MAJOR SPOILERS: View if you don’t mind being spoiled.
Unlike MoP before it, WoD was rejected from the moment it launched last Fall. It immediately replaced MoP as “The worst Expansion ever” by the outspoken masses on the official forums, MMO-Champion and elsewhere. Look, I’ve been around since The Burning Crusade. The current expansion is always “The worst one ever”. That’s just the way it is. Most of the people saying it actually started playing WoW in TBC or WotLK while the rest are unsubbed scrubs who swear to hate WoW but lurk on the forums, fansites and the PTR. I’ve made so many blog posts on the subject so I won’t beat that dead horse again.
Anyway, let’s focus on the video itself. I’ll preface this and say unlike most folks who grief over it, I don’t have a problem with Blizzard retconning the lore to make certain things happen. The whole alternate universe version of Draenor from 35 years ago in WoD is one massive retcon some are now saying –more so with the release of Hellfire Citadel’s ending cinematic–was done just to bring back the Orc Warlock Gul’dan and possibly Grommash Hellscream.
For those who forgot or don’t know their WoW history, in the original timeline Gul’dan was the one who brought the Legion to Draenor and led to the Orc’ enslavement by the Legion. Grom was also the first Orc to drink Mannoroth’s blood, sealing the Orcs’ fate. The Orcs’ story in Warcraft III and WoW up to Burning Crusade was their redemption story. Some people like ridicule Thrall due to his prevalence in WoW from Cataclysm on but to say he was instrumental in the Orcs’ liberation from the Legion can’t be overstated:
He led the initial Orc revolt from human enslavement prior to the start of Warcraft III, freeing the Orcs. Guided by Medivh, he led his people and their Troll allies across the sea to Kalimdor where the Orcs formed a blood pact with the Tauren. It was there the Horde was reborn under Thrall, Cairne and Vol’jin. They would be joined by Sylvanas Windrunner and the Forsaken prior to the start of WoW. Thrall led the Horde through the events of Vanilla and brought his best friend Grom Hellscream’s son Garrosh back to Durotan in The Burning Crusade. He then gave the son of Grom the opportunity to prove himself during the events of Wrarth of the Lich King, making him Warchief while he focused on healing Azeroth during Cataclysm. He came back to deal with Garrosh in MoP since the Horde was falling apart and finished him off in WoD.
…Which brings us to this guy: Grommash Hellscream, the Warchief of the Iron Horde.
It’s no secret Grom and Gul’dan never liked each other. In WoD’s opening cinematic Gul’dan says after Mannoroth is dispatched “This was not our destiny.” As Garrosh said to him in response, times change. We find out during the preview video for Tanaan Jungle Gul’dan wasn’t just hiding from Khadgar and the Draenei: He’d been preparing for his takeover of the remains of the Iron Horde. During Gul’dan’s absence, he found out Garrosh was Grom’s son (different timeline but prettymuch same as Thrall and Durotan) and used that knowledge to catch Grom off guard. Gul’dan then takes command of the Iron Horde and orders the remaining Iron Horde forces on Draenor back to Tanaan Jungle.
In the preview video for Hellfire Citadel, Grom puts his stock in the heroes from Azeroth who had originally come to stop HIM. Fast forward to the above video. Grom is shown standing with Durotan and Yrel. This is where two swerves most won’t pay alot of attention to the first time they watch the cinematic.
The first is Gul’dan getting rage-banished to the Twisting Nether by Archimonde. This confirms for many this was the real point of WoD: To bring back Gul’dan. In the original timeline, Gul’dan is ripped apart by demons in the Tomb of Sargeras after raising it from the sea. Illidan uses the Skull of Gul’dan (which my Warlock has, LOL) to amplify his powers, triggering his transformation. It is also worth nothing Ner’zul was the first Lich King in the original timeline. Of course, Ner’zul is killed by a team of heroes from Azeroth (Player Characters) on Draenor the second time around. It’s probably a safe assumption Gul’dan will fill a similar role.
The other–the more important–is what Khadgar says at the end: “Gul’dan and the devils [The Legion] he serves are not so easily banished. I fear this is only the beginning.” Blizzard also said there’s “more story to tell” after 6.2. I doubt we’re done with Draenor just yet!
…I view 6.2 post-raid as breathing room for the Iron Horde, Yrel’s People + Alliance and the Frostwolf Clan + Horde. Most people are focusing on the fact Grom is shown standing with Durotan and Yrel post-raid and jumping to the conclusion “Oh, so Grom’s a good guy now?!” That’s not what the conclusion I drew from the video. When Garrosh first came to Grom he showed him a vision of what happened to the Orcs who drank Manoroth’s blood in his timeline.
Fast forward to WoD’s opening cinematic. After 1-shotting Mannoroth, Grom said “We will NEVER be slaves! But we WILL be CONQUERERS.” He was clearly referring to The Legion. On this, Grom is on the same page as Yrel’s people: The Legion are a much bigger threat than the armies of Azeroth as far as he’s concerned. Things will pick up again in 6.3.
I could see things (The Lore) going one of two ways personally:
- Grom recalls the Iron Horde forces remaining in Tanaan Jungle (not much of a Jungle by the time we go there lol), Gorgrond and Talador to Nagrand to reform the Iron Horde. He declares the Iron Horde is far from finished and launches simultaneous invasions of Frostwall and Lunarfall–the footholds established by the Horde and Alliance after they destroyed the Dark Portal. Alliance players will travel to Frostwall while Horde Players will travel to Lunarfall. Grom wants to prove his Iron Horde is the only one that matters and decides to take out the Draenei and the Frostwolf Clan and their allies. After dealing with the Iron Horde in Shadowmoon Valley/Frostfire Ridge, you travel to Grommashar Hold in Nagrand to take on Grom personally.
- Just when it looks like there will be peace, Gul’dan shows up only this time he’s brought the full might of The Legion with him. He tells Grom, Yrel and Durotan he came back to settle things with them and this time, he’s playing for keeps. He then summons Kil’Jaedeen, who says this time the Orcs will be punished for their defiance and the Draenei will be exterminated. Gul’dan then tells Grom he should have willingly accepted Mannoroth’s gift when he had the chance and now his fate is sealed. It is then revealed Grom’s prolonged exposure to Fel Energy in Tanaan Jungle is making his skin turn green. Grom declares he would sooner die than allow the Orcs to share his fate and leaves to prepare. After The Legion is dealt with, Grom declares there is one final task you must complete: Slay him…if you can.
The latter feels more likely to happen to me personally. The first would usher in the biggest content patch since WotLK as it could add 2 dungeons and a raid to the game. The dungeons being Battle for Frostwall/Lunarfall and Siege of Bladefist Fortress/Karabor with the Raid being Showdown in Nagrand. The latter option just adds another tier of raiding with Gul’dan’s Revenge.
…Of course, this is all just speculation on my part so don’t read into it too much XD