On The Life of Queen and Consort - Zelink Wk Day 1
I’m participating in Zelink Week this year with a new series called On the Life of Queen and Consort. This is a ten part fic that looks into the reign of the first Queen of Hyrule in 100 years, and the ups and downs of her partnership with her Prince Consort, Link.
Setting: Breath of the Wild
The following is an excerpt from the introduction to ‘On the Life of Queen and Consort: An Official History of the first Queen Zelda in Hyrule following the Calamity’ by Larella of Zora’s Domain.
When I was employed in the service of Queen Zelda of Hyrule, one of my many duties was to remember. Dates, numbers, names, laws and protocols; and so I fancy myself to have a precise and robust memory. Few remember me, however. I was the Queen’s left hand, and her Consort’s right. I was their first, best and last friend. But above all, I was their advisor, and now that my tenure is almost at its end, it is time to write their story.
It has been now almost 171 years since the Great Calamity, and 70 years since the Dark Beast Ganon was sealed away by the Queen herself. I served as Chief Advisor in Hyrule Castle for almost that entire time. I have only recently been released from my service, but not by choice.
I consider it the Goddess’ blessing that Zelda is still with us, but she is ailing. I want to finish this as soon as possible, so that she may remember as well. Recently she has begun to forget. There is an…emptiness to her that we have both seen before, in a similar circumstance. But I do not wish to dwell on the present and all of its melancholy. There is so much to write!
To allow a small indulgence into my background, I met the Queen when she was simply ‘Princess Zelda’, in the months following Ganon’s sealing. I was a young Ambassador then, untrained in the complexity of politics, but she trusted me and named me her Chief Advisor when it came time to rebuild her regency. Her consort too went out of his way to protect me many a time. It is this trust and friendship that they both extended to me that I know I will never forget, even if all else must go. This is why I must write this history for Zelda. So that she will not forget either.
From the chapter titled ‘Link’s Awakening.’
Before His Highness was Prince Consort, we knew him just as Master Link, or sometimes as ‘Champion’, for the age-old order that he belonged to in Hyrule before the Calamity. Raised a Knight, Link was not one for politics, despite having spent time at court with Zelda. And so when the proposal was made that he and Zelda should marry, the Knight naturally had concerns. Not of marriage itself; in fact, Link was ecstatic at the proposition. He and Zelda had settled into a comfortable courtship that by then had lasted about two years. The Knight would never admit it, but a part of him enjoyed knowing he was the envy of every young-blooded Hylian in the Kingdom. Many had eyes for the Queen, but the Queen only had eyes for Link.
No, it was not the possibility of spending his life with the woman he was so clearly besotted with that gave Master Link pause. It was the politics that terrified him.
The day after the announcement of the engagement, Link found me in my study. He appeared a strange and shy shadow of himself. Gone was the strength of the young Knight and the determination of the Hero!
“I don’t know how to admit it,” he told me. “But the idea of a royal life makes me so nervous I could be sick.”
“Have you spoken with the Queen?” I asked him. Yes was the answer, and that she had assured him she would always be at his side, and that he would never be expected to take on as many duties as her.
“And none of it helped?” I asked.
“None of it helped.”
Standing from my desk, and I went to my bookshelf and pulled a small but thick tome, bound in fresh leather. The pages were still clean. On the Governance of New Hyrule (with lessons from the old). A book of laws and protocols for court and council that the Queen and I had spent the past two years developing.
“I can’t pretend ruling isn’t difficult, or at times dreary, but I find nothing gives me more confidence than processes!” I smiled, handing him the heavy book. I could tell the young Knight didn’t share my enthusiasm as he began to slowly leaf through the pages, his brows upturned as he read its small print.
He shut the book with an emphatic thump. “Zelda helped write this?”
“That she did. Every word,” I nodded proudly.
Face now softened, with a look of purpose returned to him, the Knight took the book of laws and left my study, but not before thanking me for my help. The next I saw him was at the meeting of the Hyrule Council, bright and early the following day. Master Link had not attended previously, always either off in the wild somewhere, or at training with his Knights, However, that morning he ambled into the council chamber, with On the Governance of New Hyrule in hand, and took his place beside Zelda. The young Queen seemed torn between abject shock and quiet glee, but she contained herself as ever and proceeded with the meeting.
It was not until halfway through that we did realise that Link’s silence was not a product of patient listening but rather deep sleep; he had drifted off with that heavy tome still in hand, and snored so loud the whole council paused to look.
The Queen was ever the diplomat. Without waking Master Link, she tactfully explained that she had sent him on a night-time mission the evening prior and that his weariness was entirely her fault. The meeting ended, and not once did the Knight stir.
After the councillors had departed, and we were left to ourselves, Zelda placed her hands on Link’s to usher him from his sleep.
“Wake up now, sleepyhead,” she teased, and in an instant Master Link was wide awake.
“Did I…?” he said, looking around the empty chamber. “Did I miss the meeting?”
“All of it!” Zelda laughed, leaning toward to kiss his forehead. “Not that there was much to miss.”
“I was up all night reading!” he explained, tossing the book of laws onto the table. “At Larella’s suggestion. I wanted to understand.”
The Queen tightened her hands around Link’s, visibly moved but dismayed as well. “I told you, that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to - not just because you are to be Consort.”
But Master Link would not be swayed in his devotion. “I want to support you, that’s what I want.” And that was that. The Queen released Link’s hands from hers and pushed On the Governance of New Hyrule back towards him.
“Well, I would be glad for it,” she told him. “But from now on, read during the daytime, sleepyhead.”