Artwork of Link on Epona for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
|First appearance||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)|
|Latest appearance||Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (2018)|
Epona is a brown, female horse who serves as Link's steed in some of The Legend of Zelda games. She first appears in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In the 3D The Legend of Zelda games, riding Epona allows Link to move around the overworld quicker. In the main The Legend of Zelda series, Link can summon Epona by playing Epona's Song.
Her name is shared with Epona, a Celtic goddess who served as the protector of horses.
The Legend of Zelda series
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Epona has an optional role, as obtaining her is not required. Link can only ride Epona as an adult. Riding her allows Link to travel faster around the overworld, especially on Hyrule Field. Epona is required for the Horseback Archery Range, and she is an alternative for crossing the broken bridge in Gerudo Valley. Epona cannot enter towns or dungeons, and if Link plays Epona's Song outside those locations, he can summon Epona. As Link rides Epona, her stamina is represented by six carrots. Link can whip Epona for a temporary speed boost, although this uses up a carrot of her stamnia. After a few seconds, Epona's stamina replenishes. The Fairy Bow is the only weapon Link can use while riding Epona.
Link first encounters Epona at Lon Lon Ranch as a child. As a foal, Epona is under the care of Malon. Epona starts out being scared of Link, running away whenever he is near her. When Link learns Epona's Song from Malon, Epona is no longer afraid of Link and starts to like him.
Epona has a larger in-game role when Link is an adult. During this time, Epona has grown up entirely. Ingo took control over Lon Lon Ranch and has plans to show Epona to Ganondorf, believing her to be an untamable horse. Each time Link wants to enter the corral, he must pay 10 Rupees to Ingo, who only allows him to enter for one minute.
Just as during Link's childhood, Epona is again afraid of Link and runs away when he approaches her. He can tame Epona again by playing Epona's Song. When Epona is tame, Link can climb onto her and ride, but he has just under one minute to practice riding. By riding around a bit with Epona and jumping over some small fences, Link can return to Ingo with Epona. By talking to Ingo, he challenges Link to a horse race.
After winning the first race, Ingo feels embarrassed and insists on doing another race, allowing Link to keep Epona if he wins. After winng the second race, Ingo allows Link to keep Epona but locks the gate to prevent him from leaving. Link and Epona can leave the ranch by having Epona jump over the surrounding walls. By doing so, they land out into Hyrule Field.
Names in other languages
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