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WoWSep 18, 2023 10:00 am CT

Will the Old Gods’ plans finally be revealed in WoW patch 10.2?

The Old Gods have left their mark on Azeroth, and especially on the Dragonflights that make up the main narrative focus of Dragonflight, World of Warcraft’s appropriately named Dragon-themed expansion. While we haven’t actually seen the Old Gods themselves (mostly), we’ve been dealing with their legacy all expansion long. Now, with Fyrakk coming to assail Amirdrassil in the Emerald Dream in patch 10.2, we may be looking at the return of many old antagonists and the beginning of a whole new phase in the machinations of the Old Gods.

So just how are the Old Gods involved in Dragonflight? Let’s take a look at what we’ve seen of the Old Gods this expansion, and where we might find them in WoW patch 10.2.

N’Zoth witnessed our time travel escapades with the Bronze Dragonflight

The Temporal Conflux  in Thaldraszus is home to the Bronze Dragonflight, and if you visit you end up  falling down a rabbit hole of periods in Azeroth’s past that culminates in a direct appearance from the Old Gods: you witness them conquering the Elemental Lords and establishing the Black Empire. In this moment, we are seen by N’Zoth, the Old God who we last saw during the ending of Battle for Azeroth. The one who was weirdly fixated on us, remember? He put a hat on our heads so he could see through our eyes and even spoke directly to our minds while we tried to use the Halls of Origination.

This past version of N’Zoth reads our minds, recognizes that we recognize it, and we essentially hand the thing a roadmap to the future. Suddenly, a lot of things make sense — why the other Old Gods got picked off while N’Zoth sat back and waited, why N’Zoth seemed so creepily interested in us, why N’Zoth seemed to know about the coming of Zovaal and the Shadowlands — he knew all of that stuff because he’d seen our memories from three years after we’d dealt with all of it.

Worse, the time period we travel to is during the foundation of the Black Empire, and it’s when the Elemental Lords — the biggest, most powerful of the Elementals — were subjugated by the Old Gods. That subjugation, using ancient magics like the Cipher of Damnation (or something similar) which may in fact be of Titan origin — the Warlock Green Fire quest way back in Mists of Pandaria drops a tidbit that the magic that summons Demons was once used by the Titans — possibly the very magic used by Sargeras to trap Demons in the prison world Mardum.

The Old Gods and the Dragonflights have always been enemies

In order to conquer the Black Empire and impose order on Azeroth, the Titans created the Titan Forged — entites like the Watchers, powerful beings of metal and stone infused with elemental power themselves. They then used the Titan Forged to conquer the Elemental Lords serving the Old Gods and bound them to the Elemental Planes — prison pocket dimensions similar to Sargeras’ Mardum, but holding the essences of Elementals instead of Demons.  It was this act — imprisoning the Elementals instead of freeing them after the defeat of the Old Gods — that has led to the conflict between the Primalists — who worship the Elementals — and the Dragonflights who were chosen and elevated by the Titan Forged named Tyr.

So much of the history of the Dragonflights has revolved around the struggle against the Old Gods and their attempt to regain conrtol of Azeroth. The corruption of Galakrond — the ancient primordial Proto-Dragon who almost consumed all of his brethren and transformed them into undead monsters  — was caused by Loken and Yogg-Saron corrupting the waters used by Titan Forged Tyr in his attempt to bestow the power he would later give to the Dragon Aspects.

Deathwing’s madness, the creation of the Dragon Soul, the attempt to use it to escape their prisons that led to the death of most of the Blue Dragonflight, even the changes to the timeline caused when Rhonin and Krasus accidentally interacted with a time trap created by the Old Gods to ensnare Neltharion — all and more were caused by the Old Gods. Even the recent attack on the Emerald Dream by the Emerald Nightmare, an entity that empowered the Satyr Xavius during Legion, was partially due to the attack on the Emerald Dream by N’Zoth. This led to the death of Ysera, if you recall.

The entire storyline of patch 10.1.5’s Fractures in Time event is rooted around the coming of Murozond, the twisted version of Nozdormu who was/will be born when the Old Gods manipulate Nozzie to break his oath in an attempt to avoid his death.

In short, Dragon can’t stub its toe in Azeroth without an Old God somewhere cackling about that rock they moved last week. It’s no surprise that the Old Gods are coming up again in Dragonflight.

Old Gods continue to pull the strings

It’s possible that the Old Gods are in fact behind the Primalists. Considering the current conflict in Dragonflight between the Primalists and the Aspects seems rooted in the grievances of the Elementals who were imprisoned by the Titans rather than being restored to their former position as essentially the rulers of the world, and we know the Elemental Lords (and indeed, most of their Elemental followers) are not free from the binding of the Old Gods. The name of Fyrrak’s greataxe in patch 10.2, Fyr’alath the Dream Render, reminds me of Old God related artifacts like Xal’atath, Xal’atoh, Ny’alotha or even the intensely hard to pronounce Sk’shuul Vaz. And not just because of all of the apostrophes either.

Based on the naming conventions of other Old God related items, sometimes we don’t even get their names in whatever loathsome tongue the followers of the Old Gods speak — like Devastation’s Hour or the Gibbering Maw, these items come pre-translated. Others, however, seem to have a translation appended as a kind of title — for example, Xal’atoh is also the Desecrated Image of Gorehowl and Xal’atath is known as the Blade of the Black Empire. That could mean that Fyr’alath literaly means Dream Render, or it could not — the Fyr’ prefix would seem to refer to Fyrakk himself.

It’s also worth noting that N’Zoth was deeply involved with the attack on the Emerald Dream by Xavius, and thus the death of Ysera — she’s currently in Azeroth, but her entire being is tethered to the Shadowlands now, so she’ll be going back someday. Yes, this also means Malfurion will be coming back, but it’s pretty convenient that he’s currently stuck in the land of the dead while Fyrakk is trying to burn down his new tree.

Almost as if some Old God who had a guide to the entire future handed to him by some adventurers, huh?

Will the Old Gods return in WoW patch 10.2?

In the end, we don’t know if we’ll see the Old Gods directly in patch 10.2 — but we do know Amirdrassil wouldn’t be under siege if not for the Old Gods. They’ve had a hand in many of the things that have made the various Dragonflights suffer over the millennia — Deathwing’s war on the other Dragonflights, the creation of the Dragon Soul and the nearly complete destruction of the Blue Dragons, all of Alexstrasza’s losses from Tyranastrasz and Korialstrasz her consorts to almost all of her as yet unhatched eggs destroyed in the Wyrmrest Temple, Neltharion’s constant identity crisis, Ysera’s death, everything else Deathwing related — it’s hard to imagine them not being somewhere in the background when Fyrakk tries to burn Amirdrassil.

A servant of the Old God N’Zoth once said “Five lanterns now darkened. The flames they seek will light the Masters’ way.” How many World Trees will Fyrakk have to burn to let the Old Gods out?

For now it’s all speculation, but with their deep ties to the Dragonflights, it would be a surprise if the Old Gods didn’t show up before the end of the expansion.

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