6.2 is now upon us as of today, and with it, the new, lore-centric raid Hellfire Citadel.
A multitude of story focused threads have been leading towards World of Warcraft’s latest major patch’s raid. Questions wrack the brains of any lore enthusiast as of the latest patch’s release: what will happen to Gul’dan? What is the fate of Archimonde? Is the Legion defeated after 6.2? Does Warlords of Draenor end with Hellfire Citadel’s fall?
The answers to many of our questions come in a surprising form: a cinematic outro triggered after defeating Archimonde.
The video’s audio is in Chinese, but some devoted fans on Reddit have taken it upon themselves to translate (loosely) what the cinematic details vocally:
A lot to soak in, no? Even without the vocal translation, the cinematic visually depicts a theory many, including myself, had theorized: Gul’dan’s potential escape from Draenor, and his all but confirmed involvement within Warcraft’s storyline following Warlords of Draenor.
Gul’dan’s staff is seen to disintegrate after Archimonde’s unleashed wrath upon Gul’dan. Khadgar himself, after the scene has finally settled, approaches the very portal Gul’dan was just plunged into by his “pact”-held master. Khadgar, a seasoned enemy of the Legion, knows that Gul’dan and the Burning Legion itself would not go down so easily.
This, essentially, alludes to a terrifying yet very real possibility concerning Gul’dan:
Gul’dan has been sent to the Nether, and is face to face with other masters of the Legion. Kil’jaeden, Sargeras.. the whole echelons of the Legion are now before him. Archimonde was summoned to Draenor by Gul’dan’s doing; the two had a pact that bound one another together. Archimonde, seeing Gul’dan’s attempts at escape, thrust him into the Portal that he had utilized to reach Draenor in the first place. Archimonde, considering he is the same Archimonde we once faced upon the Summit of Hyjal, potentially knows of Gul’dan’s treacherous history and backstabbing nature through knowledge gained from our universe.
Regardless of this, seeing an asset such as Gul’dan attempt to escape his “pact” with the Legion is a betrayal in and of itself. If we know anything through the interactions of Ner’zhul, Illidan, and several others who once found themselves in communication with the Burning Legion, we can safely say the following: the endless force that is the Legion never leaves an asset unaccounted for. These “assets'” fates always end up just as equally tormented as the Legion’s existence itself.
So, with Gul’dan potentially in the Nether, the homespace of demonic life itself, what exactly is his fate? The scope of his apparent “escape” causes it to look less like an escape and more like a kidnapping.
Gul’dan has constantly served his Burning Legion masters loyally, but always for the same end: power. Unlimited power. In being sent to the Nether, Gul’dan is at the mercy of the very demons he’s always utilized for his own purposes. There, he can find that power he’s habitually craved, but not before becoming an absolute pawn of the Legion. This sounds rather similar to his fate in our universe, no?
I believe that Gul’dan’s possible abduction into the Nether points towards where we’re headed either in the next major patch for Warlords of Draenor, or even the next expansion. Ion Hazzikostas has already confirmed to us that the WoW team still has “plenty of more story to be told after this” when asked if 6.2 would be the final content patch for Warlords of Draenor. If there’s truly more to come post-6.2 before the next expansion’s announcement and subsequent release, we may see an even further foreshadowing throughout 6.3 or even 6.4 towards a Burning Legion centric expansion. And, though this expansion turned into a much more Legion-centric expansion than most had been expecting, this may be the first expansion since the Burning Crusade that’s had such a central focus on a thorough conflict with demons and the Legion itself.
After all, you heard Khadgar: the Legion, nor Gul’dan, would ever go down so easily. Gul’dan is now present to the full demonic might of the Legion and possibly its masters, too. The failure of Archimonde upon Draenor will surely reach the ears of his fellow Legion allies, and I can tell you surely, whatever happens next… it will not bode well for a single one of us.
The Legion has come. The Legion has fallen.
But, as always, it’s merely another setback. Say goodbye to the bright, starry skies that cover Draenor and Azeroth alike; fel flame seems to be the forecast to be coming for all.