Shadows Rising novel makes one of the most popular fan pairings canon
Please note: This article contains spoilers for Shadows Rising.
Back in February, I was under the impression that players would be able to use the upcoming art book Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms to support their headcanon fan theories about Flynn Fairwind and Matthias Shaw. They’ve been a popular pairing — perhaps not quite to the level of Anduin and Wrathion, but up there — with their various interactions in game having an edge to them that inspired many players to think of the two as a potentially romantic duo.
Well, thanks to Madeleine Roux and Shadows Rising, FairShaw (that’s what I’m calling it) is no longer something that fans have to make arguments for. The two characters start a relationship in the novel, and are clearly together — albeit also clearly still their two wildly different selves — by the end of the book. For me, this was one of the most welcome surprises in the novel. While I liked it for a lot of reasons — Roux is a deft hand at managing her rather large cast of characters and making sure they all get a chance to contribute meaningfully to the plot — watching Shaw and Fairwind was an absolute delight. For fans of banter and lots of it I don’t think the Warcraft setting has another couple that could touch them, frankly.
Plus, I mean, they’re both Rogues, they’d probably be really hard to touch if they didn’t want you to anyway. They tend to dodge.
I’ll be upfront and admit I was pretty excited for this pair, and not even because it’s a prominent same sex partnership in the Warcraft setting for once, though that’s pretty cool. It’s because the two characters are one of the best ‘opposites attract’ pairings I’ve ever seen, and Roux writes them perfectly. Every bit of dry wit from Shaw is answered by a riposte from Fairwind, and honestly, I hope these two crazy kids make it. They’re hardly the focus of the book — there’s a lot going on in Shadows Rising — but they’re here, they’re together, and it’s really great to see.
Shadows Rising is available for pre-purchase now and it’ll be out on July 14. I for one highly recommend it for fans of the Warcraft setting — it manages to be an excellent bridge between expansions while also being a really entertaining and energetic read that sets up the new status quo just in time to smash it all up. And as a bonus, you get to see Matthias Shaw and Flynn Fairwind together, which I am definitely here for.
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