07-15-2010, 11:55 AM
Event 1: The Creation of Hyrule
In the beginning, the three Goddesses Din, Farore, and Nayru descended from the heavens and created the land of Hyrule, leaving behind a plane known alternately as the "Golden Land" or "Sacred Realm" where they crossed over. Within this land was hidden the physical embodiment of the Goddesses' power, the Triforce.
Source: Ocarina of Time
Event 2: The Ascendance of King Gustaph
Some time afterward, the various races of Hyrule learned of the Triforce, and a massive war broke out as various factions competed to attain its power. This war continued unabated until the peaceful Minish race fashioned the Picori Sword, which they gave to the hero of men, a young man with blond hair and a green tunic (but no cap) named Gustaph.
Gustaph used the sword's power to end the war and united the races into the Kingdom of Hyrule, becoming its first monarch. And thus, the royal line of Hyrule was born.
Source: The Minish Cap
Event 3: The Original "Legend" of Zelda
Some time later, a prince (either the son of Gustaph or a more distant descendant) learned of the Triforce, and desired to attain its power for himself. An evil wizard informed him that his sister Zelda knew of its whereabouts, and together they forcibly interrogated her. When Zelda refused to cooperate the wizard cast a spell of eternal slumber on her, dying in the process.
Overcome with remorse, the prince hid his sleeping sister away in the castle and declared that all girls in the royal family of Hyrule were to henceforth be named Zelda. This explains how Link continues to meet reincarnations of the princess that just happen to share her name.
Source: Zelda II
Game 1: The Minish Cap
Sometime after this (at least one generation later, as there is a new "Princess Zelda" now in line for the throne) a Minish wizard named Vaati stole the wish-granting cap of his mentor Ezlo, turning the elderly Minish into a green talking cap. Vaati proceeded to turn Zelda to stone and mount a coup d'etat over the King of Hyrule.
A young boy garbed in green, whom we will refer to as Link #1, saved Ezlo from an attack by some of Vaati's minions, and together they attained the Picori Sword, rechristening it the "Four Sword" and using its powers of duplication to defeat Vaati and seal him inside the sword. After restoring Ezlo to his true form the wizard gives Link #1 a cap very much like his previous form (except of course that it doesn't talk), thus enshrining the tunic and cap of green as the clothing of heroes in Hyrule. At this point Link #1 likely holds the same title as the similarly garbed Gustaph (the hero of men); the title of the legendary hero will have to wait a little while longer.
Game 2: Skyward Sword
Very little is known about this game of course, but if rumors are true and it depicts the origins of the Master Sword then this is the only logical place for it in the timeline. It seems incredibly unlikely, however, that the Link depicted here is the same as the one in The Minish Cap, so we will label the cel-shaded Link in this game Link #2.
Game 3: Ocarina of Time
Some number of generations later, the spirit of Link #1 was reincarnated in a Hylian infant, whom we will refer to as Link #3. Soon after his birth however Hyrule Castle was attacked by a mysterious force, and in the ensuing chaos his mother escaped and deposited him in the Kokiri Forest, dying soon afterward. The Great Deku Tree, spirit guardian of the forest, took custody of the child and gave him to a young Kokiri named Saria to raise, donning him in the traditional green of the Kokiri race (but with one notable addition: the cap donned by the traditional hero of men) and allowing him to grow up in ignorance of his Hylian heritage.
Meanwhile, the man behind the attack on Hyrule began to lay out an extensive, years-long plot to attain what he desired: the power of the Triforce. This man was Ganondorf, the new King of the Gerudo race, and immediately he began to endear himself to the King of Hyrule, hoping to eventually gain access to the Temple of Time, within which was sealed the portal to the Sacred Realm. He also began to attack or threaten the various leaders or guardian spirits of the other races of Hyrule in an attempt to steal their Spiritual Stones, which were the keys to unlocking the seal in the Temple of Time.
Once Link #3 reached a certain age he gained a fairy companion, Navi, and the Great Deku Tree asked them both to remove the parasite that Ganondorf had placed within him. They did so but were unable to prevent the spirit's death; however, the Great Deku Tree gave them his Spiritual Stone in gratitude and implored Link #3 to journey throughout Hyrule and retrieve the others. During his quest Link #3 met this generation's Princess Zelda, with whom he colluded to stop Ganondorf's plans. After gaining the other two Spiritual Stones from the Goron and Zora races, Link #3 returned to the castle only to find that Ganondorf had (most likely) killed the King and forced Zelda and her nursemaid Impa to flee. However, Zelda left the Ocarina of Time for the young hero as a parting gift, allowing him to finally open the Door of Time and retrieve the Blade of Evil's Bane, the Master Sword.
