The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom art book leaks may offer an answer for not only Ganondorf’s role in the game but also for how he died. Speculation about the villain of Breath of the Wild‘s sequel has largely suggested Ganondorf will be Link’s nemesis in the game. Specifically, many fans believe Ganondorf to be the dead king Link appears to resurrect in TOTK‘s trailers. Although there has been no confirmation about this king being Ganondorf or a backstory given for how he was slain, the art book leaks potentially prove this king is Ganondorf and show how he died.


Much of Tears of the Kingdom‘s marketing material already points toward Ganondorf being the game’s villain. Though the king from the trailers looks different from earlier depictions of Ganondorf, this could be because Ganondorf is a corpse in TOTK. Everything about the corpse – his magic that lifts Hyrule Castle in the air, his large stature, his red hair – suggests it is indeed Ganondorf, so this theory would make sense. The only thing working against it is the absence of Ganondorf in Breath of the Wild: It’s unlikely that Ganondorf’s body could lie beneath Hyrule Castle without people knowing he was there and could have posed a threat.

Related: TOTK Art Leaks May Show First-Ever Look At Ignored Zelda Character

TOTK Art Book Leak Shows Ganondorf Was Killed Like In Twilight Princess

Ganondorf threatening Link and Midna in the throne room in The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess HD

Despite Ganondorf’s absence in Breath of the Wild, the Tears of the Kingdom art book leak all but confirms he will return in the upcoming title because it references Ganondorf’s death in Twilight Princess. In that game, Ganondorf is killed after Link stabs him in the chest and Zant snaps his neck (as shown in BeardBear‘s clip). The art book leak specifically references the holes in the dead king’s chest as well as his spine. With such clear references to an earlier Ganondorf death, it seems very likely that not only is TOTK‘s dead king Ganondorf, but he was also impaled and had his neck snapped like in Twilight Princess.

Ganondorf’s Death Is Hidden In The TOTK Trailers

Image of Ganondorf from the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, with Malice festering in his chest.

The Tears of the Kingdom art book leaks are not the only thing pointing toward Ganondorf in the same way he did in Twilight Princess. The trailers for TOTK briefly show the dead king also died from a chest wound and a broken neck. In the first-look TOTK trailer, Ganondorf’s neck can be seen and heard snapping backing into place as he comes back to life, suggesting his neck broke as he died. Not only is this a call back to his death in Twilight Princess, but Ganondorf also realigns his neck by snapping it in the opposite direction Zant broke it. This only further hints at TOTK‘s dead king being Ganondorf.

More recent trailers also show how Ganondorf’s chest was impaled in Tears of the Kingdom. In earlier trailers, the same Malice from BOTW can be seen sprawling from a source, but the source is not shown. However, in TOTK‘s Official Trailer #2, Nintendo finally revealed that the source is a wound in the dead king’s chest. This wound, shaped like a sword, appears to reaffirm the art book leaks and their connection to Twilight Princess.

There remains the chance that Tears of the Kingdom‘s villain will neither be Ganondorf nor die in the same way he did in Twilight Princess. After all, Astor’s fate after the split timeline of Age of Calamity remains to be explored. Nevertheless, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom art book leaks and their similarities with the trailers make a compelling case for Ganondorf and his death.

More: Zelda: TOTK – We’ve Already Seen How The Master Sword Gets Destroyed

Sources: BeardBear / YouTube

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