At last we come to one of the choices most favored among fans of Link’s possible love interests: the girl with green hair, Saria of the woodland realm. Clearly, there’s chemistry between them, as they are best friends. But does the chemistry extend beyond that?


Love in their Eyes

Right at the very beginning of the adventure, it’s clear that Saria is very fond of Link. Some have said that since they are mere children, they would not be in love. For one thing, that assumes that “love” is defined to be some full-blown thing that only adults could experience. For another thing, it’s true that she has the body and spirit of a child, but she has a magnificent maturity to her, a maturity that makes perfect sense when she is chosen as a sage. She sees things on a deeper level than others, and proclaims that she knew that Link would one day leave. This maturity could be significant-does she have feelings for Link?

We also learn that Mido likes Saria, and as a result is jealous of Link because he’s her favorite. He tries to get Saria to like him, but it’s certainly not very effective. He’s a bully, but there’s something more large-scale and sinister to his status as bully, something more adult-like. And this too clues us in that at least some of the Kokiri are not entirely what they seem.

Link too, has Saria in a prominent place in his own heart. We see that even at the beginning, especially the way he backs up hesitantly from her on the bridge and then runs off. He doesn’t express his emotions well, perhaps because he was a bit of a social outcast. At any rate, he’s very fond of her, and thinks she’s special in a way that almost no one else could be. Both Saria and Link constantly think about each other.

In the end, however, we have no concrete evidence either way. It’s simply ambiguous. They love each other greatly as friends, but it’s impossible to tell whether or not there’s any crush in there too. They’re the best of friends, and have an amazing chemistry together, but we can’t really tell anything. Drawing the line between the “best friends” kind of love and the “best friends love” with a crush attached is extremely difficult, as it is so often in real world relationships.

Nevermore

It isn’t until Link is an adult that we get our first real interpretable evidence for anything.

After defeating the Forest Temple, Saria says the following:

“Thank you…
Because of you, I could awaken as a Sage . . .
I am Saria.
The Sage of the Forest Temple . . .
I always believed that you would come. Because I know you . . .
No . . .
You don’t have to explain it to me . . .
Because it is destiny that you and I can’t live in the same world.
I will stay here as the Forest Sage and help you…
Now, please take this Medallion . . .”

Their meeting is painful. They have that great friendship between them, and there’s a rift in it because of time and circumstances. They are painfully aware of their separation, and although they want to rectify it, they know they cannot.

What happens next is perhaps even more interesting. Against a white screen, a text box says, “Saria will always be . . .” Pause. Then it says, “Your friend . . .”

But even more to the point is what Mido tells you afterwards:
“Oh . . . I see . . .
Saria won’t ever come back . . .
But . . . I . . . I made a promise to Saria . . .
If Link came back, I would be sure to tell him that Saria had been waiting for him . . .”

Then Mido has a hard time getting out the next part:
“Because Saria . . . really . . .
liked . . .”

He falters and says, “Hey, you.” Which is an interesting bit of text because not only does it ironically belong to the previous sentence, but also to the next:
“If you see him somewhere, please let him know . . .
And also . . .
I’m sorry for being mean to him.
Tell him that, too.”

Taking these quotes together, we can see that there’s no question where Saria’s affections lay-with Link. And Link? What does he think? Once again, he seems a bit clueless about it. But as for reciprocating that romantic love, that special bond, it’s hard to say. It’s easy to imagine that if somehow, the circumstances allowed for it, and if she had plucked up the courage to be open with him about her feelings, he would have been happy with the idea. But we can’t ponder the “what if” questions, because these quotes make it clear that Saria is gone from his world. The idea is that they could have grown even beyond being just best friends, but that they couldn’t because this was a new life. It’s part of the larger theme of time in Ocarina of Time. The passing of time and the brutal new reality meant that Link would have to give up that age of childhood. Saria symbolizes a past age, an age which could never again be claimed. Link’s past was a wonderful time, a time of love and joy and innocence and the green and simple things of the world, but now that life could not be reclaimed. It’s a painful thing, but it’s part of the pathos of the game.

