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Lore > WoWNov 28, 2022 10:00 am CT

With Dragonflight nearly here, just who are the Dragon Aspects?

WoW’s Dragonflight expansion, going live later today, focuses heavily on the Dragon Aspects. From Dragonflight’s initial introduction trailer taking us to the Dragon Isles, to the Dragonflight Legacies shorts that recapped the history of the Dragon Aspects, it’s clear that the Aspects are the main characters of the latest expansion.

But who are the Dragon Aspects? In the distant past, five proto-dragons fought Galakrond, proving themselves beyond the others — and for this, the Titans granted them the power to serve as protectors of Azeroth. Today, only two of the original five still stand, whether due to corruption or an unfortunate encounter with the Warcraft playerbase or both. And the Dragon Aspects that remain are now drained of power, having used the last of it to defeat Deathwing at the end of Cataclysm.

In Dragonflight, the dragons look to reclaim their power. In the first trailer, Alexstrasza proclaims:

We shall be Azeroth’s protectors once again. Here, the new age of dragons shall begin.

But before we learn the future of the Dragon Aspects, let’s look into the past. Who were the five Dragon Aspects originally? What happened to them? And who, exactly, is filling the roles of the Aspects who have been lost over the years? Here’s what we know about the history of the Dragon Aspects.

Aspect of Red Dragonflight

Red Aspect: Alexstrasza the Life-Binder, Queen of Dragons

Alexstrasza was and still is the Aspect of the Red Dragonflight. Because she led the fight against Galakrond, Alexstrasza was also appointed the queen of all dragons. Early on, when the Aspects still proto-drakes, Alexstrasza watched out for her sister, Ysera. Even as a proto-drake, Alexstraza was a protector — she watched out for her sister, Ysera, and guarded over others. When mortal humanoids began to overtake the world, the dragons didn’t agree on how these newcomers should be treated, in order to fulfill their duties as protectors of Azeroth. Alexstrasza was on the side of aiding the humanoid races.

Alexstrasza may still stand as the Red Aspect, but she hasn’t had an easy time of it. The Demon Soul (or Dragon Soul) was a weapon created by Deathwing by harnessing the power of the Aspects. It fell into the hands of a Dragonmaw Orc named Kenkros Skullcrusher, who used it to capture Alexstrasza. She was brought to Grim Batol and forced to lay eggs — all of her offspring would serve the Dragonmaw. Rhonin of the Kirin Tor destroyed the Demon Soul, freeing Alexstrasza and returning the power the artifact held back to the Dragon Aspects.

Alexstrasza led the fight against Deathwing during Cataclysm, and his eventual defeat at the cost of all the Dragon Aspects’ power. But despite this Deathwing claimed another victory against the Dragonflights, having used the Twilight Hammer to corrupt the eggs in all the Dragon Sanctums, turning them into chromatic dragons. The eggs infected any dragon who touched them, and all had to be destroyed — the first to go was Alexstrasza’s consort Korialstrasz, and the eggs of the Red Dragonflight in the Ruby Sanctum. It was a crushing blow to Alexstrasza.

So what has become of the Red Aspect? How have the tragedies she’s faced changed her? During Garrosh’s trial in War Crimes, we see the truth of just who Alexstrasza is. When asked about her improsionment in Grim Batol, and the torture she suffered at the hands of the Dragonmaw Orcs, she said that she loves every creature on Azeroth, Orcs included. If they genuinely asked her for forgiveness, she would grant it.

Aspect of the Blue Dragonflight

Former Blue Aspect: Malygos the Spell-Weaver

Current Blue Aspect: Kalecgos the Steward of Magic

After the defeat of Galakrond, the Titan master-magician Norgannon made Malygos the guardian of arcane magic — but Malygos soon fell to Deathwing (and later to the players). When the Aspects put their power into the Dragon Soul (later the Demon Soul), it was Malygos — persuaded by Deathwing — who convinced them to do it. But unknown to all of them, the Dragon Soul also gave Deathwing power over all the Dragonflights, and when Malygos saw what this weapon could do, he tried to stop Deathwing.

