Granted, most of this is speculation, but hey. You’ve been warned.
So this model popped up on the PTR’s last week and a debate began raging over whether or not it was Bolvar.
Enough time has passed. It’s time to weigh in.
Yes. It’s Bolvar. In fact it’s so painfully obvious that it’s Bolvar, only someone heavily in denial could claim its not.
The belt and boots match, it’s obviously an altered human. But that’s all nitpicky.
Here’s the real logic behind why this is definitely Bolvar (and what that means).
In the Yogg-Saron fight you might get a glimpse of the “Immolated Champion”. He’s a prisoner to the Lich King. Now… check him out in the model viewer here. The Java version looks better if your machine can run it.
The “Immolated Champion” is obviously the in-between phase for when Bolvar was alive in Dragonblight and the smoldering being he is now in Icecrown.
Bolvar = Immolated Champion = Smoldering Being.
So what does this all mean? Personally, we though the Lich King’s “Ultimate Death Knight” was going to be faction specific. If you were Horde, you’d face Saurfang the Younger. Alliance would in turn fight Bolvar. Now though, it seems we will all face Saurfang the Younger. So what does that mean for Bolvar?
It definitely puts him back into play. Since he’s not just an all out boss, Blizzard definitely has something in mind for him.
On one hand this could simply mean he has some nifty scripted event before becoming… an all out boss. It could also mean we save him.
Then gain, it could also mean we don’t.
Remember what Metzen has kept repeating over and over (and over) about Northrend, “We leave a little bit of ourselves up there.”
If anything, this seems to say that Northrend does not end happily. There won’t be any Ewoks dancing and statues being toppled after Arthas is killed.
So…. what’s the saddest, darkest thing that could happen?
Us having to kill Bolvar?
Bolvar becoming the next Lich King? Arthas’s death animation, the way he scrambles for his helmet, only seems to bolster the position that there will be a new Lich King. (Search YouTube for “Arthas Death Animation”. They keep being brought down and reposted.)
We’re still big fans WotLK ending with Varian Wrynn beginning his journey towards becoming the next Lich King. It’s edgy. It fits the profile. It works.
Arthas was forced to kill the people of Stratholme. That was his key turning point.
Could Varian Wrynn be forced to kill Bolvar? Could that be his turning point?
Either way, all of these revelations regarding out encounter with Arthas should be examined through one specific lens, “How does this play out towards introducing the next Lich King?”