Speculation on the Burning of Teldrassil in Battle for Azeroth
The opening cinematic for Battle for Azeroth raises many questions as to the motives of the Alliance and Horde. In Patch 7.3, we've been getting strong hints that the story was moving towards Titans and the Old Gods, and the Battle for Azeroth story abruptly shifts to faction conflict. In this article, we'll speculate on the Burning of Teldrassil based on the concept art, interviews, and timeline of events.
Speculation/spoilers for details not at BlizzCon in post.
BlizzCon 2017 Coverage
This Article is part of our
BlizzCon 2017 Coverage
If you are interested in knowing more about Battle for Azeroth Reveal, check one of the articles below
Battle for Azeroth Reveal
Azerite and the Heart of Azeroth
Upcoming Changes to Stormwind and Orgrimmar
The Zones of Battle for Azeroth
You can also see our full coverage in our
, WoW production director John Hight clarified the timeline for these events. Teldrassil is burned before Lordaeron is attacked. To clarify, there's still a bit of a gray area as to what happens between Antorus and Teldrassil, aside from Azerite appearing in Silithus--there could be other major events we are unaware of after Argus is defeated and before Teldrassil is burned.
And then things happen in the opening of Battle for Azeroth that cement it. Some of the imagery that you'll see is the scene is with Sylvanas standing in front Teldrassil on fire. Then with the opening cinematic, that event was right before the Alliance finally says, "Okay, we've had it" before they assault Lordaeron.
addressed what would happen to these cities in Battle for Azeroth. They will be available to players as they level up, to build up the emotional impact of the world changing at max level.
The Blizzard Press Kit uploaded images of "Approach to Teldrassil" and "Teldrassil Burns." Click on the images for higher-resolution versions:
"Approach to Teldrassil" features Nathanos Blightcaller and Sylvanas, as well as an Orc - possibly Saurfang. Teldrassil is covered in a glistening substance--possibly
as the concept art is also golden. We'll also be encountering Azerite in Patch 7.3.5, before the Battle for Azeroth, since the
Seething Shore battleground
will be previewable, and the battleground is about fighting over Azerite.
Who is the Wounded Elf?
There's also the matter of the wounded elf, occupying a position of visual significance in both pictures. As soon as the concept art was out there, players started speculating as to her significance, such as this
active Reddit thread
One popular theory on the
is that the wounded elf is Vereesa. Some evidence to support this includes:
Vereesa almost joined Sylvanas to rule in Undercity, back in the novel
. She still feels kinship with her sister,and could be trying to warn, convince, or save her.
Datamined broadcast text
points to a potential Windrunner Reunion, as Alleria and Sylvanas express interest in all three sisters reuniting.
It does not look like Sylvanas has killed the elf, as the arrow feathers do not resemble the ones in her quiver.
The elf is lightly armored, wearing a hood, cape, plain pants, boots, and shoulders visible in the image. It resembles basic leather sets like which have an elven flair. If this was a slain night elf, the character would have been wearing heavier armor, with different colors (purple/silver).
In the second image, the elf is propped up and resting on a rock, implying some care has been given to her--something the Horde faction leaders would not have done if this was the enemy.
One of the
top Reddit threads
also speculates that Shandris Feathermoon, the commander of the Sentinel Army, could be the fallen elf--the ears look closer to Night Elves than High Elves. However, the armor (although we see little of it) doesn't resemble Shandris. What do you think?
There's also the visual significance of simply
fallen elf. Blizzard is no stranger to crowd battle shots, including the Battle for Azeroth and Patch 7.3 key art. But for Teldrassil, the artist has instead opted to show a solitary wounded figure instead of many fallen elves. The second image is constructed of primarily red hues, while the elf, although small in the picture, wears blue which catches the eye.
Who Burned Teldrassil?
Before the Storm
ends with Sylvanas wishing to invade Stormwind. However, Teldrassil is a long way from Stormwind...
If the World Tree of Teldrassil is harnessing Azerite, or has taken on other magical properties after the wounding of Azeroth, this could be a hotly-contested resource between the factions.
