Who is Ocarina of Time’s Princess Zelda?

CameronMarch 24th, 2013 by Cameron

Princess Zelda is the eponymous character of the Zelda series, but as we all should know, not the main, playable character. The stereotypical idea of Princess Zelda from the community outside Zelda fandom, and unfortunately, often within the Zelda fandom as well, is that she gets captured and Link has to go and save her. This usually isn’t correct though, particularly in the case of the Princess Zelda of Ocarina of Time. She escapes capture and remains hidden for seven long years, while she awaits Link’s return to save Hyrule. But why? Is she better off waiting for seven years? Is there anything she could have done in Link’s absence? If so, why didn’t she do it? These questions and more shall be answered as we delve deeper into the mechanics of Princess Zelda’s mentality in Ocarina of Time.

After Link breaks the curse on the Great Deku Tree that ultimately brings about his fate, the Great Deku Tree instructs Link to go and find the Princess of Destiny. This Princess of Destiny is obviously the young Princess Zelda. When we first meet her, she is peering through a window suspiciously at the Gerudo man, Ganondorf, who has sworn allegiance to her father, the King of Hyrule. But Zelda has another idea. Not only due to his evil aura, she has received prophetic dreams in which Ganondorf has led armies in obtaining the Triforce and establishing his own destructive rule over Hyrule.

In her talk to Link (you can’t really call it a conversation, as that would require vocal input by both participants), we discover that she had tried warning her father many-a time, but to no avail. She then asks Link to recover the remaining Spiritual Stones that would open the Door of Time, to prevent Ganondorf from opening it and finding the path to the Sacred Realm, from which he would obtain the Triforce. She undoubtedly does this because she is in no position to go on an adventure and find them by herself; not only would her father not allow her to go, but she lacks Link’s courage, and has no skills in the way of fighting off enemies at this point. In all fairness, Link’s only past experience in this area is breaking the curse on the Great Deku Tree, but Zelda has foreseen that it must be Link who completes this task and the others that await him, and upon getting this opportunity, she doesn’t miss it.

Link then sets out to get the other two Spiritual Stones, during which time, Zelda can do nothing but wait, unsure of whether or not her dreams will become reality, hoping that Link will return in time. Unfortunately, he doesn’t. Ganondorf suddenly attacks the castle, most likely killing the king and going on to pursue Zelda. Knowing that she, too, mostly likely faces death if she were to be captured, she flees. With her nursemaid, Impa, by her side for further protection, Zelda goes into hiding for seven years, as she awaits Link’s return.

In that time, Zelda disguises herself so that Ganondorf may never find her should Link not return. Now, before I start an all-out war in the comments, keep an open mind as you read on, and let me approach the character of Sheik… with caution…

First of all, I personally feel that Sheik is female. Since I was first introduced to the character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and while I know that it is not canon, in that game, Sheik has a feminine figure, long, tied-back hair, in her description she is described as female, her alter ego is Zelda, and her design was based off a design for Sheik in the development of Twilight Princess. Now, in the original Ocarina of Time, the only thing that would suggest that Sheik being female is the fact that her alter ego is Zelda. This is conflicted with by Ruto referring to Sheik as a man (though, whilst playing the game, I felt that she was simply mistaken in believing Sheik to be a man), other sources also claim that Sheik is male, and Sheik’s official art has a very masculine build. However, in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Sheik retains her masculine build, but is still referred to as female. And then in Ocarina of Time 3D, Sheik’s figure has been redone to look more feminine than masculine.

I can also see reason to believe that Sheik is male, in that, due to Ganondorf’s powers (thanks to the Triforce of Power), he would be able to sense her if she simply hid, cut her hair, and changed her eye color. Using magic to rewrite her biology to be a Sheikah would hide her from these powers, and going even further to transform into a Sheikah male, she would be completely unsuspected.

What this all boils down to is that I’m open to the idea of Sheik being male, but I prefer to think that she is female, and I will be referring to her as such.

Under the disguise of Sheik, she is trained by Impa should she ever need to defend herself. From there, she simply waits for Link to return. But in seven years, couldn’t she have done something to aid in Link’s quest to save Hyrule? She knows that it must be him that ultimately saves the day, but that doesn’t mean she can’t help. She could plant seeds, ideas of rebellion within the people, seek out those amidst his ranks who would turn on him, like Nabooru, and watch the idea bloom into a fully thought-out plan to take back Castle Town, and allow Link easier access to Ganondorf.

But no. She does nothing. Freeing Ruto from the ice in Zora’s Domain can’t count unless it took her seven years to slowly dig into the ice until Ruto was completely free. So why does she do nothing? Does she feel that saving Hyrule is entirely up to Link? That he only needs guidance throughout the rest of his journey?

