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WoWAug 2, 2018 11:00 pm CT

Analysis of Blizzard’s surprise new Saurfang cinematic: Old Soldier

Varok Saurfang has had arguably one of the most heart-wrenching lives in Warcraft canon. He’s seen war after war, lost his son during the Wrathgate, discovered his son’s body was stolen and risen by the Lich King, and had to watch him put down by force. After Wrath, it seemed that Varok had every intention of retiring in Northrend — it was somewhat implied in Tides of War.

But he didn’t get to retire. He returned to the Horde, and now he’s witnessing war all over again. In Blizzard’s latest cinematic, Old Soldier, we get another look at Saurfang — and how the events in the conclusion of War of the Thorns affected him. This one’s a doozy, people. If you haven’t finished the Darkshore storyline, you might want to go do that first.

I’m at a loss for words. Blizzard just delivered a one-two gut punch in the span of a week, and the expansion hasn’t even launched yet. Obviously this cinematic takes place directly before the events in the Battle for Azeroth trailer — the Battle for Lordaeron that we should be seeing next week. All I can think of right now is, oddly enough, the Wrathgate — at the time, it blew everyone away. Compare that to this and you’ve got an idea of how much Blizzard’s cinematics team has honed their work into something absolutely exceptional over the years. There’s just no comparison.

Plus, can we talk about the Troll? We’ve never had a Troll in a prominent role in a cinematic before, and here we’ve got one fully animated and chatting away with Saurfang.

Warbringers this week was a hard, bitter pill to swallow. Old Soldier is another difficult short to look at, but for different reasons — Saurfang is tired, guys. He’s seen too much. But I appreciate the fact that we’re seeing this now — and we’re seeing how at least one or two members of the Horde are reacting to what went down in Darkshore. Not everyone is on board with what Sylvanas did. Not by a long shot. I’m excited to see where the story takes us when Battle for Azeroth arrives in just a couple of weeks.

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