Appendix B: TP Fan Theories
- Hero’s Shade:
The shade of the hero in Twilight Princess is one of the more pivotal characters who enabled Link on his journey to learn powerful and interesting sword techniques. It was also rumored and later confirmed in Hyrule Historia that the shade was also a distant ancestor to the Twilight Princess Link. So knowing this, I had decided that the Ocarina of Time Link was his grandfather, and with a span of about 100 years inbetween the timelines of Ocarina of Time to Twilight Princess, that would leave a good generational gap to have Ocarina of Time Link’s child be the mother/father of Link from Twilight Princess.
To facilitate all these connections, I first needed a wife or a woman to help Link produce a child which would in turn become the father/mother of Link from Twilight Princess. Many rumors (not fully confirmed) point to Malon being that person who Link from Ocarina of Time romantically fell in love with. For the purposes of the story, I decided for Malon to have twins but lose the male since her connections with the Gerudo mandated this when she encountered Kotake and Koume. So this left only the daughter of Malon being the mother of Link from Twilight Princess. Whatever happened to Link’s parents in Twilight Princess is a mystery and I will not delve into that here. However, as a result of the war, I did have Malon move south to the Ordon province to set up a ranch there which would then explain why Link in Twilight Princess was a rancher in that area and their village’s connection to the Royal Family.
Finally, the look of the Hero’s Shade is quite iconic and very frightening and one must wonder how did Link become like that? There were three key features that I had to explain with regards to his appearance: his missing eye, the imposing armor, and finally the fact he was a Stalfos of a sort. The first was easily rectified by having an injury imposed upon him by Ganondorf in Chapter 89 – The Gambit which would provide my reasoning for his missing eye. The armor, as evidenced in the Epilogue – New Beginnings, was Goron made and was contracted out by Darunia to be made specifically for Link as ceremonial burial attire fit for a proud warrior. Finally, the fact he was buried by the great Deku Tree next to his mother (marked by a Gossip Stone!), he has effectively become a Stalfos in the afterlife as a result of the Deku Tree being dead and its aura of influence no longer protecting the once proud home of the Kokiri. So thus anyone who enters (or in this case buried) in the Lost Woods becomes a Stalfos.
Now there are two other aspects of the Hero’s Shade unaccounted for. He has mentioned great regret with regards to not being able to pass on his abilities to a future generation and the other aspect is that he is a lot smarter and more self aware than any normal Stalfos. The first can be answered by his unavoidable death in Chapter 92 – The End to All Things. Because I knew the Shade had to be filled with regret, he must have died an untimely or early death where he was unable to accomplish something. Dying with full knowledge that he had a child on the way through Malon would have put that deep regret within him and upon his death some of his last words were expressing just that. So his death was necessary to make this specific detail happen. For being smarter than the average Stalfos upon revival in the Lost Woods, it’s only by the power of Hylia’s piece within him that allows him to maintain his former memories and self. Thus the major reason why Link dies and then comes back to life with Navi inside of him in Chapter 57 – A Piece of the Goddess. It established both the final battle with Majora and the after story plot point of him retaining his personality in the afterlife as a Stalfos.
- Master Sword Location Change:
One of the more subtle changes from Ocarina of Time to Twilight Princess was the location of the Master Sword. It went from being within the Temple of Time directly next to Hyrule Castle in the center of all four major areas (Death Mountain, Lake Hylia, Lost Woods and Gerudo Desert) to being in an abandoned and ruined Temple of Time in the woods right around the place the Lost Woods and Kokiri Forest would be. So I deduced myself that the ruined Temple of Time would be in roughly the same spot as the original temple depicted in Skyward Sword where Zelda slept in hibernation for many years watching over the seal on Demise and where the Master Sword was initially laid to rest.
