One Piece: Why Did Imu Kill Nefertari Cobra?

When we first saw Cobra all the way back in Alabasta Arc (Chapter 142) he was a younger king in his prime, ruling his kingdom (not very properly tbh) but now 2 years later he has aged quite badly. Due to his age, he now moves around on a wheelchair, and also has lots of white hair.

Well as they tell everything that lives has to die, and this time it was King Nefertari Cobra’s death at the hands of Imu and the Five Elder Saints. Now most of you would think that Imu killed Cobra because he now knew about Imu, and while that is a reason, there might be some more very interesting reasons lying right under the words of the chapter.

In this article I have tried to list out other potential reasons for King Cobra’s untimely death, at the hands of the “owner of the Empty Throne”!!

Nefertari’s claim to the empty throne!!

A very big reason for King Cobra’s death is because Cobra is one the last people to have a valid claim to the empty throne. Allow me to explain,

In chapter 1094, Cobra explains that the original 20 rulers, all swore an oath to never covet the empty throne, and Nefertari Lily was the only one to not take part in the oath and that she was the only one of the original 20 Rulers to not become Celestial Dragons.

He also says that there are only 19 weapons around the throne.

OP Cobra

Simply put this means that the Nefertari’s are the last line of people who have a valid claim at the throne, as they were founders but didn’t take the oath. It is in fact, shown that Alabasta has quite the influence amongst the fellow Reverie attending kingdoms, being one of the founders of the World Government.

Maybe Imu is worried that one day, the Nefertari’s will somehow try to usurp the throne from them by assembling the other kingdoms against the World Government, the same way Imu and the other 19 rulers did against the Ancient Kingdom 800 years ago.

Cobra was just a pawn on the chessboard?

Another reason that I can think of is that Imu never really cared about Cobra. He was just a pawn in the plan to make the Revolutionary Army look bad. And at the same time get rid of his last few headaches.

In this current age, Imu is being “attacked” on multiple fronts by the D’s. The revolutionary army head by Monkey D Dragon is out to topple the Celestial Dragons for good, and on the other hand we have powerful pirates like Monkey D Luffy, Marshall D Teach and Trafalgar D Water Law all heading for the One Piece (which may very well contain some information that may turn them against Imu).

In such a scenario, Imu has to carefully plan their moves and try to eliminate all forces that may become too powerful to hold back later. In this case, Imu chose the Revolutionary Army first, seeing as there was already a camera in position to frame Sabo for Cobra’s death.

This in turn would create a strong divide between the pro World Government countries and the pro Revolutionary Army countries, clearly showing Imu who all to eradicate next.

While we don’t know if the framing of Sabo was completely by luck but with many theories floating out there speculating the Lindbergh is a traitor, we can expect it to go either way.

Unfortunately for Imu though, Sabo and Vivi both survived, and we know for sure both will come back for vengeance later.

Relation to Neferatari “D” Lily

The last thing that we notice is that Imu climbs to the throne, after Cobra speaks of the ancient letter. Maybe Imu showed themselves to find out the contents of the letter. Maybe Imu wanted to “reminisce” about old times, talking about an old acquaintance.

Or maybe Imu themselves wanted to question Cobra about the letter while answering his final questions before killing him.

Cobra clearly calls Imu sitting on the throne “the world’s greatest taboo” even surpassing reading of the poneglyphs in that sense. Thereby once, Cobra had seen Imu and managed to put together that there was a founding ruler called Saint Imu Nerona. Cobra had to be killed.


Perhaps the main reason to this death though, was the fact that he revealed Nefertari Lily to be a member of the D clan. Based on Imu’s reactions (tbh can’t see much but yeah), we see that they have a strong hatred to the D clan.

The moment Cobra mentions D, we see Imu’s reaction change like a suspicion of theirs was finally confirmed and in that very instant, a tail with a sharp point pierces Cobra.


What’s more is that 800 years ago, Queen Lily seemed to have made a mistake causing the poneglyphs to be scattered and therefore 800 years later causing the Great Pirate Age.

Based on the words and expressions of Imu, it does seem like they had suspected that Lily didn’t really make a mistake, but it was on purpose that she scattered the poneglyphs. This causes further hatred for the Nefertaris.

So the strongest reason, we have for Imu killing Cobra, is actually the fact that the Nefertaris are members of the D clan and that they are descendants of Queen Lily, the one who ruined Imu’s perfect plan of ruling the World.

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