The Legend of Zelda remains one of Nintendo's most popular series, but like many of the company's first-party games, it's often criticized for sticking too closely to its decades-old formula. At the same time, no element of the series has caused more backlash than The Wind Waker's introduction of Toon Link, which was considered by many fans to be too childish. That got us thinking: What if Nintendo decided to slay both criticisms at the same time in the most extreme way possible: By hiring Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin to write the next Zelda game.

An Unsullied Heroine
The first thing Martin would want to change is Zelda herself. Despite being the titular character of the series, Zelda often gets stuck in a traditional princess role in her own games, passively waiting for Link to come rescue her from wherever she is imprisoned/hiding/sealed inside of a crystal.

Martin will have a more active role in mind for Zelda. While Link is off gallivanting around Hyrule taking part in every horse race, shoveling contest, and carnival shooting gallery he comes across, Zelda will quietly be amassing her own army of eunuch slaves to take back her kingdom herself. She'll also hatch and raise a couple of fire-breathing dragons to boot, because a girl needs options.

House Ganondorf
In a surprise twist, Ganon won't be the main source of Link's troubles in Martin's new Zelda game. Instead, Link will have to contend with Ganon's unruly offspring, whom Ganon quietly manipulates from the shadows.

A brash but charismatic knight, a quick-witted dwarf who actually seems pretty cool, and a petulant prince you can't wait to see die are just some of the members of Ganon's bloodline that you'll be up against as you try to regain control of Hyrule. Luckily, Ganon's kids will spend as much time fighting with each other as they do Link, so for the most part you can just sit back and wait for the family to implode.

Dangerous And Powerful Magic
Link has used a variety of magic items during his adventures, from enchanted shields and clothing to a variety of element-infused rods. In Martin's Zelda game, however, magic will take on a much darker tone.

Blood Magic will allow Link to summon the spirits of long-dead warriors in order to poison and curse his foes – just be careful the treacherous sorcery doesn't backfire on you. If that's not dark enough for you, one particularly shocking boss encounter will require Link to first impregnate the Great Fairy, who in turn will give birth to a Shadow Link that will then assassinate his enemy. Now that's a boss battle!

Coming Up Next: George R. R. Martin's trademark storytelling shines through...