I don’t see any other possible explanation. But anyway, seven long years later, Link reappears, and Sheik, as if being alerted by Rauru, is automatically there upon his arrival within the Temple of Time. She catches Link up on all the hot gossip about what’s been goin’ down lately; Sages need awakening, their locations, Ganondorf rules Hyrule, stuff like that. I guess Rauru didn’t alert her to the fact that he’d already done most of that.

Every time Link reaches a new location, Sheik mysteriously appears and teaches him a new song so that he is able to return to those locations whenever he desires, and gives him any extra info that he may need in going ahead. This is when I believe that Sheik frees Ruto; while Link is going through whichever Temple he is going through before the Water Temple, which is usually the Fire Temple, but it’s up to the player to decide in which order they complete the dungeons in, and in the event that the Water Temple is attempted first, Sheik frees Ruto and then meets Link in the Temple of Time.

When Link has freed all the Sages, he returns to the Temple of Time, where Sheik transforms back into Zelda. This sudden revelation of her true identity alerts Ganondorf, who quickly steals her away, and Link, now aware of her location and predicament goes after her.

I often wonder why Zelda suddenly let Link know who she was. She knew that Ganondorf’s sealing was close at hand, but she couldn’t wait about half an hour for him to be gone and for her to safely reveal herself. What was she planning to do, just go strolling up to Ganon’s Castle in a pink dress and high-heels in the hope that she would be able to fight alongside Link in this attire as he shatters the barriers to the central tower and in the final fight against Ganondorf (and then Ganon)?

But anyways, she gets captured and can only watch as Link and Ganondorf engage in their magic tennis match, reciting the score in her head: 15-Love to Ganondorf, 15-15, 15-30, 15-40, Game to Link.

Then Ganondorf brings the castle down, either knowingly or unknowingly freeing Zelda from her solid-light prison, but Zelda and Link escape the collapsing tower. They could’ve used either Zelda’s magic or Navi’s powers to teleport to the bottom, or the Ocarina of Time to teleport back to the Temple of Time. But instead, they decide to jog, not run, down the spiralling staircase which connects all the floors of the tower until they reach the bottom.

During their escape, Link faces some Stalfos and a Redead, but again, Zelda doesn’t help. She just stands there and gasps whenever Link gets help. She is aware that she has magic, as she uses it to open every grate that blocks their way, but she doesn’t use it to help Link in any way, except for producing hearts after his encounters with these foes. Anyways, they escape the castle and watch as it crumbles. They think it is over, but then Ganondorf soars from the ruins of the structure, and using the Triforce of Power, he transforms into Ganon. And this time, Zelda does help… a little.

At the beginning of the encounter, Link and Ganon are sealed in a ring of fire together, and Ganon knocks the Master Sword from Link’s hand, and it stabs into the ground just behind Zelda. But does she throw it back to him? No. Why not? I asked myself this question several times when playing the game. Does she think the wall of flames is going to stop the Master Sword from getting back to Link? Does she not want to touch a potentially harmful object? Or did she try to get the Master Sword out of the ground, but after losing all of her Sheik-muscles, she was again weak, and it took her a little while to free it?

Ganon then recomposes himself and attacks Link again, reigniting the wall of fire. Link then weakens Ganon again this time using the Master Sword, and Zelda sees it fit to use her power to hold Ganon in place while Link deals the final blows: slashing his face just for fun before driving the Master Sword through his head, but he survives (most likely due to still possessing the Triforce of Power).

But why does Zelda help now? Ganon is weak enough for Link to mortally wound him anyways, she doesn’t need to hold him still, but she does, most likely just to feel like she did play a role in the final battle after all. At the end of it all, the Sages seal Ganon in the Evil Realm, and Zelda apologizes for stealing Link’s childhood, taking the Ocarina of Time from him and returning him to his childhood… not by playing the Song of Time, but by playing Zelda’s Lullaby. This is the first and only instance in the entire game, and series, when Zelda’s Lullaby is shown to have time-traversing capabilities.

Back in his childhood, Link decides to prevent the events concerning Ganondorf from ever happening, and goes to find the young Princess Zelda. When he finds her, she turns around, and they have a moment of silent acknowledgement.

I don’t exactly know how this is possible, as the adult Zelda has clearly returned Link to a time before Zelda fled the castle, and either before or after Link first visited her with the Kokiri’s Emerald. But I’m not here to discuss the implications of that moment, I’m here to fully flesh-out Zelda’s actions in Ocarina of Time, ponder on why she did these things, and offer a further insight to her character. And that’s what I’ve done. Please let me know what you think in the comments.


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  • ChucknorrisLoZ

    yoloswaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag

    • Meddy Awardey

      Totally.

  • http://www.youtube.com/zakabajak94 Zakabajak

    To be fair, I don’t think Zelda was capable of taking the Master Sword out of the ground in the final fight since Link is the only one who can wield it. Everything else though; ya done goofed Zelda.

