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Top 10 Romances for Link in "The Legend of Zelda"

Jeremy enjoys gaming when not helping manage the college he graduated from.

Some prominent Zelda gals

Some prominent Zelda gals

Romance in The Legend of Zelda

Admittedly, the Zelda series has romance take a backseat towards questing and world-saving, not to mention the difficulties of cultivating in-game relationships while utilizing a silent protagonist like Link.

Yet with official timelines and subtle clues, it's possible to piece together some likely canon romances, and it's even more fun to speculate on which characters pair well with the green-clad hero. These are the 10 best girls for Link throughout The Legend of Zelda!

Cia and Lana

Cia and Lana

10. Lana/Cia

Game: Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors combines favorite characters from Zelda history and utilizes different gameplay than most Zelda games, and who better to tie the various heroes together than Lana and Cia. Originally one sorceress blessed with magic powers, Cia observed Link's adventures and, upon witnessing his heroism, grew infatuated.

Ganon exploited Cia's jealousy over Zelda, dividing into her good half (Lana) and her darker persona Cia. Lana travels with Link to repair the damage Cia brings to various dimensions, and her bubbly persona offers a cheerful contrast to Link's stoic demeanor.

Princess Rutp

Princess Rutp

9. Ruto

Game: Ocarina of Time

One of Oot's seven sages, Princess Ruto belongs to the Zora tribe and makes no secret of her feelings for young Link, even interpreting his presenting of the Zora gem as an engagement proposal.

Ruto continues to aid adult Link in the battle against Ganon, and while some fans may question the difference in species, unlike several other shippings, there's no question about Ruto's romantic feelings for Link.

Midna in Twili form

Midna in Twili form

8. Midna

Game: Twilight Princess

Midna is one of few gals to actively quest with Link, giving her an understanding of the hero few can match. Like her wolf-transformed partner, Midna is also burdened by a cursed imp-like form, revealing her elegant original appearance near the end of the game.

Midna's spunky comments add humor to a dark game, and unlike some of Link's traveling companions, she actively assists in combat with magic.

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Saria and Young Link

Saria and Young Link

7. Saria

Game: Ocarina of Time

Saria's spent more time with Link than almost anyone, growing up with him in Kokiri Forest, and befriending him where most of their peers shunned his outsider status. She goes on to aid the adult Link as one of the seven sages, and her Ocarina theme (Saria's song) remains a fan favorite for its catchy tune.

Paya in Breath of the Wild

Paya in Breath of the Wild

6. Paya

Game: Breath of the Wild

Paya's status as a Sheikah may surprise some given her timid personality, easily becoming flustered in conversation with Link. This makes her feelings some of the most obvious in the franchise, especially if Link reads her diary, which also reveals her maturity, stating she ships Link and Zelda despite her own feelings towards the hero.

Main in Hyrule Warriors

Main in Hyrule Warriors

5. Marin

Game: Link's Awakening

Marin offers a glimpse at what Link and Zelda could be with less of a burden on their shoulders. Physically, she highly resembles the princess, yet her energetic personality and crimson hair set her apart, often teasing Link throughout their misadventures. She nearly confesses her love for him before being interrupted, making her a rare instance of canonically-confirmed feelings.

Fi in Hyrule Warriors

Fi in Hyrule Warriors

4. Fi

Game: Skyward Sword

Fi's a humanoid spirit that dwells within Link's infamous Master Sword, providing advice throughout his journey. A constant companion and telepathic advisor, she very rarely shows emotion, which makes her desire to reunite with Link in a future life all the more touching.

Adult Malon in Ocarina of Time

Adult Malon in Ocarina of Time

3. Malon

Game: Ocarina of Time

Sometimes called Maron (and not to be confused with Marin), farmgirl Malon assists both young and adult Link, and is responsible for lending his trusty steed Epona. Malon's spunky personality pairs well with Link's calm, and of the many potential romances in OoT, many believe Link may have eventually chosen Malon based on Twilight Princess's Link's ranching background.

Epona and Ilia

Epona and Ilia

2. Ilia

Game: Twilight Princess

Blending some qualities of Malon and Saria, Ilia grew up with Link and helps him befriend TP's Epona. Her early kidnapping provides one of Link's objectives to travel the world, and although she's located surprisingly quickly, her inability to remember Link due to her amnesiac state provides some of the most heart-wrenching scenes in an already-dark game.

Link and Zelda

Link and Zelda

1. Zelda

Game: Skyward Sword

Of course Zelda is number one, providing Link's most constant companion throughout his many reincarnations. Although the depth of various Zelda/Link pairings vary, some of the closest include Link and Tetra from Wind Waker and the original Link and Zelda from the timeline's earliest entry.

While former games tended to depict Zelda as the typical damsel in distress, she's become far more active in recent years, often wielding a bow or magic to join Link in the battle against evil.

Zelda Romances

With three separate timelines and scarce details regarding the exact time lapses between entries, fans are left to infer much about the world's state in-between entries, including which characters paired up. While this may frustrate some, it leaves room to imagine whatever pairings you prefer. But for now, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next Nintendo countdown!

© 2022 Jeremy Gill

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