Saving Thrall: Will the real Thrall please...

90 Night Elf Rogue
8250
Sorry, not enough space in the title.

So, I admit that I'm late on this, and sorry, but I'm going to be late on the next one too. It takes a while to go through this....

I'll come out and say this outright. I loved Thrall during Warcraft III. He was actually the reason why, when I looked at Vanilla through half of wrath, I was actually fairly sympathetic to the Horde. I played a different character with neutral events and a neutral personality. I defended the strengths of the Horde and ignored its failures. I didn't like Varian at first. My current position really came into focus when I ran into a Horde RP-PVPer on another forum that I used to frequent who shifted the blame for rather jerkish behavior to supposed atrocities that the Alliance was responsible for in his mind. One thing led to another and I started to realize that Thrall is actually sort of a jerk himself for letting his people really just get away with murder.

The problem is, I don't think it was intentional.

In Warcraft III, Thrall was the peacechief, but he also knew that he needed to keep his people in line. I loved his relationship with Grom, for example. Sure, he was peaceful, but he was willing to work hard for that peace, whether it was against admirals who couldn't see past the second war, or glory-hound Orcs within the Horde. So what went wrong?

I was a teenage plot device
So, in Warcraft III, the Night Elves are in the Alliance apparently only for the point of conflict. Why does Thrall ignore this? Because he has to in order to make the plot to work.

We get Garrosh and he's acting up. Why doesn't Thrall reign him in like he did with Grom? Because he has to ignore it in order to make the plot work.

Sylvannas is very clearly doing bad things for a while. Why does Thrall ignore it for so long? Because he has to in order for the plot to continue.

Seeing a pattern?

The character sort of just up and died from the word go. He's not really the strong guy who knows that peace is what's best for his people and strives to make it happen, and even though at the time he was still so loved, he was kind of just there... or not there when the plot needed him to.. not be there.

Then Cataclysm happened. I don't really think that this deserves its own bullet because it's been done to death. It's the problem of a Blizzard protagonist also being either A. Metzen's self-insert or B. Blizzard's bully pulpit, or C. Both. We've seen far too many superman like characters who hog the spotlight who can do know wrong, despite being almost universally hated by the end. I don't want to dwell on that though. This is about how to fix him.

Peace... not at all costs.
The siege of Orgrimmar leaves us with a problem, a big problem. The Alliance should not theoretically be able to stomach the idea of leaving the Horde attack after everything that's been done. Really, I think that this is where Thrall can shock and amaze us, by turning the rebellion on the Alliance, alongside with the Kor'kron, who side with him and kill hundreds of Alliance soldiers. The leaders of the Alliance see this as an outrage, but Thrall sees it as necessary to preserve the Horde. We don't see talks at this point, and we don't see an end to the war. It simmers with both sides having justifiable reasons for their war, and some escalations that are a little harder to justify.

Perhaps this is more of a fix to the world, but I think that this would be a good fix for Thrall as well. It gives him controversy and possibly some doubt over what he's done, but the bigger point (so long as the Earthen Ring doesn't get dragged in - please avoid that) is that Thrall becomes a Horde character again. The reasonable Horde warchief who wants to see things improve, but isn't afraid either to defend his people.
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90 Orc Warlock
11315
Sylvannas is very clearly doing bad things for a while. Why does Thrall ignore it for so long? Because he has to in order for the plot to continue.


WoW is full of broken aesops and rule-of-cool breakdowns. It's only become more obvious over time as they stack up and better game mechanics (and thus, more in-game writing) make them easier to notice.
Edited by Kurze on 3/19/2013 10:01 PM PDT
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25 Blood Elf Paladin
0
The very act of even accepting the Forsaken into the Horde was idiotic if Thrall wanted peace with the Alliance.

The last thing you should do if you want good relations with a faction that just lost most of its territory is a zombie apocalypse is form a realpolitik military alliance with those zombies.

It still baffles me that no Alliance diplomat has run the Horde across the grill for that one.
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90 Night Elf Rogue
8250
The very act of even accepting the Forsaken into the Horde was idiotic if Thrall wanted peace with the Alliance.

The last thing you should do if you want good relations with a faction that just lost most of its territory is a zombie apocalypse is form a realpolitik military alliance with those zombies.

It still baffles me that no Alliance diplomat has run the Horde across the grill for that one.


At this point, they need to.

