Characters discerning the New Lich King's identity?

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Lansiron
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Characters discerning the New Lich King's identity?

Postby Lansiron » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:16 pm

So Jeni and I were discussing this earlier; however, I'm still wondering...

The post-ICC cutscene (which everyone may view, spoiler-warning free, by clicking on the plaques on the statue that's now in the middle of Dalaran) establishes that Bolvar Fordragon, still all tingly from his cleansing shower of Alexstrazsa-bleach, volunteered for the job of holding the Scourge in check and canonically now sits upon the Frozen Throne.

It's entirely possible that future game content will expand on what happens with him there, but for now, the main question is: is it justifiable for characters to discern who the new Lich King is?

Consider this: Any character who goes through the Halls of Reflection will have witnessed the exchange with Uther about the Scourge needing a Lich King to keep it from becoming an even more mindless destructive force than it already is. Furthermore, the very opening exchanges in ICC have Bolvar revealed to be alive (so to speak, anyway, and delivering an admirable up-yours despite Arthas' continuing efforts to "win him over"). Tirion points out that rescuing him will be a prominent objective.

I've not witnessed any real events surrounding the final battle, though I have a clue what takes place during the course of it, but I assume that's not the last time player characters will see/hear Bolvar.

I would conclude that any reasonably intelligent person, assuming they weren't too caught up in the fight to pay attention to the dialogue, could deduce Bolvar's ultimate fate, despite his insistence to Tirion that he "must be forgotten", and Tirion's subsequent tight-lippedness. It seems almost too easy to come to--and that's not even counting the fact that Death Knight characters might still possess some form of intuition regarding the will behind the unholy power that continues to hold them together (though that part is pretty debatable).

Anyway. Thoughts?

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Shaila
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Re: Characters discerning the New Lich King's identity?

Postby Shaila » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:44 pm

As that cutscene takes place at the end of the Lich King fight, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume the characters present would know of it?

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Re: Characters discerning the New Lich King's identity?

Postby Chrystenise » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:09 pm

From the way the cutscene takes place, I'd think it safe to say that only two people know of Bolvar's fate, that being Tirion and Bolvar.

All sorts of deductions and rumors can be made by PCs, but as no one else was there to see it, it's safe to say that no one really knows.

Welcome to Blizz furthering their lore without having to credit specific players, ala Illidan. =)

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Threnn
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Re: Characters discerning the New Lich King's identity?

Postby Threnn » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:18 pm

I'm extremely reluctant to go with it.

The short answer: our characters having that knowledge sort of kills the dramatic intent behind Tirion and Bolvar's final exchange. There's this powerful scene, and then we're all running around afterwards going "Winkwink nudgenudge, we know what really happened"? It just feels to me like it takes something away from it.

Longer version. Poking around the interwebs, I'm pretty sure the last time any players actually ever see Bolvar in-game is during his death at the Wrathgate, unless you get to see the "Tortured Champion" vision during the Yogg-Saron encounter. I haven't seen it myself, and if it's on youtube, my search-fu is failing. I'm guessing he's going to look like the burned-out husk you see in the post-Arthas Dalaran cinematic, though. Not sure if there's anything that specifically identifies him as Bolvar during the vision, though, so I'd defer to someone here who has seen it. So, if your character saw that, would he/she recognize the fighter as Bolvar? I'm not entirely convinced of that. I mean, what we see in the cinematic really doesn't look like him, either.

He has his one yell as you're starting out in Icecrown Citadel, to which Tirion and Saurfang say "The paladin still lives?" in response. If there's any further discussion of Bolvar, I haven't seen it yet, and I can't find any references. Someone who's seen further in than I have can correct me.

So, is it possible to deduce that Bolvar's still alive when you're assaulting the Citadel? Yes. It's pretty much confirmed by Tirion and Saurfang. But as far as I can tell, that's the last time he's mentioned in the instance. Wow.com did a profile on Bolvar that talks about his whole life, up 'til and including the ICC stuff. It mentions the yell when you first start pulling trash, and then the ending after Arthas is dead. I think the Horde and Alliance probably drop the whole "working together" thing when the gunship battle happens and they're shooting cannons at each other. But it sounds like there's nothing else in the instance about Bolvar between that first yell and the cinematic.

Are the connections you're making plausible? Possibly. I'm not sure how much of a leap it is to go from Uther's "there must be a Lich King" to "Bolvar is the new Lich King." If Tirion's coming out of that room saying Bolvar's dead, what grounds would your character have to call him a liar?

Would our characters be inclined to speculate on Uther's warning in HoR? Certainly. I can see people sitting around wondering why the Scourge haven't fallen apart or gone absolutely batshit crazy and killed everything, and wondering what Uther meant by his warning. I think that actually might have been a conversation in IC once or twice, truth be told. But coming out and saying "Oh, yeah, it's totally Bolvar"... I don't like it. I know conspiracy theories and wild speculation happen. I participate in them all the time about plotlines in my favorite books/tv shows. (Hell, one of mine was even right regarding the fourth Dark Tower book...)

