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"Not far from here lives the mysterious god of horses. If a horse dies, he can bring it back to life."
Perosa

Malanya is a character from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. He is a Fairy, patron and god of horses. He lives in Malanya Spring, in the Lake Hylia region of Hyrule. As the patron deity of horses, Malanya possesses the power to revive any horse that has been killed.

Biography

At the spring, Link can find Malanya whose power has weakened over time like those of the four Great Fairies. He requires Link to make an offering of 1,000 Rupees to regain his strength. Malanya then appears from the fountain and after joking about eating Link, offers to revive any of his horse companions that have been killed. As a result, the spring acts as a special type of Great Fairy Fountain that Link can visit to revive his horses killed in battle or accidentally.

The first time Link needs a Horse revived, Malanya does it for free out of gratitude for having restored his power. However, afterwards, he will require Link to pay him with an single Endura Carrot. He claims that it takes a lot of energy to revive horses from death.

While most Hylians ignore his existence, Malanya is evoked among certain people. The Lake of the Horse God and Horse God Bridge near his spring are named after him.

All Stables in Hyrule pay homage to Malanya as each one features an effigy of Malanya on its roof. This is not surprising as Malanya is the patron deity of horses and these effigies are likely meant to curry the Horse God's favor and potentially divine protection for the Stable's staff and Horses. Banji notes her aunt occasionally tells her children stories about "the god who watches over the stables", though Banji herself apparently considers Malanya a legend much like she does with her aunt's stories of the Lord of the Mountain. The Hylian Suzuna hopes to find the legendary horse fountain where Malanya resides indicating not all Hylians have forgotten him only the exact location of his spring.

Though Malanya lives in a Great Fairy Fountain, he is never referred to as a Great Fairy in-game and it is never specified if he is related to Cotera and her three sisters though they may share some unexplained connection or association. Malanya is one several deities that Link encounters during his quest along with Hylia, the Great Deku Tree, Dinraal, Farosh, and Naydra.

Personality and abilities

Malanya is a playful god who takes advantage of his unique and somewhat disturbing appearance to deceive people into thinking he is more malevolent than he actually is. He jokes about eating Link after he revives him only to reveal his humorous behavior by saying "I jest".

He threatens to punish Link if his actions lead to his horse's death, but he will once again pull his leg and will revive Link's horses regardless as to the manner of its death. He also holds horses who spent their final moments in a fight with a Guardian in high regard though jokingly blames its demise on Link's lack of skill, though ultimately recognizes said horse as a brave companion who served its master well as he recognizes corrupted Guardians are extremely dangerous adversaries that brought Hyrule and Link himself to the brink of destruction during the Great Calamity a century prior.

Behavior

When asked to revive a dead horse, Malanya will make a different comment based on how the horse died.

  • If the horse has been killed by Link:
"So... you would like to revive this horse? This one, specifically? I can do that, of course! But... what is this... This horse says that YOU killed it! You! How could you?! Do you plan to revive it just to kill it again? Are horses only a tool to you? Do you treat their noble lives so casually that you'd use them and throw them away? If I were a horse right now... I'd kick you in the chest! I... jest. You accidentally struck the horse, I'm sure. Would you like to revive this loyal, temporarily betrayed friend?"
— Malanya
  • If the horse has been killed by a Guardian:
"Hrm... you would like to revive this horse? It seems this brave animal spent its last moments in a fight with a Guardian. It served its master well. I'm so moved... Alas, if you had managed to control this loyal beast with more skill... I wouldn't have to revive It! I jest... This must have been one brave friend. Would you like to revive it and return it to your side?"
— Malanya

Development

"The horse god Malanya resides in a spring in Faron. His appearance may be startling, but he will not harm anyone who cares for horses, though he has a strange sense of humor on the subject. Like the Great Fairies, Malanya has been dormant and without power inside a large flower bud for some time. He will revive any of Link's horses who have lost their lives in return for the hero restoring his power."
Creating a Champion

According to the sourcebook Creating a Champion, Malanya had an early scrapped concept design in which he was depicted as a effeminate dark-skinned male centaur-like Great Fairy. His final design doesn't have an actual body or face behind the mask so as to make Malanya's appearance unsettling. In fitting with his unsettling appearance his bones are modeled after a human spine and his disembodied form is designed to appear as if it is held together by some kind of curse magic.

Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

Inspiration

Malanya could be a literal incarnation of Epona's name origin, as in Irish mythology Epona was the Goddess of Horses, who ruled over all horses, much like how Malanya does.

Etymology

In Japanese, Malanya's name is マーロン (Māron?), which is a reference to Malon.

See Also

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