Maybe someone stole it (is "Lolian" even used in the game?) from Hyrule and left it there.
It's worth mentioning that "Hylian" has no real connection to "Hyrule". Hylian is the race (revealed to be named after the goddess Hylia in Skyward Sword), Hyrulean is the nationality of people born in Hyrule. So it's possible that the pointy-eared inhabitants of Lorule are also called Hylian. As for the shield itself, with its Hyrulean elements (the Triforce pointing up), the above is probably right. Alternatively, it was placed there by the powers that be, in order to help Link.
Is Lorule in the Dark World, as is suggested by the background music and the Thief's Hideout?
No. It's a thematically similar, but distinct, alternate world. It's effectively a what-if universe where the Triforce was destroyed instead of sealed in the Sacred Realm.
Only 3, actually. Post Ocarina of Time, there are 3 main time lines. There are the Adult Link and Child Link timelines, then there is the timeline where the Hero of Time loses which is where this game takes place. Lorule isn't so much an alternate universe so much as it and Hyrule are part of the same multiverse. Presumably it exists in the other timelines, but we've just never seen it before.
Lorule actually seems to be more of an Alternate Universe rather than just a world in the same multiverse. It has its own Sacred Realm, for instance. The differences are a little bigger than the single event that differs between the AT and the DT, but it's still closer to them than, say, Termina is.
Nintendo just likes reusing themes without actually connecting them. Just like we have two mirrors with dark tribes sealed within, a bunch of swords that look and act like the Master Sword, a lot of sacred powers passed down the royal family bloodline, etc. Lorule drinks heavily from A Link to the Past's version of the Dark World, but it's more like a paralel universe, akin to Termina (while the Dark World is more deeply connected to Hyrule itself, being a corrupted version of its closest analogue to a heaven, the Sacred Realm). In fact we visit both Lorule and Hyrule's Sacred Realms in this game.
What did Osfala intend to accomplish with the Sand Rod in a sandless dungeon?
More important than what he intended to do, how did he actually manage to reach the boss room? And why was he even climbing the dungeon, if there was nothing there?
He was climbing the dungeon because he wanted to follow Yuga. As for his route through the dungeon Gameplay and Story Segregation is the easiest answer but maybe he has some magical abilities... including going through locked doors like Darunia.
If the Dark Triforce is the embodiment of the inverse traits of the Light Triforce, as revealed by Ravio the coward being the Lorule Link shouldn't Hilda be ignorant and Yuga be weak?
Ravio is a coward. Hilda lacked the wisdom to realize that the path she's walking down was the very reason why they destroyed their Triforce in the first place, as well as that she could have just asked Zelda for aid and use Hyrule's Triforce to restore Lorule's thus saving both worlds, and Yuga was weak enough for Link to defeat twice (though the first time he was clearly under-estimating him) before he merged with Ganon.
It was never established that Lorule's Triforce embodies the opposite of the other's virtues. They appear to have represented different traits (as Courage, Wisdom and Power are mentioned as qualities of Hyrule's Triforce in particular), but they were probably other positive qualities. It's worth pointing that Lorule was not the complete opposite of Hyrule (it was a world much like Hyrule itself before their Triforce was destroyed), just a paralel universe with a few key differences, and that if Lorule's Triforce (which isn't "dark" at all) represented Cowardice, Ignorance and Weakness, it would hardly be an artefact worth fighting a war over.
I believe that perhaps Lorule's Triforce represents Ambition, Caution and Focus - not only do these virtues mirror those of Hyrule's Triforce, but they also represent the characters of Yuga, Ravio and Hilda. Yuga's Ambition has turned to avarice (greed), Ravio's Caution has turned to cowardice, and Hilda's Focus has blinded her to the bigger picture. I hope that this clears a few things up.
No. Ambition, Caution and Focus are not proper Virtues. They're arguably Vices. Hyrule's Triforce is based upon virtues such as Power, Wisdom and Courage, thus Lorule's Triforce must be based upon similar mirror virtues. One of those virtues is definitelyLoyalty, for Ravio, Link's counterpart embodies this completely for his unfailing love and devotion to Hilda. Most likely, the others are Duty and Creativity, which Hilda and Yuga each embody respectively.
