Interview with Madeleine Roux

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I have to say it was very informative and I had quite a positive reaction to it.

Here are some highlights from 2-hour long video:

  • She describes how working with Blizzard works, they get the rough outline and constantly communicate on what they are meant to deliver and if it’s correct with warcraft’s lore.

  • She doesn’t want to “punish anyone” she wanted to delve into each character’s perspective. She is aware that various readers hate/love certain heroes but she wanted to explore their perspective, their point of view. There won’t be split for good guys and bad guys but more like in Games of Thrones where each side has it’s own agency.

  • There are “3 factions” in this book, it’s a split between Horde, Alliance, and the Sylvanas loyalist faction, and there are 14 character perspectives.

  • Her background as horror writer will have it’s use in this book because there will be darker elements in it, and one escalation scene is very graphic and violent.

  • She doesn’t want to enforce her personal beliefs on fictional characters but explore them for what they are, it’s a fantasy world and we’re meant to explore themes, morals, perspectives, which aren’t reflecting our personal values.

  • She didn’t want to write a book with essential for the next expansion plot because she was aware of criticism previous books had, that they had to read the book to understand what is going on in-game. She wanted to explore characters and get into their perspective. She didn’t want for character to be defined by his job, but for other minor stuff, he does in life to make them 3-dimentional. And one of such attempts was with Lor’Themar doing poetry (because rugby didn’t sound fitting for elves :stuck_out_tongue: )

  • she Would like to write more stuff like above, to explore each character and give them their own perspective. But she realized that the cast of characters keeps on growing and it would be even more difficult to give them the spotlight in-game

  • if she could, she would create a third faction and slightly decrease the caste to balance out the spotlight, so we don’t have lots of nobodies that sit in the background but give organic development to established cast.

  • She is not against “big swing” plots, she is big night elf/ Tyrande fan and Teldrassil was a very emotional event but she sees a huge potential in what kind of plot it could kickstart for nelves, she also likes Nathanos a lot and had a blast writing Bwonsamdi - he was very easy, natural and pleasant to write and despite not having his character perspective he will also get his own arc. The Blizzard stuff said to not get into Bwonsamdi’s head to maintain his mystery as a deity.

  • She wanted to give Alliance more depth, showing that their Alliance starts to crumble due to too many conflicting interest and inability to keep everyone happy, it doesn’t mean that Alliance is case to be gone but to give them internal conflict, flesh them out and show that they’re not as bland and boring as people claim for them to be.

  • She said that the Horde just started a journey to work as council and they had a rocky beginnings also to realize that each subfaction has different needs, and Talanji is the most glaring example out of all. And she will have a journey to maintain control over her kingdom and figure out -together with Tyrande on how to deal with the need for vengeance as she said it would be one if not main theme of this book.


I’m liking her more and more. I didn’t read the Illidan novel yet, but most people consider that author to be the best one WoW has ever had. I wonder if she could attain that status too? I know it’s early but she at least seems to recognize the previous problems and wants to give depth to the characters and storylines. I’m optimistic about her.


I didn’t read Illidan’s book but I heard Shadows of the Horde was best from the audience?

I don’t know for sure because I never saw any poll myself, just the mentions in various comments.

But Author does have lots of nice ideas and approach to the writing, even if the book will turn out to be not so impressive I’d know that at least she tried.


Oh I like her. She gets it.


Oh I need to read that one too.

And more importantly, she’s listening which is more than Blizzard has done.


I mean, alot of this stuff sounds good. Though, personally, I’ll believe it when I see it, as she’s a writer, not a story dev or lead. Still willing to give her a shot, though.



One wonders if she will be kept on to do more writing for Blizzard, or if it will a one time job - I guess it’ll depend on the book’s success. I do hope she stays on, because as everyone has said so far, she seems to get it.


This is exactly why I just pre-ordered the book. I want to see if she really gets it right. At least she’s listening and trying to use that information, so I’m willing to put some faith in her for now.


I’m curious too but I’ll likely get myself e-book.


I love the short story. I have a lot of confidence in her to do a good job


All of the excerpts have been interesting too.

I like how the Council seems to be trying to work together, and also filled with different ideas on what is the proper way forward. Having disagreements where both sides can be in the right, or at least not displayed as incompetent or evil for disagreeing is something WoW desperately needs right now. The whole point of the Council setup is to allow multiple voices to be heard on issues, and to show that the Council is rarely in full agreement, only that they are willing to talk things out, and try to work toward the best possible solution for everyone.

The Alliance having internal discord is interesting, and I’m curious what other forms it will take. I feel like the Alliance could be a lot more … divided in opinion than it currently is.

Sira is a bit weird, I admit, but I’m pretty sure the main thrust of it being weird is that Blizzard told her: 1) She is on the Loyalist Side, and 2) She has free will which would make it… difficult to write that perspective regardless.

Overall I’m far more hopeful for this book after reading more about it, and I’ve gone from ‘never again after BTS’ to ‘I will buy this one’.


She seems cool, but it really seems like Blizzard gave her a lot of specific instructions and outlined the book pretty heavily for her. So it’s going to be more about if you like her style of writing, over the plot points in the story.

Stuff for some alliance part since we know this is going to be mostly a horde focused book with an alliance presence (estimated times).

  • 38:00 - 43:10: Talking about tensions in the alliance
  • 46:00 - 47:00: Talking about Elune who won’t really have much there is “some”
  • 47:11 - 47:40: She can’t say if Tyrande is featured in the book because she’s not allowed to talk about anything that aren’t in the excerpts, but says there are 14 character perspectives.
  • 01:17:20 - 01:17:50: Cost of revenge is a big part of this book
  • 01:19:40 - 01:21:00: She talks about Sira here and it will explore her reasoning for doing what she’s doing, I guess she says some things will be answered “directly”.

Also not too relevant, but I guess too there was a question someone wanted answered about Ashenvale (01:45:30), but he said he couldn’t ask her that because it was too specific.


Well may Elune shine upon you for the timestamps.


Sounds like what a lot of Alliance players wanted before Varian showed up.



So far I like the buzz around this writer and book. The more I see increases the chance I’ll buy the book, which would be a first for me.


Nice to see someone actually addressing the criticisms readers have had with previous novels becoming essential to understand an expansion’s story. I’ve never read her previous works, so I don’t really know what to expect in terms of writing style. Will be interesting to see what happens when it’s officially released.


What she said sounds really interesting.
Looking at a characters motive, looking for consistency etc.
I will give it a shot. We will see how it will turn out.
I’m cautiously positive.


Roux already had me hooked with the Lor’themar/Thally short story, but I am very happy with how she seems to be proceeding with her research. She seems like a legitimate fan who wants to do justice to the characters for who they are without external desires or pressures. Sira, Nate, and Talanji are only some of the characters who desperately need some time after the travesty of BFA in order to understand their current headspace and I’m glad they’re getting them. I look forward to what others will get the same respect. Very happy that Bwonsamdi will be treated as a god instead of a normal character, a being with unknowable agendas.

I was already going to give this book a legitimate shot, but I’m growing more sure of that decision by the day.


I can appreciate Madeleine trying, but until Blizzard starts putting the conflict into the game. No amount of books will save the Alliance from the bland, boring garbage they’ve had since Cataclysm. Scraps of interest swept away for bland story telling.


You vulgar harpy.

That aside, the Author seems aware of past criticism and acknowledges it. Which is something. What ever it means in the end… we shall see.