What is an inode?
A way to address a group of blocks on disk, each inode contains some metadata, but does not include the name.
Each name can either be a hard link or a symlink. The inode keeps track of how many hard links there are to it. If there are 0 hard links, the inode is slated to be overwritten in the future.
blocks [1,2,3,4] <- inode <- hardlink <- symlink
This can be examined in ext4 with