What Are The Bargainer Statues In Tears Of The Kingdom?

The Legend of Zelda is a suitably vague series. Legends are always subject to changes based on the person telling the tale, and whether intentional or not, The Legend of Zelda does it aplenty. Each story bears the bones of the same tale but is told in different ways.


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As such, it can be hard to say anything directly definitive about Zelda either. Take the Bargainer Statues in Tears of the Kingdom. Like the Depths in which they are housed, there is little that can be said firmly on them. But when looking at various other aspects of the series, we can discern a little bit more.


Why Are The Bargainer Statues In The Depths?

a call from the depths great abandoned central mine bargainer statue totk tears of the kingdom-1

Let’s start by talking about the Depths themselves. Hidden from all promotional material, the Depths came as a shock to all players, a massive layer underneath the very surface of Hyrule, and a result of the Upheaval caused by Ganondorf’s revival. Entered through Gloom-ridden chasms scattered across Hyrule, the Depths are a place of utter darkness and mystery.

Though the majority of the Bargainer Statues are hidden in the Depths, you first you’ll likely encounter is the one located at Lookout Landing, in Josha’s study.

This miniature Bargainer says little, simply telling you to seek out its brethren throughout the Depths. We can assume from their prevalence down below — and their proximity to their beloved Poes — that they are natural to the Depths, or at the very least excel there.

Perhaps more important though is their size. Players may often mistake the Bargainer Statues as gigantic heads carved into rock, but from the right distance and perspective, you will begin to notice that the head is but a small part of a massive body. They are titanic in scale, towering over the wispy clouds of the Depths, overseeing the Poes trapped within.

a close-up of a bargainer statue in tears of the kingdom

Another theory to posit is that the Bargainer Statues are themselves banished to the Depths. This grand area below Hyrule was unbeknownst to all until its reappearance with the Upheaval, many of the mysteries of Hyrule’s history are contained within. Ancient cities of the Goron, plentiful Zonai technology, and the Gloom of Ganondorf himself.

The Bargainer Statues of the surface are minuscule in comparison to their subterranean brethren. It is very possible that they serve only as vessels to guide people towards the Depths, especially given their prevalence following the opening of the chasms across Hyrule.

This can be seen clearly with the small Baraginer Statue sunk beneath the lake of the Great Plateau that grows silent after the eyes are returned to its significantly larger counterpart in the Depths.

The Bargainer Statues’ Connection With Poes

Link wearing the Depths Armor

Fans of the series may be familiar with Poes. They have taken various appearances across the games, but more commonly appear as an ethereal ghost enemy, roaming the world at night.

Most typically, they can be captured in a bottle and given to some individual for a reward. As spirits, they are closely linked with curses and death, a theme carried over in Tears of the Kingdom.

Poes are found exclusively in the Depths, being small wisps of glowing colours. The Bargainer Statues have a stated goal towards Poes — to usher them into the next life.

By their description, Poes are pitiful things that could not pass on by themselves, and the Bargainer Statues perform this task for them. That they offer Link rewards for bringing them could be seen as purely altruistic, though at times can give off a more malicious intent.

In a functional sense, they act like the Poe Collector from Ocarina of Time. In exchange for Poes, you are given rewards. From a thematic standpoint, they give a more definite reasoning behind their goals, whether you believe it or not.

Poe description in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Yet, with the Depths so infested with souls of the dead and aeons of legacy, you could just as easily surmise that Poes are offerings to the Bargainer Statues that increase their own strength.

Another interesting aspect of this relationship is the rewards Link is offered. Much of these are materials from the Depths, or the Dark Tunic and Tunic of the Depths, articles of clothing closely linked with the Depths and darkness.

More notable are the various legacy items. If lost, Link can exchange Poes at the Bargainer Statues for duplicates of these items.

Considering that Poes are spirits of the dead, and with the loose storytelling within the series as a whole, it could be theorised that these duplicates are instead items from Link’s own historical adventures, from heroes that have long since passed into an eternal afterlife as a Poe themselves.

‘Legacy items’ refers to the outfits and weapons from previous games in the series. These were previously exclusive to amiibo drops in Breath of the Wild.

The Bargainer Statues’ Relation To Other Spiritual Beings

A screenshot showing the Temple of Time in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Gods and mythical figures are no oddity to the people of Hyrule. Hylia has long been praised as the sole deity of Hyrule, statues of the Goddess scatted across the land and dragons named after the Golden Goddess trio soar across the land.

In fact, even by the time Rauru and Mineru descended to Hyrule, we can see that the native Hylians already worshipped Hylia.

However, earlier evidence shows that the Zonai were once seen as gods themselves, hinting at a time when Hyrule was not ruled by a singular religious figure. This gives rise to other figures, and what they may have meant. The Bargainer Statues fit neatly into this.

The Depths are light on history, and it is hard to say whether they were mined before or during Rauru’s time in Hyrule. However, certain pieces of information indicate that they are much older, during time with many gods in Hyrule.

Many of the statues in the Depths bear designs not similar to any other modern culture of Hyrule, for example.

With this in mind, it can be assumed that the Bargainer Statues were once praised openly in a similar vein to the Zonai by earlier Hyruleans. Death and rebirth are common themes of the series, and the Bargainer Statues facilitate this belief.

‘Hylians’ refers specifically to the human-like denizens of Hyrule. ‘Hyruleans’ refers to all sentient races of the land of Hyrule.

There is also the Horned Statue, found outside Hateno Village in Breath of the Wild, and in the Royal Hidden Passage in Tears of the Kingdom.

They offer Link an exchange, of swapping hearts with stamina in exchange for rupees. As a reward for returning the eyes to the Bargainer Statue of the Depths, they offer Link a choice of a heart or stamina as a reward.

Many view the Horned Statue as the opposite of Hylia, but it is possible they are also closely connected with the Bargainer Statues due to the nature of their deals.

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