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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Aucald View Post
    It's written better on a technical level than most fanfiction is, and if you knew nothing of previous WoW lore it'd probably be quite an engaging story. The problem is that it tries to do so much recontextualization and outright reconning of previous lore that having any knowledge of said lore renders the book a chore - the weight of disbelief is simply too heavy to engage with the prose. This book also has a marked tendency to simply not address the multiplying elephants in the proverbial room, leaving the most obvious questions (like many of those addressed above) unanswered as it plows on ahead with its narrative. It's bewildering and more than a little exhausting.

    I liken it to the ending of War Crimes, which was a great story but had a terrible ending that made the rest of the novel an exercise in futility - except in this one, you're getting that treatment multiple times.
    I didn't like this expansion as a whole, I try my best to keep an open mind, but quite honestly, it was the worst expansion ever. But you could argue that this entire expansion, with the Jailer and Lich King and the Helm of Domination, the spirit healers, the afterlives, and Elune's true nature, has been a series of repeated retcons by that same token. I liked this novel because I think Golden did work very long and hard into weaving Sylvanas's background, and she did the best with what she was given, which is I suppose what any of us could do. I think this Sylvanas is at least more interesting than the one-dimensional, cold-blooded emotionless psychopath who kills people simply for sadistic pleasure and power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorgar Aurelian View Post
    There's little to no chance Golden is the one coming up with the Retcons the book reads as if every one was forced in by a higher up and it's been known for a while she's not actually on the wow/lore team and just fills orders from different teams.
    Agreed, Golden's writing may not be perfect, but I do think it is far better than most of Blizzard's other writers. Still, I wonder what would happen if she openly told them that she disliked the direction they were taking Sylvanas and the storyline, would they listen to her? Or would she just lose her job immediately?
    Last edited by OwenBurton; 2022-04-06 at 11:34 PM.
    "Always you speak. Never do you listen! You ignore the lessons of Pandaria! You see, there is balance in all things. Wisdom etched in our very fur: Black and white. Darkness and light. When the last emperor hid our land from the rest of the world, he also preserved...our ancient enemy, the mantid. So it is with your Alliance and your Horde. They are not strong despite one another; they are strong BECAUSE of one another. You mistake your greatest strength for weakness. Do you see this?"

  2. #42
    The Insane Lorgar Aurelian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenBurton View Post
    Agreed, Golden's writing may not be perfect, but I do think it is far better than most of Blizzard's other writers. Still, I wonder what would happen if she openly told them that she disliked the direction they were taking Sylvanas and the storyline, would they listen to her? Or would she just lose her job immediately?
    Given that she works inbetween departs on all of there different games id assume (and hope) they’d take her suggestions to mind but at the end of the day I’d bet they just tell her they have final say and to write what they tell her just like when she was a out of house contractor.
    All I ever wanted was the truth. Remember those words as you read the ones that follow. I never set out to topple my father's kingdom of lies from a sense of misplaced pride. I never wanted to bleed the species to its marrow, reaving half the galaxy clean of human life in this bitter crusade. I never desired any of this, though I know the reasons for which it must be done. But all I ever wanted was the truth.

  3. #43
    Moderator Aucald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenBurton View Post
    I didn't like this expansion as a whole, I try my best to keep an open mind, but quite honestly, it was the worst expansion ever. But you could argue that this entire expansion, with the Jailer and Lich King and the Helm of Domination, the spirit healers, the afterlives, and Elune's true nature, has been a series of repeated retcons by that same token. I liked this novel because I think Golden did work very long and hard into weaving Sylvanas's background, and she did the best with what she was given, which is I suppose what any of us could do. I think this Sylvanas is at least more interesting than the one-dimensional, cold-blooded emotionless psychopath who kills people simply for sadistic pleasure and power.
    I prefer Shadowlands to BfA, but a lot of that is down to the fact that I deeply dislike the faction war as an underpinning concept in its entirety, which is a minority opinion but nonetheless one I share in. Beyond that, though; I'd agree that the narrative execution of Shadowlands was botched from the get-go, and compounded attempts to roughly stitch it into the existing storylines have been... less than successful, to put it kindly. On its own as a technical work of fiction, Sylvanas isn't a bad novel - it's only due to the rampant retconning and recontextualizing that it falls flat for me, which is kind of an external problem with the work as opposed to an internal or structural one.

    It does help make the character of Sylvanas at once more believable, but that for me was entirely offset by making her seem like an entirely different person than what came before. With the inclusion of this novel in the canon, Sylvanas has now eclipsed Jaina as the most yo-yo'd character in WoW.
    WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?. - Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

  4. #44
    I read it.

