What King Rhoam’s Reign Teaches Us about Breath of the Wild Written by Adam Bierstedt on February 20, 2018

The Legfinish of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (abbreviated BotW) is a game all about the past. You wander the ruins of a fallen kingdom, learning the background of the people you satisfy, attempting to resolve a previous disaster. But, tbelow is one crucial character that you don’t really learn about: King Rhoam Bosphoramus Hydominion. (Isn’t that a delightful name?)

When we meet Rhoam, he’s already dead, and also has actually been for a century. Yet somejust how, he manages to stick around as a gorganize long sufficient to get Link to go off and kill Ganon (or spend 200 hours trying to construct a flying machine). Even though he’s the extremely initially character any player meets confront to face, and also technically the just one you have to satisfy, we learn exceptionally bit about him. He’s Zelda’s father, and the King of Hydominance, and also he was reportedly exceptionally strict via her. And… that’s about it.

We must look closer at Rhoam, bereason expertise him as a character sheds new light on the responsibilities that drive all of BotW’s quests (consisting of the side quests), culminating in a brand-new conception of Hyrule’s previous and future.

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And that evaluation starts through the search he provides to you, the player.

Let’s look at his actual speech:

Considering that I could not save my very own kingdom, I have actually no right to ask this of you, Link… But I am powerless here… You need to save her…my daughter. And carry out whatever before it takes to annihilate Ganon.

Someexactly how, Ganon has actually maintained manage over all four Divine Beasts, and those Guardians swarming about Hydominance Castle. I think it would be rather reckless for you to head straight to the castle at this point. I suggest…that you make your way east, out to among the villperiods in the wilderness.

Tright here are two obligations that drive the major plot below. The first duty on the player is to conserve Zelda, which is sindicate a father’s desire to defend his son. The second one is to annihilate Ganon. This is wbelow points acquire exciting. This is, after all, the whole allude of the game (and nearly eincredibly game in the series). The prophecy of Calamity Ganon’s rerotate brought about Link’s appointment in the initially area. However, it reveals something essential.


Rhoam’s speech shows that he thinks he failed someexactly how. However, the game is incredibly vague regarding what the faitempt actually is. The intuitive answer is that he failed by dying, but this doesn’t make feeling. There’s a prophecy connected, after all, and also the prophecy does not include Rhoam (at leastern if we trust Kass’s rendition of the tale). Because Rhoam evidently took the prophecy seriously, he had to suspect something choose this can happen.

Solving this mystery ends up answering the biggest question of BotW’s story: Why did the Calamity happen? What I will argue is that historic models of kingship administer the answer. I will complement the in-game proof as finest I can to historic models, ultimately showing that medieval Scandinavian monarchs market the ideal allude of compariboy to Hydominion. This lens reveals Rhoam’s failing as a loss of reputation, not life. Redeeming his reputation needs someone to perform the duties of a king—duties that Rhoam have the right to no much longer execute himself. However before, so doing reveals something deeply unintuitive: Link was never the hero of the prophecy.

Why We Need to Look to History to Understand also Video-Video Game Kingship

“But wait!” I’m certain someone, somewbelow is thinking. “How can background tell us all that? Wouldn’t various other games be even more helpful to tell us about kingship in this fantasy game?” I wish that were true, however a brief look at the advancement of the genre of fantasy will certainly prove that comparikid usemuch less.

See more: What Does Have A Good One Mean, History Of Have A Good One

Our story begins with JRR Tolkien (to nobody’s surprise). His best king is crystallized in Aragon (the best warrior, hides nobility behind a raggedy/wicked exterior, etc.). We deserve to sum up this model as the Hero-King. It is something via some historic and literary precedent, but it is basically a fiction, and also has been considerably overoffered. Thanks to the huge success of The Lord of the Rings, many other fantasy stories sindicate copy that model through just minor tweaks. Edgar from Final Fantasy VI is a terrific instance. But, unprefer in novels, fantasy in video games hasn’t really moved past that. Instead, more recent functions have borrowed from older media, which outcomes in a collection of tropes, not a meaningful design of judgment.

Just take a look at Regis Lucis Caelum (not a delightful name) from Final Fantasy XV and Kingsglaive. Kings don’t surrender or accept exile; they nobly sacrifice themselves so the intrepid young protagonist deserve to escape (FFXV, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones). Rulers don’t need to deal with internal strife; they are generally utterly respected till just prior to the start of the game, and also even then just rarely need to resolve revolts (FFIX, Bioshock Infinite). The list can continue for a lengthy, lengthy time, but I won’t make anyone endure through that. While tbelow are historic examples of similar events happening (such as when the Norwegian prince Håkon IV did gain hidden amethod once his father was killed, and later on took the throne), these are few and much in between.