I recently finished the book Cycle of Hatredby Keith R. A. DeCandido. It’s decent, and if you’re into books set in the Warcraft universe I’d definitely say give it a look. There’s one reason though in particular that I bring it up here. It pushes the Thrall/Jaina lore that has been lacking.
As some of the more regular readers of this site will remember, I’ve gone off in the past about Metzen hinting he’d toss out years of story-set up for some gimmicky, “Teehee, lets hook up the coolest male orc with the coolest female orc!” *Snore*
One other thing I want to mention here. This isn’t soap opera time. No one’s sitting here thinking, “Oh gosh, I really hope they work it out!” No. Not at all. I’m thinking story potential. You hook up Thrall and Jaina and you’ve got a catalyst that could shove the Warcraft lore in a countless number of interesting directions.
Think about it. What would happen if Thrall and Jaina were to wed? Would Theramore and Orgrimmar become allies? Would this in turn put Theramore and Stormwind on opposite sides? Imagine a Warcraft game where the playable humans are these citizens of Theramore. For the first time you’ve got orcs and humans in the same faction. That’s interesting.
The Forsaken are going to leave the Horde and likely take the Blood Elves with them. So what do we have left? Orcs, Trolls, Tauren… what if you also had humans? And those humans could be at war with the Eastern Kingdoms humans, because of it.
Seems reasonable. Stormwind is the most likely human kingdom to absolutely hate the orcs. Theramore, however, resides on the opposite end of the world right next to the orcs’ capital. Quite the contrast. For how long are these humans as a whole going to share the same world view regarding the orcs?
Lets push it further. What if something happened to Thrall? Killed or Incapacitated. Does that mean we now have a blonde haired, blue eyed woman as Warchief of the Horde? That could lead to some powerful storytelling. Would the rest of the horde support her? I personally think the tauren would. And if she and Thrall had already had a child then I think the trolls would too.
Which leads us back to Cycles of Hatred. The plot is interesting. And yes, Rexxar’s appearance is literally rehashed from Warcraft III. What’s great about the book though is we finally see some Thrall/Jaina dialogue. As of now they’re friends, but good friends. And the peripheral characters even note that they make a good team.
It’s nice to see these two finally being explored, and they to do it more. There’s just too much potential here for it to be ignored. The World of Warcraft expansions are all about pushing the lore forward, so let’s see more of it there.