Part II: Evidence From OoT

The most important evidence to consider is that from OoT, because the quotes from this game are from people who were actually involved in sealing Ganondorf. Here I have gathered together what I hope are all the important quotes. The quotes are in bold, and beneath each quote is my explanation of how it fits into my new theory.

Ganondorf, the Gerudo King of Thieves, betrayed our King... Zelda's nanny, Impa, sensed danger and escaped from the castle with our Princess... I tried to stop Ganondorf's men from chasing them...but... The Princess was...waiting for a boy from the forest...that's you... She wanted to give something to the boy...
- Wounded knight in back alley, before pulling Master Sword

Part of my theory is that later historians (the one who wrote the ALttP manual, specifically) looked at accounts of this battle, and the battle that occurred in the OoT alternate future when Ganondorf returned to Hyrule and conquered Hyrule Castle. The historian then came to the conclusion that there must have been only one large battle, the "Imprisoning War." This quote reveals how the historians could have done such a thing. Here, Ganondorf attacked with an army of evil men, not woman Gerudos. Knights were slain in the brave defense. If a later historian knew only a few scattered legends, or quotes like this one, an "Imprisoning War" story would seem very credible.

The Temple of Light, situated in the very center of the Sacred Realm, is the last stronghold against Ganondorf's evil forces.
He obtained the Triforce from the Temple of Light, and with its power, he became the King of Evil... His evil power radiated from the temples of Hyrule, and in seven short years, it transformed Hyrule into a world of monsters. My power now has only little influence, even in this Sacred Realm... Namely, this Chamber of Sages.
When the power of all the Sages is awakened... The Sages' Seals will contain all the evil power in the void of the Realm...
Your power to fight together with the Sages makes you the Hero of Time! The Hero of Time, chosen by the Master Sword! Keep my spirit with you... And, find the power of the other Sages and add their might to your own!
- Rauru, when Link wakes up in the Chamber of Sages

As you can see, even after Ganondorf left behind the tainted Sacred Realm to invade Hyrule, it was still called the Sacred Realm, not the Dark World or the Evil Realm. The "Realm" (presumably the Sacred Realm) is also referred to as a "void."

Apparently, the only portion of the original Sacred Realm that remained unchanged was the Temple of Light, including the Chamber of Sages. This touches on the question: what is the the room you go into at the end of ALttP to get the Triforce? It is either the Temple of Light, or the Chamber of Sages itself.

Here Rauru calls the Sacred Realm a "void," which means that the Sacred Realm is empty, devoid. He says that "all the evil power" will be sealed, so we can take this to mean that all the evil Ganondorf has caused will be sealed, not just Ganondorf himself. This could mean that the whole world that Ganondorf tainted with his power will be sealed, filling the void of the Realm and creating the Dark World.

A good question is: how did Ganon bring his evil creations into Hyrule with him? The question is answered in part here: it "radiated from the temples of Hyrule," transforming Hyrule into a monster world. So Ganon's monsters preceded him into Hyrule and, possibly, once they conquered Hyrule, he himself left the void of the Sacred Realm. (Note that, according to the ALttP manual, Ganon did not participate in the conquering of Hyrule. While his monsters tried to conquer Hyrule Castle, the Sages sealed Ganon in the Golden Land.)

The ALttP manual account says that the Sages and the Knights combined forces to fight Ganon's army in the Imprisoning War. In OoT, however, it is Link who must combine his power with that of the Sages in order to defeat Ganon. This supports the possibility that later historians attributed Link's actions to all of the Knights of Hyrule.

When evil rules all, an awakening voice from the Sacred Realm will call those destined to be Sages, who dwell in the five temples.
Together with the Hero of Time, the awakened ones will bind the evil and return the light of peace to the world...
- Sheik, in Link's first meeting with him in the Temple of Time

What is this "awakening voice"? Is it the goddesses? After all, they control destiny. The important thing to understand is that the Voice is not the king of Hyrule, like the ALttP manual says. (More on this later.)

This quote, like Rauru's, seems to be saying that the Sages will bind all of the evil Ganondorf has caused, not just Ganondorf himself.

The image invoked here is light being analogous to peace. At the end of OoT, Link wakes up in the Temple of Time and looks up to see light streaming through the windows. The OoT past seems to be a world of light, while the OoT future is a world of darkness. Thus, the Light World is analogous to the OoT past, and the Dark World to the OoT future.

