- "This is the nature of places known as Silent Realms. They are domains of the spirit, accessible only to the goddess's chosen hero."
- — Fi
The Silent Realms are locations from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. They are shadowy reflections of a given area located in the Spirit World. To enter a Silent Realm, Link has to find an area's Trial Gate through dowsing, and activate it by playing the correct song on the Goddess's Harp. The gate can then be entered by thrusting Link's sword into the ground. Once completed, Link may replay specific Silent Realms as part of Lanayru's Lightning Round.
In addition, it should be noted that the Silent Realms are the only locations in which Dusk Relics may be found lying on the ground.
Link has to enter the Silent Realms on different occasions during his quest. Inside the realms, he will be tested by the Goddess to see if he is a worthy hero. During the trials, Link's soul is separated from his body, leaving him unable to use his sword or items. These Silent Realms are found in Faron Woods, Lanayru Desert, Eldin Volcano and Skyloft. During Link's search for the three Sacred Flames to purify the Goddess Sword, Link is rewarded with one of the Three Sacred Gifts in the first three Silent Realms (Faron Woods, Lanayru Desert, and Eldin Volcano), which are required to reach each of the Dungeons containing the Sacred Flames.
In each trial, Link will have to gather fifteen Tears of the Goddesses - Tears of Farore, Nayru, Din, and Sacred Tears, respectively - and gather them in his Spirit Vessel. While doing so, he must avoid the Guardians, which can shatter his soul in one hit, causing him to fail the trial. Guardians can be stopped for up to 90 seconds by collecting a tear. However, if Link touches Waking Water, or is spotted by a Watcher, the Guardians will immediately be awakened. Gathering a Light Fruit extends beacons of light of the Tears for 30 seconds, making them easier to locate.
If Link manages to gather all the tears, and makes it back to the entrance safely, his spirit will grow, and he will receive a valuable item: the Water Dragon's Scale, the Clawshots, the Fireshield Earrings, and the Stone of Trials, respectively earned during the trials of Farore, Nayru, Din, and the final trial in Skyloft.
It should be noted that when Link is about to obtain each of the Triforce pieces in Sky Keep, he is transported to a small room which lies in the Silent Realm. Unlike other times, however, Link does not have to undergo any trials to actually obtain the Triforce pieces while there.
The Silent Realm is theorized to be the Sacred Realm mentioned throughout the Zelda series. In Skyward Sword, Link obtains all three pieces of the Triforce in a place which appears to be the Silent Realm, given the area's identical appearance, method of entry, and Link's lack of items in the area. Because the stories of the creation of Hyrule state that the Triforce was left in the Sacred Realm, it would make sense that in Skyward Sword, which is generally accepted as the first game in the chronology of the series, the Triforce would be found in the Sacred Realm. The Silent Realm also changes to appear golden upon Link's acquisition of the full Triforce, similar to the Sacred Realm's description as the "Golden Land". However, the nature of the Silent Realm is distinctly different from that of the Sacred Realm. While both are equivalent worlds to Hyrule, the Silent Realm is a spirit world which only Link can enter, leaving Fi, his items, and his own physical body behind. The Sacred Realm, however, is a normal physical world, which any person can enter with their own body and equipment. It should also be noted that according to Fi's explanation of the Silent Realm it is a spirit world that only the goddess's chosen hero can enter, while the Sacred Realm can be entered by beings who are not the Goddess's chosen hero such as Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time.
However it is possible that Hylia or the Goddesses transformed the Sacred Realm into the Silent Realm to protect the Triforce from the Demon Tribe and their leader Demise. Presumably after Demise's defeat, Hylia's reincarnation the Spirit Maiden Zelda (who had regained her memories of her past life) uses her power or that of the Triforce (as Zelda being a Hylian could use the Triforce, unlike Hylia who was unable to due to being a deity herself which may be one of her reasons for reincarnating herself into a mortal Hylian) to transform it back into the Sacred Realm. Alternatively, Link's acquisition of the Triforce and wish may have caused the Silent Realm to transform back into the Sacred Realm, either due to the wish being made by a noble soul for a noble purpose and/or by design as it had fulfilled its purpose (presumably the Silent Realm featured in the Lightning Round may simply be constructs or simulations of it created by the Thunder Dragon Lanayru).