    • Alex88

      I dunno she was able to pick it up in Wind Waker…
      Honestly who knows though.

      • Roth

        There are actually two distinct rules: evil cannot touch it, and only the chosen hero can wield it. I.E., Zelda could pick it up and hand it to Link, but she couldn’t fight with it (or pull it out of the Pedestal of Time).

        I think the reason she didn’t toss it back to Link in OoT had something to do with, oh, that big wall of fire physically separating them. You might think you could throw something metal through flame, but the Master Sword is a pretty hefty blade and even as Sheik she was probably more about agility than brute strength. Also, if you’ve ever been to a bonfire out of control, you know that a blazing dome of that size is going to be extremely hot, keeping you well distanced from it at best and blasting a flying object off-course at worst. Not to mention, it was magical fire, designed to be a physical barrier keeping Link from his sword. Zelda didn’t really have a choice, at least until the flames let up.

        • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

          Yeah, and what if she underestimated the weight of the sword and it landed in the fire? Link’s problem just got a whole lot worse….

    • Zelda is the Bomb!!!

      There’s a difference between wielding something and picking it up. Picking up it up is…well…picking it up. WIELDING it means using it, like wielding a weapon in battle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/linkthehero2007 Rachel Duece

    thats weird that she spent 7yrs doing nothing

    • linkasourous

      I spent 7 yrs doing nothing lol xD jk

  • http://www.facebook.com/kaynil Kaynil Roczuz

    I think that we didn’t see the seven years for being trapped in the Light Temple, she could actually have tried most things you mentioned and we are simply unaware because we didn’t notice. Maybe she did things but couldn’t risk to make things as in the open – as Link kept doing – that would put her in Ganondorf’s view as a (even if minimal) threat. So long she was alive, Ganondorf wouldn’t get her piece of the Triforce.

    Now it could be that the magic to reveal herself to Link at the Temple of Time weakened her just to be trapped by Ganondorf and remain there until Link’s arrival. Perhaps she didn’t run to not spend her energy and kept her magic to the minimal as she knew that opening the void to the Sacred Realm could be a possibility. Her expression changes completely once the castle starts crumbling, I think she realized at this point they hadn’t won and that is why she tried her best to conserve as much of her energy as possible.

    Well, that;s my take in this beautiful, lady. i think in her more as cautious than lazy or coward.

  • Tzmhero

    Going back to my idea from the earlier article about Link I commented on, I still continue to believe a large portion of the game’s message is about responsibility. Link and Zelda meet after Link is told by his only parental figure, with his dying breath no less, to go find her; which of course started this whole thing. Link meets Zelda, who very quickly deduces that he is a Kokiri and that he has the Spiritual Stone of Forest, and begins explaining to him about the legend of the Triforce.

    Now, I have to say, it is at this moment the entire game’s ball starts rolling. Zelda starts him on his journey to go find the other Two Spiritual Stones in hopes that they can get to the Triforce before Ganondorf does, but as we all know, this doesn’t work out according to plan. Ganondorf not only knew that Link and Zelda were doing this, but also most likely knew of that little stipulation that you had to be of a mature age and pure of heart to lift the Master Sword. Zelda did not know this information… nor could she really leave the castle to go along with Link on his journey. Link was to be her knight chess piece, and she would have to bide her time, knowing that he would require the Ocarina of Time, and that she simply could not leave. A Princess suddenly vanishing could cause a sort of chaos she most likely did not want to cause. Little did she know things were already in play that she could not even comprehend.

    Now, Ganondorf is a master manipulator, he is pulling the strings from the beginning, and we know this. Hell, I’d wager the reason he hadn’t attacked the castle before Link journey’s to Hyrule is because he had no certainty that anyone would be bringing the Spiritual Stone along with them. He had cursed the Deku tree for NOT giving him the stone, and so he had to find another method to retrieve it. That method was Link. Ganondorf saw him as he peaked through the window, knew exactly what zelda had been planning because it was what HE had also been planning, and so he converted Link into his secret little Knight in this game of chess. Ganondorf cursed and attacked the villages and people that held the last two stones, knowing Link would earn their trust and receive them himself. You see, Ganondorf was not only the bad guy, he was PLAYING the bad guy in order to make Link apear even more as a good guy so the other people would trust him. He attacked the castle when he did only to push Link and Zelda together just one more time, knowing that she held the ocarina of Time, and that she would have to trade it off to Link in order to complete the unlocking. Ganondorf was much MUCH smarter than anyone had guessed from a bandit King.

