Daily Debate: Which Zelda Character Would Be The Most Resistant To Therapy?
Posted on January 30 2023 by Alexis S. Anderson
The Zelda series is full of colorful characters from all walks of life. Some of these strong personalities could benefit from a bit of professional help letting go of their hangups or fitting more comfortably into social circles. Ironically, the Zelda characters who need therapy the most are those who might be most resistant to it: Ganondorf, Zant, and Vaati to name a few of the biggest contenders. But there many other strange characters who might not be too keen to admit they need help, like Tingle, Groose, Linebeck, Komali, and Agitha.
To my mind, Zant is the most in need of therapy and would likely be the most stubborn when confronted with the recommendation to go see a therapist. Ganondorf’s unwitting lackeys are all prime candidates for counseling, because they were so easily radicalized and have illusions of grandeur (believing Ganondorf will care for them at all once his goal is met). Zant is one of the worst because of his childish behavior– he essentially throws a hissy fit when he’s passed over for the throne in favor a Midna (with good reason, as Zant was ready to plunge the Twili into war with the World of Light). It isn’t clear that Midna did anything in particular to harm Zant or that she had poor leadership skills. Zant was a sore loser who decided that destroying the princess and becoming a despot himself was the only way to deal with his inferiority complex– rather than working to reform the system from within. It would be one thing if Midna and the ruling class in the Twilight Realm was oppressive, but that is not the impression the game gives, so I have little sympathy for Zant’s extremism.
The fact that he was so easily corrupted by Ganondorf also evidences his lack of self-confidence and struggle to strategize critically, preferring to come right out swinging. Zant needs therapy big time, but given his immaturity and lac of restraint, there is very little chance a therapist could have intervened during the events of Twilight Princess to stop Zant in his tracks. There was a possibility Zant might’ve agreed to see a therapist prior to jump starting Ganondorf’s plan, but he likely would have been looking for affirmation of his delusions and ultimately ignored anything the therapist told him to the contrary. A series of court-mandated therapy sessions might have made a dent, though. Especially if he started to see the therapist as a powerful authority figure and ally, like he saw Ganondorf. A similar analysis as above applies for most of the antagonists from Zelda games– people on power-trips of a world-ending nature are probably unwilling to change.
That said, let’s run through some of the quirkier characters: Tingle, Groose, Linebeck, Komali, and Agitha.
Tingle is a strange man. It’s a good bet that some things went wrong in his life that led him to seek comfort in a balloon-floating, map-making, fairy-man persona. And some things, like forcing his family to turn the head of the Tingle Tower day-in-and-day-out, suggest Tingle is pretty disturbed. It would take a lot to shake him out of his adopted identity, and he would be pretty defensive of it. For the most part, he is harmless though so he might be open to fixing some of his more concerning tendencies of greed and penchant for forced-labor while still staying true to himself.
Groose has a soft spot, but it takes some work to break through his tough-guy exterior so a therapist would really have to build trust to get him to let down those walls. Once he is comfortable, Groose would be open to learning not to worry about what others think of him, and to stop bullying people just to seem cool. Linebeck would also probably warm up to a therapist after awhile and I think is aware of his antisocial, narcissistic tendencies and secretly wants to improve himself. So Linebeck isn’t that resistant to therapy, he just wouldn’t want to do it if people around him were telling him he needed to– he would have to seek it out on his own and might not tell anyone about it. Komali has similar social anxiety issues, but by the end of The Wind Waker he seems to be improving all on his own. He might worry mostly what his father would think if he sought out therapy, but he himself would be open to it.
Finally Agatha is harmless and just adorable, but really her situation is alarming. She’s all alone, hoarding bugs, and considers herself their princess. It’s charming, but someone should check in on her grip on reality. She is another character who probably feels there is nothing wrong with her, and even if she did start therapy it would not be easy to break through her delusions to make any real progress.
Do you agree that Zant is the Zelda character who would be most resistant to therapy (and probably needs it most)? Did I miss anyone? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Alexis S. Anderson is a Senior Editor at Zelda Dungeon who joined the writing team in November, 2014. She is a JD student at the UCLA School of Law pursuing a career in Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law. She grew up in the New Jersey suburbs with her parents, twin brother, and family shih-tzu.