While some people freak out about how cool the new open-world Zelda looks, there's a segment of the fanbase that is currently debating one thing: could it be possible that Link is a girl?
You don't have to go far to see these discussions. Immediately after we posted about the new Zelda, there were huge threads about Link's gender:
If you go on Twitter and search "Link girl", there are a lot of tweets discussing the possibility -- here's but a small selection:
So apparently I'm not the only one who thinks the new Link looks like a girl. Is Nintendo going to really shake things up this time? Excited
— Reload Last Save (@ReloadLastSave) June 11, 2014
Girl Link. I want to believe.
— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) June 10, 2014
seriously everyone wants girl Link can we please make it happen
— 脂肪犬gugかわいい (@tinykoopaking) June 10, 2014
People on forums are talking about it. There are articles about it, some of which analyse Link's figure and facial features and use it as "evidence" of Link's gender change. Some people swear they see breasts. Fan-art of the new Zelda contemplates the idea. Heck, some people are even doing FRAME BY FRAME ANALYSIS of the reveal trailer, in an attempt to look for clues:
Truthfully, even though this video by Irockman1 seems like a joke that pokes fun at people who are acting like Zelda truthers, it really does seem like the sort of thing an obsessive video game fan would do. People are actually doing this weird thing where they're trying to find "tells" of Link's gender -- even though previous Links have always been a tad androgynous:
Of course, it doesn't help that there's a quote floating around by Eiji Aonuma about the character shown in the reveal trailer. "No one explicitly said that that was Link," Aonuma vaguely teased in an interview with Venture Beat. It's given rise to another theory: perhaps the person we see in the trailer isn't Link, but rather Zelda. Who knows!
Right now, the way people are picking apart features makes me feel weird and slightly uncomfortable. It shows that people have a hard time dealing with male characters with feminine traits, and it's really telling of how strictly we classify things in accordance to gender norms. That's a shame. Who says ponytails and earrings are a thing only girls can wear? It's especially baffling when previous male links have things like earrings before.
But on some level I think the discussions are happening because people would genuinely love to play as a female character. There's a definite tinge of "wouldn't this be cool for Nintendo to do?" that trails most of the discussions I've seen, and it's often followed by a slightly defeatist "naw, Nintendo wouldn't actually do that... right?"
If Link turns out to be a girl, that would be rad and novel. And if not, hey. That's fine too, because I'm totally into the new Link. He's kiiiind of hot.