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World of Warcraft

WoW Lore: Can Sylvanas still be saved? New short story gives hope

The book World of Warcraft: Folks & Fairy Tales of Azeroth is a collection of short stories with all kinds of fairy tales, myths and legends from Azeroth. In addition to real WoW celebrities, the book also features supporting characters such as Vereesa Windrunner. Now, a reader has taken a closer look at the story "Sister is Another Word for Always," in which Sylvanas' little sister embarks on a dream journey to the Shadowlands, and has given us some exciting details in a short excerpt from the book.
WoW Lore: Can Sylvanas Still Be Saved? New short story gives hope (1) Source: buffed "But was it truly her soul? It seemed only a fragment somehow, a sliver of her, dancing with light. A little baby mithril-head trout, with her knowing eyes staring back at me, nuzzling the wolf-fur that covered my palm. Mist seeped away into the pelt and dripped back down into the mire. Any piece of her was worth enduring this trial.

The fish-fragment shimmered and thrashed in my hood, and then it was her, all of her, standing as tall as she ever did, poised as if to run on the edge of a land abhorrent to her nature, her golden her in a long braid, her gray (...)"

Vereesa's Journey into the Maw

Vereesa Windrunner is the little sister of Sylvanas. Source: Blizzard The reader summarizes the plot of the short story as Veressa making a journey to the Maw in a dream, where she searches for Sylvanas, but ends up finding only her soul. However, only small fragment of Sylvanas' soul is left. Vereesa tries to save this small remnant of her sister and confronts the jailer in her dream. She says that she wants to take her sister's soul back to Azeroth, to the realm of the living. To this, the dungeon master replies that it is only a small fragment of Sylvanas.

And there they are again! Those few lines hidden in a short story that are extremely important to the story of World of Warcraft. The excerpt confirms a previously lesser-known fan theory that Sylvanas met the same fate in death as Uther, and that Frostmourne took her soul.

"But was it really her soul? It somehow seemed to be just a fragment, a piece of her that danced with the light."

Uther Lightbringer was one of Frostmourne's first victims. The Runeblade tore his soul apart, turning him into a puppet of the dungeon master. Source: Blizzard This isn't the first time we've heard of soul fragments, after all. In the short film Afterlife: Bastion, we witness Frostmourne ripping Uther's soul to shreds and absorbing part of it. The other soul fragment then flees to the Shadowlands, where it awaits the judge's verdict. His violent death and inner conflict left Uther treading a dangerous path in the afterlife, unable to distinguish between vengeance and justice. In Patch 9.1, we help Uther overcome his trauma and vengefulness, and come across a chamber in Torghast where more Soul Fragments are trapped - all victims of Frostmourne.

Sylvanas was also one of the countless victims of the Third War. She, too, lost her life fighting the Scourge. However, no trace of her soul fragment has been found in the Maw (as of the test server). The dismembered souls we find in Torghast belong to the jailer's personal collection. Branded by Frostmourne, they serve him as a connection to the other part of the soul, which was mostly outside the maw. This allowed him to indirectly influence the fate of his victims. Thus, Uther and his spurned unwittingly prepared a path to freedom for the jailer.

The Banshee Queen's grudge...

Frostmourne also tore apart Sylvanas' soul, transforming her into a vengeful banshee. Source: Blizzard Does the Dungeon Master also possess a part of Sylvanas' soul? And if so, what does that mean for Sylvanas' story so far? We've already wondered why Sylvanas ended up directly in the Maw after her suicide at the end of WotLK. As a Ranger General, Sylvanas was a great and shining hero who sacrificed her life for her people. After Arthas' death, she sought eternal peace, but instead of paradise, she ended up in hell. This turn of events was a great injustice when measured by her moral standards. In the short film Warbringer: Sylvanas, the Banshee Queen referred to her former self as a "fool". This bitterness is no accident. Put yourselves in her shoes for a moment. Sylvanas sacrificed everything in life and was punished for it with eternal damnation.

