[LORE] Speculation: Anduin, Wrathion and why the next expansion is NOT the Legion
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD POST Siege of Orgrimmar!
So with all the rampant speculation and buzz about "The Dark Below", as well as interesting speculation from 4chan and other sources, there's one aspect that is slightly being overlooked in my opinion. That is the storyline involving Anduin, Wrathion and their journey to unite the races of Azeroth and protect it from the coming Legion assault. There are some indicators that make the next expansion already being the assault of the Legion seem very unlikely at this point.
Yes, the legendary storyline talks much of prophecy and the "coming fire". However nowhere is a deadline set, and while it seems ominous, there's not exactly a feeling of imminent doom. In fact, Wrathion even states that he expected the Alliance to win the overall war against the Horde within another year after the fall of Garrosh, claiming that Thunderbluff would hold out longest. However, for reasons as yet unknown, Wrynn decides to allow the Horde to elect a new Warchief and one can presume a form of peace is formed, at least temporarily, with bigger threats looming and the Horde needing to lick it's wounds and rebuild after Garrosh. A likely candidate for warchief here is Lor'themar, for example, who the Alliance would likely accept as a warchief to negotiate with.
So that being said, and assuming that the content patches continue in a more or less immediate fashion in terms of the timeline, we have some time before the impending attack of the Legion. That alone seems to imply there is other stuff to come before. However, there is more.
Velen's vision in his short story describes Anduin as the leader of both Horde and Alliance, leading the charge against (presumably) Sargeras's forces on the plains of an unknown world (possibly Azeroth in turmoil or a Legion world). He is described as far more impressive and a figure of authority, which he is still far from being. At this point, were the invasion to happen, Anduin would be nowhere near that prophesized figure (also, Velen's visions have as yet all come true). So that also gives us some time before the actual conflict with the Legion begins. And furthermore, where was Wrathion in this vision? Pretty much all races of Azeroth, even the Naaru and the dragonflights are mentioned as fighting together, but no Wrathion. One would think he would take up arms and be a prominent figure in the battle against the Legion.
However, and this is where pure speculation begins, what if Wrathion is the one that is to blame for that vision. Now bear with me here, but assuming that the next expansion involves something other than the Legion, which I personally believe, we will have time to accompany both these characters as they continue to grow in power, try to resolve conflicts and catastrophes. They will mature and grow, and very likely play major roles towards the end of the next expansion again. They are set up to be comrades in arms that are at odds in terms of their views and philosophy, yet with a common goal. Wrathion believes the strongest should rule on Azeroth to ensure the fitness and unity of it'S defense, Anduin believes all should have their say and work together for the common goal. I have two theories for how their story together might end up:
1) Wrathion unwittingly causes Velen's prophecy
In this scenario, Wrathion's visions and fears of a Legion attack are illusions meant to distract him, and via him us, from the real threat - N'zoth and the naga, coming from below, NOT the skies. The storyline might lead so far as that Wrathion manages to convince most factions to follow his advice and even lead expeditions to other worlds to take the fight to the Legion, exposing Azeroth to the attack from within. He divides and weakens Azeroth's forces without intending to do so, thinking the threat to be the Legion, and in doing so is possibly killed or despairs when he sees his error. Velen's vision, then, is not actually a fight against Sargeras but the Old Gods, or one of them, finally resurfaced and in full power, threatening to devour all of existence.
2) Wrathion sacrifices himself and develops Anduin's character
This is my personal dream story. Azeroth is assaulted by Azshara and the Naga, we take the fight to her city and end up encountering N'zoth himself. Along the way we follow Wrathion and Anduin as they are involved, with Wrathion possibly out to manipulate the events to his perceived benefit of Azeroth as a whole, maybe even going so far as to sacrifice innocents and becoming quite cruel and reckless. This puts him at odds with Anduin. However in the culmination of the expansion storyline, it will be Wrathion who finally helps to defeat N'zoth and put an end to the Old God threat, by sacrificing himself and redeeming himself in Anduin's eyes. I could easily see a more mature Wrathion dying in a bloodied and battered Anduin's arms, who will be revered as a leader and hero of the people of Azeroth thereafter. This then leads to Velen's vision, when later on we do actually fight the overbearing evil of the Legion somewhere, with all races united and Anduin, backed by his friend's sacrifice and spirit, leads the charge.
Pure speculation of course, but I think I made some worthwhile points to consider concerning what actually comes next. These two characters have had a ton of storyline development dropped on them this expansion, and seem to be focal point of the story going on. Wrathion seems set up to be the fallen hero and /or antagonist, Blizzard LOVES this story (Arthas, Illidan).
What do you think? Will the Legion truly be next? Will Wrathion prove a hero or a villain? How will Anduin become the leader of Velen's vision? And who IS the great evil we actually do fight in that vision, the Legion or Old Gods? Or possibly...the final titan?
I don't like this whole "anduin-wrathion-holding-hands-together-broship" storyline. tbh I think Anduin is on his way to become another Thrall if not an underpowered version of Me'dan.
nor do i like this "black and white" mentality that has filled the characters of the game (with the exception of a few), meaning that characters are either "heroes" or they are pure "villians". intresting characters are not blacks or whites they are grey characters.
and I think WoW needs more of these grey characters.
Last edited by banestalker; 2013-08-27 at 12:26 PM.
That's actually exactly what Illidan, Artha and I think Wrathion are - antiheroes, grey characters that seem to often have an altruistic goal but use villainous means to attain it or sport cruel personality traits. I think WoW's most crucial storylines were and are all built up around these characters, as they are as you rightfully pointed out more interesting. They're even pepping up known characters like Jaina in this way to give them more depth and credibility.
I think Anduin and Wrathion won't have a jolly old friendship, i mentioned that and it seems obvious from the story so far - they share a common goal and respect each other, and may even consider each other comrades. But they have wildly different outlooks on how to attain these goals and clashing personalities. Which makes for the best kinds of friendships, imo.