Who Exactly Is Ganondorf In The Breath Of The Wild Sequel?
By Gary Gray
Breath of the Wild has been an outstanding success, critically acclaimed and adored by its fans, with many of the opinion that it is one of - if not THE - greatest Zelda game to date. Hundreds of hours can be spent combing the impeccably crafted landscape, from the sandy wastelands of the Gerudo Desert to the fiery infernos of Death Mountain - yet fans still clamour for more. We were graced with our first look at a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild at E3 2019, so let's speculate as to what we could possibly expect from a sequel to one of the greatest games of all time.
Where we left off
Calamity Ganon wreaked havoc over Hyrule for the last hundred years, however he actually spans a time period of over ten thousand years according to the stories told within breath of the wild. When a defeated Link woke from a hundred year slumber in a shrine built for resurrection, he had the mission of defeating Calamity Ganon once and for all, with the help of the divine beasts and the spirits of the defeated champions that reside within them. Hyrule castle was swirling with evil malice as Princess Zelda held back the Calamity until the day Link gained enough of his strength back to tackle the porcine scourge. With memories of the past pieced together, the legendary sword of evil's bane retrieved, and four divine beasts reactivated, Link found himself at the footsteps of a wrecked Hyrule castle.
After a battle with the malice-altered, spider-like Calamity Ganon, Link and Zelda then team up to fight a beast of pure evil, a swirling everlasting hatred in the form of Dark Beast Ganon. After victory, the lands of Hyrule seemed safe once and for all…
…that is, until E3 2019.
Does Calamity Ganon live on?
It can be taken as given now that the mummified body that was seen in the trailer is Ganondorf, the humanoid containment for Demise's curse that has lived and reincarnated througout the ages. So was Calamity Ganon defeated? We can theorise that Link was indeed successful. However, Calamity Ganon may have just been a manifestation of the Malice that had tormented the land. Spilling out of an open wound on Ganondorf’s remains, it had spread and grown all over Hyrule, reviving monsters and creating new ones in the form of the Blight Ganons that inhabited the divine beasts.
As Link entered Hyrule castle we saw Calamity Ganon hatch from a cocoon that was swirling with Malice and infused with the trapped Guardian that was residing above it. Wearing the face of the Gerudo King Ganondorf himself, this monstrosity took the form of its creator - the evil King of Thieves.
As with Calamity Ganon, Dark Beast Ganon was created out of Malice and the hatred that flows through the bloodline of Ganondorf. Mere puppets created out of an ancient curse, Demise's curse, reliving and recreating itself.
Without theorising too much on the overarching timeline of The Legend of Zelda franchise, it is easy to assume that Breath of the Wild fits in towards the end of all the timelines. In fact it slips in most easily at the end of the fallen hero timeline, not only because of a few lines of dialogue from Princess Zelda, but because Castle Town and Hyrule Castle are extremely similar to the ones seen in Twilight Princess.
The slumped over corpse of Ganondorf is also very reminiscent of the incarnation seen in that game; from long, flowing red hair worn over an intricate golden piece of head jewellery centred with an impressive gem, flowing black robes embroidered with the symbolism of the Gerudo tribe, right down to the wound inflicted by the sages who tried to execute Ganondorf before banishing him to the Twilight realm.
Even after the final blow that sealed Ganondorf in Twilight Princess, it seems that he was never fully defeated. Sealed under Hyrule Castle, his corpse mummified to prevent reincarnation from ever happening again, only for the open wound to birth the Malice that caused a new catastrophe within the vast lands of Hyrule.
We can’t say for sure that this is definitely the same Ganondorf, but there are far too many minor details that seem keen to point us in that direction.
One of the only things that doesn’t line up is the paintings on the walls of the crypt. They show a horse-riding Ganondorf holding a trident, whereas Ganondorf in Twilight Princess wielded the sword of the sages. However we do not know much about Ganondorf before the sages tried to execute him, the wall art could be of a time when he committed his crimes - before the sages tried to execute him.
Either way, there’s clearly plenty of unanswered questions about the identity of this mummified Ganondorf, what his relation to Clamaity Ganon is, and what role he’ll play in the upcoming sequel. We cannot wait to find out more.
Gary is the co-founder of and writer for Nintendo Village, and also hosts multiple shows. A fan of not only Nintendo, but all things gaming, the GameBoy is where his love first blossomed. His favourite game is The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening