Bearing in mind that I'm absolutely a partisan...
night_druid wrote:But man, they have GOT to rehabilitate Garrosh at some point. Otherwise it makes Thrall look like an absolute horrible judge of character and somebody who you can't trust to make sound decisions outside of a battlefield.
Nah. One of the frequent complaints was that WoW was getting too far away from Orcs vs. Humans (well, Horde vs. Alliance) with all of the cross-faction groups and general rapprochement between Jaina and Thrall. By moving Thrall out of the Horde (and Garrosh in), and turning Varian into what he is now, plus adding strong Gilneas/Forsaken animosity, they've forced it back into more cross-faction hostility.
Varian is actually the real foil for Thrall -- he has a nearly identical backstory. His father was murdered in the first invasion, he was enslaved by orcs (which is weird -- that's entirely out-of-game, there was no hint in the Horde areas that orcs practice slavery pre-Cataclysm (no idea about post-Cataclysm)), forced into gladiatorial combat. Once he found out who he was, he returned to his throne and carried a deep-seated hostility toward orcs. (Note that the separation of his personality into two halves is novel to Varian.) However, they handled it differently -- Thrall was humbled and sought peace after being led into shamanism, whereas Varian burns with hostility.
Garrosh is equally flawed, but since Thrall's heritage was taught to him by Garrosh's father, one can accept a certain blind spot there. If Garrosh is as much his father's son, he will eventually learn.
Bonetti wrote:I think of them as more like the Klingons of Azeroth -- noble in their own, not very peaceful way, and not exactly primitive.
So orcs are basically commies?
Or vikings? (depending on who is writing that particular episode...
). Outside the Earthen Ring, I really haven't seen much that I'd consider "noble" out of the orcs. I think only their small numbers keep them from trying to wipe out everybody else.
I'm thinking primarily of the rehabilitation in TNG, specifically Thrall as Word, Garrosh as Kurn (Worf's reckless brother), and Rend Blackhand and his family as House Duras. It's stretching it a bit, but just as there's an admirable honesty and nobility in the Empire, so do I see similar traits in the Ogrimmar orcs.
(Curiously, I think the Orgrimmar orcs are clan free. Thrall was Frostwolf, but the clans were mixed in the internment camps he freed and used to build his Horde. This is distinct from the Dark Horde, which is primarily Blackrock clan and led by Rend Blackhand.)
Bonetti wrote:If I had more time, I'd write up a re-interpretation of Sylvanas, similar to the one of Jaina...
Sylvanas is likely falling into maddness. Her whole reason for existance was revenge against Arthus. Now that he's gone, what purpose does she serve? Hell, she might even begin to think of herself as the Lich KIng, if her mind starts to fall apart.
Nah. She's not that
dominating, and there's a real Lich King anyway (Bolvar stepped into that role on the slaying of Arthas -- without a Lich King, the Scourge cannot be controlled). I still see every move she's made as either freedom from Arthas' control or guaranteeing the survival of the other free-willed undead. Basically, the Scarlet Crusade couldn't tell the difference between the Forsaken and the Scourge. Lordaeron was nearly wiped out by the plague, and finished off when Arthas wandered down his evil path and slew his father. It was entirely undead at that point, all Scourge, until the then-Lich King weakened enough that Sylvanas freed herself.
The remaining intelligent Forsaken were, basically, a new race born out of genocide, and with the entire world hostile to them. Given the enslavement of the orcs by Mannoroth, the parallels were enough for Thrall to grant entry into the Horde while the Forsaken figured themselves out. The New Plague research was a mix of self-defense (multiple Alliance kingdoms surrounding them: Gilneas, Stromgarde, Alterac, pre-Wrath Dalaran, plus the Scourge on their eastern border and Scarlet Crusade killing them -- with no allies nearby) and a way to propagate the race. The Forsaken are doomed if they cannot convert others, and their survival depends on the ability to find a way to reproduce. While outside the faction, this is horrible (killing one group to turn them into another), if one is determined to safeguard one's own it is the only logical path for her to pursue. Sylvanas was a general guarding the Sunwell -- she failed, and Arthas enslaved her. She's probably pretty darned determined not to fail her "people" a second time.
That being said, the existence of the Forsaken is entirely the Elves' fault. If they hadn't settled near the Well of Eternity and tapped its power, the Burning Legion would likely never have invaded. That wrecked the world, tore the factions apart, slew many ancient protective spirits, and led to all three invasions: the Burning Legion during the War of the Ancients, the Orcs (who were enslaved by Mannoroth and turned into a fighting force to invade), and the Scourge (Archimonde's approach to taking Azeroth). So, personally, I consider them the most evil race on the planet, and thus it's clear the Alliance are the real bad guys, and the Horde are victims of circumstance