Follow TV Tropes


Characters / The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Link and Zelda

Go To

A page for Link and Princess Zelda, the two main protagonists of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For more combat tropes and their depiction in the prequel game, please see the Age of Calamity character page instead.


Beware of spoilers!

    open/close all folders 

    In General
But hope survives in Hyrule, for all is not lost,
Two brave souls protect it, no matter the cost.
A goddess-blood princess and a fearless knight,
They appear in each age to fight the good fight.
"One hundred years ago, there was a princess set to inherit a sacred power, and a skilled knight at her side."
King Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule
  • The Chosen Ones: In Breath of the Wild, Link continues to serve as Princess Zelda's appointed knight and remains the chosen wielder of the Master Sword. Whereas Zelda is the chosen bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom, which bestows the sacred sealing power passed down to the women of her family.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Both Link and Zelda have this in the sequel:
    • Zelda's hair has been cropped to shoulder length. This is a first for the franchise, as every incarnation of Zelda has always maintained Rapunzel Hair.
    • Link's hair was almost always in a small ponytail, with only the Ancient Helm allowing him to have his hair down. The sequel trailers show more outfits will allow him to have his hair down.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Both have been deemed worthy to wield the sacred arms and powers of the Goddesses and they've used them to selflessly defend the kingdom of Hyrule throughout time.
  • Implied Love Interest: To each other. While Link’s feelings are more ambiguous in the Western version of the game, in the Japanese version his feelings are more explicit as all the Adventure Logs are written from his perspective. When all thirteen memories have been collected he expresses in the Adventure Log how he wants to save her as quickly as possible and to see her smile again with his own eyes. Zelda’s love for Link is confirmed multiple times throughout the game, and that it was her love for him that allowed her to awaken her powers. Multiple characters lampshade and support their relationship, such as The Great Deku Tree, Kass, Urbosa, and Paya. The latter having a crush on Link herself, yet she notes Link and Zelda would make a splendid couple. Despite the clear romantic undertones of their relationship, Link and Zelda’s relationship remains only implicit due to Zelda’s Aborted Declaration of Love. Link can, however, learn about Zelda’s feelings by completing all of Kass’s quests. In a side quest called “From The Ground Up”, Link helps a man named Hudson build Tarry Town and eventually helps with Hudson’s wedding. At the end of the wedding, a shower of flower petals fall, according to Bolson the infinite flower petals represent endless love. If Bolson’s statement is to be taken seriously, then it paints the true ending of the game in a different light. In the true ending of the game, Zelda tells Link they’re going restore Hyrule to its former glory together, but as they begin to walk off, the camera pans out to show a shower of Silent Princess petals. The petals falling in the same way as Hudson’s wedding possibly, representing the endless love they will share.
  • Lady and Knight: While Link has served as Zelda's protector in previous installments, this marks the first time he's done so in an official capacity as the head of the Royal Guard and as her appointed knight. It also marks the first time Zelda is canonically and explicitly stated to have romantic feelings for him, though it's unknown whether Link reciprocates.
  • Living Legend: Their feats of heroism have been recorded in legend and song and is one of the cornerstones of the series' lore. The traveling minstrel, Kass, explains that the purpose of his journey is to complete his teacher's song about Zelda and her fallen knight from 100 years ago.
  • Maybe Ever After: The true ending of the game highly implies that the two of them become a couple as they seek to restore Hyrule.
  • Really 700 Years Old: They're both chronologically 117 years old, yet still look like teenagers due to being magically preserved in stasis for a century.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Link and Zelda have this dynamic, but they essentially switch roles after the Time Skip.
    • In the past, Link maintained a more stoic and reserved behavior in comparison to Zelda, who was more energetic and emotional.
    • In the present, however, Link has become considerably more light-hearted and provides more comic relief, while Zelda has become calmer and more confident in her abilities.
  • Reincarnation: They're the latest incarnations of the fabled Hero and Hyrule's princess, who have defended the land throughout its history.
  • Rip Van Winkle: Both of them spent the past century in stasis because of Ganon: Link because his injuries from fighting off the Guardians required him to spend that time in a Healing Vat, Zelda because she had to protect Hyrule by using her sealing powers to trap Ganon in Hyrule Castle. They finally wake up in the present because Ganon is starting to break out of his seal and they need to defeat him once and for all.
  • Took a Level in Badass: These are their most powerful incarnations, thus far:
    • By game's end, Link has an extensive arsenal of weapons, runes, and all of the Champions' abilities combined — in addition to his own ability to parry enemy attacks with his shield and unleash flurries of sword strokes or flechette storms of arrows in midair in Bullet Time.
    • Likewise, upon awakening her long-dormant power, Zelda saves Link by disabling an entire field of Guardians. Then she proceeded to Hyrule Castle to face Calamity Ganon on her own and has remained deadlocked with him for an entire century. In other words, this incarnation of Zelda is as powerful as Ganon himself. Her endurance ultimately can't match Ganon, as he frees himself to fight Link, but once he is weakened, Zelda finishes him off with the full extent of her power.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Currently, these two versions of Zelda and Link are the first incarnations of the characters to rival the Twilight Princess incarnations of the characters in publicity since the release of said games. Especially for Link, as ever since the release of this game, this version of Link has been consistently used to represent him.


"Link... You are the light — our light — that must shine upon Hyrule once again."
Voiced by: Kengo Takanashi, Takashi Ōhara (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe)

The latest incarnation of the Legendary Hero that has saved Hyrule countless times in the past. A mysterious young man who wakes up in an isolated chamber, devoid of any recollection of why he was there. Upon leaving, he finds himself in a land that was parched by a great evil over a century before. He sets out on a quest to destroy the one who wrought the havoc on the land and a discovery of his true self.

  • All Your Powers Combined: While each of the Champions specializes in a specific weapon (Mipha in spears, Revali in bows, Daruk in two-handed weapons, and Urbosa in one-handed swords & shields), Link is capable of utilizing all four types. Also, over the course of the game, Link gains the special powers of the fallen Champions. Daruk's Protection allows him to form a protective barrier around himself, Mipha's Grace revives him with extra hearts if he falls in battle, Revali's Gale lets him create an updraft that can carry him into the air for paragliding, and Urbosa's Fury allows him to call down thunderbolts.
  • Alternate Self: He is this to Wolf Link.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Although Link is technically still a Heroic Mime, his dialogue options show a penchant for snark and puns, and he freely displays emotion. In the original Japanese text, he is the one writing the journal entries of the Adventure Log, and often adds his thoughts on the situation at hand.note  By contrast, the Link we see in flashbacks was The Stoic with a fixed expression who rarely spoke. According to Zelda's diary, he behaved this way because of the pressures of his responsibility, suggesting that the present Link is emotionally open because he doesn't remember his anxiety.
  • Amnesiac Hero: He wakes up not knowing much about who he is or what his purpose is.
  • An Interior Decorator Is You: While most of his bachelor pad is built by Bolson, he can choose what gear to hang on the walls as trophies.
  • Archer Archetype: Link is of a deliberate stoic and focused personality and just as associated with bows as he is with swords. The original 2014 footage featured Link using a bow and arrow, the first artwork released featured Link aiming his bow at the viewer, and one of the amiibo is Link with a bow and arrow ready.
  • Armor Is Useless: It isn't, really, but his Champion's Tunic has more defense than equally-levelled Soldier's Armor and Ancient Armor despite being a glorified shirt (and it doesn't turn him into a walking lightning rod). The "Hero of the Wild" clothing set also invokes this, as the cloth cap, shorts, and tunic all have equal defense to the Soldier and Ancient Armor sets as well.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: When he has to crossdress to infiltrate Gerudo Town, talking to nearby dudes have them hitting on him.
  • Badass Adorable: He's an adorable, lightly built teen and the greatest hero of his generation.
  • Badass Biker: Link's Divine Beast turns out to be a Magitek motorcycle, which can be summoned with his Sheikah Slate. Link can also use his weapons while driving, even two-handed ones.
  • Badass Bookworm: Along with the various dishes he can cook in the game, the fact that he can brew potions suggests a knowledge of chemistry.
  • Badass Cape: The Hylian Hood gives him a pretty nice one. If you have the Champion's Ballad DLC, the Phantom Ganon armor has a pretty awesome one too.
  • Badass Normal:
    • He doesn't gain any innate magical ability. Any magic he has is because of either the Sheikah Slate, or the spirits of the other Champions using their powers from within him.
    • He doesn't even have the Triforce of Courage. Zelda has the entire thing. Even that which has been passed down from Hero to Hero ever since the Triforce split has been denied him — and that still doesn't stop him.