So between Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time, something so devastating must have happened to force the sages to physically move the sword from its original resting spot to a location of more fortification within the walls of Hyrule Castle town. Not only that, but to have Rauru create the Temple of Light in another dimension to whisk away the Triforce to stand outside of time and utilize the Master Sword as a key that unlocks the Sacred Realm. That must have been some horrifying event to cause such drastic measures to be taken to secure the Triforce. My theory is that the interlopers were the Twili who used their magic to basically decimate most of Hyrule and attempt to claim the Triforce themselves. It got so bad that they were literally banished by the Goddesses themselves into the Twili Realm, as Hyrule Historia states.
Knowing that background history, I could more easily introduce the original Skyward Sword temple in my story in Chapter 61 – Campfire Memories as they are traveling through the Lost Woods on their way to the Xaagar Mountains. Knowing how special a place this must have been, Link no doubt told Zelda about it and what his and Navi’s thoughts were about it. Recalling this information after Link’s death in the Epilogue – New Beginnings, Zelda knew she needed to return the Master Sword back to its rightful place in the old temple. She even called upon the Skull Kid who was watching from the trees to watch over the sword so that Link’s descendent could come claim it, which sets up the Skull Kid’s surprise appearance in Twilight Princess. Finally, there were probably other enchantments Zelda could have laid down to protect the temple, one of which might have been the two statues we see in the game.
Seeing this change in Master Sword location actually makes sense if you take into account the alternate timeline of Wind Waker. Since the Temple of Time was never destroyed (as it is in my fanfic in Chapter 91 – Becoming a God), there was really no reason to move the resting place of the Master Sword that far from the primary seat of power in Hyrule. After the flooding of Hyrule by the Goddesses prior to Wind Waker, the Master Sword was submerged with the rest of the land waiting for a new successor to the Triforce of Courage to come claim it.
- The Sages and Their Role at Arbiter Grounds:
Reading through Hyrule Historia and playing through the Legend of Zelda games, a running theme is the existence of sages and their loyalty to the protection of the Triforce and their Goddess, Hylia. However, the roles they play from game to game can vary wildly. Prior to Ocarina of Time, we had them be the protectors of the Triforce and then with their powers, enabled Link to enter Ganondorf’s Castle and seal him away with the Triforce of Power. In Wind Waker, the sages (the two that we do see) are in charge of watching over the Master Sword and praying for its continued power to banish evil. This is a far cry from their original duty. Even more so in Twilight Princess where they are now tasked to watch over the Mirror of Twilight after having banished Ganondorf into the Twili realm with the Triforce of Power in his hand. Despite the variety of tasks the sages are performed to do, they all do seem to revolve around either the Triforce or the Master Sword. So it seems they are called upon to do what is needed or necessary at that time at Hylia’s (or someone else’s) bidding.
Taking the cinematic cutscene at the top of Arbiter Grounds in Twilight Princess as fact, we know that the Sage of Water died at the hands of Ganondorf during his banishment, as evidenced by her onscreen death and the broken pedestal of water with no ghostly sage inhabiting it. So I had to unfortunately establish Ruto as a tragic character to get her to this point where she would not be on top of her game as a sage and become prey to Ganondorf when he released himself, because I find it highly unlikely that this current group of powerful and resourceful sages would fall so easily to a shocking turn such as that to have one be utterly defenseless unless there was some internal issue going on.
Which leads into the sages themselves: In terms of the timeline, it does work. This is the child timeline where Ganondorf was thwarted from acquiring the Triforce, so he was still a mortal man unknowing of the true power that laid within him since it was sealed with him in the adult timeline. (Mind bending that is!) So unless Gerudo have some super long lifespan we don’t know about, we can assume the sages who killed him and then sent him into the Twili realm via the Mirror of Twilight to be Darunia, Ruto, Saria, Nabooru, Rauru, and Impa respectively, or at least sages of those specific ages living within that frame of time. I just took it upon myself to add a few twists to the story by killing off both Impa and Nabooru but having them survive through Cayla and Malon by bloodline. The identity of the sage doesn’t matter as long as the requirements are met, of which blood is most likely a factor as evidenced by the scenes in Wind Waker where Medli and Makar were descendents of the previous sages potentially by blood.
