Did I Really Not Have Any Free Will?

Story Forum
01/06/2014 11:39 AMPosted by Deathdolly
My best bet at the starting area was that Darion's ghostly flashback freed him, and Arthas being weakened by an Ashbringer to the face was what freed me. Although I still don't understand why Darion having a memory flashback about his father freed him from the Lich King, but Thassarian was able to cut off his own mother's head while she begged him to break free and then he just walked away. Doesn't seem like the emotional triggering of a loved one (even both parent scenarios) is enough to break the Lich King's effects on a Death Knight. Yet when Darion broke free and started talking smack to Arthas, Tirion had not yet smacked Arthas with the Ashbringer. Makes my head hurt.


Light's Hope is consecrated ground, a holy site where a thousand heroes were buried.

When Darion retrieved the corrupted Ashbringer, he learned that his father's soul was trapped inside and only a great act of love could release it. When the Scourge attacked Light's Hope and all seemed lost, Darion thrust the Ashbringer through his own heart, determined to trade his soul for his father's. In response to that noble act, a thousand pillars of Light erupted from the ground and wiped out the undead.

Kel'Thuzad raised Darion as a death knight, and he was in charge when the Scourge returned to Light's Hope. The death knights nearly won... but it was another manifestation of the Light that stopped them.

Highlord Darion Mograine says: Stand down, death knights. We have lost.
Highlord Darion Mograine says: The Light... this place... no hope...
Highlord Tirion Fordring says: What you are feeling right now is the anguish of a thousand lost souls! Souls that you and your master brought here! The Light will tear you apart, Darion!

"Minutes into the battle, fully a third of the defenders have fallen. But then something happens... and a bolt of light blasts into my mind. For a few seconds it is like staring into the sun itself."

It wasn't a ghost or the Ashbringer that broke Arthas's hold over those death knights. It was the Light.
The Helm of Domination was constantly putting out a signal that said to Scourge "Kill all the living!". It's a pretty strong compulsion even if you are a self motivated go getter DK.

Also, even if you break the MC, your body might still be under direct control.

Remember the 4 Horseman DK in Naxx who screamed the whole time he couldn't control himself and the heroes needed to run away or his body would kill them?


That was Thaddius.. He's a Flesh Titan. A construct made from the flesh, and souls of women and children. It's the mothers calling out for freedom, and death, not one single being. The several souls trapped in the body of the monstrosity were battleing with Kel'Thuzad's control. (Not the Lich King)
There's a strange phenomina with being a deathknight. They were the Lich Kings most powerful soldiers, and they retained individualism, but had a link that made them loyal...

They had opinions and feelings, but it didn't really matter. This is evidenced by Koltira and Thassaurian talking amongst themselves in icecrown in the Deathknight Manga.

The Helm of Domination was constantly putting out a signal that said to Scourge "Kill all the living!". It's a pretty strong compulsion even if you are a self motivated go getter DK.

Also, even if you break the MC, your body might still be under direct control.

Remember the 4 Horseman DK in Naxx who screamed the whole time he couldn't control himself and the heroes needed to run away or his body would kill them?


That was Thaddius.. He's a Flesh Titan. A construct made from the flesh, and souls of women and children. It's the mothers calling out for freedom, and death, not one single being. The several souls trapped in the body of the monstrosity were battleing with Kel'Thuzad's control. (Not the Lich King)


He's speaking about Sir Zeliek, actually. A paladin whose spirit is trapped in his body, and while fully retaining control of his mind, the Lich King has full control of his body.
01/06/2014 11:47 AMPosted by Neeber
without a soul and bound to the Lich King's will, they wanted what the Lich King wanted.


This is what I got from the starter quests - as a DK, you WANT to kill, you WANT to pillage. You can't overcome what the LK wants you to do. If he wants it, you want it. That simple.
well look at it this way
you wake up remembering nothing around some rather nasty looking folks and told to kill. any reasonable person would have strong motives to follow those orders.
add in the scourge connection its easy to see why the deathknights would enter service.

as for why araths did not tell the deathknights their was a solid tactical reason if they dont know they cant accidentally let the plan slip?

while your common ghoul is basically a puppet on a string aka totally mindless
a death knight still has a degree of free will and is quite smart hich is what makes them so dealy.
so arthas's hold on them is already much weaker than most undead
From what I understand is that death knights go through the same treatment that Bolvar went through. We all get tortured and beaten both physically and mentally to the point where we think that we have no free will over the Lich King.

The death knights of acherus have probably been "training" for a long time before they were to do their mission so by the time they got there, they were all serving the lich king out of fear and the knowing that the lich king could read any thoughts that they had.

How they suddenly gained free will doesn't make sense. It could be that light's hope was a smack in the face and they finally "woke up" and realized that the lich king could be defeated and so, they all wanted to take revenge.

You had free will, it's just that you served out of fear and insanity.
The way I see it is that we do the Lich King's will because of a weaker mind control. Essentially, Arthas wanted to kill the Scarlets, so we wanted kill the Scarlets.

Couple that with the suffering Death Knights suffer if not causing other beings suffering, likely from the Realm of Shadows. You will kill, if only to spare yourself the pain. Whatever they are I don't see Death Knights being Masochists.

At the same time, we aren't mind controlled heavily enough to be mindless, but enough to plan battle strategies, and order lower ranked undead around. But we don't have Emotions.

As for the Special Surprise, I think that maybe a rite of passage for Death Knights, which if we could feel emotion would probably be very shocking.

As for how we escaped the Lich King's control? I imagine that the same thing that happened to Thassarian is what happens to us. The Light severed the Lich King's control and then we could feel emotion again. I am sure you would be pissed when you found out you were sent into die.

As a side note: I think all Death Knights had a Ghostly visitor, for the Players I assume it was the Prisoner you killed.
You could look at the whole Lich King/death knight relationship sort of like the command structures of modern militaries. A good officer will delegate a task to an nco, but the officer won't micromanage and tell the nco HOW to do the task. Doing so would invalidate the nco's unique training and skill set.

Likewise, the Lich King delegated tasks to his field commanders, the death knights. As the nco's of the Scourge army, the dk's interpreted the Lich King's orders and demands and determined the best course of action to complete the objective. Thus, the dk's were raised in undeath because of their unique skills, which helped to diversify the Scourge's military forces. Someone who is able to think freely and plan strategies without the constant oversight of their supreme commander is an infinitely superior leader compared to a mere undead puppet with no independent thought.

All that said, the death knights seemingly had free will up to a certain point. The limit of their free will was the fact that they could not directly disobey an order from the Lich King, which explains why the player death knights had no qualms with murdering their friends/relatives. That particular quest was probably just a test of that forced obedience, just to cement that cardinal rule in the death knight's mind. Beyond that one aspect, they were given free reign to act as they wished, as long as their actions didn't interfere with the Lich King's plans.

As for the whole Darion thing, I just chock that up to the writers wanting to throw in some kind of "epic" moment of defiance to make the whole thing seem more shocking and dramatic.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum