Ganon vs Ganondorf: What’s The Difference?

Ganondorf is a magnificently evil villain with a penchant for world domination and powerful destruction magic. Ganondorf was born as  Gerudo, the first male of the race in decades and destined to be the King of the Gerudo. 

There’s one thing, though, that always confused me about this Dark Lord – what’s the difference between Ganon and Ganondorf? Read on to find out. 

Ganon vs Ganondorf

Ganondorf in Twilight Princess
Ganondorf in Twilight Princess

Let’s answer this question straight away. The difference between Ganon and Ganondorf is that Ganon is the beast form and Ganondorf is the human form. They are the same person, only in different forms. 

Ganon is the primal evil who adopted a human form in order to oversee a tyrannous reign across Hyrule. This human form that he took was called Ganondorf. You may hear Ganon used to refer to both forms, but Ganondorf is used exclusively for his human form. 

Ganondorf is first mentioned in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, where it is alluded to that he obtained the power of the Triforce by breaking into the Sacred Realm. 

His first major appearance in the Zelda franchise was in Ocarina of Time, though, and it is here that we see Ganondorf for the first time in his Gerudo form. In OoT, Ganondorf takes control of Hyrule castle, and wreaks havoc on the lands by unleashing swathes of monsters and ReDeads. He even enlists Mr Ingo to get Epona ready for his use, though fortunately this part of his evil plan fails. 

Since The Ocarina of Time Ganon has made multiple appearances in the Zelda franchise and serves as the primary antagonist in The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess

Is Ganon the only male Gerudo?

Ganon's Castle - Ocarina of Time
Ganon’s Castle – Ocarina of Time

While Ganon is not the only male Gerudo ever, he was the first male of the race for one hundred years. As per Gerudo custom, this meant that Ganondorf was destined to become the King of the Gerudo as all males of the race do when they are born. 

Throughout all of the Zelda games, Ganondorf is the only male of the Gerudo that we come across. 


Ganondorf in the Ocarina of Time
Ganondorf in the Ocarina of Time

As already alluded to, the Gerudo are a race in the Zelda franchise that are almost exclusively made up of females due to a biological quirk. Every one hundred years though, a male is born into the race and becomes the King of Gerudo, as was the case with Ganondorf. 

The Gerudo are a race of pirates and thieves and take their name from the Gerudo Desert in which they inhabit. They appear in almost all of the Zelda games, having made their first appearance in the Ocarina of Time (one of the best selling N64 games ever). 

Calamity Ganon

Ganondorf vs Link
Ganondorf vs Link

So we’ve covered the Ganon vs Ganondorf angle, but who exactly is Calamity Ganon in Breath of the Wild? Well, Calamity Ganon is again just another form of Ganon. In this instance, Calamity Ganon is a grotesque monster who committed heinous acts in Hyrule thousands of years ago in an event known as the Great Calamity. 

During this time, Calamity Ganon corrupted the four Divine Beasts and let them loose to wreak havoc on the land. It is Link’s quest to try and uncorrupt these beasts and free them. 

Get in Touch

So, do you get the difference between Ganon and Ganondorf now? Which one would you least like to bump into while roaming through the fields of Hyrule? Let us know in the comment section below!  

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