Know Your Lore: Elune, the Night Warrior, and the Void
We don’t know what Elune is.
We know that Elune exists, and we have in the past interacted with her — through a mysterious presence at a moonwell, we managed to cleanse a repentant Satyr back in Cataclysm, for example. We’ve seen Elune seemingly take the body of Ysera and raise it into the heavens as a constellation. We know that in the distant past Elune was worshipped alongside several of the Loa, possibly before the Dark Trolls secluded themselves from others of their kind. We know that the Tear of Elune was capable of awakening a Naaru Prime — even though it should have been impossible since only a Naaru of the same line was said to be capable of doing so. But we also know that whatever Elune is, she far transcends the Naaru. Is she their creator?
But this is only the start of our questions about Elune. What the Moon Goddess truly is, what her goals for Azeroth are, her role in the lives of her people — these are questions even some of the Night Elves themselves are asking.
Elune has no power here
It’s apparent that Elune either cannot or does not intervene in all instances where one might expect her to. For one example, a host of demons attacked the Temple of Elune in Val’Sharah, openly mocking her and her power vocally, and she did nothing. It’s clear that she had the capacity to act — it is at that same temple where she cleanses Ysera’s corpse of corruption and bodily assumes it into the heavens as a constellation — so why did she allow the Legion to attack it in the first place?
Similarly, when the Legion corrupted the former Temple of Elune in Suramar — the one where Aegwyn entombed the fallen Avatar of Sargeras, known to us as the Tomb of Sargeras — Elune did nothing. Her own former High Priestess, Dejahna, was transformed after her own death into the Soul Queen of the Desolate Host and said she attempted to resist, but was overwhelmed by the Legion’s fel corruption… and where was Elune? Dejahna even states that Elune has no power in the Tomb when you confront the Desolate Host.
Anyone who knows the fate of Sira Moonwarden knows that Elune doesn’t always intervene to save her people, and even when she does, her actions are often less overt — she intervened when Darnassus was set alight, but she didn’t rescue the people there. She merely put them to sleep so that they didn’t experience the horrors of burning to death. They still died.
But while it is clear that Elune’s interventions are rare and subtle, it is also clear that she does have the power to act, for we now know of the existence of the Night Warrior.
The Night Warrior
It’s recently been revealed in game that there is a more aggressive form of Elune — the Night Warrior, the embodiment of Elune’s wrath. It’s also been revealed that the rite to allow a Kaldorei to become the avatar of the Night Warrior is exceedingly dangerous, actually killing many that attempted it over the years. Tyrande Whisperwind managed to complete the rite and embody the Night Warrior and the ritual was so powerful that it affected others of her people who merely witnessed it — this transformation helped create the Army of the Black Moon, composed of those Night Elves who were themselves physically changed by the wrath of the moon goddess embodied on Azeroth. It also can be seen in the skies above Darkshore, where the Black Moon hangs in the sky and shrouds the area in permanent night.
This is a radical change for Kaldorei culture. For over ten thousand years, the Long Vigil of the Night Elves saw them become a people who worshiped Elune without temples or cult centers, but her worship was universal, and centered on her gentler aspects as a healer and bringer of peace. Now, Elune the Warbringer is fully established among her people — even the High Priestess has turned towards the Night Warrior. Is this change permanent? What does it mean for the Kaldorei and the future of their people?
Moreover, what does it say about Elune?
We’ve been told that Elune isn’t a Naaru, but there are clearly a lot of similarities between the way Elune behaves and the way the Naaru behave, to the point that Velen himself one pointed it out to Tyrande on a visit. Now we’re even seeing that Elune has a dual nature… which is remarkably similar to the Light and Void cycles of the Naaru. If the Tears of Elune can do what only another Naaru should have been able to do and awaken the Prime Naaru’s core, if Elune behaves similarly to the Naaru, does it mean that the Night Warrior is Elune’s Void phase? This is of course impossible to say, because we don’t really know what Elune is. But it does make me wonder how the Night Elves will relate to Elune now.
Elune and Elunaria
We also have other complications to consider.
During the Legion’s invasion of Azeroth, we traveled to Argus to confront them directly in their own seat of power. While doing so, we learned the fate of the Pantheon — their bodies slain by Sargeras long ago, their essences were now captured by the Dark Titan and were undergoing tortures mortals can barely understand to break them to Sargeras’ will. All but Eonar, who had escaped Sargeras’ grasp. We still don’t know how Sargeras managed to find the Titan’s souls, when the last we’d heard (from reading Chronicle) they’d escaped from their destruction at the hands of Sargeras by traveling the cosmos and hiding within the Titan-Forged Keepers.
However this had happened, Eonar had escaped and was to be found neither on Argus nor Azeroth. She was instead hiding on Elunaria, another world entirely. One would have to work pretty hard not to notice the similarities between Elune and Elunaria, but if there is any connection between the moon of Azeroth and the world, we don’t currently know it. We don’t know why Eonar chose to reside on Elunaria. It would seem unlikely that Eonar is Elune, because Eonar is currently occupied along with the rest of the Pantheon keeping Sargeras imprisoned at the Seat of the Pantheon, and Elune has definitely acted since then, both putting the dying Kaldorei atop Darnassus to sleep and creating the Dark Warrior and the eternal moon above Darkshore.
This column is not a Tinfoil Hat KYL. I’m not positing any answers, I’m just cataloging all the difficulties. We don’t know what Elune is.
But we do know that we don’t know what she is. Think about that, when you think about what Tyrande has become, and what it might mean for the future of Azeroth.
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