Nintendo fans got lots of exciting news this month: a new system that has a lot of good third party support, new Fire Emblem games, a new Mario game, and, perhaps most anticipated, more news on the newest Legend of Zelda game, Breath of the Wild. While I still have many reservations about the game, especially concerning Zelda’s role and the stupidity of her not being a playable main character, watching the new trailer actually made me want to play a Zelda game for the first time in a long while. Thinking back, the last time I was actively interested in a Zelda game was back when The Phantom Hourglass came out in 2007. Though unrelated in narrative, the 3DS game borrowed heavily from the 2002 Gamecube game, Wind Waker, which remains one of my favorite iterations of the Zelda story and is by far my favorite art style of the whole series.
My Zelda flames stoked once more, I set out in search of fic of my favorite Wind Waker-verse character, Tetra. While the headstrong pirate girl got seriously shafted in the second half of Wind Waker due to her “true calling” as a reincarnation of Princess Zelda, I found her character intriguing. How did this pre-teen-looking girl become the captain of a pirate crew? How did she end up forming this found family with a bunch of strange dudes? Furthermore, how would she adapt to her duties as princess while still holding onto to her pirate life? While the fic I found doesn’t answer anything about her past, it does make a pretty good guess about her future—while throwing in a ship that I didn’t know I wanted, but am glad that I know of now.
Tetra had been unsure of whether getting on the roof of Link’s grandmother’s house was safe, but Aryll had assured her that it was fine.
“It’ll be wonderful,” she said, holding her hand out towards her. “Link and I used to do it all the time.”
Well, it seemed that she definitely had some of her brother’s courage.
“Are you sure?”
Aryll raised an eyebrow. “I thought that you were a pirate. Aren’t you not afraid of anything?”
Tetra crossed her arms. “I am not afraid; all I’m doing is thinking rationally. I’ve got to live up to this whole Princess of Wisdom thing.”
Tetra looked away from her. The small house was filled with the smell of soup cooking and Aryll’s grandmother humming. “Well, just for a few minutes. I am not staying up there all night.”
Aryll’s eyes widened, and she reached forward and clasped Tetra’s hands with her own. “You would really do that for me?”
She nodded, her cheeks hot. “Yeah, I will.” If she did it once then maybe Aryll wouldn’t ask again.
“Come on,” Aryll said. “The climb isn’t that bad.”
She hadn’t been lying. Soon enough, the two were on the roof, which surprisingly did not fall in. Aryll lay down, her eyes looking above to the starry sky. She began to move around her finger.
“What are you looking at?” Tetra didn’t see anything too out of the ordinary in the night sky.
“Patterns,” Aryll responded.
“Like constellations?” Tetra’s mother had always pointed out constellations to her as a child, telling her the names and the right times to see them. At this moment, Tetra could not see any.
“No, just patterns. They exist everywhere. I like them.”
For a moment, Tetra said nothing; she had never considered things that way before.
Taking place some time after the events of Wind Waker, thelinksthatconnectus’s The Waves Carry My Woes shows Tetra’s life with her pirate crew (now plus one Link) as she struggles to come to terms with her duties as future princess of Hyrule and her slowly building relationship with Link’s younger sister Aryll. Each drabble explores a separate moment important to Tetra’s maturation, from inviting Aryll to join her crew alongside Link to trying to revisit the memories of her mother through cooking. Each part is in a loose chronological order, but they don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other; it makes the collection as a whole much more poignant than it would have been if it was written in a more chapter-oriented format.
I can appreciate the relationship that develops between Tetra and Aryll, especially since it’s done in a way that completely avoids any sort of creepinesss. While there certainly deserves to be media out there of younger people being able to explore non-heteroromantic relationships, often these pieces of media end up being exploitative and sexualized to the point where the audience is clearly not children trying to see characters like them. The Waves Carry My Woes avoids this entirely by having Tetra and Aryll’s relationship focus on them showing each other different ways of thinking, supporting the other through actions (like giving the other seashells and promising to travel together), and emotional intimacy.
Another aspect of this fic that I really like is that, though he’s only a minor character, thelinksthatconnectus decided to utilize the fan theory that Link is actually mute. It’s really not that much of a stretch considering Link never speaks in the games. Still, it’s nice to see that everyone still communicates with him as usual and there’s no sob story about how it’s so hard for the abled people to deal with this: Link is just allowed to be mute and the Hero of Time, who now also happens to be a pirate.
At just over 7k worlds, The Waves Carry My Woes is a short read, but feels like it’s just as long as it needs to be to give a hopeful future to a tumultuous land. If you’re a fan of Tetra, the Wind Waker mythos, or just looking for something cute to tide you over until Breath of the Wild releases, make sure you check it out here at the AO3.