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Silent Princess Is the Motif of the Story in BotW and Allegory of the Characters of Zelda and Link

Joined
Aug 30, 2018
BotW is an amazing game. My all time favourite. One of the things I like about it, is how there is left room for imagination and interpretation. There are lots of unanswered questions in the game. I have three questions for you, dear Zelda fans. I try to answer to them of course, but I’d like to hear your opinions, too.

In regard to symbolism, is Silent Princess the motif of the story and therefore possesses important meaning in the game? (1)
Silent Princess appears many times in the game and is important element in the story. Therefore it is the motif, thus has very important meaning in the game.

Why couldn’t Zelda use her divine power against Calamity Ganon? (2)
This reason is that she was not allowed to learn in her own way and that she was forced to cope under pressure and expectations. Unnatural learning environment was holding her back.

Are Silent Princess and the title “Breath of the Wild” allegories of the characters of Zelda and Link? (3)
I claim they are. Therefore, understanding Silent Princess is the key to understand why Zelda couldn’t use her powers. In addition, being the motif of the game, understanding the meaning of Silent Princess is important to understand what the game is all about.


Evidence to support my claims.

Question 1. Is Silent Princess the motif of the game? (1)

Appearance of Silent Princess and thematic of the game:

There is one theme, that is repeatedly seen in the game. That is the thematic of nature and natural growth. It’s seen everywhere in the game. It’s so well represented that it can be considered the main theme of the game. The best example of the theme is Silent Princess. Silent Princess appears so many times in the game that, in terms of symbolism, it is the motif of the game. Silent Princess is portrayed in the title as a silhouette so it’s one of the first things seen in the game. Secondly, the last cutscene, which is the last thing that is seen when the game ends, shows many Silent Princesses blossoming all over the hills. In other words, Silent Princess is the beginning and the end of the game. Furthermore, Silent Princess appears during the gameplay many times and most importantly, it appears in Zelda’s research notes. By understanding the meaning of Silent Princess, some untold things in the game become much clearer. One of them is the reason why Zelda couldn’t use her powers. Therefore, next I answer to my second question as the answer supports my first claim.

Question 2. Why could not Zelda use her divine powers against Calamity Ganon? (2)

That’s not explained in the game, as far as I can tell. I’ve heard some saying what ultimately awakened Zelda’s power was her love for Link. I interpreted that differently. I don’t think that love (romantic or not) was the main reason. There’s not much of evidence in the game to support love hypothesis except the fact that she was triggered and went all glowy while protecting Link. What her love for Link did was that it rather helped her solidify her comprehension about herself and helped her awake but it wasn’t the main reason for learning the power. I think she was quite uncertain her feelings for Link for a long time. That uncertainty did not help her to learn at all. I thought too that love awakened her at first, but in the end realized that love was just one small piece in the bigger picture.

In short, to me it seems that Zelda's insecurity was holding her back and prevented her use her powers.

Why was Zelda insecure?
She was insecure due to all the expectations and pressures her father, Champions and the people of Hyrule were putting on her. She wasn't able to live how she would have lived by her nature. She wanted to be a scholar but she was not allowed to. She was told what to do and when. Not until she was free from all the expectations and pressures, she could do what she was destined to. Learning happened naturally.

Why was insecurity the reason for not to learn the power?
The idea, that insecurity was the reason, is supported by symbolism in BotW. At the same time, symbolism can be used to answer to the third question.

Question 3.1. Is Silent Princess allegory of the character of Zelda?

I said above that theme that is repeatedly seen in the game, is the theme of natural growth. Zelda was trying to cultivate Silent Princess in her research room, remember? It did not blossom but decayed despite all the care Zelda had given to it. It was forced to live unnaturally. However, when Calamity Ganon happened and vanished all the caring, the flower started to blossom. It did it naturally, without guidance, in the wild.

The very same happened to Zelda. She couldn't learn because she was guided way too much. Her father was perhaps the greatest source of pressure and guidance. She did not blossom but decayed under guidance. Calamity Ganon cleared all that guidance and she was free from expectations. Not until then she could learn the power, in the wild.

