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Riju (ルージュ Rūju?) is a character from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. She is a descendant of the royal line and the leader of the Gerudo people, governing from Gerudo Town in the Gerudo Desert region of Hyrule. Riju is very young for a chieftain, having been thrust into her position of power prematurely after her mother, the previous chieftain, passed away unexpectedly. Her diary reveals that her full name is Makeela Riju. She has a Sand Seal pet named Patricia and a personal bodyguard named Buliara.
Riju is voiced by Elizabeth Maxwell in the English version of the game.
Personality and abilities
Despite her young age, Riju is very wise and cares greatly for the safety of her people. She is well aware that many Gerudo doubt her ability to govern, and is determined to prove them wrong. In comparison to other members of her race, Riju also does not seem to be as intolerant of voe (men) being within Gerudo Town's walls as she allows Link to stay when she and Buliara realize Link is a voe in disguise, though she apparently still wishes to uphold tradition and rule of law as she allows Link to maintain his disguise as a Hylian Vai and does not use her position to repeal or remove it as Link must continue to disguise himself to enter Gerudo Town even after freeing Divine Beast Vah Naboris, showing that while she is willing bend the rules by allowing Link to remain in Gerudo Town while disguised out of respect for his status as a Champion and comrade of Lady Urbosa, she has no intention removing it either partially (like how the Hero of Time was given the Gerudo Membership Card in Ocarina of Time allowing him to access Gerudo Fortress without being arrested for entering Gerudo territory) or entirely for the Hylian Champion's sake. She may have also wished to spare the Gerudo soldiers another insult to their honor following their failure to protect the Thunder Helm, as Link deception being discovered would have likely reflected poorly on the soldiers' ability to keep voe out of Gerudo Town and ability to enforce the rule of law.
Riju is a very skilled Sand Seal rider, being able to maneuver around obstacles in the desert with great ease. When she and Link assault the Divine Beast Vah Naboris, she is the one who leads the charge through the sand, with Link following close behind her. She is also quite brave as it is revealed that she went to investigate Vah Naboris on her own in her diary and managed to avoid the sandstorms and Vah Naboris' lightning. However this caused her bodyguard Buliara to worry about her safety which was only made worse when her sand seal Patricia was spooked by a monster causing Patricia to head directly towards Vah Naboris, which was the last thing Riju remembered before she awoke to find a worried Buliara standing over her. Though she is determined to prove herself a capable leader, she occasionally doubts herself and even felt that the theft of the Thunder Helm happened because she was not yet ready to be chief.
As the chieftain of the Gerudo and descendant of the royal line, Riju is also capable of wielding the power of the Thunder Helm. She mastered its power instantly upon using it for the first time. In many respects she is similar to both Lady Urbosa and Nabooru as she is loyal to the Kingdom of Hyrule even one hundred years after it had fallen during the Great Calamity, as she opposes Ganon and the Yiga Clan, though the latter is likely due to their attack on Gerudo Town and theft of the Thunder Helm.
Like most Gerudo, Riju respects Lady Urbosa greatly as it was out of respect for Link being Urbosa's comrade that she allowed him to remain in Gerudo Town and assisted him in entering Vah Naboris. In her diary asked both her mother and Urbosa for spiritual guidance, showing she holds Urbosa in the same high regard as her mother the previous chieftain. Ultimately, by assisting Link she allows him to defeat Thunderblight Ganon which frees both Vah Naboris and Urbosa's spirit, thus proving herself a capable leader and ally. Presumably following Dark Beast Ganon's defeat, she continue to aid Link and Princess Zelda in rebuilding Hyrule.
Riju can first be found on the main floor of the throne room in Gerudo Town. There, when spoken to by Link, she will ascertain that he is the Champion of Hyrule that, according to legend, had been put into a deep sleep one hundred years ago. When Link offers to help her defeat Vah Naboris, she tells him he must first prove his worth, and prove that without a doubt he is a Champion, and suggests that he reclaim the stolen Gerudo heirloom, the Thunder Helm, from the Yiga Clan, to prove this.
After Link completes this task, Riju can be found on the second floor of the throne room building. Once she and Link talk, and she is given the Thunder Helm, Riju tells him to meet her at the South Outpost outside of Gerudo Town, where they will launch their assault of Vah Naboris from.
At the South Outpost Riju can be found on the lookout dock, accessible from a ladder. She gives Link 20 Bomb Arrows and tells him the plan of battle before they then depart to take on the Divine Beast.
During the fight Riju protects Link from getting electrocuted by Vah Naboris by using the Thunder Helm, and guides him through the sandstorm to the Divine Beast's location. After Vah Naboris has been successfully brought down, she wishes Link luck as he charges ahead to infiltrate it.
After the Divine Beast has been freed, Riju can once again be found on the main floor of the throne room in Gerudo Town. For the rest of the game she can be found here, although sometimes she is in her bedroom or with her Sand Seal Patricia instead.
Among the characters in the game, Riju actually is quite unique. For starters, she’s both the leader of her race and the present-day counterpart to her race’s champion who helps you subdue their respective divine beast. For the Zora, Rito, and Goron, the leader and the champion counterpart are two separate people.
Riju is also the only one of the race leaders who doesn’t comment on Link having the Master Sword, should he have retrieved it before taming Naboris.