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There are a number of debates concerning Ganon, which, though generally unrelated to the Timeline as a whole, are common subjects of discussion among timeline theorists.
Ganon vs. Ganondorf
The closest a canonical source has come to defining the difference between "Ganondorf" and "Ganon" has been to specify Ganondorf a "thief" and Ganon a "Demon King". Yet in both OOT and TP a figure called Ganondorf is accused of being a demon lord over a large castle, which he stole. The distinction has hardly been helpful. It is clear that the subject's Gerudo kinsmen raised him as "Ganondorf" and are often unaware of the alternate. It should also be noted that the subject's pig-like beast form has always been referred to as Ganon. Interpretations include:
- The names are interchangeable. There is no important difference.
- "Ganondorf" becomes "Ganon" when using the Triforce of Power. (This theory is often better supported, and more widely viewed as a truth by most theorist.)
- "Ganondorf" the man channels the dark spirit "Ganon" with whom he shares a consciousness.
- Ganon's "Pig Form" is his state independent from Ganondorf. (This theory lacks canonical evidence except for a quote by Princess Zelda in FSA in which she refers to Ganon as the "ancient Demon reborn.")
Note that "'Ganondorf' is a man while 'Ganon' is a beast" is not a valid interpretation, as the term Ganon has been used numerously to refer to both man and beast.
In LoZ and AlttP it was made extremely clear to Link that Ganon could not be killed without the Silver Arrows. In subsequent Zelda titles, no canonical text has disputed this assertion, but the silver arrows have not been seen (though Light Arrows have) and some feel that TWW and TP suggest Ganon has died twice regardless. This has resulted in many opinions regarding Ganon's mortality:
- Only the Silver arrows can kill Ganon. Period. Ganon did not die in TWW, TP, or OoX.
- Only the Silver arrows can kill Ganon. Period. Ganon did not die in TWW or TP. He did in OoX (which is a special case*).
- The Silver Arrows are needed to kill Ganon in beast form, but not in human form. Ganon died in TWW, and TP, but not OoX.
- The Silver Arrows are needed to kill Ganon in beast form, but not in human form. Ganon died in TWW, TP, and OoX (which is a special case*).
- The Light Arrows do everything the Silver Arrows do. Ganon died in TWW, and TP, but not OoX.
- The Light Arrows do everything the Silver Arrows do. Ganon died in TWW, TP, and OoX (which is a special case*).
- The Light Arrows and Silver Arrows are simply two names for the same type of arrows. Ganon died in TWW, TP, but not in OoX.
- The Light Arrows and Silver Arrows are simply two names for the same type of arrows. Ganon died in TWW, TP, and OoX (which is a special case*).
Note: *It can be argued that because Ganon was only partly revived in OoX, the rules of his mortality had changed.
The Dark World
Ganon often chooses to attack Hyrule from a power base in another world. Though he took the opportunity in TP to attack from the Twilight Realm, the Pigman had previously always chosen to work from an alternate realm known as The Dark World. In AlttP and Ocarina of Time, the Dark world was originally the Sacred Realm, which had become perverted by Ganon's malice. In FSA it was a direct mirror of Hyrule and a haven for Ganon's servants. Interpretations concerning the term "Dark World" include;
- The uses are unrelated. The first Dark World is Ganon's Sacred Realm, the second is the Hylian equivalent of hell, and the third a creation of the Dark Mirror.
- They are all the Sacred Realm. OoX occurs after AlttP, where Ganon was killed in the SR, and the Dark Mirror, like the Magic Mirror, is a portal to that their world.
- The Dark world is the personal domain of Ganon. He takes command of a world and extends the Dark world across it, much as Zant expands the Twilight.
- The Dark Worlds outside of AlttP and OOT are all the same world--"hell", the FSA Dark World, TP's Twilight, and OoX's dark realm. Historically, one could say the reverse--all of these worlds are the Twilight, exploited in different contexts.
