King of Hyrule
From Gamehiker Wiki
|A king addressing his people from the backstory of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.|
|King of Hyrule|
|Relatives||Princess Zelda (daughter)|
|Debut||The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past|
Within the Zelda series, the king is a particularly important figure due to being the ruler of the games' primary setting, Hyrule. The kings are also important as the fathers of the various incarnations of Princess Zelda. However, within early games the king was usually either not mentioned or received primarily a background role. It was not until The Wind Waker that the games began to flesh out the king and make him a more important figure. Some later games do still have an absent king; Princess Zelda seems to be ruling in absence of the king in both Twilight Princess and Spirit Tracks.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
The king does not appear, but he is part of the backstory and depicted in official artwork. It is mentioned that a king once maintained peace in Hyrule using the Triforce. Once he died, his son the prince was set to become the next king. However, the prince only received part of the Triforce and went to great lengths to seek it. He went as far as to recruit a shady magician to interrogate his sister, Princess Zelda. The magician threatened Zelda and was angered to the point where he put a spell on Princess Zelda that put her into an eternal sleep, despite the prince's protests. The magician is said to have died at the same time. The prince decided to honor her by deciding that every female born into the royal household would be named Zelda.
It is possible that the king or the prince is the one responsible for hiding the Triforce of Courage in the Great Palace (as that could have been either the piece withheld from the prince or the other only piece he received), but this is uncertain.
A Link to the Past
The backstory mentions the king as a key figure during the Imprisoning War, who commanded the sages and the knights of Hyrule which led to Ganon being sealed within the Dark World. As for the king who presided during the actual game's events, he was impressed by Aganhim's amazing feats of magic and enlisted him as an adviser. Aganhim slowly betrayed and replaced the king through unspecified means. It is uncertain whether the king was killed or disposed of through alternate means. Regardless, the king was shown to be restored to life and power alongside Princess Zelda in the ending as a result of Link's wish on the Triforce. His only physical appearance is during the game's ending (making this the first actual in-game appearance in the game), although the game's introduction shows a figure with a skull face sitting in a throne who could either be the dead king or Aganhim.
Ocarina of Time
The King of Hyrule was mentioned as having unified the country in the past, and this was implied to have happened at the end of the "fierce war". Most of the races of Hyrule swore allegiance to and trusted Hyrule following the war, to the point where the Gorons considered the king to be a Sworn Brother. Ganondorf also swore allegiance to the king for the Gerudo and appeared to be a loyal servant. Princess Zelda did not trust Ganondorf and tried to warn the king about a prophetic dream that she had, but the king did not believe it was prophetic and continued to trust Ganondorf. The king was never physically seen, although he was just offscreen in one scene where Link and Zelda witnessed Ganondorf kneeling before him through a window.
During the seven years of Link's slumber, Ganondorf came into power and destroyed Hyrule Castle. The king was presumably killed, although it is likely more likely that he he survived in the alternate timeline.
The Wind Waker
This was the first game in which the king had a large storyline presence, a developed character and a name: Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule. He was the last king of Hyrule in the timeline of The Wind Waker and continued to live in Hyrule Castle after the flood. He used a Gossip Stone to control a boat on the surface called the King of Red Lions and acted as the Hero of Wind's companion in his big first journey. He also discovered his descendant, Tetra, and told her about her true heritage as Princess Zelda. At the end of the game, he made a wish on the Triforce to put Hyrule to rest forever beneath the floodwaters. Daphnes chose to remain behind while sending Link and Tetra to the surface to found their own new Hyrule.
The Minish Cap
This game actually showed two kings. The presiding king was King Daltus, the father of this game's Princess Zelda. He was an accomplished swordsman in his youth and used to be a rival of Smith's. Their eventual friendship led to Zelda being friends with Smith's grandson, Link. Daltus was imprisoned and impersonated by Vaati for some time until Link saved him and defeated Vaati.
The other king to appear was the ghost of a previous king named Gustav, who was buried within the Royal Valley. The ghost appeared before Link and invited him to his grave, where he gave Link a Kinstone that he could use to reach the sky from Veil Falls.
- During the time when the king was a minor presence within the game series, most other media featured an original king named King Harkinian. He was used as the monarch for the cartoon series, the Valient comic series and the licensed CD-i games. Harkinian was depicted as a kindly and jovial man if somewhat erratic. He was also supportive of Link's advances on Princess Zelda. Like the princess, he himself was captured on several occasions and needed to be rescued. The comics showed him to be living in the North Palace, in continuity with Zelda II. The CD-i games also showed that he had a cousin named Duke Onkled, who betrayed him and was forced to scrub all of Hyrule's floors after he was brought to justice.
- King Daphnes is the only king so far whose full name has been disclosed. His last name is shown as "Hyrule", which implies that this may be the surname for the rest of the Royal Family as well.