As the princess of Hyrule and The Legend of Zelda‘s eponymous character, Princess Zelda has secured herself as one of Nintendo’s trademark characters. Everyone recognizes her and Link together, but Zelda proves to be a powerful person on her own without Link’s help – and one with lots of hidden facts. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about the one and only Princess Zelda of Hyrule!
10. She Doesn’t Appear in 3 Zelda Games
While Zelda, Link, and Ganon are usually the three central characters of Zelda games, there are a notable three where the princess is absent. These are Link’s Awakening, Majora’s Mask, and Tri Force Heroes. In Link’s Awakening, Link only references Zelda, and Marin takes over as Link’s mental representation of her. In Majora’s Mask, Zelda technically appears in a short flashback but doesn’t play a significant role in the storyline. And finally, in Tri Force Heroes, Zelda is not present, but her Link Between Worlds dress is: it’s one of the outfits Link can nab to save Princess Styla of Hytopia.
9. She Was Named After a Real-Life Person
Zelda trivia masters definitely know this. When Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto first pondered what to name his new character and game, an idea suddenly came to his mind: why not name them after Zelda Fitzgerald? The real-life woman was an American dancer, novelist, and socialite, as well as “The Great Gatsby” writer Robert E. Fitzgerald’s wife. After getting permission from a PR planner, Miyamoto used the beautiful name for the now world-famous game series. What an honor!
8. She Is Destined To Meet Link… and Ganon
A long, long, time ago, all the way back to Skyward Sword… Whatever, I’ll just skip to the ending. Link kills the final boss, Demise aka the first Ganondorf, and saves Hyrule… with only one catch. Demise promises that he will endlessly be reincarnated as Ganon in different forms to challenge Hylia (Zelda) and her Chosen Hero (Link). Zelda and Link nevertheless return to the Surface and begin the kingdom of Hyrule. And on top of this spooky curse, Zelda, Link, and Ganon are also the three embodiments of the three Triforce pieces forever bound to each other by fate, ensuring that they will always meet each other one time or another.
7. She Was Responsible for Making the Timeline So Confusing
Every Zelda fan knows that their brains can spin out from simply thinking about Zelda games in their wacky timeline(s). The Hyrule Historia book supposedly explains this “simply.” You’ll notice that the timeline was linear up until Ocarina of Time, where the one steady path splits into the Child and Adult Timelines. And who caused it? Look no further than Princess Zelda herself, who sends the young adult Link we know back in time so he can live through the childhood he never got to.
The young adult Link still exists, though. He goes on to start the Adult Timeline, while his child self unknowingly begins the Child Timeline. Where does Breath of the Wild fit on these long strings of events, then? Lucky for us, it is the closure of the two timelines, finally joining them into one linear timeline once again. And to think that Zelda represents wisdom in the Triforce.
6. Every Daughter of the Royal Family Is Named Zelda
So, Zelda falls into an eternal slumber in The Adventure of Link, right, because of some random evil wizard named Agahnim? Yeah, and her brother, who tried to use the same wizard to pry secrets out of Zelda, felt bad for helping to put her under a spell. Therefore he declared that all future daughters of the royal family would be named after his cursed sister. This includes Breath of the Wild‘s desperate Zelda and the princesses of the Hyrule Warriors duo. So if you’ve been wondering why there are tons of Princess Zeldas, here’s the answer – no, it’s not a multiverse.
5. Her Dress Changes Color
An extra-hidden detail about the first Legend of Zelda game is the changing color of Princess Zelda’s dress. Upon rescuing her, depending on if Link was wearing the Red or Blue Ring, her gown would bear the respective color. And for the first game released in the 1980s – what a detail! If you still have an NES lying around the house, you could check out the subtle difference, even on the color-limiting screen. I guess Zelda really pays attention to the color of Link’s jewelry and picks her clothes based on it.
4. You Can Attack Her in Wind Waker
Weird but true. For some odd reason, during the final battle against Ganondorf in Wind Waker, Link can swipe at the princess with his sword. At first, Zelda will do nothing and continue aiming her Light Arrows at her enemy. But continue this long enough and she will realize that you have become her enemy. She will no longer focus on Ganon, but protect herself from you and end up shooting her arrows at you – a nifty little secret for a game as early as 2003’s Wind Waker.
3. She Was the Hardest BOTW Character to Develop
Nintendo worked extra hard on developing this Zelda’s character, and it shows. Breath of the Wild easily has the best version of Princess Zelda yet. She isn’t just a damsel in distress anymore, starting with the fact that she sealed herself along with the Calamity at her will to protect Hyrule. She also was shown to be desperate and understandable as her sealing powers refused to awaken like it did for the previous princesses. Art director Satoru Takizawa even expected her to become the most popular character in BOTW, as he diligently led his art team to perfect every little detail about Zelda’s design.
2. Her BOTW Voice Actress Wasn’t British
BOTW’s Princess Zelda definitely has some great character relatability and depth, but her strained British accent in cutscenes threw many the wrong way. And the fun fact is that her voice actress isn’t really British. Her name is Patricia Summersett, an American actress who had to fake an accent for her character. Whether she did a good job or not is up to your opinion, but just know that if you don’t like her accent, Patricia did her best for being an American gal.
1. She Always Embodies the Same Person
A lesser-known yet extremely character-central fact about every Zelda is that she always embodies the same person: the famous Goddess Hylia. Like her destiny to face Ganon in every one of his incarnations, this fact of her being a goddess is introduced at the end of Skyward Sword. Hylia sealed away Ghirahim and Demise at the beginning of time, only for them to break the seal and overwhelm her.
The goddess then created the land of Skyloft for the remaining people of the Surface (Hyrule) to live on in safety, with the cloud barrier preventing them from exposing themselves to the danger below. Finally, she decided to be reborn as a mortal, and she is no longer seen in her goddess form.
Later on, after her journey of self-discovery she had embarked on with Impa, she accepts the fact she is the Goddess Hylia reborn as a mortal. She breaks the news to Link, they defeat Demise together, and start the Hyrule we know in the rest of the Zelda games. That’s a big responsibility to be a deity’s mortal form!