Another Zelda article, and probably my last one before my Skyward Sword review next month. As ever, all information I gathered are from the latest re-releases of the respective games.
So let us dive in into the mysteries of the Gerudo!
The Gerudos are a race of desert dwellers. All of them are women, and only once every 100 years a man is born, destinied to be the king and leader of the Gerudo for lifetime. Because of that, we can assume that they have a longer lifespan than humans. The most famous Gerudo are Ganondorf Dragmire, Nabooru and Twinrova, the young disguise of Koume and Kotake, two 400 year old witches.
The Gerudo have a very strict military hirarchy. The sole male is the leader, who has one second in command, who in return has another second in command. They usually steal and plunder from wanderers and locals, but they also hunt for their food. They are fierce warriors and adept in various weaponry such as spears, swords and bow and arrow. They are also very good melee fighters with high agility and strength. Some Gerudos are adept in magic and dark scorcery. They have been forging the ice arrows and seem to be in possession of at least one clawshot. They also may have created the spinner, since it is found within the Gerudo Desert.
Life of the Gerudos is shrouded in mystery. While they roam the desert in Ocarina of Time, they pretty much vanished after that. What happened? Well, after one of their own betrayed them and left for Hyrule where he wreaked havoc for a while, they probably left the land. In the adult timeline, thy probably became pirates and lost a few of their characteristics, like the round ears or red eyes. Jolene from Phantom Hourglass is probably of Gerudo descent. After Ganondorf left, the Gerudo had to mate with regular Hylians (as depicted in Ocarina of Time) to sustain their numbers, which probably resulted in the tribe changing. So whoever of the Gerudo survived the great flood probably beame pirates. Ganondorf probably used the old Gerudo Pirate fortress as a base because of that. Most Gerudos however seem to have died, because Ganondorf clearly felt for their loss in Wind Waker.
In the child timeline, something similar might have happened. Imagine the only male gerudo leaving and being punished for his sins. So he has yet to father a son, since the 100 years are far from over (that is, if Ganondorf himself is around 40 and not that much older) and no other Gerudo male is around obviously. So most of the Gerudo left, to find suitable replacements somewhere else. Some might have stayed behind and mated with hylians. Thelma from Twilight Princess for example clearly is of Gerudo descendant, but she does feature some hylian traits aswell.
The Gerudo have not be seen in Hyrule for Generations, until a few of them returned in Four Swords Adventures. There, they set up camp in the desert again and guard the entrance, until Ganondorf returned to steal the magic trident. The Gerudo knew what he was up to and hoped that he might die in the desert. When they ehard from links Quest, they aided him once more. What happened after that is unknown, but it might be that the magic of the desert changed them. The enemy Geldman from A Link to the Past is a mistranslation from Gerudoman. So it might either be that those sand creatures are magic left by the gerudo or that they are the gerudo themselfs, bonding with the countryside they seem to love so much (since they did have build fortresses there and named the desert after themselfs). But where did those Gerudo came from?
From Termina of course. In Termina they found a suitable replacement to their lifestyle as pirates. And that might have just saved the tribe. They might still be alive somewhere in Termina, still haunting the seas. And maybe one day, they will return to Hyrule.