As webmaster of LoreCrafted, I tend to get messages from across the WoW-related community regarding lore, speculation, and upcoming story changes. One of the things I receive every-so-often are links to lore articles on other sites, with a general request to give my opinion on whatever the subject matter may be at the time.
Recently, a colleague linked me to this article on World of Raids. And while I do have certain reservations about their plot speculation, my personal beliefs on the matter are such that speculation should be "fair game." Speculation is fun and gets the mind working on plot possibilities, and no part of me wishes to discourage such a thing. However, I wouldn't mind joining in the discussion a bit.
So this article serves as a counterpoint / discussion to the World of Raids article, touching upon a few quotes and examining things from a LoreCrafted point of view. I also wish to address in this article a few distinct pieces of information that are simply incorrect. LoreCrafted was built to help combat incorrect or misunderstood lore, and that is one of the purposes I wish to serve today. And if there are high profile sites out there writing articles using incorrect or outdated information, then there are definitely readers out there with the same misconceptions.
I will quote from the article linked and address each specific quote below:
"It's almost a given that someone is going to take the reigns [sic] from Arthas (the Lich King) at the end of Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Throne and be the bext big-baddie once Deathwing is finally taken out."
This quote straddles the line between declaration of fact and simple speculation. I include it here, though, for one reason: why does it have to be a 'given' that someone will take the reins of the Lich King and become the big baddie after Deathwing? We have more than enough pre-existing lore villains to fill that slot without rehashing the "frozen undead" arc. Not only do we have Azshara, who's actually mentioned in the Cataclysm information and possibly being groomed for an eventual in-game debut, but we also still have at least three Old Gods left per original count. And then there's also Kil'jaeden, who's not dead, and even big baddie Sargeras, whose voice we heard during the Wrathgate event.
And what about the Titans? While they're not inherently evil, some of them ARE cold and calculating enough to become a threat to the mortal races of Azeroth.
There is a frighteningly common belief among many World of Warcraft players that we're killing off our villains too quickly and that we'll not have any left. This is simply not true. There are many villains remaining nestled quietly throughout the lore of this world, and there are still many old heroes left we have yet to see (Turalyon and Alleria being two of them).
"It's the textbook 'mad-with-vengeance' story to a t, with [Tirion's] sanity on the brink as he pushes harder and harder to topple the Frozen Throne and bring Arthas to 'justice.'"
I have to ask here for evidence that Tirion's sanity is on the brink. Certainly, he grieves for his son's death, but every encounter we've had with Fordring has shown him to be an upstanding man who wears the heavy burden of his tasks. It was even Tirion who discovered that Arthas was irredeemable, a fact he'd only care to mention if redemption was on his mind.
Remember that Tirion is one of the last bastions of the old Silver Hand order. If Blizzard were to drive HIM crazy, too, it would just be bad storytelling. But that's simple opinion.
"Is it really about justice anymore for Tirion? He sure didn't seem to care about justice when he allowed the Alliance and Horde to slaughter each other in Crusaders' Coliseum; kind of like when Arthas mercilessly slaughtered the citizens of Stratholme, or when he turned on the mercenaries he paid to destroy the ships in Northrend, just before they would have recalled his expedition prior to finding Frostmourne."
So I have to quote one of my guildmates on this one:
"Did he actually compare the Coliseum to Stratholme...?"
I have to be honest when I say that comparing Tirion's actions in the Coliseum to those of Arthas in Stratholme is a little bit of a stretch. Tirion's words in the Coliseum, especially in regards to the conflict between the Horde and the Alliance, are saturated with regret and resignation. He does not want to allow the conflict, but he understands that he has to pander to the whims of the leaders, or else the Northrend offensive could crumble.
And if you take a step back and look at this from a pure literary perspective, rehashing the same "fall from grace" story arc would, much like the previous quote regarding Tirion above, just be bad storytelling.
"Darion originally wielded the Corrupted Ashbringer, though how he came across it is unknown."
To summarize, Darion faced the Four Horsemen in Naxxramas and was able to take the Corrupted Ashbringer from his father. The whispers of the sword lead Darion to the Scarlet Monastery, where the spirit of Alexandros Mograine killed his other son, Renault Mograine, in vengeance for his betrayal. Later, Darion ran himself through with the Corrupted Ashbringer in an attempt to exchange his soul for his father's, setting it free amongst the thousand other souls buried beneath Light's Hope Chapel. That act, An Act of Love, decimated the Scourge attack on Light's Hope that was happening at the time.
Reading through the comments of the article, there are a few pieces of speculation that jive with my own thoughts, and a few that just don't. Ultimately, however, the post does bring up some of the long-standing questions regarding the closure of Wrath of the Lich King.
Patch 3.3 is coming soon, and these mysteries will be revealed to us.