- "The Goddess of Time is protecting you. If you play the Song of Time, she will aid you..."
- — Princess Zelda
The Goddess of Time is a character mentioned in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. She is a great deity mentioned several times, including by Tatl and the Grateful Man, both of whom ask for her help when faced with the impending destruction of Termina. Despite being mentioned a number of times, her existence is unconfirmed although It is hinted in a flashback that the goddess is responsible for Link's ability to travel back in time to the dawn of the First Day whenever he sees fit.
When Link reclaims his Ocarina of Time from the Skull Kid, he remembers a meeting with Princess Zelda prior to leaving Hyrule. In this memory, Princess Zelda tells him that if he is ever in need of assistance, he should play the "Song of Time", and the Goddess of Time will come to his aid. It is also probable, though never explicitly stated, that the goddess also allows Link to manipulate time with the "Inverted Song of Time" and "Song of Double Time", although the Stylin' Scarecrow is the one who mentions these songs. Interestingly, she is also apparently worshiped in Termina as well as she is mentioned by at least two denizens of Termina, the Deku Butler and the Grateful Man. The Deku Butler prays to her due to the Deku King rash decision to imprison the Monkey over the Deku Princess' disappearance and over the King's refusal to listen to reason. The Grateful Man desperately prays to her (after purchasing the Oceanside Spider House from Link) for more time in response to the impending threat of the falling Moon.
Many fans have come to believe that the Goddess of Time is in fact Nayru due to Princess Zelda's association with time as well as the Triforce of Wisdom. Also, the oracle, Nayru, who is named after the goddess, has control over time.
It is also possible that Hylia is the Goddess of Time, since she is associated with the Gates of Time. Additionally, several of Hylia's Goddess Statues can be found inside the Temple of Time in Breath of the Wild.
It is also possible that the Goddess of Time is a different Goddess all together from the Golden Goddesses and Hylia. Evidence of this is that Zelda never referred to the Goddess of Time by name, never referring to her as either Nayru, Farore, or Hylia as their names are known of in Hyrule (though it is possible that the Goddess Hylia may have been forgotten since the events of Skyward Sword as she is never mentioned after this save for the Lake that bares her name, though given Zelda being a member of the Royal Family it is possible that she may know of her existence as well).
Goddess of Termina and Hyrule
The Goddess of Time is unique in that she is the only Goddess known by both the denizens of Hyrule (as Zelda speaks of her) and Termina (as she is mentioned by the Deku Butler and Grateful Man). This may be due to her association with time which may allow her to transcend dimensions.
Goddesses of Time
Alternatively Hyrule and Termina may each have their own separate Goddess of Time or the Goddess of Time in Hyrule and the Goddess of Time in Termina are counterparts of one another.
If Hylia is the Goddess of Time, then this leads to a intriguing possibility. As Hylia was reincarnated into Skyward Sword Zelda, it is possible that her descendants inherited some of her divine powers (which may explain some of the powerful abilities possessed by the various incarnations of Zelda) and such as her ability to influence time. If this is true, it may explain how Princess Zelda was able to send the Hero of Time back to relive his childhood (by combining her power with the Ocarina of Time) at the end of Ocarina of Time. It should be noted however that the powers of the Royal Family are hinted in The Minish Cap to come from the Light Force, a sacred power granted from the Minish Race. This theory is strongly implied in Breath of the Wild as the Princesses of Hyrule are said to possess the blood of the goddess and it is shown that Hylia regained her divinity at some point after Skyward Sword (possibly as a result of her mortal reincarnation's death as Breath of the Wild takes place long after the events of Skyward Sword) as she aids her chosen hero's current incarnation in Breath of the Wild and is worshiped by the people of Hyrule. It is also shown that Princess Zelda's sealing powers are tied to Hylia as she is required to pray to Hylia at the Spring of Power, Spring of Wisdom, and Spring of Courage (much like how Hylia's mortal reincarnation purified herself at the springs in Skyward Sword in order to regain her memories of her life as Hylia) to awaken them, which implies that Zelda's various incarnations must similarly pray to Hylia in order to access their divine abilities, thus implying that the Princess Zelda from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask may have prayed to Hylia to protect the Hero of Time while on his journey, thus both may have had a hand in Link's ability to manipulate time while in Termina (it should be noted that the Song of Time functions differently between Hyrule and Termina).
It is alternatively possible that Skyward Sword Zelda's descendants are actually the incarnations of Link from after the events of Skyward Sword, which would explain why some of them have a means of time travel. This would fit in together with the words Demise stated to Skyward Sword Link before being vanquished by the hero, alongside the means of pulling the Master Sword out of its pedestal.
It is quite possible however, that Hylia's powers actually have little to do with ether character being able to manipulate time to an extent, and it is just the powers of the Ocarina of Time that grants these abilities. However it is possible that the power of the Ocarina of Time itself is tied to Hylia as she is associated with the creation of the Master Sword which similarly possesses power over time and is sometimes referred to as the Sword of Time.