Role Reversal

Wyrmrest Accord
Let's imagine for a minute a hypothetical.

In this different world of Azeroth, the Horde went in a completely different direction after the Second War. Instead of Durotan and Draka escaping through the Dark Portal, and Thrall being called to by Medivh, somehow Garrosh Hellscream found himself on Azeroth preceding the Third War. Seeing the carnage and his people subjugated, and guided by the prophet who promised safety across the seas, Garrosh rises up against the humans and works alongside his father, Grom Hellscream.

While Garrosh eagerly wants to fight by his side, one orc stands in the way of letting the Horde devolve into what it was prior to their defeat in the Second War: Varok Saurfang. While the Horde narrowly avoids all the situations Grom puts it in, Varok forces Garrosh to essentially act like Thrall would have.

Enter Burning Crusade, we meet the young orc in Garadar: Go'el, son of Durotan and Draka. His parents guided him to the person that he was in the original timeline: he seeks peace between all, is level-headed and calculating, broods more than acts, and plays his hand only when the time is right. We encourage him to join the Horde, and he sees it almost helpless, as he knows what the Horde represents. As we get to know him, we finally convince him that the Horde can be changed, from within, by the right person. And so he joins the Horde.

Come Wrath of the Lich King. Garrosh has fully taken over his role of Warchief and has largely tossed aside Saurfang's counsel in favor of his own tactics. The war in Northrend is brutal, and the Horde has had the tendency to attack Alliance. But through efforts of the new Warsong Offensive General, Go'el, with the guidance of Varok Saurfang, manages to make way for the Horde and Alliance to extend the path to Icecrown Citadel with less bloodshed than it would be under Garrosh's iron fist. The Horde's involvement standing side by side with the Alliance at the Wrathgate is solely due to Go'el's actions. By the end of the Northrend Campaign, Go'el stands at the top, having fought inside Icecrown as a powerful shaman and proved himself more than capable of a leadership role.

Cataclysm rolls through, and Garrosh finds his lust for battle and blood, and rebuilding what the Cataclysm destroyed outweighing his desire for leadership. Seeing the exemplary orc that Go'el was in the Northrend campaign, though unaware truly of how neutral he played his hand, he pushes him to be the new Warchief. By this act, Go'el finds himself at the head of a bloodthirsty and vicious Horde that knows nothing of honor, control or peace, and must now discover how to reign them all in. By Garrosh's doing, he's virtually split the Horde into segments and alienated old allies. Go'el tries to mend broken fences, but continually the Horde pushes into the Alliance, and more disagreements flame up between the various races, until a pivotal point arises, and Go'el for a brief moment manages to unite the Horde so that Deathwing can be killed. The catastrophical story that was Dragon Soul happens, and we come out with a Horde, barely united, standing under Go'el's banner above Deathwing's dead body (sparkles, really.)

Pandaria is discovered, and Go'el immediately decides to send an expeditionary force to investigate this new continent for resources, unaware of inhabitants. When he finds that the Alliance is there, and the Pandaren, he pushes for emissaries to convince the Pandaren not to ally with the Horde, but simply to help them move throughout the continent and live alongside the peaceful race. The Alliance drives conflict, and the Horde finds its lack of control due to Garrosh's long reign pushing themselves into a full on war with the Alliance and causes tension between them and the Pandaren. Garrosh returns from battlefields across Azeroth to see what Go'el is trying, and begins to plot against him, to dethrone him and retake the Horde he believes belongs to him. Undermining Go'el's efforts, he eventually causes the Horde to splinter, and a civil war begins that catches the Alliance off-guard, as the battles on the continent had been relatively small from the beginning. The Alliance is pushed to near defeat in Pandaria, backed into a corner by a bloodthirsty campaign Garrosh launched without Go'el's consent, while Go'el tries to unite the Horde once more under him to oppose the tyrannical rebel leader.

And that's where we'd be right now. The idea jumped into my head as I was doing Trial of the Crusader, seeing Garrosh at Thrall's side, and wondered what it would be like the other way around.

So two questions!

Which world interests you more: the one we have now, with Garrosh as Warchief and Thrall helping the Trolls, or Go'el as Warchief with Garrosh trying to reclaim the Horde? Or perhaps someone else in place of both of them?

And, if you could do a reversal story of any two characters, which two would you choose (and feel free to make a full story!)?
King Terenas becoming the Leader of the Forsaken and Sylvanas being trapped within the Runeblade, Frostmourne.

And overall, the current story as Garrosh as Warchief. At least, thanks in part to Thrall and the Shamans starting a cultural re-evolution back into 'noble savages' rather than the 'loot 'n' plunder' society of the Original Horde, the Orcs of the Horde have a code of honor that is supposedly what they are to rely upon for moral direction in times of great emotional stress. Unfortunately, the same focus on 'do what the Warchief does' that allowed Thrall to spearhead this cultural reformation is also what allows Garrosh to piss all over the strides the Shamans made and drag the Horde back towards the old days of raids and plunder.
Murloc Mystic for Warchief.
Garrosh is the greatest warchief -EVERRRRR-, anybody else would just be a gnat in comparison.

1) I think I prefer the world we have now. Your concept is still very interesting, but I'm not sure things would unfold that way without the same character development. Thrall/Go'el, for one, might not be so peaceful toward the Alliance had he not befriended one in Durnholde, in addition to Jaina later on.

2) Hm, that's a tricky question, since we would need to pick characters of the same race (unless we mean to be plain silly) that have also had a decent spotlight in the lore so we can predict what they would do.

How about a switch between Maiev and Illidan, where the former is making desperate but reckless decisions to protect Azeroth, while the latter is released to hunt down his old warden and use his arcane powers (hopefully) wisely to prevent her efforts?
02/27/2013 06:23 PMPosted by Basakan
King Terenas becoming the Leader of the Forsaken and Sylvanas being trapped within the Runeblade, Frostmourne.
This would've been very cool back in Wrath, and given a serious reason for the Horde to march on Northrend, in fact it would've been weird that they held back from it after WC3/TFT. Instead of Sylvanas being driven by hate and vengeance, Terenas has to get up there and put a stop to his son. And even afterward, instead of the Valkyr 1-ups being a selfish way to delay damnation, they are a true second chance at redemption. Post-Wrath, there's still work to undo some of the damage caused by Arthas and the Scourge while fending off the Alliance that wants him destroyed for all the trouble his kingdom caused.

Tricky to pull off without being wrist-slashingly angsty about it though, so maybe better that things didn't go this direction.

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