Understandably, it isn’t common knowledge that we all expected a reveal yesterday morning during Blizzard’s opening ceremony for BlizzCon 2017. I don’t think anyone expected what would peek out behind the curtains. Yet, WoW players will be joining “The Battle for Azeroth” soon. Heck, even I as skeptical when the leak for the trademark went through earlier that morning. I couldn’t grasp the title personally as it sounded very basic. It wasn’t until after the reveal and seeing the all mighty Dark Lady and all her glory did I feel that the name fit perfectly. There were many feels, many surprises, and very many chuckles. I enjoyed seeing Saurfang deck the living mess out of the “Crybaby King Anduin ‘I’m growing into my chin’ Wrynn” greatly (#trademark), and speaking of Papa Saurfang, I am absolutely digging the new armor set.
Side note: I do want to state that it hasn’t been confirmed that it was Varok Saurfang, BUT JUST LOOK AT ‘HE WHO CLEAVES IN TWINE’ (#trademark)!
Oh, what’s that? IT HAS BEEN CONFIRMED TO BE PAPA SAURFANG!
Ready for a quick visual recap?
THAT’S HIM ATHEON, JUST BECAUSE HE GETS SHOT WITH A FEW ARROWS AND GRUNTS DOESN’T MEAN IT’S NOT HIM! Sorry.
Then there was some of this…
This was probably the most iconic part of the cinematic, seeing The Dark Lady herself go double full badass SSJ Banshee Queen and shadow the ever living hell out of some Alliance plebs. Even you blue nerds can agree this was the best part [Alliance Pleb aka Ed. Note: Yup, I agree]. After said suffering she brings upon her victims, Sylvanas screams “FOR THE HORDE” and became the Warchief of the Horde.
Then Anduin watches Genn go “BLEH” to a troll witch doctor’s lightening bolt. So Anduin cries to the light to save them after a brief period in which he channeled his daddy to asplode the witch doctor with daddy’s sword. He yells for the blue people, and then they all run in and that’s the end.
OKAY, now that we got the five year old Spark Notes out of the way of what was clearly the not so interesting ending of the cinematic, let’s break down what is going on here story wise. Speculation and spoilers ahead. The reveal before this showed off the gameplay. Gorgeous landscapes of sea ports and fat humans carrying around what I assume to be is barrels of fish and slop, swampy jungles and dinosaur beasts, and trolls, trolls, trolls, and more trolls. Finally, yes, the trolls get their own expansion and not just a patch, but there was something at the start of the gameplay reveal that burned into everyone’s mind. That isn’t just me being cute, it was literal fire.
This is the failed world tree Teldrassil, where the Night Elf capital city Darnassus is and what most Kaldorei call their home these days. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something very different with Teldrassil from this image. OH, I see it now, it’s basically as bright as the FREAKING SUN and completely engulfed in flames. The question that still remains is how did we get here? Speculations since BlizzCon ended have finally started to surface and most agree that, with evidence from the book, and a few other sources from interviews, that we pretty much don’t know jack about what happens.
There are some good theories however. With that said, supported evidence from the early preview of Christie Golden’s new book “Before the Storm”, it is believed that a coup forming within the Undercity, has a direct influence to whatever new power source seems to be rising to the surface of Azeroth, and just like the Wrath Gate, a bit of loyalty bonds begin to break within Sylvanas’ ranks. This new splinter of Forsaken is planning to use the power for destructive purposes, is discovered by the Dark Lady and her right hand Nathanos Brightcaller. Even though they were quick to act, they reach the Darkshore just in time to see the mutinous groups schemes come to fruition, as the entirety of Teldrassil goes up like a fireball bigger than a nuclear bomb. There Sylvanas is confronted by her sister, which at this point seems to be unclear as to which one, and is forced to fight for her life, which means being forced to kill her.
These speculations are due in part to the few stills we have from BlizzCon, depicting a young elven ranger woman who seems to be kneeling off to the side of Sylvanas with arrows protruding from her back, and in another still, fallen to the ground seeming to be dead.
In the stills are a before and after shot of the Night Elf haven. In the first shot we can see Sylvanas, Nathanos, and Saurfang as stated before, and off to the right is the elven ranger with the arrows in her back. It’s unclear from this still if she’s a Night Elf, High Elf, or Blood Elf, but what is clear is that she fell recently by a hail of arrows. What is also clearly evident, is that they arrive before Teldrassil is set ablaze. In the very next still we only see Sylvanas in front of the tree, which has now caught fire, with an origination of what looks within the canopy of the tree. Nathanos and Saurfang are now missing, and the fallen Elven Ranger, is laying against some debris, seeming to be either dead, or looking out on the destruction of the tree. From this still, we get a better glimpse of the ranger’s armor. We can tell by the shoulder piece that it is double layered and somewhat greenish blue. This would only fit one profile, that being Alleria Windrunner. This is also most likely as well, the first reunion of the sisters since Alleria returned to the story. So in a rush to stop the splinter group of her people, Sylvanas probably sent Nathanos and Saurfang ahead, while she stayed with her sister after subduing her, but unfortunately they were too late. This act of the destruction of Teldrassil, who the Alliance come to believe was carried out by Sylvanas herself, comes back to bite in the form of retribution with the Alliance pushing on the Undercity calling for blood and the retaking of the once human homeland.
This entirely 100% speculation, but I can see that this may be what happens. If a spark is needed to snap the tension between the Horde and the Alliance, this would be the strike from flint to tinder, and all out war between the rivaling factions will finally begin in full force. Again. During this time, we will see Queen Azshara finally surfacing to strike at the now weakened lines of both sides, to set forward the ultimate domination of the World Soul for her Old God masters.
My final thoughts on the matter are this, all bias aside, I think we’re going to see Sylvanas again blamed for something she had no part in, and with Genn Greymane’s constant hunger for revenge, Anduin is going to be forced to act against his better judgement. Also, we’re going to see a side of Sylvanas that we’ve always wanted, a chance for her to be redeemed in the eyes of the entire world. Ever since she gave the order and stabbed Garithos in the back, Sylvanas has always and will always be my favorite character in all of Warcraft lore. She has claimed much in the acts of honorable vengeance since her emergence in Warcraft III, and for that I will follow the Dark Lady down any hole until my dying breath. While greatly misunderstood, she will still become the greatest Warchief the Horde will have and I think, especially with the new cinematic, everyone else is starting to finally believe it too.
So what do you guys think? What do you want to come from Battle for Azeroth? Let us know! And please, no spam.