The New Il'gynoth Whispers in Visions of N'Zoth (Analysis/Speculation)
Il'gynoth, returning as a boss in the Nya'lotha raid, has several new whispers for us to puzzle over. With Il'gynoth raid testing earlier today, as well as speculation surrounding 8.3 datamining, broadcast text, and Death Knight swords leading up to BlizzCon, now seemed to be a good time to analyze the whispers!
Whispers of Il'gynoth
Father of Sleep
Before the last shadow falls, the Father of Sleep shall savor his feast.
One common theory is that Mueh'zala is the Father of Sleep. In the children's book
Traveler: The Spiral Path
, the loa Mueh'zala utters the following ominous dialogue:
Not yet, Son of Thorne. Not yet. This is not the day. The day comes. It comes. But Mueh'zala will not engage you here or now. Our battle is yet to come, yet to come... But it will come, child. It will come. And if you lose that battle, Mueh'zala feasts on all of Azeroth. All of Azeroth. All of Azeroth. All of Azeroth...
also refer to Mueh'zala as:
God of Death, Father of Sleep, Son of Time, the Night's Friend
Introducing Mueh'zala to the narrative could bring back the unfinished stories surrounding
Vol'jin's death and Bwonsamdi's boss
. With the
death-themed expansion hints
such as the Death Knight swords, we'd likely be seeing characters like Bolvar, Bwonsamdi, and Helya make a reappearance.
The quote could also refer to the Old Gods in general, with their themes of dreams, sleep, and feasting. Ny'alotha, prior to Patch 8.3, was known as the Sleeping City as well. Here are some related Old Gods quotes:
In the land of Ny'alotha there is only sleep...
In the sleeping city of Ny'alotha walk only mad things.
The silent, sleeping, staring houses in the backwoods always dream... It would be merciful to tear them down..
In the sunken city, he lays dreaming...
Do you dream while you sleep or is it an escape from the horrors of reality?
Have you had the dream again? A black goat with seven eyes that watches from the outside.
All places, all things have souls. All souls can be devoured.
The Golden One
The golden one claims a vacant throne. The crown of light will bring only darkness.
The most literal match would be Calia Menethil, in light of her new model with golden accents and the Forsaken now leaderless after Sylvanas' disappearance. The 8.3 PTR has a short playable questline where Lilian Voss reaches out to Calia in the hopes of having her lead the Forsaken. Should this reference Calia, it would tie in nicely with an old N'Zoth quote, commonly assumed to refer to Calia resurrected as a Light-touched Undead:
The Light has struck a bargain with the enemy of all.
The imagery of the golden one could also refer to Anduin, glad in golden armor with lion imagery, claiming the throne after Varian's death, with "darkness" alluding to the Alliance dissent brewing on the horizon as Tyrande is upset at the resolution of the Fourth War.
And as we have datamined broadcast text where
Anduin and Jaina discuss Bolvar's fate
, the dialogue could also refer to Bolvar Fordragon, one of the Alliance's most famous Paladins, before he was transformed through dragonfire and took up the Lich King's mantle after the defeat of Arthas.
When their mistress beckons, nine ravens take flight. Each seeks a prize to earn her favor.
The nine ravens could refer to Sylvanas' nine val'kyr that abandoned the Lich King, with whom she formed a pact in the story
Edge of Night
. Throughout several expansions, these val'kyr have protected her from permanent death, sacrificing themselves to resurrect Sylvanas several times. They also raise corpses into Undead, under Sylvanas' orders, and previously were responsible for raising Death Knights for the Lich King.
Should the nine ravens refer to the val'kyr, the mistress could refer to Sylvanas, the ruler they serve. However, their true mistress could instead be Helya, the very first val'kyr, with whom Sylvanas formed a mysterious bargain in
. We believed Helya to be defeated in the Trial of Valor raid, but in the Island Expedition quest
we learn she has returned as "You cannot kill death!"
Eyes of Green
The vassal of life disguises treachery. Beware the eyes of green.
The Green Dragonflight has suffered greatly in recent expansions, with the corruption and death of Ysera in early
. At the end of the Emerald Nightmare raid, we see Ysera's spirit walking towards a cave, which houses a small Remnant of the Void. Shadow Priests with Xal'atath equipped hear the following whisper:
Almost completely gone, as if it never existed. But the rift is deep and vast, and somewhere down there it stirs. Something has changed, the last prison weakens. We must prepare.
