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Tears of the Kingdom Ending Explained (In Detail)

by AcklinEHuey

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s ending is now public, as the game is finally available on Nintendo Switch. The direct sequel to the critically-acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been in the works for many years, spanning roughly six years in between entries. While players will likely spend dozens of hours exploring the new version of Hyrule and its many Sky Islands, eventually, they will reach the campaign’s ending and face the opponent that threatens the continent and its inhabitants.


This article contains multiple spoilers regarding the main plot of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.With Ganondorf confirmed as the game’s main villain by promotional materials like trailers, players are expecting to face the Gerudo in battle. As is the case with most titles in the franchise, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s ending has a few plot twists that not only spice up the narrative but also offers players an exciting finale full of fun combat.

Related: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Review – Building Excellence

After obtaining the restored form of the iconic Master Sword, Link can finally head toward his final encounter with the Demon King, Ganondorf in Tears of the Kingdom. Despite the cluttered arena, this is, ultimately, a one-on-one battle between the two characters. Ganondorf uses a complete arsenal of weapons and spells in a fairly straightforward fight, which has Link simply deplete the opponent’s health bar. Once the task at hand is completed, however, the Demon King presents a new trick, and transforms himself into the Demon Dragon, a much bigger threat against Link in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s ending. Luckily, the Hylian knight is not alone in the upcoming battle.

Zelda Tears Kingdom TotK Review

Once the Ganondorf transforms into the Demon Dragon, Zelda’s current dragon form also comes to the battle, to aid Link in his fight. When teleported into the past right at the beginning of the game, Zelda eventually explores Hyrule in its former glory and witnesses the kingdom’s struggle against Ganondorf, who is then sealed. She then willingly undertakes a spell to become a dragon – in the process losing herself – whose purpose is to help Link restore the Master Sword in the present time, with the ultimate goal being the defeat of Ganondorf’s revived form in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s ending.

During the battle, when Link is mounted on Zelda’s head, players are actually able to control the Light Dragon for a brief period. It is possible to control its trajectory and allow Link to get the advantage of upper ground. The strategy behind the encounter is flying up higher than Demon Dragon Ganondorf and then jumping down onto its body to destroy the multiple Eyes of Malice infestations spread across it. In this battle, Zelda will help Link by throwing her dragon body against the multiple projectiles that Demon Dragon spits out, helping him avoid incoming damage.

Once all the Eyes of Malice spread across the creature’s body are destroyed, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s ending starts happening. Link is prompted to strike the Demon Dragon on the Secret Stone placed on its head and, by doing so, he finally defeats Ganondorf. The Demon King is destroyed and no longer poses a threat to Hyrule. Immediately after the fight, the dragon form of Zelda weakens due to her participation in the battle, and Link attempts to save the princess of Hyrule.

Zelda with her hands cupped while Link is in the background peering off into the sky.

By using the power of his arm bestowed upon him by Rauru, Link extends it to concentrate energy to heal the dragon. When he does that, however, the spiritual projections of both Rauru and Hylia appear and lend him extra energy. This makes the dragon’s body disappear, reverting the spell and restoring Zelda’s original Hylian form in Tears of the Kingdom’s ending. Throughout the game, it is understood that the dragon spell Zelda willingly undertook to help Link restore the Master Sword is irreversible. Nevertheless, with the blessing of the kingdom’s two founders, it is undone.

Once Zelda’s original body is restored, Link’s right arm returns to normal, leaving behind the traces of Rauru’s touch. This could mean that the gods had planned everything out thoroughly, from Ganondorf’s defeat to how Link would directly play a part in Zelda’s recovery from an otherwise unbreakable spell. Rauru and Hylia then hold hands and gently disappear, which triggers the dissolution of the arena that Zelda and Link are in during Tears of the Kingdom’s ending. The next scene players witness is Link falling from high up in the sky and awakening mid-fall.

Link then sees Zelda from afar, falling below him, though she is unconscious. He then proceeds to dive quickly into the air in order to reach her. Once Link reaches Zelda, he tightly embraces her, and they plummet into a small lake on the continent. Shortly after, he is seen carrying her unconscious body out of the water and laying her on a field of grass. Zelda then awakens in surprise to see that Link is alive and well, and comes to the conclusion that he was truly able to defeat Ganondorf, the Demon King, and that her sacrifice had proven useful.

Related: Zelda: Why Ganondorf Is Always A Gerudo

Zelda proceeds to explain that she awoke when she felt a “warm, loving embrace,” which was likely when Link grabbed her during their fall – or a more poetic metaphor for Link, Hylia, and Rauru’s blessing that transformed her back to her original form. Zelda also mentions that, during her trip into the past, she was able to see Hyrule in its former glory and meet different people, and that she has much to tell Link. After this, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s ending is reached, as Link’s main mission of finding Princess Zelda is concluded.

Like in Breath of the Wild, players can then continue playing the game and exploring its broad open world, but it has a save point right before the encounter with Ganondorf, the Demon King. The save file is also marked with a star to show that the campaign’s end has been reached, despite the save file being thrown into the moments prior to the fight.

Although the fight against Ganondorf resulted in his defeat, it is uncertain if Link was actually capable of ending the villain’s cycle of reincarnation. If he did, it is likely that Tears of the Kingdom is truly the last game in this particular version of the franchise’s storyline. If Link did not completely obliterate the chances of Ganon’s return, however, it is probable that he will eventually return to pose a threat against Hyrule once again. In true Zelda fashion, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s ending leaves a few questions unanswered, despite having a satisfactory conclusion to the current arc.

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