The one thing that has intrigued me the most about Shadowlands so far is the fact that the structures in the Necrolord zone are made specifically similar to the structures of the Nerubians/Scourge. The architecture of the Ziggurats and Necropolis come from the Nerubians, which influenced the Lich King into adopting the architecture after he conquered them. But now in Shadowlands, we have the same type of architecture. But, the Shadowlands obviously predates the Nerubian Kingdom. So what does that mean? Did the Nerubians get their architecture from the shadowlands? Does that mean that nerubians had a connection to the Shadowlands somehow? Is that just a retcon from blizzard? Or maybe they just forgot about that and decided to do the Necrolords stuff similar to the Scourge stuff because they are all undead? Anyway, that's what made me scratch my head so far about shadowlands.
What excites me the most about Shadowlands: afterlives, specifically the one we've seen, Uther, is the implications it has for past events in the story. More specifically, Sylanas' suicide following Arthas' defeat at Icecrown. Lets not forget that just after The Lich King's fall, Sylvanas went to the top of Icecrown herself and found his body. Upon seeing it, she threw herself from the top of the spire and onto the saronite spikes below. What she saw in 'her' afterlife was a place of horrid monstrosities, eternal suffering, pain and doom. However, most imporntantly, she saw a young boy, curled up and crying. This boy happened to be the spirit of Arthas. This place is also the same place she makes the deal with the Val'kyr to take her place in this afterlife and return to the living. The implications the recent events have on Sylvanas' death, and what it means for Shadowlands stretch beyond what we know, now . For what we do know, Arthas' spirit was placed directly into the maw without judgement following his death in Icecrown. Sylvanas throws herself from Icecrown after seeing his corpse and follows him into the shadowlands closeby. Since Arthas is the only person that hasn't been properly judged by the arbiter, then this means Sylvanas' judgement left her unworthy of even revendreth, and sent directly into the maw, where she see's the spirit of Arthas, the young boy. At the time of Sylvanas' death from suicide, Her character was not nearly as cynical, evil, or death obsessed as she is now. In fact, she was a rather good character only seeking vengeance against Arthas and what he did to Norhtern Lordaeron and her people. So for the Arbiter to judge her soul unworthy seems somewhat out of character for the Arbiter. Sylvanas' sins prior to her death do not nearly stack up to what arthas had done. My theory behind sylvanas' damnation is the idea that the Arbiter is somewhat of an omniscient being. One that can see past, present, and future. And seeing what sylvanas' future brought (the sacking of Gilneas, The fourth war entirely, the burning of Teldrasil and genocide of the night elves, the shatter between the living realm and the shadowlands, etc), she deemed sylvanas' soul unworthy, at the time of her suicide, for any place possible of redemption and sent her directly into the maw, one of the few soul capable of such a punishment. Only someone equaling the arbiter's power could've help sylvanas escape her damnation. In this case, The Jailer with the assistance of the Val'kyr. To go even deeper, you have to factor in Helya and her role in all of this as she is seen as the leader of the Val'kyr. So we have to see how her allegances lie with the jailer and how it was even possible for sylvanas to escape her first damnation into the maw. A lot to dig through when the Shadowlands expansion comes out! If only I had beta access to find out ;)
There are several things I can't wait to learn more about regarding the lore in Shadowlands. Firstly, I'm very much excited to learn about Uther's furture. The way that his soul appears to have been split in two makes us all wonder, I'm sure, what exactly is in store for him, as well as Arthas, and their relationship together during this expansion. Secondly, as a Druid main since vanilla, I'm very much thrilled to watch the Afterlives: Ardenweald once its released. As well as interacting with my Ysera again in Ardenweald. I haven't allowed myself to follow that story progression too much because I don't want it to be ruined for me before I'm actually able to get in the game myself. But I'd very much like to see what's in store with her in additional to all the other Druidic entities in Ardenweald. I'm hoping the events in Val'Sharah where (possibly) Elune taking Ysera from us and how that story will shape up and what exactly it was that caused Elune to take Ysera herself, instead of Ysera just dying off like everyone else does. What is their connection, if any? I can keep going on and on, but I'll just leave it at that.