This makes sense, actually. If you look at the Lorule residents, they aren't opposites of their Hyrule counterparts, just... similar, but through a different lens. The Blacksmith and his wife in Lorule, for example. The Blacksmith is still very good at what he does, and takes pride in his work... just a bit more timid about it. Likewise, his wife is still caring and maternal, just a bit more brash about it. Hilda, like Zelda, cares deeply about her kingdom, and is willing to do whatever it takes to protect it. She was just more willing to sacrifice, rather than take a third option. Hell, looking at the little vignettes between Lorule dungeons, and it's clear that Hilda isn't doing what she's doing because she wants to, but because she feels she has no other choice, and regrets it immensely. In spite of what Ravio said, he was not the coward he sees himself as. Desertion in the face of such actions takes guts...he just exercises his courage differently. And assuming Yuga is a direct analogue of Ganon, he's definitely not weak...though not NEARLY as strong as Ganon, but he exercises it differently. Through cunning and guile rather than brute force and fear. It makes sense that the Lorule Triforce would not be opposites, but rather the Hyrule Triforce's ideals expressed differently... as said above, Ambition, Caution and Focus to Hyrule's Power, Courage and Wisdom.
Not to mention at the very end Ravio finally goes back to Lorule and actually calls Hilda out for her actions, even as she calls him a traitor for deserting her. If that's not courage, I don't know what is.
Caution and Focus work very very well, but Ambition is a bit iffy. Notice that on the other side of things, it can be said that Link lacks "Caution" (He recklessly confronts Yuga twice in the beginning) Zelda lacks "Focus" (Despite her wisdom, she is very passive and ends up kidnapped). Ganon, however, clearly does NOT lack Ambition. Lorule's third triforce should logically be something Yuga embodies and Ganon lacks (again, assuming he is Ganon's counterpart). Maybe Cunning? Yuga is certainly more genre savvy than Ganon and his master plan with Hilda was pretty clever. So... Caution, Focus and Cunning maybe?
That might work, but then we'd have two "C's". Maybe Ingenuity instead? I mean, Ganon just keeps trying the same things over and over, despite his ability to strategize.
Another theory being that the qualities of the Triforce were just swapped around; Ravio with Wisdom, Hilda with Power, and Yuga for Courage.
So uhh... what's in Ravio's bag that's "more important than life itself"?
Uhh... It... Y'know what? It gets revealed shortly after you defeat the final boss.
An image of it is on the bag
Just... Rupees? Is he that greedy?
Well, think about how many houses you've barged into as Link to break people's possessions and take their Rupees. Link is not without greed. It follows that Ravio would also be greedy. Knowing Link as he does, because they're so similar, Ravio could have made up the "more important than life itself" thing to keep Link from taking his Rupees.
So if Ravio had gone to Hyrule to seek a hero that could help him why did Ravio have Link pay for using his items. Wouldn't Ravio just give Link the items so he could better help him out?
I'd say a subtle test of character/making sure Link really is the Hero. Rent out items, see if he puts them to good use, if he makes it to the point that he can buy the items, all the better...and of course, make a few bucks in the process. Always good to have a plan B in case it all goes to pot on him.
Ravio has more vices than Link. He's reluctant to lose the items that he evidently worked very hard to acquire.
It's minor, but something kinda bugs me about the plot/ending: Hilda goes to all this trouble in order to get Hyrule's Triforce, with the intent to replace Lorule's destroyed one. Okay, that's all well and good... But the problem arises in that she knows doing this is probably going to doom Hyrule as Lorule once was. But, she says herself, when speaking of Lorule's Triforce, that it can grant wishes; ie, she's aware the united Trifoce can do so. So, why wasn't the plan to unite the Triforce and just wish for Lorule's own Triforce to simply be restored? Now, her plot allowed Link and Zelda to do that on their own, but it seems odd that Hilda, who isn't really evil, just desperate, doesn't seem to have considered this!
The fact the Triforce can grant wishes does not equate to it being able to grant any wish, it might have some limitations. So, it is able to restore another Triforce, but it might have been unable to, and then what? Lorule was on the verge of collapse, they didn't have the time to waste. Furthermore, what if Hilda didn't have a balanced heart? Two of the Triforce pieces would fly away eslewhere, most probably back to Hyrule, and she'd lose even more time tracking them down.
I'm inclined to believe this. I mean, it would follow, if you could just wish for another Triforce, everyone would have one, or something akin. She may have assumed the "no wishing for more wishes" genie corollary. I mean...I would think beseeching the Gods for another Treasure of the Gods might be kinda blasphemous, or something.
How does one destroy the Triforce? Whoever managed to accomplish that feat could theoretically defeat one of the golden Goddesses.
If one can wish on it to create a "duplicate" Triforce for an alternate universe, one can easily wish on it to destroy itself.
Not necessarily. We've seen the Triforce being broken apart many times before (all the way back to the very first game), destroying it for real is just a matter of taking that to the next level. So, breaking the Triforce is clearly easier than its divine origins would imply.
