Ever since I beat The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, a hauntingly odd question has been floating around in my mind. Can Ganon die? If not, when Link III dies (the one in Zelda 1 and Zelda 2), then Ganon will be free to wreck havoc on Hyrule and finally get his grubby little claws on the rest of the Triforce. But if that Link dies, will a new one immediately emerge? Most likely not. And several Links throughout the ages have slayed Ganon, and he just keeps on coming back, like some demented form of the Energizer Bunny. To even begin to think of an answer to this question, we must first analyze Ganon's deaths. The first one we're not sure about yet, because Zelda 64 hasn't come out yet. But we do know of two others. Let's begin with the next one chronologically. A Link to the Past.
In A Link to the Past, Link gets the Master Sword, whoops Agahnim's butt, yada yada yada. After all that, Link shoots the Silver Arrow into Ganon, and Ganon crumbles, leaving nothing more than the Triforce behind. From then on in the game, nothing more is said about Ganon, whether he's really dead or not.
So time passes. Barely anything is said about Ganon in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, except that the people were afraid of what evil might arise from Ganon's ashes (the story in the manual). Then, that Link wakes the Wind Fish, and all is well.
Some years later, that Link dies, and a new one is born. Now comes the confusing and very unclear part. There is a big gap between Zelda 4 and Zelda 1. Nothing is known about this gap. Nothing at all. Zelda 1 picks up with Ganon getting his claws on the Triforce of Power and Link having to stop him. No tale is told on how Ganon was resurrected. We don't even have much of a guess. However, the comics and the Zelda manual (or maybe official Nintendo review, I don't remember) says that the only way to bring Ganon back was by sprinkling the blood of the Hero on Ganon's ashes. So what I assume happened is that sometime after his sea voyage, the Zelda 3 and 4 Link was captured or something, or maybe just a drop of his blood was obtained, and Ganon was resurrected. There are probably other ways that Ganon could have been brought back, but nothing in the legend indicates any other possibility as of yet. Maybe Zelda 64 will shed some light on this matter?
Now comes the next death for Ganon. Zelda 1. This was a lot like the death in Zelda 3. Almost exact. Link goes in, kicks some Ganon butt, and nothing is left but a chunk of the Triforce, ashes, and a dark memory.
Now, in Zelda 2, whenever you get a Game Over, it says "Return of Ganon". That means that Ganon's minions obtained the blood of the Hero and brought Ganon back to life. But even when you beat the game, Ganon is back for the cartoons and comics. How? Once again, we are left at a dead end, with only the blood and ashes explanation.
So Ganon has been killed many times. And we think we know how he keeps coming back. If the Hero's blood sprinkled on his ashes is the only way to bring Ganon back, then what would happen if somebody tossed the ashes into a river or something? Would Ganon be gone for good? Does he come back whenever the Hero is killed? What if someone bottled up his ashes and buried them at the bottom of the sea, where no one would ever find them? Would Ganon be dead forever? Probably so. But what if the Triforce of Power keeps him alive? It probably doesn't, but it might. And here's another thought: What if it's not the same Ganon? All the evidence that I've accumulated has pointed to it being the same Ganon, but there's a slight possibility that there might be two. I seriously doubt it though, because if you just take a look at the Zelda 1 and Zelda 3 battles, you'll find that they are so similar, it's not even funny. So can Ganon die? Technically, no. There will always be the possibility that someone would gather or find all his ashes and sprinkle the Hero's blood on them, or maybe just on the spot he was slain. But if proper precautions were taken, Ganon could stay "dead" for all of eternity.