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If Link Talks, I Walk

The only acceptable forms of communication for Link are hiiiiyah, break jar, and journalism

8:55 PM EST on November 7, 2023


Nintendo has officially announced that a live-action Legend of Zelda movie is in the works. It’s being directed by the guy who made the Maze Runner movies, which I had not heard of until today. Shigeru Miyamoto and Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad are producing. Sony, of all companies, is also involved. That’s all fine. But one thing must not happen, no matter who holds the puppet or purse strings: Link cannot be allowed to speak.

Link is not a talker – and he never has been. (Do not mention Wand of Gamelon around me; it’s not real.) Link is a yelper, a breaker of pots, and an accomplished journalist, sure, but spoken words are not his forte. As far as I’m concerned, that rules! Link is a twink of action. He communicates with his deeds. If somebody tells him that their village halfway across the world has been overrun by ruffians, Link just goes off on a days-long journey, blasts the ruffians to smithereens with his comically OP Zonai cannon spear, rebuilds the entire village, and then walks all the way back to shock his new acquaintance by wordlessly conveying that the job’s done – effectively leaving them speechless. Who needs to talk when you can do that?

If the creatives behind the Zelda movie want, they could easily make Link canonically unable to speak or have him communicate via sign language or something to that effect, a unique and potentially interesting spin on the character. Failing that, Aftermath’s own Luke Plunkett – who once wrote an outline for a Zelda movie and even created art for it, but who somehow does not believe there’s a blog in that – has some suggestions as to how Link could never speak to the audience while still talking to other characters:

That would be funny! And it would fit the family friendly vibe Nintendo is likely going for. Kids and adults would both get a kick out of these sorts of scenes.

There’s also the simple matter that Link is not – and never has been – the main attraction in Legend of Zelda. He’s surrounded by an assortment of oddballs, weirdos, and whatever secret third sort of strange Tingle is, as well as giant rock men and hot fish men. And Zelda herself, who always gets sidelined despite being vastly more interesting than Link! Those characters will steal the show no matter what, so why not just give them the spotlight to begin with? On top of all that, the world of Hyrule is always the main character in this series, more so than ever in recent entries. Losing sight of that would be folly, a waste of potential. 

Look, we’ve been here before: Mario should not have been a fully voiced character in the Mario movie. Some “wahoos” and the occasional “here we go” would have been fine, but does anyone feel like Chris Pratt’s performance added much to what was otherwise a perfectly serviceable – but not particularly memorable – adaptation of another series starring a hero who speaks with his actions? This is the strength of Nintendo characters! It is part of their timeless quality! Don’t fuck it up (again), Nintendo.

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