A bit later than I had planned but given my weekly updating has been marred by the insanity that is the winter holiday season and an oral surgery the likes of which has instilled a fear of dentists in me that will likely haunt beyond the grave. Severe mental trauma aside though, it doesn’t change the fact that the winter holidays have come and gone, meaning springtime and all the joys it brings will soon be drifting on the wind with one holiday in particular leading the front. I speak of course of the holiday of Saint Valentines and being a sucker for romance and a shipper with enough vessels for an entire fleet…
Well, I figure it’s time that I do another top ten favorite pairings. As before these are my own personal preferences of pairing, which can range from the canon to the fanon to even a few with cracked hulls in the lot. However, before I start a whole new list, I think it’s only fair that I “rehash” one of my top contenders from my last countdown, Link and Zelda from The Legend of Zelda game series, specifically their incarnations from the most game Breath of the Wild.
As I said previously, Link and Zelda’s love, that of the original Hero and the creation goddess Hylia, is one that has been tried and tested in multiple differing lifetimes and, thanks to recent revelations, different timelines altogether. Yet, of those various moments in time, the budding romance between our hero and princess in Breath of the Wild, is far, far different from the norm.
A word of warning to those who have not played the game or its expansions, some small spoilers lie ahead.
LINK & ZELDA
Main Media: The Legend of Zelda (Games & Manga)
Shipping Type: Canon
Ship Name: Zelink
Primary Moments: Skyward Sword/Breath of the Wild (Game & Manga Prequel)
Secondary Moments: Scattered Throughout Games
Contrary to previous stories, Breath of the Wild starts with Link and Zelda already knowing each other. In point of fact, while he is designated as being the chosen Hero meant to wield the Master Sword in order to bring a (hopefully) permanent end to Calamity Ganon, Link is also assigned to be Zelda’s personal bodyguard. To serve and protect her as she goes through the trials to try and awaken the power of sealing that lies dormant in her blood. Of course, she also tries, and succeeds, in rediscovering lost and ancient technologies to try and aid Link and the other Champions in destroying Calamity Ganon once and for all. The key difference between her and Link’s relationship whence compared to previous ones though?
She hated him.
Matter of fact, she loathed him due mostly to the fact that he, rather inadvertently, served as a constant reminder of all her failures in awakening her own innate magical power. While she started off as being distantly polite to him at first, she soon started to lose patience with Link when he proved more than willing, and quite capable, of following her wherever she went despite her proclaiming there being no need for an escort. She even went so far as to tell him outright to stop following her and he abided it just enough by keeping out of her immediate way but followed her to the ends of Hyrule and back again.
Of course, that all changed when Link managed to save her from a trio of assassins and continued to protect her against the various monsters and creatures that were arising in greater numbers and frequency with the approach of Calamity Ganon’s awakening. She even goes so far as to admit to actually heeding his own given advice when it concerned the state of her horse.
Of course, things take a turn for the worse with Calamity Ganon’s appearance and hostile takeover of the technologies Zelda had sought to use against it but that delves a little too deep into spoiler territory for me. The main reason that I enjoy this particular set of incarnations of Link and Zelda as a couple is simply for the fact that they both actually grow closer as time goes on.
While Link still remains the silent and steadfast hero he atypically is, you see snippets of his character through Zelda and the other Champions’ eyes, and more directly through his own memories, which primarily feature Zelda in some way or another. In point of fact, when everything is all said and done, that is the first thing that Zelda asks of Link, whether or not he remembers her truly or knows her only by what he’s pieced together himself or by what others have told him.
For a “fairy tale” type of game Link and Zelda’s relationship in Breath of the Wild is, if you’ll pardon the pun, a breath of fresh air. Most of the games simply have hinted at a budding romance between our hero and princess, with Skyward Sword being one of the few to show any open affection between them and that one followed the common trope of “childhood romance” and had the added bonus of being (so far) the “first” game in the timeline, meaning that Zelda and Link were more directly connected to their previous selves than the ones from Breath of the Wild.
So while I’ll always sail proudly on the ship of Link and Zelda, I can say that the incarnations from Breath of the Wild stand at the forefront and I sincerely look forward to any possible continuations of these two be it new DLC for the game or a direct sequel.