The Legend of Zelda: Evolution of Princess Zelda

the evolution of princess zelda

Let's take a look at Zelda, the Princess of Hyrule, in all her interpretations. For over 25 years, the Legend of Zelda has featured Zelda, Princess of Hyrule, best known simply as Princess Zelda who plays an integral role in the history of Hyrule.

Just as there are multiple Links, there are multiple Zeldas throughout the series. Generally close in age to her respective Link, Zelda is most often portrayed as a child, but has been portrayed as an adult on several occasions.

legend of zelda evolution

Similar to Princess Peach, Zelda began her role in the Legend of Zelda series as that of a damsel in distress, the ultimate goal and reward for the player controlled Link. As a affiliate of the royal family of Hyrule, Zelda is very much simply a princess in so much that she lives in a castle and gets taken hostage quite often.

However, where the character of Princess Zelda becomes truly fascinating is her evolution later in the series. Rather than simply a kidnapped prize, Zelda would actually aid in the development of the narrative (in her role as a prophet or as one of the seven legendary sages) or even take part in it.

In "The Legend of Zelda the Windwaker," Zelda disguises herself as a pirate, an accomplished sailor that helps Link in his adventures. However, one of the most memorable moments occurs in "The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time." In this scenario, Zelda both acts early on as a spiritual guide to the hero of time, but later physically assists him on his trials.

young princess zelda

In this physical assistance, Zelda disguises herself as a ninja-like guise called Sheik. She crossdresses as the male ninja so that she is able to guide Link both without Link know it is her, but also to avoid being taken hostage by Ganondorf, the game's primary antagonist. In her ninja concealment, Zelda teaches Link new skills that guide him on his quest.

Zelda as a character is able to do something that few video game characters are truly capable of, she develops over time (otherwise the character remains relatively the same, only changed by the experience within the story.) In Zelda's case, it is not the plot, but seemingly the increasingly important inclusion of a strong female character within gaming that leads to her development. Zelda is able to break the traditional princess construct in helping the game's hero on his quest.

The self reflexive nature of Zelda's development as a character allows her to take a position that no other video game character (male or female) has been able to achieve as of yet.

As technology progresses, so does the world of Zelda, adopting new style and changing the look of our damsel in distress. Join us, as we take a closer look at Zelda and her many interpretations over the years.

What's your favourite version of Princess Zelda?


  1. Twilight Princess Zelda is without doubt the best looking version of Princess Zelda in my opinion.

  2. Man, Zelda is so freaking sexy.

  3. My favorite would be Tetra/Zelda, she starts off as a selfish pirate who's quite manly IMO then her character develops a lot during as the plot untangles and she turns into a caring & brave princess.




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