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The Last Thing He Expected Her To Ever Say
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A Tale of Two Rulers is a fanfiction webcomic created by Fig set in The Legend of Zelda universe with a Crack Pairing set up as the premise. Once more, Ganondorf has raised his army to conquer the land of Hyrule. Zelda arranges a private meeting with him shortly before this great war would start at her request with a proposal.

Marriage.

Zelda has come to realize that the constant reincarnations and the cycles of battle have devastated Hyrule needlessly and Ganondorf has always failed to succeed in his goals due to the eventual rise of the Hero of Legend. So instead, to avoid all the needless bloodshed and suffering, she's willing to share Hyrule with Ganondorf equally via a royal marriage.

Needless to say, this proposal stuns even the great king of evil. But is he really the same Ganondorf fans of the series know him for? And just where is Link in all this?

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What follows is a comic involving the intricacies of palace life, various plots from both sides for advantages that even involve assassination attempts, dark pasts revealed and much broken furniture.

A good chunk of the comic has also been dubbed and uploaded onto youtube with Fig's blessing and personal appreciation.


A Tale Of Two Rulers provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Vaati has a crush on Zelda. Zelda ... does not reciprocate.
  • Adult Fear:
    • When Ganondorf talks about how the Gerudo have suffered, he mentions having to watch so many of his lovers, sisters, and children die that he can't even remember all their faces. The accompanying art even shows him cradling a dying child.
    • Zelda's internal monologue when Ganondorf presents her with a bloody bag is brimming with horror that he may have murdered her child.
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    • Zelda knows her own child is the hero's incarnation. Part of the reason she proposed is to try and and break the cycle before Rinku is put in danger. When Zelda believes Ganondorf has poisoned her, her first action is to send Rinku far away, both to protect her and to train her for a future battle.
    • In the middle of a nightmare, Ganondorf attacks Zelda (who is pregnant). She’s unharmed and understanding, but Ganondorf refuses to share a room with her that night so it won’t happen again.
  • Altar Diplomacy: The premise of the entire story. Instead of repeating the cycle, Zelda proposes to simply marry Ganondorf and prevent all upcoming suffering that would come of it.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Neither Vaati nor the castle librarian has any idea what Impa's gender is. In the games, Impa is explicitly female, but the subject hasn't come up in the comic and...
    Librarian: ...I have no idea. But either way, I strongly recommend asking politely.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Zelda displays a rather massive case of it here, doubting that the Deities exist despite her, Ganon, and Link all carrying a piece of the Triforce that the Deities had explicitly created.
  • Arc Words: Are You A Man Or A Pig?
  • Arrow Catch:
    • Zelda's training with Impa includes grabbing arrows out of the air.
    • Impa catches a blowgun dart between her fingers.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Arguing that Ganondorf has been a bad king for his people or a bad father to his children appears to be one. Zelda wisely backed off both times it came up.
    • Also, Link — Ganondorf takes Link's defeats of him very personally and nearly flips out at the suggestion that he could get along with him.
  • Bitter Wedding Speech: Ganondorf gives one of these in place of his wedding vows, instead calling out the nobility for their insults about him and Zelda, before finishing with the threat to cut out the tongue of anyone else who continues to disrespect them.
    Ganondorf: I may not be the king you wanted... you pretentious, inbred Hylian dogs... but I vow to be the king you deserve.
  • Blatant Lies: Nobody seems to believe Zelda's official story that Rinku is a war orphan that she adopted.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Hylian General Ralph gets the brilliant idea to go against Zelda's wishes and attack Ganondorf. Without the Master Sword. Or the Light/Silver Arrows. His head is presented to Zelda moments later.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Dark Is Not Evil: A major theme of the comic appears to be distinguishing between the two. Ganondorf can be vicious and cruel, but he approaches the things he cares for with the same passion. See Berserk Button and Even Evil Has Standards.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Ganondorf angrily shows Zelda the head of her general who just attempted to assassinate him the night before her wedding.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Zelda and Ganondorf's relationship and the comic's setting is a deconstruction of the relatively light-and-soft, fairy-tale-esque The Legend of Zelda, bringing in Fridge Horror Inferred Holocaust that is rarely, if ever, alluded to in the games. Examples include:
