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Spoiler My views on the timeline placement of BotW/TotK.

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The timeline was always mostly easy to understand. It was just the downfall timeline that didn't really fit anywhere.

But BotW being a sort of reboot, or something that takes place in all three timelines is where it got confusing.
Think things might have been easier if it just took place in either the adult timeline after the ocean disappeared, or at the end of the downfall timeline would have worked.

And at first, TotK seemed to mess up the timeline even more, though it's quite easy to understand that game.
People were confused about the founding of Hyrule, but we cna just take this as there being multiple Hyules that have existed here and there.
 

mαrkαsscoρ

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Explaining facts that you could google yourself if you wanted to is FAR from jumping through hoops, quite frankly.
well adding on to that, and you can just point fingers at me and say I'm bad a researching, but this is the first time I'm seeing where four swords was meant to take place, b/c I wasn't able to find that info otherwise prior to hyrule historia, I definitely don't remember zelda wiki or anything mentioning that

but even that aside, the game came out in 2002 and it had to take a 2004 interview for another upcoming game for us to find out where this game takes place chronologically? I'd even say this info wasn't that widespread, I've seen a number of timeline theory videos back in the day and none of them ever referenced an interview of eiji aonuma stating that four swords was the earliest point in the timeline, and heck maybe those guys just sucked at researching too (judging by their theories, a lot of them did anyway), but I don't think it's unfair to say that for some of these games, we'd have to go out of our way to find out something as straighforward as where they take place chronologically
 
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LA is said to take place after ALttP in the official timeline with the same Link, and even though LA itself doesn't outright CONFIRM it(the only hard fact at its release is that it takes place after an incarnation of Link has destroyed Ganon, according to the manual), it makes the most sense considering that dream world contains many places and enemies from ALttP such as Turtle Rock and Agahnim. It was also confirmed to feature ALttP Link on the old 1998 official JP site for the DX version, so this connection was officially confirmed before HH, if it wasn't already apparent by the constant bits and bits of evidence, but due to how obscure it is and how ****ty the internet was back then, not many people knew about it.

Twilight Princess is a sequel to Majora's Mask, as it is confirmed to take place in the branch of time at the end of OoT where Ganon is prevented from ruling Hyrule for seven years by Aonuma, the same branch that MM is in. While the events of OoT themselves aren't really mentioned due to most of them being prevented in this branch, the game cleverly references the era in certain ways that would be possible if the actual events of OoT never happened in that era. Examples include making it clear that the OoT fisherman is a legend in the fishing culture of this era, making Link go back in time to the OoT Temple of Time, not to mention the strong implication that the Hero's Shade is OoT Link (which would be confirmed to be the case by HH and HE) due to him being a previous hero who you summon by howling ocarina songs from both OoT and MM.

The Minish Cap deals with the origins of Vaati and the Four Sword, placing it before FS at the (current) start of the timeline.

Every game except for the Oracles and FSA(and to a lesser extent, BotW and TotK), everything was fairly clear upon release or close to it.
It seems subjective whether something is a cheeky easter egg or a significant lore detail.

In my opinion, Agahnim being a nightmare boss for Link in LA is a significant clue to what this particular Link may have experienced in the past, and I'd extend this to other bosses/characters on the island like the Genie/Blind fight (my mind is still open about OoX's placement, so the Angler Fish and Rover/Smasher work with this).

On the flip side, I see the OoT Fisherman being a cheeky reference. Maybe it's because of how funny I found the contrast of the polygonal model of the OoT Fisherman with the realistic artstyle of the TP Hylian Loach (not even using the OoT Loach in the image lol). I agree on the Hero's Shade songs, though. I'd also say the Ganondorf retelling was pretty clear on it being a continuation of what was implied to have happened after OoT, with Child Link "exposing" Ganondorf without Ganondorf ever seeing him (since in this timeline, Link travelled back to before he met young Zelda):

"He was known as a demon thief, an evil-magic wielder renowned for his ruthlessness...
But he was blind...
In all of his fury and might, he was blind to any danger, and thus was he exposed, subdued, and brought to justice.".

Counterpoint: Lemme explain the Assassins Creed timeline:

Assassins Creed Odyssey, Assassins Creed Origins, Assassins Creed Valhalla, Ass Creed 1, Ass Cred 2, Ass Cred 4, Ass Cred 3, Ass Cred Unity, and onward. I didn't even have to jump through hoops to justify why one takes place after the other, since the timeline placement is self-****ing-evident within the games themselves.

