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Webcomic / The Legend of Zelda: Book of the Traitor

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The Legend of Zelda: Book of the Traitor is a Zelda Fan Webcomic written by Austin Schollnote  and drawn by Lore Cox.

The comic is set in the equivalent of a modern day following the "Child"/Twilight Princess timeline, after Hyrule has disappeared and given way to the Republic of New Ordon. It stars the core quartet of the energetic snarky hero Link, his Brainy Brunette husband Mike, his Shrinking Violet doppelganger Nick, and their Mysterious Waif Ninja protector Sheik. The villain is a soldier-turned-politician named Vincent, and the story revolves around the titular book.

The comic's prologue was painted by original artist Olivia Voutier and posted on January 6, 2015. However Olivia had to step down from the comic in February 2016 before Chapter 1 began, and Lore Cox stepped in as artist later that March. Chapter 1 began for real on September 3, 2016, and the comic has currently finished Chapter 2. Austin and Lore dedicated an episode of Austin's podcast, A Thorn in the Brain, to talking about the comic.

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The comic is hosted here, with additional updates posted on the comic's Tumblr


This comic provides examples of:

  • Action Prologue: Chapter 1 is of Link rescuing a prisoner from a military base and the subsequent firefight as they escape. The following chapters rewind to the beginning of the story, which have some action but are more character-based and domestic.
  • Alternate Universe: Set in a modern day-like world following Twilight Princess's timeline at roughly the equivalent of the 80s and 90s. The comic also treats Breath of the Wild as following Twilight Princess in a Broad Strokes sense.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: All the reader has to go by is that the comic is set in a Zelda-equivalent of the 80s and 90s, millennia after the events of Twilight Princess.
  • Art Shift: The prologue is hand-painted to evoke Medieval mythological art, while the main chapters are drawn like a usual comic.
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  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Shamelessly, mostly as Author Appeal. Sheik's prettiness was even enforced by the author, and both the comic's former and current artists have mentioned how his prettiness makes him difficult to draw.
  • Continuity Nod: Several to the Twilight Princess timeline in which the comic takes place:
    • Twilight Princess:
      • One of the great evils visualized in the prologue is Zant alongside a Shadow Beast.
      • The map of Hyrule is taken from Twilight Princess.
      • The traitors to the "Shadow People" (Sheikah) in the prologue are the Dark Interlopers. Their represented artifacts are the Fused Shadows, and the prologue shows the light spirits banishing them to the Twilight Realm. It also shows the Mirror of Twilight shattering above the Arbiter's Grounds.
      • The flag of New Ordon is of the Ordonian goat, the Ordona Province's signature animal and center of trade.
    • Ocarina of Time
      • One of the great evils visualized in the prologue is Ganon in his final bipedal boar form.
      • The prologue describes the Interlopers' banishment to the Twilight Realm as "[banished] to the space between worlds", which is where Ganondorf sends Phantom Ganon after the player defeats him in the Forest Temple.
      • Sheik's design is the same as in Ocarina, except he's his own character and not a disguise for someone else.
      • Link's nightmare in the beginning of Chapter 2 is a more violent version of Ganondorf's declaration of taking over the world. A silent version of this scene is also what Link dreams at the beginning of Ocarina.
    • Other:
      • One of the great evils visualized in the prologue is Vaati's final form from Four Swords and Minish Cap.
      • The two Sheikah standing behind the king in the prologue share Impa's design from Skyward Sword.
      • The mysterious woman that Sheik meets when he first arrives in New Ordon is based on the Happy Mask Salesman, both visually and in disposition, seeming to know more than she lets on.
  • Crapsack World: Downplayed. New Ordon is still rebuilding after a period of war, corruption, and militant unrest. The heroes live in New Ordon City which, aside from Mike nearly being mugged and stabbed in Chapter 2, is mostly peaceful.
  • Cypher Language: The Ancient Hylian language spoken by Sheik, based on the Hylian from Ocarina of Time, is a loose, Romanized Japanese with a different alphabet.
  • Decomposite Character: Combined with Gender Flip for both characters, Zelda has been split into Mike and Sheik. Prince Mike has the Triforce of Wisdom and the romantic relationship with Link, while Sheik is Mike's loyal Sheikah bodyguard.