When we return to the Emerald Dream in Rise of Azshara as part of the Heart of Azeroth Essence questline, we find it is once again
corrupted by the Void
and the Remnant of the Void has blossomed into a large growth. Ysera, who has several parallels to N'Zoth with imagery of dreams and awakening, is now nowhere to be found in the dream. Perhaps this whisper is a general cautionary one against the Green Dragonflight which seems prone to corruption by the Void.
However, the Green Dragonflight protects nature and the Emerald Dream, while it is the Red Dragonflight that protects life on Azeroth. So the "vassal of life" could refer to potential danger coming to Alexstrasza the Life-Binder, which could tie in with a return to Bolvar's storyline, as it was her flames at Wrathgate which kept the paladin alive but scarred him beyond recognition. It's safe to say that the Red Dragonflight and Lich King aren't on good terms--at one point on the Legion PTR, players could even earn a Feat of Strength, Unholy Determination, by killing all of the dragons inside the Ruby Sanctum - a significant blow to their remaining population. Yet, Alexstrasza does not have green eyes.
The subject could also refer to Eonar the Life-Binder, associated with both life and nature. She's an
encounter in Antorus
and later helps resurrect us during the
trees. Life and Death are polar opposites on the cosmology chart from
, so Eonar may be disrupting the balance, leading to "treachery" from the perspective of Death.
We've also learned in the Island Expedition quest
that the forces of nature do not view our characters kindly, noting "Not all of us that guard the natural world see your kind as allies. There are many of my kind that seek to preserve the balance above all things. Even if that means your death." In this context "beware the eyes of green" could be another warning that the natural world does not always view us on friendly terms.
Five lanterns, now darkened. The flame they seek will light the masters' way.
This quote is a direct reference to the previous Il'gynoth whisper "Five keys to open our way. Five torches light our path." In
, the "five keys" were generally assumed to refer to the five Pillars of Creation; once the Pillars were collected, they set in motion of chain of events that ultimately led to Sargeras plunging the sword into Azeroth.
It's unclear if the current quote still refers to the Pillars of Creation. The "five lanterns" could instead refer to the representatives from five dragonflights currently working together to resist N'Zoth--Red, Green, Blue, Bronze, and Black (Wrathion/Ebonhorn). While these paragons of their flight were originally empowered by the Titans to protect Azeroth, they were stripped of their powers in order to defeat their crazed brother Deathwing, leaving them too weak and vulnerable to take the fight to N'Zoth directly. We've datamined a
large amount of broadcast text
between the members of these dragonflights in Patch 8.3, and the "flame they seek" could refer to a means of reclaiming their powers and replenishing their numbers after the events of Dragon Soul.
The lanterns could also be a metaphor for various titan facilities across Azeroth, and part of the Ny'alotha storyline involves powering up the Forge of Origination to fire a blazing beam at N'Zoth, which could refer to the "flame they seek." As Ra-den helps us with our plan initially but then falls to N'Zoth's corruption, perhaps N'Zoth is aware of our plan and has made contingency plans for his defeat.
The Blind Queen
The blind queen wields a scepter of bone. From the deep she calls forth doom.
Tyrande Whisperwind, eyes darkened and wielding the vengeance of Elune as the Night Warrior, could be seen as the blind queen. Focused on vengeance for Teldrassil, one could argue that she is blinded by her all-consuming hunger for vengeance. While it's entirely reasonable that the ruler of a culture rebuilding from genocide would be incredibly upset, others in the Alliance like
Anduin and Shandris
wish Tyrande would take a more-measured approach.
Tyrande's parting words to Shandris in 8.3 are:
My hunger for vengeance will not be sated so long as Sylvanas Windrunner remains free--and until I know why Elune abandoned her children.
By investigating Elune, Tyrande may find herself "calling form doom"--especially if sinister forces have been entrapping Elune during the burning of Teldrassil. This relates back to a N'Zoth whisper from 8.1.5:
The fall of night reveals her true face. She will bring only ruin.
There are also two notable lines from Varimathras in
discussing blindness, in the context of warning us about Sylvanas:
Varimathras: So, your Alliance still endures. Longer than I expected, though she has already planted the seeds of its downfall. She is patient, that one.
Varimathras: When your thrones run red with betrayal... when your holy places burn and the shattered mask hangs above your hearth... only then you will know. And it will be too late.
Varimathras: It matters not. You are blind to the true darkness closing in around you.
