Difference Between Ganon And Ganondorf

Ganon is a powerful beast and the final boss in many Zelda games, while Ganondorf is a cunning and strategic villain who plays a recurring role in the series.

Difference Between Ganon And Ganondorf

Ganon and Ganondorf are two of the most iconic villains in Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda franchise. However, many fans are confused about the difference between them, often using the names interchangeably. In this article, we will explore the differences between Ganon and Ganondorf - their origins, physical appearance, abilities, and roles in the games- to help clear up any confusion.


First, let's talk about their origins. Ganon and Ganondorf are two different beings that share a distinct relationship. Ganon is a powerful beast that appears as the final boss in many Zelda games. It is revealed that Ganon is actually the transformed, evil incarnation of the Gerudo King, Ganondorf. Ganondorf’s backstory is much more elaborate. He is a member of the Gerudo tribe and hails from the desert land of Gerudo Valley. Ganondorf is the only male Gerudo born every one-hundred years, and he is raised as their king.

In the events leading up to Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf desires the power of the Triforce to lead his people to greatness. In his quest to claim the Triforce, he ultimately becomes consumed by his own greed and ambition, thus transforming into the monstrous Ganon.

Physical Appearance

In terms of their physical appearance, Ganon and Ganondorf are vastly different. Ganon is a ferocious and powerful pig-like beast, while Ganondorf is a tall, imposing figure of Gerudo descent.

Ganon is usually depicted as a giant monster with red eyes, a large snout, and sharp, piercing fangs. He has a muscular build and orange fur. Whenever Ganon appears, he is a formidable opponent, both in terms of his size and his strength. He often has magical powers that make him difficult to defeat.

On the other hand, Ganondorf is a dark-skinned human with long, red hair, green eyes, and a long cape that is often seen draped around his shoulders. He wears regal-looking armor complete with boots and gauntlets. Ganondorf is often depicted as a master tactician who is able to devise complex plans to achieve his goals. Unlike Ganon, he is more of a traditional "evil mastermind" type villain rather than a beast.


Ganon and Ganondorf have different sets of strengths and abilities. While Ganon relies mainly on brute physical strength and magical powers, Ganondorf is more strategic and cunning.

As a beast, Ganon is usually presented as being incredibly difficult to defeat in combat. He has immense strength and can overwhelm his opponents with sheer force. Ganon also possesses a wide range of magical powers that allow him to control dark forces, transform into other creatures, and project energy-based attacks. Indeed, defeating Ganon often requires both intelligence and brawn.

In contrast, Ganondorf is often depicted as skilled in the art of magic. In Ocarina of Time, he uses powerful spells to control the elements, teleport, and inflict damage on Link without even touching him. Additionally, Ganondorf possesses impressive physical strength and fighting skills. He is a skilled swordsman and can use his gauntlets and boots as weapons. With his combination of physical strength and magical abilities, he is a dangerous adversary.

Role in the Games

Finally, Ganon and Ganondorf serve different purposes in the games they appear in. Ganon often appears as the final boss of a Zelda game, as he is the powerful evil force that Link must ultimately defeat. Ganon is the embodiment of evil, and his defeat often represents the restoration of peace and the downfall of darkness in the game's world.

However, Ganondorf plays more of a recurring role in the Zelda series, appearing in multiple games in various forms. In Ocarina of Time, he serves as the primary antagonist, but he's also appeared in Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Hyrule Warriors as well. Unlike Ganon, Ganondorf is more of a character-driven villain with a personality and backstory, rather than a purely evil force.


In conclusion, Ganon and Ganondorf may seem similar at first glance, but they are two distinct characters with different origins, physical appearances, abilities, and roles in the Zelda series. Ganon is a powerful, imposing beast that serves as the final boss in many Zelda games, while Ganondorf is a tactical and cunning villain who plays a recurring role in the series. Now that you understand the difference between the two, you'll be able to better appreciate their respective roles and contributions to the Zelda series.