EXT. HYRULE CASTLE GROUNDS – MORNING
A massive, fairy-tale like castle complete with spires constructed of glittering grey stone. The castle’s CENTRAL SPIRE is gigantic, looming over all other castle ramparts. There is a massive field before the castle, over which the Highroad runs up to the MAIN ENTRANCE. Beside the road there is a steep drop in the terrain, leading down to a large, well-manicured HEDGEROW MAZE and, further back, still, to the EARTH-SHELTERED SECTION of the castle built into the back section of the hill upon which the castle-proper rests.
The cart moves along the Highroad at a distance from the Castle, still winding up the road. Link stares at the Castle with wonder, getting up on HIS KNEES to get a better look at the place. As he does so there is a GRUNT from the tarp beneath him and MOVEMENT as well.
Link quickly jumps off the tarp and is ready to scream in surprise, but HANDS come up from under the tarp and COVER HIS MOUTH while pulling him under the sheet: Link quickly realizes that Malon is hiding in the cart. The children lie prone beneath the tarp.
(cradling her finger)
“Ah, sheesh: you didn’t have to bite down, did you, Fairy Boy? You could tell it was me, couldn’t you?”
Link looks over at the girl, his face bearing an AMBIGUOUS expression.
“Alright: don’t answer that...”
The boy COCKS AN EYEBROW.
“What? I’m here ‘cause someone has to keep an eye on Talon; left to his own the layabout would go carousing with the Quartermaster’s troops all afternoon long. That, or sleep on the job. Both, maybe.”
She looks at Link with an IMPERIAL SCOWL.
“Not that I don’t trust your work ethic, Fairy Boy, but business is just one of those things that needs a sensible woman’s touch to keep things on track. Hmph! And the Castle staff won’t let girl-workers come up here, not unless they’re chambermaids or kitchen staff, or those creepy Sheikah kids, I guess...”
Navi peeks out from Link’s shoulder sash (due to the darkness under the tarp she radiates a striking amount of light).
“They’re imperialist sexist chauvinists, huh?”
Link looks down at Navi, CURIOUS.
“Never mind: we’ll make flashcards later, or something...”
Talon’s cart crests the Highroad hill and skirts the short DROPOFF in land leading to the hedgerow mazes beside the Castle. Link and Malon peek out at the scene from under the tarp.
“I tell you: that is a castle. Y’know: I hear that the Royal Family has servants for their servants. I’ve heard that their pets live in carpeted apartments with fireplaces an’ everything...”
The girl climbs up over Link to get a better look at the castle; in the process she digs her knees into Link’s back and rests one elbow on his head.
“Someone even told me that the Princess uses people for footstools, if you can believe that!”
Link ROLLS HIS EYES beneath her.
Malon rolls off Link and shakes her head.
“Heh! Buncha spoiled poofs, if you ask me. Still, though, it must be kinda nice: bubble baths every day, fancy costume balls and stuff like that, satin sheets, pretty dresses, probably with little frills and everything. Oh, and I bet the Princess gets to meet all kinds of interesting people...”
The girl rests her head in her hands.
“And knights: I’ll bet she meets knights all the time. You have to be around knights a lot if you’re a princess, right? All that shiny armor, the polished helmet, sword at the ready— all just for you— all at a moment’s notice...”
PAN across from Malon’s face to Link’s: the boy is looking at her quizzically with a COCKED BROW. The girl snaps out of her reverie and glares at the boy.
“What’re you looking at, Fairy Boy?”
Link quickly looks away.
Talon pulls the cart to a stop about 100 yards from the Castle’s MAIN ENTRANCE. Link rolls out from under the tarp and watches as Talon and the CASTLE QUARTERMASTER greet each other. With laughing and back-slapping the pair walks off. Talon calls back to Link.
“See here, my boy: supervise these good chaps while they unload our goods, will you?”
Talon and the Quartermaster walk out of view.
Link stands by the cart, looking confused, while a few CASTLE GUARDS begin unloading the contents of the cart.
Malon rolls out from under the tarp and lands beside Link.
“Ooooh! I’ll ‘supervise’ you, you louse!”
The girl points at Link commandingly.
“You stay and guard the cart! You understand?”
The girl storms off after Talon but is soon confronted by a spear-carrying CASTLE GUARD.
“Aha, little missy...”
The man kneels down to eye-level with the girl.
“And where are we going, running about on the Highroad today, my little radish sprout? Do you need some assistance?”
Malon snarls and grabs the guard’s GOLDEN SUIT LAPEL.
“No: it’s you and your guard boys who’ll be needing assistance when you misplace half of our shipment and let it spoil ‘cause you don’t know how to store it right! You think the Royal Family’ll be out of sorts when they don’t get their fresh milk in the morning? That’s nothin’ compared to the bill we’ll be charging to the Captain of the Guard for our lost earnings!”
The man stands up, befuddled. Before he can speak Malon runs off after the guards carrying the shipment; the Castle Guard helplessly follows behind her. Malon BARKS VARIOUS ORDERS to the men as she chases after them.
Navi hovers near Link’s head.
“That man has my deepest sympathies...”
Link turns away from the cart and stares down the STEEP HILL leading to the HEDGEROW MAZE.
“Well, at least our job’s simple: watch the cart, keep people away. Yup: just need a little simple vigilance on our side...”
Link ignores the fairy as he STARES INTENTLY at the part of Hyrule Castle beyond the Hedgerow (in particular, the GLITTERING GREY STONE the composes it).
“Uh... something important I’m missing, here?”
Link steps forward, closer to the edge of the hill and continues staring at the Castle, slowly cocking his head to the side.
Navi rests on the boy’s shoulder, staring at him CURIOUSLY. She, too, looks down upon the castle and TILTS HER HEAD in exactly the same angle as Link.
CLOSE UP on Link and Navi.
A DUSKY WOMAN’S FINGER comes to rest atop Link’s head; the finger slowly twirls his hair around in a small arc.
Link LOOKS UP with his eyes.
ZOOM OUT reveals Nabooru standing directly behind Link.
“My apologies, little one: it’s just that Gerudo children lack such a hair color. By the Golden Goddesses! This stark-white blondness: I find it most...”
Nabooru’s finger tousles the boy’s hair more vigorously.
“...‘curious’. Do you fancy the view, little one?”
Link faces forward and doesn’t answer; Navi produces a very nervous SQUEAK.
The Gerudo woman points out several BRIGHT SPECKS moving through the Hedgerow in ordered cadence.
“The Royal Guard is out in force today, as they have been all week long. They don’t trust us Gerudo, you see, and are always on the lookout for whatever mischief we ‘savages’ might get into...”
Nabooru crosses her arms.
“The presentation of a Gerudo crown prince is no small matter: it is an unprecedented honor that we bestow upon your Kingdom. Tch! No matter: it seems that the Royal Guard prefer to honor only the stereotypes of my people. We’re just a coterie of thieves, after all, and our lord a prince of thieves; they’re out looking for a mischief-maker...”
Link says nothing.
Nabooru kneels down closer to the boy’s side and extends her arm across Link’s face.
“They’ve nothing to fear from us, after all: our skin hardly blends in so well with such greenery. Our bodies are made to blend in with the dark red rocks of the Gerudo Valley, after all. How could we possibly hide in the Royal Family’s precious little garden? How could we possibly make mischief for them in such a way?”
The woman touches Link’s shoulder, fingering his BRIGHT GREEN TUNIC.
“You are ‘well-suited’ to such pursuits, though: aren’t you?”
The woman again tousles Link’s hair.
“Even though not all of your body blends in so well, does it? Oh, my little towheaded tattler: I guess that would give you a 50-50 chance of avoiding their patrols, although— to be honest— I’d never put any money on a small child’s tactical prowess. Please understand: my sister’s actions down at Castlebridge the other day were not typical of my people’s virtues, and I should thank you for bringing that issue to light...”
Nabooru stands up and moves behind Link, putting her hands on his shoulders.
(whispering to Link)
“Not good... not good... not good... not good...”
“But you can help my people out even more, little one, by dispelling the Royal Guard’s unjust stereotype about the Gerudo people while simultaneously reaffirming a most deserved stereotype that’s been around since the dawn of time...”
The woman leans down near Link’s ear and speaks with a wide grin.
“‘Small children left to their own devices can stir up more trouble than a nest of newborn dodongos’.”
Nabooru violently PUSHES Link down the steep hill; the boy tumbles wildly and uncontrolled, SCREAMING all the while. He reaches the bottom and crashes through several rows of the hedge maze, leaving a small boy-sized hole in each hedge before coming to rest in front of a small GARDEN FOUNTAIN, upside down, with his back against the granite backsplash.
Navi lilts through one of the shredded hedges and comes to Link’s side.
“I told you that wasn’t good...”
There are SHOUTS of Castle Guards coming from the area of the maze that Link crashed through. Link gets up, dusts himself off and stumbles down the hedgerow, away from the loud voices.
“Alright. It’s fine: it’s all fine. Look, just find a guard and explain the situation to him, okay? They’ll understand what happened and get us out of here and back up to the Highroad...”
Link looks up at Navi, HOPEFUL.
“Orrrrr... maybe they’ll get suspicious and hold you for questioning and we’ll miss meeting up with Malon and Talon; they’ll get upset, you’ll get fired, and then you’ll end up without any food or shelter and we’ll both starve to death in a ditch outside town somewhere...”
Link GLARES at her.
“What? I’m just accounting for all possible outcomes...”
The boy WANDERS around the maze, at first with timid alertness, but ultimately more disarmed and with increasing frustration at not finding the exit.
“Well: if we do run into any guards, just remember that it’ll be your own ‘natural eloquence’ that gets us past ‘em, so look sharp...”
FAR OVERHEAD ZOOM on Link trudging through a part of the oversized maze.
(echoing in the open-air)
“Heck, this maze is so big we probably don’t have anything to worry about: we could walk for hours through here and not run into another living soul...”
Link rounds a corner and instantly comes face-to-face with THREE HYRULE CASTLE GUARDS, all holding large spears in their hands, flanking the boy and lying in wait for him.
CASTLE GUARD #1
“You there: boy! What business do you have in the King’s Garden?”
Navi hovers near Link’s ear.
“Uh... tell them you’re a plant waterer: a gardener’s assistant, or something. You don’t happen to have any hedge clippers strapped to your back, do you? I didn’t think so...”
CASTLE GUARD #2
“Knave! You will answer us!”
“Remember: ‘natural eloquence’...”
Link looks around nervously, first at the men surrounding him, then at the spears in their hands. He OPENS HIS MOUTH slowly, as if to speak.
FAR OVERHEAD ZOOM on the hedgerow maze. LINK’S WILD SCREAMING echoes across the maze.
TIGHT CAMERA CHASE as Link careens through the hedges, freely diving through several bushes, darting around others, spending most of his time scrambling through the plants.
Random guards’ HANDS grab at him periodically. Link darts between several sets of FEET.
GUARDS’ SHOUTING is audible in all directions.
The guards eventually lose their line-of-sight with the boy and begin a search; a TROOP OF GUARDS run past a small hedge; one stays behind, at the ready, directly in front of the SMALL HEDGE.
A RED-TINTED VIEW of that guard from the view of the bushes beneath him. The GUARD’S THOUGHTS echo.
CASTLE GUARD #3
“They would call us all out on alert, today! This had better not be another drill...”
The man briefly STANDS ON ONE FOOT, uncomfortable.
CASTLE GUARD #3
“My bunion’s acting up doubly-fierce this morning!”
A moment later Link bursts through the hedge between the guard’s feet wearing the MASK OF TRUTH. The guard manages to grab Link by the SCRUFF and struggles to control the boy.
Link fails wildly and manages to bring his own foot down on the guard’s left foot. The guard DROPS the boy and HOWLS, clutching his foot while Link runs off.
“That wasn’t very nice.”
TIGHT CAMERA CHASE as Link quickly darts through the maze interspersed with cuts of his RED-TINTED VISION as he watches guards run by from the safety of the shrubs. Their THOUGHTS echo as he passes them.
CASTLE GUARD #4
“...over by the water fountain...”
CASTLE GUARD #5
“...damned skulking bastard...”
CASTLE GUARD #6
“...probably moving to the south quadrant...”
CASTLE GUARD #7
“...could it be her? She’d better not be toying with us again! Gah! Mistress Impa needs to have long talk with her...”
CASTLE GUARD #8
“...gotta be a Gerudo: bet my life on it!”
Link manages to avoid all patrols and bursts through a hedge at the end of the maze; the boy stays low and sprints between two TALL STONE WALLS signifying the castle proper: he runs headlong into the CASTLE COURTYARD.
EXT. CASTLE COURTYARD – MIDMORNING.
A large ‘rupee-shaped cutout’ in Hyrule Castle; there is an ornamental moat of clear blue water surrounding it, flanked by small bushes, all bearing brilliant WHITE ROSES. The grass along its center is bright green and well-trimmed. A RAISED PLATFORM along the most interior section of the courtyard allows one to see the castle interior through TALL, NARROW WINDOWS. The large, gray, sparking stone walls are several floors tall on every side.
Link sprints into this courtyard, bounding over a SMALL WOODEN BRIDGE over the ornamental moat, and ducks down behind a small WHITE ROSEBUSH. He is still wearing the MASK OF TRUTH over his face.
Several CASTLE GUARDS eventually move past the courtyard entrance, take one long look down the courtyard and then move off in another direction. Link WATCHES THEM from his hiding place and pulls the mask up above his head when they walk off.
The boy SIGHS in relief and lies down with his back to the bush.
OVERHEAR SHOT: there is an UNEXPLAINED SHADOW cast down across the grass near Link’s rosebush: it is a SILHOUETTE OF AN ADULT WOMAN, but it is not otherwise conspicuous and the boy does not notice.
Eventually Link notices movement along the raised platform at the courtyard interior: AN 8-YEAR-OLD GIRL in a light purple dress is kneeling near one of the castle windows, her back to Link. She very faintly TURNS HER HEAD for an instant, but remains focused on the castle window.
At this movement Link dives behind the rosebush and dons the MASK OF TRUTH (to see if she noticed him). We see A RED-TINTED VIEW of the girl from Link’s perspective, however there is NO INTERNAL MONOLOGUE.
Link removes the Mask of Truth and holds it up to his face while looking at it QUIZZICALLY. He raps it with his fist and then shakes it around (like an Etch-a-Sketch).
“Best to get moving, shall we? After all: your track record going up against little girls isn’t exactly sterling, is it?”
Link moves his hand slowly through the air, brushing Navi away. The boy takes several small steps towards the girl, INTRIGUED, and then stops about 50 feet from her.
We see that the girl wears a headscarf with a THREE-LINKED-TRIANGLE symbol sewn into the back of it in brilliant gold weave.
After a long delay Link takes several more steps, coming to the bottom of the platform; his footfalls land on the WOODEN PLATFORM and are audible to the girl, who turns around quickly, STARTLED. The girl is exceedingly beautiful, with large VIOLET EYES and delicate DIRTY BLOND HAIR bunched up beneath her tight ornamental headscarf. She GASPS in surprise.
LONG SHOT from a white rosebush in the garden with both children on near-opposite sides of the screen.
“W— who are you?”
Link does not answer; his pose and demeanor are equally NERVOUS as the girl’s.
PAN UP to Link’s right shoulder; Navi hovers in the air.
The young girl looks at Navi with WONDER.
“You have a fairy...”
Navi CIRCLES THROUGH THE AIR in small, erratic patterns.
“Oh, I’m sorry: you travel with a fairy companion. A— are you, by chance, a Kokiri child?”
Link slowly looks down at his own feet, and then off to one side, as if this is a difficult question to answer.
“You... are a Kokiri, aren’t you? There are stories I’ve heard about the Kokiri— how they can never leave the Great Forest— but you are a Kokiri, aren’t you? I don’t mean to pry, but it’s just that... I— I think I’ve seen...”
The young girl looks Link up and down very slowly. She soon stands erect and wiggles her head.
“Oh, my goodness! I didn’t mean to be so rude, either!”
The girl puts a hand against the front of her violet dress, over her heart. She DESCENDS the stairs and comes face to face with Link.
“How could I forget to introduce myself? My name is—”
MEN’S SHOUTING comes from the far entrance to the Castle Courtyard. Several CASTLE GUARDS dash into the Courtyard with long spears.
Link GASPS at the sight and quickly dives into a nearby rosebush, however he soon rolls out of the other side HOWLING in pain, with several small cuts from the thorns.
CASTLE GUARD #3, moving quickly but also LIMPING, grabs the boy by the scruff and holds Link up, sneering.
CASTLE GUARD #3
“Bunions or no, boy-o, I’m gonna take real pleasure in sticking my boot so far up your—”
The Young Girl COUGHS daintily.
The Guard immediately turns around and stands at attention before the girl, still holding Link high over the ground with one hand.
CASTLE GUARD #3
“Oh! Sincerest apologies! A minor annoyance! We’ll see to this bold trespasser for you! We’re all so very, very sorry for the disturbance, Your Hi—”
The Young Girl crosses her arms.
“The ‘disturbance’ is fine, Captain. But may I ask what it is, specifically, that you wish to do with my guest?”
CASTLE GUARD #3
“Well: a night or two in the castle dungeon might—”
The guard SPUTTERS and BLINKS.
CASTLE GUARD #3
“D— did you say he was your ‘guest’?”
“I did. Is such a thing not allowed? Can I not consort with people of my own choosing?”
CASTLE GUARD #3
“N— no! Not at all! I mean: of course, Your Highness!”
CLOSE UP on NAVI, near Link’s ear.
The guard DROPS LINK on the ground; the boy lands with a GRUNT and then stands up slowly, DUSTING HIMSELF OFF.
The guard quickly KNEELS before the Young Girl, head against his knee. The Young Girl looks around at the other guards.
CASTLE GUARD #3
“A thousand apologies, Highness!”
“You use such an effort to go after someone so small: did you really think he was a kidnapper, or engaged in some other nefarious act, Captain?”
CASTLE GUARD #3
“Of course not, Highness, but orders are orders, as you know, and the law—”
“—is the law; I know this as well, Captain.”
CASTLE GUARD #3
“Of course you do.”
“Would you take your leave?”
The Guards quickly form rank and file out of the Castle Courtyard; CASTLE GUARD #3 bows as he leaves.
CASTLE GUARD #3
“Again: my sincerest apologies!”
“And, again: it’s alright, Captain. Thank you for demonstrating such devotion to your duty.”
The guards leave the Courtyard. The Young Girl walks past Link a few steps, watching as they disappear beyond the courtyard’s edge. She turns her head back in Link’s direction with a nascent SMILE.
“I don’t suppose you actually are a kidnapper, are you?”
Link SHAKES HIS HEAD; the Young girl SHRUGS (seemingly DISAPPOINTED).
“Oh, well. I don’t suppose you’d have gotten very far if you were, anyway...”
The girl MOVES back toward the platform as she speaks these words; a TIGHT FOCUS on her and Link’s faces in the frame suddenly, inexplicably (and very, very briefly) reveals a RED-EYED WOMAN DRESSED IN DARK CLOTHES AND CHAINMAIL standing directly behind Link with her arms crossed. The Young Girl’s head passes through the frame and then this woman is gone and Link is still watching the Young Girl, oblivious.
“Let’s see, where were we?”
She faces the boy and puts her hand back over her heart.
“Oh yes: I was introducing myself. I’m Zelda, the Princess of Hyrule. It’s really a pleasure to meet you...”
The girl extends a hand in the ‘kissing-position’; it is girded in a delicate white glove. Link awkwardly reaches up to take her hand, but stops short, BLUSHING profusely (NOTE: he does NOT touch the girl’s hand).
“It’s strange, and it can’t be a coincidence...”
Zelda steps back up the wooden platform, closer to the castle windows. She appears DISTRACTED.
Link COCKS HIS HEAD.
“I wouldn’t be so personal with someone I’d just met— not normally— but now I think I should, even though I don’t really know why. My sleep has been troubled for a long while now. Maybe its not so long, I suppose, though it seems like it when you can’t sleep well. I— I’ve had dreams, many kinds of dreams, and they’ve been more intense recently: more uniform, and more... disturbing.”
Zelda sits on one of the wooden slats in front of the window, careful not to crease her violet dress. Link very slowly sits down beside her, allowing about a foot of distance between them. The girl motions back to the castle window with her head. She cups both hands over her chest.
“I’ve seen... ‘him’, even before I’d met him. And suffering: I’ve seen that too. All kinds, and I don’t understand it, not all of it.”
Zelda looks over at Link.
“Not any of it, I suppose. Also, I’ve seen a boy dressed in green— a towhead—”
“Better’n a dishwater blonde...”
“—walking down a path: walking out of the forest. This boy I assumed was a Kokiri, based on the fact that he traveled with a fairy. His face...”
Zelda stares down into her lap and then looks back up at Link.
“It was you, I think. It is you: I saw you— I’ve seen you— even before I met you. I don’t understand it, not all of it... and, again, I don’t really know why...”
“Oh, my goodness: her cart’s moving with no one at the reins...”
Zelda STANDS UP; Link does LIKEWISE.
“How could I know you before I’d met you? It sounds absurd— crazy, I know— and I haven’t spoken to many about this.”
Zelda looks at Link with a WISTFUL SMILE.
“You should see people when I do speak of it: I say it’s crazy— I accuse myself of being crazy, even— but it’s always the same platitudes and reassurances: ‘You’re not crazy’, they tell me, but I’m not taken seriously either: as if I’m playing at some strange game. Why would I be taken seriously, anyway? I can’t expect anyone to take my bad feelings to heart and investigate them, can I? Such vague premonitions...”
Link looks at Navi QUIZZICALLY.
Zelda turns away from Link.
“Princess or not: one simply doesn’t invest such an effort to act on behalf of someone so small. People talk thousands of words, but when you see it in their eyes— that they don’t believe a word they say to you— those platitudes hurt even more.”
The girl’s eyes QUIVER, but she takes a stiff upper lip and LAUGHS bitterly. She bows her head and closes her eyes.
“I’m sorry to burden you with my troubles, so. You don’t have to tell me that I’m not crazy: I know you think I am. You should, anyway...”
Zelda opens her eyes and looks up: to her surprise Link is standing an inch from her face. There is a short pause and then Link SHAKES HIS HEAD BACK AND FORTH very slowly, staring at Zelda seriously.
Zelda SNIFFS very faintly.
“Do you believe me?”
Zelda squats back down on the wooden steps.
“People talk thousands of words... but you don’t look like you need that many: not to look sincere, at least. Thank you.”
Link takes a step back from the girl and looks up at one of the NARROW WINDOWS beside the platform. He bows down, identical to how Zelda did when he first saw her, and peers inside: there is a LARGE GRANITE-CLAD HALL, complete with MEN AND WOMEN of the Royal Court standing at various places.
Link BLINKS, then pulls the MASK OF TRUTH off his back and puts it on; his RUBY-TINTED VISION moves across the crowd, picking up VARIOUS THOUGHTS until the boy cranes his head as far as possible to view the far side of the room.
A MAN IN A DARK CLOAK wearing LARGE, CRUEL-LOOKING BLACK RIDING BOOTS is kneeling, head against one knee before a throne (most of the throne, as well as its occupant, are not observed). The man’s face is obscured, but as he bows forward we see that he has FIERY, DARK RED HAIR indicative of a Gerudo. Despite the fact that Link wears the Mask of Truth there is NO INTERNAL MONOLOGUE from the man.
Link rises and pulls the Mask of Truth off his face. We see that Zelda is now standing close behind the boy. Link takes the Mask of Truth and stares at it quizzically and shakes it (again: like an Etch-a-Sketch) while Zelda speaks.
