Let Us Play!: Netflix and Nintendo Zelda TV series update! (Also why Link is male)


Welcome back to another update from The Book of Frog. I have been on fire these past few days!

Recently I’ve had a very personal time of strife in my family, issues were brought to the surface, on Facebook of all places, where the world and their auntie can see and read the arguments that were happening, despite my requesting that people not get personal; it got personal. My character and values were attacked by people I previously had respected and trusted. None the less, with that behind me, I’ve felt a great weight lifted from my shoulders. I said my piece, and defended my position, and the flack I received for that perspective, was actually very liberating. I felt like I didn’t need to hide a lot of who I am any more, and with that release, all my road blocks were gone, and I see possibility and enthusiasm to talk on a lot of topics that I’ve wanted to have my say on, but just haven’t had the drive to get them done. Anyway, that topic isn’t meant for this project, if I’m going to talk further on that at all, it’ll be in the Thoughts From The Lilypad, but still I probably won’t go into details. It was, like I said a personal argument, that was made public against my wishes, and I don’t want to dwell. I just want to move forward and embrace this new found enthusiasm and creative drive.

And with that happy note… bad… no… good?… no… ambivalent news everyone!

Back at the beginning of February, I posted an article that was talking about the possibility of a Netflix exclusive series, that would take a Game of Thrones style story, aim it at a younger audience, and set it in the land of Hyrule. I am here to follow up on that post.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Let Us Play!



iwataFor those with a short memory, or living under a rock, the Wall Street Journal released an article at the beginning of February, that revealed a potential Legend of Zelda TV series, that was being produced in a partnership between Nintendo and Netflix. This sent a lot of the Zelda Fanbase (read: “congregation”) into a frenzy of of denomination splitting proportions. As some declared this was the best thing EVAR! while others like myself were far more skeptical. Not just of the validity of the reports, but also of whether or not this is a good thing.

When there is something that you love dearly, there is always a fear that any deviation from what you are used to, in this case The Legend of Zelda being a video game and being produced in house by Nintendo themselves, instead being adapted into a TV series by Netflix, might result in a hideous abomination that is as close to the source material as as Earth is to “somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse” (if you catch my drift). While we may all want something amazing to come from such an adaptation, track records never really seem to be in our favour. While movie adaptations in the past decade have been far more successful, and as well loved as the source material than any previous decade, for example: The Marvel Cinematic Universe, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, we still have cause to stop and wonder when it comes to Video Game movie adaptations. There has always been a sense that Video Game based movies don’t get the respect that the stories deserve, and writers, producers and directors are more likely to say “that’s good enough”, and these bad Video Game movies adaptations have followed us into the present.

Let’s put it this way, in the history of Video Game movie adaptations, Rotten Tomatoes highest ranking video game movie that got a theatrical release, was Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, from 2001, with only 44%. The next highest was the more recent Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, from 2010, with 36%, after this it kinda goes down hill rapidly. The most recent Video Game movies to be released were Need For Speed in March last year, with 22%, and Silent Hill: Revelations 3D in October 2012, with 5%. Now of course, a score from a single website can’t give you a good idea of the general consensus, so how about Metacritic for an aggregate score?

Oh dear…

  • Need For Speed: 39/100
  • Silent Hill Revelation 3D: 15/100
  • Prince Of Persia Sands of Time: 50/100

I guess the up side is that they do better in the consensus? Still not worth paying money for though. So as you can imagine, when fans are told there is about to be an adaptation made of their favourite video game franchise, we tend not to look to the likes of Avengers, Hunger Games, or The Prisoner of Azkaban, but instead, Bloodrayne, House of the Dead, Doom, and of course Super Mario Brothers.

Somehow I missed this titbit of news, but as it turns out in an interview with Time magazine, posted on 23rd March, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata talked about a number of key headlines regarding Nintendo, and included in this was a response to the rumour about the Legend of Zelda TV series. This is unusual, as the usual Nintendo policy is that they do not respond to questions regarding rumours.