Unfortunately, this turned out to be exactly what Ganondorf was waiting for. The evil King used the pathway that Link #3 had opened in order to enter the Sacred Realm and retrieve the Triforce. But only one with a balanced heart could harness the Triforce's full potential, and so the divine symbol broke in three, leaving Ganondorf with only the piece of the Triforce that represented Din's Power, which would mark him forever and render him effectively immortal. Meanwhile the other two pieces sought out hosts that exemplified the traits of the Goddesses who had forged them; Zelda gained Nayru's Wisdom, and Link #3 gained Farore's Courage. As the two destined wielders were reincarnated throughout the generations following these Triforces remained bound to their spirits, fated to be found again and again and reclaimed by their hosts for eternity.
Using the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf successfully took over all of Hyrule, transforming it into a bleak, desolate land. Seven years later, however, the greatest threat to his reign returned to the world: Link #3, having been sealed in stasis by the Sages of Hyrule until he aged enough to be worthy of wielding the Master Sword.
With the help of a disguised Zelda and a variety of allies he had made as a child, Link #3 rose to the challenge magnificently, using the Master Sword's ability to manipulate time in order to fight against Ganondorf's forces across two eras. Eventually Link #3 reawakened all of the Sages and confronted Ganondorf within the Hellish future world he had created, defeating and apparently killing the King of Evil in a gruelling battle. But as his fortress collapsed around him Ganondorf was revived by the full energies of the Triforce of Power, which transformed him into a manifestation of his inner ugliness: a pig-demon known as Ganon. The spectacular duel that followed resulted in Ganon's narrow defeat, thus enshrining Link #3 as the legendary Hero of Time.
The Sages then sealed Ganondorf (now forcibly returned to his human form) into the Sacred Realm, but Zelda (now leader of the Sages) did not believe this to be a satisfactory conclusion for Link #3. Believing that he deserved to live the seven years that had been skipped over due to the Sages' interference, the Princess used the Ocarina of Time to send Link #3 back to his youth, leading to undoubtedly the most significant single event in the entirety of this timeline:
Event 4: The Timeline Split
Princess Zelda's actions here create two separate histories of Hyrule; Hyrule A, where Link #3 is now a child again and Ganondorf has not yet broken into the Sacred Realm, and Hyrule B, where Link #3 no longer exists and the world is attempting to rebuild after Ganondorf's fall. All subsequent games thus fall into one of these divergent timelines, and I will outline their histories one at a time, starting with Hyrule A's.
Source: Ocarina of Time, as well as several interviews with bigwigs like Miyamoto that have followed in later years
Event 5A: The Attempted Execution of Ganondorf
So Link #3 was once more a child who was just forging his alliance with the young Princess Zelda, but who now retained memories of a future where Ganondorf had usurped the King and nearly destroyed all of Hyrule. We will call this newly aware child version of the Hero of Time Link #3A. Naturally, Link #3A would have informed Zelda of this and she in turn would have informed her father, so that when Ganondorf mounted his coup d'etat the King and his forces were well-prepared. And so while Ganondorf still managed to punch his way through into the Sacred Realm and take the Triforce of Power for himself, this time I imagine that he was swiftly captured upon his exit. And so, for the crime of high treason, the King sentenced him to death.
To this end the Sages (looking far different than the ones in Ocarina of Time, but then again this is seven years prior, so this could simply be the previous generation of Sages) attempted to execute the desert thief with an enchanted sword, but the mortal wound they inflicted awakened the true strength of the Triforce of Power for the first time in this reality. Using Din's boundless energy Ganondorf was able to effortlessly break free, slaughter one of the Sages, and commandeer the sword they impaled him with for his own use, and in a panic the remaining Sages sealed him within the alternate dimension known as the Twlight Realm using an enchanted mirror. The full repercussions of this action would not be felt for several generations.
