Revalink Week 2021 Day 7
Revalink Week 2021 Day 7
nothing quite like Zelda willing to sacrifice Link for science in the silent princess memory
link just fucking decked this kid for no reason i love him
do you ever just think about how botw zelda passed out in a spring when she was SIX YEARS OLD because i do a lot and i'm upset
Link running down Whistling Hill | requested by anonymous
I was thinking in Ganondorf (as always hehe), but this time about his role in the sequel of The Breath of the Wild, and I’ve seen a lot of times about the idea of a good Ganondorf. I though that would be a great idea, but now I’ve realized that I really like a bad and evil Ganondorf.
So, but if we mixed both?
The sequel could bring us the past of the King Gerudo, this is a great chance to create an amazing character development. The game could show us the next: Ganondorf was a male Gerudo, a thief of the desert, he knew about the curse of Demise and he harbours a crude hate about the Hylian people. But, he wanted the best for his people, he wanted a kind wind for his sisters, a good life… But over the time, he realizes that he never will achieve his dream. So, Ganondorf starts to plott a way to do it for any cost, even if he speeds the curse of Demise. And he becomes more and more cruel, cunning and evil. He doesn’t mind what will happen with him. So, he pretends to be an emmisary of Gerudo people and meet the King. All things that happens in Ocarina of Time and Twilight princess happen but he doesn’t die, he is sealed in the depths of the Hyrule Castle. And 10,000 years go by now, the time line and the present of Breath of the Wild.
This Ganondorf would be almost all Ganondorfs of the games (you know he doesn’t reincarnate). The whole hate, rancour and power that he has been containing along 10,000 years will be realeased in the sequel.
Even he could return his body an a perfect state, we will have the most powerfull Ganondorf of the game.
But, wait. Now he will tell us his story. Or the hand that holds prisioner him (maybe is Midna?) will relate us.
Princess Zelda asserts that Shadow is so much more than his name would suggest.
this is one of the last recordings i made with my piano! should give you an idea of where my headspace was at when writing these songs for the first time. the reason i cut it was because it’s boring and nobody remembers the blog minicomic the alternative was a better song!
lyrics below the cut. also, reminder that i have a new fs musical / creatives discord server! shoot me an ask off anon for the link.
ZELDA: (SPOKEN) DO YOU REALLY THINK THE LIGHT WILL HURT YOU? DON’T YOU SEE? YOU ARE A LINK TOO. DEEP INSIDE, YOU’RE REALLY A HERO.
(SUNG) I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH. I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE SEEN. I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH IT HURTS TO TOUCH THE LIGHT. BUT THE MIRROR THAT YOU’VE SEEN THROUGH IS THE ONLY THING BETWEEN THE THINGS YOU HAVE TO DO TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT.
I KNOW IT HURTS TO FEEL SO USELESS - TO WAIT, FORGOTTEN AND ALONE. I COULD TELL YOU HOW IT FEELS TO LOSE CONTROL. YOUR EFFORTS FEEL SO FRUITLESS, BUT IT’S SO EASY TO FIND HOME. AND YOU’RE A LINK - YOU’RE MORE THAN JUST A SHADOW.
(SPOKEN) WHO WOULD YOU BE, IF YOU WEREN’T WHO YOU ARE?
SHADOW: I...DON’T KNOW.
(SUNG) THE DARKNESS THAT RESIDES WITHIN, IT’S ALL I’VE EVER KNOWN. WITHOUT IT, I DON’T KNOW WHAT MAKES UP ME. MAYBE I’D FOUND - AND THUS BEGIN - “THE GRAND SHADOW CHATEAU”; BLOG ABOUT THE PERSON I COULD BE.
YEAH, IT HURTS TO FEEL SO USELESS - TO WAIT, FORGOTTEN AND AFRAID. I DON’T THINK THAT YOU WILL EVER REALLY KNOW. WHO AM I, IF NOT SOME RUTHLESS WIELDER OF A CURSED BLADE? THANKS A LOT, BUT I’M NOTHING BUT A SHADOW.
ZELDA: I’M THE DUTY BOUND, NEWLY CROWNED, LEADER OF A KINGDOM. MY ROLE TO SMILE, AS TIME SLIPS THROUGH A SIEVE.
BOTH: AND I’M CRUELLY BOUND, BUT I’LL COME AROUND, AND LIFE COULD BE SPECTACULAR TO LIVE.
I BELIEVE THE WORLD HAS SOMETHING ELSE TO GIVE.
ZELDA: THIS TOWER’S FULL OF MISERY, DESPAIR ON EVERY FLOOR. UP HERE, THE AIR IS THIN, AND NIGHTS ARE COLD. I KNOW THE DARK WORLD’S HISTORY, AND GANON’S SO MUCH MORE. YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO TRY AND CHANGE YOUR ROLE.
AND YOU AREN’T JUST A SHADE. I SWEAR, YOU’RE SO MUCH MORE. THE THINGS THAT HURT YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO GO. YOU’RE FORGOTTEN AND AFRAID, BUT IT’S OKAY TO BE UNSURE.
‘CAUSE YOU’RE MORE THAN JUST YOUR ROLE, AND DEEP INSIDE, YOU KNOW - YOU AREN’T JUST A SHADOW.
Peter O’brien, you’re a champ for sharing this with the world.
I’d like to start this off by explaining my background. I have a BA in English with a minor in Humanities. I have lived all my life in the Bible Belt of America, so my PoV of this series is inevitably going to be, at least in part, from the perspective of a Western-centric, Christianity-influenced woman. I have grown up with a deep interest in folk tales and mythology though, and took several classes on ancient cultures, so my base knowledge of religion all over the world is broader than what you’d probably expect. I am not religious myself, I’m actually agnostic. And this is just an in-universe look at the very strange religion of Hyrule. So, to make things easier, let’s just put aside the obvious meta issues with this world. The wonky timeline, complex lore changes between said timelines, and the fact that the whole series has clearly grown wildly over the course of its development without an overarching plot. The game mechanics being game mechanics. All of it. This whole thing will just be me trying to make sense of the world without the ‘it’s just a game, bro’ crutch. I will be drawing on what I know from the many games I’ve played myself, so if I don’t mention a big piece of lore from a specific game, it’s because I didn’t play it. Go ahead and rule out the early games before Ocarina of Time, as that’s the first game in the series I can remember playing. I was legitimately too young to have ever played anything prior to that, having been born in 1996. Now let’s get started, shall we?
So, obviously everyone knows that the LoZ world is said to begin with the three goddesses. Din, Nayru, and Farore came together to create the world and before they yote themselves out of the narrative as direct players, they created the Triforce. A powerful artifact capable of granting a wish and giving their respective bearers undefined power. This is directly from Ocarina of Time and we see their symbol, the Triforce, all over the many games with very few exceptions. Now, to be clear, having a polytheistic religion with three main gods is hardly new. Hinduism has three main gods after all (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva), and depending on your flavor of Christianity, you have the holy trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit). There’s even the Celtic goddesses that come specifically in threes (collectively called The Morrigan; Eriu, Fodla, and Banba). This isn’t an exhaustive list of three divine beings, by the way, just know that three is a weird trend in western-centric stories, including religion. But what’s different about the three Hyrule Goddesses? Well, they’re weirdly small for big shot gods. Let me explain.
So, the three Hindu gods I mentioned earlier each handle a specific aspect. Creation, destruction, and preservation, not necessarily in that order though (which god does what isn’t the point, so just roll with me here). These are very broad and powerful subjects. Christianity is much the same, even though it’s a monotheistic religion. God is literally an all-powerful, omniscient, omnipotent deity. Jesus is his son who gave his life to basically forgive all sin. And I’m not totally clear on the Holy Spirit, but these three are clearly Big Deals with Big Ideas behind them. A good rule of thumb for old religion is that the older the deity, the wider the scope of their job or what they represent. Which makes sense. If you had to personify the forces of the universe, you’d probably start with the sun instead of like… whatever god is responsible for the creation of rice specifically. The bigger and scarier the natural force, the bigger deal that god usually is, putting aside politics and cultural trends. Egypt is a good example of this, as their roster of gods tended to change a lot depending on who was Pharaoh at the time and wherever the city center was. Horus is the god of the sun, or at least one of them, and is generally considered king of the gods. Which makes perfect sense for a land largely made up of a desert.
