Is ‘The Legend of Zelda: BOTW’ Gerudo Chief Urbosa Riju’s Mother?

In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 100 years pass between Calamity Ganon’s attack on Hyrule and the first moment players guide Link. The time gap means that many people Princess Zelda and Link knew have died, and new generations take their place, like Gerudo Chief Riju. However, fans have wondered about family connections and asked if, in BOTW, Urbosa is Riju’s mother.

Link, Urbosa's descendant Riju, and her Sand Seal Patricia before Vah Naboris in 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild'
Link, Riju, and her Sand Seal Patricia before Vah Naboris in ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ | Nintendo

In ‘BOTW,’ is Urbosa Riju’s mother?

While many fans note their similar characteristics, Gerudo Champion Urbosa is not Riju’s mother. However, they share the same bloodline.

The Gerudo Tribe date as far back as when the Lanayru Desert became the Gerudo Desert. Every 100 years, a male Gerudo is born, and he becomes the leader of the Gerudo Tribe. However, in the absence of a male Gerudo, a royal bloodline of Gerudo chiefs rule.

Before the Great Calamity in BOTW, Urbosa ruled over Gerudo Town as chief. However, when she, Revali, Daruk, and Mipha fell to each monstrous Blight Ganon, her title passed to her next of kin.

However, Nintendo has revealed nothing about Ubosa’s daughter, niece, or any relative. They never receive a mention in Breath of the Wild or the (debatably canon) prequel Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Does that mean Urbosa and Riju are not related at all in BOTW?

Luckily, Nintendo releases companion books and even manga like the Twilight Princess books for the Legend of Zelda games. And one Breath of the Wild book gives more insight.

The Gerudo Chief in ‘Breath of the Wild’ is a descendant of the Divine Beast Vah Naboris Champion

According to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild book “Creating a Champion,” Riju “respects her ancestor Urbosa and possesses some of her accessories.”

Even though the games give no mention of Urbosa’s immediate descendant, “Creating a Champion” confirms that she had one, likely a niece or daughter. Though, fans might ask why Urbosa’s daughter or niece could not be Riju.

For starters, the timing would not work out. When Link awakens in BOTW, Urbosa died 100 years ago, and Riju only recently became the Gerudo Chief.

The other reason comes from the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Riju’s mother. While we know characters like Mipha failed to defeat Waterblight Ganon with her Lightscale Trident, Riju’s mother’s death is never directly stated.

What happened to Urbosa’s descendant, Riju’s mother, in BOTW?

According to dialogue in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, after Link crosses the Gerudo Desert, several NPCs say that Riju’s mother died unexpectedly.

This fact has led many Zelda theorists to believe someone murdered Riju’s mother.

The Hyrule Gamer suggests one theory that the Yiga Clan could have murdered Riju’s mother sometime before Link awoke in the Shrine of Resurrection.

In the BOTW DLC, Urbosa mentioned the Yiga Clan trying to steal the treasured Thunder Helm, which they managed to steal some time after Riju’s mother died. The theory certainly sounds more plausible than some Zelda Timeline theories.

So while Urbosa is not Riju’s mother, there still remains plenty of unanswered questions regarding the Gerudo Tribe in BOTW.

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