    • However, his Flurry Rush ability (as well as being able to seemingly slow time when firing arrows) could be seen as some kind of time magic or superhumanly enhanced senses.
    • "The Champions' Ballad" DLC adds another feat to Link's badassery as told from a journal written by Daruk. When a Guardian malfunctioned and began to attack, Link manages to deflect its laser back at it with a pot lid, which is something the player can do in the game as well.
  • Bad with the Bone: Link can swipe Stal creature limbs and skulls after scattering them, and use them to bash opponents.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: In the official artbook of the game, there's an image of Link in the nude, but you can't see anything around the crotch.
  • Batter Up!: He can get the Boko Bat early in the game, and later gains a nail bat in the form of the Spiked Boko Bat.
  • The Beastmaster: He can tame wild horses, deer, and even bears, and is pretty chummy with his lupine Alternate Self from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
  • Betty and Veronica: He's seen as the Betty to Zelda's Archie, with Kass's teacher being the Veronica. Kass's teacher was both a Sheikah and the court poet, while Link is a knight-in-training and a commoner, something the poet greatly despised.
  • BFS: Some of the obtainable weapons are claymores and greatswords as long as Link is tall. Even the Master Sword qualifies.
  • Big Brother Mentor: He served as one for the "Big Bad Bazz Brigade," helping them hone their swordsmanship. They express their gratitude to him over this a century later as Zora soldiers.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • One of his memories features Zelda surrounded, semi-supine, and has been caught dead to rights by the Yiga Clan. Right before they can murder her, Link charges in and kills one of her attackers. This is also the event that causes Zelda to stop being cold towards Link.
    • Unless you ignore the innocent Hylians being attacked by monsters while wandering Hyrule, the player will almost certainly live up to this trope many times over.
  • Big Eater: One of the first things Zelda learned about Link when they became friends was that he has a bottomless appetite and is a sucker for a good meal. Indeed, unless you're very good at dodging or playing a Self-Imposed Challenge, Link will embody this in-game.
  • Bishōnen: Is one of the more feminine-looking Links. This makes the point in the game where you have to cross-dress to get into the Gerudo city extra funny — and more believable.
  • Blade on a Stick: Spears are one of the weapon types that Link can find on his adventure.
  • Blade Spam: Performing "Flurry Rush" with a sword lets Link execute a barrage of slashes similar to his "Triforce Slash" Final Smash from Super Smash Bros.note .
  • Blue Is Heroic: Link has most prominently been shown wearing an elaborate blue tunic which is a uniform that the Champions of Hyrule wear. This is even enforced by the game, as you cannot dye the Champion's Tunic an alternate color and it's the best armor Link can get in the game.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Paraglider is one of Link's first items, and it does nothing more than allow him to glide. Of course, it is invaluable when it comes to traversing the mountainous regions of Hyrule and saving Link from a fall.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: One of the additions in the Champions' Ballad DLC is the Master Cycle Zero, a motorcycle that's like a horse, but better. That said, you gain it from completing the Champions' Ballad DLC, which, considering it's an addition to the main story, can really only be used to explore the world.
  • Broken Ace: A little, in the memories. Zelda's diary reveals that Link, like Zelda, felt the pressures of being a Knight of Hyrule and dealt with it by being stoic and silent. Once Zelda realizes this, she and Link become close friends.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Judging by his memories, pre-Calamity Link was an almost unstoppable One-Man Army. When he wakes up a century later with a fraction of his old strength, he's still capable of fighting the most powerful enemies Ganon can bring forth.
  • Bullet Time: By dodging an enemy's attack at the last second, Link can slow down time and counter with a Flurry Rush. Link can also slow down time to aim precisely while airborne at the expense of his stamina.
  • Came Back Wrong: It's evident that being revitalized from the Shrine of Resurrection has left the Princess's appointed knight with amnesia — all of his memories are lost. The King immediately realizes that he's wandering without purpose and very confused, and thus doesn't reveal himself proper, for fear that it would cause further strain on the hero's mind.
  • Came Back Strong: His health might be low starting out, but Link still has all his fighting abilities available to him from the moment he wakes up, and is capable of defeating Ganon right from the start if the player is skilled enough.
  • Cassandra Truth: Many people don't believe Link when it comes to his history. Even though he is the very same Hylian Champion from 100 years from the past, people have a hard time believing him and cite that he's either lying, a descendant of the Champion, or someone looking for fame. Only the Zora, the Sheikah, Yiga Clan, Riju and Buliara of the Gerudo believe that Link is the real deal. The first two because the Zora age much slower than Hylians while the older members of the Sheikah clan knew Link from 100 years ago.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Attempting to draw the Master Sword drains the claimant's life force, and Link can only survive the ordeal if his maximum is at least 13 hearts. Thankfully, he is restored after succeeding.
  • Celibate Hero: Though many women flirt with Link during the events of the game, he never pays serious attention to it. The rationale is obvious, what with Calamity Ganon needing to be stopped and his own journey of self-rediscovery on top of that. The only exception, according to the Adventure Log in the Japanese version, is Princess Zelda, whom he emphasizes a lot in his quest entries.
  • The Champion: His literal title for this game is the Hylian Champion, but more personally he serves as this to Zelda, and their Lady and Knight relationship is emphasized in this game.
  • Character Development: As explained in Zelda's Diary, Link was at first a quiet and stoic young man who put up a cold front to deal with the pressures of being a knight of Hyrule, but after rescuing Zelda from a trio of Yiga ninjas, he began to open up to Zelda and they soon became close friends. On top of that, while he feels iffy about being able to purify the Divine Beasts at first, his dialogue options show his increasing confidence with each encounter.
  • Chainsaw Good: Link can obtain the Ancient Bladesaw, a sword with rotating teeth made of pure energy.
  • Cheerful Child: "The Champions' Ballad" DLC through Mipha's diary reveals that Link was a curious, energetic, and cheerful child.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: One of the results of his knight training was gaining Super Reflexes that makes time seem to slow down around him.
  • Chick Magnet: Some female NPCs will flirt with Link, especially if he's completed quests for them, Paya develops a crush on him, and Princess Mipha of the Zora intended to marry him after Ganon was defeated (not to mention she was also in a Love Triangle with Kodah as her rival), while Zelda is also confirmed to have fallen in love with him according to Kass's Mentor (via Kass after he returns to Rito Village) and was about to confess based on her conversation with the Great Deku Tree.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Mipha was his childhood friend and she had fallen for him, even intending to marry him after the Great Calamity, though it's somewhat left ambiguous on Link's part, but it's clear that she meant a lot to him. Kodah also used to have a crush on him, but she ended up finding a Second Love after his presumed death.
  • Childhood Friends: Link spent part of his childhood stationed near Zora's Domain and was friends with several of the younger Zoras, including Princess Mipha, Kodah, and the Big Bad Bazz Brigade. As a result, none of the adults share the elders' hostility towards him when he comes back a century later.
  • Child Prodigy: Link was as young as four years old when he could best grown men in sword fighting.
  • Child Soldier: Link was stationed with a group of knights by Zora's Domain when he was four years old, yet at that time was noted to be strong enough to overcome grown men.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Link is nothing but professional in his demeanour, acting the part of a stoic knight...but it's hard to not notice that his eyeline seems to be directed towards Zelda's backside whenever she's bent over or trailing ahead of him.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Lampshaded by Impa:
    Impa: Ha! Not a memory to your name, yet you are as intent as ever to charge forward with only courage and justice on your side. You have not changed a bit. Once a hero, always a hero.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Tactics for combat can include sniping at range, stealthy kills, electrocution when the enemy's in water, spamming enemies when they're wide open, and so forth. Considering the realistic effects when it comes to damage in this game, you'll have to have him fight dirty to survive.
  • The Confidant: To Zelda. According to Impa and Zelda's diary, she (eventually) saw him as someone she could confide in and rely on when the pressures of defeating Calamity Ganon became too great, which you can see in some of the memory locations you can find. In the present, he also becomes one for Riju, as she becomes more open with him about her own insecurities once he retrieves the Thunder Helm.
    Impa: A hundred years ago, you and the princess were quite close. You were a comfort and an encouraging presence to her as she struggled each day to fulfill her destiny. That is why she believes in you... and why she has the strength to fight Ganon all alone.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character:
    • Most incarnations of Link wear green tunics, come from rural or suburban settings, sleep for pleasure, and meet Princess Zelda when their quests are underway. This one wears a wide variety of clothes and is often depicted with a cyan tunic, is the son of a Hylian knight, had to be placed in the Shrine of Resurrection to prolong his life, and was Zelda's friend long before the story of the game starts.
