Ganondorf is well-known as the bad guy in the Legend of Zelda series, and last week we got confirmation that the corpse underground is indeed The King Of Thieves. However, could Nintendo be setting us up for one of the biggest plot twists we’ve seen in the series so far. Perhaps Ganondorf isn’t the one we have to be worried about, perhaps it’s the Zonai we should be looking at as the Great Evil in the game. Today I want to dive into this theory that Ganondorf is being used as a battery to fulfill the Zonai’s thirst for power in the upcoming Legend Of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom.
Ever since Link and Zelda found the corpse underground rumours has been swirling of it’s true identity, and recently during the final pre-release trailer for Tears of the Kingdom, the identity of the corpse was confirmed to be Ganondorf himself. It’s tradition in Legend of Zelda games that Ganondorf is the villian, he kidnaps Princess Zelda and we spend our adventure as Link, powering ourselves up to take on the mighty Ganondorf at the end of the game to save the day, including Princess Zelda and Hyrule itself.
But Tears of the Kingdom may be different. What if Ganondorf isn’t the main evil we need to be worrying about, what if it’s the Zonai Tribe instead? The Zonai are known for their worship of power and stregth, as we can see depicted in their dragon ruins.
The corpse under Hyrule Castle is being held in place by what looks to be a Zonai hand. What if the Zonai trapped Ganondorf underground with this hand are are using him as a battery to generate power? The Zonai are known as powerful magic users, and are using Ganondorf as some kind of battery to ascend the Sky Islands and keep them in a position of power over Hyrule.
The final pre-release trailer was a blockbuster for many reasons, but Nintendo may be attempting to hide this plot twist in plain sight with the way its cut together. The Zonai have a thirst for power, and any power-hungry people need to have a close eye on them, especially if they are well-known for their magical abilities.
In an earlier trailer we hear Princess Zelda proclaim “Lend him your strength”. This could be Princess Zelda speaking to Ganondorf, asking him to lend Link his strength, so they can team up against the emerging Zonai threat. If this is the case then it could be one of the biggest plot twists in the series history.
While this theory seems pretty wild, we don’t know much about the Zonai and their history, and the fact the Ganondorf Corpse is trapped underground by this Zonai arm leads me to think something else is going on here. Before the corpse breaks free, his body appears to be pumping out Malice, and this Malice is keeping Hyrule in a state of disrepair.
Let’s have a look at what we know about the Zonai. They are described as a savage, warlike tribe from the Faron Region. They are strong magic weilders, who are thought to have worshipped a water dragon. Their stone structures represent the Triforce; Dragons for courage, Owls for Wisdom and Boars for Power. They are thought to have inspired the Barbarian armor set in Breath of the Wild, and the description for the Helmet reads
“A helmet once worn by the warriors of an ancient warlike tribe from the Faron region. Wearing it draws out your inner animal, increasing your strength and battle prowess.”
Looking again at the first trailer, and the location for the corpse, this place clearly has Zonai fingerprints all over it. There are Zonai monuments down there, and on the wall you can see animal carvings and a depiction of Ganondorf riding on what looks to be a horse.
We can see Ganondorf depticted on a horse here on the wall, perhaps at one stage the Zonai worshipped Ganondorf for his power. But there was a moment in time when the Zonai turned on him, realised they could take this great power for themselves if they trapped this male Gerudo underground, and oppressed Hyrule at the same time to elevate their own people.
While Ganondorf wasn’t in Breath of the Wild, we did have Calamity Ganon and the Blight Ganons. Urbosa, the Champion of the Gerudo 100 years ago, also alludes to Ganondorf in her diary.
“Emissaries from Hyrule came to see me today. They informed me that I have been chosen to pilot the Divine Beast. My people are uneasy about it. They tell me such a dangerous task is not fitting for the chief. I understand their fear. However, I intend to accept this task. Calamity Ganon’s resurrection does not only threaten Hyrule, but the whole world. I refuse to sit idly by. Ganon is also closely associated with the Gerudo… an association I deeply resent. I believe Zelda will be here soon to receive my official answer. I am excited to see her, as always.”
— Urbosa’s Diary
Now we know Ganondorf is in Tears of the Kingdom, perhaps Ganondorf isn’t in the present time with Link and the descendants of the Champions. Perhaps the Ganondorf we see is in the past with the Zonai and Princess Zelda. Knowing of Princess Zelda’s power, the Zonai transport Princess Zelda back to their time after she falls down the hole, to help them in their quest to trap Ganondorf underground, creating their battery which is the source of their magic to elevate their people above Hyrule to keep them out of sight, and oppress the people of Hryule with this Ganondorf Malice battery.
This all begs the question, why would the Zonai do this? What if Hylians oppressed the Zonai Tribe, to the point where they broke, and wanted to exact revenge on Hyrule and all the people that lived there. A Male born Gerudo only happens once every 100 years, Ganondorf was born and rose to power and the Zonai Tribe saw their opportunity to exact revenge on Hyrule by imporisioning Ganondorf underground, trapped in the clutches of this Zonai arm. This served two purposes; first they used Ganondorf’s body as a battery to power their magic, which kept the Sky Islands hidden above Hyrule for centuries. Second, at the same time Ganondorf’s body produced copious amounts of Malice, that kept Hyrule in a cycle of oppression through the Malice production, causing Calamities every few centuries – keeping Hyrule in their place on the ground below, and elevating The Zonai above them, maintaining their tight grip on power for all time.
There is an interesting line from the Official Trailer 2, where Ganondorf says “Rise, Rise my servants. Sweep over Hyrule. Eliminate this Kingdom and her allies. Leave no survivors!” If he’s been kept in this state by the Zonai for centuries, then he’s bound to be mad, and he wants to exact revenge on those he thinks kept him in that state.
Nintendo haven’t given us too many clues as to the story in Tears of the Kingdom, but we do know that it’s going to involve Link, Zelda and Ganondorf in the same game for the first time in 17 years. While it’s likely Ganondorf will be the big bad once again, I’d like to think we get something different this time. Ganondorf has always been the big evil in Legend of Zelda series, but much like Breath of the Wild delved into the backstory of Princess Zelda and her struggle to realise her power, perhaps Tears of the Kingdom is going to go into more detail about Ganondorf’s back story. I’d like to find out more about the only Male Gerudo, why he’s evil, what’s his motivation, and perhaps we’re about to find out in Tears of the Kingdom.
Let me know in the comments what you think about this theory, and let me know what you think about the Zonai and their role in the upcoming Legend of Zelda adventure.