Vol’jin is the only character who should return with us from the Shadowlands — here’s why
Vol’jin was done dirty. This is barely up for debate; I’d be willing to say that few World of Warcraft players — whether they’re Alliance or Horde or “For Azeroth!,” whether they love or hate or are indifferent toward the guy — would disagree that his story was cut short before he got much time to show what he would be able to do as Warchief. Since then, his tale evolved into one that is directly connected with the afterlife. We’ve interacted with him as a spirit and learned that something was very wrong with all the conditions surrounding his untimely demise.
I know that many players have speculated about the idea of not only revisiting old, familiar faces in the Shadowlands, but actually bringing them back from the land of the dead, and resuming their stories. Others are vehemently against this idea. “The dead should stay dead,” they argue — and I can’t disagree. As much as I loved the character that Varian Wrynn had been turning into ever since he became a much tamer version of himself — and as much as I’d love to see him still leading the Alliance, instead of his son (sorry, Anduin fans) — his grand finale was epic and heroic. The idea of bringing him back would cheapen his character.
And I’d be willing to say the same about most other dead characters. Garrosh? Arthas? Uther? Nope. Let’s see what’s happened to them in the Warcraft afterlife, but let’s leave them there.
The sole exception, for me, is Vol’jin.
Vol’jin’s story had so much unrealized potential
It feels like there was an abrupt change of direction in the story. Throughout Mists of Pandaria, we saw him rise as an important leadership figure within the Horde, openly challenge the tyrant Hellscream, and then pay the price for it. We watched him display immensurable resilience and overcome all odds to play a crucial part in Garrosh’s demise, and actually earn the position of Warchief for himself.
…And it lasted for a whole expansion!
Until Sylvanas stole his thunder, because the story was heading in a different way, and Sylvanas being Warchief was a very important piece of the puzzle. I’m not arguing that placing Sylvanas at the helm was wrong — not at all. The story probably gained a lot from it. I’m simply sad for how Vol’jin’s own story felt abrutlty cut short. Perhaps, if he was still at the helm of the Horde, there would be no need for a ruling council. He seemed like a perfect fit for the position — he had already shown cunning and diplomatic skill beyond measure when dealing with the Zandalari back before they were part of the Horde. The same is true of his dealings with the Alliance, where he helped arrange the Siege of Orgrimmar and depose The Man. He could have led the Horde into a brighter future.
If we are given the chance, I believe that we should bring him back with us, to do all the things that he could — should — have done. Whether as a living, breathing Troll again, or as something more — perhaps, as a Loa — Vol’jin deserves to come back to the Azerothian spotlight.
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