To me, WoW is the story of Garrosh. Through shared experiences and through multiple years of patches and expansions, we’ve tracked his character development from an unsure youth to an assured warchief. WoW is like one of those olden day epic stories or movies where the old king (Thrall) passes the torch to the young prince (Garrosh), who then outshines the father (like the life of Alexander the Great). As someone who grew up with WoW, Garrosh was my role model and taught me how to transition to adult responsibilities, and I hope to use his example to teach my children about life.
I was very sad then with what Blizzard did to my hero this expansion. Credit where credit’s due to the writers, Garrosh was still the same hero of the Horde. He was doing everything right – winning great military victories against the Alliance, seeking new ways to defeat the Alliance in Pandaria (the Sha, which could have been an “atom bomb” gamechanger like in WWII that made the Alliance surrender for good). What was wrong with the writing was the totally out of character reaction of the Horde. Instead of wanting victories, wanting to not live in shithole deserts, the other Horde leaders were scared of war and the Alliance fighting back. This isn’t why I rolled Horde. I rolled Horde to fight and stand up for all the times the Horde were oppressed, not listen to scaredy-cats like Vol’jin. Somehow the ordinary Horde citizens feel the same way as Vol’jin, and we know the rest of the poorly written story – Garrosh gets deposed, blah blah, a goddamn troll as warchief. I especially did not roll Horde to be ruled by a troll. Horde is Orc, always. The Horde have an identity crisis now. They’re supposed to be the “evil” side but they’re all full of goody two shoes and pussies. This is why I’m now playing Alliance. At least they know what they are (i.e. the good side).
But of course I had faith in Blizzard and now my faith has been rewarded. This isn’t the last we heard of Garrosh. We know Garrosh is going to trigger the events of the next expansion, go into the past and finally confront his father’s mistake. The Prince lets his hubris gets the better of him, gets kicked out, goes into the wilderness and learns about himself, returns as the all conquering hero. WoW is Garrosh’s story after all. So does this mean Garrosh will be returned as Horde Warchief during the events of the expansion? I simply refuse to accept a troll as warchief and I know many of my friends have also downed their tools, switched to Alliance or unsubbed because of this story development. Anecdotally, my server has seen the Horde population bottom out, most of the people still playing Horde are those that are too invested in their characters or don’t care about the story, only about phat lewt and racial bonuses (i.e. Method).
This is how I imagine Warlord of Draenor will start:
Warlords of Draenor opening cinematic:
SCENE: the dark hold of a ship. Camera zooms in, as the ship rocks violently to and fro, while from outside can be heard the howling storm that is beating down on the vessel. Out of the gloom looms GARROSH, his arms being suspended in the air by chains. Dimly, in the background can be seen the shadows of Pandaren standing guard with their polearms. GARROSH is in transit to his trial on Pandaria.
Suddenly, the sound of fighting can be heard. The whistle of arrows, the Pandaren can be seen to fall.
GARROSH’s cell door slowly creaks open. Several shadowy figures enter. GARROSH raises his head from out of the gloom into the candlelight:
“Vol’jin” he states.
SCENE: the outside of the ship. VOL’JIN in full battle regalia, flanked by his honor guard, steps out on to the ship’s upper deck, a chained GARROSH in tow.
VOL’JIN shouts imperiously to his minions:
“Prepare to fire the ship, everyone will believe Garrosh drowned trying to escape”
VOL’JIN turns to GARROSH:
“As for you, my warchief (sarcastically), I have been waiting to kill you for a long time”
VOL’JIN unsheathes his weapon and prepares to execute the kneeling chained GARROSH.
A scuffle. GARROSH reverses his position, disarms VOL’JIN, and uses his own weapon to cut off the troll’s arm.
GARROSH crouches over the prostrate, wheezing VOL’JIN, whose arm can be seen to be slowly regenerating. His guards stand still, too shocked to move.
