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WoWAug 25, 2020 10:00 am CT

Uther the Lightbringer — his history on Azeroth and his future in Bastion in the Shadowlands

Uther is the epitome of Paladins, of the Light, of goodness triumphing against evil. At BlizzCon he was shown as the familiar soul representing Bastion, which is in line with what we know of both. Bastion is the epitome of Light in Shadowlands, of order, paragons of different virtues. What better person to represent the realm than the Lightbringer himself?

Who was Uther in life? And what is he doing now?

Spoilers for Shadowlands follow.

From the Paladins of the Silver Hand to the rise of Arthas

Lord Uther the Lightbringer studied and worshiped the Light since his youth. He began as an apprentice to Archbishop Alonsus Faol during the First War. During this war, Uther first met the young Prince Arthas, and then escorted him to Capital City of Lordaeron.

Uther really shined during the Second War. He became the first Paladin of the Knights of the Silver Hand. He aided in defeating the horde at Lordaeron, and stopped them from taking the kingdom. He fought alongside Anduin Lothar in the final battle of Blackrock Spire. He and Turalyon — the person who gave Uther the nickname Lightbringer — led the final assault against the Burning Blade clan at the Dark Portal.

After the successful war — from the Alliance’s viewpoint — the Knights of the Silver Hand were stationed in the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind. Uther had many tasks in this service, but one of the most prestigious was training the son of King Terenas, Prince Arthas, in the ways of the Light.

In the Third War, Uther was honored to have Arthas at his side, defending the town of Strahnbrad, and that went well when fighting against Orcs. Then came Stratholme, which was infected by the Plague. Arthas ordered Uther to purge the city. Uther refused, not willing to kill innocent people so Arthas accused him of treason, and disbanded the Knights of the Silver Hand on the spot.

Uther and King Terenas discussed and agreed that something was wrong with Arthas, so they requested Arthas return from Northrend so they could meet with him. Arthas returned as requested, but when he did, he slayed his father as he sat on his throne. King Terenas’ ashes were placed in a magical urn. Uther took the urn, trying to protect it — but Arthas needed it. There was an epic battle and in the end, the Lich King aided Arthas.

Uther was on his knees when Arthas drove his sword Frostmourne through him. From Afterlives: Bastion, Uther’s soul was split in two, one absorbed into Frostmourne, and one moving on to the Shadowlands.

Uther was remembered with a tomb dedicated to him in the Western Plaguelands. The only light in a land of darkness.

Uther in Shadowlands has forsworn the Light with doubt

While questing in Bastion and during the Kyrian Covenant campaign, enemies that players will face are the Forsworn —  Kyrian Aspirants that failed to complete their rite of passage and ascend within the Kyrians. They then try to cause others to abandon their trials when attempting to join the Kyrians. When players meet Uther in Shadowlands, he is one of those Forsworn. He successfully attacks the wards protecting the Temple of Courage in Bastion. This allows forces from the House of Constructs of Maldraxxus to attack the temple.

Uther may not be the leader of the Forsworn, but as it turns out, he is accidentally responsible for their current leader. The leader is Devos, formally the Paragon of Loyalty with the Kyrians. She left and started the Forsworn, and has since taken on the title the Paragon of Doubt. In the dungeon Spires of Ascension, Devos has dialogue where she reveals that looking into the mind of Uther is what made her question the Kyrians, and to turn against them. Specifically, part of the process is to forget the past — everything from the mortal life before coming here — and Uther would not forget Arthas. Revealed in Afterlives: Bastion, not in game, Devos and Uther acted on Uther’s pain from Arthas, and bypassed the Arbiter’s judgement, sending Arthas directly to the Maw.

Devos is defeated in the dungeon, and a new leader takes over the Forsworn — Lysonia. Uther is her second in command. The story eventually leads into the Maw. As it turns out, Lysonia is in league with Helya. When the player — the Maw Walker as they’re called — confronts Lysonia in Helya’s presence, Lysonia extracts anima out of Uther. He means nothing to her, just a convenient tool to help her in plan to take over Bastion. Eventually she is put down Helya escapes, and Uther is rescued.

Uther is not sure what is to become of him. He will not stay with the Forsworn — they are not who he thought they were. But what will the Kyrians do to him, since he betrayed them? The leader of the Kyrians is not sure. For now Uther is placed Elysian Hold, and will be guarded by the Eternal Watchers. His fate will be decided later.

And there he waits. Up until this point Uther has been hostile to the player, name in red. At the conclusion of the arc, he is neutral. There is a change in his character.

What could be in happening next for Uther

There are several stories at work, and Uther is simultaneously a small and an important player in them. Throughout the Bastion and Kyrian stories, Uther doesn’t have a lot of screen time. Players only see him a few times, once during the leveling, then a few times during the Covenant Campaign if they chose Kyrian. Yet he was set up as important, from inspiring the leader of the Forsworn, to being the topic at the end of the campaign, to having a cliffhanger to be resolved later.

One possibility for his further character development is the reoccurring topic of the Light, and how controlling it is. This first came up in Legion, with Illidan destroying the Naaru Xe’ra because he would not be controlled by the Light. With Turalyon and Alleria, we have a glimpse of the conflict of Light versus Void, and that they are not truly good versus evil. In Battle for Azeroth, there is the glimpse of Yrel and the Lightbound, who have become too fanatical about the Light, and those who won’t follow it.

It stands to reason then, that Bastion and the Kyrians following the Light are not necessarily good, and that their Order might be extreme. There are other examples, as with Mograine, who assumed he should be with them because he was a Paladin, but then he sees it is not about Light, or Undead — there are other ideals. While Mograine doubted Maldraxxus, but came to find out it was right for him. Uther has not found where he belongs yet.

The other story that resurfaces over and over in Shadowlands is Arthas. Major characters in this expansion so far include Kel’thuzad, Alexandros Mograine, Kael’thas, and of course Bolvar whose helm was needed to open the link to this realm. While Arthas was only a mention before, Afterlives: Bastion finally gave us a glimpse of him, and full-on proof he is in the Maw. Further, it tied in completely to Uther’s story, with Uther as the reason he is in the Maw. This furthers the idea Arthas will surface later on in Shadowlands. And now there are stronger ties that Uther will appear in that patch.

One last point that Uther is coming back is from datamining. Very early on, dataminers found a typical blue Kyrian model of Uther, that was quickly nicknamed Bluther. It appears only briefly during the questing process, as a portrait reading out writings Uther likely created during his journey toward becoming an Ascended, before he was Forsworn by merely the memory of Arthas. While stranger things have happened, it seems unlikely that an entirely recolored version of Uther was necessary for one short headshot.

With the updated history of Uther, and the strong connection to what happened to Arthas, there is more to come with him in Shadowlands.

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