A while ago I wrote about the religious symbolism in the franchise of the Legend of Zelda, as it plays a pivotal role towards the different ideologies that can be found in the factions and races. To understand the message of The Legend of Zelda we have to understand two aspects: the first one involves the first one the game being developed as some form of Medieval fantasy and the second is after the development where the game took a more fantastical approach and a pantheon of Gods were added to the mix.
On the beginning of the game, at least on the conceptual art we could see that there were going to be a Crusades imagery and the Triforce being just a series artifact who could concede great powers to the wielders. The Triforce as a whole element wasn’t concocted until the second game, which also added the Triforce of Courage to the mix but they could be used independently.
Even if the game at this moment has its own mythos and lore, there are some elements of Christianity found over there such as the use of trinity that can be found in such religion such as Three Goddess mirroring the Father, Son and Holy Ghost such as an example; but, the aspects of the game tend to become more complex than what it was expressed on the first instalments, the franchise as it started to develop it took elements of a pantheon of Gods that could be a parallel to Shintoism.
We are going to focus on Hyrule mostly, the reason on why not on Termina is because they form of belief is quite limited towards how they were presented. There is a vast pantheon of Gods among Hyrule, towards who conquer the sky and who rules the lower lands.
The Golden Goddess are the main creators of the land. Farore, Din and Nayru; Hylia as the protector of the land is never given a proper backstory beyond that she was given the Triforce to protect as soon the Golden Goddesses left the land, within Hylia comes the legacy of the Hero, or the Goddess Chosen Hero, which is a mortal that is linked to the Goddess for all eternity.
Then we have a set of minor Gods that are related to the elements and seasons; some others are related to the other races and even some others could be reinterpretations of established myths, i.e. The Goddess of Sand which can be seen as another outlook on Hylia herself, much as the different interpretations of Jesus or dogmas that compose the different groups of Christianity and other religions.
We got season spirit, sky spirit such as Levias, Zephos and Cyclos which are considered the Gods of the winds; Lord Jabu-Jabu which he is a deity of the Zora’s, but there aren’t any considerations to mention what are his abilities beyond being a big fish within the Zora’s. We also have the Spirit of Lights, who act as protectors of the provinces of Hyrule and the list goes to a long extent.
Almost every province offers a series of rituals towards the system of belief they profess; probably the best interpretation of rituals can be seen at the end credits of Majora’s Mask with the Carnival of Time and the celebration of the wedding between Kafei and Anju; nevertheless, the most precise interpretation comes with Breath of the Wild with the wedding of Rhondson and Hudson.
The two weddings show some form of Christian weddings, where someone precedes them; Breath of the Wild has a priest and the iconography is placed in front of a statue of the Goddess, there are witnesses and there is an offering to the Goddess; at least there is something borrowed and the consecration takes to the deity they worship; similar as it was mentioned in OoT when Ruto wanted to marry Link with the pendant that Jabu-Jabu was keeping in its insides.
The parallelisms between Hyrule through the different eras is quite outstanding towards the real world, is almost as if the game scenario has evolved into their own micro-cosmos far from when it was just an 8 bit adventure; we can see more of the interactions between the NPC’s versus the player and the scenario, between different ones and how they keep their lives every day.