I think the most interesting lore insights (as someone who has avoided beta story spoilers as much as possible and wants to see the story in game or official media like these) to me were those regarding the nature of Bastion itself, as well as the relationships between Shadowlands entities and existing story as well as the potential implications thereof. In terms of Bastion, I had the impression from what previews I've seen that it fell into the category of "overly rigid and dogmatic angelic heaven," and the videos seemed to confirm that. At the same time, there was some ambiguity there, because while the dogmatic approach was in many ways in the wrong, the decision to mete out punishment was potentially... premature too. After all, it's never been 100% clear (at least to me) to what extent the original Arthas was truly culpable in his fall, and the lore around the various personalities bound up in The Lich King is kind of murky. I think Uther was doing what he believed was justice, but based on where he died, he doesn't have the full story. At the same time, Devos seemed much more attached to the idea of vengeance; I feel, in a sense, she's still as entrenched in the dogma as the Archon, in that she can't quite grasp someone wanting justice, not vengeance--it's just a justice enacted outside of the traditional hierarchy of the Shadowlands. In some ways, it seems like her idea of justice is still bound up in that process and hierarchy. Personally, I don't ascribe to a philosophy that makes vengeance inherently evil or one that privileges the idea of justice as "better" than retribution, but in this case, there does seem to be something closer to malice in the idea of vengeance as opposed to justice. The broader implications seem more interesting to me, however. The first of these is the way Uther's soul seemed to split when killed by Frostmourne. This evokes for me one of the various depictions I've seen of Faust, where at the end, the good part of him is split off and taken to heaven. While I'm not sure Uther has an evil part in the same way (even if I feel he was deeply misguided in many ways), it does seem to imply a sundering of souls. I'm interested to know if this is explored. The evocation of that Faust scene, though, also gives me to wonder to what extent Arthas might have been split off into "Arthas the Prince" and "Arthas the Lich King" under other circumstances. I'm not sure the less evil part of him deserves salvation per se, considering he had gone pretty far off the deep end already when he took up Frostmourne, but it's still an interesting question.Finally, the fact that Frostmourne had Maw runes on it seems to draw an intriguing connection between the Maw and the Legion, since as I recall, Frostmourne was originally a Dreadlord blade. This connection would make logical sense in that Sargeras's mission was essentially to purge the universe killing everything and, from tidbits I've caught in article titles on here, it would seem the Legion and the Shadowlands share a degree of conflict with both the Light and the Void. So, I just find myself curious if this will be expounded on to any significant extent or not.
Buff Kyrian Women is my honest answer. But overall I really love all the different covenant themes, the zones, the lore around death, and I just really hope the gameplay lines up with how good everything will be.
I am excited/curious about the Sylvanas story line and where she'll end up in all of this. I doubt she'll end up like another Garrosh and just die right away, but I'm not really sure what they want to do with her. It seems like we know she did what she did in the Fourth War due to here allegiance with The Jailer, but we don't really know her full motivations yet. Is she really doing this for power? Are they going to try a redemption with her? I really want to know how that ends up!Also, I purposefully haven't looked too much into the Maldraxus storyline because I really want to know the stories of Draka and Alexandros Mograine. I'm curious to know more about Draka since we don't really know a lot about her, and I want to know more about Alex and he's coping with being in a Scourgey afterlife.
