With a devoted following of fans that love to analyze the lore, characters, and timelines across The Legend of Zelda games, it is little wonder that a multitude of fanfictions have been written for the series. These range from short, one-shots exploring an NPC’s point of view to full-length epics set in alternative universes. While most of these fanfics are done by casual writers, there are plenty done by published authors and professional writers who use their free time to craft stories about the games they fell in love with.
In honor of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launch, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite fanfiction to dive into and enjoy during such an exciting time of the year!
1. Bright as Night by Allendra3
This story is from award-winning fanfic author Allendra3. Imagine an AU where characters you’ve known for years aren’t at all what they appear to be. While the story explores the background of heroes such as Link and Zelda, its focus on Ganondorf is a major reason it tops this list and why I’ll never stop talking about it. The main three Triforce holders are bound together throughout all of the timelines, but Bright as Night adds a twist that’s never before been featured in the Zelda series. It feels as authentic enough to fit right in as a future Zelda title’s story. Plus, it introduces one of the best characters ever, Acroff. It’s 36 chapters and more than 254,000 words long. That’s even longer than the Fellowship of the Ring! With 409 favorites, it is definitely a story worth checking out!
“Zelink AU – Unfinished business in the past comes to haunt the present, a princess trains to be a Sheikah in the Rebellion, and Link finds himself caught in a struggle amongst agents of evil – each wanting to use him for their own purposes. A tale of forgiveness, redemption, love, and inner darkness that proves the absence of war is not the same as peace. Strongly rated T.”
2. Fortitude by Ingie
This story comes from an author who only specializes in The Legend of Zelda fanfics, showing a true love of the craft. The two heroes have never been officially romantically involved throughout any timeline. It’s clear the Internet wants them to be and if it’s romance you’re after in the Zelda universe, this tale is the one for you. At 51 chapters long and over 265,000 words, it has an impressive 1,353 favorites, definitely making it stand out as a potential read.
“Nearly fifteen years after Ocarina of Time, Link and Zelda struggle to preserve political peace after their controversial marriage. But when disaster strikes, Zelda finds herself facing far more than political turmoil…”
3. The Legend of Zelda: Rebel Assassin by Split Infinitive
Split Infinitive has written many stories for the Zelda games and earned quite a loyal following of readers. With his first story in 2003 and his most recent in 2017, there is plenty to enjoy! In Rebel Assasin Link isn’t a boy with a fairy or a hero destined to save the world. No. He’s an assassin for Ganondorf out to kill the princess. If you enjoy dark tales such as Majora’s Mask, this story is for you. Without giving anything away, there’s some inspiration pulled from Twilight Princess when it comes to what I consider a boss fight. Rebel Assassin is quite a beast of a fanfic, coming in with 32 chapters, over 186,000 words, and 258 favorites.
“Everything you thought you knew about the Legend was false. Link is a Royal Assassin for Ganondorf Dragmire. His target? A certain princess and her poverty stricken family.”
4. On Being Young by Guardian 1
This is a beautifully written one-shot by an author who has done an impressive 35 stories for the fantasy genre. What really makes this story stand out is how it’s written. Guardian 1 uses words like an artist wields a paintbrush. Each paragraph reads like a poem, making the entire story artfully crafted. Acting as an epilogue to the visually stunning Wind Waker, this tale is nothing short of moving to read. At only one chapter, it is 834 words with 183 favorites.
“Post-Windwaker baby-ficlet: She is the fierce pirate captain, and he is her purehearted maiden… Or so Tetra would like to think.”
5. Legend by Pam t3h Spam
Another one-shot fanfic that specializes in short stories and the emotions contained within, all of which are told from Princess Zelda’s point of view. The games never really go into detail on who remembers past timelines, but this tale focuses on that remembrance. While Link and Ganondorf are caught in a never-ending battle throughout time, never recalling their former lives, Zelda remembers Link each and every time they meet. There are callbacks to past games which makes for a trip down memory lane. It’s beautifully written as well. With only one chapter, this story is over 3,000 words long with 408 favorites by readers.
“Reincarnation, repetition, redemption: generation after generation, century after century, the princess is always the same. ZELDA-CENTRIC, some ZxL.”
Zelda is a series that continues to inspire creators. From fanfics to original art, the series is full of devoted fans who love getting lost in the characters, lore, and land of Hyrule.