King of Hyrule is the title given to the various ruling monarchs of Hyrule in the Legend of Zelda series. The King of Hyrule is the head of the Royal Family of Hyrule and is the father to a Princess Zelda in most of his incarnations.
The first mention of a King of Hyrule comes in the backstory for The Adventure of Link, where it is explained that he once possessed all three pieces of the Triforce. This great King, whose tomb is a landmark in the game, concealed the Triforce of Courage in the Great Palace and established the challenges that the future hero would need to complete in order to reclaim the lost Triforce. His daughter, Princess Zelda, lies in an enchanted sleep for many years following his death, and can only be awakened by the hero who recovers the Triforce of Courage.
An unnamed King of Hyrule, he is seen only during the closing credits montage. Another unnamed king is said to have commanded the Seven Wise Men to place a seal on the Dark World, though this king is never seen.
The King of Hyrule is often mentioned in the game. When Link has sought out Princess Zelda in the Castle Courtyard, the two spy on Ganondorf's meeting with the King of Hyrule. The royal guard is visible and Ganondorf is seen kneeling before the king; however, the small window they are peering through obscures their vision and the king cannot be spotted. It is implied (much more heavily in the manga) that the King dies around the time of the Great Cataclysm in the middle of the game.
The Wind Waker marks the first time a King of Hyrule given a specific name. He is a major character in the game and Link's companion throughout his adventure, known as the King of Red Lions, before he reveals himself to be king Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule.
Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule may be a spiritual being like the Sages, as he is still in existence long after Hyrule was flooded, and he can teleport around the area at will. At the end of the game before the final battle in Hyrule, when Ganon is about to touch the then complete Triforce, the King quickly appears just in time to touch it instead. He wishes for Hyrule to be washed beneath the waves for good, and for Link and Princess Zelda to have a future, causing Ganondorf to laugh hysterically at his own failure, before battling Link and the princess. Link finally defeats Ganondorf, and in Hyrule's final moments, despite many pleas from the Princess, Daphnes stays with the kingdom as it is buried again beneath the Great Sea.
Both ruling kings of Hyrule, King Daltus, and a ghost of one of his ancestors, King Gustaf, appear in The Minish Cap. King Daltus is portrayed as a kind king who was good to his people before he was captured and replaced by Vaati halfway through the game. The people then see him as a cruel figure who is greedy and forces the soldiers of Hyrule to find the mystical Light Force. King Gustaf appears twice; the first time being after completing the Temple of Droplets, in which he tells Link to visit his tomb. His second appearance is within his tomb where he gives Link a Kinstone piece necessary to climb Veil Falls.
King Rhoam is "The Last King of Hyrule" in Breath of the Wild. When Link first meets him, he is disguised as the Old Man. After Zelda reveals the first Sheikah Tower to Link, the Old Man tempts you into collecting the first four Spirit Orbs and in return, he will give Link his Paraglider. After collecting the four Spirit Orbs, he reveals him to Link as the former king of Hyrule, Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule. He tells Link his backstory and is never seen again until the end of the game. He wrote a journal where Link can learn King Rhoam's past.
An unnamed King of Hyrule who is implied to have ruled 10,000 years before the events of Breath of the Wild, presumably during the time period of Calamity Ganon's original defeat through the use of Sheikah technology, is mentioned in a Zora Stone Monument that records the history of the East Reservoir Lake. It is revealed that Hyrule and Zora's Domain were plagued by the destructive flooding of the Zora River, causing the King Zora from that period to seek council from the King of Hyrule. The two decided to construct the East Reservoir Lake to prevent future floods using a combination of Hylian ingenuity and Zora architecture. King Zora promised the King of Hyrule the Zora would watch over the water level of the Reservoir Lake, a promise kept by each subsequent King Zora for 10,000 years. As a result, the Reservoir became a symbol of the bond between the Kingdom of Hyrule and the Zora.
According to the Hyrule Compendium entry for the Hylian Retriever, it is said that all Hylian Retrievers are descendants of the dog once owned by the King of Hyrule (implied to be King Rhoam), similar to how the White Horse is believed to be the descendant of Zelda's Royal White Stallion. According to the description for Royal Bow, in the past, the Kings of Hyrule presented Royal Bows to only the most talented archers in the land.
The King of Hyrule (Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule from The Wind Waker) appears as a playable character in the updated 3DS port of Hyrule Warriors, marking the first time the King of Hyrule will be playable in a Legend of Zelda title. It will also be possible to transfer the King of Hyrule to the Wii U version of the game. He fights using a Sail imbued with the power of wind and the fury of the Great Sea.
|Dark Link · Ganon · Link · Princess Zelda|
—Full list of characters
|Horsehead · Helmethead · Rebonack · Carock · Gooma · Barba · Thunderbird · Dark Link|
|Western Hyrule · Eastern Hyrule · Lesser Hyrule · Maze Island|
—Full list of locations
|Parapa Palace · Midoro Palace · Island Palace · Maze Island Palace · Ocean Palace · Hidden Palace · Great Palace|
|P Bag · 1-up Doll · Magical Sword · Magical Shield · Candle · Flute · Handy Glove · Hammer · Raft · Boots · Magical Key · Cross|
|Fairy Spell · Fire Spell · Jump Spell · Life Spell · Reflect Spell · Shield Spell · Spell Spell · Thunder Spell|
|Trophy · Water of Life · Kidnapped Child · Six Crystals · Triforce of Courage|
|Fairy · Hylian|
| Ezlo · King Daltus · Link · Princess Zelda · Smith · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Big Green ChuChu · Gleerok · Mazaal · Big Octorok · Gyorg Pair · Vaati Reborn · Vaati Transfigured · Vaati's Wrath|
| Castor Wilds · Cloud Tops · Eastern Hills · Hyrule Town · Lake Hylia · Lon Lon Ranch · Minish Woods · Mount Crenel · Mt. Crenel's Base · North Hyrule Field · Royal Valley · South Hyrule Field · Trilby Highlands · Veil Falls · Western Wood · Wind Ruins|
|Deepwood Shrine · Cave of Flames · Fortress of Winds · Temple of Droplets · Royal Crypt · Palace of Winds · Dark Hyrule Castle|
|Smith's Sword · White Sword · Four Sword · Small Shield · Mirror Shield · Bombs · Boomerang · Bow · Cane of Pacci · Gust Jar|
|Bottle · Flame Lantern · Flippers · Grip Ring · Mole Mitts · Ocarina of Wind · Power Bracelets · Roc's Cape|
|Elements · Kinstones · Tiger Scrolls|
|Deku · Fairy · Goron · Human · Hylian · Minish · Wind Tribe|