Who is Rauru?

Hello Zelda Dungeoners, and sorry for my recent hiatus, but I had some exams to (not) study for. But now I’m back with a long-overdue analysis of Rauru, or, as some of you guys might know him, the owl that never shuts up and appears to think that Link has a single-digit IQ. He appears to serve no useful purpose in-game (except for giving you a ride at one point), and that’s why I initially wasn’t going to do an editorial on him, but after realising his rich history, support from you guys, and my continued curiosity as to why he takes the form of a giant owl who insists on giving you the lowdown on what you already know. So if Rauru’s true purpose has always eluded you, jump right on in to get some illumination on the topic.

Though you don’t know it, you first meet Rauru just after leaving the Kokiri Forest. It’s not a very good introduction for poor little Link to the big, wide world, by first seeing a giant bird that thrusts its head forward as it eyes off its lunch, but it’s what he gets. The owl doesn’t introduce himself, but instead gives Link the first of many, many… MANY (and add an extra ‘many’ on the end of that) bits of information that he will impart to him throughout his journey. And, as you soon come to expect later in the game, he tells you something you already knew, or could work out for yourself.

And to make the owl even more annoying, his name is a tongue twister: Kaebora Gaepora? No. Gaekora Paebora? Wait a tic… the Zelda Dungeon Wiki has it down as Kaepora Gaebora. I’m just going to call him the owl, though, as it’s easier to type and simpler to read, plus, you guys know what I’m talking about, right? Yep? Cool! Let’s continue then.

As much as you might want to hit the owl with a Deku Seed from your slingshot when you’re little to scare him off before he starts talking (or an arrow from your bow when you’re older to fix the problem permanently), you can’t. You can’t even break his neck, because he’s already done that himself, and somehow isn’t paralyzed or dead (I mean, owls can turn their heads around a fair bit, but not a full 180 degrees and then be able to turn it upside-down). The best you can do is get a little shut-eye while he’s talking, and ensure to choose ‘No, I do not want to hear what you said again’ when he’s finished, otherwise… this bad boy is going to annoy you a whole lot more.

You can’t blame the guy either. I mean, if you were an ancient Sage that’s been around for donkey’s years and you realise that the fate of the world depends on a boy that sleeps in, wears a dress, and has never received the slightest bit of education, you’d want to intervene and ensure this kid knows as much as possible for his adventure, too, right?

After Link obtains the three Spiritual Stones and opens the Door of Time to retrieve the Master Sword, he meets Rauru face-to-face for the first time, but Rauru doesn’t think to inform Link that he is the owl that’s been stalking him since the moment he left home (though you can guess, as Rauru also asks if Link wants him to repeat himself). Instead, Rauru informs Link that he is the Hero of Time, the one destined to wield the Master Sword. And for once, he also gives Link some useful information: he tells Link that due to Link’s actions, Ganondorf has acquired the Triforce (though he fails to mention he only claimed the Triforce of Power) and has become the King of Evil, and to defeat him, Link must awaken the other five Sages and add their might to his own! Though Link can only do the former, as the Medallions given to Link by the Sages do nothing, as he discovers when Rauru gives him the Light Medallion.

With those informative words under his belt, Link returns to Hyrule and does as Rauru instructs, though that doesn’t stop the owl from continuing to stalk the hero, and this leads me to wonder how much faith Rauru actually has in Link? With him constantly giving Link bits of information that don’t really help, and always ensuring that he’s in the right place at the right time, he is still guiding Link, which suggests that he doesn’t think Link is capable on his own. He’s supposed to be wise, and knowing that Link would become the Hero of Time, he should also know that Link would be able to defeat Ganondorf on his own, or with only Sheik’s help; but that doesn’t stop him from constantly interfering.

A likely explanation is that Rauru is simply watching over Link, out of interest, and if Link passes by, he’ll give him some info to save him from wasting time trying to figure it out. When I think about this, it makes sense, though whenever I play the game, I always get that same vibe that Rauru thinks Link is a foolish youngster who doesn’t know what he’s doing, with the idea that the Golden Goddesses could’ve picked a better hero. So overall, I’m a little undecided on the topic, and I want to know what you guys thought of Rauru’s babysitting technique, so don’t forget to let me know in the comments.

Another topic of interest when it comes to Rauru: the overall purpose of the character. I always felt that Rauru served no real purpose, because I could always figure out the puzzles, or where to go, and other things like that, and Sheik repeats what Rauru tells Link when they first meet, and then gives him extra info, making Rauru’s speech pointless, though it establishes the setting of the Chamber of Sages, and its location, which Sheik doesn’t tell Link. But then I found out some information that not only sorted out an issue I had with Skyward Sword, but also made me feel that Rauru is in fact a needed character.

SPOILER ALERT:
The next couple of paragraphs include spoilers for the ending of Skyward Sword, if you have not yet completed the game, and would like to keep the ending a secret, skip straight to the concluding paragraph of this editorial.

At the end of Skyward Sword, Link puts the Master Sword to rest in a pedestal in the Sealed Temple. I REALLY didn’t like this, not only due to the name of the temple, but also the design of the temple, and the location of the pedestal within the temple. I soon found out that it was in fact Rauru who builds the Temple of Time seen in Ocarina of Time, around the pedestal in which the Master Sword rests, after the Sealed Temple is destroyed, or has simply decayed due to age. I REALLY liked this, as it made two, previously incompatible events, join together simply and easily, and it made Rauru’s character that much more significant.

To this extent, I now feel that Rauru was a useful character, but I am still undecided on his appearance in Ocarina of Time, as to whether he is truly needed or not, as, he’s not that much of an issue in the game, and he can come in handy, but the game could’ve done just as well without the character making a physical appearance in it.

So what did you guys think? Did you feel Rauru was an old grump that served no purpose, or a complicated guardian to Link? Why do you think Rauru is constantly watching over Link? What other thoughts do you have about the character? Let me know in the comments; and, next week, I’ve got a special look at two of Ocarina of Time’s bosses which had a bit more background and mystery than the others, and before I start my look at the main characters from Majora’s Mask, I was hoping to also have a look at some of the standout side characters from Ocarina of Time, such as Guru-Guru, Talon, the Carpenters, etc., so let me know which of the side characters you’d like me to put under my Lens of Truth. Until the next time!

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