The plot, IMO, makes it clear that, at least until Andiun started talking to her, maybe even until the very end, that is exactly what she thought. I means so many of the elements in the story are just about that.
Criticism noted. I may be jumping to too many conclusions in my excitement to make everything make sense. There’s not much to be excited about lately.
I can only be what I am. A highly intelligent person isn’t defined as someone who has all the answers, or can memorize a lot of details. Experts believe “A highly intelligent person is one who is flexible in their thinking and can adapt to changes, they think before they speak or act, and they’re able to effectively manage their emotions,” I am all of these things and I would say that I try to embody all of these things. Do I sometimes get facts wrong about WoW lore? absolutely, I’m not a computer. I can only relay facts that I retain. but am I also super interested in Warcraft lore and why I am here in this forum seeking people to talk about it with… after all this is just a forum for a video game and it means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things so why bother taking things personally?
While I don’t mind you trying to theorycraft, there is no intrinsic value in trying to ‘think outside the box’ when you have to ignore little things like facts and logic for your current theory to work.
Aman’thul is a combination of Zeus and Odin; one of his titles is “Highfather”, he rules a pantheon he’s part of and he didn’t help create the universe. He doesn’t fit the definition of Demiurge either of us gave. The titans of Warcraft were inspired from a mix of the eponymous giants/proto-gods from Greek mythology, the actual gods from Greek Mythology and the gods of Norse mythology. None of these beings played a role in creating their cosmos’.
We’ve agreed on things in other threads. Your weak attempt to simultaneously pretend to take the high road, play the victim and paint me as a contrarian in this comment isn’t impressing anyone.
I wasn’t talking to you and neither was he backing you up.
he was saying how it’s possible but also unlikely that Sylvanas is working with the Dreadlords. I respect his feedback. Don’t try and make this about you Thad. I’m still not interested in derailing this thread talking about the Titans, or whatever else.
While I think you’re right about how Zovaal and Sovereign went about controlling people, the fact remains that Sylvanas was still doing those things willingly because we never see or hear of Zovaal dominating her into doing them.
You were talking to me in the comment I replied to, and I think Frankenfiend’s comment to you is right regardless of whatever their stance on me and my views is.
No you are literally just being an
It’s natural to reject nihilism. I accept that, the narrative, that dialogue between Locus Walker and Alleria is basically saying don’t fall prey to the Void because the Void is nihilistic and it’s dangerous in this universe to accept Nihilism. The whole “Sargeras is evil” was based on “nihilism is bad.” but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a value in examining it, and not rejecting everything the Void says as untrue. There’s a lot of condescension here in this forum for theosophical thought and everyone thinks they know better than the next guy, I’m not excluded from that. I don’t want to have this discussion with you simply because you reject that the Void may have something to offer us in the way of truth, and I just don’t agree with that.
I can understand that the Void is nihilistic, reject the nihilism, and still be super interested in what the Void has to offer but my experience with you is that you can’t, you need things to be squarely black and white so to me there’s not point in this conversation. You won’t be swayed and I have no interest in wasting my own time trying to make you change your mind, it’s fruitless. This goes all the way back to your thread “Is WoW anti-Justice?” WoW is presenting a a moral nihilist view of good and evil. I don’t know if I agree with it, but it is what it is.
One of my favorite characters is Medivh, because I can identify with him. He went searching for truth, and found the same conclusion through Sargeras that the Void was presenting: “Azeroth needs to be destroyed” at first Medivh accepted this nihilism as true and made it his goal to help the Legion accomplish that, but then rejected it because he found his way through it and decided Azeroth needed to be saved… and I imagine that Sylvanas is currently going through the same thing and that’s why she went from ally to servant of the Jailer, only to then reject the jailer to join the heroes in trying to save Azeroth because that’s the goal the writers likely have at this point. She just was dealt a huge blow in Stormheim to her hope of being able to save her people and herself, it’s only natural that she would fall into a phase of nilhilism. They are following the same anti-hero journey pattern all of the other anti-heroes in this game have followed. (I don’t know why anyone expects anything different at this point, but then act shocked when it happens)
(I really hope Keeper Bel’dugur got his collection of books out of Undercity before it was blighted, it would be a shame for the Forsaken to lose all of our collected data on nature of the Shadow and the Void, His knowledge would be really cool to have right now.)
