World of Warcraft lore is filled with many mysteries, so much that the internet has been buzzing with theories about Deathwing’s legacy in Dragonflight. Blizzard has brought some light to this dark process by shedding a few more clues into Wrathion and his plans for handling Deathwing’s legacy.
World of Warcraft’s chief story designer Steve Danuser expounded on Wrathion’s position in Dragonflight in an interview with Forbes.
Wrathion, the virtuous son of a legendary terrible dragon, returns as a major character in this expansion. Heather Newman: Unlike most of the other dragon characters, he was not featured in any of the expansion’s preview video. Has he evolved?
Wrathion will keep his attractive neer-do-well persona, but he may make some dubious decisions in the things he’s done through the years. Steve Danuser:
In dragon language, he is a young dragon with an uncommon origin. He was a hybrid of dragon eggs and other forces. He ate Lei Shen’s heart, which was filled with Titan energy. As a result, he has a unique backstory. He’s also one of just a number of black dragons remaining on Azeroth, according to Ebonhorn. So Wrathion goes out on his own adventure.
Wrathion is young in dragon standards, but he’s also young in human ones, as Steven points out. Wrathion born after the events of Cataclysm, the product of a red dragon-led endeavor to produce a cleansed black dragon egg devoid of taint. Wrathion made it obvious from the outset that he wanted to be his own dragon, free of both Deathwing’s and the Red Dragonflight’s influence.
No, says Wrathion. I’d want him to communicate with the red dragonflight. Tell them that I am free of my father’s craziness, and that I shall be free of them as well. I shall be left alone; this is my first and last warning.
Wrathion was similarly brutal right away, sending players on a series of missions to wipe off the Black Dragonflight’s last members, whom he considered as beyond redemption.
As you may be aware, Black Dragons regularly disguise themselves as humanoids in order to meddle in earthly affairs. While my insane father’s mansion crumbles around him, the few surviving Black Dragons have gone into hiding, adds Wrathion. But I can still feel them, adds Wrathion. If we let my cowardly brothers and sisters to remain in the shadows, they will inflict incalculable agony. Wrathion adds, “They are also a menace to me.” That’s where you come in, Wrathion says. I’ll lavishly reward you if you help us slaughter them all.
The Lei Shen Heart
Wrathion foresaw the return of the Burning Legion in Mists of Pandaria, and he began making measures to prepare Azeroth for the danger. Wrathion wanted the faction war to end because he thought a divided planet would be weak.
While Anduin Wrynn was recovering from his bones being shattered, Wrathion spent a lot of time during Mists cultivating a relationship with him, even though their worldviews fundamentally clashed, with Anduin perceiving Wrathion as too ruthless and Wrathion seeing Anduin as soft.
Eventually, Wrathion had players bring him The Lei Shen Heart – the Thunder King. In life, Lei Shen was a Mogu emperor who stole the power of storms from the titan keeper Ra. Lei Shen was resurrected by the Zandalari during the events of Mists of Pandaria, and was the main antagonist of patch 5.2.0.
When Wrathion ate the heart, which was still bursting with Titan energy, it had an odd impact, according to Steve Danuser. He slipped into a trance and even talked in a different voice for a brief while. Anduin, who witnessed the incident, was deeply disturbed.
Wrathion murmurs, “Ahh, the king’s heart.” Godlike abilities. What are you doing, Anduin Wrynn? Wrathion exclaims, “You’re not going to eat it.” It’s full of Titan magic, the language of creation… Oh, I see them – a million, million planets gleaming in their brilliance – but one stands out above the others – oh – WE HAVE FALLEN, declares Wrathion. THE FINAL TITAN MUST BE REBUILT. PLEASE DON’T FORGET. What are you attempting to accomplish, Anduin Wrynn? Wrathion declares: It has vanished. I have no recollection of any of it. Oh! They couldn’t recall anything. What an irony! What are you talking about, Anduin Wrynn? I don’t have faith in you. You’d be smart not to, Wrathion says. Champion, I need time to…”digest” what I’ve learnt, says Wrathion. However, we will act quickly.
Wrathion has been looking for the Dragon Isles since the Battle for Azeroth, but has yet to find them. We already know that this is due to the Dragon Isles’ isolation from the rest of the world, but that will change in Dragonflight.
Wrathion’s goal in Dragonflight seems to be somewhat different from his other pursuits. While Wrathion has always battled with Deathwing’s legacy, one of his first objectives involves purging the Black Dragonflight of corruption via devastation – sending us to slaughter its members. Wrathion now seems to be focusing on rebirth, resurrecting the Black Dragonflight from the ashes.
Heather Newman: In Dragonflight, what will he be up to?
Danuser, Steve: We know he’s been searching for the Dragon Isles, and he’s been looking for them for a long time, because he’s hungry. He gets the impression that he is a descendent of Deathwing, and that he must somehow atone for Deathwing’s shattered legacy and what it accomplished, decimating not just the black dragonflight but also other flights.
So Wrathion has the duty of resurrecting the black dragonflight from its ashes. He sees himself as someone who could seize the reins of leadership and steer it in the right direction. Now, that viewpoint isn’t likely to be held by all of the other dragons. They’d undoubtedly have concerns regarding his tactics, as well as his background and what it implies for him as a dragon. Wrathion has a long road ahead of him.
He’ll still be dashing and all, but we’ll get to see a far more intimate side of him as he wrestles with these concerns about himself and his dragonflight.