But what are the three goddesses’ rulers of? Power, Wisdom, and Courage. Each with clear elemental associations and people that are obviously affiliated with them. Nayru, Goddess of Wisdom, is clearly associated with water and likely has a close connection with the Zora. Din, Goddess of Power, is associated with fire and has clear connection with the Gerudo (unclear if the same goddess as the one present in the desert temple in Ocarina of Time). Farore, Goddess of Courage, is associated with all things green and of the earth, including the child-like race of Kokiri who perpetually inhabit the forest. Sure, these are broad topics, but not really… the first thing you’d think of for creators of the universe, are they? And it raises the question about the Hyrule people, who are said to be able to hear the gods due to their pointed ears… let’s put a pin in that and move on.
So, we know there are many gods in this universe, primarily because we meet them. For example, Zephos, God of Winds, in Wind Waker. But he’s clearly a fairly forgotten god, as he shares a shrine with Cylcos, God of Cyclones, which is about as bare as it can be. Just what appears to be a Tori gate with two stone monuments with the simple notes to summon them, almost completely out of the way. Which… I mean, I don’t know many gods with their extension number written on their monuments. That would kind of like going to church on Sunday and seeing “Hit me up if you need me, J-Boy 555-TAKE THE WHEEL” written on the podium. And remember, this is a world and game where the gods actively flooded the world and would therefore hold or have held enough power to directly interfere with Hyrule.
And Skyward Sword clearly has divine beings, one of which even flooded a whole area, though they’re subservient to Hylia. Who we will get back to later, I promise. The three dragons (again, that magic number), capable of divine power, though where that power comes from in unclear. The dragons are of a high status though, as evident by their servants and clear reference to high-class dress of their clothes. These dragons are revered, but clearly not worshipped, much like nobles in that regard. A curious note is the parallels to the three goddesses, and how the symbols are muddled and mixed for these dragons.
Lanayru clearly has the symbols associated with the Zora, and by extension Nayru, but is yellow. He also is saved by time travel used to grow a magic fruit, which Link often uses (time travel) in many games to advance the plot himself (and wouldn’t you know it, but mixing blue with yellow does produce green. Weird). Faron is the water dragon who flooded an area, and she is almost entirely blue (as well as unsettling to look at), surrounded by a species clearly related to the Zora though closer to octopi. But her name is Faron, which is weirdly close to Farore’s name, not Nayru. I mean, they are close to locations that resemble their names of course, but it’s still an interesting note. Finally, there’s Eldin, clearly bearing a symbol associated with the Gerudo without any strange mixes of symbols for the series. Oddly, he’s also the most open of the three dragons, especially considering the Gerudo’s traditional stance of being a ‘no-sausage’ club. Not terribly relevant, but I just thought it was interesting to point out. You can consider the Giants in Majora’s Mask on the same level as them, though their status is unclear (Since they’re summoned by a song and can stop the moon from falling, they probably straddle the line between mortal and divine).
Now, spirits also exist in this world, both as the ghostly variety and the more pseudo-divine. Not to be confused with actual divinity. Divine being can be spirits, but not all spirits are divine. In this context, spirits can be defined more as being of power capable of granting aid in return for something. Zephos can change the winds if called upon, but you don’t need to feed him, for example. But the spirits in Twilight Princess need aid before they can help you. And they’re also not very independent and are able to be fooled easily, which isn’t usually a god-like quality. While more physically present than the three goddesses, they’re also not strictly tangible, and seem to be extremely limited to their location. At best, these spirits could be classified as minor deities below the gods we see in Wind Waker. They also share the same abilities in keeping the realm of Twilight from falling over the land of Hyrule, as well as their weakness to parasites of undetermined origin. An interesting note is that they all seem to live in bodies of water. Let’s put a pin in that one too.
