Link has been adventuring through caves, dungeons, and across the seas for 30 years now. His heroic journey began in The Legend of Zelda (1986), when he saved Princess Zelda and defeated the then-unnamed Ganon. The franchise is still going, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild due out in 2017. But what would the franchise be if not for the fandom discussing some crazy theories about the hero of time and his companions?
In the collector's book Hyrule Historia (2011), Miyamoto explains that “We named the protagonist Link because he connects people together.” A lot of fans have come together thanks to the franchise and developed numerous theories that speculate about the characters and the history of Hyrule... which gets even more complicated considering it has been confirmed there are three timelines in the Legend of Zelda universe, meaning a triplicate of plausible theories. Even if they're denied by the very creators of the games they love, fans will still hold on to these theories.
Here are the 15 Craziest Legend Of Zelda Theories... if they don't turn out to be true, that is.
15 The Fate Of The Gerudo
Gerudo are mostly female-- a Gerudo male is born every 100 years. Ganondorf was that male Gerudo. However, despite evidence of their existence, they never appear in Twilight Princess (2006). What happened to make the entire Gerudo population disappear? There are numerous theories from fans, which vary depending on the timeline in question.
Ganondorf led his people in an insurrection against Hyrule. It's possible that when this failed and he was sentenced to be executed, the rest of the Gerudo were banished from the Gerudo realm. One theory is that they evolved into Twili. This is supported by the Mirror of Twilight, which is a gateway to the Twilight Realm that can be found in the Gerudo Desert. Midna, Link's Twili ally, also drops some possible hints that her people used to be Gerudo. She says at one point how her people's king fell because of greed. Could this be a reference to Ganondorf's fall?
14 The True Identity Of The Ghost Hunter
The mysterious Ghost Hunter appears through the Legend of Zelda franchise. He first appears after the destruction of Hyrule Castle Town during Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998), opening his own ghost shop in the ruins. He claims he can read other people's minds and buys Poes whose souls have been trapped in a bottle by Link. It's unclear what that hood of his is hiding, but many fans speculate about his true identity. The rest of the speculation could take up a list all on their own, so we'll only mention two here.
One major theory hypothesizes that the Ghost Hunter is the Hyrulean Soldier who stood in the house that would become the Ghost Shop before the town was destroyed. When Link is a child, the soldier tells him he wants more chaos in the world and is interested in ghosts. Could the soldier have died during Ganon's attack and then became a ghost? Did Ganon turn him into a ghost?
Another popular theory is that the Ghost Hunter is the young boy who was playing in Kakariko Graveyard. He would pretend to be Dampé the gravekeeper, watching graves while using a stick similar to the Ghost Hunter's. He is never seen after Link becomes an adult, so it's possible he becomes the Ghost Hunter.
13 The Twilight Princess Connection To Majora’s Mask
Hyrule Historia included a chronological timeline, which spawned a plethora of theories. One thing that created a lot of fan speculation was that Majora's Mask (2000) comes before Twilight Princess chronologically. Many gamers now try to find the connections between the two games.
One theory that seems to pop up mentions a similarity between Link's ally Midna in Twilight Princess and Majora's mask, as the two share the same eye pattern. The villain, Zant, also sports a similar eye pattern on his outfit, which led to fans suggesting that the villains of Twilight Princess created Majora's Mask. On GameFaqs, there is a thread about the Twili creating Majora's mask. One user, RottenStuff26, adds evidence to the theory: "Majora's Mask was made by an ancient tribe that disappeared from the world. The Twili were a tribe that was banished from the world. Similarity. The powers that made the mask were the powers of evil. The forbidden magic that the Twili used was evil." Are the Twili truly responsible?
12 The Triforce Has A Fourth Piece
Known as the Tetraforce Theory, this theory has fans positing that the Triforce has four pieces, not just three. Dorkly presents pretty apt reasoning for why the Triforce actually has a fourth piece. If you look at the Triforce, there is a fourth, empty triangular space in the middle of the symbol. This could easily fit the fourth piece of the Triforce. If you look at Link's shield in Ocarina of Time, which has a picture of the Triforce, there is a fourth piece at the bottom of the shield.
The three golden triangles in the Triforce represent the Triforce of Power (top), the Triforce of Wisdom (left), and the Triforce of Courage (right). So of course, fans argue about what the fourth piece could represent. One possible theory is that the fourth piece represents the Triforce of Kindness. Apparently, in Majora's Mask, there are four Great Fairies, called the Great Fairy of Courage, the Great Fairy of Wisdom, the Great Fairy of Power, and the Great Fairy of Kindness. Is it simply a coincidence that the first three fairies each represent a piece of the Triforce? Others speculate Zelda represents the fourth piece, what with her name being Tetra in The Wind Waker (2002). The creators would have you believe so, since they vehemently deny this theory. But do Zelda fans know the truth?