Finally, the odd ghostly look of the sages in Twilight Princess lends to the discussion of what exactly are they or how they got that way. Surely they didn’t look like that during Ganondorf’s banishment unless Gerudo have extremely long lifespans we don’t know about. So I made a small scene in the Epilogue – New Beginnings regarding the pact the sages must make when they sealed Ganondorf away, to come back in the afterlife to forever watch over the Mirror of Twilight and Ganondorf’s new prison. Zelda knew it was a harsh price to pay but was willing to leave it to the sages to make that choice to forfeit their souls to the betterment of the world. According to Twilight Princess, it seems they all agreed…although Ruto wasn’t given that choice. So the visages Link and Midna see in Arbiter Grounds is probably what was given to their ghostly forms as a result of that pact and enchantment Zelda placed upon them.
- Missing Gerudo and Ruined Arbiter’s Grounds:
One of the biggest mysteries in Twilight Princess is the complete disappearance of the Gerudo and in the stead of the original Desert Colossus we find a ruined, hollowed out Arbiter Grounds dungeon. Where did all the Gerudo go? Why is all their majestic and impressive structures and fortresses nothing but ruin or completely gone altogether? I seek to answer this by tapping into their affiliation with not just their location with regards to the Mirror of Twilight but also their usage of magic.
First, the location of their Desert Colossus lies roughly in the same general vicinity of the Arbiter Grounds in Twilight Princess. It even utilizes similar motifs in design. It wouldn’t be a far fetched assumption that they are one and the same location. It would make sense that both the Ocarina of Time dungeon and the Arbiter Grounds have mirrors (or a single mirror) that is displayed prominently. Taking these clues, I leaped ahead and established that the Gerudo, or at least the spiritual elders Kotake and Koume, already knew about the Twili and were utilizing their magic to further the cause of their people and their own ambitions. So Gerudo magic is exactly the same as the interloper Twili magic, this becomes vitally important in Chapter 92 – The End to All Things.
I had to first figure out how the Desert Colossus was destroyed in the first place. I set up the Cyn’Taak and Terrance (the old inventor out on Lake Hylia) to have built weapons of mass destruction for the Gerudo in their fight with the Nevachreans. Due to his research, he created in secret a massive bomb of incredible power with which he promptly used it to destroy not only himself, but over half of the entire colossus. This would explain how the Desert Colossus ultimately became what you see in Twilight Princess.
The destruction of the Gerudo nation is a result of their affiliation with the Twili, the original interlopers who sought to use nefarious magic to ensnare the Triforce and were banished by the Goddesses for it. When Link fused with the mask of Hylia’s champion, he regained memories of his former duty to defend and protect both Hylia and the Triforce from all threats. Combined with the new powers granted to him by Navi, who herself held a piece of the Goddess within her, the Master Sword became an all powerful weapon of judgment with which he used to eliminate all the Gerudo from Hyrule. Only Merin, Giana, Malon and her daughter survived the Gerudo race. Merin moved south and settled into new lands, which ultimately sets up their reappearance later on in the timeline with Four Swords. (and they’re much friendlier now too! Merin must have done something right!)
- Missing Kokiri:
In Twilight Princess, the Kokiri are completely absent and are seemingly no longer in existence. However, if we look over at the alternate timeline of Wind Waker, we know that may not be true. The Deku Tree and its children, the Koroks, come from a similar mold to the Deku Tree we know in Ocarina of Time and its children, the Kokiri. It is not outside the realm of reason that the children of the Deku Tree can take on different forms as the need arises or as the Deku Tree creates/plants(?) his children. So, for all we know, the Kokiri could have faded away and become plant like beings similar to Koroks and are no longer noticeable by the time Link is living in Twilight Princess.