If your explanation of a series' chronology requires a graduate thesis to explain then it's a bad chronology.
I feel like I could say the same thing about the Zelda timeline for most of it, besides the the Four Swords game and the Downfall placement. I agree that having it's the cleanest for the timeline to be self-evident in the games (and the manuals they came with at the time, as at the time, they had space to flesh out what the games couldn't). However, from the games alone (pre-HH), we still make it pretty far (if you find some of these connections non-obvious from using in-game only/original manual lore, lemme know):

Adult: SS - OoT - TWW/PH - ST
Child: SS - OoT/MM - TP
Classic: ALttP
/LA - LoZ/AoL; OoS/OoA (somewhere in this line)
Four Swords: TMC - FS - FSA


How the classic line can fit was highly debated, but it was known that it was after OoT using in-game logic. The same can be said for BotW and with it, TotK. The Oracle games were fine enough being in the general area of the other classic games, but the Four Swords games and Triforce Heroes required outside help.
 

Bowsette Plus-Ultra

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I feel like I could say the same thing about the Zelda timeline for most of it, besides the the Four Swords game and the Downfall placement. I agree that having it's the cleanest for the timeline to be self-evident in the games (and the manuals they came with at the time, as at the time, they had space to flesh out what the games couldn't). However, from the games alone (pre-HH), we still make it pretty far (if you find some of these connections non-obvious from using in-game only/original manual lore, lemme know):

Adult: SS - OoT - TWW/PH - ST
Child: SS - OoT/MM - TP
Classic: ALttP
/LA - LoZ/AoL; OoS/OoA (somewhere in this line)
Four Swords: TMC - FS - FSA


How the classic line can fit was highly debated, but it was known that it was after OoT using in-game logic. The same can be said for BotW and with it, TotK. The Oracle games were fine enough being in the general area of the other classic games, but the Four Swords games and Triforce Heroes required outside help.
For me it's that a good chronology doesn't need to be solved by a series of riddles. If you exclude stuff like Hyrule Historia crawling out and explaining stuff that wasn't previously self-evident in the games then you're left with a bunch of games that just don't connect to each other. At best you get onesies and twosies like Wind Waker alluding to Ocarina of Time. At worst you get most of the other games. Where does Four Swords Adventure take place relative to Ocarina of Time? The game certainly won't tell you.

Where does Assassins Creed 3 take place? Right after Ass Creed 2.

I just wish Nintendo would stop pretending to care about the continuity. Do they want to be a Final Fantasy and treat every entry as a stand alone thing? Then do it and stop pretending to do otherwise.
 
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For me it's that a good chronology doesn't need to be solved by a series of riddles. If you exclude stuff like Hyrule Historia crawling out and explaining stuff that wasn't previously self-evident in the games then you're left with a bunch of games that just don't connect to each other. At best you get onesies and twosies like Wind Waker alluding to Ocarina of Time. At worst you get most of the other games. Where does Four Swords Adventure take place relative to Ocarina of Time? The game certainly won't tell you.

Where does Assassins Creed 3 take place? Right after Ass Creed 2.

I just wish Nintendo would stop pretending to care about the continuity. Do they want to be a Final Fantasy and treat every entry as a stand alone thing? Then do it and stop pretending to do otherwise.

I actually liked the clue searching and the clue finding from others, it was like putting together a puzzle (albeit, one where some pieces don't fit as snug as they should, and with missing pieces we would've never found without external sources), but I still found enjoyment in it. In my opinion, the onesies and twosies refer more to games that don't connect well, like the entries that hold the timeline back from being a good chronology are the Four Swords and Oracle games. I don't think Nintendo wants Zelda games to be standalone, just unreliant on prior entries, despite their fumbles. I don't believe a good chronology needs the lore to be clear and explicit, as long as it's mostly consistent (think Adventure Time or Splatoon lore). But I can't say a good chronology would have a non-game implied "Fallen Hero" timeline.

An official timeline was always going to be a mistake, but I'm honestly surprised people still care so much. The moment a fallen timeline was created out of nowhere and a majority of the series was unceremoniously dumped on it was probably the moment people should've realized there's no grand interconnected plan here and shifted expectations accordingly.
The fallen timeline did seem to come out of nowhere, but interestingly, a "bad ending of OoT" seemed to be in the works since 2005: https://youtu.be/BzlROEEMvBs?t=216 (I timestamped the relevant part, but the whole video is worth the watch).

Essentially, the games do seem to be made with a placement in mind, or with some care to continuity, despite the seemingly hard fumble
with FSA being far down the line from FS, or for WW to hard cut off ALttP being in the Adult Timeline. Maybe they planned a bad ending continuation right after OoT released? Even BotW has a placement, they just want us to have fun with our own interpretations.
 

Bowsette Plus-Ultra

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I actually liked the clue searching and the clue finding from others, it was like putting together a puzzle (albeit, one where some pieces don't fit as snug as they should, and with missing pieces we would've never found without external sources), but I still found enjoyment in it. In my opinion, the onesies and twosies refer more to games that don't connect well, like the entries that hold the timeline back from being a good chronology are the Four Swords and Oracle games. I don't think Nintendo wants Zelda games to be standalone, just unreliant on prior entries, despite their fumbles. I don't believe a good chronology needs the lore to be clear and explicit, as long as it's mostly consistent (think Adventure Time or Splatoon lore). But I can't say a good chronology would have a non-game implied "Fallen Hero" timeline.
I'm all for a good healthy lore to dig through, but there's a difference between lore worth delving deeper into and a lore so unfinished and obtuse that the fans have to be the ones to finish it.

Additionally, it'd be nice if each entry didn't introduce contradictory lore. :eyes:
 
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I'm all for a good healthy lore to dig through, but there's a difference between lore worth delving deeper into and a lore so unfinished and obtuse that the fans have to be the ones to finish it.

Additionally, it'd be nice if each entry didn't introduce contradictory lore. :eyes:
Yeah I can't argue Zelda has a healthy lore with the Fallen Hero timeline. Thinking about unhealthy lore, I'm reminded of Nintendo approving ZE saying Termina is a dream world...

Just to be clear, which entries have hard contradictory lore in the official timeline? I feel most of the games are fine, besides that:

1. Ocarina of Time contradicts ALttP's backstory
- addressed in the grody Downfall Timeline

2. Oracle Games contradict ALttP (regarding the original ALttP/OoX/LA connection)
- addressed in the grody ZE
*TBH, Zelda's intro to Link has been debatable forever so I can't say it's definitive, and the Japanese text of the Triforce's speech, I've seen it interpreted as sending Link on a quest rather than a test. Nintendo did move OoX games later, but we can't pinpoint a specific reason unless given (if there is official reasoning, I'd like to see it). Regarding the birthmark, it's an oddity for not being mentioned in ALttP, but it doesn't actually contract anything.

3. Wind Waker contradicts MM with the Tingle Tuner? Tingle talks about the events of MM as if they happened despite WW being on a different timeline
- addressed by replacing Tingle Tuner with Miiverse bottles in WWHD?
*TBH ain't nobody care bout the Tingle Tuner

4. Twilight Princess contradicts FSA's backstory, where after FS, "the people of Hyrule believed that their land was safe", but in TP, Ganondorf attacks Hyrule before TP and during TP, large portions of people getting turned into wisps due to extra-dimensional exposure
- remains unaddressed

5. Skyward Sword contradicts Ocarina of Time regarding the location of the Triforce after the goddesses left, as Ocarina of Time states it remained in the Sacred Realm while Skyward Sword shows it being used in Hyrule Link. In TP's Triforce conflict cutscene, in English, the Triforce is left in the Sacred Realm, but I've seen arguments for the Japanese version implying Hyrule instead as it's apparently referred to as a "holy land". This would make both SS and TP contradict OoT.
- remains unaddressed

Breath of the Wild contradicts officially having a single timeline alignment, maybe?
- Ruto and Nabooru being sages are associated with the Adult/Downfall Timelines.
- Goron City features statues of characters like Gor Coron from Twilight Princess and the Elder's Son from Majora's Mask, exclusive to the Child Timeline.
- Koroks are unique to the Adult Timeline.
- The long history of Ganon's attacks is a characteristic of the Downfall Timeline.
*But, what if parallel events happened where (listed sages, listed Gorons, Koroks, Ganon revivals) appeared later down the (Child, Adult, Downfall) timeline, since BotW is so far removed? That means it could still work in the (insert user's headcanon timeline placement)!

