Nazgrel – Future Warchief of the Horde?

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.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stormcrow January - 2012 at 4:00 am

At what point do you think this will happen? As we transition from Cata to MoP, or as MoP starts to wrap up? If this does happen i hope it’s at the end of Cata, this expansion has been kind of a snooze fest for me (though i really didn’t raid much this expansion) I don’t know if its me being bored of the game in general or the game has just got boring but i would love something like this to spice it up!

2 Milan Sovilj January - 2012 at 4:39 am

I could see this happening. Has it been confirmed that Garrosh was the one that sent the Si 7 after thrall?

3 Randomforsaken January - 2012 at 8:07 am

I for one, support lady sylvanas to be the queen of the horde. she has the right attitude, proved she can dish out the hurt (don’t believe me? go check out Gilneas). oh, she can also RAISE THE DEAD. so um, yeah, there’s that too.

4 chipthamac January - 2012 at 10:42 am

Check out the comments on this page.

5 Cocles January - 2012 at 1:13 pm

@Stormcrow Since MoP’s storyline needs to escalate throughout its timeline, I see this happening during or at the end of MoP. It’s already heavily rumored that Cata will end with Garrosh destroying Theramore, so you’ll at least have that to spice things up. 😉

@Randomforsaken I dunno… Sylvanus now sees her people as a fortress protecting her from death and a hellish afterlife. I don’t know if I want Sylvanus to treat the Horde as a whole in that way.

@chipthamac Thanks for linking that. Anyone who tries to claim that Garrosh wasn’t behind Thrall’s abduction is kidding themselves, because it renders the whole SI:7 badge as pointless. Thrall doesn’t have the goblin player hand over a letter, or some other “poof of life”. He hands over an SI:7 badge, and Garrosh goes pale. What’s the point of that if not to say “I know about you and SI:7.”? I’m sure someone will shout, “Thrall is just warning Garrosh that SI:7 is dangerous. That’s weak storytelling, and just sounds desperate to me.

@Milan I consider it confirmed, but as mentioned above, some Garrosh fanboys are desperately holding out that it wasn’t him.

6 Milan Sovilj January - 2012 at 8:09 pm

I was considering that him sending that badge back was like. “Look Si:7 badge… These goblins have been through a lot… Let them join the horde.” I personally am not a big fan of Garrosh, but I think he deserves a slightly different fate than just getting murdered. Or they could change the character up and not make him a complete shit, but that seems unlikely.

I do like this idea of Nazgrel being the future warchief.

7 Milan Sovilj January - 2012 at 8:11 pm

I have faith in Sylvanas, but I also want to ask: With the new heroic scarlet monastery do you think that Lillian Voss could potentially be the baddie in it?

8 Cocles January - 2012 at 8:28 pm

My biggest surprise with this post is the amount of people I’ve had contact me with something along the lines of, “Garrosh sicked SI:7 on Thrall?! OMG!” Up until now, the lore-junkies I speak with in game and I all thought this was common knowledge.

If I had time right now, I’d quickly level up a goblin, because the one thing I want to quote is Garrosh’s reaction to that badge. It’s something synonymous with him “going pale”… in essence, he subtly freaks out about it. I believe Thrall or Aggra at some point also comments, “How did SI:7 know where to find us?” or something along those lines, but don’t quote me on that one.

At the end of the day, I believe Garrosh’s involvement was letting SI:7 know where Thrall’s ship would be, so they could intercept it and capture him.

9 mynsc February - 2012 at 3:28 am

Check the Completion section of this quest

“Thrall had you deliver this?”

The Warchief takes a step back, visibly shaken.

“I understand the meaning of this all too well, race.”

10 Cocles February - 2012 at 3:30 am

Awesome, thank you for posting that. Yeah, “visibly shaken”. In context, the whole implication is that Garrosh had something to do with Thrall’s run-in with SI:7.

