The Legend of Zelda series is one of the most popular and recognizable examples in videogames of what Tolkien referred to as mythopoeia, or myth-making. In his essay On Fairy Stories and a short poem entitled Mythopoeia, Tolkien makes the case that the fairy tale aesthetic is simply a more intimate version of the same principle underlying the great myths: the human desire to make meaning out of the world. By using mythopoeia as a touchstone concept, the essays in this volume explore how The Legend of Zelda series turns the avatar, through which the player interacts with the in-game world, into a player-character symbiote wherein the individual both enacts and observes the process of integrating worldbuilding with storytelling. Twelve essays explore Zelda’s mythmaking from the standpoints of literary criticism, videogame theory, musicology, ecocriticism, pedagogy, and more.

chapter |13 pages


Zelda, Mythopoeia, and the Importance of Developing an “Inside” Perspective on Videogames

part |48 pages


chapter 1|16 pages

Digital Mythopoeia

Exploring Modern Myth-Making in The Legend of Zelda

chapter 3|15 pages

Curiositas and Critical Glitches

Speedrunning The Legend of Zelda

part |53 pages

The Legend of Zelda

chapter 4|16 pages

The Hero of Faёrie

The Triforce and Transformational Play in Link’s Mythopoeic Journey

chapter 5|20 pages

Twilight and Faërie

The Music of Twilight Princess as Tolkienesque Nostalgia

part |51 pages

There’s Something Mything Here

chapter 7|17 pages

“You Played the Ocarina Again, Didn’t You!!”

Catastrophe and the Aesthetics of Evil in Ocarina of Time

chapter 8|17 pages

A Link Across Adventures

Literacy’s Relevance to Time in The Legend of Zelda Series’ Mythopoeia

chapter 9|15 pages

Haunted by Heroes

Mythology and Hauntology: Majora’s Mask

part |53 pages

The Legend of Pedagogy

chapter 10|17 pages

The Hero of Time

The Legend of Zelda as Children’s Literature

chapter 11|17 pages

Take Away the Sword

Teaching for Creativity and Communication with The Legend of Zelda in Art History