    Tl;dr: It's good, definitely Golden's best in the past decade. In fact, as I was about 2/3rds through I was in shock and disbelief as I thought about writing a glowing review here. As many people have already said though it falls apart by the end. Still, it's exponentially better than BTS, then again a collection of German humor would be, but also better than War Crimes and Tides of War and while likely worse overall than Arthas I enjoyed it more. It's not as good as other focus novels, like Vol'jin or Illidan, or the collections like Chronicle, but it's the best thing to have come out of the author and for the character in a very long time. Gonna use my Shadows Rising format for it.

    The Good


    1. Sylvanas - After two expansions and six fucking years, Sylvanas the character has some interiority again that isn't completely at odds with her actions before or since. There's issues with it to be sure, but if this is to be the definitive take on Sylvanas, it's not just Golden's best by a country mile, it's actually functional. She's an interesting character to follow from start to end and her moral degradation over the course of her life and the causes for it not only are caused by some monomania but also, with the exception of the wretched interludes, are fairly subtle and organic. Far from whitewashing the character, the book shows someone going from well-meaning but flawed to increasingly self-righteous and uninterested in all her cause without ever once making the character from there. Sylvanas isn't a saint, but she's not a monomaniac either, and with the book out it's finally possible to actually talk about her as a character again instead of as some crude plot instrument first serving to advance the story of other characters, and then as going through the cliffnotes of her own arc. More than that, part of the reason why BTS was such a terminal slog is because it lacked focus, something that recurred in Shadows Rising and was there in War Crimes too. Here, there's no doubt that Sylvanas the book is about Sylvanas the character and this singular throughline helps the book as a whole.

    2. The First Half - I didn't expect much from this book and this author, so imagine my shock when the first two parts on Sylvanas's childhood and family up to the start of the Second War were uniformly great. The characterization was on point, the relationships make sense, the worldbuilding informs what goes on and it all helps get across what kind of person Sylvanas and those around her would become. The Windrunners starting out as arch figures, Alleria as the reluctant heir, Lireesa as an overbearing mother etc. all ended up adding to it. The arrows in the quiver story was great and helped inform the character at large and in general the whole family and political dynamic was interesting to follow. So much so that it's the first time in a long while I actually wanted the writer to keep going and was annoyed when it cut to Sylvanas being raised.

    3. Lirath - If there's anything Golden does more than shill Anduin in every book she's written in the past ten fucking years, it's creating these sadsacks who exist solely to die to create pathos for the lead. Most range from inoffensive, like that dwarf in The Shattering, to infuriating like that twee pink-haired gnome in Tides of War or the Desolate Council in BTS to bizarre like Arthas's horse, which consumed his characterization and retroactively based every decision he made on it. Lirath, unlike any of these, actually works as a character and as a piece of pathos. Far from being an untouchable golden child, he's an actual character and rather than Sylvanas being just guilt-tripped with him, his death wraps into several elements of her characterization, from her family to her belief that she alone knows best and can decide for others to the overall idea of predestination and legacy, what with his main angst centering around how he doesn't measure up as a ranger which is exactly what his family appreciates about him.

    4. The Forsaken - Calling BTS the worst portrayal of the Forsaken is like calling the Hindenburg disaster an air traffic error. It retcons all lore of the race up to Vanilla to turn them into a race of physically and mentally weak victims waiting for their princess to save them all, who's main social turns never took place and who's relationship with Sylvanas is purely one-sided. Luckily, and I take full credit for this, my ceaseless bitching has caused Golden to either play or read the summaries of Tirisfal Glades. The difference is night and day. The mindless state, the Forsaken as a polity who follow Sylvanas because of her emphasis on their heritage and who has to make appeals to them to stay in power, absolutely every scene with Putress, it's all great. The chapter of Sylvanas's raising and later her tending to Nathanos's dementia both stand out in that regard, but Sylvanas's general rationalizations post-undeath also get across the gulf of difference between alive and dead, with the way negativity ultimately portrays over the fleeting moments of positive emotion which is itself rationalized as being something other than what it is.

    5. Nathanos - Always a beneficiary of all out of game materials, Nathanos is great in this one too. He sticks around with Sylvanas throughout in a way that makes sense for both. You can see why she stuck with him this whole while and ditto what he gave her. The two highlights are the aforementioned dementia scene and him telling her to quit the whole business and bail before the fight with Saurfang, all solid.

