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How did Zoro damage his eye?

Zoro is one of the most powerful swordsmen in the One Piece world. He is known for his distinct green hair, intimidating physique, and for always having his left eye closed. Zoro’s damaged left eye is one of the biggest mysteries in One Piece, and fans have long theorized about how he lost sight in that eye. In this article, we will examine some of the most popular theories about how Zoro was injured and try to determine the likeliest cause of his eye damage.

Theories on How Zoro Damaged His Eye

There are several major theories about how Zoro sustained the injury to his left eye:

Training Accident

One of the simplest explanations is that Zoro damaged his eye during a training accident. As an extremely devoted swordsman, he is known for undertaking very intense training regimes. It’s possible he made a mistake while practicing and ended up injuring his eye. This theory argues the eye damage was self-inflicted and just an accident that occurred during training.

Fight with Mihawk

Another popular theory is that Zoro was injured during his first major fight against Dracule Mihawk, the world’s greatest swordsman. When Zoro challenged Mihawk in the Baratie Arc, Mihawk easily defeated him and dealt Zoro a massive scar across his chest. Some fans think Mihawk may have also damaged Zoro’s eye during this fight. His grave wounds after the battle make this a plausible theory.

Sacrifice to Save Someone

Some speculate that Zoro sacrificed his eye to protect someone else from harm. He is extremely loyal and willing to put his life on the line for his friends. Perhaps he shielded someone from an attack and his eye was caught in the crossfire. This theory suggests his eye damage came from an act of self-sacrifice to keep others safe.

Battle with Timeskip Opponent

Another possibility is that Zoro damaged his eye during the timeskip while facing an incredibly strong opponent. Zoro spent two years training with Mihawk during the timeskip before reuniting with the Straw Hats. Fans theorize he may have fought a powerful swordsman during this training and lost his eye in the battle. However, the details of his timeskip training remain largely unknown.

Cursed Sword

One more speculative theory suggests that Zoro’s eye was damaged by a cursed sword. Some think he may have come into contact with a cursed blade that injured him. However, there is little evidence to indicate this in the storyline. This remains a fringe theory with limited evidence.

Clues About Zoro’s Eye in the Story

While the exact cause of Zoro’s eye damage is still unconfirmed, there are some clues within the One Piece story that provide hints:

Zoro’s Scar Looks Old

The scar over Zoro’s closed left eye looks fully healed, suggesting the injury is not recent. This provides evidence that the eye was likely damaged sometime during the two-year timeskip and not in the current storyline.

Zoro Does Not Cover Eye

Zoro does not usually cover his damaged eye with an eyepatch or bandages. This implies the injury has completely healed and covering it is unnecessary. An old, fully healed wound supports the idea it was sustained during the timeskip.

Mihawk’s Comment About Zoro’s Eye

When Zoro reunites with Mihawk after the timeskip, Mihawk asks if he lost his eye during their training. Mihawk seems unaware of the details behind the injury. This suggests the eye was not damaged during their initial battle, but at some later point Zoro trained under Mihawk.

Zoro Does Not Explain Cause

Despite his crewmates’ curiosity, Zoro has never directly explained how he lost his eye. His silence keeps the cause a mystery. If the injury happened during the private timeskip training, he may see no reason to discuss it now.

Theory Evidence For Evidence Against
Training Accident – Intense training could lead to mistake and self-inflicted wound – Unclear why accident would permanently damage eye
Fight with Mihawk – Major fight that left grave wounds on Zoro – Mihawk seems unaware of eye damage cause later
Sacrifice to Save Someone – Zoro is devoted and willing to sacrifice for others – No obvious moment where this happened
Battle with Timeskip Opponent – Could have faced powerful swordsman during intense training – No details known about timeskip training battles
Cursed Sword – Cursed weapons exist in One Piece world – No evidence Zoro came into contact with cursed sword

When Did Zoro Lose His Eye?

Though the exact cause is uncertain, the timeline for when Zoro sustained eye damage seems to point to the two-year timeskip. Here is the evidence that supports this:

Eye was Fine Before Timeskip

Zoro did not have his distinct scar and closed eye before the two-year timeskip. He had both eyes open and intact prior to that point in the story.

Eye Damaged When Returns After Timeskip

When Zoro reunites with the Straw Hats after two years, he clearly has his damaged left eye and scar over it. This suggests the injury occurred sometime during the timeskip.

Scar Is Fully Healed

As mentioned earlier, Zoro’s scar looks completely healed when he returns after two years. This indicates the wound is not fresh and had time to fully heal during the timeskip.

Zoro Does Not Explain Cause to Crew

If the eye was lost right before reuniting with the crew, Zoro would likely tell them how it happened fairly soon after. But he never does, implying it is an old wound he has no need to discuss now.

The timeline evidence strongly implies Zoro’s eye damage occurred during the two-year timeskip while he trained under Mihawk. But the exact details of how he sustained such a serious injury remain a mystery.

Theories on Why Oda Has Not Revealed Cause

Fans continue to speculate about Zoro’s eye because manga author Eiichiro Oda has still never directly addressed the cause of the injury. Here are some theories on why he might be keeping it a secret:

Building Hype and Mystery

Not revealing the eye details adds to the hype and mystery surrounding Zoro’s character. It gives fans something significant to theorize about.

Will Be Important Plot Point Later

The cause of Zoro’s eye damage might be directly tied to an important future plot point. Oda could be withholding the information now to build suspense.

Adds to Zoro’s Cool Character Design

The scar and closed eye are part of Zoro’s character design and make him look more rugged and tough. The unexplained damage adds to his cool aesthetic.

Injury May Have Deeper Meaning

Potentially the eye damage symbolizes something deeper about Zoro’s character, convictions, or journey as a swordsman. Keeping the cause ambiguous leaves this possibility open.

While these theories offer possibilities, only Oda knows the real reason for not yet revealing how Zoro lost his eye. The eventual explanation will likely be a huge moment for fans when it finally occurs.


The mystery surrounding Zoro’s damaged left eye has intrigued One Piece fans for years. While the exact cause remains unknown, the timeline and context clues seem to indicate he sustained the injury during the two-year timeskip while training under Mihawk. Potential theories range from a training accident to sacrificing himself for others to battling a powerful opponent. However, fans continue to speculate since manga creator Oda has not yet provided a definitive explanation. The reveal will undoubtedly be a massive payoff after years of theories and hints. Zoro’s damaged eye stands as one of the biggest unanswered questions in the entire One Piece saga.