11 Link Is Dead In Majora’s Mask
It is believed by some fans that Link dies at the beginning of Majora's Mask when he falls and goes through the game dead. Wandering around in the game, Link is experiencing purgatory, and the ultimate goal of the game is for him to accept his death and move on. It was made popular thanks to a video from Game Theory delving in-depth into the theory. Others have tried to debunk this theory, pointing to evidence that the game's setting, Termina, is a parallel world, not purgatory.
Fans have also noted the similarities between characters Link met throughout his journey in Ocarina of Time and denizens of Termina who he runs into throughout Majora's Mask. The theory posits that these people are also in purgatory and struggling to pass on. Then there's the fact that Termina, the world's name, is reminiscent of "terminal," as in a way-station that people pass through. This leads to another popular theory relating to Majora's Mask...
10 Majora's Mask Has The Five Stages of Grief
Supposedly, five zones in Majora's Mask could represent the Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Some fans say this lends credence to the facts that Link is dead in the game and goes through the five stages of grief over the course of the game, ultimately accepting his death.
Clock Town could be denial since everyone refuses to admit the moon will fall and instead pretend they're perfectly safe. Woodfall could be anger because the Deku King lost his daughter and is angry at a monkey, who he blames for all of his problems. Snowhead could be bargaining since Darmani's ghost asks for a hero to come save him, using several bargaining techniques. Great Bay could be depression since Lulu, after losing her eggs (which some players equate to a miscarriage), lives in isolation. Finally, the Ikana Valley could represent acceptance as this is the land of the dead. Link even climbs a tower, which could represent his ascent into heaven.
9 Super Mario Bros. 3 Is A Stage Play In Hyrule
Previously, in our list of the 15 Craziest Super Mario Theories, we mentioned how it was believed (and confirmed by the creators) that Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988) is actually a stage play. Fans of The Legend of Zelda took this theory one step further, suggesting Mario was a stage play in Hyrule. According to Reddit user TeekTheReddit, "In the golden age of Hyrule, before the wars, a theater troop took the kingdom by storm with their hit new play. The adventures of Mario and Luigi were loved by the children of Hyrule for many years until the fad wore out."
There are hints that Mario is connected in some way to Hyrule. In Ocarina of Time, the opening theme is the same tune as the warp whistle in Super Mario Bros. 3. Plus, portraits of Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, and Bowser can be found in Princess Zelda's courtyard. In Link to the Past, many of the houses in Kakariko Village have pictures of Mario. The Happy Mask Salesman even carries around a Mario mask in Majora's Mask.
Many enemies in the Mario games also appear in Link's games, including chain chomps, shy guys, and boos, who all appear in Link's Awakening (1993). In the same game, you can win a Yoshi Doll by winning the Trendy Game. Could all of this suggest that he and the rest of the characters in Mario are just famous actors in Hyrule whose stage plays are all the Super Mario games?
8 Agitha The Bug Collector Is Zelda’s Schizophrenic Sister
Agitha, the young bug collector who lives by her lonesome in Castle Town during the events of Twilight Princess, may actually be Zelda's sister! The theory is explored by a Redditor who points out Agitha is wealthy, but gamers are not privy to how she obtained such wealth. They also speculate she is schizophrenic, commenting: "Agitha truly believes she is the princess monarch of the insect kingdom. She also believes the bugs have the capability to send and receive mail, as well as knowingly pair up with another of its species to attend an insect ball. Delusions of grandeur, or the belief that you have an important mission or special purpose, is a common symptom of schizophrenia." The user mentions other symptoms including "social isolation, few friends if any, increased withdrawal, and dropping out of activities and life in general."
Another fun theory about Agitha is that she murdered her parents, which would explain her wealth. This theory was posed by Redditor Dragmire927, who posts: "It explains why she lives alone, has tons of probably inheritance money and her creepy undertones. She probably got sick of them after they punished her for her bug obsession and slipped a poisonous bug in their bed when they were sleeping. Since no one could prove she had any involvement, she got the house and all the wealth." Either way, most gamers will agree there is something... off about little Agitha.
7 Ben Drowned Creepypasta
The story of Ben Drowned (or You Shouldn't Have Done That, Haunted Majora's Mask), written by user Jadusable, was a creepy tale turned alternate reality video game. It has become a great tale to tell in order to send shivers down some people's spines. It is about a Majora's Mask cartridge haunted by the ghost of a boy who drowned named Ben.
The reason we're including this on a Zelda theories list is that fans of this Creepypasta often create their own theories about Ben. This is a great example of a story inspired by a video game that just adds even more confusing and crazy theories to the fandom. TV Tropes lists several theories about Ben Drowned, from suggesting Ben is connected to Slender Man to speculating that Ben is actually Majora's Mask. There's even a theory that the Happy Mask Salesman is Ben's father and the person who murdered him. Feel free to explore this fandom within the fandom if you don't want to get any sleep tonight.
6 The True Origin Of Dark Link
Dark Link (not Shadow Link) fights with our hero in Adventure of Link and Ocarina of Time. This shadow-like version of Link has many theories surrounding his origin and what he represents. There is the Peter Pan Theory, which suggests that, since Link and Peter Pan share similarities, it is possible Dark Link is actually the hero's shadow. According to this theory, just like Peter Pan and his shadow, Link and his shadow are constantly fighting one another.
