Know Your Lore: Characters we hope to see in Legion
When World of Warcraft: Legion was announced, the official site for the new expansion included a cast list, similar to what we saw with the Warlords of Draenor website. It’s a pretty good cast list, with a few characters we haven’t really seen in the spotlight before — Genn Greymane and Maiev Shadowsong have both had bit parts, but never been part of the “main” cast of any expansion so far. But I find myself wondering, particularly given the topic of this expansion, about other characters that should possibly be up there in the spotlight as well. Who’s missing from that list — and who should, by all rights, be featured somehow in Legion?
Let’s start off the list with an obvious choice. Tyrande is no stranger to the Burning Legion’s antics, having lived through not one but two wars — the only two real attempts at global domination that the Burning Legion has made in Warcraft‘s lifetime. In the War of the Ancients, Tyrande was promoted to High Priestess of Elune, and she’s served in that role for over ten thousand years. Although part of that time was taken up presumably dealing with the Old Gods during the War of the Shifting Sands, she was also a driving, integral force in the Third War. Not to mention she’s well-acquainted with Illidan Stormrage, and was in fact the person who set him free in the first place.
Speaking of which, that act put her on Maiev Shadowsong’s bad side, and it’s not clear whether Tyrande has ever earned her way off that list. Certainly in the novel Wolfheart, Maiev seemed incredibly unhappy with both Tyrande and Malfurion. And speaking of Malfurion, given that he seems to have at least a minor role in the expansion in regards to the Emerald Nightmare, wouldn’t it make sense that Tyrande be somewhere close at hand as well? The Night Elves are basically the closest thing to experts on the Burning Legion that we have…with one pretty notable exception.
Sure, I wish we’d seen more of Draenor’s Velen during Warlords of Draenor. But to be perfectly honest, I’m almost more interested in what the Prophet Velen has been up to over in the Exodar. The short story Prophet’s Lesson seems to be a pretty good indicator that Velen’s eyes have been opened and he’s thinking a little more about Azeroth and the allies his people have made on the world, yet we’ve seen very little action from the Prophet. However, he was there when the Eredar were approached by Sargeras. He’s seen Sargeras first hand, and he witnessed part of the formation of the Burning Legion itself.
If anyone is capable of providing counsel — if anyone is capable of sharing knowledge, or at the very least offering advice to whoever is leading the charge into battle, it’s the Prophet Velen. There’s absolutely no reason he shouldn’t be on that cast list. If we don’t see the draenei out and actively fighting the Legion with all the numbers they can muster, I’m going to be incredibly surprised. Because this is the fight they’ve been waiting for. This is what they’ve been preparing for. Maybe they aren’t ready — maybe none of us are ready — but the Legion is here, and they more than anyone on Azeroth have a reason to be in the front lines.
Shandris Feathermoon & Jarod Shadowsong
These two Night Elves are no-brainers, largely due to their presence throughout Night Elf history. They may not have spent as much time in the spotlight as Tyrande, but they’ve both got history with the Burning Legion. Jarod not only has history with the Burning Legion that dates all the way back to the War of the Ancients, he’s got ties with Illidan — he was the one that discovered Illidan creating a new Well of Eternity, the act that got Illidan imprisoned in the first place. And lest we forget, Jarod’s sister is Maiev.
As for Shandris Feathermoon, she’s the General of the Sentinel army. She commands the military forces of the Night Elves. She was there during the War of the Ancients, though only a child at the time, and took a much more active role in the Third War. She was there when Maiev turned on Tyrande and Malfurion in the novel Wolfheart, and she has close ties with Jarod. Both of these characters have so many connections with existing cast that I’d be surprised if we don’t see an appearance somewhere.
You might wonder why Varian Wrynn should be making an appearance in this expansion — well, the fact that he appeared in the announcement trailer is a pretty good indicator he should probably be taking some kind of active interest in what’s going on. His son’s presence on the cast page also makes one wonder if Varian himself will be around. As the leader of the Alliance, one would expect Varian to have a vested interest in an attack by the Burning Legion. Sure, Varian wasn’t really present for the Third War. He’s never really seen the Burning Legion at full force. But that shouldn’t really matter, given that the Legion is threatening Azeroth itself.
