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The Goddess of the Sand
  • The Goddess of the Sand is a very enigmatic entity. She is mentioned by that title only once and alluded to in architecture, but we are given virtually no details about who she actually is or was, and indeed, whether she ever truly existed. Others have suggested that she may be Din, a representation of Hylia, or a separate deity on level with the wind gods Zephos and Cyclos. I set out to develop a theory from the ground up, using architectural clues and historical accounts to reconstruct this qualities and life of this mysterious figure. My findings paint a surprisingly robust picture of an important leader now neglected by history. We will start at the most logical place: the Spirit Temple.

    The Spirit Temple


    cdn.wikimg.net/strategywiki/images/0/07/Zelda_OOT_hi-res_Colossus.jpg

    The outer face of the Spirit Temple is the only depiction directly referred to as representing the Goddess of the Sand:

    Sheik wrote:


    One inside a goddess of the sand...


    The colors and details of the outer statue have have been worn down with time, robbing us of potentially valuable information. Of note, however, is the fact that it features the characteristic Gerudo nose, as well as what looks to me like Gerudo clothing. The goddess’s left hand holds the mirror shield, and her right holds the silver gauntlets. It is possible that, if she really exists or existed, these were originally her own accoutrements, and they are held out now as to her people, or to a successor, to be used when they are needed.

    http://architectureofzelda.weebly.com/uploads/3/7/1/2/37126503/7651155_orig.png

    The inner statue of the Goddess of the Sand conforms even more readily to Gerudo culture. She wears loose-fitting pants and sports a bare midriff. The jewel at the center of her chest is reminiscent of those that some modern Gerudo wear on their foreheads.

    Navi comments that she looks wicked, but personally, I don't see it. She in not presented as an threat at any point; rather, her hands hold out valuable treasures, like gifts to be accepted, or options to be chosen. Likewise, the image of the serpent appears throughout the Temple, but never as an enemy. Two snakes in the first room of the temple offer guidance, and snakes adorn the mirrors that allow for many of the puzzles to be solved. The serpent appears to be associated with the goddess, and seems to relate to mortals as a sort of animal guide. The Spirit Temple, like all the others, may be and is used for evil, but it isn't evil in itself.

    The left hand of the inner statue features a Triforce design, much like the Triforce image that appears on the hands of Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf. This could hardly be coincidence, but what does it mean? It could be wishful thinking – The Gerudo could desire to portray their goddess as having mastery over the sacred relic of their neighbors. Alternatively, it could indicate that the figure depicted here actually controlled the Triforce, in part or in whole, during her own time.

    Interestingly, the Triforce mark appears on the statue's left hand – just as it appears on Link's left hand, and Zelda's and Ganon's right hands. She also bears a sword on her back, with the hilt over her left shoulder. The Goddess of the Sand is left handed.

    In any case, the right hand of the inner statue holds nothing more than a key. It seems oddly insignificant in contrast to the other treasures. Perhaps this was where the golden gauntlets were kept, prior to Ganondorf moving them to his own newly-constructed castle. If that's true, then the inner statue would parallel the outer one, with a set of gauntlets in the right hand, presumably to be worn by both, and something of greater value or utility in the left.

    Shining a light onto the head of the inner statue will cause the face to crumble away, revealing the doorway to the innermost chamber, where Link fights Koume and Kotake. The serpent which is the goddess's constant companion remains, and the snake head now looms large where hers should be. Her snakeskin armor begins to look like just snake skin. Her bracelets and even the hilt of her sword are already green to match. Her legs are amorphous, one flowing into the other not unlike a coiled snake. When the human face disappears, the serpent suddenly threatens to overtake the whole image.

    So, the Goddess of the Sand turned into some sort of anthropomorphic snake creature. This shouldn't be so surprising. Triforce wielders have been known to transform into more animalistic forms; Ganondorf in particular seems to have transformed just as a result of obtaining the full Triforce. Koume and Kotake also utilize a transformation for battle, and since the Goddess of the Sand seems to have been a part of the same Gerudo culture, it is no stretch to suppose that she may have utilized similar tactics.

    Arbiter's Grounds

    http://www.zeldadungeon.net/Zelda11/Walkthrough/12/00911.jpg

    While two giant statues of the Goddess of the Sand appear at the Spirit Temple, no fewer than five smaller ones are found in Arbiter's Grounds:


    00958.jpg

    Two of this variant appear in the lower levels of the Grounds, and these most nearly resemble the Spirit Temple designs. She is sitting with her legs folded before her, her arms outstretched, one on each side, holding flames in place of items. By her pose, she may herself be the Arbiter, judging between two possibilities, two claims, two people, guilty or innocent.

    Despite the presence of Gerudo script in the Arbiter's Grounds, these statues have no apparent connection to the modern Gerudo. The clothing is gone, as is the gem, leaving her clad in nothing more than a hat and a snake. Strange markings cover her body. Body markings aren't unusual in Twilight Princess, with the Twili, Light Spirits, and Gorons all embracing such designs, but those all tend to emphasize circles and closed patters; I know of no precedent for such sharp designs pointing toward the center of the chest like those of the Goddess of the Sand.

    One of the first questions we should ask, of course, is whether these statues even represent the Goddess of the Sand. I think they do. It would be an extraordinary coincidence for two separate monuments in the same desert, both with ties to the Gerudo, to depict entirely different figures who happen to be women in exactly the pose with snakes coiled around them; clearly, there is some connection. It's possible that they represent a line or group of individuals who were associated and so depicted similarly, like a royal family in competition to create the more glorious monument, but employing the same style. However, given the Goddess of the Sand doesn't make a personal appearance, civilization would have plenty of time to create branching interpretations of her. Thus, it is simpler to assume that the Arbiter's Grounds statues represent the same Goddess of the Sand as the Spirit Temple.

    http://architectureofzelda.weebly.com/uploads/3/7/1/2/37126503/8329382_orig.png

    The first thing to notice about this statue is that it reflects a similar transformation to the one depicted in the Spirit Temple. Her top half remains as naked as in the previous statue, but her waist now gives way to what I initially thought to be skirt. It isn't. The 'skirt' flows seamlessly from her skin, and even possesses the exact markings that adorn her skin – because it is her skin. The statue represents someone with a human head, chest, and arms, whose legs are now replaced with a serpentine tail.

    Arbiter's Grounds houses the Mirror of Twilight, and this statue is found directly above where the Mirror lies buried. This statue is different from all the others in that her hands are not held to her sides, but together, directly in front of her, palms still up, a single flame between them. No longer are there two options, two claims. If she is an arbiter, she seems now to have made her judgment. Around her coils the familiar snake, but now, its head is at her feet, directed toward the resting place of the Mirror. The spinner is integrated into its design, both for riding along the snake's back to reach the top, as well as a mechanism at the top which raises the mirror. As the mirror rises, the statue sinks. One or the other will always be buried.

    Given the prominence of her statues in Arbiter's Grounds and this one in particular being the mechanism by which the mirror is buried and raised, I do not think it strange to believe that our Goddess of the Sand was involved in the Interloper War. But what role did she play?

    Origin and Nature of the Light Spirits

    If you'll humor me for a brief detour, let's take a look at the Light Spirits. Firstly, it's important to not that the Light Spirits don't just give Zelda the Light Arrows at the end of Twilight Princess; they become the Light Arrows. This is noted in a piece of concept art in Hyrule Historia:

    Hyrule Historia wrote:


    The Spirits assemble before Princess Zelda and Transform into Light Arrows


    Concept art isn't always authoritative, but in the case, developer intent is all it takes to be sure; we already see the light spirits all come together directly before Princess Zelda and vanish, leaving a bunch of Light Arrows in their place. And in ALBW, Zelda explains where the Light Arrows get their power:

    Zelda wrote:


    This bow is imbued with the light of the Triforce


    The only hiccup is that she references the bow, rather than the arrows, but the bow used in ALBW looks exactly like the one Zelda uses in TP, and the Light Bow seems to also fire Light Arrows, judging by function and aesthetic. So the Light Bow, and hence the Light Arrows, and thus the Light Spirits, derive their power not from the Goddesses directly, but from the Triforce. It stands to reason, then, that the Triforce is also responsible for their invention.

    Lanayru attributes the Light Spirits' arrival to an order from the Goddesses:

    Lanayru wrote:


    Among those living in the light, interlopers who excelled at magic appeared. Wielding powerful sorcery, they tried to establish dominion over the Sacred Realm. It was then that the goddesses ordered us three light spirits to intervene. We sealed away the great magic those individuals had mastered.


    But this doesn't mean that the Triforce wasn't involved. Wishes on the Triforce seem to function as prayers to the Goddesses:

    Ganondorf while wishing on the Triforce (Wind Waker) wrote:


    Gods! Hear that which I desire!


    King Daphnes while wishing upon the Triforce (Wind Waker) wrote:


    Gods of the Triforce! Hear that which I desire!


    So someone wishes on Triforce, and the Goddesses fulfill that wish by ordering the Light Spirits to intervene. Now, you might be looking back to that Lanayru Cutscene and thinking that it doesn't leave much room for such a wish. The people of Hyrule fight amongst themselves for control of the Triforce, and then the Interlopers appear and vaporize the competition. By the time the Light Spirits arrive on the scene, the Triforce is surrounded by a giant replica of the Interloper's most powerful weapon. So, who could have gotten a hold of the Triforce to wish away the Interlopers? You can probably guess.

    I propose that the Goddess of the Sand was herself one of the Interlopers, but seeing the horror and devastation of war, and the misdeeds of her own people, upon finally reaching the Triforce, used it to restore peace to the land rather than claim victory. This works well with the symbolism in Arbiter's Grounds – her statue standing above the sealed Mirror of Twilight – explains why she is depicted with the Triforce, and fills in the gaps in Lanayru's story. The notion that she was an Interloper is also supported by her nakedness at Arbiter's Grounds, a fashion choice not uncommon among the races of Hyrule, but certainly rare among humans. It seems to be standard among the humanoid Twili, as is the emphasis on headwear which she seems to share. The markings on her body, though far from a direct match with the modern Twili, could be suitable for an ancestor of theirs.

    It may seem unlikely that she would choose to end the war with the banishment of her own people, but that is a narrow view. The Twilight Realm is not just some wasteland; Midna describes it as quite beautiful. Nor are the origins of the Twili known to us; they might even have come from the Twilight Realm in the first place. In fact, Midna herself made the same decision; faced with conflict between her people and those of the Hyrule, she chose to separate them, leaving her people in the Twilight Realm. In some ways, she reenacted their banishment.

    It is also clear that the Interlopers received a certain amount of mercy upon their initial banishment. Why else banish them to a realm with an open door that only their leader can close? Why let them keep a piece of their scary evil weapon? Because they were never meant to suffer. Because they were banished by a member of their own kind. The Goddess of the Sand was likely a member of the Twili Royal Family, or perhaps even its founder. Peace was maintained by the Twili Royals on one side of the Mirror and the sages on the other.

    So, the Goddess of the Sand was one of the Dark Interlopers, but upon reaching the Triforce, she wished for peace instead of conquest, ended the war with the Light Spirits' aid, and turned into a giant snake-like creature. Question answered, right? Well, mostly.

    An Overlooked Statue

    There's one type of statue that I've been leaving out:


    38.media.tumblr.com/b708a23dd0d0db8c4a7d0a049f1de494/tumblr_inline_n15tn6ZlEJ1qi22la.png

    There are two statues of this kind in Arbiter's Grounds, and they raise quite a perplexing question. Curiously, there are two snake tails on this statue, though only one snake head is seen. Is this a single snake with two tails? Is there a second snake hanging onto her back by some unknown means, mostly hidden from sight? Notice that this type of statue also represents an intermediate state between the other two: she is standing, but has her arms outstretched. The snake-like lower body is there, but doesn't have the skin markings. The three statues in sequence depict a transformation. The fact that she has half a snake dangling from her back partway though the transformation, could indicate that she is actually absorbing the snake into herself. This, too, is not without precedent; Koume and Kotake not only transform for battle, but also combine their forms and their power. As I mentioned before, the Goddess of the Sand seems to have been a part of the same tradition.[1] The statue only depicts two serpents directly, and snake statues do tend to appear in sets of two in the Spirit Temple. That could mean that she only use two snakes in her transformation, or those two could be representative of many more.

    Death and Undeath

    So what became of the Goddess of the Sand? I have to admit, I don't know. It's possible that she went to the Twilight Realm with the rest of the Interlopers. Perhaps she used their portion of the Fused Shadows herself to ensure their safety until she died a natural death. It's also possible that she stayed in the Arbiter's Grounds to safeguard the Mirror of Twilight, in which case:


    stallord.jpg

    “Stallord” [2] may well be her remains. It looks kind of like a skeletal snake head stuck on top of a skeletal human body, though it's hard to be sure. Nothing below the chest is visible (perhaps not even present). It is not unheard of for snakes to have small horns


    7c49c1d6962b6df3e8c352afd5805919.jpg

    and a monstrous snake in Hyrule might look something like this:


    260px-Volvagia.png

    Volvagia had two horns. The Goddess of the Sand might have had four, because she used two snakes. Besides, it's a transformation, possibly for the sake of battle, and it's going to take some artistic liberties; Ganon doesn't even consistently look the same from one game to the next, let alone like a real boar.

    Legacy

    After the Interloper War, two structures were built. The Spirit Temple is a Gerudo structure with Hylian influence (notably uses for the Song of Time and Zelda's Lullaby, which are not only associated with the Royal Family but kept secret by them, suggesting a cooperative mixing of cultures. The Arbiter's Grounds is a Hylian structure with Gerudo influence. There may have been a Gerudo structure already present, as many believe, but the prominence of statues of the Goddess of the Sand both in the lower reaches and the upper tip of the structure, echoes the harmony between Hylian and Gerudo elements in the Spirit Temple. I don't think it was involved in any “Gerudo-Hylian War.”

    The origins of the Spinner presently elude me, but it has uses in the Temple of Time (Light) and the City in the Sky, implying that it would have been used at a time when those were both constructed; it may have been stored in Arbiter's Grounds from the start. Likewise, I don't know whether Death Sword was present from the start, or was brought to be sealed after the fact, like Ganondorf was. I suspect the latter. Neither has any clear connection to the Goddess of the Sand.

    Of course, there's one major point that I have so far neglected; nothing in this person's life as I have described it lends itself to the name “Goddess of the Sand.” In the first place, I said before that she used the Triforce, but that means that she couldn't be a goddess, at least not in the same way Hylia was. After all, gods cannot use the Triforce. Perhaps she attained godhood after receiving the Triforce, much like Ganondorf and Vaati become demons. Perhaps not. It seems most plausible to me that she wasn't a goddess at all, but merely misinterpreted that way; the Gerudo “worship Ganondorf almost like a god.” Someone with the power of the Triforce behind them and a few centuries to become legend could easily cross that line.

    The other problem is sand. “Goddess of the Sand” is not originally a title, but merely a description – Sheik describes her as a goddess of the sand, lower-case letters. She was clearly associated with sand, but it is not her exclusive domain. “Of the sand” could even be a poetic way of saying “from the desert,” as both the Spirit Temple and Arbiter's Grounds are in the desert, but I do think there's more to it than that. Because the way to her temple is blocked by a perpetual, vaguely magical sandstorm, I suspect that she did use sand for her magic, though that was probably a matter of convenience, living in a desert and all. Of note also is the fact that Stallord seems to drain the sand from its room partway through the battle.

    The name Desert Colossus also causes some trouble. At first, the name is harmless enough – it's literally a colossus in the desert – but according to Zelda wiki, the Japanese name translates more directly to “giant evil god statue.” “Giant statue” is just another way of saying “colossus,” and we've already covered “god” (though the appearance here confirms that the Gerudo see her as a deity, rather than her godhood being a Hylian misconception). The strange word here is “evil.” The Goddess of the Sand basically saved Hyrule, and is clearly being honored in the temple. Why would they put a giant evil god statue in the middle of their own temple? Why depict her as a Gerudo?

