Time Line

This time line has five Zeldas and five Links. The sleeping Zelda in AoL is Zelda IV (from the Oracle games). Note that, in TWW, I use the names "Ganondorf" and "Ganon" interchangeably. The history of Hyrule, according to the standard NOA order, is as follows:

      - Link I and Zelda I (OoT, MM)
      - Alternate Future (second half of OoT)
      - Link II and Zelda II (TWW)
      - Link III and Zelda III (ALttP, LA)
      - Link IV and Zelda IV (Oracle)
      - Link V and Zelda V (LoZ, AoL)

Date Event Source
0 H.R. According to legend, the golden goddesses Din, Nayru and Farore create the world of Hyrule and all the life forms in it. Before departing for the heavens, they leave behind their gift to the world: the Triforce, three golden triangles that can grant their holder's greatest wish. A Golden Land begins to flourish around the Triforce's hiding-place, and the Triforce beckons to people from the outside world, in hopes of finding somebody worthy of its power. OoT and ALttP
1000 H.R. The Hylia, the chosen people of the goddesses, settle in various parts of the world, passing on their knowledge and magical lore to many people. Around this time, the kingdom of Hyrule is founded in the small land south of Death Mountain. The Triforce is possibly used by these ancient people. ALttP
3000 H.R. Great sages, including Rauru, the Sage of Light, realize that the Triforce poses a hazard if it falls into the wrong hands. They hide the Triforce in the Golden Land, and seal the entrance. The Triforce now rests in the Temple of Light in the middle of the Sacred Realm, and the entrance to the Sacred Realm is sealed by the Master Sword, which rests in the Temple of Time in the kingdom of Hyrule. OoT
4000 H.R. The Book of Mudora, compiling all the legends and myths in Hyrule, is compiled. ALttP
5000 H.R. By now, not even the Sages know where the Triforce is hidden. Lust for the Triforce's power is strong, and the people of Hyrule, suspicious that one group or another is hiding the Triforce, attack each other. Hyrule is engulfed by a fierce civil war. OoT, ALttP
5040 H.R. Link I and Zelda I are born in Hyrule. To escape the fires of the war, Link's mother takes him to the forbidden forest. There, the Great Deku Tree takes him in, and he is raised a Kokiri. OoT
5050 H.R. The King of Hyrule stops the fighting, and a time of peace takes effect as the King attempts to unite Hyrule. Ganondorf, the King of the Gerudo thieves, secretly continues to search for the Triforce. OoT
5051 H.R. Link I, now a young lad, leaves the Kokiri Forest on a quest to stop Ganondorf's plot to enter the Sacred Realm. Link opens the entrance to the Sacred Realm by drawing the Master Sword, but his spirit is sealed away for seven years until he is old enough to be the Hero of Time. Meanwhile, Ganondorf and his band of thieves enter the Sacred Realm. Ganondorf gets the Triforce of Power, and uses it to become Mandrag Ganon, King of the Enchanted Thieves. The Triforce of Wisdom goes to Princess Zelda, and the Triforce of Courage goes to Link. As Ganon builds his power, Hyrule is consumed by darkness. First half of OoT, ALttP manual
5051 H.R. Link I wakes up, having battled Ganon in the alternate future, and warns Zelda I about Ganon's intentions. OoT
While Link sleeps, Ganon takes the opportunity to conquer Hyrule and set himself up as the Evil King of Hyrule. Seven years later, Link I returns as the Hero of Time. Freeing the Sages, he defeats Ganondorf. Ganondorf transforms into Ganon, but Link holds Ganon off long enough for the Sages to seal him in the Sacred Realm. Zelda I sends Link back in time, ending this alternate future. Second
of OoT
5051 H.R. Link departs to find a beloved friend, taking the Triforce of Courage with him and leaving the Triforce of Wisdom with Zelda. When he leaves Hyrule, the Triforce of Courage splits apart and is scattered all over Hyrule. It is hidden carefully away in treasure chests. In the midst of his journey, Link stumbles by accident into the parallel world of Termina. He saves Termina from the power of Majora's Mask. Majora's Mask, TWW
5052 H.R. While Link is away, the King of Hyrule orders the tainted Golden Land sealed, but Ganon's army attacks the castle. As the Knights defend the Sages from Ganon's monsters, the Seven Sages seal Ganon inside the Golden Land. This battle comes to be known as the Imprisoning War in later centuries. ALttP manual
5300 H.R. Ganon's power is returned to him, and he kills the descendants of the seven sages, allowing him to escape from the Dark World back into Hyrule. He covers Hyrule with darkness, and kills the sages who were giving the Master Sword its power. Ganon builds a tower and an army in preparation to take over Hyrule. The people wait for the Hero of Time to return, but he never does. TWW
5302 H.R. Ganon's army attacks Hyrule Castle. In their last desperate hour, the people of Hyrule pray to the gods. The gods decide to bury Hyrule under torrential rains. The people of Hyrule are ordered to take refuge on mountaintops. The Master Sword forms a seal freezing Hyrule in time, and keeping Ganon's power sealed away. Hyrule is buried at the bottom of the ocean, and life begins anew on islands formed from Hyrule's mountaintops. A piece of the Triforce of Wisdom is given to the descendants of the Royal Family, and they are charged with guarding it. The King remains below, waiting for a day when Hyrule can be revived, charged with finding a hero in case Ganon is revived. TWW
5590 H.R. On Outset Island, Link II, a boy unrelated to the Hero of Time, is born. A girl is born to a great female pirate captain, and is named Tetra. TWW
5601 H.R. Ganon is revived once again, and is able to make a portal leading to the surface world. Taking over the Forsaken Fortress, he sends his servants over the ocean in search of the missing pieces of the Triforce. TWW
5602 H.R. Link II celebrates his coming-of-age, but his younger sister Aryll is kidnapped by one of Ganondorf's servants, confusing her for Tetra. Asking for help from Tetra's pirates, Link tries to invade the Forsaken Fortress, but is thrown from the tower. A mysterious boat rescues him, and leads him on a quest to get the Master Sword, the only blade that can defeat Ganon. After collecting three pearls, and passing the test of the gods, a portal appears, leading to the frozen world of Hyrule beneath the waves. Link takes the Master Sword from Hyrule Castle, but this releases the seal, unfreezing Hyrule and releasing Ganon's full power. Link saves his sister with the help of the pirates, but the Master Sword has no effect on Ganondorf. Tetra, the young female captain of the pirates, and Link are rescued and taken to Hyrule. There, the King of Hyrule reveals that Tetra is actually Princess Zelda, and gives her the rest of the Triforce of Wisdom. The King was the guiding force behind the boat. He leads Link on a quest to return the power of evil's bane to the Master Sword, and to find the hidden Triforce of Courage shards. Armed with these weapons, Link arrives back in Hyrule to discover that Zelda has been kidnapped. Breaking Ganon's barrier around Hyrule Castle, he climbs Ganon's Tower. At the top, Ganondorf is able to steal the other two pieces of the Triforce from Link and Zelda. But before he can touch the united Triforce, the King touches it and wishes for Hyrule to be buried under the waves for good. Link and Zelda defeat Ganondorf, turning him to stone when Link sticks the Master Sword in his head. But Hyrule is buried under water, and Link and Tetra must now find a new land to call Hyrule. TWW
5603 H.R. A new Hyrule is founded. -
5700 H.R. Ganon is revived. Since the Triforce was buried with Hyrule, Ganon finds all the pieces and claims them for himself. But he is sealed away in the Dark World when seven new sages are found. -
6000 H.R. Link III and Zelda III are born in Hyrule. -
6014 H.R. Many disasters suddenly plague Hyrule. ALttP manual
