- "I am the Demon Lord who presides over this land you look down upon, this world you call the surface. You may call me Ghirahim. In truth, I very much prefer to be indulged with my full title: Lord Ghirahim. But I'm not fussy."
- — Ghirahim
Ghirahim (ギラヒム Girahimu?), or Lord Ghirahim, is one of the two main antagonists of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. He is the lord of the demons that are unleashed upon The Surface during the events of the game. He is actively pursuing Zelda, and is able to detect her presence. Though he initially views Link as no threat to his plans, as the game progresses, he grows increasingly frustrated with Link's interference.
At the outset of the game, although he is not seen performing the act, Ghirahim sends a huge, black tornado into the sky, knocking Link and Zelda off their airborne Loftwings. As Link begins his search for Zelda in Faron Woods, Ghirahim stealthily pursues him. He is first seen watching Link as he enters the Deep Woods.
Ghirahim first confronts Link deep within the Skyview Temple, where he is trying to force his way through the door to the sacred chamber, where he senses Zelda. Earlier, an attempt to capture Zelda was foiled by a servant of the goddess. Angered by his circumstances, he decides to take his frustration out on Link. During their battle, he criticizes Link for being a novice who telegraphs his moves. By the time Link defeats him, Ghirahim can no longer feel Zelda's presence; he decides to stop toying with Link and make his departure, but not before threatening Link on his life, should their paths cross again.
The two encounter one another again inside the Earth Temple, where Zelda was held captive. Furious to learn that she escaped his lackeys a second time, Ghirahim once more decides to take his frustrations out on Link. He summons Scaldera in hopes of the ensuing battle relieving his anger and stress.
After Link travels through the Lanayru Mining Facility, he finally meets up with Zelda and Impa at the Temple of Time. But the reunion is cut short when Ghirahim appears, creating a barrier to impede Link. He then goes after Zelda, but is stopped by Impa's own barrier. During the confusion, Zelda tosses Link the Goddess's Harp. Ghirahim manages to pierce Impa's barrier, but is unable to finish her, as Link interferes, buying Impa and Zelda enough time to enter the Gate of Time. Just as they do, Impa destroys it to ensure that Ghirahim cannot follow them into the past. Greatly incensed by Link's interference, Ghirahim retreats, vowing that, when next they meet, he will make Link suffer so badly that the boy will deafen himself with the sound of his own screams.
Later on in Link's quest, Ghirahim awaits the hero in the boss room of the Ancient Cistern, regally perched atop the giant statue, Koloktos. After expressing his annoyance regarding the fact that Link is still interfering with his plans, Ghirahim brings the inanimate Koloktos to life with a snap of his fingers before taking his leave.
The two then cross paths yet again at the Fire Sanctuary, where a rather upbeat Ghirahim claims he and Link are bound by a "thread of fate", then shows him a series of old drawings that confirm the existence of a second Gate of Time. Since Ghirahim does not yet know the location of the second gate, he offers to spare Link's life if he reveals the location of the Gate of Time. Link refuses, leading to another fight between the pair. At the start of the battle, Ghirahim reveals a portion of his true form: as a cracked pattern of black lines crawls up one side of his body, his arms blacken. Despite this, Link manages to defeat Ghirahim again, forcing the enraged demon to retreat.
After using the Triforce to wish for the destruction of Demise, Link reunites with Zelda just as she wakes up from her long slumber. The reunion is interrupted when Ghirahim appears and captures Zelda, then declares that he will go to the past and revive Demise there. Groose tries to stop him, but Ghirahim kicks him aside. Ghirahim begins the ritual to free Demise as Link arrives to stop him. Ghirahim attempts to slow him down by erecting a magic barrier and summoning a horde of Bokoblins, but Link manages to fight his way through the horde and confronts Ghirahim.
Having had enough of the youth's constant meddling, Ghirahim decides to put an end to Link in his strongest form: a dark-skinned, white-haired humanoid creature with metallic skin, much like Fi. He also reveals his true nature as Demise's sword. This leads to their final showdown. Though a losing effort, Ghirahim reveals the ritual was continuing all throughout their fight. Zelda's soul is ripped from her body, and Demise regains his original form. Soon after Demise's revival, Ghirahim is changed by his master back into his true form as Demise's sword, to Ghirahim's apparent delight. After Link defeats Demise, the sword that is Ghirahim shatters and its essence is blown away in the wind, leaving Ghirahim's exact fate ambiguous.
