Garrosh Hellscream. Son of Grom Hellscream, Chieftain to the Hellscreams, Warcheif to the Horde; and upcoming Raid Boss.
Like him or hate him, Garrosh’s actions since obtaining the mantle of Warcheif have brought a hammer of Alliance and Horde cocksuck bromance down on him harder than Blizzard’s subscription count- but how did this happen? What lead up to Garrosh’s character, his outward betrayal of pretty much everyone else?
If you ask most people, they’d just shrug and say “lol the brown thrall guy got corrupted by c’thun and he’s evil now like that black knight guy from the northern place”, but if you asked ME I’d say “Fuck off and leave me alone.”, but if I sat down and wrote about it, I’d say “Actually, I think lots of people overlook his character and lots of the subtle things about him quite a lot, I don’t think he’s just generically evil and I think he has a lot of driving plot behind him and it works, especially for a WoW character.”
To THAT you’d likely reply “You are a complete fucking idiot, how could you think such a stupid, bland, predictable character was any good? I hope you break your legs and puke out your lungs you human shitcase.”
Aha! But this is where you’d be surprised if you did indeed say that, because I’m about to follow it up with a wall of text that no manner of pre-determined insult can so easily rebuke.
Now, humble MMOchampion cunt reader, lend me your eyes and your heart. Sit upon your larded, calloused ass- and travel with me. Travel to a time beyond our World of Warcraft. Beyond Tom Chilton giving Activision marketing reps rimjobs while Chris Metzen tattoos Thrall casting a “fertile crops” spell on pubic regions. Beyond the time of the Horde and the Alliance, of Warchief and Ogrimmar.
Travel with me, to the time of the Orcs and their home on Draenor. To the time where the clans were separated, to the time where Azeroth had not yet felt the pounding steps of Orcish Horde; to the time of Garrosh Hellscream’s birth.
Which, technically, only retro-actively exists after the original inception of the story, so everything I just said was fucking garbage- but that’s not the point. The point is, we need to get back to a time before Garrosh was anything at all, before the whole “fuk everyone else rofl” stuff. In this writing, I want to both walk through who Garrosh is, why he is who he is, how he got that way, what that means currently: and ultimately, why that means he’s actually a pretty good, deep character.
So, let’s begin!
Our story starts, as I explained, on Draenor. (That’s “Outland” for all you fucks out there who stand at the black temple and say “yeah lets kill that big horned guy from the trailer now- U ARE NOT PREPARED XDD” ) Garrosh is born to the Hellscream clan (duh), son of the orc Grom
Hellscream. Grom, being the Chieftain of the Hellscreams and one of the most respected and feared orcs of one of the most respected and feared clans, is sort of a big deal to young Garrosh. He idolizes his father, and holds him in high respect.
Anyways, skip a few years.
The orcs, under the guide of the Shaman Ner’zhul (under the guide of Kil’jaeden, or ‘that fat red thing from the end of the sun well place’ to most of you), rally together to slaughter the Dreanei, who the orcs have been lead to believe were a threat by the manipulative Kil’jaeden.
So, several hundred blended-up Dreanei later, Kil’jaeden decides he’s done pissing around and has his demon lieutenant and phat homb0i Mannoroth zip down from the sky and slit his wrists into a cup, having the orcs drink his blood, to have them become consumed in demonic fury and lust for death, blah blah blah.
Several hundred MORE blended-up Dreanei later, Velen and the surviving Dreanei make like trees and fuck off in their magic crystal ship, and Kil’jaeden, believing the Dreanei to be all dead, farts on the orcs and then leaves, leaving them with unquenchable battle hunger and a world that is slowly dying due to the orc’s actions.
Oh, right, did I mention it was Grom Hellscream who drank the blood first? Yeah, sort of important because after the whole “We’re stuck on a dying world” thing happens, lots of the orcs kind of piss all over Grom just for being the first to drink, and see him as sort of the face of “dooming our people”. It’s like being the first to get laid out of your group of friends, but then you find out you have AIDs. Also, all your friends have AIDs, too, and they blame you. Only you’re a giant green alien monster and your ‘sex’ is ripping off a Draenei’s head while having most comfortable awkward erection of your life.
Okay, okay, okay. So to recap, Kil’jaeden deceives the orcs into attacking and killing the Draenei whom share the orc’s world with them. The orcs, once loosely divided among their separate clans, come together to kill a bunch of innocent space gypsies, culminating with the drinking of demon blood to send the orcs into a state of demonic fury. After assuming all the Draenei were turned into a fine, red mush, Kil’jeaden smirks evilly and abandons the orcs, who are now trapped on a world that’s dying.
