The Legend of Zelda franchise is easily one of the most well known video game series there is. Not only does it stand tall and proud alongside other gaming giants such as Super Mario or Pokémon, it’s also an ancient series in terms of a video games. Released in 1986, The Legend of Zelda boasts nineteen games and counting, and just about every one has been loved by fans and critics alike.
The series takes place in a fantasy setting, following the adventures of Link, a regularly reincarnating hero, and his struggles to defeat the evil Ganon (and sometimes other villains), as well as save Princess Zelda. As the series has gone on, Zelda, Link’s counterpart in the cycle of reincarnation, has started to play a more and more significant role, going from a damsel in distress to a vital character and instrument in Ganon’s defeat.
Such a long running and beloved franchise that enjoys regularly mixing it up in terms of gameplay, characters, and even location is bound to have a great deal of theories made by fans trying to make sense of the complicated storyline and deep themes. Many of these theories are incredibly well thought out to the point where it might as well be official cano, and, in some cases, these theories are proven correct, one way or another. So join us today as we take a look at 10 Legend of Zelda theories that should be canon, and 10 more that were confirmed!
20 Should Be Canon: Majora's Mask Is About The Five Stages Of Grief
This is one of the most pervasive theories in the entirety of the Legend of Zelda series, and really, it fits. Majora’s Mask is by and large the darkest entry in the entire series, surpassing even Twilight Princess by a wide margin. Our story begins with the child Link from Ocarina of Time riding deed through the Lost Woods in search of his friend Navi, the fairy that helped him in the previous games.
As the events of the game unfold, no player can deny that each main area is clearly stuck as a whole experiencing one of the five stages of grief.
These stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.The five stages are usually associated with the loss of a loved one, either through their passing or through them going away. Link has lost Navi (and is in the Lost Woods to boot), and he first finds himself in Clock Town, a city where many citizens are convinced that the obviously descending moon is in fact not descending. The next area where we find Woodfall Temple has an angry King who has lost his daughter, the Snow Head area has a passed Goron hero who begs to be brought back, The Great Bay area has an entire tribe of depressed Zora, and Ikana Valley, which embodies acceptance of the end. While not official, it’s too good to not be your new personal story canon!
19 Confirmed: The Poe Collector Is The Guard From When Link Was A Child
If there is one thing that The Legend of Zelda series does well is create memorable characters. There are countless mysterious figures within the games that fans debate the meaning of even decades after the release of the game. Unfortunately for ravenous fan forums, the creators can be very tightlipped concerning the backgrounds of various figures. This can include even the non-player characters that you can interact with throughout your adventure. One of these notable figures is a rather strange collector that you meet in the later part of Ocarina of Time. When Link becomes an adult, if he can successfully navigate the terrifying pack of Redeads that now infest Hyrule Castle Town, he can enter the gatehouse and find a pale and hooded man who keeps cages full of the ghostly Poe enemies that you can encounter within the game.
As he creepily chuckles to himself, he asks Link to bring him more of these Spirits. Fans of course wondered just who this man might be, as you don’t seem to meet anyone like him as a child. Those with good memories, however, who had happened to visit that same spot while Link was a child, remembered that there was guard in there before who was a supernatural enthusiast. Considering the destruction and the evil that arose during the seven years that you were away, it simply made the most sense that this lover of ghosts decided to quit his day job and follow his passion full time.
18 Should Be Canon: Majora’s Mask Link Didn’t Survive Long After Reaching Adulthood
Yet another sad theory from Majora’s Mask and this one states that Link didn’t survive long after becoming an adult. One major piece of lore in Ocarina of Time is the fact anyone who ventures into the Lost Woods without a fairy to guide them will become hopelessly lost and adults will eventually turn into the horrifying Stalfos, a skeletal warrior that is very difficult to beat.
This theory says that Link refused to give up looking for Navi and returned to the Lost Woods many times to find her. He may have only gotten out as a child due to formerly believing himself to be Kokiri, but as an adult, he wasn’t so lucky. Twilight Princess has Link meet with a mysterious Stalfos that salutes him, and the developers have confirmed that this creature is the Hero of Time. The theory points out thought that this transformation likely happened not long after reaching adulthood.
