One of the most iconic moments in Warcraft’s history was Anduin Wrynn discovering his heritage on Mount Hyjal when he stepped into a pool of blood and found his birth certificate. The moment marked the beginning of Anduin’s transition from naive child to leader, making him one of Blizzard Entertainment’s strongest heroes and helping make them millions worldwide.
The first eight bosses of the Sepulcher of the First Ones raid’s Normal and Heroic variants debuted this week, culminating in the fight against Anduin Wrynn, in which we attempt to free him from the Jailer’s formidable Domination spell. We’ll look at the cinematic that plays after you beat Anduin Wrynn in this examination.
Anduin is being compelled to help the Jailer’s attempt to reshape reality using Domination magic. As time runs short to stop him, Azeroth’s warriors must choose between defeating the young king and saving the universe or risking all to restore his soul.
SPOILERS!!! There may be major plot twists ahead.
Finale of the Anduin Raid
The following cinematic begins after the conflict has ended.
Controlled by the Jailer
The brawl is still going on when the movie starts. On one hand, Anduin lashes out, casting Maw magic with Kingsmourne. Jaina, Uther, and Sylvanas, on the other hand, are on the defensive, with Jaina wielding a shield to defend herself from Anduin’s spells. Jaina’s face is filled with fear and concern. Anduin, on the other hand, has a blank look. His acts are not his own since he is ruled by the Jailer.
Anduin pushes Kingsmourne into the earth in front of him as the Jailer’s voice speaks through him, unleashing a surge of Maw energy. The technique is similar to the Empowered Hopebreaker spell he uses throughout the battle, although it seems to be harsher this time. Sylvanas dashes forward, shouting out his name as the Maw energy surges around him, but it’s too late. The Jailer orders Anduin to do his last mission: “Annihilation.”
Do you not comprehend, Jailer/Anduin? This one is a no-brainer for me. Anduin! says Sylvanas. Jailer: Complete your ultimate goal: annihilation. The destiny of everyone who wields my sword.
We can see how powerful the Jailer’s grip on Anduin is. As Kingsmourne tugs on him, the runes of Domination on his armor alight, and his face is visibly in anguish. He doesn’t appear to have a chance of Breaking the Chains against such power.
A light starts to fall over Anduin’s face as he struggles. Then, out of nowhere, a hand rests on his shoulder. The sword’s magical attraction seems to be fading. The music, which had been rising to a peak, abruptly shifts, with a gap in the intensity as a voice emerges. Anduin exhales deeply and turns to face the ghost who has shone a light on him.
Varian Wrynn: I’m talking about my son.
Varian Wrynn, his father, is calling.
Wrath of the Lich King homage
Two cinematics from Wrath of the Lich King are clearly referenced in this scene. The first is from the Wrath of the Lich King Cinematic Trailer’s very opening minutes. In this movie, we see Arthas as the Lich King, fully clothed in Domination armor and wielding Frostmourne, as his own father speaks the same words. “This is my kid.”
The second allusion is to the Fall of the Lich King Ending, which is the cinematic ending to Arthas’ eventual fall in the Icecrown Citadel raid. As Arthas lay dying on the floor, his father’s ghost emerged, standing over him in a pose similar to Varian’s.
Frostmourne, as we all know, was Arthas’ undoing. When Arthas took up this sword, he fell under the sway of Domination, which would ultimately lead to his complete corruption and transformation into the Lich King. Similarly, the Jailer has dominated Anduin with Kingsmourne, a comparable sword. This is “the destiny of those who hold my sword,” he said.
Frostmourne takes on Kingsmourne… and Shalamayne takes on Frostmourne.
The Jailer, on the other hand, does not seem to have properly considered how Kingsmourne differs from Frostmourne. While the Primus developed Frostmourne and the Helm of Domination as some of the earliest instruments of Domination, Kingsmourne was forged from a sword with a long and illustrious history: Shalamayne.
Anduin is still stunned as another hand drops on his shoulder, this time on his left, as his father reminds him of their sword’s history. He looks up to find the soul of Varok Saurfang looming over him, much to his – and our – amazement.
This sword does not belong in the darkness, according to Varion. It was formed by bravery. Varok: And by honor, as well.
Shalamayne and Varion
Shalamayne was once a pair of swords called Shalla’tor and Ellemayne, wielded by the two halves of Varian Wrynn who were divided in half by the Black Dragon Onyxia’s sorcery. Jaina Proudmoore was the one who gave him these swords. When the two Varians were reunited, the two swords merged into one – Shalla’tor and Ellemayne merged into Shalamayne.
Varian sacrificed himself for the Alliance during the Battle for the Broken Shore, fighting the Legion to death as the Alliance fled. Varian ripped his blade in half in his last combat.
Varian died, and Shalamayne’s two parts laid dormant until Anduin found them. Anduin found Shalamayne in the Alliance-only Legion questline and cinematic, What a King Must Do. When Anduin took up the blade, still grappling with his new role as King, a vision of Varion came to him, encouraging him and reminding him that he must do “what a King must.” The vision faded, and we saw that the blade had reawakened, and that Anduin was worthy of wielding it once again.
