This page is for WMG Discussion of any theories relating specifically to the Triforce as it appears throughout the Zelda Franchise. If you have other theories relating to the franchise, try here: The Legend of Zelda
The Triforce is a creation of ManReligious skeptics often use "God is a creation of Man" as the basis of their train of thought. God can be easily interpreted as simply an idea, a justification for certain actions. Who is to say that the legend of the Goddesses is not just that: a legend? What if, should religious skeptics be believed, the idea of these Goddesses was a story invented to cover up something greater? What if there never was a Great Realm, or what if this so-called realm is something altogether different that what the stories of old tell us? What about the mystical Triforce? On that controversial note, look VERY closely at the circle surrounding the dais in front of the entrance to the Shadow Temple in Ocarina of Time. Is it just me, or does that look suspiciously like an alchemical transmutation circle? In other words, a circle used for practicing alchemy? Specifically, the transmutation of human souls... To make a mystical substance that grants the user anything his heart desires... Hyrule's blood-stained history of greed and hatred... In search of the Triforce... —!!! OH. MY. GOD. The Triforce isn't just some object... IT'S A PHILOSOPHER'S STONE. AND THAT DOORWAY IS THE DOOR OF TRUTH!!! And during the creation of Hyrule, the Sheikah of Ancient Kakariko were— oh, GOD. The Door of Truth opens to the Sacred Realm, which contains ALL alchemical knowledge, and that knowledge would be used to create a Philosopher's Stone. But, in order to open the door AND in order to create the Philosopher's Stone, people had to be sacrificed. SO THE HYLIAN SAGES USED THE SHEIKAH AS TRIBUTE.
The Triforce also represents the tripartite Freudian psyche.The Triforce of Power is the Id, having no goal but satisfaction of desires. The Triforce of Courage is the Superego, standing for cultural conventions in direct opposition to Power's desire. The Triforce of Wisdom is the Ego, standing for reason and caution, and is the mediator between the id and the superego.
The Triforce also represents Plato's Tripartite SoulIn a similar vein to the above WMG, Plato speaks of three aspects of the human soul that must be balanced within you. The Rational Soul is the mind, the Spirited Soul is the will, and the Appetitive Soul is the emotion. Zelda and Link illustrate the mind and the will put to a virtuous use, respectively creating the ideals of Wisdom and Courage. Ganondorf shows what happens when you give into your base desires. A virtuous person will balance that emotion with wisdom and courage, creating the third virtue of Moderation. Failing to do so creates a lust for Power, and that is the attribute that Ganondorf exhibits when he becomes the Dark Beast Ganon.
The Triforce also represents the three Ancients from Eternal Darkness. Tripartite.The Triforce of Power, gift of Din who has "strong arms" and symbol of all things hot, bloody, and red; is the artifact of Chattur'gha, literally a huge dick. Wisdom, gift of Nayru, who gave the land "law" and whose spell is a shield, is the artifact of Ulyaoth. And Courage, gift of Farore, whose Oracle is the keeper of secrets and whose chosen has serious multiple personalities (being that he's our Heroic Mime Player Character), is the artifact of Xel'lotath.
The Triforce stands for a love triangle.Zelda's PRIDE Force It makes sense
The Goddesses always intended for Ganondorf to wield the Triforce of PowerWhy? They needed a balancing factor. Just ten years before Ganondorf's ascension, Hyrule was in the middle of a brutal war and was tearing itself to pieces. The Goddesses weren't too happy about that, so they decided to give the Hyruleans a common, permanent enemy to fight rather than fighting each other. Enter Ganondorf. This is also the reason for the Hero and the Princess; in addition to a common enemy, they also needed a couple of heroes that they could all rally behind, potentially further strengthening the bond between races. As for support? Well, take a look for yourselves.
The Triforce is a Literal Genie.To this troper's knowledge, the whole Triforce has only been used four times. The "first" two times were in A Link To The Past, when Ganon wished to rule the world and created a crappy world he couldn't initially escape from, which was then destroyed by Link's wish. In the opening cutscene of Oracle Of Ages/Seasons Link found the Triforce by himself, but with Hyrule at peace, all he truly wanted was another adventure, so Ganon came back. The fourth time was in The Wind Waker, and I hope I don't need to explain that one because it's in the dialogue.
The Triforce of Courage does not grant any powers.Any time that it does appear to do so is only because of the placebo effect. Link does not, in any of the games where he possesses the Triforce of Courage, display abilities beyond those in games where he doesn't have it. Excluding item derived abilities, but those are their own subject.