But it was too late: Deathwing used the Dragon Soul against the Blue Dragonflight. Many were destroyed, and Malygos was injured both physically and mentally. The loss of his Dragonflight and his guilt over helping Deathwing create this weapon, drove him a bit crazy, and he hid away in his lair for millennia.

When he returned to the world, Malygos saw how many people on Azeroth were using magic, and feared that would attract the Burning Legion, and went on a crusade against mortal spellcasters and the Kirin Tor. In the process, he attempted to tap into Azeroth’s magical ley lines and divert all power to the Nexus, causing terrible harm to Azeroth in the process. The Wyrmrest Accord, a coalition of all the other Dragon Aspects, was forced to side against Malygos, and players killed him during Wrath of the Lich King, claiming a blue dragon mount as a trophy.

Kalecgos, who had opposed Malygos’ war against mortal spell casters and worked to take him down, stepped in to become Blue Aspect. Formerly, while in the blue flight under Malygos, he worked as an investigator. He was sent to find any residual magic from the Sunwell, thought to be completely destroyed by the Lich King and the Scourge. In his search he befriended the Human Aveena, who, as it would turn out, was actually the living embodiment of the Sunwell. Kalec swore to protect Aveena, but Kil’jaeden took her when he tried to use the Sunwell to summon himself back to Azeroth. Kalec himself became possessed by the Dreadlord Sathrovarr the Corruptor, which is why we fought him during the Sunwell Plateau raid in The Burning Crusade. But once freed from corruption, Kalec aids us in the fight against Kil’jaeden.

When it came time to officially select who would be the new aspect of the Blue Dragonflight, there were two choices. Besides Kalec, the other was Arygos, who was secretly aligned with Deathwing. He tried to have Kalec killed before the Embrace — a rare occurrence when Azeroth’s two moons cross, the only time a dragon can be made an Aspect — but Tarecgosa sacrificed herself to save him. Since joining, Kalecgos has been thoroughly involved with the mortal races of Azeroth, joining the Council of Six in Dalaran and becoming close allies with some of the world’s most powerful mages, like Jaina Proudmoore.

Aspect of the Green Dragonflight

Former Green Aspect: Ysera the Dreamer, or the Awakened

Current Green Aspect: Merithra of the Dream (possibly)

Ysera was in charge of the Emerald Dream, and as such she was caught between two worlds — and it was said she became confused as to whether she was in Azeroth or the Emerald Dream. She planted the first World Tree, Nordrassil, but much of her story can’t be found on Azeroth: instead, it resides within the Emerald Dream. Xavius worked to corrupt the Dream, turning it into the Emerald Nightmare, and though Malfurion fought against him, Ysera became trapped in the nightmare. She was freed when Eranikus, her consort, sacrificed himself to let Ysera and Malfurion escape… but that wasn’t the end of the end of the matter.

In Legion, Ysera sent us to retrieve a Tear of Elune to help Cenarius, who had started to succumb to the Nightmare himself. But Xavius stole the Tear and used it to corrupt Ysera, leaving us with no choice but to kill her. Elune lifted her up and created a dragon constellation to remember her by, Xavius was eventually killed, and the corruption in the Emerald Dream dealt with, but it was little consolation for the loss.

And yet this wasn’t the last we saw of Ysera: in Shadowlands, we crossed into the afterlife and discovered Ysera’s soul sleeping in a wildseed in Ardenweald. After some quests and a lot of anima, Ysera was reborn in the Shadowlands, now tied to Ardenweald.  She’s not yet alive, but also not exactly dead. Still, no longer the green aspect.

Merithra of the Dream is Ysera’s daughter. You might not recognize the name, but she’s been doing important work in Azeroth since vanilla WoW. She first appeared in the War of the Shifting Sands, where she crafted weapons for adventurers. Later, Ysera put her in charge of leading Druids to defeat the Emerald Nightmare. She popped up again during the Fourth War during Battle for Azeroth, where she helped combat an infestation of void in  the Emerald Dream, and she represented the Green Dragonflight when it came time to empower the Heart of Azeroth. While she is the acting leader, not all of the Green Dragonflight agree she should be in charge.

