Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom Trailer Breakdown – Theories And Speculation

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer spoiler
Image: Nintendo / Nintendo Life

We’ve finally discovered the title of Breath of the Wild 2 (which means we can stop calling it Breath of the Wild 2) along with a brand new trailer at the latest Nintendo Direct — and it’s called Tears of the Kingdom, which has already sparked a tons of theories.

You know what that means, Zelda fans — it’s time to put our speculation hats back on and start dissecting this trailer for every little piece of Zelda history we can find.

We’re not going to lie here — the trailer didn’t have a lot ongoing. This will be difficult. However, we will persevere! There has to be something juicy in this footage, right?

Also, check out our guide that compiles all the TOTK information we have so far:

Tears of the Kingdom: Trailer Breakdown

owl lad

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer spoiler
Image: Nintendo

It’s pretty safe to say at this point that birds and flying are two of the themes of Tears of the Kingdom. The very first shot of the trailer is something that looks like an owl. Now, we know that owls are very important in the Zelda lore — Kaepora Gaebora being the most important, and his Skyward Sword owl-like ancestor, Director Gaebora, who is Zelda’s dad back in the day before Zelda is even princess.

Can we tell anything about this birdperson from the trailer? Oh yes. Oh yes we can. More on that later. But for now, let’s just say that whoever they are, they look very important — they’re dressed in plenty of fancy regalia, perhaps of royalty, a god, or some other important role.

And… they seem to have Sheikah marks on their face. Honestly, who knows what that means at this point. We’re not even sure Nintendo fully knows what the Sheikahs are anymore… but in Breath of the Wild, the Sheikah are an ancient mystical race whose technology is buried beneath Hyrule, ready to awaken for the chosen hero (that’s you). Well, this owl lad (if he’s a Sheikah, and doesn’t just have cool eyelashes) is from the past. I got it.

(Some people say Owl Lad is a woman. Honestly, it’s hard to tell one way or the other.)

Moblins, Bokoblins, And Malice (oh my!)

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer spoiler
Image: Nintendo

Our next shot is what looks like a stone carving of a war between your typical Zelda enemies — Bokoblins and Moblins — accompanied by a swirl of Malice, the hot pink bad dog from BOTW who represents Ganon’s growing power in the area. Not much can be said about it, except that they all carry weapons — the Bokoblins have clubs, and the Moblins appear to have some kind of double scythe.

Rito War?

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer spoiler
Image: Nintendo

On the other side of this war is something that looks like Rito’s soldiers – the birdpeople from BOTW – which isn’t surprising given that this game seems to center around the sky, with a ton of bird imagery. What’s interesting to note is that they all hold shields that look a lot like the Hylian Crest (albeit very simplified), minus the Triforce.

But wait! This crest actually has its own name – it’s the Goddess Crest, which first appeared in Skyward Sword and later in BOTW in Spirit Orbs. The Goddess Crest represents the goddess Hylia and the Loftwings that fly around the Skyloftians. This might place Tears of the Kingdom in the Skyward Sword era, as the Hylian Crest (with the Triforce) doesn’t appear in the timeline until Ocarina of Time (after the Minish Cap and the Four Swords).

And let’s not forget that Zelda is Hylia reborn. Maybe these Rito are her soldiers?

Who died?

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer spoiler
Image: Nintendo

At the center of this war picture is a single fallen Rito soldier. They don’t have a shield or sword, but that could be for simplicity’s sake. Who are they? Were they the first to fall? Is this important? We just don’t know.

There’s actually another one even further to the right, who appears to have a shield (but no sword).

Magatama! Eh… Amber Relics!

Surrounding this Owl Lad from earlier are seven small spirals, resembling the Magatama from Ace Attorney (and Japanese history, of course) – a shape often seen on jewelry and heirlooms, which may represent some kind of spiritual, religious or ritual purpose.

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer spoiler
Image: Nintendo

But we’ve seen them before in Zelda too. Known as Amber Relic and Dusk Relic, these comma-shaped materials are used to upgrade Link’s equipment in Skyward Sword. The former can be found everywhere, and the latter is only found in the Silent Realm, an area designed to test Link that can only be accessed by the Hero.

“You have one Amber Relic! It is an amber piece of precious stone. No one knows why it has this shape.”
“You have one Dusk Remnant! This item is similar in appearance to an Amber Relic, but very different. It can only be found in certain places.”

It is also interesting that there are seven of them around the owl. We’ve seen the number seven in Zelda games before – most notably, the Seven Sages, but also the Seven Maidens in BOTW, the heroines who were the divine protectors of the Gerudo clan, represented by seven massive statues – and a secret eighth statue, too , representing the heroine who was “erased from history”, though no one knows why. These girls are also said to be descendants of the seven sages, including Princess Zelda, but this story only appears in A Link to the Past and Four Swords Adventures.

Okay, the story of the seven heroines is nice… but probably not relevant here. The wise on the other hand probably is relevant. We already had an owl theme, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that these seven sacred relics around the owl represent the sages, especially since Rauru AKA Kaepora Gaebora is one of the sages in Ocarina of Time.

And maybe… these are the honorable “tears” of the kingdom. Hmmmm.

We won’t speculate yet on what that means. You should enter… THE SPECULATION ZONE for this (it’s on page three).

Zelda is not okay

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer spoiler
Image: Nintendo

oh dear Oh no. Zelda is all horizontal.

“But wait—how do you know it’s Zelda?”

Have you ever seen other women represented in the historical artwork of these games? No, Tetra, Hylia, Din, Farore and Nayru don’t count. They are all the same person, more or less.

“Fair enough.”

Thanks. To continue: Oh, no! Zelda’ horizontally. This seems less than ideal. We don’t know why it’s horizontal, of course, but it’s probably something bad — you can see some strands of malignancy creeping up from under it.

Big Doors

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer spoiler
Image: Nintendo

Everyone loved the moment when you come out of the cave in BOTW and then the sun is all shining and it’s really cool. Good! Time for another one of those moments, except for big doors.

What’s worth noting here are the insignia on the doors — are they snakes? It looks like two chickens with very long necks. Might as well be dragons, although BOTW had one three dragons, representing the three goddesses of the Triforce. This circle-snake theme returns later in the logo, too. It’s probably important.

colour combination

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer spoiler
Image: Nintendo

Breath of the Wild was very blue and green – like the sky and the grass – with touches of blue and orange representing the Sheikah technology. But TOTK is very yellow, with hints of teal and pink (perhaps representing good and evil).

(Hey, fun fact: blue -> teal and orange -> pink is basically just a few spins on the color wheel. What does it mean? Well, if we wanted to be really silly about it, we could say it represents the evolution of technology or the world somehow, or even the repeating cycle of time. But honestly, it’s just colors. They probably just wanted new colors.)

The yellow color palette makes the world feel a little strange, like it’s dying in some way — and honestly, since it looks like these sky islands have been forcibly removed from Hyrule, we’re not surprised. All that grass is probably dead.

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer spoiler
Image: Nintendo

Is still there. It’s still ungrateful. You can read more about our hand theories here.


We’re not done yet! Head to page two for more from the trailer, then page three for the speculation zone…

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