    The Gerudo themselves are a race of thieves. Perhaps they identify their own goddess as 'evil.' Perhaps they view the Hyrule Royal Family as evil, and the Goddess of the Sand does, after all, have their sacred relic on her hand. Perhaps the witches who make the temple their home have given it a bad reputation over their roughly 400 years of life – more “evil statue” than “evil god.”

    Alternatively, consider Ganondorf; he is the Gerudo King, but after his defeat in the AT, the Gerudo are seen celebrating with the others at Lon Lon Ranch. They also turn on Ganondorf II as soon as he goes to the dark side. The Gerudo are not above vilifying their own former leaders. The Goddess of the Sand may have been a hero at the end of the Interloper War, but she probably had her share of war crimes before that, so it wouldn't be hard to cast her as a villain. In addition to physically distancing themselves from the temple, the Gerudo may have desired to culturally or spiritually distance themselves from the Interlopers. Labeling the Goddess of the Sand as “dark” or “evil” would be a step in that direction.

    Navi's comment that the face looks evil is particularly interesting, since the statue's face is actually the entrance to Koume and Kotake's lair, and fairies seem to be sensitive to evil auras. I suspect that they were there when she made that comment, and she simply mistook their evil with the statue's.

    Summary

    The Goddess of the Sand was one of the Dark Interlopers, but upon obtaining the full Triforce, wished for peace rather than conquest. That wish caused the Light Spirits to intervene, sealing away the Fused Shadows that were the Interloper's greatest weapon, and then banishing the Interlopers themselves through the Mirror of Twilight. She also enhanced her own power by merging her own body with snakes and may or may not be Stallord

    Footnotes

    [1] It occurs to me that I have ties the Goddess of the Sand both to the Gerudo and the Interlopers with no explanation of how those two groups relate to each other. However, that discussion depends heavily on the origins and histories of both tribes, which are largely unknown to us. I am content to conclude that the Goddess of the Sand had ties to both.

    [2] Looking at the etymology, “Stal-” seems to mean “skeletal” or “skeleton.” I always thought that the “lord” in “Stallord” came from the fact of being very large, but it occurred to me recently that “skeleton lord,” could mean “one who commands skeletons.” Stallord does this, calling up smaller human skeletons to serve as shields against Link's attacks. But the giant skeleton that Link is attacking was reanimated and presumably controlled by the sword that Zant stuck in its skull. Thus, I suspect that, as with Death Sword, the sword itself is the actual Stallord.
    Goddess of the Sands

    Map of Thyphlo Ruins

    Forest Architects

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  • Very nice! :cheers:

    memes wrote:

    good shit go౦ԁ sHit thats ✔ some goodshit rightth ere right✔there ✔✔if i do ƽaү so my self i say so thats what im talking about right there right there (chorus: ʳᶦᵍʰᵗ ᵗʰᵉʳᵉ) mMMMMᎷМ НO0ОଠOOOOOОଠଠOoooᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒ Good shit


    I like your use of pictures to break up the text and provide some visual evidence, and you stayed laser-focused on the topic at hand. Your summary was brilliantly concise.

    I have no objections. I always did think this goddess was pretty cool, and you only made her cooler, in my book ;)
    Then again, I'm not a major theory-er, so perhaps someone more experienced could point out any holes that may be?

    Nelsyv wrote:

    I saw that the trailer they released at the end of the Switch event stream looked like it would be a story trailer, so I immediately turned it off. I'm going dark until I've beaten BotW, I don't want any spoilers whatsoever. Wish me strength to resist the temptations.

  • I've always felt the Aribter grounds had Gerudo influence because the Hylians probably used the Gerudo as slaves. Without a king they would have been leaderless. Cut off from Hyrule, which I believe is were they get their water (in OoT there are indications supporting this theory) they probably would have been forced to help build the Aribter Grounds to survive.

    Was that snake diety Stallord? It's possible but I have doubts. I do think the Arbter Grounds was made for 3 purposes, to seal Stallord, to serve as a prison complex for other monsters and criminals, and as a place to hide the Mirror of Twilight. I'm having a hard time buying into that Snake Diety being a Dark Interloper. Not that it isn't possible, there just isn't much proof. The fact the Light Spirit intervened when the interlopers invaded the Sacard Realm is interesting, but not a huge “why” question. There have been many times “divine”' beings have been ordered by the 3 goddesses to intervene into the affairs of mortals. In Wind Waker the goddesses even took it upon themselves to flood Hyrule.

    There just isn't much to back your theory up.


    Display Spoiler




    VGA's loser sig

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Scribe of Spirit ().

  • @Nelsyv
    Thank you! I think organizing all the aspects of this theory in a way that made sense took a lot more work than actually coming up with the ideas, so I'm glad it managed to seem focused. :DD

    @Scribe of Spirit
    There's definitely no guarantee that Stallord has anything to do with the Goddess of the Sands, especially since Ganondorf and probably Death Sword are unrelated. But the similarities and the connection with the theory were significant enough that I thought I should mention it as a possibility. Belief or disbelief rests with you.

    Scribe of Spirit wrote:


    There have been many times “divine”' beings have been ordered by the 3 goddesses to intervene into the affairs of mortals.


    Care to give some examples? Other than the Light Spirits, the only thing that comes to mind is that the assigned Hylia to watch over the Triforce (if I recall correctly), but that could have been done before they left in the first place. The Great Flood is commonly attributed to the Golden Goddesses, but in fact, the King of Red Lions states only that "the gods" are responsible. Given that Hyrule is an island by the end of CT, I suspect that some form of the Flood would have happened anyway. "Lesser" gods would probably suffice to decide whether or not Hyrule was spared.

    Regardless of whether the Goddesses are willing to interfere in principle, I think the connection between the Light Spirits and the Triforce -- Zelda claiming that the Light Arrows are Triforce-powered -- is enough to imply that a wish was made, especially since the Triforce should have been present and ready for the wishing during the Interloper War.

    As for the Gerudo... I don't see slavery being at play, just because I wouldn't expect slaves to be allowed to make design choices or write on the walls in their language. Besides, Ganondorf's attempted execution was at Arbiter's Grounds, and I don't think the Hylians captured him, and then conscripted his people to build a prison before they took him there to execute him. I think it's more likely that Arbiter's Grounds had been built sometime before Ocarina of Time, either by Hylians and Gerudo working together, or by Hylians over a Gerudo structure that had been abandoned or taken by force.

    Thanks for your input! And thank you both (and anyone who read it but didn't comment) for taking the time to read this! I know it was very long.
    Goddess of the Sands

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    Forest Architects

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  • Fantastic read, the formatting was delicious.

    Everything you said feels close to my own views on the matter, though I gotta say Stallord's skull seems very far removed from a snake's, especially when comparing the teeth to the ones on the statue. However, I think your explanation of it being closer to a fantasy creature makes perfect sense, as dragons and snakes are closely related in mythology. Skeletons in the Legend of Zelda tend to have strange exaggerated features anyways.
  • I like this. Like others have said, it's not really necessary, but it is a better explanation of the GotS than any other I've heard. It also neatly explains why the Twilight Realm seems so nice for a prison.

    Being the leader of the Interlopers, that would also mean that the GotS is the Hyrulean Majora from the theory in my signature. Geographically that'd make sense, given that both lived in the desert--and it would fit thematically, both versions of Majora being seen as a god due to her sorcery, but eventually recognizing the corruption and power-lust and sealing her creation in darkness.

    Regarding the Golden Goddesses discussion, I'm personally of the opinion that they left Hyrule and have never intervened. The Light Spirits' intervention could've easily been their own decision (or the result of a wish, as explained here), and in the opening of WW the Hylians are depicted praying to the Triforce when it's said they prayed to the Goddesses, making it very possible that it was just a wish that got misremembered (which makes more sense, because why would the creators of the universe decide to flood the land rather than just smite Ganon). But really that's neither here nor there.

