Anduin Wrynn needs to do something
Anduin Wrynn has not actually taken an action since Lordaeron.
No, really. While Sylvanas has been doing things we don’t know about, Anduin has literally done nothing. The closest to an action the King of Stormwind has taken is to leave a door open for someone. I am aware that the young holder of the title High King of the Alliance has far less combat experience than his father did. I don’t expect him to be in the lead in every battle. But as the War Campaign comes to a close I’m put in mind of that cinematic that opened the expansion and showed that Anduin has the potential to be quite possibly the greatest wielder of the Holy Light in generations.
In Before the Storm Anduin personally led the Alliance towards an attempt at peace with the Forsaken and was on the field in Arathi when people of Stormwind met their Forsaken loved ones for the first time since the Plague. When Calia Menethil died at Sylvanas’ hands, it was Anduin who took the lead in raising her from the dead, aided by Alonsus Faol and S’ara. Since then he took part in the invasion of Lordaeron, and since then?
Heavy is the head that wears the crown
Well, to be fair, he did order a lot of things to happen. And it’s not really fair to expect a King to always go personally and, well, do things. It was Anduin who sent Jaina as an emissary to Kul Tiras, after all. It was Anduin who ultimately countenanced everything Alliance players did as part of the War Campaign, and Anduin who instructed them to attack Dazar’alor, although he supposedly didn’t want King Rastakhan killed.
Perhaps the problem is that it seems like Sylvanas has a presence behind the scenes, so that her relative — or at least seeming — inaction is part of a larger plan, whereas with Anduin it looks like he just presides over things and hopes for the best. When he finds out about Xal’atath and the Old Gods presence, it feels like there are things he could actually do. I saw him raise an entire Alliance army with a giant column of Light, after all.
Sure, there are King things to do. And we’ve gotten a lot of figures like Genn, Jaina, Shandris Feathermoon, Mathias Shaw, and more and that’s all great. But we had Anduin meet up with Bolvar Fordragon’s daughter Taelia this expansion and literally nothing has come of it. We know that Calia Menethil is making an appearance in 8.2.5, or at least that her model has been added to the game. It feels like Anduin should be more front and center in this expansion’s story, considering he helped raise Calia and he’s literally all over the art for this expansion and he’s in the image for 8.2.5 about the War Campaign.
The High King should lead from the front
But what should he even be doing? Well, any story that features Anduin at this point needs to deal with the reality of what he’s been doing all expansion, albeit from the throne instead of on the field — presiding in the deaths of thousands. That’s what war is, after all — it’s the deaths of those who fight and the deaths of innocents caught in the crossfire.
There’s a difference between being responsible for those deaths and ordering them into battle, of course. I’m not arguing that Anduin is responsible for the deaths of every Alliance soldier who falls in the war. But he could be considered to be responsible for Rastakhan’s death, even if he didn’t want the King dead — ultimately he’s the one who ordered the attack. In a very real way Anduin was always protected by his father from this harsh reality. Even in Pandaria he was free to run off and take personal action to confront Garrosh Hellscream.
Now Anduin is the one who sends others, and the results aren’t always what he had in mind. How does that weigh on him? We saw him in the cinematic with Saurfang realize the cost of his orders is lives, but what does that mean for him? What kind of person, what kind of King is Anduin now, after all this? Who will he become? That’s a big reason why we need to see Anduin take center stage again — can the same King who ordered the war actually lead his people beyond the conflict, assuming it even ends in 8.2.5? And if it doesn’t, what happens to Anduin, who was always a fairly stalwart champion of peace between the Alliance and the Horde?
It’s time to actually see it. There have been plenty of opportunities for Anduin, but it’s time for them to come to something. He’s wearing that fancy armor with the lion mask now, he’s sitting on the throne, he’s the King. If he’s going to be the King, he’s got to start doing things again.
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