Reports from World of Warcraft’s public test realm have confirmed the return of one of the Horde’s most beloved and storied heroes: Thrall.
Thrall was the main protagonist of the Orc campaign in Warcraft 3 and a character of great significance within Warcraftian lore. The son of Durotan, Chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan, Thrall served the Horde honourably for many years as Warchief – before abdicating his position to join the Earthen Ring, a shamanistic order dedicated to restoring balance to Azeroth following Deathwing’s antics during the Cataclysm expansion.
[BEWARE! SPOILERS FOR WORLD OF WARCRAFT: RISE OF AZSHARA FOLLOW!]
Blizzard are currently testing content for patch 8.2: Rise of Azshara, whose plot largely centres on Queen Azshara and N’zoth, one of Azeroth’s Old Gods. However patch 8.2 will also progress the narrative with regards to the Horde’s current internal power struggle. One of the quests included in the tests is a rescue mission where you will be sent to aid Baine Bloodhoof, a leader of the Horde, who is in danger of being executed by the Horde’s current Warchief: Sylvanas Windrunner.
This daring rescue takes place in the dungeons of Orgrimmar, allowing players to revisit areas they have not seen since 2013’s Siege of Orgrimmar raid. During the course of the mission the player will encounter NPCs from both the Alliance and the Horde – with Jaina Proudmoore and Mathias Shaw appearing for the Alliance, and Thrall and Saurfang for the Horde. Initially wary of one another, it is Thrall who convinces the teams to work together to save their mutual ally.
This is the first time anyone has seen Thrall since he disappeared during the Legion expansion back in 2016. There are even theories that he could once again take up the mantle of Warchief. During his past time as Warchief of the Horde, Thrall helped to establish the city of Orgrimmar. He also aided players in chasing his successor, Garrosh Hellscream, through time in Warlords of Draenor – losing his connection to the elements in the process and vanishing into the wilderness thereafter.
It is unknown at the moment exactly how Thrall returns, and how he and Saurfang come to be a team, but I guess we’ll just have to wait for Rise of Azshara to go live to find out.