It’s time to learn all about Link’s arch nemesis as we take a look at the 20 best Ganondorf facts of all time!
I’ve been cursing Ganondorf ever since I first played Ocarina of Time back in 1998. This guy remains one of my favourite bad guys of all time and definitely knows how to get players riled up.
He’s sneaky, he’s powerful, and he will stop at nothing to rule Hyrule.
And he usually tends to get his way in most of the games too.
From turning monsters evil and restless to moulding Hyrule in his own image in his quest to thwart Link and Zelda, Ganondorf has been one of the biggest presences in Nintendo history for years now.
But how much do we know about him?
Check out our top 20 Ganondorf facts and get to know the coolest bad-guy in town!
1. Ganondorf Is The Only Male Gerudo To Feature In The Series
The Gerudo are a proud race of female warriors. We’ve seen this much from their exploits in Breath of the Wild, training for battle and scouring the land for suitable mates.
But once every 100 years, a Gerudo male is born, and that male is Ganondorf.
He’s the only Gerudo that we’ve seen in the series thus far, for many of the reasons that I’m about to mention below, the chief of which is that he just won’t die! I guess it’s like when a dictator just refuses to step down; another one can’t be born until he’s, for want of a better word, snuffed it!
2. As The Only Male Gerudo, He Automatically Becomes Their King
It might seem unfair, but the new Gerudo male automatically becomes king of the Gerudo people. And, as you can guess from playing Zelda games in the past, Ganondorf is not a good ruler to his people.
The Gerudo in Ocarina of Time are absolutely terrified of Ganondorf, only doing his bidding for fear of being transformed into monsters such as Poes or Stalchildren to just roam Hyrule at night.
Also, even though Ganondorf pledges his allegiance to the King of Hyrule, he’s still the King of the Gerudo, a lower level ruler the likes of which you might see in Lord of the Rings.
3. There Hasn’t Been A Gerudo King Since Ganondorf
Since Ganondorf left the physical word as a Gerudo, there hasn’t been another Gerudo King, presumably as I mentioned above because of the fact that he hasn’t actually died.
The Gerudo lifespan is around 80-90 years old, with Gerudo females usually heading out to search for Hylians while the new Gerudo Male is born and comes of age. Since Ganondorf went off the rails, however, there has been no new Gerudo male born, meaning that the Vai must scour Hyrule for suitable Foes.
While there has been no Gerudo Kings since Ganondorf, a string of Gerudo Chiefs, the most recent being Urbosa and her descendant, Riju, have kept things in order.
Wielder of lightning and one of the 4 Champions tasked with piloting a divine beast, Urbosa was as fierce as Ganondorf but a kind and fair ruler loved by her people. Riju looks set to carry on Lady Urbosa’s mantle perfectly and protect the lives of her people against future terrors for many years to come.
4. Ganondorf Is The Reincarnation Of The Demon King Demise From Skyward Sword
The fact that Demise looks so much like Ganondorf is not a coincidence. The Demon King explains that rather than being eradicated from the world, he will be reincarnated again and again to cause havoc throughout the world.
That reincarnation (canonically) is Ganondorf and then the Demon King Ganon.
Despite the fact that he has been born as a human into the Gerudo race, he has the fury and hatred of Demise inside him as well as the ability to transform into Ganon when stuff gets real.
I know Skyward Sword came after all the other games and therefore acts as a way of tying up ‘loose ends’ and other Ganondorf facts before Breath of the Wild, but as it’s the first game canonically, it explains Ganondorf’s red hair as a likeness to Demise’s flaming locks.
5. Because He Is The Reincarnation Of Demise, He Is Conditioned To Both Rule Out Of Hate & Defeat Link
We’re about to get deep with our Ganondorf facts now.
We know from playing Skyward Sword that Demise isn’t a nice chap. His whole world revolves around killing the Goddess and The Hero. When it proves that Zelda is the mortal form of the Goddess Hylia and Link is The Hero, we discover why, as a reincarnation of Demise, Ganondorf is obsessed with their destruction.
Does this explain why he’s so evil.
Well yes, that’s definitely the main reason. In many ways, you could say that the man himself isn’t evil, but the demon inside him is.
Should this make us feel sorry for Ganondorf? I mean, he’s caused a lot of annoyance throughout all of our favourite Zelda games, so probably not.
6. There Has Only Ever Been One Ganondorf
This is still one of the best Ganondorf facts that gets me every time. Even though there have been many different iterations of Ganondorf on our screens over the years, there has only ever been the one Ganondorf.
We’ve had multiple Links and Zelda’s in different timelines, but every Ganondorf is the same person.
Now that’s what a I call a stubborn villain!
His looks have changed a little over the years, though the circlet on his head and fiery hair have always remained.
7. Ganondorf Has Been Voiced By 6 People
While there has only been one Ganondorf, he has been voiced by 6 people over the series thus far.
I say ‘his voice’; it’s mostly just laughs, grunts, and shocked noises.
Takashi Nagasako has voiced him the most times, providing Ganon’s voice for the legendary Ocarina of Time.
8. There Are Two Zelda Timelines, And Ganondorf Wins In One Of Them
For those of you that know your Zelda or who have read Hyrule Historia, you’ll know that there are two timelines after Ocarina of Time – a branch where Link is successful, and a branch where he is well and truly defeated.
That means that there is a world where Ganondorf defeats Link and is, for a time, victorious.
The games that see Ganon still causing havoc canonically after Ocarina of time are A Link to the Past, Oracle of Seasons/Ages, Link’s Awakening, The Legend of Zelda, and the Adventure of Link, where Ganon is finally prevented from reincarnating.
He always finds a way of coming back though!
