It’s no secret that I love to cosplay, and when I pick a character, I go all out.

Link is always my favorite to go out as I have many different variations of this character, and my favorite of those is my Hyrule Warriors Trainee Link. While I admit sometimes I struggle to keep my mouth shut like our silent protagonist, I do enjoy a good roleplay as him when I am dressed in character.

Realm of Memories is a series where we reflect on our absolute favorite moments in The Legend of Zelda games. These could be the times we first fell in love with a game, were moved by the events of the story or actions of a character, felt triumphant when overcoming a tough boss or challenge, or we had an experience so unique that the adventure truly became our own. The Zelda series has touched our lives in many ways, and just as Hyrule has endless stories to share, so do our writers!

I’ve had quite a few fun encounters as Link. Last year at New York Comic Con I had quite the memorable moment with my Tunic of the Wild cosplay when I ran into a Princess Zelda cosplayer. I had taken a few photos with some other Zeldas and I wanted to do something different for a photo, instead of just standing side-by-side with the others.

Being in the mindset of the loyal knight Link, I kneeled down and bowed to the princess, which made her day as well as everyone else who jumped in to take pictures after. This, with some other great photo opportunities at this big con, made for some wonderful memories, but there’s a more recent one that was just too cute to not talk about!

I was at a local convention dressed in my Hyrule Warriors getup, and of course, I ran into some other Link cosplayers in their traditional green tunics. One of them was a young boy who would start one of the most enjoyable interactions I’ve had with this version of Link.

I went to the convention with my best friend, her sister, her sister’s boyfriend, and her sister’s friend’s son. We had just been wandering the con, and the little one tagging along was very interested in the LEGO booths. Though it was a smaller convention, there were quite a few LEGO tables so we would stop at them quite frequently, and there would generally be other little ones checking out the goods these vendors had as well — including Little Link. 

I was talking with my friend as we waited for the boy to search through the mini-figures when suddenly I notice that Little Link’s attention is focused on me. I wave and give him a short nod, but he still doesn’t look away. He had a stern look on his face, which had me a bit perplexed. He then started walking towards me and unsheathed his foam Master Sword. I and my party started laughing a bit at the cuteness we were witnessing, but he took a fighting stance and was ready for a battle. This was really happening.

I drew my styrofoam replica of the Knight’s Sword as well as my shield as we slowly approached each other. I wanted to humor him, but I will admit I was nervous he would start wailing on my hand-crafted equipment. I put my shield out in front of me for that very reason, but this kid knew the deal as we started to nonchalantly swing our swords towards each other.

I waited for him to make his move first so I could counter, making for some fun photos. When he came at me with the sword, I wanted him to feel like the strong swordsman that Link is and I took the defense rather than the offense. We delicately clashed our swords a few times before I finally bowed out. When we both encased our swords again we gave each other a silent nod. The battle was over and I was more than happy to let him win.

Making kids smile is one of the things I love most. Whether it’s in costume or out, if I can make one child’s day it’s something worth celebrating. While the child I play-fought kept his stoic persona through and through, I know he was having fun. After the battle, he went back to his mother and told her all about our little encounter. Her face lit up and so did mine. I hope that Little Link looks back on this memory as fondly as I do, and that he continues to have fun as the hero we all love.

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