    • The toll of death and devastation that would really result from Ganondorf's invasions; the comic, unlike the games, shows directly the civilians caught in Ganondorf's path and that his invasions have destroyed irreplaceable parts of history, such as the castle's library.
    • The trauma Link has on being reincarnated over and over, as he's a Heroic Mime now because of all the memories of war with Ganondorf.
    • The decadence and corruption in Hyrule's court; in the games, Hyrule may as well not even have a court — despite a huge castle seen in nearly every game, the only royalty typically seen is Zelda herself. The comic, however, shows them to be largely bigoted aristocrats, with Zelda's tutor being the worst of the lot.
    • The retribution and genocide of the Gerudo after Ganondorf's actions in Ocarina of Time, showing a backlash against his people that isn't present in the games at all.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In-Universe, after Ganondorf's arena battle against the kingdom's criminals on death row, Zelda is initially horrified and angry. Then she looks through the history books and considers that, given Ganondorf's moral code is cobbled together from all his past lives — some of them hundreds and thousands of years in the past — what he's doing may have been acceptable and expected of a ruler in those times.
  • Destination Defenestration: How Vaati's second attempt at flirting with Zelda ends for him. Good thing he can fly.
  • Doting Parent: Ganon bonds quite quickly with Rinku, barring the odd slip-up that prompts a grounding.
  • Dragon with an Agenda:
    • Ghirahim is intensely loyal to Ganondorf and usually willing to listen to his orders, but he believes the ultimate goal of this marriage should be to kill Zelda and take Hyrule before she gets a chance to kill him first. He tries to manipulate Ganondorf into poisoning Zelda, then goes ahead anyway and poisons her himself. To say Ganondorf is furious about this is a vast understatement.
    • Impa is significantly more restrained than Girahim, but she doesn't approve of the situation, either. She tries to burn Ganondorf's apology letter before Zelda can read it.
    • A more straight example is Vaati, who is plotting to get Link and Gannondorf to go at it, and he'll kill the victor, in order to get Zelda. He's even started trying to figure out how to kill Gannondorf without the aid of the Master Sword.
  • Dramatic Irony: Initially, Ganondorf thinks that Rinku is Link's child with Zelda, and proposes adopting her as his own daughter partly so he can train her. If and when the Hero returns to face him, Ganondorf relishes in the idea that he'd have to face his own child allied with Ganondorf. What Ganondorf doesn't know is that Rinku is the Hero reincarnated. More than that, Ganondorf is incensed at the suggestion that he and Link should try to get along, unaware that he and Link's current incarnation already do get along.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Ganondorf makes it quite clear that Ghirahim's betrayal falls into this category:
    Ganondorf: Goddamn you... Of all the people to betray me... Why... Why did it have to be you, Ghirahim?
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Ganondorf is willing to wage bloody war across multiple generations, but even he draws the line somewhere:
    • He threatens horrible violence on the man who abused Zelda as a child.
    • The threat against anyone who would dare make his children (even the soon-to-be-adopted Rinku) into pawns is unspoken, but certainly there.
    • On the less violent side, after Vaati confuses Ganondorf's legitimate sorrow over the children he and Zelda might have had for an act, Ganondorf calls him a "vile thing."
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: The star spark diamond ring Ganondorf prepares for Zelda is never directly seen, but the dazzling light it gives off says it all. As the Bulblin that presented the ring says, it's a perfect fit because "Hyrule is all about tasteless extravagance".
  • Evil Chancellor:
    • Zig-zagged with Ghirahim. For starters, the leader he betrays is the King of Darkness, although Dark Is Not Evil is at work here. And his betrayal comes from being an Overzealous Underling with a deep love for Ganondorf, rather than any intention to defeat or usurp him.
    • Vaati plays this straight as the royal wizard, actively planning on killing Gannondorf and seducing Zelda.
  • Fiery Redhead: Though the comic is in black and white, due to characters resembling their canon selves it can be assumed this applies to Ganondorf and Ralph.
  • Food Slap: Vaati gets a faceful of Zelda's alcohol after he gets in close to flirt with her. At her own wedding.
    Vaati: (in pain) WAS SHE DRINKING GIN OR TURPENTINE?!?!