Zelda 2, ALttP, LA, MM, FS, FSA, WW, MC, PH, ST, TFH, BotW, and TotK didn't contradict any prior entry at the time of release AFAIK. That's 13/18 games! To keep it real with you, I'm not bothered by the Tingle Tuner or SS's Triforce location inconsistency, leaving only 3 games with major timeline inconsistencies, two of which were addressed, albiet in gordy fashion, but addressed nonetheless. Ehh, what's grody is subjective (except TFH Link's grody hair). It's also grody that Tears of the Kingdom forgets that Link has met most of Hyrule's inhabitants in BotW already, but maybe it's canon to not do all the BotW quests? Even Tears of the Kingdom's time travel shenanagins can be made to fit in the timeline, as was the original intention of this thread.
 
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Zelda 2, ALttP, LA, MM, FS, FSA, WW, MC, PH, ST, TFH, BotW, and TotK didn't contradict any prior entry at the time of release AFAIK. That's 13/18 games! To keep it real with you, I'm not bothered by the Tingle Tuner or SS's Triforce location inconsistency, leaving only 3 games with major timeline inconsistencies, two of which were addressed, albiet in gordy fashion, but addressed nonetheless. Ehh, what's grody is subjective (except TFH Link's grody hair). It's also grody that Tears of the Kingdom forgets that Link has met most of Hyrule's inhabitants in BotW already, but maybe it's canon to not do all the BotW quests? Even Tears of the Kingdom's time travel shenanagins can be made to fit in the timeline, as was the original intention of this thread.
Z2 disregarded Z1's Zelda, like she didn't exist.

ALttP ends with Ganon killed by the silver arrows, and yet he's alive in Z1.

MM's opening reads "In the land of Hyrule, there echoes a legend. A legend held dearly by the Royal Family that tells of a boy... A boy who, after battling evil and saving Hyrule, crept away from the land that had made him a legend... Done with the battles he once waged across time, he embarked on a journey. A secret and personal journey... A journey in search of a beloved and invaluable friend... A friend with whom he parted ways when he finally fulfilled his heroic destiny and took his place among legends..." This contradicts OoT's ending, where Link would not take his place among legends.

WW shows Link riding away from Hyrule on a horse, which he would not have done in Wind Waker's past.

MC introduces the first Hyrule Kingdom but also the origin for the Light Force, the Picori, which suggests the MC, FS, FSA order, but FSA would then take place before OoT which wouldn't make sense.

PH has Zora Warriors even though the Zora were wiped out in the AT.

ST has the origin for the Bow of Light, even though Gregal has the Bow of Light in MC.

BotW obviously contradicts the idea that TP and WW are in different timelines.

And so does TotK.

Nothing works completely, especially once the timelines split, and they've obviously been semi-intentional with their placements, but it's also clear that they aren't taking it too seriously.

The_Legend_of_Zelda_timeline.jpg

I think that Lorulean Historian has the right idea. I went ahead and add my take on it.
Lorulean Historian thinks there's an SS split?
 
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Nothing works completely, especially once the timelines split, and they've obviously been semi-intentional with their placements, but it's also clear that they aren't taking it too seriously.


Lorulean Historian thinks there's an SS split?
Contradictions in lore, to my understanding, are when officially stated elements are contradicted.

Z2 disregarded Z1's Zelda, like she didn't exist.

ALttP ends with Ganon killed by the silver arrows, and yet he's alive in Z1.

Do you find Z2 to contradict Z1 for having another Zelda? As in, a lore contradiction? I don't recall anything from Zelda 1 saying that there weren't any other Zeldas/kingdoms. At the time, did Nintendo state that there was only one Zelda? That's what'd I'd assume back then, tbh, but if there's nothing official being overwritten, I don't see it as a contradiction. Ganon also died after Zelda 1, yet his revival is a threat in Zelda 2, establishing that Ganon could be revived. If Ganon can be revived in the lore, how is it a contradiction that he was, well, revived, between ALttP and Z1? I personally would like to have seen more of it explained, but I can't label it as a contradiction.

