Many people have fond childhood memories of playing the early Legend of Zelda games, and later installments’ popularity proves that the series hasn’t aged a bit. Link and Zelda are, after all, two of Nintendo’s most iconic protagonists. Link’s pointed ears and green outfit are nothing short of iconic, and so is the bond he shares with the series’ titular character, Zelda. It seems pretty straightforward at first glance: she’s a princess, he’s a hero, bound to protect and serve her. Together, they fight off evil. The story, however, is a lot more complicated than that, and so is their relationship. In fact, I should be saying stories and relationships, as they each have more than one incarnation.
Most people tend to think that Link and Zelda are in love. In fact, if you google “Link and Zelda,” you’ll find results like “are Link and Zelda married,” “Link and Zelda kiss,” etc. However, their relationship is a lot more complicated than your typical “hero protects and save princess and they fall in love and live happily ever after” storyline. In fact, one of the things that fans enjoy about the series is that Link and Zelda’s relationship is different in each and every game. Whether you’re a long-time fan of the series or just curious about Link and Zelda, you may want to know more about them. There’s no denying their relationship is a complicated one, and it would definitely take more than a few lines to explain, which is why I’m giving you 25 wild things about Link and Zelda’s relationship.
25 They’re Destined To Meet…
Fans of the Legend of Zelda games know that Link and Zelda have two parts of the mythological Triforce: Link has courage while Zelda has wisdom. As such, they’re destined to meet throughout their many lifetimes. As you probably know, there are several timelines in the Zelda universe, and Link and Zelda have quite a few incarnations throughout the series. This complicates thing, obviously, as each each Link/Zelda pair has a different relationship— but what stays constant is the fact that they always meet.
24 …And To Meet Ganon
To complicate things even further, there’s a third part to this equation. Link and Zelda always meet, and they almost always meet Ganon. It’s called the Triforce, after all, not the Biforce; Link and Zelda represent courage and wisdom, and Ganon represents power.
As the third part of the Triforce, Ganon is destined to meet the different reincarnations of Link and Zelda throughout time. No matter how many times he is destroyed, Ganon will always return to try and destroy everything Link and Zelda fight for.
23 Will They/Won’t They Relationship
Who doesn’t love a good will they/won’t they relationship? Link and Zelda have had different kinds of relationships over the course of the Legend of Zelda games, but quite often, they end up in a will they/won’t they situation. The suspense has kept fans engaged in their story for many, many years. As it turns out, quite a few people think that this is exactly the way it should be. What happens between Link and Zelda is often left up to player’s imagination, and it works.
22 You Don’t See The Two Of Them In The Same Place Often
This sort of implied, will they/won’t they relationship works especially well because in most of the games, Link and Zelda are rarely in the same place at the same time. Some games, like Breath of the Wild, give more importance to Zelda’s character, but at the end of the day, you still play as Link, and Zelda is rarely by your side during most of the games, which makes for an interesting relationship. You know they have a connection, and yet they rarely see each other.
21 They’re Not Actually Together Romantically In Most of The Games
The whole “they’re destined to meet no matter what” thing sounds pretty romantic, doesn’t it? And yet, Link and Zelda very rarely get romantically involved. It’s sometimes implied, as I was saying before, but in most games, the two characters have a platonic relationship.
In some instances, they don’t even like or care about each other at all! It’s a widely held popular belief that Link and Zelda are together, but fans of the games know that this is almost never the case.
20 Not Even In Wind Waker
In Wind Waker, Link meets Tetra, a young pirate. If you’ve played the game, you know that Tetra is later revealed to be Princess Zelda. The two of them live quite an adventure together, and, even though they’re fairly young in this game (Link is at most 16 years old), many fans ship Link and Tetra/Zelda in Wind Waker.
And yet, in the game itself, they’re not actually together— which makes sense. Again, they’re fairly young. What is cool about Wind Waker, however, is that you see Tetra occupy a much bigger role than she usually does in the series.
19 Link, The Silent Partner
Like many video game protagonists, Link is silent, and communicates mainly through grunts and sighs. Fans have been poking fun at this for years, and, in Twilight Princess , Midna teases Link about his silence: “Am I so beautiful that you have no words left?” she asks. In Breath of the Wild, one of Zelda’s diary entries tells us that Link "feels it necessary to stay strong and to silently bear any burden.” Makes sense, but we can’t help but feel their relationship must be interesting at times, since Link never talks.
