The Dragon Spirits are three elemental spirits that take on the form of serpentine Dragons named Dinraal, Farosh, and Naydra. That appear in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Like the Three Dragons from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, each dragon spirit has a name based on the three Golden Goddesses. Each dragon is also associated with one of the three sacred springs as Dinraal is associated with the Spring of Power, Farosh is associated with the Spring of Courage, and Naydra is associated with the Spring of Wisdom. They are said to have served their springs since ancient times. Additionally according to legend the Dueling Peaks where created when one of these dragon spirits split a mountain to create a path through it.
While the three dragon function as a type of non-aggressive enemy and are classified as monsters in the Hyrule Compendium (which includes all enemies and bosses, including non-monsters such as mechanical Guardians and Yiga Clan), they are actually benign spirits that bare no ill will towards people including the Hylian Champion Link. However they involuntarily produce their signature element which make approaching them dangerous unless Link is wearing armor that grant him immunity to their specific element. Additionally direct contact with them can damage Link, though again this is unintentional.
The dragon spirits are legendary creatures in Hyrule though it is implied that few people ever encounter one, causing some to believe them to be a myth. Additionally according to legend told to Link by Shay, the Dueling Peaks were originally a single mountain until a dragon god split it in two in order to create a path resulting in the Dueling Peaks and the path that runs between them. It is implied that one or all three dragon spirits were the Dragon God spoken of in the legend the most likely candidate being Farosh as Shay mentions a shadow being spotted over Lake Floria implying a connection between the legend and Farosh who flies over the lake. Farosh also makes sense as Faron and Necluda provinces are implied by the Camera Rune Album to overlap in places such as Lakeside Stable, Lake Floria, and Lurelin Village which are identified as being part of the regions within Necluda despite being part of the Faron Tower's map for Faron. If all three spirits were involved then over time the legend became distorted to mentioning only a single Dragon God.
Each dragon tends to fly around different areas and regions. However one hundred years after the Great Calamity, Link discovers that Naydra on Mount Lanayru covered in Calamity Ganon's Malice. Using the Spring of Wisdom's Goddess Statue, the Goddess Hylia tasks Link with freeing the Spirit of Ice from Calamity Ganon's Malice. Using the Paraglider to ride Updrafts produced by Naydra as it flies around, Link destroys its Malice growths with Arrows which frees the Dragon. Hylia then directs Link to shoot the dragon's body to receive one of Naydra's Scales and offer it to the Spring of Wisdom which reveals the Jitan Sa'mi Shrine. Freed of the Malice, Naydra flies off to enjoy its newfound freedom. The Shrine Quest to free Naydra acts as a tutorial on how to follow and attack the Dragons with a bow to acquire Dragon Parts.
The other dragons, Farosh and Dinraal are shown to have avoided this fate and fly around specific areas of Hyrule. Hylia however requires Link to obtain a Dinraal's Scale from Dinraal to offer at the Spring of Power to reveal the Tutsuwa Nima Shrine and Farosh's Scale from Farosh to offer at the Spring of Courage to reveal the Shoda Sah Shrine. Unlike the Three Dragons, the Dragon Spirits do not speak, though they are apparently allied with Hylia as they bear no ill will towards people and do not mind when Hylia's chosen hero Link shoots them with arrows, though this may be do to the fact that arrows do not do any damage to their bodies as even powerful Ancient Arrows and Bomb Arrows will not hurt them. The Dragons fly around specific locations of Hyrule, though Naydra must be freed before it will begin flying around Hyrule like the others do. Interestingly, NPCs do not react to Dragons when they are flying nearby and Shay states only a the large shadow appears at Lake Floria despite Farosh being large enough to be seen flying over the lake from Lakeside Stable. This indicates the possibility most people can't see them though Link presumably can do to his heroic status and being required to acquire their scales as well as free Naydra. However some people may possess the ability to see them such as small children as Traysi believes they exist due to having heard reports from children who have seen them as noted by Traysi in her Rumor Mill article on the existence of Dragons. However as children can have trouble telling fantasy from reality or may makeup stories to please or prank gullible adults, the reported sighting Traysi has heard cannot be completely trusted, even though Dragons have existed in the world long before Hyrule was founded. Other adults besides Traysi also believe in Dragons, some even travelling around in hope of seeing one.
- "According to legend, I need the blessing of the Goddess Hylia before I can see this legendary dragon. It all sounds like a fairy tale..."
