From Gamehiker Wiki
|The original Zelda from Skyward Sword.|
|Relatives|| Skyward Sword|
Tetra (great-great grandmother)
All Hyrule-Set Games
King of Hyrule (father)
|Voiced by|| Jun Mizusawa (1998-present)|
Hikari Tachibana (2002, 2007)
Megumi Toyoguchi (2011)
|Debut||The Legend of Zelda|
Zelda is one of the principal characters of the The Legend of Zelda series. She has normally inhabited the "damsel-in-distress" role, but she has played a wider variety of more active parts as the series has continued. In nearly every appearance, she is Princess Zelda of Hyrule. There are multiple Zeldas, and the strong similarities between them is explained by the fact that they are all part of the same royal bloodline, and they have all been named Zelda through either tradition or as a royal title. The beginning of the in-universe "Legend of Zelda" was shown in Skyward Sword, where Zelda was shown to be the moral reincarnation of the goddess Hylia. This is the first known Zelda incarnation and the only Zelda who is not royalty. Throughout the series, Zelda is associated with the Triforce of Wisdom.
These games follow the chronological order of the official series timeline from the Hyrule Historia. The Historia does confirm that not all of the princesses are named Zelda, and it implies that in some cases "Princess Zelda" is only used as a royal title due to the legends of Zelda. The only clear case of this so far in the series is Tetra in The Wind Waker. It is only in one branch of the three timeline branches where daughters of the royal family are traditionally mandated to be named Zelda.
Ancient Hyrule (Skyward Sword)
Zelda originated in ancient times as the goddess Hylia. Hylia, also referred to as Her Grace, who was entrusted with the Triforce, by the Three Golden Goddesses so that she would protect it from those who misused it. She ruled over the humans (who would later be known as the Hylians) and the five great races of the land. She also empowered the three dragons and the sky spirit Levias. Her ultimate test came when an army of monsters led by the vicious Demon King Demise emerged from a fissure in the earth and ravaged the land. Hylia sought to protect her people and the Triforce first, so she gathered all of the surviving humans and the Triforce onto a patch of land that she cut from the earth and used the Goddess's Harp to send the land skyward. There they would form the civilization known as Skyloft and continued to worship the goddess for generations to come, but not by name. The Triforce wound up hidden within the Sky Keep on the bottom of Skyloft's Isle of the Goddess, although it is unclear whether or not she actually hid it there, and its existence was forgotten by the people for the most part. Back on the surface, Hylia entered the battle once her people were safe. It was described as the harshest and most brutal of battles, but Hylia ultimately won and sealed Demise away long with his demonic hordes. She knew this was not the end, as Demise turned out to be too powerful for her to completely destroy, and she was weakened by her battle with the monster. Demise would break free from his seal over and over again until he was able to claim the Triforce, so Hylia began setting new plans into motion to stop Demise.
Her first plan guiding a chosen hero to claim the Triforce so that this hero could use its power to destroy Demise. To aid and guide the hero, Hylia created the Master Sword and a spirit tied to the sword named Fi. Fi was created with various memories that were locked away so that the hero would only receive the messages when needed. Most messages were prefaced by the goddess saying that she was guiding Link from "the edge of time". The Master Sword was left in a hidden chamber of Skyloft's Isle of the Goddess, in its weaker form as the Goddess Sword. This was because Hylia set up a method by which the Goddess Sword would have to be empowered by three sacred flames (matching the three goddesses) to reach its full power as the Master Sword. By passing each trial, the hero would also unknowingly prove himself worthy of a piece of the Triforce. This was all to make sure that the hero had a strong enough spirit to use the Triforce. The Isle of Songs was set up near Skyloft to help the hero learn the songs needed to reach the Sacred Flames, and Hylia also taught Levias and the three dragons each one part of the Song of the Hero, which the hero would need to find the Triforce's location. Hylia also arranged for various other ways of helping the hero, such as setting up Goddess Cubes and Goddess Walls to provide minor aid, and she seemed to have a hand in hiding the stone tablets which created wholes in the cloud barrier allowing the hero to reach the surface.
Hylia's second plan was to abandon her divine form and transfer her soul into a human body so that one day the Triforce could be used. This act sacrificed her divine form and powers as well as her immortality, with only her divine soul being intact. It seems that she foresaw that her reincarnation would be someone dear to the hero, as part of her plan was that her mortal form would be placed in danger to motivate the chosen hero into actually becoming the hero.
The Goddess Reborn
Hylia was reincarnated thousands of years later in Skyloft as Zelda. She was the daughter of Gaepora, the headmaster of the Skyloft's Knight Academy. She initially had no memory of her previous life and lived a blissful existence. Zelda was friends with one student, Link, since he was a child. She believed in his strengths, but she chastised him as he grew increasingly lazy. Their bond was still strong enough that when they were younger, Zelda became jealous of Link's bond with his Crimson Loftwing. Zelda also had to endure the antics of Groose, who had trouble being discreet about his obsessive crush on Zelda and picked on Link due to being jealous of their bond. Zelda would often stand up to Groose and try to get him to leave Link alone, but he usually had trouble seeing the point. Although she seemed content with life in Skyloft, she always loved hearing about the fabled surface world from her father and dreamed of what it would be like down there. Zelda began hearing what seemed to be a voice calling out for her and wondered if Link could too. Although she though it could be nothing, it intrigued her curiosity about the surface world, which she firmly believed existed.
