What to do with Anduin?

The High King has been in the Shadowlands for 5 ingame-years now (though I guess for the last 3 years timey-wimey stuff is possible to make it more or less than that from his perspective). That’s quite a bit longer than his 3-year rule as a king was - indeed, Turalyon has held the Throne for longer than Anduin did.

Anduin spent the first 2 years of that as a stubborn and unbroken prisoner, until he was mind controlled to do a Lich King cosplay. Embarassed about that, and a bit put out by that murdering and plundering throughout space afterlife, and maybe even liking the memory of the dark powers that he wielded a little too much, he decided that he needed some time to heal his soul. So of course he joined the genocidal lunatic that was responsible for the violation of his mind in the most depressing place in the universe, the Maw. I’m sure that little bit of therapy will have him sane and happy in no time. Let’s hope he didn’t linger there too long, since we have no idea how much time he wasted there, and if he went somewhere else after that. We haven’t heard from him since.

Before that, Anduin’s presence in the game had become pretty dominating. In a story based on the factions, he became the (somehow) undisputed commander of the only faction that didn’t fight itself, and over the years he made a habit of explaining how the world and morality works to a bunch of old white people, like any good millenial new to a leadership position would. If you wanted to know what the Devs wanted the player to think about an issue, you’d only have to look at Anduin’s take on it, since it had a negligible chance of being wrong.

So… Considering he will likely be back at some point, and likely back in the spotlight, when he returns… Any suggenstions of how they could write him after this to not make him suck? Will we have to suffer through some kind of “I am a monster!”-drama because he couldn’t shake his Arthas-phase? Will he become another wise space wizard with a similar role to Medivh or Khadgar, there to give us exposition about space stuff and deus ex us out of any pinch? Will he come back to stop the evil Turalyon from selling the Alliance to the invasion force of the Light, giving us an Alliance civil war, where we will be allowed to side with Anduin, whose moral position is once again the obviously right one?

Or does anyone have an idea that might actually be kinda cool, or might even make him more likeable after his ordeals?


Yea . I think the bellow would be cool .

Basically Andiun spends those 5 years in the maw and learns that there’s good and bad . He learns that sometimes you must crack down on those that do bad things and stops crying about equality or mercy and does what is needed and how it is needed . Basically something like his father or Illidan .

He comes back to Stormwind with Sylvanas in tow , because well … 20 year old boy and a beautiful elf stuck together in a gloomy place for 5 years , sharing life threatening and soul altering moments together is bound to create a relationship . Not to mention the Windrunner complex .
Given how we have constructs and everyone is the same just using different energy , like the same VW Golf running on both diesel and gasoline is still the same car , we can even ignore Sylvanas being dead . We also have Ysera as proof of that .
So yea they come back with this controversial relationship and she becomes queen along side him , which of course leads to many interesting outcomes .
We can have Genn leave the alliance . Jaina too . Tyrande aswell. We can get open civil war . We could get corrupt Stormwind going full racist and leaving only humans . Many open ends , none of which are in any way related to titans and cosmic powers .

Well, I might enjoy that story for the storm of poop it would bring, I guess…

What is wrong with Anduin? The hate he is getting is not justified.

Haha I know right ? Going full throttle would be awesome :smile: . Enough with paying safe with Disney stories . Controversial hard to wrap your mind around stories just like IRL foolishness . Troy has taken Helen , now we start a war thing (with all fake and real strings attached) .

Than again it is also a good plot . You can practically see Genn going "Have you lost your mind boy ??? " and the rest we will never accept this . Some people will think that perhaps Sylvanas is Mind Controlling him and try to kill her (perhaps she is ? ak. lady Prestor plot or Morrigan from Dragon Age 1) . On the other side we won’t really know Anduin’s motive because (perhaps) he has seen something in the maw or maybe he went mad and this is a complete warp of his uniting the whole world in peace without prejudice personality , slowly turning towards ruthless bid for power .
Stormwind is left without an accepted heir . The entire Alliance leaderless as they start an infight for who will rule ? Moyra and her son sensing the opportunity ? The elves ? The Humans ? Meanwhile the horde picking away at alliance territories . Now that is Word of WARcraft .

