice cave, only to face a rematch with the Accinos when they escape. Throughout all of this, the Thousand Sunny's pirate flags are stolen and retrieved.

The Straw Hats continue out into the Florian Triangle and they come across all manner of ghosts, monsters, zombies, and even a warlord on the haunted island Thriller Bark. It's at this point that viewers are introduced to Brook (regularly ranked among the best "One Piece" main characters), a dapper skeleton who can walk on water, play music, and whose shadow has been stolen.

The Thousand Sunny gets caught in a giant spider web and Nami, Usopp, and Chopper meet Hildon, a vampire who offers to take them to the mansion of a mad genius, Dr. Hogback. They fight their way through zombies to his mansion, where he flips out about Brook being on the island. Meanwhile, Luffy's group is ambushed by ghosts, and they learn why Hogback is so stressed out: The warlord Gecko Moria has been stealing people's shadows and using them to wake zombies.

The Summit War Saga

The crew arrives at the Red Line, a narrow strip of landmass that spans the globe. Soon enough they're cornered by a Warlord of the Sea, a Marine admiral, and the World Government. Things begin to look bleak for the crew when they are momentarily separated: the Straw Hat Pirates are sent from the Sabaody Archipelago to different islands. Luffy lands on one where there are only women. He soon discovers they are led by a Warlord of the Sea, the formidable Pirate Empress Boa Hancock.

Later, Luffy storms the prison Impel Down, which holds his brother Ace. If Ace is executed there, it may begin a war between the Whitebeard Pirates and World Government. Many of Luffy's former foes eventually escape the prison. Luffy takes his newly formed group of escapees to Marineford, looking for Ace. As time runs out, the Whitebeards and World Government ready for battle.

Whitebeard confirms the existence of the One Piece, and Blackbeard steals his Devil Fruit ability before adding more Impel Down inmates to his crew. In a huge moment, Whitebeard dies, causing major chaos all through the Grand Line — but Luffy's more focused on grieving and putting his team back together. Upon reassembly, the Straw Hats begin a two-year period of training. This is the dividing point between the first and second halves of the show.

The Fish-Man Island Saga

Two years after the crew was separated, the now heavily trained Straw Hats reunite for an undersea trip to Fish-Man Island, which — according to the local fortune teller Shyarly — will be destroyed by someone wearing a straw hat. The crew are falsely accused as criminals, and must prove they are innocent. Joy Boy and the Big Mom Pirates are introduced, including Jinbe, who is invited to become a Straw Hat but decides to stay with Big Mom for the time being.

The Thousand Sunny sails into the second half of the Grand Line, officially entering the New World, which stretches "from Mary Geoise to the other side of Reverse Mountain," we're told. The second half of the line is so tough that the first half is referred to as "Paradise." It's full of lightning rain, black holes, air pirates, and dangers of every description, some so terrible that the compass itself shivers.

The warlord Gecko Moria says that you lose everything you cherish in the New World, and you will face what he calls "The Ultimate Nightmare." The New World is where the Four Emperors — the four strongest pirates in the world — reside, and is not for the faint of heart.

The Dressrosa Saga

The Straw Hats go to the island called Punk Hazard to answer a distress call from a samurai who is looking for his son, then join Trafalgar Law to take down one of the Four Emperors. Part of this plot includes the capture of mad scientist Caesar Clown, who has Underworld connections — including the Warlord of the Sea Donquixote Doflamingo. Once accomplished, the Straw Hats and Trafalgar Law, along with some other friends, head to Dressrosa.

The newly formed allies plan to use the captured Caesar Clown (who has been conducting illegal experiments) to manipulate Doflamingo, destroy his factory, and free the samurai Kurozumi "Evening Shower" Kanjuro. Luffy tries to get his brother Ace's Devil Fruit, while the other Straw Hats encounter rebellion in Dressrosa's people. A new Marine admiral, Fujitora, comes to deal with the crew and in the end, the Straw Hat Pirates are split into two groups. It's all looking hairy for a while, but (as they usually do), things go Luffy's way and the end result is that the Straw Hat Grand Fleet is created.

The Whole Cake Island Saga

The Straw Hats, Trafalgar, and the samurai head to Zou, an island that sits on the back of a giant Naitamie-Norida, elephant-like creatures with legs that reach the bottom of the ocean. The crew is all together, except for Sanji, who has vanished in a Big Mom plot. They meet and ally with the Mink Tribe and learn that Jack of the Beasts Pirates made an earlier attack on Zou. They also learn about Road Poneglyphs, mysterious and powerful monuments, and find their first one. The Straw Hats split back up to save Sanji and go on to Wano.

Luffy's Straw Hats head to Whole Cake Island in what's called Totto Land (an archipelago ruled by Big Mom) to save Sanji from a political marriage. The crew get caught in the crossfire between the two involved families. Eventually, the Straw Hats ally with Jinbe, Caesar Clown, and the Fire Tank Pirates to take down Big Mom. Jinbe leaves the Big Mom Pirates, but he once again decides against joining the Thousand Sunny. Royalty the world over converges on Mary Geoise for the Levely, a World Government council of 50 leaders. Zeus is recruited to the Straw Hats and Luffy is (unofficially) declared the Fifth Emperor, a huge moment in his overall arc.

The Wano Country Saga

Luffy and the Thousand Sunny are lost following an accident involving a giant carp. Zoro poses as a ronin in Wano Country, Usopp works as a merchant and Franky as a carpenter, and Robin trains as a geisha. Zoro is arrested for murder and must hunt down the magistrate that framed him. The ninja, samurai, pirates, and the Mink Tribe all gather in Wano Country to fight the Beasts Pirates, and the Straw Hats learn the history of Kozuki Oden, a Paul Bunyan-esque folk hero. He's tied into the history of Wano Country, Whitebeard, and Gol D. Roger. Secrets are also revealed regarding Roger's discovery of the One Piece, and its connection to Joy Boy.

The alliance assaults Onigashima to take down Big Mom's bolstered forces, while navigating shifting allegiances on all sides. Meanwhile, after the recent Levely, world leadership undergoes dramatic changes, including the disbanding of the Warlords of the Sea. Sanji reappears with new powers — something Luffy also has — as spies are exposed. Jinbe and Yamato are invited to join the crew, and the Straw Hats get access to Wano's Road Poneglyph.

More mysteries await as Luffy and his extended family approach the endgame. In July 2022, "One Piece" creator Eiichiro Oda revealed that he planned on bringing the long-running manga to an end in three years time, so there's still plenty of adventures ahead for Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates.