Ico is not the only person to have horns:
The stories that mention that he is the only one in his village who has horns must be wrong.
My first evidence is that the people bringing Ico to the castle also have horns. There is one hooded guy and there are a few other men who walk strangely who all have horns on their heads.
My theory is that he says that they bring kids with horns to the castle and sacrifice them – that must mean that he's not the only kid with horns they brought to the castle. Maybe she is a Quenn who rules over a vast and that the gamer doesn't get to explore.
My last piece of evidence is that the black shadowy creatures with glowing heads also have horns. If you pay attention to the shape of their heads instead of just bashing them to nothingness right away you will notice they have horns. The ones that are most evident that they have horns are the ones that dance around Yorda at the end of the game – which, my theory is that those were the ones who died inside of the tombs. (I mean, the tombs light up after you bash enough of them to oblivion, I'm guessing that you are supposed to think that there is one shadow soul for each tomb).
That's all I wanted to say before my story because after I played the game I was inspired to write about it, like other fans have done off and on for the past 5 years. My story includes other people WITH horns, because I noticed the men dragging him to the castle had horns.
I'm not saying that the stories that say he's the only one are bad, I'm just saying that the author must not have been paying much attention to the beginning, or forgot it when they wrote their story, or maybe the feeling of Ico being of social isolation makes a story better. ( I know what the professional websites say though – confusing, no?)
Ico took Yordas' hand and helped her back to her feet. He looked at her, puzzled. He coughed once and asked her how she escaped. Then he asked her how he escaped. Of course, she couldn't possibly answer him.
Ico touched the sides of his head. His horns were gone. Dried blood and dirty bandana crumbled away in his hands. Incredibly, they had broken off close enough to his skull so that they bled. Horns don't bleed if they broke; just like hair or nails, but if you get close enough to the base... It was a gruesome thought.
The force of a wispy black shadow with a woman's face greatly impressed him then, and even now as a fading memory.
Ico looked at Yorda and took her hand. He had thought about how to get home a lot, and he had been thinking over where he had come from so that he could re-trace his steps. "I remember where they took me down. I got a good look at the path."
Yorda was a soft skinned, solid human like he was. She looked normal; except of course her skin was so white it glowed in the dark. She smiled at him.
So what if she wasn't human. He could live with it. In fact, it put him at a little unease just because she was so …cool. She was a powerful magical brilliant light being of darkness. She was to be respected and revered. But he also knew she had a strong will, but a weak constitution, which was perfectly princess-like.
He smiled back and his cheek twitched. He hurt. Yorda put her hand on his shoulder and said something to him. It certainly sounded nice; soft, gentle, supportive, and a little sad. But the words were complete garble-tee-gook.
Ico thought that perhaps in time he would be able to teach her Japanese. It would be slow and painful, but she will someday be able to tell him how they had escaped from the castle.
When they talked to each other, it wasn't just to communicate; it was to acknowledge the other's existence. To let the other know that they haven't been forgotten. Barriers are always frustrating. Ico was impatient, but he knew there is always ways around barriers, or busting through them.
His impatience to escape the castle made it possible to run, jump, climb, swim, and dangle from death defying heights the entire way out. His impromptus and his territoriality, which are both masculine tendencies, made him want to carry a girl out of there with him, and fight the lurking, dancing, ghostly black shadows for that girl.
After going through the trouble of getting her free, and after realizing he needed her to get out, he wasn't, as at first, just taking her along for the ride anymore. After one acrobatic stunt after another, after every smile, after very holding of the hands, and especially after the bridge had slowly climbed back into the wall she had caught him from, he realized she cared about him. Yorda appreciated his knighthood to the point of creating friendship between them, which when in turn, Ico awoke to a sense of vengeance and determination. He had killed the evil queen and rescued the princess. And then after the darkness of nausea took over his very being, the princess rescued him.
Although that is what he had speculated had happened, after waking up on a strange boat on a strange beach with the princess conveniently sleeping upon it's warm sand.
He gripped his fingers around hers. To his surprise, they were warm! In the castle, after he had had a good look at her (or rather, after she had had a good look at him), he had only took her hand the first time to save her, but noticed that her skin was as cold as a rock in a river on a frozen day in February. And dry. They were as dry as wood. Cold and dry. At first he resisted her touch, but gradually, he came to grabbing her so often to lead her around the winding paths and treacherous terrain that he got used to it.
Ico took his other hand and put it on Yordas' free arm. She was as warm as he was. This defiantly beat the cold and dry. Yorda was startled at his touch. He quickly backed down, nervously, and apologized.
Then they started walking toward the cliff.
He hadn't been worried about much of anything until now. He had just wanted to escape and go home. Then he realized that he couldn't. Escape? Sure. Go home? He'd return home only to be captured again (not that he'd be going anywhere), or shunned upon for not braving his death with dignity. Even if his family were happy to have him back again, he'd have to contend with an explanation of sorts – usually with which he wasn't happily compliable. He'd have to explain the castle, the shadows, the queen, his missing horns, and of course, Yorda.
Having Yorda around, the poor frail fragile girl would be treated like a freak show with her square ears. Her flimsy transparent dress was nothing at all like his tribal wear. And even if she was put into normal farmers clothing, she'd still have the skin and hair and eyes, she'd still have no horns. At least he still had his stumps. People would be able to see that he at least had once had them.
I How courageous /I . A smug smile crept across his face as he thought of how impressed other children (and even adults!) would be at his bravo and daring do at loosing his horns to such a terrible Queen of Darkness. He prided himself thinking that the girls would swoon at such a battle scar like his; they would know just by looking at his horns that they were considerably big even for a young boy like him; and how he must have had a brilliant struggle to knock off such sturdy thick horns.
Ico started thinking about his home; how bored he was most of the time. He did chores and helped the village farm, and then to vent he took up swinging sticks with other boys, or he'd wander off by himself on fishing escapades or kill rabbits to give to his proud mother for dinner. He didn't like the idea of doing that for the rest of his life. He wanted to go somewhere else. And he certainly didn't want to have to drag Yorda back to a peasant's life of digging, and she was so frail he doubted she could ever learn how to fish or hunt or climb trees.
Ico giggled quietly to himself thinking how funny it would be to watch Yorda struggle with a little fish, but his daydreams were unexpectedly interrupted. Yorda slapped the palm of her hand on his chest and quietly said something short and commanding. She was as still as a rabbit hiding from it's predator.
Ico looked up to see a man in a black cloak walk toward them, his fists clenched tight and his steps thumping into the dirt. "You!" He called, in a strong, gravely baritone voice. And then Ico noticed the other men who had brought him there in the first place. There were five of them, and they were very I very /I angry.
TO BE CONTINUED!...(dum dum dummmm…)