I Generally love your takes on Sylvanas lore. And this one is up there with some of the best. I wouldnt be surprised if this was one of— if not the main— plot option they were toying with initially. Sadly, I have little confidence they have had the fortitude to follow through with any number of good ideas they may have had, and Im afraid we are going to be left with more rusted chekov’s guns and loose plot threads than we can ever untangle, especially with so much churn in the lore department, and so much community pressure regarding Sylvanas in particular.
Thank you! I tend to flip flop on this theory of her working with the Nathrezim or not because I don’t think historically she would but she knows more about them than anyone else. I’m working on a new theory in my drafts trying to piece everything together. I’ll share it here, but it’s not complete. All the threads seem to come together and hit the brick wall that is Shadowlands.
Mueh’zala twisted the shadows on the day Vol’jin died, Vol’jin was blindsided, and the Shadow takes responsibility for doing that, causing Sylvanas to retreat. Sylvanas was unaware the Mueh’zala and the jailer whispered to Vol’kin to make her Warchief that day.
Detheroc was whispering lies to Anduin after the Broken Shore. This lead Anduin to sanction Genn’s pursuit of Sylvanas in Stormhiem. The Nathrezim wanted Genn to intercept Sylvanas’s deal with Helya. They sent Genn after her, hoping that this action would start the 4th War. The Fourth War was planned by the Nathrezim long before Sylvanas burnt Teldrassil, but Detheroc failed. He was intercepted by the Uncrowned in the Legion Rogue Order Hall Campaign posing as Mathias Shaw.
Bolvar was somehow aware of the Nathrezim’s incursions on Azeroth and allied himself with the Ebon Blade to hunt the Nathrazim down on the Broken Isles, this was during the Blades of the Fallen Prince Artifact Questchain. But as far as we know we never saw the Ebon Blade hunting down the Nathrazim, instead that Lich King was focused on creating the Four Horseman.
Sylvanas in Legion and Before the Storm seems unaware that she was caught up in these manipulations. Varimathras in one of the raids when confronted, when he was being tortured by the Legion tells the Horde, Sylvanas planned to usurp the Horde Throne and were manipulated into bending the knee to her. But her internal monologue in Before the Storm proves Varimathras is lying. Sylvanas was unaware the Jailer made her Warchief. It seems like this is another way the Dreadlords planted the seed of doubt that would later fester leading to the Horde Civil War.
Sylvanas seems to be somehow aware of this manipulation because through the Loyalist Campaign she’s essentially letting the Horde Loyalists believe they are winning, even to the point of killing a dozen or so Dark Rangers, to spare the Horde casualties. She hands a win over to the Horde and defects the Horde without many losses, she even gives Saurfang the honourable death he wanted, knowing full well that he would become a martyr for the Horde (she even spares his soul from the Maw by keeping it in a trinket on her person.) If the Dreadlords were working against her, her loss would seem like a Nathrezim victory. When Detheroc is defeated he says
“your Alliance and Horde. Are destined to destroy each other”
Sylvanas was a catalyst that brought peace between the Horde and the Alliance in the wake of the Fourth War, and she knew this, in hindsight, her Battle for Azeroth trailer monologue says this:
“Ours is a cycle of hatred. Alliances forged and broken. We have paid the price for sharing this world, and we have forgotten what makes us strong.”
Bolvar believed himself to be working against the Nathrezim, and he believed that Sylvanas was playing into their schemes. In the Short story We Ride Forth, the Four Horseman become very suspicious of Bolvar. He’s “too quiet” They can usually feel his presence in their minds, can feel his emotions but during BFA they note that on the day Sylvanas takes the helm he’s very quiet. At some point before Shadowlands Darion suspected that Bolvar was not himself and not in control. Darion confronted him in battle and the Lich King dominated Darion’s mind and sent him back to Acherus with a challenge to the four to come kill him and claim his helm, he had isolated them knowing it would take them quite a while for them to get to him, hence why they arrive after Sylvanas has defeated him. The Four feel like Bolvar was luring them into a trap. It seems orchestrated from Bolvar, and it seems like all of BFA he was planning to confront Sylvanas. He was stealing corpses from under the Horde and Alliances noses in the Fourth war to bulk up the Ebon Blade.