And everyone sort of blames Grom most of all, just because he drank first.
So, another long story short, Medivh calls up the orchish warlock Gul’dan (now assuming power over his master, Ner’zhul) and invites the orcs to poop all over Azeroth by way of the soon-to-be-built Dark Portal.
ANOTHER long story short, the orcs invade, they get beat, warcraft: 3 happens, the dark portal is destroyed and the path to and from Draenor is cut off, Chris Metzan is perfected in a laboratory and wrought upon the world, and the events of WoW begin to take place.
So, Garrosh grows up on a dying rock forever told the stories of how is father in particular lost his great honor and d00med the orcs to live on a shitty planet, their collective history marred by their willful selling of themselves into demonic slavery.
Garrosh, by birth, has a lot of weight put on him. He’s the son of Grom, heir to the Hellscream chief linage and has to live up to that. Then his father is blamed for selling their people into slavery and dooming the planet before going off to pillage some other world that they get stuck on, leaving the rest of the orcs behind on Draenor to twiddle their thumbs and die of unsafe drinking water.
This is guy who is, at first, told his father is a great man and a powerful warrior and that he, Garrosh, as his son, is destined to be the same and lead the Warsong clan. Then, all of a sudden, the planet goes to shit and everyone is all fucked up and Garrosh is told what a dumbass cunt his father was. How Grom brought shame to the orcs and doomed them.
Then, all he can really do is live out his life on a dead world, bearing down what a massive fuck-up his father was. This puts Garrosh into a state of, well, depression. He loses faith in himself, believing he can no longer be nothing now that he’s the son of a retarded bitch- and this is pretty big for Orcish culture. His clan more or less dismantled at that point and many of them (his father included) lost on Azeroth, Garrosh pities away the days, unable to live up to anything.
So, what we have here is a character defeated by who he believes his father to be. Some might point and say “what a shallow retard! He should stop being such a bitch and try to be his own person, and lead his clan in their time of dire need.”
Well, in –some- ways, this is a valid point against Garrosh, but it’s like I said- you have to think about him in an orcish kind of way. Orcs, last time I checked, aren’t people- and they’re certainly not 2013 first-world country people who could give less of a fuck what their father did or didn’t do. To Garrosh, his father was everything, and he couldn’t wait to grow up and be like him and all that- so to not only be hit with the fact their race gets all janked the fuck up and their world is dying but also the fact that his father is to blame for all of it AND considering Garrosh is only a child at this point; I think it’s a little fair to say he had reason to be such a mopey cunt about his situation, especially considering how much whining goes on over just fucking video games these days.
So, just as Garrosh is getting used to eating mud and living in dust, something strange happens.
World of Warcraft gets an expansion, and the Dark Portal suddenly turns on again, restoring the link between Azeroth and Outland.
Enter flying mounts and arenas and LOTS of guys playing female Blood Elves.
Thrall is pretty stoked about everything, too. And after a shitty breadcrumb quest leads the player to inform Thrall that some tru nigga orcs are still hooding it down in Outland, he rushes his cracka green ass to jive down with the soul funkers.
Which is where he meets Garrosh, son of his good friend, Grom Hellscream.
Garrosh, still pretty bummed out about the whole “it’s said my father royally fucked us all over like a prick” thing, is shocked and overjoyed beyond words when Thrall tells him that Grom has slain Mannoroth on Azeroth, freeing the orcs from their demonic thrall (lol ‘thrall’) and dying as a hero in the process, redeeming the Hellscream name. Not to mention Thrall tells Garrosh that it really wasn’t all Grom’s fault and to stop being such an angsty shithole.
Suddenly, everything in Garrosh’s life has purpose again. He finds out his father truly is a great orc, and has rectified the orc’s mistakes. The burning Garrosh has longed to feel is back, and he can finally, finally, be the orc he wanted himself and his father to be, and he longs to be able to prove it to everyone (possibly himself included).
He storms to Azeroth, and now is something of a big asshole to everyone.
Which is very interesting.
In lots of ways, Garrosh is still very simple-minded. He’s a child who has found renewed purpose, and instead of being humble and thankful for it, is outwardly aggressive and a bit arrogant about it, demanding to be able to ride his bike to Northrend and fuck Arthas when the scourge attacks Orgrimmar in an incredibly terrible and generic npc battle that just lagged out a ton of people.
Garrosh has lived his life up to that point in total shame of himself and his father, and now, suddenly, he finds out his father truly didn’t shame anyone and is a true hero to the orcs; and is presented with an enemy (the scourge) who threatens the Horde.
Now, Garrosh wants to live up to his father’s name, and to do that, he needs enemies to crush.
He clearly has no love for the Alliance, and hates them despite not even knowing them. To him, it doesn’t matter, he wants someone to defeat- someone to prove his power and honor his father’s lineage. The scourge keeps him busy at first, but after its defeat, Garrosh is left with a sort of ‘hole’ in his life, a hole he wants to fill with alliance. And not in a “love” kind of way.
We know all this because of a few things. For one, there’s a subtle conversation that plays between a Troll and an Orc in the Garrosh’s fortress in Borean Tundra.
Basically it goes a bit like this: The orc mentions she doesn’t like how brash Hellscream is, and the Troll agrees, mentioning he believes Garrosh is too eager to prove himself and sees the scourge not so much as a deadly, dire threat: but as a means to prove himself no matter the cost.
This is also hammered in further, by the way Garrosh and Saurfang speak. Random dialogue between them shows Saurfang counseling Garrosh on the current Alliance positions, and claiming they have no ports on this side of Northrend to carry in the supplies and weapons they need to wage war on the Scourge. Garrosh’s response is to just stomp on the models of the Alliance positions and say “This is how we do it, only instead of my foot; it’s a bunch of soldiers”
Garrosh is brash, arrogant, prideful and happy to finally be “a real orc”. In a lot of ways he’s still a big man-child- and honestly, that really works. He’s head-strong with the Horde’s power, believing that nothing can’t be done and that there are no ‘real’ obstacles in the Horde’s way, to the point he basically disregards the danger of situations all together (hence his big ‘the Horde fears nothing’ speech his gives you when you talk to him in Northrend).
So, that’s all well and good. But then the Cataclysm comes.
In the wake of the devastation and lack of end-game, Thrall goes off to build a relationship with an orc who has the depth of a flat piece of ground and the dimensions of the text you’re reading right now. Oh right, he also saves the world by casting Hearthstone at the Maelstrom for two years straight or something retarded like that.
Who does he leave in charge of the Horde, though? Is it Cairne? Vol’jin? Saurfang, maybe? One of his wise, seasoned friends who have a lifetime of leadership skills and knowledge of politics and the alliance?
No, it’s the brown retard who wants to kill people because he has crippling daddy issues.
Now, to be fair, this wasn’t a bad idea on Thrall’s part. He inducts Garrosh to lead the Horde with the wisdom of his elders, gifts Garrosh the blade of his father (Gorehowl), and leaves Garrosh to lead the Horde, to teach him the humility and understanding that a real leader needs, hoping it will be a sort of ‘growing up’ lesson for Garrosh.
Yeah well a couple of things happen.
First, there’s the big ass fire in Orgrimmar that the Shaman can’t seem to control because the elements are going nanners and won’t listen. In this, Garrosh sees the instability of Shamanism and it’s possible weaknesses in times of great crisis. He rebuilds most of the city in the now trademark ‘badass edgy’ steel and iron, for future fire-safety reasons. This was him basically saying “look, Shaman, I don’t trust you fucks. We’re going with unnatural, un-orcish steel.”
What’s especially important to point out about this is that the buildings take on the look of lots of the stuff built during the first Orcish horde on Draenor, when the orcs were under the influence of demons. It’s not really important, I guess, but it’s just sort of ironically funny and neat subtlety of Blizzard’s story-telling.
He also gets his jaw tattooed black, like his father’s, all of this in sort of homage to him, as he feels he has finally risen to a rank that can honor Grom (Notice how Garrosh doesn’t take becoming Warcheif as a humble title, he sees it mostly as a way to prove himself, much like in Northrend.)
Anyways, the second, much less important thing is he kills Cairne Bloodhoof.
Needless to say, Garrosh isn’t very supportive of lots of the other Horde races. When Sylvanas pleads that they NEED to create more forsaken to defend themselves and keep up with Garrosh’s orders for more troops, Garrosh more or less calls her a bitch and tells her to stop. He treats the Blood Elves like crap, doesn’t fully trust the Trolls, doesn’t respect the Goblins very much and he sort of killed the Tauren’s leader.
Things aren’t looking good for the Horde!
