Is there a romantic relationship between Link and Zelda in Breath of the Wild and The Other Kingdom?

Synopsis

  • Link & Zelda’s relationship in
    Breath of the Wild
    initiates with a challenging start, but gradually evolves into something more profound over time.
  • By the conclusion of
    BOTW
    , Link and Zelda appear to be in a much closer relationship, with
    Tears of the Kingdom
    heavily implying imply Link & Zelda’s romantic relationship.
  • Link & Zelda’s connection throughout The
    Legend Of Zelda
    series is even stronger than love, linking them through destiny and binding them by fate.

Link and Princess Zelda’s relationship has been a debatable one throughout the Legend of Zelda series. It’s not that the two don’t know how they feel about each other, but rather, that fans can’t quite interpret it for themselves. Link and Zelda’s relationship is often left a bit uncertain in most games, and that encompasses the latest in the series, Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, leaving whether they’re just comrades, or something more, available for analysis.

BOTW and TOTK are games that take pride in granting the player freedom of expression, and that principle doesn’t just apply to the gameplay. Series director Hidemaro Fujibayashi has reiterated that portions of TOTK‘s story and lore are deliberately left open for interpretation, turning it into just another enigma for fans to solve. In that sense, it might be convenient to disregard Zelda and Link’s romantic relationship as something left open for interpretation as well. Nevertheless, perhaps surprisingly, Zelda and Link’s relationship is one of the few things that BOTW and TOTK meticulously detail.

Link and Zelda’s connection in BOTW begins amicably enough. Link is designated her guardian knight, and he fulfills his duty diligently. However, Zelda resents being monitored in such a manner and even begins to channel her negative emotions towards Link. When Calamity Ganon starts to break his seal, it’s left to Zelda to unlock her power to once again contain the darkness, but her task proves formidable. She finds herself unable to access her power — an issue that Link has never encountered. Link effortlessly draws the Master Sword from its pedestal, making Zelda envious that he appears to effortlessly do what she struggles with.

With time, Zelda discovers that she can confide in Link, and confide in him things that she couldn’t disclose to her father, the King. The burden on Zelda’s shoulders is heavy, but Link aids in alleviating it, even if only a bit. Ironically, things have to deteriorate in the world for things to improve between Link and Zelda. When Calamity Ganon finally breaks free, Zelda’s Champions are unable to bring the monster down. After all the Champions fall in battle, Link battles with all his might to shield Princess Zelda alone. Zelda expresses her remorse to Link for not possessing the power to save her closest companions, and Link is the sole one she has remaining.

In the end, Zelda’s drive to safeguard Link prompts her to unlock her dormant powers. Just before Link is about to be overtaken by a Guardian, Princess Zelda intervenes and employs her powers to rescue him. Zelda’s strong yearning to defend her friend is what triggers her power to finally awaken. From then on, the two develop a much closer bond. Zelda places profound trust in Link, entrusting her own fate to him as she withholds Ganon’s power in anticipation of Link’s reawakening. After Link eventually aids her in vanquishing Calamity Ganon at the climax of BOTW, Zelda forms an even more intense admiration for Link that turns into something deeper.

Link standing outside of his House in BOTW, in front of his labeled sign


There is a brief, unseen span of time between the events of BOTW and TOTK that is never depicted but only implied. From the implications in the game’s narrative, over the few years after defeating Calamity Gabon, Link and Zelda’s relationship flourished. In fact, they seemingly resided together, as indicated by her diary and the accounts of the inhabitants of Hateno Village. If Link ventures into the well behind his old residence from BOTW, he’ll uncover that Zelda has established a research laboratory there and even left Link’s hair tie out for him. In the diary, she outlines how she left him a new set of clothes at the castle. Princess Zelda holding onto Link’s hair tie and leaving him freshly laundered clothes are hardly actions that only a mere friend would take.

In addition, the kind of genuine trust shared between Link and Zelda was validated when Zelda sacrificed her life to become the Light Dragon in the belief that Link would find a way to defeat Ganon. She had no assurance that Link would manage to bring her back with the help of Rauru and Sonia, so this was done entirely as a sacrifice and a way of entrusting everything to Link. To offer her life with the faith that Link would be able to make it worthwhile is truly an act of pure trust that few emotions other than love are capable of instilling in a person.

A Tears of the Kingdom memory where Zelda and Sonia sit and talk

In TOTK, during her conversation with Sonia during Light Dragon Memory #8, Zelda has nothing but compliments for Link, telling her that “he is very strong… and his heart is good and true!” The admiration Zelda holds for Link is evident, and it doesn’t evade Sonia’s notice. “What a picture Zelda paints of him!” Sonia exclaims, half-jokingly. Even she can detect that Zelda’s feelings for Link are much deeper than mere friendship.

Zelda has professed her love for Link in numerous ways, but Link has never been one to speak much. Nonetheless, his actions certainly speak louder than words when it comes to his feelings for Zelda. While Link is consistently fighting for the fate of Hyrule, he is also fighting to safeguard Princess Zelda as well. Frequently, Zelda’s fate is inseparable from that of Hyrule anyway, but there are numerous instances when Link puts everything on the line to rescue Princess Zelda, even when it has no bearing on the rest of the kingdom. One recent instance of this was in the opening scene of Tears of the Kingdom. When Princess Zelda plummeted into the depths after awakening Ganondorf, Link had no way of knowing how crucial she’d be in saving the kingdom of Hyrule from Ganondorf. Link plunging immediately into the depths to save Zelda appeared to be an act of genuine concern for her safety, rather than just a duty to his kingdom.

In the end, the Goddess Hylia’s selection of Link as her knight and the wielder of the Master Sword is a testament to the unbreakable bond between Link and Princess Zelda. Even when they’re not romantically involved, the two remain close companions and allies in the battle against the forces of darkness. Link is consistently the hero that players assume control of in TLOZ, and there is no Zelda game that doesn’t at least reference Princess Zelda, even if she doesn’t physically appear in the game. That’s because they are destined to stand by each other’s side, whether they’re in love or not.

This is especially potent when considering that not every game features the same embodiment of Link and Zelda. Frequently, they’re two entirely different individuals from one game to the next, and yet, they always find a way to reunite. If anything, Link and Zelda’s bond is even more potent than love because, while partners often affirm “til death do us part”, not even death can keep Link and Zelda separated for long.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *