As the main hero and the main damsel in distress in most of the games in the series, the relationship between Link and Zelda in The Legend of Zelda franchise has been the subject of much debate with gamers. After their countless adventures, it’s only natural that these two develop affection for each other. However, are the two really in love?
Exploring Link and Zelda’s relationship throughout The Legend of Zelda
Both Link and Zelda have had many iterations in each The Legend of Zelda game, each with their own relationship to each other. This means that in some games, Link and Zelda were closer than others. However, they have never been “officially” in love.
The closest they’ve come to being together was in Skyward Sword. Link has a slightly flirtatious relationship with Zelda at the beginning of the game. In fact, the track that plays in the background in most of the scenes with Zelda and Link is called “Romance in the Air”.
However, despite her cute dialogue in Skyward Sword, the game ends with Zelda remaining in the Sealed Temple to protect the Triforce. Most other Zelda games feature an ending like this, where Zelda and Link go their separate ways. They don’t even share a handshake in prominent titles like Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and even Breath of the Wild.
One big exception to this idea is found in Zelda II: Adventure of Link. At the end of that game, Zelda and Link can be seen embracing behind a curtain. While the two are likely kissing in this scene, it’s hard to recognize that they’re in love afterwards. The kiss was probably more of a way of thanking Link for saving Hyrule again.
Since the games don’t really hint at a relationship between Zelda and Link very much, this raises the question of why do people think there’s a relationship between them? Well, aside from general fantasy story tropes, there could be an explanation for this given the creation of The Legend of Zelda franchise.
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Both Zelda and Mario were created by Shigeru Miyamoto, a legend at the Nintendo company. In creating these two franchises, Miyamoto was actually inspired by Popeye and the love triangle that existed between his main character, Olive Oyl, and Bluto. This is why Bowser is seen kidnapping Peach and Mario needs to save her in most Super Mario games.
The original idea of Link, Zelda and Ganon was that they were going to reflect this relationship. However, as the games evolved story-wise, Zelda ended up playing less of a “damsel in distress” role. In fact, she can keep up with her own combat in most games thanks to the light arrows she possesses.
There are also other pieces of media that paint Zelda and Link in a different light. Most notable would be The Legend of Zelda animated cartoon, where Link is always trying to ask Princess Zelda for a kiss. However, when it comes to the actual games, Link and Zelda are really good friends.
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