The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was released on May 12 2023, and is leaving most fans absolutely floored in amazement. From the mesmerizing soundtrack to new game mechanics, TOTK offers much more than players anticipated, making both new and old Zelda fans happy with the new title. Hundreds of hours can be played exploring Hyrule and its new secrets. The game also presents us with The Demon King, and while most of us already guessed who that was, certain may be asking themselves “Who is the Demon King in Tears of the Kingdom?” Here’s some spoiler-free answers that will leave you a little more understanding of this favourite game villain.
Who is The Demon King in Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?
It’s no spoiler, and everyone called him by his name before it was revealed in game. The Demon King also goes by the name of Ganondorf, the ever so present villain in so many of the Zelda games. His green skin and red hair gave it away immediately, even in his ‘dehydrated’ form as people call it.
This time, several years after the defeat of Calamity Ganon in “Breath of the Wild”, Link and Princess Zelda discover The Demon King imprisoned under Hyrule Castle after they investigate the area. An unknown red mist called Gloom had started surfacing all over Hyrule, making people ill. As they discover the mummified version of Ganondorf, he wakes and attempts to attack the pair. He fails as he is too weak but in the process corrupts Link’s arm, which is shortly saved by the Ghostly Arm that was holding Ganon imprisoned. The floor crumbles beneath their feet and Zelda falls into the abyss, leaving Link on a mission to find her.
Oof. yes, that’s a lot.
This is basically a tl;dr of the game’s intro.
But back to our main question. Who is The Demon King?
There is multiple version of Ganondorf throughout the Zelda Games. Some versions of him even is a blue pig, believe it or not!
Because The Legend of Zelda’s timeline is incredibly complicated and complex, and that many versions of him in different timelines exists, let’s focus on the Ganondorf that we know in Tears of the Kingdom.
To understand him in TOTK, you have to get to know Ganondorf in Breath of the Wild, also known as Calamity Ganon.
Who is Ganondorf in the Legend of Zelda: Beath of the Wild?
In Breath of The Wild, Ganon had been sealed away by and with Princess Zelda before he was able to destroy the entire world using Four Divine Beasts. He had killed their champions, and gravely injured Link, which resulted in the Master Sword wielder to be put in a healing sleep for a century. As time passed, Ganon, sealed in Hyrule Castle, was able to start recovering some of his power to resume what he was doing.
Without giving any spoilers, you may have guessed that Gannon’s plans fail and he is once again sealed away at the end of the game with the help of The Bow of Light.
Here is there twist, though. Even though Tears of the Kingdom happens a few years after Ganon is sealed away, the version of him that is uncovered under Hyrule’s Castle is from a different time entirely, causing a lot of speculations about the alternate universes that offers the Zelda games.
Both are the same Ganondorf.
One has been sealed by Zelda and Link using the Bow of Light, another, 10,000 years in the past during a different War that is discussed in Tears of the Kingdom.
While he first appeared in The Legend of Zelda as a simple beast, Ganon has evolved over the series to become a powerful warlock with ulterior intentions for his acts. As the embodiment of the Demon King Demise’s hate for people possessing the blood of the Goddess and the spirit of the hero, Ganon is doomed to perpetually reincarnate to seek world conquest. The majority of his appearances, however, occur after his resurrection or the shattering of a seal. Even Tears of the Kingdom’s Ganondorf seems to be unique, having existed throughout one of Hyrule’s formative periods.
What is Ganondorf’s Background?
Ganondorf is a one in a million character, literally. He is a Gerudo.
The Gerudo are also referred to as the Female Pirates.They are a thieving species in The Legend of Zelda series. Their appellation is given to the arid desert where they reside. By reputation, they are respected and dreaded warriors in the nations they inhabit. Due to a peculiar biological anomaly, the race is almost entirely composed of females. Every century, a single male Gerudo is born into the tribe. By Gerudo law, this male is destined to become their King. Ganondorf is the only male Gerudo to have made an appearance in the series, and is led to become King of the Gerudo in Ocarina of Time, Breath of the Wild, and Tears of the Kingdom.
How can a nation of women give birth to just one male every century is never explained. At least during the Ocarina of Time era, it is known that the Gerudo compensate for their scarcity of males by recruiting males from other human races. This is also true in the Breath of the Wild era. It is implied that a Gerudo male can only be born after the death of their previous monarch, as Ganondorf’s sealing 10,000 years ago prevented the Gerudo from having male offspring after that. So far, only Ganon has been portrayed as a male Gerudo in the series.
It would be interesting to see if another male may be born in future games, despite Ganon being sealed away, imprisoned, changed, killed, or whatever Link and Zelda will be up to next.
In Ocarina Of Time, Ganondorf was a strong Gerudo sorcerer. Koume and Kotake, the Gerudo witch sisters, raised him as their own. It would be great to be able to dig deeper into this lore, as far as Ganondorf being raised by two witches.
In Breath of the Wild, the Gerudo primarily live in Gerudo Town in the Gerudo Desert. They are commanded by Riju, their commander. Due to the untimely demise of her mother, she was compelled to ascend the throne as a minor. The Gerudo are a tranquil race during the Era of the Wilds, but they still do not allow males into their residence, Gerudo Town.
Is there more to Ganondorf?
You bet there is! Too many to list in a single post. It’s important to know that it is speculated that Ganon might have, at some point, a redemption arc. Want to know the reasoning behind this? We’ll be writing about it soon! Make sure to follow us on socials and signup to our newsletter to be alerted.