11 Milan Sovilj February - 2012 at 3:19 pm

Or he could be shaken that the Humans even attempted such a thing. You truly think that Garrosh would be involved with Si:7? He really dislikes the Alliance and I don’t think he sees thrall as a threat to the position he didn’t even really want.

If he did in fact sell Thrall out its pretty bad writing on Blizzards part, and seeing as it was not further addressed throughout cataclysm I doubt if we ever have to fight him he will say “And guess what! remember that one Quest! Yeah I did that cause I am cool and evil and hate the guy who gave me a shot and a chance.” No.

I am not saying that couldn’t happen, and it might make things exciting but it really wouldn’t make much sense. In real life if I found out that the enemy tried to make an attempt on someone’s life that I knew and was sort of friends with. I would be surprised and shaken if it was the world shaman or something. Its tough to explain but I think there is a possibility that his response could imply something else.

12 Cocles February - 2012 at 4:01 pm

Yes. I think Garrosh is ruthless, loves the Horde, and will do anything to protect it. If that involves using the “foolish Alliance” as a tool to serve his means then so be it. Keep in mind that “involved” might be a bit of a strong word here. A simple message delivered to the right person would be enough to make SI:7’s ambush possible.

As for this betrayal not being addressed yet? Well, nothing has really been addressed yet regarding Thrall vs. Garrosh beyond Thrall acknowledging he’s pissed. Throughout Cataclysm, Thrall has had bigger issues at hand, and he’s not about to go stirring up the Horde even further while the world is literally falling apart.

With the Cataclysm over, I expect an inevitable reckoning.

13 Milan Sovilj February - 2012 at 5:29 pm

I would love to see how Thrall responds to all that Garrosh has done.

14 Chipthamac February - 2012 at 5:47 pm

@milan be patient, I am sure you’re wish will come true.

15 Cocles February - 2012 at 6:02 pm

Here’s a little more: If Blizzard sticks with the seeds they’ve planted I’m pretty sure any raid fight we have with Garrosh will end with Vol’jin shoving a knife in his back.

16 Milan Sovilj February - 2012 at 4:32 am

@Chip I know that they will eventually do some more with all of this. Is it just me or does it seem that Wrath of the lich king had more faction lore throughout the xpac than Cata? I mean In ulduar you had that big confrontation. Then you also had the wrath gate which was big and even in the Argent tournament our faction was somewhat present, but in cata all the focus was only there at the start of the xpac and nothing was really brought back up in 4.2 or 4.3. (4.1 had some blood elf and Troll lore)

17 Milan Sovilj March - 2012 at 7:14 am

On a side note. Rage fire cashm has some sort of a new update with Dark shamans involved under there. Also it looks like there is some demon blood containers in the last room with some fel orcs.

18 King Craze March - 2012 at 10:05 am

yep ive seen beta footage and ragefire has been totaly revamped with firelands mobs and a few changes dark shaman and magmaw=slagmaw yet to change in beta with a good bit of storyline in there meaning MoP Garrosh be going down definitly

19 @King Craze March - 2012 at 10:07 am

yeah cause Garrosh has been experimenting to change orcs into a stronger race but it is going a bit pear shaped

20 Vanadis August - 2012 at 8:55 am

Nice article. But.

The next warchief won’t be Nazgrel, he isn’t so popular for the players, they know him as the guy in Thrallmar. It wasn’t the same with Garrosh. He was intraduced as son of hellscream and everyone remember the other Hellscream from WC3. He was also key char. in other plot lines (a fight with Trall, Northrend, etc.). Rexxar is a good idea – but not. Do you remember WC3? He is loner. He joined the Horde for the good cause. Nothing more. He can’t take lead of it. It’s one of my favorite chars, but he isn’t the next warchief.

Saurfang is another just idea. But you can use the same arguments about him.

And here it comes. The true future warchief – Sylvana Windrunner. Blizzard will go for it. She is known to players, she probably the best known leader after Thrall and Hellscream now. She is not an orc and not a male. That whats they are searching for.

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