Nintendo unveiled the title for the next Legend of Zelda adventure during their Nintendo Direct back in September with ‘Tears of the Kingdom’. But what does Tears of the Kingdom mean? Does this mean crying, as in some sad event had torn apart Hyrule, or are the Tears of the Kingdom a physical object. Today I am going to look into what Tears of the Kingdom means, plus what this could mean for the sequel to Breath of the Wild.
We now know the next major Legend of Zelda release is going to be called Tears of the Kingdom. It’s nbot only the next mainline Zelda game, but this is a rare direct sequel. Breath of the Wild is viewed by many as the best Zelda game in the franchise. I ran a poll on the channel recently looking four great games in the series including Breath of the Wild, Ocarina of Time, A Link To The Past and Wind Waker. The poll received over 200 votes and 59% said Breath of the Wild was their favourite, and the next closest was Ocarina with only 19%. Therefore, Tears of the Kingdom has some pretty big boots to fill, and that’s backed up by almost constant discussion about the sequel since it’s reveal in 2019.
Nintendo revealed in a treehouse live event in 2021 they were relatively cautious about revealing the name because it would give away some crucial details about the game. For example, Ocarina of Time was relatively clear that the game would contain an Ocarina, and time would be a major theme. Twilight Princess is another example, given the Twilight Realm, as well as The Minish Cap, among others. Historically the title has been very important to The Legend of Zelda series, and Nintendo waited very patiently to get this one out there to the audience.
Bill Trinen, from Nintendo of America, said this at E3 2021.
“As for why we’re holding back on the name, you’ll just have to stay tuned because, obviously, Zelda names are kind of important,” Trinen says during our interview. “Those subtitles… they start to give little bits of hints about maybe what’s going to happen.”
Given we know some plot details may be in the title of the game, that prompts the question – What does Tears of the Kingdom mean?
Tears of the Kingdom – Crying
One interpretation of the ‘tears’ could be physical crying. Perhaps there could be some kind of major sad event, which leads to the whole of Hyrule shedding tears around the kingdom. There is some speculation that this could be to do with Princess Zelda. We’ve seen her in the trailers fall down a dark hole when the supposed corpse of Ganondorf reanimates. We have also seen Princess Zelda depicted in a mural, laying on her back, looking like she’s either asleep, or more likely under some kind of spell. But there is the potential she could down for the long sleep, and could be dead.
It may not be Princess Zelda who is dead, it may be another important character, and that could be Link. If the Hero of Hyrule were to die, then I would imagine plenty of residents of Hyrule would be brought to tears. One of the mysteries of the trailers so far has been the ‘two’ versions of Link we’ve seen. One had a blue tunic, classic Breath of the Wild looking Link. Then we’ve seen another Link, who wears ragged, torn clothes, and he has longer hair and a strange arm. In a world where two Links exist, it’s plausible that one could die.
The Tears of the Kingdom could also refer to the historical tears of Hyrule, after the calamity 100 years ago, or maybe 10,000 years ago. Hyrule has fallen to malice, monsters and variants of Ganon. Given Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel, we know that Link and Zelda have set off on their own adventures, which have led them to the catacombs under Hyrule Castle. Other than what we have seen in the trailers, we don’t know where the game will take us, but I for love to see us explore the fall of Hyrule 10,000 years ago, and perhaps the Tears of the Kingdom describe the sadness of the people from that time.
Tears of the Kingdom – Objects
There is another clear option for me when it comes to what the tears of the kingdom could be, and that’s physical objects for us to collect. We have seen a couple of clues in the trailers so far that point to physical objects. First of all, in the latest trailer where the name was revealed we see a tapestry depicting characters from the game, and likely giving us major clues to the narrative.
We see this big new god-like creature, surrounded by seven tear-shaped items. These could be the physical Tears of the Kingdom, and perhaps we have to beat seven dungeons to collect all the the tears, which then unlocks the battle with the final boss, or repairs the Master Sword given its not looking very healthy right now. Many fans have been calling for the return of dungeons to Tears of the Kingdom, therefore we could be traveling to seven dungeon locations across Hyrule to beat dunegons and bosses, and collect seven Tears of the Kingdom.
We have seen another couple of clues to the Tears from Link. First we have seen Link traveling up into the sky and through concrete, which is very strange, and something we haven’t seen him do before. This appears to be with the help of a water droplet. Could these be the Tears of the Kingdom, and they help us travel to spoecial locations in the sky, for example scared temples. Just after Link travels up into the sky we see him place the master sword near a glowing yellow orb, so the tears of the kingdom could be key to repairing the damage caused by the Malice.
Link also has a device attached to his hip. This was a new addtion we saw in the latest trailer, where Link is wearing some kind of device on his hip, that appears to have vials of liquid. We can see this in the marketing material published by Nintendo, but also in the gameplay after Link opens the big double doors and runs off the ledge and into the sky, diving down to a sky island or landing on a glider. This device could contain the Tears of the Kingdom, with Link having to collect them from somewhere, and then use them to access certain parts of Hyrule.
Collecting tears isn’t new to the Legend of Zelda series. Tears of Light, also known as the Power of Light, are recurring Items in Zelda games. They are light-infused magical teardrops that are scattered around various places. Upon their complete collection, they automatically perform their function whenever they are near something that requires their power.
Great Fairy’s Tears are a recurring Item in The Legend of Zelda series. They are presumably full of tears that the Great Fairy has cried while praying. Great Fairy’s Tears are kept in an Empty Bottle. When used, they completely refill Link’s Life Gauge and temporari double Link’s strength. Their function is similar to the Elixir Soup from The Wind Waker, but unlike the soup, a bottle of these tears only holds one serving and wears off after a short time (16 seconds) or if Link takes damage before then.
Let me know in the comments what you think about the Tears of the Kingdom. What does it mean, and what do you think the tears are? Are they conceptual tears or are they an item Link needs to collect?
That’s it for this look at the meaning of ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ in The Legend of Zelda. For more Legend of Zelda content like this check out Triforce Times on YouTube and subscribe today for more.