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WoW: These characters of Azeroth's history deserve better!

The room is lit by a dimmed goblin lantern whose filament has seen better days. The gnome visor is ringing "Azeroth's next top dictator" and there are several lost cereal bowls and whiskey bottles on the coffee table. Edwin van Cleef is cracking open a can of dwarven beer and toasting with Yrel. The armored Draenei lady barely fits on the couch, but the apathy in her eyes speaks volumes. In the background, Darius Crowley keeps fit by doing push-ups. As he is in his Worgen form, he just arrives at push-ups three thousand five hundred and seventeen. All at once, the door of the small living room flies open and Vol'jin is standing in the doorway! His ghostly figure glistens like morning dew and his tusks are so white that they virtually dazzle the observer. Dark war paint marks his noble face, which is currently distorted with frustration and disappointment. Every movement in the room instantly freezes. Vol'jin shakes his head bitterly. "If I didn't float, I'd have to wade through garbage, man! What's wrong with you, brothers and sisters?" Yrel shrugs her broad shoulders, eliciting a tectonic rumble from her crystal plate armor. "That's easy for you to say. You get to go play before they mothball you for good." Van Cleef awkwardly scrambles to his feet, knocking a small avalanche of potato chips from his clothes. "She's right. You get to stretch your legs in the Shadowlands, and we get to keep sitting around in Nirvana doing nothing. "

Table of Contents1

. Forgotten and wasted2. Edwin VanCleef - a villain you can understand3. Yrel - far too short a story4. Fandral Hirschhaupt: the creator of Teldrassil5. Lothraxion: A terror lord of the light6. For the underdogs and fan favorites!

A heavy sigh escapes the troll as he wearily leans his ghostly form against the doorframe. "Have you forgotten already, man? I wasn't allowed to do anything before I was poisoned by a demon on the beach. It's only fair that I get another turn." "We. Want. Too. Out." Every word from Crowley is accompanied by a strained grunt, as the big worgen is already tearing down one push-up after another. In the background, the light-forged terror lord Lothraxion looks up from his game of Animal Crossing and nods heavily. "Patience man, maybe you'll be next!", Vol'jin cheers up his fellow sufferers. Yrel awkwardly rises from the couch and grabs her heavy crystal hammer. "Well, we might get roasted as a raid boss again." General nods and murmurs of agreement greet her from the room. "So let's go to the training room, maybe we'll be needed again!" As the squad of forgotten characters departs from the living room, careful observers can see a proud smile on Vol'jin's ghostly features. Whether in the next expansion or the one after that, good characters just can't be caught dead. But what is this? A gush of hot steam is blown into the room and a familiar figure shuffles into the living room. Clad only in a towel, ex-king Varian Wrynn drops onto the crumbly couch and yawns. Even as he dries his full head of hair, he freezes in motion and looks at the troll in confusion. "Did I miss something?" Characters like Varian had their time in the sun - but which characters in WoW history were practically trampled on by the writers? Source: Blizzard

Forgotten and wasted

Welcome to the siding, make yourselves comfortable. Over there is the water dispenser, the coffee maker is in the kitchen - you could spend a long time here if you are one of the poor characters Blizzard has consigned to the scrap heap. In this article, we'll look at the great creators, leaders and warriors that Blizzard removed from the game too soon or too unspectacularly. Don't get us wrong, some of these characters were given a thoroughly epic story.

Sir Zeliek
As an undead paladin, Zeliek suffered pain every time he used his power - but despite his terrible fate, he never lost his faith
Had he not passed away too soon, we might now have abandoned paladins.

The problem with Blizzard stories, however, is often that they only last for one expansion and then get shelved. Bwonsamdi, for example, was supposed to appear exclusively in Battle for Azeroth, according to Ion Hazzikostas. Due to the enormous popularity of the fans, the best of all Loa gods (objectively, of course) received an extensive additional appearance in Shadowlands. From Westfall to Draenor to Teldrassil, there are rough amounts of top-notch storylines and characters that fizzle out too soon. Even worse than the simply forgotten heroes and villains, however, are those who are unceremoniously ripped from existence. For example, there are a ton of interesting dungeon bosses that have deep roots in the history of Azeroth. Instead of giving them a proper send-off, however, we pummel the poor bosses like a birthday piñata until they fall over and scatter colorful loot across the floor. So follow us on our walk through the gallery of scorned characters. If possible, don't point fingers and stay respectful - the poor guys have suffered enough.