Conclusion

Link and Saria. They were the best of friends, tied together by an incredible bond. But did they feel anything “more” than that? On Saria’s part, it seems that she certainly did. On Link’s part, he seems rather clueless as usual. He probably was too “simple-minded,” to to speak, to think of her as something more than a best friend. I would remind you that it wasn’t until Cremia hugged him in Majora’s Mask that we see him having true “fuzzy feelings.” This was something new to him, which means that he hadn’t felt like that before that time. Cremia had to do something obvious for him to open his eyes to what he feels about Malon back home. So it does seem likely that if Saria had strongly encouraged a special relationship in that kind of obvious manner, then his eyes would have opened to the kind of wonderful person Saria was. But that could not to be, because the message of the game is clear, that Saria and Link are of two different worlds, and a romance would never spring up between them because of the painful reality of time and circumstance.

______________________________________________________

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This retro article was originally posted November 27th, 2003.
  • MagicLink

    I think in the next game they should bring Link back to the Kokiri Forest, with Saria and the rest of the Kokiri's there. =/ That was one of the best places in OOT, in my opinion anyway. Saria was a cool character, but she never came back in any of the other games, i'd love it if they brought her back at least one more time so Link can visit her, even if he is an adult now, i want to see what would happen =3

    • Alex

      Maybe part of the plot would be that the kokiri folk began to age, because of a magic that came from Ganon to destroy innocence. Maybe even to prepare a spell that was originally intended to rid the world of evil, but commandeered by Ganon to be unforgiving and punish all that are guilty of anything. Because of this, he has to get rid of childlike innocence for it to target everyone. This isn't such a great idea, since I just now thought of it, but it could make a nice plot for another Legend of Zelda game, with a good sum of revisions.

  • Luisa

    Kokiri Forest really was one of the best places in OoT. I'd also like to see Saria (and the other sages) again in the next games. But that's not possible. They're sages now and they can't come back, sadly.

    • oneeyedhermit

      Why can't the sages come back? Before Wind Waker came out I always envisioned a game where all of the sages met sometime far in the future, including Saria etc, and decided to recall the hero of time from the past because Ganon has escaped or some such thing. I fugured that having a sages medallion could make you live longer and that they could appear in future games.

    • jd the fat guy

      but they could meet in the sacred realm

  • darkbeastganon

    Well, since she didn’t become a sage in the child timeline, who knows. They probably spend time together, then Link, no longer a child has to leave. This sounds fan fiction, but you know hwat I mean.

  • Guil.

    Even if there were feelings on Saria's part even that she is a forest child a therefore a spirit not just a child, Link was just a child and therefore would naturally be oblivious to things like that. And even that Saria may not be a child in the usual meaning her childlike features and body build would make Link feel like there was something wrong in what he was feeling if he ever would develop feelings for Saria when he would be old enough to understand these things because lets face it there would always be the undertone of paedophilia there . Although I always saw Saria as more of a guardian for young Link even that she did seem to have those kind of feelings for him. She always knew he would leave the forest and that he wasn't one of the kokiri so there was that certain tone to her that let you know that she had been protecting him from something when he was still too young to understand the future he had coming towards him.

  • cbarnett2386

    I agree with MagicLInk and Luisa. Kokiri Forest was one of the best places in Ocarina of Time. The first time I played this game I wondered if there were feeling between of these two, but I was just a kid then. Going back and replaying it I can say if it was intended for these two to have feelings, it is obvious.

  • Foh

    I wouldn't really say they were in love, I more agree with Guil. They were close friends, that's true, but I always thought Saria looked at Link with wisdom in her eyes, not love, in knowing that he was the most important Kokiri, or maybe she knew all along that he wasn't Kokiri at all. She never said anything because she was too sweet and thought it wasn't hers to tell, that's what I think. Besides, since the Kokiri never age, who knows how much older she could have been compared to young Link. All of the Kokiri may have seen him brought there as a baby, it's possible they all knew the truth about him yet didn't say anything. That point, however, I don't think is true, since the other Kokiris' commentary suggests otherwise, Either way, I don't think Saria and Link were in love, more like a destined friendship.

  • RydAma

    Not to put all this interesting theorizing down or anything… but Link is meant to repressent you – the player. Its up to each of us to decide who is our love interest, right?

