• March 30, 2023

BlizzConline 2021 kicked off with an absolute blast for WoW: Shadowlands fans, only unfortunately it wasn't a very nice one. In the cinematic for WoW Patch 9.1, we witness dungeon master Zovaal and his henchwoman Sylvanas break the will of Anduin Wrynn. Zovaal is using Anduin as a Trojan Horse to relieve the Archon Kyrestia of her soul and an ominous key.

WoW Patch 9.1: Cinematic Trailer for Chains of Domination - King's Grail World of Warcraft from€14.99

Anduin, it is seen in the cinematic, is not completely under the dungeon master's control. For a brief moment, the fog in his mind clears and the horror of "his" attack on the Archon is clear to see. But only moments later, Zovaal once again takes control of the young lion and summons his tool back into the maw.

That's the premise under which WoW (buy now €14,99 ) Patch 9. 1 will launch sometime this year - rumor has it that June 2021 could be the time. And that premise somehow feels a bit familiar to die-hard fans. That's because the story is reminiscent of what happened in Lordaeron, when Arthas surrendered to the power of the Lich King and murdered his father King Terenas Menethil II in the throne room of what was once the most powerful human kingdom. The difference is that Arthas was fully sane when he did his nefarious deed. And that is very important. Arthas was a lost cause back then. These days, however, we have hope that somehow we can still save Anduin.

But what if ...

We all know that Lordaeron was doomed with the death of King Terenas. The question is whether the kingdom of Stormwind will suffer a similar fate if our heroes don't somehow (or in time) manage to snatch Anduin from the clutches of the jailer. What does the current political landscape look like anyway?

Purely from canon, Stormwind has always been the smaller realm, though that has changed in the last few years of WoW storytelling - sure, Lordaeron was occupied by the Forsaken and effectively non-existent until Battle for Azeroth. However, the Alliance is not necessarily the entity it is often understood to be. Numerically, for instance, the Night Elf race has dwindled enormously with the attack on Teldrassil, and their leader is rampaging through the Maw somewhere; doesn't much care for etiquette or what the voices of reason try to teach her anyway since her Night Warrior transformation. Tyrande's spouse, Malfurion, doesn't show much of a drive for the Alliance either.
In her rage, Tyrande doesn't really give much to the Alliance's concerns. Source: buffed The Dwarves, on the other hand, with their Council of Three, are more introverted and focused on their own problems, while the Gnomes still haven't even been able to recapture Gnomeregan - well, okay, Gelbin Mekkadrill is now King of Mechagon and Gnomeregan. But apart from that, even he is relatively inactive, while for example Jaina in the Shadowlands tries to stop the Jailer. In the Human Realm, on the other hand, civil wars are raging and it is under siege from all sides. And it is also well known that Genn Greymane has long had problems accepting the High King of the Alliance, the lad.

What might happen if Anduin does not return

Should Genn still pursue fantasies of power or be of the opinion that he knows everything better anyway, then it would be quite conceivable that he would take over the position of king at some point in Anduin's mental and physical absence. But then the question arises whether the people of the humans would trust him, because after all, Genn is also a worgen at heart and may not be able to keep the beast in him in check in the eyes of the common people. So how would it be if Genn was kicked out of Stormwind then?

Would he go back to Gilneas? After all, his old kingdom is now no longer besieged by the Forsaken. Greymane could gather like-minded people around him long ago anyway and reclaim Gilneas to build his own royal seat there. And if Genn left Stormwind, who would fill the resulting power vacuum? Would Turalyon, appointed Lord Commander by Anduin, take the helm? In fact, he already has. As long as Anduin is away from Stormwind, Turalyon is in charge.
Turalyon currently holds the reins in Stormwind Source: buffed

However, this news should also be taken with a bit of caution. For Turalyon, while an honorable man, seems to have his eye on the task of reclaiming old Lordaeron territories now that Stromgarde is back in Alliance hands. Assuming Turalyon moves through the north of the Eastern Kingdoms to make the Empire of Man bigger and better than before

...... would the Defias then invade Stormwind from Westfall and seize power during his absence? Would Stormwind then descend into absolute chaos?

These are interesting musings - imagine if Gilneas suddenly became the Alliance capital, something that would make perfect sense from a purely lore standpoint. Gameplay-wise, as we've seen in the past, this would probably never happen because Stormwind is too firmly entrenched in the minds of Alliance players as the capital.... However, the developers of World of Warcraft have already blown up Darnassus and the Undercity. Why shouldn't something like that be able to happen to Stormwind?

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