    Evran_Speer wrote:

    Perhaps the witches who make the temple their home have given it a bad reputation over their roughly 400 years of life – more “evil statue” than “evil god.”

    This, however, makes no sense. The Japanese name for the Desert Colossus is Kyodai Jashin Zou, wherein "jashin" is a word meaning "evil god." You might as well say that the phrase "Hercules and Pegasus" means "a demigod and a horse with wings," and argue that it may be the demigod that has wings, not the horse.
    The Skyward Sword timeline split (and its resultant timeline)

    Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl are Din, Farore and Nayru, respectively; Rose is Hylia; Steven is Zelda; Connie is Link; Peridot is Ghirahim; Lapis is Fi; Jasper is Demise; and Malachite is Ganon.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Turtles ().

  • @gamtos
    The snakes depicted in the Spirit Temple and Arbiter's Grounds are also different from each other, with the Spirit Temple's looking like a cobra, and the Arbiter's Grounds' more of a python. As long as Stallord has some similarities to snakes, the specific kind isn't too important. Stallord's skull is at least vaguely similar to this one:

    Educational Biofacts, Inc.

    It seems like the skull shape, the fangs, and the (small) horns are never really shared by a single snake species, but if we assume a merging of a humanoid person with multiple snakes, then a combination of features makes a lot more sense. Of course, it would be nice if we knew for sure these snakes existed in the Zelda universe, but alas, Zelda snakes are rare and not very detailed.

    Interesting point about skeletons having exaggerated features, too. That would help to explain why the horns are so prominent, and add to the vagueness of it being a monstrous transformation already. Although I would think in the case of stalfos and such, the morphed features would be attributed to the magic used to reanimate them, but with Stallord, we see the skeleton before any magic is applied.

    While I'm here, I'll also mention that @Nonoctoro brought up General Onox in a different thread in relation to Stallord. I'll repost the image here:



    While not a perfect match to Stallord, Onox is remarkably similar. He also has ties to Twinrova and the Gerudo. I'm not sure what it really means, but it's something to think on.

    @Turtles
    Thanks for pointing out the specifics of the translation. I'll edit that part out of the original post when I find the time.

    I'm glad to see more support for the deistic take on the Goddess, too. The only thing that stands in the way of me interpreting the Flood as a Triforce wish is that Ganondorf had the Triforce of Power both before and after that event. So someone would have had to get the Triforce of Power from him (at which point they would have basically won and the Flood would be pointless), and then lose again afterward, and that seems unlikely.

    Linking the Goddess of the Sand to Majora is certainly interesting. It implies that she constructed the Fused Shadows, which is convenient, since I didn't have a chance to touch on their origin in this theory. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have that much else in common to make the connection more solid, or to shed a new light on either one.

    Thank you both for your input!
    Goddess of the Sands

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    Forest Architects

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  • It might be worth mentioning that serpents feature pretty heavily in the designs of all things Twili.
    The Palace of Twilight, the Fused Shadows, Zant's armour, and the Shadow Beasts' headpieces all feature snakes. Generally, the snakes are paired.


    Also, the markings on the TP statues did make me think a little of Majora. Specifically, they reminded me of the position of the Mask's eyes on the chest of Majora's Wrath.
    For whatever that's worth.
    The guinea pig in name only, for it is neither.

    Post by HollowmanOfEoL ().

    This post was deleted by the author themselves: Reasons ().
  • HollowmanOfEoL wrote:

    Mod note: I'm reopening this thread, cause it was a bit too little time for a necro post. :)
    Carry on with your theorizing!
    Thank you.

    Benermerut wrote:

    Benermerut wrote:

    It might be worth mentioning that serpents feature pretty heavily in the designs of all things Twili.
    The Palace of Twilight, the Fused Shadows, Zant's armour, and the Shadow Beasts' headpieces all feature snakes. Generally, the snakes are paired.


    Also, the markings on the TP statues did make me think a little of Majora. Specifically, they reminded me of the position of the Mask's eyes on the chest of Majora's Wrath.
    For whatever that's worth.
    Thanks for mentioning this! I hadn't noticed the snakes on the Shadow Beasts' helmet. Can you be more specific about where they are in the Palace of Twilight? I think I've heard of a few on the throne, but I'm not sure about anywhere else.

    There are a lot of theories connecting the Interlopers to the dark tribe involved in MM's backstory, either as the same tribe or as counterpart tribes on parallel worlds. It's interesting, but everything about Termina is so vaguely defined that I can't draw any real conclusions from it.
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  • It's been a while since I've played TP and I thought that the serpent imagery was prevalent throughout the whole palace, but it does turn out that it's primarily limited to the throne room.
    The railings by the stairs leading to the throne are both snakes, and the pillars on either side also feature snakes.


    A good view of the top of the railings, and you can just see one of the snake pillars in the top-right corner.


    This one's from Hyrule Warriors, but it does showcase the whole throne room a bit better.

    Also, the Boss Door, aka the door to the throne room, features a prominent two-headed snake.
    Likewise, the regular doors might also feature a pair of small snakes, but I couldn't find a good enough view of them to be sure.

    But what I found most interesting is that the pots throughout the Palace of Twilight all have serpents on them.

    I don't have any images of the doors or pots because Google failed me on those fronts... I only found them in a youtube playlist.

    But, just to hammer the point home more:
    Midna, in her true form, bears several snake ornamentations, including her belt, her anklet, and her headdress.

    And finally, the back of the Mirror of Twilight:


    And yeah, the Majora connection is pretty tenuous. I only brought it up because it was my knee-jerk reaction to the statues' markings, and then a response to the original post also brought up the possible connection. Just tossing more fuel onto their fire, too, I guess
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  • It seems that if the interlopers were Gerudo, at one point they started using designs for an entirely different snake. The Gerudo were very particular about using cobras as imagery; remnants of this can be seen in the Arbiter's Grounds as well.

    These snakes in the Twilight realm are thin, unvarying in thickness along the entire body and oddly segmented. Some appear to be breathing fire. I believe the Mirror of Twilight is the only time the snake heads resemble more realistic snakes.

    It's an odd conundrum. My gut tells me they forgot what a cobra is like, but then those tube snakes wouldn't be on the back of the mirror of twilight.

    In any case, maybe the interlopers were like a neighbouring clan of the Gerudo and worshipped a different snake deity, much like how Zephos and Cyclos are two brethren wind gods.
  • Apologies if I'm overlooking anything- it's very nearly 3am, so I'm trying to offer some sort of response before I forget.

    Anyway, something that might be worth noting- we don't actually know conclusively that Ganondorf transformed in OoT with the Triforce of Power. It's glowing on his hand when he transforms, certainly, but this could equally just indicate it's keeping him alive after the beating he'd just sustained from Link and having a castle fall on him, just as it halted his death by execution prior to TP. This would mean that the transformation is an ability separate from the ToP, and if Ganondorf has it, other members of his race could likely have and be able to induce the transformation as well. As I see it, this accounts for the Bulblins. Assuming the Goddess of the Sand existed and wasn't one of the other candidates, her transformation could have indeed just been that of a snake. (Why the Gerudo transformations are more akin to those of a boar is less clear.)

    I somehow doubt that her transformation, or anything else about her, is tied to the Triforce, though. The Triforce marking we see on the Colossus is on her palm, not the back of her hand as we've otherwise seen on wielders of Triforce pieces. Then, too, being a goddess would prevent her from making use of any of the pieces. At best, I'd argue that this could instead maybe depict the Gerudo's first queen or some such, with her wielding part or all of the Triforce for a time and subsequently being mythologized and given godlike status. (A real-life example of this would be Romulus, the founder of Rome, who was declared a god when he was apparently smothered by storm clouds and torn apart; from then on, he was worshiped as the war god Quirinus.) But as that requires several assumptions, it seems easier just to assume that the Goddess didn't actually use the Triforce.

    And indeed, considering we also see a winged Triforce mark on the outer entrance to the Temple, it could well just be that the mark is cosmetic. Maybe the Temple itself was built during a time when the Hyruleans and Gerudo were more closely knit, and the two groups simply drifted apart culturally over time after the Era of Chaos. Or indeed, the feathery wings could well indicate that the Goddess of the Sand was in fact originally Hylia, who had similarly feathery wings.

