- This article is about the recurring character. For the recurring location in the Legend of Zelda series, see Lake Hylia.
- "He who seeks the sacred flames, listen well, for I am the one guiding you from may place at the edge of time."
- — One of Hylia's messages to Link relayed by Fi
Hylia (ハイリア Hairia?, ), also known as Her Grace or Goddess Hylia, is recurring character in the Legend of Zelda series. Her name seems to be the linguistic origin of the Hylian race's name. Hylia is worshiped in Skyloft.
As told in legend, after the Golden Goddesses were finished creating Hyrule, they left the Triforce in Hylia's care when they departed from the world. Eventually, a crack opened up in the earth and the Demon King, Demise, and his demonic hordes came forth from the fissure. Wanting to make the world his own, Demise and his monsters attacked The Surface to steal the Triforce. In order to prevent the great power from falling into the hands of Demise, Hylia gathered the surviving Hylians on a piece of land, entrusted them with the Triforce, and sent them to the heavens. To further ensure their safety, Hylia created a cloud barrier to separate the two places.
With the Hylians in a safe place, she united the Ancient Robots, the Gorons, the Kikwis, the Mogmas, and the Parella to battle Demise's forces, and sealed away the Demon King within the Sealed Grounds. However, knowing that Demise would eventually attempt to break free, Hylia created a contingency plan to permanently defeat him.
Hylia had the Goddess Sword created and stored within the Statue of the Goddess. She then discarded her divine power, her immortality, and the memories of her life as the Goddess to be reborn among the residents of Skyloft. To insure her own safety, Hylia entrusted Impa of the Sheikah Tribe with the task of protecting her future incarnation. She also left several messages for the one who would one day become her chosen hero so as to guide him from the edge of time in his quest. Along with these messages, she also created trials to to test and improve the hero's power, wisdom, and courage. By completing each trial, the hero would receive a gift left by Hylia, which would help the hero find the purifying Sacred Flames. Bathing the sword in all three flames transformed the Goddess Sword into the legendary Blade of Evil's Bane, the Master Sword. However the Master Sword's true power could only be awakened by Hylia's reincarnation.
In order for the hero to reach these trials, Hylia left the Isle of Songs. The isle housed three melodies that would open the way to the trials, with each melody being played by the hero using the Goddess Harp. To ensure the Triforce didn't fall in the wrong hands, Hylia hid the sacred relic on Skyloft, within the Sky Keep, with the location kept a secret by others for many years. Before her passing and reincarnation, Hylia chose to appoint Faron, Eldin, Lanayru, and Levias to protect the woods, the mountains, the desert and the sky, respectively. Each of the guardians were entrusted with a part of the "Song of the Hero", a melody they were instructed to teach to the chosen hero which would then lead to the last trial and the Triforce itself.
In order to aid the Hero on his journey, she is said to have left behind various objects and items such as Goddess Cubes, Goddess Chests, and Goddess Walls. She also left behind the Goddess Crests that Link activates throughout his quest, as well as the Three Sacred Gifts obtained by completing the Trials in the Silent Realm. Also rare Materials called Goddess Plumes are said to have been left behind by Hylia during her lifetime. Goddess Plumes are one of the used to materials required to create the Sacred Bow, Tough Beetle, and Large Quiver. Hylia is also featured on the Goddess Shield, though the shield is created by Gondo when upgrading a Divine Shield and not by Hylia herself.
- "I had a dream last night... In a place consumed by darkness, a lone woman gazed at me, haloed by blinding light. I sensed she was...not of this world. I don't know if she was a fairy or a goddess, but she was beautiful. Her lips spoke urgently, but her voice did not reach me. Would I have heard her if my power was awoken? Or was my dream simply a manifestation of my fears? I am sure I will know the answer soon, whether I wish to or not..."
- — Zelda's Diary
Goddess Hylia is mentioned in Shrines, having blessed the Sheikah Monks that dwell within them with the ability to give Link Spirit Orbs, and to help him fight the Calamity Ganon. Hylia's Goddess Statues can be found throughout Hyrule. Link can pray to them to trade four Spirit Orbs for either a Heart Container or a Stamina Vessel. If he prays to the Goddess Statue inside the Temple of Time before completing any of the Shrines in the Great Plateau, he will receive a message that Hylia is smiling on him through the statue. One of the loading screen tip for Hylia's Goddess Statues reveals that she has been worshiped in Hyrule since time immemorial. This indicates that she is still worshipped as part of the Hyrulean pantheon along with Din, Nayru, and Farore.
