The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will likely provide some much-needed answers about one of its predecessor's most enduring mysteries. While we've only gotten a handful of brief looks at the upcoming Legend of Zelda game, players are already speculating about the plot of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Based on the aesthetics of the various ruins Link seems to be exploring in the new trailer, it's likely that the plot will involve the Zonai, a mysterious culture that pre-dated even the Shiekah in Hyrule.
The Zonai are best known in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the mysterious pillars that are dotted throughout the world, most notably at the Zonai Ruins. The Zonai often marked their structure with a distinctive swirl pattern, a swirl pattern that appears in the most recent trailer surrounding a mysterious owl-like figure. Many of the Zonai's ruins also feature a dragon's head, a reference to the Water Dragon (who is likely Farosh) that the group supposedly worshipped. The ouroboros seen in the most recent trailer for Tears of the Kingdom used dragon heads similar to the Zonai dragon sculptures, and a previous trailer showed Link using what appears to be a Zonai flamethrower to fight an enemy. The very first teaser trailer also showed Link and Zelda exploring what appears to be a Zonai ruin underneath Hyrule.
All we know is that the Zonai were powerful magic users that disappeared long ago. The Zonai are also the "Barbarians" who crafted the Barbarian Armor set found in the middle of the three massive labyrinths in Breath of the Wild. Several Shrines in Breath of the Wild also appear in the middle of Zonai ruins, although the exact connection between the Zonai and Sheikah tribes were never explored.
One of the more persistent complaints about Breath of the Wild was the vast emptiness of Hyrule, so explaining some of the deeper mysteries only teased in the first game may help fill out the world of Tears of the Kingdom even more. Players will be able to dive into the mysteries of The Legend of Zelda when Tears of the Kingdom comes out on May 12, 2023.