World of Warcraft director teases Asmongold with ‘What sword’ t-shirt

As the Sword of Sargeras appears in World of Warcraft: The War Within, director Ion Hazzikostas teases Asmongold with a Blizzcon t-shirt.

World of Warcraft The War Within "What Sword" meme - Thrall, an orc, looks out at the Sword of Sargeras in the distance.

What sword? World of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas has been having fun with a long-running meme about the fantasy MMO’s mysterious Sword of Sargeras for a long time now. As the Blizzcon announcement of World of Warcraft: The War Within and its new ongoing Worldsoul Saga returns to the giant weapon, Hazzikostas delivers one final salvo to WoW content creator Zack ‘Asmongold’ with a t-shirt referencing their long-standing joke.

The reveal of World of Warcraft: The Worldsoul Saga by returning creative director Chris Metzen at Blizzcon 2023 not only announced the next three expansions coming to the long-standing face of MMORPGs, it also confirmed the return to one of WoW’s most notorious unaddressed plot points.

The Sword of Sargeras is a colossal weapon that the eponymous titan plunged directly into Azeroth during the Shadows of Argus campaign during World of Warcraft: Legion all the way back in August 2017. In the six years since, however, there’s been almost no mention of or reference to the gargantuan blade buried in the planet’s surface, despite it being by far the biggest non-natural landmark in the entire game.

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The sword became such a long-standing meme among the community that Asmongold, one of the biggest World of Warcraft Twitch streamers, started to joke with his audience that the Blizzard team had forgotten it existed, and that if you were to ask the devs about it, they’d probably just say, “What sword?”

That culminated in an April 2022 interview between Asmongold and World of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas. At the end of the interview, Asmongold tentatively brings up the existence of the giant weapon, to which Hazzikostas, clearly aware of the joke and barely able to contain his smile, twitches slightly and, rubbing his neck, simply answers, “What sword?” You can see the moment for yourself in the clip below.

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Of course, like Chekov’s Gun itself, the sword was always going to come up eventually, and now it seems Blizzard has finally pulled the ripcord – or the ripsword, I suppose. As seen in the video above, the first indications came when people at Blizzcon 2023 noticed signs placed around the foot of a giant statue of the Sword of Sargeras that read, “What sword?”

Then, we got the actual announcement of World of Warcraft’s next major story arc, The Worldsoul Saga, which is set to begin with the upcoming expansion The War Within. Following an emotional, drawn-out discussion between famous faces Anduin and Thrall, the pair turn to face the weapon. “That sword,” Thrall concludes, “was aimed at someone.”

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The tale doesn’t quite stop there, however, as Hazzikostas has one final laugh in mind – right on the main stage of Blizzcon. Coming out to speak in more detail about the expansion, it’s revealed that the game director is wearing a “What Sword” t-shirt emblazoned with a graphic of the towering blade.

Upon realizing what he’s seeing, Asmongold breaks out into a broad smile. “No way,” he laughs, “Dude, I have to get that. Oh my god.” Hazzikostas doesn’t draw attention to it, but he doesn’t need to – his work here is done.

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All jokes aside, it’s good to see that Blizzard is finally addressing the long-running plot point. One aspect that the WoW story has often struggled with is feeling like the world around you only progresses when your character is directly involved, and it always seemed strange that we’ve gone for so long without ever so much as addressing the sword. At long last, it seems we’re about to get some answers.

If the news of The Worldsoul Saga has you eager to jump back in, make sure to install the best WoW addons first and take a look at our WoW Dragonflight tier list to see where the class meta is at. We’ve also got the latest on the new and improved version of Cataclysm coming to WoW Classic, which aims to offer a fresh take on the world-shattering expansion.