“My father is holding his court, today. He... requested my presence— he wanted me to be there— but I didn’t want to appear. It’s an insult, he thinks, because today the crown-prince of the Gerudo is presenting himself to my father; he’s declaring his respect for and his loyalty to the Royal Family of Hyrule. I... I greatly admire the Gerudo people, and it’s not to insult them that I refused to appear.”
Zelda bows her head and shakes it.
“It doesn’t matter. My father didn’t force me to show: he’s been worried about me lately— about my own health, I think— and he has forgiven my disobedience for the time being...”
Link puts the Mask of Truth back on and looks through the window, however immediately (and unexpectedly) the MAN IN BLACK’S head turns slightly and we see a JAUNDICED-LOOKING eye move in Link’s direction.
Link GASPS and falls backward, landing on the wooden platform with a thud.
Zelda stands over the boy.
“What? Did they see you?”
Link pulls the Mask of Truth up over his head.
“He saw you, didn’t he?”
The girl bows slightly and extends a gloved hand for the boy. Link reaches up, but then pauses; he eventually gets up on his own without taking the girl’s hand.
“His name is Crown-Prince Ganondorf, of the Colossus Oasis Plain.”
Link’s head picks up at this name, he stares at Zelda INTENTLY.
“I knew him before I met him...”
She looks up at Link, registering his surprise.
“You did, too: didn’t you?”
Link does not answer.
Zelda walks away from the window with her hands over her chest.
“It’s such an important occasion, and I understand that: after all, only one male child is born to the Gerudo Nation every 100 years, and that male is destined to be their king...”
Link nods absently, but then his eyes WIDEN; the boy GESTURES ABSTRACTLY with his fingers, trying in vain to understand this arrangement; he looks over at Navi QUIZZICALLY.
“I don’t know how that would work out, either...”
“As for the Prince, I don’t trust this man’s intentions: I cannot, given what I’ve seen, given what I’ve felt...”
The girl faces Link.
“...and given what I know, things that I couldn’t possibly know but— nonetheless— things I do know.”
She turns, slightly in profile, as if she wishes to face away from Link but refuses out of politeness.
”...I’ve seen a boy dressed in green— a towhead...”
CLOSE UP on LINK.
“I said before that it doesn’t matter what I say to anyone else: princess or not, one simply doesn’t invest such an effort to act on behalf of someone so small...”
She moves closer to the boy.
“But... we’re both small, aren’t we? I want to ask you for your help. It’s so rude of me, having just met you, but I feel like I have no other choice.”
(whispering to Link)
“Not good... not good... not good... not good...”
Link inaccurately SWATS THE AIR beside his head.
“The suffering I mentioned, not all of it is a vague premonition: I know there is unrest among the Goron people at Death Mountain, and there are whispers of strange happenings in the former domain of the Zora. These places are two of the three symbolic ‘jewels’ of our realm: they’re places that ordinary citizens of the crown do not necessarily consider vital, but for which the Royal Family is uniquely tasked with preserving. The legitimacy of our rule is linked to it. It is by the will and the leave of these places alone that we have access to the great arsenal of the Royal Family’s rule: a sacred item bestowed upon Hyrule by the Golden Goddesses themselves.”
Zelda picks up the hem of her purple dress and curtsies at this reference, bowing her head deeply; Link, however, does no such thing.
“These two locations in Hyrule are pained, and their pain jeopardizes the very legitimacy of my family’s rule. The fact that Prince Ganondorf appeared at my father’s court at the same time cannot be a coincidence. My father and his advisers rule wisely, and justly, but their current concerns are all political: they steer our kingdom through stormy weather, but they’re not looking out to the horizon. I fear that something terribly may soon happen, and if it does we will be defenseless to guard ourselves against it without the health and consent of the land: without the strength of the three ‘jewels’ of Hyrule.”
Zelda looks at Link.
“I know this is a lot of information. Do you understand everything I’ve told you?”
Link SHIFTS HIS EYES left and right; he finally NODS at the girl.
“My family has always had good relations with the Goron race, at least during my lifetime. Their lord, King Darunia, is a close personal friend of my family. He’d come to court often in the past to talk business with my father, and he’d amaze me with acrobatic games and fire-flower tricks: such things were quite mesmerizing for me when I was little...”
“Ah, yes: ‘cause you’re at the peak of womanhood, now, aren’t you?”
Link inaccurately SWATS AT THE AIR.
“My father requested a Goron delegation to attend this meeting with Lord Ganondorf, but he’s heard nothing from them since. The Goron are an insular people, but I cannot believe that King Darunia would refuse to appear at court on such an occasion. I would send my own envoy, for him to answer to me, personally, and explain his behavior.”
Link COCKS HIS HEAD.
“I know: you think that if he would ignore the words of a king that he’d surely ignore the words of a princess. That might be true, if I were only a princess, but I’m also a child he’s watched grow up: a curious little girl he used to amaze with silly games...”
Zelda closes her eyes and SMILES, fondly.
“...that is harder for a person to ignore, I think.”
The girl faces link.
“My father’s court is in full diplomatic flair: there is no one for me to send on my behalf, at the moment.”
Link looks the girl UP AND DOWN.
“No: that is out of the question. I... do not have that kind of freedom...”
There is a pause, then Link STEPS FORWARD and faces Zelda head-on, looking RESOLUTE.
“Would you go see Darunia for me?”
“Oh, this is not happening; this is not happening!”
Zelda CLAPS HER HANDS, grinning ecstatically; she REGAINS HER COMPOSURE and hands the boy a GLISTENING TRINKET: a keychain-sized token depicting THREE INTERLOCKED TRIANGLES (a pattern identical to the one on the back of Zelda’s headscarf).
“This is not exactly my family’s crest; you probably saw that on your way through the castle grounds. This design is older: it was something used by my family long ago in our history, from back when our people dwelled on the shores of old Hylia. It’s a design I’ve always liked. Darunia knows that about me... he will see you, I believe.”
Link LOOKS DOWN at the trinket, then back up at Zelda.
“The Goron Tribe settlement is just a heartbeat away, right up the shallow slope of Death Mountain—”
“Right: and that’s ‘just a name’, I’m sure...”
“—up the Eastern Trail through Kakariko Village. You can be there in no time. I really can’t thank you enough!”
Link NODS at the girl, then slowly starts walking off; he crosses through the center of the Castle Courtyard, moving slower as he goes, and more UNSURELY. Zelda calls after him.
“My nursemaid can show you through the gate on the eastern end of Castletown—”
Link TURNS AROUND and bumps right into Impa’s midsection, hitting her black chain mail shirt with his face. The boy backtracks quickly, staring up at the woman with ALARM.
“Impa will make the guard at the Shadow Gate allow you in and out; it’s the quickest way to go between the castle and the mountain trail.”
Impa stares down at Link with her arms crossed, a NONCOMMITTAL SCOWL cemented on her face.
Navi produces a very nervous SQUEAK (identical to the one on PAGE 48).
Link turns, slowly, and begins walking out of the courtyard; at this point Zelda notices the FAIRY OCARINA slung over Link’s shoulder. She STEPS FORWARD, her regal demeanor changed, slightly: she is more a normal, curious girl.
“D— do you play?”
Link looks back over his shoulder, first at Zelda, then his ocarina and finally back to the girl again. He NODS.
“I play music; I have studied, anyway. I know I couldn’t be nearly as good with an ocarina as a Kokiri forest child, but I can play, too. It was King Darunia who gave me my own ocarina: an old birthday present. Music is so much more important to Goron culture than it is to ours. Darunia loves music— he used to bring his best singers to perform Goron opera for us— and he’s always said that he loves ‘musical hearts’, too. The instrument he gave me is supposed to be able to join together the most devoted of hearts, wherever they might wander...”
Link looks back at his ocarina, BLINKING.
“Maybe... perhaps we could play a duet, sometime?”
Link cocks his head slightly; Navi again produces a very nervous SQUEAK.
EXT. SHADOW GATE OF CASTLETOWN – LATE MORNING.
A massive stone gate on the eastern end of Castletown; it is identical to the MAIN GATE Link passed through earlier, but aged and neglected from disuse. There are COBWEBS in its heights and dust litters the ornate gate design; a symbol of a LARGE WEEPING EYE adorns the top-center of this gate. Unlike the main gate this gate has no massive drawbridge (though it appears to have been equipped with the mechanism for one at some time): only a relatively smaller iron door at the gate’s base allows passage.
SLOW PAN across the relatively isolated ‘Low Road’ of Castletown. This area is a residential district, but not nearly as populated as the rest of Castletown. The road slopes STEEPLY DOWNWARD on its way to the Shadow Gate.
IMPA treads down the lane with ease; Link follows behind her, awkwardly tromping down the very steep road with difficulty.
“This is the Low Road of Castletown: the ‘street of shadows’, they once called it. You came to Hyrule Castle from the High Road: that’s the road of the people— royalty, nobility, merchants and peasants: the road of the living.”
Link looks up at Impa QUIZZICALLY.
“The Low Road is the street of the Royal Family’s servants, and the Shadow Gate is a portal for its most trusted guardians: the Sheikah. We cede our lives willingly for the protection of the Royal Family— what life we have within us is devoted to our duty, alone— so the route we now trod is the road of the dead...”
“This is still not happening; this is still not happening!”
“My charge is not foolish to think there is trouble in the land. She is most... ‘sensitive’ to such changes in Hyrule around her, even though she’s confined behind three-story stone walls...”
Impa looks back at Link.
“Her concerns merit investigation, although in truth I would prefer someone with more suitable ‘qualifications’ to set out on her behalf.”
Link stops walking; Impa notices this and turns around. The boy is standing with folded arms, surveying the woman up and down INTENTLY.
“That is impossible. I would not leave my charge’s side. If the castle guards would let a petulant 8-year-old through their ranks, what else might they allow into her midst? Besides, if her visions can be trusted then the greatest threat to her wellbeing is already lurking within the very corridors of Hyrule Castle...”
Impa looks over at the SHADOW GATE; she gestures to the lone guard standing beneath its rusty frame, who balks in surprise. Impa gestures again, this time more sternly. The guard fumbles with a large key ring on his belt and retrieves a large SKELETON KEY. He turns it in the lock, opening the small, narrow door beneath the Shadow Gate. It CREAKS noisily.
“The Death Mountain Trail begins at Kakariko Village. In times past that was once the foothill of my people’s camp, as we were ever-ready to ride through the Shadow Gate at the command of royal lips. Now, though, it has become a city of the living...”
Link looks back up at Impa one last time, then hesitantly steps up to the doorway. Impa calls after him.
“My charge spoke of three ‘jewels’ in the land of Hyrule, but only described two of them. You must know what the third is. She was too polite to ask you directly, but I am not: what has happened to the Lost Woods in the southland? What events transpired in the Kokiri Forest? Why is it that you have left?”
Link stops walking; he stares down at the ground for a moment, but then continues walking off, ignoring Impa.
“You are either a disastrous choice for my charge’s errand, or you have even more ‘qualifications’ than I first thought...”
She watches as the SHADOW GATE DOOR closes behind the child with a rusty clank.
“Or both, perhaps.”
SLOW ZOOM on the RUSTY DOOR beneath the shadow gate.
DISSOLVE FADE transition into the next scene.
EXT. SHADOW GATE OF CASTLETOWN – VERY EARLY MORNING.
It is the same location, 12 YEARS LATER. The entirety of Castletown is now a desolate, scarred husk, nearly unrecognizable from the vibrant city it was 12 years prior. It is CLOUDY throughout, and a STATIONARY STORM billows over the Castlebridge/High Road area, around where HYRULE CASTLE used to be.
ADULT LINK forces his way into the city through the door; its hinges turn to dust as he forces the door to give way. His HORSE is tethered to a withered tree outside. There are strange noises coming from the ruins of town: an eerie GUTTERAL COOING.
