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Riju is one of four leaders Link encounters during his adventures through Hyrule in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This character is a descendant of chieftains that rule over the Gerudo people. She replaces Urbosa, the Gerudo Champion who died as she fought against Ganon in the Great Calamity.
She reigns over her people in Gerudo Town, which is located in the Gerudo Desert. Riju is a young but capable leader but needs Link’s help when it comes to freeing her followers from the constant aggravation caused by Vah Naboris.
Key Details Up Front
Riju, chieftain of the Gerudo, is a very young yet promising leader. She has been put into her position unexpectedly after the death of her mother. Despite being in a position of power, she still behaves as a young person might. She writes in her diary regularly, has stuffed animals on her bed, and has a pet Sand Seal she named Patricia.
As a young leader, Riju is not very tall but is slowly growing into her role. She exhibits many of the traits most Gerudo have, including green eyes and red hair. She prefers to dress differently than most other Gerudo, wearing a green skirt with a yellow waist and a matching top that shows her midriff. When sitting on the throne, she wears the crown of the Gerudo Chieftain.
The throne of the Gerudo people was passed to Riju upon the sudden passing of her mother, who was the Gerudo Chieftain before Riju. Buliara, Riju’s bodyguard, helps guide Riju through the difficulties that come with being thrust into a leadership position.
Riju has a pet Sand Seal she has domesticated and named Patricia, which was a gift from her mother. The seal will also prophesy and offer wise words when she is fed fruit. Patricia is the seal Riju uses to help Link reach the Divine Beast Vah Naboris.
She is a direct descendant of Lady Urbosa, who was the Gerudo Chieftain a century before Riju came to power. Urbosa was a great leader and close friend of Hyrule’s Royal Family. She was good friends with the Queen of Hyrule and developed a deep relationship with Princess Zelda when the Queen died unexpectedly.
Urbosa was considered a wonderful Chieftain by her people, who feared for her life when she announced she would be Champion of the Gerudo and confront the Great Calamity. She did this to show the Gerudo as honorable and loyal, given that Ganondorf was originally the ancient King of the Gerudo.
Due to the efforts and influence of Lady Urbosa, Riju’s family remains loyal to Hyrule and the Royal Family, even when the kingdom falls. Riju is aware of the tales of a chosen hero who can wield the Sword that Seals the Darkness and awaits the arrival of the Hylian Champion.
One of Riju’s many duties as Gerudo Chieftain is to protect the Thunder Helm. This ornate helmet is usually worn by the Gerudo Chieftain to protect her from lightning. It is traditionally donned with Gerudo gear which includes Daybreaker, the Gerudo shield, and the Scimitar of the Seven, a powerful Gerudo sword forged by the Seven Heroines.
Due to her young age, there are some among the Gerudo who are unsure of her ability to lead. They suggest she does not have the experience necessary to be a strong and commanding presence. As a result, Riju has doubts about her leadership capabilities. However, she remains steadfast in her desire and determination to become a great leader like her mother or Lady Urbosa.
Unfortunately for Riju, the Divine Beast Vah Naboris suddenly awakens after nearly a century of lying dormant. The chieftain takes it upon herself to check things out herself only to wind up getting hurt on the return trip home. To add insult to injury, the Yiga Clan steals the Gerudo Thunder Helm. Buliara and Riju both blame themselves for the theft, but both insist it wasn’t the other’s fault.
Arrival of the Chosen Hero
Lucky for Riju, help is on the way. Princess Zelda – who has long fought to keep Ganon sealed within the confines of Hyrule Castle – has awoken Link. He has healed from the wounds he suffered during the Great Calamity and is ready to save Hyrule from Ganon.
He heads to Kakariko Village to meet with Impa, the leader of the Sheikah. Per her instructions from Princess Zelda, she tasks Link with freeing the four Divine Beasts. He is to find the leader of each race associated with each Divine Beast and assist them in their efforts. This includes helping the current Gerudo Chieftain in her attempt to subdue Divine Beast Vah Naboris.
Before the Great Calamity, Lady Urbosa piloted Vah Naboris as the Gerudo Champion. He seeks to find the new Gerudo Chieftain only to be rebuffed upon reaching Gerudo Town because he is a “voe” (man). This is because Gerudo Law only allows “vai” (women) within the town walls.
However, thanks to Link’s craftiness, he is able to fool the Gerudo guards by dressing up as a vai, wearing the clothes he obtains from a merchant who has accessed Gerudo Town in the same manner.
Link finds Riju in the throne room on the west end of Gerudo Town. She is sitting on the throne speaking with her guard, Buliara. When the two speak, she quickly determines that he is indeed the Hylian Champion, noting that he has the Sheikah Slate that once belonged to Princess Zelda.
