Who is Kaepora Gaebora?
Written by: The King of Hyrule
We have all seen the annoying owl at least once in our Zelda journeys. Kaepora Gaebora. The rather obnoxious animal always takes on the task of assisting Link in some, shape, or form along his journey. But what, or who, is he really?
Kaepora Gaebora has appeared in four Zelda games, The Legend of Zelda, Link’s Awakening, Ocarina of Time, and Majora’s Mask. In LoZ, Kaepora Gaebora carries Link around Hyrule whenever Link plays his flute. In LA, Kaepora Gaebora serves as Link’s guide as he tries to get off Koholint Island. In OoT, Kaepora Gaebora also serves as a guide for Link, though with not as big of a role. And in MM, statues that are modeled after Kaepora Gaebora allow Link to save his progress are located all over Termina.
Obviously, the most common answer is that Kaepora Gaebora is just a magical talking owl that knows a lot about Link’s journeys. However, this sounds way to coincidental for me. For starters, how is that same owl located in multiple lands (Hyrule and Koholint)? This could be explained by just saying that Koholint was nothing more than a dream of Link’s, but that doesn’t explain the statues of Kaepora Gaebora in Termina. Obviously, the statues in Termina are magical, which leads me to believe that they were not created by any mere humans.
So if the statues were not created by humans, what would lead a magical being to craft statues in the likeness of a Hylian owl? Mere chance? I don’t really think so.
Let me explain my theory: I think that Kaepora Gaebora is not just any owl. I am almost positive that Kaepora Gaebora is actually not even an owl at all, but a person or thing in the form of an owl. I was led to believe this by the fact that a) there are very few actual animals in the Zelda series, and b) because the owl has to be hundreds of years old to survive the length of time between the games it appears in. So that evidence leads me to believe that Kaepora Gaebora is one of two things: a god/goddess, or the Essence of the Triforce.
Kaepora Gaebora being the Essence of the Triforce was my very first conclusion about it. I know that the Triforce has the ability to talk and give direction, and that its Essence is alive (from the opening scenes of Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, where the Triforce talks to Link and instructs him on where to go). So I figured why couldn’t the Triforce Essence take on another magical form? After all, it is the power of the gods.
So I got to thinking that this may actually be correct. I thought about how in OoT, LA, and MM you never see the Triforce, only hear about it. So what’s to stop the Essence from reaching out to Link in a new form? But then I thought about how in LoZ, the Triforce is not completely assembled, and one of the pieces is even shattered, but still Kaepora Gaebora is helping Link. So for this conclusion to be true, the Essence has to still be “alive” so to speak, even when the Triforce is not. Does this mean that the Essence is, in a sense, separate from the Triforce? Unlikely.
So I settled with the only other logical conclusion: that Kaepora Gaebora is a god/goddess or other magical being simply in the form of an owl. This works out because it explains how Kaepora Gaebora is located in many different places, it explains how Kaepora Gaebora survived the many years (including the Great Flood), and it explains the fact that Kaepora Gaebora is all knowing, and seems to know everything about Link, his journey, and the land they are located in.
So, in conclusion, let me say that I hope this article didn’t create more questions than it answered, but my final verdict is that Kaepora Gaebora has to be a god/goddess/magical being in owl form. There is not much factual evidence pointing towards this conclusion, but there is too much evidence denying the other possibilities that this has to be the correct answer.
Maybe as time goes on, Kaepora Gaebora will appear in more and more games, and maybe some of our questions will be answered. Until then, I stand by my conclusion.