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

General Discussion
11/11/2018 11:48 PMPosted by Grandblade
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.


you know what humans get up to when they occupy a city during war times? it aint pretty thats for sure.
There's defiantly more to the story. Blizz makes mistakes but it seems like even they would feel like it was a waste if they just threw Sylvanas completely off the deep end like they did with Garrosh.
Is she evil? Absolutely. Does she need to die? No, not really. Removing her as Warchief should happen, but it's okay to have an evil character that doesn't become a corpse. I know that we "always win" in WoW, and having her slink off into the shadows would be counter to what Blizzard always does, but you never know.

If she gets some dumb redemption story, though... that'll be a huge "jump the shark" moment.
11/12/2018 12:57 AMPosted by Dethpandemic
11/11/2018 11:48 PMPosted by Grandblade
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.


you know what humans get up to when they occupy a city during war times? it aint pretty thats for sure.
It's certainly prettier than what happens when orcs or Forsaken occupy a city. Especially when our king is Mr. Peacetime.
Nice write up and take on Sylvanas and her motives.

Is Sylvanas evil ? not really when compared to human history, killing woman, children/non-combatants and destroying city's is common in warfare.

The word genocide is less than a 100 years old. In WWII the USAAF and The RAF fire bombed Dresden for three days and killed ~25000 men woman and children. Are your Grandfathers/Great-grandfathers evil ? I think not.

Sylvanas has given you a little taste of what war really is, I suppose its the fault of the writers for exposing you to some of wars reality. It can be harsh.
11/12/2018 01:52 AMPosted by Acropalis
Nice write up and take on Sylvanas and her motives.

Is Sylvanas evil ? not really when compared to human history, killing woman, children/non-combatants and destroying city's is common in warfare.

The word genocide is less than a 100 years old. In WWII the USAAF and The RAF fire bombed Dresden for three days and killed ~25000 men woman and children. Are your Grandfathers/Great-grandfathers evil ? I think not.

Sylvanas has given you a little taste of what war really is, I suppose its the fault of the writers for exposing you to some of wars reality. It can be harsh.


You do realize that many consider Dresden to be a war crime and an act of genocide on the city, it at best was one of the key drivers in the fourth Geneva convention as even the people of Allied nations looked to it as something wrong.

If the Allies hadn't won the war the history of things like Dresden would of had a much different outcome.. hence it's not a great thing to try to reference why you think Sylvanas isn't evil for something that is clearly evil. Why do you think we put in laws to finally stop these exact things? Because we realized just how BAD it had gotten during world war 2

There is never a case when the mass killing of civilian populations isn't wrong and what makes it an evil act is when it's done purposely with no military targets in mind
11/12/2018 06:39 AMPosted by Avondriel
11/12/2018 01:52 AMPosted by Acropalis
Nice write up and take on Sylvanas and her motives.

Is Sylvanas evil ? not really when compared to human history, killing woman, children/non-combatants and destroying city's is common in warfare.

The word genocide is less than a 100 years old. In WWII the USAAF and The RAF fire bombed Dresden for three days and killed ~25000 men woman and children. Are your Grandfathers/Great-grandfathers evil ? I think not.

Sylvanas has given you a little taste of what war really is, I suppose its the fault of the writers for exposing you to some of wars reality. It can be harsh.


You do realize that many consider Dresden to be a war crime and an act of genocide on the city, it at best was one of the key drivers in the fourth Geneva convention as even the people of Allied nations looked to it as something wrong.

If the Allies hadn't won the war the history of things like Dresden would of had a much different outcome.. hence it's not a great thing to try to reference why you think Sylvanas isn't evil for something that is clearly evil. Why do you think we put in laws to finally stop these exact things? Because we realized just how BAD it had gotten during world war 2

There is never a case when the mass killing of civilian populations isn't wrong and what makes it an evil act is when it's done purposely with no military targets in mind


Evil is subjective, it depends on where you live, your culture, and what era you happen to be in.

