I actually spent quite a bit of time trying to figure this out and thought maybe someone who knows more about the LOZ canon can give me an answer. So ok, How many Links, Zeldas, Hyrules, etc. are there? I mean, I know in Ocarina of Time you start as a child, then skip 7 yrs to being a teen then go back to being a kid again, so that timeline/scenario makes sense, but what about all the others?
In Twilight Princess Link looks like a teen, but in Windwaker and the 2 NDS games he's a big headed chibi kid. I don't know how long after Windwaker Phantom Hourglass takes place (I HATE Chibi Link so I never bothered to play more than 30 minutes of Windwaker) but I do know that the new game takes place 100yrs after Phantom Hourglass, so... Are the names "Link" "Zelda" etc. passed on from generation to generation? Are Link and Zelda trapped in some sort of Immortal Loop? Is it like the show "Sliders" where there were countless parallel worlds? Laugh if you want but I'm seriously curious about this. See there are other game series that are related and span centuries but make sense.
For Example, Castlevania. yes. there are tons of games and they are all related by common threads however it keeps the timeline somewhat realistic (if a bit out of order). Sure in every game you are fighting Dracula (ok except for the 2 PS2 ones where you fight another vampire whose name eludes me and in the other a Demon-forger names Isaac (I THINK that's his name) But your protagonist changes. Most of them are Belmonts and then there's Hector, Soma, Reinhardt, Carrie etc. and Dracula being resurrected every 100 or so years is a plausible explanation for him always being the antagonist.
In the Zelda games though things never change really...yes, I know a few of them didn't have anything to do with saving Hyrule or Zelda but that just leaves another question...if there is only one Link, How the heck does he find the time to rescue Oracles of Time and Seasons etc. when Hyrule and Zelda are CONSTANTLY under attack.
Answer? Theory? Anyone?