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Two Versions of the Son of the Wolf Comic - Velen's Final Words Removed
23.06.2020 в 23:10
brought to our attention
that there's a second version of the last panel of
Son of the Wolf
. The 2016
comic saw Anduin reminisce about his father and find his own resolve, ending with a scene set in the future where the now aging king prepared for a final battle alongside the Prophet Velen. However, while most players are familiar with the version in which Velen proclaims "
will triumph over the
", there also exists a
of the comic in which that line is completely removed.
Note that Velen's line is not only removed, but Anduin's changed position as well.
It would appear that this is not actually a
change and that both versions were linked in Blizzard's
original release in July 2016
. The fact that there are two versions of the comic though, with the
continuing to direct to the original text would imply that it's either a rewrite never intended for release or a purposeful change that wasn't intended to be made public.
Now, there are a lot of ways to go with this and we currently have no other information to go off of, so keep in mind the rest of this is 100% speculation exploring some of the
lore beats which might tie into the difference between these two comics.
Light and Shadow - Not Good and Evil
Light and Dark have always been synonymous with Good and Evil. It's one of the oldest tropes in human history, to the point where it's not only expected, but generally assumed. That said, we've also seen that it's not always true and
that idea is another long-standing tradition. The Lightforged Draenei and Void Elf Alliance allied races are a good representation of this idea, as are the Paladin and Warlock playable classes; while it's true that Paladins are typically displayed as good and Warlocks are often evil, it's not
true - Arthas Menethil was Paladin who repeatedly succumbed to evil while trying to do the right thing, similar to
, traitorous son of "the Ashbringer" Highlord Alexandros Mograine, and not to mention the rest of the Scarlet Crusade.
from Hellfire Citadel also has serious Paladin-vibes, despite being a demon and not entirely analogous to a player-class Paladin.
Mag'har allied race scenario
best expresses this idea, with Yrel and the Lightbound becoming fanatical followers of the Naaru and bringing war to their former allies. While the alternate timeline is dismissed by many as not part of the "main" story of Warcraft, it's curiously similar to
the "gift of the Naaru" during the events of
. Xe'ra was a prime Naaru, leader of the fight against the Burning Legion for thousands of years, undoubtedly a "good" figure as virtually all Naaru have been portrayed... but good intentions don't always result in good actions. Xe'ra's fanaticism was so great that the Naaru imprisoned long-time ally Alleria Windrunner after she began using the Void (also for "good" reasons), and tried to
the Light upon Illidan in order to fulfill a prophecy that the "child of light and shadow" would end the Burning Legion. Illidan's rejection of that fate resulted in the Naaru's own destruction, which might seem evil to some, but the entire
storyline was created
for the purpose of exploring the idea that good is in the eye of the beholder - Xe'ra thought what it was doing was good, but Illidan thought forcing fate upon someone was evil, showing how their circumstance and character motivations differ. Of course, every player will have their own opinions as well, with the topic generating endless debate.
ties into this as well, not the least of which in name - it's the
lands, but they're not inherently evil. It's an afterlife, and certainly there are bad people there; the Jailer, those imprisoned within the Maw, various souls within the different realms, but one of the principle concepts of
is that each realm is made up of many different elements. The Shadowlands is closer to to the powers of death and shadow, but you can't have an afterlife without life, just like you can't have rebirth without death.
This alone may have been the reason for the line change, to remove the connotation that
is necessarily bad when we're going to the
Warcraft Cosmology is a series of overlapping venn diagrams. At the center, our reality is comprised of an equal amount of each primal element. Color version courtesy of
Many Years in the Future, or Right Around the Corner?
We've been told that that
time works differently in the Shadowlands
, and we've also been given hints that Anduin is absent from the Alliance throne, which we covered in our
Mathias Shaw article
. In it, we look at dialogue revealing Anduin's absence and dissension between whether King Genn Graymane or
High Commander Turalyon
should take charge in the meantime.
If Anduin's disappearance is related to the Shadowlands, it's possible that the "many years in the future" seen within the comic isn't actually as far as away as implied. Turalyon is a prime example of this, as he became lost within the Twisting Nether after the destruction of the original Draenor in
Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness
; he and Alleria Windrunner claimed to have spent 500 years fighting the Burning Legion alongside the Army of the Light, but in Azeroth he was only missing for around 20. It's plausible Anduin could suffer a similar fate, with whatever time he spends in the Shadowlands resulting in him coming out significantly older. It might seem a little curious if only he becomes aged this way, rather than the player or any other character who makes an appearance, but without knowing the full story yet, there are innumerable ways to explain that away.
Now this still wouldn't explain why the line was removed from the comic, but it's an interesting detail nonetheless and the two could very well be related. Right now, we aren't fighting Shadow - the Old Gods have been defeated and the Void Lords still have yet to be seen. We're hunting Sylvanas, and that will inevitably draw us into conflict with the mysterious Jailer, but nothing inherently ties them with the forces of Shadow, and certainly not on the scale of any grand final battle implied within the comic. Clearly some other event takes place in between, and we'll almost certainly gets hints of that within
, but how that will manifest remains to be seen.
We hope you've enjoyed this little bit of speculation; everyone plays
World of Warcraft
for their own reasons, but lore remains one of the most interesting parts of the now 26 year old setting. While many players will rage over the idea of any change, misleading information, or retcon, it's important to remember the challenges of telling an evolving story over that long a period of time - unlike a book or a movie, a game changes along with circumstance, as new technology, player trends, real world events, or even fan reactions can influence gameplay decisions which are then reflected in the lore, and setting those ideas up even a few years ahead of time won't always pan out the way they're originally imagined - for example, Zappi boi was always meant to be a named character, but his immense popularity led the developers to
expand his role
within Saurfang's story. Also unlike a book, video games are made by huge teams of people, some of whom may leave the project or invariably disagree with others, leading to even more changing ideas. Despite these challenges, games retain a unique narrative precisely because they're so much more interactive than other forms of media, and although a change in continuity may be upsetting for some, speculating on how the story will evolve remains one of our favorite things to theorize and discuss.
It should also be pointed out that this alternate version is not necessarily intended for public consumption, the fact that there are
versions and the official website still points to the original text would imply that the second is
canon, though whether or not that will change remains to be seen.
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