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Ganondorf Dragmire (ガノンドロフ Ganondorofu?), known as the King of Thieves, the Great King of Evil, the Emperor of the Dark Realm, or the Dark Lord, is the primary antagonist of the majority of games in the Legend of Zelda series. Ganondorf was born a member of the Gerudo; as the only male member to be born in a hundred years, Ganondorf is made either the King of the Gerudo or the Guardian of the Desert, depending on the game. Gifted with powerful magic, Ganondorf often seeks the omnipotent Triforce to grant his wish of conquering the entire world. He frequently wields the Triforce of Power, and stages coups against the Royal Family of Hyrule to take the Hyrulean Throne by force. In the English-localized game manual of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, his alias before his incursion into the Sacred Realm is stated to have been Mandrag Ganon, meaning "Ganon of the Enchanted Thieves".
The Triforce of Power that Ganondorf usually holds grants him near-immortality; the only weapons that can truly defeat him are the Triforce itself, the Master Sword, the Silver Arrows, the Four Sword, and the Light Arrows. In addition to granting him power, the Triforce of Power allows Ganondorf to transform into a beast form, Ganon, reminiscent of a pig or hog.
During events of the ending of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the timeline of The Legend of Zelda series was severed into three separate timelines. Thus the Ganondorf from Ocarina of Time had three different future incarnations, each eventually meeting their end at the hands of different Links at some point. While most incarnations of Ganondorf are the same individual, it was explained in Hyrule Historia that the Ganondorf who appeared in Four Swords Adventures was the reincarnation of the one that appeared in Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time.
This is the start
of how it all ends
Legal & Physical
Full Name: Ganondorf Dragmire
Nicknames: Dark Lord. Demon King, Emperor of the Dark Realm, Ganon of the Enchanted Thieves, Gerudo King of Thieves, Great King of Evil, Mandrag Ganon, Prince of Darkness, Calamity Ganon
Aliases: Gerudo King
Date Of Birth: Unknown
Place Of Birth: Gerudo Desert
Current Residence: Gerudo Valley
Hair Color: Orange
Eye Color: yellow
Height: 8ft 11in
Birthmarks/Scars: Triforce of Power Mark
Family & Relationships
Other Family: Gerudo Tribe
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Relationship Status: Single
Current Relationship(S): None
Past Relationship(S): None
Education & Employment
High School None
Degree Being Evil
Occupation: Gerudo King
Job Description: Kill/Dominate Things
Skills: Come Closer and Find Out
Traits: Input Info
Quirks: Input Info
Habits: Input Info
Ganondorf is commonly portrayed as the incarnation of pure evil, greed, and power. He is ruthless, cold, unscrupulous, manipulative, and calculating. He is also shown to have an ego, believing that only he is worthy to rule the kingdom and showing an arrogant sense of entitlement. One of Ganondorf’s most defining traits is his unquenchable lust for power. It was also shown that Ganon does not possess a balanced amount of power, wisdom, and courage as evidenced when the Triforce split in three pieces when he tried to wield it.
It is heavily implied in Skyward Sword that Ganondorf's evil nature stemmed from being a reincarnation of the Demon King Demise's Hatred as well as being a product of his curse. In Four Swords Adventures, Ganondorf's arrogance is such that he even refers to the Links as "worms" and "maggots", and also refers to the then-recently defeated Vaati as a "useless cur." Aside from his arrogance, Ganondorf is shown to be a "sore loser", usually swearing revenge or refusing to admit defeat when bested in battle. However he is capable of learning from his mistakes as he relies on his sword skills and physical strength when fighting Tetra and the Hero of Winds instead of his magic and Ganon form like he did during his battle with the Hero of Time. He also eliminated the Sages of the Master Sword to remove the power to repel evil from the Master Sword and kept the Light Arrows stored inside a maze guarded by Phantom Ganon in his Tower as both weapons led to his previous defeat.
Ganondorf is also a skilled strategist, as he is implied to have manipulated Link and Zelda into opening the Door of Time for him, and he also deliberately allows Link to purify the temples he has captured knowing that this will draw Zelda out into the open. This knack for strategy was similarly demonstrated in Wind Waker, where he murdered the original Sages of Wind and Earth specifically to ensure the Master Sword lost its true power, as well as using the opportunity presented by Link trying to restore the Master Sword to abduct Zelda from Hyrule Castle. The best demonstration of his strategic skills, however, came about during his final fight against Link and Zelda in the same game, where he managed to quickly disable Zelda upon realizing the threat she posed with the Light Arrows, and when she regained consciousness, proceeded to evade her shots as well as parry Link's blows.
