To cut to the chase – I think Peony could turn out to be Rose's father and the former Chairmen. After his corruption was threatened to be exposed, he ran away to the remote wildness.
But not to get ahead of myself, let's rewind to look at the evidence.
At the end of Isle of Amour, Mustard is quoted as saying:
"I hope you'll come by and have more battles with me from time to time. It'll make us both stronger. Just so we're ready when the time comes…Heh heh! Oh, don't worry! You'll find out what I'm talking about eventually!"
This is most likely alluding to him returning in the Crown Tundra. By the sounds of it, Mustard is planning to battle someone or something when he arrives.
So why Mustard would travel to the Crown Tundra? One of the possibilities, is a preexisting relationship with a Tundra character. So who better than the person who's been at the centre of its marketing campaign? Both Mustard and Peony take the similar roles in their respective DLCs, being senior experts on their local areas and being the main guide to the player.
Mustard's Rare League card states:
"This photo was taken about 50 years ago, when Mustard defeated the Fairy-type Gym Leader and went on to become Champion. He reigned undefeated until he lost his partner Pokémon. After this, his losses started to mount. He remained popular even after losing the mantle of Champion, but decided to retire after the league chairman at that time asked him to win in a rigged match.
If this was a throw-away tidbit, they could've of had his partner Pokémon dying and nothing else. But adding this mystery character of the former chairmen, seems executive, unless Game Freak is planning to do more with it.
The reason I say this former Chairmen could be Rose's father, is due to Peony's design having a family resemblance. Specially, with his wrinkled eyes and grey hair, makes him seem too old to be a brother. Some fans have argued their skin tones are too different, but this can be easily countered, if Rose's mother was lighter skinned.
Is Peony old enough to be the former Chairmen?:
League Card: Mustard is the former Fighting-type Gym Leader and is regarded as one of the strongest Champions in Galar's history—reigning undefeated for 18 years."
Rare League Card: "This photo was taken about 50 years ago, when Mustard defeated the Fairy-type Gym Leader and went on to become Champion."
At the youngest, Mustard would be 60 years old, since the Trainer starting age is 10 years old. Though considering he was the fighting Gym leader, he probably sent serval years at that. Either way, an estimate of Mustard's age is between 60-75.
When the former Chairmen gave the offer, Mustard had lost his 18-year-long Champion title; therefore making it 32 years ago or under. Judging by appearances, Peony seems to be in his 50s or 60s. This would fit into the timeline, as Peony could both be the Chairmen and Rose's father by his late 20s or early 30s. This may be young to run a national sporting event, however this is the Pokemon world we've taking about, where Leon became Champion at 10.
Rose and Peony similarities:
- They're both directly named after flowers.
- They're both are interested in studying Legendary Pokemon. For Peony, it's the Galar Forms and Calyrex, while Rose had Eternatus.
- This is more subjective, though those two have somewhat similar personalities. In the short summery from the Pokemon Website, Peony is described as:
Listening isn’t his strongest suit, and his bold behavior draws plenty of attention. But he has a kind side and plenty of affection for his daughter.
Rose's inability to listen lead to the Eternatus disaster, so perhaps he gained that trait from his poor influence of a father.
In his official artwork and animations, Peony has a clenched fist and cheesy grin. All those traits combined: Being confident, bad listener and bold attention seeker – It's the kind of personality you could imagine a corrupt Chairmen having. Somebody who's shy wouldn't be capable of being the face of a Sport Championship.
I can't gather details about Rose and Peony's potential dynamic, on whether they're on good or bad terms. If their connection is confirmed, then Rose would have a sister. (She hasn't appeared in a trailer yet.) This unknown sibling travels around with their protective father, while Rose is busy with his own life, never mentioning his family. This hints towards negative undertones to Peony's and Rose's relationship, either the father has some favouritism or the son choose to distance himself.
According to Oleana in the Sword and Shield Postgame:
Mr. Rose… A long time ago he used to work in a coal mine, you know.
Some fans may argue it contributes this whole theory, since Rose became Chairmen as a self-made man and not through his father. Though I'd like to say, this isn't guaranteed to be nepotism. Our knowledge on Rose's backstory is limited; him being a coal miner is literally everything we have. For all we know, Peony might have been long gone and had nothing to do with his son's promotion, making the two events separate.
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