In World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, one of the most striking and dramatic progression races has come to an end. Although it did not last long, we saw a tense battle between the European guild Echo and the American Complexity Limit, managed to hate Blizzard and forgive the developers for everything, because they gave us the main thing – a good story … But no, they didn’t. Sylvanas can be kind again, Arthas’ cameo failed, and Kel’Thuzad died in 22 attempts. What went wrong in the Sanctuary of Dominance raid and why was the die-hard Sylvanas brought to her knees? I’ll tell you in this article.



I usually don’t care about the anti-spoiler policy – almost always unwanted content is easily recognizable by the title. However, in this case, less than a month has passed since the start of the content, which is rather difficult for single players, so beware, plot spoilers!

Everyone talks about Sylvanas … but who is she?

First, let’s dive into the past and remember how the story of the main antagonist of Shadowlands began. Sylvanas Windrunner – dark lady, banshee queen, leader of the Forsaken … The number of titles that this elf gets from addon to addon may soon surpass the list of nicknames Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. Blizzard made Sylvanas one of the key characters in current events in the World of Warcraft universe, but, in my opinion, she could not work a miracle – the queen’s storyline is not devoid of self-repetition of the scriptwriters, the heroine’s motivation sometimes suffers, and the wow effect as a result of the final battle with her in there was no Shadowlands raid.

Let’s go back in time, in the days of green grass and a good favorite of the majority of the plot of the Warcraft universe. Windrunner Quel’doreika was the middle sister of the family. Over time, she became a Pathfinder and, thanks to her talent and leadership skills, rose to the rank of commander-in-chief of all High Elven forces.

Fan art by Ranger Sylvanas Windrunner. Author: @lidcarter

The life of a good general is closely connected with battles, and the whole tragedy began during the Third War. Then, behind Sylvanas’s back, there was already the Second War as the leader of the army – there her trackers fought against the Horde in the Eversong Woods. The next conflict turned out to be more extensive: in Quel’Thalas, the home of the Windrunners and other long-eared ones, the Scourge, a brainless undead under the control of Arthas Menethil, invaded.

Not every battle can be won. Death Knight Arthas defeated Sylvanas Windrunner and, instead of granting death, turned her into a banshee slave. The elf’s tenacious spirit, blue blood and the hatred she felt for her tormentor eventually made her the first elite banshee in the world of Warcraft. And although for some time she did not control herself, carrying out various terrible orders of the Lich King, as soon as the power of the villain weakened, Sylvanas was able to break free. And to get a very sexy (especially for the undead) body, it should be noted.

The former life of a general of the Elven Rangers now could only dream of her, although, blinded by her thirst for revenge on Arthas in particular and the Lich King in general, she did not even think about returning to normal life. In addition, in Azeroth, to put it mildly, they dislike undead, even the powerful, so Sylvanas took the path of least resistance: she gathered around her the Forsaken, that is, the intelligent undead, and began to rule over them like a merciful queen.

For a long time, World of Warcraft players encountered Sylvanas only when they needed to look into the dark Undercity. There, in the ruins of Lordaeron, she just stood, almost not appearing in the WoW story quests. As it turned out, all this time the elf was hatching a plan of revenge, accumulating anger and drinking poison. And, probably, she went to a magic gym, otherwise where did so many stunning spells come from in her arsenal?

Blizzard's Russian-speaking fans named Sylvanas from WoW as their favorite female character
Blizzard’s Russian-speaking fans named Sylvanas from WoW as their favorite female character

Favorite waifu or a good PR campaign?

My main gripe with Sylvanas ‘line is that prior to Shadowlands’ release, it was simple, straightforward, and fun. – and it won over fans all over the world. In patch 9.0, Blizzard continued to escalate, ostensibly preparing players for the climax, and eventually fit the question: “What drives the Dark Lady?” in ten seconds cinematics. She will not serve, she is not like that.

Is revenge for her own death Sylvanas’ only motivation?

Blizzard may have already come up with a cool storyline, after which I admit my own wrong, but at the moment Sylvanas seems to me frankly insipid. She looks cool and knows how to make pretentious speeches, both in front of her own army and face-to-face with other characters, but this is where her coolness ends. What motivates the heroine from the perspective of an ordinary Azeroth hero?

In Shadowlands, Sylvanas is shown as a woman who knows what awaits her at the end of such a devastating journey. Back in the days of the BfA, when she shouted “For the Horde!”, It seemed as if she was pursuing some goal – a majestic, important, multifaceted. As a result, it turned out that the heroine had no motivation, except for the already sore mouth: revenge for her own death. Perhaps the fact is that I did not die, but I cannot share his pain with the character, sympathize and understand the motives. Yes, Sylvanas is spectacular – that can’t be taken away. But for so many years trying to keep up with the ghost of the past, literally breaking a hole in the sky and ending up, if not in hell, then in purgatory, in order to eventually arrive in the Dark Lands with all people at once? Too high a price for Azeroth for one elven ass. There is no honor in this.

Blizzard is not going to kill Sylvanas in WoW - they are preparing a
Blizzard is not going to kill Sylvanas in WoW – they are preparing a “big story” for her

The developers were not initially going to kill Sylvanas – apparently, soon she will have another meeting with Tyrande, and now they will be able to “talk heart to heart.”

Although who cares … Good will win again, and even a morally gray character we will only dream about. Judging by the final cutscene, Blizzard wants to fully justify Sylvanas Windrunner: an elf without a part of her soul could not walk the path of light. After all, this is how the final cinematic can be interpreted, what do you think? Here they are, the footage of Sylvanas on her knees! I’m sure this pose was not chosen by chance.



Perhaps, for me, his short storyline in the “Sanctuary of Dominance” raid was the most coherent. We saw how the leader of the Horde, who did something stupid and got into the real hellish heat, confessed to us: he would do it all again. And only because of this, he did not surrender to the tormentor.

I think by now everyone is convinced that Sylvanas is not Garrosh. Because Hellscream had better targets and better enemies. And he died with the words Azeroth needed – “For the Horde!”.



First victory over Mythic Sylvanas:

  • the boss was killed before the end of the first week of the progress race;
  • players needed 176 attempts;
  • the decisive battle lasted 14 minutes and 22 seconds;
  • players managed to finish the battle without dying.

Echo Raid Squad | Sylvanas First Kill on Mythic difficulty | World of warcraft

To be fair, I note that the owner of Castle Nafriya, Sir Denatrius, was also not included in the list of the most difficult final bosses in World of Warcraft. It took players only 142 attempts to kill him, but the penultimate boss, the Generals of the Stone Legion, held the fighters for much longer than Kel’Thuzad in the Sanctuary of Domination. At the time of publication of the article, Garrosh from Mists of Pandaria (638 attempts, Method, 10/01/2013), Kil’jaeden from Legion (654 attempts, Method, 07/16/2017) and Uu’nat from Battle for Azeroth (731 attempts, Pieces, 05/03/2019).

Art on the main page: Eddy-Shinjuku.