Fallen King - Chains of Domination Key Art
The upcoming patch, Chains of Domination has been announced accompanied by a spectacular piece of key art, Fallen King. Death Knight Anduin stands on a bridge leading to a Maw style tower, presumably Torghast. The smokey form of the Jailer hovers behind him. Chains drape from the tower. In the background, there are Mawsworn flying in the distance, an ever present but not imminent threat.
There is an awful lot to unpack in this image - so let's get right to it.
The image leads us right to the tower. The door is open. The chain motif on the bridge invites us to approach the doorway. We have a clear line of sight, straight to that doorway. But Anduin bars our way. As we know, Anduin has been turned to the side of the Jailer and has become a Death Knight just as Arthas was. He stands on the bridge looking offensively defensive, one of many contrasting concepts in this image, but also looks off-center, clumsy, like the sword is too heavy, like he is barely able to stand. A weak figure in a strong pose.
The Chains of Domination cinematic,
, shows us that the Jailer can "ride along" in Anduin, and take over his actions if he cares to. He is a puppeteer and Anduin is his puppet - and that is exactly what Anduin looks like on that bridge, a marionette with someone else pulling the strings (or chains). But there is something else that we know from that cinematic, and that is that Anduin, conscience intact, is still in his body and is able to break through and see what is going on. Perhaps he fought for that moment, perhaps the Jailer allowed it to try to use Anduin's conscience against him. Either way, we know that any part of Anduin that still exists is fighting tooth and nail against the Jailer's control. This is why the puppet is so awkward; the Jailer has to force every move.
Anduin is a cool blue figure on a fiery red and black background. Visually this makes him pop, but it also signifies that he is not the same as his surroundings, he is not part of this. His sword casts a glow on the bridge, blue on the dark surface. This confirms that his very presence is having an affect on the environment. It's a small effect, but it is there. Anduin is fighting hard.
An image of the Jailer hovers behind Anduin. He is not only the puppeteer, he is overshadowing Anduin, overseeing him. Unlike with Arthas, where a few prompts sent him on his path, with Anduin the Jailer needs to be a constant presence. At first he looks like a shadow, but if you really look at the picture, he is made of black Maw matter, the same black Maw matter or perhaps Death Magic that he used to control Anduin and bind the Kyrians in Elysian hold. If we are very lucky, Anduin will be enough of a distraction to the Jailer that we will be able to use that to our advantage.
In the Afterlives shorts that introduced the Shadowlands, the significance of cool colors symbolizing the past and warm colors leading to the future and the Jailer was fairly obvious. Here we are once again presented with warm colors being the way forward. In Chains of Domination we will cross that bridge straight into the warm orange colors of the Jailer's plan. Destiny awaits.
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