The case for why Sylvanas might be on our side. (With Lore)

General Discussion
This is written from the perspective of a Vanilla era Alliance player, and a current Horde player who dislikes her being Warchief. Despite my dislike of her, there are many factors I feel worth mentioning.

Since the Forums are going bye bye soon for a new version, I decided in the spirit of hell-freezing over I figure I'll write something unexpected.

Namely I will make the case on why Sylvanas should not die. You've likely seen me post in the past on Sylvanas and Nathanos with less than glowing words. It's no secret that I feel like Sylvanas and Nathanos do sometimes get plot armor that is undeserved.

However, that isn't the point of this post. Rather I intend to write a post factoring in 'everything' I know about Sylvanas Windrunner, from the start of the character to her present situation and why despite what some claim about her character being ruined; she is only what the story and quests of the game have made her out to be and that she may in fact not be as evil as some believe.

I will be using a good deal of supposition since Sylvanas is a fictional character, but on the whole I think I've been true to her character as represented by Blizzard. The points I make will also use multiple lore references from Vanilla all the way to Battle for Azeroth.

Starting Point:

Second War: (Warcraft II)

Sylvanas is named Ranger-General of Quel'thalas (instead of Alleria, due to Alleria's dislike of tradition). When Alleria goes missing during the events of Beyond the Dark Portal, no doubt Sylvanas was at this point in time enraged at the Orcs and likely less than fond of humans since she does not oppose Anasterian's choice to withdraw from the Alliance.

Despite this, she is more open minded than Anasterian and Kael'thas since she trained Nathanos who as we learned from Bolvar in the Second War, was a tactician who led countless victories against the Horde.

So from the start we can assume Nathanos is at least as skilled a fighter as Turalyon, albiet without having any magic save his own cunning. Sylvanas is probably almost as good as Alleria at this point, exempting a few decades of experience and she is now the Ranger-General of Quel'thalas.


Third War: Sylvanas Slain

At this point Sylvanas has been leading the Rangers for many years. Nathanos probably died first against the Scourge and Ramstein the Gorger. With that in mind, if Sylvanas did care for him on a emotional level, then this means she probably went into the battle against the Scourge with a personal stake. She failed unfortunately and we all know what happened next. Arthas desecrated her body and made her a Banshee.

That means that more than likely her final hours were complete horror and agony. At this point her mind is gone and suppressed the same as the other Scourge. Think of it like the Borg from Star Trek. She is still Sylvanas, but the individual voice in her mind is drowned out by the overwhelming will of the Frozen Throne.


Third War: The Frozen Throne

Illidan's spell in Dalaran cracks the Frozen Throne and suddenly the will of Ner'zhul has been broken and Arthas powers are diminishing rapidly. Sylvanas has probably been screaming in her mind for months now, watching as a silent witness as she and her sisters kill everything they swore to defend.

That would drive anyone insane, but Sylvanas does NOT lose herself. Instead she goes for revenge against Arthas, and when she and her Banshees are freed.. they attempt to make good on this promise. Kel'thuzad saves Arthas, who manages to escape. Arthas eventually becomes the Lich King, but the Forsaken by this point are for some reason immune to having control over them reasserted.


World of Warcraft: Classic

At this point we enter World of Warcraft. You can read up on what Sylvanas did to consolidate her power in Tirisfal, but because she 'did' consolidate her power, a couple of quests come up which should be considered.

Bloodstones and Pumpkins:

https://wow.gamepedia.com/Bloodstone_Artifacts
https://wow.gamepedia.com/Belamoore's_Research_Journal

Early in WoW, four Forsaken bailed on the rest, and stole from Sylvanas and Varimathras some Bloodstone Pendants. These are alluded to be Old God blood (maybe blood from all five since there were five in total), or perhaps they came from Zakajz himself.

Whatever the reason, the Forsaken warned that there are people who are trying to weaponize them, and this is why they defected from the Undercity. Varimathras sends the players out and they kill the defectors and Warden Belamoore.

Why would this happen? Well. I think it's a good indicator on Sylvanas' motives stretch even as far back as Vanilla WoW. She probably discovered what was going on in Tirisfal, and plied Varimathras for information.