Well, her anger is understandable. What bothers us about this story, though, is that Sylvanas completely leaves out the jailer and the role he played in her sad story. Why doesn't the Banshee Queen see Zovaal (the jailer's real name) as the true string-puller responsible for her personal and countless other tragedies? Or does she not care at all? Lore fans are having a truly difficult time putting together the story puzzle surrounding the Banshee Queen at the moment. After all, we still don't know why Sylvanas follows the dungeon master so unconditionally. This blatant twist just doesn't fit the image of the passionate Sylvanas we've come to know and love Warcraft 3.

Last Chance at Redemption

Prophetic Cover: On the cover of the new novel "Sylvanas" we see the two sides of the Banshee Queen. Is the image of the Ranger General a clue to her lost soul fragment? Source: Blizzard But perhaps the soul fragment Vereesa finds in the Maw is the answer to this great mystery surrounding the Banshee Queen in Shadowlands. Sylvanas' divided soul would even be the simplest resolution to her complex storyline. We know the dungeon master has a lot of soul shards thanks to Frostmourne. So it makes sense that he also has Sylvanas' second soul shard. This is how he was able to sneak Sylvanas past the judge at the end of WotLK and drag her straight into the maw. There, Zovaal spiked her with all sorts of lies about an unjust world order where noble souls are punished and villains are redeemed. The jailer, after all, sees himself as a victim of this world order. The fact that he deliberately conceals the reason for his punishment or glosses over his crimes is irrelevant. Without her second (good) soul fragment, Sylvanas is imperfect, meaning she is unable to question the jailer's goals. Through Frostmourne, Zovaal robbed Sylvanas of an important part of her personality and turned her into another puppet.

What we must not forget is that the Banshee Queen belongs to the generation of puppets that caused the Jailer a lot of trouble. He certainly hasn't missed Sylvanas' doubting looks. Anduin has also noticed the Banshee Queen's doubts and held a mirror up to her in Torghast. In essence, Sylvanas has already accomplished her mission, providing Zovaal with a servant in Anduin who can't question his goals in the first place. Once the Dark Princess opens the gates to Oribos for the dungeon master, she will have served her purpose. What price Sylvanas must pay for his freedom is of no concern to him.

All we know so far is that Sylvanas will face us as the final boss enemy in the new Sanctum of Domination raid. However, we currently can't tell if we'll end up killing the Banshee Queen for good or if she'll be able to escape once more. However, even in death, there is still hope for the Dark Princess. It's possible that we'll later team up with her sister Vereesa to recover Sylvanas' lost soul fragment from the Maw. By doing so, we can at least save the part of Sylvanas that is tied to the good memories of the brave Ranger General.

Redemption stories - yay or nay?

Is Sylvanas really following the jailer of his own free will? Or does the villain have something up his sleeve with which to direct her fate? Source: Blizzard This kind of Redemption story doesn't appeal to everyone, though, and the Soul Fragment resolution is baffling to many Lore fans. Most fans of Sylvanas like her because she's always been a shady character. Now, of course, with this short story comes the big question of whether we were ever dealing with the real Sylvanas in WoW or just the evil image of herself. In doing so, however, the authors discredit all of Sylvanas' deeds and character traits for which she was liked and admired by her fans.

Using Uther's story in Shadowlands as an example, we see that the concept of a torn soul causes more confusion instead of understanding. Most players cannot connect the appearances of Uther's spirit in WotLK with Uther's likeness in Shadowlands. The second important question is: How much value do these shady characters (that we like so much) still have when they're washed clean with Retcons and Redemption stories? Does it sound like a satisfying ending when we reunite Sylvanas' soul fragments and then her redeemed soul blissfully wanders off? Let's face it, this storyline seems forced and makes Sylvanas a trivial character who fell for a villain.

What do you guys think of Vereesa's short story? Does the storyline with the soul fragments and Sylvanas' redemption sound like a good ending? Or would you like to see a different finale to her story?