Link, the Hero of Courage is the main character in The Legend of Zelda series. Although he is usually a different character each time reincarnated as a new hero, he is always born a Hylian. All Heroes have been Aryan -- blond hair and blue eyed -- with the exception of the Last Hero from the Era of Decline, who was born brunette, possibly due to the corruption of the realm of Hyrule.
Link first appeared in The Legend of Zelda.
Link is a quiet, energetic boy.
Link has appeared in numerous incarnations, reincarnating (nearly) every time the world of Hyrule needs a hero. These incarnations are all different people, for the most part assumed to be descendants of one another in a manner similar to the various Princess Zeldas.
These heroes are listed in chronological order according to the Hyrule Historia's official timeline.
The Hero of the SkyEdit
Appears in: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Hero of ForceEdit
The first Link to be born to the kingdom of Hyrule was born during the Force Era. He allied with Ezio and not only defeated the Minish sorcerer Vaati, possessed by the evil influence of the demon lord Demise.
Hero of TimeEdit
The final hero to be born before the time split (which was directly caused by his actions) was born during an era actually named after him, known as the Era of the Hero of Time. This Link was the first to meet Ganondorf, although whether he defeated him or not is reliant upon which timeline one follows.
In one timeline, this Link is defeated by Ganondorf, leading to the Era of Light & Dark. Whether Ganondorf was defeated by either Child-era or Adult-era Link also splits the timeline into the following Twilight Era and the Era Without A Hero, respectively.
Hero of Light & DarkEdit
The untimely death of the Hero of Time led to a corruption of the realm of Hyrule, and the first hero born during this time was born during the Era of Light & Dark. Interestingly, he had the most recorded adventures of any other incarnation, participating in four quests.
Hero of WorldsEdit
Appears in: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
This Link is a direct descendant of the Hero of Light & Dark, appearing only some years after his ancestor. It is unknown what the two hero's actual relationship is, though since he is an incarnation of the Hero of Courage it can be said without a doubt that by the time of his birth, the Hero of Light & Dark had already perished. It is possible that he was born during the onset of the Gold Era, where the Hyrulian monarchy started actively using the Triforce to their own benefit.
The Last HeroEdit
The first and only brunette Link, he was born during the Era of Decline, where the prosperity of the Hyrule kingdom for some reason rapidly deteriorated, leaving the realm largely uninhabited. Monsters may have played a part in this as the minions of Ganon were known to roam the regions freely.
This Link was the only one to successfully kill Ganon permanently and reawaken the original Princess Zelda, founder of the kingdom of Hyrule.
Hero of TwilightEdit
Appears in: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The first hero of the darkest of the three timelines was born during the Twilight Era, wherein the Twili began their Shadow Invasion at the order of Zant. Link himself was cursed, becoming trapped in a wolf form though with the aid of the exiled queen Midna he was able to return to his Hylian form and switch between the two at will, greatly increasing his battle capabilities.
This incarnation met the spirit of the last hero, the Hero of Time as an undead spirit who helps out his replacement by training him in various advanced techniques.
Hero of ShadowEdit
Appears in: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
This hero was the final recorded hero during the Child Timeline and was born during the Shadow Era, and rediscovered the Four Sword that his ancestor had originally used millennia earlier, allowing him to split into four separate individuals. He was forced to do battle against both Ganon and Vaati.
Hero of WindsEdit
This hero, the first to not be directly related to the other Links, was born on Onset Island during the tail end of the Era of the Great Sea, surviving into the Era of the Great Voyage.
Hero of TrainsEdit
Appears in: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
This hero is a direct descendant of the Hero of Winds, born 100 years later and thereby making him the Hero of Wind's great grandson. He was even trained under the last remaining of Tetra's pirate crew, who noted his resemblance to his old colleague.
Across Hyrule, Link has taken the appearance of many forms.