Thrall should be seen as irredeemable in the eyes of the Alliance, while at the same time being sympathetic to the Horde. I think that having him straight-up betray the Alliance at the siege, and demonstrate that his decisions have consequences is a good way to do this.
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I don't know. Having Thrall turn the Rebellion on the Alliance may make SENSE, but... it would hurt from an Alliance POV. Maybe not as bad as peace suddenly breaking out without the Horde making any reparations to the Alliance or ceding any land, but pretty damn hurtful.

It would be just another example of the Horde's imperviousness to any long term consequence or responsibility for their actions, Whereas the Alliance once again exists mostly as fodder for Thrall and the Horde. We've already had to put up with it for a couple expansions, especially in Cataclysm where the Nation of Stormwind was struggling with rampant poverty and homelessness and the Night Elves' utter devestation as the Cataclysm savaged both Darkshore and Ashenvale and they started losing people to disease and mortality in large amounts, while Garrosh and Sylvanas both somehow whipped up a massive war machine with no real sign of civil unrest, poverty, or any other major consequence.

Suddenly giving Thrall the power to lead the "rebels" and SUCCEED in defeating, or at least driving off the mighty army of the Alliance? That's just the final straw. If the Alliance is going to finally gain the strength and drive to do some real damage to the Horde, turning around and just letting the Horde pound us into the ground is just... you know, why bother? I know we're supposed to be the noble, forgiving type, but come on. We at least deserve some reasonable payback for Theramore. That's a loose end right now. There's been no real Catharsis for it.

It also makes us look like even bigger patsies for working with Thrall in Cataclysm. I mean, even in Cataclysm his Horde bias was right there on his sleeve, as he recruited the backbone of the Horde War Machine and threatened to destroy the Alliance even as an Alliance hero worked to save his life, etc, etc, but at least we could sort of kind of pretend he was neutral if we squinted. If he literally leads an army against the Alliance, it just makes us look like his unwitting puppets once and for all.

That said, it is about the most reasonable character arc you could get for Thrall, finally acknowledging that he's never really worked for Peace with the Alliance. I would personally, though, rather not sacrifice the Alliance's sense of pride and accomplishment (weak as it is) to do so. I'd rather see him fade off into the sunset to raise his 500 babies with Aggra off screen.

If it does have to happen though, at least let the Alliance kill Hundreds of Horde soldiers in response, and maybe even have Thrall barely escape death by the skin of his teeth at the hands of Jaina or Varian.
Edited by Jaelara on 3/19/2013 10:19 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Rogue
8250
I knew that I didn't go over quite enough. The post was quite anemic, so I'll try to expand on things.

The Horde needs to feel consequences yes, but we both know that you can't just destroy the Horde because it has a playerbase too.

Instead, we should have the Alliance on the offensive all over the world, relentless and threatening. The war should not be a joke, and it should be scattered around the world. The Horde should see some real losses - losses even of some of their beloved characters, and this should be painful for Thrall, even if he understands that war with the Alliance is necessary.
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90 Tauren Shaman
13550
I dont know if theres going to be time for that. I dont expect we will have another expac with the two factions in open war though it could suprise me.

The Fourth war will probably be mostly over by 5.5. Any horde loses are likely to happen in the next 2 patches.
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90 Tauren Druid
7190
03/19/2013 10:25 PMPosted by Kyalin
The Horde should see some real losses - losses even of some of their beloved characters,


You realize that many of the Horde heroes got killed already?

Look at the death rate of the classic Horde WC2 heroes:Teron Gorefiend, Kargath Bladefist, Grom Hellscream, Deathwing, Zul'jin, Cho'gall. The only one you don't know about is Dentarg, and who really cared about him anyway?

How many of the classic Alliance WC2 heroes are dead? Just Uther.
Edited by Seiryu on 3/20/2013 2:51 AM PDT
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90 Human Death Knight
13050
How many of the classic Alliance WC2 heroes are dead? Just Uther.


And Lothar, Terenas, Daelin, Gavinrad, and Antonidas.

The point is your statement is patently false. The Alliance has lost as many heroes if not more so than the Horde has in the scope of Warcraft's story. WC3, especially, wasn't kind to the Alliance characters involved in it and the only one that came out unscathed was Jaina, and I guess Tyrande since she became Alliance afterwards.

