Well, by “really” I mean it’s a theory. But it’s my theory! Every action done in the past ripples forward through time. Link travels multiple times to the past, creating multiple ripples. I’ve visually laid out those ripples in a spreadsheet graphic, something no one has done before.
I’ve also included some helpful explainer text and a snippet of my larger Zelda Timeline Gold project to help my fellow Zelda timeline nerds understand how it all works. It’s elaborate and it’s not canon, but it’s still fun. So, enjoy!