The account of the Imprisoning War given in the ALttP manual is inconsistent with any OoT ending theory whatsoever. The reason for this, as the manual freely admits, is that "memories of the vicious Imprisoning War faded over the generations," or as the ALttP intro puts it, that "these events were obscured by the mists of time and became legend."
Since the ALttP manual's account is so far off the account given in OoT, it is tempting to disregard it altogether. But I believe that it is important to try to resolve the differences between the two accounts. After all, there has to be some reason why the ALttP manual account gets so many things right, but is so off in other places. And the ALttP manual account fills in many blanks missing from OoT. The question, then, is how did the events of OoT become obscured in the minds of later historians?
To resolve the dilemma, I postulate the following, given that my new theory is correct: After the end of OoT, the Hylians left few, or no, written accounts. The legends and myths that sprung up about the Imprisoning War left out the important fact that time travel and an alternate future were involved. People either forgot or didn't understand that the Light and Dark Worlds were once two time periods of Hyrule, one of them the OoT past and one of them the OoT future. So later historians, including the historian that wrote the ALttP manual account, had no knowledge of the complexity of the situation. All the historians had were legends, and they had to piece these varied and disparate legends together to try to form a single consistent history, one not involving an alternate future.
To demonstrate how well this postulate works in the context of my new theory, below I have taken the important parts of the ALttP manual account, line-by-line, and commented on them. The quotes are in bold, and my comments are beneath each bolded quote.
One day, quite by accident, a gate to the Golden Land of the Triforce was opened by a gang of thieves skilled in the black arts. This land was like no other. In the gathering twilight, the Triforce shone from its resting place high above the world. In a long running battle, the leader of the thieves fought his way past his followers in a lust for the Golden Power. After vanquishing his own followers, the leader stood triumphant over the Triforce and grasped it with his blood- stained hands. He heard a whispered voice: "If thou has a strong desire or dream, wish for it..."
This part of the account, at least, is consistent with OoT. OoT doesn't show us explicitly what happened after Ganondorf entered the Sacred Realm, but something very much like this account probably happened.
One stumbling block is saying that Ganondorf found the Golden Land "by accident." One is inclined to think that, since Ganondorf had been plotting to enter the Sacred Realm, he entered it on purpose, not by accident. The truth is, the way he came by the entrance to the Sacred Realm, if you remember, was quite an accident. It was surely neither Zelda's nor Link's intention that Link should be put to sleep for seven years, leaving the door wide open for Ganondorf to come in. Zelda even admits that she made a mistake, and all the trouble was her fault. The accident was not on the part of Ganondorf, but was the fault of Link and Zelda. But since this account knows nothing of Link or Zelda, it is merely recorded that Ganondorf found the Sacred Realm by accident.
And in reply, the roaring laughter of the brigand leader echoed across time and space and even reached the far-off land of Hyrule.
Notice how the account says that Ganon's laughter echoed across "time"? It seems that the author had some notion, however dim and obscure, that Hyrule and the Sacred Realm, or the Light and Dark Worlds, were separated not only by space but by time.
The name of this king of thieves is Ganondorf Dragmire, but he is known by his alias, Mandrag Ganon, which means Ganon of the Enchanted Thieves.
Notice how the author uses the present tense when he refers to Ganondorf by both of his names. His name will always remain Ganondorf Dragmire, even after he is known only as Ganon. Ganon and Ganondorf are one and the same, no matter which form he happens to be in.
This touches on the mystery of why, when we see Ganondorf being sealed at the end of OoT, has Ganon turned back into Ganondorf? Here's a possible answer in the context of my new theory. Before Ganon and his Dark World were sealed in the Sacred Realm, both had to pass through the door between Hyrule and the Sacred Realm. In OoT, this door takes the form of a white, misty void. (Perhaps this is the "gap between dimensions" that Ganondorf mentions when Link defeats Phantom Ganon in OoT?) Since, at this point, Ganon is not in Hyrule or the Dark World, but possibly a "gap between dimensions," he temporarily takes his true form. When he and his Dark World reach the Sacred Realm, Ganon is stuck in his pig-like form forever.
But is Ganondorf really stuck in the Ganon shape forever? This seems to be the case, because after OoT we always see Ganon in his pig shape, whether he is in Hyrule (LoZ) or if he's just been revived in the "Dark Realm" (Oracle). Apparently, bringing himself back to life with the Triforce in OoT had the effect of permanently changing his shape in the eyes of all living creatures, if not necessarily in the "gap" between Hyrule and the Sacred Realm.
I do not know what Ganon wished for from the Triforce. However, in time evil power began to flow from the Golden Land and greedy men were drawn there to become members of Ganon's army. Black clouds permanently darkened the sky, and many disasters beset Hyrule.
