by Andy Barney (aka Zeldom)
Hyrule is known to be the fantastical kingdom in which the majority of The Legend of Zelda titles are set; however, not every game takes place in this land. In the Adult Timeline following Ocarina of Time’s events, the Hyrule we know and love floods, leaving only the peaks of mountains as islands for the survivors to live on, and after the plot of The Wind Waker unfolds, Tetra and the Hero of Winds discover a new land, which they eventually call “New Hyrule.”
This new continent is quite different from ancient Hyrule and has a completely different culture. Hylians used to worship a single deity, Hylia, and there was an ultimate power known as the Triforce. In New Hyrule, the culture is more polytheistic, as they worship the Spirits of Good rather than a single deity, and there is not any known “ultimate power” in this land. Instead they rely solely on the use of Force to maintain the seal on Malladus and protect the land, which acts quite differently from the Triforce’s nature.
Despite New Hyrule appearing only in Spirit Tracks, the lore of this new continent is still rich and developed, and it actually has many potential connections to the classical Hyrule we love so dearly (the most obvious of these parallels being the dichotomy of Hylia & Demise vs The Spirits of Good & Malladus). Hylia was not able to defeat Demise and thus had to create an elaborate plan to merely seal him away to prevent him from terrorizing the world. Likewise, the Spirits of Good were only a rival power to Malladus, capable of merely sealing him away by creating the Spirit Tracks as shackles for his prison and the Tower of Spirits as its lock. Following the events of each of their main stories, the good entities (Hylia & The Servants of the Spirits of Good) serve a passive role in protecting the land from then on.
Such servants of the Spirits of Good were known as the Lokomos, who each played a critical role in protecting either the Tower of Spirits, Spirit Tracks, or Regional Temples across the continent. In Spirit Tracks, the Lokomos serve as the equivalent to the sages from ancient Hyrule. Back then, the seven sages used their dedicated powers to collectively gain access to the Sacred Realm. They are in a way protectors or servants of their deity who dedicate their lives to fulfill that sacred role. The Lokomos have a similar role as I previously described. At first I may sound like I’m crazy since there are only 6 confirmed sages in Spirit Tracks; however, the final scene before the credits depicts the Lokomos ascending into the heavens along with the spirit of Byrne. He may have been a villain for a while in the story, but his character development, along with his spirit ascending to the heavens with the rest of the sages, implies Byrne is the seventh sage of New Hyrule.
Finally, at the end of Spirit Tracks, Anjean confirms that the concept of reincarnation still will occur in New Hyrule: “This spirit is persistent… Byrne may not have any memory of these events, but years from now, he’ll return in a new form.” In the other timelines in the franchise, the sages either reincarnate or have their descendants awaken as sages in later eras, so this could be another connection between New Hyrule and the original land.
So what’s the point of all of this? Well, as a Zelda theorist, I can’t give an analysis without trying to make a theory, even if it’s a more casual format. With the abstract parallels between Ancient Hyrule’s and New Hyrule’s legends, could it be possible that the tales of The Spirits of Good and Malladus are actually a dilapidated version of the story of Hylia and Demise? The idea is a bit out there, but legends are not historical facts. They are stories based on historical events, which over centuries or even millennia, gradually change into an entirely different story but with a similar plot. When Hyrule flooded in the backstory of The Wind Waker, it could be possible that some inhabitants of former Hyrule went searching for a new land due to the scarcity of land and discovered the continent that would become New Hyrule.
The introduction of New Hyrule into the lore of the Zelda franchise opens up so many possible extensions of the Adult Timeline’s current trilogy. I would love nothing more than to have another game take place in this land from Spirit Tracks. Nintendo, if you’re reading this, please… pretty please…
I could take these ideas much further, but I’d need to actually lay out real evidence to make more claims. I will be making a new video soon on my YouTube channel, Zeldom, which will go much more in-depth on such topics. In the meantime, I already have a video which explores some of these ideas right here.