It's also really hard to consider any of the heroes you mentioned as true heroes of the Horde save for Grom and maybe Zul'jin. Every other Horde character you listed were relics of the Old Horde, that were of a strictly opposite mindset from Thrall's New Horde and would barely fit at all. Not only that, but the Horde still gained a wide plethora of characters that were introduced in WC3 and got solid character development. (Namely Thrall, Rexxar, Cairne, Nazgrel, Drek'thar, Sylvanas, and Rohkan.)

That's not even getting into the whole disappointment that meeting the Sons of Lothar brought in BC. While it was cool to finally see characters such as Danath Trollbane and Kurdran, who admittedly is doing other important stuff now, it still sucks that we only got to meet three of them and one of them turned out to be neutral. If they did the same for Turalyon and Alleria, I wouldn't be surprised by that as well.

This post also addresses your argument in a good manner.

Cho'gall, Deathwing and Teron Gorefiend wouldn't have fit into Thrall's Horde. The only WC2 characters that could have been brought back into the Horde were Kargath Bladefist (but only if he didn't drink Magtheridon's blood) and Zul'jin (but only if the blood elves never joined the Horde).

Since most of the Alliance's WC2 characters have been neutral (Khadgar), missing (Alleria and Turalyon) or inactive (Danath), it's not like the Horde is too far behind in that respect anyway.

Particularly when WC3 introduced lots of new Horde heroes (Thrall, Drek'Thar, Nazgrel, Rexxar, Cairne, Baine, Vol'jin, Rokhan, Sylvanas, Varimathras) while only killing one (Grom).

The Alliance gained a few new characters in WC3 (Jaina, Muradin, Tyrande), but most others became villains (Arthas, Kael'thas) or died (Antonidas, Daelin, Gavinrad, Garithos, Terenas, Uther). The Alliance also lost Dalaran, Lordaeron and Quel'Thalas... WC3 was not kind to it.
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25 Blood Elf Paladin
0
Considering the Horde has pretty much exclusively lost its villains rather than its heroes, and Warcraft 3's Alliance kill-count alone exceeds the total number of Horde heroes who've been killed.
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90 Troll Death Knight
0
We must consider that the Horde didn't have much to start with.

The Orcs' home got turned into a bunch of floating rocks.
The Trolls were kicked from their lands twice.
The Tauren were being slaughtered by the centaurs.
The Forsaken lost their lives and freedom until Arthas got weak, and when they tried to get to the people which once were their family and friends they were not accepted.
The blood elfs were slaughtered by the scourge and the burning legion, and when they lost the Sunwell their people were separated between the ones who drank the blood and the ones who didn't.
The Goblin's home blew up (surprise!) and their leader tried to enslave them.

That is why the Horde doesn't has as much loses as the Alliance, they didn't have as much at the beginning as the Alliance did.

Though I would rather have some loses than turning into the villian.
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90 Human Death Knight
13050
That is why the Horde doesn't has as much loses as the Alliance, they didn't have as much at the beginning as the Alliance did.


You know, that's actually not so bad from a storytelling perspective because it gives the faction a blank slate.

They had so many angles to go from because they had a fresh start as established by WC3. The Alliance didn't really have that kind of luxury since most of their focus was on tearing them down rather than rebuilding them up again, I'm pretty sure Stormwind would have been a lot more interesting as a kingdom if they gave it some development that could have carried into WoW.
Edited by Grimtale on 3/20/2013 4:41 AM PDT
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25 Blood Elf Paladin
0
The Forsaken lost their lives and freedom until Arthas got weak, and when they tried to get to the people which once were their family and friends they were not accepted.


The Forsaken never tried to "get to the people which once were their family and friends." As soon as the Forsaken came into existence they backstabbed the Alliance and declared war on humanity.

I swear, before you can post on the story forums you should have to pass a quiz, and one of the questions should be "Were the Forsaken rejected by humanity or the Alliance?"

And if you answer "yes" it forces you to watch a video playthrough of the relevant missions in Warcraft 3.
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90 Orc Warlock
10280
I like the idea, would bring Thrall back while creating a schism that would prevent a happy go lucky union of him and anymore Alliance figures.

Although I find it hard to see with the current Thrall, I like to believe he still had it him to forsake peace entirely and betray the Alliance for the sake of the Horde. But Tides of War and Twilight of the Aspects seem to done its work in diluting from just an Horde hero, to world hero.

