Ruto, Princess of the Zora is a character from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Heir to the Zora throne, Ruto is the sometimes rebellious daughter of King Zora XVI of the Zoras. During Link's quest to defeat Ganondorf, she helps him more than once. At one point of the game, she becomes Link's fiancee.
Being one of the Seven Sages, Ruto became a legendary figure in Hyrulean mythology, to the point where a town that is named after her appears in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Stained glass windows depicting her and the other sages also appear in the cellar of Hyrule Castle in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, there is also a valuable item called Ruto's Crown.
Like Link and Princess Zelda, Ruto was born during the Hyrulean Civil War to King Zora XVI and a Zora woman. Her mother either died or was divorced and Ruto had no choice but to live with her father for a few years, although it is more likely she died some time after the Hyrulean Civil War since Ruto noted that the Zora's Sapphire was "my (Ruto's) mother's stone" and that her mother had told her to give the stone to the man who would become her husband one day. Going by that assumption, Ruto would be around ten in the past and around seventeen in the future. Being a princess, Ruto has a sacred duty to feed Lord Jabu-Jabu, the guardian deity of the Zora race. While feeding a customary fish to Lord Jabu-Jabu, Ruto was swallowed whole by the water god. Apparently, Ruto was used to this, as according to her she had been exploring Jabu-Jabu's belly ever since she was younger, but eventually, while she was swallowed, Ruto managed to lose Zora's Sapphire, the Spiritual Stone of Water. Not only that, but Ruto noticed strange and hostile creatures that had taken root within the innards of Jabu-Jabu. Shortly after, a letter in a bottle, written as a plea for help pertaining to Ruto's current whereabouts, was eventually carried down to Lake Hylia.
During his quest to find the Spiritual Stones, Link, still just a boy, dives into the waters of Lake Hylia and finds the bottle with the message. He shows the note to King Zora, who allows him to enter Zora's Fountain to help find her. Link uses a fish to enter Lord Jabu-Jabu. Inside, he finds Ruto, who tells him about the situation. Despite this, she acts rather cold and callous towards Link. Link is given the honor of carrying her, and together, the two manage to find Zora's Sapphire up on a ledge. Link throws her up on the platform, but it turns out to be a trap. After defeating a Big Octo, Link chases after her and encounters Barinade, the boss of the dungeon. After Barinade is defeated, Ruto appears at the dungeon exit point, complaining about the time it took for Link to find her. Outside, Ruto acknowledges Link's courage and presents him with Zora's Sapphire. Unbeknownst to Link, to the Zora, the Spiritual Stone is similar to a wedding ring; thus, Link becomes betrothed to Ruto.
After Link is sealed away in the Sacred Realm, he awakens and is given a new quest; to awaken the Seven Sages. Link eventually returns to Zora's Domain and finds that almost everything has been encased in ice. He braves the trials of the Ice Cavern and the mysterious Sheik tells him about the curse that now plagues Zora's Domain and that he managed to save Ruto from being encased under the thick ice. Link dives deep beneath Lake Hylia and enters the Water Temple. In the temple, he meets Ruto, who is happy to see him again. However, the two do not have much time to talk, and Ruto relays some information about the temple to Link before she disappears. After Link defeats Morpha, he is transported to the Chamber of Sages where he discovers that Ruto is indeed the Sage of Water. Ruto, initially scolding him for making her wait so many years for him, tells him that she still loved him and how sorry she is that the two cannot be together, and gives Link the Water Medallion. She and the other sages help Link seal away Ganon and restore peace to Hyrule.
During the celebration that follows, King Zora can be seen mourning the fact that he may never see his daughter again. Ruto makes a final appearance overlooking the peaceful, joyful land from Death Mountain together with the other sages.
In the mangaEdit
In the manga, during the childhood chapters, Ruto is swallowed by Lord Jabu-Jabu on purpose because the husband her father presented was not acceptable to her. She gives Link, whom she has grown fond of, the Zora's Sapphire after he saves her life. She has a huge crush on Link, and truly believes that they are meant to be married.