I don't know about the others, but ever since we caught a glimpse of the Soul King, I've been very curious about what he is, and what purpose he serves.
I'm sure others have noticed it too. If we compare Aizen's appearance after having fused with the Hogyoku, he started looking more and more like the Soul King. By doing this, it seems like Kubo gave us a hint as to what the Soul King is given that Aizen's motive was to become a being that transcends both Hollows and Shinigami. Based on this hint, I think it's safe to say that the Soul King is a being that transcends Shinigami and Hollows. In fact, I'm willing to go as far as to say that he's the God of both Hollows and Shinigami. It is interesting to note that Aizen and Urahara, the only two characters (as far as we know) that did any research on beings that transcend Hollows and Shinigami, also seem to be the only two characters that have any idea of what the Soul King is. I think this is another hint by Kubo.
Before we can go further into depth, there has to be some sort of understanding about what hollows are. As we learned in the beginning of Bleach, hollows are essentially souls that weren't 'cleansed' by Shinigamis and because they stayed in the Real World as dead spirits for too long, they turned into hollows. On the other hand, we know that when hollows are killed at the hands of Shinigamis, their souls are cleansed and they go to Soul Society. In other words, the final destination of soulsare always meant to be. That applies for the Shinigamis as well. If you think about it, this isn't strange at all. The name is Soul Society - the society of souls - after all.
As for the Soul King, I'm pretty sure that he is the most absolute God in the Bleach universe. Based on the above, I'd say that he created both Shinigamis and Hollows. Why? The best motive that I've been able to come up with at this point is that he uses the pure souls scattered around the worlds to retain his power & position. He created Shinigamis for the purpose of bringing back the souls to Soul Society - and consequently back to him - and the hollows to embody the lost souls until they are killed by Shinigamis. Shinigamis and hollows seem to be programmed to fight against each other and that doesn't make any difference to him because one dying at the hands of the other would still result in the soul going to Soul Society. Perhaps that is why he sent the RG to stabilize the Gotei 13 - to ensure that their daily affairs can still effectively be carried out.
Furthermore, we know that hollows react to reiatsu. If a strong reiatsu is felt, either many hollows appear, or a few strong ones do. In other words, it seems like the strength of hollows is proportional to the strength of Shinigamis. This is once again deliberately done in order to ensure that the balance isn't broken. If the hollows were to significantly overpower the Shinigamis at any point (which they seemed able to do - at least in the beginning of Bleach - by attacking with many Menos Grandes for example), that would result in the demise of Shinigamis and consequently, there wouldn't be anyone around to deliver the souls back to SS.
This is where the Quincies come in. We know that Quincies, unlike Shinigamis, obliterate hollows when they kill them and that their method disrupts the balance of the worlds. We've also been told that this could result in the destruction of both worlds. But what if this is just a myth and that it's not the imbalance in itself that would destroy the world, but that the loss of souls would anger the Soul King (a lá the wrath of God) who, in turn, would destroy the worlds (i.e. a Judgement day). By doing so, all the souls in the world would return to Soul Society and he could restart the process. Maybe the Soul King, via Central 46, issued the annihilation of the Quincies.
Having said this, I think that the Soul King will turn out to be the main villain in Bleach. Ichigo's Quincy background and the Vanderreich could be designed to provoke a reaction from the Soul King. What I do find odd if this were to be the case is that the Soul King didn't send the RG down to Seiretei to help defeat the Vanderreich if Quincies are the biggest threat to his "soul-sucking" affairs (in a lack of a better term). Then again, it could have been done out of a story purpose - wouldn't have been much fun to see the RG come down, kick the quincies asses and then end it there - especially given the possibility that Juha Bach will be revealed to be related to Masaki.
PS: A lot of the stuff came to me as I was writing (I was only planning on including the first two paragraphs at first) so I've likely missed out on a few things.
The thing is Hollows and Shinigami aren't actually technically different species. They're all human souls, that have simply gone down different paths. So if, as the name suggests, he is the king of all souls in general, not just the king of Shinigami, both Hollows and Shinigami fall under his rule, whatever that may mean in practical terms. Hollows certainly don't follow him in any way, but that doesn't mean there isn't some unseen connection. Quincy are the only ones that really fall outside of his realm, because they are living beings, not souls.
Quite an interesting theory you came up with there, I like it, even if it doesn't turn out this way, you still should have credit for coming up with this theory, so a likey button from me
I agree on many of your views, many of them I see in the same way, however I also agree with NoOneInParticular, in fact, I think you're both right on the mark.
My only concern right now with this theory here is how the Soul King came into being, I don't quite think he's a mess of hollows / shinigami powers if he created all souls, and if he's the utmost highest being and/or no science can explain the origin of souls, then I don't see him creating them, assuming he's not something else entirely of course.
