- 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 my 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 and Hyrule.
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. One day, a crack opened up in the earth and the Demon King Demise, along with 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. A great war erupted, with both sides suffering severe casualties. Ultimately, Hylia was able to seal away the Demon King within the Sealed Grounds, though was mortally wounded in the process. Understanding that the seal would eventually be broken if nothing were to be done, Hylia created a contingency plan.
Hylia had the Goddess Sword created and stored within the Statue of the Goddess. With her death nearing, Hylia made it so that she would to be reborn among the residents of Skyloft. To insure her own safety as a Hylian, 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 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. In Urbosa's Diary, Urbosa prays to the spirit of Zelda's Mother that Zelda will have enough time to awaken her sealing powers instead of Hylia presumably because Zelda's prayers to Hylia to awaken her powers had not worked. It seems that worship of Hylia among the Gerudo suffered as a result of the Great Calamity as presumably the Gerudo prayed to Hylia for Urbosa's safety and success only for her to end up perishing. As shown by Riju, it is implied the Gerudo began praying to the spirits of the deceased as she prays to her mother and Urbosa's spirits for strength to lead their people. Additionally it is implied a certain Gerudo sect worship the forgotten Eight Heroine indicating others may worship the Seven Heroines who are stated to be the divine protectors of the Gerudo people. 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 and some are even decorated indicating that they have been well taken care and Hylia is likely still revered in those places. The Great Deku Tree also seems to be aware of Hylia's role in the creation of the Master Sword though this is likely common knowledge among deities such as himself and the Great Deku Tree is known to be aware of the Creation of Hyrule in Ocarina of Time thus his knowledge of the Master Sword's origins is not surprising. Humorously the Korok Forest's Goddess Statue is located inside the Great Deku Tree's stomach between the Spore Store and Great Deku Tree's Navel. It is unclear if it was there originally before the Koroks set up shop or placed there by the Koroks for Link to use. With the exception of the Yiga Clan whom worship Calamity Ganon, the Sheikah continue to worship Hylia with the Sheikah Monks being her most devote followers often invoking the name Hylia during Link's trials. Additionally the Sword Monks have apparently been charged by Hylia with overseeing the "EX Trial of the Sword" that allows Link to unlock the Master Sword's "True" power state permanently. The trials and Shrine Quest play a role similar to the tasks Hylia required the Hero of the Sky to complete in Skyward Sword to grow stronger in body, mind, and spirit to confront Demise just as the Monks' trials are designed to prepare Link to confront Calamity Ganon indicating Hylia may have been involved with their development or offered divine guidance to the Sheikah Monks in creating them. It should also be noted the Shrines are apparently protected from Ganon's influence as Guardian Scouts within them remain uncorrupted indicating Hylia may offer them some Divine protection presumably empowered through the prayers of the Monks that inhabit them. The Goddess Statue in Kakariko Village is located at the center of the village and is decorated implying it holds a spot of reverence and is well cared for. However Paya reveals the Sheikah also pray to frog-like Guardian Deity statues that guide them throughout their lives, a practice that the Yiga apparently retained as Guardian Deity statues can be found throughout Karusa Valley near the Yiga Clan Hideout. Additionally Cotera acts the guardian Great Fairy that watches over Kakariko Village thus few visit her Great Fairy Fountain causing her power to diminish until Link gives her an offering of Rupees. Interestingly, the Spirit Orbs can also be considered a form of offering as well as the Dinraal's Scale, Farosh's Scale, and Naydra's Scale Link is required to offer at the three springs to reveal their hidden Shrines. Hylian treasure hunter Mils will sometimes say "Thank Hylia" that his sister Mina is safe after Link rescues them from Bokoblins presumably thankful to the goddess that his sister did not get hurt though unbeknownst to him Link is Hylia's Hero chosen by the Master Sword.
- "Ahhh... So there are some who still pay me homage. What were you praying for? Long life? Wealth, like so many of your kind? Whichever it was, you came to the right place. A dealer in life and power... That was me, once. Alas my life-for-money bargains didn't sit well with the Goddess Hylia. She trapped me in this stone statue long, long ago. The villagers here call me the Horned Statue and don't even bother to wipe away the bird droppings. One would think years upon years of such treatment would have made me mend my ways... One would think wrongly. I have only been biding my time for the moment someone who can hear me appears. Someone such as you. But I've said enough. Now then, shall we strike a bargain?"
