The Four Emperors (四皇, Yonkō) are the four most notorious and most powerful pirate captains in the world (by the World Government), but are neither allies nor enemies of one another, preferring to remain autonomous under most circumstances. These four individually reside within the second half of the Grand Line Region (known as the "New World"), exerting formidable supremacy over dozens of lesser pirate crews and establishing protectorates.
In the decisive Battle of Navyford, Whitebeard, one of the Yonko, met his demise towards the climax of the Whitebeard War. Blackbeard, his assassin, subsequently usurped his vacant position. Shanks and Tiger D. Monkey, two half-members of the Four Emperors, arbitrated a ceasefire to end the aforementioned war.
Abilities and PowersEdit
As an entity, the Four Emperors are one of the three great powers of the world, the others being the Seven Warlords of the Sea and Navy. Their strength and influence are such that they live quite literally as though they are emperors, doing mostly as they please. Individually, they are considered to be the most powerful pirates in the world, as well as having a powerful crew. Because of their power, they can declare chosen locations as their own; the mere declaration is often enough for others, both Marines and pirates alike, to acknowledge their authority. In fact, in the New World, they each have a territory that they govern. These territories benefit from the protection the emperors provide, keeping the borders safe from any faction that might want to invade them. It is only with the combined efforts of the Navy and the Seven Warlords of the Sea, as well as the distrust among them, that keeps their power in check. During the Battle of Navyford, the Navy and Seven Warlords of the Sea needed to fight together to engage just one of the Four Emperors and his crew.
The Four Emperors themselves are not allied together as a coalition compared to the Seven Warlords of the Sea and follow their own individual paths. The possibility of two or more of the Four Emperors forming an alliance is enough of a threat to cause the World Government to panic, as seen when the World Government attempted unsuccessfully to prevent a meeting between Tiger, Shanks and Whitebeard at one point in the series. The World Government feared that the three Emperors may unite together and create a stronger threat. A war between two of the Four Emperors is considered an epic crisis, as Shanks' interception of Kaido's advancement on Whitebeard had taken the Navy by shock and awe, putting the World Government in a "cold sweat" as stated by one of the Navy.
They can motivate others to become pirates, such as Shanks inspiring Luffy. On top of this, the influence these pirates have over others is far greater than any other noted group. With one declaration, the slave trade and pirate attacks on Merman Island stopped after the island was declared to be under Whitebeard's control.
After the timeskip Law Trafalgar cited that there are only two methods of surviving in the New World, and that is to be protected serving under the umbrella of a Four Emperors' dominion or to constantly oppose their authority. At least Teach and Kaido are both gaining influence and strength in the form of amassing Cursed Fruit powers, both in their own unorthodox methods.
Because of their immense power, it is necessary for factions aiming to oppose them to first strike an alliance with other factions in order to bring the Four Emperors down.
Golden Age of PiratesEdit
The first of the Four Emperors to be introduced was Shanks who visited Luffy's hometown and Tiger D. Monkey who is Luffy's father ten years before the story began. It is unknown if the Four Emperors existed at this point of time. The second was Whitebeard, one of the only two men to tie in a fight with Roger D. Gol, the King of the Pirates. Whitebeard was also later announced as the strongest man in the world upon Roger's death. Some of the Seven Warlords of the Sea fought the Four Emperors in the past; Shanks and Mihawk Dracule frequently dueled in their younger days, Moria Gecko fought Kaido, and Crocodile fought Whitebeard.
All of the Four Emperors seem to have strong fleets, including huge ships and elite crewmen. All Four Emperors have traveled to the New World at some point in their past, where they are currently locked in stalemate, unable to progress any further into the Grand Line Region. This is a product of the combined efforts of both the Marines and Seven Warlords of the Sea, as well as the presence of the other Four Emperors in the Grand Line Region.
Jaya and Post-Enies Lobby ArcsEdit
- Tiger D. Monkey/Shanks (sharing the same status together)
- Lingling Charlotte
- Teech D. Marshall
- Newgate Ward (deceased)
- Kaido is the only Four Emperor who has yet to make an appearance.
- Kaido is also the only Four Emperor who is apparently not human.
- Lingling Charlotte is the only female member of the Four Emperors.
- Newgate Ward is the only known Four Emperor to have died.
- It is said that once Elizabello II has gathered enough strength, his punch can knock down even a Four Emperor.
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