Link MOVES THROUGH the seemingly-deserted city, stumbling through debris and detritus in the streets. He eventually begins winding up the former HIGH ROAD and comes to its zenith: there is a massive SOOT-ENCRUSTED CASTLE situated at the center of a huge LAKE OF LAVA; the former hilltop the held Hyrule Castle has been converted into a volcanic basin. The castle at its center— comprising the central spire of the former Hyrule Castle and part of the former castle’s central keep— is GANONDORF’S CASTLE.
Link approaches the lava lake’s edge and STARES across the vast chasm. There is more errie GUTTERAL COOING in the distance behind him.
After a moment Link turns away and sets back off down the High Road. He passes a MASSIVE GOTHIC-THEMED TEMPLE complete with flying buttresses and arches (‘Cathedral’-like); this is the TEMPLE OF TIME.
Link moves past this place slowly. NAVI emerges from his COWL and rests on his shoulder. She LOOKS UP AT LINK, questioningly.
Link looks at her, then he down to his side at the DHISE SLAIGHRE sheathed against his hip. He shakes his head.
“No: I don’t think it works that way, Navi...”
Link moves on, coming into a dense cluster of ruined homes and storefronts, finally coming to the old marketplace square. He stops walking, looking ILL AT EASE.
TIGHT CAMERA FOCUS on Link’s face, in profile; he turns his head away from the camera, revealing a REDEAD (a hideous, emaciated ZOMBIE-LIKE CREATURE) standing thirty feet away from him, watching.
Link unsheathes the Dhise Slaighre and STARES right back at the ReDead. The creature unleashes a loud, GUTTERAL COO.
After a moment the ReDead turns awkwardly on its ‘heels’ and stumbles off.
Link LOWERS HIS GUARD slightly, then flinches: QUICK PAN DOWN reveals a MUCH SMALLER REDEAD huddled up near Link’s leg. Link shies away in terror, raising his sword and preparing to strike; he freezes in this position though, watching as the little ReDead slowly stumbles away from him and totters off through the square, following the bigger ReDead.
Link SIGHS and sheathes his sword.
There is more GUTTERAL COOING, this time many more voices in unison; many DARK SHAPES move through the shadows: a herd of ReDead, all moving away from the square in the same direction.
Link watches these shadows, BLINKING.
The sound of HORSE’S HOOVES moving at a ‘funereal’ pace rise from behind Link, from the direction of the High Road. The sound of DULL SCRAPING is also audible.
Link ducks behind some debris beside a ruined vendor’s tent as a massive KNIGHT IN DARK ARMOR appears, moving away from the direction of Ganondorf’s Castle. Its armor is shining steel, but it is so covered in soot and grime as to appear black, with various incongruous shiny patches. This is the IRON KNUCKLE.
It rides on a fearsome BLACK STALLION; many thick cables extend from its saddle and drag behind the horse. A gigantic flat object (of the dimensions of a GRAND PORTRAIT) is being dragged behind it, making the DULL SCRAPE. The object is shrouded in black cloth.
There are two LONG, GOLDEN KNIVES dangling from the Iron Knuckle’s hip, JINGLING discordantly as the creature rides in the saddle.
CLOSE UP on the Iron Knuckle’s shielded head (none of its face is visible). LINK is visible in the background, crouched low as the Iron Knuckle rides beyond the ruined vendor’s tent (soon the creature’s face eclipses Link’s body in the frame). Iron Knuckle stops its horse and quickly turns its head around: Link is no longer in his previous spot. The creature turns back around and SPURS the horse on; the horse protests with a TORTURED SQUEAL and continues walking, dragging the large, flat, shrouded object behind it. It is moving towards the old town drawbridge and main CITY GATE.
Link emerges from behind the ruined tent, ALERT, listening to the rider’s sounds as it disappears from view. He finally slumps down against the rubble.
NAVI emerges from his cowl and sets-down on Link’s knee.
“We can’t get to him...”
He taps the HILT OF DHISE SLAIGHRE with an impatient hand.
“We can’t get this to him: not now. Not right now, anyway.”
NAVI looks up at Link with a scowl.
“No: we will. We have to.”
The fairy CROSSES HER ARMS.
“We owe the land: that’s why. And we owe her...”
NAVI’s scowl DEEPENS.
“Yes, we do! I do, at least. If you’re not with me, then you’re not with me, but say so, at least.”
NAVI drops her crossed arms and LOOKS OFF TO ONE SIDE, chastised.
Link stands up; Navi disappears back into the SCRUFF OF HIS COWL.
“He rules with an iron fist: he must make public appearances, sometimes. If we don’t know how to get to him, then we need to find out how to get him to come to us. Someone must know how to get that bastard’s attention.”
Link walks into and up a ruined building, reaching its roofless second floor; he looks out into the distance beyond town. PLUMES OF SMOKE rise from the land near Death Mountain.
“That ‘Sheik’: he went off for the base of Death Mountain. It must still be there: Kakariko Village. Someone there’s gotta know something...”
NAVI’s blue body PEEKS OUT from Link’s cowl.
“Somebody’s got to be fighting for the people of Hyrule...”
SLOW ZOOM on the gloomy DEATH MOUNTAIN.
DISSOLVE FADE into the next scene.
EXT. DEATH MOUNTAIN TRAIL – LATE AFTERNOON.
12 years prior to the previous scene.
A gently sloping path, rocky and well-trod, rising up the side of mighty Death Mountain. Below, in the immediate distance, is the edge of KAKARIKO VILLAGE: a humble peasant town dominated by a large windmill at its center.
Young Link walks along the mountain trail. Navi sits atop LINK’S HEAD, bedded down in his hair.
“Alright: so I’m not going to point out how completely insane it is for a royal princess to send a little boy out on a diplomatic mission (LINE NOTE: dramatic, sarcastic inflection) ‘to save the world from turmoil’ and all that, but have you thought about how ridiculously dangerous this is? I hate to be so obvious, but this is Death Mountain, right? And there are dodongos in Death Mountain, right? I mean: that’s one of the reasons they call the bloody thing Death mountain in the first place, right?!”
Link comes to a very steep part of the trail; he has to begin climbing over boulders with considerable effort. In the process he SHAKES HIS HEAD in irritation, forcing Navi to take flight. She hovers in front of the boy’s face as he clambers.
Link GLOWERS at the fairy as he climbs.
“No: you’re not being noble, as a matter of fact. You’re just a sucker for pouty purple eyes is what you are.”
Link glares at Navi with a DISAGREEABLE SNEER; despite this, he BLUSHES.
“Hey: listen! Just try to think this through clearly, okay? She’s a charming little girl, sure— mentally unbalanced or not— but for the Goddesses’ sake think about what you’re doing: you’d saw off your own left leg for her if she asked you to!”
Link stops climbing. He looks down at his left leg CONTEMPLATIVELY, ultimately looking back up at Navi while shaking his head. He PATS HIS RIGHT LEG instead, GRINNING SARCASTICALLY.
“You think you’re very funny, but you’re not...”
Link moves up the mountain quickly, soon coming to a VAST OVERHANG in the Death Mountain Trail; this overhang gradually turns into a fully-enclosed cavern.
INT. GATEWAY TO THE GORON CITY – LATE AFTERNOON.
A massive cave room, dimly lit by a very small crack in the ceiling far, far overhead. This place is dominated by a GIGANTIC DODONGO SKULL (appx. two stories in height) sticking out of the far wall with its jaws CLOSED. On either side of the cavern are FISSURES in the earth, leading into an abyss of red-hued labyrinths. All along the outer rim of this cavern are plants, appearing as RADISH SPROUTS, sticking out of the clay earth fringes. These are FIRE FLOWERS.
Link and Navi move closer to the massive dodongo’s skull. There is a small iron PLAQUE on the ground in front of the skull, forming a Spartan floor pattern. At its center is text written in the ‘GORON’ script. Link approaches it and stares down, QUIZZICAL.
NAVI moves close over this floor plaque, illuminating it.
“Goroni script... you can’t read that, can you?”
Link WAVES HIS ARMS in an irritated shrug.
“Ah, that’s right: you can barely read New Hylian, can’t you?”
“Anyway, it says: ‘giant dead dodongo... when he sees red a new way to go will be open.”
Navi flies up closer to Link’s head, hovering by his EAR. Both of them stare at the massive skull.
“A poem? Not very catchy, is it? It doesn’t even really rhyme...”
The pair STARE at the dead creature for some time. Finally Navi flitters excitedly. She YELLS directly into Link’s ear.
“Oh, hey: listen!”
Link is SNAPPED OUT of his focus; he STARTS and then glares at the fairy, GESTURING at her angrily.
“Sorry. But I think this is a clue...”
The fairy flies up near one of the skull’s eyes.
“The Gorons have sealed up the entrance to their city: probably because of all that ‘strife’ the princess was talking about. But that seal down there is probably a hint for anyone who speaks Goroni to open the gate if they want to enter their city! All we have to do is figure out just what exactly the message means. If we—”
NAVI turns in the air, looking back down at Link. She stops speaking instantly; a LONG QUIET PAUSE fills the air.
CLOSE UP on LINK’S FACE. The boy stares up at Navi curiously.
NAVI does not speak.
CLOSE UP on LINK’S FACE again; the boy’s eyes slowly widen and his lips curl. His breathing becomes louder, more frequent. Slow (SLOW!) pan to the side reveals a massive animal’s jaw leering out of the darkness behind the boy. It is the same general shape and contour of the massive dead dodongo’s skull.
The DODONGO behind link exhales a GUTTERAL BREATH; ruffling the back of the neck of the boy’s tunic.
CLOSE UP on the dodongo as it emerges from the darkness, glaring with two creepy, GIANT BLACK EYES.
CUT to a FARTHER CAMERA SHOT (Navi’s point of view) rapidly descending towards the dodongo, blazing past Link’s shoulder (missing the boy by millimeters); CAMERA IMPACT with one of the dodongo’s eyes: Navi has collided with the creature. BLUE SPARKS flash all over the screen.
Link UNGRACEFULLY ROLLS forward, GRUNTING as Navi swoops up through the air following her impact with the dodongo’s face. The creature emerges from a WINCING position to lunge from the shadows, HISSING angrily and pursuing Link on all fours; it is similar in appearance to a giant iguana (appx. four feet at the ‘withers’) with a squat body and disproportionately large head.
Link races across the cavern’s width only to be confronted by a SECOND DODONGO, snarling and flicking its LARGE REPTILIAN TONGUE. The boy dodges this creature and skirts the edges of the cavern, soon coming into contact with a THIRD DODONGO.
The boy runs through a length of FIRE FLOWES SPROUTS planted in orderly rows, eventually coming to a steep ledge in the cavern’s side. Link SCRAMBLES UP the edge and comes to rest on the ledge, PANTING considerably.
Navi quickly comes to the boy’s side as two of the three dodongos snarl and hiss on the cavern floor, snapping violently with their jaws. Link stands up, FATIGUED.
“Ooooh-oh! They don’t get much closer than that, do they?”
One of the dodongos begins HEAVING, like a cat struggling with a hairball. Copious plumes of SMOKE suddenly billow from its EARS. The dodongo beside it quickly recoils from the plums with obvious IRRITATION.
The heaving dodongo’s ears stop smoking; the creature parts its teeth (resembling a very eerie grin). Bright yellow firelight is clearly visible in the gummed-up gaps of its teeth. It makes a noise akin to an asthmatic drawing in a DEEP BREATH.
CLOSE UP on Link; the boy WHIMPERS.
The dodongo suddenly SPITS A MESS OF FLAMING GEL through the air, coating Link’s ledge. The boy goes tumbling down the side, avoiding the napalm-like emission. He comes to rest in the thick of the fire flower patch with one radish-like FLOWER poking up between his legs. A small puddle of flaming gel is on that flower, and immediately the small leaves IGNITE and begin HISSING like a sparkler (or the stereotypical fuse on a stick of dynamite). Link CRIES OUT and quickly barrel-rolls backwards; the small flower stops hissing and then explodes like a cherry bomb (NOT DRAMATIC like a landmine, but certainly enough to cause injury).
