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Which Era the Legend of Zelda TV Show Could be Set In
Whether or not the potential live-action Legend of Zelda TV show ever makes it to Netflix, it’s hard not to speculate on the finer details, like who would be cast in the leading roles, how they plan to adapt the series to the small screen, and whether Link will speak. One of the more compelling questions in my mind is where the Netflix series will land in the Zelda canon…if it finds a spot in there at all. With so little information about the rumored series released, now is the perfect time to speculate what ground the Netflix series could cover.
The Era of Chaos
Of all the possibilities, this could be the most interesting. The biggest drawback, of course, is the absence of the franchise’s most popular villain: Ganon/Ganondorf. Regardless, the prominence of the Era of Chaos to Zelda‘s lore makes this an obvious candidate. With a young, pre-kingdom Hyrule and word of the Triforce just beginning to spread among the populace (which is what plunges the land into the referenced turmoil), the Era of Chaos would make for a perfect introduction for newcomers while providing ample satisfaction for longtime fans. Rauru sealing the Sacred Realm could just as easily be the series finale as it could be the finale of one of the seasons, with subsequent seasons focusing on evil forces trying to break through the Temple of Time.
The Hyrule Unification War
Not to be confused with the Era of Chaos, the unification war is, in fact, the civil war mentioned in several titles, including Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. Serving as a precursor to Ocarina of Time, the civil war is prominent in the timeline, though despite its title “Unification War,” the kingdom had already been established (as seen in The Minish Cap and Four Swords). It is heavily speculated that the Interloper War—where a group known as the Interlopers attempted to use the Fused Shadow to break into the Sacred Realm before being banished to the Twilight Realm—occurred here, and it would make for a compelling subplot. Focusing on this, however, would effectively mean no Link, as this is the event where the Hero of Time’s mother whisked her son away to the Kokiri Forest to entrust the infant Link to the Deku Tree. Link’s mother, on the other hand, could possibly be revealed to be a major player in the war.
The Era Without a Hero (Adult Timeline)
Like the previous, this would preclude involving Link, since this period is explicitly described as having no hero. Taking place after Ganondorf being sealed in the Sacred Realm at Ocarina‘s end and setting up the events of Wind Waker, this period shows Ganondorf’s revival and subsequent invasion of Hyrule. Any fan of the series will know how this ends: with Hyrule being flooded and lost beneath the Great Sea. It may not be the best choice for a television series, but man, would that be a spectacular finale!
Hero of Time’s Adventures After Majora’s Mask (Child Timeline)
Referencing the officially-released timeline, there is no actual event listed as occurring between Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess, but many fans have long wondered what became of the Hero of Time after his sojourn in Termina. The Netflix series could provide answers while reintroducing arguably the most popular incarnation of Link yet. It was revealed in Twilight Princess that the Hero of Time is the Hero’s Shade who imparts his mastery of swordsmanship onto Link. Just what happened that turned him into a Stalfos? When did he master all these techniques absent from the games? The answers could finally be revealed, and though I’ve always been hesitant about the idea of taking us back to the Hero of Time, a TV series might be the opportunity to do so.
The Imprisoning War (Link is Defeated Timeline)
Another of the more popular events in Zelda history not illustrated in a game, the Imprisoning War occurs in the oft-criticized timeline branch where Ganondorf defeats the Hero of Time and steals the Triforces of Courage and Wisdom from him and a captured Zelda, transforming into Ganon before the Seven Sages seal him in the Sacred Realm out of desperation. The resulting war precedes A Link to the Past and transpires between the army of Hyrule and Ganon’s forces—men and women transformed into monsters to serve Ganon when they entered the Sacred Realm (by now the Dark World) in search of the Triforce. Again excluding Link, this series would instead focus more heavily on Ganon and possibly even introduce a younger Agahnim.
If the Netflix series proves canon, which event from Zelda history would you most like to see illustrated? Or would you prefer an original canonical story or something parallel, like Hyrule Warriors? Share your thoughts with us!