For over a quarter of a century The Legend of Zelda masterminds Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma have proclaimed that Link is simply an avatar that represents the player. With the release of Hyrule Historia Miyamoto has remained firmly behind that sentiment, writing “Link is the player himself . . . the player saves the world.”
The notion that you are Link has been used to explain why the hero never talks and why he is such a largely bland and unresponsive character. Now while that is mostly accurate for the earliest titles in the franchise, as soon as the series became 3D in Ocarina of Time, then Link begun showcasing his own emotions and could never truly just be you.