Applying today's standards to the past is an exercise in futility.

If the Axis had won WWII, I doubt the idea of war crimes would ever have been codified.
Just wanted to say to the OP: interesting list, good work.

I couldn't say how much is fact and how much is interpretation... I persist in the fantasy that playing the game should suffice to tell me what's going on in the game, and don't read the books and such...

That said: your header makes me uneasy.

Saying that 'Sylvanas isn't 100% evil' because she has reasons implies that no one, ever, has done an evil thing. See, doing something WITHOUT a reason is 'insane'. All the rest of them had their reasons.

Remember that 'kill and destroy in order to save the cosmos from the Void Lords' was Sargeras' plan, too. If someone claims that Sargeras wasn't evil either, then we've made 'evil' a completely meaningless word. If your definition of a word makes it not exist, double-check your definition.

Typically, we use the word evil to say 'don't do this thing, even if you think you've got a justification'... because people always think they've got a justification.

Maybe, as you suggest, Sylvanas doesn't have wholly selfish reasons. But of course, she doesn't KNOW that murdering lots of people will stop the Void Lords. That's just her plan. Same way the Soviets had a plan to bring about Utopia by murdering lots of peasant farmers.

I'd agree that she's 'not evil' in the sense that a person can't be good or evil (i.e. we always have potentials either way)... but her actions are clearly evil. She's exactly as bad as the Scourge or the Legion, and none of us -- not the Alliance, not the Horde, and not the Forsaken-- should be doing anything but opposing her.

(I know you didn't say we should be SUPPORTING her... but 'not 100% evil' implies 'not 100% opposed', to me).
I swear nobody on these boards really know what evil means.
11/12/2018 01:52 AMPosted by Acropalis
Nice write up and take on Sylvanas and her motives.

Is Sylvanas evil ? not really when compared to human history, killing woman, children/non-combatants and destroying city's is common in warfare.

The word genocide is less than a 100 years old. In WWII the USAAF and The RAF fire bombed Dresden for three days and killed ~25000 men woman and children. Are your Grandfathers/Great-grandfathers evil ? I think not.

Sylvanas has given you a little taste of what war really is, I suppose its the fault of the writers for exposing you to some of wars reality. It can be harsh.


So she's not evil because humans and history is painted with war?

War and especially some events in history is the darkest form of man, that's exactly what evil is.

Humans by nature never like to view ourselves as monsters so we naturally make up words and justice codes to ease ourselves into thinking "all is justified". Just because it's "war" doesn't excuse the fact that humans deep down have evil intentions in their hearts.
Ofc she is not 100% evil, just 99%.
Was that part about Helya giving her an upgrade to resurrect everyone speculation or is that true? I often speculated the same exact thing. It makes sense to me, but I figured it was always my own head canon.

I like the drama she brings to the story. I think her methods are ruthless and villainous.
They pushed her actions on Darkshore too far for the Alliance to ever accept her. There is no way she can be redeemed and there will never be peace between the two factions as long as she is a part of it. If she had captured Teldrassil and intended instead of burning it down (with a pretty sizable civilian population still trapped) it might have been different. But after what she has done, there is no coming back. They painted her into the villain box and there is nothing that will change that.
11/11/2018 11:43 PMPosted by Iyoma
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.
Or just hear me out.... mage portals. If them portal keepers can maintain those portals in the capitals for YEARS and I can shove a tauren on a kodo through one... there's no reason why they couldn't have evaced all of the tree.
I find it tiresome that we keep arguing about Sylvanas morality as if it is relevant to anything, as if justifying her actions changes anything.

It's far more interesting to wonder the why of her actions, what her goals are and if she will succeed.
11/12/2018 12:57 AMPosted by Dethpandemic
11/11/2018 11:48 PMPosted by Grandblade
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.


you know what humans get up to when they occupy a city during war times? it aint pretty thats for sure.


You know what horde races get up to when they occupy a city during war times? Oh, no you don't. They just slaughter the entire population instead.
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.