- — Horned Statue upon meeting Link
The Horned Statue was once a Demon that in ancient times long forgotten made faustian bargains with those that worshipped it causing Hylia to seal it in a Horned Goddess Statue at Firly Pond as punishment though even after untold centuries of neglect and being covered in bird droppings the demon remains unrepentant just waiting for someone to come along capable of hearing it speak so it can strike a bargain with them. Link encounters the statue during "The Statue's Bargain" when he mistakenly prays to it assuming it is a normal Goddess Statue. The statue assumes Link is paying homage it and is surprised Link can hear it. It explains its history with Hylia before taking one of Link's Essences (Heart Container or Stamina Vessel). When Link demands its return the unrepentant Demon explains it only seeks to develop a business relationship before explaining how it can trade essences allowing Link to sell an Essences to it then buy the essence of his choice thus allowing him to exchange Heart Containers for Stamina Vessels and vice versa effectively allowing him to change his mind about how he invested his Spirit Orbs. Hylia does not punish Link or the statue for such dealings indicating she permits it trusting in Link's judgement and likely aware that the demonic statue is so desperate for a customer that it will not do anything to truly harm Link as he is the only Hylian it knows that can hear it. However she does not mention its existence to Link indicating she only turns a blind eye to his dealings with it and does not openly encourage such behavior. The Demon itself only makes a 20 Rupee profit per essence trade (his business practice makes it sound like he getting more than he actually is) which is surprisingly low given the circumstances though may be intentional on the statue's part as it is essentially a bargain for Link and presumably the statue's way of avoiding Hylia's wrath by giving her chosen hero such a deal as it favors Link while the Demon gets to do a little business making it a win-win for both parties.
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. In Zelda's Diary, Zelda mentions having a dream about a place consumed by darkness where she encounters a lone woman haloed by a blinding light. Though Zelda herself was unsure as to whether the woman was a fairy or goddess, it is implied that she may have suspected that the woman was in fact Hylia, as Zelda had been praying to her and even wondered if she might have heard the woman in her dream had she awakened her powers by that point. However Zelda was unsure if the dream was a vision or simply a manifestation of her fears.
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.
Though it is unknown how Hylia regained her divinity, it is possible that she regained it once her mortal incarnation died. This would make sense considering how mortal incarnation would likely be long dead during the events of Breath of the Wild. If this is the case, it is likely that after the death of her mortal incarnation, Hylia left the protection of the Triforce to the royal family, sages, and other deities such as the Light Spirits (who protected the Sacred Realm from the Interlopers during the Hyrulean Civil War) while she herself continued to watch over Hyrule by protecting it from malevolent beings and providing guidance towards those who need her help.
It is alternatively possible that this Hylia from Breath of the Wild is from a different timeline as the one in Skyward Sword, assuming that both games are parallel worlds to one another. However this is unlikely as it is heavily implied that Breath of the Wild takes place after Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time though the exact timeline it takes place in after Ocarina of Time is unconfirmed.
Spirit Maiden's Spirit
Another theory is that the Hylia in Breath of the Wild is actuality the deceased spirit of Hylia's mortal reincarnation who died and became deified upon her death becoming known as Hylia with her mortal body presumably begin buried on top of Mount Hylia as their is a pile of stones that look like they could be a simple ancient grave marker. Presumably her spirit watches over Hyrule from the Spirit Realm and is unable to directly intervene in mortal affairs as she had in the past as a side effect of dying as a mortal. However presumably she can still seal other spiritual beings such as demons and can aid her Royal Family descendants and incarnations of Link indirectly though relies on them to defeat more powerful entities such as Ganon who is implied to be the reincarnation of Demise's Hatred that is constantly being resurrected by the curse of the Demon Tribe placed on her and the Hero of the Sky's descendants explaining Ganon's cycle of resurrection. Princess Zelda mentions praying to the spirits tied to the ancient gods implying this scenario is possible though Zelda and those that worship Hylia are apparently unaware of it as they refer to Hylia as a Goddess though her current incarnation's true nature may been unknown to modern day Hyruleans due to knowledge having been lost over time or simply unknown to mortal 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 explanation for their mystical powers and 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 though it is unclear if Zelda reacquired the Light Force after it was drained from her by Vaati and the Light Force is only mentioned in a single title and may be more associated with Zelda's affinity towards the element of Light.