”Then they had gone to Kul Tiras. Then Darkshore. Every major battlefield they could find. Some of the fallen had died confronting the dark horrors that emerged from the deep, while others fell fighting for their homelands. Some were collected by bribing the gravediggers and undertakers who were supposed to bury them, and the rest they had simply stolen from unguarded graves. “
Bolvar specifically seems happy about the Alliance attack on Zul’Dazar because it brought him a lot of corpses. I don’t think the Alliance understands how much the 4th war was fabricated to lure them into attacking the Horde. Nazgrim especially works hard to ensure that Bwonsamdi is unaware that the Lich King was stealing from him. The only person who seems to benefit from the 4th War was the Lich King., which could explain why Sylvanas showed up on his doorstep. And if we speculate that if Sylvanas was on our side this whole time, then who was Bolvar really working for?
The Lich King had not been swayed. “I claim them, so others cannot.”
Others? Nazgrim had asked Mograine about that. Mograine hadn’t known for certain. “Bolvar has his eye on Sylvanas Windrunner,” the highlord speculated. “He distrusts her intentions.”
This whole idea of stealing the dead so Sylvanas cannot raise them mirrors how Varimathras said “best you die here [in Argus] where [Sylvanas] cannot claim you” The Dreadlords have intervened, we know that from Stormhiem because they don’t want Sylvanas to have the resources she needs, to do what she intends to do. They don’t want Sylvanas to bolster the ranks of the Forsaken. Because Sylvanas is a threat to their plans for the Horde and Alliance to wipe each other out. Sylvanas has always planned to unite both factions in undeath if she had unlimited Val’kyr she would be able to achieve this goal. A united Azeroth is not in the best interests of the Nathrezim’s true Master.
Bolvar waited until Sylvanas was no longer Warchief to raise the new Death Knights he collected in BfA. So he must have been expecting Sylvanas to either be defeated and disposed of or outright killed or imprisoned by the Horde.
It wasn’t until Windrunner had abdicated her command of the Horde that the Lich King began to raise them into undeath. One lifeless corpse after another began to twitch, shudder, and finally rise into their new existence of pain, torment, and power.*
Bolvar then sends these new recruits out into the world untrained, when Darion confronts him about it, he Bolvar doesn’t care if these new Death Knights cause carnage in their wake. Darion even calls him worse than Arthas. Bolvar prior to his fight with Sylvanas was pushing the Ebon Blade away and bolstering the Scourge.
“You trusted us enough to raise us. To make us your Horsemen,” said Trollbane. “We need to trust you too. You’re keeping secrets from us.”
“And what should I confide in you?” asked Bolvar.
Trollbane opened his hands and gestured calmly. “You’re assembling an army here. We all see you’re moving chess pieces into position, but we cannot discern your objective. Tell us your plans, and we will aid you.”
"You would die. That would not aid me at all.” Bolvar spoke with the contempt of a father frustrated with his child. It had been a long, long time since Trollbane had experienced that.
“If you send soldiers into battle unprepared, yes, they will likely die,” Trollbane agreed. “And we are certainly unprepared. What has changed? What force now compels you to keep us at bay?
Thoras Trollbane hesitated. Windrunner? The Lich King had kept an interest in her since the Fourth War started, telling his Four Horsemen to report any rumor of her whereabouts but absolutely forbidding them to hunt her down themselves. But Bolvar had also told the Horsemen she had never shown anything but contempt toward the Helm. “What of her?”
Her war has upended the balance between life and death. Death feasts, and the power of the Helm boils,” Bolvar said. “The Legion turned our world into a charnel house, yet I felt nothing of the sort then."
Trollbane still wasn’t certain what had disturbed Bolvar. “Whatever Sylvanas tried to do, she failed.”
Trollbane felt Bolvar’s anger flaring white-hot, but he had the strange sense that Bolvar was angry at himself most of all. “Do you see any sign that she believes she’s failed?”