- — Ronn
Ronn is one such traveler who travels between the Serenne Stable and the Snowfield Stable providing Link with information about dragons. Ronn notes that according to legend, in order to be able to see the Dragon Spirits one must have the blessing of the Goddess Hylia thus providing an explaination as to why no one reacts to the Dragon Spirits presence flying through Hyrule's skies. Additionally Link's ability to be able to perceive them would likely be the result of Hylia's blessing as he is essentially her Champion chosen by the Master Sword. It may also be related to Link's ability to perceive Koroks as it is implied that by Hestu and the first hidden Korok Link finds that Hylians can't normally perceive Koroks though it is also suggested the ability to perceive them is more common than being able to perceive the Dragon Spirits. As Hylia aids and communicates with Link during his quest via her Goddess Statues it is highly likely she blessed him with the ability to perceive both Koroks and Dragon Spirits though his ability to see Koroks may be the result of Link's past incarnation the Hero of Time having been an honorary member of the Kokiri tribe that proceeded the Koroks as its possible Link may be a descendant and/or reincarnation of the Hero of Time as the Hero of Time is the only incarnation confirmed to have descendants as he was the ancestor of the Hero of Twilight according to the Hyrule Historia. It should be noted the Dragon Spirits differ from other dragons as they are suggested to be elemental spirits that take the form of dragons thus explaining why people have no trouble perceiving other dragons in the series. Link would also require the ability to see them in order to help Naydra which he does at Hylia's request via Goddess Statue during "The Spring of Wisdom". Despite not being able to perceive the Dragon Spirits physical body normal people can still see the shadows cast by them as Shay notes a large shadow had been seen over Lake Floria presumably Farosh's as it flies around the lake. Shay himself like Ronn's inability to perceive Dinraal apparently cannot see Farosh flying around though heard stories about shadows over Lake Floria which he associates with old legends of dragons and the Dragon God responsible for the creation of the Dueling Peaks. Presumably ancient Hylians became aware that the large shadows these Dragon Spirits cast came from the Dragon Spirits from those blessed with the power to perceive theese Spirits which became part of the legends and folk tales about dragons. It is possible Zelda's divine powers also allow her to perceive them as the divine powers allow her to hear and potentially see spirits. Additionally Hyrule Castle has rare Dragon Parts stored inside chests indicating members of the Royal Family of Hyrule are blessed with the ability to perceive them either via their divine bloodline or Hylia's blessing as they are heavily implied to be the descendants of Hylia's mortal reincarnation from Skyward Sword. The parts where either utilized in religious ceremonies and/or research purposes.
It is stated during a Recovered Memory that during her training in addition to Hylia, Zelda prayed to the "spirits tied to the ancient gods" as part of the sacred rituals to awaken her divine power. These spirits are presumably the Dragon Spirits as each one is tied to the springs where Zelda trained with each spring and dragon apparently tied to the Golden Goddesses as the springs represent power, wisdom, and courage while the Dragons are associated with elements relating to the provinces that share the names of the Three Dragons as Eldin province is associated with fire which is often associated with Din, Lanayru province is associated with ice and water elements that are occasional associated with Nayru, and Faron is associated with lightning as the province frequently experiences rain and thunderstorms with one hidden Shrine being home to a perpetual thunderstorm that plays a role in revealing it. Additionally Shock Arrows are sold in Lurelin Village within the portion of Faron that overlaps with East Necluda and the General Shoppe in Korok Forest sells Shock Arrows with the Koroks often being associated with Farore thus lightning is apparently associated with Farore in Breath of the Wild. Both Farosh and Naydra are associated with states of water as Naydra is the spirit of ice while Farosh is associated with rain which relates to the element of lightning and lakes as it appears in Lake Floria and Lake Hylia. Farosh's association with lakes resembles the Water Dragon Faron and both are associated with Lake Floria. While Naydra appears to have little in common with Lanayru it should be noted that when Lanayru ruled over the Lanayru province it was a fertile land and was home to a vast sea while Naydra is associated with the Lanayru Sea and both require Link's assistance as Lanayru perishes in the past forcing Link to revive him and cure him of the illness that took his life. Similarly Link must save Naydra from Ganon's Malice which could have eventually killed or worse corrupted the Dragon Spirit.
