Will Tyrael be in Diablo 4?
I am a real fan of the Diablo franchise, and one of my favorite characters is Tyrael. I wrote a KYL about him in 2015, right around the time we launched the site, and it’s still one of my favorites.
As of the end of Diablo 3, we know that Tyrael was busy re-establishing the Horadrim. That was fifty years before the start of Diablo 4 according to the official Diablo twitter account. We know that the Horadrim have spent that fifty years rebuilding — after Malthael nearly killed off Humanity trying, and ultimately failing, to create a better world — from the horror of the deaths of 90% of the Humans alive at the time. We even see Lorath Nahr — who in Diablo 3 was Tyrael’s right hand man as he tried to re-establish the Horadrim — show up early on as a sort of mentor figure in Diablo 4.
But what we haven’t seen yet is Tyrael himself, nor is there any mention of him. As of the levels we’ve had access to so far, Lorath does not say anything about him or what his whereabouts might be. And I think that’s a shame, because the impact and influence Tyrael has had over Sanctuary makes him a unique figure, and one who I believe needs to come back in Diablo 4.
Tyrael, as Archangel of Justice, found enemies on all sides
Part of the reason for Tyrael’s impact and unique position is that, as the former Archangel of Justice, he felt compelled to act against his own kind — the other Archangels of the Angiris Council — because the course of action they were contemplating was unjust. They were debating whether or not to destroy Sanctuary and everything on it after the Sin War, when the Nephalem Uldyssian ul-Diomed saved Sanctuary, restored the Worldstone and its ward against Nephalem like himself, sacrificing his own life in the process.
With these actions, Uldyssian showed Tyrael that his own opinion of the Humans of Sanctuary was in error. While they were indeed hybrid beings descended from both Angelic and Demonic forebears, they were not simply abominations to be despised and destroyed. And so, because he now realized that Humans were beings with the potential for good and to surpass Angels and Demons alike, Tyrael opposed Sanctuary’s destruction.
It cost him the friendship of Imperius, the Archangel of Valor, but he did it because it was the right thing — the just thing — to do. Injustice is anathema to the Archangel of Justice. Indeed, every appearance of Tyrael in the Diablo series so far has been rooted in this belief in justice and the importance of it. When the Dark Exile leaves Sanctuary at the mercy of Mephisto, Baal, and Diablo, it is Tyrael alone who comes to Sanctuary’s aid because the rest of the Angiris Council are unwilling to do so due to the pact with Hell that ended the Sin War.
From the creation of the Horadrim and through their slow decline
Tyrael recognizes that the pact forged between Heaven and Hell was already broken by the Dark Exile, and furthermore, leaving Sanctuary to attempt to contend with the three mightiest Demon Lords in existence isn’t just a bad idea, but it’s an injustice. The three Greater Evils engineered the Dark Exile and manipulated the Lesser Evils into rebelling against them in order to get themselves intentionally banished to Sanctuary. This would leave them unopposed in their plans, allowing them to break the pact and continue their plotting to whatever evil ends they wished.
So Tyrael came to Sanctuary. He found those women and men who could be taught powerful mystical techniques and learn the secrets of the Soulstones. With that knowledge, the Horadrim that he created did the practically unthinkable — they captured and imprisoned the three Greater Evils. In a real way, the events of all three of the mainline Diablo games are a direct result of the creation of the Horadrim by Tyrael. While it’s fair to say that Sanctuary is far from a happy place, if not for Tyrael, the three Greater Evils would likely have conquered the planet centuries ago.
Furthermore, the story of Diablo 2 is very heavily rooted in what Tyrael did, or failed to do — he failed to keep Marius from freeing Baal in the body of Tal Rasha from that old wizard’s desert tomb. This led to Baal’s corruption of the Worldstone, Tyrael’s destruction of it, and the entire events of Diablo Immortal. And that’s without even mentioning Tyrael’s pivotal role in Diablo 3, wherein he renounces his very nature — casting aside being an Angel at all in order to continue his role as the defender of Sanctuary — effectively surrendering his very existence as he has known it in the name of Justice. As a mortal being, he lived and stood as a man against the evil of the Burning Hells.
Where is Tyrael in Diablo 4?
There are several possibilities as to where Tyrael might be in Diablo 4.
The first and most depressing one is that he might be dead. It’s been fifty years since Diablo 3, and he was essentially ‘born’ as a full grown adult. While he regains much of his Angelic memories and power when he reclaims his sword El’Druin, dialogue in Diablo 3 between Lorath and Tyrael reveals that the former Angel is still prone to the various fragilities and weaknesses of all mortals. He needs to sleep, he needs to eat, and while he is vigorous and powerful it still seems possible that he might well age. Diablo 3 takes great pains to establish his mortality, and well, mortals die.
Worse still, that death doesn’t have to be one of old age. Lorath Nahr is very reluctant to work with Inarius or the Cathedral of Light in the opening of Diablo 4, and one possibility could be a simple, if horrifying one — what if Inarius and/or the Cathedral of Light have killed Tyrael? Inarius is quite capable (and even willing) to strike down other beings who obstruct his desired course of action.
Even worse than that, we know that Inarius spent many, many years trapped in Hell because of the pact that the Angiris Council — including Tyrael, who could have spoken to oppose it — brokered with the Lords of Hell. Not only did that pact lead the way to the Dark Exile, but a major component of that pact was the giving of Inarius to Mephisto. Yes, that Mephisto, Lilith’s father. You know how it is, you run off with a guy’s daughter, you steal the Worldstone and create an alternate reality with it, then you banish her to some horrible limbo plane of existence twice, and that guy gets all upset with you. It’s just feasible that Inarius, upon arriving back on Sanctuary, found Tyrael and his Horadrim and grabbed his former friend, sticking him in a horrible prison of his own to slowly die over decades.
There’s also the repeated mention of how, following the attack on Heaven by Diablo in D3 and the betrayal of Malthael, Heaven closed its gates, breaking off all contact with Sanctuary. Perhaps it’s as simple as Tyrael being unable to come back at all.
Finally, he may simply be very old and we just haven’t run into him yet. Again, being mortal means you get old and die, and while Tyrael carried El’druin and the sword clearly still recognized and empowered him, he is not an Angel anymore. I’d personally love it if Tyrael comes back in Diablo 4 as a wizened figure too old to go out into the field nowdays, but still willing to have anyone who wants to help save Sanctuary simply stay awhile and listen.
At present, we don’t know. I just really don’t want Tyrael to be dead. He’s too central to the franchise and simply too cool to not make an appearance in Diablo 4.
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