Another theory is that the group of Forsaken which disagrees with Sylvanas is responsible for the burning of Teldrassil. The Desolate Council opposed Sylvanas' plan to create more Forsaken through Val'kyr in Stormheim. Perhaps Sylvanas, still regretting her failed attempts in Stormheim, is looking for new ways to prevent Forsaken from dying and so turns her attention to the World Tree, while the Desolate Council wants to overthrow her and foil her plans.
Here is the excerpt from
Before the Storm
She wanted to reach for his hand, but contented herself with smiling benevolently at him. "You are forgiven," she said. "Now. Tell me of our home."
Sylvanas expected a brief recitation of modest concerns, a reaffirmation of the Forsaken's loyalty to their Dark Lady. Instead, Nathanos frowned. "The situation...is complicated, my queen."
Her smiled faded. What could possibly be "complicated" about it? The Undercity belonged to the Forsaken, and they were her people.
"Your presence has been sorely missed," he said. "While many are proud that, at least, the Horde has a Forsaken as its warchief, there are others who feel that you have perchance forgotten about those who have been more loyal to you than any other."
She laughed, sharply and without humor. "Baine and Saurfang and the others say I have not been giving them enough attention. My people say I have been giving them too much. Whatever I do, someone objects. How can anyone rule like this?" She shook her pale head. "A curse upon Vol'jin and his loa. I should have stayed in the shadows, where I could be effective without being interrogated."
Where I could do as I truly wished.
She'd never wanted this. Not really. as she had told the troll Vol'jin before, during the trial of the late and greatly unlamented Garrosh Hellscream, she liked her power, her control, on the subtle side. But with quite literally his dying breath, Vol'jin, the Horde's leader, had commanded that she do the opposite. He had been granted a vision by the loa he honored.
You must step out of da shadows and lead.
You must be warchief.
Vol'jin had been someone she respected, although they clashed on occasion. He lacked the abrasiveness that so often characterized orc-leadership. And she had been genuinely sorry he had fallen - and not just because of the responsibility he had placed on her head.
Nathanos was wise enough not to interrupt her. She forced calm upon herself. This was Nathanos, daring to speak truth to power, as he always did. And she valued that. "Continue."
"From their perspective," the dark ranged resumed, "you were a fixture in the Undercity. You made them, you worked to prolong their existence, you were everything to them. Your ascension to warchief was so sudden, the threat so great and so immediate, that you left no one behind to care for them."
Sylvanas nodded. She supposed she could understand that.
"You left a great hole. And holes in power tend to be filled."
Her red eyes widened. Was he speaking of a coup? The queen's mind flashed back a few years to the betrayal of Varimathras, a demon she had thought would only obey her. He had joined with the ungrateful wretch Putress, a Forsaken apothecary who had created a plague against the living and the undead - and who had nearly killed Sylvanas herself. Retaking the Undercity had been a bloody endeavor. But no. Even as the thought occured to her, she knew that her loyal champion would not be speaking in so casual a manner if something so terrible had happened.
Reading her expression perfectly, as he so often did, Nathanos hastened to reassure her. "All is calm there, my lady. But in the absence of a single powerful leader, the inhabitans of your city have formed a governing body to tend to the population's needs."
"Ah, I see. An interim organization. That is ... not unreasonable."
"They are calling themselves the Desolate Council." Again, he hesitated. "My lady ... there are rumors about things that have been done by you in this war. Some of those rumors are even true."
"Word has reached them of my efforts to continue their existence. Unfortunately, I assume that word has also reached them that Genn Greymane destroyed their hope."
She had taken her flagship, the Windrunner, to Stormheim in the Broken Isles, in search of more Val'kyr to resurrect the fallen. It was, thus far, the only way Sylvanas had found to create more Forsaken. "I was almost able to enslave the great Eyir. She would have given me the Val'kyr for all eternity. None of my people would have ever died again." She paused. "I would have saved them."
"That ... is the concern."
"Do not dance around this, Nathanos. Speak plainly."
"Not all of them desire for themselves what you desire for them, my queen. Many on the Desolate Council harbor deep reservations." His face, still that of a dead man but better preserved due to an elaborate ritual she had ordered performed, twisted in a smile. "This is the peril you created when you gave them free will. They are now free to disagree."
Her pale brows drew together in a terrible frown. "Do they want extinction, then?" she cried, anger flaring brightly inside her. "Do they want to be rotting in the earth?"
What Happened to the Old God Hints?
There's still the final question of what happened to the build-up of titan lore and Old God hints from Patch 7.3. In our
Black Empire and Old Gods Speculation Post
, we recap the Wound in the World, Magni's Vision, Il'gynoth Whispers, and little details like tentacles on Kul Tiras armor.
In reading over the
Kul Tiras and Zandalar Zone Previews
, there appear to be darker threats as well--notably Nazmir, which used to be an experimental ground for Old God magic.
The Old Gods could be behind the escalated conflict between the Alliance and Horde, subtly manipulating them before weakening both sides and making an attack. We learned at the
Panel that we will be fighting Queen Azshara as a raid boss, and
that N'Zoth was responsible for turning the highborne into naga.
The Shadow Priest Artifact Xal'atath and Il'gynoth also whisper about N'Zoth:
Xal'atath whispers: The God of the Deep writhes in his prison, breaking free ever so slowly. You should hurry and defeat the fallen titan... there are greater battles yet to fight.
Il'gynoth whispers: N'zoth... I journey... to Ny'alotha...
With Battle of Azeroth featuring islands, and N'Zoth speculated to be imprisoned underwater in Vash'jir, perhaps he is slowly breaking out and corrupting the areas close by to water.
We'll leave you with one final round of speculation from
! Let us know what you think!
Battle for Azeroth at BlizzCon 201
Here's a roundup to all of Wowhead's Battle for Azeroth BlizzCon coverage, for easy navigation!
Battle for Azeroth,
World of Warcraft's next expansion was revealed
are being added in the expansion with custom appearances and special Heritage Armor sets.
previewed the Lightforged Draenei and Highmountain Tauren
races on the show floor.
can be druids!
Two dungeons were available and their
Dungeon Journal was available
in the demo.
Design a Dungeon Boss
panel also highlighted the Shrine of the Storm Dungeon.
The demo contained
from every class, but specifically tanks.
We also found that
are returning in the expansion, with one for every class (except Shamans).
We also looked at all the large
and some classes got Artifact Traits available as Talents.
Blizzard discussed these topics in
with Patrick Dawson and Chris Robinson.
Several updates are coming to gear systems:
item level and stat squish
update is coming in Battle for Azeroth.
Legendaries and Titanforging
info was revealed, including no Titanforging on Azerite armor.
The Heart of Azeroth is empowered by Azerite
and can empower latent energies in pieces of gear.
are a new 3 person co-op experience.
Kul Tiras and Zandalar
are the new continents, focusing on the maritime empire for the Alliance and trolls for the Horde.
Check out more expansion art in the
Art of WoW Panel
Stormwind and Orgrimmar
also received updates!
are heavily inspired by RTS games, and players will fight for control of Stromgarde as they expand their faction's base.
Some major quality of live changes were announced at the
such as increased character slots and upright orcs.
increased default bagpack slots
are on the way if you use an authenticator.
At the end of the Q&A we also learned that the
Battle for Azeroth Beta Opt-In
is now open.
Several announced features are
coming in Patch 7.3.5
Zone Scaling and Leveling Improvements
- all pre-Legion zones will now scale up to certain levels.
will be the second Timewalking raid, as part of the Wrath of the Lich King Timewalking Event.
The Battle for Azeroth Intro Cinematic was
previewed at the Opening Ceremony
The events of the cinematic were transformed into a
for the Battle of Lordaeron.
Before the Storm
covers the events leading up to the cinematic. The
book cover was revealed
and convention-goers received a
copy of the Prologue
We speculated on the
Burning of Teldrassil
which directly leads to the Battle for Lordaeron.
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