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[Blogging] The Legend of Blah Blah: The Kokiris
02 Sep 2009 by hinoseijin

My first topic is about one of my favorite races of Hyrule, the Kokiri, the race of supposedly immortal children.  They make their appearance in Ocarina of Time, and we don’t see them again until The Wind Waker; however, Saria is only a picture on a stained-glass window, and Fado, now a boy, has long been dead.  The Koroks, obviously not Kokiris, are implied to be their descendants.  They appear in no other game (barring a passing reference in Majora’s Mask), leaving behind very little evidence to just who the Kokiri are.  What we do know is that they live in Kokiri Forest, watched over by companion faeries and the Great Deku Tree.  They actually make their homes in trees, and they even have a shop in one as well.  The Kokiris hide themselves away in their forest home, and it seems that very few people know that they exist.  They have been told that to leave the forest would result in death; however, how truthful this statement is can be cast in doubt, as we do see Kokiri at Lon Lon Ranch during the end credits.  Alternatively, to get lost in the, well, Lost Woods is to risk being turned into a monster, one of the Skull Kids.  Even though Kokiri Forest is supposed to be a safe haven for them, they have forged the Kokiri Sword some time before Link began his adventure, and they have apparently forged him a new one between the end of Ocarina of Time and the beginning of Majora’s Mask.


Why they would create weapons (remember, you can buy arrows in the Kokiri Forest shop) is one of the mysteries surrounding the Kokiri.  Another tantalizing question is how they come into existence if they never grow older than nine or ten.  For that, the most likely answer, while remaining in the realm of canon set forth by Nintendo, is that they are indeed immortal, spirits of the forest who cannot die.  Unless, of course, they’re eaten by a giant worm or drowned in a flood.  I’m not a big fan of immortality, especially when it turns out to not be true, as The Wind Waker obviously proves with Fado.


So then, deities aside, just where do the origins of the Kokiri lie?  How are they able to never grow up in the span of seven years?  If they have never left their safe forest home, why did they feel the need to forge a sword?


Frankly, there is no way to adequately explain it without dragging in at least one deity or god-like entity.  For the sake of this thought exercise, let us assume the three goddesses, Din, Nayru, and Farore, have nothing to do with the Kokiris; they have already been in existence long before the Golden Three came to Hyrule.  During this time, I envision the Kokiris as rather much like the Hylians, except that they are truer to the concept of elves (modern elves, that is) than the Hylians themselves; I see the Kokiris as bordering the line between human and fey, not quite human but not quite faerie.  While they are not immortal, they do have lengthy life-spans, spanning a few hundred years, and they remain youthful, retaining the appearance of being twenty well into old age.  While peaceful by nature, they would forge weapons and train with them should their homes ever come under attack.  Perhaps they were even more spread out then they were in Ocarina of Time; however, the Kokiris were at their most comfortable when they were among the trees.


How then, did a race that included adults turn into a race consisting solely of children?  This is where the god-like entity comes in; I am speaking, of course, about the Great Deku Tree.  Let’s face it; a talking tree with a face is obviously supernatural.  How the Great Deku Tree came to Kokiri Forest is something I haven’t quite worked out yet; a Great Deku Sprout seems unlikely to hold so much power.  Perhaps the Great Deku Tree was once a Deku himself, and the fact that he is now a tree shows just how very old he is.


However, the life cycle of the Dekus is not the issue here.  We have now come across a rather plausible explanation for why the Kokiris are eternally children.  The Great Deku Tree, in Deku form, came across the Kokiris one day hundreds of years in the past.  As both were closely affiliated with the forest, he decided to stay among them.  But this is where the Great Deku Tree becomes rather antagonistic, despite his good intentions.  As a great lover of children, he tricked the adult Kokiris into the Lost Woods where he transformed them into Skull Kids and erased their memories, giving rise to that nasty rumor of what happens to those who get lost in there.  From there, he halted the growth of the Kokiri children that remained so that they would never grow past the age of ten.  Powerful though this magic was, the Great Deku Tree could not cast it all across Hyrule; he could only stretch the magic to the forest’s borders.  To prevent the Kokiris from ever living, he lied to them, telling them that leaving the forest was forbidden if they didn’t want to die; while this part was certainly tree, the when became the lie.  As added protection, he assigned a faerie to each children to watch over them personally, replacing them as necessary (remember, I don’t really like anything being unable to die, even faeries).


This, of course, turns the Great Deku Tree from simple guardian to overprotective parent, which seems to be rather contradictory to what Nintendo had laid out for us.  But, again, this is merely a thought exercise, a way to provide an explanation for something that Nintendo never satisfactorily explained in the first place, even if it means breaking away from their canon.  This is certainly my back story for the Kokiris in my fanfiction, and I invite you to adopt and adapt this speculative theory as you see fit, provided you give me proper credit.


So this ends this month’s issue of The Legend of Blah Blah.  Come some time in October, you can expect me to discuss my absolute favorite race, the Gerudos.  So until then, happy whatever you were doing before reading this.


by rueyeet @ 28 Dec 2009 12:18 pm
In the name of varying mileage, I'll offer my own thoughts.

The Kokiri always seem to me as having something of a Peter Pan complex...basically a tribe of Lost Boys (and girls) for the Lost Woods. There's something slightly wrong underlying the idea that you can stay happy and young and carefree forever, just as long as you don't leave.

I figure simply that the Great Deku Tree, as a major guardian spirit, created the Kokiri himself to keep him company in his forest, as his successor later creates the Koroks (whom I think I remember him calling his "children") in WW. When you're a tree, you don't get out much, after all.

The fairies probably serve to protect the Kokiri children from the effects of the Lost Woods; thus why Link needed Navi to travel outside the Kokiri Forest.

So as long as the Kokiri remain in their woods, i.e. the territory protected by the Great Deku Tree, they will not age, and maintain their sheltered and youthful innocence.

But if they stray beyond the Tree's protection, they will inevitably lose that innocence and begin to grow up -- in other words, they will die. Probably this is symbolized by their fairy leaving them.

As to the weapons...bows and arrows would be for hunting, I'd think; the sword might have been the legacy of one adventurous Kokiri. Possibly one who left and never came back, reinforcing the edict to never leave the forest.

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