Which leads us to Saria and her Kokiri brethren, my initial hack at the problem was that they all died off in the attack by Naar and his men. Over the course of the story, this only became partially true. Indeed, Saria is literally the last living Kokiri in the entire world as a result of this war. However, seeing as Nintendo could bring them back in a later game on this timeline, I needed a way out from this awful situation: thus the spiritual coupling of Saria and Link. Through them, the Kokiri race has a chance at surviving.
To make the Kokiri more unique and better relate them to being more plant based in nature and solidifying their place as the Deku Tree’s children truly, I decided that Saria give birth to seeds. The Kokiri are of the forest and they are the children of a tree given human-like form, but they are very much bound to the flora of the world. So to me, it made sense that Kokiri would be grown, rather than born. So potentially a rather extravagant flower Link passes by in Twilight Princess might just be a newborn Kokiri waiting to sprout!
- The Disappearance of the Sheikah:
I actually don’t go into too much detail here, however I do allude to future untold stories regarding their fate. We know there were an unknown number of Sheikah at the time of Ocarina of Time, but we are unsure of how many. This war devastated their numbers to probably only a few dozen, if that. Their original home town, Kakariko Village, built and opened up to the public by Impa herself has been razed to the ground and the very earth salted to prevent further growth and crops to be planted there. The town basically turned into a barren wasteland much akin to how it appears in Twilight Princess. Same could be said of Lon Lon Ranch since it no longer exists during the events of Twilight Princess.
Seeing as the Sheikah have no where to go and knowing how exploited their race has been over the course of centuries, Zelda most likely granted them sanctuary and established a small community in the mountains for them north of Hyrule Castle, calling on them only if needed but preferring to keep their secluded race a secret and safe. Typically, parents do not name children after themselves, so I decided Impa should have a sister, Cayla. Now to give Cayla the incentive to actually name her daughter after her sister, I needed Impa to die at some point to provide that emotional impetus to have Cayla name her daughter Impa. This would then be assumed to be the very same Impa we meet in Twilight Princess, probably old enough to have outlasted Link’s parents in age. So we see Cayla pregnant with this very same Impa in the Epilogue – New Beginnings.
- Changed Landscapes:
It was hard to reconcile the differences between how the world of Hyrule looked in Ocarina of Time to what it became in Twilight Princess. Hyrule Historia puts the gap in time between the two games at around 100 years. That is a crazy short time for that amount of landmass movement! Lake Hylia is a sunken valley in Twilight Princess. There is a huge gorge splitting Kakariko Village from Hyrule Castle town. Gerudo Desert (presumably) is now high up on a bluff, unreachable by most methods of travel. Lon Lon Ranch and Kakariko Village are either non existent or in such disrepair that you are unsure if they’re the same location!
We’ve already discussed Lon Lon Ranch and Kakariko Village and their fates previously, that just leaves the massive changes with the remaining sections of the overworld. This is where Majora’s Mask and Fierce Deity come into play. I knew I needed an epic final act that would significantly and effectively change the face of the earth itself. With the god-like powers of both masks, Majora and Link fight a huge battle in the skies before taking it to the ground. Their battle helped cause that gorge, that shift upward in the sands and finally the sinking of Lake Hylia. It was the only explanation that I could see that would make sense. Nothing short of a natural (or cataclysmic) event like that could explain how the landscape could have altered so drastically within a short span of time. I just chose to dramatize it to the Nth degree for reader entertainment purposes.
These are only theories of mine, however it is what drove the story alone in Zelda’s Honor. I wrote many plot points and foreshadowing so all signs would point to the above conclusions which would sequeway nicely into Twilight Princess after the story. This is not meant to be canon, but rather my own interpretation of the story ‘between the lines’ of the official games and supplemental material. Feel free to disagree or agree as you see fit, this is how I choose to view the history between Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess until Nintendo disproves me otherwise. Either way, I hope you enjoyed the fanfic and keep playing Zelda!