The Maidens are a recurring group of seven young women, including Princess Zelda, in The Legend of Zelda series. In A Link to the Past, they are descendants of the seven Sages, from whom they have inherited magical abilities. In Four Swords Adventures, they are also descended from Sages and their role is to protect the Four Sword Sanctuary. In both games, they are taken captive and later rescued by Link, aiding him subsequently in his efforts to restore the peace in Hyrule.
The Shrine Maidens from Four Swords Adventures
A Link to the Past
Long before the events of A Link to the Past, the seven Sages (named Wise Men in the original version) joined forces with the Knights of Hyrule to seal Ganon and his influence in the Sacred Realm, preventing him from taking over the Light World.
Prior to Link's quest, Agahnim, late King's right-hand man, used his power to find and capture the seven Maidens, who are descended from the Sages' bloodlines. While not as strong as their ancestors, the Maidens had inherited their magical abilities. Agahnim planned to send them to the Dark World one by one in order to break the seal that kept Ganon locked up.
Princess Zelda was going to be the seventh sacrifice, but she managed to telepathically send a message to Link, requesting him to rescue her. Succeeding in bringing her to safety, Link was told to meet Sahasrahla, the Kakariko Village elder and a descendant of the seven Sages. On his quest to obtain the Master Sword, Link also met the grandfather of one of the Maidens who gives him the Magic Mirror, and details on the whereabouts and use of the Moon Pearl.
Through all this, Link found and claimed the Master Sword, at which point Zelda sent him a telepathic message once more that the soldiers had found her. Despite his best efforts, he could not prevent her becoming the seventh sacrifice. All was not lost, as Sahasrahla told Link that victory was still in reach if Link could reclaim the Triforce. To do so would require the help of the Maidens, who were still alive and trapped somewhere in the Dark World.
Link set off to save the Maidens. However, each one was transformed into a Crystal in the possession of a demonic monster within a dungeon. The Maiden inside the Palace of Darkness elaborated on this, explaining that Ganon needed the gate to become larger to be of use to him and that he was still using the Maiden's powers to get that accomplished. She also explained that Link needed the Maidens' help to reach Ganon's Tower and urged him to rescue the others. When Link collected all the Crystals, including one which sealed Princess Zelda in Turtle Rock, they helped break the barrier around Ganon's Tower as promised, allowing Link to go in and defeat Ganon once and for all. During the ending, the Maidens are seen finally restored to their normal Hylian form, along with the revived King of Hyrule and Soldiers freed of brainwashing.
Four Swords Adventures
In Four Swords Adventures, the maidens are referred to as Shrine Maidens and are responsible for keeping the powers dormant in the Four Sword Sanctuary under control. It is they who control the gate to its sacred grounds, preventing anyone from taking the Four Sword and from freeing Vaati. The Royal Jewels that belong in the Four Sword Sanctuary to open the path to the Realm of the Heavens are left in the care of the Knights of Hyrule, only to be gathered and used through the Shrine Maidens' power if the path were to close.
In Four Swords Adventures, each of the Shrine Maidens has an associated color after which they are titled. When freed, the Shrine Maidens turn into the form of Fairy's Spirits. Kaepora Gaebora returns to guide Link through his quest. There is no mention made of him being the reincarnation of an ancient Sage, but he is both known and respected by the Shrine Maidens.
On a stormy night, Princess Zelda and the Shrine Maidens feared that the reason for those events was that Vaati's seal was weakening. They summoned Link to the castle so he could protect them while they opened the portal to the Four Sword Sanctuary. When they did however, the portal turned dark and Shadow Link came from it. Using the confusion his looks caused, he abducted the Shrine Maidens and sealed them in crystals strengthened by Vaati's magic in dungeons all over Hyrule. This in order for either Ganon or Vaati to leech power from them and to keep the Tower of Winds, where Princess Zelda was held captive, inaccessible.
Not the one to sit back and do nothing, Link entered the portal the Shrine Maidens had created before their capture and drew the Four Sword, thereby accepting the destiny of the Hero and the responsibility to free the Shrine Maidens. Each Shrine Maiden he freed helped him reach another part of Hyrule, usually the part they watched over. They also used their ability to travel in fairy-form to accompany Link from time to time and hand him instructions on how to proceed. Once the sixth Shrine Maiden was freed, the group united their powers to call for Princess Zelda, whom they found out to be held in the Tower of Winds. They urged Link to find the last royal jewel not yet in his possession so that they could summon the tower back to Hyrule. The Shrine Maidens then went ahead to the Four Sword Sanctuary to keep it safe from attacks in the time Link would need to get the remaining royal jewel and to prepare for the ceremony. When Link returned with all four royal jewels, the Shrine Maidens wasted no time on bringing back the Tower of Winds. Link proceeded to rescue Zelda, who promised that she and the Shrine Maidens would prevent the evil Link had been fighting from recovering, but that he had to destroy Vaati to make peace return truly.
