comes in threes in The Legend of Zelda universe. There are the three Golden

Goddesses, three mirror shards, three sacred flames and three Spiritual Stones

to name a few. Of course, there are also the three parts of the Triforce and

their corresponding virtues of power, wisdom and courage.

Hyrule Historia reveals that the timeline also comes in three; with the chronology

splitting into three continuums following Ocarina of Time. These splits in the

timeline all originate from Link pulling the Master Sword, Ganondorf

entering the Sacred Realm and the fallout from that. Could it be that the

Triforce and an old Sheikah legend can rationalize the three-way timeline


This is the

story of the Triforce that Sheik imparts to Link in Ocarina of Time:


Triforce…the sacred triangle… it is a balance that weighs the three forces:

Power, Wisdom and Courage. If the heart of the one who holds the sacred

triangle has all three forces in balance, that one will gain the True Force to

govern all. But, if that one’s heart is not in balance, the Triforce will

separate into three parts: Power, Wisdom and Courage. Only one part will remain

for the one who touched the Triforce…the part representing the force that one

most believes in. If that one seeks the True Force, that one must acquire the

two lost parts. Those two parts will be held within others chosen by destiny,

who will bear the Triforce mark on the backs of their hands. – Sheik

Could this

scenario cause much more significant splits than just in the Triforce? Could

the separating of the Triforce into three pieces also tear the fabric of

existence into three alternative realities or dimensions? Each of the three splits

following Ocarina of Time can be attributed to each of the wielders of the

Triforce and their virtues.

If Link uses

his courage to overcome the King of Darkness, then Ganon is sealed within the

Sacred Realm leading to the events of The Wind Waker. However, if Ganondorf

uses his power to defeat Link then the Imprisoning War occurs, leading into the

events of A Link to the Past. Finally, if Zelda uses her wisdom, she sends Link

back in time to stop Ganondorf before he even begins, leading into Majora’s


Each timeline

very distinctly corresponds with each divine virtue of the Triforce. It is a

very nice concept in how it sounds, but whether it actually holds merit as a

legitimate theory is another question. It nicely ties the timeline to the

virtues, but does the old Sheikah legend neglect to mention that the repercussion

of splitting the Triforce is splitting existence itself?

We must

remember that the Triforce was actually in three separate parts in Skyward

Sword and was not complete until Link obtained all three pieces. Ganondorf’s

invasion of the Sacred Realm in Ocarina of Time is neither the first time the

Triforce has been utilized, nor was it the first time it wasn’t together. It

was; however, the first time it was split since becoming one.

Another point to consider is the nature of the

Triforce in relation to the timelines. With the split in the timeline, does the

Triforce become duplicated across all three timelines, or is there only one

true Triforce that the wilders on each timeline merely tap in to?

Such a notion reflects the more spiritual nature of

the Triforce (as in Ocarina of Time), whereas games like The Wind Waker and the

original convey that the Triforce is very literally a physical object. It comes

back to the question of whether the Goddesses are above the timeline split, or

are even they duplicated?

Let us suppose

that all three timeline splits are indeed in-universe, and merely alternate

dimensions of existence. Technically speaking, this would means that it is

possible for a future Legend of Zelda title to take place across multiple, or

all three, timelines.

The scope and

implications of such a story would be complex, and so most likely avoided by Nintendo, but

it could work if executed well. Zelda is no stranger to time and realm travel, so the possibility is there.

In conclusion,

while using the virtues of the Triforce adds a nice, almost story-book,

explanation to the three way split, it is more just flowery language than any solid

theoretical basis. There is no evidence that a split in the Triforce also

splits reality. It is not an impossibility, but remains merely a nice idea to

entertain over a legitimate explanation.


Thanks to Tony

Thielen and Liquidus for their comments on a recent

article that served as the basis for the theory in this piece.

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