So, so far, what can be said about Garrosh? He’s, in some ways, a very simple character. When it all boils down to it, he’s just a kid who still thinks he has to prove himself, and doesn’t take threats seriously, seeing them only as a way to prove his, and the orc’s, strength. His upbringing of shame and helplessness- and then the sudden reversal of all of that and the desire to ‘make up for lost time- are what made Garrosh like this. He doesn’t do what he does because “he is da big ebil orc man”, he does it because he wants to feel he’s proven himself, and validated who he is. Because he has incredibly strong pride that he was unable to express for years. The ‘pride’ part becomes very important later, just b-t-w.
So, despite Garrosh’s fairly shitty methods of piloting the S.S. Horde, he remains it’s leader into Mists of Pandaria- and this is where things get really interesting with Garrosh.
Obviously, a mystical land full of Pandas is found, and Garrosh wants to win it FOR DA HORDE!!!!!
This is where Garrosh, as a character, really begins to take some different turns.
I believe Garrosh has felt that he’s finally proven himself; and he isn’t content with that. Now, he wants to sort of surpass his father, and prove that orcs can master their own devices.
This is all mostly in the upcoming 5.4 patch, but I’ll go with this using what we know about it.
Garrosh unleashes the old god buried beneath Pandaria, and basically takes it over, using it for himself. This is mirrored by the orcs drinking demon blood and becoming enslaved to it. Garrosh is surpassing that part of orcish history, proving that orcs aren’t just slaves, and that they are strong enough to overcome more powerful forces.
This is why the line “Your father dabbled in powers beyond reckoning, where is he now?” is especially angering to Garrosh, because it was basically Taran Zhu sizing the orcs up to be unable to control powers like that, which, of course, made Garrosh r8 mad, as he faces the fact that no one believes he’s strong enough to conquer the power of the old god.
The “surpassing his father” bit is also played by the act of Garrosh abandoning Gorehowl, his father’s weapon (and Garrosh’s favored treasure), and using some silly tentacle axe thingy. By discarding Gorehowl, Garrosh is cementing that he has become more than Grom ever could, and is the pinnacle of orcdome (controlling the old god, rather than being enslaved by it.)
The only real bit that I can’t fit together is the last lines of the 5.4 trailer, where Garrosh says “All those who stand against me, shall burn in my hatred.”
His hatred of WHAT? Does this mean anything? Does he still hate his father? Does he hate Thrall for some reason? Who does he hate? Why? I, myself, believe this is probably just some corny blizzard writing, serving as just a “cool” last line rather than anything else, but who knows.
Another thing that may or may not conflict with this is the quest in Thousand Needles, I think everyone should know the one.
An orc, without Garrosh’s order, blows a small Night Elf village to smithereenies, and a very pissed of Garrosh gives him a whole “Honor” speech before dropping him off a cliff.
This is a slight bit conflicting with Garrosh, in a way. In some ways it could fit, because the Orc bombed helpless civilians and therefore was not truly ‘proving’ himself, but then Garrosh goes off to bomb Theremore, doing more or less the same thing. Could Garrosh be hypocritical? Possibly, and it definitely fits in its own way with Garrosh’s character, but again- I believe this can sort of be chalked up to bad writing on Blizzard’s part. Particularly in the form of the Cataclysm team not communicating with the Mists of Pandaria team when they wrote the quest, and therefore portraying Garrosh in a style he wasn’t meant to be shown as, being a blunder on the writing; but again, who really knows.
Anyways, as a finishing recap, I believe Garrosh’s character is fully justified, and they’ve spent literally years building this up, dropping us lots of subtle and out-of-the-way clues to what kind of person Garrosh is. None of this was just shat out and thrown in our faces, it was stuff you had to pay attention to and look and remember. Unvoiced character dialogue that dropped hints, connecting dots with Garrosh’s train of thought, why he acts the way he does, etc. He isn’t just randomly deciding, “I WILL BE DA EVIL GOD!!!”, it’s been laid out since The Burning Crusade, and done pretty damned well, considering it was Blizzard who wrote it.
So, I myself, am pretty happy with Garrosh. I enjoyed seeing how he grew and developed, and how his persona and rank stimulated that. I think he’s a very interesting plot device and character, and they handled him relatively well. He’s a bit of an immature asshole, only out to prove how great he is, but it’s played out deeply enough that it’s believable and acceptable and doesn’t just feel like Arthas being all “no I must kill these retards in stratholme because suddenly I am very, very drastic for no reason lol fuck you uther.”
That’s just my analysis on it. I hope a more in-depth look at who Garrosh is helps more people to see he isn’t just a random meany poopy head, and he has real drive behind what he does.
Or maybe you still think Ragnaros is an Old God. I don’t really care either way, I guess.