- Main article: Blue Maiden
The Blue Maiden is the first of the Shrine Maidens to aid the Hero. She appears to be in charge of Eastern Hyrule, where a village lies that is named after her. She was held captive in Hyrule Castle and guarded by Phantom Ganon.
- Main article: Yellow Maiden
- Main article: Green Maiden
The Green Maiden is the third of the Shrine Maidens to aid the Hero. She was held captive in the Tower of Flames, guarded by several Dodongos. Her domain was not specified, but appears to be the area that includes The Field, The Swamp and Hyrule Castle.
- Main article: White Maiden
The White Maiden is the fourth of the Shrine Maidens to aid the Hero. She is in charge of the Forest of Light, now known as the Lost Woods, and was held captive in Hyrule Castle, guarded by the Big Poe.
- Main article: Red Maiden
The Red Maiden is the fifth of the Shrine Maidens to aid the Hero. She was held captive in the Temple of Darkness, guarded by Phantom Ganon. Her domain was not specified, but appears to be the Desert of Doubt.
- Main article: Purple Maiden
The Purple Maiden is the sixth of the Shrine Maidens to aid the Hero. She was held captive in the Pyramid, guarded by the Big Moldorm. Her domain was not specified, but it is implied that it is Frozen Hyrule as she is seen flying through this area after it has thawed during the ending sequence.
- Main article: Princess Zelda
- In the original Japanese text of Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, the Oracles are referred to as "Shrine Maidens", the same title as the Maidens of Four Swords Adventures. It is not known if there is a connection between the two.
- Removed text of Four Swords Adventures seems to imply that it was originally going to feature sages instead of shrine maidens.
- The colors of the glowing orbs which the Lokomo from Spirit Tracks turn into at the end of the game, match the colors of the Shrine Maidens in Four Swords Adventures.
- It is possible that in Breath of the Wild, the Seven Heroines are related to the Maidens or Sages. Described as divine protectors of the Gerudo people, the Heroines each represent a unique power—skill, spirit, endurance, knowledge, flight, motion and gentleness—shown in-game by the Heroine statues' associated orbs which have unique colors and symbols (red, orange, yellow, grey, green, blue, purple). These colors roughly, but do not exactly, correspond to the colors of the Maidens shown in Four Swords Adventures.
|Names in Other Regions|
|Japanese||娘 (Musume)||Same as English.|
|FrenchEU||Descendante des Sages||Descendant of the Sages|
|This table was generated using translation pages.|
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- "The girl here has vanished, too. No doubt she is trembling in fear even now!" — Mage (Four Swords Adventures)
- Art & Artifacts (Dark Horse Books) pg. 388
- "They say the Hylia people controlled mysterious powers, as did the seven wise men. But the blood of the Hylia has become thin over time. We who carry the blood of the seven wise men do not possess strong power any more, either. Our powers will increase if we mix the courage of the Knights with the wisdom of the wise men." — Maiden (A Link to the Past)
- Encyclopedia (Dark Horse Books) pg. 24
- "However, their lives were not lost in vain, for they bought precious time for the Seven Wise Men to magically seal Ganon in the Golden Land." (A Link to the Past manual, pg. 6)
- "The King of Hyrule gathered the Seven Sages to find a way to seal the entrance to the Golden Land so that his kingdom would be safe from the evil there." (ALttPFS manual, pg. 15)
- "The Knights of Hyrule: they fought in a war while the Sages were sealing the way to the Golden Land. They fought against the evil who tried to stop the Sages." (ALttPFS manual)
- "Long ago, in the beautiful kingdom of Hyrule surrounded by mountains and forests... legends told of an omnipotent and omniscient Golden Power that resided in a hidden land. Many people aggressively sought to enter the hidden Golden Land... But no one ever returned. One day evil power began to flow from the Golden Land... So the King commanded seven wise men to seal the gate to the Land of the Golden Power. That seal should have remained for all time... ... ...But, when these events were obscured by the mists of time and became legend... A mysterious wizard known as Agahnim came to Hyrule to release the seal. He eliminated the good King of Hyrule... Through evil magic, he began to make descendants of the seven wise men vanish, one after another. And the time of destiny for Princess Zelda is drawing near." — N/A (A Link to the Past)
- "Link, because of you, I can escape from the clutches of the evil monsters. Thank you! Ganon captured us because he couldn't break the seal of the wise men with his power alone. And then, using the wizard Agahnim as his pawn, he drew us to the Dark World. After cracking the seal with our powers, he sealed us inside of these crystals. He then gave us to his loyal monsters. But Ganon didn't plan on your getting this far. Now, Princess Zelda is waiting for you inside of Turtle Rock. Please hurry!" — Maiden (A Link to the Past)