    Going back to Link and Zelda. After Ganondorf split the Triforce, she had to know that it was because of Link and her actions that all of this occured. There is only the smallest of chances that Ganondorf would have been able to get the Triforce by himself, and so they played into his hand completely. It was because they were children, playing a game they did not understand with repercussions they could not comprehend. Zelda had not done all of the research she needed in order to send Link on his quest, she didn’t know Link would be sealed away because he had not been of a mature body when he lifted the Master Sword. This was both of their fault… and fixing this would have to be their responsibility.

    Zelda got to work, first forming another identity, most likely using a sort of magic that concealed her voice and form as a sort of perception filter so the people of Hyrule would not have any idea who she was, going a step further and making this new ‘Sheik’ identity a different race from her own but also possibly a different, if not androgynous, gender. She also spent the past seven years learning about the lands, the people, and the areas she knew Link would have to travel to in order to fix the mistakes they had caused. She researched and learned the different songs of each land, knowing the Ocarina of Time could use them to harness powerful magicks, she also researched the evil that was sealed under the Well in Kakoriko. Finally, she also researched and found the power of the Ligh Arrows, the final gift she could give Link in his upcoming battle.

    Near the end of the game, she reveals herself to Link, most likely pulling aside her perception filter in order for him to see who she really was. I also do not know why she would have done this… perhaps she knew Gandorf was watching, and knew that if she showed herself he would capture her… giving Link even more reason to go stop the man, but that’s going into some territory I am not ready to enter.

    At the end of it all, Zelda had a responsibility to stop what had occurred simply because she was a child who did not understand what she would do. Link had little choice in the matter, but very quickly understood that he also had to fix the problems he helped create.

    Responsibility my friends. This is what ocarina of Time is about.

    Oh, and Time. Gosh theres so much time. You have to play the Song of TIME in the Temple of TIME, in front of the Door of TIME, Then you lift the Master Sword from the Pedastal of TIME in order to become the Hero of TIME after traveling seven years through TIME, finally to meet the Princess Zelda who is the Sage of TIME! Gosh!

    • http://www.facebook.com/SpiritReika Scott Reika Ripberger

      And get deported back to KENYAAA…..sorry, that’s what your final time rant reminded me of.

      ONE thing I’d add to your masterful explanations. I like to believe that Zelda WAS concealing herself with magic and that it takes a fair amount of magic power to do so. I also like to believe that Zelda, in essence, summoned the light arrows from the last sanctuary in the Sacred Realm and possibly even CREATED them as there is nothing, to my knowledge, in the timeline before Ocarina unless there’s something in Skyward I’m missing due to not having played it yet. That would undoubtedly require intense concentration and A LOT of magic power. She removed her concealment to concentrate on the spell at hand. If she failed and was captured before she could give Link the Light Arrow, all would have been lost.

      As for the final battle…in the same spirit of the last paragraph, she has already used a lot of magic in a short amount of time (as Cameron states, it only takes at most an hour to complete Ganon’s Castle), so she only uses as much as she must to get them out while keeping enough to hold Ganon and start opening the Evil Realm.

      I do agree that she should have used the Song of Time instead of Zelda’s Lullaby, though. :P

      Also I’d like to say that true wisdom comes through trial and error; experience. No matter what magical lineage or powerful artifact someone has, they are still fallible.

  • Ganon’s Afro

    It’s possible those seven years were spent training. I mean since Zelda’s so wimpy she cant lift a sword, it seems like she would need a lot of training time!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1817858155 Nicolas Gagnon

    Poor charachter development, one of OoT flaws.

    • Roth

      I can’t wait to see how ridiculous Ganondorf is made out to be. I never thought he was very smart in OoT.

      • MiniJen

        I totally agree that he’s not the brightest villain in the world. What really got me was right after Zelda reveals herself and Ganondorf captures her. I get why, since she has the Triforce of Wisdom and Ganondorf wants the full Triforce, but WHY IN DIN’S NAME does he not even make an attempt to capture Link, who is right there with Zelda, and who also has the Triforce of Courage, not to mention, he’s the only one who can stop him? I mean, seriously!!! You can’t be that stupid! I get the fact that Ganondorf is using Zelda as bait to lure Link to his castle, but he must have known that Link would possibly be able to do some pretty sizable damage with the Master Sword. That’s one of the most annoying things in OoT to me! Sorry for the rant though :)

        • Roth

          Huh, I actually never thought about that. My question was always, why didn’t he kill Zelda and take her Triforce, then use both against Link, like he boasted? In WW he lets them reassemble, sure; but Link was able to kill Ganon in Zelda 1 and take his Triforce, so is the reassembly bit really necessary? Can only someone with balanced virtues do it the other way? What happens if he wins and LttP happens, anyway — how does he get the whole Triforce? I’ve been pondering this for some time and my research has spawned an extensive article, which I’m still working on wrapping up. Hopefully I’ll debut here on ZD pretty soon!

          As for capturing Link… Maybe he could only get one of them, for some limitation or another, and he knew that grabbing Link would mean letting Zelda escape and potentially never finding the last Triforce piece. Otherwise, I guess he was just nearsighted.