18 Twilight Princess: Keep It Cool And Professional
Talking about Twilight Princess, Link’s silence isn’t as much of a problem in this game, as the hero has a strictly professional relationship with Zelda. While in most Zelda games, the pair has an at the very least a friendly relationship, in Twilight Princess, Link and Zelda don’t really interact with each beyond what’s necessary for their respective jobs: Zelda as a princess and Link as a Hero. They don’t dislike each other, but they stay aloof and keep things professional.
17 Breath Of The Wild: Zelda Didn’t Like Link At First…
Zelda absolutely does dislike Link at the beginning of Breath of the Wild, however. Their relationship in this game is especially interesting because it changes and grows throughout the course of the story.
For instance, we learn that Zelda resented Link for a while. Why? Well, he’s the Chosen One, he’s naturally talented, and his silence can come across as arrogant. The game hints that Zelda felt insecure in front of Link (more on that later.) Thankfully, though, they do become friends, and grow to mutually like and respect each other.
16 …And They Bicker A Lot in BotW
Link may be silent, but that doesn’t stop him and Zelda from bickering and arguing in Breath of the Wild. They clearly disagree on a lot of things, which is a bit of a problem as Link is bound to Zelda’s side.
Zelda’s treatment of Link, who, as I’ve just mentioned, she initially dislikes, seems a bit harsh to some, but as we’ll see, she has her reasons for behaving that way. In any case, it’s another side of their relationship, one that we rarely get to see in Zelda games.
15 Although Many Fans Believe They’re In Love In BotW
Fans of the series have shipped Link and Zelda for years, whether they’re implied to be each other’s romantic interest in the latest game or not. As I stated earlier, while Zelda doesn’t hide her resentment for Link during a good chunk of the game, their relationship grows and evolve into what some believe could be the beginning of a budding romance. Of course, there’s no canonical proof of this: whether Link and Zelda are in love or not is left up to your imagination.
14 While Others Don’t Ship Link And Zelda At All
And in fact, some fans don’t think they should be together at all. In Breath of the Wild, some players think they’re better off as good friends, as the initial tensions between them would make a romantic relationship hard. As far as Wind Waker is concerned, while many Link and Tetra/Zelda are romantically interested in each other, others argue that they’re just children. Finally, some fans believe that the games are more interesting with Link and Zelda just staying friends, and ship Link with other female characters.
13 Zelda’s Insecurities
As I mentioned before, in Breath of the Wild, Zelda and Link’s relationship is initially tense. This has something to do with the characters’ respective destinies. As Princess of Hyrule and as the reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia, Zelda has considerable power. As the Hero and Chosen One, Link does, too. In Breath of the Wild, we learn that while Link has seemingly no trouble mastering his abilities, while Zelda struggles a bit more. We get to see a new facet of Zelda, one that’s insecure and unsure of her powers.
12 Link Can Be Insensitive
Still on the subject of Link and Zelda’s relationship in Breath of the Wild, it seems Link may have been a tad insensitive when faced with the princess’ insecurities. His perpetual silence and the way he embraces his abilities as Hero seemingly without any effort must have been hard to deal with for Zelda—especially since they had to spend a lot of time together.
Then again, when you look at things from his side, Link was dealing with a tremendous amount of pressure, which explains why he was a bit closed off.
11 Their Relationship As Children In Ocarina Of Time
Wind Waker isn’t the only game where you get to meet young Link and Zelda. Link is about ten years old during the child timeline of Ocarina of Time. Ocarina of Time is one of the games in which fans believe it’s implied that Zelda has feelings for Link. What happens to that when they meet as children? Well, just like in Wind Waker, fans are divided. Some believe there’s already the making of a love story between young Link and young Zelda, while others argue that, again, they’re way too young.
10 A Telepathic Connection
Zelda and Link may not always appear together, but in several games (including Breath of The Wild), they’re shown to have a telepathic connection, thanks to the Triforce. They’re destined to work together, and so their minds are linked (no pun intended.)
Link is (in)famously silent, and this telepathic connection offers them a much-needed means of communication. It may sound a bit strange, but really, the two characters’ fates are intertwined, and Zelda is the reincarnation of a Goddess, so anything is possible.