    6. The Retcons - All BFA and Chronicle Vol. 3's bullshit meant to set it up is in the open grave it belongs. Sylvanas wanting to kill random Horde and Alliance instead of focusing on Arthas at the Wrathgate? Gone, replaced with her giving the order to kill Arthas and reasoning she'd be fine with their deaths if he had died too, being both in character and fitting with everything we know before the Afrasiabi interview. Sylvanas wanting to conquer Gilneas at a time she planned suicide and didn't care for the land or its people? Gone, replaced with her original motive of being forced into it by Garrosh and taking the most brutal and total means of solving the issue as fast as possible. The bit with Liam that got so much attention is overstated, with her projecting onto him and later musing to herself about how she looks forward to the citizens of Gilneas accepting their new Queen and even adding a new scene where she's ready to taunt Genn over it while still treating him as a worthy opponent, gelling with Stormheim. Her planning to burn Teldrassil all along? Gone, to focus back on her relationship with Sadfang and her needing to make up for it. Killing Varian intentionally to become Warchief? Gone, back to the original version of her being penned into it by circumstance. Sylvanas being invited by Cairne without her initiative and the blood elves being invited by Thrall instead of her service? Gone, going back to the TBC canon of Sylvanas as the main driver behind both her own induction into the Horde and dragging Bob over the finish line. With the mention of Sylvanas reinforcing Forsaken heritage and the mention of the Forsaken being uniquely physically resistant and immune to pain, the BTS political and physical retcons to the Forsaken are also spaced. In one fell swoop, some of the most wretched Sylvanas content is wiped. Sadly, Golden doesn't stop it there, but on many fronts, the retcons, which amount to little more than corrections back to a status quo before Blizzard decided to turn her into Satan are ditched.

    The Bad


    1. Anduin (and Jaina) - After how much of a cancer he was in BTS and BFA, a walking narrative blackhole and moral arbiter who makes everyone around him into caricatures, I've softened on Anduin over Shadows Rising and the course of Shadowlands as he's shown some faults and insecurities and then quits his job, giving his faction the hope of depth. Thankfully, Golden's Anduin in this book is there to remind me I was right all along. His interludes serve as little more than stating outright what the book is otherwise able to deliver with a measure of subtlety. He's an infallible moral agent, both in the present day where he always wins arguments against Sylvanas by spelling out the themes of the story verbatim to the past where he is added to a scene in Legion while Sylvanas and everyone in the room gawks at his wisdom and ability. Any time the book builds up a measure of momentum there's an interlude where Anduin gets to cite forum arguments at Sylvanas or makes a blindingly obvious comment that takes her entirely aback, like how she's projecting or how the Bald Man may be dishonest. More than undermining the structure of the book, Golden's fixation on him means core plot beats are broken. A main point in both Edge of Night and the mess that this book makes of it is that eternal, depersonalizing torture will ultimately break anyone. No matter who you were, be it Arthas telling the Bald Man to fuck off in life or Sylvanas taking a stand, someone who has no mouth and must scream will ultimately do anything to make it stop. Not Our Treasure though, the 'best torturers' of the Maw can't even faze him. He's so dire he undermines the main purpose of the book. The main beat when it comes to Sylvanas's projection onto him, which makes sense in the context of the book and isn't a bad explanation in isolation of her focus on him lands entirely flat because orbiting around Anduin isn't just her natural state, but the natural state of the whole world. Within about ten pages of total appearances Anduin manages to handicap an already limping story because of Golden's inability to not prop him up in everything she writes no matter how distant from the point.

    At the same time, the book goes through all of Golden's usual line of favoritism, with Sylvanas pivoting on her opinion of Jaina and Baine and gushing over people she's never met to indicate her moral rectitude, which fucks up the narrative of her moral degradation and distancing from all relationships in order to prop up people she's never shared a line of dialogue with, tactfully avoiding any mention of putting Baine in the slammer or raising Jaina's brother.

    2. Space and Time - Golden is okay in worldbuilding when it comes to societal structure. But give her a map and a clock and you've got a complete meltdown. Even in the first half when the story blissfully avoids stating times, travel is a joke, but by the end all of it unwinds as Golden's imagination fails to do what every author in their stable manages in grasping that the in-game world is shorthand and the actual space is much larger. There's nothing in Sylvanas the Book as bad as a character pulling a fucking hearthstone, but Sylvanas's gyrations after the Mak'gora in Orgrimmar come close. According to this mess, Sylvanas fought Sadfang, flew a continent away to Quel'thalas to chat with Nathanos and then flew another continent away to the Northrend. I'll remind that Shadows Rising alone took place over months, which means that if you take this shambles at face value, Talanji had time to distance herself from the Horde, Nathanos's people had time to travel to Zandalar, sabotage multiple shrines and have multiple clashes before being defeated and escaping all the while Horde and Alliance pulled multiple long continent-wide searches in about four hours.

    3. The Dreadlords - If you told me anyone'd ever write a situation where the Dreadlords were less charismatic than the Bald Man I'd laugh my ass off. But somehow this book manages it. Varimathras, despite being the most relevant character re: her connection between her pre and post-retcon allegiance who even teases her out in Legion does next to nothing in the whole book and is completely contingent on side materials. Mal'ganis is party to, if not the worst scenes in the book, since that honor goes out to anything with Anduin and the epilogue, then close to it where he shows up, disguised as an elf, complains about the ceiling and then goes on a completely out of context explanation about how the Bald Man used Argus which reads like Golden or Danuser personally writing exposition to the forums. He then completely wrecks every bit of subtlety the initial Bald Man meeting had by going on about how important it is for screaming souls to go to hell and fucks off. Golden misses open goals like the dreadlords stating they'll rule the Scourge and disregarding the Legion in favor of this walking wikipedia entry.

    4. The Retcons - I sure am glad that Sylvanas was lying in her own mind when she thought about using the Soulcage to bind Val'kyr and make the Forsaken immortal. It was actually all about the Bald Man. Much like her meeting with the Val'kyr, which was actually a meeting with the Bald Man. Golden may have read about Tirisfal Glades but she didn't get to Silverpine and so we go the entire book without any mention of her being shot in the head by Godfrey and so instead the retcons have to wedge themselves in between complete nonsense. Sylvanas's mindset goes on about the Bald Man in periods we know she didn't and her awareness and motive has zero relation with what she actually does. Sylvanas has no intention of war while speaking with Anduin at the Gathering (written by Golden) while she's actually planning to feed souls to the Maw. The book isn't even internally consistent on its own bullshit. Varimathras is simultaneously loyal to the Legion and the Bald Man and Sylvanas is both chosen and not by the time the coup takes place. Not that that's the only problem with that scene, as entertaining as Putress is.

    The Ugly


    1. The Retcons - During the coup at the Wrathgate, Sylvanas randomly goes by an unnamed, undescribed Forsaken woman. That woman passes her a stoneskin potion. Sylvanas, without checking, drinks it and so survives Putress's ambush. It's the most out of context, retarded scene I've seen in any Warcraft book up to this point with the exception of Rhonin's raptor army. I'd put it in the bad column if it weren't such a complete non-sequitor. Legit laughed when I went through it. Mal'ganis going on about the mechanics of the magic of dreadlords and Argus's soul comes close to it in terms of sheer baffling nonsense. Others, like Sylvanas's line about Delaryn soon being with her loved ones actually being genuinely intended has so much balls in trying to patch over that scene that I can't help but appreciate it, and while it half-works in context I can't genuinely endorse it and put it in the good column.

    2. The Bald Man - Over the course of Shadowlands, the Jailer doesn't have a single recognizable line or anything I'd dare to call characterization. He's a walking plank, an instrument to get other characters from Point A to Point B. The Bald Man of Sylvanas the Book on the other hand is an actual character. He still suffers from a bad visual design, but in the span of two chapters you get more lines and more content than the entirety of the expansion. You get the impression of someone spinning for an audience of one in Sylvanas, who has seen so many lives he knows exactly what to say to her, but who's true nature comes through in brief moments from Sylvanas reflecting on how he speaks of the souls in the Maw without any impression of what their ordeal entails to Anduin mentioning how she surely wasn't a first choice. I can believe that the guy in the book was able to get Devos and Helya on his side, a God-Emperor of Dune-style figure to whom mortal life is irrelevant and insignificant in favor of broader currents. But he appears in all of two scenes and all of this characterization is post-hoc. The guy in the book and the guy in the game have no relation and not in the sense you can tie together Book Garrosh and Book Nathanos to their in-game counterparts, but in the sense that the character in the book is a direct answer to complaints about the game character but don't translate to him. I can't praise his scenes because they're band-aids on a pus-ridden wound.

    3. Lava Eel Vore - It sort of works in context, but the fuck.

    4. The Second Half - It's a total mess. It jumps from scene to scene, going from genuinely interesting bits that I wish the game itself did like Sylvanas and Saurfang finally having a common point with Sylvanas's emphasis on family and Saurfang's own death wish and fatalism to the aforementioned nonsense with Mal'ganis or the hot garbage that is the retcon to Stormheim. There's a part where, verbatim, Sylvanas reflects on how there's no reason not to kill Genn in Stormheim, but for 'unexplained reasons', she let him live. The book takes the piss out of itself. The only thing to come close is Nathanos and Sylvanas having to summarize the events of Warlords which reaches self-parody. More importantly, much like Golden's Arthas book before it, whatever the value of an individual scene, the strongest suit of the first part that being the consistently developed cast and storyline is turned into snippets incomprehensible if you haven't played the game and confusing if you have because it's invested in a contradictory surgery exercise in terms of which elements to maintain and which to ditch. It's not bad because there's bits of it, like Sylvanas's meeting with the Jailer, Nathanos's talk with her, Sylvanas's breakdown at Lirath's grave or her talk with Saurfang that are good, but there's no real plot, it's more like an incoherent anthology.

