Zant is a pretty good character.
Am I making a long text post about a video game again? Oh jeez… Sorry, everyone. But it’s late, and I’m tired and you know I just really like Zant. I don’t think Zant gets enough recognition. So here’s why I like Zant. And of course, you may disagree, and that’s okay too.
First off, I feel like a lot of people hate on Zant. Not really sure why. I’ve seen a couple of different arguments against the guy. People don’t like his design, or his personality, the way he acts all calm one second, all screechy the next, or his… weird, dorky bowl cut. But if you really look at Zant, really pick apart the guy’s character, I think you may see that all these things are A+
What do I mean? Well… Let’s take this one thing at a time. The first, most important thing to understand about this stooge is that he isn’t a warrior. Unlike big Papa Ganondorf, or the ravishing Ghirahim, he is not well versed in the ways of combat. He’s a politician. That’s his origin story. He campaigns to become the leader of the Twilight Realm, no one likes him because they don’t want to start a war with Hyrule, he’s cast out. It’s not really fair to compare this scrawny little guy, who has never punched anything in his life, to the likes of Big Papa G.
But there in lies my favorite thing about him. After the life he’s lived, studying Twili history and politics, researching dusty Twili tomes all night, OF COURSE he’s just a weird, scrawny dude with bad hair. He’s not a big and scary, or cool and attractive, he’s some dork with silly looking hair and weird, confused eyes. He’s literally just a nerd. Which I think is the reason behind a lot of his actions. Unlike Ghirahim, who fights you multiple times, Zant never fights you directly until he has no choice. Why would he? He’s probably never faced someone in open combat before. He tries his best to pull the strings from behind the scenes. I love that about him.
His personality is perfect. Well thought out, dangerously clever, and just… gooood. Alright, check it. Zanty-poo spends the entire game acting cool and calm and collected. He speaks in this smooth, intimidating way that gives off this perceived collected calmness in his character. That is, until the end, when you face him in battle, and he shows his true colors. Whiny, insecure, immature, prone to tantrums, and like… majorly freaking out. That’s Zant. That’s who he actually is. Not some level headed mastermind. Just some high strung weirdo.
Why is he like that? Well, let’s take a look. Remember back in that one scene in Twilight Princess, where he runs out of the castle, having just learned of his failure and how everyone hates him for being militaristic and wanting to take over Hyrule, and then Ganondorf presents himself to him as a god? That would be why. Suddenly, this nerd, who has never known anything like that before, has just, as far as he’s concerned, been chosen by an otherworldly force beyond comprehension to lead the campaign of his whole life.
But it don’t end there. For Zant, after that, everything goes great. He’s like the schoolyard bully. He can turn people into imps and beasts and run around conquering the light world, and nothing can stop him. Remember, we’re dealing with someone who is selfish and immature here. Zant gets to feeling like he’s just a little bit unstoppable. Of course, he’s just a pawn, but hey, he doesn’t know that. Then, in comes this loser kid in green, from a town in the middle of no where, and suddenly, everything he’s done is being undone. And OF COURSE, Midna is involved.
Reminder: He hates Midna. Despises her. After all, she succeeded as the leader of the Twilight Realm, something he never got the chance to do. She is the antagonist of this guy’s entire life dream. I loooove it. I mean, Zant loathes her so much, he turns her into a stocky, useless little… Imp… Thing? Anyway, he chooses not to kill her. That’s a major thing that I like. He doesn’t kill her, he makes an example of her. He’s all “Hey look, y’all, I’m Zant, don’t oppose me, I can do whatever I want, your princess is now a creepy thing.”
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, right. So now MIDNA and some kid in green are ruining his plans! Effortlessly! They NEVER fail! It’s a massive reminder to him of hiow much of a failure he is as a Twili. Even with nigh infinite power and immortality, he STILL can’t beat Midna. So of course, when he’s cornered and forced to fight, he screams and spins, and stomps around and throws a wild fit. Poor guy has a lot of stress to get out. His true colors show because he’s just so fed up with failing and getting the short end of the stick, not to mention Midna always beating him.
(But like, remember in his fight, when he turns giant and you attack his toe and he grabs it and hops around like he just stubbed it on something? Yeah, that should tell you plenty about his character.)
So all this adds up to… Some nerd, who all his efforts end in ridiculous failure, who comes in to a ton of power, which he believes is divinely ordained, suddenly finds he gets to stroll around the world like he owns it, only to meet an even more embarrassing failure in the end. I think we all need to appreciate this villain a little more. Because he is majorly a bad dude, but not a bad character.