Wouldn’t it be fun to see Stormrwind`s golden boy , turning dark , Arthas style , or at the very least Jaina from Warcraft 3 when she kills her father .

@Erevien , I liked him in Pandaria when he was proactive , but honestly a grown man crying (like in the BFA cinematic) is not something that is up my alley . Not to mention giving him the child saint background .

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Anduin was most hated here during MoP where the common phrase people used to describe how they felt about him was “Whenever he speaks I want to reach for a knife.” a meme spawned by a pandaren poster for him being a near constant apologist on the Horde’s behalf, this was while they were massacring his people and even though he was supposedly neutral he always sided with The Horde against his own despite how absurd and typically nonsensical it was. He constantly endangered his own people, he got people killed and so on. He was a spoilt lawful stupid child.

I think if Christie Golden wants to make him more interesting she herself has to actually accept that life is far more nuanced than black and white, she was responsible for the Rise of the Horde and the Last Guardian so it’s not like she can’t engage with these themes. The major issue is Anduin is her golden child. He is everything she believes represents a good person, her political views are also entwined in to his character (and it’s why he lacks masculinity) but the reality is the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing, which is exactly what he did for years by being a passive enabler that put his misguided idealism and warped view of reality before everyone elses well being.

I’m not saying he should be Varian 2.0 but if he returned to his people as someone that actually put what is best for them above his own selfish needs like a good leader actually should, did the utmost not to repeat his own failures or make the same mistakes his father did it could be interesting. The region of Westfall the breadbasket of his Kingdom is in tatters, Duskwood is nigh lawless and Redridge is constantly under threat by blackrock orcs. Helping to restore these places, humbling himself rather than taking a position of perceived moral superiority, to strike a measured balance between his soft hearted nature and his fathers hard headed temperment to become a stronger person would go a long way. A King his people need to prosper not the unrealistic, adolescent idealist, he wants to be.

With all that said I think the issue is that this type of writing is behind Warcraft, they don’t seem capable of telling these kinds of stories. Danuser is obsessed with marvel shlock and cuckold novels. The devs are impassionate ideologues and the writing team spends more time on twitter scoring brownie points than it does reading actual literature. How many of these people have actually roleplayed before 5E? How many can discern fiction from reality or better yet seperate their political views from the medium like professionals do?

From outside appearances it doesn’t seem like they have many people left working there that know how to craft interesting stories, they don’t seem to understand that conflict has driven much of what made Warcraft interesting over the years and they can’t seperate the medium from their own biases. If anything they’re proud ideologues. Their focus is on presenting what they want in the game rather than what might entertain players, whether that is turning mundane pictures of women in to fruit or removing lines of dialogue because under the hyper partisan lens they view the world they can use any reasoning to justify their decisions. It’s not just because it can be misconstrued as offensive by those looking to be perpetually offended and overtly political about everything but because these people are ideological puritans.

TL;DR, Anduin needs to become a more nuanced character that strives to be a balance between his idealism and more pragmatic, rational views. Also Garrosh won’t get nominated for a GLAAD award like Pelagos will but he certainly had more player engagement with a more interesting story that drove conflict between the players.


I’m not going to bother pondering what they will do, because I’ve yet to see either the ability or intent to write proper fiction, with interesting characters and engaging plot lines, from this incarnation of the team.

What I’d like to see from Anduin is a throughline between the character he used to be and who he evolves into. Leaning into a more mature, measured, pragmatic and decisive direction from what he used to be, in spite of mistakes he might make and feathers he might ruffle.

Any story leading up to the return of Anduin, Malf and Sylvanas still needs at minimum an expansion of building up to it, because the threat to bring them back needs to be both personal and existential enough to warrant bringing two of the most powerful mortal characters back along with him. The likely most straight forward way of getting there would likely be through the Light and the Void pulling strings to set up their next move by enticing various characters through showing the best of themselves and the worst of the enemy, however it’d require them to do something they’ve not been able to do in a very long time. Make it look like both sides have a point, but neither is quite right, in it’s extreme. This would likely center around Thalassian Elves, Forsaken, Dreanei and other groups heavily invested in either force.

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He led the alliance to victory in Bfa. Unlike Baine who betrayed his own faction.