        • MistyDragon

          Well, what if Ganondorf was 100% positive that he could take Link head on in battle? He boasts his strength and even told Link after his fight with Ganondorf’s reincarnated ghost (?) that he wasn’t using his full strength and that Link only won because of the Master Sword plus a little luck. This explains why Ganon disarms Link in the first part of the final battle (with Ganon; not Ganondorf). There’s also reason to why Ganondorf might think like this. With the unintentional aid of Link, he was able to take over Hyrule single-handed, plagued each temple of Hyrule so that the soon-to-be Sages couldn’t hear their respected temple’s call, and caused a huge depression in Hyrule. Not to mention that Ganondorf knew all along about Young Link and Zelda’s plan to “try to stop him”, and he played stupid because he knew Link would find all the stones and open the Door of Time. He might also have known that Link would be too young at the time to harness the Master Sword’s powers and built an evil to try and stop him. Ganondorf -by far- was not stupid; his fatal flaw was his ego and arrogance.

    • Guest

      A flaw of OoT? Really? For a 1998 game, it has pretty great (yet subtle) character development.

  • Roth

    Sheik was never male. She, Zelda, adopted stereotypical masculine characteristics so that nobody would realize on first glance that she was female. It’s part of the disguise and part of the discipline as a Sheikah (look at Impa’ abs!). I don’t know why people get in such a huff about this issue; people don’t argue that Samus was male until she took off her suit. The surprise was genuine, but it wasn’t a change of reality.

  • Blackbaldrik

    I can’t really think of anything Zelda could have done in Link’s absence besides hide.
    It’s entirely possible that if she used any of her magic Ganondorf would have been able to immediately spot her, and capture her.
    Plus, what would the point of a rebellion be versus someone who wields unparalleled magical power, commands an army who live for nothing other than to serve him, and is nigh on immortal? (He survives being stabbed in the friggin’ face by the Blade of Evil’s Bane.)

    It is also possible (as other commentators have pointed out) that Zelda is incapable of wielding the Master Sword due to her not being the chosen hero, and even if she could wield it, it may have been pushed into the ground with incredible magical force, so only someone who can lift several tons can free it, and I highly doubt that was normal fire seeing as people can run through normal fire (especially people who have clothing so fire retardant and heat resistant that they can walk in lava).

    Furthermore, when Ganondorf was collapsing the castle, he could have been suppressing any magical abilities, as to prevent an easy escape. Thus explaining why neither you nor Zelda can teleport out, and why all she can do is open locked doors.

    /Rant type thing over. Thank you for your time. (=

  • Brodieman

    It’s entirely possible that she spent those seven years training to be a Sheikah at an undisclosed location. That doesn’t seem like something you just learn overnight, and most likely took the entire seven years for her to get it all down. When Link came out of the Sacred Realm back into Hyrule, she had to have been alerted to his presence, and thus met him at the Temple of Time and continued to watch over him during his journey, giving him advice but not really interfering so as not to screw anything up. I also believed that she turned back into Zelda when she did because she genuinely believed they were safe at that point. She must’ve thought that two pieces of the Triforce together couldn’t be messed with. Either that, or she could only tap into the power of the Triforce as Zelda, and since Zelda and Shiek were essentially two different people, the gods would only allow the power of the Triforce of Wisdom to Zelda, and not Shiek. I also believe that only Link himself can touch the Master Sword. which is why she was unable to give him the sword after Ganon knocked it away.

  • Mister

    So you say the stereotypical idea that Zelda gets captured and Link has to go save her is often incorrect. Why? You say because she evades capture. But then you follow it up with after all the time spent in hiding, she then gets captured and Link has to go save her. So… yes. It turns out the stereotypical idea of Zelda is true. In fact, any game with Zelda follows this pattern. So… what was the point of that argument again?

    • Blackbaldrik

      I recently talked about a subject somewhat close to this.

      While Zelda is captured (or otherwise in need of saving) in most of the games. I don’t believe she should be classified as “That princess who always needs rescuing.” Zelda’s capture is usually a symptom of the reason Link is there, rather than actually being the reason.
      She is also capable of fighting back (for the most part). But a lot of the time she is up against insurmountable odds, like the total invasion of Hyrule (on several occasions), forcing her to surrender, and subsequently be imprisoned.

      I think this is at least kind of what the article writer was getting at.
      Zelda doesn’t exactly fit that “Princess in distress” archetype.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SpiritReika Scott Reika Ripberger

    I would like to know why Link had to be so old to weild the Master Sword in Ocarina of Time, but in Wind Waker he was only a couple years older than Young Link, though apparently ‘a man’.

    • Blah

      Maybe the old rules surrounding the Master Sword became obsolete when it was pulled from its pedestal for the first time.

