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okay, but wind waker link was about 12 years old when he started his journey…

he also gave the king of red lions a snazzy nickname

(I don’t know why, but as beautiful as these pictures were, I didn’t want them to stand alone, so…)

Uncountable fathoms below the fire, the King of Red Lions Daphnes Johansen Hyrule looks woefully into the mirror, gazing upon this child’s face, stained as it is with soot and tears.

What right have I, he thinks, To destroy this boy’s future? Ganon must be stopped, but is that worth the price of Link’s laughter and happiness?

He ought to turn away - his heart cries out to see the boy in such distress - but part of him knows that silence here would be even worse for Link.

"I want my Grandma," the boy in green says, and Daphnes hears, unspoken, "I need a father."

What would Zelda say? He thinks, remembering his beautiful daughter with eyes like the sea and wiser than her years. He never had a son, and he never needed to speak to Zelda the way Link so desperately needs to be spoken to, her grace and serenity seeming to overcome all difficulties placed before her. Here, unlike all else that has transpired on the Great Sea above him, he has no plan in place, no contingency, no Last Great Hope to save his kingdom, so he turns to that same part of him that knew he could not remain silent, speaking from his heart, not his mind.

In the spire of Dragon’s Roost, as LInk cowers from Gohma’s furious lava breath, the gem in his hands shines and chimes.

"It’s okay, Link," he hears the King say. "It’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to cry. Let it out."

He was expecting an admonishment - an urge to fight on. This reassurance is unexpected, and Link stops crying for a moment.

"You are not weak to feel overwhelmed by the tasks before you. You are not cowardly to want to flee something that fully grown men would quail before. You are just a boy." And I am sorry, Daphnes thinks, but these words do not leave his lips - and they will go unsaid forever.

"But you cannot stop here, Link. The door has closed behind you. The room is getting hotter. If you give up now, you will never see your sister or your grandmother again."

"I- I know," the boy stammers, tears threatening to well up again, "B-but - it’s too tough, my sword isn’t even scratching it."

"Not all fights are to be won with brute strength, my boy. Look around the chamber. Find some way to crack the shell. Use your environment to your advantage."

There’s a long silence, and for a moment Daphnes worries if something awful has happened. Then, Link’s voice comes through again, quavering a little.

"The ceiling… It looks loose." The boy swallows, sheathing his sword and reaching for the coil of rope slung across his shoulders. "I don’t know for sure… What if it doesn’t work?"

"You must try," Daphnes says. "If you have an idea, if you see an opportunity… Link, you must seize it."

There is no reply. Then suddenly there’s a roar of anguish - not Gohma! - through the crystal, then a crash, followed by the monstrous creature screaming in outrage. Link’s voice cuts through the connection again.

"I did it! I dropped the ceiling on it, and the armour’s cracked!"

The boy’s voice is shaky still but brighter, as though he’s seen a ray of hope, and Daphnes permits himself a smile - one, though he would never admit it, of fatherly pride.

"Well done, Link. Don’t give up." Forgive me.



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