17 Confirmed: Ocarina of Time Link And Twilight Princess Link Are Related
The recurring theme of incarnation within the series has often had fans assuming that each new Link that they play must be the descendant of the last one. This was entirely thrown out the window in Wind Waker, where the Hyrule Historia, a beautifully written and illustrated book containing the entire in-game history of the franchise, said that the Link we play in in that installment is not related to the Hero of Time. This forced fans to rethink about what they thought they knew about their beloved franchise and when the next game Twilight Princess came out, which takes place long after the events of Wind Waker, many players assumed that this Link as well was just another incarnation reborn as a farm boy.
Not all of them thought this though. While the reincarnation of Link clearly had nothing to do with being part of his family, the fact that this boy once again looked like a carbon-copy of the hero they knew made plenty suspicious about his family tree. The Hyrule Historia once again surprised doubting fans and confirmed on page. 118 that the Link we play in Twilight Princess is indeed a descendant of the Hero of Time from Ocarina of Time.
16 Should Be Canon: Ocarina of Time Link Married Malon
We’ve already discussed how Link from Twilight Princess is a descendant of the Hero of Time from Ocarina of Time. What players want to know is who exactly Link had children with in order to for the future Link to happen. The main reason why fans wonder this is the group of girls that become love interests in Ocarina of Time, which includes Princess Zelda, Princess Ruto, Saria, and Malon.
It is stated by the Hyrule Historia that Twilight Princess Link is not royal blood, so he didn’t have kids with Princess Zelda.
There wasn’t any way for him to have children with Ruto, who is a Zora, or Saria, who is Kokiri. The only candidate left is Malon, the daughter of the owner of Lon Lon Ranch. It makes the most sense the more you think about it. Twilight Princess Link is fully Hylian, and he is a rancher by trade. He also automatically knows Epona’s Song, which calls the horse of the same name. Who is to say that after all that time, Lon Lon Ranch didn’t just lose the name, but not the family?
15 Confirmed: The Sages During The Trial Of The Sword (Breath Of The Wild) Are The Same Ones From Ocarina Of Time
Breath of the Wild has once again captured the hearts and minds of fans both old and new alike. It has also caused a significant amount of heartache in the fan base, as now, more than ever, the Kingdom of Hyrule has met an even more terrible fate than ever before. Yes, even worse than the time it was flooded and became the Great Ocean. In the far, far flung future that we find our hero in, Hyrule was met with the end of the world as they knew it in the form of Calamity Ganon, and the corrupted Magitek robots created by Sheikah scientists. And by far flung future, we mean a whopping ten thousand years after the last time we saved Hyrule.
Even so, Ancient Sages foresaw Link’s rebirth, and devised many different tests for him to overcome, mostly mummifying themselves in order to stick around until he arrived and completed their challenge. In the first batch of downloadable content, players are given the opportunity to unlock the true power of the Master Sword through the Trials of the Sword. In order to accomplish this, Link must complete seven trials, and is congratulated after each one by a sage. One sharp Redditor noticed however that these sages are striking the same poses as the seven sages from Ocarina of Time. As the developers of series enjoy their nods to previous titles, this proves that the seven sages are fulfilling their last duty to make sure that the Master Sword is in the right hands.
14 Should Be Canon: The Next Game will Have Even More Magitek Than In Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild introduces us to Sheikah technology, which is fueled in part by magic. This allowed for Sheikah scientists to create the Sheikah Slate, the Guardians, the Divine Beasts, and other awesome things previously unheard of in the Legend of Zelda Universe. As this technology was developed over ten thousand years ago in the game, it showing up in this latest installment is the result of Hylians finding remnants of this tech and bringing it back online.
As there is usually a time skip between each game, with some much larger than others, it’s not far fetched to say that either Hylians or Sheikah harness this technology now that Ganon is no longer corrupting it, or they use it to create their own. Either way, fans feel that this dive into the world of fantasy technology will continue on into the next instalment. Fingers crossed that that’s true!
