This post contains significant spoilers, so carry on if you so desire.So, as the Horde Commander, you’re apparently pretty popular. Of course, when Khadgar has you try to capture Gul’dan, it’s to be expected. In fact, moments after that failed attempt…Garona comes along and tries to assassinate Khadgar after stunning you. This has me most excited, as it never occurred to me that we might see one of the games deadliest assassins.
This is, of course, an oversight on my part as Garona was not only heavily involved with the Shadow Council, she was also Gul’dan’s personal spy ans assassin. Obviously we’ll be visiting Gul’dan in a raid at some point during the expansion (I would be shocked if we don’t), and may encounter him again. I suspect Garona will be there at any step along the way and that little side bar has me quite excited.
At the same time, I’m incredibly disappointed about Garona’s uncle: Vindicator Maraad.
For his first appearance since The Burning Crusade cinematic, Maraad makes one heck of an impression. He and Thrall fighting back the Iron Horde and kicking down the proverbial door of the Dark Portal was a great way to jump into the expansion. The Vindicator continues to play heavily on the Alliance side as the hero progresses through Shadowmoon Valley. It’s interesting as he’s one of the few characters from the real timeline to be involved in the alternate one. That actually should have been our first real hint of what was to come.
I know a big part of the story for Warlords is the ascension of Yrel. I’m fine with that, as it speaks to a much larger overdue move on the part of Blizzard. But that’s a discussion for another time. In this case, it looks like in the grand scheme of things Maraad was brought back just so he could die. Here’s a character outside of the novels, few players even know of. He’s an incredibly prominent Draenei, but we never really got to see him in-game. Then they finally bring him back…and we still don’t really get to see him for very long.
While I don’t think the “average” player delves too heavily into the story, there are some that still like to know what’s going on. Many will have no idea how important he was, because they never got the chance to. Alliance players get a short time and some interaction with Maraad, but is it enough to make a connection of any kind? That’s hard to say. And the less connection there is, the less meaning his death actually holds.
I think overall it’s alright for the character to have been killed. I just don’t think the timing was right. It is too early in the story, for my personal ideas anyway. It could have happened in one of the subsequent patches, but I guess in order for Yrel’s story to progress it had to happen sooner than later. That, to me, is a big crutch to write off. But the way the Warlords of Draenor stories have played out, it feels like that’s a minor quibble from someone who has been in complete awe and enjoyment since clicking on the very first quest.