Nathrezim probably are the most qualified to know what's going on also, since Sargeras encountered them living on a world worshipping the Old Gods originally. That's how Sargeras learned of the Void Lords, remember? So if Sylvanas found these bloodstones, or learned via Varimathras of the Void Lords back then.. then ask yourselves this. What would the first thing she would do be?

I expect she would form a group to research this as a possible weapon against the Scourge. This may be why the Royal Apothecary Society formed. What did they immediately start doing? Research poison and pumpkins, and using Scarlet Crusaders as Lab rats.

At some point the Forsaken branch off their research to include researching the Nightmare and water that is flowing in the Wailing Caverns and causing the deviate wildlife growths. A strange place to send your researchers.. unless you are getting Varimathras aid in knowing what to look for.

https://wow.gamepedia.com/Fungal_Spores_(quest)
https://wow.gamepedia.com/In_Fungus_We_Trust
https://wow.gamepedia.com/Who%27s_Shroomin%27_Who%3F

Sylvanas is engaged in full on research mode at this point. Putress is likely one of the best researchers on these projects as well. Varimathras probably figured this info would give him time to eventually get her trust, and betray her. You'll note she ignores the return of Kel'thuzad, and lets the Argents handle him. Strange behavior, unless you think of Kel'thuzad as just small potatoes now.
Burning Crusade:

https://wow.gamepedia.com/Spinebreaker_Post_(quest)
https://wow.gamepedia.com/Boiling_Blood_(quest)
https://wow.gamepedia.com/A_Burden_of_Souls

The Dark Portal Opens. Forsaken go to Outland. What is the first thing they do? Perhaps the only thing they do? They start gathering up Bleeding Hollow Orcs Blood for research. Makes perfect sense if she's working on the Bloodstones still and trying to puzzle things out. Then out of the blue right as Arthas awakens from his slumber and attacks..

Putress Cures Plague:

https://wow.gamepedia.com/Desperate_Research
https://wow.gamepedia.com/The_Undercity_(quest)
https://wow.gamepedia.com/Dual-Plagued_Brain

That's right. Grand Apothecary Putress was in Shattrath City just before Wrath of the Lich King asking for "Dual Plagued Brains" which he would go on to use to cure the Plague of Undeath, and stop the Zombie Invasions. Sylvanas probably was ecstatic. She's just nuetralized one of Arthas' greatest weapons. Time to go deal with that man-child right?

..Oh by the way, the brains 'whisper' to you also. Should of mentioned that I suppose.

Eh! Details!

Wrath of the Lich King:

Blight is Created:
https://wow.gamepedia.com/The_New_Plague
https://wow.gamepedia.com/A_Tailor-Made_Formula
https://wow.gamepedia.com/Time_for_Cleanup

Sylvanas and her minions once again.. harvest blood. This time from Vrykul who are the patriarchs of humanity. She also does a little quality assurance on the Scarlet Crusade at Venomspite. The Blight is created. It's super effective! It should also be noted that the Blight does have an "Off" switch in that it can be turned dormant. Odd thing include in a weapon.

https://wow.gamepedia.com/Give_it_a_Name
https://wow.gamepedia.com/The_Forsaken_Blight_and_You:_How_Not_to_Die
https://wow.gamepedia.com/Spread_the_Good_Word
https://wow.gamepedia.com/The_Forsaken_Blight_(quest)

The Blight is used by Putress at the Wrathgate as per Sylvanas' orders:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch4rc5W4dKY

Massively successful field test. Everything dies, Arthas runs away. Problem is.. Putress was sloppy and got caught. So Sylvanas plays the victim card and gets rid of Varimathras and Putress in one fel swoop.

They've served their purposes after all. Better to kill them all and keep her research secret. Sure the Horde will be angry, but they need her for her hold on East Kingdoms, and Quel'thalas is also her ally so it's really a poor idea to kill her.

Thrall places Braggor Bloodfist in command of the Korkron at Undercity for the sake of ensuring the Forsaken remain loyal. Research grinds to a halt, but that's alright. Sylvanas has her weapon, and now she can hunt for Arthas with her sisters. Let Braggor handle Undercity. It's time to get some revenge.


..Revenge is a bust.

