WoW 5th Anniversary: Chris Metzen Facepalm
Blizzard Entertainment celebrated the 5th Anniversary of World of Warcraft and 15 Years of Warcraft. One lore oops came back to mind it seems during Chris Metzen’s speech at the anniversary celebration last week.
Just kidding bro, lol. Lovely-loh-love. You know, it is hard to tell if the Creative team really forgot that Sargeras was corrupted by the Eredars after his encounter with the Nathrezim, or if there was more to it down the line in future WoW expansions. A masterminded retcon that will introduce an epic-proportions storyline at some point in future expansions. In that case they needed to be silent about their motives, and let fans deal with with what they perceive as a continuity error.
It would be hard to think that not only Chris forgot about it, but that the whole Creative Team overlooked that. I am a bit skeptic. Creators aren’t infallible, we have seen it happen in many TV series, and comic books. Like when a villain dies in a comic book title [Mighty Avengers], and years later a write comes up with a story using that villain in the [Fantastic Four] and doesn’t offer an explanation of how that villain came back from death. Not only the writer made the mistake, but the creative team and the editor are responsible for not pointing out to the writer [before it goes to print] that this villain died previously. How can a whole Marvel Comics team fail to remember X-villain died a few years ago? Especially such a huge company that has many editor meetings, huge in-house encyclopedias, or external sources such as a wiki, and whatnot.
Sometimes continuity errors do happen in some sci-fi / fantasy franchises, and the writers can simply ignore the blunder, move on and pretend it didn’t happen; or be creative with a new story that fixes the continuity error so that it becomes perfectly legit, within continuity and canon.
For example, we know that Aman’thul the Highfather — leader of the Titans’s Pantheon — imbued Nozdormu with a portion of his powers to monitor Azeroth’s time. In Warcraft: War of the Ancients by Richard A. Knaak, we learned there are many Nozdormus out there communicating with each other.
Nozdormu told Krasus that the other Nozdormus thank him for his actions during his time travel. If Nozdormu has that level of power over time as to communicate with his other-selves … it comes to logic that the one that imbued him with such power — [Aman’thul] — knows about the timeways much more than Nozdormu.
For instance, since [A] Sargeras and Aman’thul the Highfather are brothers, time travel is not foreign to Sargeras. [B] In Warcraft: The Last Guardian, Karazhan served as a hourglass where moments of the past and the future warped in and out of existence allowing Medivh, Khadgar and Garona to witness visions: young Khadgar saw a white-bearded and older-self in a foreign land with a red sky [He was seeing his future self in Outland]. Garona saw a vision of the future where she was assassinating King Llane — therefore Sargeras must know his way around the timestream and know things as well. Sargeras inhabited Medivh’s body and resided in Kharazhan.
Tell me, how did Sargeras plan so far in advance to be defeated by Aegwynn to enter her body? In this plan, Sargeras remained within her — silent for 800 years — until she gave birth to Medivh. Sargeras gained access to the power of the Guardian by possessing Medivh as his new host, and later opened the Dark Portal. Holy continuum paradox, Batman! That’s some megalomaniac and astonishing long-term plan there.
What if Sargeras envisioned the future and from his newfound knowledge he planned to be defeated in order to gain access to the power of the Guardian? What if all of those years in the void was even part of the plan, and he is to return more powerful than ever? Isn’t a void part of the cycle of a naaru’s lifespan? Didn’t Horde players learn in that epic Nagrand questline that when a naaru’s light diminishes it rests and becomes a void that syphons souls of those that die to be reborn as the purest of Light after the void cycle ends?
What if Sargeras is syphoning the void, feeding off souls to empower himself? Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson told us at New York Comic Con they had big plans for Sargeras in World of Warcraft. Sargeras’ return is imminent.
