(for giggles post inspired by http://asilearntarot.com/ originally written 4/20/14)
The story of the Four of Swords bears a striking similarity to The Legend of Zelda Four Swords Adventures. You might not be expecting that level of introspection from this classic Zelda game, but it just might surprise you with it’s intellectual depths.
“A small pointed face with ears that makes it seem not-human, breaks into this somber scene of reflection on the path that led the knight ‘inevitably’ to his death, laughing (not unkindly) at the ego’s high drama.”
It’s obvious here that the pointed face belongs to Link himself. It would only make sense that one of his extra-dimensional facets would ‘break’ into this somber scene to remark at the display. The real question is, was this a shadow link looking in at his doppelganger self, or one of his 3 other newly split reflections. The laughter’s meaning would vary greatly depending on which variant was observing the scene, however ironic it is that they are all derived from the same original source Link.
The source of the scene of reflection is made all the more symbolic when you look at it through this lens. Link realizes that his choices and actions have resulted in the physical manifestations of these Shadow Links, that are terrorizing the land, in addition to his spirit being split into four similar yet different reflections of himself. While physically similar, each bore a differently colored tunic, representing a world or lifetime of different choices. Such a genius move to just use different colored clothing to quickly symbolize an entirely parallel, yet different timeline. Link not only has to face his inner demons, but reconcile 3 other shades which could also symbolize his self doubt, duty to the kingdom, and hatred of pots.
It is only once he is able to look in on himself pan-dimensionaly, while reflecting on his other selves, that he can finally begin to understand the absurdity of consciousness, and cannot then help but laugh. If Link is able to understand who is actually laughing and who, without having someone explain it to him afterwards, then he will be able to complete the transition and attain the unattainable…and/or realize that the ideal he initially sought is only one aspect of the whole.