Link dashes through the cavern, hopping over small tendrils of fire left by the dodongo’s spit attack. The two nearest him refuse to cross over the smoldering gel (despite the fact that their bodies are more than resilient enough); they are dissuaded by the SMOKE.
Link runs back to the giant dodongo’s skull, coming face-to-face with the third dodongo. The creature launches a flaming spit attack against him, which Link narrowly dodges once again. The creature places itself between the boy and the dodongo skull.
NAVI hovers high up in the air, near the DODONGO SKULL’S EYE.
Link looks up; he cannot see the giant dodongo’s skull for all the SMOKE accumulated against the cavern ceiling. Navi’s BRIGHT BLUE BODY is, however, visible.
Close-up FLASH of LINK’S EYES; close-up FLASH of the FLOOR PLAQUE; close-up FLASH of the DODONGO SKULL’S EYES (from back before the smoke eclipsed it).
The dodongo blocking Link’s path begins HEAVING; smoke pours out its ears.
NAVI rapidly shuttles down through the air from the dodongo’s eye, leaving a TRAIL OF ELECTRIC BLUE SPARKS in her wake.
Link quickly dives against the ground, pulls up a FIRE FLOWER sprout from the cavern floor and LIGHTS the sprout with a nearby pool of dying fire. It SPARKS, then Link sets the small (two-inch) circular bulb of the plant in his SLINGSHOT; he eyes the path Navi left him and fires the ‘live’ plant through the air, arcing it perfectly along Navi’s sparkling line until it lodges in the DEAD DODONGO’S EYE. It explodes with a loud pop; immediately following this is a loud, mechanical CLANKING sound, as of a SWITCH BEING TRIPPED.
The DEAD DODONGO’S JAW comes unhinged and falls to the cavern floor in a violent crash; we see several sets of CHAINS set into the jawbone at various locations; it is a GATE.
The jaw lands squarely on the dodongo blocking Link’s path; the creature is flattened just before it can spew its fiery fluid. A messy mixture of animal innards and flaming fluid squirts out the edge of the fallen jawbone gate.
Enough flaming liquid lands on LINK’S TORSO to prompt the boy into a panicked STOP, DROP AND ROLL. Even then it isn’t enough; panicked, the boy quickly SHEDS HIS SHIRT, leaving the garment to smolder on the cavern floor. The boy pats his bare upper body down, assured that he is not, in fact, on fire, and then he retrieves his undamaged LEATHER SHOULDER SASH (upon which all his personal effects reside), and slings it back over his body.
Link leaps up and races into the dodongo’s jaw; there is a brief path beyond, but then a LARGE IRON DOOR, which is locked, blocks the way.
Navi catches up to the boy.
“That... doesn’t seem fair, does it?”
GROWLING sounds behind the boy.
Link turns and faces the other two dodongo, who now have the boy cornered at the sealed door. Link grits his teeth and unsheathes the ORNAMENTAL OYSTER KNIFE.
“This is definitely not fair!”
The dodongos CLOSE IN.
CLOSE-UP on LINK, in profile, standing in defensive posture with his knife extended in front of him.
The dodongos continue advancing, SNARLING and WHIPPING OUT THEIR TONGUES.
Another CLOSE-UP on LINK in profile; the boy braces himself and lets loose a VERY LOUD ‘WAR CRY’.
The dodongos stop their advance; each of them crouches low, then they move closer together. Finally both of them TURN ponderously on their axis and WADDLE off back into the shadows of the cavern.
Link stares after the creatures, MYSTIFIED. Eventually a self-satisfied SMILE graces his lips. Then the boy’s NOSE WRINKLES and he coughs lightly: there is a NOXIOUS FUME coming from somewhere behind him.
Link CRANES HIS HEAD BACK as far as possible. CAMERA ON HIS POINT OF VIEW: a GORON WARRIOR is standing directly behind the boy (shown ‘upside-down’, per the boy’s view), looking down at Link with a NASTY SCOWL.
The GORON is, essentially, a giant (appx. 8-foot-tall) ‘rock monster’: a four-limbed rotund creature comprised of extremely durable ‘skin’.
Link MEEKLY SMILES up at the Goron.
Next we see the Goron CARRYING LINK roughly over one shoulder, bringing the struggling boy out past the dodongo skull and through the cavern towards the entrance. In its other hand it carries a LARGE, SMOLDERING STICK (like a giant torch, but spouting only black smoke and not fire).
Link’s arms are basically pinned to his sides; the boy manages to struggle with one hand against his shoulder sash, FUMBLING with a pocket.
The Goron reaches daylight and roughly TOSSES Link to the ground. It begins TURNING AROUND to return to the depths of the cavern, but Link stands up quickly, STEPPING FORWARD defiantly. The Goron SNEERS and turns back to confront the child, STOPPING in his tracks quickly: Link is standing with his left fist extended, holding the INTERLOCKING TRIANGLE TRINKET given to him by Princess Zelda.
CLOSE UP on the Goron’s face: it stares at Link CONTEMPATIVELY.
CLOSE UP on Link’s face (with the TRINKET in the frame’s forefront); the boy stares back at the Goron DEFIANTLY.
The Goron turns around and begins lumbering back into the cavern. It stops after a few feet and looks back at Link.
After a pause Link slowly approaches the Goron, coming to its side; the two of them then descend back into the cavern.
There are MANY MORE DODONGO gathered in the cavern by the giant dodongo’s skull. They part as the Goron enters with its SMOLDERING STICK. Link SHIES UP to the giant, going so far as to HUG against its hip as they move through the cavern. The Goron looks down at Link and motions to one of the creatures with his massive head.
“Dodongo dislikes smoke.”
“Yeah: but what about the rest of them?”
Link and the Goron pass through the skull and beyond the iron door, coming to the path that leads directly into the GORON CITY.
INT. GORON CITY – EARLY EVENING.
An underground city comprised of ‘adobe-like’ huts. The terrain is rocky and irregular; the cavern ceiling is many, many stories up overhead. At city center is a DEPRESSION in the ground leading into DARUNIA’S CHAMBERS.
Link and the Goron walk through the city (Link now has a dun-colored CLOTH draped around his shoulders, covering most of his upper body); many Goron onlookers stare at the SOOT-COVERED boy curiously.
The city mood is dominated by GLOOM and DEPRESSION; FUNEREAL MUSIC is coming from Darunia’s chamber, faintly echoing throughout the city (barely audible): this depressing, UNSETTLING music is GANONDORF’S DIRGE (NOTE: this song— the character’s leitmotif— probably needs to be an ORIGINAL PIECE).
The pair comes to a small central fountain very near Darunia’s chamber. The Goron directs Link to the water; Link sits on the side of the ornamental fountain and SPLASHES WATER over his face and parts of his upper body, scrubbing the DIRT, SOOT and GRIME from his torso. The Goron sits near the opposite edge. The Goron watches the boy as he washes, silently POINTING to several parts of its own face, indicating areas Link should address on his face. As Link finishes the Goron TAPS ITS OWN CHEST at the sternum.
Link looks down at his bare chest; we notice for the first time a VERY FAINT DISCOLORATION in the boy’s skin at his sternum: it is a CROOKED, SOMEWHAT IRREGULAR-SHAPED TRIANGLE (again: FAINT). Link looks back up at the Goron and SHAKES HIS HEAD, rubbing two fingers against the ‘café au lait’ birthmark to demonstrate its permanence.
“My mistake. You are fine, then. Underdressed, maybe, but Darunia has never stood on formality...”
Link BLUSHES and again drapes the CLOTH over his shoulders, tying it off against his chest as a makeshift tunic.
“But then, Darunia stands on little else now, as it is. We Gorons live our lives with music in our blood. Our hearts beat in rhythm with bold, joyous ballads, but Darunia...”
The Goron looks across the small square at Darunia’s Chambers.
“...Darunia: for several months now his heart beats only to the sound of a dreary dirge.”
The Goron rises and MOVES OFF from the fountain; Link does likewise, LOOKING UP at the creature.
“Her Highness is worried about our King, is she? Well, so are we: our city— our people— are struggling under this blight. Without a leader— without the wise rule of a bold, joyous heart— we are all nothing but strays. Our spirits are faltering, just as our king’s; our land is crumbling away, slowly, but more and more with each passing day; the dodongo rise up out of the dark depths of the earth where they belong and yet we are not even of the mind to stop them. We are all ultimately of the ‘mind’ of our king, and as long as his mind lies mired in misery so...”
The Goron looks down at Link, suddenly SELF-CONSCIOUS about its words.
“It is not proper to talk of such things with someone like you...”
The Goron walks towards Darunia’s Chambers; Link follows by its side.
“You come on behalf of her Royal Highness. It’s enough for me to admit you to his chambers. Still, I doubt that if Princess Zelda herself came into these caverns she’d be seen by Darunia. Truthfully, I doubt he’d even recognize her.”
“We could’ve got that mask from the Happy Mask Shop to remind him of her—”
Link quickly GLARES at the fairy by his side.
The Goron shows Link through the small door leading into Darunia’s main meeting room; KING DARUNIA is sitting near the far wall, bathed in shadow, with his back to the rest of the room. On the other side of the room a group of GORON MUSICIANS play various STRANGE INSTRUMENTS; two of the Gorons provide vocal support to the song (again: ‘Ganondorf’s Dirge’) with a STRANGE, OSCILLATING VOCAL RANGE (typical of the people). They appear very ILL AT EASE, uncomfortable with the current, seemingly unending musical selection.
Goron #1 rips the golden trinket from Link’s hand, handing it off to one of TWO GORON WARRIORS standing guard in the room. GORON #2 takes the trinket and looks at it thoughtfully, SCOWLING DEEPLY at Link, and then stomps across the room. It tosses the trinket in front of King Darunia on the floor.
Link watches Darunia’s back INTENTLY; the king makes no movement.
Goron #2 notices this and turns toward Link with a SNARL; it PICKS THE BOY UP by the scruff and prepares to remove him from the chamber. Darunia BOWS HIS HEAD even further.
(Sharp, curt command in the ‘Goroni Language’)
Goron #2 stops walking, turning back towards Darunia.
(Short, questioning phrase in the ‘Goroni Language’)
(One-syllable reply in the ‘Goroni Language’)
Goron #2 carries Link back into the chamber, DEPOSITING the boy against the dark, far wall of the room before Darunia. Link rises and stands squarely before the king.
(One-word, spoken in the ‘Goroni Language’)
The Goron King LOOKS UP at Link slowly. We see that his eyes are subtly unlike the other Gorons’ eyes: instead of being PURE BLACK orbs they are an unsettling shade of GRAY similar to ADVANCED CATARACTS.
“A messenger? No. A sapling... before willows...”
ATTENDANTS of Darunia’s court stand in a far corner beside a rock-hewn table with their sober faces bathed in shadow; they look on at their king with SOMBER DEJECTION.
“A body in its youth— a spirit in its spring— has no cause to steel itself within the earth. Despair cannot live in such young eyes; what pain could a sapling truly know? Go, little one: live your childhood...”
Link looks at Darunia COCKEYED. He waits for any other words from the King, but finding none he becomes UNCOMFORTABLE. The boy circles around the king, stepping slowly through the chamber; Darunia stops him with more words.
“Despair, nonetheless, for the greenest sapling becomes the most brittle willow in the blink of an eye; in the breadth of a hair’s width. Time... is a villain; there is not one thing everlasting. I look back on my life— on the whole life of my people, even— and all I see is futility; all I feel is despair...”
Darunia BOWS HIS HEAD once again.
“I called you ‘mopey’ that day back out on the Castletown Trail; do you remember that?”
“I’m sorry about that, ‘cause I had no idea what ‘mopey’ actually was...”
“Stay with us a time, if you will— sapling messenger of the Princess— if despair is in your heart then you are most welcome among us.”
Link MOVES AWAY from the king uncomfortably. He approaches the ATTENDANTS standing at the table near the other corner of the room; they EYE the child with unease.
