I remember joking with my guildmates at the beginning of Legion that it would be terrible if the writers of World of Warcraft turned Sylvanas into Garrosh 2.0, and how boring that would be. After watching the new Warbringers animated short, it really feels like the Horde are the baddies of the story again.
When it comes to war, a big part of that fight is that both sides feel that they are in the right. Both see themselves as the good guy in their narrative or doing something that must be done. When Battle for Azeroth was announced, we were told the story would have shades of grey, so that both sides can feel like they are in the right. Unless something new comes to light soon, the only shades of grey I am seeing is the pallor of Sylvanas’ undead skin.
Sylvanas’ is an amazing character. She has lost so much, been tortured, killed, corrupted and fought to become something better. She seems to have gone down a dark road when she tried to steal the power over life from the Valkyrie and now the cold, calculating Dark Lady has become rather whimsical. Did she always plan to burn down Teldrassil, or did she change her mind based on the words of a single nameless Night Elf? This is the picture being painted here, with her defeat by Arthas weighing heavily on her mind.
Ever since encountering Il’gynoth, the Heart of Corruption in the Emerald Nightmare, players have been trying to work out if Sylvanas is one of the characters the doomed prophecy is referring to. Most of these discussions end with long groans, mentioning that we have taken this road before with Garrosh. Does the Horde really need another Warchief to be corrupted and become the final boss of a raid somewhere? The Horde has burnt through Warchiefs and important NPCs so fast that we will need special stories to make us care about a future one.
Is Sylvanas corrupted? Has she become the avatar of death, a primeval force that hasn’t really shown a hand yet? In this cosmology from the Warcraft Chronicles, you can see how Death is given a whole sphere. Is there a player we have yet to truly meet?
Lore and wondering what happened aside, it is hard to watch Sylvanas smirk as she burns down a place full of civilians without feeling like once again, the Horde is the bad side in Azeroth. AGAIN.