A defense of Cataclysm's Garrosh Hellscream

Story Forum
I honestly found Garrosh a legitimately compelling character in Cata. I thought it was interesting that they were willing to move Thrall beyond the Horde - the Horde that Thrall built - and build up a far greyer, far more WC2-esque Warchief in his place, a guy with his own virtues and flaws... however unintentional the former may have been. Too many people wrote Garrosh off without giving him a chance. Yes, he was polarizing, but anyone would be after Thrall. He had his own, very different issues to deal with. His confrontations with Vol'jin and Baine and Sylvanas were surprisingly grey, and IMO he came out of each of them the stronger party.

His biggest failing as a character is that Blizzard wasn't willing to give him any compelling reasons to hate the Alliance with as much fervor as he did. This was central to who he was, what he did, and what he'd eventually become, but from day1 it was weak.
I've always contended that dumping their original plan to slowly develop Garrosh into a headstrong but honorable Warchief that Horde players could admire and rally behind, and instead turned him into a one-dimensional mustache-twirling villainous loot piñata was one of the biggest mistakes the story team has ever made.

That, and MoP should've been all about Pandaria. That fact that the final boss was who he was, and the height of the conflict happens offsite just felt wrong and out of place.
I found Cata Garrosh annoying. But then I've found every single world leader in my life and through history annoying to one degree or another. Cata Garrosh had potential: he was too quick to choose war but any young, unblooded barbarian, real or fictional, is going to be that way. Garrosh still had principles. He didn't want the druid school attacked. He felt that Blight was dishonorable and necromancy was evil. More should have been done with him.

MOP Garrosh went evil because Blizz wanted to give the Alliance victory. Why that victory? Why not Sylvanas (who was fast becoming the Lich Queen and a LOT of that is still unresolved)? Sure, some Alliance would howl about walking from their spiritual homeland but the reality is that Tirisfal is a plagued dump unfit for habitation by anyone but the Forsaken. And you would have removed the character that has become an anchor around the neck of Forsaken lore.
MOP Garrosh went evil because Blizz wanted to give the Alliance victory. Why that victory? Why not Sylvanas (who was fast becoming the Lich Queen and a LOT of that is still unresolved)? Sure, some Alliance would howl about walking from their spiritual homeland but the reality is that Tirisfal is a plagued dump unfit for habitation by anyone but the Forsaken. And you would have removed the character that has become an anchor around the neck of Forsaken lore.


I don't see why they had to make a character evil to give the Alliance a victory.

The Alliance should have been allowed to have its victories presented because, like the Horde, it's another playable faction. They shouldn't have had to carve out a Horde character as a raid boss to accomplish this, just because they had to find a way to cushion the blow of such a victory for the Horde.

As I recall, the tactic just didn't work. If they wanted to give the Alliance some victories, they should have just given the Alliance some victories. They didn't have to destroy Garrosh and lay siege to Orgrimmar to do it.
09/13/2015 08:49 PMPosted by Artarion
I'd LOVE to see you just sit back and accept it if Tyrande suddenly started slaughtering Orc villages unopposed and offered Orc prisoners hearts to Elune. And if that alone wouldn't enflame you, all the while the Horde could do nothing about it while she gives you the finger and hid behind the Alliance while the developers would just sweep it under the rug as nothing out of the ordinary or just 'misunderstood.


I present to you, Yrel. =)
Which Cataclysm Garrosh are we talking about here? The violent but honourable Garrosh of Stonetalon questing, or the frothing lunatic of Hyjal questing?

My point is that it is difficult to discuss the Cataclysm Garrosh because there is not a lot of consistency in how he is depicted.
Holy Necro.
There are laws against desecrating the dead for a reason.
09/14/2015 09:33 PMPosted by Kyalin
09/13/2015 11:44 PMPosted by Shädowmoore
My deal with Garrosh is that he immediately had beef with the Alliance in WoTLK, unprovoked, without even encountering a human in his life.