9 Zelda’s Secret Identities
I’ve mentioned earlier that Zelda and Link are rarely seen in the same place at the same time, but this changes in games where she has another identity. In Wind Waker, while Tetra doesn’t find out she is really Princess Zelda right away, she does spend part of the game with Link. In Ocarina of Time, she takes on the identity of Sheik and helps him throughout his quest. Link and Zelda’s relationship is complex, and becomes even more so once you take into account the various identities Zelda takes on!
8 Goddess And Mortal
Maybe one of the wildest things about Link and Zelda’s relationship is that Zelda is the reincarnation of a goddess while Link is the Goddess’ hero. This doesn’t seem to affect the way they interact with each other, but we can imagine how odd that must be at times.
This gets especially confusing when you realize that while Zelda herself is the mortal incarnation (or the descendant of the mortal incarnation) of Hylia, Link and other characters also pray to Hylia at statues or shrines.
7 Different Timelines, Different Links
Talking about incarnations and reincarnations, the Zelda series sees many different incarnations of Link, too. While Zelda is the incarnation of the Goddess Hylia, Link incarnates the spirit of the hero. All the different Links tend tolook visually similar (blonde, blue eyes, pointy ears, usually with a green tunic), but they’re not actually the same person.
So, for instance, Wind Waker Link isn’t the same as Twilight Princess Link, or as Ocarina of Time Link, and so on and so forth.
6 Zelda Reincarnates More Often Than Link
Zelda and her descendants incarnate the Goddess Hylia, which is why they’re all part of the royal family. The incarnations and reincarnations of Link, Zelda/Hylia, and Ganon/Demise are quite complicated, and often confuse players who don’t always agree on whether every Zelda is an incarnation of Hylia, or simply the descendants of the original incarnation. What most players do agree on, however, is that Zelda reincarnates more often than Link. Even that, however, is disputed, as the lore surrounding the (re)incarnation cycles is quite complex.
5 Link Is Sworn To Serve Zelda Forever
In a way, it’s a good thing that they don’t end up being romantically involved in most of the games. As the Hero and as Zelda’s valiant knight, Link is sworn to remain at his princess’ side forever, always protecting her.
As we saw earlier, their relationship can sometimes be strained, and, since they have to spend so much time together, that’s no surprise. The whole “they’ll always be together” thing may sound romantic to some, but they’re probably better off as friends, since Link can never leave Zelda’s service.
4 We Play As Link, But Know More About Zelda
Zelda has an incredibly rich lore, with a complex mythology, innumerable legends, etc. All of that is presented differently depending on which game you’re playing, which only makes things more complex. It’s interesting to see that while Link and Zelda’s stories are, of course, tied, we generally learn more about Zelda and her legend(s) than about Link, who truly incarnates silent, mysterious hero. Then again, this makes sense, as the games are called Legend of Zelda and not Legend of Link.
3 We’ll Never See Genderbent Link And Zelda
There’s a lot of incredible Zelda fan art and intricate Zelda cosplays, some of which feature genderbent versions of Link and Zelda. Fans really enjoy seeing Zelda as a man and Link as a woman, and some would love to see a female reincarnation of Link or a male reincarnation of Zelda.
After all, we have seen Link dressed as a woman in Breath of the Wild, and Zelda takes on the identity of Sheik in Ocarina of Times. Much to fans’ disappointment, however, Nintendo declared there would never be a truly genderbent Link or genderbent Zelda.
2 Is Marin Really Zelda? (Link’s Awakening)
In Link’s Awakening, Link meets a young girl named Marin. Well, kind of meets, as the events of Link’s Awakening take place in a sort of dream created by Link’s subconscious and the Wind Fish's. One of the first things that we learn about Marin is that she looks like Zelda, as Link initially mistakes her for the princess. This may seem innocent, but it could also imply that Marin is a version of Zelda created by Link’s subconscious. As he seems to be fond of Marin, some fans also believe she represents his feelings for Zelda.
1 They Were Cursed By Demise
Demise is a major antagonist in the Zelda series, and the origin of the whole Link/Zelda reincarnation cycle. He curses them, saying: “Those who share the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero... They are eternally bound to this curse. An incarnation of my hatred shall ever follow your kind (…) !" The “blood of the goddess” refers to Zelda, of course, and the “spirit of the hero” to Link, while the incarnation of Demise’s hatred is none other than Ganon (and his various alter egos).