Blizzard unveiled the newest cinematic trailer for the ongoing World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth today, and followers of the franchise will quickly recognize a familiar and long-absent face.
In this new trailer for the upcoming patch 8.2, “Rise of Azshara,” Horde veteran turned insurrectionist Varok Saurfang tracks down the “retired” ex-Warchief Thrall to his new home in Nagrand on Outland, the remains of his homeworld Draenor.
Saurfang invades Thrall’s new, peaceful life to inform him of all the chaos that’s occurred since he left Azeroth after the downfall of Garrosh Hellscream–the leader of the Forsaken Sylvanas Windrunner leads the Horde now, but her rash actions have led to all-out faction war as well as civil unrest and confusion in the Horde.
As Thrall and Saurfang exchange words about responsibility and duty, with Thrall refusing to lead the Horde again, they are attacked by shadowy Forsaken assassins, sent to Nagrand to assassinate Thrall in his self-imposed exile. Seeing that he is unable to sit this conflict out any longer, Thrall kicks over his anvil and pulls out his trusty axe. There are no safe havens, not anymore.
Thrall is set to make some kind of comeback in “Rise of Azshara,” and there’s no doubt the Horde is in need of its historical heroes. It’s not certain that Thrall will rise to take on the mantle of Warchief again–Thrall is an extremely important hero in the Warcraft franchise, but he’s also called “Green Jesus” by many Warcraft fans. Perhaps the time for Thrall to stand in the big spotlight has passed, but he seems like a critical figure and a balance restorer at this point in Warcraft’s conflicted story.
Saurfang has featured prominently in the story overall, and this hasn’t changed in Battle for Azeroth where he was featured in the cinematic trailer for the patch “Tides of Vengeance.” If Thrall really does refuse to reinstate himself as Warchief, Varok Saurfang seems like the logical choice–and he’s an Orc to boot. As inclusive as the Horde becomes, many people would like to see an Orc head the faction.
Thrall is returning to Azeroth in patch 8.2 in the next few weeks, along with many other features–“Rise of Azshara” is Blizzard’s largest content patch so far. If Thrall’s comeback makes you nostalgic for the old days and simpler times when he formed and led the Horde and there weren’t any elves in Orgrimmar, World of Warcraft: Classic is scheduled to release this August. Current World of Warcraft subscribers will receive Classic as part of their current subscription. Check out our impressions of the Classic demo here!