A new noon practice, wee!
So there is a story that I was sort of hoping for, one may call it a theory but I’d be cautious to do so, because I don’t actually think this is the way they’ll go… but I still think it’d be a nice arc, so here you go, my expansion idea!
Things to know before:
Ner’zhul was made the Lich King by the Legion, trapped in an armor. He consumed Arthas’ soul via Frostmourne. Later they “merged” to be a single entity as the Lich King (Warcraft 3&The Frozen Throne).
Later on Arthas, in a metaphoric, mental-ish scene “killed” his humanity, then Ner’zhul, becoming the solo entity “in” the Lich King (The book, Arthas).
During the siege of Northrend, adventurers came up with a ghostly child, carrying an anagram name for Arthas Menethil, that seemed to be the personification of Arthas’ heart, which symbolized his humanity. During the siege, Frostmourne was broken by a miracle of light and Arthas was defeated. However, Arthas’ father’s spirit explained a jailor for the damned dead was needed and as such, Bolvar Fordragon’s body in agony was made to be the new Lich King (WoW: Wrath of the Lich King expansion).
Following Lich King’s fall, her revenge fulfilled, Sylvanas Windrunner decided to end her existence. She was surrounded by the Val’kyr, who “pulled” her memories out of her to probe and judge her, which the banshee queen fiercely protested against. As she fell to her death, she was shown visions of Undercity being sieged by the Alliance and Forsaken defenses not being enough as they’ve been killed in other Horde campaigns. She saw the darkness of the “other side”, Arthas being tormented and the Val’kyr gave her a choice. They wanted to be free of Lich King by bonding with her, someone they can relate to. In return, they’d give her life and power over death. She accepted. (Online short story, Edge of the Night).
So, here comes my “theory.”
Ner’zhul was not destroyed? He’s been elevated to be more intelligent and capable and he was there before Arthas was. So what if he just “faked” his death? Arthas was indeed strong and conflict would just make it worse. So why not just let him think he wins… and if he actually succeeds in overcoming Azeroth’s powers, a sneak attack may take him out. If not, Ner’zhul takes over. So when Bolvar was granted the Lich King’s armor… Ner’zhul knew better not to make his presence known. Bolvar might have been a courageous warrior, but he hasn’t the depth of knowledge into light, dark and the things beyond. On top of that, he was tortured, left in a weak state. So Ner’zhul slowly works him up, whispers him mentally what he wants to hear, gain dominance and eventually, get in control.
Meanwhile, the Val’kyr are not as innocent as they seem. As much as Sylvanas might want them to be who they are, they are simply doing what Ner’zhul does to Bolvar: Attack her mentally when she’s not in total control, in her weak points. Gaining trust, being a voice in her mind, getting in control. I mean, they have a solution for the ever-diminishing number of the undead but they didn’t present it to Sylvanas as raw power. They used her connection with her people and their desperation. They used their “similarity” as warrior women being chained by the Lich King. Why didn’t they do it when Arthas was there? How can they do it when Bolvar is there? Sure, it’s possible that they partially broke free or so but isn’t it very sinisterly convenient?
So Ner’zhul is “alive” and relying on his public “death”, he’s secretly spinning his web around Sylvanas and Bolvar, biding his time. He uses Bolvar to empower the Death Knights against the Legion but not without his own gain. He’s getting ready.
So, up to this was my initial idea. But Battle for Azeroth actually added something that would still make sense! Here it comes:
Soon, his greatest fear, the Legion, will be out of the picture and he will ignite a war between the Horde and the Alliance by using Sylvanas, weakening both sides. Once they are on their knees, he will unleash the fearsome Scourge upon Azeroth once again. An Azeroth with no Tirion, no miracle of light, with Horde and Alliance weakened.
Soon, it will be time for Ner’zhul’s Revenge!