Link next walks closer to the MUSICIANS against another wall and watches them as they play ‘Ganondorf’s Dirge’: many of the Goron musicians appear to show utter CONTEMPT and DISGUST with their musical selection.
Link sneaks the MASK OF TRUTH off his leather shoulder sash and discreetly puts it on. With it he picks up VARIOUS THOUGHTS from both Darunia’s attendants and the Musicians, all of them displaying EXASPERATED CONCERN with Darunia’s current situation.
Link REMOVES the mask.
“This is a very delicate situation: I don’t know what this Darunia guy needs, but clearly we aren’t equipped to give it to him. Anyway, even if we could help him it simply wouldn’t do for us to disturb his court by—”
Link quickly ASCENDS the small musician’s platform and KICKS OVER one of the musician’s drums; it lands on its side with a thud, disrupting their performance and causing them to LOOK OVER at Link with surprise. The boy gets up on the drumhead and stares them down defiantly.
“—making a scene.”
The musicians continue staring at the boy in silence; after a long pause Darunia RAISES HIS HEAD and looks back at the musicians. He NODS his head at them, then goes back to grousing in the corner.
The LEAD MUSICIAN again breaks into the main chorus of Ganondorf’s Dirge; the other musicians and vocalists soon join in.
Link, still standing on the drumhead, GLARES at the musicians impatiently. The boy reaches around his back and retrieves the FAIRY OCARINA from his shoulder sash.
Link puts the instrument to his lips and PLAYS ALONG with the musicians, following them with a COUNTERMELODIC ACCOMPANIMENT, appropriate for the dreary dirge.
(NOTE: Per Zelda’s prediction, the boy possesses an UNREALISTICALLY ADVANCED FACILITY with the instrument, as well as an understanding of music theory and improvisational melodic ability that are unrealistically atypical for a normal 8-year-old)
(FURTHER NOTE: Link’s fairy ocarina is capable of producing TWO SEPARATE TONES at once— if the player chooses— allowing two different notes to be played simultaneously. Its DESIGN reflects this abnormal ability despite the fact that, admittedly, such an ability is likely impossible in reality)
After FOLLOWING ALONG with the dirge for some time Link begins to musically STEER THE TONE of the song (brighter, clearer playing; switching from minor to major key; drowning out the more ‘drab’ parts of the dirge with louder play). Ultimately the boy uses the dirge’s sparsely-occupied bridge to completely HIJACK the song, seamlessly segueing into an entirely different piece: the bright, up-tempo SARIA’S SONG.
At this point Link is fighting with the rest of the musicians for the dominance of this melody; in the end the other musicians, ENLIVENED by the cheery tune, all join in with Saria’s Song, providing full improvised accompaniment to the simple, catchy tune. The last musicians to be swayed are the VOCALISTS (including the LEAD MUSICIAN), who all ultimately provide accompaniment to Link’s ocarina.
Darunia LOOKS UP and turns around, PEERING at the musicians through his shadows.
SLOW PAN around GORON CITY near Darunia’s chamber entrance; many Gorons are pausing in their tracks and LOOKING UP, noticing the up-tempo music blaring from Darunia’s chambers.
The ATTENDANTS in Darnia’s Chamber are similarly ENLIVENED.
Link continually EMBELLISHES the song with various trills and tricks from his ocarina.
Darunia, still STARING DOWN at the dirt floor of his chamber, begins MUMBLING faintly.
(whispering to himself)
“Melody... what a melody: a song of saplings. How fleet a song; how green... I can see the forest, feel the crunch of leaves...”
Out in the GORON CITY a pair of GORON CHILDREN CAVORT together in time to Saria’s Song.
(whispering to himself)
“Should I feel so fleet? Should I feel so green? I... want to, but I cannot...”
The MUSICIANS play on with more GUSTO.
(whispering to himself)
“My heart is heavy, but still: how much lighter it is!”
EXTREME CLOSE UP on the TOP OF LINK’S OCARINA, where his lips meet the wooden mouthpiece. A SOGGY, SOUR NOTE (‘wet’ sounding) blurts from the instrument; a SNOT BUBBLE has bust from Link’s nose and streamed down his face, along with TEARS from his cheeks.
The MUSICIANS STOP PLAYING abruptly, taking note of the boy; Link’s SILENT TEARS give way to open SNIFFLING. The boy LOWERS HIS OCARINA and begins to WEEP OPENLY.
Darunia’s HEAD COMES UP upon hearing the child’s bawling. He TURNS his body and then STANDS UP and WALKS out of the shadow of his corner. His eyes SOFTEN, dissolving from their GRAY state to a BLACKER hue.
Link SITS DOWN on the edge of the musicians’ platform; he CARELESSLY TOSSES his ocarina aside and BUNCHES HIS LEGS UP, burying his face against them. He continues WEEPING against his legs.
Darunia STANDS BEFORE the boy, looking down at Link CONTEMPLATIVELY. His eyes are now just as BLACK and SHINY as his fellow Goroni.
CLOSE-UP on the discarded OCARINA on the floor with Link and Darunia in the background, out of focus. We get a better view of several FEMININE INTRICACIES in the ocarina, including design patterns around the finger holes and other subtle feminine touches (ie: this shot establishes that the instrument is almost certainly a GIRL’S OCARINA).
INT. GORONI PALACE – LATE EVENING.
A Spartan adobe meeting hall with pillars for walls, perched above city center and commanding a good view of the Goron City. The palace is flanked by many tables and massive Goron-sized chairs; one CENTRAL TABLE dominates this arrangement.
Link sits at this central table in a Goron-sized chair, bolstered by a LARGE BRICK serving as a makeshift booster seat. Darunia stands opposite the boy. His ATTENDANTS walk off to a polite distance, near the opposite edge of the palace, leaving a large mug of STEAMING LIQUID in front of Link and a small BLACK BOX in front of Darunia.
Link, still red-faced, SNIFFS lightly and DRINKS from the mug.
(looking out across the city)
“It’s been quite some time since I last enjoyed this view. It’s been quite some time since I had a guest to view it with.”
Darunia sets his MASSIVE STONE FISTS down on either side of the BLACK BOX on the table; he GROWLS angrily.
“My last guest— a grand ambassador— came to me some time ago with cordiality and platitudes, but he left me with unending pain— pain given to me for his greater pleasure, I believe— a poison rotting my veins...”
CLOSE UP on LINK’S FACE; the boy looks up at these last words. A BRIGHT FLASH across the screen VERY BRIEFLY shows the boy standing in a meadow, staring up at an INCOMPREHENSIBLY MASSIVE oak tree. The tree appears to have some semblance of a FACE to it (or at least the carved APPEARANCE of a face). EXTREME CLOSE UP on one of its gigantic ‘eyes’ (with no actual eyeball in the socket, but with an undoubtedly INTELLIGENT look to it).
”And now our princess sends her own messenger: a child coming to me with blind innocence, and stark gracelessness...”
(hovering near Link’s ear, speaking to Link)
“Uncoordinated, but super.”
Darunia holds Link’s FAIRY OCARINA in one giant fist.
“...and that child took out the pain from my body, sure as if he sucked that poison from my wounds...”
Link STARES DOWN into his lap upon sight of the ocarina; Darunia notices this and CLOSES HIS HAND around it.
“And in curing me, as it were, he took that poison on for himself. It wasn’t your song that touched me, little one, but the pain that it put you through to play it for me. I am not so much elated by your music as I am shamed by your actions; what great strength of will it is to give pleasure to another at the risk of pain to oneself! Playing something as beautiful and uplifting as that: a song that at the same time guts the very strength from your innards and strikes at your soul with every beautiful note as sure as a hammer pounds a blade on a forge... That is something I could never ask of you; it is something that no one has the right to ask of anyone else.”
Darunia SITS DOWN at the table across from the boy.
“What pain could a sapling truly know? I learned that today, I think.”
The Goron King SHAKES HIS HEAD, ashamed.
“I feel so very green...”
Darunia flips open the small BLACK BOX in front of him; a GREAT ORANGE LIGHT emanates from within, but quickly fades to nothingness. Darunia LOOKS BACK UP at Link.
“The Man in Black... is a dark shade, indeed...”
CLOSE UP on Link’s face. As Darunia CONTINUES SPEAKING we see the same scene from pg. 41 (NOT accompanied by any flash): CRUEL-LOOKING BLACK RIDING BOOTS walking past a thatch hut entrance, the rest of the figure obscured by a drop cloth. A body STIRS in bed inside the hut, although this time we see more of the scene: the covers come away to reveal LINK in the bed, looking to his hut’s door as the dark man passes. A FLASH again reveals the MASSIVE OAK TREE in a thunderstorm; ANOTHER FLASH reveals a strange, hideous face against a backdrop of darkness; suddenly a pair of thick, bony ‘IRISES’ open up to either side of the face to reveal a MASSIVE, BLOODY EYE leering out of the darkness (this eye belongs to the spider-monster GHOMA). ANOTHER FLASH reveals more of the creature’s body, flying through the air in a CAVERN OF TREE ROOTS, soaring over LINK, who is standing on the floor. Ghoma spits a DISTINCTIVE GREEN SLUDGE at the child, but it misses. ANOTHER FLASH shows Link LANDING HARD on the floor, his legs completely ENTWINED in spider’s webbing up to his waist. The boy SCRAMBLES FURIOUSLY, CUTTING HIS LEFT HAND on a very SHARP ROCK. Link takes the jagged rock in his hand. ANOTHER FLASH from GHOMA’S PERSPECTIVE, charging the boy from behind. Link quickly WHIPS AROUND, thrusting the jagged stone in front of his face; it COLLIDES with the camera. ANOTHER FLASH reveals the MASSIVE OAK TREE wilting, its LEAVES falling off in sickly cascades; LINK is ascending the meadow hill in the FAR BACKGROUND, LIMPING. CLOSE-UP on one brittle tree branch reveals Ghoma’s GREEN SLUDGE dripping out the pores. ANOTHER FLASH reveals a ROPE BRIDGE over a lush green forest floor disappearing on either side into woody knolls. Link races onto this bridge and FALTERS TO ONE KNEE (slight slow-motion from this point on); we see a small train of BLOOD gracing the back of his neck (the origin is up under his hair along his occipital bun). Two stray stones tumble lazily over the bridge (in ‘pursuit’ of the boy). Link CUPS HIS HANDS over these stones; he is on the verge of tears, but SCOWLS darkly instead (bright point-light comes through the forest canopy, illuminating only one-half of the boy’s face). ANOTHER FLASH shows a GIRL’S HAND coming up behind the boy’s back, CRADLING the small cut on the back of his head. A GREEN-HAIRED KOKIRI FOREST GIRL is kneeling by Link’s side on the bridge; this is SARIA. She wears a dark-green headband to keep her hair up. She stares at the boy with SORROW; she is holding the FAIRY OCARINA over her chest. Link looks over at the girl (and, in doing so, his entire face comes into the light). ANOTHER FLASH reveals Saria RISING UP on the bridge, facing the way Link came; Link is no longer on the bridge. A MOB OF KOKIRI FOREST CHILDREN come bounding over the bridge (led by a FRECKLE-FACED REDHEADED boy named MIDO); some of the children carry SMOOTH STONES in their hands, but they all quickly stop before Saria, who STARES at the group with stern, but compassionate, eyes.
(voice-over on entire previous scene; this line begins when the flashbacks begin and ends exactly when they end)
“His deeds are black as his heart. His mission is pain. And for what? For pain’s sake? Deep in the shadows his black magic brews; deep in the fissures of his heart does he know the reason for these deeds. What reason could there be? What reason could there be for such misery... what reason could there be for such terror... what reason could there be for such pain?”
Link is holding onto his LARGE MUG with one hand against the table; that hand begins TREMBLING slightly. The boy brings that hand back into his lap with the other one.
“The Man in Black... is a dark shade.”
The Goron King looks up at Link; he removes a SMALL CRYSTAL TRINKET from the box. It is a naturally occurring orange jewel cemented in a platinum setting. The stone is of the irregular shape of a Goron’s clenched fist. This trinket is the GORON’S HAND.