Source: Twilight Princess, though I speculated on some of the details
Game 4A: Majora's Mask
Link #3A, however, appears not to have been present for most of these events. Upon returning to the past his companion Navi departed from him, and after warning the King the young hero attempted to find her. In the course of doing so Link #3A somehow ended up crossing over into an alternate version of Hyrule called Termina, almost immediately running into a Skull Kid that had been possessed by a demonic spirit named Majora. Majora intended to bring about the end of Termina by forcing its Moon to crash into it three days after Link #3A's arrival, and the Hero of Time ended up proving his moniker dozens of times over by constantly reliving those same three days via the magic of the Ocarina of Time until he gathered the power necessary to defeat Majora. Subsequently, Link #3A disappeared from both Termina and Hyrule, never to be heard from again...
Game 5A: Twilight Princess
In the years following his erstwhile execution Ganondorf bided his time, waiting for the right moment to present itself so that he might return to Hyrule and regain the throne that he had come so close to possessing. Finally that opportunity arrived in the form of Zant, a disillusioned member of the royal family of the Twili race who had been passed over for monarch. Posing as a God, Ganondorf tempted Zant with an offer to help the Twili sorcerer usurp the throne if he would link his life force with the King of Evil's. Zant readily agreed, and after overthrowing the Twilight Princess (a sorceress named Midna) and transforming her into a diminuitive imp he began to spread the essence of the Twilight Realm into select portions of Hyrule, strengthening his own power and thus Ganondorf's until the latter was finally able to escape.
But hope was not yet lost, as in the small farm town of Ordon a teenage boy whom we will call Link #4A discovered a patch of Twilight-bathed land and learned that he had inherited the powers of the Triforce of Courage as soon as he stepped foot in it. With the mystic mark upon his hand he was able to successfully avoid turning into a ghostly wraith like all other mortal beings that the Twilight touched, instead transforming into an intelligent wolf. As this Wolf Link #4A wandered across the Twilight Realm he was found by Midna, who teamed up with him to try and regain her power and birthright. Together the pair rediscovered the long-lost Master Sword, killed Zant, restored both Hyrule and the Twilight Realm to their former states, and finally confronted Ganondorf.
The battle between Link #4A and Ganondorf was undeniably epic, and featured the first transformation of the King of Evil into the form of Ganon in this timeline, a circumstance that came about after Midna tried to destroy him utterly with the dark powers of the Fused Shadows. Ganondorf was able to reconstitute himself into human form and faced off with Link #4A in a one-on-one sword duel, one that ended in Ganondorf being stabbed through his mystic wound with the Master Sword and losing his connection to Zant. Due to these events, the desert thief appeared to finally die, thus restoring Midna to her true form and bringing peace to Hyrule once more; a peace that would not be broken for many years to come.
Game 6A: Four Swords/Four Swords Adventures
But with the strength of the Triforce of Power bound to his spirit, it was inevitable that Ganon would some day rise again. As his first revival during the battle against Link #4A indicated, when relying on Din's Power Ganondorf tended to revive in the bestial form of Ganon, as this was his "true self"; eventually he did so, and for the remainder of this timeline he chose to remain as such. But Ganon was weak from expending all the energy necessary to facilitate his resurrection from otherwise mortal damage, and so he decided that he needed an edge before attempting to take over Hyrule again. To this end he set his sights on an ancient artifact known as the Trident of Power.
But how to attain it? Well, manipulating a lesser bad guy had worked so well during his previous scheme, so Ganon decided to bring about the revival of Vaati. So much time had passed since his initial sealing that the only people to even remember the Minish sorcerer were Ganon and this generation's Princess Zelda. The pig-demon took advantage of this by creating an evil duplicate of this generation's destined hero (we'll call him Link #5A) named Shadow Link, and using him to wreak havoc across Hyrule. As Ganon had planned this motivated Link #5A to draw the Four Sword in order to vanquish his doppleganger (the Master Sword having been returned to the Sacred Grove and thus unavailable to the young hero), accidentally freeing Vaati from his long imprisonment.
While Link #5A used the sword's duplication powers to finally slay Vaati once and for all and destroy Shadow Link, Ganon gathered enough energy to build up a new army and steal the Trident of Power, using it to battle the wielder of the Triforce of Courage yet again. Link #5A was narrowly able to emerge victorious, sealing Ganon himself inside the ancient blade of the Minish and returning it to its resting place.
Event 6A: The Sealing of Ganon within the Dark World
At some point the Four Sword proved to be too weak of a prison to hold Ganon, and he broke free, though not without expending an enormous amount of energy. Still, with the Triforce of Power and the Trident of Power both at his command Ganon was successfully able to re-enter the Sacred Realm and take it over as a new base of operations, transforming it into the monstrous Dark World. But before Ganon could return to Hyrule and spread his reign there, the King of Hyrule ordered the Sages of his generation to permanently seal the entrance to the Dark World, cutting off all access to the corrupted Golden Land for centuries to come.