9. Twinrova Raised Ganondorf
My favourite boss duo from Ocarina of Time were responsible for putting Ganondorf on the path that led him to become the King of Evil. They raised him in the Desert Colossus and, with their magic, showed him how to harness his true magical power.
Perhaps they helped to pull out the power of Demise inside him or just taught him their evil ways. Whatever their methods, they certainly made him one of the most powerful beings of all time and gave us one heck of an antagonist to deal with.
10. Ganon Is The Beast Form Of Ganondorf
When we see Ganon in beast form, it’s still Ganondorf. His form has definitely become scarier over the years as you will see a little further down this list.
For me, the classic Ocarina of Time Ganon with twin swords is still the best. The Ganon at the end of Breath of the Wild looks a little too much like a normal boar for me, but Ocarina nailed it.
11. Ganon Can Morph From His Gerudo Form At Any Time
With all the knowledge that Koume and Koutake passed on as well as the Triforce of Power doing its work, Ganondorf can transform in to Ganon and vice versa at will.
Talk about keep things interesting, right?
The Ganon that we see in Breath of the Wild is a sort of ‘limbo form’ of Ganon, a partially transformed version of Ganondorf that, while incomplete, still has no problem bending Hyrule to his whim.
12. Ganondorf Is The Second Tallest Nintendo Character at 7’6″ Tall
When Hyrule Historia dropped, we all found out that Ganondorf was a whopping 7-foot 6-inches tall.
It makes sense when you think about it; all of the Gerudo women you meet in Breath of the Wild are super tall, so it stands to reason that the Gerudo King himself would be equally as tall.
I thought that his great height would make him the tallest Nintendo character of them all, but it turns out that everyone’s favourite tie-wearing simian takes the top spot.
When Donkey Kong stands upright, he clocks in at a ginormous 7-foot 10-inches tall!
How’s that for Ganondorf facts that blow your mind?
13. Ganondorf First Appears in Human Form In Ocarina Of Time
While there were 7 games specifically starring Link and or Zelda in the run up to Ocarina of time (check out our list of all Legend of Zelda games in order for more information), Ocarina of time was the first game both in order of release and canonically where we saw Ganondorf as a human.
Can you remember seeing that first shot of him atop his horse? It still gives me chills!
14. Ganon First Appeared Back On The NES As A Blue Boar
Back in the very first The Legend of Zelda game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Ganon appeared as a monstrous looking blue boar wielding a trident.
This is why whenever we see Ganon, aka the beast form of Ganondorf, he always has tusks and looks like a wild pig on a vendetta against everyone and everything.
He was also ‘Gannon’ with two n’s back then… maybe because it sounded more like Gammon? I’m hungry now!
15. Ganon Was Originally Known As The Hakkai
But where did all of the boar look-a-likey stuff come from? Well, back when the devs were making The Legend of Zelda, they partly based the idea of the beast Ganon on a Japanese character called Cho Hakkai, referencing Ganon simply as Hakkai for short.
Cho Hakkai, or the Chinese name of Zhu Baije, is a pig-like human from a novel called ‘Journey to the West’. Using an iron rake as a weapon, he wanders the land lusting after women and generally being a bit of a lazy pig.
Hey, maybe that’s where the saying comes from!
16. His Last Name Is Dragmire
I bet this fact threw you off a little bit, didn’t it? Yes, Ganondorf’s last name is technically Dragmire.
The booklet for the English version of A Link To The Past for the SNES officially lists his name as ‘Ganondorf Dragmire’, even though it hasn’t featured in a game or booklet since.
He’s actually listed as this on the official Zelda website as this too. That’s definitely one of the top Ganondorf facts that you can tell people at Nintendo parties from now on!
17. Ganondorf Has Survived Multiple Execution Attempts
Seriously, this guy has survived a lot of executions over the years.
Whether it’s the Sages stabbing him and watching in horror as he pulls the sword out or Link plunging the Master Sword into him only to fight him on the next game, it seems that Ganondorf just can’t die!
Demise did say that he would keep coming back to cause more pain in future generations, and with the Power of the Triforce on Ganondorf’s side, he seems to be able to come back time and time again.
Though to be fair, if he didn’t, we’d need to fine a new antagonist to duel.
18. The Original Design For Ganondorf’s Gerudo Form Was Based On Actor Christopher Lambert
Can you see the resemblance? I mean, the nose is kind of similar, but I don’t really see Christopher Lambert turning women into Stalchilds or kidnapping Princess Zelda.
Admittedly, Nintendo say that the design changed a lot as they moved through Ganondorf’s creation, but let us know if you see any similarities over on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
19. Ganondorf Killed All Of His Minions After Entering The Sacred Realm
Just in case you thought he wasn’t evil enough, Ganondorf actually killed all of the minions he took with him into the Sacred Realm to make sure that they wouldn’t take the Triforce for themselves.
Jeez; they were already scared enough to not go anywhere near it in the first place, but I guess tyrants never really truly trust anyone.
20. We See Ganondorf As A Zombie In The Teaser For Tears Of The Kingdom
The final entry in this Ganondorf facts list points towards the return of Ganondorf as a human, or at least a humanoid form in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
If you look at the mummified zombie above, you can see Ganondorf’s red hair and the glowing circlet on his head.
Could we be battling Ganondorf in the shape of Maz Koshia, the monk players fought at the end of the BotW DLC pack?
Or, will Ganondorf find a way of becoming fully human again?
I guess we’ll find out soon enough!
And that’s a wrap! Thanks for checking out this list of 20 Ganondorf facts that continue to blow our minds. He’s definitely the best Nintendo antagonist of all time and one of the best video game villains the Retro Dodo team has ever come across.
Now, I wonder if I could change my last name to Dragmire pretty easily?
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.