One year, Zelda and Link both had parts to play in the Wing Ceremony. Zelda was to play the part of the goddess and would participate in the ceremony with the winner of the race. An outfit of the goddess was prepared for the part, and she also knitted the sailcloth needed for it herself. The last part was the Goddess's Harp itself. Link was one of the contenders and would become an upperclassman if he won, so this caused Zelda to try to push him to work harder on winning the race. She had her Loftwing wake him up to keep him from oversleeping and also teased him by pushing him off the edge of Skyloft so that he would be forced into riding his Loftwing. However, one day Link's Loftwing failed to arrive, so Zelda leaped down and caught him with her own. She then helped Link to search for his missing Loftwing, and they were able to convince Gaepora to hold off the ceremony in the meantime. Link was able to find it and won the ceremony. Zelda gave Link the sailcloth and pushed him off the edge of the goddess statue for the last part of the ceremony, in which he used the sailcloth as a parachute. They then rode off together on Link's Loftwing. At this moment, Zelda was ready to confess something to Link, but a giant tornado arrived and whisked Zelda away.
Zelda wound up landing safely on the surface in the Sealed Grounds. A mysterious old woman was waiting and gave her shelter within the Sealed Temple. Zelda had been brought to the surface by the magic of Ghirahim, who wanted to use her in a ceremony to revive Demise. The old woman began to tell Zelda about her destiny and the truth behind her past. Zelda's next task was to unlock her memories to help in the battle against Demise in her own way. To do this, she had to purify herself in the waters of two different springs and offer prayers to the goddess statue. Zelda managed to navigate the Faron Province and reached Skyview Spring at the end of the dangerous Skyview Temple by herself. Her next destination was the Earth Spring at the end of the Earth Temple. She made her way up the dangerous Eldin Volcano, but she was captured by Ghirahim's forces right outside the Earth Temple. Zelda was held captive within a chamber of the temple to await Ghirahim's arrival. She was saved by the sudden arrival of a young Sheikah warrior named Impa. Impa brought her to the Earth Spring, where she performed her next ritual. Link managed to reach them just as they were leaving for a portal. Impa warned Zelda not to waste time talking to Link, so they disappeared through the portal. This may have been the time at which Zelda began feeling guilty about the way her plans at Hylia were manipulating Link's attachment to Zelda.
With most of Zelda's memories of her life as Hylia returning do to the rituals, Zelda was ready to pass through the Gate of Time to go to the past for their next task. Impa acted as Zelda's guardian and guided her through the Lanayru Region to the Temple of Time, which held the only working Gate of Time. Not only was Link able to catch up to them near the Gate, but Ghirahim also broke through in a last-ditch effort to capture Zelda. Link wound up distracting Ghirahim so that Zelda and Impa could both go through the Gate into the past. Before she left, Zelda gave the Goddess's Harp to Link. This was because Link would need it for his trials to strengthen the Goddess Sword so that he could activate the Sealed Temple's Gate of Time and perform the trials to earn the Triforce. Impa destroyed the Temple of Time's Gate after they passed through in order to prevent Ghirahim from following. They made their way to the Temple of Hylia, the past version of the Sealed Temple, where they were safe before they started the next part of the plan. Link eventually activated the Gate and met Zelda in the temple's back room. Zelda explained everything about her life as Hylia and the threat posed by Demise. She also informed Link of his next goal, which was to find the Triforce, and she gave the Master Sword the goddess's blessing in order to unlock its full potential.
Zelda apologized for the way Link was manipulated by her plans, but she was ready to pay the price. She encased herself in a crystal and put herself into a deep slumber that would last thousands of years. This would strengthen the seal on Demise until Link could properly destroy it. Zelda assured Link that despite all of this, she was still his Zelda and Gaepora's daughter, and she asked the "sleepyhead" to wake her up when Demise's threat was over. Zelda then entered the sleep. In the present, Link was able to use the Triforce to destroy Demise, and it dropped the Isle of the Goddess into the Sealed Grounds. She greeted Link warmly and after she stumbled, they both laughed at Groose's emotional reaction. Their celebrations were cut short by the arrival of Ghirahim, who quickly snatched Zelda and took her through the Gate of Time back to the past, when Demise was still around. He proceeded to engage in a magical ceremony which drained Zelda's divine soul in order to restore Demise to its true form. Demise mocked the now-powerless Hylia for "lowering herself" to a mortal body and summoned a tornado that would throw her to her death. Groose was able to catch her and brought her back to safety at the Temple. Her soul had not yet been completely absorbed by Demise, so there was still a chance to destroy Demise and save Zelda. Link returned to the Temple victorious after finishing off Demise. Zelda was brought to tears out of joy.