  • Dramatic Irony: The comic is set up as being set long after Hyrule is destroyed, but Sheik spends Chapters 2 and 3 believing that he's simply been brought to another country.
  • Dramatic Spotlight: A variation in chapter 1. A prisoner is locked in an isolation cell with spotlights shining up from underneath him. The effect causes a surprise visitor to only be seen as a black silhouette.
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: Chapter 2 opens with Link dreaming of Ganondorf's declaration of ruling the world from Ocarina of Time, though it's implied to be a much more violent take on the scene.
  • Easing into the Adventure: Chapter 2 begins with showing Link and Mike's daily routine before the Triforce of Wisdom awoke in Mike and their adventure began.
  • Fanon: invoked The comic follows several fan-theories about the franchise:
  • Fan Webcomics: To The Legend of Zelda, in a modern day-like age primarily following Twilight Princess.
  • Friendly Sniper: Mike's tactical role in the team is support sniper, during which he engages in Snark-to-Snark Combat with Link.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Chapter 2, the chronological start to the heroes' adventure, starts with Link waking up from a nightmare.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Link comes into possession of the Hookshot once again, using it with pinpoint precision to escape the base in Chapter 1.
  • Happily Married: Link and Mike, who have been married for about a year when the story begins.
  • History Repeats: The prologue emphasizes Hyrule's constant cycle of good and evil, and it is one of the key elements of the comic, still in effect long after Hyrule's end.
  • Holding Hands: When Link doesn't have his arm around Mike or hand on his shoulder, they're holding hands.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): The Republic of New Ordon is the latest nation built on the ruins of the long-lost kingdom of Hyrule.
  • Legacy Character:
    • This Link is a successor to the Twilight Princess Link.
    • Mike is a male successor to Princess Zelda.
    • Sheik is a character, though his connection to the one from Ocarina of Time is unknown.
  • Low Fantasy: Much of the magic, mysticism and clear heroism of Hyrule has been lost to the ages. The world is now a mostly urban setting.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: The prisoner in chapter 1 is held completely naked, and his penis is visible for two pages.
  • Mythology Gag: There are occasional references to games outside of the Twilight Princess timeline:
    • The Wind Waker:
      • The prologue is composed of medieval-style paintings of the mythological backstory, similar to Wind Waker's prologue.
      • The king is represented in the prologue by Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule.
  • Naked First Impression: The fully-nude prisoner in chapter 1 gets a shadowy visitor dropping in from the vents.
  • Nice Hat: Averted with Link, who was planned to not wear the classic cap from the beginning years before Breath of the Wild.
  • Ninja: Sheik, as a member of the ninja-like Sheikah.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Defied, as a counter to the Zelda franchise's chaste and stiff approach to affection. Link and Mike are a Happily Married Official Couple who kiss right at the beginning of chapter 2 and are constantly affectionate, and Link in particular is physically affectionate to the point of being a Cuddle Bug.
  • Official Couple: Link and Mike. Plans for the comic as late as Chapter 1's final script had their relationship implied rather than shown, but by the time Scholl began writing Chapter 2, he preferred it be shown directly.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Pages 22 and 23 contrast the dark blue of a low-lit corridor with the bright orange of the glowing machinery room.
  • Queer Romance: Link and Mike's relationship is one of the core elements of the comic, and Nick quickly develops his own attraction to Sheik when they meet.
  • Red Herring: The lighting in the beginning of Chapter 1 makes it look like Link is being held prisoner, and his shadow doppelganger (Shadow/Dark Link) drops in to taunt him. The shadowy figure turns out to be Link himself, and the prisoner is actually the shadow doppelganger; Link has broken in to rescue him.
  • Retraux: The prologue is composed of paintings meant to evoke medieval mythological art.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: Three of the characters are named Nick, Rowland and Tracy, the names of three former members of Australian Post-Punk band The Birthday Party.
  • Silence Is Golden: Link and Mike's daily routine in chapter 2 plays out without text.
  • Urban Fantasy: The story is set in the equivalent of a modern day, with many of the events occurring within the cities.

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