The Legend of Zelda fans love picking apart every bit of lore and story the games offer, trying to figure out how they slot into the grand scheme of things. Of course, with each subsequent entry in the franchise, there’s more to consider and decipher.

As the series grows in popularity and numbers, it also grows in storyline complexity. This is something Nintendo is very well aware of.

Coming off of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, you might be curious as to where the game fits into the series’ overall timeline. That discussion gets quite interesting when considering Skyward Sword as well, as both games offer insight into the ‘beginnings’ of Hyrule. Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi spoke on this, as well as the story and lore of Zelda in general in an interview with Famitsu. (h/t Nintendo Everything)

“It is definitely a story after Breath of the Wild. After that, basically, we are thinking about how not to break the story and world of The Legend of Zelda. Those are the two points I can say at this point in time.

I think if it doesn’t collapse, fans can have the space to wonder various things like “So that means that is possible?”. If we only speak of the possibilities, if there is the story of Hyrule’s founding, it is also possible that Hyrule has collapsed in its history once before. I don’t randomly make things by saying “Isn’t it interesting if we did this here?”, so even for the parts we did not tell, I hope you enjoy imagining it. “

[Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi]

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Comments (10)


11M ago

Well, bad news Fujibayashi... you broke it.

The one thing that bothers me the most about Tears of the Kingdom is that doesn't fit neatly into the Zelda Timeline in any way. The founding of Hyrule, the Imprisoning War, and Ganon's visit to Hyrule all happen at specific times in the established timeline, and Tears of the Kingdom's events don't properly fit.

I loved the game, but when I finished I turned to youtube to see how people thought the game fit into the timeline and found that nobody knew. There were only theories and arguments. I wish Nintendo would just clarify it for us. I'm sure there are people saying it shouldn't matter, but that's like saying important past games like Ocarina of Time don't matter.


11M ago

Does this include the events of the Warriors game where the mini guardian travels back in time and the events of BoTW don't happen?


11M ago


I don't think anything is really broken here. He even implies in his comment above that this Hyrule seems to be a new Hyrule, after an older one fell. A new incarnation of Ganondorf, a different imprisoning war than the one in the downfall timeline.

But hey, that's just what I see. I've heard plenty of good theories for the timeline, some thinking it's a post flood Wind Waker Hyrule after all the water had receded. Whilst the other Spirit Tracks Hyrule still exists in a different land.

There are plenty of ways to still make things work, the other games still matter for what they do, but this is a new, much later timeline than any of the previous games.


11M ago

I don't think the Zelda team wanted to place Breath of the Wild on a timeline, but rather I think they wanted to reboot Zelda so they could get away from the timeline, but still have fun easter eggs to older games.

I'm figuring the Breath of the Wild Hyrule is an alternate universe basically since BotW was a 3D version of Zelda 1 and Tears is a 3D version of Zelda 2, but done more well and is more open.

Edited 1 time

If it really is a re-established Hyrule in the future, I think I could accept it... I just wish they'd outright say it instead of being coy and mysterious. And it would still bug me if this was the case, because so many of TotK's events echo the existing timeline strongly enough to make it confusing, having so many noteworthy events happen TWICE in Hyrule's history.

Ngamer01 is probably right about them just wanting to escape the confines of the existing timeline, but they somewhat sabotaged themselves by calling back to events we fans would recognize.


11M ago

These statements are as calculated as they are coy, and I love him for it. I also don’t think TotK necessarily breaks anything, the more that the games under his direction elucidate elements of Hyrule’s distant past/origins the more we can subsequently discover that previous games were imperfect retellings passed down through generations. The key is to have fun with it all, obviously, but another thing that TotK does EXCEPTIONALLY well is have players zoom out when it comes to these games, their character motivations, and the land they inhabit. The focus placed on the bargainers statues and the horned statue brings in the conversation about an inevitable fourth grand deity apart from Farore, Din, and Nayru that is necessitated when those three come together and create negative space of the triforce. Create the land, all life…. And order. Whose order is that? What is true order? That third triforce piece seals the chaotic antithesis of their work in the center always yearning to manifest. Four eyes on the bargainer’s statues, they see things for what they truly are.
The darker chaotic forces in TotK are driven by a basic philosophy: ‘why do you guys care about this physical realm so much? Let it be absolute untamed bonkers wild shit. We all end up in the same place when we die.’ That ‘why’ is for reasons like the Stable Trotters (and many others) who would not be a thing in Ganondorf’s Hyrule where the triforce is effectively meaningless. The people who made this game are good at highlighting that stuff, visually and in text: Stunning vistas, deep connections, love across borders, photography, painting, music, farming, construction, creativity, advanced sciences, haute cuisine etc. none of it is given more importance than the rest. All valued. Dorphy just needed to let go of the fact that Rauru and fam ‘squandered’ their abilities and run off to some other land where he could be Dom Daddy. Where was I going with this? Idk I like this game and all its lore implications.

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11M ago

Pretty sure the 're-founding' of Hyrule means that he broke it. Like, he's suggesting a second Imprisoning War took place for that to happen. That's the definition of breaking things.


10M ago


I thought the accepted explanation was that somehow the "three branches" of the timeline post-OoT re-merged at some point in the far future and that's where BotW is.

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10M ago


Nintendo never confirmed anything. They're leaving it to fan interpretation, but they aren't going to say anything so that they can have room to come back to the BotW/Tears Hyrule again if the Zelda team gets any new ideas that can only work in BotW/Tears Hyrule.

Yeah I know the Zelda team already said they believe they exhausted all that can be done with this version of Hyrule, but they wouldn't even need to keep this Hyrule. They could allow a neighboring kingdom away from BotW/Tears Hyrule (but still set in the BotW/Tears world) that might allow for more things that couldn't work in that Hyrule for example.

Edited 1 time

Nah, all the Warriors games are non-canon spinoffs, like Cadence of Hyrule (though technically just not confirmed either way, which implies non-canon because I would think Nintendo would want to acknowledge it in the timeline if it was).