Demise Might Make a Return in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Could this be the return of the Zelda franchise's greatest villain?

by J.R. Waugh
Confirmed Bosses Tears of the Kingdom Demise Return
Image: Nintendo, Remixed by Attack of the Fanboy

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom brought the heat with its latest trailer. Some eagle-eyed viewers have noted that this is perhaps true in more ways than one. While familiar foes and characters make a return in the video, there’s an ever-so-brief glimpse at a character who, if it’s an existing one, is likely to be an iconic nemesis we haven’t seen in a while. Tears of the Kingdom might just see the return of the greatest foe Link has ever fought, Demise.

Who is Demise, and Why Might He Return in Tears of the Kingdom?

Image: Nintendo

Demise is the overarching villain of the Zelda franchise, who upon being defeated by Link in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, vows that his hate will pursue the Hero of Time forever. Ganondorf himself is believed to be a manifestation of this hatred, possibly signified by their similarly fiery red hair.

While it could be hasty to say this glimpse is of Demise himself, Ganondorf appears later with significantly matted-down, shorter hair. This likely makes a strong case for the two to be different characters at least unless his design resembles something more like his Hyrule Warriors appearance.

Related: Will Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Have Classic Dungeons?

Not only this but if you closely examine the clothes of the long-haired figure posed early in the trailer, you see a similar scaled pattern to their clothes that resembles his design in Skyward Sword. It’s just enough of a glimpse to get the fans going crazy, and Nintendo knew exactly what they were doing with this.

Clues Later in the Trailer Suggest Connection to Ganondorf

Image: Nintendo

Another curious element of the trailer connecting him to Ganondorf is the footage of the Sparta-kicking Zelda mainstay’s brief glimpse where you see his forehead glowing. While this could be for any particular reason, Demise bears an x-shaped scar on his forehead as well, where sealing weapons have been used to lock his power away. Perhaps this is where Ganondorf channels the power of Demise directly!

In fact, in previous appearances, Ganondorf has worn jewelry to conceal the spot on his head where this seal would be placed, and it functions as a weak spot for them.

It’s thin at the moment as it’s unconfirmed, but there are plenty of reasons to be excited. Even if Demise weren’t to appear in Tears of the Kingdom, the trailer is about as strong as it can get, with epic music, a crazy array of activities, puzzles, and enemies to fight, and plenty of new stories to experience.

- This article was updated on May 11th, 2023

About The Author

J.R. is a content creator with AOTF and has been covering gaming and entertainment in the industry since 2022. Along with a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati, he has studied at the University of Birmingham, UK, and part of his M.A. at the University of Waterloo. You'll find J.R. particularly at home writing about the hottest manga and anime. He is highly passionate about horror, strategy, and RPGs, and anything about Star Trek or LOTR. When not ranting about fan theories or writing guides, J.R. also manages his local movie theater.