We know that Oda takes influence from the exploits from real life pirates for things like character design i.e. Teach, but what if I were to tell you that a large part of the ancient history of one piece is rooted in a real life legend. Well it is, its called Libertalia, which I think influenced the story heavily.
Libertalia was a legendary “free colony” founded by pirates while cruising the Madagascar that purportedly lasted 25 years, and I believe that is where the soul of The Great Kingdom and will of D lies.
The pirates of Libertalia were “vigilant Guardians of the People’s Rights and Liberties”; they would stand as “Barriers against the Rich and Powerful” of their day. By waging war on behalf of “the Oppressed” against the “Oppressors,” they would see that “Justice was equally distributed.” They were directly opposed those in power, various forms of social constructs popular at the time (and very relevant in the story of One Piece, i.e. slavery, monarchy, etc) and even created their own language for everyone that was free of belonging to any one race.
I believe the D. is not a clan from the kingdom, but an inherited dream of what it truly is to be a pirate. One that wishes TRUE freedom for the world, a direct democracy where there are no rulers or representatives to take advantage of people, where all men rule the same earth only because we all breath the same air. I believe that the initial D. is the inheritance of a willingness to bare that ultimate dream on your back, the dream and ideology of Libertalia or The Ancient Kingdom, and that guiding the world back to an Era of true freedom is what makes you The Pirate King, and every D in the story thus far has pushed the world towards that era. The One Piece will be a tool, that those with the initial are drawn to, to help them achieve that ultimate goal.
With all of that information into consideration, I make my next point. Marshall D. Teach. Although I don’t believe he is an inherently evil character, Blackbeard is the only D. I have seen actually impede another D.’s goal of driving the era forward. Even with Garp, we only have heard of him “chasing the Roger Pirates around the grand line” so without more exposition I doubt he ever did anything to make sure Roger didn’t become The King of Pirates. Yet Blackbeard’s first goal after getting the Yami Yami no Mi was the capture of Monkey D. Luffy for the World Government. While most of those with the initial seem to end up working together, on numerous occasions he has attempted to stop the D’s from progressing in the Grand Line and many assume it’s probably just ‘cause he’s a dickhead, but I stand to reason there is deeper evidence to his reasoning for doing so.
He is a character that is directly contrasting our protagonist in every sense. He is walking down the same path as Luffy, with the same ultimate goal, and the same inheritance of will as Luffy, to free the world. In the case of most D’s they never really seem to get in the way of each other yet time and time again Blackbeard using those with the initial to move forward in the world. I believe that Teach is different from the other D’s, and he knows this. At first glance he seems care-free, driven, and strong, (a lil dumb lol) all the qualities of a D. But then his second personality comes out, cruel, cowardly, selfish, calculated and he becomes a little more reminiscent of another prominent “family” in the One Piece universe.
Yes, I am talking about Charlos and the rest of the Celestial Dragons we have seen thus far. He acts just like them, and I believe that’s because he may be. That the “they” Luffy and Zoro referred to when talking about Teach, was the dual personality he has due to the inheritance of two oppositional wills. A God, and an Enemy of God in one. He wants the freedom of the world, while he also seeks power. He wants no government, yet he wants to be a king for no reason then to rule. “This is my era!” The words he says sometimes don’t come off as something someone with that initial would be saying, and I wonder if I went back to read if I would notice when his personality shifts.
Teach is shown as a child, crying up at the moon. A dream split in half, two torches that cannot be handed to you, and a never ending night.
While Luffy is shown, smiling brighter then the sun, the one who will carry the night into the dawn. Rather then accept that he is not the chosen one, Blackbeard purposefully gets in the way of Mugiwara, and the D clan out of selfishness, because he alone wants to bring about the Era. Luffy does not have to defeat Blackbeard for Ace, but so he can bare the dreams of the world on his back the dawn into a new day, and so that the dawn does not turn into another long night.
*Theory by y0k0h0m0