    5. The Soul Split - You know how often her soul split comes up in the ostensibly definitive book about Sylvanas? You remember the soul split, right, that convoluted bullshit that may or may not have affected her agency and thinking, may have substituted her with her pre-Fall self, and constituted some kind of leverage by the Bald Man over her. The thing reams of text have been writing about trying to explain? One singular line in the epilogue recapping that it happened. Much like Calia in Shadows Rising, it's not that it's actively bad as it doesn't exist, but by merely not including it and carrying on and by showing a somewhat organic character line without ever needing to resort to that shambolic plot device it goes to show how useless it was in the game itself. The book is the purest distillation of why the soul split was both actively bad in diminishing the character's agency and reason but also actively pointless by being an actual, canonical version of how you can cut its existence entirely and still come to the same point.

    In talk of the book I hear a lot about how the book would've worked a lot better if it had come out earlier in the expansion with some alterations, and that was no doubt the intent given that the whole final chapter is a cliffnotes version of the patch cinematic and a mess all of itself. But the reason it was delayed, past Shadowlands' obvious release schedules was likely to change elements of it. Much of it feels like an answer to fan complaints and efforts to salvage the material. In practice, the book fails massively. It's a tangle of nonsensical retcons strung together by strong character work for Sylvanas herself. In theory though, it's a proof of concept. This route could have been done, but it wasn't, and barreling through this story without ironing out the kinks is its biggest fault. That and Anduin, I mean Christ.
    Last edited by Super Dickmann; 2022-04-09 at 07:55 AM.
    Dickmann's Law: As a discussion on the Lore forums becomes longer, the probability of the topic derailing to become about Sylvanas approaches 1.

    Tinkers will be the next Class confirmed.

  5. #45
    Super dickmann, you are my hero.
    Last edited by Cloudmaker; 2022-04-15 at 08:04 AM.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Varodoc View Post
    First of all, Thank you for this.

    Secondly, let's see if I got this right:

    - Alleria was the favourite child of the Windrunner family;

    - Lireesa Windrunner (the Mother) loved Alleria as her favourite child;

    - Lireesa preferred Alleria over Sylvanas and was very severe towards Sylvanas;

    - Lireesa would have preferred if Alleria got the Ranger-General role instead of the worse daughter Sylvanas;

    - Pretty much no one in the family really cared about Sylvanas, which is why the only one she had left was the useless little brother Lirath.

    Eh, all in all it's what I expected
    You forgot to mention why Alleria didn't became Ranger General
    Sure, it was already mentioned in the old Lore (Chronicles) but nice to see them confirming it once again:
    Sylvanas was the better Ranger than Alleria and also the BEST Ranger in the Windrunner family

  7. #47
    ...So....

    Is it safe to say that the player base should just retcon this book? Would we really lose anything of value if we don't codify this book into the actual lore and just treat it as Dansuer's personal headcanon of what he thinks Sylvanas is like? Remember, even though Christie Golden is working for Blizz to put out these books, at the end of the day, Danuser is the one who gets the final say of what's canon and what isn't.

    I mean, not like any of this is gonna be relevant to what happens in the next expansion. We can just say it never happened.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Vakir View Post
    So is the implication from the clank of metal armor and her statement about hope in the epilogue that Anduin is staying behind in the Shadowlands not just to heal from his trauma, but to accompany her in saving the souls too?

    Or is that supposed to be Nathanos? I just generally don't associate him as much with the "clank of armor," even if he's in what could be interpreted as mail - he's more based around being fleet and ranger-y. It also describes it as "unexpected" mere sentences from her thinking resolutely that she'd find him.

    But hey, if it means getting rid of Anduin for longer, I'm good.

    EDIT: Garithos and Arthas are also candidates but the former is probably not even a name known by the majority of present Blizzard staff and the latter is in my anima reservoir.
    Definitely Anduin. As @Lorgar Aurelian mentioned, the clanking bit is mentioned in regards to him at the beginning, so it's "clever foreshadowing". And hey, now that this tumor upon WoW lore is with her, no one can say she got off too easy.

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrunes View Post
    Definitely Anduin. As @Lorgar Aurelian mentioned, the clanking bit is mentioned in regards to him at the beginning, so it's "clever foreshadowing". And hey, now that this tumor upon WoW lore is with her, no one can say she got off too easy.
    Tumors stick together here and she ends up having it narratively solved faster for her so I see it as an absolute loss other than getting rid of him as well.

  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Vakir View Post
    Tumors stick together here and she ends up having it narratively solved faster for her so I see it as an absolute loss other than getting rid of him as well.
    Once Anduin is down there we can be assured that it's all for naught and she'll at the very least cameo if not be dragged out as well. The real tragedy though is that because the next expansion is about Dragons and Thrall used to LARP as an Aspect whereas Jaina's porking a dragon we'll be stuck with those terminal bores as well.
    Dickmann's Law: As a discussion on the Lore forums becomes longer, the probability of the topic derailing to become about Sylvanas approaches 1.