The Dragon Spirits each serve one of the Springs where Zelda trained thus it makes sense she prayed to each of them as her divine power is represented by the ever present Triforce mark which is often associated with sacred power or holy weapons such as the Master Sword. Its possible Zelda's prays had an effect similar to the Hero of the Sky acquiring the Mark of a Hero as he forged the Goddess Sword into the Master Sword though like the forging of the Master Sword, Zelda's powers required another "spark"' as she only awoke them when she selflessly choose to shield Link which effectively went against everything she was taught as Link being a Royal Knight was honor bond to protect her. Similarly the Spirit Maiden had to bless the Master Sword to turn it into the true Blade of Evil's Bane. Both Zelda's powers and the Master Sword are required to defeat and seal Ganon thus Zelda's quest to awaken them resembling the Master Sword's creation makes sense. Additionally the Spirit Maiden prayed at two springs to purify herself to regain Hylia's memories thus the springs presumably helped purify Princess Zelda's spirit though her unresolved grief over her mother's death, doubts in her own abilities, initial jealousy of Link's talent, and self loathing presumably caused her spirit to remain impure preventing the power from manifesting despite years of training, prayer, and even pleading to the Goddess and spirits, until she acted out of her selfless desire to protect the injured and exhausted Link causing them to finally awaken as the act presumably fully purified her spirit as she thought only of Link's safety and acted of her own volition rather than following the role she was born into which had been the source of much of her emotional pain. Thus Hylia and the spirits did not ignore Zelda's prayers and pleas as her powers failing to manifest was likely due to Zelda's lack of spiritual purity as she suffered from emotional turmoil connectioned to her mother's sudden death and the pressure her position of Princess of Hyrule put her under causing Zelda to become resentful of Link and her royal status as she feared she was a failure. Presumably after her powers awakened she gained the ability to communicate with Hylia (whom she is implied to have dreamed of but couldn't undrrstand due to her powers not having fully manifested) and the Dragon Spirits, like she could hear the ancient voice of the Master Sword. Zelda also mentions the Spirit Realm which is presumably where the Dragon Spirits originate as they seem to enter the physical realm of Hyrule via portals that open up in the sky, lakes, or Lanayru Sea. Presumably they take dragon form upon entering the physical realm though if true their true spiritual form remains a mystery as the Spirit Realm is never visited by Link only referenced by Zelda while praying at the Spring of Power in Link's recovered memory.
When hit by any type of arrow, the location where it hits glows and a dragon part flies off, which can be recovered by Link. In addition to their scales, the spirits drop claws, horn shards, and fang shards depending upon where the arrow hits. These dragon parts are extremely rare and valuable materials, though Link can only obtain a single part from them per encounter thus he must wait for it to reappear later to obtain another part. Dragon Parts can be used by Great Fairies to upgrade armor. Additionally like Star Fragments they can also be added to cooking recipes to increase the chances of critical success which causes effects to be boosted. They can even be used as ingredients to make specific dyes at the Kochi Dye Shop though since dying armor is purely cosmetic using them for this purpose can be considered wasteful given their rarity. Link can also sell them for rupees as they are rare and valuable materials. They can also be sold to Kilton at the Fang and Bone presumably due them being considered as monsters by some people and being classified as such in the Hyrule Compendium. Interestingly Dragon Parts are not listed in their Compendium entry's recoverable materials section though this may be due to the unique way said materials are obtained. Link can also find some Dragon Parts in Treasure Chests within Hyrule Castle indicating the Royal Family of Hyrule acquired some before the Great Calamity presumably for study and/or as ritual offerings.
Spoone the travelling doctor reveals Naydra's Scales are apparently a miraculous panacea that can cure any illness thus are apparently considered extremely valuable by the Hyrulean medical community as Spoone read about it while doing medical studies and research to further his medical knowledge. Presumably the source of this information came from research conducted by castle scholars and medical staff before the Great Calamity. Unfortunately Spoone notes he's too old to journey to Mount Lanayru though encourages Link to check it out for himself. However it would presumably be quite difficult for most to acquire Dragon Parts as according to legend only those blessed by Hylia (such as her chosen hero) can actually see them which would be necessary to acquire Dragon Parts.
The Zora Helm and Zora Greaves are said to be made of Dragon Scales presumably from Naydra and/or Farosh as they live near and swim in water, though acquiring them from either dragon would be difficult as Zora are vulnerable to cold and electricity though presumably they could be acquired through trade or with the assistance of other races such as Hylians before the Great Calamity as the Zora Helm was enshrined in Toto Lake after Link slayed a Lynel terrorizing Zora's Domain before the Great Calamity and Zora Greaves are armor created by Zora for Hylians since the East Reservoir Lake was completed ten thousand years prior to Breath of the Wild as the King Zora of that era commissioned them to be made for Hylians as a token of gratitude. It is revealed by Laflat that Zora Greaves were sold at her father's armor shop but sometime during the Age of Burning Fields it was forced to close down dye to the lack of Hylian visitors. Additionally Laflat gives Link the last pair that had been left behind in her father's storeroom implying the shop's stock of Zora Greaves was depleted presumably due to the lack of visitors to Zora's Domain to trade things like rare Dragon Parts. The Council of Elders prejudice against Hylians may have also contributed to the situation that lead to the armor shop's closure along wit lack of clientele and difficulty acquiring materials to make Zora Greaves.