It's not bad writing, it is people not understand that the ease of travel we enjoy in game doesn't exist in the lore. The portals are not up 24/7 in lore, they are only opened when needed and require work to keep them opened. They couldn't sail away because the fleet was already out at sea. Basically Sylvanas had picked the perfect time to attack, the NEs were largely cut off from the rest of the Alliance and their military wasn't home.

11/11/2018 11:32 PMPosted by Kaath
Night Elves should have surrendered.


They were never given the option to do so and to be perfectly honest they would have never accepted it until the very end, which wouldn't have mattered anyways. The Horde had won, there was nothing left in their way. Well nothing accept Sylvanas...

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.


The Alliance will go out of their way to avoid civilian deaths, even if it means they suffer greater loses doing so. It is part of their moral character that tends to get in the way of doing what is needed to win. And the Horde have zero room to complain about civilians killed in that invasion. They have never shied away from killing civilians, matter of fact Sylvanas has often done so just so she can raise them as forsaken.
She burned thousands of children alive for no reason...


The "reason" was to destroy Darnassus, the capital of an intractable enemy. Destroying it made alot more sense than trying to occupy it, from her original plan. It was sound military thinking and the civilian deaths were incidental, part of the collateral damage and not the objective itself.

Millions of helpless civilians have been killed in wars in our own world. The children who died in the Blitz of London were no different than the Children who died in the firebombing of Dresden or of Tokyo. Who was more evil or was anyone evil? That is the nature of war, it has never been clean or nice. War kills and mains innocent people both directly and indirectly.

People have really got to stop projecting OUR worlds moral, ethical and legal thinking onto an imaginary world. Firstly, it will make you crazy and secondly it will ruin the fun of the game.
11/12/2018 01:52 AMPosted by Acropalis
Nice write up and take on Sylvanas and her motives.

Is Sylvanas evil ? not really when compared to human history, killing woman, children/non-combatants and destroying city's is common in warfare.

The word genocide is less than a 100 years old. In WWII the USAAF and The RAF fire bombed Dresden for three days and killed ~25000 men woman and children. Are your Grandfathers/Great-grandfathers evil ? I think not.

Sylvanas has given you a little taste of what war really is, I suppose its the fault of the writers for exposing you to some of wars reality. It can be harsh.


War is not about morality, but necessity or want. But you cannot say we can't judge it's repercussions through an ethical lens.

That Sylvanas is evil is irrelevant to what her goals are. She doesn't have to be morally right to win or succeed.

And that's something that people keep conflating, being right with being victorious, when those two things, historically, have little to do with each other.

You don't win by being right, you are right by winning, that's what history tells us.
11/12/2018 08:02 AMPosted by Tentaclatrix


So she's not evil because humans and history is painted with war?

War and especially some events in history is the darkest form of man, that's exactly what evil is.

Humans by nature never like to view ourselves as monsters so we naturally make up words and justice codes to ease ourselves into thinking "all is justified". Just because it's "war" doesn't excuse the fact that humans deep down have evil intentions in their hearts.


I 'am a grunt on darkshore, the orders are to sail over the water and invade a city in the trees. What could go wrong ?

1. The ship could catch fire from the defenders. dead orc
2. Can take an arrow climbing the tree. dead orc
3. Any number of ways to die taking that tree. dead orc

Occupation of city in the trees:
1. Can be poisoned by the captive elf's. dead orc
2. Some child or old elf can shoot an arrow from a hidey hole. dead orc
3. Some elf could drop a stone from up high. dead orc
Any number of ways to die from elf's while occupying their city

My survival Looks bleak, but then Sylvanas burns down the tree. Well looks like I may get to survive till the next battle after all. Glad Sylvanas burned that tree. I do not think she is evil, The Dark Lady just made a choice that saved some grunts lives.

On the other hand If I was a elf in that burning tree who somehow survived... Then Sylvanas is the most evil creature to have walked the face of Azeroth.

Evil , not evil. entirely subjective.

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