Til the Sun Grows Cold and the Stars Grow Old is a fanfic by Lady Norbert which takes place during and after the events of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Link, the narrator, is looking back on the invasion of twilight and his own involvement in the action. Because the story spells out the events of the game, there are spoilers here.
The story follows the basic events of the game, with some original elements mixed in. It begins in the era of Ocarina of Time, with the Link and Zelda of that game falling in love only to learn that they are forbidden to be together until Ganondorf is vanquished forever. They become destined to reincarnate, again and again, and fight him as many times as it takes. As Link undergoes the twilight quest, he finds himself remembering more and more of his past lives, and his memories of the other
games lives bleed into the story.
In addition to the basic plot elements of the actual Twilight Princess game, the story includes some original concepts, including an altered version of the Hyrulean origin story and extra scenes which expand on the relationships between Link, Zelda, Midna, and other NPCs. No attempt is made to iron out the Continuity Snarl which is the Zelda timeline, however; the only clarification offered is that for the purposes of the story, Ocarina of Time was chronologically the first game and Twilight Princess was the last. (It should be noted that the story was written prior to the announcement of Skyward Sword.)
A sequel story, If It's Dinsday, This Must Be Castle Town, is told from the point of view of Rusl. Now retired from active duty, he details the further adventures of the members of the Resistance group. Much shorter than the original, it also lacks the serious overtones of Link's narrative, and focuses chiefly on Rusl's antics as he attempts to marry off his friends. It Makes Sense in Context.
In addition to many of the tropes found on the Twilight Princess page, these two fanfics include examples of:
- Alternate Universe: The only attempt at an explanation of the timeline; Zelda clarifies the Great Cataclysm for Link. She explains that some of the lifetimes he remembers (Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks) took place in an alternate reality, and the people of the Hyrule they know have no historical record of such events.
- Author Catchphrase: In the sequel, Auru comments that he's tired of watching Shad and Ashei "circle each other like a pair of lovesick Keese." This is a direct Call-Back to another fic series by the same author, where two characters were described as "circling each other like lovesick vultures."
- Bad Dreams: After Zelda sacrifices herself to save Midna (which happens in the game itself), Link takes some rest and can't find her in his dreams. Midna shakes him awake because she's freaked out by the fact that he's crying in his sleep.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: Link remembers Zelda's death in one of their past lives, which was basically brought about by this after they mistakenly thought their struggles were over.
- The Chessmaster: Rusl, in the sequel, is a benign form of this. He works on getting Shad and Ashei together by getting Auru and Telma to help him, then at the same time works on matchmaking Auru and Telma with the help of Ashei and Shad. And neither pair ever figures out what he's doing.
- Dances and Balls: Averted. In the sequel, Link comments that "Zelda's been itching to throw a royal ball of some sort," but we never see it happen.
- A Day in the Limelight: The sequel story provides this for the vastly underrated members of La Résistance.
- Deadpan Snarker: Midna, of course, like in the game. She gets even more opportunity for it here.
- DecemberDecember Romance: Auru and Telma, in the sequel; they're not that old, but they are the senior members of the cast.
- Deus ex Machina: Kind of. It's explained that Link and Zelda can't be together until Ganondorf dies, and he won't die until the Triforce of Power selects a new bearer and abandons him.
- Dead Guy Junior: Link and Zelda name their daughter after Midna.
- Due to the Dead: After the final battle, Zelda prays for mercy for the soul of her enemy.
- Either/Or Title: Seen in the sequel; chapter three is titled "Dr. Borville, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Factory."
- Or at least, Midna can, about Link and Zelda.
- In the sequel, Rusl almost says this verbatim to Shad about his feelings for Ashei.
- Fainting: At one point while awake, Link is so overwhelmed by the flood of memories from lifetimes past that he passes out in Kakariko Village.
- Fix Fic: The whole reason the first story was written was to patch over some plot holes in the game that the author wanted to try to explain.
- Flash Back Echo: Frequently for Link, who — in addition to the confusing dreams — starts flashing back to prior lifetimes while he's awake. The trope particularly applies to the scenes where he acquires the bow and the Master Sword.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: Shad, as described in the sequel, which is why his only weapon is one that he can use as a bookmark; he's a Technical Pacifist besides. It therefore messes with everybody's heads a little bit when he gets into a fistfight, until they understand that he was trying to defend Ashei's honor.
- Happily Adopted: Not formally, but in the sequel, it's noted that Telma is the only mother that either Shad or Ashei has known since they were young children.
