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The Great Deku Tree is a recurring character in The Legend of Zelda series first appearing in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. He is the guardian deity of the forest and leader of the Kokiri and Korok people. He is also shown to have strong connections to Hyrule's Fairy folk.

History

Unified timeline

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time:

The Great Deku Tree is a wise being who created the Kokiri and serves as the protector of Kokiri Forest. He serves as a father figure to Link and his death is what set's the events of Ocarina of Time into motion.

The Great Deku Tree holds the emerald known as the Spiritual Stone of Forest, one of the keys to the sacred realm which the evil Ganondorf wishes to have. When the tree refuses to give it over, he goes as far as to kill the Great Deku Tree by casting a curse on it, and sending in hoards of creatures into the tree's inner body.

Inside his body is the first dungeon that Link will have to traverse through, which is accessible through his mouth. After sending Link inside his body to observe his courage, Link successfully defeats Queen Gohma and breaks the curse, but is too late to save the Deku Tree, who dies after entrusting Link with the Kokiri Emerald and telling Link of how he must save Hyrule.

When Link returns to Kokiri Forest as an adult, he finds that without the Deku Tree's protection the place has become overrun with monsters and as a result the Kokiri have been forced to flee into the woods. After Link's childhood friend Saria awakens as the Sage of Forest the Deku Tree Sprout appears at the base of the original Great Deku Tree. The Deku Tree Sprout is the reincarnation of the Great Deku Tree and explains to Link the truth of his origins.

While Link himself is not a Kokiri, the Great Deku Tree adopted him and raised him as one after his mother was killed in a civil war a decade prior to the game's events. Mortally wounded, she took refuge in the Lost Woods and before dying offered the infant Link to the Kokiri and Deku Tree in order to save his life.

Adult timeline

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker:

The Great Deku Tree appears in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. In this game, he lives in Forest Haven and is the leader of the Koroks. The Koroks are Kokiri that have taken on a more plant-like form capable of flight in response to the flooding of Hyrule. Each year he sends Koroks off across the Great Sea so that they can plant sprouts that will grow into large trees one day. In doing so, he has the hope that one day forests will cover the many islands of the Great Sea and revive Hyrule. When he first meets Wind Waker Link, his green tunic causes the Deku Tree to reminisce about his adopted son the Hero of Time. He gives Link Farore's pearl and the Deku Leaf.

Unclassified information

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:

In Breath of the Wild, the Great Deku Tree dwells with the Koroks in the Great Hyrule Forest. He was tasked with the duty of guarding the Master Sword before Link claimed it 100 years ago and is once again entrusted with the sword by Princess Zelda after Link's defeat.

Spin-off

Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland:

In Freshly-Picked Tingle Rosy Rupeeland, Tingle would attempt to water a dying sprout of the Greak Deku Tree, and brought back a bucket of water that was found within the behemoth. Soon afterwards, the sprout was saved, though the Great Deku Tree died because of the immense pollution that engulfed the world.

List of games the Great Deku Tree has appeared in

A character called the Maku Tree appeared in the Game Boy Color video games The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Seasons. The tree resembled the Great Deku Tree, but was not the same being.

Trivia

  • Excluding the spin-off games, the Great Deku Tree only appeared in the 3D Zelda games.
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