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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD reached plenty of fans over the Christmas season. As the earliest game in the Zelda timeline, it establishes many different races and locations. However, some things bring up more questions than answers. Fans wondered if The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Lanayru Desert is the same as the Gerudo Desert.

Link fighting the Molarach boss in 'The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD' in the Lanayru Desert rumored to be the Gerudo Desert
Link fighting the Molarach boss in ‘The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD’ | Nintendo

‘The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword’ Lanayru Desert and the Gerudo Desert

While The Legend of Zelda series takes place over hundreds and even tens of thousands of years in Breath of the Wild’s case, the map of Hyrule has not changed too drastically.

Some tried explaining Death Mountain seemingly moving around Hyrule, but the desert areas usually stay west of Hyrule Castle.

While The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword does not have a traditional unified map, Lanayru Desert once more lies west of where Nintendo confirmed Hyrule to develop.

However, Lanayru Desert appears hostile. Even the Ancient Robots could not survive after they mined too greedily and destroyed the land. How could a humanoid race develop a culture there?

Some fans theorize that Groose from Skyloft in Skyward Sword founded the Gerudo Tribe and the Gerudo Desert.

Did Groose from ‘The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword’ turn Lanayru Desert into the Gerudo Desert?

A prominent theory states that Link’s rival from Skyloft, Groose, established the Gerudo Desert.

“In the ending credits of Skyward Sword, Groose can be seen flying to the Lanayru Desert on a Loftwing,” Zelda Dungeon explains the theory. “The Gerudo Desert is actually Modern Day Lanayru Desert. We know this because of the presence of the Gerudo Dragonfly in Lanayru Desert.”

Zelda Dungeon addresses the pushback about the Gerudo Dragonfly carrying the ‘Gerudo’ name before the tribe even existed.

“The Gerudo race is named after this very dragonfly .. [Groose] would probably name his tribe after a native creature in the area. This stays true to real-life culture, as many African tribes are named after animals or insects.”

With the context clues in Skyward Sword, it seems reasonable to believe Lanayru Desert to be the Gerudo Desert.

Nintendo always leaves hints about ‘Legend of Zelda’ lore and rarely confirms things directly

Nintendo has a long history of dropping clues about The Legend of Zelda series. The company even teased the infamous Zelda Timeline for years before revealing it.

Leaving subtle bits of info in Skyward Sword and consistencies across the series’ maps seems on-brand for the game company.


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Despite the Gerudo tribe only appearing in a handful of Legend of Zelda games like Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild, they made a huge impact.

The mortal form of the series’ main antagonist, Ganondorf, came from the Gerudo Tribe. And with the Gerudo symbol adorning his ancient corpse in the Breath of the Wild 2 trailers, the connection could come back once again.

The Lanayru Desert turning into the Gerudo Desert only marked the first major change the arid land would have on Hyrule.