Their Fangs are so hard hammers bounce off making them impossible to process using mortal tools though Great Fairy's can use their mystical power to process them to upgrade armor. Additionally their durability cannot stand being cooked in a Cooking Pot or being used to make dyes. Their horn shards descriptions reveal their horns are actually the power of their corresponding element in crystalized form. Their claws and scales contains the power of their element though the heat of Dinraal's claw, freezing cold of Naydra's claw, and electricity of Farosh's claw are expelled before breaking off while their scales contain the element within making them safe to handle. The Champion's Tunic requires horn shards from all three dragons in order to upgrade it fully. Link's Clothes of the Wild Armor set requires dragon parts for each level upgrade, while the Fierce Deity Armor set requires dragon parts for each upgrade as well. The "Barbarian" armor set final upgrades require horn shards Dinraal's for the helm, Farosh's for the body armor, and Naydra's for the leg armor.
After completing their corresponding Shrine quests, each Dragon drops a specific part based upon where the arrow hits. Scales drop when a arrow hits their main body though during their Shrine Quests, Scales drop regardless of the area hit. Claws drop when an arrow hits their arms, legs, or their claws. Fang shards drop when an arrow hits around their mouth. Horn Shards drop when their horns are hit, Dinraal has two horns, Farosh has one horn, while Naydra has a crest of ice-like horns. Each dragon drops one part per encounter and the part will fly off landing on the ground or water surface emitting a glowing light Link can use to track it. If it falls into a bottomless area Link cannot collect it. Dragons can be shot from the ground, air via Paraglider, or even from a Raft in the case of Farosh and Naydra whom fly over bodies of water.
The Dragon Spirits
Spirit of Fire
The Dragon Spirit of Fire (aka Red Spirit) is Dinraal who is a fiery dragon spirit that resembles the ancient dragon Volvagia. It travels from the Eldin Great Skeleton down Deplian Badlands, Drenan Highlands, over the Forgotten Temple then through Tanagar Canyon. Its path is implied to be the Dragon's Road rumored to exist in Hyrule. Dinraal also occasionally appears flying Akkala where the Spring of Power is located. Dinraal involuntarily produces fire from its body which can damage Link, though once properly upgraded the "Flamebreaker" armor grants Fireproof set bonus which makes Link immune to fire damage protecting Link from Dinraal's flames.
- "A spirit of fire has taken the form of this giant dragon. Making its home in the Eldin region, it's said to have served the Spring of Power since ancient times. An old saying goes, "The dragon ascends to the heavens as the sun begins to set." but nobody has witnessed this in the current age. The flames that coat its body make is dangerous to get near, but Dinraal bears no ill will toward people."
- — Hyrule Compendium
Spirit of Ice
The Dragon Spirit of Ice (aka Blue Spirit) is Naydra who is a icy dragon spirit. After it is freed from Ganon's Malice it tends to travel from Mount Lanayru through Lanayru Promenade, though it also travels through the Lanayru Sea. Naydra involuntarily produces ice from its body which can damage Link, though once properly upgraded the "Snowquill" armor grants Unfreezable set bonus which makes Link immune to ice damage and freezing protecting Link the dragon's ice. Alternatively, Zant's Helmet provides the Unfreezable as its standard bonus. Its scales are believed to be a miraculous panacea capable of curing any sickness among the Hyrulean medical community.
- "A spirit of ice has taken the form of this giant dragon. Making its home in the Lanayru region, it's said to have served the Spring of Wisdom since ancient times. An old saying goes, "The dragon ascends to the heavens as the sun begins to set," but nobody has seen this in the current age. The ice that coats its body makes it dangerous to get near, but Naydra bears no ill will toward people."
- — Hyrule Compendium
Spirit of Lightning
The Dragon Spirit of Lightning (aka Golden Spirit) is Farosh who is an electric dragon spirit. It flies from Riola Spring over Floria Falls to Lake Floria where it flies around Floria Bridge. However it also rises from Lake Hylia and flies around Hylia Island and Bridge of Hylia. It is implied that the Farosh Hills near Lake Hylia are named after it. Additionally it also flies around the northern part of Gerudo Highlands as well. Farosh involuntarily emits electricity from its body which can damage and shock Link, though once properly upgraded the "Rubber" armor grants Unshockable set bonus which makes Link immune to shock damage and being disarmed protecting Link from the dragon's electricity.
- "A spirit of lightning has taken the form of this giant dragon. Making its home in the Faron region, it's said to have served the Spring of Courage since ancient times. An old saying goes, "The dragon ascends to the heavens as the sun begins to set," but nobody has seen this in the current age. The electricity that coats its body makes it dangerous to get near, but Farosh bears no ill will toward people."
- — Hyrule Compendium