As I was writing the review for Shadows Rising, I thought if I should link my article about Sylvanas. Then I realized I could visit a couple of points and finally, I decided to write a short article with new information at hand. For context, this was before Shadowlands.
My main point in the article was that she wasn’t acting out of character and blaming her for being evil was off, because she always was mercilessly relentless.
The article starts by looking at her past and how vicious and terrible she’s always been. I did note something very important there.
She (Sylvanas) is now on a new path, she has a new purpose (probably to find a way to avoid afterlife or a dark afterlife at least) and surely, she will once again do everything in her power on this unknown path. And she is, considering her secret deal with Helya and all. She’s as focused as she has ever been.
My point stands that she’s focused on her target with deadly ambition.
I then talk about how Forsaken was the only race not to be trusted by the Horde, despite traitors existing from each faction and that it was for good reason — Forsaken had evil in them from the very start. Some important points I’d like to emphasize:
Every race has betrayal or some outcast, side faction. Why was Forsaken the only one that Horde required to place Kor’kron guards in the capital?
Because the Horde has never trusted them.
So if Horde doesn’t trust the Forsaken, how can the Forsaken trust them? Why should Horde trust the Forsaken? Why should the Forsaken trust the Horde? Surely, in time the relationship did improve despite everything. But in the end, the very nature of this cooperation ensures that Forsaken will never be part of the “core Horde” with orcs, troll and tauren.
Forsaken politics are governed simply by Sylvanas.
This is the biggest shift: Sylvanas is no longer there and Forsaken will now be seen from a very different angle. In fact, despite all the Forsaken that followed Sylvanas, we don’t see the same kind of treatment against them that we did after Wrathgate. Despite not even being fully decided on their leadership, they are given a seat on the Horde council. This fits perfectly to how I explained the situation.
Later on, I talk about the enmity between the Horde and the Alliance.
Moral of the story? Thrall and Jaina holding hands and sitting under a tree, a third faction working with heroes on the both sides or bigger threats do not make Horde and Alliance friends.
I don’t think this requires emphasizing since we see examples all the time. Even within each faction, there is mistrust to other races. How can they fully trust the other side? People have seen war. They’ve seen the worst of it. It will take more than a couple of heroes being pals to get over it. Not impossible, but hard. We saw this with Varian when he was back, with Jaina’s father, with Garrosh among others.
I talk about Saurfang next. This part is more about Saurfang technically betraying the current leader etc, which is not really relevant for Shadowlands, but even in the book Saurfang is not fully idolized. Zekhan himself says things like “I know he was a murderer” or “he had his own faults” and it’s mentioned how he planned the attack on elves — so my points stand I believe. There is one sentence that stands out:
Saurfang betrayed the Horde.
I’m still behind the point, but it’s important to note that in this context, Horde is the Horde under Sylvanas. Back when Warchief defined the Horde. In that angle, Saurfang was indeed a traitor. Also, this was different from Garrosh, but I won’t get into that, it’s explained in the article. One more part I’ll visit
Now, the alternative she found is radical, that’s for sure. Was it the right decision? Was it well thought? Maybe, maybe not.
In hindsight, it seems she was more logical than we thought. She wanted deaths. It was more than just the war between the Horde and the Alliance. The decision makes much more sense now.
Finally, I say that the problem is the Warchief system and that the solution is to change that:
The problem with the Horde is not Sylvanas. It is how leadership works.
Considering the conflicts between races and groups within the Horde… They need to up their game. Horde needs to take some steps for better decision making and define some internal boundaries, maybe a common vision. Otherwise, the fighting might never end.
So this basically happened. After BfA, Horde abolishes Warchief position and forms a council.
All in all, it looks like I read the situation well. Obviously not everything was clear to me since we had no idea about what Shadowlands would bring, but this encourages me to do more analysis like this in future!