Wrathion and the Legendary Ring
To those who have yet to finish the Legendary Questline, I warn you now: massive spoilers ahead.
With 6.2 comes many things: access to a fel-consumed Tanaan Jungle, the final conflict with the Iron Horde, a direct confrontation with the Legion itself, and, arguably most importantly, the conclusion to Warlords of Draenor’s Legendary Ring questline.
The questline has taken us all across Draenor in pursuit of Gul’dan. Throughout the questline’s duration, we’ve gained possible foreshadowing into what’s to come with not Draenor, but Azeroth itself. In the first portion of the questline, Khadgar sends our character to gather a multitude of ingredients for an artifact that can be utilized to empower our characters and, hopefully, counter Gul’dan. After the obliteration of Teron’gor via Khadgar’s behest, you’re sent to Nagrand to aid Chromie in locating Kairozdormu; the liberator of Garrosh from the Shado-Pan’s custody at the conclusion of Mists of Pandaria. Kairozdormu is found dead, and even after manifesting his spirit to once more walk the earth, more questions are risen rather than answered.
Your ring is forged and empowered, and from here, you’re sent to plunder both Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry. In doing so, Khadgar gains the means to momentarily locate Gul’dan and even converse with him. This ends with a dagger nearly placed in Khadgar’s back by Garona Halforcen, the famous Half Draenei, Half Orc Assassin turned Shadow Council spy by Gul’dan’s manipulation. After the unexpected arrival of Jaina Proudmore and the capture of Garona, your character and the Archmage himself attempt to break the hold Gul’dan has placed upon the Half Orc. Khadgar’s initial attempts brutally fail, but in turn, you’re next sent to retrieve an object to snap Garona from the Shadow Council’s hold. You return with an Orb of Dominion, an item utilized by the Shadow Council to brainwash their servants, and finally free Garona.
From here, we’re introduced to the prelude that became 6.2’s storyline. Receiving word from Garona that Gul’dan plans to meet with Grommash, the two of you sneak into a stronghold of the Iron Horde’s and eavesdrop on the meeting itself. As apparent from the events of 6.2, Gul’dan finally “convinces” the Iron Horde, but not Grommash, to drink the Koolaid so-to-speak. The Iron Horde falls to Gul’dan’s demonic commands, much like that of the First War, and we’re dealt with an entirely new threat: no longer the Iron Horde, but the might of the Burning Legion itself.
This is where 6.2 begins, the final steps in gaining your character’s Legendary Ring, and, shockingly, Wrathion comes into play. With Gul’dan located in Tanaan Jungle commanding the Iron Horde and Burning Legion forces, you’re sent to wry all control and power he has gained. Khadgar, to do so, instructs you to annihilate Gul’dan’s naval forces. Furthermore, you’re instructed to locate several Tomes throughout Hellfire Citadel, 6.2’s new raid, to foil Gul’dan’s attempts at raising an entire new generation of Shadow Council Warlocks. Once all is accomplished, you return to Khadgar’s Archmage Tower triumphant, ready for your fully empowered Ring. You arrive, with the intention to burn the very Tomes that Gul’dan harbored, yet find resistance in an unlikely source: Cordana, Khadgar’s assistant and bodyguard. After some questionable speech on her part, it’s revealed the Orb of Dominion that you had utilized to free Garona has now enthralled Cordana into a servant of Gul’dan. Following a short struggle and battle, Cordana is defeated, and you’re finally rewarded with your own Legendary Ring.
That’s it, right? Well, no actually. It seems there was more to the Legendary Questline than initially realized.
As I’d say, Wrathion surprisingly makes an appearance in the Legendary Questline, though not blatantly apparent. Outside of the Archmage Tower following your confrontation with Cordana sits a small Black Whelp. And what name is upon that Black Whelp?
Yep, that’s Wrathion for sure.
The Black Prince not becoming directly involved with your battle with Cordana is to be expected; but, for him to be hovering and questionably observing the events that unfold is concerning, no?