The gods created the Triforce and filled it with their essence, for the mortals. Its unlimited power can never be used by any deity, it only can be utilized by a mortal being. Hilda's ancestors wished upon the golden relic to self-destruct. True omnipotence is a power that can undo itself. Now, it can only be brought back by wishing on Hyrule's still-intact Triforce, for true omnipotence can restore what was once destroyed.
It's strongly implied that Oren is Ruto's descendent. How can this be possible? Ruto is a sea Zora, and Oren is a river Zora.
The distinction may be a racial one, rather than a species one; if this is the case, then they could easily be interfertile.
The bigger problem is that Ruto somehow had a human descendent in one of the maidens from Ltt P, and then the same thing happened in reverse for Oren.
It is possible that Ruto had multiple descendents branching off into different family trees. Oren and the human sage might just be cousins, both descendents of Ruto.
In the Oracle games a Zora states that the sea and river Zoras are related. Apparently they split off at some point in the Failure timeline, since the river Zoras only appear in that timeline. And presumably the more aggressive river Zoras eventually wiped out their more peaceful cousins.
Why is the Triforce even split in this game? The ending of A Link to the Past clearly shows it together.
Given that that ending is one of the only times we see the Triforce being used to make a wish (and this is the only time we have a direct sequel showing where it went afterwards), it is entirely possible (and likely in this context) that the Triforce operates like the Dragonballs: get your wish, and the wish-granter, its job done, splits back into component pieces that must be gathered again before any further wishes can be made, so as to prevent wish-abuse and minimize risks of falling into the wrong hands.
This is actually what happens in The Wind Waker. After the Triforce granted a wish, it split apart and scattered across the world again. Link made a wish to the Triforce in A Link to the Past, so the Triforce split apart. Remember, you don't see the Triforce anymore in A Ltt P after Link makes his wish.
Alternatively, it split after granting Link's wish because, on one hand, it had just been gathered after having been split, so it had to grant a wish; on the other hand, the one making that wish didn't have the three virtues in balance, favoring Courage overly much, so as soon as the wish was granted it split again like it always does when touched by someone who doesn't favor all three virtues equally.
It says in the paintings in Hyrule Castle that Ganon somehow got his hands on the Triforce of Power and that the Triforce of Courage is MIA so its clear SOMETHING happened between the end of Link to the Past and the start of this game.
It's actually weirder than that. The Oracle games happen after A Link to the Past, with the same Link, and the Triforce is still united and under the care of the Royal Family, so it was clearly not the wishing that split it. My personal theory is that somewhere down the line, the Royal Family decided that they should split the Triforce again, before rumours about it started causing mayhem once more, and so the pieces were sent to the usual chosen ones (even though Ganon was dead/sealed at the time).
In Link to the Past there were seven sages including Zelda, who was the seventh sage. In Link Between Worlds there are seven sages, but Zelda isn't one of them. What's with the discrepancy?
It can easily be explained by assuming the royal family branches between games, and one of the Sages (probably Seres or Osfala) comes from the branch that didn't inherit the crown. The power of the Sages is hereditary, but not necessarily goes down the same path as the crown does.
When the Sages send Link away from the Sacred Realm, look at the poses they strike. They do almost the exact same poses as the Sages in Ocarina of Time do when they seal away Ganon. From this and their appearances/dungeons they're in, it can be deduced which ALBW Sage descends from which Oo T Sage.
Now the seventh Sage in Oo T and A Ltt P was Zelda. But here, it is Gulley, and Zelda is no longer a Sage. How can Gulley be the sucessor to the Oo T / A Ltt P Zelda? Well... who does Gulley look like? Gulley has green clothes, a green pointy hat, blond hair and blue eyes. He looks like Link. Who is to say that the Link and Zelda from A Ltt P didn't have a children together? Somewhere down the line, the descendants of A Ltt P Zelda and Link split off. One branch stayed in the royal family, and would birth ALBW Zelda, wielder of the Triforce of Wisdom. The other branch went to live among the common people, and became black smiths. This branch birthed Gulley. Gulley holds both the blood of Link, making him look like Link, and the blood Zelda, making him the seventh Sage. The Sage powers seem to hold a priority for the youngest person currently in that bloodline, and since Gulley is younger than Zelda, he became the seventh Sage. That is why Zelda isn't a sage in ALBW.
So, why exactly did the Sages have the Triforce of Courage? It doesn't seem to have anything to do with them particularly.
They were keeping it safe, nothing more. Probably waiting for the next hero to come so they could deliver it.
Also, remember the ending to Zelda II? Maybe that old man was also a descendant of the Sages.