- "The Knights took the full brunt of the fierce attack, and although they fought courageously many a brave soul was lost that day, However, their lives were not lost in vain, for they bought precious time for the Seven Wise Men to magically seal Ganon in the Golden land."
- — A Link to the Past prologue
The Seven Wise Men are a group from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Mentioned in the prologue and intro of the game, the Seven Wise Men is a group of elderly sages that sealed Ganon in the Dark World during the Imprisoning War.
It is stated that while Ganon was recruiting his army to attack Hyrule and steal the Triforce, the King of Hyrule called upon the Seven Wise Men and Knights of Hyrule to protect the Sacred Realm. To do this, the Seven Wise Men began searching for a hero to wield the legendary Master Sword and protect the Triforce from Ganon, but before they could accomplish this, Hyrule was ambushed by Ganon and his army of evil. To stop him the Knights of Hyrule fought his army furiously, and the Seven Wise Men created a seal, locking Ganon in the Dark World and saving Hyrule from ultimate destruction.
It is strongly implied in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time that the Seven Sages are the Seven Wise Men and that the events of the game is the Imprisoning War. This concept is furthered in the Game Boy Advance port for A Link to the Past where the Seven Wise Men are renamed the Seven Sages. Also, in Ocarina of Time, Impa refers to the Six Sages as the "Wise Ones". The original Japanese name for the Seven Wise Men is also identical to the Japanese name for the Seven Sages, with "Seven Wise Men" being a mistranslation of what is more accurately "Seven Sages". In an interview conducted at the time of Ocarina of Time's release, the game's character designer, Satoru Takizawa, and the game's script director, Toru Osawa, stated that the apparent Imprisoning War and the Seven Sages seen in Ocarina of Time are the same ones mentioned in A Link to the Past. This is also support by Hyrule Historia.
Despite these facts however, there are some counterarguments to this theory. The main one is that five of the seven sages are female, and only one of these males is Hylian. Also, some of the Imprisoning War's description in the game's prologue contradicts the the events of Ocarina of Time. Although these counter arguments are indeed true, this can easily be explained away as retcon, and most fans have come to accept that the Seven Wise Men and the Seven Sages are indeed one and the same.
Alternatively, it is possible that the Seven Wise Men were the Ancient Sages who built the Temple of Time, rather than the latter Sages, who were awakened during the events of Ocarina of Time. This theory is supported by the events of Twilight Princess, since the Ancient Sages were resurrected and recalled from the Sacred Realm. It is further supported by the opening cutscene of A Link to the Past, which shows seven Hylian males (fitting the Ancient Sages), rather than a multiracial and mostly (five of seven) female group (as the Ocarina of Time Sages).