Somehow there's a new Lich King. Ok. The hell with all of this. Alt+F4. ..Except, being undead and exposed to their whispers, she goes straight to the Void. She's horrified by this and makes a deal with the Val'kyr. Alternatively this was calculated on her part and she went to the other side to claim the Val'kyr. You pick the why here, but either way she got the power to make more Forsaken.


Cataclysm:

Still in the doghouse with Braggor. She starts turning humans to Forsaken for the first time here. Garrosh hates it and wants it to stop but knows he needs Gilneas, so he tolerates it begrudgingly. Sylvanas probably learns from the Valkyr all they know, including the truth of Odyn and Helya. She realizes Arthas was basically poising as Odyn to the Vrykul to get their support. She probably also learns the true natures of the Old Gods if she didn't know it already.


Mists of Pandaria:

Still in the doghouse but quietly working as is her way. As soon as Garrosh appears in a weak position, Braggor and the Kor'kron become the Royal Apothecary Society's newest lab rats. Boys we're back in business! After SoO, she develops a modicum of respect for Wrynn. She might be Varian's enemy but she develops a begrudging respect for him as a fellow veteran.

Warlords of Draenor:

No reason to care about the troubles on alternate Draenor. Let the Orcs and Trolls play. Sylvanas continues to hone her necromancy skills and grow her Dark Ranger ranks with Nathanos. He unfortunately is only a rotting meatbag. But fortunately she's found a ritual to correct that and restore him. So she gives Nathanos a upgrade.


Legion:

"Oh crap. It's all gone to hell. Legion is invading. Vol'jin's dead. Wait.. I am Warchief?! What the hell?! Hm. Well more minions and arrows in my quiver is a plus. Lets avenge Vol'jin (not that I give two craps for him)."

The above sums up Sylvanas in Legion. After the incident with Vol'jin she can move with greater freedom. She could prosecute the war against the Legion, but as was the case with Kel'thuzad.. their small fish compared to the mess brewing out in the void. Sylvanas goes alone to finish her research.

She finds Helya.

Now.. Helya and Sylvanas I like to think had a kinship. Same background and so probably they understood eachother. But here's where it gets dicey. We know that Eyir knows what Vol'jin has become in BFA. So it's a good bet so too would of Helya known since she was far older and stronger than Eyir.

Sylvanas probably got told everything. About Vol'jin. About the Void. About what is going on with N'zoth. Remember Helya MADE the Elemental Planes. So Sylvanas probably realized how far the rabbit hole went and realized to quote Illidan that we are NOT prepared. She probably knows about Odyn's deal with the shadow (Mueh'zala maybe?) also and his lost eye.

Sylvanas deals with Helya, realizes Arthas' plan of a pure undead empire will result in the Void losing out. So she agrees to enslave Eyir. Helya upgrades Sylvanas' powers (allowing her to rezz ANYTHING she wants), and Sylvanas goes off to find Eyir and Nuclear Santa. ..Er I mean Odyn.

Greymane screws it all up. At this point Sylvanas realizes she's going to have a war with the Alliance one way or another. Is Anduin able to prosecute a war against the Legion or the Void like his father would? No way. The little lion is green and weak. Better to kill him and everyone else so they can be unified. But since he's no Arthas.. she'll give him one last shot before deciding. That's the fair thing to do.. a final affordance for the Alliance.


Battle for Azeroth:

..And they betrayed us again, she thinks probably.

Why?

Anduin brings ARTHAS' sister to the Forsaken / Living meeting. That conniving little--- Sylvanas is furious, scared and angry as hell. She kills Calia. Why? Not because of a grudge, but because of what she represents. A direct threat to the plans she has, and to the war that's coming. Anduin is being led by his pet dog, Greymane. As blind as he was in the Second War, apparently.

So Sylvanas makes the decision that war is imminent. Azerite confirms this to her. She has Saurfang prosecute the new war and claims all of Kalimdor for the Horde.

She knows already that the Alliance will move for Undercity. That's fine in her mind however. It served it's purpose and can be used as a trap. If the Alliance attacks Quel'thalas, Lor'themar will use the Ban'dinoriel. Alliance will be left with egg on their face, but she will retain a port on the East Kingdoms.
She makes it happen.

The War is on now.. but war brings corpses.

Corpses are exactly what she needs now.


Closing Arguments:

Is Sylvanas evil? Maybe.