Aspect of the Bronze Dragonflight

Bronze Aspect: Nozdormu, the Timeless One, keeper of the timeways

Nozdormu believes that there is one true timeway and that time should not be altered from this true course. But being in charge of all of time is a complicated business, and Nozdormu became lost, trapped in time. Here, he saw his future self: Murozond, Lord of the Infinite. When or how this happens, we don’t know… but thanks to timey-wimey, outside-of-time, Caverns of Time stuff, Murozond is already dead at our hands.

It was Thrall who figured out where he was, having seen Nozdormu at three points in his life, in the past, present and future — which is why there are so many dungeons related to Thrall in the Caverns of Time. That helped to free Nozdormu. Nozdormu was having a bit of an existential crisis, wondering why so many bad things happened to good people, who he truly was, he had to find himself. And he came to the realization everything was the fault of Old Gods. He concluded the old gods, probably, corrupted him, and he was the reason Thrall was being attacked. And he needed a way to stop himself from becoming this alternate form.

But Nozdormu is still destined to become Murozond. In this anagrammed form, he leads the Infinite Dragonflight which, unlike its Bronze counterpart, travels the timeways to change events and create alternate histories (and futures) for Azeroth. Nozdormu is still be alive — and still the Bronze Dragon Aspect — but his fate is already sealed. Dragonflight is already placing a large emphasis on the Infinite Dragonflight, so perhaps we’ll finally find out just where Murozond comes from.

Aspect of the Black Dragonflight

Former Black Aspect: Neltharion the Earth-Warder, better known as Deathwing, the Destroyer

Current Black Aspect: None

Neltharion began as the Earth-Warder, but in this role he spent much time below the earth, where the Old Gods lay imprisoned, and he was corrupted by N’Zoth. When the Burning Legion attacked, he created the Dragon Soul using his blood, then convinced the other four Aspects put a piece of their power into it in order to defeat the Legion. But the weapon could also be used to enslave the Aspects and the dragons of their Dragonflights. Neltharion finally turned on the Aspects and mortal races alike, destroying many of the Blue Dragonflight and capturing Alexstrasza. He disguised himself as the Human Lord Daval Prestor and tried to destroy the Alliance from within. He also took on the guise of an Orc, befriending Gul’dan, Blackhand, and Doomhammer. Incognito, he worked both sides of the first two wars.

After his defeat at the Battle of Grim Batol, with the Dragon Soul destroyed and the other Aspects restored to full power, Deathwing fled to Deepholm to heal, where the whispers of the Old Gods drove him further to madness. When we meet him again in Cataclysm, Deathwing is changed, his body held together by metal plates, and his mind lost to the Old Gods. He sought to bring about the Hour of Twilight, when the Old Gods would be freed, but he was defeated by the remaining Dragon Aspects, who sacrificed the last of their power to destroy him.

Neltharion may be gone, but in Dragonflight, we’ve learned that he created an army of Dracthyr while the Aspects were still on the Dragon Isles. This race has been locked in stasis for millennia, and emerge into the world thinking of Neltharion as their trusted leader — but instead, he was the one who locked them up, viewing Dracthyr as liability when he no longer had complete control over them.

Who is the Black Dragon Aspect today? There isn’t one, though there are a few who might take on the role. The Black Dragonflight is apparently a democratic society, and there’s a place in the Dragon Isles that will have players vote who should lead them. One choice is Wrathion, the young black dragon that players helped hatch in Cataclysm, who warned against the return of the Legion, and has popped up occasionally since. Wrathion was a raid boss in Ny’alotha, and  since Dragon Aspects love to be raid bosses, he seems to have a good chance. The other option is Sabellian, a black dragon that fled to Outland and then was left behind). He helped players kill Gruul and his family, but that’s his only claim to fame.

That’s the history of Azeroth’s Dragonflights, but now it’s time to head off to the Dragon Isles and learn about their future.

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