He’s the most potentially awesome character WarCraft has introduced in years. Wrathion, the Black Prince, the last black dragon on Azeroth. An impressive title, but that’s not the best part. The real kicker? The Red Dragonflight used Titan technology on him, before he was hatched, to purify him. So unlike Deathwing, unlike any other black dragon seen on Azeroth in over 10,000 years, Wrathion is a pure, uncorrupt black dragon. And considering what black dragons have been capable of as villains, one can only image what one of them could do as a hero. But therein lies the first question…
Is Wrathion a hero? I say yes. He’s ruthless and perhaps even cold, but at the end of the day… he’s one of ours. Some have pointed to Wrathion’s arranged assassinations of the remaining, corrupt black dragons, and even Deathwing himself. But is that evil? Nonsense. What would Alexstrasza do if members of her flight were corrupted to the core by Old Gods? She’d put them out of their misery. Sure, Alexstrasza would do it with love, but like I said, Wrathion is ruthless. He’s a black dragon. What did you expect? Rainbows?
So, why is this important? Why does it matter? Wrathion is the type of character writers salivate over. He’s got two things going for him: motivation and capability. Sure, this is where you all ask, “What the heck are you talking about?” …But bear with me. This is a good one.
With Deathwing dead, this finally opens the succession for there to be a new Earth-Warder. With Wrathion being the only Black Dragon left on Azeroth, the title is all but definitely his.
Is there another black dragon? Yes. But not on Azeroth. He’s in Outland, Sabellian, a son of Deathwing and likely Sintharia, since he’s also referred to as a brother to both Nefarian and Onyxia. Sabellian is another interesting black dragon. For one, he’s on good terms with Rexxar, a character who chooses his associates carefully. He’s even arguably friendly with us players. So what’s his deal? Uncorrupt black dragon? Heck no. I think he’s corrupt to the core. That said, I also believe Outland protects him from the symptoms. The Azerothian Old Gods simply can’t reach him there. Sabellian then is in permanent exile if we wishes to remain free. This in itself is awesome. Why? One name: Obi Wan Kenobi.
That’s right, Obi Wan Kenobi. In story analysis, Kenobi is what’s known as the “Wise Man”, a mentor to the hero. See where this is going? We have a young, uncorrupt black dragon who, whether he’ll admit it or not, still has a lot to learn. And what do we have in Outland? A son of Deathwing, capable of teaching Wrathion everything he needs to know about the history of his people, where they went wrong, how it all started, and what he must do better. Wrathion is already on the right path. He is understandably sensitive to avoiding corruption at all cost. Sabellian though… well, he’s Wrathion’s personal loremaster.
So this leads us to the biggest question of all. Will Wrathion become the new Earth-Warder? If possible, yes. But pay attention to the first part of that answer. The “Twilight of the Aspects” has been a central theme throughout Cataclysm. I don’t think it’s over. Blizzard has been awfully mum about what actually happens at the moment of Deathwing’s demise. Will the aspects sacrifice themselves and die? Will they give up their power? Will they pump it all into the Dragonsoul as they did once before? Any of those are possible. They could of course just end up going about their daily business, but that would be kind of lame with all of this “Twilight of the Aspects” lore Blizzard has been shoving at us.
So is that it? No more aspects means no more Earth-Warder? For the time being, sure. One could also point out that in the Blue Dragonflight’s case, a new aspect can only be chosen once every 437 years when Azeroth’s two moons align. Granted, 437 years is the blink of an eye for a dragon, but for us, it’d be WoW2. Granted the Black Dragonflight’s ascension ceremony could be different, but we’re forgetting something even more obvious. The Titans themselves.
We’ve still got the Argus expansion on the horizon, and if we’re fighting Sargeras himself, you better believe the other Titans will make an appearance as well. Khaz’Goroth is the benefactor of the Black Dragon Aspect. He is the Titan who created “The Earth-Warder”. Why would Wrathion need to wait 437 years when Khaz’Goroth himself could do it first hand in a matter of moments?
But would Khaz’Goroth have a reason to remake the Earth-Warder? I say yes… and it goes back to what I mentioned earlier: motivation and capability. The Titans still have an Old God problem, and I can’t think of a more fearsome weapon to unleash on them than a restored Earth-Warder who’s resistant to their corruption. And let’s not forget, this is personal. Wrathion is alone in the world, because the Old Gods ultimately wiped out his line.
Before WoW is over, I think we’re going to see the Earth-Warder beat the living hell out of an Old God. At least I hope so. We’ll just have to wait and see.