The Calling - Anduin's Short Story

Not a bad read. No major lore bombs or anything.

Written by Christie Golden, but I think she touched on what it’s like to suffer PTSD fairly well (said by someone who hasn’t experienced it themself). My only real criticism is that it still feels like Anduin Wrynn of all people has no business experiencing PTSD to begin with. Still comes off as so much self pity. This whole guilt arc they have him going through feels extremely unearned. It’d be one thing if he’d killed someone directly with his own hands, but the fact he was dominated at the time just doesn’t make it feel justified. He has his, ‘get out of jail free card,’ basically.

Never thought I’d say this, but for as annoying as Sad Orc Saurfang was, at least he had some actual justification for it, seeing where the Horde he helped build ended up.

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As someone who was diagnosed with PTSD, I can assure you the person experiencing it often feels the same way, in fact it’s often why we don’t get treatment for so bloody long because we know we can’t have it because what we went through certainly wasn’t that bad, others have clearly had it worse. The brain, however, doesn’t give a rat’s behind what we think of the situation it just does what it does and when you complain just flips you off and resumes being itself.

The problem you and others will have is you are looking at it logically going through some imagined check list and deciding that if enough points haven’t been added to the tally, then it clearly can’t be PTSD because it hasn’t hit that magical number. That’s just not how it works. Two people can experience the same thing and walk away with very different experiences and reactions.

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Thank you for finding this, huge Storm song fan, its where my Tidesage character is from.

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Looking at it purely from a psychological perspective, you’re right. In real life, I would not question a diagnosis of PTSD based on another’s experiences.

That said, WoW is a fantasy setting. That isn’t to say something should be blown out of proportion to be justified, but rather that a character’s writing should be a product of their experiences in a way that the reader (or in this case, player), can understand. It’s why a character’s writing can seem jarring if the reader isn’t able to connect those dots.

This short story seems to take a stab at that, but it STILL doesn’t address the fact that Anduin was not in control of himself. Blizzard keeps ignoring this because they want to tell the, ‘Sad Anduin,’ crisis of faith story.

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It is starting to get alittle over done. Nothong to do with realistic or not its more “I kinda dont want to see one of my favorite characters just constantly suffering.”

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See, I could accept an, “Anduin is suffering,” story, if the premise for it made sense.

If, say, Anduin chose to ally with Sylvanas and the Jailer, and stabbed the Archon himself, then sure, all this is absolutely justified. Instead, he was not in control of himself at all. Watching this sort of thing can absolutely be traumatic, but blaming himself for it hits the self-pity point.

Right now it just feels like… if someone tore off my arm and beat a child to death with it, and I’m the one feeling guilty for some reason. It doesn’t make sense.

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I think what you’re misunderstanding is domination doesn’t make you a lifeless meat puppet. While the Jailer did control him, he was still fully aware of what was happening, what he was doing. The domination magic made it so his mind thought he was doing it of his free will, thought that he was enjoying it, even if logically you can say “Well it was just the magic” that’s not how the mind and emotions work.

Look at the death knights, controlled by domination magic through the helm, but while they were enslaved they still had their own personalities, emotions, where fully aware of what they were and forced to feel joy from it. That’s why so many DK’s joined the major factions, to repent out of shame and guilt for all the horror they did, even if they technically were forced to and had a “Get out of jail free card” as you put it

Heck I can’t count the amount of times irl I felt bad or guilty about something that wasn’t my fault or out of my control, so I can’t imagine what domination magic is like or what Anduin, still a very young man, is going through, right on the heels of two horrific world wars

I think that’s one of the major differences between Domination and simple Mind control, domination keeps your sense of self and makes you truly believe all the things you are doing of your own free will and that you truly enjoy it - even if logically you know that’s false.

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Is there an actual source for this? Last I checked, Domination magic was more alone the lines of, “You’re witnessing everything your meat puppet of a body is being forced to do,” not, “You’ve been hypnotized into doing all this stuff and like it at the same time.”

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Im not gonna lie, I have looked into domination magic and…I still dont really get it.

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I mean this story itself and the multiple times we had insight from Anduin himself, he says how he couldn’t tell if the thoughts and emotions were stuff the domination magic was making him do and feel or if it was stuff he was actually feeling.

And again look at literally any DK’s.

People feeling guilt or trauma for a state of being that was out of their control is very common.

If someone was say high out their mind on some crazy drug and on such a bad trip that they though another person was a monster and killed them - you better believe they’d suffer from awful guilt and shame and possibly ptsd - they wouldn’t go “Well the substance made me do it so I don’t have the right to feel bad about what I did”

Only sociopaths would think that

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Another example from recent media, look at say the Hulk, the Hulk is clearly it’s own separate entity from Banner but Banner still feels guilt, and shame and ptsd for what he did as the Hulk, even knowing the Hulk was out of his control. To the point he get severe depression, isolates himself, hides from the world and tries to kill himself on multiple occasions

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I think the disconnect is that Anduin is a mopey sack…. But because other people forced him to through magic. He has nothing to learn from this, other than to toughen up, and be ready for the next time someone uses him.