So, my post is about Shadowlands in general, and it's going to be quite expansive on what I already know regarding the lore as it was presented and my own assumptions on what we have been shown! Also, some spoilers.To start, let me say I am really happy and excited for the lore reason as to why the creature in the Shadowlands exist as they are--namely the Kyrians, Venthyr, and the Necrolords. I'll start with the Kyrian, finding that despite being a positive seeming force from the outset, with bright white and silver and comforting colors, they belie a darker nature. Erasing people's memories detaches them from those they love--and what is to happen when a Kyrian's loved one passes on? Will they never see/remember them if they interact? It is also worth noting that, as we saw with Pleagos, the soul is given a body suited to itself, which is just awesome and will play a bigger role when I talk about the Venthyr.For the Necrolords, I find their usage of keeping people in their body to be quite interesting. Whereas most of Maldraxxus appears as if they were the Liches or Abominations, the heroes we interact with (Alexandros, Vashj, Draka) all have their original bodies--with some modifications. At first I thought everyone in the Shadowlands ended up in a similar fashion, but it is more prevalent in Maldraxxus as the body the soul was most comfortable doing battle in will be the one they keep. Unsurprisingly, a stark contrast to Kyrians, the Necrolords also get to keep their memories, which is a fun play against the usual 'Zombies and Liches oh my' trope where they'd all be mindless goons walking to their orders of some higher power. It is especially apparent with Mograine who is told (spoilers) that the reason he was not awarded a place in Bastion was because he lived for his family, and the memories of them--which the Kyrians would have stripped of him and made him but a vessel of the Archon's will.Finally, we come to my personal favorite of the incoming lore: the Venthyr. While I was at first confused why a bunch of Vampires were hanging out in the Shadowlands (aside from the aesthetic) I was even more confused when it was said that they punish the souls of the wicked, forcing them to repent, before they are sent off to their true final destination. If they are punishers of the wicked, where are, well, the wicked?Right there giving you quests. Almost every Venthyr in the Shadowlands was (if they have a Sinstone) a different species. Those who repented are given a choice: return to the Arbiter for judgement, or stay among the Venthyr and punish the wicked--transforming themselves into the vampire-like creatures we see in Revendreth. This is awesome, because like the Kyrians and the Necrolords, the soul does wholly remain as it was in life. It changes, morphs, becomes something new to the Shadowlands. Much like many mythological afterlives, where you are promised the body of your choice, your most comfortable body, or a body appropriate to your charge in the afterlife.But I'm not done yet! Another cool and awesome bit of lore I'm looking forward to learning about is the lore in regards to what we saw in the Bastion cinematic. Arthas slew Uther with Frostmourne, killing him and taking part of his soul--what appears to be the part of his soul that could forgive, as we saw in Icecrown Citadel that, in the end, Uther felt sorry for Arthas, and wishes things had been different. A stark contrast to the Uther we meet in Bastion, who was willing to toss his former pupil--a person he had seen from infancy to adulthood--into the Warcraft version of the Spooky Scary Skeleton ride.So the lore I am looking forward to the above post is: who else has changed because of Forstmourne, and WHY did Frostmourne do such a thing? When we shatter the blade (Oops, I mean Tirion, the guy who didn't do ANYTHING during our raid fight mind you. No tears in Legion for you) and all the souls are allowed to go free, do they return to the Shadowlands to 'rebuild' their broken souls ruined by Frostmourne's blade? Or do they remain on Azeroth, living as specters and ghosts like the NPCs we find in crypts? Does this mean the ghosts and spirits that remain on Azeroth did pass to the Shadowlands, but some part of them remains as a tether into Azeroth (or Draenor) itself?As to the second part of that question, why is Frostmourne being crafted in the Maw so frightening to the people of the Shadowlands? Are weapons created in the Maw weapons of great ruination? Devos seems to think so, especially if it restricts part of the soul from passing on and going to their respective afterlife. Is Ruemoria a weapon from the Maw, a gift from the Jailer for Denathrius? The amount of questions and speculation is unending, and it makes me excited to see what will happen come the Shadowlands.Oh, and how could I forget to ask about the Night Fae? According to information out of the Beta, Ardenweald is the Winter/Fall half of the Emerald dream, which is an eternal summer/spring. First off, I am glad Blizzard tied the Emerald dream back into the Shadowlands, otherwise it would be a little too weird that only Druids and Cenarius end up there and get to come back home to Azeroth.Anyway, I should wrap this up as I have already pumped in almost 5500 characters. All in all, while Shadowlands does raise a few questions regarding old lore, I am very excited to see what we can learn and play around with when we explore and quest within it.
There are two things that have brought most of my interest from Shadowlands. One comes from the interest in the lore I've developed over the last ten years while playing WoW, whilst the other comes from the very beginning of my WoW jorrney. The first one is the implycations in the cosmology that this expansion will have. I have been very interested in anything that would further increase my understanding of the universe Blizzard is constantly building, that's the part I enjoyed so much about Legion for instance. How much it explained of the stuff that was already there when us, the characters, arrived. This is such a grey area, provided nothing but leveling DKs or random mobs would even mention the existence of the shadowlands. I am very interested in seeing how this will affect the explanation of the universe of Warcraft mainly, how it fits in what's already written, and how could it affect what is to come. Everything I've read so far, from the judging of the souls and later designation of a zone, to how the Venthyr particularly treat their chosen souls, has been very enriching in the matter. Can't wait to see more about this while playing!The other reason I mentioned, is much more simple. I started playing WoW after I was done with W3 The Frozen Throne, and the main reason I started my WoW experience was because I wanted to witness the story of my favourite character, Arthas, being further developed. Though I loved the game, as I continue to play and love up until today, I always had the regret that I came too late, to find his story being already finished. When Shadowlands was announced, the very first thing that I wanted to do was being able to finally see this particular story continue. I had huge hopes I would be able to do what I was denied almost ten years ago. And during Bastion's Afterlives, that's exactly what I got. I cannot describe the joy it produced me, and there's nothing I hope more than being able to continue this, and maybe reunite with my all-time favourite character ingame.
I’m extremely interested to see how we reconcile the runes on Frostmourne coming from the Maw, as asserted in the video by Davros. The “Power of the Maw itself” has historically been labeled as the power of the Legion given to Nerzhul to act as an additional servant on Azeroth. The Dreadlords created it - and as far as I know, there is no record of the Legion breaching the Shadowlands, much less the Maw. When demons of the Burning Legion die, they return to their home world, where they spend anywhere from years to eons regenerating, never dying completely. Because of this, no demon seems to have ever seen the Shadowlands. But does that hold true for the Legion’s human followers? Perhaps, like Vol’jin’s appearance from the Shadowlands in BFA, thanks to Bwomsamdi, the Legion can summon the souls of the dead and learn their secrets? Could the Legion have taken captive a soul from the Maw and compelled it to share the secrets hidden there, such as the runes that gave Frostmourne its power? Really interested to see how this storyline in particular plays out!
I really want to know more about how uthers soul was split into two and if that happened to anyone else slain by Arthas. Where is his non light soul, it should have been be freed once arthas died, is it in the maw or lost somewhere? did it come and combine with his light soul? Also I can't wait to see what they have in store for Garrosh if that really is him in the Revendreth animation since nothing about him has been datamined that I know of.
My favourite wow character is Uther. I am really happy to see him in the next expansion and looking forward to see how his story unfolds
Pretty epic, the ending did a lot of the heavy lifting though.
I only started playing WoW around the time 8.2 came out, so I don't have a very long history with this game. I didn't get much lore experience through leveling my current main (hence why I am VERY excited for the "choose your own expansion" leveling), so I'm really excited to see some of the WotLK lore be relevant in the current age. Northrend and the ICC lore is some of my favorite, but reading wikis and watching videos on 10 year old lore isn't nearly as fun as experiencing part of it live is going to be!
Possibly the most interesting aspect of the cinematic short for me was how Uther sorta corrupted Devos into defying the Arcon and not heeding her command, even though he probably didn't have the intention of doing that. I am curious to see what sort of interaction will occur if the Arcon finds out about this event. I also wonder if they broke any rules by snatching up Arthas and just dropping him into the maw, from what we saw he could have skipped the step with the Arbiter. Having Devos and Uther ultimately judging where Arthas will go, could have been wrongly done since the helm of domination was practically mind-controlling/influencing Arthas to a point. Like Arthas even said "Is it truly righteousness that drives you? I wonder..." I personally don't think what Uther did to Arthas was justice, it really seemed like revenge, especially with how Devos was basically playing the role of the devil on the shoulder and she said "Remember what he did and take your vengeance." Essentially Uther's act of "justice" seemed to be vaunted and could have a series of cascading effects for the future of Arthas's storyline. In the end, I am most curious about what comes next for this story and what all the interactions between the various characters will be like. I am excited to play through Bastion and Ardenweald since I have heard that those 2 zones have tons of lore.
JUSTICE DEMANDS RETRIBUTION
I am so excited to play through Shadowlands and soak up the lore.
I've remained relatively spoiler free so far so I guess the main thing I'm interested in is the Maw and it's relation to the Shadowlands and the rest of the universe. It's described as being a sort of realm of darkness within the Shadowlands, and that makes me wonder if there is some sort of connection to the void in any way. Most likely not since from what I understand the void hates death, and most likely vice versa. Of course this is probably Blizzard using the word "darkness" to make it seem more evil, but then I'm still interested in it's origins. Most importantly, who is the Jailer? I believe I've heard some people speculate about titan influences and a pantheon of death, but again I've done my best to avoid spoilers so past that I'm pretty clueless. And just as the Maw possibly having similar likeness to the void, that also makes me think of the Light, especially in Uther's case. I've seen people speculate saying that part of his soul was saved from Frostmourne by the Light, but then what relation does the Light have with death? Are the forces of Bastion connected with the Light and the titans? Likewise, what of the other countless cases of external forces using and abusing souls, such as fel, arcane, nature, void, spirit (?), and Light? For example, albeit a silly example, are the ancestral spirits in places like Stormstout Brewery in the Shadowlands, or are they just chilling in the material world? Is there some external force that allows ancestral spirits to be seen in these places? Or is this just an oversight by Blizzard? Sorry for the super long rant that probably makes no sense for those that have seen the beta already, but I think the expansion more than any other just raises a lot more questions than it answers, and though it's really exciting I'm also a bit fearful that this will seriously mess with already established lore. Plus, I don't think anyone really knows where the expansion will even go in the next patch, much less the last patch. In every other expansion there was a set land mass with a set objective that would either be achieved by the end of the expansion with some twists throughout and theme changes, or for the objective itself to change halfway through. For Shadowlands, our objective is to stop the Jailor's plans and save the Shadowlands, but what other areas will be unlocked in the Shadowlands later on? From what I understand the Shadowlands aren't just one big landmass like every other expansion or even a few like BFA, but a bunch of scattered smaller realms within the overall realm. So where do we go in the next few patches? What objectives change? Is there something bigger and badder behind the Jailor? Again, this mystery associated with such a new area is really exciting, but after BfA I can't help but feel a tinge scared that it'll turn sour halfway through, especially considering the entire expansion is being kicked off by a sort weak story with Sylvanas. I'm going to stop this post here because I'm really starting to ramble now but I'm glad I was able to write out some of my pre-spoiler thoughts because this expansion really does seem more outlandish than Outland.
Oh boo, theres a lot to unpack. The main things im interested to see develop from this video is the fact that Arthas -COULD- have been placed into another covenant; a chance for redemption perhaps? The second notable thing I loved from this was the fact that you notice Uther's soul become split into -two-. Now the question on my mind is, has that spirit been restored? We know that it lingered after Arthas fell, and it presumbly went towards Uthers burial ground, will we get some content in Shadowlands where we fully restore the soul? That would be amazing to see!
The implication that Arthas wasn't guaranteed to go to the Maw; Devos and Uther had to take him there.Does this hint towards that all souls are given a final chance in Revendreth before they're sentenced to The Maw? I don't think so. I think Arthas Menethil was going to Bastion. Up until his corruption, every action he did was selfless in intent. He took it upon himself to carry the sin of purging Stratholme in order to save the Heartlands; the breadbasket of Lordareon itself; abandoning the love of his life on the way. He went on a suicide mission to Northrend in order to stop the plague ravaging Lordareon, and burned his only means of escape when his Father ordered his men home; he had to stay behind on Northrend, with his men, in order to protect Lordareon. Lastly, he willingly accepted the curse of Frostmourne if it meant saving Lordareon. He was fully ready, without a moment's rest, to give his soul to damnation if it meant saving his people. Then he fell to the corruption of the Lich King, the powers of the Shadowlands themselves. After this occured, his actual evil acts transpired. But does the soul carry the sins you committed while under thrall? Compare that to other characters in Warcraft we can readily describe as evil; Gul'dan, Blackmoore, Garithos, to name a few of them. All their actions were driven by personal desire for power. I really hope that we get to explore the "what-ifs" in Shadowlands; what if Uther hadn't thrown Arthas into the maw, where would he have gone? If Arthas did indeed serve the jailer, and Uther now serves the jailer, does that mean they are cooperating? So many questions, so few answers.
I know she's a controversial character but I need to know Sylvanas' reasoning for everything she's done and why she's gathering power. What is it she's trying to dismantle that the rest of us seemingly have no awareness of? Her true motives have been hidden for so long and I'm beyond excited for it all to hopefully come clear in Shadowlands lore. I'm also really interested to see whether she has any interaction with Arthas, considering his soul is within the Maw and her burning hatred for him!