    As far as a few other points, I find it unlikely that the Goddess could be Stallord- this would either require that the Goddess be able to die (thus kind of defeating the purpose of being a goddess), or else to give up her divinity, and yet somehow retain the ability to become a gargantuan monster, which (considering how much Hylia diminished after giving up her divinity) seems like a stretch. Likewise, considering that we explore the Twilight Realm and see no trace of this goddess, I'm skeptical that she was banished with the Interlopers. It's hardly impossible- Midna mentions the TR having gods of its own- but it doesn't seem all that likely. If nothing else, surely a goddess would object and respond to one of her subjects turning the others into monstrous slaves. (Though admittedly that caveat would also logically apply to the other supposed gods, and they do nothing to stop it; but indeed, this simply calls their existence into question along with hers.)

    The idea that the GotS wished on the Triforce for the Light Spirits to form and stop the Interloper War also just seems unlikely. Again, being a goddess, she wouldn't be able to do so in the first place, and it also wouldn't really make any sense for her to resort to that- if she's already a goddess and already has authority over the attacking Interlopers, what exactly was stopping her from raising her own hand against them and curbing the invasion herself? This also assumes that the Interlopers were connected to the Gerudo, a connection I've honestly never understood- as it stands, the Gerudo were likely descended from Groose (as he's the only one we see in SS with their golden eyes and red hair), and very few of them demonstrate magic, with the few that do (i.e. Twinrova) not being especially powerful. That is to say, they can certainly perform impressive feats and are very dangerous in their own right, but could be taken down relatively easily by a single hero- nothing about them seems to necessitate three or four lesser gods to personally intervene. So why would the Interlopers have been powerful enough to necessitate such an intervention, and why would they split off from the rest of their clan?
  • "Not being especially powerful"
    Twinrova could do mind control, had control over fire and ice and could fuse into a more powerful form.

    Ganondorf, even without the ToP, is a powerful warlock who nearly took down both the Great Deku Tree and Jabu Jabu, both considered to be powerful guardian deities of the land, and somehow managed to place an enormous boulder in front of Dodongo's Cavern.

    This also proves deities are far from immortal, also proven by Lanayru's pile of bones in Skyward Sword and the crippling effect Bellum had on Oshus.

    Also worth noting is that IF the Gerudo transformed into Bulblins they reverted back to Gerudo in FSA

    The post was edited 1 time, last by gamtos ().

  • gamtos wrote:

    "Not being especially powerful"
    Twinrova could do mind control, had control over fire and ice and could fuse into a more powerful form.

    Ganondorf, even without the ToP, is a powerful warlock who nearly took down both the Great Deku Tree and Jabu Jabu, both considered to be powerful guardian deities of the land, and somehow managed to place an enormous boulder in front of Dodongo's Cavern.


    I clarified right after that yes, these three are all hugely powerful in their own right, but not to the point that three or four lesser gods were called upon to deal with them.

    This also proves deities are far from immortal, also proven by Lanayru's pile of bones in Skyward Sword and the crippling effect Bellum had on Oshus.


    Except the eye sockets of Lanayru's skeleton were still glowing, so whether he was actually dead or only functionally so is debatable- indeed, Faron herself claims to be immortal, and we don't have any reason in particular to doubt the claim.

    As for Oshus, his actual body was kept confined deep in the Temple of the Ocean King so Bellum could feed on his Life Force- it's never stated that it died. His old man body, meanwhile, was nothing but a clone created so some part of him could escape his confinement, so its presumed death when the SS Linebeck sank means little.

    Also worth noting is that IF the Gerudo transformed into Bulblins they reverted back to Gerudo in FSA


    Well, Ganondorf can clearly revert back, so that's hardly an issue. However, it's also possible that the Gerudo in FSA are descended from ones who fled Hyrule prior to TP to escape the presumed war with the Knights of Hyrule. During the several century-long gap between TP and FSA, the two groups had time to reconcile, and so the Gerudo returned to their old homeland.
  • Setras wrote:

    Anyway, something that might be worth noting- we don't actually know conclusively that Ganondorf transformed in OoT with the Triforce of Power. It's glowing on his hand when he transforms, certainly, but this could equally just indicate it's keeping him alive after the beating he'd just sustained from Link and having a castle fall on him, just as it halted his death by execution prior to TP. This would mean that the transformation is an ability separate from the ToP, and if Ganondorf has it, other members of his race could likely have and be able to induce the transformation as well. As I see it, this accounts for the Bulblins. Assuming the Goddess of the Sand existed and wasn't one of the other candidates, her transformation could have indeed just been that of a snake. (Why the Gerudo transformations are more akin to those of a boar is less clear.)
    I like this point. Also worth noting is that in tLoZ's backstory Ganon is only ever referred to as a demon/monster, yet is also said to have stolen the ToP after invading. IIRC we still don't have the story for how he was resurrected after being killed in LttP, OoX, and LBW, but at the very least that point implies that the Triforce isn't needed to sustain the beast form.

    Setras wrote:

    Then, too, being a goddess would prevent her from making use of any of the pieces. At best, I'd argue that this could instead maybe depict the Gerudo's first queen or some such, with her wielding part or all of the Triforce for a time and subsequently being mythologized and given godlike status. (A real-life example of this would be Romulus, the founder of Rome, who was declared a god when he was apparently smothered by storm clouds and torn apart; from then on, he was worshiped as the war god Quirinus.) But as that requires several assumptions, it seems easier just to assume that the Goddess didn't actually use the Triforce.
    No, that's exactly what I think happened. It makes perfect sense that she'd be called a goddess after that.

    Setras wrote:

    As far as a few other points, I find it unlikely that the Goddess could be Stallord- this would require that the Goddess be able to die (thus kind of defeating the purpose of being a goddess)
    I don't think that LoZ has shown us yet a concrete example of an invulnerable god--and, indeed, many religions across the world have gods that are immortal but not invulnerable. In addition to gamtos's examples there's also the Deku Tree, who died, and Jabu Jabu, whose life was threatened by Barinade; and although Hylia did sacrifice herself willingly, she did sustain mortal injuries beforehand. Edit: Also,

    Setras wrote:

    This also assumes that the Interlopers were connected to the Gerudo, a connection I've honestly never understood- as it stands, the Gerudo were likely descended from Groose (as he's the only one we see in SS with their golden eyes and red hair), and very few of them demonstrate magic, with the few that do (i.e. Twinrova) not being especially powerful. That is to say, they can certainly perform impressive feats and are very dangerous in their own right, but could be taken down relatively easily by a single hero- nothing about them seems to necessitate three or four lesser gods to personally intervene. So why would the Interlopers have been powerful enough to necessitate such an intervention, and why would they split off from the rest of their clan?
    I really see no need to say that the Gerudo were descended from Groose. We don't have to personally see the makings of every single race in SS; the Gerudo could've been on a part of the surface Link didn't explore, or could've risen from some other source long after SS (we don't see them in MC, after all). Groose is a man, after all, with no explanation for how his descendants would all be women.

    And we don't see them using magic, true, but the same thing could be said for Hylians, who are often described as very adept magic users. Other than some Zeldas and some Links we have very few small examples of Hylians using magic, and I think the simplest answer is that they don't really need to. The same could very easily be said of the Gerudo. Alternatively, it could be a cultural thing. Maybe non-evil Gerudo only use magic in religious practices or something. Either way, Twinrova knew very powerful magic and were able to teach it to Ganondorf, whom they were not related to, so that's two separate examples
    The Skyward Sword timeline split (and its resultant timeline)

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    The post was edited 1 time, last by Turtles ().

  • Benermerut wrote:

    It's been a while since I've played TP and I thought that the serpent imagery was prevalent throughout the whole palace, but it does turn out that it's primarily limited to the throne room.
    Benermerut wrote:

    Benermerut wrote:

    Midna, in her true form, bears several snake ornamentations, including her belt, her anklet, and her headdress.
    Well, these both make perfect sense, if the Goddess of the Sands was part of the Twili Royal Family.


