Some People Think Link Might Be A Girl In The New Zelda

Some People Think Link Might Be A Girl In The New Zelda

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:

Some People Think Link Might Be A Girl In The New Zelda
Some People Think Link Might Be A Girl In The New Zelda

If you go on Twitter and search "Link girl", there are a lot of tweets discussing the possibility — here's but a small selection:

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:

Some People Think Link Might Be A Girl In The New Zelda

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.


    If Nintendo have any kind of intelligence in their company, they would capitalise on this immediately!

    There are so many positives to this breakthrough! People might even go out and buy a Wii U just to play as a female character that's not a "female" character (meaning, not a stripper heeled, boob windowed girl designed by men to be 'tough')

    No, it's not a girl.

      It's not a tumor.

        It's probably an alien in a highly advanced mech suit. In place of genitals it just has a rotating arm with rubber chickens attached.

      It's either not a girl or not Link Imo. It looks very similar to the Link in the e3 from last year, except with softer lighting.


      Last edited 12/06/14 11:38 am

    The character in the trailer is clearly a female, from as soon as the cloak is removed it is obvious.
    Otherwise they've taken femininity in male characters way too far.
    Whether it's Link or not (it totally is) is a different matter.

    I'm just going to throw this edit in.
    I don't care if the character shown is Female, Male, or Gender Neutral. I really like the design and am going to play it regardless.
    It may just be the art styling lending to the feminine look I'm seeing (shading, colouring, etc), but based purely off looks alone, from an uneducated guess (cause I don't have much experience with Link, tbh) when I saw this character for the first time, I thought it was a female.
    I still do, but I don't care if it isn't :)
    Didn't mean to offend anybody :S

    Last edited 12/06/14 12:06 pm

      Seriously? How is his body type any different to Skyward sword? Thin, pretty features, tied back long hair and lack of gender defining muscles.
      Femininity has nothing to do with Links look, he is an elf kid and you can't expect forward thinking in a character only to define it by going backward.

        Define it by going backward? Whaaa?

        I'm just saying that the character looks like a girl, or if it is a dude, then very feminine on the spectrum, haha!
        I'm not saying it's a bad thing or anything, I really like the design and style, just that from what's been shown I'd say female, whereas past Links look more like a guy (albeit, still very feminine).
        That's if this is even Link.

        I didn't mean to offend (you sound quite defensive), it's just that I thought it looked like a female character :)

          Ah sorry, didn't mean to sound offended or imply your idea is bad or wrong.
          I just found it interesting that you applied old tropes that have never been true or even conveyed by the series past in your decision.

          Sure, there is no traditional indicators to say this is a man, but at the same time there is nothing to say it's a woman by that reasoning
          Long hair and earrings on both ears is not factually feminine and neither is a lack of clear male musculature. Lacking a chiseled jaw and a facial hair in favour of prettier features isn't a sign of femininity either. They are just popular tropes that the series has ever played in to.

          He has always been androgynous despite being clearly defined as a male and little has been done in the trailer to question that.

          You seen steins;gate? That will show you the true meaning of gender confusion.

          You seen steins;gate? That will show you the true meaning of gender confusion. Plus great show.

      What the hell! Why would anyone even dislike this comment? It's not in the least bit offensive! [email protected] This bloody debate on female characters in games is really bring out an uglier side to Kotaku's community.

    Ok I am all for diversity in games. I have no issues with the possibility that one of Link's versions could be female. (I just see the same pretty boy elf he has always been in the trailer)

    HOWEVER. What happens if it doesn't turn out to be a girl or the choice to choose simply isn't there? People are so strongly perpetuating rumor and possibility, what happens when Link doesn't rise to fight that battle or never even intended to?

    Sites like Kotaku are running with this idea. I just hope people don't blame Nintendo when it doesn't live up to expectations created by rumor.

      Nah, on top of the "nintendo hates gays" article there will be a "nintendo hates women" article.

        Followed by the "Nintendo hates transsexuals" article.

        Make Link a black, gay, female, Muslim, climate change activist who only eats organic food.

        If you're going to pander I say go for the gold.

      I'd hope people would be gratious in being wrong.
      So long as you think something, but don't mind being wrong, then it's fine.
      It's when people can't accept being wrong that unnecessary drama starts.