On the flip side, if the Soul King did not create everything, then I think the Soul King falls into your theory just neatly, especially the part of where he has to absorb souls in order to maintain his powers.
If this is the case, then it justifies the Quincy's actions as well, if they know a better solution, however their means to do so are wrong.
Also as for why the Soul King is important, I'm not quite sure it'd be because he got mad if he didn't get his fill, but on the other hand, if I understand you right, you mean that the Soul King affected the Soul system in such a way, that without him, it would all crumble.
However I like to think that the Soul King wasn't there in the beginning, he might have changed the world to his needs though.
As I've theorized in a different thread (relating to the overall life cycle of every being in Bleach), I believe that the Soul King is actually a very powerful Quincy who has the ability to manipulate spirit particles to a level where he can create souls out of them.
I believe the life cycle of the soul has changed throughout history. At first, a newly created soul is inserted into a newborn Human. The human then dies and becomes a Plus, after which a Quincy destroys the Plus to turn it back into spirit particles. The Soul King then turns these spirit particles into new souls.
Eventually (probably not long after life began), a Plus was left too long and became a Hollow. Again, Hollows were originally destroyed by Quincy, turning them back into spirit particles.
When more evolved Hollow appeared (Menos and Arrancars), I believe the Soul King began manipulating Arrancar souls and managed to supress their instinctual nature, creating the first Shinigami, which were then used to deal with this new threat. The Shinigami's techniques of dispatching souls left them intact, but supressed their instincts; this allowed Pluses to continue existing without turning into Hollows, and converted Hollows into Pluses with latent Shinigami powers (formed from their original core powers that were unlocked by Hollowfication). This would mean that the Shinigami actually build up their numbers by exterminating Hollows (which become Pluses with latent Shinigami powers).
Of course, if this is true it may bring about an interesting turn of events! By eliminating Hollows by their methods, Quincies would actually be threatening the life-cycle of the Shinigami (as no new Shinigami would be created, unless they're created directly by the Soul King)...but...by eliminating Quincies, no souls would get converted into raw spirit energy again, thus meaning no new souls and the gradual extinction of the Human race!!!
---------- Post added at 03:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:03 PM ----------
As an addition to the above. I believe that the Soul King may have been the first being to ever exist; he manipulated spirit particles to create the first lifeforms, including the Quincies that were originally responsible for exterminating the Pluses (ironically making them the original "death gods").
Last edited by Lee.J.Baxter; March 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM.
But could the SK's reason for creating Hollows in fact be something simpler? Maybe they're just an extra tool for maintaining a balance. Human numbers have been and still are expanding exponentially fast. With the rate at which people die, plus accounting for any being born in SS itself (like Byakuya) maybe there's a risk of SS's numbers growing too high, what with the massive life expectancy, and tipping the balance over in favour of SS. Maybe Hollows are the SK's way of slowing the influx of souls to SS, if the souls they consume are erased forever. It could be that by destroying Hollows and saving so many human souls, the Quincy cause the balance to tip the opposite way.
Last edited by NoOneInParticular; March 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM.
I believe some things are inaccurate and I read them frequently:
1) Shinigamis (pluses) are not necessarily originating from dead humans as it has been written that Souls can also start their 'cycle of existence' from Soul society.
2) The soul king is a Quincy you say. Then you say he is the first being of existence. Which of the two is it? If he is a Quincy he should be dead by now surely regardless of how ridiculous his powers may be (Quincies are humans endowed with higher levels of Reiryoku than average humans, yet still humans).
First of all, one has to imagine what would happen if there were no king of souls. Would the world collapse as the Shinigami are saying? If that is the case, how long has there been a soul king?
I think in the beginning there was no soul society, no soul king but there were hollows. And humans. And then a powerful human..a fullbringer. That is how I can see it beginning but it is too much to write, maybe an other time.
Last edited by Chojin; March 12, 2013 at 10:44 PM.
I could not be more wrong about what exactly? Quincies are not humans? Humans live around 78 years on average? What exactly do we know about Juha Bach by the way? Enlighten me.
Speaking of inaccuracies by the way : Life energy of a being is Reiryoku not Reiatsu. Reiatsu is the pressure a person's Reiryoku exerts over their surroundings. Any newbie should be familiar with the basics don't you think?
Normal Quincy are humans.
The Vandereich are not normal Quincies (at their current state).
They're probably eating off Hollows to survive HM for 1000 years.
Why are you so hostile anyway?
If that's the case, and the soul king is like a combo of both- why does he only have shinigami guarding him? wouldnt it make sense to have both arrancar and shinigami in the royal realm?
---------- Post added at 07:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:50 AM ----------
So is the Soul King the final end to all creation of the Bleachverse?
Or is there something more mysterious and bigger behind the Royal Realm??