Breath of the Wild 2's "Rehydrated Ganondorf" Isn't Just Sexy - He's Sweet, Too

Breath of the Wild 2's "Rehydrated Ganondorf" Isn't Just Sexy - He's Sweet, Too

The latest art trend shows a fascinatingly softer side to the Gerudo king.

The Internet's infamous Rule 34 ("If it exists, there is porn of it, no exceptions") isn't just a decree. It's also a prophecy. Anything that will exist will have porn of it. No exceptions. That's partially because social media makes sharing naughty fanart easy as pie. "Look what I can do!" cries one thirsty artist, and since humans are inspired by watching, out come the pencils en masse.

Video game characters have long been a favorite topic for erotic fanart. A quick Google search will reveal people are conducting some creative modeling with Overwatch's heroes (don't tell your mom I said that). But people are really on the ball when it comes to getting thirsty over Nintendo's characters. Sure, sexy fanart of Princess Peach, Link, and Mario (yes, for real) has existed for years, but occasionally, people lose their minds over a Nintendo concept.

Last year's Bowsette glut is a good example. We're not talking about vanilla sexy fanart of Bowser (again, Google it, and again, don't tell your mom). We're talking about an idea that spiralled out of control after one artist suggested "What if Bowser could wear the Peach crown meant for Toadette in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe?"

A similarly offbeat question is the basis of the latest sexy Nintendo fanart fad: "What if mummy Ganondorf comes back in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 as a fully-formed Gerudo? In other words, what if Ganondorf was 'rehydrated?'"

Here's a little context, which might be redundant or desperately needed depending on the social media circles you run with. When Nintendo pulled back the curtain on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 at E3, some astute fans pointed out the shriveled-up mummy who features prominently in the reveal trailer looks very much like Ganondorf—the humanoid form favored by Ganon before the villain goes bestial at the end of most Zelda games. This tidbit of information has inspired artists to restore Ganon to his kingly self (sometimes relieved by cumbersome excess clothes).

I find the rehydrated Ganondorf trend interesting for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it's a rare example of women artists leading a viral "thirsty game fanart" campaign. There are exceptions, of course: Plenty of men and non-binary people are contributing their own Rehydrated Ganondorf art, same as lots of women and non-binary people drew (and still draw) Bowsette art. But there's an undeniably feminine push behind Rehydrated Ganondorf.

That might tie into the second interesting thing I notice about Rehydrated Ganondorf: He's often depicted as kind or misunderstood. The most popular artist in the "movement," Malaysian illustrator Sara Gilardi, has created something of a mini-series where a repentant Rehydrated Ganondorf joins Link and Zelda on their adventures.

Other artists have taken to making Rehydrated Ganondorf softer (so to speak) as well; they just really want Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf to be friends. These artists might be following Gilardi's example, but they also might be seizing on a rare side of Ganondorf we see in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. That iteration of Ganondorf is hardly kind, but he's at least sympathetic because of his harsh upbringing in Hyrule's cruel wind-scoured deserts.

Will we see a sexy, softer Ganondorf in Breath of the Wild 2? Probably not. Between his yellow eyes and the hiss he makes upon seeing his old nemeses in the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer, Ganondorf's mummy doesn't look like a gentle specimen. Still, it's nice to dream—and to draw those dreams. Not to suggest there aren't thirsty Rehydrated Ganondorf fans who are perfectly happy to draw him as the sneering bastard-king he probably used to be.

Regardless of whether Ganondorf turns out to be an insane, bloodthirsty madman, or whether he turns out to love candy drops and puppy dogs, our Breath of the Wild 2 guide will keep you abreast of all the news, fan theories, and information about the game.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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