Random Headcanon: Link’s androgyny isn’t just an artefact of the Zelda franchise’s art direction - and neither is it particularly unusual. Sexual dimorphism among Hylians is legitimately much lower than among real-world humans; if Link and Zelda swapped clothes, you’d never be able to tell who was the girl and who was the boy.
Consequently, Hylian society depends heavily on clothing to establish gender roles, to the extent that it’s a severe faux pas to question someone’s gender presentation. If they’re dressed like a girl, then they’re a girl - even if they were dressed like a boy yesterday. That’s why nobody ever remarks upon the fact that Zelda and her heroic alter-ego Sheik are different genders; it’d be gauche at best to bring it up.
i have this ridiculously self-indulgent idea for a retelling of twilight princess where everything is pretty much the same except zelda goes questing with midna and link; and the whole thing has a victorian aesthetic because i have no self-control.
oh…and zelly is the illegitimate child of the king of hyrule so she doesnt live in the castle and is not kept hostage by zant. her entire character arc revolves around the fact that she is the rightful heir to the throne because she is the one blessed with the power of the goddesses, but zelda doesnt want to reveal herself based only on that. she will save her kingdom, dammit! she will prove herself worthy on her own merits.
and then her and link fall in love (ofc lolsobs) while midna is 200% done with their nonsense because they are dumb.