Link is a courageous fellow, there’s no disputing that. But does jumping head-first into danger make him a halfwit? No– every iteration of Link must possess a certain amount of cunning to solve all those puzzles and expertly wield his arsenal of weapons. Regardless, while it may be easy to say that the Zelda in Skyward Sword or Breath of the Wild’s would be a stellar student, it’s a bit harder to pin-down Link’s academic abilities.

There are many types of intelligence, so while most Links are smart, they would all achieve differing levels of academic success. To get the best grades, Link will have to be motivated to do well, disciplined, and interested in book-learning as opposed to just hands-on work. 

Link is depicted as lazy (or, at least sleepy) in quite a few titles, most notably Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword. It’s safe to assume that these iterations of Link are not the most studious of the bunch. And it’s hard to apply our criteria to some Links who we know little about apart from the fact that they’re brave. There are a lot of Links who I know are able to rise to a challenge and see a commitment through. They would likely do well with the right teachers, but whether or not they’re academically-inclined is yet to be seen.

The most likely suspects for success in school, I believe, are the Links from Twilight Princess and Spirit Tracks.

  • Twilight Princess Link is a more grounded hero than most, and I feel that he’s one of the most likely to be content returning to civilian life after his adventure. So he could certainly sit still in a classroom. He follows direction well, as evidenced by his learning to herd goats and sumo wrestle. And if he set out to get an education, he’d be motivated in part because of the great support system his neighbors in Ordon would provide and because he knows he can reach out to his scholar-friend Shad for some crunch-time tutoring. If given the opportunity to go to school like Skyward Sword Link, I’m convinced Twilight Princess Link would earn higher marks.
  • Spirit Tracks’ Link is more of an open-and-shut case than Twilight Princess’ Link, whose scholarly aptitude is mostly conjecture. The Link in Spirit Tracks worked for years as Alfonzo’s apprentice to one day become a Royal Engineer. Engineering is a challenging field and the Royal Engineers need to be the best-of-the-best, so it’s clear that this Link has heaps of booksmarts. To fulfill his dream he had to have been disciplined and intrinsically motivated, and we come to find out that he’s also loyal and adaptable. If the perfect student existed, this Link might be it. So, I’m declaring him top-of-the-class.

What do you think? Is there a Link who’d make a better pupil than the one from Spirit Tracks? Share your thoughts in the comments!

This Daily Debate was inspired by Discord user @DrewandtheDominos and Andy Spiteri
Header image by ♥ Alderion-Al ♥

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