Imprisoning War

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The Imprisoning Wars are recurring events in The Legend of Zelda series.(ALttP | TotK)[1][2]


A Link to the Past

Following Link's defeat at the hands of Ganondorf in the Era of the Hero of Time, the Gerudo King steals the Triforce of Courage and Triforce of Wisdom from the Hero of Time and Princess Zelda. He then uses the full power of the Triforce to transform into the Demon King.[3] Left with no other option, the Seven Sages seal Ganon away with the completed Triforce in the Sacred Realm and return a relative peace to Hyrule.[3][4]

Because of Ganondorf's takeover of Hyrule, the knowledge of the Sacred Realm's existence and the Triforce spread throughout the Kingdom of Hyrule.[4] People began to search for an entrance to the Sacred Realm in search of the Triforce's unlimited power.[4] However, because Ganon's wicked heart transformed the Sacred Realm into the Dark World, every person who found their way into it transformed into a Monster resembling their true nature.[5][4] Because the Sages were unable to locate the Triforce,[6] the King of Hyrule ordered the Seven Sages to seal the Sacred Realm entirely.[4][7][8]

As they prepared to do so, an army of Monsters under Ganon's control broke forth from the Sacred Realm, threatening the lives of everyone in their path and beginning the Imprisoning War.[4] No hero could be found to wield the Master Sword,[9] so the Knights of Hyrule were forced to give their lives to protect the Seven Sages as they prayed to seal the Magical Warp Tiles to the Sacred Realm.[4][10] Thanks to their sacrifice, the Sages narrowly escape their death and manage to seal the Realm,[4] trapping the remaining Monsters in Ganon's army within.

However, because most of the combatants were killed during the battle, the Kingdom of Hyrule began to decline.[4] Hylians began to lose touch with their ancestral powers and relationships between the Kingdom and other peoples like the Zora began to fall apart.[4][11] The Kingdom of Hyrule also expended most of its wealth on the War, weakening its political power and economy and impoverishing its citizens.[12] Though Ganon was unable to return to the Light World during the Imprisoning War, he managed to set the stage for his eventual return in the Era of Light and Dark. Because of this, a prophecy is foretold of a Great Cataclysm indicated by Ganon's return to Hyrule,[13] and that a Hero descended from the Knights of Hyrule would appear to defeat the Demon King.[14] This prophecy was recorded on the Pedestal of the Master Sword for future generations.[14]

Tears of the Kingdom

The Imprisoning War is an event that occurred some time after the founding of Rauru's Hyrule Kingdom.[15][16]

Leading up to the events in the Imprisoning War, Ganondorf attempted to attack Hyrule Castle using a swarm of Molduga, but was defeated when Rauru used his Secret Stone to destroy the swarm. Seeing the Secret Stone's power, Ganondorf swore fealty to Rauru. Rauru suspected Ganondorf of treachery, but believed that it would be wise to have a way of keeping tabs on Ganondorf. However, this plan backfired when a Phantom Ganon disguised as Princess Zelda gave Ganondorf an opening to assassinate Queen Sonia and steal her Secret Stone.

Ganondorf used the Secret Stone to become Demon King Ganondorf and created his army of Monsters to attack Hyrule and anyone who opposed him. Hyrule rose to face the Demon King's army, but the Monsters were too powerful. After the last free village in the Gerudo Desert fell,[17] Rauru appointed his sister Mineru, Zelda and the Gerudo, Goron, Zora and Rito leaders inside the Forgotten Temple. He gave each leader a Secret Stone to amplify their natural abilities so they could confront Demon King Ganondorf, making them a part of the Six Sages. However, their power was not enough to defeat him and Rauru sacrificed his life to ensure Ganondorf was sealed away. While Rauru knew that Ganondorf would eventually be freed due to Zelda's warning about his return in her own era, he shared her trust in Link's ability to defeat Ganondorf for good.

To keep the seal undisturbed, Hyrule Castle was built to protect the sacred site.[18] Beneath Hyrule Castle, murals were created telling the story of the Imprisoning War and the events that led up to it. The Royal Family of Hyrule passed down a warning that no one was allowed to venture or discuss what lies below the Castle.[19]

Other Appearances

A Link to the Past (Cagiva)

In the A Link to the Past manga by Ataru Cagiva, the Imprisoning War takes place 600 years prior to the events of A Link to the Past.[20]

BS The Legend of Zelda

Before the start of Week 1, a narrator tells the story of the Imprisoning War identically to the manual of A Link to the Past.[21] It adds that not even the Seven Sages could wield the Master Sword.[22]


  • At one point, Ocarina of Time's story was considered as covering the Imprisoning War.[23] The Hyrule Historia reveals that the Imprisoning War is set after Ocarina of Time in the Fallen Hero Timeline.
  • Unused text indicates that Four Swords Adventures could have been set during the Imprisoning War instead.[24] Among the unused text are details of Link not being able to wield the Master Sword and more explicit references to the Hylians. During development, Four Swords Adventures had considerably more story than the final release, but Shigeru Miyamoto thought that the game should have a stronger focus on gameplay and the story was simplified.[25]


ZW Nomenclature Asset.png Names in Other Regions ZW Nomenclature Asset 2.png
封印戦争 (Fūin Sensō) (ALttP | TotK)[26][27]Sealing War
The Republic of ChinaThe Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of ChinaThe Macao Special Administrative Region of China
封印戰爭 (Fēngyìn zhànzhēng) (TotK) 
The People's Republic of China
封印战争 (Fēngyìn zhànzhēng) (TotK) 
The French Republic
Guerre du Sceau (ALttP)[30]War of the Seal
The Federal Republic of Germany
  • Siegelkrieg (ALttP)[29]
  • Versiegelungskrieg (TotK)[28]
  • Sealing War
  • Sealing War
This table was generated using translation pages.
To request an addition, please contact a staff member with a reference.


