Relationships In Zelda

POSTED ON:  February 4, 2024

by: Leila

It’s that time of year: the time of love, romance, and (eventually) discounted chocolate. Some love it, some hate it, some couldn’t care less; we all feel some sort of way about Valentine’s Day. 

In that same vein, it could be said we feel some way about the way love and relationships are depicted in The Legend of Zelda series. While romantic relationships don’t tend to be at the forefront of Zelda games, we see plenty of characters and couples in the variety of characters in each game. At times, we can see these relationships pan out on side quests, and other times we just see them in the background adding to the game’s atmosphere. As a hopeless romantic, I would like to take some of these examples and share them, as well as another concept that I find fascinating: confirmation and implication of relationships within the games.

One example of a side quest couple would be Anju and Kafei from Majora’s Mask. Before the game’s events, the two are engaged and planning their wedding to happen during Clock Town’s Carnival of Time. Unfortunately, Kafei crosses paths with Skull Kid wearing Majora’s Mask, who turns him into a child and forces him to hide. Anju, worried about Kafei’s sudden disappearance, does what she can to get clues on his whereabouts. Both of them recruit Link’s help in finding each other, even with the imminent danger of the falling moon looming over them and their plans. This is a tragic example, but you can feel the love between the two of them, especially when they’re reunited, and they give Link the Couple’s Mask, a symbol of their love and new life as husband and wife. Wearing it even dissolves a dispute at the mayor’s office, ending the fight when nothing else would. The embodiment of love within the mask is enough to melt even the hardest of hearts, which we feel after helping them accomplish their quest.

The next couple to touch on would be Yeto and Yeta from Twilight Princess. More in the main quest than on a side quest, these lovely yeti inhabit the manor known as the Snowpeak Ruins. Sometime before Link arrives at the Ruins, Yeto finds a mirror for Yeta, shortly after which she falls ill. During the dungeon, Yeto focuses on making soup to help her recover so that she can get the mirror for Link. However, when she looks upon the mirror, she becomes possessed by it and has to be subdued. Afterward, Yeto rushes in to let Yeta know that she won’t need a mirror as long as she looks into his eyes. It’s all very disgustingly cute, they are an adorable couple. Their love is felt and seen, keeping warm and cozy in the cold and snowy manor atop Snowpeak Mountain.

Back to the side quest aspect, another couple would be Karane and Pipit from Skyward Sword. Two students at the Knight Academy in Skyloft, the two have mutual feelings, much like your typical high school crush story. Also, as per the trope, the student Cawlin has a crush on Karane, which is how the side quest starts. Cawlin asks Link to deliver a letter to Karane to tell her his true feelings. There are two paths for this quest (one of which is way funnier), but they both end with Pipit gaining the nerve to confess to Karane. In return, she confesses as well, and the two start their relationship. As a fan of the childhood/high school friends to couple trope, this quest made me so happy when I first experienced it. There’s something so sweet about them finally admitting their feelings to each other after the build up. They both talk to Link to get information about the situation about Cawlin’s letter, both not sure if the other likes them back but still getting the courage to tell each other in the end. Even if the relationship is a trope, it’s a charming and familiar concept that works well in this case.

There’s, of course, one more relationship that tends to be included in any Zelda game due to its importance to the stories as a whole: the relationship between the titular princess Zelda and the protagonist Link. In the series, the two are connected in a ‘red string of fate’ situation: with the blood of the goddess Hylia and the spirit of the hero, they’re destined to be Hyrule’s defense against the recurring evil forces, all caught up in a cycle of reincarnation. Link and Zelda have a strong connection through this concept, always finding each other somehow when the kingdom needs them most.

The difference between the romantic relationships shown in the games versus the relationship between Link and Zelda in each game is confirmation. While the couples mentioned above and others found throughout the games tend to be confirmed at some point, the relationship between the two main characters tends to be ambiguous. Depending on the game, there may be implications of romance, pining, or friendship between them found in the games and lore, but that’s all those things are: implied.

Those who know me know that I do have particular feelings towards this concept. That being said, I also like how the status between our hero and princess is left vague in most games. I find it interesting that their relationship can be anything: a knight sworn to his liege, true friendship, budding romance, or even two people crossing paths to complete a task before returning to their lives. The potential to explore their relationship in different ways can spark the imagination and creativity in any fan to come up with their own conclusions, since love and connection can take  so many forms.

Regardless of how we may feel about Valentine’s Day or relationships in the many Zelda games, I’m glad that I got to celebrate the relationships, romantic or otherwise, that live in a piece of my heart. Remember to show love to yourself and to others in your life who love you. And also remember to get some (eventually) discounted chocolate when you get the chance!