“Reason itself must have little to do with his actions, but as for our defense I will trust the Royal Family and Her Highness, the Heir to the Throne of Hyrule. This is my own family’s keepsake, and a signal of my support: the ‘Goron’s Hand’. Take this to Princess Zelda. My people and I would do whatever is necessary...”
Link reaches out slowly and takes the GORON’S HAND. It SPARKLES against the boy’s face with a FAINT ORANGE LIGHT.
One of Darunia’s attendants approaches the large table and HANDS Darunia a FLAT PACKAGE (of the type containing folded clothing). Darunia takes the box and places it on his lap (occluded by the table’s edge).
“And you, who suffered through pain in an effort to bring me joy: you have a strong heart, indeed...”
Darunia FIDDLES with the box; we see him remove a SPARLKING DIAMOND SASH (analogous to Link’s own leather shoulder sash) as well as GLITTERY GOLDEN BUTTONS. He DISCARDS these, then brings the box up to level.
“And if you go on any more dodongo hunts, my small friend, we’d do well to keep that strong little heart safe...”
Darunia SLIDES the box over to Link, who removes a CRIMSON TUNIC from the box (its design is somewhat similar to Link’s green tunic, however it has variations— although not at all obvious this tunic is actually designed for a YOUNG GIRL’S use).
“It is a garment for combat, as well as comfort, hewn of Goroni fiber: it does not burn, ever, and it is most slow to tear.”
The boy LOOKS THE GARMENT OVER appreciatively, then looks up at Darunia, QUIZZICAL.
“You wonder why it is that I have a Goroni war tunic made for the dimensions of a Hyrulian child?”
“That is between myself and the princess of Hyrule...”
Link has already shed the towel he’s worn over his shoulders; the boy is busy buttoning the garment up over his chest. Darunia WATCHES this.
“...and in any event I doubt Her Highness would disapprove.”
Link SMILES at the Goron King, taking up the GORON’S FIST in one hand.
“Go, little one: continue your journey.”
Link ungracefully CLIMBS DOWN from the massive stone chair and lands on the ground. The boy walks off. CLOSE-UP on Link’s face as he walks, with Darunia sitting in the background; the boy TUGS AT his new threads as he walks, adjusting them for comfort. Darunia calls after the boy.
“No: her highness wouldn’t disapprove at all. After all, what’s a knight without his armor?”
Link stops walking, his eyes QUESTIONING. He doesn’t turn to face the chucking Darunia, though, but instead continues walking, leaving the confines of Goroni Palace with GORON #1 guiding him back out of the city and to the rock face of Death Mountain.
EXT. DEATH MOUNTAIN TRAIL – EARLY AFTERNOON.
It is 12 YEARS LATER. The sky is still blighted by sickly clouds.
Adult Link sits atop his horse and stares down the desolate Death Mountain Trail at humble KAKARIKO VILLAGE. Navi rests in his cowl.
“Seems safe enough, doesn’t it, Navi?”
He SPURS his horse on, descending the trail slowly.
“Keep your eyes open, though...”
Link rides through the middle of the village; the old WINDMILL still dominates the view. Various people TOIL at routine work. Link is viewed SUSPICIOUSLY as he passes. As he passes one BOARDED-UP HOUSE there is a STRANGE SHUFFLING SOUND from within; a pair of eyes look out the RAFTERS at Link; the rest of the face is grotesque (this is the HOUSE OF SKULLTULA).
Eventually an OLD MAN in a ratty blue cloak approaches Link, blocking his horse’s path.
“You ride from Old Castle Town, my pale-cloaked friend?”
“I apologize: we had word of a rider setting out from Old Castle Town, but we last heard of that rider moving through Hyrule Field toward the Southland with his bulky cargo in tow. We are, therefore, ill-prepared to receive you in your radiance.”
A BEARDED MAN silently climbs over a ROOFTOP alongside the pair; he slowly produces a large, primitive COMPOUND BOW and aims a broad-head arrow down at an oblivious Link.
“Inasmuch as you are blessed by his radiance, of course. As much as you are favored by the High King—”
“Who are you?”
“My name is Shikashi: elder of Kakariko Village.”
A PAIR OF CHILDREN— a boy and a girl— stand in the shadows at the edge of a decrepit house nearby, WATCHING this scene unfold. The scene CUTS between them and THEIR POINT OF VIEW— where Link and Shikashi are still speaking, though their words are inaudible— then CUTS BACK to the children: SHEIK is now standing directly behind the children, kneeling near their heads. Sheik’s eyes appear more PURPLE than red this time. Sheik whispers to the children, who are STARTLED to see the warrior, but soon CALMED by Sheik’s presence. They LISTEN to the warrior’s words (inaudible to us).
CUT BACK to Link and Shikashi.
“How is it that you know about the movement of the King of Thieves’ agents? Where do you get your information about his troops?”
The MAN ON THE ROOFTOP KNOCKS AN ARROW back in his bow, preparing to fire.
“Er... well, my liege, it is not so much ‘information’ as idle rumor and conjecture. We certainly have no organized structure for keeping tabs on the High King’s movements: what right have we to do such things? What profit could we gain from monitoring our own glorious lord’s business?”
“I could think of one, off hand...”
Shikashi COWERS, afraid, but soon the GIRL watching this scene unfold runs out to the old man and tugs at his cloak.
“Elder, elder! The pale-cloaked rider is not a part of the Brotherhood of the Knuckle! He’s an outsider: from abroad!”
“And how is it that you know such a thing?”
The little girl looks back at the house she was hiding behind; the YOUNG BOY is still there, but Sheik is gone.
“Oh... I see...”
Shikashi faces Link again. He quickly CROSSES HIS HANDS over his chest.
The BEARDED MAN on the roof un-knocks his arrow and disappears down the far side of the roof.
Link NOTICES the man move away, being RETROACTIVELY ALARMED by it.
“Perhaps we could begin again, stranger?”
“No one can ever begin again, Elder. We can always try to fix our mistakes, though...”
INT. OLD INN AT KAKARIKO VILLAGE – AFTERNOON.
A rustic inn in its heyday; now a drab public housing project for Kakariko’s indigents and refugees due to overcrowding in other houses in the village.
Link and Shikashi sit at the former bar of the restaurant section of the inn; Link is given a glass of water by a girl.
An EXTREMELY ODD-LOOKING OLD WOMAN totters past the pair; she wears STRANGE METAL GLASSES and a ratty, flaccid hat, stumbling through the inn in faded crimson robes. Upon seeing Link at the bar she PAUSES and turns in his direction. This is the FORTUNE TELLER.
“An unfamiliar face, Shikashi...”
The woman GRIPS LINK’S CHIN in one hand; Link allows this examination.
“And you— my young thing: what is it that you bring into this wretched, wretched land?”
“Goods and services, ma’am.”
The Fortune Teller moves her other hand over Link’s CHIN, just below his lips; when she draws away her hand we see that two of her fingers have DROPLETS OF BLOOD on them.
Link quickly MOVES A HAND over his chin, but he finds no blood on his face. When he again looks at the Fortune Teller’s hand he finds her fingers, too, have no blood on them either.
“If the ‘service’ is ‘good’ then so be it. But, then again, what good is a service when you don’t know for whom it’s being performed?”
“I travel under my own banner, woman.”
The Fortune Teller’s smile WIDENS and she CHUCKLES. She totters off.
“Such a sad thing it is: a knight errant!”
Link watches the woman retreat.
“A strange old hag...”
“I apologize. But she has her good points: the lines on a palm are as easy a read for her as a child’s primer is for me. She has a knowledge of things beyond the everyday visible...”
“Tell me this, Shikashi: who resists the rule of the King of Thieves?”
“Who resists? Ha!”
“Does no one?”
“Oh, indeed there are those that resist. You must have seen a great many of them in Old Castle Town. The dead resist our ‘glorious lord’...”
Shikashi pounds his own chest.
“...as do hardened hearts. But living lips? No: not a one of those, let alone a living hand. What living hand would reach up to strike down a King favored by the Golden Goddesses themselves?”
Shikashi SMILES warmly.
“I’m glad you think so. It warms my heart to hear you protest, but what I say is true, in part at least. Din favors him, and Din keeps him close to her burning hands...”
On the OTHER SIDE of the bar we see THREE SMALL ALTARS set up side by side against the wall; all three depict a small statue of a NEBULOUS, FLYING FIGURE (feminine inappearance) screaming up towards the sky with JET-LIKE PLUMAGE training behind them. Two of the altars (the one to the left side and the central one) have some fresh flowers and offerings at their bases. The one on the far right side, while constructed in nearly identical fashion to the other two, is covered in dust and has no offerings at its base. The STATUES at the center of each altar differ slightly: the neglected one has brightly painted colors on one FIST, while the other two have brightly painted colors on their CENTER CHEST (for the statue off to the right side) and its JET-LIKE PLUMAGE (for the statue in the middle).
The statue with the color on its FIST depicts the Golden Goddess DIN, while the statue with the color on its CENTER CHEST depicts the Golden Goddess NAYRU and the statue with the color on its JET-LIKE PLUMAGE (ie: the area around its rear) depicts the Golden Goddess FARORE.
“He may think so, but there’s no way that the Goddesses of Old Hyrule could favor a monster like that. Not even Din Herself! What would any of the Goddesses gain by seeing Hyrule torn apart, bled dry of its life and its freedom? It makes no sense.”
Shikashi rises and approaches the row of altars, stopping at DIN’S NEGLECTED PERCH.
“Just because it makes no sense to you or to me doesn’t necessarily make it ‘senseless’...”
The old man stands before Din’s altar and makes a RESPECTFUL, RELIGIOUS GESTURE towards the statue.
“Din the Powerful— with her fiery hand— lay down judgment and the rule of law to all creation, embracing it in her holy, iron fist...”
The man moves to the CENTER STATUE— that of Farore— and makes an identical RELIGIOUS GESTURE.
“...Farore the Wise— with her swift tail of stars trailing radiant, like a bird’s plumage, darting o’er the land just as swiftly as her thoughts come racing— imparted wisdom and knowledge to the entire word...”
The man moves to the next altar, that of NAYRU, and simply BOWS briefly.
“And, of course, Nayru the Irrational— with her radiant heart (NOTE: slight pejorative emphasis on this last word)— easily the least of her Sisters, but really no less important, who breathed the first breath for all those creatures who would be under her two Sisters’ dominion...”
Shikashi FACES Link.
“Power and widsom vie for dominance in a world like this one, and if the High King lacks ‘wisdom’ he certainly cannot be said to lack ‘power’. Is it their will that he reign? Perhaps, but who can really know for sure? After all: who could truly know the will of a deity?”
“Then you accept the King of Thieves’ rule as legitimate?”
Shikashi TURNS and steps towards Link, IRATE.
“I would die before bowing to that scum! I would storm into his castle keep, sword drawn, to face down a legion of his agents in my last stand! I would curse his name and spit in his face though he dash me to a thousand pieces, one small cut at a time!”
The old man STARES across the inn; the TWO CHILDREN from before sit on a ratty cot, PLAYING at some game.
“But I would not have that happen to those who deserve to live, whatever the circumstance. I would die a thousand times to resist such a creature, but I wouldn’t have one innocent heart stop beating on account of my pride. Life is what’s most important, Pale Rider, and these days we may all be cowards, but we’re living cowards.”
Shikashi shakes his head dismissively and begins walking off.
“You say that only the dead resist the King of Thieves, Shikashi, so tell me this: is Sheik a ghost?”
The old man STOPS walking and turns his head.
“You’re remarkably well-informed for a foreigner. Is Sheik a ghost? Well, he seems to think he is. He’ll be one soon, at the very least. Sheik is more militant in his actions, yes, but still it is not ‘resistance’ that he displays.”
“He also believes that life is what’s most important, but he differs in his approach.”
The old man totters off.
