While I was discussing the original article on this subject in my forum, I read many good theories about the Descendants of the Sages and what might have happened to the different races of Hyrule. Combined with the revelation in my previous article (Hyrule's Geography), that "Hyrule" really encompasses the entire world, not just a small kingdom ruled by Hylian Kings, I felt that it was time to write a new article to put these theories forth.
First and foremost, I want to make it clear that, from game to game, different portions of Hyrule are shown on the map each time. For example, the only map that includes Gerudo Valley is the one in OoT. Also, it is helpful to know that there are two Lost Woods, one west of Death Mountain and another northeast of Lake Hylia. If you're confused, read the previous article.
Secondly, the "Descendants of the Sages" in ALttP are probably not direct descendants of the original sages at all. As someone in my forum put it (I can't remember who), the title of Sage is probably only an honorary one, not one passed down through blood. By "descendants" of the Sages, ALttP probably meant the daughters of the current sages, since these were the ones who were kidnapped. This view is best supported by a quote from the ALttP manual:
- In answer to these summons a stranger named Agahnim came and quelled the
disasters with a previously unseen form of magic. As a reward, the
king gave him a new position as chief advisor and heir to the Seven
So the King chooses all the Sages except for Zelda, the only Sage who is Sage by merit of her lineage. Sages are obedient to the King's bidding (in the ALttP manual, the King orders them to do certain things). In OoT, the King has a direct connection to the "awakening voice from the Sacred Realm," which would awaken each Sage, since according to the ALttP manual it was him who ordered them to seal Ganon.
Moving from OoT to ALttP, it is understandable that the Sages were all Hylians. In OoT, the great King united the races of Hyrule; one of the ways of doing this was by choosing members of different races as Sages. Later, in ALttP, the different races didn't belong to the kingdom of Hylians any more, so the King had to choose Hylians as Sages.
Another question that somebody brought up was, "how about LoZ and AoL? Where are the Sages in these games?" Well, the obvious answer would be that the Wise Men hiding in caves in LoZ are Sages and the Wise Men that teach Link magic in AoL are Sages. Nothing further is known about them, however, so I won't delve any deeper.
With that out of the way, let's look at the races of Hyrule one by one.
Traditionally, the kingdom of Hyrule is ruled by the Hylian Royal Family. However, not all Hylians live in this land. According to the ALttP manual,
- Their descendants settled in various parts of the world and passed on their
knowledge and magical lore to all people.
The Hylians did this during the early history of Hyrule, before the Book of Mudora was compiled. Thus, by the time of OoT and ALttP, it is understandable that the "blood of the Hylia has become thin" and their magical powers weaker.
The Sheikah race lives on in the Impa family, which has served the Hylian Royal Family for centuries. They no longer run a spy network but they still act as nursemaids and bodyguards.
The Gerudo never really disappear from the world of Hyrule. They simply never make another appearance in any time period after OoT. After OoT, all pretense of joining with the Hylian King fell away, and they went back into isolation. The huge river between Gerudo Valley and the kingdom probably helped complete this isolation, and the fact that this river was kept from flowing into Lake Hylia is probably evidence of their hostility towards the Hylia. After OoT, the Gerudo probably expanded southwards, never again to play an important role in Hyrule's history.
As someone in the forum suggested, between OoT and ALttP the Gorons tunneled deeper and deeper into Death Mountain to keep from starving. This explains the twisty-turny maze-like tunnels present in all Zelda games except OoT. When Death Mountain ran out of good rock, the Gorons moved on to greener pastures in another part of the world, and never appear in another game again.
I still believe that a few Kokiri left the forest after OoT and mingled with the common people of Hyrule. However, consider this: Kokiri Forest and the eastern Lost Woods don't appear on another map of Hyrule until LoZ, hundreds of years later. Thus, the Kokiri had hundreds of years to disappear, not only a few generations. The ones who left the forest still live on; look at the guy in this image from the AoL manual:
Interestingly, the entrance to Zora's Domain makes an appearance in every game except AoL. (AoL features a completely different part of Hyrule, the northern part of the kingdom.) The entrance is in the waterfall that falls from the source of the northern river, on another mountain east of Death Mountain. However, the entrance is still sealed off by magic like it was in OoT, and later Links never get a chance to go inside. The Zoras want to be left alone anyway; Zolas, who are either zealous Zoras or monsters hired by the Zora, guard the waterways of the kingdom near Zora's Domain from intrusion. Apparently, after Zora's Domain froze many of the Zora blamed it on the King, and renounced their alliance with him and his kingdom.
After OoT the area of Hyrule that the different Links travel in is restricted to an area inhabited only by Hylians and monsters, which is a kingdom ruled by the Hylian Royal Family. The other races of Hyrule still survive in other parts of the world or in seclusion, off the part of the map that we are able to see. Thus, the only people left in the kingdom, Hylians and those of mixed blood, are the only characters we ever see after OoT. Since the King chooses Sages, they are all Hylian.