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[Blogging] The Legend of Blah Blah: The Gerudos
October 09, 2009 — by

So, to get started, let’s point out that the Gerudo race is entirely female except for the one male born every one hundred years.  This point I’ll discuss later on, but for now, the focus is how Gerudos reproduce when they’re all female.  Asexual reproduction can be ruled out, as they have bellybuttons, a trait of live birth, which in itself is a trait of mammals, and I’ve yet to hear of the mammal that can reproduce by asexual means.  It’s pretty safe to assume that Gerudos reproduce very much like humans; this, of course, means that they need males to impregnate them.  A Gossip Stone within Ocarina of Time (one of the four outside the Temple of Time) solves this problem nicely: They say that Gerudos sometimes come to Hyrule Castle Town to look for boyfriends.”  However, the circumstances in which these men become the Gerudos “boyfriends” isn’t what I want to discuss, but rather the purity of their offspring.  I have not seen the Gerudo who had traces of Hylian blood flowing in her veins.  (Well, there is the Oracle Din, but I suspect her tanned skin is more from spending much of her time outside.)  How can the Gerudos remain pure Gerudos if they’re always taking on Hylian lovers?  I can only suspect that their goddess (who we’ll assume for this discussion to not be the Goddess of Power) had long ago imbued a magic in their blood to keep their lines purely Gerudo.  Suppose you wanted a half-Gerudo, though?  Well, I would think that it would be quite possible for a Gerudo to give birth to a girl with Hylian traits if the mother denounces her race, therefore breaking the ancient magic running through her blood.

Now then, to get back to the “one male every one hundred years” rule.  I hate it.  Supposing the Gerudos don’t maintain racial purity when breeding with other races, it’s counterintuitive to the survival of their race.  I like to think that it’s much more likely that one out of every four Gerudo births result in a male child.  There is still that imbalance between the sexes, but it is much more manageable and realistic than only one male being born once a century.  This three to one female to male ratio does raise the issue of if Gerudos can afford to fall in love.  I suppose it depends on if they believe in open marriages and polygamy, but I prefer to think of them as aromantic; that is, incapable of romantic feelings.  We could go further in the discussion of Gerudo reproductive habits, but that would be going into R Rated territory and I don’t feel like pushing my luck (which I already am, considering I was asked not to contradict established canon).  So let’s move on to other aspects of Gerudo culture.

From this point on, everything I discuss assumes that Gerudos do give birth to males more often than once a century and that all, or nearly all, Gerudos are aromantic, and I once again remind you that you don’t have to accept this alternative fanon.

The first thing we should probably explore is how Gerudos rule each other.  Their society is without a doubt matriarchal; after all, the women do outnumber the men.  And given that Zelda is a fantasy setting with medieval (and I suspect Celtic) influences, it seems natural that Gerudo rule would be in the form of a monarchy, especially considering that Ganondorf was their king in Ocarina of Time.  I doubt that they all live in one settlement, so the Gerudos would have to spread out into the desert, perhaps in nomadic tribes, and even into other deserts.  The Gerudo queen would rule over all of these tribes, but each tribe would have their own leader; after all, you can’t expect one queen to rule each individual tribe.  Rule would be kept within the family, with any prince merely being more of a figurehead, though I see no reason why he shouldn’t be given any royal duties.  And supposing that the queen and any princesses die, leaving only the prince, the prince would then become king; of course, with only the females raising the children, this would mean that the king would have no heir.  The best he could do would be to select potential candidates for a new queen and appoint one before he died.

Another aspect of the established Zelda canon I don’t like is that all Gerudos are thieves; it’s a tad bit unfair to label every single race of the member as such.  But if they’re all not thieves, then what do they do?  Well, obviously, some of them would have to take up a career harvesting drinkable water; they do live in the desert.  Others will, of course, have to take to guarding their borders and any criminals they capture (after all, it can’t be expected for no Gerudo to take up a life of crime).  While they might not have a school system as sophisticated as the Hylians, Gerudos would still need teachers.  Then there are food gathers and hunters, and undoubtedly a slew of other jobs necessary for desert survival.