    Benermerut wrote:

    Benermerut wrote:

    Also, the Boss Door, aka the door to the throne room, features a prominent two-headed snake.
    The prominence of two-headed snakes is interesting, since it could support the idea of coming together, of merging for enhanced power. But it isn't much; it could just be a side effect of mirroring the left and right sides.

    gamtos wrote:

    It seems that if the interlopers were Gerudo, at one point they started using designs for an entirely different snake. The Gerudo were very particular about using cobras as imagery; remnants of this can be seen in the Arbiter's Grounds as well.

    These snakes in the Twilight realm are thin, unvarying in thickness along the entire body and oddly segmented. Some appear to be breathing fire. I believe the Mirror of Twilight is the only time the snake heads resemble more realistic snakes.

    It's an odd conundrum. My gut tells me they forgot what a cobra is like, but then those tube snakes wouldn't be on the back of the mirror of twilight.
    What if it went the other way? They started out with a relatively simple and more artistically abstract snake pattern, and over time, the Gerudo eventually changed it to reflect snakes that they saw in their own lives while the Twili kept repeating the same pattern because they didn't have any snakes to base it off of. This would work better if we actually saw cobras anywhere in Hyrule, but I don't think it's too much to assume that they're there, or that they were there at some point. Based on a quick internet search, Gerudo Valley seems like the sort of place cobras would live.


    gamtos wrote:

    In any case, maybe the interlopers were like a neighbouring clan of the Gerudo and worshipped a different snake deity, much like how Zephos and Cyclos are two brethren wind gods.
    I didn't want to get into this too much, but I think the Zuna are the most likely candidates for a Twili origin in the Light World, and they have the "neighboring clan" thing down. The idea of a pair of snake deity sisters akin to Zephos and Cyclos is certainly an interesting one, especially since both cultures seem fixated on the presence of two snakes (though they also both portray the snakes as identical counterparts).


    Setras wrote:

    Anyway, something that might be worth noting- we don't actually know conclusively that Ganondorf transformed in OoT with the Triforce of Power.
    You make a good point. I don't see why he wouldn't use the Triforce of Power for his transformation, even if he could transform without it, since it give him more power. We know that transformations aren't exclusive to Triforce-bearers, since Koume and Kotake do the same thing. It still seems that the the transformation requires an influx of power -- Koume and Kotake get that by merging into a single form, and Ganondorf presumably uses the Triforce -- but I see no particular reason that he couldn't do it with his own magic.


    That said, I don't think that the Gerudo turned into the Bulblins; it seems more likely to me that the Bulblins had already existed deeper in the desert. The Gerudo probably moved away from Hyrule after Ganondorf's betrayal ruined what little goodwill there was between them and the Hylians and the bulblins simply came in to fill the power vacuum at Hyrule's border. And although the Gerudo do seem to possess some magic, I don't see any particular reason to think that all Gerudo could transform or that they would all turn into the same thing.

    That said, the more I think about it, the more I think the Goddess of the Sand was probably not a native Gerudo (more like a Zuna, like I just mentioned to Gamtos), so she wouldn't be bound by the same transformation as the rest of them. Her ties to the Gerudo may have developed later, possibly even after the Interloper War. It'shard to say, though; for all we know, the Gerudo may not have even existed as a race at that time.


    Setras wrote:

    Setras wrote:

    I somehow doubt that her transformation, or anything else about her, is tied to the Triforce, though. The Triforce marking we see on the Colossus is on her palm, not the back of her hand as we've otherwise seen on wielders of Triforce pieces.
    True,but the fact of being on the hand at all seems like quite a coincidence, and there are pragmatic concerns with putting it on the back. Since the Goddess of the Sand is consistently portrayed with both arms out, palms up, and the Triforce symbol on the statue is meant to be used, putting it on the bottom would be impractical. And technically, we don't know that the Triforce symbol isn't visible on the palm of one's hand as well as the back.

    Setras wrote:

    Then, too, being a goddess would prevent her from making use of any of the pieces. At best, I'd argue that this could instead maybe depict the Gerudo's first queen or some such, with her wielding part or all of the Triforce for a time and subsequently being mythologized and given godlike status.
    Right,I think I mentioned that at some point in the original theory. One ofthe gossip stones claims that the Gerudo worship Ganondorf almost like a god already, and with the Triforce of Power and a few hundred years, he is perceived as a god by some (Zant). This is one of the reasons I'm thinking it's likely that she started out apart from the Gerudo, and then came to them. Without having known her when she didn't have literally god-like power, they would just think of her as a god.


    Setras wrote:

    And indeed, considering we also see a winged Triforce mark on the outer entrance to the Temple, it could well just be that the mark is cosmetic. Maybe the Temple itself was built during a time when the Hyruleans and Gerudo were more closely knit, and the two groups simply drifted apart culturally over time after the Era of Chaos. Or indeed, the feathery wings could well indicate that the Goddess of the Sand was in fact originally Hylia, who had similarly feathery wings.
    The Temple was almost certainly built at a time when the Gerudo and the Hylians had at least a working relationship, since there are uses for both Zelda's Lullaby and the Song of Time, both of which are kept secret by the Hylian Royal family. I agree that the wings on the Triforce at the door likely represent Hylia, but I don't think the Goddess of the Sand herself is very likely to be Hylia. Hylia is typically portrayed in a single fashion, which looks nothing like the likewise consistent depictions of the Goddess of the Sand, nor does SS Zelda. Nor is she particularly associate with the sand, though I could imagine that changing with time.


    Setras wrote:

    As far as a few other points, I find it unlikely that the Goddess could be Stallord


    Yeah,the more time passes, the less likely it seems.


    Setras wrote:

    surely a goddess would object and respond to one of her subjects turning the others into monstrous slaves. (Though admittedly that caveat would also logically apply to the other supposed gods, and they do nothing to stop it; but indeed, this simply calls their existence into question along with hers.)
    If she went to the Twilight Realm, she did it without the Triforce, soshe would presumably have been mortal and thus long dead by the time TP happens. It's interesting that you mention the other gods, though.After Link absorbs the sol's light into the Master Sword, Hyrule Historia says "Even the guardian deity of the Twilight Realm came to recognize him as a hero." So I guess some deity was helping out a little, or at least approved of Link's actions.



    Setras wrote:

    The idea that the GotS wished on the Triforce for the Light Spirits to form and stop the Interloper War also just seems unlikely. Again, being a goddess, she wouldn't be able to do so in the first place, and it also wouldn't really make any sense for her to resort to that- if she's already a goddess and already has authority over the attacking Interlopers, what exactly was stopping her from raising her own hand against them and curbing the invasion herself?
    She wasn't already a goddess, and may not have been in a position to stop the war by herself. Maybe she didn't want to stop it right away, either. Remember, according to ALttP, Ganondorf slaughtered his own followers to reach the Triforce first, and when he touched it, his hands were red with their blood. That didn't stop Ganondorf's valuing personal power above all else, but someone else might have seriously reconsidered their wish -- andif she touched the Triforce without it splitting, she must have had a balanced heart. Having witnessed not only her people's war crimes against other races, but also potentially them turning on each other for power, wishing for an end to the violence would be understandable.


    Setras wrote:

    This also assumes that the Interlopers were connected to the Gerudo, a connection I've honestly never understood


    There isn't much to link the Gerudo and the Interlopers, but I do think there's enough to link the Goddess of the Sand to both, either as a single figure or perhaps, like Gamtos suggested, a pair of related goddesses. It seems unlikely that the Interlopers themselves were all Gerudo, and consequently, the discussion of Gerudo having magic is a bit beside the point. But I might as well mention that they have ice arrows as a reward for completing their training ground -- a weapon that draws on the user's magic power to use -- and they have the ability to see the truth, either by having trained their eyes (or may or may not use magic) or with a lens like Link (which does use magic). And Nabooru, while mind-controlled, either created or summoned an ax (though there's always that chance that Koume and Kotake delivered the ax to her instead). So common Gerudo would seem to have at least the potential for mastery of magic. The same could probably be said of Hylians, of course.

