Why Dragons are important in The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

Looking at the trailers we’ve seen so far for The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom, plus the logo, it’s very clear that Dragons are super important. Today I want to have a look at why Dragons are so important to the latest entry in The Legend of Zelda franchise, and what that could mean for the story in Tears of the Kingdom.

Before we get stuck into today’s topic, let me know what you think about Dragons, why you think they are important, and where you have seen them in the Legend of Zelda series.

Evidence of Dragons

We’ve seen a few Dragons in the Tears of the Kingdom trailers, and we know they were important in Breath of the Wild. Many Legend of Zelda games have featured Dragons, and it seems like they are going to be central to the story in the next entry.

In the latest trailer, we can see Dragons featured in the main logo for the game. Towards the end of the trailer, Link is flying through the sky on his new flying machine or sky mount, and two dragons come in, featured in a circular design, appearing to eat their own tails. I did explore what this could mean a couple of videos ago, I recommend going to check that one out if you didn’t see it. Since it was released, it’s become the most popular video on the channel by far, so there’s definitely something in that theory that has resonated with you all.

Very briefly, it appears as if Tears of the Kingdom could be the final game in the timeline, not the final game in the Zelda franchise, but also that time is circular and given the sky islands are floating up into the sky this could be the creation of Skyloft and connect to the events in Skyward Sword. Go and check out that video for the full story, as I don’t want to go over all the detail again. However, Dragons or the Ouroboros signify a cycle of life, death and rebirth – which relates directly to Link, Zelda and Ganon.

That’s one example of a Dragon in the latest trailer, but eagle-eyed fans have spotted a glimpse of what could be a Dragon in the sky. Breath of the Wild featured Dragons in the game, and given this is a direct sequel then it’s not a massive stretch of the imagination to think they would be in Tears of the Kingdom. Let me know what you think in the comments, is this a Dragon in the sky, or is it something else?

We’ve also seen Dragon iconography in previous trailers. In the E3 2021 trailer, we see Link battling with a strange creature who appears to be on the wall, and Link is using a Dragon Shaped weapon, which appears to act like a Flame Thrower, on his left arm, to spit fire at the enemy before he does a back flip and gets out of harm’s way. The gauntlet seen on his left arm appears to be in the shape of a dragon’s head.

Finally, Link is seen bursting through the doors, before sprinting off the ledge of one of the sky islands. On these double doors appears to be the design of a Dragon, once again in a circle layout. It’s different from the logo design though, with the Dragon heads facing each other, rather than eating each other’s tails.

Short History of Dragons in The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda series has a long history with Dragons, although that relationship appears more pronounced in the recent Breath of the Wild. Back in The Adventure of Link, one of the original Zelda games on the NES, a dragon appeared later in the game as a boss. Barba was the boss of Three-Eye Rock Palace, and acted as a guardian of the statue within it.

In Ocarina of Time, Volvagia is the boss of the Fire Temple. It appears as a lava dragon that dives in and out of the hot magma.

In Wind Waker, Valoo is a supporting character who appears on the top of Dragon Roost Island. He is unable to grant the Rito their ability to grow wings due to being hurt by Gohma and Link must defeat the giant scorpion. Later in the game, Valoo aids Link and Tetra in escaping Ganondorf.

In Twilight Princess, Argorok is the boss in the City in the Sky. Argorok appears as a red-orange wyvern covered in black armour. This is going back to Zelda’s roots of having Dragons as bosses in the games.

In Skyward Sword Eldin, Faron, and Lanayru are protectors of The Surface and each teaches Link part of the Song of the Hero.

In Breath of the Wild, the three dragons are invincible and appear in various places on the map. While not intending to harm Link, their bodies do shed orbs of their element which can harm him. They can be harvested for their horns, scales, claws, and teeth for armour upgrades. Dinraal has the power of fire and frequents Tanagar Canyon and northern Eldin. Farosh has the power of electricity and frequents Gerudo Highlands and Lake Floria. Naydra has the power of ice and frequents Mount Lanayru and Lanayru Road. Naydra initially appears at the summit of Mount Lanayru infected as Malice Naydra and must be freed from the Malice before it can appear regularly.

What do Dragons mean?

We can get some clues as to what appearance of Dragons means in The Legend of Zelda, and it’s largely down to Nintendo’s Japanese roots, and how Dragon’s are perceived in Japanese Folklore.

In an interview, director Hidemaro Fujibayashi said “as for dragons, just as I spoke earlier, we wanted to incorporate something that could be seen afar, kind of like the Divine Beasts. So we thought we definitely accomplished that with the Divine Beasts, but we also thought we could incorporate a little more and that would be great. We wanted to incorporate something that was a little bit romantic. And maybe it’s because I’m Japanese, or the team was Japanese, but instead of having that battle theme or something that will have an adrenaline rush, we thought something mystical, maybe something serene and kind of a different experience would make the adventure for the player be more exciting. And that’s why we decided not to make it necessarily like a battle. And addressing the idea of how Japanese people portray dragons, we wanted to incorporate that feel of godliness or maybe something more serene.”

Eiji Aonuma added “in lots of Japanese folklore, there are often stories where dragons are basically incarnations of gods. So, I think that might be part of the reason why we incorporated that in this game.”

What does this mean for Tears of the Kingdom?

I think the appearance of Dragons in The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom has a few implications. They are clearly important, given Dragons are incorporated into the logo design, and I think there’s some meaning there on the timeline, and the fact time is a circle.

I also think this points to the Zonai being an important part of the game. The Zonai are discussed in myth and stories in the Legend of Zelda, and it appears as if they were wiped out long ago. They were primitive, which is indicated through the Barbarian set, and they worshipped strength, as seen by their Dragon Carvings and structures left throughout the game. These structures can be visited and seen in Breath of the Wild; there is the Stone Dragon near the Spring of Courage plus we have the huge mazes in Gerudo Desert, Akkala and also Hebra. The Zonai have left their own unique mark on the structures with the signature Zonai spiral design.

I believe we’re going to be going back in time to 10,000 years ago. We see a primitive, wild-looking Link with a different outfit, and I believe this is the original hero we see in the tapestries and stories told by Impa and the King in the original Breath of the Wild. I believe we’re going to be interacting with the Zonai and uncovering their secrets, why they disappeared and more, and the Dragon iconography points to this time travel element and interacting with this long-lost tribe, rather than the physical Dragons we see like Farosh, Dinraal and Naydra.

Let me know in the comments what you think Dragons mean for Tears of the Kingdom.

That’s it for this look at why Dragons are important in The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. For more Legend of Zelda content like this check out Triforce Times on YouTube and subscribe today.

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