    Tinkers will be the next Class confirmed.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Super Dickmann View Post
    Once Anduin is down there we can be assured that it's all for naught and she'll at the very least cameo if not be dragged out as well. The real tragedy though is that because the next expansion is about Dragons and Thrall used to LARP as an Aspect whereas Jaina's porking a dragon we'll be stuck with those terminal bores as well.
    At this point do we have any interesting major characters left? Wrathion if he retains some of his opportunism and ambitious streak? Illidan remains retired. Sylvanas isn't going back to her early Cata form after this and is likely going to just be another bland Scion of the Seventh Dawn-lite alongside the rest of the main crew. Khadgar's last interaction was kinda ominous. Geya'rah is doomed to be background. I guess Nozdormu could...be? I got nothing.

  12. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
    I get the revelation of her and the Forsaken being denied by the Alliance for being undead, but do they ever clarify how and why they join the Horde?

    If Sylvanas was that close yo Lirath, it would make even less sense why she would join the Horde, which comprises some of the same Orcs who caused his death. Sure, Thrall wasn't Doomhammer, but he's wearing his fucking platemail after all.

    The sensible thing would gave been for Forsaken to stay independent.
    That is an excellent point, given how often they use such actions to drive a wedge between fromer friends turning them into enemies, and yet this.

    The problem is the whitewashing. They want to tell a good story, but fail to make realistic steps.

    It's not that Sylvanas joining the horde is impossible even after Lirtah, it's her loving the horde that is utter nonsense.

    At least for a while we should have seen some form of hate or a sequence of events that forced her with thehorde powerful because of a worse threat or greater hatred presing down.

    Also, Sylvanas working with the jailer who is responsible for Arthas and her first state and hatred, is just STUPID without painting her as fractured and broken herself in a clear obvious way.

    But you wouldn't do that because she is a pet fave.. which ends up making it all rather silly.

    @OwenBurton - thanks for the summary, well compiled, wish you or someone like you had done the Illidan book similarly... the leaker literally just posted the end result without the context. The problem with the story isn't Golden, sounds like she did a good job showing the depth of emotion and hat goes wrongwithh Sylvanas.

    I don't think she would have been allowed to show Sylvanas as crazy and broken in an obsious way, which is exacty what she should be after going through that experience. Powerful as they are, largely the undead, and DKs should be crazy, or very untrustworthily unstable - however if you want ot make them sane enough, you have to write a compelling route to sanity in the face of the horro of what they go through.

    Not warcraft though, you go throughhell, andyou're able to make wise, just and sane decisions just like that.

  13. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Mace View Post
    The problem is the whitewashing. They want to tell a good story, but fail to make realistic steps.

    It's not that Sylvanas joining the horde is impossible even after Lirtah, it's her loving the horde that is utter nonsense.

    At least for a while we should have seen some form of hate or a sequence of events that forced her with thehorde powerful because of a worse threat or greater hatred presing down.
    What are you on about, Sylvanas and the Forsaken don't love the Horde, the only time it breaches past being an alliance of convenience is minor characters in Cataclysm. The lore, which is unchanged from the earliest parts of the game to the book has always been that Sylvanas joined the Horde because without the backing of a major power, she'd be on her own, with Scarlets, Scourge and Alliance pressing down. The Horde meanwihle would get a foothold in EK for cheap and the tauren thought the Forsaken would want a cure. By the time she goes for the Horde, she's already tried and been rejected by the Blood Elves (per Chronicle Vol. 3) and the Alliance (all versions). The book, who's only addition to this sequence is to actually show us Sylvanas's perspective on these, goes to great pains to emphasize how she considers joining with orcs to be tantamount to another depersonalizing betrayal of her past self and her family, akin to being a zombie in the first place.

    @Vakir

    Neither Sylvanas nor Illidan should appear, though we might be cursed by the former popping up. Thrall, Baine and Jaina are narrative tumors in the most direct sense in that they're malignant growths that take up screentime and contribute nothing. Say what you will about Anduin, Sylvanas and Tyrande but at least they go on some kind of poorly told journey which leaves them different than they started. Those three did fuck all throughout, but they kept featuring at all times. Anduin does actually have a story going on from this.

    Past that, the faction cast are all interchangable and dull, but the Alliance one is easier to salvage because they haven't had to gyrate between three separate political positions in the span of BFA, only one very stupid position.
    Last edited by Super Dickmann; 2022-04-13 at 01:45 PM.
    Dickmann's Law: As a discussion on the Lore forums becomes longer, the probability of the topic derailing to become about Sylvanas approaches 1.

    Tinkers will be the next Class confirmed.