13 Confirmed: The Deku Mask in Majora’s Mask Is The Son Of The King's Butler
There’s no arguing that Majora’s Mask is the darkest entry in entire series. Featuring many awful character ends, as well as the constant and terrifying grinning moon that slowly descends on the land of Termina over the course of three days, it’s no surprise at all that that there are many sad moments and facts in the game. One of the main mechanics of Majora’s Mask is Link’s ability to don a mask and take on the form the mask depicts. The only problem is that it’s clearly stated that the Goron and Zora that you can become have passed. As awful as this is, it gets even worse. Early on in the game, you run past a particularly creepy and gnarled tree that looks like a Deku. Not long after, Link is forced to take on the form of a Deku child, but resumes his original form later with the result of now possessing a mask that lets him take on that form again. Just like the Goron and the Zora.
Some fans thought that the mask was merely a side effect of Link being cured, but other fans remembered the Deku King’s butler saying that Link’s Deku form reminded him of his son, and he is very sad about this. He even remarks when you must use that form to chase the butler to some treasure that this was just like what he and his son used to do. It clicked then, to many a fan’s horror, that the Deku form was taken from the passing of another Deku, and what passed Deku had they seen before? The gnarled tree from the beginning. This is then confirmed during the end credits, where we can see the butler standing sadly next to the tree we ran past at the beginning of the game. Time to break out the kleenex!
12 Should Be Canon: Sheik Is Actually A Mask Like In Majora's Mask
In Ocarina of Time, Princess Zelda must go into hiding from Ganondorf during the seven years that Link is sealed away. When Link comes back as an adult, he meets a mysterious young man who calls himself Sheik, and claims to be part of the Sheikah tribe. This by itself is almost a give away, because earlier in the game we meet Impa, the nanny and protector of Princess Zelda, and the last time we see them before Link skips through time she is whisking the Princess into the night away from Ganon. When it is later revealed that Sheik is Zelda, it seems logical that Impa must have taught Zelda the sneaky ways of her tribe.
Sharp eyed players though noticed that Sheik’s eyes are red, while Zelda’s eyes are blue.
It’s also notable that Sheik clearly has a more boyish figure, while Zelda’s adult form after she reveals herself is clearly feminine with long hair. Considering that the next game establishes that this world can allow for those who have passed to become masks that can transform their wearers, fans can’t help but wonder if this is an early example of this without showing it completely. It seems hard to believe that colored eye contacts that good could exist in that high fantasy world, so it’s likely that Sheik used to be one of the Sheikah, but ended and was made into a mask for Zelda to wear and disguise herself more effectively.
11 Confirmed: Calamity Ganon Is A Brand New Incarnation
It has been established within the series that Ganondorf, a powerful force of evil within Hyrule, reincarnates alongside Link and Princess Zelda. Their never ending battle has had him take on a variety of forms, from a pig-like creature, to a male Gerudo who becomes a powerful sorcerer. Sometimes though, Ganon’s monstrous powers allow him to survive more than one game, even if he is defeated. With the appearance of Calamity Ganon, fans couldn’t help but wonder if this radically new form came from the Ganon they knew from previous instalment Four Swords.
Players were aware that Ganon was soundly defeated at the end of this game, but that doesn’t mean that he couldn’t find a way to stick around in some form or another. It was however confirmed by the developers that Calamity Ganon is not in fact a continuation of the one we met in Four Swords. This incarnation is a brand new form he has taken on and it’s his mightiest yet. Good luck going up against him without some, shall we say, Divine help.
10 Should Be Canon: Zelda In Ocarina Of Time Is Stuck In A Stable Time Loop
Ocarina of Time is very much centered around the mechanic of jumping back and forth through a time period of seven years in order to complete various quests. This ability was accessed when Link used the titular Ocarina of Time to open up the great door in the Temple of Time to find the Master Sword. At the end of the game, as Zelda and Link stand before each other as adults, Zelda laments that she stole Link’s childhood, and uses the Ocarina to send him back to in time to childhood. Navi leaves Link and sets off the beginning of Majora’s Mask.
In the sequel, it suddenly becomes very clear as to why the Ocarina of Time is called that, as you can used it to either speed or slow down time, or even to go back in time three days, creating the famous Majora’s Mask time loop. As Zelda was the original owner and protector of the Ocarina, it stands to reason that she may have been using its ability to alter time itself to essentially “save scum” and keep going back until she can get the events done right, just like in Majora’s Mask.