Shalamayne and Saurfang
Varok Saurfang was later handed two weapons to use as he prepared to fight Sylvanas Windrunner in Mak’gora. Anduin, who felt guilty for placing Saurfang on the road that led to this battle, loaned him Shalamayne, while Thrall lent him his axe Dra’gora. Saurfang, like Varion, split the blade in his last struggle, leaving a scar across Sylvanas’ eye that she still carries to this day.
Breaking the Chains
As a result, the souls of Varion and Saurfang unite to grant Anduin even more power as he, like them before him, splits Shalamayne in two.
Varion: Its and our legacies are still with you, even here. Varok: Now it’s up to you to complete it.
There are similarities to a past occurrence yet again. When Darion Mograine eventually broke free from Domination in Wrath of the Lich King, it was thanks in part to the spirit of his own father, who held the same blade as his son. The sword in that circumstance was the Ashbringer. New Death Knights that want to go via the original Death Knight Starting Area may still see the scenario.
There are various unanswered mysteries about Varion and Saurfang’s appearance. Varion was most likely slain by Fel magic, which possesses the ability to annihilate souls. Meanwhile, Saurfang perished when the Arbiter was shattered, and would have ended up in the Maw. So, how did they end themselves here? It’s unclear, but one thing seems to be certain: it has to do with their relationship with the blade. Varian had previously appeared to Anduin – at least in a vision – while Anduin was holding this exact same weapon.
There is a dazzling burst of light as Anduin pulls the blade apart, and then we discover Anduin has transformed. The amor of the Jailer is shattered on the floor in front of him. We see him morph as the Domination spell burns away, holding Shalla’tor and Ellemayne in his hands.
A solitary bright light hovers in front of Anduin. It’s the shard of soul that was inserted into Shalamayne in order for it to become the mourneblade Kingsmourne. Arthas is the remaining sliver of the former Lich King’s soul.
Anduin: Arthas, Arthas, Arthas, Arthas, Arthas, Arthas Is this all that’s left of him, Jaina? Uther: The last sliver of his damaged soul, suffocated in the Jailer’s forges.
The tunes have changed. When Arthas lay dying in his father’s spirit’s arms, the soothing tones of Invincible sounded. Sylvanas takes a step forward to examine the soul of the man who almost killed her. Her whole life had been consumed by her hate of Arthas and her desire for vengeance for so long. Her hate became all-consuming, and Sylvanas carried the memory of that hatred and the things it drove her to do with her long after he died.
Sylvanas: I don’t have a crown. There is no throne. There wasn’t even a soul left to pass judgment on. I despised you, pursued you, and became you with each selfish deed. That is my responsibility.
In Shattered Legacies, the cinematic that plays at the start of this week’s main narrative campaign, Sylvanas recognizes her own legacy – the responsibility of her own acts – by tilting her head towards Uther, a modest acknowledgement of how he helped her see that this was her only route ahead.
Wowhead’s Cinematic Analysis of Shattered Legacies has further information.
By this point, the music has subtly changed to Lament of the Highborne, a song not only closely associated with Sylvanas Windrunner, but also with the grief and loss of Elves killed in battle – such as the Elves who died alongside Sylvanas at Arthas’s hand… and the Night Elves that Sylvanas herself slaughtered so recently. Sylvanas has not been pardoned. She bears the weight of what she’s done with her, and she’ll still have to face the consequences.
Sylvanas’ narrative isn’t over yet, but Arthas’ is.
Sylvanas: However, your legacy is coming to an end. So, Arthas Menethil, get out of here. May your name slip into obscurity… and be forgotten.
It’s vital to note that Sylvanas never saw Arthas’ death and was simply enraged that her opportunity to see his demise had been taken away. She now gets the opportunity to see his near-total destruction. Arthas lacks a crown, a throne, and even a soul, yet Sylvanas’ visage is calm as she whispers these things. It’s sorrowful and gentle. Her voice isn’t gloating, it’s almost gentle, even though she’s urging him to get away.
Since the beginning of World of Warcraft, Arthas’ legacy has lingered over the characters. Sylvanas was developed by Arthas. Uther’s demise was brought about by Arthas. Alexandros Mograine and his son Darion Mograine were converted into Death Knights by Arthas. Bolvar Fordragon left his daughter orphaned so that he might become the next Lich King, and Arthas is the cause for it. Jaina’s heart was broken by Arthas.
As the last shred of Arthas that was left slips away forever in the last scenes of the film, Uther and Jaina drop their heads in silent grief for the man they once knew and loved.
Arthas is no longer with us.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Sylvanas say at end of cinematic?
A: Sylvanas says, When the Lich King comes for you, theres nowhere to run.
What happened to Sylvanas at the end of sanctum of domination?
A: Sylvanas was killed in the final battle against the Lich King and Arthas. She is nothing more than a spirit now, but she remains on our world to watch over us as we fight for life.