Grandfather Ryu was a millennium dragon who was friends with the little girl Apis.
|This article contains information that only comes from the anime, not the manga.|
For more information on this, see Filler Episodes.
Ryu was an old, giant Millennium Dragon with white chest and belly feathers. His back was covered in green feathers, while the insides of his wings were a dark color. White bristles in the shape of a beard could be seen on his throat and his head was bald.
Ryu was a friendly dragon, but he had to spend the last 1,000 years almost alone before he met Apis. The times with her formed his fondest memories. Accordingly, he developed a great affection for her and did everything he could to protect her from Erik Whirlwind when he threatened her. He was also friendly towards the Straw Hats, but his senile side liked to contribute to the fact that he thought they were food and wanted to eat them.
Skills and strength
Due to his old age, he was senile, could only see very poorly and could hardly move. However, when Apis was in danger, he mustered all his strength and rose into the air once more. His scream could also freeze the navy.
In search of the dragon’s nest, Ryu landed on Warship Island many years ago and could not remember where his destination was. Then one day, little Apis heard his sad voice, after which she found him in a cave and befriended him. To protect him, she kept his existence a secret.
The search for the nest of dragons
After Apis encountered the Straw Hat Pirates and was able to return to her home with their help, she made her way to Ryu with a bag of food, but was followed by Luffy and Nami. To Apis’s amazement, the Straw Hat captain was also able to understand the dragon and realized that it was his wish to return to the dragon’s nest. Luffy immediately assured him and little Apis of his help. To get him towards their ship, the Straw Hat Pirates built a raft and through diversionary maneuvers and minor fighting, they made it to the The Going Merry with Ryu and Apis. With Ryu on the raft trailing behind, they set off in search of the dragon’s home. Pursued by the Navy, they reached their destination with Ryu’s help, whose memory seemed to be gradually returning, and through a mirror-like apparition, they finally made it to Solitary. After Apis heard of a temple with a dragon symbol through a bird, they sought it out and fell into a ruined temple. They then learned from murals that this place was not the nest of dragons and that it should in fact be at Warship. Although Erik Wirbelsturm, a naval pursuer, had also reached the place in the meantime, he was stopped in a fight and the island was left again.
Once they left the reflective apparition again, however, they were directly surrounded by the Navy, under orders from Flotilla Admiral Nelson. While Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji worked on a way out of the “chain formation,” Erik Whirlwind went to the The Going Merry and took the Dragon and Apis hostage, but he never intended to deliver the Millennium Dragon to Nelson. As a result, the flotilla admiral opened fire on Erik and the raft. However, when Ryu sees Erik threatening his friend, he rises, pokes him in the distance with his wing, and lets out a terrifying scream. He then flies off with all his might, but is knocked into the water by the continuous cannon fire. Luffy immediately rushes to him and assures him he will get him to the dragon’s nest, he just has to hang on. While the Straw Hat Captain protects him, countless more Millennium Dragons appear at Ryu’s shout. After they finally manage to put the navy to flight, the sea level drops, revealing the dragons’ nest around Warship. Eventually, it was revealed that this place was the graveyard of the Millennium Dragons, among other things, so Ryu’s last wish came true as he could find his final resting place there. When Ryu died, a new Millennium Dragon was born and eventually Apis was still able to come to terms with Ryu’s passing.