Stripping the Night Elf Story of Its Revolutionary Content

So Malfurion and Tyrande are leaders of a people that overthrew the ruling class of their empire in a violent chaotic upheaval that shattered the world, and then proceeded to radically reformulate their society along different principles. That’s a fact of the lore. Unfortunately, this fact is stripped of all revolutionary content because the story is centered entirely around Foreigner Corrupter Demons and Good People vs Evil People, rather than struggle between classes erupting into open warfare for control over society.

Like, instead of Highborn being turned against because of their oppression of their own people growing to outrageous proportions, they simply become bad because they are corrupted by Foreigners. Tyrande and Malfurion are not emphasized as leaders taking the reigns of a spontaneous uprising by oppressed masses to gain political power and reshape society, but simple disillusioned Good Guys taking on the Bad Corrupted Guys. The arts of the Highborn are not said to be outlawed post-sundering because they represent the very mechanisms by which the disposed ruling class maintained power and therefor fundamentally hostile to the new regime, but because they might attract foreigner demons.

I find that all pretty sad and boring when taken at face value.
But hey, that’s WoW!


I’m guessing it had something to do with the Legion of demons attempting to enter the world.


Delicious, sizzling hot take, though I wouldn’t say the glossing-over of class struggle/proletariat uprisings/anti-imperialism in media as a simple conflict between Poor Good Guys and Rich Bad Guys is exclusive to Blizzard. We can see many examples of this in children’s movies as well (Fern Gully, A Bug’s Life, Chicken Run, Spirited Away).

Though written for different demographics, I would say Blizzard and the aforementioned movies both use euphemism as a means of exploring such conflicts “safely”, i.e. without raising the eyebrows of any producers or ruffling the feathers of any liberals, including themselves.

In my opinion, I think the reason so many fantasy stories depict class conflict through the mask of elves vs. wizards, goblins vs. dragons, [insert any other combinations here] is because to the average audience member, the basic concept of an underdog or downtrodden people rising up in the name of justice and freedom is intrinsically appealing. When they see such a conflict in the real world, however, the switch flips and a much smaller number of them remain sympathetic. It’s unfortunate, but that seems to be more often than not the case.


That’s kind of the point I was making though, that instead of diving into more detail on the revolutionary aspects of the story, we get the story of the Legion Corrupting The Highborn. Maybe I didn’t articulate it clearly enough.

Oh it’s for sure not exclusive to Blizzard. I was just pointing out that its an aspect of the Night Elf story often overlooked or not talked about in such terminology.

The most contrarian take I have seen has been to accuse the Night Elves of being a theocracy, which isn’t as interesting to me if it’s used merely as a way to say “night elves = bad” and divorce the “theocratic regime” of its context, the context being that the political leaders of a revolutionary struggle against the former oppressive regime used religion as a political tool and ideological expression of that struggle, resulting in the “theocratic” society which replaced the old regime.

For instance, I have been told it is remarked somewhere (one of those damn books I don’t actually care enough to buy or read, unfortunately!) that the religion of Elune became much more associated with the commoners, the Lowborn, by the time the Empire had reached its peak, since the Highborn were no longer as interested in it, preferring to delve much more deeply into their study of the Arcane arts for their own personal power (and, of course, conversing with the Legion). I therefor find it in no way a coincidence that the Church of Elune would become the dominant political force in the post-sundering society, as it is the cultural institution the Lowborn had clung to and whose High Priestess had joined them in their struggle for liberation against the Arcane Highborn, making it the one institution organized enough, and with enough popular support, to seize political control after Highborn had been disposed.

(Also, as a side note, I am salty because I remember someone said the Night Elves were like Iran once as an insult and I think slanders against modern day Iran are primarily motivated by islamophobic racism and often express ignorance of the brutality of the Pahlavi regime which the modern state, regardless of what we think of it, replaced.)


Another “I don’t like the connotations of the fantasy story for real life” thread :neutral_face: although:

This is hilarious. It doesn’t even make sense rofl.


