Clearly, if you couldn’t tell, and I wanted to write it down otherwise I feel like I might explode from emotions. This entire cinematic was beyond beautiful. Blizzard really went above and beyond in the artistic department - everything looked so damn -real-, which took my breath away. But the main thing that really struck with me is the fact that you can clearly see Anduin’s personality in this moment. So please excuse me, but there’s a lot of pics and a long opinion below the cut.
When we first see him, he’s got the lion helmet on, looking all badass. Even after he’s knocked off his feet, he gets back up and proceeds to go after the troll who tries to kill him, granting us this amazing image -
Looks like he’s channeling Varian to me. He’s standing all, big and trying to be imposing. And almost immediately after, they focus on his face, going from this -
- to this -
Look at him. Look at that face. This isn’t a life-long trained/skilled warrior. This isn’t a battle-hardened paladin who’s fought for years and years. This is a child, a teenager (WoWpedia says seventeen, and we all know how Blizzard is with lore, but it does sound about right), who has been shielded from the harshness of actual war for most of his life. War is brutal; war is dirty and cruel and this world has seen it constantly. And I don’t know how much time will have passed from Legion to this expansion, but regardless.
He looks so sad, almost out of place and worried, and just…-scared-. Like the sudden realization of what he’s in the middle of, of what he’s leading here - not Genn, not his father, him. He’s the one who’s leading the armies of the Alliance, thousands of soldiers against an army equally as powerful. Stormwind and the Alliance could fall in this moment and it would be his fault. And I think it all comes at him at once. This is what his father was talking about, it’s what he was trying to protect him from.
But this is Anduin we’re talking about. This isn’t a warmongering character, we all know how much he would prefer to solve things peacefully, and (I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Blizzard doesn’t totally and completely butcher his character of course) it must have been something to drive him to this point. Look - His mother died when he was a baby, his father was gone most of his life and was only around for a few precious years before he was killed, his ‘aunt’ Jaina has been MIA until lately and Velen is who knows where. I’m hoping we’ll get an answer to that between then and now, but my point is this - Anduin, High King of the Alliance, leader that everyone looks to for guidance and support, really doesn’t have a support system himself. He doesn’t have anyone he can really depend on. The only one who’s been shown to constantly be around is Genn, and whether for good or ill, I suppose it’s something, but it’s not enough. He’s probably been struggling to keep things together for a while. I doubt he’s been eating or sleeping much.
And what does he do, surrounded by death and destruction of hundreds of lives? We see that looks around the battlefield in a moment of calm and is clearly distressed by it.
It’s in this moment that I think he really shines, no pun intended. We know what his father would do in this situation, we know what other characters would do. But Anduin is different, it’s what makes him so special in this game. He looks at his father’s sword, a sword of legend no less -
You can see the confusion, the uncertainty, the self-doubt even now. Shalamayne responded to him yes, but you can absolutely see him still coming to terms with it. He still feels like he isn’t worthy of it. “I cannot do this father. I can’t be the hero you were. I can’t be the king you were…”
And no, he isn’t. That’s what I love him. He’s his own man, finally able to step up and make his own imprint on history. Because of that, I think it’s important to note the imagery of him throwing the sword back down -
Something about this really strikes me not only as beautiful but incredibly moving as well. There is some very deep in this shot. He’s beginning to accept the fact that no, he isn’t his father. No, he isn’t a warrior. That isn’t his path. What does he do instead, then, when surrounded by injured and dying soldiers? Do what he does best, of course -
Heal. Resurrect. Anduin has had an affinity with the Light that few have had before, especially humans. We know this and it’s really beautiful to finally see it in such a wonderful cinematic. I think it’s really touching that if you look closely you can even see tears in his eyes -
We know from lore that Anduin has resurrected his father before, which is something that happens so rarely in canon. Casting such a spell for one person would be difficult enough, but an entire army? That’s practically impossible. We also know that for a character to channel such a spell for a long period of time takes a lot of stamina and strength. It’s exhausting. But he doesn’t give up. He doesn’t stop to take a breather. He stands tall with the rejuvenated army surrounding him once more.
“Stand as one!”
Which just hearkens back to previous cinematics, I think.
“What am I supposed to do now?” “What a king -must- do.”
“For the Alliance!”
What I find most interesting is that he doesn’t say ‘For Azeroth!’ like his father in the previous expansion, he says Alliance. Which makes me wonder just what has happened to cause all of this.
The point of all this rambling is this - Anduin Llane Wrynn has been underestimated both by other characters as well as players for too long. Many people call him names for wanting to find a peaceful way to solve problems and for some reason that’s a bad thing? I don’t understand it, but I’m so happy and proud to see him standing alongside us on the battlefield. This boy does not get enough credit and I’m glad they finally have let him do something amazing. He is much stronger than I think even he realizes, and I would love it if people would finally give him the love and recognition he deserves.
Anduin is too good for this world and we don’t deserve him.
say what you want about rick and morty but there’s a scene where two characters beat up a neo-nazi, a schoolyard bully, a member of the westboro baptist church, and an animal abuser in rapid succession as dmx’s x gon give it to ya plays in the background so