- "Welcome to Lorule. My name is Princess Hilda, and I have failed you in every way."
- — Princess Hilda
Princess Hilda is a character from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. She is the princess of Lorule, a parallel world to Hyrule. She is also her world's counterpart of Princess Zelda, sharing a physical resemblance as well as similar attire. Unlike her counterpart though, she is willing to make any sacrifice for the sake of Lorule, along with not being very wise in comparison.
With the destruction of Lorule's Triforce long before her time, Princess Hilda became increasingly desperate to restore her kingdom to its former glory. When the sorcerer Yuga finds a parallel world through a crack in Lorule's Sacred Realm, Hilda realises that the same world also has a Triforce. To that end, she devised an elaborate plot with Yuga to steal Hyrule's Triforce to save Lorule. Hilda's faithful servant Ravio disagreed with the scheme and fled the land to Hyrule.
Hyrule's hero Link gave chase to Yuga back to Lorule Castle. He attempted to stop Yuga but was unable to save the Seven Sages and Princess Zelda in time, thus could not prevent the revival of Ganon and its merging with Yuga. As part of the plan, Hilda intervened with her magic, binding Yuga temporarily and saving Link. Hilda then tasked Link to rescue the Seven Sages scattered across Lorule and obtain the Triforce of Courage before teleporting him near the blacksmith's house.
As Link continued to explore Lorule, Hilda telepathically communicates with him every time he visited a new area, advising him of his current surroundings. While he rescued the sages one by one, Hilda tried to assure herself in front of Zelda's portrait that what she was doing is right for Lorule, stating her envy at Hyrule's prosperity. After Link obtains the Triforce of Courage, Hilda released the magic that barred access to Lorule Castle, stating that Yuga's bonds had collapsed.
Back the Throne Room for the final battle, Link finds Hilda standing in front of Zelda's painting and has the Triforce of Wisdom in her hands. Telling him the sad history of Lorule and the destruction of its Triforce, Hilda revealed her true intentions and hoped Link would understand that she needed to take his Triforce to save Lorule. Hilda absorbed Zelda's Triforce and summoned Yuga-Ganon to battle Link.
When Yuga collapsed from Link's repeated hits, Hilda demanded he give his Triforce to her. However Yuga revealed that he never intended to save Lorule but rather remake the country in his own image. Yuga then turned Hilda into a painting and took Hilda's Triforce for himself before battling Link again.
After Link defeats Yuga for the final time, Hilda was released but her despair for the failure of her plan made her more determined to fight Link herself. However, Ravio ran in from nowhere, revealed himself to be Link's Lorulean counterpart and attempts to pacify Hilda. Hilda is initially angry at Ravio for apparently double-crossing her by getting Link involved, but he is able to convince her that her attempts to steal the Triforce from Hyrule echoed the reason Lorule's Triforce was destroyed in the first place, and Hilda is horrified at the chaos she nearly unleashed. She then redeems herself by using the last of the power in Ravio's Bracelet to send Link and Zelda back to Hyrule.
Shortly thereafter, Link and Zelda, taking pity on Hilda's desires to restore her kingdom, use their Triforce to wish for the restoration of Lorule's Triforce. Hilda and Ravio, unaware of Link and Zelda's wish, are surprised to see their Triforce's restoration. Hilda is last heard thanking Link and Zelda for their help as the kingdom is shone with light for the first time in years.
Much like her Hyrulean counterpart, Princess Hilda cares deeply for her kingdom and its inhabitants. However it is this very trait as well as being powerless to stop Lorule from decaying any further that has driven her to such drastic measures; hatching a plot with Yuga to take Hyrule's Triforce and risk Hyrule's own safety to restore Lorule. Hilda was so focused on saving Lorule that she was not able to discern that Yuga would betray her at some point, unlike Ravio who saw through the sorcerer's intentions, and also not foresee the consequences she could have brought onto Hyrule. Her willingness to take extreme measures to save her kingdom appears to be a common trait among the Royal Family of Lorule, as her predecessors were willing to destroy Lorule's Triforce to end the wars and strife its existence caused, only for it to lead to Lorule's ruin and resulting in Hilda's current situation.
Unlike Zelda, Hilda appears to lack the virtue of wisdom (similar to Ravio's lack of courage) as she failed to see the consequences of her actions, much like her ancestors and failed to see that Yuga desired the Triforce for himself. She also never even thought of seeking her counterpart Zelda's aid in helping her save her kingdom, which would have been the wisest course of action, given Zelda's kind heart.
Although she harbours good intentions, the Lorulean princess shows that she is capable of making harmful actions for the betterment of her people. Hilda herself seems to know this as she tries to assure herself to Zelda's painting that her plan would save the kingdom. Believing that she was saving Lorule from the chaos brought upon it since the destruction of its Triforce, Hilda was in fact close to bringing destruction on Hyrule, as stealing the Triforce for one's own greed was the actual reason why Lorule's Triforce was destroyed in the first place. Ravio was able to convince her of this, and she was horrified at what she almost unleashed. Her desires to save her kingdom moved Zelda and in the end, Hilda was grateful to Link and Zelda for the restoration of Lorule's Triforce.
It is possible, though not confirmed, that Hilda was so named so as to make her's and Zelda's names a joint reference to Hilda and Zelda Spellman, the aunts of Sabrina Spellman, a character who originated in the comic series Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
It may also be worth noting that in the original Japanese language version, the katakana character hi in the name 'Hilda' (ヒ) bears resemblance to the katakana character ze in 'Zelda' (ゼ)。
When written in full, the two names have a similar appearance:
ヒルダ姫 (Princess Hilda)
ゼルダ姫 (Princess Zelda)
Coincidentally, there was a major character in Final Fantasy II who shared the same name.
In Hyrule Warriors, Princess Hilda appears as a Recolor costume for Princess Zelda called Standard Robes (Master Quest) that can be unlocked through the Master Quest Adventure Map. It is a palette swap of Zelda's Hyrule Warriors design (Standard Robes), with Hilda's hair color, eye color, and lipstick.
As part of the A Link Between Worlds DLC, Cia's Masked (Lorule), Unmasked (Lorule), and Hatless (Lorule) are Hilda Recolors of her Masked, Unmasked, and Hatless outfits. Princess Zelda's Standard Robes (Master Quest) from Hyrule Warriors can be obtained on the Master Quest Adventure Map.
Additionally, as part of the A Link Between Worlds DLC, there is a Fairy Clothing Accessory option called Lorulean Earrings based on the earrings worn by Princess Hilda. The Lorulean Earrings can be obtained on the Lorule Adventure Map.