Friday, August 31, 2018

Warbringers: Azshara

Last week Blizzard released the final Warbringers video, this one focusing on Queen Azshara:

It's a great video, and does an excellent job of showcasing Azshara's arrogance, and how that trait is almost admirable. The portrayal of N'Zoth is also also very well done, creepy and effective.

I've mentioned before that one thing I enjoy in movies and other media is a good introduction of a villain. This dual introduction of Azshara and N'Zoth is one of the better ones I've seen, revealing both their characters and establishing their power with beautiful efficiency.

One criticism I've seen on the forums is that N'Zoth "outplayed" Azshara, and didn't actually give up anything of value. I think it's best to think of these magical bargains as binding on both parties. If Azshara had made the first bargain, she would have been a literal slave, unable to disobey N'Zoth. Instead she successfully bargained for both power and free will, a triumph indeed.

Ranking the Warbringers video, Jaina's is definitely the best. Azshara's comes in second, and Sylvanas's is last by a wide margin.


  1. Did you catch on to Darin De Paul voicing N'Zoth? He manages to sound quite different really, but the chuckle around 2:48 definitely had me going "Valkorion!", hehe.

    1. I didn't notice until you pointed it out, but that chuckle is definitely Valkorion's. I wonder if it is harder to change one's laugh than one's voice.

  2. I don't think she got anything, but did get played. N'Zoth had a 1,000 years to learn her weaknesses, with the big ones of being her massive ego and need for adoration. N'Zoth needed her and her followers to be its army, so it was always going to change both. It just let Azshara believe she had an upper hand because manipulating her ego to think she had a chance or position of power is such a strong handle.

    Also, N'Zoth transformed her and her people. There's no way an Old God would transform someone without putting in various 'hooks' to control Azshara. Azshara might have some leeway on small things that the N'Zoth doesn't care about, but when push comes to shove, N'Zoth will have the upper tentacle of direct control.

    1. Perhaps, but I prefer to think that Azshara is a free agent. She could turn on N'Zoth if she wanted to. Of course, N'Zoth knows her weaknesses and can manipulate and flatter her. But I think it's a much better story if he cannot magically control her.

  3. I liked this movie the best by far, probably because Azshara is relatable, while Jaina is not. She is caricature whose life is a cycle of doing good and get punished for it without ever getting any wiser. If she deviates, only does so out of emotions (like grief over Theramore)

    Azshara looks witty who can turn a complete disaster into a new start. Quick thinking, doesn't panic under pressure and what matters most, her people lived (even as nagas). Anyone followed Jaina into her misfortunes died, leaving her all alone on her flying magic ship.

    I would take Azshara both as a friend and as a ruler of my country over Jaina in a heartbeat.

    Sylvanas is just bad, destructive and dumb, making unenforced mistakes. At least Jaina only failed to protect herself and her people from outside evils, while Sylvanas lead them into trouble.