Given the harsh environment of the desert, as well as the sneaking suspicion that the desert surely must hold dangers other than the heat, I would think that all Gerudos are required to learn at least basic fighting skills.  Their weapons of choice are obvious to those who played Ocarina of Time:  a broad-bladed spear, properly called a naginata; dual-wielded scimitars; and, judging by the fact that they have a horseback archery range, the bow.  Magic, on the other hand….I like to think of the Gerudo as a non-magical race with the odd witch being born every now and then.  However, they would be distrustful of magic, especially if it comes from one of their own; and this is quite understandable, considering that three of the worst sorcerers in Hyrule were Ganondorf, Koume, and Kotake, all three of them Gerudo.

Well, now, it’s time to end the article for this month.  For November, I will once again head back into the more mysterious parts of the Zelda-verse, tackling the Garo of Majora’s Mask.


by rueyeet @ 26 Oct 2009 01:57 pm
Granted you've already said that this article is fan speculation but...I have to say I disagree with throwing away one of the major canon aspects of the Gerudo race simply because you don't like it. O:

If I may, here's some alternative ideas as to how the "one male a century" thing might work; as always, your mileage may vary...

A friend of mine has this idea for how the Gerudo maintain racial purity (other than through the same magic by which reproduction ignores the Y chromosome for 99 years at a time!). She has posited that by law, during the reign of the Gerudo King, all Gerudo children are fathered by him in order to strengthen the Gerudo bloodline. At other times, the Gerudo go outside their tribe and find strong males to father their children.

My own theory is that the Gerudo racial traits are sex-linked, so that if a Gerudo woman mates with a non-Gerudo and has a boy, the boy will display only the racial traits of his father. In that case, the child is not deemed to be of the Gerudo tribe, and is given back to his father. A girl, however, will always be full Gerudo, and is kept to be raised in the tribe.

That's if they have boys at all during the rest of the century, which may not be the case.

Again, just throwing some ideas out there.
by sageoffeet @ 28 Oct 2009 11:18 pm
HNS here. Apparently, I used Feet for the comments before I was registered as a journelist.

Huh, sex-linked genes....I'm not entirely sure about that. It sounds like a good idea; it's the science I'm iffy about. I'd have to bring it up with my former AP Bio teacher.
by sageoffeet @ 10 Nov 2009 12:45 am
Okay, so I got around to talking to my AP Biology teacher today, and here's what the discussion revealed (assume that the father is Hylian):

If the racial traits are linked to the X chromosome, the male child will be Gerudo if the mother is a pure Gerudo. For the male child to have pure Hylian racial traits, the mother would have to have to be half Gerudo and half Hylian.

However, if the racial traits are linked to the Y chromosome, then the male child would be a pure Hylian, as the Y chromosome can only be received from the father. But as far as I know, sex-linked traits are nearly always attached to the X chromosome.

But still, "the wizard did it" is always a viable option, especially in a fantasy setting such as Hyrule.

She also provided an alternate way for the Gerudo to have a largely female population. The process of parthenogenesis is a means of asexual reproduction where the growth and development of the embryo takes place without fertilization by a male. However, the offspring would always be female since there is no Y chromosome to make the child a male. While this theory of how the Gerudo reproduce also completely wrecks established canon, it's a rather neat idea.
by @ 19 Feb 2010 09:08 am
everything discussed assumes that Gerudos do give birth to males more often than once a century and that all, or nearly all, Gerudos are aromantic, and I once again remind you that you don’t have to accept this alternative fanon

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by @ 13 Jul 2011 12:47 am
Is it possible to reproduce if all of you are female? Or is it true that mammals reproduce through asexual means? I am really confused now wink
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by @ 13 Jul 2011 12:50 am
That is how mammals reproduce. No intercourse happens and it's all natural in their being. Meaning, it's since birth already tongue

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