Blizzard has released another of its always impressive cinematics for World of Warcraft, doubling down on the excitement built from yesterday’s World of Warcraft Classic release date announcement. The “Safe Haven” cinematic isn’t for World of Warcraft Classic, however, though it’s certainly a nostalgic affair. The new World of Warcraft cinematic is part of the ongoing story within the Horde, a path between the current Warchief Sylvanas and a former Warchief who once more finds peace out of reach.
The Warchief in question is, of course, Thrall. He’s perhaps one of World of Warcraft‘s most famous characters, first appearing in Warcraft 3. He was last featured in the Legion expansion where he passed on the Doomhammer to Shaman player characters. He was burdened by guilt and shame over the Horde’s failures against the Legion and the death of Zol’Jin. With his Shaman powers bereft of him, Thrall walked away and hasn’t been seen since.
In “Safe Haven,” Thrall’s been found once more. Saurfang, who once led the combined forces of the Horde and the Alliance, is now openly in opposition to Sylvanas. He finds Thrall in Outworld, where the ex-Warchief has become a farmer in the region of Nagrand. As made clear in the cinematic, however, Thrall’s life in Nagrand isn’t stable. Nothing that grew in Outland really is.
Where Saurfang and Thrall go from here, only Blizzard (and dataminers) know. But to see Thrall shift that giant axe onto his shoulder is bound to reinvigorate a Horde disillusioned by Sylvanas’ ongoing war efforts against the Alliance — and against Azeroth itself.
It’s been an odd time for World of Warcraft since Battle for Azeroth‘s launch, with the Alliance’s most iconic characters front and center yet the Horde’s ex-Warchief hidden from sight. Some have said Thrall took a break in part due to the real-life retirement of his voice actor, co-creator of Warcraft Chris Metzen. It seems like even Metzen can’t escape the call of the Horde for too long.
World of Warcraft is available now on PC.