All of these events happened after Link pulled the Master Sword and Ganondorf entered the Sacred Realm (during the OoT alternate future). The evil power flowed from the Dark or Evil Realm into Hyrule, causing such disasters as we see in the OoT future. All of these things ended up not affecting the Light World, only the Dark World. Thus, it was the Dark World that was permanently darkened by black clouds, not Hyrule.
This quote throws some light on what exactly the "world of evil" that Ganondorf created in place of the Golden Land was. My new theory says that this world was not the Dark World, so what was it? Basically, it was a world filled with evil, not necessarily a solid land. According to this quote, "evil power" flowed from the Sacred Realm, causing many disasters and darkening the sky. According to OoT, Ganondorf's "evil power radiated from the temples of Hyrule" turning Hyrule into a world of monsters. So, the conclusion is that Ganondorf's "world of evil" was filled with "evil power," which Ganon used to create monsters and cause disasters in Hyrule. In the OoT alternate future, once all the evil power had flowed from the Sacred Realm into Hyrule, Ganondorf returned to a conquered Hyrule and closed the door after him.
It's interesting to look at the relationship between Ganon's monsters. On the one hand, some of his monsters are just dumb beasts, animals acting on instinct. Other of Ganon's monsters, however, seem to be intelligent, willful beings. They are above mere animals. My belief is that the greedy men that came to join Ganon's army were turned into monsters. That's why some monsters can act intelligently - they are really humans twisted into the forms of monsters. This parallels with the fact that everyone who enters the Dark World in ALttP is turned into a shape that reflects their heart by the Triforce (which Ganon controls). Greedy men would naturally turn into monsters to reflect their hearts. This topic deserves a deeper analysis than I can briefly give here, so let's move on.
The lord of Hyrule sent for the Seven Wise Men and the Knights Of Hyrule, and ordered them to seal the entrance to the Golden Land.
The assumption here is that by "lord" the manual means the King of Hyrule, not the golden goddesses, who could be considered the "lord" of the world of Hyrule.
If this is the case, then there are two possibilities: either this is a misunderstanding, caused by the author's lack of knowledge of the facts; or, it really happened this way. In the first case, that the account is wrong, a correct account should read, "in the OoT future the awakening voice from the Sacred Realm called together the Sages, and called Link to defend them, and they sealed Ganon." This awakening voice is presumably that of the golden goddesses, or possibly Rauru.
In the second case, that the account is right, we are faced with some complications. First of all, the king of Hyrule would have to order this action after Ganondorf had already entered the Sacred Realm. Could this have happened? The main thing to consider is whether the king was alive when he was supposed to have given the order. When Ganondorf attacked the castle in OoT to steal the Ocarina of Time, he betrayed the king and (supposedly) slaughtered many knights. Whether the king, in his betrayal, was killed or not is up in the air, but I find this unlikely. Somebody would have mentioned such an atrocity. The betrayal was Ganondorf's act of attacking the castle. The king wasn't killed until Ganondorf's armies came from the tainted Sacred Realm and conquered Hyrule, which was after the time when the king's order was supposed to have been given. So, in the time that the order should have been given (in the OoT alternate future, mind you), the king was probably still alive, at least some of the Knights were still alive, and the Sages were definitely alive.
So, in principle, the king of Hyrule could have given such an order. But here's where it gets tricky. Later historians assumed that the king had his own Sages, like in ALttP, but in OoT we can see that the king didn't choose Sages. An "awakening voice from the Sacred Realm" chose the Sages. It was destiny, not the king, that chose the Sages. The king could not have ordered any Sages around, because he didn't have any!
In the final analysis, I conclude that later historians attributed to the king of Hyrule what was really done by an "awakening voice from the Sacred Realm," or destiny.
Suspecting that Ganon's power was based on the Triforce's magic, the people of Hyrule forged a sword resistant to magic which could repulse even powers granted by the Triforce. This mighty weapon became known as the blade of evil's bane, or the Master Sword.
There is almost no doubt that this was a mistake on the historian's part. Consider that, even in the time of OoT, the Master Sword was legendary, and little known about. Now, let's look at the situation through the eyes of a later historian. This historian has come to conclusion that there was an Imprisoning War, and that after the Imprisoning War a mysterious "Master Sword" suddenly appeared out of no where. (In fact, the "Imprisoning War" was really Ganondorf's attempt to steal the Ocarina of Time, and the Master Sword appeared out of no where because Link stopped using it after OoT.) The historian knows everything about this sword (everything else the manual says about the Master Sword is correct), except where it came from.
Since, in the historian's eyes, the Master Sword must have been forged in response to Ganon's threat, all you have to do is make up a convenient story about the people of Hyrule forging a powerful sword. And it is true that the Sages, or some of them at least, were looking for a valiant person to wield the Master Sword (Link turned out to be the one). But Link wielded the Master Sword in the OoT future, which the later historian knows almost nothing about. He certainly doesn't know that some of Hyrule's history was played out in an alternate future, in which the Master Sword played a large part in the victory.