There were still a few matters left before they returned to the present. First, Fi had a brief reunion with Zelda and acknowledged her preference to be called Zelda rather than Hylia. Fi was pleased to see that Zelda was safe, and with her mission complete, she had Link place the Master Sword within a pedestal so that she would enter her eternal sleep. Zelda was then ready to return to the present, but Impa reminded her that she would not join them, as Impa was originally from the past and had to stay there. She reminded Zelda that she should know that with the goddess's memories. Zelda tried to fight it and convince Impa to come with them. Impa remained adamant in following her duties. Zelda settled for giving Impa one of her bracelets, and Impa said that they would meet again one day. Zelda, Link and Groose then went through the Gate of Time to the present while Impa destroyed the Gate behind them. After returning to the present, the old woman displayed Zelda's bracelet to the reveal that she was actually Impa. They were overjoyed to see her, and Impa told Zelda that she was right about them meeting again. Their joy turned into sorrow when Impa passed away almost instantly in a cloud of golden light. They gathered at the Statue of the Goddess afterwards, where Zelda sang while Link played the Harp beneath the Triforce. They waved goodbye to Groose when he set off to parts unknown with Cawlin and Strich, and she was also reunited with Gaepora when he came down to the surface. Zelda was glad to be able to enjoy the surface world, and she decided to stay there so that she could continue to enjoy it and watch over the Triforce. The game ended after Zelda asked Link about his plans for the future.
The ending of Skyward Sword also set up the primary struggle of the rest of the series. In his last words, Demise placed a curse on all those bearing the "blood of the goddess" (all incarnations of Zelda) and the "spirit of the hero" (the incarnations of Link). As long as people like them were around, an incarnation of Demise's undying hatred would appear to follow them and doom them to "wander a blood-soaked sea of darkness" for all of time. This foreshadows the coming of Ganon and explains the perpetual battles against him which always involve Link and Zelda.
It is implied that the kingdom of Hyrule was founded some generations of Skyward Sword by Zelda's successors. The land of Hyrule and the Hylian people both took their names from Hylia. It also became common for daughters of the royal family to be named Zelda after the historical legend of Hylia, and the divine bloodline caused some descendents to have special powers.
One incarnation of Zelda was depicted in stained glass during the backstory. She was princess during the time that the Hero of Men fought evil with the Picori Blade. The Picori had brought the light force to Hyrule, and it was hidden within the princess. She was infused with its power, and it was passed down all females born to the royal family. Originally intended as an explanation for the princess's magic powers, this instead would now seem to complement the remnants of Hylia's divine soul for that explanation.
In the present of The Minish Cap, Zelda was a childhood friend of Link due to her father's friendly rivalry with Link's grandfather. They enjoyed the Picori Festival together, and after winning a game Zelda chose to give Link a small shield in place of the other, more superficial prizes. Things went well until the winner of the swordfighting contest, Vaati, began attacking in search of the mysterious light force. He saw the "power of the light" which Zelda wielded as a threat and so turned her into stone. Once Vaati found out that Zelda actually contained the light force, he began a ceremony to forcibly extract the light force from her which would kill her in the process.of the Picori Blade (now the Four Sword) to finally restore her to normal. When Hyrule Castle started to collapse, they made their way to the realm of the Picori, but were prevented by Vaati. After defeating him a final time, Ezlo gave the mage's cap to Zelda, and they combined their powers to restore Hyrule to its former glory.
Vaati reemerged at some point and was sealed within the Four Sword, which was enshrined at the Four Sword Sanctuary. It became a duty of the line of princesses to watch over the seal on Vaati. It was implied that they could only carry out this duty when they were young, as the Four Sword Sanctuary was only visible to children. The Zelda of Four Swords was childhood friends with Link and brought him to check on the seal when she suspected that it was weakening. They found that Vaati had already freed himself. He captured Zelda to make her his bride, but Link used the Four Sword to rescue her and imprison Vaati again.
Leader of the Seven Sages (Timeline Split)
In Ocarina of Time, Princess Zelda was initially shown as a child. The princess was already wise and elegant, and she was also known for being a bit of a tomboy. Impa of the Sheikah Tribe was appointed as her loyal nurse and bodyguard. Zelda had prophetic dreams which warned her about the threat posed by Ganondorf. She believed that he was trying to find the way into the Sacred Realm to reach the Triforce. Her father the king dismissed her claims due to his trust in Ganondorf. Only Impa believed and supported her until she met Link, when he sneaked into Hyrule Castle at the Deku Tree's request. Zelda related her apprehensions about Ganondorf to Link and came to believe that Link was the heroic figure from her dream. They hatched a scheme together so that they could use her Ocarina of Time and the three spiritual stones to get into the Sacred Realm before Ganondorf.
Link set out to gather stones and was successful, but Ganondorf made his move in the meantime to try to steal the Ocarina. Impa and Zelda escaped on horseback, and Zelda tossed the Ocarina to Link as they passed him so that he could carry on the plan. The Ocarina had a telepathic message of sorts attached through which she taught Link the Song of Time, which was the song needed to enter the Sacred Realm. Link was being followed by Ganondorf, who reached the Triforce instead. His impure heart caused the Triforce to split, and Zelda received the Triforce of Wisdom.
During the following seven years that Link spent in stasis within the Sacred Realm, Zelda went missing from the public eye. She had in fact disguised herself as Sheik, a descendant of the Sheikah, in order to hide from Ganondorf. Sheik began to appear to Link when he woke and told him about some of the things that had changed while he was asleep. She continually aided Link by watching his progress and teaching him songs that, when played on the Ocarina of Time, would allow him to return to the Temples of the Sages at his leisure. Sheik played these songs on a special harp that seemed to be the Harp of the Goddesses. She took a slightly more active stance when she saw Kakariko Village burning and helped to defend her former nursemaid's town, but she was quickly knocked aside by Bongo Bongo as it escaped from its seal.
When Link had awakened all of the sages and returned to the Temple of Time, Sheik met him there and told him about the Triforce. Link did not know that he had the Triforce of Courage until she told him, and she then revealed her own identity as Zelda, the seventh sage and the bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom. She also gave Link the Light Arrows, but Ganondorf was somehow watching and captured her only moments later within a crystal prison. She was rescued at Ganon's Tower after Link defeated Ganondorf, and they escaped the collapsing tower together. After Ganondorf turned into Ganon, he created a fiery barrier that locked him in a battle with Link. Link was separated from the Master Sword by this barrier, but Zelda was soon able to send the Master Sword over the barrier to him.
Once Link had incapacitated Ganondorf, Zelda lead the six sages in sealing Ganondorf away within the Evil Realm. Ganondorf swore revenge on Link and Zelda's descendents as he was pulled in. Zelda and Link wound up in some other unidentified plane of existence (which has been noted to be identical to the realm where Link fights Demise in Skyward Sword), where Zelda thanked Link for his efforts and also apologized to him, as she took responsibility for how awry the plans they had made as children had gone. To make up for it, she played Zelda's Lullaby on the Ocarina of Time, which sent Link back in time so that he could actually experience and live through his childhood. Once the two time periods were cut off from each other, this caused them to split into two different timelines. The Zelda of this timeline, the Adult Timeline, returned the Master Sword to the Temple of Time and closed the Door of Time, and her later activities are unknown.
Within this hypothetical version of Ocarina of Time, Link was killed by Ganondorf in the final battle. He was then able to take Zelda and Link's Triforce pieces and became Ganon. Princess Zelda was still able to lead the sages in sealing Ganon away within the Dark World. Her later activities (including if she was with the seven sages who sealed the Dark World away in the Imprisoning War, as it is not specified if it occurs during her lifetime) are unknown.
The last image of Ocarina of Time was of Link visiting Zelda in manner similar to their first meeting, with her presence implying that Link had arrived at a time prior to Ganondorf chasing Zelda from the castle. This was confirmed by Eiji Aonuma and the Hyrule Historia, which state that Link traveled back in time to before the Sacred Realm's openings, and he retained the Triforce of Courage. This caused the Triforce to split in the child timeline, and presumably Zelda received the Triforce of Wisdom. Regardless, Link came to warn Princess Zelda of Ganondorf's future atrocities, and it seems that the king listened to him. Link's testimony would lead to Ganondorf being captured before he could stage his coup.
In Majora's Mask, Zelda was seen once in a flashback that Link experienced when he retrieved the Ocarina of Time. She had given him the Ocarina of Time when he left Hyrule to search for the missing Navi and taught him the Song of Time. Zelda hoped that the Goddess of Time would watch over him. The Historia elaborates on this by saying that Zelda entrusted Link with the Ocarina and sent him on this secret journey to keep the Ocarina out of Ganondorf's hands.
Princess of Light
Princess Zelda was held captive by the wizard Agahnim, whom had taken control of Hyrule Castle. She had been concerned about other maidens disappearing throughout Hyrule, and Agahnim indeed sought her because she was one of the maiden descendants of the seven sages. His plant was to use them as sacrifices to break the seal on the Dark World so that Ganon could be freed. The princess sent a telepathic call from her cell to Link and his uncle for help, but only Link made there. He initially rescued her, and she was kept safe in the sanctuary with a priest for some time. Aganhim's men eventually raided the sanctuary and killed the priest while capturing Zelda.
Zelda was brought back to Hyrule Castle, where she was the seventh and final maiden to be sacrificed into the Dark World. He finished the ceremony just as Link arrived, and this broke the seal which held Ganon. Within the Dark World, she was encased within a crystal and held at Turtle Rock, and she was the last maiden that Link could rescue. Once the maidens were all rescued, they combined their powers to open the path to Ganon's Tower. Link succeeded in restoring peace to Hyrule with the Triforce, and Zelda was seen reunited with her father.
In Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, Zelda did not appear until midway through the second game to be played due to the settings being the foreign countries of Holodrum and Labrynna, respectively. She still played an indirect role by sending Impa to watch over Din and Nayru after fearing that they were being targeted by dark forces. Her travels during the second game were caused by a desire to help the other countries more directly. Zelda still wound up being captured shortly after her arrival by a different force depending on the game. If Oracle of Seasons was played first, Zelda was held captive by Vire in the Black Tower during Oracle of Ages,which forced Link to save her in the manner of Jumpman in Donkey Kong. If Oracle of Ages was played first, Zelda was held captive by the Great Moblin in Spool Swamp during Oracle of Seasons, and Link saved her after fending off only a few Moblins. The canonical order is Seasons followed by Ages, so it is the latter scenario which occurred.
Regardless, while she was inspiring hope near the end of the linked game, Zelda was captured by Twinrova to be used in a plot to sacrifice her in order to revive Ganon. Link came to her rescue, but Twinrova sacrificed themselves instead and Ganon returned, though not as strong as he could have been. Link once more fended him off, and he and Zelda escaped.
The Sleeping Zelda and Her Descendant
In the backstory of The Adventure of Link, the King of Hyrule from long ago had hidden the Triforce of Courage away, and passed only the Triforces of Wisdom and Power on to his son before he died. The prince and his magician suspected his sister, Zelda, of knowing where the Triforce of Courage was. When Zelda wouldn't tell them where the Triforce was, the magician put her into an eternal sleep. Consumed by guilt, the prince left her in the North Castle in hopes that she would wake up some day, in a room that only the nursemaid and her descendants would know how to open. It was decreed that all princesses of Hyrule would be named Zelda in honor of her. Prior to this, the naming convention had been unofficial.
One of these descendents was featured in the original The Legend of Zelda, where she faced the threat of Ganon resurfacing with the Triforce of Power. Zelda took the Triforce of Wisdom and broke it into eight pieces, and she had them hidden within the dungeons of the Underworld where Ganon's minions would not be able to reach them. She sent Impa out to find someone with the courage to defeat Ganon, while Zelda was captured by the Demon King. Impa found Link, who collected the Triforce of Wisdom, defeated Ganon, and rescued Zelda.
On Link's sixteenth birthday, Impa took him to the North Castle, where he found the sleeping Zelda from long ago. Link ventured to the Great Palace, where he defeated the Thunderbird and his own shadow to reclaim the Triforce of Courage. The complete Triforce was used to awake the sleeping Zelda from her slumber, and she rewarded him with a kiss.
Within this timeline, Hyrule was flooded by the Goddesses when Ganon returned, as there was no one to challenge him with the Hero of Time gone in the other timeline. The princess at the time, a young girl, still had the Triforce of Wisdom and broke it into two pieces at the instruction of her father, King Daphnes Nohansen. The king held onto one piece and stayed in Hyrule, while Zelda had the other piece and left Hyrule with a group of servants prior to the flooding. She was also entrusted with a special type of Gossip Stone that could be used for communication. On the Great Sea, she kept her royal heritage a secret, and they became a group of pirates. This Zelda could possibly have been Tetra's mother whom she mentioned in the game, but it is more likely some descendant due to the many generations which seemed to pass before The Wind Waker.
Tetra was an incarnation of Zelda from The Wind Waker who was very different from the rest of her bloodline in terms of her appearance and personality. It is notable that even though her name was Tetra, the title of Princess Zelda was applied to her by King Daphnes due to her heritage, and uniting the Triforce of Wisdom was able to transform Tetra to resemble the traditional image of Princess Zelda, complete with a dress and lighter skin tone. By the end of the game, she lost the Triforce of Wisdom and returned to her original appearance. With all ties to the old kingdom of Hyrule cut, Tetra set out on a journey with the Hero of Winds to discover a new land. They got caught up in the events of Phantom Hourglass, but eventually Tetra was able to found a new land that she chose to also name Hyrule. Tetra ruled his kingdom and founded a new Hyrulian monarchy for this timeline.
Zelda was the great-great granddaughter of Tetra who seemed to rule over Hyrule with the aid of Chancellor Cole one hundred years after its foundation. Cole appeared to be overprotective in the manner that he constantly oversaw Zelda and never allowed her to travel alone, but she remained suspicious of him. She also possessed a family heirloom, the Spirit Flute, which Zelda's grandmothers had used to play her to sleep when she was young. Zelda also had bonds with her Teacher as well as the former castle guard Alfonzo.
The princess became alarmed by the disappearance of the kingdom's Spirit Tracks. However, she did not trust Cole and wanted to investigate on her own. To help her, she secretly slipped the young engineer Link a note while giving him his engineering certificate (in a graduation ceremony that Cole found superfluous) asking him to sneak up to her room and meet with her. Zelda explained that she wanted to investigate the Tower of Spirits and gave Link the uniform of a recruit so that he could help her sneak out of the castle and to his train. There she met Link's master, Alfonzo, who was glad to help her.
However, the tracks disappeared beneath the train while they were en route to the Tower of Spirits, at which point Cole and his cohort Byrne attacked them. Cole revealed that his true intentions were to awaken Malladus, the Demon King who was bound by the Spirit Tracks, and used a magic spell to separate Zelda's spirit from her body, which Cole and Byrne then took with them. Zelda's ghost than drifted through Hyrule Castle in search of someone who could help her, but no one could see or hear her until she saw Link, who was the only person who could see and hear her at first. They decided to travel to the Tower by foot and work together to save Zelda's body, as well as the entirety of Hyrule.
At the Tower of Spirits, they met Tetra's old friend, the Lokomo Anjean, who told them that Cole's plan was to revive Malladus in Zelda's body, which horrified and disgusted Zelda, and motivated her to want her body back as soon as possible. However, the Tower had been fragmented by Cole's wrong-doing. So Link went on a quest with Zelda's ghost to guide him to restore both the Spirit Tracks and the Tower of Spirits. Zelda was also able to help Link more directly when they explored the Tower of Spirits, as there Zelda was able to possess the patrolling Phantoms in order to help Link solve the many puzzles of the Tower.
After the Tower was completely restored, they scaled it to the top floor and battled Byrne together. They defeated him, but were distracted by basking in their victory, which caused him to escape. They then made their way to the roof too late, just in time to see Cole reviving Malladus in Zelda's body. After the Malladus-possessed Zelda betrayed and severely wounded Byrne, Cole and Malladus escaped on the demon train. Link and Zelda's ghost regrouped in the spirit train with Anjean and the unconscious Byrne, where it was decided that Link would travel to the Sand Temple to find the Bow of Light. Zelda decided to let Byrne live, hoping to "have words" with him afterwards (said while she was punching at the air). After Link found the Bow of Light, Link and Zelda explored the Tower together once more to find the Compass of Light in a hidden area.
Once they were fully prepared, they entered the Dark Realm and began the final battles with Malladus. After stalling the Demon Train, Zelda decided that she and Link would take on Malladus alone, due to Anjean and the repentant Byrne still being injured. Anjean summoned a new Phantom for her to possess, and they then made their way long the top of the train towards the Malladus-possessed Zelda while Cole attempted to distract her by summoning ghost rats and attempting to take control of the Phantom body. Eventually Zelda reached her body and held it in place while Link fired a Light Arrow that successfully expelled Malladus from Zelda's body. They were then all deposited back in Hyrule.
Zelda attempted to re-enter her body, but found herself unable to do so at first, and Malladus than attempted to repossess the body until Byrne sacrificed himself holding off Malladus. Calling out to Tetra to find the sacred power within her body, Zelda was then finally able to enter her body again. Link and Zelda then teamed up together against Malladus, who was able to temporarily assume his original form. Zelda had Link protect her while she charged up energy, and afterwards they performed a duet together with Zelda singing while Link played the Spirit Flute. Fully prepared for the final battle, Zelda then wielded the Bow of Light while Link distracted Malladus from attacking her. She fired Light Arrows at Malladus's back which stunned him so that Link could attack him. She then came over to help Link deliver the final blow.
Together they shoved the Lokomo Sword into Malladus's forehead, seemingly destroying the demon for good. Anjean than reached them and showed that Byrne still existed as a spirit. At this point Anjean and the other Lokomos became spirits as well, ascending to the heavens as Link and Zelda had proven worthy of protecting the land without the guidance of the spirits. Zelda watched sadly while holding Link's hand. She then returned to Hyrule Castle, and in the final scene she was seen looking out the window excitedly depending on whether Link decided to become an engineer or a warrior (a choice made before the final battle) after hearing him either driving his train or fighting outside, and if Link had responded uncertainly about his future job, Zelda would simply be seen going over paperwork without any sign of Link.
Princess Zelda appeared to be ruling over Hyrule, with no sight or mentioning of a king. She had led the forces of Hyrule in defending Hyrule Castle from Zant and his invaders from the Twilight Realm. She ultimately surrendered to Zant, when he made her choose between a surrender and the death of her people. Zelda was confined to her room in Hyrule Castle, but she was able to make an alliance with mysterious Twilight imp Midna.
Midna later introduced Zelda to Link, a young farm boy whom had been trapped in the form of a wolf. Link later returned to her with Midna, who was dying of a curse inflicted by Zant. Under Midna's wishes, Zelda instructed Link on how to find the Master Sword, which reverse his transformation into a wolf. However, Zelda felt pity for Midna and began to realize just what she really was (the princess of the Twilight Realm). So Zelda put her power into curing Midna and disappeared.
Zelda was not seen again until near the end of the game. She was unconscious and on display in the throne room of Hyrule Castle, which was being inhabited by Ganondorf. When Link and Midna arrived, Ganondorf possessed her, making her into Ganon's Puppet: Princess Zelda. This possessed Zelda used three basic attacks: swooping down with sword in hand, tossing dark magic blasts and summoning a triangle-shaped field of energy. To defeat her, Link had to reflect her dark magic blasts back at her (in the same vein as Aganhim). Ganondorf's spirit was then forced out of Zelda's body. Midna caught Zelda's body and rested it in the throne. Zelda was then restored to life as light flowed to her from Midna's body.
Afterwards, Midna teleported Link and Zelda to safety while she held off Ganon. Zelda than called on the power of the four light spirits and humbly asked Link to lend them the remainder of his power. Link and Zelda rode together atop Epona in battle with Ganondorf. Zelda fired light arrows to stun Ganondorf while Link attacked him with his sword. Zelda was separated from Link during the final phase of his battle with Ganondorf, however. After Ganondorf was killed, Link and Zelda saw Midna (whom had been restored to true form) off to the Twilight Realm. Zelda told Midna that light and darkness needed each other to exist, and said she believed that the goddesses had left behind the Mirror of Twilight because it was their will that they should meet. However, as Midna entered the Twilight Realm, she destroyed the Mirror with her tear and shut off the gates between the worlds of light and twilight forever.
During this time, Princess Zelda maintained the seal on Vaati at the Four Sword Sanctuary with a group of six Shrine Maidens. Zelda and the six maidens were kidnapped by Shadow Link and scattered throughout Hyrule while trying to check up on Vaati's seal. Link took up the Four Sword again, freeing Vaati in the process, and the Links proceeded to rescue the maidens one by one. Zelda was held in the Tower of Winds and was the last maiden to be rescued. Afterwards, she came to Link's rescue during his battle with the Shadow Links by removing the Dark Mirror, which had been spawning the Shadow Links at a rapid rate. When Vaati was defeated, Zelda led Link back down through the Tower of Winds, but they were attacked by Ganon. Using their magic, Zelda and the maidens trapped Ganon in the Four Sword.
- Zelda appeared in the three Zelda games for the CD-i. In the first, Link: Faces of Evil, she was again captured by Ganon and eventually rescued by Link. The follow-up sequels, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon and Zelda's Adventure featured Zelda as a playable character for the first time rescuing Link from Ganon.
- Zelda appears as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee its sequel, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In Melee she uses the magic spells that the three goddesses had given Link in OoT. She has three unlockable trophies in Melee, while in Brawl she has five. Her Brawl trophies are one normal trophy, one depicting her Final Smash and trophies for Robed Zelda (from Twilight Princess), Zelda's Wind Waker appearance and Tetra. There are also stickers of Zelda as seen in A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, as a child in Ocarina of Time and The Minish Cap, as Tetra from The Wind Waker and as Sheik from Ocarina of Time.
- Zelda is also able to transform into her alter-ego, Sheik, in both Melee and Brawl (since Sheik was not in Twilight Princess, Sheik's design in Brawl was based on unused designs when Sheik was considered for Twilight Princess). Sheik each earn three trophies in Melee and two in Brawl.
- A text dump of Super Smash Bros. Brawl lists two new fighters as Toon Zelda and Toon Sheik, though neither made the final cut of the game. These were most likely intended to be a cel-shaded clone of Zelda (as seen in The Wind Waker), though whether Toon Sheik would be Tetra or a new Sheik design is unknown.
- Within Brawl's "The Subspace Emissary", Zelda was first seen with Princess Peach watching over the battle between Mario and Kirby in the Mid-Air Stadium. Afterwards, both were captured and held in cages by Petey Piranha. Kirby freed one, with the other being turned into a trophy and captured by Wario, which was later taken by King Dedede until Bowser took it from him. The princess Kirby did rescue accompanied him until she was turned into a trophy by Bowser, and the shadow bugs then formed a shadow clone of the princess that was soon defeated in battle. The two princesses were held aboard the Halberd until rescued by Meta Knight, Lucario and Solid Snake, who first had to defeat shadow clones of both princesses. Zelda then turned into Sheik and with Peach they fought their way to the deck of the Halberd during an aerial battle between the Halberd and Fox McCloud's Arwing. After one of Arwing's lasers went off close to Peach, Sheik defensively jumped onto the Arwing and tore Fox from the cockpit. After landing on the Halberd's deck, the two nearly broke into combat until Peach instantly resolved the combat by offering tea. The three then returned to combat when the massive Duon attacked them. After this, they all joined with the game's main party for the final battles in Subspace. If Link and Zelda were saved from trophy form, they then chose to revive Ganondorf from his own trophy form so that he could help them in the final battles.
- Zelda appeared as a main character in the 13-episode Legend of Zelda cartoon series, where she frequently had to be rescued by Link and would often refuse his attempts to kiss her, prompting his catchphrase of "Well excuuuse me, princess!", and she had the role of protecting the Triforce of Wisdom from being stolen by Ganon. This is also the first time Zelda is shown as being skilled with a bow, and her costume reflected her more active physical role in the series. Her father, King Harkinian, also appeared. Link and Zelda also appeared in an episode that crossed over with Captain N: The Game Master.