MM's opening reads "In the land of Hyrule, there echoes a legend. A legend held dearly by the Royal Family that tells of a boy... A boy who, after battling evil and saving Hyrule, crept away from the land that had made him a legend... Done with the battles he once waged across time, he embarked on a journey. A secret and personal journey... A journey in search of a beloved and invaluable friend... A friend with whom he parted ways when he finally fulfilled his heroic destiny and took his place among legends..." This contradicts OoT's ending, where Link would not take his place among legends.

MM's intro is something I've seen debated online as well. All we know for sure from the intro is that the Royal Family knows about the Adult portion and holds it as a legend, but we don't know how much of the Adult portion is remembered, or if the legend spread to the rest of Hyrule. It's completely possible that Link "took his place among legends" as one of many legends possibly held by the Royal Family, and that it never left the Royal Family over time, leading him to not be remembered as a hero to the rest of Hyrule (later confirmed by HH). This means that there isn't a contradiction. (Personally, I don't think it makes sense for Link to have excluded any details from telling Zelda what had happened in the Adult portion, but since it's not confirmed how much was said, I won't get too invested in it as a hard truth.) Also, this is something addressed in HH.

WW shows Link riding away from Hyrule on a horse, which he would not have done in Wind Waker's past.

A large part of WW's story is about the past not being remembered/understood properly, so much so that the people of Hyrule expected the Hero of Time to once again stop Ganon, "But the hero did not appear". You're right that Link wouldn't have left on his horse after fighting Ganon, but since it's established that the people of WW don't actually know how the past went (besides Ganondorf himself), this issue is an in-universe inconsistency. They knew he left through time, but they didn't know how. I think only Zelda saw him float into the sky in that crystal, so the people of Hyrule would just be left to guess. That's how I see it, though, but I am assuming the legend isn't 100% accurate based off a main theme in the game (at the end, Daphnes puts away Old Hyrule for good, underwater, along with old Ganon), and since literary themes can be subjective, this point is more subjective and something we can discuss in another thread.

MC introduces the first Hyrule Kingdom but also the origin for the Light Force, the Picori, which suggests the MC, FS, FSA order, but FSA would then take place before OoT which wouldn't make sense.
The order is still present in the official timeline, it just has other games between FS and FSA. Rather than MC establishing FS being right before FSA, I'd say FSA implies that FSA is directly after FS, making MC innocent here. But, the intro of FSA was vague enough to allow the Link from FS to either have been the same Link from FSA or a different one entirely. This means that other games could have still released and been placed between FS and FSA, as long as in those games, there was no reason for the people of Hyrule to believe their land was unsafe. Both OoT and MM work here, since in the Child Timeline, Link stops Ganon from taking over, and in MM, Link is in Termina, letting Hyrule continue its peace. The contradiction occurs in TP, since Hyrule is attacked at least twice. (Side note: In MC itself, it can be seen as establishing a Hyrule Kingdom, but without dev interviews or HH, it doesn't confirm if it's supposed to be the FIRST Hyrule Kingdom)

PH has Zora Warriors even though the Zora were wiped out in the AT.

IIRC, it was only the Zoras in Hyrule that were force evolved into Rito, mainly so that they couldn't access Old Hyrule. Zora from other lands would've remained the same, but thinking about it now, I don't think there would be anything stopping foreign Zora from simply coming to Hyrule and swimming down, so yeah, this does seem to be a contradiction! Nice find!
EDIT: I haven't actually played PH, so there might be an in-universe explanation for it. I might make a thread about it. Do the Geozards ever leave the World of the Ocean King? Is there anything to imply they've actually traversed the Great Sea?

ST has the origin for the Bow of Light, even though Gregal has the Bow of Light in MC.

There's like, 5 Bows of Light in the Zelda series? TMC, TP, ST, ALBW, and BotW? I didn't think these were the same Bow of Light every time, but new ones or at least reformed ones. In BotW, you can actually get the TP version and play around with it alongside the BotW version. Looking at the MC sprite, I can't see any direct connections to the ST version, but if there is something, lemme know please.

BotW obviously contradicts the idea that TP and WW are in different timelines.

And so does TotK.