As the Seven Wise Men searched for a valiant person to take up the Master Sword, Ganon's evil army swarmed from the tainted Golden Land into Hyrule and attacked the castle. The wise men and the Knights Of Hyrule combined forces to wage war on this evil horde.
The crux of my theory hangs on the later historians' misunderstanding of the events of OoT. In OoT, Ganon's army attacked sometime between the OoT past and future, while Link was asleep. There was no way the Knights and Sages could have literally combined forces, because the Sages weren't even awakened yet to the fact that they were Sages, until Link woke up and saved them! At the time that Ganondorf attacked, one of the future Sages, Nabooru, was (unwillingly) one of Ganondorf's minions!
Let's look at the events of OoT through the eyes of a later historian again. The following are facts from OoT: (1) Ganondorf attacked Hyrule Castle before entering the Sacred Realm, in an attempt to steal the Ocarina of Time. Hyrule Castle surrendered after a short time. (2) Ganondorf created an evil army in the Sacred Realm, and used it to conquer Hyrule Castle. Ganondorf then came back to Hyrule, closing the door to the Sacred Realm behind him.Now, in the knowledge of later historians, nothing in the OoT alternate future really happened at all. They have scattered legends and myths about things that happened after the OoT past and in the OoT future, but they somehow have to fit these into the OoT past/Light World time frame. Knowing that Ganondorf attacked Hyrule Castle, and not knowing that he needed the Ocarina of Time, it is easy for you as a historian to simply put fact #1 after Ganondorf's entrance into the Sacred Realm. You then simply merge aspects of facts #1 and #2 together, since in your eyes they are simply two different accounts of the same event.
Here's an example: a legend about fact #1 says: "Ganondorf attacked castle. Most of Knights slain, and castle surrendered shortly." A legend about fact #2 says "Ganon attacked castle with large army from Golden Land. Conquered and took over." If you're an ignorant future historian, you're going to think that these two legends describe the same event, and try to combine the accounts into one. You can even ignore the fact that the account says "Ganon attacked," because whether Ganon himself, or just his army, attacked, it is still Ganon attacking.
With that explanation out of the way, I have one more thing to say. The ALttP manual account says that the Knights and Sages combined forces to wage war. It's partially true that the Knights, in the time between the OoT past and future, combined forces with the Sages, in the OoT future, to wage war on the common enemy, Ganondorf. The fine details behind the facts are lost in the ALttP manual account, which merely says that they combined forces.
The Knights took the full brunt of the fierce attack, and although they fought courageously, many a brave soul was lost that day. However, their lives were not lost in vain, for they bought precious time for the Seven Wise Men to magically seal Ganon in the Golden Land.
It's possible that (1) the historian was completely confused, or (2) the actions done by Link in the OoT future were later attributed to all of the Knights collectively. I can understand how the second possibility might have come about. Link is only mentioned in a few legends of the Royal Family, so historians might not have known about him at all. Certainly, he wasn't very famous in the OoT past, the only time period that historians know much about. So how do later historians, ignorant of much of the events of the OoT future, account for the Sages being able to seal Ganon, if Ganon could simply have interrupted their ceremony and killed them all? Well, perhaps it was the Knights who defended them! This fits into the "Imprisoning War" theory, in which many Knights were killed by Ganon's army! So in the historians' minds, all these facts come together in the account given in the ALttP manual. With as little as later historians knew, the events could only have happened this way.
All of Hyrule rejoiced at the victory that upheld peace and order over Ganon's evil and chaos. This war, which had claimed many lives, became known as the Imprisoning War in stories told in later centuries.
I have been talking as though the "Imprisoning War" was merely a theory cooked up by a bunch of ignorant, ultra-liberal historians. But in fact, it was storytellers, centuries after OoT, who bent the facts into the Imprisoning War myth. The historian who wrote the ALttP manual account no doubt took much of his account from stories about the Imprisoning War.
In the OoT ending, we see Hyrule's citizens celebrating in the OoT future (or probably the Dark World) before they are all sent to the Light World (and the Light and Dark Worlds are irrevocably sundered). They are obviously celebrating the victory pulled off by Link and the Sages working together. This supports the possibility that the deeds done by a single Hylian Knight, Link, were later attributed to all the Knights.
The king of Hyrule, after counsel with his sages, ordered an investigation of the Imprisoned Dark World (as the Golden Land had come to be known) but the wise men's seal was apparently intact.
In case you're confused, these events happen right before ALttP. I just wanted to point out again that the Sacred Realm/Golden Land didn't change names right when Ganondorf entered it; the "Dark World" moniker didn't stick until later.
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