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Super Dickmann View Post
    Past that, the faction cast are all interchangable and dull, but the Alliance one is easier to salvage because they haven't had to gyrate between three separate political positions in the span of BFA, only one very stupid position.
    Oh, I forgot Genn. He's ok I guess.

    ...I mean, really, there are no compelling leads left even outside of the factions.

    Just soft reboot us already.

  15. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Vakir View Post
    Oh, I forgot Genn. He's ok I guess.

    ...I mean, really, there are no compelling leads left even outside of the factions.

    Just soft reboot us already.
    One of the reasons I can't muster the animus for SL that many people seem to is because there's no one in the heroic Azeroth cast post-BFA I care strongly for or any main race that managed to maintain some kind of coherent identity. Even in an expansion with a dull cast, the ones we drag with us are the dullest by far. There are races, like the Mag'har, and characters, such as Talanji and Rokhan who got a good shake within BFA, among the few, I like conceptually and that I think can be done well without too much issue, but everyone on our side is essentially a blank slate. I don't trust Blizzard, who managed to have both most of their main cast and their main villain go without a personality for an entire expansion to do any better this go around, especially when they're working with dragons, who've historically suffered from this problem way before anything else. Just read that pre-4.3 story with Thrall, it's dire.
    Last edited by Super Dickmann; 2022-04-13 at 02:57 PM.
    Dickmann's Law: As a discussion on the Lore forums becomes longer, the probability of the topic derailing to become about Sylvanas approaches 1.

    Tinkers will be the next Class confirmed.

  16. #56
    Reforged Gone Wrong The Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voidox View Post
    This logic never makes sense to me, sure Sylvanus could find the least rotting undead to approach the alliance, but it's a tall ask for people to trust and accept them. Heck, even letting in some undead could end up ravaging a city, so that alone is a risk.

    also boy, the whitewashing and retcons in this novel just make my head hurt. And the fact the sylvanus is getting any form of a positive end is so stupid and basically sums up the whitewashing done to her (jesus the amount of "all about family" that she is now).

    We all know she's happy going into the maw cause it's a "goal" for her, we know she will be with Danuser Nathanos while doing her daily quests... community service is totally a fitting "punishment" for a genocide and all her other evil actions as an undead right -_-
    How exactly would they "ravage" the city? it sounds as if there was only a handful of them. Have them under heavy guard. Put them in a prison cell. Have your mages and priests keeping a close eye on them to make sure they're not doing anything plague-y. There was no reason to kill them outright, only blind panic. They even had living members of their families with them to support that they weren't crazed, evil undead. At the very least, bringing them in and locking them up for questioning makes a hell of a lot more sense than just murdering them outright.

  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Super Dickmann View Post
    What are you on about, Sylvanas and the Forsaken don't love the Horde, the only time it breaches past being an alliance of convenience is minor characters in Cataclysm. The lore, which is unchanged from the earliest parts of the game to the book has always been that Sylvanas joined the Horde because without the backing of a major power, she'd be on her own, with Scarlets, Scourge and Alliance pressing down. The Horde meanwihle would get a foothold in EK for cheap and the tauren thought the Forsaken would want a cure. By the time she goes for the Horde, she's already tried and been rejected by the Blood Elves (per Chronicle Vol. 3) and the Alliance (all versions). The book, who's only addition to this sequence is to actually show us Sylvanas's perspective on these, goes to great pains to emphasize how she considers joining with orcs to be tantamount to another depersonalizing betrayal of her past self and her family, akin to being a zombie in the first place.
    Like most things in wow, what should be shown and detailed is often implied and left for us to deduce and put together across several media streams (game, books, comics, website, interviews, panels, announcements etc). Whiles this use to be fun for me (which is how I got sucked into night elf issues) it's not good enough from a story telling point of view.

    And they have little excuse with books available. Still, from Owen's summary, it looks like a good effort from Christie, I'm not disputing that - the critique is not her, it's just highlighting a part oft he lore that is unsatisfactory, perhaps in the hopes it might be properly redressexd.

    Whiles the elements you point out are present, I'm not satisfied with the degree they are shown in the original early content for such a momentous event. You and I can deduce this was the case, but this needs to be shown or spelt out for payers. This has been my biggest beef with wow and Warcraft from a story telling perspective..

    You might recall I am often on blizzard's side when it comes to lore, because I often notice there is enough around to piece together what happens. Fun for a geeky person like me, but certain events need a proper telling. I haven't read the book yet, so maybe it tells and shows how much Sylvanas hated the horde and details the journey from being in an impossible situation and having to choose that side - maybe plans of revenge that changed when she got to understand the orcs or was too consumed with vengeance against Arthas. Maybe the book details her crazy enough to get in bed with Zovaal having been twisted enough by the pain of separation to desire reunification to thee point of ignoring that this is the being that is responsible for the horrible atrocity that she has been led to endure.

