Patch 9.1 Interviews Hint at Fates of Sylvanas and Nathanos
With Chains of Domination coming this week, Blizzard has conducted a series of interviews on the new patch. While some answers recap the Patch 9.1 systems for unfamiliar players that have taken a break from WoW, several questions touch upon the fates of Sylvanas and Nathanos. While the developers naturally won't give away major spoilers in an interview, they drop a few hints that are interesting for some last-minute speculation before 9.1!
, Game Director Ion Hazzikostas strongly implies that we won't see the last of Sylvanas after the Sanctum of Domination raid, where we encounter her as the final boss.
“It’s a heavy burden on the shoulders of our narrative team, of our encounter designers, to deliver something that's been years and years and multiple expansions in the making,” World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas says. “Getting the chance to face off against a figure of her stature, people are going in expecting a lot.”
Sylvanas is one of those rare World of Warcraft characters whose history goes all the way back to the real-time strategy series, where she was first introduced in Warcraft III. Sylvanas has gone through so many changes and been involved in so many major and sometimes shocking moments that her motivations and fate have become the thing of long and drawn out discussion amongst the WoW community.
“The encounter that has been crafted at the end of the Raid - I think it's epic,” Ion continues. “It’s on a scale that exceeds the vast majority of what we've ever tried to pull off in past Raids. And there is a combination that I can't spoil, but I am looking forward to seeing the community discuss and dissect as they try to figure out what's next for her. And what's next for the Shadowlands as a whole.”
Having Sylvanas show up as the final boss in 9.1’s big Raid is something born from the nature of World of Warcraft’s biggest confrontations. “When we're contending with these major figures, characters who are at a power level such that no single adventurer could ever hope to stand against them, it's going to require the combined might of a Raid to push the narrative forward,” Ion says. “And through them, as it were.”
Using language like "what's next for her" hints that she'll play a role in future patches, which makes sense as a
long-awaited Sylvanas novel
is on the horizon, which should provide much-needed context for her mysterious actions. And thinking back to the Battle for Azeroth Warbringers cinematics, we've already fought two of the protagonists, Jaina and Azshara, who have survived their encounters, so it makes sense that Sylvanas' story would also continue beyond the raid.
Nathanos Blightcaller, Sylvanas' most-loyal ally, has also been surrounded in mystery recently. When we last encountered him in the Shadowlands pre-patch, he seemed content in defeat, as death would lead him to the Shadowlands and back to Sylvanas. But we haven't encountered Nathanos in Shadowlands at all, not even in datamining, so his story remains untold.
asked Principal Narrative Designer Steve Danuser about Nathanos' absence, and was given this reply (loosely translated via Google Translate):
"You're right, you haven't seen what happens to Nathanos and it's intended. A reference to this plot takes place in one of the cutscenes which has yet to be released, but when the Chains of Domination update rolls out next week, then there will be a few revelations about why Nathanos has yet to be seen alongside Sylvanas. "
Based on this reply, it looks like Nathanos' path back to Sylvanas hasn't been as smooth as expected, which might complicated things!
While the rest of these two interviews don't have a ton of new information for players following along with every PTR update, it's still nice to hear the content described by the Warcraft team directly, so they're worth checking out. And for more information, you can always check out
Wowhead's own Patch 9.1 guide
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