It has been hinted that the Ganondorf originally seen in Ocarina of Time sought to conquer Hyrule out of jealousy, as he apparently lived a life full of suffering due to living in the desert though his evil nature and dark power without the Triforce of Power may have been influenced by him being the reincarnation of the Demon King's Hatred thus may have been destined to seek out the Triforce as Demise had done in the past. In Ocarina of Time, when he manages to conquer the kingdom of Hyrule, he never attempts to aid his own people, despite them living in the same conditions as he once did. He even resorts to mind controlling certain Gerudos to ensure absolute loyalty, reinforcing the notion that his desire for Hyrule was born out of jealousy and not a desire to help his people. However, once Link initially defeats Ganondorf, Zelda briefly expresses pity and speculates that his death was caused in part due to failing to control the Triforce due to an imbalanced heart. He also seems to have some pride in his Gerudo heritage and their fighting prowess, at least in Hyrule Warriors, as evidenced by his declaring "Behold the power of a Gerudo warrior!" when slaughtering enough enemies.
Interestingly, Ganondorf seems to follow a code of honor; in Ocarina of Time, he is amused and almost impressed when a young, helpless Link drew his weapons at him. Effortlessly knocking Link away, Ganondorf let the boy live despite his defiance, acknowledging some respect for his courage. When he knocks Link down, he will wait for Link to get up before continuing a fight. In The Wind Waker, when Ganondorf realizes that Zelda keeps attacking him with the Light Arrows while he fights Link, he swiftly approaches Zelda, puts away his sword and backhands her, instead of outright killing her. He also claims at one point that he will not kill Link, and merely seeks to claim the Triforce of Courage from him.
In Ocarina of Time, he is confident, wise-cracking and sarcastic, calling Link "kid" even after seven years, calling Link's weapons "toys", and making remarks such as "I like you, kid" before blasting him with magic, but is ultimately serious when he needs to be. Ganondorf always cracks a smile, even in the most dire of circumstances, showcasing a pleasure in destruction and a confidence that never dies, even when the odds are against him.
In The Wind Waker, Ganondorf seems to have matured with age. He is portrayed somewhat as a tragic villain, being altogether more solemn and less prone to wisecracks. He also expressed some grudging respect for Link's courage after the latter managed to not only infiltrate the Forsaken Fortress again, but also dispose of the Helmaroc King. Despite this, he still longs to cover the entire world in darkness, even after his actions led to the destruction of Hyrule, and places a curse upon the Great Sea to keep it in a perpetual state of terror. It is also implied that Ganondorf is emotionally unstable throughout the events of The Wind Waker, spending the early course of the game kidnapping young girls in a desperate attempt to find the Triforce of Wisdom, lacking the overtly evil nature of his previous appearance, and laughing maniacally when Hyrule is about to be flooded.
Knowing that his plans that have taken centuries of trial and error have finally come to a dramatic end at the climax of The Wind Waker, Ganondorf shows a more tragic side that seems to contrast his attitude in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. Having dedicated his life to controlling a kingdom that was now destined to disappear alongside his body, in his final moments, Ganondorf still smiled, and even chuckles briefly when sensing the wind from Gerudo Desert blowing. This may imply that he had come to terms with his defeat, and was actually content with how things had ended.
In Twilight Princess, Ganondorf's personality is more closely linked to his Ocarina of Time persona, as Ganondorf has, in this timeline, faced less hardships and overall appears to be younger and more emotionally stable, even possessing some of his c*ckiness from Ocarina of Time. The Sages also mention that Ganondorf, due to being blinded by rage and his own might, ended up caught, subdued, and promptly executed, implying that he was extremely reckless in his own actions and planning, though this may have been due to the time travelling Hero of Time exposing Ganondorf's plans due to his knowledge of Ganondorf's rise to power in the Adult timeline thus Ganondorf in the Child Timeline could not rely on deception and manipulation thus resorted to more open and aggressive tactics but his arrogance once again proved to be his undoing. Ganondorf being blinded by rage may also been influenced by the idea he is the reincarnation of Demise's Hatred.
While arrogant, Ganondorf is able to recognize others when they prove themselves, and will show some respect towards such individuals. In the Wind Waker, Ganondorf showed a begrudging respect to the Hero of Time, as well as referring to Link as his reincarnation. In Twilight Princess, Ganondorf challenges Link to a duel, which indicates that he sees him as a worthy adversary.
In Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf plagues the Great Deku Tree, Dodongo's Cavern, and Lord Jabu-Jabu's belly with monsters, somehow managing to tame these dangerous creatures including boss level entities such as Queen Gohma, King Dodongo, and Barinade. Even before acquiring the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf was a extremely capable warlock capable of cursing deities such as the Great Deku Tree and Lord Jabu-Jabu. Additionally his evil power allowed Deku Baba to grow along the path leading to the Deku Tree and caused Link and Zelda to have prophetic dreams warning them of the threat he posed and future events. Ganondorf was also capable of resurrecting the extinct dinosaur King Dodongo. Ganondorf also took advantage of the political climate in Hyrule following the end of the Hyrulean Civil War by feigning loyalty to the King of Hyrule whom was apparently keen on building good diplomatic relations with the Gerudo King and his people following the end of the civil war to ensure peace with only Princess Zelda seeing Ganondorf's true motivations though her warnings to her father fell on deaf ears. Ganondorf is also capable of horseback riding as he is often depicted riding his steed. Ganondorf was also capable of turning the Spirit Temple into a base for his army and apparently has no trouble navigating the Haunted Wasteland due to having lived in the desert for most of his life.
After acquiring the Triforce of Power, he was also able to break the seal on Kakariko Well and releasing Bongo Bongo, resurrect the feared dragon Volvagia, freeze several Zoras in Red Ice, fly, imprison and warp away Princess Zelda, open up a portal to another dimension, and conquer Hyrule. He can also generate waves of darkness that were potent enough to prevent fairies such as Navi from even getting close to him, let alone target him, and he seems to have at least some degree of reality-warping powers, as evidenced by how he transformed his throne room into a battle arena when fighting Link. He also has the power to transform into a boar demon known as Ganon as well as create a copy of himself called Phantom Ganon. In addition, he has enough strength to cause an entire portion of his throne room's floor to collapse with a single punch, should it not be connected to the room below. He was also implied to have gained immortality from his possession of the Triforce of Power. He was also skilled in playing the pipe organ, as evidenced by his playing a song on it to lure Link up to the top of his castle. He also implies when being sealed away that the Triforce of Power is also capable of allowing him to break the seal in the future.
In addition to his magic and strength, Ganondorf is a cunning master thief and manipulator as shown by his manipulations of Link, Zelda, and King of Hyrule. Instead of eliminating Young Link whom Ganondorf apparently realized was conspiring with Princess Zelda to thwart his plan to seal the Triforce but allowed Link to collect the Spiritual Stones and Ocarina of Time basically having Link do everything for him. Its unknown if Ganondorf knew the Master Sword was the final barrier though if he did he may have suspected Link to be its current chosen wielder thus may have also manipulated him in removing the one barrier that Ganondorf himself was powerless to bypass. Ultimately Ganondorf's manipulation worked thus making Zelda and Link partially responsible for his rise to power. However his manipulation would not end there as he allowed the Hero of Time to wonder around Hyrule knowing Zelda would eventually reveal herself allowing him to capture her. However Ganondorf is arrogant and his desire to acquire the complete Triforce was ultimately his undoing thus while intelligent it is trumped by his overall lust for power which was why he acquired the Triforce of Power due to his imbalanced heart as his desire for power exceeded any wisdom and courage he possessed.
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He was the leader of a band of thieves who invaded Hyrule in the hopes of establishing dominion over the Sacred Realm. He was known as a demon thief, an evil-magic wielder renowned for his ruthlessness...
You dare raise the blade of evil's bane to me? So be it. Hyrule's blood will be on your hands.
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They used to shout my name, now they whisper it.
This is the first game where Ganondorf appears in his Gerudo form. Ganondorf is the primary antagonist of the story: an evil Gerudo mystic who seeks the omnipotent Triforce. Striving to obtain the Spiritual Stones, which serves as keys to the Sacred Realm, Ganondorf attempts to wrest control over them from the leaders of the Kokiri, Goron, and Zora Races. When each leader refused to give in, Ganondorf responded by tormenting them and their people. It is unknown why none of these races ever bothered to tell the King of Hyrule about Ganondorf's crimes. It is implied by Darunia that the Gorons at least did attempt to tell the king about what happened, but was largely ignored.
Young Link and Ganondorf
Artwork of Ganondorf and Link from Ocarina of Time
Link, a Hylian youth who lived among the Kokiri, had increasingly troubled dreams as Ganondorf came closer to achieving his goal. One day, a fairy by the name of Navi awakens Link and brings a request from the Great Deku Tree that he go see him. The Great Deku Tree explains to Link about the curse that was placed on him, as well as the evil Ganondorf. The Great Deku Tree asks Link to venture inside him and defeat the originator of the wicked curse, Queen Gohma. Link successfully does so, but the Great Deku Tree reveals that he had been doomed to die before Link began his quest. After explaining the Creation of Hyrule and the Triforce, the Great Deku Tree asks Link to meet Princess Zelda at Hyrule Castle. Link travels to Hyrule Castle and meets with the prophetic Princess Zelda, who had foreseen their meeting in her dreams. She explains to Link that along with the Spiritual Stones, the Ocarina of Time as well as the "Song of Time" are needed in order to enter the Sacred Realm. Zelda was convinced that together, they could obtain the Triforce before Ganondorf and stop his evil plans.