Source: A Link to the Past, though I speculated on some of the details
Game 7A: A Link to the Past
But like all previous seals on Ganon's power, this one was not destined to last forever. Some generations later an evil wizard named Agahnim (who, it eventually turns out, was a projection of Ganon's essence all along) killed the King of Hyrule and attempted to break the seal by kidnapping descendants of the seven Sages and transporting them into the Dark World. An old swordmaster traveled to the castle to defeat Agahnim but was swiftly killed, forcing his nephew (whom we shall refer to as Link #6A) to take up his sword and fight against Agahnim himself. To this end Link #6A managed to retrieve the Master Sword and defeat the sorcerer in pitched combat, but by that point Agahnim's power was strong enough to forcibly teleport Link #6A into the Dark World.
Fortunately, Link #6A learned quickly that the Master Sword afforded him the ability to travel between the Dark World and Hyrule at will, enabling him to rescue the seven maidens that Agahnim had kidnapped and destroy the wizard in a final showdown. But to Link #6A's surprise and horror, Ganon rose up from Agahnim's robes to reveal himself as the true master of the Dark World and did battle with the young hero in his true form, apparently dying in the process. Link #6A then became the first legendary hero to touch the Triforce in its original form, allowing him to use its boundless power to restore Hyrule and the Sacred Realm to their original states, prior to Ganon's influence. After doing so Link #6A returned the Master Sword to the Sacred Grove yet again and departed from Hyrule, deciding that he needed to travel abroad to improve his skills in the event that another threat to the kingdom ever arose.
Game 8A: Link's Awakening
Link #6A's subsequent journeys took him across the ocean, where he ran into a severe storm and ended up shipwrecked near a mysterious landmass known as Koholint Island. Learning that in order to return home to his own land he needed to awaken the sleeping Wind Fish (guardian spirit of the Island), Link #6A gathered a variety of mystically endowed musical instruments that allowed him to enter the Wind Fish's dreams. Within he faced shadowy versions of many of his former foes, including an echo of Ganon in his pig-demon form, but Link #6A managed to vanquish them all. Afterward Link #6A was returned to the sea and Koholint Island faded away, leading some to wonder whether the adventure even took place, or whether it was all just one great dream.
Either way, however, this is where the story of Link #6A ends.
Game 9A: The Legend of Zelda
Yet again Ganon had been mortally wounded, but as Link #6A had not chosen to hold onto the completed Triforce the pig-demon was able to resurrect himself once more by reclaiming the Triforce of Power. This was quite a few years later, however, and while the King of Evil was successful at kidnapping the current Princess Zelda he was unexpectedly challenged by yet another incarnation of the legendary hero: Link #7A. Starting with virtually nothing and coming seemingly out of nowhere, this young hero managed to gather the scattered pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom (which Zelda had broken, hoping to prevent Ganon from stealing it from her) and slay Ganon once more. But this Link used a strategy that no previous hero had ever employed: ripping the Triforce of Power directly from Ganon's corpse, preventing him from reviving under his own power ever again.
Game 10A: Zelda II
But while Ganon might well have been vanquished forever in this timeline, his armies still remained. Some of them fashioned a spell that would resurrect Ganon by sprinkling his killer's blood on the pig-demon's ashes, and to this end the King of Evil's followers attempted vigorously to kill Link #7A. The slightly older hero, meanwhile, was introduced to the original Princess Zelda, still under the sleep spell that had been cast on her near the beginning of the timeline. Link #7A was informed that in order to awaken her he needed to attain the only piece of the Triforce not currently in his possession: his own destined power, the Triforce of Courage. Fighting valiantly against Ganon's bloodthirsty armies and eventually toppling a new, far more powerful version of Shadow Link, Link #7A eventually united the complete Triforce and used it to raise the first Princess Zelda from her slumber.
Game 11A: Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages
Following the revival of the original Princess Zelda, Link #7A hid the Triforce away in a sacred chamber in Hyrule Castle. On two subsequent days the Golden Power called out to the legendary hero and transported him to the side of an Oracle who bore the name of one of Hyrule's Goddesses: Din one day, and Nayru the other. Both were kidnapped by high-ranking servants of Ganon known as Onox and Veran respectively in yet another attempt to resurrect Ganon, but Link #7A defeated each of them in turn and rescued the Oracles by utilizing a rod that could control the weather and a harp that could traverse time. The deaths of the General of Darkness and the Sorceress of Shadows were not in vain, however, as they managed to ignite two mystic flames controlled by the Gerudo witch Twinrova, part of the ritual that was meant to bring about Ganon's return.
