Epona is Link's horse, having appeared in a majority of 3d Zelda games since her debut in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. She is named after the Celtic goddess of horses. Like Link, there have been multiple different Eponas throughout the series, though they are always brown or chestnut colored mares, with a white mane and tail. In all her appearances Epona is associated with the recurring song "Epona's Song" which is often used to summon her to Link's side.
Epona let's the player travel much faster while on the overworld and can even jump fences and across gaps if she is galloping fast enough, however, she will refuse to enter towns or dungeons or enter deep bodies of water.
Interestingly, Epona in the Gallo-Roman religion is a goddess who is a protector of horses. It is probable that Epona from The Legend of Zelda series is named after the Gallo-Roman's Epona.
Ocarina of Time
Epona first appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, where she was just a young foal at Lon Lon Ranch. Extremely skittish at first, she is being raised by Malon, the ranch owner's daughter and won't let anyone else approach. If Link tries to get close to Epona, she will get scared and run away.
After Link retrieves Malon's father Talon from Hyrule Castle, she will thank him by teaching him "Epona's Song", a melody passed down from her mother that has a soothing effect on animals. After this, Epona will gradually start to become close to the Hero of Time.
After obtaining the Master Sword, seven years pass and Link becomes an adult. Back at Lon Lon Ranch, Epona too has become an adult. However, during this long period of time, the ranch owner's jealous brother, Ingo has taken charge of the ranch, and now owns Epona. Once Link first approaches the mare, she doesn't recognize him and thus gallops away. However, if Link plays her song on the Ocarina, she'll once again remember him.
After this, Ingo challenges Link to a race, and ends up losing. Nevertheless, he once again challenges him, claiming that he'll give Epona to him if he once again manages to win. Again Link wins the race, but Ingo locks the main gate to the ranch so Link and Epona can't leave. Building up speed, Epona leaps over the gates of Lon Lon Ranch and the two escape from Ingo. Now, throughout the video game, you'll be able to ride the trusty steed whenever you call using the Ocarina, or if you're close, just mount and go.
In Majora's Mask Link is seen riding on Epona at the start of the game, both of them still young although Epona is slightly bigger than she was when Link first met her. Epona is then startled by two fairies, Tatl and Tael, and Link is thrown to the ground and knocked unconscious. Skull Kid then appears, wearing Majora's Mask, and searches Link's unconscious body, finding the Ocarina of Time and taking it. Link gains consciousness to see the Skull Kid standing above him, playing on his ocarina. The Skull Kid attempts to hide the ocarina but Link has already seen it, at lunges for him to try and get it back. However Skull Kid leaps out of the way and onto Epona, before galloping away. Link leaps but only manages to grab onto Skull Kid's leg. Epona continues to gallop along, dragging Link along the floor, until he looses his grip as Epona goes round a bend, and is forced to watch her gallop off with Skull Kid on her back. When Link finally catches up with Skull Kid again he tells him that he got rid off Epona as she was a "stupid horse" and didn't listen to a word that was said to it. Link does not encounter her again until he makes his way to Romani Ranch in Termina. There Romani teaches him "Epona's Song" and gives Epona back after Link practices shooting aliens from horseback.
The Minish Cap
Although Link cannot ride her in this game, Epona can be seen in Hyrule Town with Malon while she is selling Lon Lon Milk. When Link is minish size he can talk to her. She is also willing to fuse Kinstones with him at one point in the game.
Twilight PrincessIn Twilight Princess, the player can choose to name Epona like they can with Link, however her default name will always be Epona. Link starts the game with Epona in Ordon Village. Link uses her for his job as a rancher, but it is Ilia who takes care of her. Ilia gets very angry when Link treats her poorly or she gets hurt. After the village is attacked by King Bulblin, the horse disappears. Link reunites with Epona later in Kakariko Village. She runs around desperately attempting to throw off two bulblins. Once the bulblins are defeated Link has to tame her and then take her off to save Colin (You have to do this by winning a jousting challenge against King Bulblin). In this game Link uses spurs rather than carrots, and Epona can gallop much faster then ever before. Interestingly, if the player is in wolf form, they will be able to talk to Epona and she instantly recognizes Link. After a short conversation she will urge Link to continue his quest.
|The Legend of Zelda characters|
|Main characters||Link (Young Link • Toon Link) • Princess Zelda (Tetra)|
|Villains||Ganon (Ganondorf) • Dark Link • Twinrova • Majora • Onox • Veran • Vaati • Zant • Bellum • Chancellor Cole • Malladus • Ghirahim • Demise • Yuga • Lady Maud • Master Kohga|
|Supporting cast||Epona • Four Giants • Golden Goddesses • Great Deku Tree • Happy Mask Salesman • Impa • King of Hyrule • Linebeck • Marin • Navi • Old Man • Sages • Tingle • Ravio • Linkle • Hylia • Dr. Purah|
|Recurring characters||Anju • Beedle • Biggoron • Dampé • Great Fairy • Guru-Guru • Malon • Mamamu Yan • Mutoh • Postman • Skull Kid • Syrup • Talon|