The only other instance of Wrathion’s involvement with the current expansion’s events are small, yet large in scope. The Black Prince apparently appeared in Admiral Taylor’s Garrison shortly before its sabotage and destruction. Wrathion himself told Taylor to not trust Ephial, the murderer of Admiral Taylor and destroyer of his Garrison. Because of this, it can be safely assumed he wasn’t necessarily involved with the events that transpired there.
Outside of this singular instance where Wrathion is directly said to have been present, the Black Prince’s involvement with the expansion potentially goes even deeper. In case you didn’t know, the novel released as a prelude to Warlords of Draenor, War Crimes, proves Wrathion’s involvement with Kairozdormu, the Infinite Dragonflight, and Garrosh’s liberation to Draenor. This is massive in scope, because the events of Warlords of Draenor wouldn’t have even occurred if not for Wrathion’s own machinations.
So what does this mean? Where does all of this information pertaining to Wrathion come to a head?
To assume that Wrathion will obviously have a larger role in the future with World of Warcraft once more is a given; he’s been directly involved in all three Legendary Questlines now, albeit with having more to do with them in the last two expansions.
But, for Wrathion, the primary causation of Warlords of Draenor’s events, to be spying and observing the end results of your Warlords Legendary Questline is concerning. How long has the Black Prince been watching you? What information has he potentially gained from spying on you and, possibly, even Khadgar? Despite his obvious opposition to the Burning Legion, is there some relation between Wrathion and Gul’dan?
If we were to speculate, I would theorize the following:
Wrathion has been outed through War Crimes to being the primary force behind Garrosh’s prison escape to Draenor. In turn, the Black Prince is directly linked to Kairozdormu and the Infinite Dragonflight. Because of these actions, we’ve now had an entire expansion based around them. With Warlords of Draenor no longer having anymore Raids planned for release during its lifespan, we can safely say whatever comes next will be directly linked to the next expansion’s primary story.
Through Hellfire Citadel, we’ve come to witness Gul’dan’s “capture” by the Legion and Archimonde. You’re even given a quest called Darkness Incarnate after obtaining your Legendary Ring to wrap up the questline. From the quest, Khadgar confirms your own suspicions after witnessing Gul’dan’s fate within Hellfire Citadel: that Gul’dan is more than likely alive, somewhere out there, and the Legion, in turn, has become more powerful than we had ever fully expected.
Gul’dan has now escaped most likely to the Nether from Archimonde’s own doing. Since the Burning Legion as we’ve come to find out isn’t attached to any singular reality or universe, Gul’dan now has the means to invade whatever world he wishes if the Legion decides he’s still valuable and allows him to keep his head.
Because of Wrathion’s actions in sending Garrosh to Draenor, Gul’dan is now free of this Alternate Universe Draenor. As we’ve come to know him, Wrathion is a person who possesses plans with a massive scope; a much larger scope than anything we’ve seen from the Black Prince as of yet. Being the Son of Deathwing, it seems there’s a touch of that very manipulation his father was so absolutely proud of after his fall to the Old Gods. That isn’t to say that Wrathion is evil, though; it simply means he is secretive and, arguably, not to be trusted.
With Gul’dan now free among the Twisting Nether, and Wrathion’s hands to be revealed more involved with all that’s come to be this expansion than we’ve expected, the future for Azeroth is looking grimmer and grimmer. However, there is hope.
Among the fire and brimstone coming for us all, that hope is Wrathion. Though it’s hard to trust the Black Prince in full, and though his actions have been deplorable, at heart its become apparent his interests are for the best of Azeroth; regardless of the means.
Whatever comes for us after Warlords of Draenor, we better be ready. The big players of the Warcraft Universe are once more on the move, and the fate of Draenor may soon reflect what becomes of Azeroth.
Wrathion’s machinations, for whatever he’s been doing behind the scenes of Warlords of Draenor and even causing the expansion’s events in full, better pay off.
They have to for what’s to possibly come.