Bolvar seems like he knows that Sylvanas was able to play the Dreadlords and that she didn’t actually lose the Fourth War. Whatever Sylvanas tried to do, she failed. But he’s angry at himself because he knows she’s not showing any signs of failure. Because she didn’t fail. Darion reflects on how he was able to break free from the Lich King’s influence, and he admonishes that he speculates it was the Light who intervened at Light’s Hope Chapel, which he refers to as “righteous hatred.” and that could also explain why Sylvanas was also able to break free of Arthas.
When Sylvanas broke the helm she broke the domination magic that was keeping the Ebon Blade under the will of the Lich King. Even Darion says that he did not realize how much the liberated undead were still being dominated by the power behind the Lich King. I imagine that’s the real reason she gives the “Breaker of Chains” title. She broke Bolvar and the Ebon blade free of the Jailer’s domination the day she broke the helm. The price of freedom was unleashing the Scourge on Azeroth.
That’s all I have so far. I have a strong suspicion that by the end of Shadowlands the Ebon Blade will side with Sylvanas. Koltira was held captive for years and he seems unfazed by his captivity. Bolvar at point as the LK could have snooped through Koltira’s thoughts and I think Sylvanas used that to her advantage to mislead Bolvar. It’s just a speculation but there’s something Koltira is keeping from us.
I say that the Shadow that Mueh’zala works for isn’t the Cosmic Force of Shadow ruled by the Void Lords and is just a manifestation of Death Magic.
Kel’vax Deathwalker in Nazmir uses the Death Spiral Spell and it is blatantly the same Purple Death Magic used by Mueh’zala and the Nathrezim! The same Purple Death Magic is also seen keeping Souls chained at Dredhollow in Revendreth by the Venthyr.
All Death Magic with darker aesthetics have been labeled Shadow: Red Revendreth Death Magic, Rainbow Domination Death Magic, Green Maldraxxus Death Magic, Whitish-Blue Soul Magic, Cyan Drust Death Magic and even Indigo Devourer Death Magic!
The only Death Magics without the word Shadow in them are Bastion Death Magic(which has been described as Light), Broker Death Magic(which has Hyperlight used as a label for their Spells) and Ardenweald Death Magic(which uses Twilight as a label for it’s Spells).
The writing seems pretty clear that she regarded herself as a partner. Clearly, when it came to “I will never serve”, she had seen that is was no longer (if it ever was) true.
As to the use of magic. Who can say. I mean, Sylvanas does seem pretty blind to reality. But it is hard to parse Blizzard writing form other possibilities.
I got the impression that she wasn’t aware that the Jailer was responsible for the ultimatum. She was led to believe that the sorting process of the Shadowlands consigned her to the Maw, when it’s likely the Jailer had her diverted there.
The Jailer gave the impression of someone offering to rescue her from her unfair fate.
Yeah I think so too, which does lend a lot to support Sylvanas’s innate goodness and sense of justice. I’m super interested to find out more about why Elune seemingly wants to spare Sylvanas. Maybe Elune saw that the Jailer was unfairly manipulating her.
As a maternal goddess I like the idea of Elune as a righteous protector of women. Moon goddess worship is very much like that. Sylvanas herself mirrors moon goddesses in myth like Artemis or Selene.
Hmm … And if so: “atonement” followed by judgment and incineration?
What religious / mythical “analogies” are there that can be used to benefit the night elves by insulting the Horde?
Why do you need a “defender (indicate gender)”? If Elune is a member of the Pantheon, where the difference between the sexes is likely to be “is” and “not”.
Personally I think it would be better for the story if Lothraxxion wasn’t a plant. That he actually did defect to the Light.
And yet you think Lothraxxion is a plant. Which honestly isn’t thinking outside the box. It is a cliche. Someone thinking outside the box will have him be an actual defector. As that has happened in real life. Spies that defect to the very thing they were spying on. After all, the dreadlords serve Daddy D and Daddy D only. It would be far more interesting if Lothraxxion defected to the light. Betraying his “one true master” to the very side that discovered his plans of spying on the other cosemtic powers. As that will generate conflict within the Dreadlords themselves.