    • Personality-wise, while most Links are unfailingly polite, some of this Link's dialogue options border on blunt, snarky, or even rude.
    • He's also the first Link shown to keep the Master Sword at the end of his game. Whereas most Links return the sword to its pedestal or otherwise lose it, this Link is shown wearing the Master Sword on his back in the Golden Ending.
  • Cool Sword: The Master Sword, the Blade of Evil's Bane. By the time period the game takes place, the Master Sword's name has been mostly forgotten and most just refer to it as "the darkness-sealing sword".
  • Cosplay: Via amiibo and DLC, this Link can impersonate most of his predecessors, and even other characters such as Sheik and Phantom Ganon. He can also dress up as Rex via free DLC.
  • Covered with Scars: Not that his in-game model shows this, but some characters comment on the numerous faint scars all over his body.
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: He experiences this when he opens the Shrine of Resurrection up to the daylight outside.
  • Deadpan Snarker: This incarnation of Link can easily be the snarkiest yet through his dialogue options, even in many instances where the game only gives one. And there is one famous instance where all of his dialogue options are snarky puns.
  • Death of Personality: As detailed above in Amnesiac Dissonance. At the beginning of the game, upon waking up in the Shrine of Resurrection, Link loses all of his memories. People who have advanced suitably far enough into the game may take note that the personality of Link post-revival is completely different from his original personality — he's curious, a lot more carefree, cunning, and open about his emotions. By the time he's gotten most of his memories back, Link has become courageous and stalwart once more, though one could also argue that his carefree nature was his original personality, and the weight of his role as the legendary hero caused him to become emotionally withdrawn — with the stress of that gone, he's able to properly express himself once more.
  • Dented Iron: His backstory as a Knight of Hyrule means that he is essentially this when he wakes in the Shrine of Resurrection. He is initially very weak, and even the weakest enemies around can beat him down pretty fast if he's not cautious. Over the course of his adventures, he slowly recovers his full strength (i.e. Heart Containers).
  • Determinator: Much as with all other Links in bearing the Triforce of Courage, he bears this nicely. Even when he was so battered that he could barely stand and was succumbing to his wounds inflicted by the Guardians, he refused to stop putting himself between them and Zelda. Right before the final battle, Zelda says that the one thing Link never forgot was his courage.
  • Disappeared Dad: His father was a knight of Hyrule, and Link follows in his footsteps. But he was only mentioned once by Zelda, and never seen in person. Given that 100 years have passed after the Great Calamity, he is most likely dead by this point, even if he survived the Calamity.
  • Disguised in Drag: Link has to use his Pretty Boy good looks and dress up as a woman in order to enter Gerudo Town.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Some of Link's wardrobe options are masks and armor that make him look like a monster, making it possible to walk straight into enemy camps without the enemies realizing what's up.
  • Dub Personality Change: Well... of a sort. The journal used to keep track of quests in first-person in the original Japanese version (as well as some other languages, like Russian), and contains a lot more introspective dialogue from Link himself. Most chiefly upon completing the memory gathering quest, Link explicitly claims that he wants to "see [Zelda's] smile again". While the romantic element between the two of them is obvious enough in the English versions, these other translations drive the point home.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Especially in the 2014 preview, to the point where people actually thought that he would be a girl in this game, or you'd at least be able to change the gender (which was almost the case, according to Word of God). Downplayed in the final game, but still present. It doesn't help that he needs to dress up as a girl to get into Gerudo City.
  • Elemental Weapon: Can wield elemental swords, rods, and arrows.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: He starts the game with nothing more than a pair of shorts and acquits himself well, even before gaining access to magical upgrades.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: Link can steal food from enemy camps.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Unlike most other incarnations, Link is already a Master Swordsman and the wielder of the Master Sword by the time the game starts, having been born into a family of royal knights.
  • Expy: An invoked one, of the original Link, to complete the allusions to that title. Heck, his official traditional green tunic you can find? It's an updated version of that very Link's clothes.
  • Extreme Omnivore:
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Link gets hit on by male NPCs almost as often as females. Some of these think he's a girl, while others are Ambiguously Gay.
  • Flash Step: To achieve striking distance, Link executes one during a Flurry Rush performed from a perfect dodge on opponents with long melee weapons, such as Lynels, Ganon Blights, and Calamity Ganon.
  • The Gadfly: Some of his interactions are pretty trollish.
  • The Girl Who Fits This Slipper: The fact that the Zora Armor crafted by Mipha and given to him by King Dorephan fits him perfectly is used to prove to a skeptical Muzu that Link is the one Mipha loved.
  • The Hero: As expected, Link is the protagonist and The Chosen One.
  • Heroic Lineage: He's descended from a long line of Hylian knights and was a knight of Hyrule himself, and a step above due to being the chosen wielder of the Master Sword. In one memory, Zelda muses on the pressure of being a slave to one's lineage, and wonders if Link would have chosen a different path in life if this wasn't the case.
  • Heroic Mime:
    • He's this even in a game with some voice acting. Most of his communication happens through unvoiced dialogue trees, and though he is clearly shown actually speaking by his own initiative at several points, all of his lines remain unvoiced (implying that the player is supposed to imagine what he said based on how the other characters react to it), and several characters remark on how he is a man of relatively few words. Amusingly, there is a cutscene where Zelda quotes something he told her once off-screen. Her diary also reveals why he's this: because of the pressure he felt as the Hylian Champion and the stuff he has to live up to, he chose not to speak much to focus more on his duty, and for fear of saying anything that might disappoint. Learning this makes Zelda warm up to him even more, since she has similar insecurities.
    • Downplayed in the original Japanese text, where Link is the one writing the journal entries in the Adventure Log, often while giving his own thoughts on the situation at hand, thus being the first time in the series where Link expresses himself completely outside of the player's influence. In the Western localizations, the entries were rewritten so they address the player directly instead.
  • Heroic RRoD: After Calamity Ganon turns the Guardians against Hyrule, Link fights off wave after wave of Guardians while critically injured. Even with Zelda pleading for Link to get away to safety, he still refuses to back down. His body eventually gives out and he falls unconscious. Had Zelda not intervened, Link would have been dead for good.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: In the present day, a number of the older Zora aren't very fond of him, as they blame him for the death of Mipha.
  • Hidden Depths: As described in Zelda's diary, Link put up a stoic and silent front in order to cope with the pressures of being a Knight. It's only through his bond with Zelda that he becomes more open with his feelings.
  • Horse Archer: One viable means of dispatching enemies is shooting them with arrows from horseback. Link is able to change position on a moving mount, spinning on his saddle to shoot at targets behind him and changing forward when finished, without missing a beat or losing control of the horse. That's a feat of master-class horsemanship.
  • Hot Consort: The fact that he could have been a gender-inverted example is a minor plot point, as Mipha had been planning on asking for his hand in marriage, but was unable to work up the courage to confess before she was killed. It might still end up happening after the events of the game, given that Zelda is also confirmed to be in love with him.
  • Humble Hero: Link never seeks glory in his adventures, though sometimes he asks for rewards for helping people, and doesn't bother to make a point of the fact that he's a legendary hero, instead allowing those he interacts with to form their own opinions about who he is.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: Link can use Iaijutsu if he charges an attack with certain weapons, all of them katana-like. Also, he can also perform an iaijutsu-like move with other weapons if he draws them while running.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: If Link mounts a Lynel while wielding a spear or two-handed weapon, it will be too long to properly swing at them, so he just starts ramming the butt end of the weapon into the creature's back.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Link can wield an eclectic assortment of odd weapons, ranging from broken sticks to undead skeleton body parts to giant leaves.
  • Informed Deformity: Several characters will note that Link's body is littered with faint scars, none of which appear on his character model.
  • Instant Runes: In the beginning stages of the game, Link can upgrade his Shekiah Slate with Runes that can perform various actions by completing Shrines:
    • Remote Bombs that can blow things up and come in two shapes: round bombs that tend to roll and square bombs that tend to stay in place. Instead of detonating after a certain amount of time, they can be detonated at will.
    • Magnesis can let Link manipulate metal objects to solve puzzles and fish treasure chests out of the water.
    • Cryonis can let Link freeze water into solid blocks of ice that can be used as makeshift platforms or shields.
    • Stasis allows Link to temporarily freeze time for an object or enemy and store their kinetic energy by hitting them while they're frozen, ensuring that they are sent flying when the stasis effect wears off.
    • Camera allows Link to take pictures, with a good number of the things he takes pictures of filling out the in-game Hyrule Compendium.
    • amiibo, which can be turned on and off, allows the player to scan Amiibo for daily bonus items or summon Wolf Link for help.
    • Master Cycle Zero, which summons Link's titular Divine Beast to be ridden anywhere outdoors. It's eco-friendly, too, running on whatever random materials you give it (though, apples are ideal).
  • Interspecies Friendship: He was Childhood Friends with several Zoras, and "The Champions' Ballad" DLC revealed that he and Daruk were already Blood Brothers before the Champions were gathered.
  • Interspecies Romance: We don't know if Link responded or not, but we do learn that both Mipha, the Zora Princess, and a commoner Zora named Kodah were in love with Link. However, Mipha died fighting Calamity Ganon and Kodah moved on when Link was put into his healing slumber, going on to marry a fellow Zora named Kayden, have a daughter with him (Finley), and run the Seabed Inn.
  • In the Hood: One of Link's pieces of armor is the Hylian Hood, a simple traveler's cloak.
  • Irony: In contrast to all the other Links except the one from The Wind Waker, this Link is limited in how far he can swim by his stamina meter. This is despite the fact that he not only grew up interacting with the Zora to the point of being Childhood Friends with several of them, he almost became their prince consort.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: If you pay attention to some of the responses Link can give in-game, a surprising amount of them are... less than pleasant. Even some of his more pleasant responses can come off as sounding less than kind, and several quests outright have him manipulating people to further his goals in one way or another. That said, it doesn't stop him from being as heroic as previous Links.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Sheikah swords, such as the Eightfold Blade, are a subversion. While the descriptions boast of them having the sharpest conventional blades ever made, and they are a step up from the early weapons, they can be outclassed by future ones quite quickly.
  • King in the Mountain: He was sealed in the Shrine of Resurrection before the events of the game.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Link can sneak into enemy camps and rob them blind of their food and weapons. There's even seldom any acknowledgement or ramifications for helping himself to supplies found in friendly encampments such as Stables found around Hyrule.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Link has always been a swordsman who fights evil, champions the innocent, and serves as the White Knight to Zelda's Bright Lady, but for the first time in the series — not counting Twilight Princess — he can don proper plate armor with the Soldier's Armor set.
  • Late to the Tragedy: The setup of the game implies that Link Slept Through the Apocalypse, but an early game reveal tells us (and him) that he was actually at ground zero, present at the moment Calamity Ganon ravaged Hyrule, as a knight fighting alongside Princess Zelda and the other pilots of the Divine Beasts. Link almost perished in the struggle and was only saved by bringing him to the Shrine of Resurrection.
  • Legacy Character: On top of him being the latest in a long line of Links, a horse he can tame in a sidequest is the direct descendant of the horse that Zelda used a century ago.
  • Legacy of Service: Link is from a line of knights, his father having been a member of King Rhoam's Royal Guard.
  • Lost in Translation: Much of the writing in the Journal in the Japanese version is changed from being written in the first person to address the player directly instead. This means a lot of character that Link had in Japanese is unfortunately lost — most notably, that a lot of his romantic subtext with Zelda is removed entirely. This is visible here.
  • Love Triangle: It turns out that he was actually involved in three of these, making his love triangle so complex it's better described as a love triforce. Amongst the Champions, both Mipha and Zelda, Princesses of the Zora and the Hylians respectively, had a crush on him. He also had another going on with both Mipha and a Zora named Kodah. The last was between him and an unnamed Shiekah poet regarding Princess Zelda's affections.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: He can use several types of shields made out of wood, metal, or ancient technology. His shields will break if he blocks too much, but successful parries can counterattack while preserving the shield durability. Link's wooden shields are useless against fire or the superheated areas in Death Mountain while metal shields will make Link become a lightning rod if he's caught in a thunderstorm. Link can find the Hylian Shield, which has the best defense and has a ton of durability, but since it's metal, thunderstorms will make it dangerous to have equipped.
  • Made of Iron: Significantly less so than other Links, but enough hearts and armor can allow him to survive a bolt of lightning.
  • Magic Knight: Link can use Magitek arrows, as well as utilize a Magitek device called the Sheikah Slate to perform magic.
  • Magikarp Power: Moreso than any Link up to this point. He starts out very, very weak; there are enemies in the tutorial area that can kill him in one hit, and the first weapon he's likely to find is a tree branch lying on the ground. But as the game continues, and he completes shrines, dungeons, and other quests, he becomes easily the most powerful incarnation in the franchise, as shown in a lot of his other tropes.
  • Magitek: Link's main item in this game is a Sheikah Slate, an all-purpose magical tablet which can be loaded with spells such as Magnesis, Cryonis, Remote Bombs and Stasis. It also comes equipped with a Tracker for shrines, treasure, wildlife, or monsters, a warp function, and a Camera.
  • Master Swordsman:
    • Starts out as one for the first time in the main seriesnote . This Link was once an elite knight in the Hylian army who was nearly killed trying to fend off the Calamity Ganon a century before. His combative skills are ingrained in his mind, even if he doesn't have recollection of his past experiences. The closest the series has had to someone of this Link's level of skill was in Skyward Sword (whose Link was training to become a knight, but had not graduated at the time of the game). Prior to his fall, he was the chosen wielder of the Master Sword.
    • Several readable tomes and commentary from Non-Player Character dialogue cite Link among the greatest swordsmen in Hyrule. His role as The Chosen One was because he wielded the Master Sword, but his appointment as Princess Zelda's knight was because of his unparalleled skill with the blade.
    • Mina and Mils, a pair of veteran adventurers (and self proclaimed treasure hunters), can occasionally be found fighting a pair of Bokoblins. While the two can defeat the monsters without Link's assistance, watching them reveals how inefficient their swordsmanship is compared to his. They block an attack with their shield, then strike back with a single sword swipe. This process is repeated until the Bokoblins are dead. Link, on the other hand, can parry and dodge attacks, execute Bullet Time, and perform a rapid Three-Strike Combo.
  • The Matchmaker: One sidequest has Link act as Finley's wingman in landing her the man she's fallen for.
  • McNinja: One of his outfits is a Sheikah outfit that makes him look like a ninja, and improves his stealth ability when worn.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Link is a rather attractive young man in this game, potentially able to walk around just in his underwear. To quote Nintendo's CEO, Reggie Fils-Aimé: "Link is hot"
  • Multi-Melee Master: In a step up from his previous incarnations, Link can skillfully wield swords, axes, spears, clubs, and a number of other weapons.
  • Multi-Ranged Master: He can also wield bows, boomerangs, and magic rods.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Despite looking like a scrawny teen, he can wield even the heaviest weapons, including Daruk's Boulder Breaker, which was made for Gorons and whose description claims would take "an immense amount of strength" for a Hylian to wield.
  • Nature Hero: Invoked, although not in an obvious way — the iconic green tunic of past Heroes is now the reward for basically mastering and traversing the vast wilderness of Hyrule. Receiving it reveals this particular Link's official "Hero Title" (as compared to the Hero of Time, Hero of the Wind, or Hero of Twilight, etc.) and considering what this Link needs to have gone through to get it, the tunic officially titles him the Hero of the Wild.
  • Nice Guy: Noble, loyal, dedicated to his duty, and mature beyond his years.
  • Nice Hat: Defied. He is not seen with his iconic green cap. It's something Link has to find in the game or unlock via amiibo.
  • No Sympathy: Gets this from many people bitter over his initial loss to Calamity Ganon, despite him clearly trying his damnedest both then and now.
  • Not So Different: Zelda's Diary reveals that Link, like Zelda, felt the pressures of living up to his responsibility of being a knight of Hyrule. It's Zelda realizing this that causes them to bond.
  • One-Man Army: One of his memories reveals Zelda bandaging an injury and admonishing him for being reckless. The scene cuts to reveal the pair alone on a plateau, surrounded by dozens of slain monsters he defeated to protect her, including several Silver Lynels. In the final memory, he faces down an endless horde of Guardian Stalkers to keep Zelda safe. He does take down many of them, but alas, it's still not enough and he goes down, saved only by Zelda awakening her divine powers.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Succumbed to his wounds defending Zelda from the corrupted Guardian army after she awakened her powers, passing away in her arms... for about five minutes. Then Fi spoke up, and Zelda had Impa and Purah whisk him to the Shrine of Resurrection, where he was quickly put on life support and set to be revived in time. Even so, it apparently took 100 years to regenerate him.