In Breath of the Wild though, it is stated that Princesses of Hyrule must purify and pray to Hylia at the Springs of Power, Wisdom, and Courage to awaken a sacred power passed down through lineage. This power is stated to be divine in origin, hinting that it came from Hylia. This could well be a mere myth though, considering the fact that Zelda did not awaken her powers until Link`s life was in grave danger though this may be due to the fact the Hero must defeat Ganon with the Master Sword to effectively seal Ganon as sealing Ganon without doing so requires the Princess to seal herself with him to maintain the seal though this is more a desperate gamble as Ganon will eventually break free thus to use her power effectively against him she needs an incarnation of the Hero capable of wielding the Master Sword. Presumably her powers awoke because she selflessly put herself in danger to protect Link whom she once resented and the fact both were in mortal danger. Urbosa suggested that after her training at the Spring of Wisdom failed that anything could spark her powers to awaken which later proved true indicating not even the Royal Family or Sheikah do not fully comprehend what causes the power to awaken and thus its "spark" may depend on the Princess in question with most having been able to awaken the power through prayer causing the Royal Family to mistakenly assume prayer and dedication to Hylia and the spirits tied to the ancient gods was all that was needed given her father believed it was her focus on her scholarly research distracting her from prayer when in reality her powers did not awaken no matter how much she prayed or even pleaded to the gods including Hylia herself for them to awaken. It is implied, Zelda's failure to properly grieve her mother's death and tendency to focus on her own personal problems prevented her from awakening them as it was only when she selflessly tried to protect Link (despite it essentially going against everything she was taught as it was Link's duty as the Princess' Royal Knight to protect her) that her powers finally manifested. Thus the sealing powers may require the Princess to possess or develop a certain kind of character to awaken them properly.
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. Another possibility is that the various Links and Zeldas born after Skyward Sword are both descendants of the Spirit Maiden and Hero of the Sky separated by many generations with the Royal Family line inheriting Hylia's divine powers while the various Link's inherit the Hero of the Sky's abilities and destiny to wield the Master Sword as part of the Knight's Bloodline. However members of the Royal Family retain the ability to hold and wield the Master Sword though are apparently incapable of wielding its true power against evil as neither Tetra nor Zelda attempted to do so even while the blade was in their possession.
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. It is also stated in the Hyrule Compendium entry for the White Horse that the Royal Family of Hyrule rule the kingdom by divine right which reinforces this theory.
This would 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. Also, it is implied in the game that Tetra`s mother was the one who passed down this mystical power to her daughter. In Breath of the Wild, Zelda notes her mother told her that Zelda inherited her latent divine powers from her grandmother implying the late Queen of Hyrule was not a bloodline descendant indicating King Rhoam was descended from royal blood and Zelda's grandmother was likely the incarnation of Zelda that proceeded his daughter. However Zelda's mother apparently was presumably instructed by her mother-in-law to oversee her daughter's training to awaken them as Zelda and Rhoam note it would have been the Queen's duty but unfortunately she died a year before Zelda's training was to begin robbing Zelda of both a mother and mentor, which apparently contributed to Zelda's struggles with awakening her powers.
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 has only reincarnated herself once as a mortal in Skyward Sword. If true, it is possible that her conflict with the demon sealed in the Horned Statue happened before the events of Skyward Sword. It is also possible that her conflict with the demon was after the events of Skyward Sword, assuming that she regained her divinity.
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 either case). In Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild, Hylia is associated with the Temple of Time and Gates of Time are located in both the Temple of Time and Sealed Temple. It is implied in Skyward Sword that the Sealed Temple eventually became the Temple of Time in Ocarina of Time. Hylia's power over time might also explain how she appears in Breath of the Wild long after her reincarnation, the creation of the Master Sword, and foundation of the Kingdom of Hyrule.
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 and Pedestal of Time that grants these abilities.