    • ChainofTermina

      Thank you! I couldn't agree more.

    • Guest

      Agreed, but this article looks past the immediate decision, and goes into a deeper inspection of whatever decision you as the player made. If you chose Saria as the love interest, then this is an examination of that arc.

    • MrZeldafan#1

      Yes, but the way LINK acts in CUTSCENES shows emotion towards Others
      (Saria, Zelda, Etc.)

    • jd the fat guy

      this person has amazing logic^
      ^
      ^

  • I've never considered Saria as one of Link's top picks, always thinking them to be very close friends, and part of it pertains to what the article said. Saria had a strong maturity and deep perception. She knew that Link would one day leave, and therefore they would never be together. That's why she was faithful as his friend, yet she stuck close, never allowing her feelings to better her. She grew sadder as the days passed, but rejoiced when noticing Link's own maturity. Whatever emotions he felt, she felt also.

    Thus, I believe Saria had more empathy than love for Link, because she knew what he underwent. She could place herself into his person, see through his eyes. That's why she was so solemn the day he left.

  • Headphoneguy

    I like these articles. You bring up very intresting points. I would love to see your thougths on WW Link and Tetra.

    • Bitf Adict

      What the- theres NOTHING between Link and Tetra. Now Link and Midna, THAT I would see.

  • Sanity's_Theif

    Link is sent back in time to when he was a kid at the end of the game, so couldn't he go back to the forest? But he would grow up eventually so I guess it wouldn't work lol, they really are of 2 different worlds

  • Anomynous

    Why Link Why!!!!!!!!!!

  • ChainofTermina

    what is with this guy? Nintendo doesn't think about stuff like, "who will Link fall in love with", so since Link's love life is never really explored or acknowledged by the creator, we are allowed to form OUR OWN OPINIONS about who he loves. I can follow which ever fandom I want, and I'm getting sick of this guy's articles trying to say that Link's love interest is an important issue that we must solve and all come to an agreement on.

    I couldn't agree more with RydAma, it's up to US who Link falls in love with. we come up with and follow OUR OWN opinions and theories, not the ones favored by this one article author.

    I do sincerely apologize for coming off as such a Jerk, but these articles aren't like other articles. Romance fandoms are not something people should try to "prove", they are up to the fans and everyone is entitled to their own opinion and theories.

    • QueenxLink

      I was getting kind of tired of these articles myself… They were getting kind of annoying. :/

      • ChainofTermina

        exactly

    • You didn't come off as a jerk to me. I completely agree with you and RydAma. If you guys have to point something out, then do it. It does seem at times the author can be a bit opinionated, but back then I bet he strove to present the facts in such a way that everyone would catch his drift. Yeah, I'm also getting a little tired of them, though it is interesting to see the different views of Links "picks."

    • Robert

      It's conjecture dude. They're presenting insight and thinking about things taking clues from whats around them. There's no need to get as bent out of shape as you are. And besides, if these irritate you so much, guess what? I don't think anyone would waste their time pointing a gun at your head and telling you to read it. Bottom line, it's just something to think about. Nothings being said or set in stone, no ones forcing these beliefs on you. Remember its a game, just chill and have fun with it.

      • ChainofTermina

        I didn't complain at the first or second article. it's just that these are starting to get annoying. and I know it's just a game, thats my point. we shouldn't have to worry so much about who link falls in love with. no one's forcing me to read this and I'm not reading them, but they're still annoying

        • Guest

          You're right. It's not important. However, the elements are still there in the game. The author's just putting them together to examine the arc these pairs have. And how can he say this is set in stone if he's going to rally for the other team? Tell ya' how, he's not trying to come up w/ one answer. (if you can call it an answer)

          Plus, if you hate these articles, then you must really hate fanfiction, as people can take unimportant themes, that Nintendo never thought much of, and use them.

          • ChainofTermina

            I used to read fanfiction, but not anymore. and like I said. I can follow whatever fandom I want. I used to read, and enjoy fanfiction about LinkxZelda, because that's the fandom that I prefer. and this guy writing his big article saying, "oh, that's wrong. your wrong, and here's why" is extremely annoying. it's like, just let me enjoy the game the way I want to enjoy it, and stop giving me these articles that try to prove that the fandom you like are true. I'm not gonna agree with you, and I don't need to, so stop with the articles already!

      • He's only suggesting that the player should decide who Link falls in love with, and because he agreed with another comment. There's nothing wrong with him elaborating on that. He was being no harsher to Trahald (the poster) than you are to him, though the facts from both sides needed to be presented.

        You and CoT are both right: no one should force beliefs on you. Yet it seemed that the author was at times, and in turn CoT had to come up with something to rebut that, whereas you struck back to defend the article. A triangular pattern, very similar to the Triforce–Trahald, with his Wisdom of words; ChainofTermina, with his Courage of the heart; and you, Robert, with your Power of persuasion, as you put up a hard case.

        Altogether, two matters that shouldn't contradict each other, but two intentions that had to. Again, nothing wrong with either of them. You both just put out your opinions, and no one should steal your right to them.

        • ChainofTermina

          I have Courage of the Heart. Awesome!

          but yeah, thanks Thareous. that was really nice of you. I appreciate it. 🙂

          • Courage comes from not fearing whatever hardships may face you. So yes, you definitely merited that Triforce essence.

            No need to mention it. I only saw that both of you had fair things to say, so I decided to extract any negative points and replace them with the upsides to the issue. Plus, I really didn't want a full-fledged debate to spout from this. 😉

          • ChainofTermina

            yeah, me neither. thanks again.

    • Well, in some circumstances romance CAN be "proven" if two characters were planned to get together from the start. Its undeniable that Squall and Rinoa have something going on in Final Fantasy VIII.

      Other games, though, just leave it ambiguous. Nintendo is NOTORIOUS for this, largely notable in Fire Emblem. In FE7 (first one released in the U.S.) the title character can hook up with three different girls by the end of the game. Two of them are more notable (Eliwood greatly interacts with and shows interest in both Lyn and Ninian throughout the game), but he can also hook up with Fiora, too.

      In this type of case, yeah, there's four potential possibilities. I don't think Nintendo planned on having Link hook up with anyone, either. My favorite is by far Saria, and believe me, there's ways to work around it. The notion that the sages die… never really stated, not confirmed. Additionally, the statement made that if "the Kokiri leave the forest they shall surely die" clearly isn't true, based on the ending. What may happen, though, is that if the Kokiri leave the forest for an extended period, they no longer have eternal youth and will grow old and eventually die (I prefer this theory, to be honest).

      So, yeah… those are my thoughts on this matter. I don't think Saria or any of the sages die, they just now have to fulfill their duty as sages by protecting Hyrule.

      • Grammar Counts

        *In this type of case, there ARE four potential possibilities.*

        Try finding that in your jumbled tirade.

  • Scrivs

    Kokiris should DEFINITELY make a comeback in SS! and since they don't age, couldn't Saria be alive even though it was before OoT?

    • Bitf Adict

      That would be nice, but it's very unlikely.

    • MrZeldafan#1

      Kokiri DO age, but they keep their physical appearances because on ZeldaPedia, it says the kokiri never grow up. TRUE, saria could be alive by the time of skyward sword, but she would have changed. (not physically)
      But What Zeldapedia also said is that any kokiri that lives OUTSIDE hte kokiri forest for too long will die, presumbly without protection of the Deku Tree. But
      Link Could never have been with Saria because"Anyone who stays In the kokiri forest that is not kokiri will become a stalfos

  • Taha_Soysal

    These ship articles have been very good reads. They pretty much put forth solid evidence to back up their points, and it all makes sense. However, in my opinion, I never believed that Link really had any romantic feelings for anyone, but that a lot of other people (and species) wanted to be with him anyways. I always percieved Link's approach to love and romance as if it was stuck in a perpetually childlike mode. That would be because Link, or at least the Hero of Time, who I'm assuming we're only refering to, always remained a child at heart.

    Even when he recieved an adult body, he stil remained a child at heart, and simpy lacked the emotional maturity to reciprocate any of the several romantic gestures geared towards him throughout the course of his adventure. Now as for Saria, the bond between them could have been more tighter than some of his other femaile acquantices due to the length of time spent together, but I still don't think that it could have escalated above "puppy love". But that's just my opinion.

    Now TP Link / Ilia on the other hand……

  • red_mantis

    I thought it was obvious, but no one seems to mention it. What I always gained was that Saria had died in the temple, as I got most of the sages had died. That's what I gathered when she mentioned being in a "seperate world" from him.

  • IwishIwasCoT

    did anyone else take in the first post was 132 weeks ago.
    LOL, but i dont link should fall in love..
    because the legend of zelda series are about saving the world.
    not about getting a girl o-o
    if it was about that, i woulda just went to gta

    • Anna

      No, this is a recent article. It says so at the top

      • Teengamer

        It's not THAT recent of an article. I read this exact same one MONTHS ago. They're just re-posting it for some reason. 😛 IwishIwasCot is quite correct.

        • mcdude910

          It was originally posted in 2003. It's a retro article

    • ChainofTermina

      ummmmmm……….I just noticed your user name, and quite frankly, I am flattered but that also slightly creeps me out. just slightly. you can keep it if you want, but, yeah.

    • RydAma

      Theres a difference between "getting the girl" and love ._.

    • Bitf Adict

      FUCK GTA. IT CAN NEVER COMPARE TO ZELDA.

  • Teengamer

    Just the fact that Saria is a sage and she will never grow up means they can't be together. They would make a nice pair, but owing to the fact that Saria's a Kokiri and Link's a Hyrulean makes for a problematic relationship. Sorry Saria!

    • Bitf Adict

      It's not Hyrulean, its Hylian.

  • So the whole Saria + child Link is like the Edward + Bella thing, only this time the girl is the one whose a few hundred years too old. I'm just glad that Saria isn't a pedophile, unlike Edward… *shudder*

    Seriously though, Link really was too young to understand at this point. Certainly Saria possessed both childlike and adult attributes, and she was really a child with the maturity of an adult. But Link could never have had a real romance with her, seeing as he'd be (physically) several years her senior by the time he was old enough to really understand these things.

    That, and the pretty clear clues that he marries Malon, seem to close any chance of Saria and Link ever being together.

    Another question: If the Kokiri children eventually became the Koroks, then does Link the Wind Waker ever meet Saria, albeit in her Korok form? Or do the Kokiri eventually die, since the forest sage was not her?

    • ChainofTermina

      you know, I passionately despise Twilight just as much as the next intelligent and literate person, but I never really liked calling him a pedophile. he can't really help the fact that he's 107 years old, now can he? what's he suppose to do, hook up with some old lady on her death bed? why can't he go out with some one who LOOKS like they're the same age as him? well, I mean, Ed Cullen shouldn't go out with anybody because of his dumb ass personality flaws, but, you know what I mean.

      and as for that 2nd question, it never really says that the Kokiri are immortal, just that they never grow up. they probably age and die just like humans do, except their bodies keep the appearance of children until the die. that's what I believe anyway.

      • Bitf Adict

        There's a freaking Twilight RELIGION. God, if I see one more retarded teenage girl buying the book or movie, I'm gonna have a stroke.

        • ChainofTermina

          yeah, it's disgusting I know. but I still don't get why an immortal teenager isn't allowed to have a girlfriend. he can't help his age. there's a shit load of other dumbass things about him than he CAN help and IS his moronic fault, but not his age.

    • Rose

      Never…never…never…NEVER relate Twilight with The Legend of Zelda AGAIN.

  • Rinku

    link and zelda in ST had a thing they held hands at the end

  • Feline Witch

    Ah Link, you break all the young girl's hearts. Saria's, Ruto's, Zelda's, Naboorus…

    To be fair, Link is the only attractive male in Hyrule. If you're used to a bow legged bully, a sociopath with a mask fetish, or some obese layabout carpenters, Link would be a breath of fresh air.

  • UltimaHedgie

    We're never really shown that they can't possible come back. Even then, Zelda is shown to be a sage, too. What's that supposed to mean?

    Really, they didn't explain much about what happens to the sages in that game. Rauru is a sage right from the start and we still see him around.

    Plus, Link returns back to the past before Saria even becomes a sage in the first place. I dunno. Its weird. I never really thought they could "never" come back, especially since they still appear in the ending, and because Zelda is one of the seven sages and she appears with Link throughout the ending.

    The "of different worlds" thing likely relates to the fact that Saria is a kokiri and doesn't age. That's my interpretation, anyway. Oh, and they should seriously bring the Kokiri back. ^^

  • ha!

    Oh well, they had to transform those kids in stupid plant-like beings…

  • TrustMe101

    Dude, they were kids! When Link saved her, she was still a kid, so of course he would still think of her as a friend. I always saw them as best friends, nothing more.

    Why are there a bunch of articles that try to make Link's friendships any more complicated than that?! It's driving me crazy!!

  • billy

    i think they cant be in love because they didnt have sex or nething

  • MrZeldafan#1

    I think that the Forbidden woods in Wind Waker are the dead remains of the OOT Deku Tree. A korok supports this theory in-game by saying the forbidden woods used to be the korok's home and if like saw tree stumps, they would be their "old houses" The WW DEku Tree supports THAT theory saying in the cutscene of meeting link " the koroks used to have human forms, but when they came to this place took on these forms" Suggesting that the kokiri in the kokiri forest in OOT are the WW koroks. Anyway, Makar's "Sage Ancestor", was, apparently, Kokoiri (Fado)

  • Yuinah

    Saria's story taught a few things..
    It shows happiness and sadness, portrays life…
    It shows how one person can change your life forever…
    It shows you that anything is possible…
    It how scary life can be…
    And it shows how fast you can lose something…

  • Alex

    And, the fans would get an adult Saria, if she gets out of the chamber of sages.

  • Sage

    I think Link isn't clueless Nintendo made him that way, you can choose who Link gets as his girlfriend, personally, I prefer Saria.

  • Tabz

    While I agree that I think they (Saria and Link) were not in love with each other I totally disagree with your logic behind it. The Kokiri are an ageless race that takes the form of “human” (Hylian) children. They forever have a child-like appearance. Saria could easily have been hundreds of years old. So yes she is incredibly mature, but thats most likely just from age. We also know that Link is actually Hylian and does, in fact, age. Which means whlie he and Saria are friends, he
    is actually a child, while Saria is most likely already well into her life. So yes, its pretty safe to say she was in love with link and had her feeling sorted out because she was old enough to understand them. Link is still a child, an actual very young child. Of course he doesnt understand any feelings he might have for her! To him they’re probably just really close friends. But then link leaves, time passes and he becomes an adult. Even though he might be able to understand those feelings at that point, by the time he sees her again over seven years have passed and he’s simply been away from her and have encountered several other girls/women (and possibly even taken to princess Zelda a bit.) by the time they meet again Link probably doesn’t even really remember those feelings he didn’t even understand and then Saria is awakened as a Sage and any hope they had together was severed. Saria loved Link and tragically, he just never got the chance to feel the same way.

  • slarbiter

    In Wind Waker it explains that in the end of OoT there was a timeline split. Link was sent back in time after he did what had to be done so ge could finish his life as a child. In the beginning of Majoras Mask the text says link wandered off on a secret an personal journey in search for a beloved and invaluable friend. Anyone could assume he looks for saria 😛

    • Brandon Domingo

      that seems mostly interesting but it is confirmed that Link was serching for Navi by Aonuma.

      That theory is kinda good though but still a theory.

  • Henry

    I like to believe that, at the end of Majora’s Mask, this is what happened.

    As Link rode Epona through the forest, he remembered the words of the Happy Mask Salesman, “Whenever there is a meeting, a parting is sure to follow. However, that parting need not last forever. Whether a parting be forever or merely for a short time… That is up to you.” This made Link return to Hyrule ignoring the orders from Princess Zelda to leave as far as he can with the Ocarina of Time. Link returns to Kokiri Forest, finds Saria, and they make a happy life together. But sadly, right before the birth of his and Saria’s child (a son), Link dies and continues on as the Hero’s Spirit until he passes on his Hidden Skills to the Link in Twilight Princess.

  • Singh

    Wow…Never realized how much of a tragedy this story was until I came here.

  • Ico.co

    If saria became a sage,and link traveled back into his original time,would he meet back with saria? (please answer)