The Story So Far…

So Theramore? How about it? It was certainly a thing. Yep. Certainly a thing.

Before I go on in this post I would like to warn people that there ARE spoilers for the Tides of War book lurking around. If you’re planning on reading the book you may want to skip the spoiler labeled areas.

As a service to people who had no clue what happened during the Theramore scenario, I wrote up a fairly detailed *spoilers* summary of the book on the forums.

The major things to pick up from the book that were…sort of…in game are thus:

*MORE SPOILERS BELOOOOOWWWW!*

*Forreal*

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1) Rhonin is dead. Jaina now leads the Kirin’tor.

2) A whole bunch of alliance generals are dead, including Marcus Jonathan. He was the mounted guy that sat at the entrance to Stormwind who would wave to you.

3) In his pursuit of the “Orcs are superior” mentality, Garrosh has allowed the blackrock orcs along with the dragonmaw orcs to join the Horde. Yes, the same blackrock orcs that waged war under the “warchief” Rend Blackhand.

4) Thrall does not care.Well, sort of. He didn’t care that Northwatch was wiped off the map by a group of demonically summoned magma elementals. This is something that goes against almost every shaman’s code because it’s part of why Draenor (outland) was destroyed. He also didn’t care that Theramore was decimated by a bomb so powerful it tore holes to other dimensions and wiped out entire timelines. He DID care that Jaina was going to flood Orgrimmar, so his neutrality went out the window when Org was involved. They tried to play it off by claiming it was because the water elementals reached out to him, but I guess the magma elementals didn’t matter? Oh and they wrote it off as a “thank goodness Thrall stopped Jaina because she would have killed Varian too!” to try and make it better. Convenient post-plot writing at its best.

5) Garrosh is recruiting children into the horde war machine at this point.

6) Both the alliance and horde navies were decimated by the end of the book. This leaves a small skeleton crew warring on the open seas which is how the ships end up finding Pandaria.

7) Jaina and Kalecgos sitting in a tree. B-L-E-E-G.

Please don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book as I do most of Christie Golden’s writing. However, there were some very…problematic plot holes and twists for the sake of convenience. At the start of the book Jaina goes to talk to Thrall about her issues with Garrosh and Thrall’s response is, “It’s not my problem. By the way, have you considered finding a boyfriend to even your temper out?” And like magic Kalecgos appears. Shazzam! Just like Aggra! Why work through a character’s issues using plot and character development when you can just throw a boyfriend/girlfriend in there to fix it all up? It’s funny because in real life it’s almost the exact opposite. You can’t be in a solid relationship unless you work your own issues out first. Thankfully it’s a fantasy world in more ways than one.

So they’re finally starting to throw Garrosh off the deep end. Now begins his descent into madness. The question is, why now? I would argue that it’s pressure from the fans. But for an in story excuse several reasons have been brought up:

1) Traces of Mannoroth’s fel energy corrupting him through his armor.

2) Sargeras and the burning legion

3) An as yet unnamed old God. But this one comes up EVERY TIME someone gets corrupted because old Gods are like the default answer in WoW. “What caused this? Oh an old God. Carry on then.”

Or any combination of the three along with the pressure of wanting to be great like his father.

One thing is painfully clear though – the burning legion is coming back and will most likely be the focus of the next expansion. They’re setting us up so that the horde and alliance are so entrenched in war again that invasion will be simple with our depleted resources. Methinks they’ve attempted this before!

Wrathion obviously knows this. He tells the player as much. It will also probably be the catalyst of Illidan Stormrage being brought back to life. Metzen has said he wants Illidan alive again and quests in game explain that even completely disemboweled demon hunters can come back to life with the power of an equal or stronger demon to resurrect them. It doesn’t get much stronger than Sargeras or Kil’jaeden. Expect Illidan back soon!

So what are my predictions? Well I just gave you some of them. I have a strong hunch that when Garrosh is defeated the catalyst of us fighting him will be because he’s bringing the legion back to Azeroth. Dave Kosak mentioned that even Thrall was getting involved hordeside for the siege of Orgrimmar. What would be bad enough to bring Thrall back? Maybe the signs of the legion he fought previously at the battle of Hyjal?

So Garrosh brings back the legion one way or another. The alliance and horde end up having to team up in their own ways. What do I see? I see an older Prince Anduin Wrynn leading the combined forces of the horde and alliance into battle against the legion. Given how they’ve set him up with him being the tolerant alliance NPC with ties to the horde who trained under Velen, he’s the obvious choice along with whoever is leading the horde at the time.

And WHO exactly is going to lead the horde? Lots of ideas flying around. Honestly? I’m not even sure. My hope would be a combined council of Baine Bloodhoof and Vol’jin.

People have suggested that Garrosh will end up kidnapping Thrall’s child and using blackrock orc magic to age him in the hopes of getting Thrall on his side. Then once Garrosh is deposed – Thrall’s child will take over. If this happens, I’ma be angry. Why? Because COME ON. If any lore developers are reading this, PLEASE DON’T DO THIS. This game does NOT need more “superman” characters. Med’an was a terrible character and the experience with him should never be repeated, let alone with Thrall’s son or daughter.

Truthfully I don’t see Garrosh dying. I see him splitting off the orc factions of the horde (draenor, blackrock, and dragonmaw) and becoming the next Rend Blackhand, potentially with Magatha’s grimtotem helping him out.

Either way it will be interesting to see how Pandaria will play out from a lore perspective. I’ve argued until I was blue in the face that the alliance and horde are the main villains in this expansion. We’re taking territorial invasion to a whole new level. Pandaria will be lucky if there’s anything left after we leave.

So what do you think is up with the lore? I’m pretty passionate about the story in this game. It’s fun to have a reason to read all the quests!