As much as I mock him, Anduin actually works, a boy-king with much older advisors actually fits for Stormwind somehow. I mean I liked Varian from MoP onwards, when he actually started to grow into the role of statesman as opposed to thug with a pedigree, and he still had the best death scene in the whole game, but even though they aren’t malevolent towards him, I can dig the idea of a raw youth, inexperienced, with varying grey eminences behind him.
Tyrande and Malfurion have had their day, both have existed long enough to become memes, a fact not helped by some woeful quests involving both. Have them go out in some vengeful blaze of Glory, repaying the horrors of Teldrassil. The duality of Kaldorei leadership is interesting though, and a ‘power couple’ works for them thematically. I’d suggest (not as an actual couple, as Jarod is married) Shandris and Jarod. They both deserve more screen time and are solid characters.
To be honest, they’re fine as they are, but they just need more activity. Magni was good, but there is no way of undoing his current status that isn’t going to look a bit naff. Keep the current trio, just ramp up their activity a bit.
Gnomes: Gelbin Mekkatorque. Just unfreeze him already. Not only is there no other viable candidate (Though Tanaris questing Kelsey Steelspark comes close, when she drops the ditzy airhead act and goes all ruthless) but he is the epitome of ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Just as he started to get some quality time on screen, they nix him. No. Don’t. Bad Blizz. Put the Gnome down and walk away. He is perfect as Gnome leader. I hate his voice, but then that is just Blizzard not understanding how biology works…Biologically, given their barrel chests and build, a Gnome should have a far deeper voice, similar to a Dwarf. They’re not human children, they aren’t waiting for their voice to break, their women should sound Contralto, and their men Baritone, or even Bass. But that’s just a peeve of mine.
Draenei: Velen is a joke. He is a Prophet who seems to be able to see the future in every situation apart from any situation that would actually be useful. They should never have killed off Maraad. That big blue bada$$ should have been the Draenei leader. His ‘Lords of War’ cinematic where he slammed his hammer down and knocked over all of Varian’s toy soldiers sealed that. He showed a more realistic face to the Draenei, that they -can- show anger… This said, still second best Death scene…That Music…
Worgen: Simple. Genn. Just Genn. He is absolutely the right leader at the right time, and one of the best characters Blizzard has written. A bitter, vengeful old alcoholic, who lived long enough to see history prove him -right-! If Terenas had listened to him and Anasterian there would -be-no Horde today.
Orcs: Running out of options here. Garrosh was rubbish, the older Warchief’s weren’t really that much better. Saurfang has the right mentality but dear old Gaius Julius Caesar said it best “I love Treason, but hate a Traitor”. Saurfang went too far. He could have acted against Sylvanas, whilst being guilty of Treason (Except he isn’t really, but that is a different argument), however he then became a Traitor when he expected the Alliance to remove Sylvanas for him. Despite what many think, there -is- a difference between a person being Treasonous and a person being Traitorous, for example Treason is betraying an Oath or allegiance so Vol’jin’s rebellion was treason (It actually wasn’t due to the terms of the Blood Oath of the Horde, but again, different argument) he was however not a Traitor. He was going against his Ruler, he was not giving up Orgrimmar to the Alliance. If he had offered Orgrimmar to the Alliance in return for their aid in deposing Garrosh, he would have been a Traitor. You can depose your own ruler as an act of Treason, but for it to be Traitorous you must depose them to the benefit of your enemies. Even so, Saurfang will carry that stigma with him, however righteous his cause. If not Saurfang, then who?Eitrigg isn’t quite iconic enough, it has to be, yep, you guessed it; Thrall.
Trolls: In a neat symmetry with the Kaldorei I’d like to see a ‘power couple’ lead the Trolls, a true unification of the Horde Trolls, Rok’han and Talanji, but much more in keeping with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Talanji is a queen, Rok’han is a Shadow Hunter, of no royal blood. The two already seem to be very close, as some of the Nazmir quest dialogue shows, so why not go that extra step, we know that Zandalari and Darkspear do not actually find each other hideous, we see this in ‘Shadows of the Horde’ (Unless Vol’jin was an absolute hottie to female trolls), They get on, why not?
Tauren: There is no one apart from Baine. Cairne if alive, would be preferable, but there is no other Tauren. Magatha is the only other iconic Tauren, but she would shift the Tauren too far away from where they are, as well as likely cause a civil war. They just need to use Baine better. They also need to ditch this idea that Baine is too young to rule the Tauren. He is Cairne’s -Son- for goodness sake! Cairne was over 100 when he died. Baine could be 80 for all we know. I don’t think he is, but someone with a 100 year old father is not likely to exactly be a teenager now are they?
Blood Elves: Fine as it is, Regent Lord, two Advisors. The one change I would make is swapping out Halduron for Liadrin. Lor’themar and Liadrin are apparently a low-key ‘Item’ according to ‘Blood of the Highborne’ and he implicitly trusts her, sending her to lead the various military expeditions. Rommath is the crotchety old man/elf, the cynic and puritan, Liadrin representing the new age of the Blood Elves, their new way, and Lor’themar the balancing factor and leader. Anyone who thinks Lor’themar is a nobody has clearly started playing since WoD. You cannot have played patch 5.2 without going “OK, this dude is pretty damned awesome”. It would also balance out the Triumvirate to reflect the three major power blocs in Blood Elf society. It would change from Farstrider Boss, Magister advisor, Farstrider advisor, to Farstrider Boss, Magister advisor, Blood Knight advisor, which would more accurately reflect the cultural makeup of Thalassian society. (Reminder, the Farstriders are actually a political body as well as a military one)
Goblins: Boss Mida. Everyone hates Gallywix, even Maldy, the woman he sends presents to every year, hates Gallywix. He is a bipedal Jabba the Hutt, Boss Mida ‘Her Tallness’ seems to be much more well regarded. Would give an interesting female leader without kowtowing to the ‘Female rulers be cray-cray yo!’ stereotype which Blizzard do have an unfortunate reputation for adhering to.
Forsaken: Frankly, anyone but Sylvanas and Nathanos. They are the Tyrande and Malfurion of the Horde. Their time has passed, their story is done. Let them go. I don’t care if it is Grand Apothecary Farinell, or Derek Proudmoore, I just don’t care. I have Forsaken Fatigue, everything has to be about them. I have become so uninvested in the Forsaken story because of this insistent pushing of two characters who -were- cool, but then Blizzard made weak, that really, I don’t care anymore, Heck, Lilian Voss, or the really big beefy guy from the starting Forsaken quests who can carry like -SIX- people without breaking a stride. I have one request, one request only. Whoever it is, for the love of all that is holy can they look like a Forsaken, as in a rotting zombie, so not catering to the ‘Hawt Undead’ trope?