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Link is a fictional character from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a video game I played often as a kid, and oftener as an adult. In my spare time I like to imagine what other fictional characters from that same game he would date. Here are some of them, in order.

13. The Poe Salesman

He’s a mysterious, hooded figure who pays Link to bring him the imprisoned spirits of the evil dead. Also, he says deeply inappropriate things to young strangers. No sale.

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12. Impa

Impa, as we have established in previous essays, is a stone cold lesbian, Farore bless her. Their relationship will only ever be one of mutual respect and friendliness.

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11. The Great Fairy 

She’s very loud, and prone to leaping up screaming out of the ground, which I don’t think would work for Link, who literally never speaks.

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10. Princess Ruto

She is dead weight as a child — Link has to literally carry her through the entirety of Lord Jabu-Jabu’s belly:

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And as an adult, she refuses to familiarize herself with the basic laws of consent, insisting that Link is her fiancé because he retrieved a sapphire for her father once.

Also, her body is made partly of fish.

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STOP SAYING THAT

HE NEVER AGREED TO MARRY YOU

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9. Saria 

Saria is Link’s Annabel Lee, you know? Leave her by the sea-side with her broken dreams and her child’s toys and move on. She’ll never age beyond ten years old. There’s no future there.

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Sure, it’s sad when he leaves her on the bridge to Kokiri Forest, but you can’t build a life on having learned a song together as kids. She and Mido can work out some sort of Peter-Pan-and-Peter-Pan arrangement. She’ll be okay.

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8. Twinrova

If you could forget that she’s actually made of Koume and Kotake (who look like this) for long enough, they could have a hell of a fling. Dodge her lava bullets, obviously. She’ll probably kill you, but the sex would be worth it.

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7. Dark Link

DON’T PRETEND YOU HAVEN’T THOUGHT ABOUT IT. YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WILLOW AND DARK WILLOW IN DOPPELGANGLAND AND YOU THOUGHT ABOUT DARK LINK IN THE WATER TEMPLE.

Don’t believe me? Do a quick Google image search for “Link and Dark Link” and tell me how many drawings you find of the two of them making out in the first three rows. Go ahead.

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6. Zelda-as-Zelda

Cute kid!

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Beautiful woman!

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Zelda and Link really do make a lovely pair. So blonde! So virtuous! But it’s a little too sweet, a little too precious to make it into the top three. It’s the straight equivalent of twink-on-twink.

NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. A better example: you know how the real crime of Little Women is not that Jo and Laurie don’t hook up, but that Laurie and Amy make a kind of boring couple? Link and Zelda together are the same kind of boring. It’s not objectionable, exactly, it’s just not compelling. (COME AT ME, AMY DEFENDERS)

5. Nabooru

THIS is a pairing I can get behind. When Nabooru first meets Link as a kid, her first thought is Hey, I can exploit this child’s small size in order to steal shit I want. I like that in a woman.

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When she meets Link as an adult, her first reaction is “If only I knew you would become such a handsome man…I should have kept the promise I made back then.”

THEORY: I THINK LINK ENJOYS, A LITTLE BIT, BEING PUSHED AROUND BY STRONG WOMEN WEARING INTENSE MAKEUP. I think he would enjoy getting told what to do. I think it would be good for him. She’s DANGEROUS, but just enough to be hot, not enough to get anyone in serious trouble. She hates Ganondorf, so she’s still good at heart, but that doesn’t mean she’s not interested in cat burglary and wearing massive suits of armor.

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4. Ganondorf

UGH, I’m such a sucker for the scene where the villain demonstrates begrudging respect for his heroic adversary.

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Look at the passion on his face as he calls out Link’s name!

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And it’s just so WONDERFULLY CAMPY, you know? They’re ETERNALLY BOUND TO ONE ANOTHER through the pieces of the Triforce embedded on their hands. Ganondorf kidnaps Link’s girlfriend(?) and imprisons her in a BIG PINK CRYSTAL just to get Link to come over and watch him play piano.

It wouldn’t last, but shooting stars never do.

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3. Darunia

“Do you know what a prize I am in the gay community? There’s a term for it. I’m a bear. And I’m a daddy. I’m a daddy bear.”

Darunia is made of ROCKS and MUSCLES and he keeps demanding that Link call him Brother (which I always imagine him saying in a Jesse Ventura voice, “Brr-r-r-r-rrrrother!”). Link’s all blonde timidity and pureness of heart and the two of them would set the fucking world on fire.

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The first time they meet, Link teaches Darunia to dance and lifts the troubles of his careworn heart.

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I REST MY CASE

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2. Malon 

Malon! Oh man, I have such a soft spot in my heart for Malon. She’s the game’s first and best Badass Normal in a cast full of magic weirdos. She’d be Link’s dead wife in Gladiator, you know what I mean? Not that she’s been slaughtered by Romans or anything, but if Link were going to hang up his sword and spend the rest of his life in peaceful retirement on a farm somewhere, Malon would be it.

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She gave him a horse. He’s been to her house. Her dad likes him. She’s got cute red hair, and she’s not trapped in the body of a ten-year-old or a fish princess or anything weird.

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Plus, when she grows up, she looks a little bit like Emma Watson. It’d be a pretty sweet life, you know?

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But I’m not sure Link’s ever going to get that kind of life, what with Ganondorf busting out of the Sacred Realm with the same ease that Sideshow Bob keeps busting out of Springfield’s minimum security penitentiary. Which brings us to…

1. Zelda-as-Sheik

They have so much more in common than Link does with Zelda-as-Zelda: they both love shouting “Ugh!” in battle and looking good in blue tunics and throwing Deku nuts and wearing their bangs long. Imagine how many of those creepy wobbling white monsters from the Shadow Temple they could defeat if they fought back-to-back together.

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“I’ve been waiting for you,” Sheik would say, without turning around, “Hero of Time.”

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