It also doesn’t take long for both Riju and Buliara to deduce that Link is a man disguised as a woman, even though Urbosa, Mipha, and Princess Zelda are also female Champions. The pair know that Urbosa and Mipha were casualties of the Great Calamity and it’s clear that Link is not Princess Zelda.
However, Riju prevents Buliara from removing Link. She acknowledges that he has violated Gerudo law, but out of respect for his relationship with both Lady Urbosa and Princess Zelda, she allows him to stay. The catch is that while he remains in Gerudo Town, he must remain disguised as a vai. If he removes his disguise, he will immediately be kicked out.
During their conversation, Link offers his support in subduing the Divine Beast. Before he’s allowed to do so, he must prove his worth and show both Riju and Buliara that he is indeed the prophesied Champion. To do so, he must locate the Yiga Hideout and retrieve the Thunder Helm. This is necessary as the helm is needed to get close to Vah Naboris as it constantly rains down lightning on any who approach it.
Boarding Vah Naboris
Once Link returns from the Yiga Hideout with the Thunder Helm, he’ll find Riju on the balcony above the throne room. After a brief conversation, Link will return the Thunder Helm to its rightful owner. At this point, Riju will instruct him to meet her outside of town, near the South Outpost. From here, they’ll launch their attack on Divine Beast Vah Naboris.
When Link arrives at the South Outpost, he’ll need to climb up the ladder to find Riju. There, she’ll give him 20 bomb arrows and lay out what’s going to happen when they get close to Vah Naboris. Once she finished explaining the battle plan, they’ll head out.
With Riju’s Thunder Helm, a protective dome is created that projects both She and Link from the lightning that Vah Naboris shoots down at them. Riju guides them both through the sandstorm as they battle the Divine Beast with Link shooting his bomb arrows at its feet. Once they have successfully brought Vah Naboris down, Riju will tell Link good luck as he prepares to board the beast.
The Champion Returns
After Link has successfully subdued Vah Naboris and freed Lady Urbosas’s spirit, he needs to return to Gerudo Town. Riju has returned to her seat on the throne and is patiently awaiting his return in the throne room. From here on out, you’ll find her in the throne room during the day. However, there are a few instances at night when she is with Patricia or in her room.
Having freed the Gerudo people from Vah Naboris, Riju rewards him with Urbosa’s Gerudo gear: the Scimitar of the Seven and Daybreaker. If either of these items breaks, Link can return to Gerudo Town and speak with Bularia. She can repair them, given Link has the proper materials. Of course, he’ll have to disguise himself as a vai any time he comes back to visit.
Thunder Helm Side Quest
If you want to get the Thunder Helm for Link, you’ll need to speak with Riju once again. She’ll request that Link help her people. While the request itself is ambiguous, there are four quests that Link has to complete to obtain the Thunder Helm:
- Tools of the Trade
- Medicinal Molduga
- Search for Barta
- The Mystery Polluter
Return to Riju when all four quests are finished. She will let Link “borrow” the Thunder Helm. With it, he’s immune to Lightning, so he can wear it anytime there’s a thunderstorm and not get hurt. Plus, since it’s technically considered “vai” armor, Link can also wear it in Gerudo Town without getting thrown out.
Here are some of the more commonly asked questions about Riju, the Gerudo Chieftain in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Question: Where can I Find Riju?
Answer: Riju can be found in Gerudo Town, which is located in the Gerudo Desert in the northwest corner of Hyrule.
Question: What Time of Day is Riju Usually Available?
Answer: Riju is usually in her throne room during the day. However, there are a few instances at night when she is with Patricia or in her room.
Question: What is the Thunder Helm?
Answer: The Thunder Helm is a Gerudo headdress that protects its wearer from lightning. It can be found in the Yiga Hideout, which is located in the Gerudo Desert.
Question: How do I get the Thunder Helm?
Answer: You’ll need to speak with Riju and help her people. While the request itself is ambiguous, there are four quests that Link has to complete to obtain the Thunder Helm: Tools of the Trade, Medicinal Molduga, Search for Barta, and The Mystery Polluter. Return to Riju when all four quests are finished and she will let Link “borrow” the Thunder Helm.
Question: What is the Scimitar of the Seven?
Answer: The Scimitar of the Seven is a Gerudo sword that is obtained after defeating Vah Naboris. It can be found in Gerudo Town, which is located in the Gerudo Desert in the northwest corner of Hyrule.
Question: What is Daybreaker?
Answer: Daybreaker is the shield used by Lady Urbosa. It can be obtained by Link after defeating Divine Beast Vah Naboris and speaking with Riju.
Young but Capable
Riju is the young but capable chief of the Gerudo people in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. She’s a fierce warrior and has no problem speaking her mind. Being a direct descendant of Lady Urbosa gives her the confidence she needs to lead her people. With Link’s help, the Divine Beast Vah Naboris is once again under Gerudo control and the Gerudo people can show their loyalty to Hyrule.