“He lives apart from us, in the maze that is the Death Mountain Crater, where the King’s agents cannot follow, always purging his soul amongst the smoldering rocks. He is reckless; he will die young, and then there will be even less reason to talk of resistance. There will be less to protect us from disaster. His efforts are ultimately futile.”
Link calls after the retreating man.
“Why does he fight, then? Do you know?”
Shikashi turns around.
“Because the family he was bred to protect was wiped clean from this land over a decade ago; that’s why.”
The man SCOFFS BITTERLY.
“I suppose he thinks us cowards to be an acceptable substitute for his efforts. Beggars cannot be choosers, after all. I’ve never asked him ‘why’. I’d rather not know; when he dies he can take his reasons with him. Less of him to mourn...”
Shikashi again moves off with Link staring at him, INCREDULOUS at the man’s cynicism. The old man predicts Link’s reaction.
“I’ve seen too much of death’s handiwork, my friend, and I won’t mourn the inevitable. And right now, stranger, I think I’ve seen too much of you. Good day, young man, and may the Golden Goddesses keep you in the palms of their holy hands. All of them, if possible...”
Link remains at the bar, STARING at the altars on the other side. NAVI peeks out from under his cowl.
“No: we don’t need any of these peoples’ help: they’re useless, I think.”
NAVI LOOKS UP at Link.
“Not Sheik, either. I don’t think he’ll jeopardize the village’s safety to help us. And if he’s not willing to go for the King of Thieves’ throat— no matter the cost involved— then he’s just as useless to me as the old man.”
Link SMILES at the Goddesses’ altars. NAVI still LOOKS UP at Link.
“What do we need? Well, if the old man is right about Din, then we’ve still got Farore and Nayru in play, don’t we? That means— potentially— a two-against-one fight. Goddesses play the numbers just like we do, right? I wouldn’t mind those odds, personally. Shikashi said that one of the High King’s agents was moving south through Hyrule Field; it must be that knight in iron armor we saw back in Castle Town. Our first move should be to track that behemoth down: see what we can learn from him. If he’s moving through the field then he probably crossed through ranchland. Maybe someone there saw which way he was heading. With the Goddesses’ luck, we just might find out...”
Link looks back at the retreating SHIKASHI.
“But I don’t give a damn if the Goddesses hold me in the palms of their hands...”
Link looks down at the HILT of Dhise Slaighre.
“Just so long as they hold that thing steady enough for me when the time comes.”
EXT. HYRULE CASTLE GARDENS – VERY EARLY MORNING.
12 years prior to the previous scene.
A massive collection of exotic plant life nestled against the far stone wall of Hyrule Castle’s rear-facing battlement (behind the hedgerow maze).
LINK and ZELDA walk slowly side-by-side through the garden with IMPA walking behind the pair, her ARMS CROSSED, separated from the children by a respectful distance. Link is still wearing the crimson tunic.
“I’m so glad that King Darunia liked your song! And I’m so very happy that it raised the darkness from his eyes. I’m sure that joy will return to the Goron Tribe...”
CLOSE-UP on IMPA’S HIP; the GORON’S HAND pendant dangles from a small chain on her mail shirt.
“...and with the health of their land comes their land’s consent, and because of that Hyrule is that much safer.”
Zelda stops walking; Link does likewise.
“But most importantly, my good friend is well again; I don’t know how to thank you for that.”
The pair continue walking through the garden. They pass by a GROUP OF RED-EYED CHILDREN standing by one of the castle walls with an adult INSTRUCTOR who also has red eyes; the children all look over at the princess as she passes. These children— boys and girls— all range in age from about 8 to 12 years of age (this shot is IDENTICAL to SHEIK’S IMAGE FLASH he imparted to Link on pg 16, however the ‘boy’ bearing an outward resemblance to Sheik is notably NOT in the shot). Four of these children (in two pairs) are SPARRING each other with WOODEN STICKS coated in colored paint (different colors for each stick), wearing DISTINCTIVE WHITE BATTLE DRESS. We see one child manage to strike another in the shoulder, leaving BRIGHT-COLORED PAINT on the child’s clothes and prompting a POSITIVE REACTION from the instructor watching them. Some of the other children are attending to SMALL BUCKETS OF GREEN WATER, stirring them with long spoons. We see one stick emerge with a small, STRANGE RED WORM-LIKE CREATURE stuck to the spoon (these are the Sheikah ‘MIND’S EYES’).
The instructor and the children minding the buckets watch Zelda walk by reverently; the group only BOWS, however, as Impa walks by. The woman NODS in their direction.
“It was very dangerous for you to face those dodongo all by yourself; I’m so happy you weren’t injured.”
“‘Not injured’? I guess having your clothes set on fire while you’re still wearing them doesn’t count...”
The children move into the castle proper, walking through a plush-carpeted hallway with MASSIVE ARCHED WINDOWS commanding a view of the High Road below them; the TEMPLE OF TIME is visible in the background.
Zelda walks up to the window and STARES OUT across Castle Town. Link comes to her side, looking at the girl.
“Do you see that place down there? The structure made of stone, like the stones in this castle?”
Link follows the girl’s eyes and NODS.
“It’s the Temple of Time: a palace built to honor the Golden Goddesses who gave Hyrule life. At its center— deep in the innermost chamber— is the greatest wonder in all Hyrule: a plot of old earth that exists as it did at the very beginning of time. According to legend the three Goddesses walked the breadth of the entire world as they created it, each bestowing their individual aspects to the land as they went, and it was at that very plot of earth where the three Goddesses ended their journey; they united upon that hallowed ground before shuttling back off into the Sacred Realm. That’s what the legend says, anyway. It means enough to my family that they tore the entire ground up from the faded shores of Old Hylia and transported it across the land when they founded the New Kingdom, here. That was over a dozen generations ago. The earth inside that temple is now the resting place of a great weapon of righteousness. No, that’s not exactly correct: the prophecies don’t call it a ‘weapon’ so much as a shield: a powerful defensive relic and the ultimate protection against all evil. They call it the ‘Dhise Slaighre’.”
Link COCKS HIS HEAD. EXTREME CLOSE-UP on his LEFT HAND; his fist clenches, involuntarily, as if grasping onto something tight. Link looks up at Navi.
“Dunno what it means. Sounds like Old Hylian; and I mean older than Old Hylian: ancient...”
“It can’t be wielded by just anyone, they say, and its vault can’t be uncovered without the consent of the land...”
Zelda looks back at IMPA and the GORON’S HAND on her hip.
“The Goron’s Hand... the ZORA’S EYE...”
She looks at Link.
“...and the KOKIRI’S HEART.”
Link STARTS, surprised.
“That’s right. The prophecy is very clear: it says
‘the eye that sees, the heart that feels,
the hand that moves
unearths the blade that, vital, proves
the weapon for staying whatever disaster
for he who wields Dhise Slaighre as a master’.”
“Now that rhymes. That’s catchy.”
Zelda FACES the window.
“‘Disaster’... The word in the ancient texts is actually ‘cataclysm’, but ‘disaster’ sounds better. I think it does, anyway. All three artifacts are required to access Dhise Slaighre: the fiery strength of the Goron, the cold, impartial judgment of the Zora and the innocent purity of the Kokiri. My family is tasked as the lynchpin of this arrangement: vessels of this prophecy. We’re even marked by the Goddesses: branded to remember our task. The female side of my family is, anyway. My mother, when she was alive, would often tell me about this.”
Link looks down at his CHEST (around the area of the STERNUM) and SCRATCHES the fabric of his Goroni Tunic.
“Such a strange mark... all down the generations, and always in the same place, too...”
Link STEPS FORWARD a few paces, his eyes QUESTIONING.
Zelda immediately FACES the boy.
“That is none of your business!”
The girl RECOVERS from the outburst and then looks at Link INTENTLY.
“I really wouldn’t forgive myself if you were hurt at Death Mountain. It was so reckless of me to ask you to go in the first place. Although I’m grateful I could never ask you to do any more. I can’t let you, even: it’s too dangerous.”
Link looks off to one side, UNCERTAIN.
“We don’t have the Kokiri’s Heart, but I would never ask you to go back into the forest to retrieve it; I know that would cause you pain...”
The boy CLOSES HIS EYES.
“And the strange happenings in the Zora’s old domain grow more serious: it’s far too dangerous to send you into that deserted place.”
Link LOOKS UP at Zelda, DEFIANT. He steps back and UNSHEATHES the ornamental oyster knife on his shoulder sash, holding it to one side in his left hand.
“You’re so brave, but a small boy with an oyster knife is no match for whatever poison is infecting that land...”
“Oyster knife? That’s an oyster knife? Gah-hahahahahaha!”
Navi CIRCLES the boy’s head manically. Link BLUSHES profusely.
“It’s the job of the Royal Family to protect this land: I can’t ask anything more of you. I wonder sometimes, how much simpler it would all be if it were like it was in the history books: if the Old Hylian Guard still stood at court, all of them waiting at beck and call for the slightest whisper of a command from royal lips...”
Zelda looks down at the CASTLE GATEWAY below them; some young CHILDREN OF THE KITCHEN MAIDS play ring-around-the-rosy while their parents hang out rags and linens to dry in the sun.
Zelda PUTS ONE GLOVED HAND to the window. The sunlight sparkles off a PETITE SILVER BAND on her wrist which depicts the Royal Family’s crest.
“But, even more I wonder, sometimes, how much nicer it would all be if...”
The children outside COLLAPSE in a heap, all of them LAUGHING mightily.
The girl STARES DOWN and SIGHS. She remembers herself and looks up.
“The ‘Man in Black’: do you think it is Ganondorf?”
Link stares at the girl but does not answer; Zelda does not turn to face him.
“You do... so do I. I also believe he’s the one you saw in the forest: he must have been responsible for the trouble there as well.”
Zelda eyes the TEMPLE OF TIME through the window. Her eyes NARROW into slits.
“He’s trying to cut-off our ability to retrieve the Dhise Slaighre. He will not succeed! I’m a member of the Royal Family. I’m just a servant, really: a steward for the safety of all Hyrule...”
Zelda faces Link.
“I’ll do my best to live that part, somehow. But you’ve done enough already.”
The girl steps forward, face-to-face with Link.
“I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me, and for the land, but it’s enough now: I’ll live my part in all this through...”
The girl turns and faces the window, SOMBER.
“...you should go and live your childhood.”
Link looks at the girl UNEASILY. He slowly steps forward, but Impa comes between the children. The boy reluctantly turns and heads down the hallway, with Impa close behind.
Impa shuttles the boy down the hall. They walk in silence for some time.
“You feel that you’ve been discarded, don’t you? Tossed aside? That my charge does not care about you?”
Link POUTS, but he does not answer.
“You are young, and I can understand why you feel that’s so, but the truth is quite the opposite, in fact.”
The pair reaches the COMMON ROOMS of the castle: these are the less restricted areas, more open to all the daily comings and goings necessary for a regal castle’s operation.
“You feel yourself to be an abandoned stray, don’t you? You were driven from your home, for whatever reason, and you feel that there is nowhere you truly belong. I think that’s probably true: someone like you would seem to have a hard time ‘belonging’ anywhere. Despite this, though, you’re not exactly an abandoned stray: someone has taken a great interest in ‘collecting’ you since you came here...”
Link LOOKS UP at Impa. The pair stop walking beside a LARGE OAK DOOR.
“Your desire to play at reckless adventure betrays your feeling of loneliness: you think yourself to be dead, but you do have a life to live, I think...”
The OAK DOOR suddenly BURSTS OPEN; slamming into Link and sending the boy sprawling onto the floor with a GRUNT. MALON walks into the room, then looks down at the prostrate boy. She puts her HANDS ON HER HIPS.
“What part of ‘stay and guard the cart’ didn’t you understand, Fairy Boy!?”
Impa looks first at Malon, then at Link, still lying on the floor.
“...granted, around such people your life may be quite short...”
Link lies on the floor, staring at the ceiling and SMILING FONDLY.