And don't give me that bs excuse where he wanted to be "better than his father" or a "true orcish leader" because in the NEW Horde's own newfound society, mindless, senseless, pointless, and avoidable bloodshed isn't something that's generally looked upon as being good, even if it's for the supposed "good of their people", and ESPECIALLY when there's a common enemy on the playing field.

Dranosh was a true orc. Garrosh was a warmonger.


Warmonger as a term is often bandied about to deride a character, but I don't think that this is enough to really call a character bad. I'm more concerned about the why, and I would bear in mind that very often, Blizzard can come up with defensible reasons for it. Garrosh in Cataclysm is one of these examples, as I mentioned, but I think the best is probably Sylvanas.

I've mentioned the geopolitics of the Undercity's situation before. The Tirisfal Glades is vulnerable to external attack so long as the Forsaken do not completely control Lordamere lake. Silverpine forest also offers a beeline right to the capitol, with very few natural borders south of it to count on. I would conclude that for the Forsaken to survive, they must drive south and must maintain Andorhol as a fallback were the Tirisfal Glades to ever come under attack. Were I a Forsaken leader, I would not feel secure until I had secured the Thandol Span - a land war in either Hillsbrad or Arathi could be potentially ruinous.

I would also have to acknowledge that the Forsaken need force multipliers to succeed militarily. They NEED the Val'kyr. They need to be able to use the blight. They almost always get driven back when they are deprived of these advantages, and they are always able to turn poor situations to their advantage through strategic use of these tactics. Can you call them evil? Sure, you can also call them necessary. You can also call it the only thing the Forsaken can do.

Here we have a situation where yes, Sylvanas is being aggressive, but she has clear reasons to be. I like this in a character. It simply isn't gratuitous mustache twirling, it's pragmatic action.

Is Sylvanas a warmonger in this case? Sure, but it also makes sense for her to be. It's not a bad thing, not by itself.

Now, that's not to say that we still can't fall out of bed. I think the portrayal at times makes characters like that look less like calculating leaders and more like feckless idiots. The intro to Twilight Highlands is one of these moments, where Blizzard has Garrosh making an aggressive move that's just tactically indefensible - and he immediately gets his comeuppance. Another example is when the pragmatism falls away for evil for evil's sake.

That is what I always gathered from Sylvanas and the Forsaken actions. We like to label good and evil, but matter of fact is that a weapon is a weapon, and war is war.

However, while I do not expect, nor want, Sylvanas to turn evil, I do want the antagonist character to be sympathetic. In-game Sylvanad always had a way in doing this, as she treats the PC with courtesy and politeness often. She gave her speeches in a way that I felt cared for, despite everything else. So while I could not understand the tactics behind our attacks (Gilneas, for example, seemed a inocuous target to me at first), I could trust her judgement and just do the job.

With Garrosh, I felt this way in his early stages. His depression and our participation in helping the Mag'har made me believe he had potential, that with time would develop. WotLK I felt him (and most of the Horde's leaders even), a bit too distant - I knew he was brash, and angry, but that didn't mean much in terms of "turning evil"; he could still become a good leader. Cataclysm was a bit confusing, I remeber being everywhere, and had not developed my trust in Garrosh. He was new to me, and I had trouble following orders. His inconsistency in-game made it worse; I had glances at a synpathetic Garrosh, just to have the other Garrosh show up everywhere. I had trouble knowing if what I was doing was good (for my POV) or not.

MoP was a letdown because, despite all that, I actually had thought Garrosh was there to stay, and I wanted to see this transformation. Remain aggressive - yes please -, but sympathetic to the Horde. As a whole.

Sylvanad characterization seems to be going a terrible way due to the "other media". The insights we get from her, specially in the new book, paints her as irredeemable. Not that I disagree with the actions per se, but the book gives little to no to unsactisfatory reasons for them. The 3 sisters comic made her sympathetic by the image portrayed - I don't know what she is thinking, and she still plans to kill her sisters, but I can see her suffering in some way at the end.