- "Help me... Please help me... I am a prisoner in the dungeon of the castle. My name is Zelda. The wizard, Agahnim, has done... something to the other missing girls. Now only I remain... Agahnim has seized control of the castle and is now trying to open the seven wise men's seal. ... ... I am in the dungeon of the castle. Please help me..." — Princess Zelda (A Link to the Past)
- "I am, indeed, Sahasrahla, the village elder and a descendant of the seven wise men. ... ... Oh really? Link, I am surprised a young man like you is searching for the sword of evil's bane. Not just anyone can use that weapon. Legends say only the Hero who has won the three Pendants can wield the sword. ... ... ... Do you really want to find it?" — Sahasrahla (A Link to the Past)
- "Link! Help! The soldiers are coming to Sanctuary! AIEEEEEEE! ... ... ..." — Princess Zelda (A Link to the Past)
- "Link, it is I, Sahasrahla. I am communicating to you across the void through telepathy... The place where you now stand was the Golden Land, but evil power turned it into the Dark World. The wizard has broken the wise men's seal and opened a gate to link the worlds at Hyrule Castle. In order to save this half of the world, the Light World, you must win back the Golden Power. You must also rescue the seven maidens who Agahnim sent to the Dark World. As members of the blood-line of the seven wise men, they have power that will surely help you. The maidens are locked in hidden dungeons full of evil creatures and dangerous traps. The Palace of Darkness should be your first goal in this world! Link, I can rely on only you. Please make this old man's wishes come true. I beg you!" — Sahasrahla (A Link to the Past)
- "Link, because of you, I can escape from the clutches of the evil monsters. Thank you! ...This world used to be the Golden Land where the Triforce was hidden. But because Ganon, the boss of thieves, wished it the world was transformed... I'm sure he's intending to conquer even our Light World after building his power here. He is trying to open a larger gate between worlds near the castle using our powers. But the gate is not open completely yet... If we seven maidens come together, we can break the barrier around Ganon's hiding place. I will tell you where the other girls are held. I believe you will destroy Ganon. I will return to my original form at that time. ... ... ... ... ... May the way of the Hero lead to the Triforce." — Maiden (A Link to the Past)
- "Link, we are going to break the barrier of Ganon's Tower with our power." — Princess Zelda (A Link to the Past)
- "These six maidens guard the portal to the Four Sword Sanctuary to keep it safe. I'm going now to make sure Vaati's seal remains strong. Now, the shrine maidens and I must open the portal to the Four Sword's resting place. Step back, Link..." — Princess Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- "You passed through the flames to rescue me! Such bravery. You're just like the Knights of Hyrule! You've heard of the Knights of Hyrule, of course! They're the pride of the kingdom! They would lay down their lives for honor! In Hyrule, four sacred jewels can open the path to the Realm of the Heavens. The safety of these jewels has for ages been entrusted to the Knights of Hyrule. And yet, in these dark times, the knights are nowhere to be seen... I cannot hide my fears. ... ... ... Pardon? Master Kaepora Gaebora, you say? Is that so... Well then, we must go to Hyrule Castle! We must liberate the castle!" — Green Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Oh, Link... It's you! Thank goodness you came! The six maidens who guard Hyrule are gathered here in the castle. The sky has become so dark and foreboding... I'm worried about the seal that binds the wind sorcerer Vaati." — Princess Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Link! There's a terrible fiend in Hyrule Castle. He's leeching power from the maidens little by little. Listen well, Link. To rescue the maidens, you must face the fiercest of foes. Keep your wits about you, and be wary!" — Kaepora Gaebora (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Link... You have accepted the destiny of the Hero... Princess Zelda and the six maidens have been taken by dark forces. However, Vaati's magic has robbed the Four Sword of its power to vanquish darkness. To return the sword to its full strength, find the source of that power: Force Gems. Gather Force Gems wherever they lie, and rescue the maidens and Princess Zelda." — Kaepora Gaebora (Four Swords Adventures)
