When it comes to companions in the Zelda series, Link has had quite a few memorable partners to help him out during his quests. But one companion in particular really stands out for me, and that is Link’s Crimson Loftwing in Skyward Sword. Experiencing the bond between this pair is downright inspiring, not only because of the importance of the Crimson Loftwing to Link’s quest, but also because of the level of love and trust they share in their relationship.

The beginning of Link’s adventure with his Loftwing takes place in Skyloft, a land above the clouds. Loftwings are referred to as Guardian Birds, known for a loyalty to their companion, and they are very precious to the people of Skyloft. In recognizing these qualities in the nature of these winged guardians, we understand why it was such a shock when Link’s Loftwing did not answer his call at the beginning of the game. I knew, even during this early phase of the game, that Link’s Loftwing would play a significant part in the story; I felt worried that he seemed to be missing, and then relief when he was found.

Even though every citizen in Skyloft is paired with their own Loftwing, we know that Link’s bond with his partner is particularly special, because his bird is a Crimson Loftwing, a breed which was long thought to be extinct. Link’s companion came to him when he is just a child, and this fated encounter between the pair turns out to be one of the key events that leads to Hyrule’s rediscovery. Without his Loftwing, Link would never have set out on his quest as the Goddess’ Chosen Hero, and we would have never discovered the world beneath the clouds. When Zelda falls below the clouds to “The Surface,” Link and his Crimson Loftwing fly out to her aid. Knowing their history, I, as the player, felt a desperation in the fact that the Crimson Loftwing had to help Link to leave his home in Skyloft to venture to places unknown and unremembered. I marveled at the fact that Link’s companion could do such a thing, knowing that there must be some danger below and having to trust that Link would return to him. Their destined meeting and strong bond are crucial to the fate and history of Hyrule.

As Link continues in his quest, his Crimson Loftwing is always ready help him traverse the skies. I really enjoyed how they soar as one above the clouds, as they seem so natural to each other. It was especially wonderful to experience the bond that they have during their battle to rid the Spirit of the Skies, Levias, of the Bilocyte parasites that have driven him mad. Link and his Crimson Loftwing fly gracefully together into battle, and yet still managed to pull off a massive feat with boldness. The trust that each must have in the other to do battle in the skies surely runs deep. I felt nervous for both Link and his Loftwing, and I imagine that only their friendship helps them to hold it together in such strenuous circumstances.

When it comes down to the quest in its entirety, without his Crimson Loftwing, Link could not have set out to save Zelda in the first place, which would mean that the creation of the Master Sword and the acquisition of the Triforce would also never have taken place. Had these events truly not taken place, Link would have been unable to best Demise in battle and seal him away. The effects of what had taken place during the time-span of Skyward Sword are felt throughout all three timelines in the Zelda franchise, and these events are indebted to the bond between Link and his Loftwing. In fact, Link’s Crimson Loftwing played such an important role during the events of Skyward Sword that he was honored as a symbol that would appear on all Hylian Shields throughout the span of the series. I love that Link’s Crimson Loftwing has been immortalized in this way. I feel as though it is the perfect tribute to the vital part that he played in his era, as well as a nod to the bond between two friends, especially because future heroes would bear the Hylian Shield as well.

How do you feel about Link’s Crimson Loftwing? Let us know in the comments below!

Judy Calder is an Original Content Editor at Zelda Dungeon. Follow her on Twitter here!

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