  • Foregone Conclusion: Art from Fig and the occasional side comic have featured, among other things, three of Zelda and Ganondorf's children, so it was a given that Zelda would survive an early arc where she gets poisoned. In the latest arc, a pregnancy was confirmed.
  • Gender Flip:
    • While it appears at first that Link is nowhere to be seen, she has been around the whole time, this time reincarnated as Princess Rinku.
    • This trope likely true for Ganondorf and Zelda in at least one reincarnation cycle each. Ganondorf explains to Zelda that he was once a mother in a previous life. And while it’s yet to be seen in-comic, Fig did post a picture of Zelda as a man.
  • Generation Xerox: Several mortal characters share names and appearances with their blood ancestors from the official games, and also have similar roles or personalities. The reincarnations of the three Triforce bearers also tend to follow this, with the marriage being an attempt to finally end the cycle. Link being born as Zelda's child is another, unplanned deviation from the normal pattern.
  • Heroic Mime: Averted with Rinku, but according to Impa, that will change when she inherits her Past-Life Memories and is traumatized into silence.
  • "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't.": Zig zagged. Played sort of straight when Zelda throws Vaati out a window, and he protests that she didn't know he could fly and the fall could have killed him. Then subverted when Zelda dryly says the moat would have broken his fall, though the expression on her face suggests she wouldn't be too put out if he had gone splat.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: While Zelda is of a normal height, Ganondorf is simply enormous to the point he dwarfs her. Ganondorf is so big he regularly breaks furniture in Hyrule castle just by sitting on it, and it's mentioned that he's ordered special Goron-made furniture to replace it.
  • Hypocrite: When Zelda suggests Ganondorf could get along with Link, he gets angry. He states that forgiving him would mean forgiving all the times Link has taken away his kingdom, family, and even his life. He is seemingly unappreciative that he has done no less to Zelda note  in past lives, and she has managed to forgive him for it. He also seems to forget that Zelda worked hand-in-hand to defeat him and is just as responsible, but he has already forgiven her.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Zelda ends up drinking quite a bit of gin when Ganondorf first settles into the castle. Word of God takes a less comedic interpretation, stating that it's part of her self-destructive coping.
  • Irony: Zelda, the incarnation of wisdom, retains the least amount of information from her previous lives. Ganondorf even refers to it as her "ironic forgetfulness."
  • Lame Pun Reaction: As Zelda puts it, of course the self-proclaimed "King of Evil" is a fan of puns.
  • Last of His Kind: As far as Ganondorf knows, he's the last remaining Gerudo in all of Hyrule due to prejudice from his previous attempts to conquer Hyrule.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: Zelda accepts that in offering marriage, she's also offering herself as the mother to Ganondorf's future children, and everything that comes before children. She later suggests that old Hylian traditions enforce this for both partners by having them wear blindfolds, earplugs, and mittens during sex. It is then deconstructed and averted: Ganondorf refuses to do anything she clearly doesn't want to happen, while Zelda's primary apprehension about sex stems from her past abuse. It's only after they're both comfortable being intimate with each other that they consummate the marriage.
  • Mood Whiplash: The comic moves between dramatic and comedic, often within the same entry. When, for example Ganondorf finds out that Zelda was abused by her tutor, his vows of vengeance against the perpetrator are both heartwarming and terrifying. His vow of vengeance against the bed when it breaks under him mid-rant is hilarious.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Rinku uses her sword (which appears to be the Master Sword!) as a fishing rod.
    • Ganondorf uses dark magic in a pillow fight.
  • Nay-Theist: Zelda is of the "God Is Evil" opinion if the Goddesses exist, as they allow death and destruction to occur while demanding worship.
  • Never Grew Up: The Skull Kid. This actually makes him sad because Link has been his friend in other lifetimes, but always forgets this when reincarnated.
  • Never Live It Down: Ganon accurately diagnosing Zelda's pregnancy leads to Rinku commenting on it.
    Zelda: Y-you already know about that?!
    Rinku: Yeah! Dad told me! And he's been bragging for days that he knew about the baby before you!
  • One-Man Army: Ganondorf is able to kill over two thousand fully armed prisoners without taking a scratch.
