World of Warcraft is one of the most popular online games in history, with an estimated 100 million players logging on each month. Now, Blizzard Entertainment has released a new cinematic trailer for its latest expansion pack to reveal Anduin’s fate in World of Warcraft: Battle For Azeroth.
That’s all fine. This article and this movie are in El Spoilero zone, if you didn’t notice from the headline. This section contains spoilers. The eventual fate of Anduin Wrynn is a very huge spoiler for what occurs in World of Warcraft’s current patch, and we don’t want to mistakenly spoil you here if you want to go into it blind. As a result, we’re leaving all spoilers out of this introduction and saving them for after you’ve viewed the video.
Also, bear in mind that the video in issue is unlisted, despite the fact that it is on the official channel, making it hard to find by accident. You’ve made the conscious decision to be spoilt. Of course, the storyline here is much the same as it has been throughout Shadowlands, so you may decide whether or not these spoilers are important to you. As you might expect, we’ll have some discussion following the video.
So you’ve finished watching it. Let’s take a closer look at it.
Throughout this cinematic, we learn that Arthas was reportedly stuck into Anduin throughout the whole ordeal. Arthas isn’t really doing anything; he’s merely a glistening speck of light that Sylvanas gets to say a few words to before it vanishes. The amount of comments on the video that refer to past claims that the creators would only utilize Arthas in ways that were appropriate for his heritage, as well as the fact that Arthas is now 35 anima, are… substantial.
Were we aware that Arthas was present? Is there any impact on the plot as a result of this? Is there anything that the late-night insertion of Arthas in spirit form has improved in terms of Anduin’s reluctant servitude? No, not at all.
Of course, this is also a cinematic in which two blue glowing afterlife spirits appear to encourage Anduin despite the fact that we are literally in the afterlife and these two characters have not appeared in any capacity up to this point; they work differently than any other afterlife spirit we’ve seen so far in the expansion, and they are otherwise unexplained. So, are they meant to be literal or metaphorical? The narrative is mute on this topic, as it is on so many others.
The narrative also remains mute on why the whole emphasis of the second part is Sylvanas bidding farewell to Arthas, despite the fact that neither Jaina nor Uther have said anything about it, and Sylvanas has said nothing about Anduin being altered as a result of her own deeds. But let’s not get too caught up in the details. Or, at the very least, let’s not split any more hairs than we already have.
Of course, there’s something else that’s come up with this cinematic that has to be looked at based on input. Is this a rip-off of Final Fantasy XIV, particularly with Nidhogg’s final destiny in Heavensward? This has certainly sparked discussion, with many individuals pointing out the connections in the comments section of Anduin’s movie.
However, it isn’t truly a comparison. There are parallels to be seen, but I don’t believe it’s fair to dismiss this as a knockoff of the Final Fantasy XIV cinematic. It’s not only because Nidhogg’s death is more dramatic as a moment and has greater narrative buildup for the characters involved.
The main point of resemblance is obvious: both stories revolve on a troubled person who is possessed by something wicked, spirits of the dead appear to aid in their release, and the person in question is eventually liberated from their captivity. The specifics of each, however, are vastly different. To begin with, the scene’s framing implies that Estinien is unable to free himself from Nidhogg’s power; fact, he expressly requests that the player character murder him since he sees no other way to do so.
Anduin, on the other hand, is purely an internal rather than external movement. None of the personalities surrounding him are responsible for liberating him from the Jailer’s control; rather, it’s a question of just surging with resolve and choosing that he won’t be the Jailer’s pawn any more. The inference appears to be that if he wanted it bad enough, he could have done it at any time, which has its own flaws but doesn’t have any similarities with FFXIV’s scenario.
The fact that Nidhogg was the major enemy and the focal focus of struggle in Heavensward is also significant. Getting rid of Nidhogg’s hold over Estinien also meant putting an end to the enemy we’d been battling for the most of the expansion. Up until now, removing Arthas’ influence from Anduin has been mostly a footnote, a little part of a broader fight, but not a matter of killing the key opponent for Shadowlands.
The desire to draw parallels between the two is understandable, especially given that many people have pointed out that WoW’s narrative team talked up this patch as the conclusion of a story that began in Warcraft III, which is… at best a laughable statement and at worst a form of fan-based gaslighting. This isn’t a case of paying off plot lines from the game’s past, as FFXIV’s most recent expansion did. As a result, it’s reasonable if you’re looking for a line to draw between the two.
However, the basic reality remains that this does not read like a knockoff of anything else. Anduin’s final destiny isn’t especially well-executed as a cinematic, and it has a number of big flaws in terms of its overall tale. But these are issues that arise on their own, not as a result of attempting to imitate someone else’s schoolwork.
Last but not least, I’d want to point you that Anduin – the fully armored guy carrying the Light with a sword – is a priest, not a paladin. This is just going to get funnier.
Thanks to Bruno and Allison for the tip! Source: YouTube