Did he though ? I haven’t read any novels , but in game I can’t remember him doing anything other than crying how the war is bad . Most of the time he didn’t even show up anywhere . The war was won by Tyrande , Jaina and to lesser extent Mekkatorque and the rest . Of all of them the "boy Kind " Played the least role. Remember Pandaria ? Varian and Garrosh were all over the place . Even than Andiun played bigger role (as a nosy kid) than he did as king in BFA .

As for Baine , I don’t really mind him betraying his own faction , but he could have done it in a cool way . Like “we hate undead corpses bossing us around , so we will use the alliance to clear them out” and grabs the power for himself like a real Warchief would . Instead he looks like Andiun fan boy and an alliance lap dog .

Anduin gave the order to attack Zandalar to make the win easy for the alliance. Which was a success. Without his strategy the Alliance wouldn’t have won. Hate it all you want but it is the facts.

That is his defining trait. He has never done anything positive for the Horde whenever the faction war starts ever.

The problem with Baine is that he has lived to tell the tale after betraying so called tyranical warchiefs 3 times.

Another interesting approach with Bane would have bene to exile him once and for all . Than he can preach his love for the horde on his own , a lone hermit hated by all ( but still trying to do what’s best). Than again Baine is symbol of the so called “colored or spring” revolutions , where some “great moral being” betrays his country and than takes the high road and starts blaming everyone else why things are bad , while preaching that they are moving to a better future , convincing you that digging down is the way up.
Good job guys , ignore the dead .
We just lost half the horde in dead , but it is all good , because we obtained democr… er I mean FREEDOM. It is not Baine’s betrayal but >>> that guys fault .GG Next time it happens Baine is willing to sacrifice more of you for your own greater good haha .
He is not going anywhere soon .

Excomunication and a significant bounty on his head would have at least been somewhat interesting.

The idea here was less about what they will do, but what they should do, just to have fun imagining. They might not be competent story writers, but the story you propose could be? :wink:

I kinda like preparing my expectations and speculating a bit. The worst-case-scenarios for WoW’s writing aren’t exactly hard, but the best case can be more complicated, considering the baggage they have to deal with.

Well, apart from being outrageous, I guess it does have the benefit of actually making everything about human failings, instead of cosmic catastrophes. Falling in love with the wrong femme fatale during his dark phase might be a bit ridiculous, but ridiculous in a human way. There would have to be a real option to oppose him, though, else they are killing the RP element once again, by forcing players to do stuff they don’t want their character to stand behind.

I’m not so much interested in Anduin as a character, but more in Anduin as a part of the story. I’ll agree that Varian was the better king, once they magicked his faults out of him, but he was also not very interesting. I don’t miss Varian, I only regret Anduin’s ascension. A perfect king could easily make the story more boring, instead of more interesting, since there is no reasonable ground for conflict. So just looking at how his personality might have matured doesn’t really give me the idea about the worthwhile story of his return, that I’m looking for.

I find that really hard while sticking to the “cosmic powers” conflict. We already know the answer to that one too well. Any of the six in excess is bad and its own kind of evil, we need an apropriate balance. Anyone who is for the balance that allows for flourishing, but not all-consuming life is good, everyone who is against that is bad. So if we make it about void-Anduin vs light-Turalyon we’d alredy know that both sides are wrong, if it was balance-Anduin vs. light-Turalyon, we’d already know tat the golden boy is the only reasonable choice once again.
I guess they could create a conflict about how to achieve balance, or where to draw the lines, but that’s pretty abstract, and not easy to do. I personally can’t really see any story build around that working for me, yet.

I might prefer the Anduin-Sylvanas-marriage to that one.

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The point of it sort of is that they come in way past the point of :poop: hitting the fan and the void/light stuff is at the moment unfortunately the best set up topic key groups could ideologically squabble over. Could something else be set up? Yes, of course, however it’d need an even longer build otherwise you again end up with a Dragonflight, where hugely powerful characters and organisations pop out of thin air for no reason outside us needing a punching bag.

Anduin will need somebody who opposes him and fundamentally challenges at least one of his core values. Regardless of the finer details. That’s the reason Joker vs Batman, Superman vs Luthor and so forth have been such enduring rivalries.