You make a really good point that I hadn’t considered before, and that’s Denathrius’s relationship with the Light. I will have to consider this and weigh if it changes the outcome because you are right, Lothraxxion betraying Denathrius to join the Light would be an ultimate slap in the face.
I just don’t trust any Dreadlord and my own experience as a paladin when Lothraxxion was pretty much immediately accepted into the paladin Order Hall. With only Boros being suspicious. This felt like it was important, but I hope you are right and Lothraxxion isn’t betraying the paladins because that would really suck.
One of the things that stood out to me in the preface was that it suggests that The Light has been successfully infiltrated, if not Lothraxxion than some other Dreadlord is masqurading in the guise of a Light figure, if it’s not Mal’ganis since we know it’s not, it’s Balnazzar and when Lothraxxion killed him, he would have known he’s not really dead (this is the thing that implicates Lothraxxion is still loyal.) The only cosmic power the Dreadlords haven’t infiltrated is Life, Elune probably stood in the way. That’s why the Night Elves were such a threat to the Dreadlords. If they are Elune’s favorite children, they wanted to make her suffer.
Lothraxion genuinely defecting to the Light would explain so much about his character and could open up other story avenues. For Lothraxion, two major things to explore could be why he joined the Light and what he may like about the Army of the Light. On that note, I can think of three possible things.
Perhaps he valued straightforward camaraderie. Maybe Lothraxion was an oddball Nathrezim who, as a person, didn’t like subversion and their cosmic espionage campaign. It’s also implied that scheming against each other is a popular pastime in Revendreth; if I recall, there were times Ren’thal schemed against other high-ranking Venthyr and even Denathrius before learning Denathrius had betrayed them to serve the Jailer. The Army of the Light have families and friends (we know Lightforged Draenei can have children and Lightforging isn’t hereditary), plus the Light is more straightforward. Those could have appealed to him.
Based on his lines in Legion, I also have a theory that the atrocities Lothraxion committed while “serving” the Burning Legion were what made him regret serving Denathrius. We could learn what Lothraxion did that made him regret it and see how that effects him.
The third reason is - and I know some people won’t like this theory - Lothraxion considered Xe’ra a kinder master than Denathrius. We see Denathrius repeatedly punish failure - the “hunts” in Revendreth and the Nathrezim’s missives about failing “the Master”. Yes, he rules a Purgatory-esque afterlife, but he clearly enjoys the suffering he inflicts by the time we see him. By comparison, Turalyon and Lothraxion himself stood up to this naaru over what she planned to do to Alleria… and the end result was a short argument and a compromise. Whatever her flaws, Xe’ra wasn’t a sadist like Denathrius and was less unforgiving. Also note that Xe’ra would have been familiar with the subversive nature of the Nathrezim - through fighting against ones in the Legion or if she knew about Revendreth, but didn’t use Lothraxion as a spy herself.
This also opens up the avenue of how others could react to this. In “A Thousand Years of War”, we see Lothraxion fight another Nathrezim, who angrily labels him a traitor. And we have his showdown with Balnazzar. Maybe Lothraxion would be reviled among other Nathrezim for killing them as much as turning against Denathrius. Blizzard hasn’t retconned out Varimathras’ line that Nathrezim are forbidden from killing each other (an odd rule for a race of entities - especially formerly demonic ones - that are all about scheming).
Maybe there’s also other Nathrezim that are sick of all the scheming and might defect as well. They may or may not defect to the Light like Lothraxion, but they could turn on Denathrius. Maybe some Nathrezim were swayed by the Old Gods and are loyal to the Void now; they’d fit right in given their purpose for infiltration and knack for manipulation. Maybe some Nathrezim could consider the Light a better path, like Lothraxion himself did; maybe the Nathrezim missive about having an agent among the forces of Light is wrong - the Nathrezim think he’s spying for them, but they’re wrong and he’s defected to the Light.
This could lead to a civil war or a shadow war among the Nathrezim between those who are loyal to Denathrius and those who aren’t, especially since Blizzard made the good decision to not kill Denathrius off during the Castle Nathria raid.