I've fallen down a deep hole.
I was watching an updated version of Gametrailer's Legend of Zelda Timeline and learned that Nintendo introduced a 3rd timeline in which Link was NOT successful in defeating Ganon in Ocarina of Time. Now, I can understand the other 2 timelines.
A) The Child Link Era - This is the timeline in which Ocarina of Time Link is returned his original time (him as a child) and warns Zelda and the King about Ganon's plans and they seal him away. This led to a series of games that take part where, basically, the defeat of Ganon in his tower as Adult Link never happened because Child Link stopped him. This timeline spawns the games Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess and The Four Swords.
B) The Adult Link Era -This is the timeline in which Adult Link defeated Ganon in his tower (the end of Ocarina of Time), was sent back to his proper timeline (child Link) but time continued to progress after he left. This led to a series of games that take part in a universe where the Hero of Time is real (most noticeable in The Wind Waker).
C) Now, according to Hyrule Historia, the official Zelda timeline as issued by Nintendo, there was also a 3rd timeline that occurred at the end Ocarina of Time, The Fallen Hero timeline. This is a timeline in which Ganon slays Adult Link during the finale of Ocarina of Time and obtains the Triforce, but is sealed away by the 7 Sages.
What I don't understand is if timeline C was ever portrayed or hinted at before it's reveal in Hyrule Historia? It just feels kind of random. I understand that prior to it's reveal, people were struggling to figure out the where the games that are now considered part of The Fallen Hero Timeline (A Link to the Past, The Oracle Series, Link's Awakening, A Link Between Worlds, The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link) fall in the original 2 timelines. I believe it's stated that these games were harder to piece together because they claimed that Ganon at one point had the Triforce, while in the other games you were trying to prevent him from collecting it.
Honestly, I've only played Ocarina of Time, and that was 15 years ago. I just find all this split timeline stuff interesting and learning of this 3rd Fallen Hero timeline kind of kills it for me unless there's a justified reason for it being there other than "We needed to make something up so it'd all make sense."