Link and Zelda are definitely dating in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Even if Zelda doesn’t want to admit it and we can’t get a word out of Link, Nintendo has left just enough clues to make it glaringly clear that the two are in a relationship, and after spending over 100 hours with the game I’ve got nothing better to do than prove it myself.
Let’s set the scene. We know at least a couple of years have passed between Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, as multiple characters have grown up and started families. In that time Link and Zelda have been traveling across Hyrule and helping restore prosperity, and one of the smallest changes to the map can tell us almost everything we need to know. We just need to look at Link’s house in Hateno village.
Well, it’s not actually Link’s house anymore, or at least not at a glance. Zelda’s name is all over the building with the interior completely redecorated, and to say I was intrigued by this would be an understatement. What happened between the two games for Link to give up his real estate? He spent almost 5,000 rupees and 30 bundles of wood to get on the property ladder, what compelled him to give that up?
As soon as I stepped inside it was obvious. Zelda entered his life, saw all the weapons on the walls, and instantly took poor old Link to Hyrule’s IKEA. With his weapons replaced by art and furnishings, it’s clear that Link’s single life is over. Like any single guy with a lack of interior decorating skills, it took the care of a partner to spruce the place up.
Once I’d realized how Zelda made Link’s house into a home, it got me thinking about why his name’s not out front anymore. Where was he living in between games if Zelda’s name is all over the house? Was he back at Hyrule castle, roughing it in the wild, or god forbid sleeping on the hardwood floor? Link paid for this house, surely he wouldn’t just give it up?
To me, the answer is simple. Link and Zelda start dating, Zelda moves in and gives the place a much-needed facelift, and they share the house. I know for a fact that Aonuma and Miyamoto would not dare have the title card for the building read ‘Link and Zelda’s house’ if this is the case, but with what the house cost Link in BotW and how much Zelda takes charge of it in TotK, don’t be surprised if I’m at least a little skeptical of him completely handing it over and moving out.
With his Tarrey Town digs not coming into play until TotK starts. Link and Zelda sharing the Hateno house between games makes some sense, for me at least. If that’s not enough, how’s this for clear-cut?
Apart from the inn, Link can only sleep in one house in Hateno village, and there’s no prize for figuring out whose name’s out front.
Another indicator of Link and Zelda’s relationship comes from one of the Dragon’s Tears cutscenes, specifically the one called ‘Zelda and Sonia’. Here Zelda tells Rauru and Sonia about Link’s courage and skills but it’s painfully evident to everyone, the audience included, that she’s absolutely smitten, and I think it’s hilarious. Rauru and Sonia definitely know what’s really going on, and the performances and writing play into that.
Rewatch the cutscene and confidently tell me that the way Rauru says “Oh? A hero, is he?” doesn’t prove it. While Zelda’s attempting not to gush, both Rauru and Sonia are seeing straight through her, and I love it.
Rauru even adds, “I do not believe it is possible to keep anything secret from Sonia,” and considering she brings Link up soon after, it’s clear Zelda has been telling Sonia about him quite a bit. The cutscene then ends with Rauru and Sonia chuckling after they mention how Zelda talks about Link, and this just seals the deal. If two people Zelda barely knows are acting playful and coy about how she describes Link, they absolutely know something’s up, and are doing a hilariously terrible job of hiding it.
To close out and be perfectly clear, Nintendo will likely never actually make Link and Zelda a couple. The will they won’t they is more interesting anyway, but I just find it so compelling and charming to see all these little clues, be they deliberate or accidental. I’m almost entirely sure someone at Nintendo thinks they’re dating and has snuck this in though, so maybe one day it’ll be made official.
Don’t get me started on Link and Sidon though, that’s even more obvious than last time.