6015 H.R. Agahnim appears in Hyrule, stops the disasters, and is made one of the King's top advisors. He secretly overthrows the King, and begins sending the descendants of the Sages into the Dark World, in a plot to free Ganon. Zelda III contacts Link III, the Legendary Hero, telepathically. Link III fights Agahnim, but Agahnim is able to break the Seven Sages' Seal. Link goes on to save all of the maidens from the Dark World. He completely destroys Ganon, and claims the united Triforce. Link uses the Triforce to do much good. ALttP
6015 H.R. The people of Hyrule fear what evils may arise from Ganon's ashes. Ever diligent, Link III leaves on a journey of enlightenment. Link's Awakening
6016 Link's journey now complete, he begins sailing back to Hyrule. However, a sudden squall destroys his ship, and Link drifts to the island of Koholint. There he defeats Nightmares to gather together eight Instruments and wake the Wind Fish. Koholint Island disappears, and Link is left once again with the flotsam of his ship. He drifts, possibly back to Hyrule. Link's Awakening
6100 H.R. The united Triforce is placed in the Hyrule Castle. As it rests, it watches over Hyrule. Inferred from Oracle
6493 H.R. Link IV and Zelda IV are born in Hyrule. -
6500 H.R. Twinrova masterminds a plot to revive Ganon. By sending Onox to Holodrum and Veran to Labrynna, she plans to light the three flames of Sorrow, Destruction, and Despair. This would bring Ganon's spirit back from the beyond, and then Princess Zelda's body would be used to revive Ganon. Oracle
6505 H.R. The Triforce sends Link IV on a mission to Holodrum. There, Link is able to defeat Onox, saving Din, the Oracle of Seasons, but nonetheless the Flame of Destruction is lit. OoS
6507 H.R. The Triforce sends Link IV on a quest to Labrynna. Link prevents Veran from destroying Labrynna, but cannot prevent the Flames of Sorrow and Despair from being lit. Princess Zelda travels alone to Labrynna to help Link. Twinrova kidnaps her, planning to use her pure body to revive Ganon. Link rescues Zelda by defeating Twinrova, but Twinrova sacrifices herself to revive the Evil King. Link defeats Ganon, but Ganon is not banished from the world. OoA
6510 H.R. After Ganon's defeat, the King of Hyrule uses the Triforce to keep the peace and unite Hyrule. Before he dies, he hides the Triforce of Courage, and seals it away with a complex magical key. After his death, his son inherits only part of the Triforce. An evil wizard, working with the prince, puts the prince's younger sister, Zelda IV, to sleep for refusing to tell them where the rest of the Triforce is. The wizard dies casting this spell, and nobody can wake up Zelda. The prince decrees that every princess in the royal line from then on shall be named Zelda, so this tragedy would not be forgotten. AoL manual
6850 H.R. Ganon's ashes wake up from their slumber. The world is thrown into an Age of Chaos. Ganon sets himself up as Prince of Darkness, and begins building an army of monsters. Inferred from LoZ
6900 H.R. Link V and Zelda V are born, possibly in different countries. -
6910 H.R. Ganon's army invades Hyrule and steals the Triforce of Power. Zelda V splits the Triforce of Wisdom and hides the pieces in eight Underworld labyrinths, and Ganon kidnaps her. Impa, Zelda's nursemaid, is sent to find a brave man to fight Ganon. She is almost captured by Ganon's henchmen, but Link V saves the day. Link V travels through eight underworld labyrinths to reunite the Triforce of Wisdom. Entering Death Mountain and finding the Silver Arrows, he defeats Ganon and takes the Triforce of Power from his ashes. LoZ
6916 H.R. Though Link defeated Ganon, Hyrule does not have peace. Ganon's monsters roam the land, and Ganon's ashes can be revived if Link is sacrificed, and his blood sprinkled on the ashes. Link V approaches his 16th birthday, and one day the Triforce symbol appears on his hand. Concerned, he goes to see Impa, who tells him about the ancient Princess Zelda IV, who is still under the sleeping spell. Link V recovers the Triforce of Courage from the Great Palace in the Valley of Death, and with the united Triforce awakens Zelda IV from her ancient sleeping spell and brings peace to Hyrule. AoL