I already discussed that with:
*But, what if parallel events happened where (listed sages, listed Gorons, Koroks, Ganon revivals) appeared later down the (Child, Adult, Downfall) timeline, since BotW is so far removed? That means it could still work in the (insert user's headcanon timeline placement)!
Sorry for making the tone of that excerpt vague, I also think it's dumb how contradictory evidence is in a single game, and my original idea for a placement was that it was on its own timeline, but I can't say it's invalid for people to say things like "It's on the Downfall Timeline, and the Koroks and specifc Gorons just had some timeline parallel event for them to come back!". Thing is, I can't say it's significanlty more valid than saying "It's on the Adult Timeline, and the repeated Ganon attacks and specifc Goron occurences are just parallel events later down the line" or "It's the Child Timeline, the repeated Ganon attacks, sages, and Koroks just happen later down the line". I get that Nintendo wanted to be away from the timeline with BotW, but with nothing being confirmed, nothing is being contradicted. We can say that one timeline SEEMS more likely over the others, but until official confirmation, nothing is confirmed.

I agree they aren't taking it too seriously nowadays, but again with past connections, the only big issues were with how ALttP could fit with OoT and how the Four Swords game fit in, mainly with FSA having a new Ganon. In my opinion, the Oracle games never had too much weight wherever they were placed, and BotW being so far ahead that any conclusion the player wants being valid is a smart move for Nintendo to not mess anything up going forward. Then, they decided to put time travel in TotK, going back into the timelines that they wanted to leave behind...

With unconfirmed lore, it's a little harder to make good theories, since now it's like we're maing theories based of hypotheses (ehh, TBH most fan theories can be classified as "hypotheses" anyways, but you know what I mean). I can't give any theories about the past portion of TotK relating to SS without prefacing first my own timeline, whether I belive SS comes before or after TotK-past, for instance. Heck, in my own personal timeline, I have MC after ST since I find the evidence to be stronger, but I understand it's my own interpretation, rather than an objectively 'better' view.
 
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Do you find Z2 to contradict Z1 for having another Zelda? As in, a lore contradiction? I don't recall anything from Zelda 1 saying that there weren't any other Zeldas/kingdoms. At the time, did Nintendo state that there was only one Zelda? That's what'd I'd assume back then, tbh, but if there's nothing official being overwritten, I don't see it as a contradiction. Ganon also died after Zelda 1, yet his revival is a threat in Zelda 2, establishing that Ganon could be revived. If Ganon can be revived in the lore, how is it a contradiction that he was, well, revived, between ALttP and Z1? I personally would like to have seen more of it explained, but I can't label it as a contradiction.
Maybe you have a looser "contradiction" definition then I do, but the idea that there was a Zelda sleeping in the North Palace and also a Zelda from Z1 seems like an obvious contradiction assuming there should only be one Zelda.

And Z2 establishes Ganon's resurrection is achieved by Link's blood. But there is no indication that there was another hero between ALttP and Z1, it's framed as a direct prequel.

MM's intro is something I've seen debated online as well. All we know for sure from the intro is that the Royal Family knows about the Adult portion and holds it as a legend, but we don't know how much of the Adult portion is remembered, or if the legend spread to the rest of Hyrule. It's completely possible that Link "took his place among legends" as one of many legends possibly held by the Royal Family, and that it never left the Royal Family over time, leading him to not be remembered as a hero to the rest of Hyrule (later confirmed by HH). This means that there isn't a contradiction. (Personally, I don't think it makes sense for Link to have excluded any details from telling Zelda what had happened in the Adult portion, but since it's not confirmed how much was said, I won't get too invested in it as a hard truth.) Also, this is something addressed in HH.
This is a contradiction either way: Zelda was either fully briefed on the AT and the hero became part of the legend (except didn't), or she wasn't and Ganondorf (who was already in the throne room with the king planning to kill him) should have been able to kill him and take Hyrule.

A large part of WW's story is about the past not being remembered/understood properly, so much so that the people of Hyrule expected the Hero of Time to once again stop Ganon, "But the hero did not appear". You're right that Link wouldn't have left on his horse after fighting Ganon, but since it's established that the people of WW don't actually know how the past went (besides Ganondorf himself), this issue is an in-universe inconsistency. They knew he left through time, but they didn't know how. I think only Zelda saw him float into the sky in that crystal, so the people of Hyrule would just be left to guess. That's how I see it, though, but I am assuming the legend isn't 100% accurate based off a main theme in the game (at the end, Daphnes puts away Old Hyrule for good, underwater, along with old Ganon), and since literary themes can be subjective, this point is more subjective and something we can discuss in another thread.
I agree that this is "thematic" in some sense, but Link actually did ride away from Hyrule on a horse in Majora's Mask. So, like, what's going on there?