  • Christopher Baggaley

    LOL

  • Mseevers95

    I can analyze Zelda from Twilight Princess in two words:

    Ice Queen

  • Kiwah

    if you read the manga it makes much more sense about a lot of things o3o

  • Gee Bee

    I always thought that Sheik was meant to look like a guy. I didn’t like the re-design on the 3DS. I remember the first time I found out Sheik was Zelda and being surprised because I thought it was a guy and Zelda had maybe left Hyrule or something.
    As for her abilities and powers and what she might have been doing for her seven years as Sheik, you get the impression she was spying on Ganondorf (she always knows what he is planning to do) and discovering secrets around Hyrule such as the warp songs etc. However, as for fighting, lets remember the differences between the Triforces. In Skyward Sword, they are united within Link, so he has equal balance of wisdom, power and courage. This means his wishes come true etc, and that he cannot lose against Demise. However in OoT the Triforce splits. Ganondorf’s power means he can control other people and cause great destruction. Link’s courage means he can conquer any situation/battle and therefore save Hyrule. Zelda’s wisdom means she can act as a guide whilst restoring peace, law and order (Nayru’s qualities in the Triforce) to the world. The powers don’t really cross over. So while Zelda does have power, they are not the same powers as Link.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ProgressiveM Brad Dodds

    I think Zelda knew that if she helped too much, Link wouldn’t be ready for his final battle, and would eventually lose to Ganondorf. As for playing the Ocarina to escape from the tower, maybe Ganondorf’s last breath was to not only make it collapse, but to seal off any escape for them whatsoever.

    Using the Ocarina to play Zelda’s Lullaby to transport Link to his own time probably comes from her own power coupled with the Ocarina. Link can use magic, sure, but very simple magic, nothing like Zelda can wield. Also, remember Impa’s words to Link “These notes seem to have mysterious power”. This can be interpreted many ways. It could mean that the song responds to the desire of the player. For example, besides the obvious uses throughout the game for it, like proving the connection to the royal family, it can open tombs, change water levels, fix broken signs, and even possibly put young children to sleep. *coughsarcasmcough*. Each of these things has nothing to do with the other at all.

    Finally, to top it all off, the song transports Link back in time to a convenient location at the right time for him to go tell Zelda everything that happened. How Zelda finally convinces her father as Link had nothing for proof, I don’t know. Regardless, the song clearly shows it has the power to make the player’s desire come to light. Maybe it is single handedly the most powerful song ever to be composed in Hyrule, and since it is the very first song we learn, we take it for granted.

    • Hero-of-the-Sky

      I wouldn’t say that it is necessarily simple magic(probably wouldn’t be too simple to cast invincibility spells), but that Link is only able channel it in certain ways. AKA, Link has enormous magical power, but not enough “finesse” to manipulate it very well.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ProgressiveM Brad Dodds

        … This is true, good sir. Thinking to Super Smash Bros Melee and Brawl, Zelda casts the same spells as Link in OoT. But it seems to me in OoT, Link can only activate the magic for short bursts of immense power, while Zelda wields the same magic on a much smaller but more precise level, which is why she is able to time Nayru’s love to forcibly remove enemies from her strike zone (though I think I prefer Link’s Nayru’s love, but I would love to be able to use Din’s Fire for long range attacks or Farore’s Wind to teleport out of harm’s way, but remain in the same general area). But this is assuming her use of this magic is canon, of course.

  • Intra the Sheikah

    Am I wrong at this? I recall an instance at when someone mentions only the ‘Hero’ can touch/ weild the Master Sword. That’s why I believe Zelda did not throw back the sword to Link when he was facing Beast Ganon. Also, I too, think that Sheik is a female (please don’t make fun of me *sweatdrop*) and while her face and body structure had changed, the essence of Zelda had not yet dissipate or fade, and she needed only a disguise, not a total change of gender, ego, or character. I think Zelda could have a TON more helpful on the escape from the tower, and she clearly wasn’t drained from the opening of the gates or bars or whatever…

  • Red_Link 64

    Perhaps Zelda only thought she would get in Link’s way and was waiting for the right moment. I don’t know.

  • Guest

    Think of it this way: Sheik is just a costume Zelda wears. Of course characters like Ruto refer to Sheik as male–that’s the persona Zelda is trying to convey. I mean, if she could just magically alter her entire physiology, why would she even need to wrap most of her face and muffle her voice?

    Anyway, OoT Zelda might be one of my favorite incarnations of the princess. She actually does something instead of get captured (save for the last half hour of the game). I agree with people who say she underwent a great deal of training during those seven years of Link’s absence. If Link was too young to be the Hero of Time, Zelda was probably too young to do much herself as well until the time he woke up. I suppose you could say the two started this together in their quest to stop Ganondorf as children, and they needed to finish it together as adults. And if she’s trying to keep herself hidden from Ganondorf, guiding Link becomes her primary role. Don’t forget, we get small hints that she has been helping out quite a bit as Sheik–we’re just not around to see it.