Back to topic with retconning a continuity error, if we consider that Sargeras might be able to hop through the timestream; or have knowledge about it from the days he worked for his brother Aman’thul, Sargeras could use portals to travel to other timelines. What if the Burning Crusade not only spreads through the universe, but through other timelines as well? After all, didn’t Velen see a vision of the future with the Ata’mal crystal given to the Eredar by the naaru thousands of years earlier? In that vision of the future, Velen saw Archimonde, Kil’jaeden and himself would become demons at the service of Sargeras, and as he woke up from the vision he sobbed and plead that never came to pass. The naaru heard his plea, and averted Velen’s future by secreting him and a handful of Eredars away from planet Argus. Those who left Argus called themselves the Draenei. There we can see an example of alternate timelines outside the boundaries of Azeroth. [source: prologue from World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden]
We have seen how the Naaru know things that will happen in the future. A’dal gave you a vision where Akama, Maiev and you would be sneaking into the Black Temple to defeat Illidan. And M’uru already knew before-hand that he would be kidnapped and syphoned by the Blood Elves in Silvermoon, and that he would be used to re-energize the Sunwell with Holy Light. The Shattered Sun draenei knew this too from their patrons. Interesting, eh?
What if originally the Eredar did corrupt Sargeras, and milennia later in his travels through the timestream he arrived to another timeline where Sargeras corrupted the Eredars before they became corrupted by the abuse of arcane magic? Isn’t it still canon then even if it looked like the chicken and the egg dilemma? That would be plausible. That would be a bit complex to explain in-game, but not so in a Sargeras or Velen focused novel.
A fan known as Lon-ami, from ScrollsofLore speculates the Eredar did corrupt Sargeras, or at least affected his mind, but he might have imprisoned them in Argus binding them there to prevent the Eredar warlocks from spreading to other worlds. With the help of the Naaru, the dark Eredars slowly abandoned the ways of arcane magic using the Ata’mal crystals gifted to them. Thousands of years later, Sargeras’s corruption finally sunk in and he transformed into Sargeras the Destroyer. Thus he returned to those demonic races he had formerly defeated, to free them if they served him, thus re-corrupting the Eredar. That sounds pretty reasonable and kinda fits with the manual story somewhat. The flaw in there is that we haven’t been told yet that demons can be purified, and converted over time into good-doers with the use of Ata’mal crystals.
Marvel Comics used to have Mark Gruenwald as the in-house Marvel Universe lore guru, and after his passing things went awry at Marvel with continuity errors. Blizzard Entertainment has an in-house lore guru as well named Evelyn Fredericksen, who is involved in all the licensed products such as mangas, comic books and pocket books, as well as the games’ single player mode.
Can you truly believe that all the Creative Team plus their in-house guru missed something so basic as Sargeras who was corrupted by the Eredar, turned out to be who corrupted the Eredar? It’s not impossible to fail and make a mistake, but very improbable. What if they decided to retcon? On purpose rewriting the backstory manuals to fit a good story they have planned. That could happen.
I remember when all this awful lore-fans’s backlash-reaction happened a couple years ago. You could read forum threads with the angst: “Blizzard Phailz”, “OMGZ Retcon!”, “Blizzard butchered Warcraft lore!”, “GG I’m quitting WoW”, “WTF paladin Spacegoats crashing a spaceship in Azeroth”, “WTF Sargeras corrupted the Eredar?”. The lore fans never forget, but things are much calm nowadays.
It’s unknown if Metzen and the creative team truly forgot, or if acknowledging that they forgot was merely a joke. Maybe they had truly planned a retcon, but they simply can’t talk about it or reveal what they are planning. In a planned retcon, things that you may have known for a fact in backstory manuals can completely or partially be changed to fit the parameters of a new epic story.
Let’s not forget there was no Kalimdor, Night Elves, Sargeras, Titans, Burning Legion, or Dragon Aspects** in Warcraft: Orcs and Humans nor in Warcraft II. It was all born in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Both Warcraft III and World of Warcraft were developed parallel to each other before the former hit stores on summer 2002. Thus, Warcraft III was a retcon that ignited new life into the Warcraft franchise prior to it. This Sargeras lore facepalm thing might be a retcon to spice up the Warcraft story in upcoming expansions, or who knows, maybe Warcraft IV.
**Alexstrasza and Deathwing did exist in Warcraft II, but not as Dragon Aspects. Richard A. Knaak created the concept of the Dragon Aspects and added Nozdormu, Ysera and Malygos in Warcraft: Day of the Dragon.
[Chris Metzen image by Gadgetress] (OCRegister)