So Blizzard's given us two looks into Icecrown Citadel. The first being The Frozen Halls (the 5-man dungeon) and the most recent being The Frozen Throne (the 10/25 man raid). That's a lot of cold, methinks. This has recently sparked a bit of speculation about who we'll see within these places and how the events will play out.
Let's take a closer look, shall we? Let's explore some of the story ramifications that lurk within Icecrown's secrets. Part I will cover The Frozen Halls, and tomorrow Part II will explore what may happen in the raid: The Frozen Throne.
The Frozen Halls
We know from the previews that we'll be seeing Jaina Proudmoore and/or Sylvanas Windrunner helping their respective factions within this winged instance. Jaina, it is said, is looking to see if anything of her former lover is left within the being known as the Lich King, and Sylvanas is looking for little more than vengeance against the one who killed her and turned her into an undead monster.
Both Jaina and Sylvanas have a rather personal story arc that deal with the fallen prince, but interestingly enough, neither have as strong a relationship with the Lich King entity. Jaina and Arthas Menethil were lovers prior to the events of the Third War, and Sylvanas was killed and raised by Arthas when he was a death knight, but before he merged with the Lich King/Ner'zhul.
It can be argued that there is no more distinction between Arthas and the Lich King any longer, as this has been shown to us by Blizzard multiple times over. However, it is still possible that there's a separation between the body and the soul. Why do I point this out?
Sylvanas, moreso than Jaina, has a story that is more strongly tied to Arthas's ultimate fate. She seeks vengeance. Indeed, she created the Forsaken (which is, honestly, purely a political entity, since there is little to no "biological" difference between Scourge, Forsaken, or an unaffiliated undead) in order to strike back at the Scourge. So what happens to her and the Forsaken after the events of Icecrown play out?
Sylvanas is modeled very similarly to Maiev Shadowsong in her pursuit, albeit perhaps a little less "dense." Afterall, Maiev just had herself to handle her hatred. Sylvanas can channel that through an entire sub-faction.
So what happens? We can speculate that since there is no mention of Sylvanas or Jaina as NPCs in The Frozen Throne raid, that their story has to conclude somehow within The Frozen Halls, yes? So what can happen to close the story satisfactorily?
We know that the Lich King surives the events of the Frozen Halls to become the raid boss for The Frozen Throne, so she definitely doesn't get the glory of killing him. Will they cheat Sylvanas of her vengeance after giving Maiev Shadowsong hers?
Can you see what I'm suggesting yet?
What if... and this is, again, pure "story thread" speculation here, but what if Sylvanas kills the body? What if she (or Jaina for the Alliance version of the encounter) actually succeeds in separating the Lich King's "soul" from Arthas's body and killing the vessel?
This hypothetical event could serve a few purposes: firstly, Sylvanas gets her vengeance and/or Jaina gets her closure. Secondly, it still becomes a victory for the "good guys," because destroying the body could easily be a huge morale boost in this war. And lastly, the Lich King's soul, which may still be bound to the armor and the blade, Frostmourne, can persist and escape to The Frozen Throne. It should be important to note here that the Frozen Throne existed as the Lich King's "prison" before Arthas entered the picture, and it could easily be brought back to the forefront for the final encounter.
"But, Thar! How would we fight the Lich King later if we kill the body now?"
Well, we already have a few examples of animated armor and weaponry, and we can be certain that the Lich King's essence is strong enough to animate such a thing. It could very much be like a revenant in style and flavor, but one that retains the silhouette of the Lich King himself.
"Arthas's true power may only now be discovered. Is there any hope in this mission, or does only death await?"
Alternatively, both Jaina and Sylvanas could be killed. But that speculation is highly highy unpopular, it seems.