Another is suggested by Reddit user I Like Questions, who claims Dark Link could actually be a combination of the evil expelled from Link when he first touched the master sword and Demise, who was sealed within the sword. To support his point, the user comments, "...they share similar color schemes, black skin and clothes and red eyes. They also wield black perversions of the master sword. Yet another similarity are their battle stages, seemingly endless spaces with a watery floor. So while Ganon/Ganondorf may be Demise's anger reborn, Dark Link is Demise himself reborn." It could be as complicated as that or it could be that Ganon summoned Link's darker self-- after all, what better way is there to defeat your enemy then by having him fight the one person who would know him best: himself.
5 Breath Of The Wild's Place In The Timeline
It's not even out yet, and already Breath of the Wild has a ton of fan theories surrounding it! One particularly interesting theory is that Breath of the Wild is a sequel to Wind Waker, and the areas you explore are de-flooded areas from Wind Waker. This is supported by the fact that Link can find rock salt on dry land, which is found in the sea. How could it have gotten on dry land if it were not previously flooded? The Koroks, who planted trees in Wind Maker to hopefully connect everyone in the world, also make an appearance in the game-- more evidence that seems to suggest Breath of the Wild's place in the Zelda timeline.
Of course, many other fans place Breath of the Wild somewhere else in the timeline. Geek believe this is Zelda 3, meaning it would occur after Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link (1987). A Design & Trend article argues whether Breath of the Wild (then just known as Zelda U) is a prequel or sequel to Twilight Princess. The release of the game will undoubtedly spawn many more crazy theories.
4 The Identity Of The Old Man In Breath Of The Wild
One of the biggest theories coming out of Breath of Wild so far has to do with the mysterious old man who appears in the game. Fans speculate about his identity and come up with some pretty creative guesses. For instance, in the same Geek article that suggest Breath of the Wild is Zelda 3, they came up with this fun, bonkers(?) theory: "The Old Man is the true Link, and the Link that woke up from a coma is a brainwashed imposter sent to act in his name. A grizzled man in rags leads a long-gone hero who has just woken up to safety, to direct him on a mission across an open wilderness to fight a looming threat that happens to tie directly into who he is?"
Other theories about the old man's identity suggest he may be the king of Hyrule, a totally new character, a reference to the old man in The Lord of the Rings, or even Ganon. Ganon would make for an interesting ally, since the main villain of the game is "Calamity Ganon," a force of evil sealed inside Hyrule Castle. Teaming up with Ganon to fight Ganon? Ganonception!
3 The “Single Link” Theory
This theory is not really accepted much anymore because of The Wind Waker. The prologue of the game references the Hero of Time and also calls the protagonist of the game the "Hero of Winds." Shigeru Miyamoto also confirmed there were multiple Links with Nintendo Power before The Wind Waker was released. According to the "Single Link" theory, there has only ever been one Link, and each game represents one of his adventures.
Today, most people believe there are multiple Links. Some fans do suggest that every Link is a descendant of the protagonist from Ocarina of Time. However, the "Single Link" theory does survive today thanks to the "Hero's Spirit" theory. This suggests Link has just been reincarnated in every game, along with Zelda and Ganondorf. This would mean Link has the same soul and, therefore, is technically the same Link, even if he cannot remember his past lives.
2 Navi Dies At The End Of Ocarina Of Time
Remember how we all wanted to kill Navi at one point or another? Like every time she said "Look" or "Listen"? What if we've all actually gotten our wish? This theory suggests Navi dies at the end of Ocarina of Time when she leaves Link at the end of the game. Why wouldn't she just stay with Link? It could be because she actually dies at the end of the game.
Reddit user Zennistrad points to other fairies in the game as evidence, posting the following: "Have you ever noticed that the bottled fairies that you use disappear right after they heal you? This is because of how fairy life cycles work: certain fairies are created by guardian spirits, such as the Great Fairies and the Deku Tree, to fulfill a specific purpose, such as healing weary travelers. Once that purpose is fulfilled, the fairy disappears." Navi was created to be Link's guide by the Deku Tree. She fulfills her duty at the end of the game and, if Zennistrad's theory is correct, Navi would disappear.
1 Every Game Is A Dream
Now it's time for Zeldaception! What if every game in the Legend of Zelda franchise was actually part of Link's dreams? After all, a lot of the Zelda games open with Link sleeping and waking up. Maybe the events in the previous game are what Link dreamed from the night before? It could be possible. After all, as Dorkly points out, the events of Super Mario Bros. 2 turned out to be Mario's dream. Why couldn't Link be guilty of the same thing?
One Reddit user, g3t0nmyl3v3l, points out that the events in the dreams could have really happened, and "it could be Link re-experiencing all of his past adventures in his other lives." So is Link actually remembering his past lives and does he believe they are just fictional dreams? Do Zelda and Ganon experience similar dreams from their perspectives? Or is it all just a dream within a dream within a dream?
Do you subscribe to any of these crazy Zelda fan theories? Let us know in the comments!