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The insidious evil behind the sympathetic villain

“I coveted that wind, I suppose.”

If you know of no other line from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, you might still know that one. Spoken by a sombre-looking Ganondorf at the penultimate scene of the game, the line buoys Wind Waker’s antagonist to a high-water mark that no other villain in the series (or no other character period, depending on who you ask) has reached. He just oozes pathos! He’s so sad, so regretful, and oh, how we latch onto this one scene, one speech, one line, as proof that he has always been more than the writers led us to believe. The question is often asked: why does Ganon need to be a monster? Why don’t the writers return to a rendition like this one? Why can’t Ganondorf be sympathetic? Believable? …

Cameron Morris

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