- "We'll work together to find Princess Zelda! Let our six hearts be one... Now let us call to her!" — Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Ah! Princess Zelda! The Tower of Winds!! She is trapped in the Tower of Wind, which has now vanished from Hyrule... Accursed Vaati! The princess is in danger! Link! Quickly, you must get the last royal jewel and bring back the tower! You heroes have crossed Hyrule and gathered three of the jewels. There's only one place left to search. Frozen Hyrule, where the power of darkness keeps spring at bay... The last royal jewel must be there! No matter the cost to us, Princess Zelda must be rescued!! Hurry, Link!" — Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Link, the Tower of Winds has vanished. If we enshrine the royal jewels on the Four Sword's sacred ground, the temple may reappear. We'll go on ahead and guard the sacred ground from our foe until you arrive. The power of darkness has halted the flow of time here, and winter lingers on. We must believe in tomorrow and hold true to our hope. May our passion keep our hearts from freezing! Link, you must first seek out the final royal jewel! Then, we will go to the Tower of Winds, where Princess Zelda awaits." — Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Link, the sacred grounds lie within this forest. Preparations are complete. Come, let us proceed." — White Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Hear me, heavens... Hear me, earth... Heed the light of the royal jewels enshrined here, and restore to us... the Tower of Winds!!" — Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Link? It is you, isn't it, Link? I believed you would come to my rescue, and here you are. I knew you would wield the Four Sword and come... Thanks to your efforts the darkness above ground is thinning. The maidens and I will pray to keep the darkness from recovering its full strength. However, the Realm of the Heavens is now overflowing with Vaati's monsters. The darkness in the Realm of the Heavens must be purged if true peace is to return." — Princess Zelda (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Where am I? The darkness... It's gone. I have been freed, haven't I? Link! What's happened to you? Oh, the Four Sword. You've drawn the mystic blade. That means Vaati is free once more, does it not? And you've taken up the mantle fate has given you. How brave! Such determination speaks well of you. You are truly a great hero. Oh... Oh! There's something you must know! That dark shadow that captured us... It looked... just like you! What was it? Link... you must save the princess and the remaining maidens! Travel by sea under my protection to a place called the Eastern Temple. Another of my kidnapped sisters is imprisoned there. Allow me to transform, that I might serve as your guide. Come! We must go! Let's go!" — Blue Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Link! Did you defeat that giant stone eye-thing? Thank you! By defeating that beast, you rescued me from my crystal prison! Thank you, Link. You have my gratitude! The wind sorcerer Vaati has regained his power. When he last tried to conquer Hyrule, he built a Palace of Winds in the Realm of the Heavens. So even now, he's sure to be- Link! You must first rescue Princess Zelda. Act quickly! I rule over Death Mountain. High atop the peak, the Tower of Flames stands tall. Climb the mountain. One of the maidens must be trapped in the tower of raging lava. Come, Link. I shall guide you." — Yellow Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Link... Thank you. You carry my hopes with you...as well as all of Hyrule's. Wait... is that the blue royal jewel you carry? How did you come by it? Is that so? The Knights of Hyrule... So even the jewels are now... Link, all we can do is put our faith in the light and press on, overcoming each obstacle that confronts us. My forest has lost its light. Darkness covers it like a shroud. Link, will you go to the forest? Perhaps you will find some clues there. In the heart of the forest is a temple. The Dark Mirror can be found there. Long ago, a dark tribe invaded Hyrule. They were defeated and imprisoned within the mirror. The tribe's mirror prison was then secreted away and hidden in the forest temple to sever its connection to this world. That Dark Mirror must never fall into the hands of those with evil hearts." — White Maiden (Four Swords Adventures)
- "Agahnim sent the Maidens here so Ganon could steal their power!" (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 5)
- "Yesss, and one is imprisoned in Crystal in the palace nearby...but you shouldn't go there! In legendsss that place is known as the Palace of Darkness... Ganon's servantss have ssstockpiled the dangerousss, explosssive firecorn there..." (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 5,6)
- "Thank you, Link! Because of you I can escape this Crystal prison! Now, here is something that will help you--the Comm-Fork!" (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 16)
- "Thank you for saving me, Link! I know you are searching for Zelda. She is being held in a rock that looks like a turtle. But this rock is located at the end of this world..." (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 8)
- "Oh, mystical maidens... Lend us your power..." (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 10)
- "It was the enchanted arrow..." (A Link to the Past (Nintendo Power) pg. 6)
- Four Swords Adventures' Text Dump, Zelda Legends.
- A Link to the Past manual, pg. 7
- Encyclopedia (Les Éditions Soleil) pg. 228