- Zelda appeared in the Valient comics Legend of Zelda comics, which mixed elements of the cartoon series with stuff that was introduced in Zelda II and was shown in a somewhat more serious light.
- The manga adaptation to The Legend of Zelda established the "Zelda lineage" as the caretakers of the Triforce, and the backstory showed the previous blue-haired Princess Zelda (XVI) as the holder of the Triforce of Power, until Ganon killed her to claim it. However, the young Princess Zelda XVII, her daughter, was able to repel him with the Triforce of Wisdom that her mother had passed down. This Zelda grows into a rebellious, tomboyish princess who convinces the cowardly Link to accompany her in investigating Ganon's return. She actually battles Ganon briefly, but she is defeated and captured, at which point she scatters the Triforce of Wisdom so Link could find it. She remains in a slumber until Link slays Ganon and awakens her, at which point she is glad both to see that Link had rescued her and that her mother's Triforce was free. Although neither of the two find out, it is shown within this story that Link and Zelda are actually half-siblings due to the previous princess's taboo affair with the elf hero Rune.
- Zelda appears in the 1992 comic adaptation of A Link to the Past, which expands on her relationship with Link in a tragic light. They communicate primarily over telepathy to defeat Ganon. Zelda becomes queen afterwards, while Link becomes guardian of the Triforce. Their duties force them to be distant after they used to be so close, with Zelda reflecting on the irony that they were at their closest when fighting Ganon, and that she would never forget when they were together in their dreams.
- Zelda appeared throughout the manga adaptation of Ocarina of Time which expanded on her game role. She was shown as a tomboy and met Link in Hyrule Castle Town in her first appearance. Her transformation to Sheik was also expanded upon and involved hypnotism performed by Impa to truly make her like a different person. She teams up with Link in the Gerudo Valley, and it is here where her true identity is revealed and she is captured by Ganondorf in this continuity.
- Zelda makes a few appearances in the Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages manga, but does not play a prominent role due to Twinrova attempting to sacrifice her being cut. She also appeared in the 2005 manga adaptation of A Link to the Past and the The Minish Cap adaptation, with mostly identical roles as in the original games.
- Zelda appears in the Four Swords Adventures adaptation, where she is shown to bond with Shadow Link while being held captive by Vaati.
- She is named after Zelda Fitzgerald (novelist and wife of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald), as Shigeru Miyamoto liked her name.
- Over the years, there have so far been two instances of a titular "Legend of Zelda", and both instances have involved original Zeldas. The backstory for Zelda II was referred to by Impa as the Legend of Zelda. The other instance is Skyward Sword, where developers referred to it as the true Legend of Zelda due to the revelations about Zelda in the game. However, the phrase is never used within the actual game aside from a joking reference when Groose refers to their adventures as the Legend of Groose.
- Judging by the official timeline from the Hyrule Historia, there have so far been thirteen different incarnations of Zelda. Two of them have only been seen in picture form (for the backstory of The Minish Cap and in the background in The Wind Waker), and only one (Tetra) goes by a different name. There have been five Zeldas in games taking place prior to the timeline split, and each timeline has three independent incarnations of Zelda except for the Adult Timeline, which has two.
- A picture in Hyrule Castle in The Wind Waker shows that one of the Zeldas (the one who was initially sent to the Great Sea) had a group of stewards very similar in appearance to Tetra's pirate crew.
- The Zelda in Spirit Tracks is shown to have an acute fear of mice, and even when possessing a Phantom will freeze up when a rat is near.
- According to Masahiro Sakurai on the official Brawl website, Sheik's appearance in Brawl was based on concept designs for Twilight Princess, indicating that Sheik was originally intended to make an appearance in the game at some point. This concept artwork was eventually shown in the Hyrule Historia.
|Characters in Legend of Zelda series|
|Epona· Fi · Great Deku Tree · Gaepora · Groose · Kaepora Gaebora · Link · Malon · Midna · Impa · Tingle · Tetra · Zelda|
Agahnim · Byrne · Cole · Dark Link · Demise · Ganon · Ghirahim · Malladus · Phantom Ganon · Twinrova · Vaati · Zant
|Characters in the Super Smash Bros. Series|
|Mario · Donkey Kong · Yoshi · Luigi · Link · Samus |
Pikachu · Jigglypuff · Ness · Captain Falcon · Fox McCloud · Kirby
Marth · Roy · Peach · Bowser · Dr. Mario · Young Link · Zelda · Sheik
Ganondorf · Mr. Game & Watch · Ice Climbers · Pichu · Mewtwo · Falco
Pit · Ike · Wario · Pokémon Trainer <Charizard/Ivysaur/Squirtle>
Meta Knight · Diddy Kong · Lucas · Pikmin & Olimar · King Dedede
Solid Snake · Sonic · Lucario · R.O.B. · Wolf O'Donnell