    Edited to correct weird spacing issues.
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  • Turtles wrote:

    I don't think that LoZ has shown us yet a concrete example of an invulnerable god--and, indeed, many religions across the world have gods that are immortal but not invulnerable. In addition to gamtos's examples there's also the Deku Tree, who died, and Jabu Jabu, whose life was threatened by Barinade; and although Hylia did sacrifice herself willingly, she did sustain mortal injuries beforehand.


    SS Zelda wrote:

    Knowing this power was her last and only hope, the goddess gave up her divine powers and her immortal form.


    Why draw attention to this detail if the gods aren't actually immortal, and why would Hylia have needed to give up her divinity in order to "die" and facilitate her reincarnation?

    As for the other examples, beings like the GDT and Jabun are worshiped and treated as gods, and they're certainly hardier and more have more capabilities than the average mortal, but they don't seem to be literal gods; at best, they seem to be roughly equivalent to, say, nymphs in Greek mythology- they're gods in their own right and even have long lifespans and special powers, but they aren't genuine gods nor are they immortal.

    As for Lanayru, as I pointed out before, his skeleton's eyes are still glowing when interacted with, so it's not clear if he's literally dead or only functionally so- the gods are clearly susceptible to crippling injury, but this isn't in and of itself necessarily synonymous with the conventional idea of death. A "mortal" injury for a mortal being is one that will almost certainly result in death, but a "mortal" injury for an immortal being (besides being kind of oxymoronic) might not carry the same permanence, even if it amounts to the same thing. At which point, you could argue that Stallord is merely the GotS in a similar functionally-but-not-literally dead state- except that it's Zant's Twilit sword that actually gets Stallord up and moving, and it shows absolutely no hints of life prior to being stuck with said sword, and indeed fully dies when the sword is destroyed. So, on the whole, I still have to consider the idea unlikely.

    I really see no need to say that the Gerudo were descended from Groose. We don't have to personally see the makings of every single race in SS; the Gerudo could've been on a part of the surface Link didn't explore, or could've risen from some other source long after SS (we don't see them in MC, after all). Groose is a man, after all, with no explanation for how his descendants would all be women.


    Unless the Gerudo congealed directly out of a pool of Life Force (which we strictly speaking can't rule out, but have no real reason to assume), they'd logically be somehow related genetically to the other human races, and this would of necessity mean having a male ancestor somewhere- heck, even if the first Gerudo was a woman who then mated with a Hyrulean man to have children, said Hyrulean man would still qualify as the first male Gerudo ancestor.

    Beyond that, certainly, there could be a tribe of conventional Gerudo off-camera during SS. But the thing is, we don't see nor have any especially strong evidence that such a tribe is around. We do, however, see and interact extensively with Groose and so know that he's around, and he's again the only human we see in SS that has the characteristic red hair (heck, there's even a very faint stylistic resemblance) and gold eyes that would later be seen in the Gerudo. All he's missing is the bronzed skin, and that could easily have developed later. (Heck, if Impa is any indication, at least some Sheikah during this era had bronzed skin as well- who's to say his wife wasn't a Sheikah? That would go some way toward explaining why some of them have access to magic.) Does this prove beyond all shadow of a doubt that he's the Gerudo patriarch? No. Does it in any way disprove the notion of a tribe of Gerudo already existing during SS? Of course not. But him being the Gerudo patriarch requires the least amount of assumptions, so until there is more tangible reason to assume the Gerudo were already around in SS, it makes sense (to me at least) to assume he was their founder. And indeed, with Zelda being the Hylian matriarch and Link by proxy their most likely patriarch, it would fit thematically too- they founded one race, and their close friend founded another, and these descended tribes ended up being very closely interconnected (if overall unhappily so).

    And we don't see them using magic, true, but the same thing could be said for Hylians, who are often described as very adept magic users. Other than some Zeldas and some Links we have very few small examples of Hylians using magic, and I think the simplest answer is that they don't really need to. The same could very easily be said of the Gerudo. Alternatively, it could be a cultural thing. Maybe non-evil Gerudo only use magic in religious practices or something. Either way, Twinrova knew very powerful magic and were able to teach it to Ganondorf, whom they were not related to, so that's two separate examples


    Okay, fair point. But the Interlopers were so adept at magic that they required three or four lesser deities to subdue them, which again even the most powerful of the Gerudo can't really claim. One could argue that they were simply outliers among the Gerudo, but one could claim that for any magically-inclined race, so the point does little to aid their case.

    Beyond that, while it's admittedly difficult to judge, the Twili seem to have a relatively conventional gender dichotomy; and at most, it would seem that the Twili are mostly male, not female. Either way, this is in sharp contrast with the Gerudo as we know them. One could assume that this was before the Gerudo ended up being near-wholly female, but as we don't have much insight into the cause of that characteristic, it's nothing more than pure assumption.

    Indeed, while I don't believe so myself, it's also been suggested that the Interlopers were renegade Sheikah, and this would fit considerably better- both cultures use a very similar eye symbolism, both have ties to and seeming power over shadows, both have reddish eyes, and the banishment of the Interlopers would help to at least somewhat explain the scarcity of the Sheikah in Hyrule.

    Bottom line, the Gerudo just don't seem like especially likely candidates to have been the Interlopers- there's no inherent reason why they absolutely couldn't be, but they don't have particularly much implicating them.

    Evran_Speer wrote:

    Benermerut wrote:

    It's been a while since I've played TP and I thought that the serpent imagery was prevalent throughout the whole palace, but it does turn out that it's primarily limited to the throne room.

    Benermerut wrote:

    Benermerut wrote:

    Midna, in her true form, bears several snake ornamentations, including her belt, her anklet, and her headdress.

    Well, these both make perfect sense, if the Goddess of the Sands was part of the Twili Royal Family.

    Benermerut wrote:

    Benermerut wrote:

    Also, the Boss Door, aka the door to the throne room, features a prominent two-headed snake.

    The prominence of two-headed snakes is interesting, since it could support the idea of coming together, of merging for enhanced power. But it isn't much; it could just be a side effect of mirroring the left and right sides.


    On the topic of snakes, Lanayru's Spring has depictions of them, too.



    To be fair, one could argue that they look a bit more like lizards than snakes, but it still seems fairly close. Lanayru him- (her-? it-?) -self also takes the form of a snake. What's interesting is that snakes are typically associated with the cycle of life, death, and rebirth (owing to the shedding of their skin as they grow), and with the Gerudo, Interlopers/Twili, and now at least one of the Light Spirits, we seem to have a similar triumvirate going on. Exactly who might fulfill which part of that triumvirate, if indeed any, is hard to say, though.

    In fact, while the Gerudo Desert is considered its own province in TP, it is connected to the Lanayru Province, and according to Auru was in fact directly attached to it before the roads leading to the desert wore away. Perhaps Lanayru was the direct inspiration for the GotS being depicted with a snake, and in fact the GotS is merely an extremely warped depiction of Lanayru? Or indeed, it's speculated that the Light Spirits are reincarnated from or otherwise connected to the SS Dragons that share their names (Ordana being Levias)- perhaps the serpent imagery was originally tied to the Thunder Dragon?

    I'm still very dubious of there being any direct connections, though. In fact, having typed it out, it occurs to me that the Interlopers and Gerudo could have simply been using the same symbol for the same basic thematic reasons- both are groups that live in very harsh environments (the desert and Twilight Realm, respectively) that are barren and filled with death, but they eke out bearable existences and survive anyway (tying back to rebirth and so the perpetuation of the cycle). So there's not necessarily any direct connection here at all.

    Whatever the case, there's quite an extensive rabbit hole to be dived into here.

    What if it went the other way? They started out with a relatively simple and more artistically abstract snake pattern, and over time, the Gerudo eventually changed it to reflect snakes that they saw in their own lives while the Twili kept repeating the same pattern because they didn't have any snakes to base it off of. This would work better if we actually saw cobras anywhere in Hyrule, but I don't think it's too much to assume that they're there, or that they were there at some point. Based on a quick internet search, Gerudo Valley seems like the sort of place cobras would live.


