As one of Nintendo’s most iconic gaming franchises, The Legend of Zelda has no shortage of powerful moments. In its nearly forty-year history, the series has seen Link and his allies facing off against the forces of ultimate evil time and time again. Though Link’s companions have often changed, one of the key constants has been the guiding presence of Princess Zelda.
As the benevolent Princess of Hyrule, Zelda’s greatest strength is her mind. Many of her incarnations play a crucial role in saving Hyrule as the keeper of the Triforce of Wisdom. Her importance to the franchise is illustrated in no better way than the fact that the series has her name in every title. Zelda’s unique combination of intelligence, graciousness, and courage make her one of Nintendo’s most heroic and quotable female characters.
9 A Soliloquy On Change
“Time passes, people move. Like a river’s flow, it never ends... A childish mind will turn to noble ambition... Young love will become deep affection... The clear water's surface reflects growth...”
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has a lot to say about change and growth. One character who has the most knowledge on these topics is Sheik, a disguise that Princess Zelda adopts so she can move about the world in secret. Sheik meets with Link several times throughout the game to impart wisdom and teach him sacred songs.
Sheik imparts this quote just before teaching Link the Serenade of Water, which allows him to warp to Lake Hylia and the Water Temple. It weaves an image of watery transformation and describes how time can intensify deeply held feelings.
8 Painting The World In Shades Of Gray
“Shadow and light are two sides of the same coin, one cannot exist without the other.”
The interplay of shadow and light are central themes within The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. After the invasion of Hyrule by the Twilight King Zant, Zelda finds herself imprisoned inside her own castle. However, she still finds the strength to aid Link and his companion Midna where she can.
This quote is delivered in a post-credits scene of the game where Zelda and Link are helping Midna return to the Twilight Realm. When Midna says that shadow and light cannot mix, Zelda offers an alternate view – that the two need each other to exist.
7 A Guilty Admission
“All the tragedy that has befallen Hyrule was my doing... I was so young, I could not comprehend the consequences of trying to control the Sacred Realm. I dragged you into it, too.”
Being known as one of the greatest games of all time and one of the best Legend of Zeldagames, it’s no surprise that Ocarina of Time features many powerful quotes delivered by Hyrule’s matriarch. The game’s intricate story involves child and adult versions of both Link and Zelda trying to thwart Ganondorf’s evil plan.
After imprisoning Ganondorf in the Sacred Realm during the game's climax, Zelda delivers this remorseful line. Seven years prior, Zelda’s choices helped lead Ganondorf to become the King of Evil. However, the guilt she feels is not enough to overcome her, and she takes direct action to resolve the timelines.
6 Championing The Power Of The Human Spirit
“Yes, we are humans. We have neither the power of spirits nor demons. But when we combine our strength... No one can defeat us!”
Set after the events of Phantom Hourglass, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is one of several titles in the series with a morecartoonish and child-friendly style. But this doesn’t make the game any less poignant. Like other titles, Spirit Track’s story involves Link and Zelda working to overthrow a great evil, this time in the form of Chancellor Cole and the demon Malladus.
Zelda delivers this valiant quote after she and Link defeat the right-hand man of Chancellor Cole. Though their enemies may have greater powers, Zelda refuses to let that stand in their way of defeating evil and protecting Hyrule.
5 A Call To Arms
“Link... You may not yet be at a point where you have recovered your power or all of your memories... But courage need not be remembered, for it is never forgotten.”
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wildbrings more color to the relationship between Link and Zelda through memories that Link recovers in the game. After being put into a sleep state for a hundred years, Link awakens to the destruction of Hyrule and is sent on a quest to defeat Calamity Ganon.
Princess Zelda, who has been using her powers to keep Ganon at bay while Link slumbered, delivers this line as he faces off against the enemy. She references Link’s role as the keeper of the Triforce of Courage and bids him to draw on his innate bravery to defeat this evil for good.
4 Illuminating The Nature Of Time
“The flow of time is always cruel… Its speed seems different for each person, but no one can change it… A thing that doesn’t change with time is a memory of younger days.”
One element of Ocarina of Time that makes it a favorite of the franchise is its strong writing. As Sheik, Zelda delivers a plethora of profound quotes that have complex themes. She often muses on the nature of time and how it affects those subjected to its power.
This quote is imparted before Sheik teaches Link the Minuet of Forest, which he needs to reach his childhood friend, Saria. Though Link has aged in his absence, Saria remains unchanged. This quote can be interpreted as Sheik reminding him that, despite their newfound differences, Saria is still the same friend he shares so many treasured childhood memories with.
3 A Strong Sense Of Identity
“While it's true that I am Hylia reborn, I’m still my father’s daughter and your friend... I'm still your Zelda.”
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword may be the sixteenth release in thefranchise, but it is the first in the chronological timeline of games. As a result, Skyward Swordsets up most of the foundation of the franchise’s lore, including Zelda’s role as the reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia.
This quote is delivered by Zelda right before she enters a slumber at the Temple of Time to keep Demise sealed away. It speaks to the power of their connection and shows that despite all the destiny, destruction, and hardship they face, the two will always be united by their friendship.
2 Balancing The Negatives
“Our world is one of balance... Just as there is light to drive away darkness, so, too, is there benevolence to banish evil.”
Twilight Princessemphasizes balance as one of the central concepts within the Legend of Zelda franchise. In its countless iterations, the Kingdom of Hyrule seems prone to falling into the hands of evil. But, despite this, there will always be those willing to fight for its safety.
Princess Zelda discloses this line when directing Link to find the Master Sword as a way to break the curse put on him. However, this quote can be understood as a deeper commentary on the cyclical nature of Hyrule’s countless falls and resurrections.
1 Two Spirits Intertwined
“Even though it was only a short time, I feel like I've known you forever. I'll never forget the days we spent together in Hyrule... And I believe in my heart that a day will come when I shall meet you again...”
Unlike many of the other games, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask has a much smaller role for Zelda to play. She appears only once in a flashback to Link’s departure from Hyrule after the events of Ocarina of Time. Despite her short screen time, Majora’s Maskstill allows for her distinctive wisdom to take centerstage.
Bidding Link farewell from Hyrule, Zelda delivers this quote before she teaches him the Song of Time. Though these sentiments are about seeing Link again in her current time, it’s also an apt summation of the pair’s relationship throughout history. No matter which century they’re in, what their roles are, or what form of evil they’re fighting against, Link and Zelda have a powerful connection that cannot be broken.