None of the individual Triforces grant power.The Link from a Link to the Past is one of the strongest incarnations. The Zelda from a Link to the Past demonstrated actual telepathy, one of the most overt displays of power that she ever makes. Both of them inarguably lack any kind of Triforce, as Ganon had the completed set at the time. Ganon is harder to judge, as he always seems to have between one and three of them, but in Ocarina of Time he managed to curse the Deku Tree and at least take advantage of the monsters infesting Hyrule before the door to the Sacred Realm was opened.
Ocarina Of Time-era Zelda does not actually possess the Triforce of Wisdom.Clearly, the Triforce of Power grants immortality, since Ganondorf is still alive from game to game. And presumably, the Triforce of Courage is what enables Link to get chomped by zombies and fight massive dragons without having a complete mental breakdown - the man just does not know fear. So you would think the Triforce of Wisdom would make Zelda, well, wiser. But she's apparently not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. First, as a child, instead of merely trying to bar Ganondorf from the Sacred Realm, (Smash the ocarina, anyone?) she convinces Link that they need to obtain the Triforce instead. This turns out to be a completely stupid move, eventually leading to the split in the timeline that causes Hyrule to be destroyed in Wind Waker. Then she chooses to reveal her identity in the Temple of Rime - the one place Ganondorf is probably watching like a hawk, since Link is there so often - and gets herself instantly captured. Since Zelda receives no apparent wisdom from the Triforce of Wisdom, it's possible she's simply a fraud. Or, alternatively:
"The Triforce of Wisdom" is a misnomer - it doesn't grant wisdom, but clairvoyance.We are told that Zelda often has prophetic dreams, but clearly, she hasn't the faintest clue how to properly use the information she gets from them. Wisdom? No. The ability to see the future? Yes.
The three Triforce piece correspond to the original three Human races of Hyrule.The Triforce of Power always went to the Gerudo, for obvious reasons considering they're a race of fighters, and was most likely suited for the single male every hundred years that was supposed to automatically be royalty. It gets less clear, however, when you consider the Triforce of Courage and the Triforce of Wisdom. Since Hylians were supposed to be the wise race that could hear the gods, and Sheikah guardians prized loyalty and honor above all else, one would assume that Wisdom went to Hylians and Courage went to Sheikah, but Zelda being turned into a Sheikah makes this seem unlikely. However, it only makes it seem unlikely, since Impa turned her into one, or even that she merely dressed like one, with a wig, makeup, body binding, and colored contacts. If you allow for the possibility that Link (either all of them, or just the Ocarina of Time Link) has Sheikah ancestry (for OoT Link, he could have been sent away during the possible genocide to protect the heir to the Sheikah equivalent of a throne. Pre-emptive edit to avoid naysayers: Not enough to keep the red eyes), it becomes downright likely. If you don't, it's possible that only the less courageous Sheikah survived the extermination (maybe to get rid of any candidates for the bearer of the Triforce of Courage?), and it passed to the next useful soul, or incarnated a new soul, or an old soul into a new character, that would fit its needs.
The Triforce of Courage bestows Chick Magnet-ness unto its bearer.
The hypothetical fourth Triforce piece is Balance.Its goddess is the goddess (or probably completely gender-neutral diety) of which Din, Nayru, and Farore were created. The goddesses are female since creation has typically been associated with females, in regards to carrying child and all. Until the three goddesses, most likely by association with the people, land, and the forests/lakes are balanced (as in "not in conflict", not "equal power"), the triforce will still be in three parts. The reason it breaks into three pieces when an unbalanced person like Ganondorf gets ahold of it is that the Balance piece is not there, so instead of being held together by being one large piece, they are three pieces held together by a single tiny contact point between each two pieces (and magic, but it's symbolic). The last piece is not, in fact, physical, but it will appear in the center of the Triforce, sealing it into a filled triangle shape, once Hyrule/the goddesses are in balance or a truly balanced person touches th assembled Triforce and manifests the Balance piece.
The yellow piece on the Master Sword is the physical aspect of the Triforce of Courage.Each Triforce piece has a physical component, it doesn't just "disappear" into Link/Zelda/Ganondorf. Zelda's may incorporate itself into the royal tiara-crown-thing, and was used as some sort of hair clip when she was Tetra in Wind Waker (to symbolize wisdom), and the gold sigil attached to Ganondorf/Ganon's forehead in his human forms (held down by the blue thing in Ocarina and stamped directly into his head in Twilight Princess) (to emulate Zelda's piece?) is his Triforce. It keeps evil from being able to touch the sword, and allows Link to have a better affinity with it than anyone else, including Zelda and (were he not considered evil) Ganondorf.