However, some races like the Gerudo are implied not to worship her to the same degree that the Sheikah and Hylians do. Muava reveals that most of the Gerudo do not hold faith in Hylia anymore, so they tend to avoid paying their respects towards Goddess Statue, let alone pray to it. The Goddess Statue from Gerudo Town is more neglected than others from Hateno Village, Kakariko Village, Rito Village, Korok Forest, Goron City, and Zora's Domain. These statues are in better condition indicating that they have been well taken care and Hylia is likely still revered in those places.
Through the Goddess Statues in the Spring of Wisdom, Spring of Courage, and Spring of Power, a disembodied voice (implied to be Hylia) guides Link in locating the hidden Shrines nearby. The Goddess Statue in the Spring of Wisdom also guides Link in freeing Naydra from the corruptive influence of Calamity Ganon's Malice. A century before the events of Breath of the Wild, Princess Zelda journeyed to these shrines to purify herself and pray to Hylia to awaken her divine powers. However, Princess Zelda had trouble fully awakening her powers. When Link was injured fighting Guardians at Fort Hateno, Zelda's powers fully awakened allowing her to save them from the Guardians attack, and seal Calamity Ganon in Hyrule Castle.
Revival as a deity
It is heavily hinted in Breath of the Wild that Hylia somehow resurrected herself as a goddess sometime after the events of Skyward Sword and is once again guarding Hyrule from malevolent forces. If this is the case, it is questionable why she did not do so in Skyward Sword to stop Demise and his minions instead of reincarnating herself as a Hylian and indirectly causing grief and suffering towards Link, Zelda and other innocent beings.
It is possible that as a result of Zelda being Hylia's reincarnation, some of Hylia's power were passed onto her descendants. These descendants may be the Royal Family of Hyrule, which could serve as an explaination for their mystical powers. This can also explain their roles as protectors of the Triforce. 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.
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 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.
In Breath of the Wild, Kass refers to Hyrule's Princess as the "Goddess-blood Princess" strongly implying that Princess Zelda's various incarnations and the Royal Family of Hyrule are descended from Hylia's mortal incarnation. This may explain the powers depicted by both the various incarnations of Princess Zelda and Kings of Hyrule, as Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule is shown to be able to interact with the physical world even after his death in his guise as the Old Man, similar to Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule from The Wind Waker. It should be noted however, that other characters not from the Royal Family have done similar acts throughout the series, proving that even those not afflicted with divinity are able to act on the living world as a deceased.
As Hylia is implied to still exist in Breath of the Wild despite her reincarnation into Zelda in Skyward Sword, one possible explanation is that Hylia regained her divinity after the death of her mortal Hylian reincarnation (the Zelda from Skyward Sword) who would understandably be deceased by the time of Breath of the Wild.
If the Royal Family are the descendants of Skyward Sword Zelda, the concept for it may be based off the Shinto sun goddess, Amaterasu, who is stated in Japanese legend to be the ancestor of the Japanese Imperial Family.
Given that Zelda is Hylia's reincarnation in Skyward Sword, it is possible that the other incarnations of Princess Zelda are also her reincarnations as well. It is possible that through these reincarnations, Hylia is able to continue her mission to protect the Triforce and the land of Hyrule from evil.
However in Breath of the Wild, Hylia and its incarnation of Princess Zelda are considered to be separate entities indicating that Hylia may have only reincarnated once into the Zelda of Skyward Sword and her divinity was restored upon her mortal incarnation's death. If true, it is possible that her conflict with the demon sealed in the Horned Statue happened after the events of Skyward Sword but before the events of Breath of the Wild as the demon states it has been sealed away a long time ago.
Goddess of Time
It is possible that Hylia is the Goddess of Time mentioned by Princess Zelda in Majora's Mask. One indication of this comes from her messages for Link which she states I am the one guiding you from my place at the edge of time., which may be a indication that she is the Goddess of Time. Hylia being the Goddess of Time may indicate that she was aware of future events which allowed her to foresee the events of Skyward Sword. It should be noted that both Zelda and her chosen hero, Link have demonstrated the ability to foresee the future, indicating they may have been either been blessed with this ability by Hylia (or possibly inherited it in ether case).
Though it is unlikely, it is possible that Zelda may have been referring to Hylia, possibly unaware (as Hylia's name may have been forgotten over time) that Hylia had given up her divinity to be reborn as a mortal Hylian girl. It should be noted that Princess Zelda's adult self from Ocarina of Time was able to use the Ocarina of Time and Song of Time to send Link back to relive his lost childhood, which may indicate she inherited some of Hylia's power to manipulate time or is the reincarnation of the Zelda from Skyward Sword, which would make her Hylia's reincarnation as well. Link has also been shown capable of time traveling by using the Ocarina of Time, also hinting the same for him in terms of blood relations.
It is possible however, that the Goddess of Time (if she actually does exist) is an entirely different character and 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.