Someone that also counts as a spirit would be Fi and her counterpart, Ghirahim. Literally two halves of the same coin, these two are both very limited in power and function. They don’t represent anything on their own and are very dependent on others to achieve results. How or why they were made is unclear, but it is obvious that both were forged at some point, and clearly gained sentience. Even their personalities and allegiances are a bit odd. Fi for her sci-fi appearance and calculating personality in a fantasy land, and Ghirahim for his… well, everything. I don’t know why the root of all evil would make his weapon a full-tilt diva, let alone on purpose. Ghirahim always struck me as odd since his bombastic personality seemed to clash with his ultimate fate of just being a weapon for Demise.
Okay, so the Great Fairies are weird, okay?! Like, really weird. They act as spirits (I can’t think of any that aren’t restricted to a body of water in some form), but are very independent. They also don’t necessarily need anything from Link to offer assistance. Sometimes, just opening the fairy fountain is enough to gain items needed to progress. And there’s also the fact that fairies heal you upon ‘death’, though with a limited heart capacity. Sometimes they need you to do something though, like the Breath of the Wild fairies need rupees to function or items to upgrade equipment. They also usually look human, like Majora’s Mask Great Fairies are clearly just… giant women with color coded accessories. But like, they float. Where Great Faires come from, or even just regular fairies, is unclear. Until Wind Waker, Great Faires were adults. But when you finally meet the real Great Fairy in Wind Waker it’s… a child. With a doll that looks just like the ‘Great Fairies’ you’ve seen along the way. This sort of implies that Great Fairies age and die, though clearly with a different lifetime than most races in Hyrule (the child Great Fairy also only looks somewhat human compared to other Great Fairies, so make of that what you will). And it also implies that all the adult Great Fairies are dead (you’re welcome for that depressing thought), with the last one trapped in a hollow tree only accessible by the power of a God.
In Breath of the Wild, the Great Fairies are both diminished but more powerful. They literally are stuck in a giant flower with water in it, with few fairies around them, and require riches to get stronger. The connection to their new restrictions to this need for material wealth is unclear. It’s also interesting to note that their fountains are no longer places that appear to be man-made holy temples and they seem to be out of the way… well, for a given value of ‘out of the way’ (looking at you ninja village). These fairies can accomplish more tasks, but certainly won’t be doing it for free or with minimal effort. A far cry from their first appearances (no, I don’t consider using explosives a difficult task).
But Fairies are also companions with nebulous tasks, such as in Ocarina of Time, where Tatl follows Link until the end of the game. And Kokiri have their own fairy as a sign of whatever accounts for adulthood in their race. The Skull Kid in Majora’s Mask has two fairy friends who seemed to have been either lost or abandoned. Who or what gives them purpose and life is unclear, though the Great Deku Tree from Ocarina of Time can give commands, it doesn’t seem to be something he does normally? As a side note, it’s really not clear what, if anything he can actually do. Though the relative safety of the surrounding area is clearly tied with his wellbeing in all iterations, he doesn’t seem to directly influence it, or be capable of self-defense.
Now, onto the elephant in the room! Hylia! Who the hell is this?! A more recent entry to the series, her divine roll is unclear (though she clearly guards the Triforce in some capacity). It can be assumed that she’s somehow a goddess tied directly to the Hylian people, but when she appeared is up for debate. Timeline wise, it’s almost like knowledge of her was suppressed for some reason, giving rise to the Triforce mythos we all know and love without hide or hair of her seen. We know that she favored the original Link greatly, enough to shed her divinity to be reborn as a mortal and assist him. How or why is also unclear, though it wouldn’t be unfair to assume she loved him, as divine ladies holding an affair with a mortal isn’t uncommon in mythology (or even male gods doing the same, before anyone brings up Zeus). But she makes a resurgence in Breath of the Wild, with statues and everything, with the three goddesses left to only vague references in the background. Which is super weird, though not uncommon for places like Ancient Egypt. The fact that the ruling family was literally descendant from a goddess is what makes it weird though, since any monarchy worth their salt would milk that until the peasant folk revolted and made a new religion to justify killing a god.