The order is still present in the official timeline, it just has other games between FS and FSA. Rather than MC establishing FS being right before FSA, I'd say FSA implies that FSA is directly after FS, making MC innocent here. But, the intro of FSA was vague enough to allow the Link from FS to either have been the same Link from FSA or a different one entirely. This means that other games could have still released and been placed between FS and FSA, as long as in those games, there was no reason for the people of Hyrule to believe their land was unsafe. Both OoT and MM work here, since in the Child Timeline, Link stops Ganon from taking over, and in MM, Link is in Termina, letting Hyrule continue its peace. The contradiction occurs in TP, since Hyrule is attacked at least twice. (Side note: In MC itself, it can be seen as establishing a Hyrule Kingdom, but without dev interviews or HH, it doesn't confirm if it's supposed to be the FIRST Hyrule Kingdom)
Well that's the problem, there's Hero of Men, Hero of Minish, Hero of Four Sword 1, Hero of Four Sword 2 LONG BREAK Hero of Light. I guess it's not a contradiction, more a "since when are there multiple Ganon's?" question.

There's like, 5 Bows of Light in the Zelda series? TMC, TP, ST, ALBW, and BotW? I didn't think these were the same Bow of Light every time, but new ones or at least reformed ones. In BotW, you can actually get the TP version and play around with it alongside the BotW version. Looking at the MC sprite, I can't see any direct connections to the ST version, but if there is something, lemme know please.
I always thought these were the same, maybe I'm wrong about that, their sprites do look different I guess.

With unconfirmed lore, it's a little harder to make good theories, since now it's like we're maing theories based of hypotheses (ehh, TBH most fan theories can be classified as "hypotheses" anyways, but you know what I mean). I can't give any theories about the past portion of TotK relating to SS without prefacing first my own timeline, whether I belive SS comes before or after TotK-past, for instance. Heck, in my own personal timeline, I have MC after ST since I find the evidence to be stronger, but I understand it's my own interpretation, rather than an objectively 'better' view.
This is exactly what I'm talking about: the ZE timeline was flimsy but functional before BotW, but since BotW and TotK, the thing @Moblinking5000 tried doing (fitting TotK-backstory in before OoT) just contradicts so many other pieces of information, like Rito ev, Korok ev, Triforce origins, Master Sword origin etc. It seems like what most people have done is add another timeline split after SS, but now there are just 4 parallel Ganondorfs? It's all just messy and disorganized hypotheses, I really do think a condensed continuity is the only way to go so we can actually start making theories again. Once TP and WW exist in separate universes, a lot of the contradictions and references and thematic meanings etc. just fall apart.

I guess I'm just curious, what is your own timeline? And how does TotK fit into it?
 
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If the timelines merged together (and we eventually get something to explain this), then BotW can make sense easily.

But with how long the series has gone on for, there will certainly be holes here and there.
 

Bowsette Plus-Ultra

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If the timelines merged together (and we eventually get something to explain this), then BotW can make sense easily.

But with how long the series has gone on for, there will certainly be holes here and there.
Nintendo writing something like timelines collapsing in on each other would be a terrible idea, because it is absolutely a thing they would **** up horribly. Nintendo has the sort of writing team that would consign a plot point like that to some source book. Zelda would enter a realm of writing so far below fanfiction that most dread the very idea:

Official writing somehow worse than bad fanfiction.

If you want to write a Zelda game where timelines collapse in on themselves then it has to be a game, and Nintendo can barely manage the pretense of dramatic storytelling on a good day.
 
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Mikey the Moblin

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If the timelines merged together (and we eventually get something to explain this), then BotW can make sense easily.
people seem to think that timelines merging means that elements from one timeline suddenly get to exist in the others
but what it actually means is that each timeline individually and uniquely eventually progressed to identical states, which physically couldn't happen because the zora evolved into rito in the adult timeline, which means the rito in botw are from another source
saying "oh all the timelines are together now!" makes botw make less sense
 

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