Heck, even Sylvanas has regrets for choices she made after Arthas was slain. Anduin…. he can’t even know regret for the actions.

The worst thing about Anduin’s situation was that he kind of liked it. That’s what he feels guilty of. Which sounds like it can be extrapolated into a whole disgusting thing about SA and liking it… like they want to make Anduin a victim of jail house situations - even calling his Master the Jailer.

And the whole Jailhouse romance between Saurfang and Anduin.

He is a victim, and he liked it. That is kinda gross.

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I think another part of Anduin’s story is he is searching for some sort of atonement or penance, in a way it’s almost like he wants to be condemned for his actions.

But all those he hurt and all those he wronged, not only forgave him but are telling him it wasn’t his fault and acting like he never did any of that stuff. But he DID do that stuff and he feels like he did it freely and enjoyed it so in a way their forgiveness and kind words doesn’t feel earned to him, cause while his friends say it wasn’t his fault, he still feels like it very much was. So he’ll be chasing a true forgiveness that no one will give him cause everyone already has but he just doesn’t accept those cause he hasn’t forgiven himself yet

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I made the rookie mistake of reading this on the bus coming home after a uni lecture and i teared up in public. Nice story.

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I’m glad he’s not just being sad about something he couldn’t control, but also because of his failures as a leader during the 4th war.

I hope his story going forward is him realizing he’s not a good leader and that being a leader is not good for him. He can just go back to being a priest and take a backseat in the story for awhile.

who did he kill, i thought the lady he stabbed didnt die

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I liked the tale and apparently it works as a prelude to The War Within, with Anduin listening to the “Radiant Song” at the end and setting off on this new adventure, probably with the next step being his meeting with Thrall, as we saw in the announcement trailer for new expansion.

As for how Domination works, in Zereth Mortis Primus told us that this magic would be similar to communication, like a language, being so powerful that it interferes with the creature’s understanding of itself, which is why it would be almost impossible to resist she.

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Some things that I like to take in regarding Anduin and thinking about his psyche.
Growing up he felt like a failure to his father, who wanted him to be a big strong warrior. Anduin is Priest not a Warrior, little bit of a softy maybe. Had a rough childhood, mother murdered by your own citizens, father kidnapped by a dragon all while very young. Whew.

Legion comes and his father dies, he blames himself for it in a lot of ways. Carries a lot of guilt for the events of Legion likely. Then we hit BFA and the war, all while leading the alliance he’s carrying this guilt while now battling if he’s doing the right thing…I’ll let ya’ll fill in the words I’m not a writer. He’s got lots on his mind.

Just to Shadowlands and he’s kidnapped by Mawsworn and thrown in Torghast to be tortured. If we’re to take Torghast as similiar to hell, let’s imagine he’s being tortured for a few months but to him it could feel like YEARS. Opening all those old wounds and unresolved issues.

Then he gets dominated by The Jailer and from how I understood it, his soul began to merge with Arthas’ (maybe not the case? but it’s not a bad idea to think it could be the case) which can’t be pleasant. Yeah he didn’t do all that much “bad” in game during his dominated time, stabbed a Kyrian lady and some other stuff but lets give him a break and chaulk that up to poor writing as SL was a mess. He still got mind dominated and had to share some cozy time with Arthas’ soul.

He’s got a few things to sort out for sure. All the while he’s fully lost his faith in the Light or considers himself unworthy of it, the one thing he always had faith in.

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Anduin’s trauma stems from the loss of control of his body and will, wich is very invasive, while remaining conscious yet impotent, forced to watch as he endangers his loved ones and everything he ever stood for. This is a recall to Sylvanas turning into a banshee and used as a weapon to kill everyone she loved. Loss of control and becoming a tool for evil messes up your head.

He said back in SL and it is still a thing: he felt joy being evil. Is he secretly evil? Were thos toughts and feelings forced into his head by the Jailer? Can he even trust anything that goes on his mind anymore? Where does the Jailer end and Anduin begin? If he picks up his sword again, will he go crazy? Enjoy killing, losing control, becoming that evil self again - no excuses this time?

Its not about mind control logic, its about doubting himself and fearing himself

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Anduin going on a multiyear hitchhiking journey as a result of this and everyone just being okay with the king of stormwind just kind of roaming around unprotected is just kind of weird.

Maybe nobody else high up in the alliance could sympathize with him for actually feeling guilty for doing something terrible.