The Seven Maidens, also known as the Shrine Maidens, is a recurring group in the Legend of Zelda series. They are seven young women who inherited magical abilities from their ancestors, the Seven Wise Men. Six of the maidens are named after the color they represented and wear, with the exception of the seventh maiden, Princess Zelda. Although the two different groups that appear share the same traits, they are two different groups of maidens throughout Hyrule's history, possibly from the same bloodlines.
In the original English localization for A Link to the Past, the Seven Maidens were said to be descendants of the Seven Wise Men. However, this is the result of a translation error. In the Japanese version, the wise men are referred to as the Seven Sages. This flaw was later fixed in the Game Boy Advance port of A Link to the Past.
Having disposed of the King of Hyrule, the evil wizard Agahnim executes a plan involving the capture of the Seven Maidens, descendants of the Seven Sages who had sealed Ganon away during the Imprisoning War. He imprisons Princess Zelda, who is revealed to be one of the Seven Maidens, in the dungeon of Hyrule Castle. Sending them to the Dark World by performing a dark ritual, Agahnim seals the maidens within crystals and places them deep within seven of the dungeons of the Dark World. Eventually, Princess Zelda comes in telepathic contact with the youth, Link, who travels to Hyrule Castle in order to rescue her. After her rescue, Link recovers the three Pendants of Virtue and recovers the legendary Master Sword in order to break the seal Agahnim placed on the Hyrule Castle Tower; however, Princess Zelda is recaptured by Agahnim's forces. At the top of the Hyrule Castle Tower, Link arrives in time to see Zelda being sent to the Dark World; after a battle with Agahnim, the wizard manages to bring Link into the Dark World.
In the Dark World, Link gradually rescues the Seven Maidens from their imprisonment, and in exchange, they reveal part of the motives of Ganon and the events of the past. After the rescue of Zelda, the final maiden, the united maidens use their power to open a gateway into Ganon's Tower. After a second battle with Agahnim at the top of the tower, Ganon abandons the body of Agahnim and flees to the Pyramid. Link defeats Ganon in battle and makes a wish to the Triforce for all of Ganon's evil to be undone. In the sequence that follows, the Seven Maidens are shown celebrating together with the revived King of Hyrule.
Worried by a dark energy emanating from the seal placed on Vaati, the Wind Mage that had been sealed away inside the Four Sword Sanctuary, the Seven Maidens ask Link to protect them while they check on the seal. As they open the portal to the sanctuary, Shadow Link appears and imprisons them within seven crystals, sealing them away throughout the various dungeons of Hyrule. Using the power of the Four Sword, Link embarks on a quest to rescue them. After being rescued, the maidens transform themselves into fairies in order to aid Link and lead him to the next maiden's location. Additionally, together with Link, they figure out the origin of Shadow Link and discover that a man named Ganondorf had stolen the Trident from the Pyramid and used Shadow Link to free Vaati from imprisonment. After much traveling, battling, and searching, Link is able to save all of the maidens, who in turn, help him defeat Ganon and seal him within the Four Sword. Once peace has been restored to Hyrule, they return to their individual homelands.
In Breath of the Wild, the Seven Heroines of the Gerudo people may be inspired by they Seven Maidens or even an incarnation of them. The Ramella notes the Seven Heroines are said to be the divine protectors of the Gerudo indicating they may be deities though could also be heroic women who were deified upon their death or the Gerudo came to consider them as deities as Gerudo are known to pray to the spirits of the deceased such as Urbosa and Zelda's mother the Queen of Hyrule. Thus its possible an incarnation of the Seven Maidens became to be considered heroines by the Gerudo people and eventually became considered the divine protectors of the Gerudo. However the existence of an Eighth Heroine implies this may not be the case though the Eighth Heroine's significance is unclear.
|Link (x4) · Princess Zelda · Six Maidens · Vaati|
—Full list of characters
|Phantom Ganon · Helmaroc King · Stone Arrghus · Jalhalla · Dagtail · Frostare · Big Dodongo · Vaati · Ganon|
|Whereabouts of the Wind · Eastern Hyrule · Death Mountain · Near the Fields · The Dark World · The Desert of Doubt · Frozen Hyrule · Realm of the Heavens|
—Full list of locations
|Bomb · Bombos Medallion · Boomerang · Bow · Fire Rod · Four Sword · Lantern · Magic Hammer · Quake Medallion · Shield · Slingshot|
|Blue Bracelet · Carrot · Force Gem · Force Fairy · Heart · Heart Container · Moon Pearl · Pegasus Boots · Power Bracelet · Roc's Feather · Shovel · Small Key|
|Knight Mark · Letter · Magic Book · Royal Jewels · Vaati Barrier|
|Gerudo · Goron · Hylian · Zuna|