When it comes to absolute knowledge of the new Lich King's identity, though, I can't help but feel like it's kind of a Sue-ish thing to claim. Suspecting that something happened in that throne room that Tirion's not talking about? Sure. Knowing what that thing was? Not so much. It's just as plausible to believe that he spent that time in there taking a few moments to mourn the losses of people he'd loved and respected, and that, since as far as we know no one volunteered to be the new Lich King, that some unknown evil's probably making its way through the nether to take up the mantle. It's just a matter of time before it shows up.

Again, the cinematic shows just Tirion and Bolvar standing there, not the rest of the raid. Bolvar tells Tirion to spread the word that the Lich King is dead, and Bovlar died with him. Which, to me, says that Tirion comes out of that throne room alone and tells the troops exactly that. Now, if people want their characters to drop him a knowing wink, that's their prerogative, but eh. For me, it diminishes the end of the story. If Blizzard had intended our characters to be part of the big cover up, then they'd have put Tirion there to talk to after an Arthas kill, and he'd say something like, "You must never tell anyone what you saw here today" when you clicked on him, or he'd deliver the speech to the raid as a whole. ("The first rule about Bolvar is, you don't talk about Bolvar.")

But they didn't. Their ending has Tirion and Tirion alone knowing the truth, and that's gotta be a hell of a weight for him to bear. Storywise, I really like that decision. Figure, we were suggesting in the other thread that's it's way more than 25 people going up against Arthas. Even a mere twenty-five people would be an awful lot to trust with keeping knowledge that devastating quiet. That whole "three can keep a secret if two of them are dead" thing.

Something else to consider: Jaina doesn't know. Sylvanas doesn't know. Why would we?

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Re: Characters discerning the New Lich King's identity?

Postby Shaila » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:22 pm

I thought the cinematic takes place in the very room you fight the Lich King in. I mean, you see his body right there at the beginning of it. I figured the only reason the players aren't shown in the cinematic is well...there's really not a way to do that.

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Re: Characters discerning the New Lich King's identity?

Postby Chrystenise » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:25 pm

Shaila wrote:I thought the cinematic takes place in the very room you fight the Lich King in. I mean, you see his body right there at the beginning of it. I figured the only reason the players aren't shown in the cinematic is well...there's really not a way to do that.


They could easily add in a pile of stock people in the current tier armor, since everything pretty much looks the same, to make up for that. Wrathgate had all sorts of extras hanging out as well. I believe they personally want the secret to stay, however, for something awesome further down the line.

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Re: Characters discerning the New Lich King's identity?

Postby Bricu » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:26 pm

Threnn wrote:I
Are the connections you're making plausible? Possibly. I'm not sure how much of a leap it is to go from Uther's "there must be a Lich King" to "Bolvar is the new Lich King." If Tirion's coming out of that room saying Bolvar's dead, what grounds would your character have to call him a liar?




Even Bricu, who is on record as saying that Malfurion Stormrage was the greatest con man of all time (in his role of bringing druidism to the night elves) would be hard pressed to call Tirion a liar.
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Shaila
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Re: Characters discerning the New Lich King's identity?

Postby Shaila » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:28 pm

They could, but I don't really take them not doing that as them telling us we weren't there. Isn't everything we see ingame supposed to be from our characters' perspective? I mean the entire point of the game seems to be having a life in Azeroth, a part in all that happens. It's as much a world of its own as it is a story.

I just don't really see why our characters couldn't keep the secret as well. I understand the hesitance to make them that in the know, but...aren't we kind of important anyway by this point in the storyline? Even at the beginning of this expansion our characters arriving in Northrend was seen as a big morale booster for the troops, as said by a few npcs.

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Re: Characters discerning the New Lich King's identity?

Postby Bellesta » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:31 pm

Threnn basically said what I was thinking.

One big thing to consider, and I ask this because I'm actually not sure;
Do our characters know how someone becomes the Lich King? Would they know you need to put on the helmet/sit on the throne etc? Would that be widespread knowledge?
I think it's already widespread enough that the scourge needs a king, but I would actually prefer to see a lot more 'character theories' than 'Hey guyz bolvar is the lich king.'

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Re: Characters discerning the New Lich King's identity?

Postby Bricu » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:39 pm

Shaila wrote:They could, but I don't really take them not doing that as them telling us we weren't there. Isn't everything we see ingame supposed to be from our characters' perspective? I mean the entire point of the game seems to be having a life in Azeroth, a part in all that happens. It's as much a world of its own as it is a story.


At Wrathgate, technically, our characters are not at the battlefield . They're overlooking the battlefield from their perch. Yes we're there, but the POV of the movies is not our characters. It is a separate cut scene.

I just don't really see why our characters couldn't keep the secret as well. I understand the hesitance to make them that in the know, but...aren't we kind of important anyway by this point in the storyline? Even at the beginning of this expansion our characters arriving in Northrend was seen as a big morale booster for the troops, as said by a few npcs.


When Tirion speaks, people believe him. You can speculate, of course, that it is Bolvar, but that would mean you don't believe him.

It is just as plausible that the Scourge are going to war against themselves, ala the Zerg after the death of the Overmind. That powerful Deathknights and Banshee's and Vyrkul are warlords vying for control.
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