The Gerudo (pronounced Gair-ooh-dough) are a clan of female thieves
's The Legend of Zelda
universe. They are a very private group, distrust all outsiders, and are quite secretive. In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
the Gerudo live in the desert at their heavily guarded fortress stronghold where they plan, plot, and train for future raids. They have no industry or commerce; instead they build their society upon theft. In Gerudo lore there is a legend that every one hundred years a single male Gerudo would be born, and right around the one hundred year mark one of the women gave birth to Ganondorf
. The young male was raised in the traditions of the clan and, as such, his heart filled with evil and hatred. Ganondorf
left the fortress to journey to Hyrule Castle
where he became one of the king's advisors... until he double-crossed the throne and stole the Triforce
, thus turning the world into an evil horror filled with deadly monsters. His mother would be proud.
Gerudo foretresses are filled with guards, treasures, prison cells, and a special training chamber filled with traps and dangers. The prize at the center of the chamber is the mythical ice arrow and it's kept behind a number of locked doors. On the outskirts of the fortress is the horseback riding target practice range. Once Link has gained the respect of the clan he can train there with his horse, Epona. Trainees have a limited time to ride a complete revolution around the track and to shoot arrows at the large targets. Better aim means better prizes. Passing through Gerudo territory is required to reach the desert, beyond which is the Spirit Temple.
While normally only the adult Link can enter the Gerudo's territory, it is possible to go there as a child by warping to the Spirit Temple as a child and then navigating through the desert in reverse. However, once in the Gerudo's fortress Link will most likely be caught, sent to jail, and will be unable to escape as young Link cannot use the hookshot that is required to leave the cell.