9 Confirmed: In Breath of the Wild, There Is A Fifth Divine Beast
In Breath of the Wild, Link is tasked with taking back the corrupted Divine Beasts, ancient robots piloted by champions, created by the Sheikah in advance of the arrival of Calamity Ganon. These Beasts end up serving as the puzzle temples that are a regular staple within the game, and involve defeating an evil spirit that is an offshoot of Calamity Ganon in order to take it back. These beasts are exceedingly powerful, and together are capable of severely weakening the monstrous, nigh unstoppable Ganon in this game.
Fans however have speculated though that there might be one more, piloted by non other than Princess Zelda herself as she is supposed to be another key figure in the prophesy about the defeat of Ganon.
This has been confirmed, but only partially. There is a fifth Divine Beast, but it takes the form of the Master Cycle, a Magitek motorcycle shaped like a horse that Link himself operates. Sometimes even a partial win is still a win.
8 Should Be Canon: The Stone Tower Temple from Majora’s Mask is Termina’s Tower of Babel
This theory has arisen from a fan’s observations about the temple. They noticed that the markings were very strange and perhaps disrespectful to the Triforce symbol, which is a key artifact in the religion of the Hylians. This player postulates that the Stone Temple Tower may have been intended to be used to wage war against the three Goddesses using the giants mask.
The Goddesses, in retaliation, sent down their Light Arrows to bring justice on architects, and flipped the temple upside down. Instead of leading the architects and their armies upwards, it sent them down, and perhaps into the very realm that the evil Majora’s Mask was sealed away in in the first place. This is theorized because the Stone Temple holds many statues and glyphs that, when flipped, resemble Majora’s Mask. It also shows up in the boss arena, where you can find a pillar that shows images of the Mask when you flip the arena.
7 Confirmed: The Oocca in Twilight Princess are lying about being the Precursors
The Oocca are a creepy race of bird people encountered in Twilight Princess. They seem to have the lower bodies of a chicken, a long neck, and face that looks vaguely like the Hylians (common humans) that you encounter in the game. They’re also covered in feathers. They are a strange species already, but stranger still, they claim to be a prototype race that the Goddesses of that world created before making Hylians, calling themselves the Precursors.
While the somewhat humanoid faces of the Oocca do suggest that they may have been intended to be some kind of intelligent species, the fact that the “city” that they inhabit in no way resembles a city is a give away that they aren’t being truthful, and fans have noticed. It’s also obvious that nothing where the Oocca live has been made for them in mind. Even their shop owner complains about being delivered and selling things that Oocca can’t even use, even though it’s virtually impossible for a shipment to make it there. It’s more than likely that the Oocca were instead made as a pet race by the real Precursors, and either don’t remember or want to admit it. Besides, what kind of Precursor race lives in clay jars?
6 Should Be Canon: All The Monsters Are A Result Of Malice
Breath of the Wild introduces the horrifying substance known only as Malice. This concentrated evil goo shows shifting dark patterns on its surface, and permeates the world itself so that every so often, it regenerates monsters. One of the creepier things about this Malice is that not only will it damage Link if he touches it, it also features random toothy mouths the send out flying monster skulls, and piercing yellow eyes appear in just as random places as the mouths.
Due to the Malice’s association with monsters, fans have begun to wonder if perhaps this Malice may have been around long, long before the events of the current game.
Considering that several bosses and major enemies in both Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time feature the same strange placement of mouths and eyes as well as similar patterns shown in the goo, and the fact that monsters keep showing up where they’ve already been defeated. It would explain why that room or temple you just cleared suddenly stocks up on more monsters in the span of a few seconds.
5 Confirmed: The Original Link From The Very First Legend Of Zelda Isn’t From Hyrule At All
Back in the olden days of video game characters and objects being made up of a handful of pixels and the each sprite moved in identical ways, it was hard for fans to pick out details to ponder the meaning of. Today, players are more than prone to zooming in on the tiniest details in the artwork or map out the animation cycles of various creatures and objects in order to extrapolate grand theories that deserve their own essays.
