I watched the trailer for WoW The War Within as a member of the audience at BlizzCon 2023, and truly, I felt myself tear up. When we last saw Anduin Wrynn he had banished himself to The Maw alongside restored Ranger General Sylvanas Windrunner, determined to atone for the sins he committed under the thrall of The Jailer. He returns to Azeroth somewhat broken, a war waging within his mind that he’s going to struggle to win; but does that mean his Maw-sworn ally Sylvanas Windrunner may return, too? I asked WoW’s executive producer, Holly Longdale, in an exclusive BlizzCon interview.
Despite the turbulence of World of Warcraft‘s Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands expansions, I remain a committed Banshee Queen loyalist. While I believe that the narrative decisions of Shadowlands left her in a very weird spot, the MMORPG‘s long-time villainess remains one of my favorite videogame characters of all time.
And while I’d love to see more ‘FOR THE HORDE’ style cinematics, the events of Shadowlands left me wanting to know more about our revived Ranger General. Having read Christie Golden’s absolutely wonderful spinoff novel, aptly entitled Sylvanas, I want to get to know the woman that the Dark Lady once was. Shadowlands, for me, ended on a bitter note: I feel like Sylvanas’ story ended very abruptly, with no real thought given to her future.
So, given that Anduin has returned from The Maw, I asked Longdale if there’s a chance we’ll see the fallen Banshee Queen return to the fray during the Worldsoul Saga. With a smile she says “I can’t talk about Sylvanas, as much as I would love to. But there is a path out, and Sylvanas is complicated.
“Anduin will obviously play a significant role, but so will Alleria and Thrall to a degree. When we say ‘The War Within,’ it’s that journey of inner and external conflict, and Anduin’s got some struggles. His biggest struggle is that he’s lost the light, and he’s trying to find a way to recapture it. That’s going to be part of his journey.”
She does, however, end on a grin, chuckling “don’t ask me if I want to see Sylvanas – of course I want to see Sylvanas!” Is that a hint? You never know. After all, Longdale did agree with me when I asked if she felt that WoW’s narrative had gone a little awry. The Worldsoul Saga hopes to renew the “connection” we feel to the core cast of characters, and our favorite Forspoken is, indeed, one of them.
While I huff some hopium and keep my glowing red eyes peeled for any traces of my Dark Lady, I’ll also be making sure to check out our list of the best WoW addons – maybe she’s hiding there. If you’re looking for something to play in the meantime, though, we have a rundown of all the best free MMORPGs so that you don’t have to break the bank.
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