On that day seven years ago, Ganondorf suddenly attacked... and Hyrule Castle surrendered after a short time. Ganondorf's target was one of the keys to the Sacred Realm...the hidden treasure of the Royal Family... The Ocarina of Time! My duty bound me to take Zelda out of Ganondorf's reach. When last I saw you, as we made our escape from the castle, you were just a lad...
That is when we, the six Wise Ones, will seal up the Evil King and return peace to Hyrule.
- Impa, when Link beats the Shadow Temple

This is one of the few detailed accounts of Ganondorf's attack on Hyrule Castle, which occurred before he got the Triforce. Later historians presumably didn't have an account like this one, or they would have realized that this battle took place before Ganondorf entered the Sacred Realm, not after.

Impa seems to say that only Ganondorf will be sealed. But she goes on to say peace will also be returned to Hyrule. Surely, the best road to peace is not to seal just Ganondorf, but to seal all the evil he has caused, and restore Hyrule to a time when it was peaceful. So when Impa says that the Sages will return peace to Hyrule, she means that the OoT past will become the Light World. It's likely that she isn't too sure of what this means exactly; after all, it's really the goddesses who will perform the action, not the Sages. The Sages merely ask the goddesses to do it.

The resting place of the sacred triangle, the Sacred Realm, is a mirror that reflects what is in the heart... the heart of one who enters it... If an evil heart, the Realm will become full of evil; if pure, the Realm will become a paradise.
After you opened the door of time, the Master Sword sealed you away in the Sacred Realm... Your spirit remained in the Sacred Realm...and then the Triforce fell into Ganondorf's hands. He went on to invade the Sacred Realm... Ganondorf had become the Evil King, and the Sacred Realm became a world of evil.
The six Sages will open the sealed door and lure Ganondorf back into the Sacred Realm. I will then seal the door to the Sacred Realm from this world. Thus, Ganondorf the Evil King will vanish from Hyrule.
- Sheik/Zelda in Temple of Time

I used to think that the Sacred Realm was a paradise by default, and Ganon changed the Sacred Realm into an evil reflection of Hyrule entirely of his own will. But here it looks like the Sacred Realm is not a solid land, in the sense that Hyrule or Earth is an unchangeable reality, independent of anyone's will. The Sacred Realm merely reflects what is in the hearts of its inhabitants. ALttP tells us that, before OoT, the Sacred Realm was a "Golden Land." The sky shone gold, not blue. According to the OoT manual, the resting place of the Triforce became "sacred land." (Of course, it continued to be known as the "Sacred Realm" even after the Triforce was removed). Presumably, until Ganondorf got the Triforce, the Sacred Realm was a paradise. This must be due to the fact that either: (1) only the goddesses had been there, or (2) only good people had entered the Sacred Realm. But for now, these kinds of details don't concern us too much.

After Ganondorf split the Triforce, the Sacred Realm became a "world of evil," or "full of evil." Old theories would interpret this quote to mean that the Sacred Realm became the Dark World at this point. But according to my new theory, the Sacred Realm becomes the Dark World after the Sages seal Ganondorf and his evil in the Sacred Realm. So if this "world of evil" is not the Dark World, what is it? Possibly, it is the Dark Realm of the Oracle games, or the Underworld of LoZ/AoL. (There is much evidence to indicate that the Underworld is literally a world underneath Hyrule, a dark series of caverns and caves perhaps, so for now let's ignore the Underworld as a possibility. The Sacred Realm is a separate world, not an underground portion of Hyrule.)

Rauru mentions sealing Ganondorf in the "void of the Evil Realm." I think it possible that, after Ganondorf entered the Sacred Realm, it became the Evil or Dark Realm. This was a land of utter darkness, and here Ganondorf created all his monsters and armies. After he returned to Hyrule and brought his evil creations with him, the Evil Realm was left a void (which means there was nothing there). After Ganondorf was sealed in the Evil Realm, the Dark World took the place of the utter void. After the Dark World disappeared in ALttP, the utter void or "Dark Realm" remained.

