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WoWNov 5, 2019 4:00 pm CT

How does the Helm of Domination — aka the Lich King’s hat — lead us into the Shadowlands?

I mean, we know what the Helm of Domination is. It’s the Lich King’s hat. It’s the thing that sits on his head.

But knowing what it is, and knowing where it came from and how it does all the things it does — much less how Sylvanas destroying it in the World of Warcraft Shadowlands trailer ends up with a gigantic hole in the sky leading to the Shadowlands — that’s an entirely different story. So, to get even a little bit of insight into all that, let’s look at exactly what the Helm of Domination is, where it came from, and what Shadowlands may reveal to us.

Why is the Lich King’s hat so powerful?

What we know about the Lich King’s hat, the Helm of Domination, is that it, along with the Lich King’s pants and all the other pieces of his armor was used by Kil’Jaeden to bind the soul of the Orc Shaman Ner’zhul, creating the original Lich King. He also placed the Runeblade Frostmourne inside the same icy prison, the Frozen Throne. The whole of Warcraft 3 is essentially the story of Arthas Menethil being corrupted by the Lich King’s hand me downs, first Frostmourne itself, and finally the Helm of Domination.

But now, in Shadowlands, we’re going to find out more. Specifically, we’re going to find out where Kil’Jaeden got the Lich King’s hat. Where did the Helm of Domination come from, what is it’s connection to Frostmourne, where did that come from? We’re told that the answers may lie in Torghast, and I for one am really excited to see what they are. We know that the Legion has their own form of necromancy — the Risen in the Scarlet side of Stratholme, for example, were created by Balnazzar using Legion necromancy. But it appears that there’s a lot we don’t know about how the Legion attained the Helm of Domination and Frostmourne, and what if any connection they bear to the mysterious Jailer who is behind all of Sylvanas’ recent actions.

Voices of Death

The very fact that Sylvanas even knew that destroying the Helm of Domination would do that would certainly seem to hint that the Jailer is somehow connected to the Lich King’s hat, perhaps was even responsible for its creation. Why would that mystery creature make the Helm of Domination and did it make the Helm for Kil’Jaeden? Did they have a deal of their own?

I’m also brought to think about how Sylvanas also seemed to know about Helya’s role in the creation of the Val’kyr, and how it seems that Sylvanas first made contact with the Jailer when she hurled herself from the top of Icecrown Citadel in the short story Edge of NightConsidering that Sylvanas went from making a pact with the Val’kyr Annhylde the Caller to making contact with Helya, who learned the rite to create Val’kyr by being forced to endure it by Odyn, who himself only learned it through Helya’s contacting a being in the Shadowlands, it now seems likely that it was the Jailer who taught Odyn to make Val’kyr in the first place. The creation of the Helm of Domination may have been yet another step in the creature’s grand design to overthrow the Arbiter’s rule and seize supreme power in the Shadowlands by claiming all the souls from the realm of the living at once.

That would make the Helm of Domination’s role quite simple — it was always intended to breach the bounds of our world and the world of the dead. We’ve seen so many beings recently seemingly escape death — the Drust placing their souls in constructs, the actions of Bwonsamdi — and it seems that the two biggest nexus points for creatures of the Shadowlands entering the living world are the creation of the Val’kyr and the arrival of the Helm of Domination in the Frozen Throne during the Third War. If the Jailer is behind both, then we’re finally at the endgame of a plot spanning thousands of years.

But then again, what does time matter to the dead?

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