Despite his delicate appearance, Ghirahim proves to be a powerful opponent for Link. He possesses great physical strength and agility, being able to avert Link's Skyward Strikes when his guard is up, as well as mastery with swords. He is also able to catch Link's sword in his hand and take it from him without sustaining any injury. During his last battle with Link, Ghirahim also utilizes a fiery version of the Skyward Strike. Upon taking his most powerful form, Ghirahim's skin hardens to where it can withstand blows from even the Master Sword.
Ghirahim also possesses considerable magical talent. Many of Ghirahim's spells are embellished with diamonds, and are activated by a snap of his fingers. He can materialize objects out of thin air, including barriers, weapons, his minions, and himself. The knives he creates in this manner can be left levitating near himself or his opponent, and can be propelled forward as projectiles. He can also give life to certain inanimate objects or transform them into monsters, perform telekinesis, fire beams of light from the sky, summon tornadoes, and generate electricity from his hands.
At first glance, Ghirahim appears to be calm, confident, and collected, although very flamboyant. He often acts gentlemanly, speaking eloquently and formally introducing himself to Link. He even shows a slight sense of sportsmanship at the beginning, promising not to murder Link, as it would be unfair. He also exhibits traits of narcissism, which are especially evident in his second fight with Link. In addition, he also proceeded to remove his cape before dueling Link with a snap of a finger. He has little concept of personal space, as he seems to relish invading Link's for the sake of intimidation. He also has a flair for the dramatic, and enjoys using broad gestures. He also tends to divulge key details when in a rage, which he freely admits to Link and admits its a flaw of his. This flaw is best demonstrated during his final fight with Link, where he gives a description of the Endless Plunge he planned to subject Link to, which he ironically is himself subjected to by Link in turn. He is extremely loyal to his master Demise and most of his actions in Skyward Sword where driven by his desire to free his master from his imprisonment. He also appeared to enjoy returning to his true form as Demise's Sword.
However, beneath his calm exterior is a violent and sadistic psychopath. As the story progresses, his composure progressively shatters, and his mannerisms and speech become more melodramatic, colorful, and violent. At his core, Ghirahim is merciless, and enjoys bloodshed. He appears to enjoy mocking his victims, shown by insulting Groose before kicking him out the way. His violent personality shows quite graphically in the way he frequently licks his lips during a fight, and even licks the blade of his sword after landing a hit on Link during their second battle. Ghirahim frequently loses himself to uncontrollable rage, easily finding excuses to take his anger out on Link. He also enjoys intimidating and toying with his victims, frequently teleporting behind Link during battle, and making colorful threats, such as promising not to kill him but rather beat him within an inch of his life. He is also shown to have a ruthless side to him regarding his minions, as immediately before the Horde Battle when summoning the various demon hordes, he makes clear that he does not care if the monsters are killed by Link so long as they make sure they slow him down enough to allow the Demon Lord to complete his ritual, and also implies that any monsters who not only fail to hold Link off but also survived his encounter would end up facing his wrath.
Despite his evident insanity, he was nonetheless quite intelligent. This was best demonstrated when Link managed to wish for Demise's destruction: Even when his master perished from the Triforce's wish, he was undeterred by this event, simply deciding to use the Gate of Time to go back to the past to revive Demise there. He also implies that he had the ritual to release Demise occur without requiring him to be present to conduct it specifically because he anticipated the possibility that he would lose against Link in their final battle.
In his standard appearance, Ghirahim resembled a slim hylian man with grey skin, brown eyes, purple eyeshadow, white lips, and white hair with his left bangs obscuring his left eye, a diamond birthmark on his left cheek, as well as wearing a four-part cape (three parts on the back and one on the front) with a collar, two gold buckles resembling diamonds, and colored red on the outside and black-and-yellow diamond patterns on the inside. He also wore blue diamond earrings, and had a gold bracelet around his right bicep, as well as wore white fencing gloves with four diamonds on each glove lining from the wrist to the elbow, and a white fencing outfit that had seven small diamonds across the front and back of each leg, and two larger diamonds on the front, plus a gold sash with a red diamond on the right side. He also has a long purple tongue, which he uses for intimidation, as evidenced by his first meeting with Link.