Twinrova then proceeded to kidnap Princess Zelda (which one, I'm not entirely sure, but I'm guessing the original) and use her to ignite the third and final flame. Before Twinrova could sacrifice Zelda and complete the ritual, however, Link #7A intervened and defeated her soundly. With no other options, Twinrova sacrificed herself and Ganon was successfully reborn, but without the correct offering he returned as a mindless, rampaging beast. Link #7A defeated this incompletely revived monster in one final showdown, ending the history of Hyrule A with a world that is, for now, finally at peace.
So far, those are the last games in the chronology as I've worked it out. But there's still Hyrule B to consider; a much shorter history as of now, but one which still bears explanation.
Event 5B: The Flooding of Hyrule
Many centuries prior to the Oracle games, Link #3 was returned to the past by Princess Zelda in order to live his childhood, placing Link #3A into the Hyrule of seven years prior and obliterating Link #3 from the future timeline. In the fullness of time, however, this did not turn out to have been such a good decision for Hyrule B.
Some time later Ganondorf broke free of the Sacred Realm (considering he had more experience with his powers than his Hyrule A counterpart who happened to do the same thing, that shouldn't really come as that huge of a surprise), and with no Link #3B in existence to challenge him he began to wreak absolute havoc on the kingdom of Hyrule. The Hylian people begged the Goddesses for the legendary hero to return and vanquish the King of Evil, but he never came.
So instead, the Goddesses decided to flood Hyrule with torrential rains, burying the kingdom (and Ganondorf with it) beneath a vast ocean. The mountaintops of the former land became islands within a new world: the world of the Great Sea. As extreme as this tactic might seem, it seems largely to have worked for the following century; the races of Hyrule that were able to thrive upon the newly formed islands did so largely in peace with one another, and evil did not rise again for many years. But Ganondorf had not been killed by the floods, and so as several generations passed he bided his time, amassing a new army and hiding it away in the heavily fortified Forsaken Fortress.
Source: The Wind Waker
Game 4B: The Wind Waker
After the flooding, the story of the Hero of Time had been passed down solely as a legend, but one detail stuck around quite persistently with the descendants of the Hylian people: that the legendary hero had worn a green tunic and cap. As such, a tradition was instated where young boys would be garbed in similar clothes on the day that they became of age, in the hopes that they would be inspired to take up the sword and fight evil as well. One such boy was a resident of Outset Island whom we will call Link #4B. Upon receiving the tunic and cap Link #4B witnessed an enormous bird-like monster (a servant of Ganondorf's called the Helmaroc King) drop a young pirate girl with long ears into the woods, and like the hero he was now dressed as he bravely set off to rescue her.
Link #4B succeeded at his first mission, but at a great cost; his little sister Aryll, who also had long, elfin-like ears, was kidnapped by the Helmaroc King instead. The pirate girl revealed her name to be Tetra, and begrudgingly she agreed to take him to the Forsaken Fortress in order to rescue his sister. But while Link #4B managed to stealthily breach the tower and find Aryll, he was swiftly dispatched into the ocean by Ganondorf and the Helmaroc King, only escaping drowning through the help of a talking boat known as the King of Red Lions. The King informed Link #4B of Ganondorf's identity and commanded him to collect several mystical pearls and reawaken a monument known as the Tower of the Gods, so that he might open up a portal to the original Hyrule Castle that lay dormant beneath the waves. With the help of the Wind Waker, a conductor's baton that could control the winds, Link #4B did so and retrieved the long-sleeping Master Sword from within a secret chamber in the Castle, with which he rescued his sister and killed the Helmaroc King. Ganondorf however was still able to handily defeat him, and in response to this the King of Red Lions told Link #4B to return to the flooded Hyrule Castle with Tetra.
Once there, it was revealed to the pair that the boat was merely an avatar for the spirit of the King of Hyrule from the era of Link #3, and the King further revealed to Tetra that she was in fact this generation's reincarnation of Princess Zelda, hence her pointed Hylian-like ears (and the reason why Ganondorf had been searching for girls with such a distinguishing feature). Her Triforce of Wisdom was restored by the King's spirit and she transformed into her full princess regalia, while Link #4B was given the task to restore the Master Sword to full strength by contacting descendants of ancient Sages and to reclaim the lost Triforce of Courage. Link #4B rose to the occasion magnificently and completed both missions before confronting Ganondorf in his fortress within the flooded Hyrule, now embodying the true spirit of a new hero: the Hero of Winds.
