Link meets a pretty colorful cast of characters during his journey through Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. While there are plenty of love stories throughout the game, fans are starting to speculate that one male character might have feelings for another man based on a diary entry in Kakariko Village, and it may imply the series has its first overtly gay character.
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May 8, 2023
Spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom follow.
When you first visit Kakariko Village in Tears of the Kingdom, you can find a journal entry written by Calip, a researcher and returning character from Breath of the Wild. In the sequel, he’s working as part of the Zonai Survey Team alongside new character Tauro, who is a big, beefy hunk of a man, but also a historian and researcher in his own right. Calip’s diary is located in the Zonai Survey Team Base—just climb up the ladder and you’ll find it next to the bookshelf. In it, Calip talks about an interaction with Tauro where they discuss why Calip joined the Zonai Survey Team, and he plainly states it was because of Tauro.
“While Tauro and I were taking a break, he asked me, “Hey, Calip, what attracted you to join the Zonai Survey Team?”
A little flustered, I answered that I heard its research division was led by a brilliant man by the name of Tauro.
Because of you, essentially.
I meant it sincerely, and in my heart, I longed to continue…
“You’re not like these other dullards, you know. You immediately grasp the breadth of my vision.”
Of course, no such thing passed my lips.”
Inevitably detractors will argue that, because Calip does not explicitly say “I would like to press my open mouth against Tauro’s,” this isn’t a confirmation of anything. And sure, there is no direct confirmation of Calip’s feelings for Tauro, but that is prose. That is the way you write about someone you long for. “Because of you, essentially.” “In my heart, I longed to continue.” “No such thing passed my lips.”
Throughout Calip and Tauro’s storyline, the former has several moments where he gets flustered and excited by the latter’s approval, so it seems he’s the kind of guy who is a grouchy ol’ meanie to others like Link, but a softy for those he likes. To be honest, who can blame him? Tauro is a babe, and I, too, have a crush on him. Add him to my list of Zelda crushes.
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In the past, the series has some rocky history with queer themes, as Breath of the Wild features a plot line that does not read well when viewed through a trans lens. The series is also no stranger to queer-coded characters like Bolson, Tingle, and Ghirahim, though those are mostly just vibes rather than anything explicit. Still, this hasn’t stopped many players from bringing their own queer readings to the series, especially in the form of trans and genderfluid readings of Link, which Nintendo has even discussed as somewhat intentional. Here’s hoping that, while subtle, Calip’s journal entries signal the series making a conscious effort to leave things like Vilia’s storyline in Breath of the Wild behind.