Going Merry, the first ship of the Straw Hat Pirates collapsed under its own weight and was destroyed in episode 312 of the anime titled “Thank You Merry! The Sea of Separation in the Snow” based on the One Piece manga chapter 430, titled “A Light Snow of Reminiscence Falls”.
|Episode Number||Episode 312|
|Episode Name||Thank You Merry! The Sea of Separation in the Snow|
|Manga Chapter||Chapter 430|
|Chapter Name||A Light Snow of Reminiscence Falls|
Luffy searches the Going Merry for Usopp as they flee the buster call (Marine Warships) and rescue Robin from Enies Lobby. He doesn't know that Sogeking (Sniper King in English Dub) is actually Ussop in disguise. Sogeking claims that Usopp sailed ahead to Water 7 in another ship. Nami is puzzled that nobody else is on Merry, and everyone is startled that Luffy and Chopper haven't discovered Sogeking's true identity yet.
Zoro and Robin are positive that when they were being rescued, they heard a voice coming from the ship, to which Luffy replied that it was Merry's voice. Franky recalls Usopp telling Mozu and Kiwi about a mysterious figure he saw repairing the ship back in Skypiea. The voice of Going Merry said that it will carry the Straw Hats for a little while longer, as they remembered echoing at Ennies Lobby. Usopp was positive that it was Merry herself. Franky claimed that when the old ship wishes to sail for a little while longer, it fixes her. These figures are known as Klabautermann, a mythical incarnation of a ship's spirit, which manifests when its crew truly loves and cares for her.
They soon come upon Iceburg aboard a huge ship belonging to the Galley-La Company. Iceburg was amazed that his brother and the Straw Hats had returned safely and were able to retrieve Robin. To their surprise, Merry suddenly started breaking down under its own weight as her keel was damaged and couldn't be fixed. Luffy begs Iceburg to help and save Merry. The crew was devastated by seeing Merry in such a state and wanted to save her. Unfortunately, there was nothing Iceburg or any other shipwright could do to save her now.
Iceburg claimed that while the Straw Hats were on their way to Enies Lobby to rescue Robin, he heard a thumping on Scrap Island, where the ship had come to rest after being flushed by the members of CP9. He overheard a voice saying that she wished to sail just once more, despite the fact that the Aqua Laguna had grounded her. Iceburg patched up as much as he could that night and then let the ship sail away on the next Aqua Laguna wave. To his surprise, he heard a "thank you," and the ship suddenly seemed to set sail on her own. He took one of his corporate ships after it after interpreting this as a sign, which brought him to them right away.
According to Iceburg, the Going Merry is a magnificent ship that, like the rest of the crew, pushed herself to the very maximum for her crew. Unfortunately, it was impossible for her to get back to Water 7 in her state. In the end, Luffy and the crew had no choice but to understand that it was time to let Merry go. As the other passengers board a dinghy, Luffy takes a backseat in another. He uses a torch to set Merry's hull on fire before giving the ship a Viking funeral so she wouldn’t have to endure the loneliness of the sea floor. Although Luffy said that it was for the best that Usopp was not here to see this, Usopp told Zoro that he had accepted the fate of Merry and it was time for her to rest.
To everyone's surprise, snow started to fall out of the ordinary as the Going Merry burnt. The crew reminisced about their adventures, the journey they had, and the hardships they had to go through, with Merry always by their side, and all of them had a fond memory of her. The crew can hear Merry's spirit speaking as the mast burns down and the ship starts to sink. It expresses regret for being unable to carry them any further. Luffy yells out that they should be the ones apologizing for their lack of knowledge and inability to maintain and take care of her.
Nobody on the crew could stop from crying at this moment. In her final moments, Merry thanked them, said she was always happy with them, and knew that they all loved her with all of their hearts. Luffy's special seat, Merry's figurehead, sank. In her last words, Merry thanked them one last time before she turned into ashes.
A. In Skypiea, Going Merry was fixed by Klabautermann, which is essentially a physical manifestation of a ship. A Klabautermann is said to be a spirit or will of the ship that manifests when the ship is loved and cared for deeply by its crew. Going Merry thus fixed itself to aid the Straw Hats in their adventures.
A. Going Merry died because of all the wounds (damages) she received during her voyage. Going Merry was the first ship of the Straw Hat Pirates. As the pirate crew progressed on their journey, Going Merry received a lot of damage, falling out of the sky, getting impaled, and whatnot. In the end, she could no longer sail and helped the crew escape from Enies Lobby as her last act.