    Something that shouldn't be overlooked, though- the Mirror of Twilight was most likely created by the Goddesses, or if not them, the Light Spirits, which would mean they put the snake design there. This brings us squarely back to the "are these things even directly connected" conundrum from earlier.

    I didn't want to get into this too much, but I think the Zuna are the most likely candidates for a Twili origin in the Light World, and they have the "neighboring clan" thing down. The idea of a pair of snake deity sisters akin to Zephos and Cyclos is certainly an interesting one, especially since both cultures seem fixated on the presence of two snakes (though they also both portray the snakes as identical counterparts).


    If I'm not mistaken, though, the Zuna are a race of cactus people. This would seem to tie them more to the Kokiri (who would evolve into the Koroks in the AT and so would seem to be at least somewhat plant) than anyone else (though of course there's nothing firm connecting these two races either). In addition, their ancestors built the Pyramid wherein the Trident of Power was sealed away, and I view the latter as being an Interloper relic. If the Zuna were related to the Interlopers, why would they seal away this weapon?

    You make a good point. I don't see why he wouldn't use the Triforce of Power for his transformation, even if he could transform without it, since it give him more power.


    That's kind of like asking why Link doesn't fashion his own arrows out of Deku Sticks. Just because he has that power at his disposal doesn't necessarily mean he needs it to transform. Again, it could have just been keeping him alive after his otherwise-fatal injuries, thus giving him a chance to transform.

    We know that transformations aren't exclusive to Triforce-bearers, since Koume and Kotake do the same thing. It still seems that the the transformation requires an influx of power -- Koume and Kotake get that by merging into a single form, and Ganondorf presumably uses the Triforce -- but I see no particular reason that he couldn't do it with his own magic.


    The Twinrova transformation doesn't seem to be quite the same thing as the beast transformation- the latter was just Ganondorf altering his own body, while the former was just Koume and Kotake fusing into a single entity. Neither case necessarily required additional energy, either- in fact, both were utilized when the subject had already been damaged and so weakened. Each process resulted in a power increase, but didn't necessarily require one.

    That said, I don't think that the Gerudo turned into the Bulblins; it seems more likely to me that the Bulblins had already existed deeper in the desert. The Gerudo probably moved away from Hyrule after Ganondorf's betrayal ruined what little goodwill there was between them and the Hylians and the bulblins simply came in to fill the power vacuum at Hyrule's border. And although the Gerudo do seem to possess some magic, I don't see any particular reason to think that all Gerudo could transform or that they would all turn into the same thing.


    If we assume Ganondorf's transformation wasn't tied to the ToP and was instead a natural ability, however, then this in turn opens the possibility that the rest of his race can do so too. From there, Ganondorf's transformation resulted in a hulking beast with horns- much like the Bulblins. He and Twinrova also have green skin, which the Bulblins also display. While the exact gender of the Bulblins is also difficult to discern, they do seem to be largely one gender and rally around a king, creating another potential parallel with the Gerudo. And most importantly, the Bulblins have a very similar nomadic and thieving culture to the Gerudo and even occupy the same basic biome and even what are theorized to be the same structures.

    Now, is any of this ironclad? No, far from it. But there does seem to be at least a decent list of potential similarities to be found here, so for me it makes sense.

    True,but the fact of being on the hand at all seems like quite a coincidence,


    Not especially. If one needs to stand on the mark to play the song and so activate the mechanism to get the chest, then having the symbol on a flat part of the statue would help, and there aren't many besides the palm. Then, too, the mark seems to be painted on rather than etched, so perhaps it was added after the statue had already been built.

    And technically, we don't know that the Triforce symbol isn't visible on the palm of one's hand as well as the back.


    I'll need to double check, but if I recall correctly, we don't see the symbol on Link's palm in TP, nor on those of Zelda or Ganondorf later. Nor can we see the ToC mark on the Hero of Winds' palm. And indeed, if the sigil is visible from both sides of the hand, why draw attention to it appearing on the back?

    The Temple was almost certainly built at a time when the Gerudo and the Hylians had at least a working relationship, since there are uses for both Zelda's Lullaby and the Song of Time, both of which are kept secret by the Hylian Royal family. I agree that the wings on the Triforce at the door likely represent Hylia, but I don't think the Goddess of the Sand herself is very likely to be Hylia. Hylia is typically portrayed in a single fashion, which looks nothing like the likewise consistent depictions of the Goddess of the Sand, nor does SS Zelda. Nor is she particularly associate with the sand, though I could imagine that changing with time.


    We only see out-and-out depictions of Hylia in SS, though, and they're all in places she had specifically put into place to help her later plan. The Gerudo would have also been long since distanced from the proper Hylian religion, and so Hylia's depictions and nature became distorted as a result. It's a bit like the Greek goddess Hecate (in fact oddly close to her)- originally, she was known as an Earth goddess called Diana, and was depicted as benevolent and loving toward humanity. Over time, she became more associated with the moon and became known as Selene, or at least was conflated with a moon goddess of the same name. Then, eventually, she was settled on as a vengeful goddess of the dead known as Hecate. And, of course, depictions and myths of her varied accordingly. It'd be the same basic way here- the Skyloftians, having originally been in Hylia's presence, knew her to be an overall benevolent and gentle goddess, though not above being fierce and warlike as the occasion demanded it. The warlike aspects lost their potency over time as the Skyloftians enjoyed an overall pleasant life above the clouds. But much later, the Gerudo living in their inhospitable desert and having no actual goddess to defer to began instead to see her as a more fierce and sinister being, and her true name was gradually forgotten except where used by the Hylians. Thus we have the GotS.

    If she went to the Twilight Realm, she did it without the Triforce, so she would presumably have been mortal and thus long dead by the time TP happens.


    But that's what I'm saying- if she'd had authority over the Interlopers and was originally leading the charge, but had a change of heart, then why would the war have progressed so far as to lead to the banishment in the first place? She should logically have been able to stop them herself before it got to that point, and this likewise applies to her giving up her divinity to use the Triforce to conjure up the Light Spirits to perform the banishment. Why not use her own divine powers to fix the problem, or at the very least use her political influence over them to reign them in?

    Unless you want to argue that they didn't listen to her, and maybe even directly turned against her. If we want to tie the Zuna to the Interlopers, this could even go some way toward doing so- they would have split off at the GotS' urging, sealed away the Trident of Power in an attempt to weaken their former brethren, and then left them to the tender mercy of the Light Spirits. This would still mean, though, that the GotS would have no logical reason to end up in the Twilight Realm.
  • Snakes are also associated with treachery. The interlopers embodied the Triforce wars where fellow humans turned on eachother. The Gerudo brought forth Ganondorf.
    This is more of a narrative association than something inherent to those two races though.

    A possible inspiration for the Goddess of the Sand may have been the Egyptian Goddess Wadjet. Wadjet was a protector deity of the land, women in childbirth, and kings. She was often depicted as a woman with two serpent heads or a serpent with a woman's head, usually an Egyptian cobra.
    This has the implication that the Goddess of the Sand may be responsible for the unusual 100 year birth cycle of the new king of the Gerudo.


    Setras wrote:


    This also proves deities are far from immortal, also proven by Lanayru's pile of bones in Skyward Sword


    Except the eye sockets of Lanayru's skeleton were still glowing, so whether he was actually dead or only functionally so is debatable- indeed, Faron herself claims to be immortal, and we don't have any reason in particular to doubt the claim.


    To me he looked about as dead as most characters in Zelda do; might be some lingering consciousness but that's hardly reserved for deities.
    This is an oddity in the Legend of Zelda that makes you wonder if ANYONE in the legend of Zelda is mortal. Link, Zelda and Ganondorf are stuck in a reincarnation cycle, but we see plenty of reincarnations from unimportant side character. Dead characters more often than not also return as ghosts of all shapes and sizes, skeletons, mummies, and anything in between, and ranging from conscious to monstrous, but it's hard to make the divide.