- Tears of the Kingdom reveals the pivotal role of the ancient Zonai race in the creation of Hyrule, but much about their history remains elusive.
- The Zonai descended from the sky and formed Hyrule after merging with Hylian society, making them central to Tears of the Kingdom and Breath of the Wild’s lore.
- Although the Zonai were a prosperous and advanced society, both their origins and ultimate fate are left vague.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom had rather big shoes to fill coming after a game like Breath of the Wild, but against all odds and high expectations, it managed to impress fans and earn a spot as one of the best Zelda games of all time. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom expands upon the freedom offered to the players of its processor in ways that were unexpected, taking the same Hyrule fans had known from the first game and once again giving it tons of secrets to explore with unique ways of finding them all.
The biggest mysteries of Tears of the Kingdom, though, deal with Zelda’s disappearance, fixing the Master Sword, and the Light Dragon’s tears. All of these have one big connecting factor, and that’s the Zonai – an ancient race that dates back to the beginning of Hyrule and even further beyond that. While it may seem or feel like the Zonai might be a long-standing piece of LoZ lore, truthfully, there isn’t much about them in TOTK and BOTW, with the Zonai being only passively referenced in the latter.
The Legend Of Zelda: 8 Characters Who Just Disappeared
The Legend of Zelda is home to countless iconic characters, but not all of them appear as often as others. Here are some that vanished.
Everything Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Reveals About the Zonai
What The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Fans Learn About the Zonai
Back in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the only reference to the long-forgotten race of goat-like people is a location known as the Zonai Ruins found in the Faron Region. However, as an armor set found there doesn’t match with Tears of the Kingdom‘s depiction of Zonai clothing, the connection may not go as far as one might believe from the name. Still, Tears of the Kingdom delivers on plenty of lore, revealing the Zonai race to be pivotal in the creation of Hyrule itself.
According to Princess Zelda’s own research, the Zonai existed as far as the “earliest legends,” and were said to have godlike powers, which would be revealed to be where the Secret Stones garnered their power. Originally thriving on the Sky Islands, some Zonai descended from their home to the ground and met the Hylians. Rauru and Mineru were among them, and Rauru would eventually marry a Hylian named Sonia. The two would rule Hyrule as King Rauru and Queen Sonia until the Imprisoning War led to Rauru sacrificing himself to seal Ganondorf away.
The Zonai’s History is Elusive
Sadly, the history of what came before and after Rauru and Sonia is incredibly vague, apart from Hyrule Castle being built to keep Ganondorf sealed underneath. While the Hylians may have a legend that the Zonai descended from gods, due to mistaking them as such, that seems to be the Zonai’s own mythology about their origins. Mineru quotes the same legend at one point. It also isn’t made clear exactly how long Rauru and Sonia were ruling for, or exactly how much of Hyrule they established. It seems Sonia birthed an heir to their lineage off-screen, however, as Zelda is heavily implied to be her descendant.
There’s plenty of evidence that Zonai and Hylians lived in harmony during King Rauru’s rule through the Dragon’s Tears flashbacks, but there is one small thread that ties the two races together in the form of the Ancient Hero. When Link wears the Ancient Hero’s Aspect, he’s transformed into a being that resembles a Zonai with Hylian traits. While nothing is confirmed, it certainly helps make the story of Rauru and Sonia a bit less dire.
Tears of the Kingdom gives just a taste of Hyrule’s beginnings and the prosperous days of the Zonai, now lost to time. It may leave much to be desired for those who want to learn more about this Zelda race, but Tears of the Kingdom leaves room for Zonai to be explored more in the future. Players might get more about this Hyrule and its culture and people at a later date.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- May 12, 2023
- Rated E for Everyone 10+ for Fantasy Violence and Mild Suggestive Themes
- How Long To Beat
- 59 Hours