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Afterlives: Maldraxxus Reuses Scene from Harbingers: Illidan - Did the Necrolords Fight the Burning Legion?
03/09/2020 à 20:29
released today, showcasing Draka's experience in the Shadowlands, first as a champion of the House of Eyes before eventually rising to Baroness of the House of the Chosen. During the cinematic, players may notice a familiar scene involving Felguards from Harbingers: Illidan, leading to speculation that the Necrolords may have fought against the Burning Legion.
At :58 in the Maldraxxus cinematic, we see a shot of felguards first used in Harbingers at 2:10.
While this could simply be a case of reused assets, it's interesting to look at
assets of felguards were reused. Each cinematic has high production values and a limited amount of time--every detail is deliberate. We've learned that demons don't go to the Shadowlands when they die--their final place is the Twisting Nether. So why is Draka encountering demons in the cinematic? It can't be an accident.
Edit: the director has confirmed Draka left the Shadowlands to visit the Legion's stronghold.
It doesn't seem that Draka is visiting the demonic stronghold at the same time as Illidan's Demon Hunters, as the setting surrounding the building is quite different. In
, the location is barren and orange, while in
, it's raining with signs of life. The presence of trees is also notable, as we learned in a
Shadowlands Art Interview
that Maldraxxus doesn't have any trees--so Draka must be journeying outside her realm. (The presence of a new shot of the felguards, created specifically for
, lends more weight to the theory that the presence of the demons is intentional, not an accidental re-use of artwork.)
of the felguards with trees in background
of the barren landscape
For example, in Maldraxxus, one of the big challenges is that there aren't any trees in the zone. We had to find elements that served that same purpose on the screen - vertical forms to break up the horizon lines. And we ended up with a bunch of interesting solutions, these insect hives that sit up on these creature bone legs. There are bone tumors growing out of the landscape that are like mushrooms but not quite, and then you have fungal spaces in the zone.
But what if...Draka journeyed to the same location as the demons
took place? Draka could be trying to thwart the Legion's plans to maintain the grasp on their Scourge before the events of
changed everything. While the Scourge were initially a tool of the Burning Legion, Ner'zhul broke free after the Battle of Mount Hyjal and the climax of
comes when Arthas defeats Illidan outside Icecrown Citadel.
As Illidan is now guarding Sargeras in the Pantheon, he likely won't make an appearance in Shadowlands as a result. But it's neat to have the shared history of the Scourge and Burning Legion highlighted in other ways. We also have to wonder how expansive the fight against the Burning Legion was--did the Necrolords fight against them as well? Was the fight more expansive than we may have realized, spilling over into the Shadowlands and not limited to Azeroth?
The Shadowlands has good reason to keep an eye on the Burning Legion. Should the universe be wiped out, following Sargeras' plan, there would be serious ramifications for the Shadowlands as without any living souls, there would be no more anima to power the cycle of life and death. The defeat of Azeroth at the hands of the Burning Legion would also defeat the Shadowlands. So even if the Necrolords weren't directly fighting the Burning Legion, it makes sense why they wanted to engage and subterfuge and steal intel about the Legion--after all, they are the protectors of the Shadowlands.
Fighting against the Burning Legion would also be poetic justice for Draka, who died at the hands of Gul'dan's Shadow Council guards. The Frostwolf Clan never trusted Gul'dan, defying his orders to drink the Blood of Mannoroth, a curse which subjugated the Horde to the Burning Legion. Now, in afterlife, Draka has greater power to undermine the Burning Legion.
This cinematic also furthers the theory that characters can freely travel between Shadowlands. First we saw Uther confront Arthas at the moment of his death in Icecrown Citadel, and now we see Draka travel to a demonic stronghold. It's even more fascinating to consider what this sort of travel would mean for the Burning Legion, as they created the Lich King and the Helm of Domination and Frostmourne came from the Forge of Domination located in the Maw...
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