And while Varian appeared fairly frequently in Mists of Pandaria, we didn’t really see any kind of major development from the character, which felt like a missed opportunity. Surely by this time, Varian and Anduin‘s relationship as father and son has progressed beyond the shaky acceptance and reconciliation we saw in Blood of Our Fathers. I’d like to see more of that dynamic, and I’d like to see Varian step up and lead the charge — or see how he reacts if Velen points out that this is the army that Anduin, not Varian, was meant to lead, in the visions he’s seen.
Darius and Lorna Crowley
We left these two citizens of Gilneas in a very shaky situation. When last we saw Darius, he was leading the Gilneas Liberation front, and had finally come to confront Sylvanas Windrunner. However, Sylvanas had his daughter Lorna, and gave him a choice — surrender and get his daughter back, or watch his daughter be killed and raised as Forsaken, right before his horrified eyes. Darius didn’t even argue, he simply agreed to Sylvanas’ terms, took Lorna, and surrendered Gilneas City, heading for parts unknown. Meanwhile Lorna had gone from fighting in the streets of Gilneas to leading as Commander of the Gilneas Liberation front herself.
Their disappearance, and their current whereabouts remain a mystery. Presumably they escaped to somewhere in Gilneas, but Lorna’s fate is unknown. She wasn’t a Worgen when Sylvanas made the deal with Darius — has Lorna since willingly subjected herself to the Worgen curse? Has Darius truly surrendered, or is he hiding out somewhere, plotting his revenge? Given both Genn and Sylvanas’ presence on the cast list, I’m hoping we’ll see the answers to these questions, and possibly get a chance to get reacquainted with father and daughter somewhere between all the demon fighting we’re inevitably going to be doing.
I find it very odd that Jaina Proudmoore, leader of the Human armies that fought back and defeated Archimonde at the peaks of Hyjal, is no longer leading the Kirin Tor. I find it odder still that as one of the most powerful mages on Azeroth, she doesn’t appear on the cast page. And I find it really, really odd that Archmage Khadgar would essentially take over leadership of the Kirin Tor from Jaina, considering he was the one that placed her in that position in the first place. In the novel Tides of War, it was Khadgar who suggested Jaina should be Rhonin’s replacement after finding scrolls of prophecy that Krasus, a.k.a. the red dragon Korialstrasz, had written for Rhonin — scrolls that said that Jaina was destined to take the position.
Certainly Jaina’s reign as leader of the Kirin Tor hasn’t been easy. During Mists of Pandaria, she struggled, trying to reconcile her wish for peace and diplomacy with the obvious and repeated evidence that no matter how hard she tried, the Horde was unwilling to even consider the prospect. When the Sunreavers went behind her back to arrange for the Divine Bell’s theft from Darnassus, Jaina decided there was no reasoning with those who obviously had no wish for peace at all, and forcibly expelled the Sunreavers from the Kirin Tor, and Dalaran itself. She wasn’t happy when Varian allowed the Horde leaders to live at the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar, and although she seemed to have a change of heart in the novel War Crimes, in Warlords of Draenor, she’s made it very clear that the Horde has absolutely no business in Kirin Tor affairs.
Khadgar didn’t agree with her, and worked with both Alliance and Horde in equal measure during the expansion. It makes one wonder where Jaina’s gone now — and did she step down from the Kirin Tor, or was she forcibly removed? What does this say about Khadgar, and the future of the Kirin Tor? What about the prophecy that declared Jaina’s destiny was to lead Dalaran? Was it a limited time offer? Hopefully we’ll see more about this in Legion.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the little black dragon that could — or could, if he cared to. Wrathion‘s absence from Warlords of Draenor has been a mystery, the one brief appearance he made had no dialogue, and the only other reference was an entry in the diary of a dead man. Given that most of what we know about Wrathion suggests he is highly, highly involved in preserving Azeroth’s future — to the extent that his vision of the Burning Legion’s arrival on Azeroth was the impetus for an expansion-long legendary quest chain in Mists of Pandaria — it seems almost a given that we should be seeing him once the Legion actually arrives. But he’s not actually on the cast page, which seems like a strange omission to make. Everything we know about Wrathion’s character has been wrapped up in this horrific vision, and his wish for Azeroth to prove victorious at all costs — no matter what it takes. He’s one of those characters that we assume we’ll see, but so far, we’ve heard nothing.
With BlizzCon right around the corner, we may hear more about these characters — or other characters we haven’t yet considered — and their role in Legion. We’ve only got two weeks to wait. Hopefully we’ll hear more from the story team about what to expect, and get a better idea of how all these characters and pieces fit together.
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