Lanayru is one of the three Dragons who protect The Surface in Skyward Sword, alongside Faron and Eldin. in Skyward Sword. He was assigned to protect Lanayru Province in service of the Goddess Hylia and has power over thunder.
When Link visits the Lanayru Gorge where the Thunder Dragon is said to rest, all he finds are his skeletal remains. To revive him, Link has to transport a Timeshift Stone through the Lanayru Gorge where an old mining facility remains in ruins. Once Link transports the Timeshift Stone Cart to the power pedestal that uses the Timeshift Stone as a power source, the power pedestal will amplify the Timeshift Stone's effect radius, restoring the area around it to its once lush landscape. Upon reviving Lanayru, Link discovers that he is deathly ill and cannot teach Link the "Song of the Hero". He tells Link that the Ancient Robots were worried about him, so they planted a seedling from the Tree of Life in the Gorge. However, the seedling will not grow anywhere in Lanayru Province, and thus cannot grow the Life Tree Fruit that is said to cure all illnesses.
After relocating the seedling to the Temple of Hylia and allowing the fruit to grow in the Sealed Temple in the present, Link returns to Lanayru Gorge to heal Lanayru. He grasps the huge Life Tree Fruit by the stem and tosses it into Lanayru's gaping mouth. After the Thunder Dragon teaches Link his part of the "Song of the Hero", he offers to repay the young hero when he returns. If Link does, Lanayru will let Link participate in his Lightning Round mini-game. Here, Link may fight all of the previous bosses again, excluding Levias and Bilocyte, or explore the Silent Realms once again for prizes. However, Link is not allowed to use any Adventure Pouch items other than his equipped Shield. Most of the prizes are Rupees or Treasures that can be obtained elsewhere, but there are also two unique prizes: a Piece of Heart after the fourth round and the indestructible Hylian Shield after the eighth round.
- Even after being healed, Lanayru only appears in the past and disappears completely in the present, except when all three Dragons, along with Levias, show up in the Thunderhead to teach Link the full "Song of the Hero".
- Lanayru considers giving Link a model number, "LD-Link-16", but Link is not fond of the name. The number 16 is likely a reference to the number of canon Legend of Zelda titles released at the time.
Lanayru is a reference to the Nayru.
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Concept art of Lanayru from the Hyrule Historia
- Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 57
- "As the great protector of Lanayru Province, he has power over lightning." — Fi (Skyward Sword)
- Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 295
- Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 295
- "Yes, yes... The Thunder Dragon. The goddess gave the Thunder Dragon the power to protect the desert." — Impa (Skyward Sword)
- "I may have enough strength for a brief chat like this, but... Well, as you can see, I am quite ill. Cough... I'm in no shape to sing. And to think it was the goddess herself who entrusted me with this important duty... I feel the deepest shame... Cough..." — Lanayru (Skyward Sword)
- "Master Thunder Dragon's condition has been bad for a long time, and the soil here is not suitable for growing trees, zrrt." — Ancient Robot (Skyward Sword)
- "Hello there, Link. It looks like you've found a seedling from the Tree of Life, haven't you? But it's too late. I'm done for. I won't live long enough for the tree to grow large and produce the fruit that could save me. Cough...cough... It's such a shame. If I had the strength, I could sing you as many songs as you wanted. Cough...cough..." — Lanayru (Skyward Sword)
- "Oh! OH! Is that what I think it is? You brought that here for me, didn't you? Whoa-ho... Down the hatch! ZINGA-DINGDING! Oh, you've done it, boy. I can feel the fruit's effect surging through me! It's exhilarating! I feel like a proper dragon again!" — Lanayru (Skyward Sword)
- "Link! I owe you my life! You have to let me repay you. Give me some time to prepare, and when you next return to visit me... I believe you will be mightily pleased!" — Lanayru (Skyward Sword)
- "Finally, Link! You really did come back! Glad to see it. Well then, let's have some fun! Or maybe a hero such as yourself has no time for playing around? Well, what I offer is more than mere child's play! I would have you face challenges that draw upon the many hardships you've experienced thus far. Look to the past to understand the future! That's what I say. And I think you will find that you have much to gain in revisiting your own past. So what do you say, Link?" — Lanayru (Skyward Sword)
- "That's not much of a name, is it? How about I add a model number to your name like my friends have got? Maybe LD-Link-16...?" — Lanayru (Skyward Sword)
- Hyrule Historia (Les Éditions Soleil) pg. 57 (SS)