It made sense, given his character, but it was depressing to see him go.
And even more depressing to see what he became.

And certain events have shown he had taken the Neutrality thing to pre-mob Jaina levels.
In,Tides of War he did come to defense Orgrimmer, but it came off as more him defending innocents. He'll he even suggested she use it in the Horde Army instead.
He was willing to sacrifice Orcs lives to appease an enemy.
Not exactly inspirational. And pathetically similar to Jaina letting her father die to appease the Horde.

As much as I love seen him back Orgrimmer under those conditions the op listed. I just find it hard Green Jesus Thrall actually do it.

Maybe fire lands fury Thrall. Would love to see him again.
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90 Troll Shaman
5420
Rather than plopping the entire conflict on the Horde again, why not have Varian decide, after the Siege of Orgrimmar is concluded, to renege on his supposed agreement with the Horde rebels and just kill everyone in the city, only to have the Alliance pushed out by an outraged Thrall, who then pledges to preserve the Horde at any cost?

That way, the Alliance player base gets to see their faction taking the conflict seriously, you get to see Thrall commit to the war, and the Horde's fight with the Alliance no longer looks like a kid eating glue from the jar, because they'd finally have a good reason to fight.
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25 Blood Elf Paladin
0
Because contrary to what you think, being good and winning aren't mutually exclusive. Horde players are already getting a complete karma houdini but you're arguing they should go a step further and villainize the Alliance as well?

You want things to be equitable Kellick, then here's my counter-proposal. After the Siege of Orgrimmar is concluded, Varian reneges on the agreement and decided to take control of Orgrimmar himself. Horde players try and fail to stop the Alliance from doing so and the Alliance gains complete control over all Horde territories.

For two expansions the Alliance, including its playerbase, runs roughshod over the Horde, and every time the Horde tries to fight back they fail miserably. It isn't until one day Alliance players decide that they want a different king that the Horde is allowed to start winning, and only against an NPC faction. After Varian is killed the Alliance gets to keep all its holdings and the Horde is okay with it.
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90 Orc Death Knight
3195
Rather than plopping the entire conflict on the Horde again, why not have Varian decide, after the Siege of Orgrimmar is concluded, to renege on his supposed agreement with the Horde rebels and just kill everyone in the city, only to have the Alliance pushed out by an outraged Thrall, who then pledges to preserve the Horde at any cost?

That way, the Alliance player base gets to see their faction taking the conflict seriously, you get to see Thrall commit to the war, and the Horde's fight with the Alliance no longer looks like a kid eating glue from the jar, because they'd finally have a good reason to fight.


I like this.
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90 Orc Warlock
10280
Rather than plopping the entire conflict on the Horde again, why not have Varian decide, after the Siege of Orgrimmar is concluded, to renege on his supposed agreement with the Horde rebels and just kill everyone in the city, only to have the Alliance pushed out by an outraged Thrall, who then pledges to preserve the Horde at any cost?

That way, the Alliance player base gets to see their faction taking the conflict seriously, you get to see Thrall commit to the war, and the Horde's fight with the Alliance no longer looks like a kid eating glue from the jar, because they'd finally have a good reason to fight.


I don't see Metzen backing out of his Varian saving Orcs babies bit. Would also go on all the development that he had gotten.

Jaina on the other hand....

I could see her doing something like that. It has been established she is willing too do it.
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90 Orc Death Knight
3195
Because contrary to what you think, being good and winning aren't mutually exclusive. Horde players are already getting a complete karma houdini but you're arguing they should go a step further and villainize the Alliance as well?

You want things to be equitable Kellick, then here's my counter-proposal. After the Siege of Orgrimmar is concluded, Varian reneges on the agreement and decided to take control of Orgrimmar himself. Horde players try and fail to stop the Alliance from doing so and the Alliance gains complete control over all Horde territories.

For two expansions the Alliance, including its playerbase, runs roughshod over the Horde, and every time the Horde tries to fight back they fail miserably. It isn't until one day Alliance players decide that they want a different king that the Horde is allowed to start winning, and only against an NPC faction. After Varian is killed the Alliance gets to keep all its holdings and the Horde is okay with it.


Two wrongs make a right it seems.
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90 Orc Warlock
10280
Two wrongs make a right it seems.


The solution to Vyrin is to ignore Vyrin. And if you must talk back at him, never quote him. Lords nows his post spread to much already, no need to help it along.
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