When partially-transforming into his true form at the Fire Sanctuary, he largely looks the same, although his right forearm and his full left arm are colored black, as well as black scars resembling diamond lines running down from the left side of his face and noseridge down his left leg.
When accessing his true form, Ghirahim, owing to his being a sword spirit in reality similar to Fi, has a similar appearance to Fi, including having a diamond at the center of his chest, only with a significantly more muscular build (with Fi even noting the muscle mass increase immediately prior to the duel), being darker in color with some white diamond-shaped lines streaking across his left leg, right arm, and torso/hips, and having a diamond on his forehead. He also develops noticeable fangs on his upper jaw in this form.
Being the demonic spirit of Demise's Sword, Ghirahim can transform into the demonic sword that resembles an evil version of the Master Sword to be wielded by his master. Like the Master Sword, it features a Triforce Symbol on his blade, however its is upside-down (thus making it resemble Lorule's Triforce). Ghirahim's Sword form can be seen a reference to the similarities between himself and the spirit of the Master Sword, Fi as both are swords that possess a sentient spirit that serves as the both the weapons and loyal servants to their respective masters. Demise's Sword can be seen as an evil reflection of the Master Sword itself. While Ghirahim's in his sword form, Demise can use it to perform his own evil version of the Skyward Strike. Prior to Demise's revival, Ghirahim also briefly transformed into Demise's Sword upon accessing his true form as emphasis about how he was, in actuality, a weapon of no mercy just prior to fighting Link.
Ghirahim's name may be a combination of the Sanskrit name "Ghirah", meaning "the terrible". The "im" part may be an intentional reference to the name of Agahnim, another villain from the series to serve as the right-hand man of his respective master.
- "While a spirit inhabiting a sacred sword came through the portal from Skyloft, so too did a spirit from a fearsome and demonic sword, ready to wreak havoc once more. As a Demon Lord, Ghirahim commanded legions of monsters during a campaign to resurrect his true master, the Demon King Demise. Being a sword himself, Ghirahim knows the fine art of swordplay and proves himself a deadly fencer with added magical powers. He may come off as soft, but he's truly deadly in combat."
- — Ghirahim, Demon Lord Historical Entry Tutorial Bio
Ghirahim appears as one of the main villains in the spinoff game Hyrule Warriors. He is also an unlockable playable character. His default weapon type is Demon Blade which befitting his demonic origins has a Darkness Elemental Attribute.
Ghirahim first appears after Link leads several Hyrulean troops to the age of Skyward Sword to shut off its Gate of Souls. Having forged an alliance with the Dragon Knight, Volga, Ghirahim alongside Volga leads several Bokoblins and Moblins to attack Skyloft. However, Ghirahim becomes disgusted with Volga's arrogance, which exceeds his own, even having to remind him that he was the one leading the Demon forces at one point. He eventually attacks Link and Fi himself, but is forced away. However, he nonetheless observes the ensuing battle between Link and Volga. After Link drives away Volga with some help from Levias, Ghirahim calls a temporary retreat, although not before brainwashing one of the top commanders of Link's army to stage a trap against Link's forces from within when they inevitably reach the Sealed Grounds. As soon as Link arrives at the location, he then enacts his trap, catching Link's soldiers off guard as the human soldiers begin mutinying. However, the trap is dispelled after Link takes out the turncoat leader. Enraged by Link's quelling of the trap, Ghirahim decides to summon his true master, The Imprisoned, to deal with them, although it is defeated by Link and Fi with the aid of several Groosenators. Link then confronts Ghirahim in the room containing that era's Gate of Souls within the Sealed Temple, and a duel ensues. However, Ghirahim is soundly defeated, and ends up thrown into the Gate of Souls portal and sealed inside by Link.
