Could Galakrond be the Dragonflight end-boss? What we know about Tyr, the dragonflights, and Galakrond
With upcoming launch of the World of Warcraft: Dragonflight expansion on November 28, we’ve learned some new bits of lore, revisited the past, and had reason to be excited for the future of WoW. The age of dragons ended at the end of Cataclym, beginning the age of mortals — but now the time of the dragons has come again. The Dragon Isles were shut off from the world — even from the dragons themselves — at the time of the sundering, 10,000 years ago. Much like Pandaria, magic made it impossible for anyone to travel to the Dragon Isles. The dragons were locked away from their ancient home… until now.
The power to allow the dragons to return was tied to a beacon in Tyrhold, and the mechanism to activate the beacon is Titan technology. When the stone watchers guarding the beacon awoke — at least, the only one that hadn’t succumbed to the devastation of the elements — it was time for the dragons to come home.
We’ve encountered the dragons, especially aspects, before in WoW. There have been references to Tyr, a Titan-keeper, in game, and his background with the dragon aspects is laid out more in the book Dawn of the Aspects. So who is Tyr? What is their background? And would could this mean for the final villain of Dragonflight?
The origins of the dragon aspects
In the beginning, there were proto-dragons.
Well, no, before there were proto-dragons, there were elementals, and some of them weren’t imprisoned on the Elemental Plane. Those that stayed on Azeroth gradually transformed into elemental drakes, and then they transformed into proto-drakes. In Dragonflight, we see proto-dragon leaders returning to elemental forms. The proto-dragons resided in the Dragon Isles, and were not, for the most part, the intelligent, powerful creatures we know of when thinking of dragons. They were more primal, closer to those as seen in Northrend. They came in varying colors, not just the five main dragon flight colors, but many other variations, like violet, ironbound, orange, and gold.
Among the proto-dragons, one began to stand out and evolve above the rest: Galakrond. He started to consume other proto-dragons. He grew larger and mutated, with extra limbs and eyes, transforming himself into what was basically an undead. He continued out into Azeroth, consuming life and creating undead dragon followers, called the not-living. He became so hungry for life he would even expel the proto-drakes he had consumed, and then devour them again.
Galakrond was a menace to the world who had to be stopped. Five proto-dragons — the only types of dragons at the time — stepped up. They were the most daring and the most powerful of their kind, and they eventually defeated Galakrond. They were the dragons that we would come to know as Alexstrasza, Nozdormu, Ysera, Malygos, and Neltharion.
For their effort, they gained the attention and favor of the Titans, who charged them with protecting Azeroth. The Titans set each of these dragons with a task:
- Alexstrasza, the Life-Binder, was blessed by Eonar, to safeguard all living creatures of the world.
- Ysera, the Awakened, or the Dreamer, was blessed by Eonar to watch the Emerald Dream.
- Nozdormu, the Timeless One, was tasked by Aman’Thul with safeguarding time and all the pathways. That would of course cause him to go insane in the pathways of time, and create an evil version of himself, Murozond.
- Malygos, the Spell-Weaver, was empowered by Norgannon, guardian of magic.
- Neltharion, the Earth-Warder, was empowered by Khaz’goroth. But then being down in the earth put him too close to the Old Gods and, he would become Deathwing, responsible for the whole cataclysm fiasco in the first place.
Not only did these five dragons gain titanic power, they were reformed. No longer proto-dragons, they were a new kind of dragon, the types of dragons we see on Azeroth today. It was not just these five dragons, the five that would be called the dragon aspects, but all other dragons who accepted the power of the Titans. However, not all dragons would accept the task the Titans set them on — and the power that came with it. There were still dragons loyal to Galakrond, as well as proto-dragons who simply didn’t let the power of the Titans in. And so they remained proto-dragons, as would their descendants.
But the dragons did not co-exist peacefully. In the fight with Galakrond, Malygos was bitten and went mad, trying to redirect all magical ley lines to the Eye of Eternity, where he resided. He was killed by Alexstrasza and was succeeded by Kalecgos, the steward of magic, as the new blue aspect. Later, Deathwing — driven mad by the Old Gods — was killed by the other four aspects and Thrall, stepping in as the temporary fifth. There isn’t an official black dragon aspect at this time, but Wrathion could be making a play for it. And during Battle for Azeroth, it was revealed that Ebonhorn, one of the last non-corrupted black dragons, is still with us, having been secretly living among the Highmountain. And during Legion, in one of the most heart-wrenching cutscenes ever, Ysera was killed after being corrupted by Xavius. In Shadowlands, players help her be reborn in Ardenweald, but Ysera is now bound to Ardenweald, and hasn’t left the land of the dead. For now, the green dragons are being led by Ysera’s daughter, Merithra. She’s been in WoW since the War of the Shifting Sands, crafting weapons in the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, but really stepped into the spotlight in BFA when she helped adventurers empower the Heart of Azeroth with the power of the green dragonflight.
These are the dragons, who have evolved from the proto-dragons, who are heading back to the Dragon Isles after 10,000 years, to start the healing of Azeroth, and to strengthen their flights.
Tyr and the birth of the dragon aspects
The Titans come and go from Azeroth, but they’ve always tried to leave the place in capable hands with the Watchers, who are led by Keepers. We’ve interacted with some of them, including Odyn, Loken, Mimiron — mostly ones we’ve had to fight. But there’s one Keeper we’ve never interacted with in WoW, one who’s had a great influence on Azeroth: Tyr.