Edwin VanCleef - a villain you can understand

We'll start our list with a perennial favorite that is extremely pissed off to many Lore fans: Edwin VanCleef was wasted, and it's a crime! The charismatic master stonemason was tasked with leading the rebuilding of Stormwind after the Second War. It was an almost impossible task, but one that the craftsmen under VanCleef's direction accomplished with great speed and unparalleled precision. Visitors to Stormwind should take a short detour to Cathedral Square after a stroll through the marketplace. Do you like what you see? No wonder, because the streets you walk on, the bridges that span the canals and even the Cathedral of the Holy Light itself were all designed and realized by Edwin VanCleef. The achievement of VanCleef and his craftsmen cannot be overstated - without him there would be no Stormwind today. Edwin Van Cleef was a hair's breadth away from being a hero. Why was a well-written character criminally wasted by WoW? Source: Blizzard

What happened next will go down in history as a chain of treachery and misfortune: When the stonemasons demanded their just wages after the work was done, the nobles refused to hand over even one gold piece. Part of the blame for this lay with Onyxia in her guise as Lady Katrana Prestor - but the dragoness didn't have to do much, because as it turned out, the nobles had invested so much of the royal budget in armaments that there was no money left for stonemasons anyway. Angry and disappointed, VanCleef and his followers incited a riot, in the course of which an accidentally thrown stone killed Queen Tiffin Wrynn - Varian Wrynn's beloved wife. The situation escalated and the craftsmen were driven back by force of arms. Years later, the Defias Brotherhood formed in Westfall, hooded in their trademark red masks symbolizing the spilled blood of innocents. Edwin VanCleef became visibly bitter and radical in his exile, but at his core he always fought for the justice that was denied to him and his subjects at the time. VanCleef's ideals, carved in stone, can be seen brilliantly during the quest "The Gatherer" in Elwynn Forest (79/67). In a letter here, VanCleef writes: "Ultimately, it is also up to each member of the Brotherhood himself to ensure that he fulfills his role with care and discipline. Remember, my brothers, we were once proud craftsmen. We will fulfill our present duties as diligently as we have pursued our craft in the past."
In a cave in the forest of Elwynn, Edwin Van Cleef met an inglorious end - what was that about, Blizzard? Source: Blizzard

So how did this character get cut from life? He gets knocked out in a brief melee in the Death Mines. The fight is certainly worth remembering on Classic servers, but it doesn't do justice to the underlying story. VanCleef would have made an excellent permanent character because he meets a criterion that all Lich Queens, Demons, and Hellscreams are far from: we understand him. The best villains are heroes who made the wrong decision. Our wish for the future is that we will see VanCleef again in the Shadowlands - and that Stormwind will finally make peace with the Brotherhood of Defias and, above all, with the people of Westfall.

Yrel - far too short a story



, where to begin? It's clear even to absolute lore-deniers that the story of Warlords of Draenor was dramatically cut - and that when the expansion was already a few months old. Everything started out very dramatic and cool: Maraad got his heroic sacrifice, as well as the alternative prophet Velen. Then, all of a sudden, the war criminal Grommash Hellscream stands next to us and has the audacity to yell "Draenor is free" while we stroll back to Azeroth. Among all the things that were cut in WoD, however, it is the story of Yrel that makes us most angry. We met a young draenei, and accompanied her on her path to becoming Exarch - which had a definite beginning and end, but no middle! We are just encouraging Yrel and telling her about our adventures, then she is already wearing full plate armor and fighting side by side with Durotan. The young Exarch explicitly bids farewell at the end of the expansion, saying "Should you ever need us... we'll be there for you." From a temple servant, to a draenei defender, to an exarch, Yrel has come a long way as a famous paladin role model. Source: Blizzard That is very nice of Yrel. And it is therefore all the more incomprehensible that afterwards the Nether-damned Burning Legion rampages through the china store like an elephant, and Yrel has been so completely and comprehensively forgotten by the writers that she doesn't even send a short message. The next blow follows immediately: instead of knitting a story around a new threat that is dealt with along with a cautious approach to the Mag'har tribes, Blizzard wearily waves it off. The Mag'har recruitment scenario only briefly mentions that the Draenor Draenei have invariably turned into fundamentalists and that we might see Yrel again as a villain at some point. Yrel was relegated to the "maybe as a rogue" siding in WoW: Warlords of Draenor, after a long campaign in which she learned forgiveness and cooperation. Source: buffed

In an aside of a scenario, mind you. For a character that was sold to us as one of the linchpins of a full expansion and had a gigantic load of potential, Yrel was criminally neglected and quickly trashed afterwards to avoid unanswered questions.