  • Older Than They Look: He looks like a normal teenager, but he's actually over 110 years old in the present time of the game. This is due to the healing stasis he was put under in the Shrine of Resurrection for 100 years. Lampshaded in-game when Link is rejected by the bartender in Gerudo Town, who states that Link looks too young to buy any of her drinks. One of the replies Link can choose is "I'm over 100 years old", which the bartender naturally doesn't believe. This is also lampshaded with a Zora NPC who remarks that Link hasn't aged a day, despite meeting him 100 years ago and now wondering how Link doesn't look like an old geezer.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: You can make Link attack monsters that are currently minding their own business. Or as one E3 player put it, "innocent Bokoblins enjoying their evening".
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Aside from Zelda, children, and elderly characters, Link is the shortest adult Hylian in the game, and Hylians themselves are shorter on average than the other major races of Hyrule (which are gigantic by human standards). He's still a One-Man Army.
  • Praetorian Guard: He is the son of a family whose bloodline served the kingdom as such. As The Chosen One of the Master Sword, he was specifically designated to serve and protect Zelda.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: He can obtain the Ceremonial Trident and Mipha's Lightscale Trident.
  • Pungeon Master: He makes a lot of seal puns in Gerudo Town, like when he seals the deal on renting one. Of course, for this one case it seems everyone does... including the seals themselves.
  • Samurai Ponytail: Link sports a short ponytail, though he's a knight rather than a samurai. Certain pieces of head armor even change his hairstyle; the Stealth Mask gives him a ninja's topknot, fitting into this trope even more.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: Link is not averse to capitalizing on his looks to get what he wants, whether it be seducing a man out of his shoes, cutting in line for a very sought-after spa treatment, or getting a massive discount on a house.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Ultimately revealed to be this after you gather the four Spirit Orbs on the Great Plateau: the Old Man explains that Link has been healing at the Shrine of Resurrection since he fell in the last battle against Calamity Ganon, 100 years ago. Memories you find later in the game elaborate that this is also a case of coming Back from the Dead.
  • Secret Keeper: After you defeat the Yiga Clan member that tried to steal the Sheikah Heirloom, Dorian asks you to keep his Yiga roots on the down-low. Presumably, being the good chap he is, Link agrees to take that knowledge to the grave.
  • She Is All Grown Up: A rare male example. Link became this to Mipha, who as a Zora was already an adult upon meeting four year old Link. Upon seeing Link again after he had grown up she fell in love with him.
  • Shield Bash: He can do this with any shield, even the Pot Lid, and can actually cause direct damage with any type of Lynel Shield. Daruk's training journal references a time where Link had used a Pot Lid to deflect a laser from a Guardian, which is indeed something he can do in-game.
  • Shield Surf: Given a decent slope, he can slide down mountains and hills while riding a shield, though this will wear it down very fast. He can cross the Gerudo Desert with a sand seal by letting it drag him while surfing on a shield.
  • Shameless Fanservice Guy: Link does not seem especially concerned with running around completely nakednote , even when other characters directly comment on it.
    Kass: Boldly standing naked on the pedestal... That’s definitely reminiscent of the hero of legend.
  • Ship Tease:
    • With Zelda and Mipha. Both girls are explicitly confirmed to be in love with him, and the game offers the player the possibility of choosing dialogue options that imply that he reciprocates either of them... or even both of them.
    • The Japanese version favors Zelda over Mipha. In that language, the journal entries of the Adventure Log are written by Link himself, and he often reflects his thoughts on them. In many entries, specially those from later in the game, Link talks about Zelda with quite significant romantic undertones. This was completely removed from the Western localizations, though.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Link is mighty indeed; when he takes to the air, he can come crashing down with a weapon hard enough to generate a shockwave that can knock down Moblins, something that his bombs can't do.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: Subverted; he slept during the apocalypse, downed while fighting Calamity Ganon's campaign of destruction and had to be revived at the Shrine of Resurrection. He doesn't remember any of this happening, though.
  • Spell Blade: In Age of Calamity, he can coat his sword in an aura of blue energy that greatly increases the range of his slashes.
  • Stat-O-Vision: His Champion's Tunic allows him to see an enemy's health in numbers.
  • The Stoic: Like his Twilight Princess incarnation, he rarely emotes. Zelda's diary reveals that Link put up the front of being stoic and silent as a defense mechanism to deal with the pressures of being a knight of Hyrule.
  • Super Reflexes: He can spam enemies to death after dodging a melee attack at the last minute, shoot arrows in midair, and the world around him is in an adrenaline-fueled Bullet Time while he does so.
  • Supreme Chef: By necessity, he must become good at cooking, as every meal regenerates health (along with other benefits).
  • Sword Beam: Link can launch Skyward Strikes from the Master Sword instead of throwing it; the Windcleaver katana also has a unique special attack that fires a Razor Wind at enemies instead of a Spin Attack.
  • Take Up My Sword: Over the course of the game, Link is rewarded with the signature weapons of the fallen Champions of Hyrule when he cleanses one of the Divine Beasts. King Dorephan will reward Link with Mipha's Lightscale Trident, the Goron Boss will reward Link with Daruk's Boulder Breaker, Chief Riju will give Link Urbosa's Scimitar of the Seven and Daybreaker shield, and the Rito Village elder Kaneli will give Link Revali's Great Eagle Bow.
  • Teens Are Short: Link is implied to be around the same age as Zelda, who is only just seventeen, and he's shorter than most characters in the game (emphasized as many of the races of Hyrule are much taller than regular Hylians anyway, making him seem even shorter).
  • Three-Strike Combo: Link can perform them when using one-handed swords.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Downplayed. In the past, he was a stoic knight who focused on his duty and behaved chivalrously. After Calamity Ganon's attack and his time in the Shrine of Resurrection, he's stopped caring as much about what people think of him, often edging into Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory.
  • Trick Arrow: He can use various types of arrows such as the standard fire and ice arrows, bomb arrows, shock arrows, ancient arrows formed from Guardian technology, and the Arrows of Light in the final battle with Ganon.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: After his resurrection. Make no mistake, Link is as heroic as ever. But he's also happy to help himself to anything that isn't nailed down, willing to manipulate people if he needs to, and, depending on the player, will Pay Evil unto Evil with alarming regularity.
  • Used to Be More Social: Mipha notices this about Link as revealed in her diary in "The Champions' Ballad" DLC. Link used to be a talkative and energetic child and grows up into being very aloof, stoic, and rarely smiling. This is probably due to Link's dedication in being a knight for the Royal Family and his duty in protecting Zelda caused him tons of anxiety, thus he kept up a stoic front to look calm and professional.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His relationship with Zelda started off as a one-sided version of this. As he was the appointed knight, his job was to protect Zelda from danger. Zelda, being the fiercely independent girl she is, wasn't too happy with the idea of having a 24/7 bodyguard, and according to Urbosa, she saw Link as a reminder of her own failure to awaken Hylia's power. But after Link saves her from a trio of Yiga ninjas, she gradually began to warm up to him, even ordering that he be taken to the Shrine of Resurrection in a last-ditch effort to save his life after trying to protect him for a change served as the trigger for her sealing magic. Reading Zelda's diary in Hyrule Castle reveals that despite her frustrations and jealousy, every time she came down from shouting at Link to go away, she would think back to how bewildered and confused he seemed and would realize how badly she was treating him for doing his job. Venting her frustrations at Link just made her feel horrible about herself on top of all her self-doubt in a vicious self-sustaining cycle.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Thanks to the addition of clothing options. Link starts out in the Shrine of Resurrection as this, but playing through the entire game as this is not a good idea.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Unlike most Links, his damage is sustained realistically. Basically, he'll take realistically-high levels of damage that, compared to a lot of his enemies, makes him either a Fragile Speedster or a Glass Cannon. That said, quick thinking and strategic approaches to combat can allow him to dominate all.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!:
    • Paya dedicates a whole diary entry to them.
    • Zelda crushes on them too. During the memory cutscene of her Rescue Romance, she's staring intently at Link's eyes as he intimidates the assassins to leave her alone.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Although the merchant who sells them insists that they're actually gender-neutral, Link can wear enchanted earrings and circlets in order to boost his defensive powers. More accurate to the trope, in order to gain access to the Gerudo city, Link has to dress up in women's clothing. It's also implied that he's done this before, when Zelda would take advantage of Gerudo city's laws to avoid him, and in select dialogue from the Champion's Ballad DLC, Urbosa will comment on how lovely he'd looked in Gerudo dress.
  • With This Herring: Link starts his quest with only a set of threadbare clothes and no weapons.
