|First appearance||Skyward Sword (2011)|
- "That is Lanayru, the Thunder Dragon. As the great protector of Lanayru Province, he has power over thunder."
- — Fi
Lanayru, also known as the Thunder Dragon, is a character from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. He is one of the Three Dragons who oversee the surface. He is a large dragon Deity who watches over Lanayru Gorge, having been tasked by Hylia. According to the Water Dragon, Lanayru is the eldest of the three dragons, and has been neglecting his own health for some time.
When Link first encounters Lanayru, he has long since passed away, and only his skeleton remains. Link retrieves a Small Key that used to hang around Lanayru's neck, and escorts a Timeshift Stone to the vicinity of Lanayru. In the past, Link finds that Lanayru is gravely ill, and due to his maladies, he is unable to perform his part of the "Song of the Hero". He tells Link that the Ancient Robots planted a Life Tree Seedling, which can grow into a tree bearing the Life Tree Fruit, a potent cure-all for illnesses. However, the tree cannot sustain growth in the inhospitable heat of the desert. Link takes the seedling with him to find a more suitable spot in which to plant it.
Link eventually finds such a spot within the Sealed Temple; however, it will take untold years for the seedling to grow into a Tree of Life. Utilizing the Gate of Time found nearby, Link enters the past and plants the seedling, finding that it has grown into a tree upon his re-entry in the present. Link shakes loose a Life Tree Fruit, and brings it to the Thunder Dragon; Lanayru instantly recovers, and happily regales Link with his performance of his part of the "Song of the Hero". However, Lanayru is still nowhere to be found in the present should Link deactivate the Timeshift Stone.
Following his recovery, Lanayru runs a mini-game known as the Lightning Round, during which Link can do battle with bosses from earlier dungeons in exchange for a variety of prizes, among them the indestructible Hylian Shield and a Piece of Heart. Lanayru also offers to let Link revisit areas from the Silent Realm.
Once his illness is cured in the past, Lanayru's remains are no longer present when the Timeshift Stone is inactive. However, the dragon himself is not seen in the present until he appears in the Thunderhead with Levias and the other dragons to sing the "Song of the Hero".
As an Easter Egg, Lanayru comments how Link is not much of a name, and assigns him a model number, "LD-Link-16". Like all the Ancient Robots, the model number starts with "LD-", signifying that they all came from the Lanayru Desert. The number sixteen was chosen because Skyward Sword is the sixteenth Legend of Zelda game released, excluding all ports, remakes, CD-i games, and spin-offs.
"Lanayru" is likely to be named after the goddess Nayru.