Some time later, a fully rejuvenated Ganondorf revives him and Zant in his conquest against Hyrule. They then accompany him to Gerudo Desert, where they aid Ganondorf in subjugating the monsters by taking out their commanders, also making clear that if they fail or disobey him, he will send them back to the netherworld. After the battle is won, Ghirahim notes Ganondorf's similarities to his former master Demise and praises his prowess. They then accompany him to the Valley of Seers to stop Lana's escape long enough for Ganondorf to steal her Triforce of Power. He also deduces that targeting Lana would force the real Impa to expose herself after the latter used duplication to stall Ganondorf and suggested the latter go for her. After successfully retrieving Lana's Triforce Piece, Ghirahim and Zant again accompany Ganondorf to Hyrule Field to gain Princess Zelda and Link's respective pieces, with Ghirahim aiding Ganondorf in fighting Impa and Zelda.
After Ganondorf successfully retrieved the remaining Triforce shards, Ghirahim, as well as Zant, were tasked with guarding their primary fortification in Gerudo Desert from the heroes who are trying to fight back. As such, Ghirahim, alongside Zant: came up with a strategy to send decoys to fight the Hyrulean Forces, both to wittle down their forces and to fake their own deaths to overwhelm them, while also using the unforgiving climate of the desert to their advantage. However, the heroes ultimately prevailed, with Ghirahim and Zant being defeated after the Hyruleans deduced the plot.
In Cia's Tale, Ghirahim is attacking Skyloft with The Imprisoned when Cia and her forces appear. Cia decides to trick Fi and the Knights of Skyloft by pretending to aid their cause. Cia's forces manage to defeat Ghirahim, who senses the dark presence of Ganondorf's soul within Cia. Ganondorf's presence resembles that of his master so much that it confuses Ghirahim, as Demise is currently sealed in the form of The Imprisoned. After Cia and her forces defeat The Imprisoned, Ghirahim is impressed by Cia's underhanded tactics and joins her army. It is heavily implied, however, that the primary reason he joined her was because of Ganondorf's presence inside her, with Volga also telling her not to trust the Demon Lord as he suspects his compliment was insincere. He then joins in their attack on Fi and the Knights of Skyloft. Following Fi's defeat, Ghirahim, impressed by Cia's strength, swears he will aid his new mistress in conquering the world.
Besides Ghirahim himself, his role as Demise's Sword is also referenced with Ganondorf's level 3 weapon, Swords of Demise, acting as a further implication to the connection between Demise and Ganondorf.
Ghirahim's role in Legends is mostly the same as it was in Hyrule Warriors. However he also a plays the role of villain in a new story scenario, Linkle's Tale: The Demon Lord's Plan. Set before the events of Cia's Tale, Ghirahim takes advantage of the Gate of Souls created by Cia's misuse of the Triforce, to revive his master. However the ritual to summon his master fails, resulting in miniature versions of his master's The Imprisoned form being summoned instead. Sensing a disturbance in her timeline, Fi descends to the Sealed Grounds to stop Ghirahim and is aid by Linkle and her army of Cuccos. Undeterred, Ghirahim orders his Moblin Ceremonial Troop to use the Gate of Souls to add power to the ritual, however this only results in more miniature Imprisoned being summoned. Ghirahim decides to take advantage of their numbers and orders his Stalmaster Controller Troops to lead the Mini-Imprisoned in an attack on the Linkle's Forces' main base. After both the Ceremonial and Controller Troops are defeated, Ghirahim uses the magic of the remaining Mini-Imprisoned to power himself up. However he is eventually defeated by Fi and Linkle's Forces. However he manages to prevent them from discovering the existence of the Gate of Souls, which eventually allows him to summon The Imprisoned which he later uses to attack Skyloft in Cia's Tale.
In addition to his Recolor costumes from Hyrule Warriors, a new Recolor of his Standard Outfit can be obtained on the Great Sea Adventure Map called Standard Outfit (Great Sea), which is a Recolor based on Kalle Demos from The Wind Waker. As part of the Master Wind Waker DLC, another Recolor can be unlocked on the Master Wind Waker Adventure Map called Standard Outfit (Wind Waker), which is a Recolor based on Helmaroc King.
- "Link encounters Ghirahim repeatedly during his adventure. Extremely confident, he encourages Link to use his title, Lord Ghirahim, when they first meet. Is he truly powerful, or does he use eloquent words to distract you and gain an advantage?"
- — Trophy Description
Ghirahim appears as an Assist Trophy. He also appears as a Trophy which is part of the Skyward Sword characters Trophy Box.