The Prince of Hyrule is a character from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Though he is never seen in-game, he is mentioned in the game's prologue. He was the son of the King of Hyrule and brother to Princess Zelda. The Prince's father was the one who broke up the unified Triforce and concealed the Triforce of Courage into the Great Palace. Although he did not appear in the series itself, it is assumable that his personality was less than admirable, judging by the King's actions and the artwork depicting the prince. He did however, seemingly somewhat cared for his sister, judging by his later actions. He is currently the only known sibling of an incarnation of Princess Zelda.
When the Prince ascended his throne, he was puzzled by his inability to inherit the entire Triforce. A Magician of the court told the new King that his sister, Princess Zelda, was entrusted by their dying father with a secret that she would not divulge. It is believed that this secret was the location of the Triforce of Courage, although the game manual does not explicitly say so. The Princess was questioned by her brother, but refused to tell him their father's secret. The Magician threatened to curse her if she did not give up this knowledge, which failed to make her bend to their will. Angered by her resolve, the magician put her into an enchanted sleep, which the shocked prince tried to prevent, but failed. The efforts of casting the spell apparently caused the Magician's own death, thus preventing him from undoing said spell.
The brother, grief-stricken, issued a decree that all daughters born to the Royal Family of Hyrule would be given the name of Zelda in memory of the tragedy which befell his sister. He later had his comatose sister locked in the North Castle, where she remained until Link recovered the Triforce of Courage many years later and awakened her.
The Adventure of Link manga
The Prince has a similar role in the manga to in the original game's prologue, although it was later revealed that he also was the magician, and ends up dying when Ganon bursts out of him.
In the artwork accompanying the scene where the prince and Magician are interrogating Zelda for the location of the remaining Triforce piece, the Magician is shown to be partially merged with the prince's shadow, implying that the Magician might have possessed the prince into interrogating Zelda, possibly explaining his cruelty towards his own sister and his later regret.
If he was possessed by over by the Magician, this implies that the Princes of Hyrule may lack the supernatural and potential divine abilities often depicted by other members of the Royal Family of Hyrule such as the Kings and Princesses of Hyrule, as the prince uses a whip to attack Zelda and apparently lacks the ability to resist the Magician's influence, though like Princess Zelda in Breath of the Wild it is possible that he had trouble awakening any latent abilities he might possess as the Prince of Hyrule, which may explain how the Magician was able to influence him, by potentially using any feelings of inadequacy or jealousy he may have had towards his sister to turn the Prince against her. It is possible that the shock of the Magician cursing his sister may have freed the Prince from his influence, either out of simple brotherly love for his sister and/or the shock caused his latent abilities to manifest like Zelda's did in Breath of the Wild when Link was injured, allowing him to escape the Magician's control, though unfortunately it was too late to save his sister, causing the Prince to feel remorseful either for allowing himself to be controlled or failing to stop the Magician from cursing his sister.
King of Hyrule?
As his sister fell under an enchanted sleep and the Prince's decree that all Princesses be named Zelda in honor of his sister, it is likely that he succeeded his father as the King of Hyrule, given that their is no indication that his sister had any children before she was cursed, thus it is highly likely he was crowned King and presumably was the ancestor of the incarnations of Zelda in The Legend of Zelda and possibly A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds as his sister is a different incarnation that predates the Zelda in The Legend of Zelda as she was cursed before the events of The Legend of Zelda only to be awoken in Zelda II which takes place after The Legend of Zelda placing it at the end of the Hero's Downfall timeline. If true this would make the Zelda in Zelda II a distant relative (most likely a Great Aunt separated by a number of generations) to the Zelda from The Legend of Zelda.
|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|