Or is she morally grey? Absolutely. Maybe she's doing all of this because she has a plan, and it's one she's been working on for 14 years. Maybe Garrosh really WAS an amateur. But either way dear readers, that's for you to decide. Hope this was informative.

I don't know what her plan is, but it IS plausible she's working for what she thinks is the best long term. To quote Alexstraza post Wrathgate.. "Only time will tell."

See you guys on the new forums!
i'm just sick of horde losing its iconic characters

I hate the direction they've pushed Sylvanas in too, but I don't want her to die because if this keeps up, Horde will have no original leaders and powerful characters left
*****
11/11/2018 08:44 PMPosted by Gilius
Sylvanas goes alone to finish her research.


*****She probably knew that Nathanos could handle the Horde in her absence, something he's doing right now in Battle for Azeroth as well.

Makes you wonder what Sylvanas herself is up to eh?
She burned thousands of children alive for no reason other than to spite Delaryn Summermoon who said she pitied Sylvanas. Children. Dying the most horrific death you can imagine. That is evil and I don't care whether you are Horde or Alliance you are an evil piece of crap who deserves to die. Genn Greymane is my favorite Warcraft character and even I would be asking for us to kill him if he was the one who set Teldrassil on fire.

This isn't even accounting for her blight bombing Southshore into literal goo, you know there were innocent people there too, including children. I don't care what your story is, who you were in the past, if you murder innocent people in masses, AGAIN including children, you deserve death and nothing more.
TLDR: Sometimes you have break a few eggs to make an omelette.

I did read it all though, good write up. I'm not entirely convinced that Sylvanas was definitely behind Wrathgate though. She did have a plan for a showdown to happen but it's more likely that Putress and Varimathiras jumped the gun. Blizz can retcon it all they like but there was no dialogue from either of them indicating that they were just following her orders.
11/11/2018 08:49 PMPosted by Dardillien
I don't care whether you are Horde or Alliance you are an evil piece of crap who deserves to die.


You mean 'she' is an evil piece of crap that deserves to die, correct? I'm not arguing that what she did at Darnassus was ever acceptable from the standpoint of the Alliance.

But it is feasible she knows that the World Trees and Nightmare were related. Maybe she's concerned that with how Xavius corrupted it once, someone worse will do so again?

Please note that nowhere do I say that it excuses the action of burning the tree. It does not. But I will merely raise the point that she may have had her reasons (which are not acceptable to the Alliance) on why she did this.

War is never pretty, and Sylvanas appears to be taking the Mandalorian approach to it. Overwhelming firepower to obliterate opposition. It's both completely brutal, and completely effective. This is why they say "War is hell".
11/11/2018 09:03 PMPosted by Gilius
11/11/2018 08:49 PMPosted by Dardillien
I don't care whether you are Horde or Alliance you are an evil piece of crap who deserves to die.


You mean 'she' is an evil piece of crap that deserves to die, correct? I'm not arguing that what she did at Darnassus was ever acceptable from the standpoint of the Alliance.

But it is feasible she knows that the World Trees and Nightmare were related. Maybe she's concerned that with how Xavius corrupted it once, someone worse will do so again?

Please note that nowhere do I say that it excuses the action of burning the tree. It does not. But I will merely raise the point that she may have had her reasons (which are not acceptable to the Alliance) on why she did this.

War is never pretty, and Sylvanas appears to be taking the Mandalorian approach to it. Overwhelming firepower to obliterate opposition. It's both completely brutal, and completely effective. This is why they say "War is hell".


Oh I know you didn't, I forgot to say kudos for writing the original posts they were very well written, I am just pointing out that she is evil and there is nothing redeeming about her.

I personally would find it incredibly lame if Blizzard was like, "Hurr durr! Look Sylvanas was morally gray the whole time! She burned Teldrassil and did all that evil stuff because she was trying to stop the Old Gods!!!! SHE IS A HERO!" That would be just straight trash writing at this point.
You are not making any case or argument here.

You are literally just making a summary of her lore and badly at that injecting your own projection, conjecture and forgetting elements.

Like saying she broke free and immediately went after Arthas. Not really. Sylvanas broke free and then stayed broken under his service, killing all survivors in Lordaeron KNOWING what she was doing until the dreadlords decided to use her to get rid of Arthas and got the idea of revenge on her head which she failed.