    Failure to show her as crazy is whitewashing - okay, perhaps it is clear to me she is crazy, but if the book only focuses on sympathy for her it feels like whitewashing. Okay she was a broken soul, we know that, but does the book also mention her realising that Zovaal is the being responsible for all her trouble when her soul is reunited? Does it show a level of healing and sanity that would help us?

    It's not enough. when big moves they make for gameplay happen, they are never un-explainable nor are they never unjustifiable in a creative work where you can write good explanation, but they require something. The blood elves going horde was exactly one such huge event that wasn't nearly covered enough.

    The good thing is that later material can go back and flesh things out appropriately, the Illidan novel and Sylvannas novel I think help a lot in this regard. Maybe they should follow their communities and realise what aspects the fans struggle with and do a better job showing them., rather than rely on us to explain to others what we are guestimating is happening based on the evidence we are shown.

    this has been wow from the start, so it's not like I didn't know that this is how the story is written - -shown and you make your mind up, I get it, just that I think more needs to be done for certain things, so this is a critique, keypoints. Sylvanas getting on board with the horde is insane, it needs a good explanation, Sylvanas siding with Zovaal is also more insane, and you need to see this about her. If you cover it up, or diminish it or change it or ignore it, it feels like whitewashing.
    Last edited by Mace; 2022-04-13 at 05:55 PM.

  18. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Mace View Post
    Like most things in wow, what should be shown and detailed is often implied and left for us to deduce and put together across several media streams (game, books, comics, website, interviews, panels, announcements etc). Whiles this use to be fun for me (which is how I got sucked into night elf issues) it's not good enough from a story telling point of view.

    this has been wow from the start, so it's not like I didn't know that this is how the story is written - -shown and you make your mind up, I get it, just that I think more needs to be done for certain things, so this is a critique, keypoints. Sylvanas getting on board with the horde is insane, it needs a good explanation, Sylvanas siding with Zovaal is also more insane, and you need to see this about her. If you cover it up, or diminish it or change it or ignore it, it feels like whitewashing.
    There's nothing in the book regarding her political reasoning that wasn't there before save for some soap opera bit where she gets offended at what Halduron and Lor'themar say about her, to add to Chronicle 3's still canon political rejection by the blood elves. The Forsaken joining the Horde has since the game's release been an alliance of convenience and one we've known the exact sequence of events to as well. Sylvanas reaches out to the Alliance and fails, realizes she's locked in, and out of necessity reaches out for the Horde because otherwise she'd be stranded on her own, the tauren take interest in the Forsaken situation, bring it to Thrall, who accepts their membership for realpolitik reasons. This has been the lore since Vanilla and the only thing that's been added since is further elaboration on the process, from Sylvanas first reaching out to Quel'thalas because she is herself a high elf and being rejected because of her undeath, to the details with her sentries, to now her personal mindset as she joins the Horde.

    Sylvanas getting on board with the only political faction that can secure her goals and hasn't explicitly rejected her by now isn't insane, it's entirely in keeping with the lore and trumps many further faction joining processes, least of all the night elves, who have neither an inciting event nor a motive in their allegiance. There's no whitewashing involved in depicting an action that has been the case for the entirety of the MMO's lifespan with the motive that it's had for the entirety of the MMO's lifespan, if anything further emphasizing how it, to Sylvanas herself, constitutes a severe moral compromise that further degrades the values she had in life.
    Last edited by Super Dickmann; 2022-04-14 at 08:28 PM.
    Dickmann's Law: As a discussion on the Lore forums becomes longer, the probability of the topic derailing to become about Sylvanas approaches 1.

    Tinkers will be the next Class confirmed.

  19. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by OwenBurton View Post
    She also never really trusted the orcs, and never forgot or forgave them for her brother's death, merely using them as a means to an end after the Alliance rejected her people.
    Based. Starting to like her.

  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by The Stormbringer View Post
    How exactly would they "ravage" the city? it sounds as if there was only a handful of them. Have them under heavy guard. Put them in a prison cell. Have your mages and priests keeping a close eye on them to make sure they're not doing anything plague-y. There was no reason to kill them outright, only blind panic. They even had living members of their families with them to support that they weren't crazed, evil undead. At the very least, bringing them in and locking them up for questioning makes a hell of a lot more sense than just murdering them outright.
    easy to say when looking at it from outside, but we're talking in the context of people living during a plague and undead ravaging their lands. It's not so easy to just trust something that looks exactly like the thing destroying your world, let alone to just let them in a city when even a few undead can spread undeath in a city.

    it makes perfect sense that they'd be shot on sight, cause that's what the humans would have been doing for any undead they were seeing. Sure you could argue that maybe they shouldn't have, but it's not such a stretch to imagine why they didn't.

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