    In regards to her sudden reveal at the Temple of Time–she may have believed it to be the best possible time to do reveal her true identity. For one thing, Link knows very little about Sheik, and Zelda may have wanted to assure him that he was not being lead astray this whole time by an untrustworthy foe. Furthermore, she still needed to give Link the Light Arrows before the battle with Ganondorf, and it’s possible that giving them to him earlier would have been too obvious as clue as to her identity. Waiting until right before Link goes off to the final battle minimizes the amount of time Ganondorf has to detect her while also allowing her to reunite with Link and help him with her powers. Now of course Ganondorf is alerted to her presence anyway, and the developers gave her very minimal involvement in the final battle. But it’s just a minor theory, and my point is that she had to take advantage of the best (albeit very risky) opportunity to reveal herself as the princess. Things certainly could have gone much better, but I believe that is what the game symbolically is about–growing up, taking responsibility, and doing what you need to do even if the odds are stacked against you.

    You bring up some good points, and I appreciate your attempt at diving deeper in the characters of OoT (characters who I personally feel are much deeper than people often give them credit for). So I am a bit disappointed to see that your analysis in your two articles is quite shallow. I mean no disrespect, but they read like essentially a summary of what the character does with very little critical analysis behind their actions or motives. Referring to Zelda’s involvement in the final moments in the fight against Ganon as just her feeling like she needs to play a role in the battle, or your lack of any other possible reasoning behind Zelda’s alleged inaction over the course of Link’s seven-year slumber, is not evident of deep or thoughtful analysis.

  • Daniel Knapp II

    There is something interesting at the end of OoT, and that is that Link has the Triforce on his hand, he has the Hyrulian shield, and he seems that this is after getting the third spiritual stone, but before Zelda is taken away by Impa at Ganon’s attack (which means pre-time travelling Link wasted time after getting the third stone). It is clearly the day-time link returns to Zelda, but before night when they escape. (also, a split time-line with a part of the Triforce travelling with Link means there are now two Triforces of Courage in the Child timeline?)

    This could make sense, maybe Ganon was captured after Link warned them of the attack that is supposed to happen that very night (which would have provided all the evidence needed for guilt to be found, not counting the dead guard in the town ally). This also allows Ganon to have found the Triforce of Power before the attack. After this, Ganon is judged, slain, enter Twilight Princess.

    The trick here is just to keep in mind that the Link that meets Zelda in the court yeard is not a rehash from the beginning of the game, but a second event that takes place later, probably after Link leaves for the Future, and before Ganon’s attack.

    The one thing that confuses me (as I am sure it does many others), is the third “hero’s defeat” timeline. it says in Hystoria that Link lost to Ganon, creating the split. But it would make more sense if Link was defeated in the Spirit Temple after travelling back as a kid creating another time split? In fact, I was sold on this theory until Hystoria came out. Anyways…

    Great article, I was hoping you would give some conclusion/opinion and not just “here’s the facts,” but still insightful! Thanks!

  • http://www.controlpaddesign.com/ TheMaverickk

    The whole “Sheik is male” thing is only important to people who make it.

    As far as I’m concerned it’s Zelda in disguise, not a separate character. That alone kind of just puts aside the whole gender debate, cause at the end of the day whether or not physically/genetically male is irrelevant because it’s still Zelda, a female at her core.

    It doesn’t matter if Zelda cleverly concealed her gender, or if she used magic to alter her physical make up, or to create the illusion she was a young man…. whatever the method she was using doesn’t matter. What matters is that Sheik is a disguise, a mask, a cover up, nothing more then a defense mechanism.

    At the end of the day everything that Sheik was doing, was really just Zelda doing what she needed to in her fight against Ganondorf.

    Also I don’t think Ganondorf found Zelda simply because she revealed herself by removing her Shiek persona…. I think a part of her discovery is in her use of the Triforce of Wisdom (that moment when she reveals it on the back of her hand). I think it’s safer to say that those who hold a fragment of the Triforce can sense where other pieces are and when they are in use, since although separate pieces, they are still one in the same.

  • Midna’s Sister

    What trophy is for the magical tennis match BD

  • Random!

    I have asked those questions myself many times. What I came up with was that she felt as if it wasn’t in her place to fight monsters, that was up to Link. And why did she reveal herself to Link right at that moment? Because she was having one of those moments (we all have them) where she wasn’t using her Triforce of Wisdom! She was only using her brain. XP
    If I was her I would have fought monsters, spread seeds of doubt, find out who was one my side during the 7 years. Then when Link awakened the 7 sages I would have fought side by side with him to get to the caslte, then when Ganondorf was defeated (with my help, of course) I would have turned back into Zelda. Why she didn’t do that? I don’t know.
    And other things I wonder about in Zelda: So when Zelda sent him back Link had already gotten the Korkiri’s Emerald, what did he do with it? And why did Navi leave? I know she was an annoyince, but really why? There really was no reason for it. How come Zelda played her lullaby instead of the Song of Time? I just don’t get OoT Zelda.