“As of now, I have nothing new to share with you in regard to the use of our IPs for any TV shows or films, but I can at least confirm that the article in question is not based on correct information”

Enigmatic as always, Iwata-san seems to have laid to rest this rumour. Confirming that the Wall Street journal report was indeed fallacious. However, this doesn’t deny that future endeavours may still be on the table. I look forward to hearing more news about the possible adaptations of games franchises, but maybe we can start with something less beloved next time, just to prove that it’s going to go well.



linkThis does come as a certain amount of good news, especially after seeing so many articles and false reports since this initial one, that Netflix have been looking to cast a female Link, rumours that they intend to modernise the setting, even the possibility that Ganon wouldn’t be the main villain. Thankfully a lot of these rumours fold like a cheap suit when you scrutinise them even slightly, as they often lead back to a misunderstanding, or a feminist opinion blog, rather than an actual source.

Speaking of Links sex though, this is something I’ve wanted to discuss for a long time. So let’s get it over with.

Let’s get something straight before we start. I don’t have a problem with a female main protagonist, the Metroid series has one of my favourites, and when playing a Mario game that has a character select, I’ll often pick Peach. I have no issues with lesbian relationships in video games, and though I can’t finger a particular game that I own that demonstrates one, my choice to not own those games is not hinged on the lesbian relationship aspect. With this in mind, there is a reason that Link and Ganon are male, and Zelda is female. While in the ancient times of the 1980’s it may have been naive stereotyping, today it’s not written in this way, as a way to oppressively use gender roles to keep women out of games. It’s barely even gender stereotyping at all at this point, it’s got everything to do with the story that has been developed over the past 25 years, a magical concept called “continuity”.

Zelda and Link are the reincarnations of the GODDESS Hylia, and Her first chosen Champion (who was male), respectively. Every time Zelda is reborn, her champion Link is reborn also. This isn’t just old souls in new bodies, THOSE CHARACTERS are reborn, and the cycle continues as it always must. To quote Battlestar Galactica “All this has happened before, and will happen again”.

In the battle that included Hylia herself and her first Champion, Link actually falls after raising Skyloft, and Hylia is the one to imprison Demise. As Link lies still, Hylia comes to him, and laments the fact that he has died, only wishing that he be tempered like the Master Sword itself, and not have to suffer like he has. Her guilt and love for Link, compels her to bind their spirits together, and so when she is reborn as Zelda in Skyward sword, willfully becoming mortal for him, he is reborn born for her too. Link may seem like the one to have all the adventures, but in actuality, he is her eternal, loving and loyal servant, and she is his Goddess. However, Zelda is not the only one to promise that their eternal lives be spent together, Demise does the same when he is released from the Imprisoned, in Skyward Sword. When Link finally defeats Demise in the Sacred Realm, he uses the last of his power to add to Hylias promise, making it a vicious curse. That when the blood of the Goddess and the Spirit of the hero are reborn, he will be there also to enact his revenge. What Hylia did out of love, was corrupted by evil, and now the eternal pair, can never be together, instead they spend the rest of eternity fighting, until Ganon is truly defeated.

This is why they are what they are, Princess Zelda and her Champion Link. Eternal star crossed lovers, never allowed to fall in love.

This is a wonderful and heartbreaking story, if you take the time to find out, and doesn’t need to be manipulated by gender politics to make it better.



Hey everyone, thanks for reading the latest update in Let Us Play! I really have been concerned for some time about some of the reports that I had been hearing about the Legend of Zelda TV series, and while I think that a Game of Thrones approach would work perfectly for this kind of series, I’m forever going to be terrified about the execution. With reports of female Links,  and modern day settings, the purist in me was freaking the hell out, so while it’s sad to find out that the series is a bust, knowing the Zelda franchise isn’t going to be marred by yet another potentially horrible adaptation from the series like the cartoon series was, is a welcome relief.

I know there are going to be a lot of people out there who will disagree with the comments I’ve made about why Link should not be a girl, but I ask that you respect my opinions, as I respect yours. It’s ok for people to disagree. If you do disagree feel free to post your opinions below. Sorry to say, but I’ll tell you up front, you won’t sway my perspective in this. I feel that continuity is far more important than whatever political agenda is in this week. Who knows though, you might have an interesting discussion in the comments. Greater miracles have happened!

My Twitter has become pretty active of late, so if you want to follow me there, hit the button below, and if you want to support me producing articles more regularly, like I’m doing right now, then please donate to my patreon. I have no idea what I can offer you guys as donation rewards, so if you have any ideas, let me know on patreon, and I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks again, and I’ll see you next time, only on The Book Of Frog!

All my love!