It’s hard topping one of the greatest games in the WiiU shelf life, and the Switch’s, too, for that matter. While Breath of the Wild certainly isn’t a new game, topping everything that BOTW did, in retrospect, is a daunting task. Zelda Tears of the Kingdom acted as the sequel to Breath of the Wild, capping on the lore present and answering questions from the community through the game’s many discoverable secrets. Just what do we know about the Zonai in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom? While the story is complete now, there are backstories and lore that have yet to be revealed. Below, we’ll give a summary of everything we know about these people, hopefully answering the question, ‘Who are the Zonai?’
Who Are The Zonai?
You likely know the initial lore behind the Zonai through the Faron Zonai Ruins from Breath of the Wild. Just like in the previous game, you can find ruins akin to these in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom as well. Who are the Zonai, and where did they come from? Despite the fact that we have ruins everywhere, there isn’t very much evidence as to who they are in the first game. No, to get a better look, you need to peer a little bit into Zelda Tears of the Kingdom to find out more. Did we mention that this article has spoilers? If you’re against seeing any, it may be a good idea to bookmark this page and come back later when you’ve played a little more.
The Zonai in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom are a tribe that inhabited Hyrule long before anyone in the first game was alive. They were the initial natives of the area, who worshipped the Triforce as if it were a god, or three gods rather. The statues that you can see in Tears of the Kingdom expand on that concept. The owl represents wisdom. The bear represents power, and the dragon represents courage. This essential rebuilding of the lore at least helps explain the ruins, and what it is that the Zonai followed. As for what we know about the race so far, all we can glean is through the ruins left behind and their places of worship. The architecture is subject to swirl designs, stone building structures, and an expanse that sprawls all across Hyrule.
Are The Zonai in Tears of the Kingdom?
While they are in Tears of the Kingdom, the game doesn’t necessarily change anything that we know so far about the Zonai. Rather than setting up all-new lore, the game just expands the span of what we already know. The ancient tribe of the Zonai were the one that originally founded Hyrule. Rauru was Hyrule’s first ruler, Queen Sonia being his wife. After the Upheaval, Zonai ruins were everywhere, and many float in the sky on those islands you saw from the trailer. In Kakariko Village, the Ring Ruins remain one of the most prominent fixtures of Zonai history. The robot creatures, called Constructs, are actually Zonai technology. While made to serve the Zonai, in the present time, all are either asleep or out to get Link.
What Happened To The Zonai?
As far as Breath of the Wild lore is concerned explicitly, there is no telling what happened to the Zonai. The only evidence we have is from Creating a Champion, which simply states, “It’s rumored that these people disappeared suddenly thousands of years ago. Pre-Tears of the Kingdom theories have the idea that the Zonai’s disappearance had to do with Hyrule itself. Considering the fact that some armor that we get is straight from the Zonai, and the fact that the armor is barbaric, leans to suggest that the Zonai were a warlike people. And not particularly in a good way.
However, Zelda Tears of the Kingdom does shed a bit of light on the situation. Rauru was the leader during the Imprisoning War, hundreds of years ago. Zonai in Zelda Tears of the Kingdom were a titular part of that war, which ultimately led to their demise. Whether inadvertent or not, Rauru and his sister Mineru are the ones we know the names of during that critical period. Everyone else, including the Queen, is unknown. Location, fate, and everything else from that detail on is a mystery.
What Do Zonai Look Like?
They definitely are a mysterious race. With dragon-like horns, grey skin, and large stature, these creatures seem only vaguely human. Only for the Zonai in Tears of the Kingdom do we see them up close. There are only a few about in the world. When we do see them, they are usually few and far between. The arm that Link has is a Zonai arm. Not just any Zonai arm either, but King Rauru’s arm from that encounter during the Imprisoning War.