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WoWJul 1, 2024 4:00 pm CT

Another new short story, this one featuring Thrall, his kids, the question of legacy — and a Hearthstone Battleground card we love to hate

The short story Trials is another offering from the upcoming compilation The Voices Within, and it concerns more characters we’ve watched grow up through the World of Warcraft timeline — Thrall, his wife Aggra, and his kids Durak and Rehze.

The story starts off with an Orc youngling stalking the incredibly deadly hydra Trigore the Lasher in Wailing Caverns as a part of Om’gora, which, given Trigore’s current balanced and rebalanced state in Hearthstone Battlegrounds, earned a snort out of me. One thing I have found thoroughly entertaining about these stories are the callbacks to age-old blink-and-you’ll-miss-em references like Trigore, or later when Rehze talks about Bruiseweed and its healing properties.

Back in Orgrimmar, Thrall’s son Durak desperately wants to go on his own Om’gora, the Orcish coming of age ritual which Thrall, Aggra, and Eitrigg made up after deciding that the previous one didn’t teach enough about their culture as Orcs, but Thrall is hesitant to allow him to do so. Thrall then has a philosophical discussion with his daughter Rehze about the historical and cultural aspects of the Om’gora, and what that philosophy has to do with the direction of the Horde — and what that philosophy has to do with Thrall’s hesitancy in allowing Durak to try the ritual.

Jonathan Maberry’s contribution to The Voices Within has a lot of parallels to the short story about Moira and her son from a few weeks back, and the one about Goblins, too. The focus is a theme we’ve addressed throughout WoW: the question of legacy, and the ambivalence between the possible directions the characters could take for each faction. Each sees the protagonist attempting to buck the traditions of the past for a more sustainable, optimistic future. Thrall’s story seeks to combine both, though, by discussing a lot of the role of those traditions within the past that he himself lived, and his worries for the future as a result. It’s a masterful story on its own, but I’m quite interested to see how this continues to shape the overarching narrative of WoW.

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