The connection between Zelda and Silent Princess is not very obvious. But when considered, that the same story can be found from other characters and elements of the game as well, the connection is noticeable. For further evidence, I claim that Silent Princess is allegory of the character of Link, too.

Question 3.2. Is Silent Princess allegory of the character of Link?

I got an impression that Link is insecure and uncertain about his role. His struggling is not as obvious and pronounced as Zelda’s struggling, but he has his issues. Link has no problems fulfilling his duty to wield the Master Sword, however. He is the Hero after all. He does what he does but he doesn’t know why. He just does what he’s told and does it well. However, he’s restless. In the cutscene, where Zelda and Link were taking shelter from the rain, Zelda told that Link is a knight because his father was a knight and she was wondering how on earth he could be anything else when everyone is expecting him to be a knight. You see, Link and Zelda shared same problems: They were forced to live as told, not as they would have lived naturally. They were not free to choose their destinies. I think Zelda's voice was actually Link's voice in that cutscene. Link doesn't speak so developers put Zelda speak on his behalf. If I remember right, there was mentioned something about Link’s insecurity in Zelda’s diary. Again, I interpreted that a part of Zelda’s diary was actually Link’s thoughts.

Is Silent Princess really allegory of Link, too? Yes, in my opinion. He was trained to be a knight without any other possible outcome. That wasn’t natural choice he made but something everyone expected from him. Also, he was expected to defeat Calamity Ganon together with Zelda. Expectations, pressure and guidance resulted in Link’s failure to protect Zelda during Calamity Ganon. He decayed too, for 100 years. When he was reborn, he learnt naturally how to fight against the evil powers of Ganon. Then he was able to blossom, in the wild, and could defeat Ganon. Zelda and Link share the same story and Silent Princess is the allegory of that story. All of them, Zelda and Link and the flower, were under guidance and failed to blossom.

Any further evidence to support my idea? Yes. There are lots of examples that natural growth is the theme of the game. For instance, the title Breath of the Wild was chosen to support the theme. It’s allegory of Link, Zelda and Silent Princess. It suggests, that sometimes it's better leave things to be and let them naturally grow without meddling. Let them breath freely and they will blossom. Actually, I think the entire game is a triumph for the nature and a message, that we humans shouldn’t mess with the nature like we do in the real world. Life always finds a way.

The soundtrack of the game is very mellow and it is said it’s unmemorable. It’s intentionally that there are no strong overworld theme music or theme music for every village and town. Music is mostly ambient sounds of nature. That too supports the theme of the game. An exception is Hyrule Castle. There is very strong melody which is memorable. It’s there because Hyrule Castle represents the consequences that happen when we don’t let nature do its job. The castle is a nest of abnormality.

Even the entire playing style is based on theme of naturality. Players can freely explore in their own pace without being pushed to any direction and can try to defeat Ganon whenever they want to. A natural playing experience.

Naturality is repetitive theme in the game. Therefore, the most likely explanation for Zelda not being able to use her powers was her unnatural growth under strict guidance of his father who thought he knew best. And the fact that she grew up without mother further accentuates that. Only after she was left to feel the Breath of the Wild, i.e. was let learn in her own way, she was able to fulfill the legend. You see how the title supports the theme of naturality?

It amazes me that there’s so little discussion about Silent Princess in ZD despite the fact that it is everywhere in the game and seems to be game’s motif. There’s reason, why they put Silent Princess on the Master Sword of Resurrection Statue as well. It’s not just a pretty flower but the icon of the game. It's much more important than the Sheikah Eye symbol.

To me, BotW was nearly perfect game and I doubt any game is going to surpass it. Finding a deeper meaning in its story was such a satisfactory moment. And how the story was shown in the game, in its characters and items... the entire theme was beautifully represented. The title is catchy as it supports well the game and all what it is about. I disagree with those who say that Breath of the Wild doesn’t have a meaningful story. It does. Meaning is there, just needs to be found.