If you want to make an argument, actually make one.
11/11/2018 09:03 PMPosted by Gilius
11/11/2018 08:49 PMPosted by Dardillien
I don't care whether you are Horde or Alliance you are an evil piece of crap who deserves to die.


You mean 'she' is an evil piece of crap that deserves to die, correct? I'm not arguing that what she did at Darnassus was ever acceptable from the standpoint of the Alliance.

But it is feasible she knows that the World Trees and Nightmare were related. Maybe she's concerned that with how Xavius corrupted it once, someone worse will do so again?

Please note that nowhere do I say that it excuses the action of burning the tree. It does not. But I will merely raise the point that she may have had her reasons (which are not acceptable to the Alliance) on why she did this.

War is never pretty, and Sylvanas appears to be taking the Mandalorian approach to it. Overwhelming firepower to obliterate opposition. It's both completely brutal, and completely effective. This is why they say "War is hell".


Reasons? She attacked Teldrassil for the sole purpose of breaking the Alliance up by taking Teldrassil's populace hostage, when Daelryn pitied her she got angry and burned it.

There was no.. fear of corruption so lets go attack..

I dunno where people get this random F'in ideas about Sylvanas' motives.. Blizzard spelled it out for you and Old gods or world tree corruption was 0% a reason

and the old "war is hell" phrase does not fit here at all. The whole idea of overwhelming firepower and destroying your enemy.. pertains to their armies not their populations. It is not war when your goal is to just kill all the civilians that's called a massacre/genocide
11/11/2018 09:26 PMPosted by Averyx
You are literally just making a summary of her lore and badly at that injecting your own projection, conjecture and forgetting elements.


Alright. Thank you for your opinion. I disagree with it, and feel you attacking me instead of the argument is counter-productive to a honest debate, but to each their own. I still feel there's some merit to consider the above points. Blizzard at the least deserves the benefit of the doubt since none of us are actually writers on their payroll.
The tree was purified and the Nightmare was pummeled into a flower. Even if this weren't the case, the Nightmare did not factor into her reasoning to burn it, given we saw her internal monologue. It's just wishful thinking to say otherwise.
11/11/2018 08:49 PMPosted by Dardillien
She burned thousands of children alive for no reason other than to spite Delaryn Summermoon who said she pitied Sylvanas. Children. Dying the most horrific death you can imagine. That is evil and I don't care whether you are Horde or Alliance you are an evil piece of crap who deserves to die. Genn Greymane is my favorite Warcraft character and even I would be asking for us to kill him if he was the one who set Teldrassil on fire.

This isn't even accounting for her blight bombing Southshore into literal goo, you know there were innocent people there too, including children. I don't care what your story is, who you were in the past, if you murder innocent people in masses, AGAIN including children, you deserve death and nothing more.


For what it's worth, most of Teldrasil was evacuated before Sylvanas burned it.
11/11/2018 10:41 PMPosted by Pheonia
11/11/2018 08:49 PMPosted by Dardillien
She burned thousands of children alive for no reason other than to spite Delaryn Summermoon who said she pitied Sylvanas. Children. Dying the most horrific death you can imagine. That is evil and I don't care whether you are Horde or Alliance you are an evil piece of crap who deserves to die. Genn Greymane is my favorite Warcraft character and even I would be asking for us to kill him if he was the one who set Teldrassil on fire.

This isn't even accounting for her blight bombing Southshore into literal goo, you know there were innocent people there too, including children. I don't care what your story is, who you were in the past, if you murder innocent people in masses, AGAIN including children, you deserve death and nothing more.


For what it's worth, most of Teldrasil was evacuated before Sylvanas burned it.


It's not worth much for a race that may as well be a poster child for being beat in the behind.
11/11/2018 10:00 PMPosted by Gilius
11/11/2018 09:26 PMPosted by Averyx
You are literally just making a summary of her lore and badly at that injecting your own projection, conjecture and forgetting elements.


Alright. Thank you for your opinion. I disagree with it, and feel you attacking me instead of the argument is counter-productive to a honest debate, but to each their own. I still feel there's some merit to consider the above points. Blizzard at the least deserves the benefit of the doubt since none of us are actually writers on their payroll.


