Posted on April 02 2014 by Legacy Staff
Many people who have never played a Zelda game are confused about the name of the protagonist. It is true that it would have made more sense for Link’s name to be included in the title, however, Zelda has to be a pretty important character to have the game named after her, even though she is only seen less than half of the time in most of the games. Unfortunately, Zelda is rarely recognized as the brilliant, beautiful, complex character that she actually is. She is seen as just a normal princess who spends her time stuck in a castle, waiting for her turn to be rescued. At a glance, it would seem that she does fit into this princess stereotype, considering that most of the other female leads in video games are harsh, aggressive, women of war. But on closer inspection, it can be made clear that Zelda falls into neither category. Hit the jump to see why!
First of all, let’s dispose of the idea that Zelda is in some way weak or helpless. It is true that she often needs Link’s help in order to save her kingdom, but that in no way suggests that she is completely incapable or unimportant. There are many instances throughout the series in which Zelda chooses to be passive because it is the right thing to do. For example, in Twilight Princess, she surrenders to Zant, not because she is weak, but to preserve the lives of her people, and in Ocarina of Time, she goes into a self-imposed exile for a long period of time so that the Triforce of Wisdom will not fall into the hands of Ganondorf. On top of her good judgement, she has many other good qualities which set her apart from many of the other main female characters in video games. She is creative and intuitive, and she uses these traits to fight for the greater good. She is kind, intelligent and brave, all of which are focused on in Skyward Sword. In some games, she can be very sassy and sarcastic, which gives a fun color to her character, but she always accepts her responsibilities and recognizes when to speak and act and when to be patient or serious. Overall, Zelda can be considered to be a lot of things, but one thing she is certainly not is weak.
So then, according to most video games, if Zelda is not pathetic and incapable, she must be a macho, independent fighter. However, this isn’t true of her either. Zelda is very powerful and inexhaustibly resilient, but she only physically attacks others when she absolutely has to. When she does use her magic to fight, she does so, not with as much firepower as she can muster, shot randomly at her opponents, but with skill and precision, and in a dress and heels, might I add. She always acts with wisdom, according to her nature and powers, but she never gives up, no matter the circumstances. She is independent by nature and likes to be in charge of her life, but she chooses to stay in her kingdom, to lead her people and to protect them. All things considered, she is a beautiful woman, and possesses discernment and tact, while remaining determined and capable in everything.
To summarize, Zelda is neither a pathetic damsel in distress nor an over-powered combat queen. She is beautiful and powerful at the same time, and uses neither trait as an excuse for her actions. Everything about her basically comes down to her wisdom. It is the core concept around which her character is designed, and it is what makes her such a brilliant character. It is what makes her strong and brave, and it gives her the capability that she need to be a good leader for her country as well as a respectable nature. Her wisdom gives her good taste and cleverness, and overall helps her in making good choices in all areas of her life. Without wisdom, Zelda would be but a hollow shell of a character, completely unworthy of having an entire game series named after her.
But what do you think? Is this a fitting description of Zelda? If you could redesign the princess of the series, what sort of person would you make her be? Let us know in the comment section below!