Zelda in every incarnation is literally descendant from the original and still held at least a fraction of that divine power. So much so that a cornerstone of a powerful religious artifact inevitably ends up in her hands (or on the back of her right hand, as it were). But what is Hylia a Goddess of? We don’t know. It’s never said. Anywhere. And that’s super weird, even for a ubiquitous deity. Sure she’s a Goddess of Hyrule but… what does that mean? That can’t be all she is? Her reincarnation is literally locked in a generational struggle against the forces of darkness! What can she do as a Goddess? Well, she makes Link stronger in return for items, but that seems to be it. In Ocarina of Time, Zelda was capable of sending Link back to the past, but that was with a magic item. And we know Hylia isn’t the Goddess of Time, because Zelda references her in Majora’s Mask (sequel to Ocarina of Time, therefore implying that there are more gods unmentioned at that time), when Hylia should be mortal or at least fragmented (because Zelda exists at the time with powers and a Triforce piece). The Guardian of Time in Hyrule Warriors also fell in love with Link before splitting into Cia and Lana (and was unable to fuse back together again), so it’s unlikely that she’s the Goddess of Time Zelda was referring to, though that detail is interesting to note. No, I will not discuss if Hyrule Warriors is canon (either game), as this is already long enough as it is.
So, that brings us to Ganon, or in his original form, Demise. Which… what’s up with that? Who is this guy? He directly opposes the gods and just… gets away with it! Repeatedly! Sure, he loses most of the time, but still. It’s unclear where Demise came from, or even what he is, though judging by Ghirahim’s ‘Demon Lord’ title, it can be assumed that he is some type of demon himself. And that the many monsters we see are also considered demons, which makes sense with how they always work for Demise (or his many iterations) in some form or another. Considering how much it takes to simply seal him away, he can’t be just a demon though.
Demise obviously pulled the same trick Hylia did, which directly sets him up as a counterpart to her, but what does it mean? Why would he do that? What is Demise that he can’t be beat with the power of a Goddess alone and needs not only a brave knight but a blade literally made to counter him? Within the context of religion, the best guess I can make is that he’s some form of a God of Darkness, possibly also Temptation, Greed, and Pigs Corruption. It fits within the narrative since power is often the strongest form of temptation and we know that demons capable of opposing the gods exist. The Horned Statue literally takes Hylia’s blessings in exchange for wealth, and was turned into a statue for it. What it stands to gain from any of it is unclear, but interestingly enough, Hylia doesn’t mind that it closely resembles her own statues. So, this raises the question… why isn’t Demise a forgotten statue somewhere along a dusty road? How did he curse(?) both a reborn goddess and a human in an eternal struggle for the fate of Hyrule?
Being a god is about the only explanation for why he can do the things that he does. It explains why, in every incarnation, he ends up a rule (like Zelda). How he controls so many different species with ease. He corrupts the conflicted as easily as breathing. An interesting note is how Demise in his many forms usually ends up corrupting once good forces in some way, typically with parasites or evil spirits. And with this context, Hylia must be a Goddess of Light, and possibly some form of Will and Purity to oppose Demise’s power. It would also make her a good candidate for looking after the Triforce in that case. And yet we don’t know any of this for sure either, which is, again, very strange considering their presence from the very beginning. Literally.
Temples: Now, I want to mention the temples as a last point before wrapping this up, because it has bothered me since I was a wee little whipper snapper. For a place of worship, they sure are hard to navigate, even when they’re empty of monsters. And it’s not like Hyrule doesn’t get this, because the Temple of Time in Ocarina of Time is straight up a church. Just… without pews, so clearly not perfect, but it is possible for people to come in and… worship time, I guess. And no, not the Goddess of Time, because there’s no statue for that. I mean, I know it’s secretly hiding the Master Sword, but it is definitely a church otherwise. What a normal service looks like I can’t say for sure, but it’s definitely not like literally any other temples we see.
