Almost a week has passed since World of Warcraft: Legion’s pre-patch event was launched on 9 August 2016. And something huge has happened in the WoW universe.
Spoilers follow. Don’t read if you don’t want to spoil the experience for yourself.
Tirion Fordring is dead. King Varian Wrynn and Warchief Vol’jin are also dead. Varian was killed by Gul’dan on the Broken Shore, one of the new zones in Legion. His death was foreshadowed in Legion’s opening cinematic, as he pens a letter to his son Anduin. We can hear the contents of the letter from Varian’s monologue. Varian sacrificed himself to allow his Alliance allies a chance to escape the Broken Shore after their combined assault with the Horde failed completely.
Vol’jin on the other hand, was killed by a random fel guard with a fel-infused dagger. His death was not immediate. Sylvanas rescued him and ordered the Horde vanguard to retreat, which was unfortunately misinterpreted by one of the Alliance leaders (Genn Greymane) as an act of betrayal. Greymane himself has immense distrust towards Sylvanas, she is a long-time enemy of the worgen from their war in Silverpine Forest back in Cataclysm.
In his dying breath, Vol’jin named Sylvanas the new Warchief of the Horde. Sylvanas is the first female, and the first (former) elf to become Warchief.
Many Horde players are rightfully upset by this plot twist. Varian died a badass death to the primary antagonist of Legion, but Vol’jin? Vol’jin was stabbed to death by a random mob. Varian is highly respected even by Horde players, and his story over multiple WoW expansions has been well fleshed out. It was a worthy warrior’s death for the leader of the Alliance, bringing his entire arc to a satisfying close.
Vol’jin, after assuming the title of Warchief at the end of Mists of Pandaria… well… he basically did nothing for the entirety of Warlords of Draenor. Out of the blue, the leadership of the Horde changes again, to a character that Vol’jin distrusts the most. It’s too jarring, and feels very out-of-character for Sylvanas to suddenly become the “heroine to save the entire Horde”.
Basically, it’s also a very shitty way for Vol’jin to die. He deserves so much better. He has been with Thrall since Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne and was one of the founding members of the Horde. Cairne Bloodhoof died in Mak’gora to Garrosh Hellscream, and while Garrosh unknowingly cheated in the duel, Cairne still died a warrior’s death.
How did Vol’jin die? He got stabbed by a random mob. Let that thought sink in for a bit. I admit that I cried when Vol’jin died, and not many videogames have managed to bring tears to my eyes. But my sorrow was quickly replaced by disappointment and silent rage once I fully understood what had happened.
Vol’jin died to a random mob. RIP.