In WarCraft lore, there is an orc military commander who is descended from a famous orc war-hero. He is revered among his people, has served as a close advisor to Thrall, and there is even a named axe that has been passed down through his line. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Except it isn’t Garrosh– it’s Nazgrel, and the axe is Serathil. How else are Nazgrel and Garrosh alike? Traditionally, Nazgrel hates the humans as much as Garrosh does, but unlike Garrosh, he is ferociously loyal to Thrall.
If Nazgrel is so important though, then where has he been? Has Blizzard forgotten him? Quite possibly. But what fun is the speculation in that? I might be going out on a limb here, but I think Nazgrel may very well be the next Warchief of the Horde.
The Mists of Pandaria is not about Pandas. Sure it has Pandaren in it, and the title shouts “Pandaria”, but that’s not the story. Blizzard gave the expansion a poor introduction, because they shoved the setting and characters at us as if they were the plot. Hardly. Mists of Pandaria, despite it’s froo-froo name, is the expansion a lot of us lore-junkies have been waiting for. At long last, we have an expansion dedicated entirely to the war between the Horde and Alliance. That’s the plot of MoP, and I think if Blizz had shoved that down our throats at BlizzCon, instead of pandas, there’d be a much more positive attitude surrounding that upcoming expansion.
So– if MoP deals with the war then what loose ends will it tie up? Who wins? Who loses? Sure. But when it comes to unfinished business, the one big gaping loose end for me is Garrosh. Why? It’s simple. <Minor Spoiler Incoming> You don’t sick SI:7 on Thrall and walk away. That’s about as big a loose end as they come: Right now, we have a Warchief on the throne, who handed Thrall over to the Alliance. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go play a goblin for ten levels.
As a writer, you can’t throw something into the plot like that without dealing with it. If MoP is truly about the war then it’s likely we’ll finally deal with Garrosh. How so exactly? Well– I did suggest he’d become a raid boss a couple years ago, and I still stand by that. But that just leads to one more enormous question. Who would replace him?
Most seem to think Thrall will eventually return to the throne. I doubt it. He was removed, and made neutral, because Chris Metzen is a huge Thrall fanboy and obviously found it hard writing balanced lore when his favorite character we the leader of one side. If not Thrall then who? Nazgrel. He makes the most sense. He’s Garrosh, but without all the baggage.
But Nazgrel taking power is endgame. How does he get there? One other character comes to mind, who has yet to make his move: Rexxar.
Why does he matter? Rexxar, is the Champion of the Horde. What does that mean? I’ll put it this way… he’s the bodyguard of the Horde itself. So, what do you think someone like that thinks of Garrosh?
We know Rexxar has returned from Outland, since he was last seen in Orgrimmar protecting the city from elementals right before the Cataclysm. He obviously then knows what’s going on with the Horde, and is still active as its champion. Further, he’s the last person to forget about the Horde’s forces back in Outland… currently led by… you guessed it: Nazgrel.
When Garrosh is overthrown, we will be involved, and we know the other Horde leaders will instigate it. I think Rexxar, however, will be the one who goes to Outland and arranges Garrosh’s replacement: another orc war-hero who led the Horde to victory in a far off land. It worked for Garrosh. I have no doubt it would work for Nazgrel too.
We’ll just have to wait and see.