Issue: you do enough evil things don't you get the evil title? She has plenty of evil acts under her belt.

Sorry, there is no redeeming her. She is damaged goods no matter where they go with this story.

11/11/2018 10:41 PMPosted by Pheonia
11/11/2018 08:49 PMPosted by Dardillien
She burned thousands of children alive for no reason other than to spite Delaryn Summermoon who said she pitied Sylvanas. Children. Dying the most horrific death you can imagine. That is evil and I don't care whether you are Horde or Alliance you are an evil piece of crap who deserves to die. Genn Greymane is my favorite Warcraft character and even I would be asking for us to kill him if he was the one who set Teldrassil on fire.

This isn't even accounting for her blight bombing Southshore into literal goo, you know there were innocent people there too, including children. I don't care what your story is, who you were in the past, if you murder innocent people in masses, AGAIN including children, you deserve death and nothing more.


For what it's worth, most of Teldrasil was evacuated before Sylvanas burned it.


No.... there were ~980 people and I was only able to save a handful when it burned. If I saved 20 or 30 that's still 950 or 960 that died. That's not even counting the civilians I saw dead at Darkshore.
11/11/2018 08:49 PMPosted by Dardillien
She burned thousands of children alive for no reason other than to spite Delaryn Summermoon who said she pitied Sylvanas. Children. Dying the most horrific death you can imagine. That is evil and I don't care whether you are Horde or Alliance you are an evil piece of crap who deserves to die. Genn Greymane is my favorite Warcraft character and even I would be asking for us to kill him if he was the one who set Teldrassil on fire.

This isn't even accounting for her blight bombing Southshore into literal goo, you know there were innocent people there too, including children. I don't care what your story is, who you were in the past, if you murder innocent people in masses, AGAIN including children, you deserve death and nothing more.


This is why I call it writing bad. First the Night Elves had a week to evacuate the World Tree, there was no reason to still have civilian in the tree. It's called mandatory evacuation.
Next the idea the Night Elves would have thousands of children makes no sense at all. Night Elves live to over a thousand years old, having that many children makes no lore sense.
Night Elves should have surrendered.
The only smart move is to burn the tree. I think it's ridiculous to think the Horde could occupy the tree. The Night Elves would have run a highly effect, devastating guerrilla campaign. The only sound tactical plan is to burn the tree.
Let's not forget the Alliance will attack Dazar'alor in a few weeks. The docks are crawling with orphans. But let's pretend no civilians will be harmed in that attack.

Instead of attacking military forces, the Alliance caused a diversion and attacked the civilian population.
11/11/2018 11:32 PMPosted by Kaath
This is why I call it writing bad. First the Night Elves had a week to evacuate the World Tree, there was no reason to still have civilian in the tree. It's called mandatory evacuation.
Next the idea the Night Elves would have thousands of children makes no sense at all. Night Elves live to over a thousand years old, having that many children makes no lore sense.
Night Elves should have surrendered.
The only smart move is to burn the tree. I think it's ridiculous to think the Horde could occupy the tree. The Night Elves would have run a highly effect, devastating guerrilla campaign. The only sound tactical plan is to burn the tree.


Or, get this, don't start a war on paranoia and desiring to kill the living to make them your servants. Also, evacuations take time, especially when it's a humongous tree in the middle of the ocean. They were still evacuating when Sylvanas decided to burn the tree and everyone still on it to spite one person who pitied her.
11/11/2018 11:37 PMPosted by Kaath
Let's not forget the Alliance will attack Dazar'alor in a few weeks. The docks are crawling with orphans. But let's pretend no civilians will be harmed in that attack.

Instead of attacking military forces, the Alliance caused a diversion and attacked the civilian population.
Our goal is to subjugate the city, and Anduin outright tells us to avoid civilian casualties. We're not "attacking the civilian population." Hell, Zandalar struck Kul Tiras first in the 8.1 War Campaign.
11/11/2018 08:44 PMPosted by Gilius
Lets avenge Vol'jin (not that I give two craps for him).


Correction: On pg 18 and 19 of the Kindle version of "Before The Storm" Sylvanas lets on that she both respected Vol'jin and had been sorry he had fallen.

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