The Triforce double as the can for a Sealed Evil in a Can more terrible than Ganon.It slowly begins to break out every time Ganon is defeated. To counter this the universe is reset, but each time the reset is weaker and weaker, causing things to bleed over from alternate timelines.
The Triforce of Power actually used to be the Triforce of Benevolence.The Triforce pretty much coresponds to the three imperial treasures of Japan, the Kusanagi Sword (Courage), the Yata Mirror (Wisdom), and the Yasakani Jewel (Benevolence). Only one piece doesn't fit, and that's power. Also, all we know about the godess Din, whom the triforce of power is supposed to represent, comes from legends. And her Oracle, the dancer of Holodrum, isn't really someone you'd associate with "power", unlike the singer Nayru, who everybody would associate with Nayru's attrubute, wisdom, at first glance. In fact, the attribute "benevolence" seems to fit the dancer Din a lot better. Maybe the goddess Din actually used to represent benevolence, but at some point her Triforce piece became corrupted and she lost that status. Maybe the same evil force that corrupted her Triforce also drove Ganondorf mad and there is really a Man Behind the Man? Was Ganon really just hijacked by someone else all this time? Maybe we'll someday know. If this theory is correct, the triforce of Power was presumably "purified" again after Link won it back from Ganon and it became the Triforce of Benevolence once more.
Like Link and Zelda, there was another bloodline pre-designated for the Triforce of Power. Ganon is not part of this bloodline.It is difficult to believe a benevolent Goddess like Din would allow a single, corrupt being to take her piece of the Triforce while her sisters allow their pieces to go to generation after generation of people who are only alike in looks and name. Why would she do that? My guess is she didn't. Originally there was another sacred Hylian bloodline that held the Triforce of Power and essentially acted as the pre-Sheikah guardsmen. But one generation of guardians began to feel pangs of fear and unworthiness for their place in the grand scheme and fled Hyrule at about roughly the time Ganon began searching for the Triforce. Now, on the child side of the timeline, the Goddesses convinced him to come back and stop Ganon before he can take it, but Ganon kills him before being captured and sent to the Arbiters' Grounds. Afterwards, the Power bloodline died out, but the Spirit of the guardsman came back and took Link in as a sort of heir to the Power bloodline; teaching him what he learned from his lineage in the hopes that he may liberate the Triforce of Power from Ganon and protect it from those who would abuse it, hence making Link both the Hero of power and courage and allowing the Guardsman, aka the Hero's Shade, to rest in peace.
Time is one of the Triforce Elements...
Dark Link is from an alternate Hyrule where the Hero of Time was corrupted.Possibly, when Link got the last Fused Shadow, the timeline split. In the alternate timeline, Link killed Zant, keeping him from taking them. However, this kept him from knowing about Ganondorf, since he never went to the Arbiter's Grounds. Midna returned home with the Shadows, attempted to stop Ganon, failed, and was killed. The Shadows returned to their finder, which happened to be Link. They corrupted him, twisting him until he became a shadow of his former self. He knew of the time split, so he traveled to the other Hyrule and went back in time to stop this from happening. He failed. So, his solution? Kill the Hero. He presented himself to Ganondorf as a shadowy creature, only able to take the Hero's form when he was semi-resurrected. He has yet to succeed. ...Yeah, it doesn't make sense, but c'mon. This is WMG we're talking about.
The three Zelda timelines correspond with a piece of the Triforce.What were the main goals of Link, young Zelda, and Ganondorf in OoT? Link's was to put an end to Ganondorf's evil. Ganondorf wanted to rule everything. Young Zelda had the same goal as Link, but different at the same time (more on that in a bit). The Adult timeline is the Courage timeline, because Link's goal was the one that won out, and the Bearer of Courage triumphed.
The Child timeline is the Wisdom timeline. This one takes a little bit of thinking. What was young Zelda's original method for stopping Ganondorf? Obtaining the Triforce first, and proving Ganondorf's evil intentions to her father. When adult Zelda sent Link back in time, he was able to do just that. Thus events turned out the way the Bearer of Wisdom originally wanted them to be.
The Fail timeline is the Power timeline. Pretty self-explanatory as this is the one where Ganondorf wins.