Another possibility is that the "Dark Realm" is the gap between all possible worlds. This is the "gap between dimensions" mentioned by Ganondorf. So the "Dark Realm" lies between such worlds as Hyrule, Termina, and the Sacred Realm. Think of the "Dark Realm" as outer space, and the possible realites as solar systems. So, when Ganondorf entered the Sacred Realm, the paradise "fled" elsewhere, and evil took its place. This "evil" was not land, but Ganondorf's evil creations, his monsters. Eventually Ganon's evil came to Hyrule, and Ganon followed them. The "Evil Realm" is another name for the (almost) emptiness that Ganon left in place of the original Sacred Realm. So, no matter what currently resides in the space reserved for the Sacred Realm (whether it be a Golden Land, or a Dark World, or almost nothing), the Sacred Realm remains the Sacred Realm. After OoT, the OoT past and future became two separate realites, sundered from each other by the void of the Dark Realm. After ALttP, the Dark World disappeared, but not Ganon's monsters, or even Ganon's spirit itself. The monsters and Ganon's spirit remained in the void of the Dark Realm, until Twinrova called them forth in the Oracle games.

Ancient Creators of Hyrule! Now, open the sealed door and send the Evil Incarnation of Darkness into the void of the Evil Realm!!
- Rauru, sealing Ganon

I find it interesting that the Sages didn't seal Ganondorf with their power alone. They had to pray to a higher power, the golden goddesses. So the method by which Ganondorf and his evil were sealed was in the hands of the goddesses. The goddesses moved Ganondorf and his evil world into the void of the Evil Realm, and the seven Sages formed their seal.

When Rauru says "Evil Incarnation of Darkness," one would think that he only meant Ganon. But either he, or the goddesses, took the full meaning to be: Ganon, his evil monsters, and the Dark World he created. In fact, if you think about, the Dark World could be seen as an evil incarnation of darkness. Darkness itself isn't evil, but an embodiment of it could be evil. Ganon and his evil creations are not only an incarnation of darkness, but an evil embodiment of darkness.

Thanks to you, Ganondorf has been sealed inside the Evil Realm! Thus, peace will once again reign in this world...for a time. All the tragedy that has befallen Hyrule was my doing... I was so young...I could not comprehend the consequences of trying to control the Sacred Realm. I dragged you into it, too. Now it is time for me to make up for my mistakes... You must lay the Master Sword to rest and close the Door of Time... However, by doing this, the road between times will be closed... Link, give the Ocarina to me... As a Sage, I can return you to your original time with it. When peace returns to Hyrule... It will be time for us to say good-bye... Now, go home, Link. Regain your lost time! Home... where you are supposed to be... the way you are supposed to be...
- Zelda, end of game

Zelda refers to the Sacred Realm to mean the state that it existed in before Ganondorf turned it into the Evil Realm, apparently. When she says that peace will reign only for a time, she means that Ganondorf can't remained sealed forever. She realizes the seriousness of Ganondorf's curse, and possibly she sees into the future.

On a side note, Zelda and Link are floating in the sky because the OoT future has been sealed in the Evil Realm. Since there remains nothing in Hyrule, it is up to Zelda to restore the Light World by sending everyone back in time.

When Zelda says that Link must leave the Master Sword and close the Door of Time, it seems like she's saying that Link has a choice in the matter. If Link suddenly decides to take up the Master Sword again, will the road between times be restored? I think not. First of all, when Zelda says that Link "must" lay the Sword to rest, she means it. The Master Sword has done it's job, and needs to be used no more. Even if Link tried to pull it again, the Master Sword wouldn't let him.

A large difficulty with my new theory exists right here. Zelda seems to think that Link has control over whether the road between times is closed or not, and she thinks that when Link is sent back in time it will be time for them to say goodbye (because her grown-up form will no longer see him). She even explicitly says that she is sending Link back to his "original time." Is this really what she means? If so, then she doesn't understand the implications of sending Link back in "time." She doesn't understand that this will send everyone to the Light World. But maybe what she really means is, when peace returns to the Light World, it will be time to say goodbye because Link is leaving Hyrule (as he does in MM). She knows this because she has prophetic power and she can see Link's heart, maybe. And she says that she is sending Link back in time because she has no better words to describe it. After all, in a way, it is like being sent back in time. Everyone has seven years to relive. But this is only a result of making Hyrule as it was in the past. It's not really time travel, it's world travel. Zelda also says that she is sending Link "home" so he can "regain his lost time." Home, to Link, is the Light World, Hyrule the way it used to be. Link will be regaining lost time, because unlike everyone else, he didn't experience the seven years of alternate future.

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