    Some also speculate that it's another version of Aryll. Not sure what I think about that. Only Nintendo knows. We'll find out soon enough. Regardless, the game is looking spectacular!

    to me it seems they've made the character more feminine, but maybe without necessarily making it a girl. the character almost seems neutral. without strictly identifying the character as a male or female its able to reach broader audience without alienating anyone who still loves the classic routine of link being the male hero.

    All this talk of how feminine Link appears highlights a sad pigeon-holing of how men need to look in video games. I'm lookin, and what I see is a low-testosterone, youthful elfin dude. Sure, there's scope there for him to potentially be female, but there's nothing that clearly revokes his wang ownership.

    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.

    There is so much wrong with this assumption. Empathy goes a long way.You are also ignoring the role of media representation and its actual influence on society's values. What you aren't doing is using any sort of method to come up with these assumptions. They just are because you feel they are. And what "people" are you talking about? "People" who aren't you? The problem I find with all of these stories is that they're unrelatable without the reader trying really hard to be empathetic. If you aren't very empathetic towards others - much like the writers of these articles - it's much harder to meaningfully have your position heard and understood.

    I don't care if it's male or female but if you're willing to completely misinterpret pieces of art (that actually challenge gender convention) with narrow viewpoints and irresponsible, public finger-pointing/waving, maybe you should attempt to understand exactly why "others" (or "people" as you call them) are so insecure and defensive of gender norms. Might actually help you speak to people who have a misunderstanding of the issue and enable them to act empathetically.

    I don't know, maybe it's not the responsibility of anyone to take that step forward.

    P.s. Doesn't the bow give it away?

    Last edited 12/06/14 1:36 pm

    Watched the trailer for the first time the other day, while thinking about buying a WiiU in 2015.
    I reckon this game'll be the tipping point for that purchase. (Especially if in a bundle.)

    On the cloak reveal, my first thought was, "That's what Link wears now?" (Should've been my first clue - why wouldn't he wear the iconic green?) On facial close-up: "Wow. They've really made Link look feminine these days. No wonder people get confused."

    Never even occurred to me that the character wasn't Link, because in my experience (Zela 1, 2, 3, 4), Link is the protagonist. Also didn't occur that Link might actually be a girl in this game - just an aesthetic choice or something.

    Honestly don't really care, either. I don't really think it counts as a good thing or a bad thing, just... a thing? <- Behold the lack of passion of the uninvolved. Apathy will solve the world's problems.

    Well, you just can't really tell in that trailer, but from what I can gather it looks like just link with long hair.

    Either way is fine - the gender of a protagonist has never really mattered to me. I doubt Link will be female, since Nintendo don't like to mess with their characters. If they make the protagonist a female, it should be a new character, since a "female link" is really just as boring as.... well... male link. Link's not a good character, in fact he barely is a character. I like the Zelda games, but I don't play them because I give a damn about Link. Because who is Link? He's a generic hero who is pretty much a walking cipher.

    Who cares! I just cant wait to save the princess again!

    This whole hoohar is insane. It just looks like Link. Have these people never seen a Zelda game before? Or anything from Japan with a boy character? They are all going to have heart attacks next FF trailer. :D

    Saw some fan theory that it was actually Zelda herself. They drew some connection between the bow usage/types of arrows that Zelda uses in games where she's a playable character.

    Those look like some kind of high- tech light arrows, which is usually Zelda's weapon. It would really be great if for once Zelda were the one to save Link. No reason they shouldn't do it that way.

    Last edited 12/06/14 7:36 pm

    Aonuma confirmed that it's a male Link so everyone can sit down and relax.
    I hope they'll never make Link female though. I'm a girl but I don't want an iconic character to be changed or killed off by character customization. I also don't want the story to be killed off by a role reversal.
    And no, actual Zelda gamers (female or not) will not just buy a Wii U and get the game because Link is female. Most female Zelda fans are okay with Link being male.
    It would be really hard to make a decent game with Zelda as the protagonist that actually makes sense in the timeline(or just make a spinoff). It could work but female Link? Please not. This is a popular game franchise and not a rule 63 fanfiction. It would also be very cliché and boring.

    GUYS! Miyamoto described him as a 'HE' ... So he is a 'HE'

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