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SPOILER - What did we think of "that guy's" fate?

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Firemane
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If you haven't done the pre-expansion event stuff yet you may want to stop reading now.

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So what did everyone think of Tyrande finally laying down the smack on that simpering fool Nathanos? First of all I thought the cinematic was bad ass, but what are the ramifications? I see two basic schools of thought:

1. She gave him exactly what he (and Sylvanas) wanted and we will all regret it later when he shows up to torment us in the Shadowlands.

2. He's a mere insect to her now and she dispatched him once she saw he was of no use to her. If he returns like a cockroach in the afterlife she will simply squash him again on her way to the Banshee.

I tend toward the latter camp myself. He has always been a meaningless tool and relatively inconsequential character. I don't think even Sylvanas really cares about him beyond what he can do for her. More to the point though: narratively he adds little to the story; omit him from Legion and BFA and nothing changes. Even if Tyrande and Malfurion had (rightfully) crushed him at Darkshore, Sylvanas would remain the architect of Teldrassil's destruction and no justice (or vengeance) will be had until she gets her comeuppance. I won't bet anything on what the Blizzard writers will do, but Nathanos will always be a "so what" guy to me even if they make him a raid boss down the road. To me he's just another token bad guy.

Edited by: Firemane on 11/12/2020 - 07:37
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Well, I liked Tyrande's entrance.  She actually looked powerful, as opposed to the whole Night Warrior scenario.  In her combat with him she was calm and controlled, like a General with 10,000 years experience in fighting should be.  And in the text talking to the people at Lion's rest, you find out Tyrande is the only one who succeeded in fighting off Sylvanas' agents, they got Jaina as well as Anduin (and others horde side, though the alliance doesn't know it yet).

On the dislike: ok, she's manipulated by Nathanos into killing him so he can go be with Sylvanas.  (Manipulated may not be the right word...like you say, he's just a bug, killing or not killing him doesn't change what's going on for her.)  She comes in as we have finished the fight with Nathanos, kill stealing us yet again (side note: that's the thing I like most about the N'zoth cinematic, we finally do something...even if it is just because we had the frob someone else gave us).  The line "for Teldrassil" is nice, but Nathanos was as surprised as everyone else when Sylvanas ordered the burning of the tree; this isn't vengeance.  Tree would have burned whether Nathanos was there or not.

As for ramifications...of course we have to run into Nathanos in the Shadowlands, he is a favorite character of Danuser.  I have not read the recent book, but apparently Nathanos fails in a task assigned by Sylvanas, she kind of cuts him loose (which is why we find him at his homestead), we kill him so we that we can get the glorious story of him overcoming his trials and getting back into her good graces...  Hope not.  But, I'm sure he'll be around in SL. 

I did wonder at his answer "she is with him".  He said it like they both knew who the "him" was, and I first thought it was the Jailer...but then Tyrande asks again "where is she?"  So, his answer wasn't an answer as far as she was concerned.  Tyrande is one of the world leaders, she'd know about the Jailer if any of them did.  I wondered if perhaps Sylvanas had captured Malfurion as well, that's a popular plot line with them.  (The owl that was with her was probably Malfurion, but there have been other owls.)  So, was the 'him' the Jailer, and she was just asking for a map pin?  Or was "him" someone else?

Firemane
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Joined: 08/01/2010 - 06:34

"Him" I'm fairly sure is the Jailer. Tyrande's look when Nathanos mentioned Sylvanas shattering the veil suggests that she may not be fully aware of what is going on yet. Her escape from Sylvanas's kidnappers happens "off camera" and I don't think it's mentioned how she knew where to find Nathanos since she wasn't in Stormwind, so it's not clear how much she knows. Greymane and Shaw have an inkling of what's going on but Tyrande may not have had the full picture before she encountered Nathanos. 

The owl isn't Malfurion. His name is Dori'thur. That owl has been with Tyrande for a while now, he used to fly around the Temple of the Moon in Darnassus and he would join the fight if the Horde attacked. The owl was also in the Darkshore intro cinematic, he was watching while Malfurion finally grew a pair and went Batman on the Horde soldiers. Also shows up on the ship in Boralus to tell us to go watch Tyrande become the Night Warrior. Safe assumption that all those appearances are the same owl.

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So, where is Malfuion?

it makes sense, if Nathanos is maximally taunting her, that 'him' is Malfurion.  I can see that being the most twisty he can get the knife...but that's only if Sylvanas captured Malf.  And I've managed to avoid the spoilers so I don't know.  )  I mean, it's equally possible Malf is playing cards with Khadgar.  )

Tyrande shouldn't have had much trouble keeping his homestead under watch.  One bird is all it would take.  He wanted to be found, so he went there and waved a red cape in front of her.  That sent him after Sylvanas.

Firemane
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Joined: 08/01/2010 - 06:34

Yeah who knows where Malfurion is? He's not shown in the pre-patch intro cinematic and has been curiously absent for a while now. Have we even seen him since he and Tyrande failed to get Nathanos at Darkshore?

Malf has always been a bafflingly inconsistent character. He's supposed to be the most powerful Druid in history but has never really demonstrated that at any time I can remember. Mostly he's just been a milquetoast used by the writers to give reasons for other characters like Tyrande or Maiev or Illidan to do something. Whenever he speaks his dialogue is so cheesy that we usually just want him to shut the hell up. If Sylvie did take him, does anyone on Azeroth (including Tyrande) even care?

Anyway, yeah, Tyrande has been looking for Sylvanas for pretty much the entire expansion so it's not surprising that she would have gotten word through her own network that Nathanos had popped up at the Marris farm. I suppose Malfurion could be the "him" that Nathanos was referring to but I still think that's the Jailer. Obviously Tyrande was able to fend off the attempted kidnapping. For all Nathanos knows so did Malfurion (if he was in fact a target at all). All of these things are presented as though they are happening in rapid succession, so while he surely knew about the plan it's unlikely that Nathanos has yet had any visibility to how successful or unsuccessful the abduction attempts were.

One point about "kill stealing": I'm okay with this one. And while I admit I've not been part of every raid it actually doesn't seem to happen as much as people think. Thrall taking Garrosh is one that people have complained about but really, their fight had to happen. I guess you could say Illidan "stole" Gul'dan from us but that cinematic was epic and we did all the heavy lifting there anyway. Illidan was just sweeping up the dust. Not really a "steal." Fights like Arthas and Deathwing always seemed like more of a collaboration with the major NPCs to me, which I have no problem with. It actually bugs me more when the most powerful people on Azeroth take a back seat to let us be the cannon fodder against world ending threats. They SHOULD be fighting alongside us so I've always viewed "kill stealing" through that lens.

What I hate even more than NPC kill stealing is the lazy device of a raid wide stun followed by some version of "Enough! I grow weary of this!" so the enemy can do a peace out whenever the writers aren't ready for that character to die. I'm fine with encounters that end in stalemates, I just wish they could come up with better ways to resolve them.