Disclaimer. I have played BotW only once and that was over a year ago. I haven’t even touched the DLC or read Creating a Champion yet so I might be totally wrong about everything. I might change my opinion after second playthrough. But first I need to finish my journey to play all Zelda games before I replay BotW or read the book.
 
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Dizzi

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huh natural learning is where its at huh???
 
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Dizzi is just on a whole other plane of existence it's ok. Also for future you don't need to say "I claim" so much if at all.

I like the idea that both Link and Zelda have the same problem. Both are charged with protecting Hyrule and with so much at stake, Link ends up going silent, and the Princess under pressure couldn't summon her powers essentially silencing her in the fight against Ganon
 

Kerest

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Are you sure this is just your theory and not the actual, official explanation? Because this really reflects what I got out of the game on the Silent Princess and it kinda feels like you hit the plot on the head perfectly.
 

Spiritual Mask Salesman

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Are you sure this is just your theory and not the actual, official explanation? Because this really reflects what I got out of the game on the Silent Princess and it kinda feels like you hit the plot on the head perfectly.
Idk if it's confirmed, but yeah I don't think this is even a theory. It's pretty obvious that Silient Princess is an allegory of Zelda, almost beyond a doubt and many other fans have made the connection too. But Weirdinin has gone a step further with drawing a similarity between the flower and Link, which is something I haven't seen but does make a lot of sense too.

If I remember right, there was mentioned something about Link’s insecurity in Zelda’s diary.
"When I finally got around to asking why he's so quiet all the time, I could tell it was difficult for him to say. But he did. With so much at stake, and so many eyes upon him, he feels it necessary to stay strong and to silently bear any burden. A feeling I know all too well... For him, it has caused him to stop outwardly expressing his thoughts and feelings. I always believed him to be simply a gifted person who had never faced a day of hardship. How wrong I was... Everyone has struggles that go unseen by the world... I was so absorbed with my own problems, I failed to see his."

Yeah, because he had so much at stake he decided to stay silient. But he opened up to Zelda.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Are you sure this is just your theory and not the actual, official explanation? Because this really reflects what I got out of the game on the Silent Princess and it kinda feels like you hit the plot on the head perfectly.
Idk if it's official or if someone else has similar thoughts what the purpose of Silent Princess is. The thing is that when I beat the game over a year ago, I haven't played it since bc I want to get fresh experience when I replay it. For the same reason I haven't read any BotW related theories or hypotheses. Therefore, what I posted was my own thoughts based solely on the interpretation that I got from the game. So, yes, it's my "theory". But I wouldn't call it theory, rather hypothesis as it's based only how I read the game.

I would be stunned if no one else thought that Silent Princess has meaningful role in the game. The most obvious claim I presented was that Silent Princess is allegory of Zelda and I think other players have noticed that too. But I'm not sure if other players have noticed how Silent Princess represents other characters and elements and the entire game and game's theme. The take home message in my post wasn't the connection between Zelda and the flower, rather it was that the flower is the motif. And by being the motif, the flower and story behind it can be used to explain many unanswered questions in the game. I posted my thoughts here to see if you guys think the same way.
Idk if it's confirmed, but yeah I don't think this is even a theory. It's pretty obvious that Silient Princess is an allegory of Zelda, almost beyond a doubt and many other fans have made the connection too. But Weirdinin has gone a step further with drawing a similarity between the flower and Link, which is something I haven't seen but does make a lot of sense too.
Actually, take home message here wasn't that Silent Princess is allegory of Zelda. It was rather one of the tools to show how Silent Princess is the motif in the game. And a tool to explain why Zelda couldn't use her powers and other stuff too. E.g. I couldn't have claimed that flower is allegory of Link without first commenting something about the connection between Zelda and the flower. Also, whether a hypothesis becomes a theory is not dependent how obvious the hypothesis is. Though, too obvious hypothesis is not worth making a thread. Therefore Silent Princess being allegory of Zelda isn't the main point here.

Thanks for your replies BWWA, Kerest and SMS!
 
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