- Happily Married: As in the game, Rusl in both stories. It also applies to the couples who get married in each of the stories, following their Relationship Upgrade.
- Heartbroken Badass: Link, when he thinks that Zelda may be dead.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: In the sequel, the three older Resistance members realize that the main thing that's keeping Shad and Ashei apart is the fact that they're each convinced they're not quite what the other one wants.
- Hero's Muse: Zelda is this for Link throughout almost the entire first story (and, it is implied, his entire life prior to it).
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: In the original, the story title itself and every chapter title is a phrase from one of Shakespeare's works.
- Just for Pun: The title of the sequel and the titles of four of its five chapters are Zelda-themed parodies of actual movie titles.
- The Lady's Favour: Both played straight and gender-flipped in the sequel, which ends with a tournament of arms. Link enters wearing Zelda's favor, while Ashei enters wearing Shad's.
- Lampshaded Double Entendre: Telma, in the sequel, when she tells her bar patrons not to drink too much because she's looking to close up early. (It's her wedding night, so everyone knows exactly why she wants to close up early.)
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Even as he's experiencing the memories of prior lifetimes, Link can't for the life of him remember Ganondorf's name until he hears the sages say it.
- Legacy Character: In a departure from the actual canon of Twilight Princess, Link is sent to meet with the sage Sahasrahla, whose only canon appearance was in A Link to the Past. It's not the same one, of course; the name is an inherited one for generations.
- Love Before First Sight: Link doesn't know, for the longest time, that it's the princess he's been dreaming of since he was a child; he just knows that this is the woman he loves.
- Love Makes You Crazy/Love Makes You Evil/Love Ruins the Realm: It's explained that what finally pushed Zant over the edge was Midna refusing his marriage proposal.
- Mindlink Mates: For years prior to their first in-person meeting, Link and Zelda saw each other many times in their dreams.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Link's reaction to Midna's explanation that the twilight monsters he's had to repeatedly destroy are her transfigured people. She assures him it's not his fault.
- Mythology Gag: One of the lifetimes Link remembers is that of the infamous CDi games.
- Named After Somebody Famous: The baby that Rusl's wife Uli is pregnant with throughout the adventure turns out to be a girl, and is named Linka in Link's honor.
- Nephewism: The one who sends Link to meet with Sahasrahla is Rusl, who claims the sage is his uncle.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Of all things, Zant. It turns out that for the final battle, Ganondorf's horse was actually a transfigured Zant, and this is the reason he's there at the end of the game.
- Opposites Attract: Shad and Ashei, oh so much.
- Original Flavour: The first story had this as its ultimate goal; Lady Norbert wanted it to fit so perfectly into the Hyrulean mythos that it would read almost like a novelization of Twilight Princess. The sequel hewed more closely to being an Affectionate Parody.
- Our Angels Are Different: The sage Rauru is presented as sort of being this. He's a "divine acolyte," sent to Hyrule at the behest of the goddesses to speak on their behalf when they have a message for Link and Zelda.
- Protectorate: Midna, for Link, especially after Zelda's sacrifice. His logic is that Zelda gave her life for Midna, and therefore, that makes Midna more important than anything in the world.
- Selective Obliviousness: Midna encourages a form of this by telling Link he shouldn't believe that Zelda is dead, even though they have no evidence to the contrary and a pretty good reason to think that it might be true.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Shad, in the sequel, attempts to say this about Ashei, then realizes he's not sure if it's true. She responds with a "Shut Up" Kiss.
- Shout-Out: One of the memories Link has of another life is of a scene from the fake movie trailer IGN produced for April Fool's Day 2008.
- The title of the last chapter of the sequel is taken from an episode of the Zelda cartoon.
- The Stations of the Canon: Justified; the original story follows the exact course of the actual video game, and so major plot points must be mentioned.
- Stuff Blowing Up: In the sequel, there's an unfortunate mishap with some bomb arrows...
- Title Drop: Partial. Just before the final battle, Link reminds Zelda that no matter what happens, they're in it together, and she replies, "Until the stars grow old."
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Ilia, for Link. Fortunately, a side effect of her Easy Amnesia turns out to be forgetting that she ever thought of him romantically.
- You Are Worth Hell: Link assures Zelda that she's worth everything he has to endure in the course of the adventure.
- You Have Waited Long Enough: Rauru says something very similar to this when visiting Link in his dream.