The recent book fails at this. Knowing that she doesn't care about the Horde puts a damper in my loyalty as a player. Which is what I felt when Garrosh became all about the Orcish Horde...
06/15/2018 06:47 AMPosted by Rexsmash
09/13/2015 08:49 PMPosted by Artarion
I'd LOVE to see you just sit back and accept it if Tyrande suddenly started slaughtering Orc villages unopposed and offered Orc prisoners hearts to Elune. And if that alone wouldn't enflame you, all the while the Horde could do nothing about it while she gives you the finger and hid behind the Alliance while the developers would just sweep it under the rug as nothing out of the ordinary or just 'misunderstood.


I present to you, Yrel. =)


Yrel is responding to a group of orcs that not long ago tried to genocide her entire race and invade another planet to probably do the same. She's wanting them to convert to light worship, not eradicate them all. Just the ones that put up a resistance to these efforts.

Not that that makes it a good thing, but it's not a good comparison
Mamma mia, that's a spicy necro
For about 3 seconds, I thought Kyalin had resubbed.

RIP
09/14/2015 09:33 PMPosted by Kyalin
09/13/2015 11:44 PMPosted by Shädowmoore
My deal with Garrosh is that he immediately had beef with the Alliance in WoTLK, unprovoked, without even encountering a human in his life.

And don't give me that bs excuse where he wanted to be "better than his father" or a "true orcish leader" because in the NEW Horde's own newfound society, mindless, senseless, pointless, and avoidable bloodshed isn't something that's generally looked upon as being good, even if it's for the supposed "good of their people", and ESPECIALLY when there's a common enemy on the playing field.

Dranosh was a true orc. Garrosh was a warmonger.


Warmonger as a term is often bandied about to deride a character, but I don't think that this is enough to really call a character bad. I'm more concerned about the why, and I would bear in mind that very often, Blizzard can come up with defensible reasons for it. Garrosh in Cataclysm is one of these examples, as I mentioned, but I think the best is probably Sylvanas.

I've mentioned the geopolitics of the Undercity's situation before. The Tirisfal Glades is vulnerable to external attack so long as the Forsaken do not completely control Lordamere lake. Silverpine forest also offers a beeline right to the capitol, with very few natural borders south of it to count on. I would conclude that for the Forsaken to survive, they must drive south and must maintain Andorhol as a fallback were the Tirisfal Glades to ever come under attack. Were I a Forsaken leader, I would not feel secure until I had secured the Thandol Span - a land war in either Hillsbrad or Arathi could be potentially ruinous.

I would also have to acknowledge that the Forsaken need force multipliers to succeed militarily. They NEED the Val'kyr. They need to be able to use the blight. They almost always get driven back when they are deprived of these advantages, and they are always able to turn poor situations to their advantage through strategic use of these tactics. Can you call them evil? Sure, you can also call them necessary. You can also call it the only thing the Forsaken can do.

Here we have a situation where yes, Sylvanas is being aggressive, but she has clear reasons to be. I like this in a character. It simply isn't gratuitous mustache twirling, it's pragmatic action.

Is Sylvanas a warmonger in this case? Sure, but it also makes sense for her to be. It's not a bad thing, not by itself.

Now, that's not to say that we still can't fall out of bed. I think the portrayal at times makes characters like that look less like calculating leaders and more like feckless idiots. The intro to Twilight Highlands is one of these moments, where Blizzard has Garrosh making an aggressive move that's just tactically indefensible - and he immediately gets his comeuppance. Another example is when the pragmatism falls away for evil for evil's sake.


But doing that means seizing portions of other kingdoms (Stromgarde, Dalaran, Gilneas, and the remnant of Lordaeron in Hillsbrad) which is the definition of a war monger.

I agree it doesn't make a character evil but in Sylvanas' case her experimentations, blight added evil to the mix even in Original/BC.

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