King Dorephan is a character from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. He is the King of the Zora and reigns over the Zora's Domain in the Lanayru Great Spring region. He is the father of Princess Mipha and Prince Sidon. He is known to have reigned over the Zora for over one hundred years making him the longest known reigning King Zora in the history of the series.
One hundred years prior to the game's events, King Dorephan was the King of the Zora, and father of Princess Mipha and Prince Sidon. His eldest daughter was selected by Princess Zelda and King Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule to be one of the Champions to aid Princess Zelda and her appointed knight, Link in the battle against Calamity Ganon. Mipha was selected to pilot the Divine Beast Vah Ruta, however Calamity Ganon corrupted the divine beasts and Mipha was tragically killed by Waterblight Ganon. The hero Link was injured and placed within the Shrine of Resurrection to heal while Princess Zelda used her power to seal Ganon within Hyrule Castle.
- "Around 100 years after King Dorephan ascended to the throne, a stray Guardian crossed Upland Zorana into our domain. The Guardian seemed unstoppable. Our best soldiers' spears barely left a scratch on its metal hull. It was than that our King Dorephan, without a thought for his own safety, came out to face the Guardian himself. With supernatural strength, he lifted the Guardian and hurled it into a ravine. The impact of the fall left the Guardian in pieces, and it was never to trouble another Zora ever again. The citizens celebrated the king's valor. From then on, their trust and respect for him grew beyond compare. You can still see the scar he earned that day on his forehead-a token of his triumph."
- — King Dorephan Stands His Ground
At some point before the game's events, King Dorephan wrote down the history of the Zora on ten stone monuments; finding these are the objective of the side quest "Zora Stone Monuments". One of these monuments reveals that one century after ascending the throne, a stray Guardian, under the control of Calamity Ganon, wandered into Zora's Domain from Upland Zorana and seemed unstoppable as not even the best Zora soldiers could damage it. Without any fear for his own safety, Dorephan confronted it himself and used his supernatural strength to throw it into a ravine which shattered the Guardian into pieces. Dorephan received the scar on his forehead as a result of that battle which came to be viewed as a well earned badge of honor. This makes Dorephan one of the few individuals capable of besting a Guardian in single combat and the only individual known to have defeated a Guardian unarmed using nothing but physical strength and martial prowess.
As Zora have longer lifespans than Hylians, Dorephan continues to reign over his people one hundred years after his daughter's death with the assistance of his youngest child and only remaining heir, Prince Sidon who like his father and sister became a strong fighter. After Prince Sidon defeated a giant Octorok terrorizing the Lurelin Village fishermen in Hateno Bay, King Dorephan proudly had the tale of his son's accomplishment written down in a Zora Stone Monument. When corrupted Vah Ruta reappears, King Dorephan remains in Zora's Domain while his son searches for someone capable of assisting them in regaining control over the beast as the rain it produces threatens to cause the East Reservoir Lake to overflow which would flood Zora's Domain and threaten the rest of Hyrule. At first Sidon and the retired knight "Demon" Sergeant Seggin tried to attack Vah Ruta's water pumps with Shock Arrows which only Seggin could wield due to his unusual shock resistance as most Zora are vulnerable to electricity. However Seggin could not fire enough Shock Arrows to stop Vah Ruta. As a result, Prince Sidon decided to seek outside help with his father and the younger Zora population's support.
He is shocked when he learns that Link had survived the Great Calamity and has not aged at all. As Link has lost his memory, he explains the Zora's history. He supports Prince Sidon's plan to have Link help them regain control of Vah Ruta, despite opposition from his royal advisor Muzu, Seggin, and most of the Zora Council of Elders save for the prist Kapson who like Dorephan does not hold Link or the Hylian people responsible for the Great Calamity. The rest of the council holds Link and the Hylians responsible for the Great Calamity and Mipha's death, but Dorephan and Sidon do not agree and consider it at all. The king offers Link the Zora Armor which his daughter had made especially for Link in accordance to Zora custom of Princesses crafting armor their future husbands. One of his monuments reveals his regret over permitting Mipha to join the Champions and pilot Vah Ruta, stating he would have never accepted if he knew it would result in her death. However as a wise ruler and like his late Hylian counterpart King Rhoam, he still holds Link's abilities in high regard due to his role in saving Zora's Domain in the past from a Lynel, his Champion status, and out of respect for his daughter Mipha who had feelings for Link whom he considers an old family friend due to Mipha and Dorephan having known Link since the hero was four years old according to Mipha's Diary recounting Link's first visit to Zora's Domain. According to Mipha's Diary, she was present when Link slew the Lynel as she had followed him, even protecting her when the Lynel attacked, thus explaining why King Dorephan has such faith in Link's abilities. After Link avenges Mipha by slaying Waterblight Ganon, Mipha's spirit is freed allowing her to retake control of Vah Ruta. After Vah Ruta is freed, King Dorephan rewards Link for freeing Vah Ruta and his daughter's spirit by giving him her Lightscale Trident and Link is once again hailed as a hero by the Zora. After Dark Beast Ganon is defeated and Zelda is free allowing her to restore the Hylian monarchy, she and Link travel to Zora's Domain to meet King Dorephan and Prince Sidon to enlist the Zora's aid in helping rebuild the Kingdom of Hyrule. Like most Zora who lived during the time of the Great Calamity, King Dorephan is among the few people Link and Zelda knew, to have survived the Great Calamity and still be alive one hundred years later, as Prince Sidon was apparently too young to remember them. It is also likely Zelda would require King Dorephan's support in claiming the Hylian throne as he is one of the few people alive who can confirm she is indeed the 117 year old Princess Zelda (Zelda turned 17 the day when the Great Calamity occured and hadn't aged since she sealed herself and Ganon in Hyrule Castle) despite her youthful appearance.
It is unclear how he felt about Mipha's plans to marry Link before her death, though he was fully aware of the significance of the Zora Armor she crafted for Link and likely knew of the legends that spoke of a Zora Princess falling in love with a Hylian swordman (as he is aware of legendary Sage of Water Princess Ruto whom was briefly betrothed to the Hero of Time) that his daughter mentions in her diary. Dorephan however did notice parallels between his daughter and Ruto believing her selection to pilot Vah Ruta was a work of fate indicating he believed she was destined to aid Link as Ruto had done with the Hero of Time. Mipha's Diary notes he supported her decision to pilot Vah Ruta as Calamity Ganon threatened all of Hyrule and that the Zora must fight to protect it, even though Mipha's mentor Seggin and Dorephan's advisor Muzu disapproved the idea to allow the Princess to pilot Vah Ruta. However he later regretted allowing Mipha to pilot Vah Ruta and spent many years wrecked with survivor's guilt, with his dearest wish that her soul rest in peace unaware it was imprisoned within Vah Ruta by her murderer Waterblight Ganon. When the Zora attempted to send Mipha's Lightscale Trident down Zora's River to give her soul repose Mipha spoke to them through her Trident and told all the Zora to abandon their grief and know joy again. She requested they simply remember her and treasure the Lightscale Trident. This resulted in the Champion Festival which was celebrated on the anniversary of the Great Calamity and the Lightscale Trident was venerated by the Zora though the Trident's creator Dento later crafted a replica called the Ceremonial Trident to be used for ceremonial purposes during the festival while King Dorephan kept Mipha's original Trident as a treasure of the Zora Royal Family. Like the King Zora that came before him, he considers the Royal Family of Hyrule his allies and takes his people's oath to watch over the water level of East Reservoir Lake seriously to protect Hyrule from flooding.
Personality & Abilities
Like most King Zora, Dorephan is larger than most Zora though he is physically fit and a competent fighter said to possess supernatural strength for a Zora. His physically strength alone even allowed him to lift a Guardian and throw it down a ravine receiving only a minor battle scar on his head. It should be noted he was in the hundredth year of his reign as King Zora when this battle occurred and his knights had failed to damage the Guardian with their weapons before King Dorephan stepped in and confronted the Guardian alone and unarmed.
He is also a wise leader who is quite knowledgeable about Zora history and is even something of a historian as he commissioned Jiahto to create the Zora Stone Monuments that record Zora history as told by Dorephan himself. He also a capable leader who recognized the Zora Elders scapegoating of the Hylians and Link was due to their grief and anger over Mipha's death though Dorephan himself remained loyal to Hyrule and considered the Hylians allies. However he did regret supporting Mipha's decision in light of her death and wished for her soul to find peace. However before the Calamity, he recognized the threat Ganon posed which was why he supported Mipha. King Dorephan is very courageous himself standing to defend his people from a corrupted Guardian putting their safety over his own which inspired his people who viewed his battle scar as a badge of honor. He also has a belief in fate and destiny as he noticed his daughter's connection to Vah Ruta and her similarities to Princess Ruto, considering her be selected to pilot Vah Ruta the work of fate. He also viewed his reunion with Link as the work of fate as well as he appeared when the Zora needed his aid in stopping Vah Ruta.