Between this and the other topic, it comes off as “how I wish the story was” rather than problems that the story present. It was always going to be about defeating the demon invaders. The whole Highborne supporting the Legion and being disposed of was just giving a few layers to the story.

Sure it could have been a much different( and depending on tastes more interesting )story, but suggesting that including demons ‘stripped’ characters of their revolution is inherently wrong.


Well, that’s not exactly my point either. I mean yeah sure some of it is the “connotations for real life”, some of it is just a thought I had about the story which that sparked my interest that I thought I’d also share here in this forum dedicated to such things, to see what others have to say!

Do you mean it doesn’t make sense me being salty over it, or that it doesn’t make sense to compare the Night Elves to Iran? If the latter, I agree it is a weak comparison, but I think the angle it was going for with the was that both are supposedly “theocracies”, or something like that.

I mean, to an extent, sure. There is some of that involved. I don’t think that necessarily invalidates the topic of discussion on this forum.

Then perhaps it is inadvertently that the situation comes about, precisely because of those “few layers” they added to actually flesh out the story. If we had just the Night Elves vs Demons, without the internal dynamic of their society, then it’s a different story entirely. Instead, there is an internal dynamic, with a regime change, etc. We have two opposed castes or classes, violent upheaval, a leader overthrown, an Empire ended, the reformulation of a society, etc, only stripped of revolutionary language to describe it, because as you said “it’s (was) always (going to be) about demon invaders”.


Doesn’t make sense as an insult. I’m not that heartless.

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I disagree. Azshara could be described as the pinnacle of aristocratic excess. You seem to forget she had a hand in Sargeras’s invasion.

I think the good faith of the people while they are being railroaded was shown well with characters like Ravencrest and the soldiers in the Night Elven host. They hoped for their leadership to be something better, while fighting against it on multiple fronts. Which seems like the plight of the proletariat under the cults of personality that manipulate them for nefarious purposes.

A nation’s leader colluding with foreign powers to destroy that nation for their leaders personal enrichment is not unheard of. Looking back at the past few years, it is quite true to life.


Sounds a bit like how US hegemony functions. Good thing Hong Kong passed that national security law or that is exactly what would have happened to Hong Kong.

Keep up the good work homie. You are opening my eyes up to the lack luster writing of the WoW story.

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The way this Poster kisses rump, I dare say the OP may be ill. His buddy’s face mask is bright green from it. That could indicate a problem.

Call me old school, but when people discuss China today, I often think back to the Wars between the West and China in the 19th century, and how China got a raw deal back then. That never seems to enter the conversation.

The situation in Hong Kong is that rotten tree bearing fruit.


And it’s crazy how people will argue that because the US and UK have changed leadership and policies since then that it’s not worth reflecting upon or considering how their past actions contributed to the present situation. Or how it kind of put them in the situation they find themselves in today.

“But it was so long ago!”


Blizzard indicated they don’t really care about those sort of stories in the same manner they don’t care about some democratic uprising taking place in Stormwind. Whatever.


I’m sure it has nothing to do with the revolution happening ten thousand years ago, or Tyrande/Malfurion not dying as heroes, so they lived long enough to become the villains.

After all,

"Only the goddess may deny me anything."


I like the sentiment, but it is actually:

“Only the goddess may forbid me anything”

And I like that. It is one of my favorite things Tyrande says. There is a subtle difference between “deny” and “forbid”.

Though, I would laugh if Elune walked up to Tyrande and said : “hush, girl.”


Okay? So her people can’t forbid her anything. She’s empress Azshara, without the old god / burning legion bend. My point remains the same. She didn’t die a hero and lived long enough to become the villain.



Kind of sounds like you’re just looking for a reason to confirm what you believe about her to me. She’s hardly a villain.


She tries to commit genocide against the first humans and orcs she sees immediately after her people do the same thing.

sounds like you’re trying to confirm your own bias, to me.


If xenophobic jerk is your criteria for villain you have a very low bar.

If “I want to kill every race who enters Ashenvale in complete totality” is your idea of “xenophobic jerk” and not “genocidal monster”, I’m unsure that your measure of where my bar sits is relevant at all.