  • I WANT IT

    I read title and see “who is ocarina of times princess zelda?”
    I say zelda.
    Then I Read the article, and realize that I REALLY NEED TO PLAY OCARINA OF TIME.

    • npatoray24

      me too, just need then time…. i forget alot its been almost ten years since i played and beat it

  • OwnerofTriforce

    Well, a lot can happen during 7 years. Who says Sheik/Zelda didn’t help with anything? We don’t know exactly what happened during these years. Maybe things could’ve been even worse if not for something Sheik did? She’s stealthy and sneaky and can probably do many things without any people noticing, which can be why we don’t hear much about what she’s done from other people, other than Ruto. It’s possible that she has done a lot more than we know of.

  • oozy the wolf

    zelda still wouldn’t have been able to stop ganon. the master sword is only usable by link because only the hero of time can use the master sword and only the hero can pull it out of the ground.

  • http://www.facebook.com/neocrimsonnight Grant Wilde

    I actually don’t think Zelda did nothing during the 7 years, I mean how do we know for sure either way? Things could’ve have been a lot lot worse but Zelda prevented them. This idea actually lead me to write a story about Zelda’s actions throughout the story of OoT when I was about 12 lol: http://www.crimsonnight.com/html/zelda_s_story.html
    It’s shockingly shit, but I’m a bit of a writer these days so would like to explore this concept more if people are keen…

  • Turtles!

    Anyone find it weird that the Song of Time wasn’t used to bring Link back in time in OoT?

  • The Fierce Diety

    I don’t know. I guess the reason why Zelda didn’t do anything to help the zoras or the gorons would be because she CANT do it. Im not implying that she is completely helpless as Sheik, but more implying that anything she could have done would have exposed her to Ganondorf. If she used any magic on the frozen zoras or the gorons, it would have been the exact same as sending up a flare shouting “come and get me!” That was how she got captured at the temple of time, believing that the magic of the temple concealed her from Gannondorfs view and the desire to tell Link everything about the last seven years which lead to her magic transformation from Sheik and thereby sending up a magical alert flare right at Gannondorfs front door. Thats my opinion anyway.

  • npatoray24

    only the chosen hero can wield the master sword, and she is not the chosen hero

  • http://www.facebook.com/noj.jon.1 Jon Noj

    I first(with the help of my bro and dad) beat OoT before I understood it, so I knew Sheik was Zelda before i could ever be surprised by it lol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Ryals/624098565 Allen Ryals

    There are two dungeons in the wind waker where sages pray to keep the power to repel evil in the master sword. We can only assume these dungeons exist in oot too (though not seen in game) maybe during the 7 years as shiek, zelda protected these two sages while awaiting the return of Link.

  • morpheel

    If sheik was male, zelda would have gone through puberty as a guy.

  • Agent Georgia

    My theory is that Sheik spent the seven years honing her fighting/magic skills and gathering information, which could be the reason that she knows the songs for teleporting, and that she appears there to provide us with her hard-earned information, but it would be nice for her to dig a straight path in the Lost Woods for Link. very good points though.

  • SimonJester

    One thought: we assume Zelda and Link are the same age in Ocarina of Time. What if Zelda is a year or two younger? Link is, what, somewhere between 9 and 12; any less than 9 and seven years wouldn’t be enough time for him to be fully grown as an adult, and any more than 12 and he wouldn’t be so small as a child.

    If Zelda’s a little younger, it immediately explains why she didn’t do very much aggressive, physical action until around the time Link re-emerges from the Temple of Time: she was too young to do anything BUT train in Sheikah “ninja techniques.” :D

    By the time she’s physically mature enough to be a warrior-heroine in her own right, six or seven years have already passed, and Link’s already on the move.

  • Scott

    I believe the reason that she does nothing for seven years is that Impa is teaching her the ways of the Shiekah, and teaching her how to defend herself.

  • Hyrule Histeria

    Here’s something I think that some people overlook. In the “Shiek’s gender” argument it basically goes like this: “Shiek is male ’cause he looks like a guy.” “No she isn’t, she’s just just wearing padding to make her look buff.” Could it be that female shiekah look slightly masculine due to them having a dramatically reduced amount of body fat? (look at young Impa from SS!)

  • Hyrule Histeria

    more stuff on that theory: look at OoT Impa. She’s like a million years old but still looks like she could go 12 rounds with just about any MMA fighter on the planet…all at the same time.