Link collects the two remaining Spiritual Stones, but, as he returns to the castle, he sees Zelda riding away from the castle together with her nursemaid, Impa. Before disappearing out of sight, Zelda throws the Ocarina of Time into Hyrule Castle Town's Moat. Suddenly, Ganondorf appears before Link, their encounter a fulfillment of Link's nightmares. Ganondorf demands Link tell him the direction that Zelda went, and is met with refusal. Amused by Link's courage, Ganondorf casually knocks him away with dark magic, before chasing after Zelda.
After recovering, Link dives into the moat to recover the Ocarina of Time, and, once he touches it, Zelda appears before him in a vision and teaches him the "Song of Time". With all the required keys to the Sacred Realm, Link ventures within the Temple of Time and finds the chamber where the legendary Master Sword rests. By touching the Master Sword, Link fulfilled an ancient prophecy that regards the Hero of Time, who is destined to battle a great evil. However, since he was too young to be the Hero of Time, Link is sealed within the Temple of Light for seven years. The path to the Triforce left open, Ganondorf sees his chance to take the Triforce, and personally thanks Link for opening the Door of Time for him.
Ganondorf reveals to Link that he was aware of Zelda's plot from the start, and was waiting for Link to open the Door of Time. However, when Ganondorf touches the Triforce, it shatters into three pieces: Power, Wisdom, and Courage. Since Ganondorf's inner balance of Power, Wisdom, and Courage was not fully balanced, the Triforce piece that he valued most was left in his hand. The Triforces of Wisdom and Courage were secretly given to Zelda and Link, respectively. While not being able to obtain the full power of the Triforce, Ganondorf usurped the throne of Hyrule and transformed the once peaceful land into a wasteland of fear and horror. During that time, Ganondorf revived an evil dragon named Volvagia and planned to commit genocide against the Gorons by feeding them to it, with the intention of cowing the other races to his rule, and also intended to use Volvagia to spark an eruption of Death Mountain to wipe out Kakariko Village, and may have also broken the seal on Bongo Bongo as well. Ganondorf also trapped the Zoras under a thick sheet of ice in Zora's Domain (and presumably froze King Zora XVI in Red Ice), as well as drained Lake Hylia with a water demon named Morpha, and he spread his evil influence to the Forest Temple.
Seven years later, Link awakens within the Chamber of the Sages and seeks out the seven sages required to defeat Ganondorf. In his journey, Link also undoes most of the evil Ganondorf plagued upon Hyrule, with Ganondorf quietly observing the young Hylian's actions. After the awakening of the final sage, Link is summoned to the Temple of Time. At that location, Sheik, a mysterious Sheikah who aided him throughout his quest, reveals her true identity to be that of Princess Zelda. Zelda presents to Link the Light Arrows. Immediately afterwards, the two are ambushed by Ganondorf, who takes Zelda away to His Castle. Ganondorf also implies that he suspected that Zelda would aid Link in some fashion, and that he allowed Link to restore the temples knowing Zelda would reveal herself afterwards. Link breaks the seal on Ganon's Tower and confronts Ganondorf at the top of the tower. After a fierce battle, Ganondorf appears to be defeated, leaving him shocked at he could be defeated, as well as suffering from extensive enough injuries that he was forced to vomit up blood.
Zelda briefly pities him for his fate, and implies that his supposed demise came from not having control over the Triforce. Unfortunately, with his last ounce of strength, Ganondorf attempts to bring down his castle onto Zelda and Link, who narrowly escapes before the castle collapsed. Just when they think they have won, however, a noise is heard from the rubble, revealing itself to be Ganondorf, who used the Triforce of Power to transform into Ganon. Ganon knocks the Master Sword out of Link's hands, forcing Link to weaken Ganon with his other weapons until he retrieves the Master Sword. Afterwards, Link further weakens a rejuvenated Ganon with the Master Sword. Zelda then assists Link by using her power to hold Ganon at bay, allowing Link to deal the final blow. The Seven Sages unite their powers to seal the defeated Ganondorf away. Furious of his defeat, Ganondorf declares that he would return, as long as the Triforce of Power was in his hand, and vows to exterminate Link, Zelda, and the Seven Sages' descendants when he does return.
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