Riju's Fate: The Gerudo Chieftain's Struggle in Tears of the Kingdom

In "Tears of the Kingdom," Riju, the Gerudo Chieftain, faces a dilemma as the possibility of a new male Gerudos birth threatens her leadership. Her leadership and Gerudo culture are explored.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – What Lies Ahead for Riju, the Gerudo Chieftain

In the latest installment of The Legend of Zelda series, "Tears of the Kingdom," players are introduced to a captivating narrative that explores the concept of Sages, reminiscent of the Champions from "Breath of the Wild" (BOTW). These Sages, including Riju, the Lightning Sage and Gerudo Chieftain, play a pivotal role in assisting Link. However, once the dust settles on their adventures, Riju may face an unforeseen challenge that could alter the fate of the Gerudo people.

The Upheaval's Shadow: Riju's Plight

When Link first encounters Riju in "Tears of the Kingdom," she is grappling with relentless sandstorms that were unleashed by the Upheaval, a catastrophic event. Despite her responsibilities as the Gerudo leader, she willingly extends her aid to Link as an awakened Sage. Yet, post-events, Riju confronts a predicament that might have been overlooked by the Gerudo, or worse, they could dread its impending arrival following the defeat of Calamity Ganon and Ganondorf.

In the lore of The Legend of Zelda, only one male Gerudo exists at any given time, who, by custom, ascends to the position of Gerudo King. Consequently, Riju holds the title of Chieftain instead of Queen due to this unique custom. However, a challenge arises because of Riju's youth during "Tears of the Kingdom." It's merely a matter of time until a new male Gerudo is born, and tradition dictates that Riju relinquish her power to the newly minted King.

This peculiar birthright, with a male Gerudo born every 100 years, might appear contradictory to the information presented in BOTW and "Tears of the Kingdom." In both these games, no male Gerudo has been born for over 10,000 years. The explanation lies in the second condition that must be met before a male Gerudo can be born – there can be only one male Gerudo at a time. Yet, the existence of Calamity Ganon and the sealed Ganondorf beneath Hyrule Castle seemingly challenges this logic, as both are known to be Gerudo.

However, after the events of "Tears of the Kingdom," with both Calamity Ganon and Ganondorf vanquished, and a century having passed, both conditions for the birth of a new male Gerudo would seemingly be met. Considering the considerable passage of time, the next birth is likely imminent. Riju, who has invested her energy in guiding her people through the tumultuous era of the Second Great Calamity and the Upheaval, might find it challenging to surrender her authority to an inexperienced successor solely because of tradition.

Gerudo's Deep-rooted Mistrust

In the world of The Legend of Zelda, Ganondorf is invariably a Gerudo, known for his power-hungry and malevolent tendencies. The prospect of another male Gerudo's birth could be a source of immense anxiety for the Gerudo. They are aware of their Kings' history of attempting to expand their dominion beyond Gerudo and even seizing power from the Hyrule Royal family. Depending on the level of documentation or even myth surrounding past events, the Gerudo may possess some awareness of their kings' attempts to claim the Triforce's power and the Sacred Realm for themselves.

The Gerudo, in general, harbor distrust towards men, a sentiment evident in both BOTW and "Tears of the Kingdom." Link, in the former, is compelled to disguise himself as a woman to enter Gerudo Town, and in the latter, he requires special permission to gain access. Having remained an exclusively female race for so long, obediently following the orders of a Chieftain, and bearing witness to the actions of previous kings, the Gerudo might be unwilling to accept the next King's rule. This could potentially lead to a rebellion, or at the very least, a revision of their traditional rules, paving the way for Riju to ascend to the title of Queen, rather than Chieftain, thereby assuming the power that would otherwise be bestowed upon the male Gerudo.

Riju has undeniably demonstrated her leadership capabilities, an impressive feat considering her youth when she assumed the role of Chieftain at the age of 13. Throughout "Tears of the Kingdom," it is evident that the Gerudo respect and follow her guidance, as evidenced by their acceptance of her decision to allow Link to enter the shelter in Gerudo Town and their collective effort in repelling the Gibdo attack.

She might understandably be reluctant to relinquish her position to a King who gains power by virtue of his gender within their culture. Such a scenario could potentially ignite a rebellion or provoke a change in the traditional rules, thereby allowing Riju to assume the title of Queen, a change made for the betterment of her people. It wouldn't be surprising if her fellow Gerudo supported this decision, having witnessed the consequences of the Upheaval, a calamity instigated by their former King.

The Gerudo's Future

The Gerudo have always held a captivating place within The Legend of Zelda universe, and their segments in both BOTW and "Tears of the Kingdom" provide players with engaging gameplay experiences. However, as the dust settles on Ganondorf's defeat, the Gerudo face a challenge they have not encountered in millennia. Riju's leadership and her tireless efforts to resolve the turmoil that enveloped their world during the Second Great Calamity and the Upheaval could be the key to securing her people's future, even if it means challenging long-standing traditions.

In conclusion, "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" opens up a fascinating narrative thread regarding the Gerudo and the potential consequences of a new male Gerudo's birth. Riju, as a character, embodies resilience and leadership, setting the stage for a possible shift in Gerudo culture that could have profound implications for future Zelda games or DLC. As fans of the series eagerly await the next installment, Riju's future as the Gerudo Chieftain remains a compelling subject for exploration.

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