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Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom - What Happened To The Divine Beasts? (A Theory)

The Divine Beasts play a central role in "Zelda: Breath of the Wild" and the history of the version of Hyrule the game portrays. 10,000 years prior to the events covered in the title, the Sheikah created the massive mechanical creatures to help stop the return of Calamity Ganon. Though they served their purpose, the kingdom's ruler feared the power the Divine Beasts possessed and ordered them buried.

Faced once more with the revival of Calamity Ganon several millennia later, the royal house of Hyrule set out to unearth the Divine Beasts. The process took many years due to their locations being lost to time, but they eventually recovered all four machines. They appointed new Champions drawn from the major tribes of the kingdom to pilot them. Unfortunately, Ganon had learned from the past and he managed to seize control of the creatures, killing their Champions in the process.

The plot of "Breath of the Wild" revolves around Link severing Ganon's influence over the Divine Beasts, which after going dormant for a century reawakened to wreak havoc on Hyrule. With the assistance of the machines and the spirits of their fallen pilots, Link is able to weaken Ganon enough for Princess Zelda to seal him away once more. By the start of "Tears of the Kingdom," the Divine Beasts seem to have disappeared from Hyrule without any explanation. Just what happened to these potent mechs in the few years between the titles?

A divine (re)purpose

Strangely enough, most of the characters never bring up the Divine Beasts in "Tears of the Kingdom," much like all of the other Sheikah technology that has gone missing. The Purah Pad has replaced the Sheikah Slate, the Sheikah Towers have transformed into Skyview Towers, and players visit Zonai Shrines instead of the original Sheikah variety. While some fans have suggested that Zelda may have altered the state of the world when she traveled back in time, potentially removing the Divine Beasts altogether, there might be a more straightforward explanation.

Rebuilding Hyrule following Calamity Ganon's defeat serves as one of the main themes of "Tears of the Kingdom." Zelda vows to kick off this important work at the close of "Breath of the Wild," and players can observe much of these efforts as they explore the sequel. Given the raw might of the Divine Beasts and the fact that Ganon corrupted them, the princess might have been reluctant to leave them intact. So, she could have simply worked with Purah and the other researchers to disassemble them and repurpose the parts, perhaps for projects like the Skyview Towers. The Guardians, which are also mostly absent from the follow-up, might have met a similar end.

Neither the time travel nor the dismantling theory offers an airtight explanation for what feels like a major plothole in "Tears of the Kingdom," but they at least fall within the realm of possibility.