"A precious Gerudo heirloom reclaimed from the Yiga. It has the power of withstand Naboris' lightning. Guard it with your life until you can return it to Riju."
— Key Item description

The Thunder Helm is a key item from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It is a piece of head armor that first appears as a Key Item obtained after Link defeated Master Kohga at the Yiga Clan Hideout in the Gerudo Desert. It is a precious Gerudo heirloom traditionally worn by the Gerudo Chieftain. As a Key Item it plays a key role in allowing Link to access the Divine Beast Vah Naboris. After completing "Divine Beast Vah Naboris" Quest, Link can obtain it as head armor through completing a series of Side Quests.

It makes the wearer impervious to damage by lightning strikes, even artificial lightning produced by Vah Naboris which can bypass the "Unshockable" defense of the upgraded Rubber armor set which only protects Link form natural lightning produced by thunderstorms.

Background & History

Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

Riju holding the Thunder Helm

The Thunder Helm was an heirloom that Riju inherited from her late mother, the previous chief of the Gerudo tribe. The helm was kept in Riju's place in Gerudo Town, but the palace was attacked by the Yiga Clan, who defeated the guards and stole the helm.

When Link comes to Gerudo Desert to free the Divine Beast Vah Naboris from Calamity Ganon's influence, disguised as a Hylian woman, he learns of the theft. Link needs help from Riju to calm Vah Naboris; because she recognizes Link's Sheikah Slate, she realizes that he is the Hylian Champion and a friend of Lady Urbosa. Her bodyguard Buliara suggests they test him first by having him retrieve the stolen Thunder Helm, since the heirloom is necessary to reach Vah Naboris, who is generating lightning.

Link infiltrates the Yiga Clan Hideout and confronts their leader, Master Kohga. After defeating him, Link obtains the Thunder Helm, which he returns to Riju in Gerudo Town. Riju later guides Link through the sandstorm to the Divine Beast's location, then protects Link from getting electrocuted by Vah Naboris thanks to the Thunder Helm.

According to Urbosa's Diary and other sources it once belonged to Urbosa when she was Gerudo Chieftain before the Great Calamity however she left it, the Scimitar of the Seven, and the Daybreaker in Gerudo Town. Interestingly, in her diary she notes the Yiga Clan had been plotting to steal it, indicating they had been planning to steal it for over a century which could be attributed to Gerudo Town's tight security and ever vigilant town guards.

As the Thunder Helm is designed to fit an adult Gerudo female, it doesn't fit the teenage Riju as she only took the throne due to the death of her mother the previous Chieftain. As a result it tends to slip when Riju wears it, forcing her to readjust it whenever it does so making wearing it difficult. It also explains why she rarely wears it unless necessary such when aiding Link against Vah Naboris. Presumably she is waiting until her body grows enough so it will fit her properly as its tendency to slip makes her look rather undignified. As a result it normally rests upon its display stand beside the throne within Riju's palace as demonstrated after it is used against Vah Naboris. However despite being designed for female Gerudo, a adolescent Hylian male of Link's size can wear it without issue though his androgynous physique and greater upper body strength likely play a role as Riju presumably lacks both size and strength to wear it properly as adult Gerudo female are implied to possess strength comparable to an adult Hylian males given that trained soldiers like Builara have no trouble wielding a Golden Claymore. Link himself is also physically older than Riju as he is an adolescent while Riju is still a teenager and despite his size is a highly trained knight who is noted to possess Goron-like strength and a high level of physical fitness. Its status as traditional Gerudo vai head armor primarily worn by Gerudo chieftains along with its obscuring most of the wearer's face means it can be used by Link as a effective replacement for the Gerudo Veil. Despite its status as a royal heirloom of the Gerudo, Riju is willing to allow the hero Link to borrow it as she is currently too young to wear it causally, though despite retrieving the helm and freeing Vah Naboris, she tasks him with assisting her people in solving various problems promising to let him borrow it upon their completion. Presumably she uses Link's assistance in said matters as justification for allowing a Hylian to borrow it as she keeps the disguised Link's status as the Hylian Champion a secret known only to herself and Builara.

Related Side Quests

Main article: The Thunder Helm

After Link frees the Divine Beast Vah Naboris and returns back the Thunder Helm, Riju gives the side quest "The Thunder Helm" to help the citizens of her city. In return she will reward Link by allowing him borrow the helmet to wear as head armor.

The following side quests are required to complete "The Thunder Helm", which rewards it back to Link.

Lost Thunder Helm glitch

The Thunder Helm can be permanently lost if Link receives it while his Armor inventory is full. Though Link will "receive" the item and complete the quest, it will not appear in the inventory nor will return to its pedestal, and it cannot be obtained from speaking to Riju again unless Link reloads to a previous save before he "receives" it from Riju. Presumably this is a programing oversight or glitch. Link can avoid this glitch by saving before speaking to Riju to receive it and completing The Thunder Helm side quest allowing him to reload if the glitch does occur. However this glitch only occurs if Link's armor inventory is full, thus Link should not complete the quest and obtain the Thunder Helm until he is sure he has an open slot in his armor inventory.

Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

Head Armor

"A precious heirloom passed down among the Gerudo. It deflects lightning strikes and is traditionally worn only by the Gerudo chief."
— Armor description

After receiving it as a reward for completing "The Thunder Helm" side quest, the Thunder Helm becomes a special piece of head armor and is no longer a key item (thus he needs a free space open in his armor inventory). As Link is simply borrowing it, it cannot be dyed, upgraded by Great Fairies, or sold much like the Snow Boots Link borrows from Bozai during "The Eighth Heroine" side quest. However when worn it grants the Lightning Proof effect which makes Link immune to lightning allowing him to wield metal weaponry during thunderstorms without fear of being killed by lightning and can even use lightning strikes as a weapon against enemies by equipping metal equipment that emit sparks during thunderstorms effectively turning Link into a lightning rod. However as it cannot be upgraded Link is unable to increase its defense beyond 3 points, though he can wear strong body and leg armor and consume Tough food and Tough Elixirs to mitigate this. However it should be noted that unlike the Rubber Armor set pieces, it does not grant Shock Resistance nor does it make Link completely Unshockable, thus he is still susceptible to damage and being shocked by electric enemies and Shock Arrows, as Lightning Proof only grants immunity to damage from lightning. However unlike the Rubber armor set which must be upgraded to Level 2 or higher to activate its Unshockable set bonus (which grants immunity to all electric damage and shock effect, with the exception of Vah Naboris' lightning which only the Thunder Helm can withstand), the Thunder Helm grants Lightning Proof as its basic effect allowing it to be worn with other body and leg armor. Additionally, as it is technically Gerudo "Vai"`(Women) clothing as it is normally worn by female Gerudo Chieftain and covers Link's upper face, it can be worn instead of the Gerudo Veil as part of Link's "Vai" disguise much like the Snow Boots or Sand Boots can be used to replace the Gerudo Sirwal. This fittingly makes it one of the few pieces of Armor that Link can wear in Gerudo Town. Additionally its defense is greater than the Gerudo Veil as it a metal helmet that offers greater head protection than the Gerudo Veil which is primarily made of cloth.

See also