Would it? I mean, we don’t exactly lack established organizations with established characters and differing ideologies on Azeroth. Do you really need that much of a buildup to make some race relations within the alliance go bad, or to create a conflict between ideologically opposed organisations like the Silver Hand and the Ebon Blade, once there aren’t any more important shared goals to focus on? I don’t think Light vs Void is without alternatives at all. I’m just not looking to explore them here, except in the context of how they might help to make Anduin’s return not suck.

That’s one way to do it, yes. I’m not set on having him be the protagonist again, though, and I wouldn’t mind if his role were to be permanently diminished, either. So I don’t think we need to focus solely on conflict around him to look for ways to resolve his story. Like I said, I’m looking for best cases, and as one might have gathered, I wasn’t an especially big fan of Anduin before his timeskip-hiatus, either.

Tbh I’m not convinced racial tensions on their own will really cut it, the Aliance and Horde are effectively dead, as a concept, especially once the cross faction guilds become a thing and many of the organisations we have are either world police, nishe or have no friends. Who would ally with the Ebon Blade against Silver Hand and Friends, over what?

Sure primary kingdoms and such of races can have territorial disputes, but that’s barely something the people on azeroth would give that much fo a toss about. So going to the afterlife to fetch Anduin&co from retirement would be a complete overkill, unless it became some huge campaign again.

Even as a member of the supporting cast he needs to have those moments and counterparts. No point returning him if he isn’t used and urine takes rarely work for long term storytelling.

I’m not gonna argue that, since it really doesn’t advance my cause of looking for the best case. I guess, if your offer is Anduin featuring prominently in Light vs. Void, celebrity couple Anduvanas leading to melted brains seems like the better contender to me. Which is saying something. Let’s see if anyone can come up with something better. I’ll certainly try at some point.

Ok, how about this one, though the details need some work: Anduin comes back, but at first it is far from the main plot. The idea would be that he actually was back on Azeroth for a long time, which only Bolvar, who ferried him out, knows about, and has been wandering about the world incognito. In Shadows Rising, we saw him breaking under the weight of rulership, and preferring to go among the people as one of them, and afterwards his faith has been shattered. If he came back, and noticed that the world was doing pretty fine with Turalyon on the throne, maybe even better off, considering his experience. Cosidering Anduin’s character, there isn’t much of a reason to assume that he would claim his throne, if he didn’t feel he had to.

There could be a series of weekly sidequests, where we either knowingly, or unknowingly follow Anduin’s footsteps through the world. We could first reistablish the state of enduring despair he is in, gain some glimpse of the time he spent in the Maw (maybe through stories he told to others), and finally help, or at least witness, him get his goove back. Most of the characters that are involved in the main plot and its current politics could be unaware of him, so that he really wouldn’t have to be involved.

I think it would make sense to do more of a MCU-Thor-arc for him, where he finds out that he isn’t the best person for a throne, and that his personal priorities are with helping people directly, not commanding nations. A big part of that could be dealing with Bolvar, whose relationship with him still has some room for exploration, and Calia, who is another royal heir who gave up any designs for a throne. Maybe even Anduin’s search for love could be worked in. If Bolvar is involved, working with Taelia on tracking him might make sense, and she has always been an obvious candidate for romance with him.

I would also personally like to see him reestablish his connection to the Light. His dark magics came from dark places, and I’d like the game to acknowledge that that isn’t a good and sane thing. Anduin getting over his trauma and finding his inner light again, is a classic kind of story, him accepting the darkness as equally valid just a bit of nihilism.

In the end we could work the Lordaeron-plot into it. If Anduin is doing stuff in Loraderon, we could finally do something with the Scarlet Brotherhood that those letters from 8.3 teased. They could snatch up Anduin, as another potential political ressource. Them having the rightful ruler of Stormwind in their grasp would be an obvious benefit to them, and dealing with people who would use the “holy” Light for evil might spark the outrage that Anduin needs to find back to his own convictions, and thus access to the Light, once again. If he feels that he isn’t worthy of the Light right now, dealing with Light-users that are more despicable can be a plausible contrast.

In the end I’d like Anduin to be an adventurer character on our level. A priest that we can party up with on a quest. A wanderer who helps people in need. High level, sure, but not with the fate of nations on his back, and not a cosmic level saviour like Khadgar and Jaina.

I’m still mulling over that idea, but I think I might like him like that.

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