Now, I know it’s a little hard to remember, but temples are usually places where one goes to worship the gods (or even just a god). And we know gods exist in a very real way in Hyrule! They still manage to name Zelda the same thing despite having seemingly buried their divine origins, so some knowledge of gods walking the mortal realm exists. But the temples/dungeons we see usually don’t have much in the way of religious iconography, with a few exceptions (interestingly it’s typically the desert area that actually has statues and could feasibly have had a real capacity for worship). You want to be a devout follower of a god anywhere else? Well, fuck you. Hope you brought a sword and a good pair of boots. If you’re allowed inside at all, since it’s usually the local leaders that are only allowed inside for some reason. And most games don’t seem to have very religious people, despite all the references to divinity. Not like we’d expect them to, at least. And I personally can’t blame them. If I tried to join a religion but found only a wall as an entrance, I’d be pretty disheartened too. Then I’d be pretty pissed to find out I needed not only a royal instrument handed down the monarchy, but their freaking lullaby to even get in to the place of worship. But we know they pray to the gods at least semi-often, since that’s one of the inciting incidences in Wind Waker. And they have offering to statues of Hylia.
The temples suggest the bar to impress the gods is pretty high, and not in a ‘sacrifice your eldest child’ kind of way. To even get the chance to reach the inner chambers you better hope it’s been kept well and that you didn’t skip leg day recently. Something I didn’t really mention before is that usually, the less involved the gods are, the more independent the people are from worship. If you worry that your local deity will flood your fields, you’re probably leaving regular offerings at their nearby shrine or temple. But if you know that the gods don’t care about literally anything you do, why worship them at all? Why make statues, art, or temples? Why bother with any of it? The answer is you don’t. So these highly selective temples are pretty weird unless you go with the idea the gods are just really done with people and never want to talk to them unless absolutely necessary.
So, I’ve rambled for over twelve pages now. What’s the point? What does any of this mean? I’m honestly not sure, but I have a sinking feeling that there’s some serious shit going on in the Hyrule pantheon. Mortals have been mostly abandoned to their doom. Gods cast out and forgotten entirely. And somehow advanced civilizations keep forming and getting destroyed with only remnants left behind with zero explanation. Assuming the original gods are even alive at this point, which I’m not entirely certain of. Their death certainly explains how Demise/Ganon keeps getting stronger, looking less and less Hylian as time goes on, if he looks humanoid to begin with.
I wouldn’t even assume it’s entirely voluntary at this point either, as Ganon clearly doesn’t have the same motivations in every incarnation (see my previous post about Wind Waker). I’m rather excited about Breath of the Wild 2, as the implications of dehydrated husk Ganon is compelling. Particularly in light of the character development Link and Zelda have received in the first Breath of the Wild. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ganon/Demise turns out to be a fallen god trying to get back home (a nice parallel to Wind Waker, actually), cast out as a scape goat. Blamed for every form of corruption and greed that naturally follows in his wake. I think I said this before, but it is interesting that he is always reborn among the Gerudo, a race famously all females. Sometimes thieves, but nearly always in a position that would naturally crave power to take control of their lives compared to Hylians. Regardless of the consequences.
Is it true? I don’t know. Probably not, but the fact that I can draw these conclusions in three hours of writing is pretty neat. I have a lot of feelings about this franchise, having grown up with it, but I eagerly await what comes next. And I should probably go to bed. Make of all this what you will.
really do love how sky is like: why’s groose acting so weird around me?? eh, a crush?? no way that’s true! you’re just messing around with me, aren’t you?!
she doesn’t really know about that and is not in the loop despite his crush being clear as day, i’m sure others see this obvious crush too but not her. and i just find that mad funny.
Kaepora Gaebora (the talk-active owl) saves Link. How and from what is up to you.
Because I like owls and think Kaepora Gaebora is an underrated character.