Varimathras: So, she found me at last. Sent her underlings to finish the job.
Varimathras: Tell me, when she seized your throne of hides and bones, was your allegiance forced? No... I'd wager you surrendered it willingly... or were convinced you did.
Varimathras: It matters not. You are blind to the darkness in your midst.
In this context, "blindness" could refer to any leader that was unsuspecting of Sylvanas' plans. This could once again lead back to Tyrande, as the Night Elves were tricked in
A Good War
, thinking Sylvanas was attacking Silithus instead of elven lands.
The cunning ones kneel before six masters, but serve only one.
This quote is another throwback to a past whisper from earlier in the expansion:
Six seats at the high table. Six mouths that hunger. One will consume all others.
At the time, we interpreted the "six seats" several ways. There are six remaining members of the Pantheon--Aggramar, Eonar, Golganneth, Khaz'goroth, Norgannon, and Aman'Thul. Sargeras turned on the others, after they refused to destroy all worlds to prevent the corruption of the Void. There are also six cosmic forces--Void and Light, Life and Death, Order and Chaos.
Sylvanas frequently references "serving Death" which, in light of this quote, could refer to the true master the cunning ones serve.
Since that first N'Zoth quote about six seats, we've seen Sylvanas' plans further escalate, culminating in her confrontation with Saurfang at the end of the Fourth War and reveal that she entered into a pact with Azshara, which you can learn more about in
Sylvanas' Plan - The End of Hope and Rise of the Lich Queen - War Campaign Finale Analysis
We've also seen that some characters are still loyal to Sylvanas, even though she has rejected the Horde at large and even the Forsaken, so this whisper could refer to her supporters. Those who
side with Sylvanas
hear a special whisper in Orgrimmar:
Former Banshee Loyalist whisper: For the Dark Lady. Always.
Patch 8.3 datamining has also dropped many tantalizing hints that the story in 9.0 is further emphasizing themes of Death. We've datamined a string pertaining to a
new Death Knight Intro cutscene
, textures for
Pandaren and Allied Race Death Knights
starting zone swords
including one with a Bolvar-themed burning tint, and
dialogue about Bolvar
. We could see a return to the Lich King's story, necessitating a revamp of the Death Knight starting zone to account for Pandaren and Allied Race DKs, as well as furthering the story of Bwonsamdi and Vol'jin, not to mention Sylvanas' goals to master death.
Should We Ignore the Whispers?
We've datamined the following broadcast text related to defeating Il'gynoth:
Magni Bronzebeard: Good work, champions. The world is better off without Il'gynoth and his maddening whispers.
Magni Bronzebeard: Though, take heed. His prophecies were meant tae drive his victims insane. Now that he's gone, just put them out o' yer mind for good.
Magni's advice seems easier said than done, especially because most of Il'gynoth's earlier whispers came true in some form, as we cover in
Rise of Azshara and Il'gynoth's whispers
. However, not all Old God whispers came true in our reality--for example, the whispers and visions pertaining to Alleria Windrunner only came true in the alternate reality Horrific Vision.
Datamined broadcast text
from the aftermath of Ny'alotha also shows that the whispers have not stopped for Alleria, even after the defeat of N'Zoth:
High Exarch Turalyon: Has the downfall of the Old God brought you at least a measure of peace?
Alleria Windrunner: The whispers did not end with his defeat. In fact, it seems new voices have joined the chorus. When I think of the nightmares he forced into my mind...
Magni may be naive in thinking that the whispers will stop; they've clearly continued for Alleria and increased in frequency and variety. Throughout
Battle for Azeroth
, we've fallen into traps either set by Old Gods or Sylvanas, such as the destruction of our fleets in Nazjatar and bringing Hearts of Azeroth to Azshara, ultimately freeing N'Zoth. It's unlikely we'll be able to resist further whispers of Il'gynoth with our track record. This may also not be the end of Il'gynoth and the Old Gods, as
Azshara survives Ny'alotha
and appears unconcerned with the defeat of N'Zoth. Her parting words to us after the Dark Inquisitor Xanesh encounter are:
I tire of intermediaries and heralds. The true throne of power beckons, and I intend to claim it.
Many of Il'gynoth's whispers point to powers and threats beyond N'Zoth and the Old Gods, which Azshara concerns herself with as well. As Il'gynoth's first round of Emerald Nightmare whispers lasted for several years, this current round of whispers may see us through most of 9.0 and beyond, whether it be themes of Death or further faction conflict.
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