World of Warcraft fans are already pulling The War Within cinematic trailer apart. Some of those fans are convinced that a single frame could portend a dark story arc ahead for Alliance golden boy, Anduin Wrynn.
The trailer, released during BlizzCon, sees Anduin and Thrall discussing their shared visions (as well as showing just how much the aftermath of Shadowlands has impacted the Alliance commander). The pair begin to hatch a plan for what to do about these visions – and that sword. You know the one, the big one sticking out of the world itself.
During their conversation, Thrall calls on Anduin to help, telling him the world needs his light – and Anduin, still grappling with his past, draws his sword as he claims he no longer has any light left. It’s this split-second moment that has sent fan theorist minds running wild.
The shot in question seems to call back to Wrath of the Lich King, arguably one of the most popularWorld of Warcraft expansions to date. In one cinematic from the 2008 expansion, Arthas Menethil draws his sword towards the camera in what appears to be a frame-for-frame match with The War Within trailer, down to the angle. While some fans on X (formerly Twitter) think this is just a nostalgia play by Blizzard, others believe this could be foreshadowing for a much darker future for Anduin than players ever expected.
For those who are immersed in World of Warcraft lore, Arthas was a prince-turned-paladin who was determined to stop a plague spreading through the city Lordaeron. Unable to stop the spread, he resorted to desperate methods that clashed against his ‘light’. He took up the cursed sword Frostmourne in an effort to defeat the demon Mal’Ganis. In the process, Arthas lost his soul and became a death knight, leading the undead to the destruction of his home before merging with the Lich King. (Editor’s note: God Warcraft 3 was the good shit — David) It’s a pretty grim tale, and if Anduin’s future holds any similarities to that of Arthas, as The War Within trailer might suggest, the High King of the Alliance is in for one bumpy ride. There are certainly similarities in the beginnings of their story, but that might just be where they stop.
The War Within is one of three upcoming World of Warcraft expansions announced during BlizzCon 2023 that make up the multi-expansion story of the Worldsoul Saga, with Midnight and The Last Titan to follow.
Whether Anduin does, in fact, go full Arthas or not is, of course, up for debate until World of Warcraft: The War Within releases next year. Keen-eyed fans are likely to pull apart any new story teasers within an inch of their life as they release for more clues as to what’s in store for the King of Stormwind during this next expansion and the greater Worldsoul Saga.
Lead Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment