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11-23-2008 @ 6:52PM
Hmm. One possible explanation is that, though Arthas' actions here were terrible, they were nonetheless necessary. If he hadn't culled Stratholme, the Scourge would've been a bit bigger, which could well have tipped the balance at one battle or other. As cruel as killing innocents was, he was essentially right that there was no other option.A slightly more "out there" theory is a kind of alternate history of what might have happened if we don't intervene...After Prince Arthas announces his intention to cull the innocent civilians of Stratholme, Jaina and Uther leave in horror, refusing to participate in such monstrous actions. But Arthas was too late - before he can make significant headway into the population, they become undead, and he is swiftly overwhelmed and rent limb from limb. Horrified and guilty at leaving her ex-boyfriend to die, Jaina isn't exactly at the top of her game later - maybe she decides to stand and fight the Scourge rather than sailing west, or maybe she just gets killed due to her distraction in a later battle. Without Jaina, the Burning Legion wins the Battle of Mount Hyjal, if it even gets that far.Another possibility is Uther... shamed by his abandonment of his former pupil and prince, Uther vows to see the Undead Scourge stopped in Arthas' name. He goes a little too far... and ultimately ends up becoming a much more dangerous Lich King than Arthas is.
11-23-2008 @ 7:38PM
I'm inclined to agree with Danel... what if it had been somebody else who merged with the Lich King, instead of Arthas? Before his fall, Arthas was not among the top tier for most powerful characters in the game. What if, denied the chance to merge with Arthas, Ner'zhul sought out another corrupted hero to join with? If Illidan, already powerful after his consumption of the Skull of Gul'dan, took Arthas's place, we would have had a far more dangerous Lich King than the one that currently exists.
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