  • You Don't Look Like You: His facial features are the same, but Link is not seen in his iconic green tunic in the promotional material, with all the merchandise and advertising showing him in the blue Champion's Tunic instead. This game's version of the iconic green tunic must be earned.


Princess Zelda
"Prayer will awaken my power to seal Ganon away... Or so I've been told all my life..."
Click here to see Zelda in her formal dress 
Voiced by: Yu Shimamura (Japanese), Patricia Summersett (English) Jessica Ángeles (Mexican Spanish), Nerea Alfonso (European Spanish), Adeline Chetail (French), Julia Casper (German), Martina Felli (Italian)

The titular princess of the ruined Hyrule. She is the voice that guides Link after his hundred-year slumber and the only one holding Calamity Ganon at bay. As Link begins his quest to save Hyrule, he begins to regain his memories relating to Zelda and her past.

  • Aborted Declaration of Love: Implied when she asks the Great Deku Tree to tell Link something for her when he comes for the Master Sword when he awakens, but the Deku Tree stops her mid-sentence and convinces her to say it herself. We don't ever see her do so, but it's heavily implied that she will after the reunion.
  • Action Girl: Compared to the other Champions, Zelda initially has no combat prowess and she hasn’t awakened her powers yet, much to her frustration. After awakening her divine powers when saving Link’s life from a Guardian, however, she marched toward the Malice-infested Hyrule Castle and sealed Calamity Ganon inside alongside herself in a stasis for a hundred years, actively fighting him on the inside with her divine powers and holding him in place until Link awakens from his slumber and arrives to help her weaken Ganon enough to seal him away. She is an active participant in the fight with Dark Beast Ganon, pinning him in place in the middle of Hyrule Field with barriers created by her holy powers so he doesn’t destroy Hyrule and creating runes over his body for Link to shoot at. She even manages to deal the final blow to him, sealing him away with her holy power which is implied to be the Triforce itself.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Zelda travels the world researching the dilapidated ruins of Old Hyrule. She was the original owner of the Sheikah Slate, and was very annoyed to find that it wouldn't give her access to the shrines, which were meant for Link.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Her mother and Urbosa called her "little bird".
  • All for Nothing: She laments how all her efforts to prevent Hyrule from suffering destruction were for nothing. However, she does get it together in time to buy Hyrule a century and allows Link to return within that.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: She exhibits many symptoms related to depression. These include sadness, irritation, sense of hopelessness, and low self-esteem. Given the pressure put upon her by her father and others on how she hasn't been able to unlock her power, closely tied to the grief she feels over her mother's sudden death when she was six, she may have actually developed it after years of being seen as a failure.
  • Badass Adorable: She's an archaeology nerd who, upon awakening to Hylia's power, is strong enough to seal the resident Ultimate Evil Eldritch Abomination in a duel for an entire century.
  • Badass Bookworm: A staple for the character due to her being the bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom, but this Zelda takes it further by being a scholar who explores Hyrule culture while ultimately sealing Ganon with her for 100 years.
  • Badass in Distress: Zelda has been fighting Ganon nonstop for a century. She awakens Link because her power is waning and she needs backup.
  • Barrier Maiden: She's kept Ganon sealed within Hyrule Castle for the past century.
  • Be Yourself: It's implied that the reason she has such trouble with her powers, compared to other Zeldas who were more or less able to behave as they liked, is because she is prevented from doing this. In one of the memories, she poses a hypothetical to Link, asking him to consider that if one day he realized he wasn't meant to be a fighter, but no matter what, because he was born into a family of the Royal Guard, that's the role he had to fill. It's very clear she's actually talking about herself and her role as Princess. In another memory, her father quashes and suppresses her interests, dismissing them as 'playing at being a scholar', and forces her to do as her ancestors did.
  • Big Good: She was responsible for gathering the Champions and spearheaded the research of the lost Sheikah technology; including the Divine Beasts and Link's Sheikah Slate. And she has prevented Calamity Ganon from completing his conquest by keeping him confined to Hyrule Castle while Link recovers.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Hers are noticeably thicker than most of her predecessors and they're a few shades darker than her hair color.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: She spends her seventeenth birthday praying at the Spring of Wisdom, but as she comes down from Mount Lanayru, Calamity Ganon attacks, killing the Champions, corrupting the Sheikah machines, putting Link out of commission, and laying waste to Hyrule.
  • Bittersweet 17: She made one final effort to awaken her sealing powers by praying at the Spring of Wisdom on her seventeenth birthday, the first day she was able to go there.
  • Blue Blood: She's the crown princess of Hyrule and, appropriately, speaks with a high-class British accent in the English dub.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Her behavior in some of the cutscenes imply this, and a sidequest involving the minstrel Kass will reveal that his teacher was a Sheikah poet for the royal court who fell in love with Zelda, but that she "only had eyes for her appointed knight".
  • Break the Cutie: She cries to Link and heavily laments how all her efforts (assumed to be preventing the fall of Hyrule and stopping the Calamity Ganon from doing so) were for nothing.
  • Caring Gardener: Implied. Both her bedroom and her study have the dried remains of small potted plants in them, though it's unclear if she tended to them herself.
  • Character Development: She starts off haughty and dismissive towards Link, resenting his seeming ease and success and acting much like her counterpart from The Legend of Zelda animated series. However, she slowly warms up to him as they spend time together and she learns he has his own struggles.
  • Composite Character: The developers have compared her to both her Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword incarnations. She's very serious-minded about the fate of Hyrule like the former, but her status as a close friend of Link's, with possible romantic undertones, matches that of the latter. On top of that, the way her more independent personality initially causes her to clash with Link and watching the two adapt and grow closer to each other as their journey goes on is reminiscent of Tetra and the Hero of Wind's relationship in Wind Waker.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Previous incarnations of Zelda were already adept at magic and most met Link when his quest is underway. This Zelda is insecure about her inability to unlock her powers and has known Link for quite some time before the game begins. In addition, instead of being being kept captive by the villains, she's instead the one keeping Ganon trapped in Hyrule Castle.
  • Covered in Mud: Zelda on the day of the Great Calamity, as she gets put on the run from Guardians in the rain.
  • Crisis of Faith: In one of the memories of the events from the past, Zelda's inability to channel Hylia's power despite praying to the goddesses daily eventually causes her to lash out and curse her divine ancestor.
  • Cry into Chest: Zelda was unable to awaken her powers, fails her kingdom and her friends, and breaks down crying in Link's arms.
  • Dare to Be Badass: When she went to recruit Revali as Divine Beast Vah Medoh's pilot, she told him "We must protect the precious life of this land from the Calamity's grasp at all costs. Hyrule needs you, Revali." Despite finding the plan against Ganon to be foolish and thinking Zelda's wording was a bit silly, Revali was struck by her absolute conviction.
  • Determinator: She neither has any experience as a physical fighter nor in her divine powers, but what she lacks in experience, she makes up for in courage and sheer determination. She saved a dying Link's life by shutting down all of the surrounding Guardians with her divine magic, marched toward Hyrule Castle by herself despite multiple Guardians roaming about, sealed away Ganon for a hundred years before he could destroy Hyrule, and is still fighting him to make sure he doesn't break free. She's even the one to deal the finishing blow on Ganon, using the Triforce to seal him away.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She starts off as being dismissive and cold towards Link, but gradually becomes affectionate towards him.
  • Deuteragonist: She's the titular character, one of the three beings with their destinies constantly entangled in Hyrule's history, most of the memories detail her growing relationship with Link, and she's the Barrier Maiden who bought Link the just over a century to save the day.
  • Die or Fly: She is unable to summon her divine powers until threatened by a Guardian, after Link has fallen in battle, and the power is the only thing that can protect him.
  • Ermine Cape Effect: This is actually averted; Zelda does have a fancy royal outfit with the Requisite Royal Regalia like her Cool Crown, but she only wears it for ceremonial purposes in the story and actually wears two other outfits for travel and for rituals.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Because of scholarly pursuits and focusing on Hyrule's equivalent of The Scientific Method, she is skeptical that blind faith to the goddesses will be enough to unlock her powers. She becomes more doubtful as each attempt at devout prayer is only answered with failure. This frustrates her father, who is a pious ruler, as past princesses and queens have been successful using that method. It's strongly implied that Zelda's doubt of her own divine inheritance and inadequate self-confidence kept her powers sealed.
  • Flower Motif: Zelda is associated with the in-game flower called the Silent Princess; this rare and beautiful flower is said to be impossible to grow in a controlled environment, much like Zelda's powers are not able to flourish in her restricted life.
