Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Link and Zelda Don't Stand a Chance

Yes, I absolutely waste time in a day. It’s not very mature of me, but I like to play video games, and my favorite is the Legend of Zelda series.

The genius behind the Legend of Zelda series is that the protagonist, Link, has no dialogue, no personality, and virtually no background. He is my puppet, and I can imagine him thinking whatever I want him to think, say whatever I think he should say, and dream up whatever kind of tragic back story appeals to my sick, sadistic mind. Nintendo designed him so that Link can be anyone and anyone can be Link. Keep that in mind as you read my interpretation of the Legend of Zelda series.
Link and Zelda cannot have a romantic relationship. It would be completely awkward, contrived, and utterly doomed. I have three major reasons why.

Reason 1: Zelda is out of Link’s league

Link is depicted as a commoner in every single version of the game I’ve seen. Zelda is usually a princess, sometimes even the reigning monarch. A monarch, in order to maintain the prestige and respect of her kingdom, will not marry a commoner. No matter how good, courageous, virtuous, or totally awesome and good looking he may be, it would be far beneath her.

lifted from calmdown.com
Several times she has been a pirate, but with a recognized noble ancestry and a royal inheritance or destiny. Despite her high lineage, she is of questionable moral character, and demonstrates a cringe worthy superiority complex. I don’t think Link and Zelda would get along if she remained a pirate. They would constantly be arguing whether the ends justify the means.

The one and only time, as far as my experience serves me, that Link stood a chance of having a romantic relationship with Zelda was in Skyward Sword; but even then Zelda was still out of his reach. She was an upper classman, having already passed the knighthood exam. She was also the daughter of the headmaster of the academy, and if their manner of dress is any indication, Zelda and her father were considerably wealthy. Zelda wears a bright pink dress, a jeweled broach, and a gold belt (her fashion consultant has an eye for opulence and bright colors); her father dresses in gold trimmed robes. Link’s clothing is faded and worn looking (it’s like he dresses himself or something). He definitely seems of a lower caste. There were some indications that Zelda wanted a relationship with Link. She was flirtatious and unusually concerned whether he would pass the knighthood exam or not. It is possible that Zelda’s father would approve of them as a couple if Link moved up in the world, but later it is revealed that Zelda is a reincarnation of the goddess Hylia and she was manipulating Link the whole time (albeit unconsciously, so maybe I can cut her some slack).

Really, Link and Zelda just don’t belong together. They don’t have enough in common for it to work out in the long term and Link would probably not be able to support Zelda’s lifestyle.

2. A relationship with Zelda is dangerous and one sided

Zelda is chronically in trouble, and needs constant rescuing. At first that might serve as an attractant. A little adrenaline makes a good aphrodisiac. But after a while, you would think that Link would get tired of the constant danger and horror he faces on Zelda’s behalf.
lifted from wattpad

In Ocarina of Time, Zelda not only puts Link in danger as a child, but also, inadvertently, she endangers the whole kingdom. She virtually handed Gannondorf the Triforce while (ironically) trying to stop him from getting it, ruined Link’s childhood (in fact, may have driven him to an early death according to some theorists), and barely managed to help Link banish Gannon after Hyrule was almost completely destroyed.

In Wind Waker, she’s a little bit more pro-active and helpful; but still not particularly concerned about Link’s safety and well being.

In Twilight Princess she loses the kingdom (again) and only pays lip service to her concern for Link (maybe that was not really her fault, as she was being held prisoner and couldn’t do much).

In Skyward Sword, she finally appears truly concerned (oh yeah, her inner goddess is manipulating Link) and actively seeks for the best for Link, but she still gets in trouble. Link spends the first act of the game chasing her all over the world, the second act proving his worth, and in the third act, fails, and gets to watch Zelda basically murdered. Then he needs to confront Demise (who in spite of Link’s best efforts to prevent his return, manages to be resurrected) and redeem Zelda’s spirit so she may be revived.

In most cases, Zelda could give significant assistance: guards, fellow pirates, or even the stupid light arrows she doesn't give him until the last minute possible. She could at the very least pay him for his expenses, travel, and hazardous work environment; but she doesn’t.

Zelda could recognize Link’s accomplishments and give him knighthood, invite him to dinner, or at least say, “Thank you”, but she’s a horrendous ingrate. In fact, aside from beauty and a typically gentle manner, she has virtually no redeemable qualities. She is careless of Link’s trouble, manipulative, na├»ve, unable to muster significant military might, has no sense of strategy, and is generally unworthy of the Triforce of Wisdom.

If Link and Zelda are destined to be lovers, then Link obviously has mental illness ingrained in his soul.

But what if Link is not crazy? What if he is sincere in his devotion to Zelda? Could it possibly be something other than romance? Most definitely yes; which leads to the final point why Link and Zelda can never be together.

3. Incest!

My six year old son and my four year old daughter pointed this out to me. Link and Zelda are brother and sister, or to be precise, half siblings.

Don’t believe me?

Think about it. In no iteration of the game is Link’s father mentioned. Once, a mother was mentioned. He has lived with an uncle and a grandmother in turn. It’s not much of a stretch of imagination to think that Zelda and Link have different mothers, but I really believe they share the same father in every game. I can’t prove it, but consider the resemblance between the two.


In the 3D versions, their faces are almost the same. Zelda’s face is a little softer, but they both have narrow chins, wide foreheads, blond hair, and blue, diamond shaped eyes with thick upper lashes. Link’s nose is a little longer, his mouth wider, and his eye brows thicker (he’s a guy, after-all).

In the 2D or more cartoony versions of the game, they round faces, black eyes, and blond hair. Zelda/Tetra is darker toned most of the time, and Link has harder facial lines and thicker eyebrows, but again they almost look the same. Put Link’s hat on Zelda, and Zelda’s dress on Link and it may take a minute or two to notice the difference.

In all the Legend of Zelda games since The Ocarina of Time, every other character (except Link’s little sister in WindWaker, who also bears a striking resemblance to Zelda) looks very distinct from the two leading characters. I don’t think that’s a mistake.

While it is possible that Link are Zelda are cousins, or aunt or uncle to each other, Link wouldn't be in such a low caste, and it wouldn’t be necessary to hide Link’s parentage.

This is what I think about Link's parentage:

As the case may be, Link’s father is the king, a pirate, or the some high ranking member of society. For my purposes I’ll call him the King. The King had a queen or wife for whom he had respect, even affection; but he also had a lover. Princess Zelda was born first, and within two years, Link was born. The lover may have told the king, but in order to keep appearances, the King never acknowledged Link publically, and may never have told Zelda. Link’s family or guardians let him know of his unconventional heritage, which is why he keeps Zelda at arm’s distance, yet follows her orders and rescues her with complete and unfailing devotion.

Link truly loves his older half sister, and cannot refuse her.
lifted from deviant art

These are just my, crazy, twisted ideas. Perhaps you have ideas, less scandalous and more satisfying. Maybe I’ve ruined your childhood... Your welcome.