In the Era of the NES, players instead had to receive most of their clues through either a vague clump of pixels in the background, or through the dialogue. Early on in the original Legend of Zelda, the writing suggests that Link’s mother came from somewhere other than Hyrule. Debates raged for a long time on the meaning, but in the end it was needless. In the manual, it is clearly stated that Link was born in a neighboring kingdom called Calatia.
4 Should Be Canon: The Next Game Will Introduce A Male Gerudo Who Isn't Ganondorf
The Gerudo are an all female tribe of warriors that exclude men from their cities. In fact, almost all births within this race are female. This Amazonian group will still speak and even fall in love with men from other races and kingdoms, but males are in no way allowed to step foot inside their compounds. That is, unless they are a male Gerudo.
While most children of Gerudo are female, once every one hundred years, a male is born.
He is usually held in high regard and, in the case of Ocarina of Time, they become king of the Gerudo once they reach adulthood. At the end of a mission in Breath of the Wild where you set up a Gerudo woman with a husband, they promise to name their firstborn after Link. The woman says that Link’s name sounds like a good boys name and some fans feel that this foreshadows another male Gerudo coming into the picture. Who knows, this child might end up the new incarnation of Link.
3 Confirmed: The Chamber Beneath Hyrule Castle’s Sanctum Was A Sheika Laboratory
During the final battle with Calamity Ganon in Breath of the Wild, the arena in which we fight him is changed radically as the monster destroys more and more of Hyrule Castle. After a certain point, Link falls down into a deep pit filled with a Sheikah eye on the floor and the walls full of what looks like Sheikah glyphs. Now, most people would pay more attention to the giant ultimate evil that keeps swooping down to destroy them, but some players choose differently and soak in their surroundings. If there is one thing that there is to thank the developers for, other than the entire series, its the fact that the writing in the game isn’t gibberish, but an actual made up language. This not only includes the various signs that you can read in the world, but also the Sheikah glyphs as well.
Fans of course couldn’t help but notice the bizarre change in decoration once they fall into the Sheikah chamber, and many couldn’t help but wonder if this was where all the Magitek machines were kept under the castle, or if this room had something to do with the ancient scientists. After what must have been frantic screenshotting and translating later, fans discovered once thing at least. The walls contain a few glyphs that translate into “Laboratory”. So the change in arena was more than just a designer’s whim, and if fans are diligent, perhaps they might find more about what chamber is really supposed to be.
2 Should Be Canon: The Sheikah Laboratory Underneath Hyrule Castle Was Used As A Safe Haven For Surviving Sheika Scientists
We’ve already mentioned that the Sheikah room underneath the throne room, where you drop when you fight Calamity Ganon in Breath of the Wild, has a few glyphs that translate into “Laboratory”. This by itself is already a big discovery. What still isn’t known is why there is a laboratory underneath the throne room of Hyrule Castle. It is explained in-game that hundreds of Sheikah Guardian robots were found stored underneath the castle, so some players leave things at that and call it a day with theories here. Some fans are not so easily convinced. Perhaps it was a storage area, but then why label it “laboratory”?
Alternative theories state that in the fallout that happened during Calamity Ganon’s return and the Guardians turning against Hyrule, what was left of the Sheikah were likely forced into hiding by angry Hylians.
That underground chamber could have, at one time, housed Sheikah refugees until Calamity Ganon took permanent residence around the castle, or public opinion became more positive about them.
1 Confirmed: The Rito In Wind Waker Are Descended From The Zora
If there's one thing that no one would suspect, it's that the race of flying humanoids were originally descended from the fish-like Zora. In a game that seemed to entirely re-imagine the world it was set in, Wind Waker wildly veers away from what Legend of Zelda canon had established up until that point. It seemed especially jarring to many fans that in a world that was filled with water, the Zora, a classic race from the series, was suddenly missing.
Players did notice however that the Rito use a similar symbol on their banner as the Zora did in previous games. It is also stated by one of the Rito that their family can be traced back all the way to a Zora Sage. It would seem that Princess Ruto from Ocarina of Time had descendants, who named their new race after her. The Rito's connection with the Zora was later confirmed by series producer Eiji Aonuma.