So this right here exemplifies everything that is Zelda (or rather, Link) to me. Zelda walks this thin line showing how things can be thematically dark without just being dark for the sake of. This is why I kind of believe that thematically it makes more sense that Link is a child in most of his iterations (with multiple reasons). Link is thematically recognized for his courageous/wholly good nature and a child seems to thematically fit this. This also allows for the journey Link undergoes to be much more integral to the growth of his character without the game throwing it in your face (by having the journey feel so much more integral to you as a player). This is excellent game design: it was always *my* adventure to gain the master sword, defeat Ganon, and save Zelda. By the end of *my* adventure as Link, although *I* was a child (in various iterations), *I* was not “just a child.”
I would not say that Link is innocent but his childlike depictions are integral to the design of him representing important to all of us: Hope and the ability to face our problems.
I’m on a bit of a Zelda thing right now.