While Ganondorf had managed to kidnap Princess Zelda in his absence, Link #4B rescued her and together they challenged Ganondorf in one final showdown. Ganondorf attempted to take advantage of the presence of all three Triforce bearers by summoning the Golden Power, but before he could make his wish the King of Hyrule took command of the completed Triforce and used it to bring the waves upon Hyrule for eternity, believing that the past needed to be buried forever if Link #4B and Zelda were to truly have a future. As the ocean cascaded around them the Hero of Winds and the Princess battles the King of Evil in an all-out brawl, one that ended with the Master Sword buried deep in Ganondorf's skull. The Blade of Evil's Bane turned the desert thief to stone, and the King of Hyrule returned Link #4B and Zelda (now transformed back into Tetra) to the surface.
Through these events, the original kingdom appears to have disappeared completely from the timeline of Hyrule B, and the game ended with Link #4B and Tetra setting off to discover a new land to call Hyrule.
Game 5B: Phantom Hourglass
In the course of their searching Link #4B and Tetra ran into the Ghost Ship, a mysterious boat that the Hero of Winds had briefly encountered during the previous game. Upon boarding the Ship, Tetra was immediately kidnapped by the force behind the strange vessel: a plant-like phantom named Bellum, which turned the young pirate to stone and attempted to suck away her life force. With the help of a fairy by the name of Ciela, a seafaring captain by the name of Linebeck, and a mystical time-altering device by the name of the Phantom Hourglass, Link #4B rescued Tetra and the pair managed to get back on their way.
Event 6B: The Sealing of Malladus
Eventually Link #4B and Tetra did indeed discover a new land to call Hyrule, but with this new kingdom came a new evil. This second Hyrule was teeming with spirits and demons, with none more powerful than the Demon King Malladus. Malladus and his demonic armies attempted to destroy the kingdom before it could truly be built, but Tetra (now returned to the guise of Princess Zelda) joined with several good spirits to design a clever solution: seal the Demon King within a network of train rails known as Spirit Tracks, which had the added benefit of ushering in an industrial revolution for this newly established kingdom. Their plan was successful, and for the next century thousands of trains rolled happily along the Spirit Tracks, their conductors completely unaware of the evil hidden beneath them.
Source: Spirit Tracks, though I speculated on some of the details
Game 6B: Spirit Tracks
But as history should have shown the Princess, seals don't tend to work all that well in the Legend of Zelda universe. One hundred years after the founding of the new Hyrule, many of the Spirit Tracks began to disappear. The current Zelda commissioned a young, fresh engineer whom we are going to call Link #5B to investigate this mystery, which turned out to be the doing of her advisor Cole, in fact a demon in disguise. Cole managed to partially free Malladus and forcibly eject Zelda's spirit from her body; Malladus was weak enough that it now needed a host to survive, and only a person of royal blood would be able to withstand its demonic essence.
Fortunately, Zelda's disembodied spirit was able to assist Link #5B in retrieving her body, utilizing her ability to possess other beings in order to provide the young hero with back-up as he traversed and rebuilt the Spirit Tracks. Eventually they challenged Malladus and managed to return Zelda's spirit to her body, forcing Malladus to possess Cole instead. Being that Cole was not descended from royalty Malladus' presence began to destroy him, and together Link #5B and Zelda vanquished both demons once and for all. The Spirit Tracks were completely restored, and peace reigned again in the new Hyrule.
And there you have it - the complete history of Hyrule as I see it. Questions, comments, nitpicks? I'd like to hear 'em! :)
It occurs to me now that some people might prefer what we might call the "TL;DR" version. So here is the timeline I outlined, minus all the bells and whistles:
Prior to Timeline Split
1. The Minish Cap
2. Skyward Sword
3. Ocarina of Time
Hyrule A Chronology
4A. Majora's Mask
5A. Twilight Princess
6A. Four Swords/Four Swords Adventures
7A. A Link to the Past
8A. Link's Awakening
9A. The Legend of Zelda
10A. Zelda II
11A. Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages
Hyrule B Chronology
4B. The Wind Waker
5B. Phantom Hourglass
6B. Spirit Tracks
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