See Also


  1. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 10
  2. "This is the Imprisoning War and the events that led up to it!" — Zelda (Tears of the Kingdom)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 92
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 93
  5. "And everyone who wanders into this land is changed to a shape that reflects his true nature." — Bully's Friend (A Link to the Past)
  6. "Many aggressively searched for the wish-granting Triforce, but no one, not even the Hylian sages, was sure of its location; the knowledge had been lost over time." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 4)
  7. "The lord of Hyrule sent for the Seven Wise Men and the Knights Of Hyrule, and ordered them to seal the entrance to the Golden Land." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 5)
  9. "The Sages first had to search for the existence of the Master Sword and a hero to use it. However, the situation was urgent, and Ganon's malice was enclosing on the royal palace." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 7)
  10. "There are eight magical tiles which are entrances to the Dark World that was sealed by the Wise Men long ago." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 30)
  11. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 49
  12. Encyclopedia, Dark Horse Books, pg. 69
  13. "I am Aginah. I sense something is happening in the Golden Land the seven wise men sealed... This must be an omen of the Great Cataclysm foretold by the people of Hylian blood..." — Aginah (A Link to the Past)
  14. 14.0 14.1 "The Hero's triumph on Cataclysm's Eve wins three symbols of virtue. The Master Sword he retrieves, keeping the Knight's line true." — Pedestal of the Master Sword (A Link to the Past)
  15. "This is the Imprisoning War and the events that led up to it!" — Zelda (Tears of the Kingdom)
  16. "Years ago, when the kingdom of Hyrule was still young... A great evil, the Demon King, descended on the land. He sought to wipe out anyone who opposed him." — Sage of Wind (Tears of the Kingdom)
  17. "We just received word that the last free village in the Gerudo Desert has fallen." — Sage of Water (Tears of the Kingdom)
  18. "Deep beneath this land, our mighty first ruler imprisoned the Demon King. To ensure the king's magic would hold, we erected a castle here to protect this sacred site. Without the castle in place, the site may be disturbed, allowing the Demon King's hatred and rage to be revived. The preservation of this castle is therefore tied to the prosperity of the kingdom. May it watch over an eternal peace." — Stone Tablet (Tears of the Kingdom)
  19. "When I was a child, I asked my father if there was anything below the castle. He told me there was, though seeing it for ourselves or even discussing the matter was forbidden. No one in our family knew anything more than that. I can recall what my father said, even now. "No one must ever venture beneath the castle—not even one of us." He said this warning had been passed down through my family for as long as anyone could remember." — Zelda (Tears of the Kingdom)
  20. "我が輩が600年前に先代の勇者を見た時マスターソードは" — Kanika (A Link to the Past, Cagiva)
  21. BSゼルダの伝説 第1話 , , published November 26, 2018, retrieved May 22, 2023.
  22. "しかし七人の賢者でさえ、聖剣マスターソードを使いこなす事はできなかった。" — N/A (BS The Legend of Zelda, [1])
  23. "今回のストーリーは本当のオリジナルではなくって、前作のスーパーファミコン版に出てきた「七賢者の封印戦争」を扱っているんだ" —Satoru Takizawa ([2], web archive, retrieved May 23, 2023.)
  24. Translation of Japanese Game Texts , Legends Alliance Forums.
  25. "In an example with Four Swords Adventures, I was the producer on that game, so I didn’t actually put the story for that game together—that would be put together by the director of the game. And in the end on that game, as we got closer to finishing it, of course, Mr. Miyamoto then came in and upended the tea table, and we changed the story around quite a bit at the end with Four Swords Adventures. And what Mr. Miyamoto pointed out in the case of that game was that the storyline shouldn't be something complicated that confuses the player. It should really be kind of a guideline that helps ease the player through the gameplay process and helps them understand what it is that they're doing. So that was one example of how the gameplay was there first, and the storyline changed all the way up until the very end." —Eiji Aonuma (GDC 2004 - Eiji Aonuma Zelda Roundtable.)
  26. A Link to the Past manual, pg. 7
  27. "封印戦争の全容が描かれた壁画!" (These murals depict the full story of the Sealing War!) — Zelda (Tears of the Kingdom)
  28. "Die Wandbilder sind eine Darstellung des Versiegelungskriegs!" — Zelda (Tears of the Kingdom)
  29. Hyrule Historia, TOKYOPOP, pg. 69
  30. Encyclopedia, Les Éditions Soleil, pg. 109