Tyr led the first Humans with the curse of flesh out of Northrend, and inspired those who would become the Silver Hand. He was granted the blessing of strength and courage by the Titan Aggramar, and along with Odyn — with whom he was so close that they called each other “brother” — fought and imprisoned Ragnaros on the elemental plane of fire. He even led titan-forged armies against the Old Gods, helping to imprison them. Tyr was a formidable warrior who inspired courage in those who fought beside him on the battlefield.
Tyr built Tyrhold in the lands that would later be known as the Dragon Isles. He saw Galakrond and knew what a threat this humongous proto-dragon was to the world. And that’s when he saw five proto-dragons who stood out among the rest. The first one he approached was the most intelligent of the proto-dragons: Malygos. Eventually, Tyr brought the five of them together and aided them in battle. Armed with a hammer and an artifact called the Spark of Tyr, Tyr led the five proto-dragons to where Galakrond slept. Galakrond tried to devour Ysera, but Tyr swung his hammer, saving her. Galakrond countered with a flap of his wings, causing Tyr to drop his hammer: but as he went for the Spark of Tyr, Galakrond bit down with his massive mouth, and chewed off Tyr’s hand. (Jotun, a Watcher and friend to Tyr, would later replace his missing hand with a silver hand.) That wasn’t the the battle where Galakrond was defeated — the soon-to-be-dragon-aspects would do that without Tyr. After the soon-to-be-dragon-aspects defeated Galakrond, it was Tyr who called the Titans, requesting their aid to empower these proto-dragons and create the dragon aspects.
But Galakrond’s bite what not ultimately killed Tyr. Loken in Ulduar had fallen to the corruption of Yogg-Saron, and helped Yogg-Saron spread the curse of flesh. Though Tyr and the other Watchers knew Loken was up to something, they didn’t know what: but the Discs of Norgannon, which recorded all of the history on Azeroth, would reveal all. The Watchers took the discs and headed south, but Loken sent an army of monsters after them. When Tyr realized lives were going to be lost in the battle, he did the only thing he could think to do: sacrificed himself to save the rest. He unleashed all his energy, destroying Loken’s army. The place he died became known as Tyr’s Fall, or Tirisfal. A tomb was built around his body and his hammer — The Silver Hand — was left to rest alongside him.
This may not be the last of Tyr. His artifact, the Spark of Tyr, allows users to see the past — and we saw Kalecgos using it in Dawn of the Aspects. During this novel, a Taunka spirit named Buniq appears at Galakrond’s remains. Both Jaina and Kalecgos see the spirit, and Jaina theorizes that it’s Tyr in disguise, while Kalecgos believes that he saw Tyr at the remains. There is enough of a hint here to suggest Tyr isn’t gone for good, or at least can reappear in ghostly form — which means he could make an appearance in Dragonflight.
Could Galakrond be the end boss for Dragonflight?
No real end boss for Dragonflight has been laid out yet, but Dragonflight Legacies goes into history that gives us a hint about a potential end boss. We know that the Discs of Norgannon will be involved in the expansion’s opening scenario, and those were about the curse of flesh, Yogg-Saron, and Loken. But the discs we’re looking for in the beginning of Dragonflight are specifically about Tyr. And there’s one major link between Tyr, the dragon aspects, and the information we know about the next expansion: Galakrond.
Yes, Galakrond is dead. Like, dead dead. But he was also something that evolved into one of the first undead-like creatures on Azeroth. He could create more undead. He died in Northrend, a place associated with undead. And this is following an expansion where the Lich King is — finally — no more, and there’s no one keeping the undead under control.
In Dragonflight’s pre-patch we’ll visit a version of Uldaman, called Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr. Here we’ll find books that seem to hint at what is to come in Dragonflight. One is about Yogg-Saron, how he corrupted Galakrond, and how Tyr had a way to cleanse that corruption somewhere in the Dragon Isles. Why would that be needed now, with Galakrond gone? Legacies Chapter One also talks about Galakrond — and though it was just a glimpse into the past that recapped how the aspects first received their power, it also retold the story of Galakrond.
However, the most compelling evidence that Galakrond could return as a villain may actually be in Hearthstone. In the Descent of Dragons expansion, the League of E.V.I.L. went to Galakrond’s remains in Dragonblight and brought him back as Galakrond, Azeroth’s End. It required different forces to bring him back including fel, and void. (And in an interview, Steve Danuser said there are connections to multiple cosmic forces. Possibly a connection.) In that Hearthstone expansion, the League of E.V.I.L. was opposed by the League of Explorers and it’s been confirmed that the League of Explorers will be in Dragonflight — but Steve Danuser would not give a yes or no about whether Reno Jackson, or anyone else from Hearthstone, would make an appearance. Perhaps it’s a stretch, but there are connections to be found.
We know Galakrond was far larger than the five aspects together. So if Deathwing could carry an entire raid fight on his back, Galakrond could have part of the raid take place all over him, or inside him. The signs are pointing to his return, and Hearthstone may have laid the groundwork for how this could happen.
Whether Galakrond will be the final boss of Dragonflight or not, this ancient proto-dragon has a role to play… we just don’t know exactly what it is yet.
Originally published April 29, 2022; updated November 8, 2022
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