Magic mirrors have been both boon and bane to Ganon throughout Hylian History; their ability to facilitate interdimensional travel has allowed Ganon to move his otherworldly forces into Hyrule, while at the same time giving his enemies more options than he would usually prefer. Arguments arise when the three mirrors (Magic, Dark, and Twilight), at first glance unique to their respective games (AlttP, FSA, and TP), are compared and found to be similar. How many unique mirrors does the series contain?
- Three. None of the mirrors are the same. Apparent connections are results of Nintendo's tendency to reference past works.
- Two. The Magic Mirror (AlttP) and the Dark Mirror (FSA), similar in appearance and both paths to the Dark World, are the same object.
- Two. The Dark Mirror (FSA) and the Twilight Mirror (TP), both prisons for an ancient criminal tribe, are the same object.
- One. For the reasons suggested above, all three mirrors are the same object.
According to the official timeline published in Hyrule Historia, FSA is a sequel to TP. Since the Mirror of Twilight was destroyed at the end of TP it is impossible for this mirror and the Dark Mirror to be the same object.
Gaining the Triforce
One of Twilight Princess's most studied scenes depicts Ganondorf as a prisoner of the Sages, awaiting execution. The plan goes awry when Ganondorf draws on the Triforce of Power and turns the tables on his captors. Both the Sages and Ganondorf himself express believing that the King of Evil was assisted by Divine Intervention, but fans often express belief that the Hylian deities (who have always seemed to favor Link over his enemies) would not assist Ganon. The problem is, if not granted the Triforce by the Gods, then Ganon must have claimed it before his capture and the sages (having beaten it before) would be better prepared and better able to deal with it. How did Ganon get the Triforce?
- Divine Intervention. The game says so time and again... Link and Zelda received their pieces in the same way.
- He took it from the sacred realm. The sages underestimated him!
- He took it from the sacred realm. Being near the Twilight Mirror reinvigorated him to attack.
- He already had it due to the events of Ocarina of Time, hence Link and Zelda already having their respective pieces from their ancestors, the Link and Zelda of Ocarina of Time. Link tipped the King of Hyrule and Zelda off about Ganondorf's treachery before it could happen at the end of Ocarina of Time, and he was subdued before the siege of Hyrule Castle could take place. However, the Triforce still remained scattered from the events of Ocarina of Time. This is the "Divine Intervention/Divine Prank" spoken of in the game: the events of Ocarina of Time.
- - A similar theory to the one above is that this is the child timeline "catching up" with the adult timeline. When Ganondorf retrieved the Triforce of Power in the adult timeline, his self in the child timeline also received it, though he wasn't aware of it because he had no memory of the event. This may be because the ultimate power of the Gods cannot be duplicated and thus is essentially the same object in both timelines.
Before the release of the official timeline in Hyrule Historia, there were different opinions regarding the Imprisoning War. Though it had been demonstrated that the team of designers behind Ocarina intended to recreate the Imprisoning War of A Link to the Past, the degree to which they accomplished this goal was a matter of debate. OOT was not a perfect match to the events described in AlttP (this was ascribable to the nature of Legends, and their tendency to change over time) and later released games (including TWW, FSA, and TP) were considered to "interrupt" the OOT - ALttP connection. Opinions on this issue included:
- OOT never was the IW, the two accounts are far too dissimilar. Nintendo tried and failed. It is a separate event.
- OOT was once the IW, but recent developments have changed that. It is a separate event.
- OOT is the IW, but only in part. FSA completes the storyline.
- OOT is the IW, but only in part. A second series of events, not shown in game, completes the storyline.
- OOT is the Imprisoning War. That will never change.
A detailed comparison of the pros and cons of some of the aforementioned views can be found here.
- "The Gerudo Desert once held a prison built to hold the worst criminals this land has ever known... The criminals who were sentenced to death were sent directly to the underworld by a cursed mirror that was kept in the prison..." — Auru (Twilight Princess)