As the main hero and main damsel in distress in most 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 would grow affections for each other. Are the two actually in love, though?
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 towards each other. This means that, in some games, Link and Zelda were closer to each other than in others. However, they have never "officially" been in love.
In fact, the way that the lore explains it is that each seperate game has its own version of Zelda and Link. The only exception would be direct sequels (so the Link in Majora's Mask is the exact same one from Ocarina of Time). Understanding this is key to seeing why different iterations of the characters treat each other differently.
Zelda and Link in Skyward Sword
The closest that they've ever come to actually getting together was in Skyward Sword. During his time at the Skyloft Academy, Link has a slightly flirtatious relationship with Zelda. They often do cute things for each other, for example, Zelda making sure Link wakes up on time and pushing him to finally get on his Loftwing.
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This relationship is also strong enough to catch the attention of Groose, who is visibly jealous of Link for how close he is to Zelda. In fact, the track that plays in the background of most scenes with Zelda and Link is called "Romance in the Air."
Despite their cute dialogue in Skyward Sword, though, nothing really becomes of their relationship once Link drops onto the Surface. The game ends with Zelda remaining in the Sealed Temple to guard the Triforce, and the two would-be lovers kind of go their separate ways.
Most other Zelda games feature an ending like this, where Zelda and Link go their separate ways. They don't even share so much as a handshake in prominent titles like Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and even Breath of the Wild.
Zelda and Link in Zelda II: Adventure of Link
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 difficult to reckon that they are in love afterward. The kiss was likely more of a way of thanking Link for saving Hyrule again.
Zelda and Link in Breath of the Wild
Thanks to the memories shown throughout the game, fans actually have lots of insight into the relationship between Zelda and Link. Surprisingly, this was the most contentious Link and Zelda have ever been with each other.
Upon learning of the coming calamity, Zelda makes it her mission to become the chosen one to save her people. As a result, there is a little animosity when Link actually becomes the chosen one. This is why Zelda is visibly distraught when she is giving her speech during Link's ceremony. Throughout the game, though, Link ends up earning her respect. This iteration looks like they are strong companions, but of course, there is the potential for more in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Why do people think Link and Zelda are in love?
Since the games don't really hint heavily at a relationship between Zelda and Link, this begs the question of why people believe that a relationship between them exists. Well, other than general fantasy story tropes, there might 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 in the Nintendo company. When creating these two franchises, Miyamoto was actually inspired by Popeye and the love triangle that existed between its main character, Olive Oyl, and Bluto. This is why Bowser kidnaps Peach, and Mario needs to save her in most of the Super Mario games.
The original idea for Link, Zelda, and Ganon was that they were going to mirror this relationship. As the games evolved story-wise, though, Zelda ended up playing less of a "damsel in distress" role. In fact, she can hold her own combat-wise in most games thanks to the Light Arrows that 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 for a kiss from Princess Zelda. When it comes to the actual games, though, Link and Zelda are just really good friends.
Want more Zelda guides? Pro Game Guides has you covered with Who is Demise in Zelda Lore? – Everything we know about Demise.
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Are Link and Zelda in love?