Who is Agahnim?

Before I dwell upon the apocryphal aspects of Agahnim, the evil wizard, an introduction is in order. This villain appeared in ALttP, three generations after the Imprisoning War. During this time, disasters befell the land of Hyrule, and a stranger named Agahnim came forth and quelled the disasters with a previously unseen form of magic. As a reward, the king made him chief adviser and heir to the Seven Wise Men. Once in power, however, Agahnim secretly overthrew the king and took his place, and succeeded in sending all the female descendants of the Seven Wise Men, including Princess Zelda, to the Dark World. According to the ALttP manual, Ganon, still trapped in the Dark World, and in possession of all three pieces of the Triforce, used Agahnim the wizard as his pawn, using the life force of the descendants of the Seven Wise Men to break the Seal of The Seven Wise Men.

Luckily for Hyrule, Link II fought Agahnim in his tower, and, unwilling to admit defeat, Agahnim escaped into the Dark World and drew Link in with him. Link saved all the maidens, who were trapped in crystals in Dark World dungeons, and followed Agahnim to the top of Ganon's Tower. There something strange happened: after Agahnim was defeated, he turned into a fiery bat and escaped to the Pyramid of Power. Inside the Pyramid was Ganon, who told Link: "I never imagined a boy like you could give me so much trouble. It's unbelievable that you defeated my alterego, Agahnim the Dark Wizard, twice!"

It is here that the problem of Agahnim's identity arises. According to the manual, Agahnim acted as Ganon's pawn while residing in the Light World. Ganon claims that Agahnim was his alter ego. Yet Ganon could never have left the Dark World, so how could Agahnim be his alter ego? An exact definition of "alter ego" may be instructive. According to Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, alter ego is "a second self: as a: a trusted friend b: the opposite side of a personality c: COUNTERPART." Which definition do we accept? Agahnim was certainly Ganon's second self, but we can assume that they were never close friends. Agahnim wasn't the opposite side of Ganon's personality: he was a real person, and had the same personality traits as Ganon.

Let's examine "counterpart" more closely. The same dictionary defines counterpart as "1: one or two corresponding copies of a legal instrument: DUPLICATE 2 a: a thing that fits another perfectly b: something that completes: COMPLEMENT 3 a: one remarkably similar to another b: one having the same function or characteristics as another: EQUIVALENT." Definitions 3a and 3b seem to define Agahnim's and Ganon's relationship perfectly. Agahnim was basically Ganon's double in the Light World: he did Ganon's bidding, and matched Ganon's title, the King of Evil, with his own: the Wizard of Darkness.

Several theories can be derived from these definitions.
Theory One: Agahnim grew up as a normal human in Gaia. He was not from Hyrule, since he was a stranger there. Somehow, as he developed his skills as a necromancer, he came in contact with Ganon, who was imprisoned in the Dark World. Ganon was able to channel his spirit through Agahnim to get him to do his will. The first time Link fought Agahnim, Agahnim really did escape to the Dark World, and Link really did fight Agahnim a second time. Or, Agahnim was destroyed, but managed to send Link to the Dark World, and the second incarnation of Agahnim was really Ganon in disguise.
Theory Two: According to Sahasrahla, "Objects exist in both [Light and Dark] worlds with similar shapes. If the form of a thing changes, it will affect the shape of its twin in the other world." Taking this piece of knowledge to its logical conclusion, we could say that Agahnim was really Ganon's double in the Light World. When Link defeated Agahnim the first time, Agahnim was either destroyed, or escaped into the Dark World, or was caused to cease existing by Ganon.

Although both of these theories are equally possible, taking into consideration the lack of solid facts, I personally like theory two more, because it explains more. As I have shown in another article, The Sleeping Zelda, another wizard, similar to Agahnim, put Zelda I to sleep in between the events of OoT and ALttP. Theory two explains the existence of this wizard: he was a manifestation of Ganon, Ganon's double. When the wizard "breathed his last," he wasn't really dead; Ganon had merely recalled him from the Light World. A similar thing happened in OoT with Shadow Ganon. Shadow Ganon was a double of Ganondorf, a creation who did his master's bidding. When Shadow Ganon was defeated, Ganondorf banished him to "the void between the worlds." Perhaps Ganon did the same thing to Agahnim, and to the wizard that put Zelda I to sleep but failed to get the Triforce.