The Gorosei (五老星 Five Elder Stars) are the heads of the World Government, and as such, they essentially rule the entire world. They are the five men who rule above the Marines, Cipher Pol, and the ones who made a pact with the Shichibukai.
They have shown to have at least a basic knowledge of the occurrences of the Void Century, according to their shocked reactions to Professor Clover's statements. They have shown a paranoid fear of someone reviving the ancient weapons, to the point of forbidding its research and ordering the utter destruction of the entire country of Ohara, though given what is known of the Void Century, they may simply be using that as an excuse in order to prevent information they do not want leaked to the public from getting out. Despite this, they are not completely heartless, as they showed remorse after ordering the destruction of Ohara.
Abilities and PowersEdit
Being at the top of the World Government, they are the rulers of the entire world, and have complete control over all government affiliated organizations; such as the police, the nine Cipher Pol units, and even the Marines. Even the fleet admiral's orders can be vetoed by their decisions. However, they only seem to care about the public image of the World Government: they will go to great lengths to keep the public's view of them in a good light. They have ordered the killing an entire island of people to hide the discovery of the Void Century; and they have even kept the escape of Level 6 inmates of Impel Down a secret.
Some of these decisions have even angered the Marines. However, it is unknown how much influence and command the elders have over the World Nobles, or vice versa, as the World Nobles were described to possess the power to do anything they desire. However, it can be argued that the Gorosei have more power, as they are considered the heads of the Government, outranking the Marines' Commander in Chief.
Political powers aside, it is currently unknown how strong each one of the elders are. However, due to their clear muscles and scars, and that one of them is wielding a sword, it would appear that they have some battle experience and fighting capabilities.