  • Parental Abandonment: The only mention of the King or Queen of Hyrule before Ganondorf and Zelda are coronated is to mention that the old king went missing years ago, with no further explanation in the comic. In a blog post, Fig goes into a little more detail:
    Fig: Zelda’s mother died while giving birth to her! And something strange happened to her father, but I’m not sure if there’s room to put it into the comic anymore or not.
  • Papa Wolf: Ganon is very protective of his family, blood-related or adoptive.
  • Past-Life Memories: Zelda and Ganondorf often received flashes of their past experiences that has caused them to remember their other incarnations. Rinku hasn't had any yet, but Zelda believes this is only due to her age and is expected to happen in a few years for her too. In a Q+A, Fig says Ganondorf has very detailed memories, which lets him accumulate skills (such as knitting), Zelda keeps almost no memories, and Link keeps memories but they're not as vivid as Ganondorf's. Impa states that Link's past memories leave him so traumatized that he rarely speaks, suggesting that while his memories are not as vivid as Ganondorf's, the emotions passed from life to life are significantly moreso.
  • The Prankster: Skull Kid loves pranking the people of Hyrule castle, which apparently includes unleashing spider swarms in the sauna. He even briefly repairs an Artifact of Doom with no intention beyond using it for a practical joke, though nothing comes of it.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Zelda also qualifies up until her coronation as queen, both for her political daring that sets up the plot and continues throughout the comic, and for what's been seen so far of her combat skills.
  • Rape as Backstory:
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The baby boar Ganondorf gives Rinku as a present is quite huggable.
  • Running Gag: Ganondorf breaking furniture because he's too big for most of them.
  • Scars Are Forever: A cut that Rinku accidentally gives Zelda when she meets Ganondorf is still visible as a scar more than 100 comics later.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Gannondorf seals Ghirahim in his sword for going against his orders.
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: Vaati offers to take Impa out on a date, attempting to seduce Impa in a male form, then Sex Shifts into a busty woman when it falls flat. Impa is emphatically Not Distracted by the Sexy.
    Impa: I respect the beauty of your craft... but the only reason I'm not hurting you right now is because this is the most entertaining thing that's happened to me in months.
  • Ship Sinking: Given that the premise is the marriage between Zelda and Ganondorf, Link being Zelda's daughter effectively eliminates any possibility of the love triangle one might expect given Link and Zelda's relationship in some of the games.
  • Soft Water: Discussed after Zelda throws Vaati out a window. When he accuses her of trying to kill him, she suggests he could have landed in the moat. She even calls it "soft." It's possible Zelda is perfectly aware of how hard water can be, and is just adding a subtle layer to her snark.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Save for Ghirahim and Vaati, Ganondorf's minions seem to be made up of these that more then once quite visibly annoy him.
  • Tempting Fate: Discussed. Ganondorf is aghast to hear Zelda speak ill of the Goddesses, because whatever his feelings on them might be, he has very strong personal reasons to fear their retribution.
  • Undead Child: Skull Kid, effectively. He became an Imp when he got lost in the woods and succumbed to deprivation, and even refers to himself as "something that isn't quite dead or alive".
  • Unwillingly Girly Tomboy: Princess Rinku hates having to wear dresses and acting like a stereotypical princess when she's rather spend her time playing games and pranks with the Skull Kid. She even latches onto the idea of Ganondorf teaching her to fight. Her true identity of being Link would give a good reason as to why.
  • Visual Pun: The Zora doctor who attends to Zelda? She's a nurse shark!
  • Vitriolic Best Buddies: Ghirahim and Vaati. Ghirahim even admits that he doesn't really like Vaati, but he's the only one he can talk to. Vaati meanwhile trolls Ghirahim, particularly with his Copy Vaati power.
  • Warrior Princess: Princess Rinku's training is to be a warrior, instead of something more purely courtly (in fact, she can't stand the courtly stuff). While still young and in training, she shows an immense amount of courage, even willing to fight and kill Ganondorf when she thinks he's a threat to her mother. Her status as Link's reincarnation is likely the reason for it.
  • Win Your Freedom: To win the favor of the Hylian citizens after the marriage, Ganondorf holds a massive fight in the kingdom's arena where all convicted murderers, rapists and child molesters are given top quality weapons and armor to do just one thing for their freedom: Kill him. It goes about as well for them as you can imagine.

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