  • Foil: Mipha has everything Zelda wants: confidence, mastery over her powers, and the respect of her people. As seen in Mipha's diary, Zelda also has what Mipha wants: Link's time and attention. It's on this axis that Mipha is able to tell Zelda how she might access her powers: her feelings for Link.
  • Foreshadowing: In one of the flashbacks where Link single-handedly killed an army of monsters, Zelda praises Link for his courage, but also warns him not to push himself beyond his limits. In the final memory, Link is shown on the brink of collapse and his Master Sword is notched and stained from holding off a swarm of Guardians that were attacking him and Zelda. The princess pleads with Link to save himself, but he refuses to stop protecting her.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her attitude towards Link at first and her moments of hopelessness and self-loathing stem from two potential causes. The first being the death of her mother, which also strained her relationship with her father, is still something she grieves over. The other being how many, including her father, feel she's wasting her time at "playing a scholar" and give her enormous pressure and judgement for not living up to her ancestors. So she initially resents him for thinking he has no issues before realizing that he just hides them better.
  • Gendered Outfit: Her blue outfit is essentially a female version of Link's. The DLC reveals that all of the Champions' blue pieces were made by Zelda herself, so it's implied that her outfit is meant to coordinate by her own design.
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: The palace library contains a cookbook mentioning Zelda's favorite food was fruitcake, which she claimed helped her focus better on ancient technology research.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: Like her earliest incarnation, Zelda has long blonde hair and wears a ceremonial white gown (along with gold accessories) when she prays at the ancient springs to awaken the divine power of Hylia within her. She ends up wearing it when Calamity Ganon attacks, and, since she is wearing it after his defeat, it seems she walked into Hyrule Castle still wearing the dress to face him down and contain him for 100 years.
  • Go Through Me: One of the scenes shows Zelda standing between a badly-injured Link and a Guardian that's about to blast him with a laser. It is this act that finally allows her to awaken Hylia's power.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Initially, she was resentful of Link because he was chosen by the Master Sword while she was yet to awaken to her powers, but she came to appreciate him for keeping her safe and even listening to her insecurities. And yet, she still harbored jealousy until she realized she loved him, which was the trigger she needed to save him from Guardians chasing them down.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: The methods King Rhoam used to train her to use her power caused her to be a late bloomer when it comes to Hylia's power. In fact, until they got to know each other more, this was a major source of her initial envy towards Link (as he was chosen by the Master Sword much sooner than Zelda was able to harness the power of Hylia).
  • Hartman Hips: Accentuated by her traveling outfit (and the game's camera angles).
  • Hey, You!: In her diary, she calls Link "him". After he saves her life, she starts using his name, hesitantly switching her form of address.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Her main plight in the game. When the game takes place, Zelda barely has any power left to spare to hold back Calamity Ganon after 100 years of a careful balancing act. She can either hold him or vanquish him, but not both. She is in need of Link to proverbially pummel the monster tender for her to finish, hence why she wakes Link up at the moment she does. When she indeed vanquishes the beast after Link gives it a monumental ass-kicking, she tells Link that her powers have run so dry that she can't hear the voice from the Master Sword anymore.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Zelda is set to inherit a divine power of her ancestors.note 
  • I Am Very British: Speaks with a noticeable Received Pronunciation accent, befitting her station as a princess.
  • An Ice Suit: In a DLC scene where she meets with Revali, she's wandering around a winter landscape in a white coat trimmed with white fur.
  • Inadequate Inheritor:
    • As revealed in Link's awakened memories, she was seen as one by her father and her subjects due to her inability to awaken the divine power the Royal Family inherited from Hylia, and her own interests and wants were dismissed as 'playing at being a scholar'. One memory even shows that she sees herself as this too.
      Zelda: What's wrong with me?
    • Once she unlocks her powers, she becomes a Superior Successor, and the strongest Zelda we've seen to date. In a role reversal, instead of being captured and held in Ganon's Tower, she essentially captured Ganon and held him in Hyrule Castle for 100 years until Link came to help destroy him.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Averted or Played Straight depending on the version of the game in the "Despair" memory.
    • Averted in the English version. In that one, Zelda has nearly hit the Despair Event Horizon, and is a mess, but she still keeps herself rather held together and quietly sobs into Link's chest.
    • Played Straight in the Japanese version. In that one, Zelda flies past the Despair Event Horizon. As she talks to Link, she breaks down more and more until she completely shatters in Link's arms, loudly wailing and screaming.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Zelda is initially aloof and haughty towards Link, resenting him for realizing his ability as the Hero's reincarnation while she is initially unable to tap into the divine power passed down by Hylia.
  • Irony: Of the Inverted Trope variety. Most of the time, Ganon imprisons Zelda in Ganon's Tower. This Zelda imprisoned Ganon in Hyrule Castle.
  • Jerkass Realization: After Link rescues Zelda from Yiga ninjas, she realizes how selfish and antagonistic she's been towards him and apologies for her actions and begins to talk with him.
  • Jerkass to One: As shown in memories from the "Champions' Ballad" DLC, she was shown to be respectful and kind to others. The only one she was ever aloof with was Link. After he saved her from the Yiga, this gets turned upside down and he becomes the person she's the closest with.
  • The Leader: She was the appointed commander of the Champions.
  • The Load: Was considered this in the past since she couldn't awaken her divine powers, much to her displeasure. She tried to be The Smart Guy of the Champions or perform duties that would normally be expected of a princess instead, but her father was having none of it and shoved her back into this by forcing her to pray constantly to no avail.
  • Magitek: Her official character art and amiibo show her using the Sheikah Slate. She was its original bearer, and left it with Link to use when he awoke from his healing stasis.
  • Male Gaze: During one of the memories, Zelda is on her hands and knees looking at a flower, with her butt shoved directly in the viewer's face. Then the perspective changes, and reveals that Link has been sitting in the grass behind her the entire time, and at one point is pretty clearly staring right at her ass.
  • Meaningful Appearance: Previous incarnations of Zelda had Innocent Blue Eyes, but hers are green. Fittingly enough, her initial hostility towards Link is because she envies how effortlessly he seems to be fulfilling his destiny, as he apparently proved instantly he was a natural with the Master Sword.
  • Missing Mom: Zelda's mother, the Queen, died a year before Zelda's training was to begin. As she was the parent with Hylia's magic, Zelda was left without a teacher to guide her through tapping her latent magic power, leading to her underdeveloped abilities, and her father, despite also being of Hylia's bloodline, isn't any better at it than she is.
  • Modest Royalty: She is seen in many outfits, but the most prominent one is her Champion's attire, which is more athletic and not so regal.
  • Motor Mouth: She, as a scholar, is pretty talkative when it comes to the subjects of her research.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Downplayed. On paper, she wears modest clothing, but her pants are extremely tight, and she has an obvious scene of Male Gaze.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: A lot of Zelda's issues come from not being able to awaken the magical powers that come naturally to the women of her family. Subverted later on, as her power manifests in time to save Link from Guardians.
    Zelda: A daughter of Hyrule's royal family yet unable to use sealing magic... He must despise me.
  • My Greatest Failure: Between Calamity Ganon's return and Zelda awakening her power, there's a dark moment when she believes that all her hard work for the past ten years, training to access her power and researching Ancient technology, did nothing to save her friends, her kingdom, or her father. She blames herself.
    Zelda: Everything I've done up until now... it was all for nothing...!
  • Mythology Gag: In Zelda's room in Hyrule Castle, you can find a powerful Royal Guard's Bow on display on her wall; the bow and arrow, of course, has been Zelda's weapon of choice in many games before.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: She mentions in her diary that she had yet to see, let alone make up with, her father from a fight before she and the party set out for Mount Lanayru. That's also the day Calamity Ganon attacks.
  • Nice Girl: Insecurities toward Link aside, she’s a rather gentle hearted and friendly woman who cares for the people she rules over and was anguished she was unable to awaken her powers to protect Hyrule from Ganon.
  • Older Than They Look: Before the Calamity hit, she had just turned 17. However, in the present time of the game, she's technically 117 years old. She didn't age due to her being locked in a magical battle with Ganon for 100 years, which kept her physical body in stasis.
  • Painted-On Pants: In her traveling outfit, Zelda's pants are skintight.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Zelda's court dress is a beautiful and elaborate blue gown.
  • The Power of Love:
    • Kass believes it was Zelda's love for Link that finally awakened her power, based on what his late teacher, a Sheikah poet, witnessed 100 years ago.
