Just to comment on the whole "Garithos the douchebag" thing that's going on here.
We really don't have enough information to comment on what he did. All we have is Kael's view on what happened, which is understandably biased.
Picture the scene.
Garithos is holding together an Alliance of necessity in an attempt to stop the Scourge advance and retake some human lands. The elves join in because, well, I don't know. They certainly weren't helping when Lordaeron fell in the first place (Individual exceptions apply). Garithos is a bit peeved by the elves being around since they didn't help when it could have really made a difference much earlier in the campaign but he lets them tag along because he has so few resources to work with anyway. He doesn't trust the elves because they let his people down when they were needed most (similar to how the elves didn't trust humans after the second war). He does however have begrudging respect for the elves, which is why they are given some vital tasks - Capturing the towers to see Scourge disposition is important and Garithos knows Kael can get it done. However despite the importance of this recon Garithos knows he has to hold off the main advance of the Scourge himself, and without Elven aid so he calls on his support elements which had been temporarily seconded to Kael's forces. Garithos hates Kael for his races' arrogance and fair-weather nature but he still believes Kael can get the job done. Before Garithos marches into the jaws of the Scourge advance, to lose thousands of men with the sole aim of SLOWING THE SCOURGE DOWN he says to Kael "Btw mate I know you hung with those nagas last time, but don't do that again yo. They ain't gonna be no good for you and i'd hate to have to do something about it" (Paraphrased).
Garithos loses most of his army holding back the Scourge for a few days. The slaughter is horrible, men and dwarves dying in their thousands hour by hour. Garithos keeps his cool and manages to force back the main scourge advance. He notices the towers are held by the alliance. Great! The elves got it done, now we can see where the Scourge will hit next.
When Garithos goes to check on Kael he finds him making out with Vashj or something. Garithos is mad.
None of that is true. But it could be. We JUST DON'T KNOW.
So please stop blaming Garithos for things he might or might not have done for good or bad reasons. We simply don't know enough to say.
"Grand Marshal Othmar Garithos was the only son of a baron who ruled over lands in what would later be the Eastern Plaguelands that bordered Quel'Thalas. While his father ruled from the town of Blackwood on the shores of the similarly-named lake, Garithos joined the army as a knight during the Second War, where he saw combat in Quel'Thalas defending the elves' homeland from invading orcs. While he was in Quel'Thalas, however, a small band of orcs broke off from the main invading force and burned his home town to the ground, killing all of its inhabitants in spite of the valorous defense marshaled by its lord. Othmar's family perished doing their duty, defending the homes and lives of their subjects. He blamed the elves for the loss of his town and family, believing that the elves diverted forces away from the Alliance's true goal: the defense of humanity alone. After his father's death, Garithos was awarded his title and continued his service in the armies of Lordaeron. By the time of the Scourging of Lordaeron, he had attained the rank of Grand Marshal and was the highest ranked surviving military officer in the region, promoted not necessarily due to his own abilities, but his father's reputation and title. Cut off from the chain of command, Garithos amassed a small army of volunteers and conscripted civilians, and gave them the mission that he assumed the Alliance should have always had: the preservation of humanity above all else. Despite the ad-hoc nature of his forces, other states recognized him as potentially the last remnant of Lordaeron's government and certainly the strongest warlord in the area. As such, officials from neighboring non-human states such as Ironforge and Quel'Thalas sent him aid, ignorant of his intolerant policies." Source
I mean, you present an interesting character alternative interpretation, but we do know the facts. It has been stated by blizzard that Garithos was racist, resentful of the elves and incompetent. It is not an issue open to discussion. He was a douchebag that hated elves and wanted them gone.
In short, the differences between the death knights and the Forsaken lie in when they sought allies, who was willing to put his good word behind them, who their benefactor knew, and the death knights coming right when the Alliance was gearing up to invade Northrend, where their knowledge of the Scourge's inner workings likely proved invaluable (for much the same reason, the Forsaken were valuable to the Horde during that campaign up until Putress's betrayal and coup).
Awesome sig by Elyaan is awesome.
All that's different is some members died and leadership shifted to the most secure kingdom, and they added some new friends.
I'm not saying they're exactly the same, but the Grand Alliance is certainly the successor to the AoL and has almost all of its former membership, minus possibly unknown survivors in Kul Tiras (known survivors were all part of the Grand Alliance). Members from Dalaran, Stromgarde, Gilneas, Stormwind, Aerie Peak, Khaz Modan, Gnomeregan, and Kul Tiras all fight for the Grand Allaince wearing their old nation colors with the exception of Kul Tiras, though Thermore's tabard was merely a modified Kul Tiran Tabard and undoubtedly Kul Tirans fought under Jaina Proudmoore.
As it specifically relates to Sylvanas attacking them, Lordaeron's forces may have included soldiers from Stormwind as will. Putting aside the graphical weirdness and nitpicking of the shield graphics for Garithos' forces, many survivors of Stormwind settled in Lordaeron at Southshore and possibly joined the forces of Lordaeron during the second war. Even if the forces of Lordaeron were entirely from that Kingdom, Stormwind was still their ally, as were all these other factions now a part of the Grand Alliance. The AoL technically was never dissolved in any official manner, and many of these states/kingdoms act as if they are still bound by that alliance.
Why does garithos' actions against kaelthas matter in the forsaken debate?
He kept his bargain and got killed for it.
When Garithos, the last known surviving official of the AoL declared himself leader of the New Alliance, and appropriated all that was the AoL, including it's military, they didn't become some rogue secessionist nation, they merely formed a new government out of the ashes of the old using the same resources, and the same people of the old nations.
Regardless of all this minutia, The surviving members of the AoL are still technically bound by those alliances. The AoL was never dissolved, and the cultural ties would not disappear jsut because of a piece of paper. Garithos was leading a legitimate nation of survivors in Lordaeron under extreme circumstances. Sylvanas and the Forsaken attacked those people, and regardless of technicalities, that was their kin, men and women they may have known and fought or lived alongside in the past. Wars have been declared on much flimsier ground in real life.
---------- Post added 2013-01-06 at 06:03 PM ----------
I think of it like the human resistance in Terminator. The US government collapsed. John Connor isn't the president of a nation. He's merely the commander of a military force composed of survivors.
As opposed to BSG, where the survivors actually reconstituted the government.
All governments and organizations are only as official as the people allow them to be, or the government can force those people to accept it. Garithos was a legitimate military officer in that the survivors allowed him to be in charge or he forced them to accpet him (likely a combination given his personality).
In that same vein John Connor is the legitimate leader of a resistance government not dissimilar to the French Resistance. He doesn't have to be elected as president, the people of America, few though they may be, merely have to accept him as a leader. Notably this resistance is not the USA though, since that is a specific reference to the American nation governed under the constitution of the United States. Instead it is again a successor government of different and ambiguous configuration, but governing the same nation of people.
By the way I can certain understand many of your points. Most of the concepts we've covered in this discussion are pretty conceptual and ephemeral in nature when applied to the real world, much less a fantasy one. But it was fun to have to use my brain after several days of mind numbing work.
Mmmmm, maybe that was Garithos plan when he allied with Sylvanas, to expell the legion forces and become King himself. Interesting.
Last edited by TheDangerZone; 2013-01-07 at 12:30 AM.