Who is "Zel"?

She is my self insert: a character who is me but adjusted to the canon of The Legend of Zelda's universe so that I can be with Vaati.

You might notice that her name, Zel, sounds very close and is even a known fan diminutive of "Zelda", the name of the princess from the series.

The reason behind this is that I have always loved the name Zelda, since I was a child actually, way before discovering the video game series. I always thought it sounded mystical and witchy so I always used it for whichever character I created and that was supposed to be me.

As you might have guessed however, it is a bit tricky to make up an original fan character and naming it the same name as one of the main characters. I did try to name her other names, in fact I did so many research and looked up foreign words and names in languages I like but since the character is supposed to represent me no name or made up name felt as right as Zel(da).

So why Zel and not Zelda, then? Well it all started when I made my first internet accounts to interact with Vaati fan content. All my usernames had "Zelda" in them and I had named one of them "Zel" for a change, because I found it a cute nickname that I often found the fandom calling the Princess of Hyrule. And so, to not call my self insert Zelda, I called her Zel instead to make the distinction.

Overtime, her appearance changed. From an edgy swordfighter I had created in my teens, she is now a princess as well. The reason why is that I grew into my own person and I got tired of making the distinction. Lore wise, it bothered me that a "commoner" had a name so close to the one of the main female character while also having the same blonde hair. As I grew, my confidence grew as well and I made her into one of the princesses of Hyrule, which also resolved that previous dilemma. This is the magic of this series, since the main characters are not exactly the same througout most of the episodes. There is also an ongoing TLoZ fan webcomic made by a very skilled artist that ultimately pushed me forward into making that decision. Originally a GanZel comic (read: GanondorfxZelda), it has its share of little bits of VaaZel (you guessed it, VaatixZelda), and the way the artist wrote Zelda's personality and behaviour in those scenes were exactly how I would have acted. I talk about this specifically because it is a webcomic that blew up in the wider fandom, but already many VaaZel fanfictions and how Zelda was written in them, even down to her centers of interests being the same as mine, already tempted me to just merge my self insert with her character. This webcomic was just what pushed me to actually do it, as well as BotW's history nerd Zelda. I kept "Zel" to still make the distinction between "my" princess Zelda, the one who is me, and any other iteration of her througout the games but this time it is more of a nickname she is simply used to (read the next section to know more).


/!\ This backstory is supposed to reflect my real life experience so it is susceptible to change in case I find better fitting storytelling elements. /!\

She was raised as a commoner in a desolated Hyrule where the royal bloodline is believed to be extinct. Her name, Zel. She grows up to be passionate about the study of Hyrule's ancient history and myths. What she didn't expect was an ancient and long forgotten wind sorcerer to whisk her away from everything she knew. Their relationship starts out very tense due to the legendary wind mage Vaati's actions and behaviour towards her. She had already read about him during her research about Hyrule's ancient legends. The moment she laid eyes on his picture scared her in the innermost depths of her being.

(work in progress, sequel coming soon)