Could Taelia Fordragon succeed her father in Shadowlands? Here’s where her story could go
Taelia Fordragon is one of the most compelling characters that was introduced in Battle for Azeroth. But while her backstory is intriguing and she exudes potential to turn into a key figure on the Alliance, most of her development has yet to be seen.
For reasons that are somewhat obvious if you simply pay attention to her surname, the next World of Warcraft expansion, Shadowlands, has all the necessary prerequisites to bring her forth into the foreground and finally turn her into the great character she deserves to be. But where does her story go? What, exactly, does she become?
Warning: This post contains some spoilers for Shadowlands content.
Taelia graduating from a squire into a Paladin
Her original concept art by Eric Braddock, which inspired the character, had her sporting what can unequivocally be described as Paladin gear in the Warcraft universe: big hammer to wield, a libram on the waist. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine that the story team liked what they saw, but simply decided to “take it slow,” showing the story of how she becomes a paladin. It wouldn’t be a new development — characters as diverse as Anduin and Garrosh saw development and growth throughout multiple expansions. And it wouldn’t make much sense for her to start out as a Paladin — Kul Tiras doesn’t really have a Paladin tradition, as we saw in BFA.
If you think about it, there’s been no mention of what class Taelia is right now. We could assume that she’s a Warrior, but she’s never been shown using any Warrior abilities or saying or doing anything specifically related to warriors. Furthermore, she is presented as a squire to Cyrus. A squire is someone who aspires to be a knight — and while it’s true that knights can be warriors, it’s important to remember that this is Warcraft we’re talking about. Paladins are the biggest military aspiration one can have within the Alliance. It’s what most of their greatest heroes are or were. In the second game, Warcraft II, the Knight was a strong melee unit that could literally be upgraded into a Paladin, the strongest melee unit the Humans could create.
And of course, let’s get to the meat of this: Her father, Bolvar Fordragon, was one of the greatest Paladins to ever live. And now that she knows she’s his daughter, she’s eager to join him:
Taelia: Now I know my father is alive, free from that damned helm and no matter what it takes I’ll go to his side.
Taelia’s journey to join up with Bolvar and become a Paladin, if it happens, has a lot of potential. Blizzard tried to do something similar when showcasing Yrel’s growth during Warlords of Draenor, but fell short of realizing it — but it could still count as valuable learning experience. Taelia’s growth could even double down into game mechanics: Blizzard has expressed that while they aren’t opening up any new race/class combinations in Shadowlands, they are interested in doing them in the future. Taelia could potentially spearhead Kul Tiran paladins into existence.
Taelia succeeding her father in the throne room, as the new Queen of Stormwind
Let’s be real: Assuming that nothing majorly extraordinary happens — such as Anduin finding a way to continue his bloodline that doesn’t involve marrying and having children, or Anduin deciding that monarchy is a very outdated concept that should be replaced with something new, like a republic, or a theocracy, or a dracocracy — Anduin needs to find himself a queen. And ever since Taelia entered the picture and they met, people have been speculating about the two of them as a budding couple.
The connection between Taelia and the young lion is very strong; arguably stronger than that of Anduin with any other current character (and yes, I include Wrathion in this). Bolvar was like a father to Anduin. Bolvar nearly died at the Wrathgate, and his salvation led him down a ghastly path that culminated in his transformation into the new Lich King. But when Sylvanas broke the Helm of Domination, Bolvar was freed again. And during the events of Shadowlands, he is, once more, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon — even if crispier than before.
Taelia and Anduin had their moments of bonding in BFA, during which Anduin promised to tell her about her father. Whether or not he will make good on that promise, or someone else will, Taelia will learn the truth about Bolvar, and pursue him. In his life, he acted as the regent lord of Stormwind for several years, saving it from domination by Onyxia, and being a father to Anduin while Varian was gone. That his own daughter could continue his legacy, and bring some much-needed happiness to Anduin’s life, after such loss and torment — is certainly a glimmering thought among a sea of shadows.
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