According to a legend passed down within Impa's bloodline, well before the events of The Legend of Zelda, Hyrule was a prosperous land ruled by a king who had a daughter, Princess Zelda, and an elder son, the prince. After the king passed away, the prince sought the pieces of Triforce that he did not inherit, but was unable to find them. A magician close to the king informed the prince that the king had told his sister something about the Triforce. The prince questioned her, but she did not say anything, even after being threatened by an eternal sleep by the magician. In his anger, the magician used a spell to put the princess into an eternal sleep, and died when the spell was completed.
Overcome with grief, the prince sealed his sleeping sister in the North Castle and ordered that all female descendants of the Hylian monarchy are to be named Zelda. While the princesses before this incident were named Zelda in honor of the original Zelda from Skyward Sword, this marked the beginning of Zelda being named so by law, rather than tradition.
To break the curse a hero must possess the complete Triforce, but obtaining the Triforce of Courage would prove difficult as the king of ages ago had hidden it within the Great Palace. Only one who proved themselves worthy would obtain it. In the end, Link obtained the Triforce of Courage and awoke the sleeping princess from her slumber.
- "It is said that a long ago [sic], when Hyrule was one country, a great ruler maintained the peace in Hyrule using the Triforce." (The Adventure of Link manual, pg. 6)
- "The Prince searched everywhere for the missing parts, but could not find them." (The Adventure of Link manual, pg. 6)
- "Then, a magician close to the king brought some unexpected news. Before he died, the king had said something about the Triforce to only the younger sister of the prince, Princess Zelda." (The Adventure of Link manual, pg. 6-7)
- "After the prince, the magician threatened to put the princess into an eternal sleep if she did not talk, but even still, she said nothing." (The Adventure of Link manual, pg. 7)
- "In his anger, the magician tried to cast a magic spell on the princess. [...] Then, when the spell was finally cast, Princess Zelda [...] entered a sleep from which she might never awake. At the same time, the magician also fell down and breathed his last." (The Adventure of Link manual, pg. 7-8)
- "So that this tragedy would never be forgotten, he ordered that every female child born into the royal household shall be given the name Zelda." (The Adventure of Link manual, pg. 8)
- "Many members of the royal family were born with special powers because of the lineage that connected them to the goddess. Princesses were repeatedly given the name Zelda, a name that came from the historical legends." (Hyrule Historia (Dark Horse Books), pg. 77)
- "The magic spell cast upon Princess Zelda will sure to be broken [sic] if the Triforce is used." (The Adventure of Link manual, pg. 12)