Fandral Hirschhaupt: The Creator of Teldrassil

The death of Fandral represents a waste with the burning Teldrassil in mind. He planted the tree, give him his revenge! Source: Blizzard

A tough political counter to Tyrande's friendly and open-minded government, Fandral Hirschhaupt has had a lot of fans since Vanilla WoW. At the time, he embodied the primordial rage of the Night Elves, the fury of a people who have known nothing but loss since the first Burning Legion invasion. During the War of the Sandstorms, Fandral watched as his son was executed before his eyes by the giant Qiraj general Rajaxx while defending the city of Southwind. Hirschhaupt was also responsible for the planting of Teldrassil, which was done against the explicit advice of Malfurion and several demigods. The result was a tree tainted to the core, far from restoring the night elves their lost immortality. The once tough but fair druid thus became a vengeful and extremely powerful spellcaster, who later joined Ragnaros' minions and founded the Druids of the Flame.

Delas Moonfang
Delas Moonfang joined the Order Hall as a night elven paladina in Legion - and was never seen again
We're happy to repeat: night elf paladins! We're dying to know what happened to Delas and the class concept.
It came as it had to: the tragic character of Fandral was killed in a raid and never seen again. A great pity, because Fandral perfectly embodied the destructive revenge aspect of the Night Elven race, which has since been taken over by the fallen Tyrande and her "Night Warriors". We would have liked to see Fandral emerge from the battle alive and escape afterwards, at the latest when Teldrassil is destroyed - and join Tyrande and her vendetta with a sadistic grin on his face. The picture would be perfect: Fandral Hirschhaupt and his Druids of the Flame emerge from the burning ruins of Teldrassil to hunt down the enemies of the Night Elven people. In a warped version of poetic justice, the warriors of the Horde are consumed by the fire of the Flame Druids. A scene that practically sparks with symbolism, but it was not meant to be. We miss you Fandral - perhaps we will see you again in the Shadowlands. We also promise to join you in lighting something on fire and laughing manically! The cremation of Teldrassil before WoW: Battle for Azeroth would have thematically offered plenty of potential for Fandral Hirschhaupt to interfere Source: Blizzard

Lothraxion: A Dreadlord of Light

As old, internally weathered veterans, there is little in WoW lore that could surprise us anymore, but Lothraxion did it then. The concept of a light-forged dread lord is completely absurd at first. Doesn't devil energy represent the antithesis of holy light? But far from it! Lothraxion proves that it is not the so-called "Fel" but the Light and the Void that really pull the strings in the background of the WoW universe. As the so-called "Mother of Light," we could especially admire Xe'ra performing morally borderline actions. The Burning Legion was terrifying and yet nothing more than a pawn of cosmic powers - which leads us to the justified assumption that the holy terror lord did not switch sides entirely voluntarily. The result was a strange and magnificent character that we'd like to see more of, because like his paladin counterparts, Lothraxion is an absolute bastion of dignity and morality. That's right, the Dreadlord isn't just touched by the Light, he's a true warrior of the Light - and has been for millennia. Did you know that it was Lothraxion who recruited Turalyon and Alleria for the Army of Light? The Light Lord even absorbed a soul-destroying poison as Turalyon lay dying - and was subsequently saved by Alleria when she used the Void to rip the poison from Lothraxion's body. The purified Dreadlord is not only a loyal soldier to the Light, he carries the absolute conviction that only goodness and sacrifice will ultimately light the path of the Light. Lothraxion is waiting in the Vindicaar Moth Chamber or in our Paladin Bunker. He is a Lightforged Dreadlord, let him do things in WoW! Source: buffed

Seriously, a light-forged terror lord? If this were a series, Lothraxion would get his own spinoff. There are very few characters in Azeroth that are so contradictory and interesting, while also working so brilliantly within the lore. There is no reasonable reason why Lothraxion should languish in the Silver Hand's cathedral bunker. Give us more background! Let him do things, but for the sake of Nether, don't make him one of those great characters that literally gets promoted to the cubbyhole after a single expansion.

For the underdogs and fan favorites!

We understand that characters like Illidan Stormrage, for example, are happy to be sent back out of the sidelines and onto the field by Blizzard. And hey, as far as redemption stories go, there are clearly worse than that of our favorite Earth Lord. However, with Shadowlands at the latest, it's time to bring back the real fan favorites and give them their hard-earned time in the spotlight. We realize that there is only room for a limited number of characters on the stage of a new expansion - but we would like to see more returning characters and fewer new faces disappearing back into the ether with each new expansion. After all, the lore of Azeroth lives as much from its warriors, kings, and mages as the events we interact with. And if that doesn't work: Just send us a sign of life from one of our favorite characters every now and then and we'll be happy. Because when old acquaintances check in with us again, it suddenly makes Azeroth a much more vibrant, believable world.


that in mind, we'll stick to an old Irish proverb regarding our impending Shadowlands death: "Should you go to hell, you'll be so busy shaking the hands of old friends that you won't even get to care. "

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