Afterlives: Ardenweald Cinematic Premieres Tomorrow - Winter Queen and Ara'lon the Sylvar
Afterlives: Ardenweald premieres tomorrow, September 10th, featuring the Winter Queen and Ara'lon the Sylvar. This cinematic is the third in a series of
shorts examining each covenant in greater detail.
Analysis of the Afterlives: Bastion Cinematic - Justice or Vengeance Analysis of the Afterlives: Maldraxxus Cinematic - Harbingers: Illidan Reference
Based on the
trailer and the announcement art, it doesn't look like the cinematic will focus on familiar faces, like we saw with Uther in
and Draka in
. The Winter Queen, a brand-new character to Ardenweald, naturally makes an appearance, as does a Sylvar, who is given top billing in the preview image:
Who is the Sylvar in Afterlives: Ardenweald?
The Sylvar doesn't look recognizable at first, but with subtitles on, we learn his name is
From Blizzard's preview of Ardenweald, we learned the following about the Sylvar:
Loyal, polite, and graceful, the sylvar are crafters and enchanters who create tools, foci, and magical objects to maintain the ebb and flow of existence in Ardenweald.
Recently, some groves in Ardenweald have been decreed to let their nurtured souls perish, so that others may survive the drought.
Ara'lon helps us during the
, trying to help us restore a wildseed that is tied to the fate of Ysera. So we know won't be killed off in
due to his future in
Based on the Blizzard description and the image of Ara'lon fighting intruders, we may see the cinematic explore the destruction of the sacred groves to ensure the survival of the larger realm. Even with a few brief shots, Blizzard has set up a striking color contrast between the blue/greens of Ardenweald's natural state and the reds, evoking the Emerald Nightmare, of the intruders.
Who is the Winter Queen?
The Winter Queen is the ruler of
and leader of the Night Fae Covenant, who faces tough choices due to the anima drought:
Leader of Ardenweald, the ethereal Winter Queen is charged with the sacred task of maintaining the great cycle of rebirth: restoring perished loa, Wild Gods, Ancients, and other nature spirits and returning them to the mortal plane.
She and the land are one; as the land thrives, so does she. But recently the land has grown sick, and this has taken a bitter toll on her. The anima drought has forced her to make hard choices over which groves to save and which to let go—losing beloved nature spirits in the process.
She also features prominently on the Shadowlands loading screen, aligned with the Arbiter and facing off against the Jailer:
You can learn more about her story by completing the Ardenweald questline and choosing the Night Fae Covenant:
Ardenweald Quests Night Fae Covenant
Similarities to Satyr?
The sylvar have similarities to satyr--both the forest-loving mythological race, and the actual race of Satyrs in
World of Warcraft
, hooved creatures with large horns. A major difference of course is that the WoW satyr are corrupted, but the parallel is fascinating as Ardenweald is tied to the Emerald Dream and the Satyrs tried to spread the corruption of the Emerald Nightmare, inheriting the demonic curse of Xavius. Could we be seeing the uncorrupted counterpart to the Azeroth Satyrs in Ardenweald?
More Shadowlands satyr models
We learned a few days ago that the
nathrezim may be responsible for cosmic-wide deception
, even infiltrating the Burning Legion to defeat Disorder from within. It will be interesting to see if the cinematic includes more visual hints referencing their plan. We know that the Drust, first introduced in
Battle for Azeroth
, will also play a role in Ardenweald's story.
The adherents to Life are the most insidious of opponents, perhaps because their nature is so antithetical to our own.
Still, we learned much from observing the link between their plane and Ardenweald, and we have high confidence that a vulnerability has been identified.
Our operative has already gained the trust of her target.
Let us know your predictions for the cinematic in the comments!
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