    • In the memory where she climbs down the Fountain of Wisdom, Mipha is about to tell her how her own powers work, when the Calamity suddenly strikes; it's heavily implied that Mipha's intention was to tell Zelda that she should think about the person she loves.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Zelda, by her own admission, lacks any proper skills in combat without her powers. After awakening her powers, however, she is able to shut down a whole battalion of Guardians before walking into Hyrule Castle to trap Ganon inside it for 100 years. In the Final Boss fight, she aids Link by generating Instant Runes on Ganon's body for Link to target and then afterward is the one to deliver the finishing blow, consuming and destroying it with the power of the Triforce.
  • Princess in Rags: If you think about it, this is the situation that Zelda is currently in at the end of the game. She lost her kingdom and most of her people, including her father the King, to Calamity Ganon. By the time she woke up from her 100 year stasis, and Ganon eventually defeated, her kingdom is still in ruins, and her ruined castle uninhabitable, and it's going to take years for her and her kingdom to get back on their feet. What places her in Princess in Rags territory is that, in spite of all this, she's seen at the end wearing her royal outfit again and riding a new royal horse, complete with decorations, like the princess she always has been 100 years ago, but with the only person at her side this time being Link.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Reaches her backside in the first game and Age of Calamity. She's seemingly cut it to shoulder length in the sequel.
  • Rebellious Princess: Because Zelda struggles to awaken her divine power, she prefers to spend her time as a scholar exploring Hyrule. Her father disapproves of her choice, and has Link guard Zelda against her own will.
  • Religion Is Magic: The power passed down the royal family is due to Divine Parentage and it is assumed that the power must be awoken through ritualistic prayer.
  • Rescue Romance: After Link saves her and she learns that he is not as stoic and confident as he appears, not only did she start to warm up to him, she later developed feelings for him, as even the Deku Tree suggests telling him in person instead of through a message.
  • The Resenter: She was initially jealous of Link for his status as The Chosen One and for how easily he was able to wield the Master Sword, while she repeatedly failed to awaken Hylia's power. In one of the memories, she contemplates breaking into a Shrine, which is only meant to be entered as a Trial by the chosen hero. As Urbosa put it, Link reminded her of her own failures.
  • Royalty Super Power: The divine magic that Zelda strives for is passed down by blood from the Royal Family's godly predecessor.
  • Sacred Bow and Arrows: As per tradition, the final battle begins with Zelda creating the Bow of Light with her powers for Link to wield as an Eleventh Hour Super Power. Zelda's Bow of Twilight from Twilight Princess can also be obtained from the Zelda Smash Bros Amiibo and can fire infinite Light Arrows with the blast radius of Bomb Arrows and the power of Ancient Arrows.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The can being the Calamity Ganon, who itself was sealed in Hyrule Castle as a result.
  • Sensual Spandex: Downplayed example, but her pants are very tight-fitting, and the camera will remind you of that.
  • Ship Tease: Finishing Kass's sidequest makes Zelda's feelings for "her appointed knight" explict, as it greatly frustrated his teacher who, as the court poet, had fallen in love with the princess and was jealous that she only had eyes for a commoner like Link. We also later see that her desire to protect or save him was the reason for her powers being awoken.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: After learning that behind Link's stoic attitude lies a young man with his own insecurities that she can confide in, it's likely what led to her developing feelings for him.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: She didn't appear in footage until the Game Awards trailer, though her face wasn't shown and her identity wasn't revealed until the January Switch presentation. Her voice is in the E3 2016 trailer, though like her identity, it wasn't revealed to be her.
  • The Smart Guy: Of the Champions; her combat abilities are undeveloped due to her being unable to access Hylia's power, but she's the most knowledgable of the Sheikah's technology, and continuously researches ways to help her team.
  • Sole Survivor: Of all the Champions when the Calamity Ganon first attacked, leaving her alone to fend it off. Subverted in that she immediately had Link sent off to be resurrected while he still could be, making his passing very brief, though it took a hundred years to revive him fully.
  • Spock Speak: Well-spoken at all times.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Breath of the Wild is the first mainstream Zelda gamenote  where she (among other characters) is given fully-fledged voice acting, in all languages the game is localized into.
  • Swallowed Whole: By the Calamity Ganon when she went to face it after Hyrule's destruction, whereupon she managed to confine it to the castle, but was consequently trapped inside it for the next century until Link defeated it.
  • Taking the Bullet: This seemed to be her plan when she jumped between Link and a Guardian during the final memory. After her powers thankfully kicked in and saved both of them, she is shocked and confused, implying that she either didn't expect them to work or wasn't even consciously trying to use them.
  • Technobabble: Zelda slips into this when geeking out.
  • Telepathy: In the grand Zelda tradition, Zelda herself keeps an eye on Link's adventures and speaks to him via a psychic connection. It's unclear if this is the source of the memory Link finds of when she left the Master Sword in the Deku Tree's care, or if it's because of his connection to Fi.
  • Tempting Fate: Early on in their relationship, Zelda gets fed up with Link following her constantly and bluntly tells him to get lost because she can take care of herself. Two memory scenes later, cue Zelda running for dear life from Yiga assassins, with Link nowhere in sight.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: "The Champions' Ballad" reveals that the Non-Uniform Uniform outfits the Champions wear were all sewn by Zelda.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: When Zelda finally uses her sealing magic for the first time, the scene is accompanied by her theme.
  • Theme Naming: Implied. It's mentioned that due to tradition, the Princesses of Hyrule are all named Zelda, herself included.
  • Through His Stomach: According to her diary, she gets Link to open up by feeding him lots of food.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: After being consumed by Calamity Ganon, she was put in exactly the right place to be able to keep it sealed inside Hyrule Castle for a whopping one hundred years.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The palace chefs claimed Zelda had a passion for fruitcake.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Zelda's Sheikah Slate acts as one for Link; her photographs on the camera are the key to Link recovering from his amnesia.
  • Training from Hell: Zelda has trained by praying in freezing-cold sacred water for days at a time.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Zelda's divine powers only kicked in shortly after Calamity Ganon enacted his plan and took control of the Guardians and the Divine Beasts, when Link was at death's door and about to be killed right in front of her.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: One of the recipes you can find in the Very Definite Final Dungeon details how to make her favorite Fruitcake.
  • True Blue Femininity: She wore a navy blue regal dress in flashbacks, and her traveling outfit is predominantly blue.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Being an Expy of the Old Man from the original The Legend of Zelda, King Rhoam has little to do with Zelda's cuteness. Though her eyebrows may come from him.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: She had just awakened to Hylia's power when she destroys an entire army of Guardians, and seals Ganon in a duel for a century. She is currently the strongest Zelda in terms of sheer magical power, able to use the Triforce to seal Ganon away.
  • Uptown Girl: Her love for Link drew the ire of Hyrule's court poet since Link was neither nobility nor royalty.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Her relationship with Link started off as a one-sided version of this. As he was the appointed knight, his job was to protect Zelda from danger. Zelda, being the fiercely independent girl she is, wasn't too happy with the idea of having a 24/7 bodyguard and according to Urbosa, she saw Link as a reminder of her own failure to awaken Hylia's power. But after Link saves her from a trio of Yiga ninjas, she gradually began to warm up to him, even ordering that he be taken to the Shrine of Resurrection in a last-ditch effort to save his life after her powers activated trying to protect him for a change.
  • Wake-Up Call: Due to being bitter about her inability to awaken her power and jealous of Link who's fulfilling his part of their shared destiny, Zelda lashed out at him, up to and including claiming she doesn't need him as her bodyguard. When she get ambushed by Yiga Clan assassins and Link saves her, she realised how wrong she was to take out her frustrations on him and she does need him to protect her.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Gal: Her father was very strict and had high expectations for her, and their relationship was strained by the time of Ganon's attack. It ended up playing a role in Hyrule's downfall.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: She might not be as snarky as her cartoon incarnation, but she definitely has the attitude.
  • White Stallion: She had a prized white stallion which Link had taught her how to ride and it was decked out in a fancy bridle and saddle. Taming the descendant of this same horse is the goal of the sidequest which earns Link the bridle and saddle to go along with it. In the True Ending, Zelda seems to have gotten her hands on this horse.
  • When She Smiles: Has an absolutely beautiful smile in the True Ending, and in the Japanese version's quest journal Link specifically notes how much he wants to see it again.
  • The Wise Princess: Zelda is wise and scholarly with an insatiable curiosity for knowledge.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Zelda's father warns her the nobles believe she's treading this path, because she hasn't manifested the sealing powers that Hylian queens and princesses possess. He's fed up with the intrigue and shadow politics, telling Zelda she must prove them wrong. She eventually does... but not without the entire kingdom falling into ruin beforehand.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Her beauty's so renowned that people are still talking about it 100 years later.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: