It is so awesome to finally get confirmation on a part of Azshara’s past that had been long speculated by the community, and hinted at by Blizzard! It was very different from the Jaina and Sylvanas Warbringers videos in that both of those have elements of current events rather than just the past. By now, a lot of people have learned about Queen Azshara and why she’s so important in Warcraft lore but it is great to finally see events published by Blizzard that are definitely canon. Azshara is one of my all-time favorite Warcraft characters, and through her I learned about the story of the Highborne and history of Night Elves as well as the Burning Legion. In case you don’t know about Azshara or why she’s important, I’ll explain!
Way back in history, before Night Elves even existed, a group of Trolls had found their way to a large, mystical lake of scintillating energies. Eventually these Trolls had learned to manipulate the energies of the lake to create magic. After creating a civilization around the lake, referred to as the Well of Eternity, the Trolls’ physical features began to change, and from them evolved the Night Elves. The Night Elves were close with nature and worshiped the goddess of the moon, Elune. However in time, some Night Elves renounced Elune in favor of higher arcane understanding. They became obsessed with using the Well’s energies for greater and greater purposes. These Night Elves became known as the Highborne.
The Highborne were the upper caste of Night Elf society and, in their arrogance, looked down upon all those other Night Elves who weren’t a part of the nobility. Azshara was one such Highborne who became queen and leader of all Night Elven civilization. She shared the opinion of other Highborne in their thinking that they were superior to the others. Queen Azshara was loved by her people for her mastery over magic and her beauty. Azshara was born with bright golden eyes, a trait that Night Elves say predict a great destiny. She was incredibly gifted in magic, and is said to have used her magic to increase her beauty even more, in order to make her people love her that much more.
Azshara was vain, narcissistic, arrogant, and cunning. When the Burning Legion was drawn to Azeroth through the Highborne’s use of magic, she saw an opportunity for greatness. She made a deal with Sargeras, Lord of the Burning Legion, in exchange for even greater power. Many of her Highborne followed her blindly, probably unaware of the full truth of the bargain that had been struck. However many Night Elves fought against her in the War of the Ancients, notably Tyrande Whisperwind, Malfurion Stormrage, and Illidan Stormrage. In the war, where the great Ancients of the forest were called upon to help protect Azeroth, the Well of Eternity was ultimately imploded in order to cut off the onslaught of the demon invasion. We can see what happens after the Well is imploded in the Warbringers video, where Azshara makes a deal with the Old God, N’Zoth. And, for ten-thousand years, Azshara has been under the sea with her Naga building her empire.
So why is someone so obviously evil one of my favorite characters? Because she is not simply evil, but a complex character with good and bad qualities. It is not likely that she cares very much for her people, save for the fact that a ruler needs people to build an empire. She had no problem letting N’Zoth turn them into Naga and become slaves to both his and Azshara’s will. Yet they still love their queen, which means that they are still enamored with her in a way that suggests magic. Azshara is the same person that she has always been inside: a monster. And with the help of an Old God, now she looks the part too.
Yet she is also shown to be very intelligent and cunning, like in Warbringers where she refuses N’Zoth’s initial deal. She is a queen, not a slave. I loved that whole scene of her telling N’Zoth what the deal is, because it is so her. She is strong and doesn’t back down from what her vision is. She wants power and a massive, eternal empire where she will always be on top. That, to me, is what makes her such a good villain. Ever since I first learned about her I knew I wanted to face off against her in a raid, and was increasingly frustrated when they teased us with bits of lore, but no new story. When the Well of Eternity Heroic dungeon came out in Cataclysm I was so happy, and I loved the dungeon, it just wasn’t enough! Hearing about her at Blizzcon 2017, where they finally announced Queen Azshara as a raid boss, was awesome. And, if I wasn’t excited enough, Azshara’s Warbringers video came out and blew me away.
While it will be sad in a way to finally defeat Azshara (as far as I know), it always had to happen. Her reign must come to an end, and when it does it will be quite a significant day for my Night Elf Hunter, as well as Night Elves everywhere. Because of Queen Azshara meddling with powerful forces like the Burning Legion and the Old Gods, much has happened to Azeroth that could have been avoided.