GARROSH: “Lok’tar ogar. Know this warchief (dismissively), when you tell my Horde, that a naked and bound orc beat you and your soldiers”
GARROSH stands up and makes to move away, VOL’JIN’s guards nervously back away from him, unsure what to do.
Camera zooms in on GARROSH’s face, but behind him, amazingly, VOL’JIN appears to be rising to his feet as well. Yet something is wrong with the troll, his body seems to be writhing, but we don’t have a clear look.
VOL’JIN (voice warping): “Yes, Garrosh, you were always the better warchief. We (the council) all knew when you went to Pandaria, and found out that you had mastered the Sha. You had conquered your pride, your anger, your fear, your doubt.
But where you were immune to the Sha and thought only to turn them into a tool for the good of the Horde, we found in the Sha a way to destroy you. When Thrall made you warchief above us, he hurt our PRIDE. We were ANGRY that he had chosen you over us, the more wiser. When you declared war on the Alliance and made more gains than any war previously, we were AFRAID that the Alliance would rouse themselves and fight back.
When we arrived in Pandaria, we found in the Sha our naturall ally. We embraced their corruption and the power they have given us. We brought them back to Kalimdor, our bodies as vessels, and spread FEAR, ANGER and DOUBT to raise a rebellion against you.”
A clear picture of Vol’jin’s true form. He is Sha-warped! From his cut off arm, a mess of writhing tentacles.
GARROSH: “NO! You would corrupt the Horde as my father did! No power is worth that price!”
VOL’JIN: “It was worth any price to see you warchief no longer. Now I must repay my debt. The Sha will have a new home in the Horde”
The now empowered Vol’jin attacks Garrosh, wildly mutating (for a cool cinematic fight scene with giant Sha claws sweeping across the ship, etc.). Garrosh cannot fight back, being forced back until he is penned up on the ship’s prow.
Suddenly, another ship appears alongside. Brown-hued orcs unload and force VOL’JIN to back off.
“Come with us to freedom,” one cries.
Garrosh makes his escape. As the other ship disappears into the horizon, the camera zooms into VOL’JIN, who has reformed into his unmutated troll form (disguise). Close-up on Vol’jin grimacing ominously into the camera.
Cut to Garrosh accompanied by a company of his orc liberators, trekking across various locales in Azeroth (e.g. crossing a wintry mountain pass, etc., LOTR montage style).
“I was free, but all Azeroth was now after me. On my head they pinned the death of the Pandaren, not realizing their very leaders were slaves to evil. It was my father who drank the blood of a demon, and corrupted the Horde the first time. Now the Horde is being corrupted again, and I must redeem my Horde and myself, as warchief. I was freed by pure orcs, the Mag’har, like myself, though they say they are from Draenor not Outland. They say a great warlord ordered them to come for me and that he has amassed a great Iron Horde beyond the Dark Portal. It is with these untainted orcs I must go to where it all began, to Draenor, to remove the corruption from my Horde and right the mistakes of the past and present.”
As these words are intoned, we see Garrosh approaching and stepping through the Dark Portal, which for some reason is glowing red.
Cut to World of Warcraft : Warlords of Draenor logo.
This cinematic will also be recreated ingame as part of the prelaunch event. The player will be sent to escort Garrosh on the way to his trial on board the boat seen in the cinematic. If Horde, the player will be accompanied by a faction contingent including Aggra, if Alliance, by Admiral Taylor. Vol’jin will attack, and after Garrosh escapes will demand everyone present to forgot what they saw. Aggra/Admiral Taylor will refuse, and Vol’jin will kill them. Vol’jin will leave you alive, because you are a known hero, and the people will trust you if you tell them Garrosh escaped and killed everyone.
The big reveal at the end of the expansion patch cycle (6.4): Garrosh (from the past) was the mysterious warlord who sent the orcs to free Garrosh (from the present). Garrosh defeats Vol’jin in the raid, becomes warchief and unites the Iron and Azerothian Hordes.