Link may be the embodiment of the Triforce of Courage, but that doesn’t mean our green-clad hero doesn’t need some help from time to time. And throughout the Legend of Zelda series, Link meets countless friends and allies along the way, the most important often being his traveling companions in any given game. The best of these companions are vital to his quest, providing assistance in transportation, being an iconic part of the narrative, or even helping Link when it comes to combat. Meanwhile, Link’s weaker partners can be more obnoxious than helpful on his journey. So how would we rank all the Zelda companions?
All of the Companions in The Legend of Zelda Series Ranked
9. Ciela from Phantom Hourglass
Ciela is unfortunately one of the most forgettable Legend of Zelda companions, despite having a spunky and hopeful attitude. Most of the adventure she spends helping teach Link how to use the game’s stylus controls or arguing with the game’s other companion, Captain Linebeck.
If Ciela found a way to help Link not have to keep revisiting the game’s tedious Temple of the Ocean King, we might have found a way to get her a bit higher on the list. But as it stands, Ciela is not only the weakest of the fairy companions, but the most forgettable companion in the entire series.
8. Navi from Ocarina of Time
Despite being one of the most iconic companions in the history of Zelda, Navi’s slew of “Hey, Listen!” aggravated the player base mere moments into Ocarina of Time. Offering pretty basic boring tips that rarely did more than give a general loose vibe on where Link should go next, Navi seems to know as much as the player on what to do. Navi’s biggest redeeming quality is that she’s the in-game reason that Link is able to Z-target enemies, though some fans have complained that the system took any of the actual thrill out of combat in the first place.
And most aggravating and egregious, at the moment you need her most, Navi flees from Ganondorf in a frightened fit. Sure, she comes back for the final form, but then once he’s defeated she leaves Link without a word, giving their friendship a full Irish Goodbye. Navi may be iconic, but she’s anything but a helpful companion or a loyal friend.
7. Ezlo from The Minish Cap
Ezlo may be a bit grumpy and terse from time to time, but he’s vital to the main quest in Minish Cap by giving Link the ability to shrink down to the size of a Picori. Ezlo’s design is a major highlight, being an odd green cap-shaped bird. And the fact Link wears him on his head is a delightful play on Link’s own iconic green cap.
While Ezlo’s hints aren’t always the most helpful, they are a drastic step up from Navi’s. Ezlo also plays an important role in the game’s story, with major ties to the game’s villain and his own quest for redemption to fix his past mistakes. He’s cute, loud, and has that bumbling old-man energy that elevates him to more of a fully realized character.
6. Captain Linebeck from Phantom Hourglass
Linebeck is the classic cowardly thief, first joining Link and Ciela in the hopes of finding a major treasure haul, but by the game’s end his heart of gold is shining through as he bravely stands up for his friends. Linebeck is vital to the key quest of Phantom Hourglass, as his ship is how Link gets from island to island in his mission to save Tetra. And even if he cowers in the face of battle, we loved to see the character growth of a scoundrel who rises to the occasion to help his buds. And his pompous horn-filled theme song is an absolute jam.
5. The King of Red Lions from The Wind Waker
The King of Red Lions is an odd companion for Link for a number of reasons. While his demeanor is firmer and personality more subtly stoic, he plays a vital role in Link’s adventure, safely guiding him from island to island. There’s also plenty of intriguing backstory for the King of Red Lions, as he is seeking to make up for his shortcomings in an undersea Hyrule. And in the final confrontation with Ganondorf, he chooses to stay behind, going down with the underwater kingdom in a noble sacrifice of sorts.
His design as a dragon-headed small red sailboat is also a highlight, being one of the most uniquely themed companions on the list. But despite his importance in the story, many fans won’t feel as close to the character because of his more sage-like role.
4. Fi from Skyward Sword
While her robotic nature and hand-holding feedback has been off-putting to a number of series fans, there is still a lot to appreciate about Fi. That robotic nature can be equally charming, giving more of a C-3PO vibe as she awkwardly interrupts a conversation to give you some well-known odds or attempts to understand things like human emotion. Her singing voice and dancing prowess are superb, helping to unlock secrets or enhance the Master Sword’s strength.
But Fi’s best moments come near the game’s end when she admits that, despite her robotic programming, she’s admired learning what passion and courage are from a human and that the time you spent together will remain the most precious data she’s collected. She passes into an eternal sleep while she resides in the Master Sword, but this adds some sweetness to the goodbye as Fi will still be with Link in any future adventures any time he picks up the Master Sword.
3. Zelda from Spirit Tracks
Spirit Tracks was the first mainline game to have Zelda both as a companion to Link and as a key mechanic. At the start of Spirit Tracks the noble but prudish Zelda is actually knocked out of her body, and her soul is forced to travel with Link by train track to find a way to take back her human form from an impish demon. In her spirit form she will take over suits of armor and directly work to help Link fight enemies and solve puzzles, making her an integral part of the adventure.
And while she’s important to the mission, Zelda also gets plenty of character growth, overcoming her own snooty princess tendencies and forming a close friendship with Link along with displaying plenty of bravery and personal gumption. That is unless you encounter a rat, which will still send her running for the corner. Even so, Zelda from Spirit Tracks shows how terrific a narrative can be when you actually make one of your titular characters a point of focus through most of the game.
2. Tatl from Majora’s Mask
For only being one game removed from Navi, Tatl is a drastic upgrade. When Link first meets this fairy, she’s in a more antagonistic role as one of Skull Kid’s partners. But after Skull Kid ditches her with her brother, Tatl and Link agree to become reluctant allies. With better pacing on their developing friendship and an actual backstory, Tatl’s snarky exterior quickly gives way to a rich, deep personality, whose hopes and fears align perfectly with the game’s main themes.
Tatl provides considerably better advice to Link, giving important hints on where to head next, and remains Link’s main story explanation for the Z-targeting. But it’s Tatl’s growth as a partner to Link, as well as on her own journey to become a hero alongside him, that makes her one of the best companions.
1. Midna from Twilight Princess
This will come as no surprise to any fans reading, but Midna is the absolute GOAT of Zelda companions for myriad reasons. She is a fully realized and nuanced character, taking part as arguably the main protagonist of the game. She’s an integral part of combat when Link is a wolf. She has more layers than many of the other companions on this list have combined. The girl contains multitudes.
There is something so special about how this playfully impish character grows from a manipulative devil with the cards stacked against her to the true Queen of the Twilight Realm. Her journey to overcome Zant is powerful, but her emotional growth and ability to trust in allies like Zelda creates a beautiful character journey on all fronts. Add in an emotional surprise endgame decision that will leave some players teary eyed, and Midna easily takes the crown as the best The Legend of Zelda companion.
That is all of the companions in the Legend of Zelda series ranked. Do you agree with this ranking? If not, be sure to let us know your favorite and least favorite companions in the comments!