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Anne Stickney

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Know Your Lore: Warlord Grommash Hellscream

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Strength personified. That might be the best way to describe Grommash Hellscream, leader of the Warsong clan, trusted friend of Thrall, father of Garrosh Hellscream, and the orc who killed Mannoroth and released the orcish race from their servitude to the Burning Legion. Certainly all of those accomplishments under his belt might make Grommash sound like a shining example of exemplary heroism to some ... but in truth, that's only part of the story.

Still, the tales of his father's heroic death were more than enough to spur Garrosh Hellscream from listless would-be leader of Garadar to Azeroth. They were enough to light a fire that fueled his leadership of the campaign against the Lich King in Northrend. They were more than enough to fill Garrosh's heart with pride at the thought of a Horde war machine, one that he led with steadfast dedication as Warchief. But Garrosh's heart is the heart of a Hellscream, and another look at Grommash Hellscream's past shows that Hellscream's son is very much cut from the same cloth as his father.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: War of the Ancients - The Well of Eternity

I am pretty sure that War of the Ancients - The Well of Eternity is going to forever hold the record for the longest machinima we've ever featured on the site. I'm also pretty sure it's going to hold the record for one of the most extraordinary projects we've seen. Youtube user and machinima wizard Bloodlord001 is responsible for this epic saga, a retelling of the first novel in Richard Knaak's War of the Ancients trilogy. Clocking in at a little under two hours of story, this is definitely one of those films you want to sit down and watch -- but it's worth every moment, if you want to see Knaak's novel come to life.

And really, while this is an adaptation of Knaak's story and a good summary of how the first book played out, it's the machinima work that shines above everything else. Zin'Azshari is brought to life in stunning detail, each piece of kaldorei armor and weapons utterly astonishing in their complexity. Every demon, every character from the book is uniquely presented, with plenty of models that look as though they were built from scratch. The list of voice actors for the film should be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in machinima, and they do a wonderful job here.

The only minor complaint -- and it's really minor -- is that the subtitles could have used a pass from an editor. Still, it does very little to detract from what is obviously far more than a project, more like a four year labor of love. I do hope we see a continuation of the story, and the other two novels adapted as well -- hopefully with one monstrous production under his belt, Bloodlord can get the second one out a little faster. Grab some popcorn for this one.

Editor's note: Embedding appears to be malfunctioning at the moment -- click the header image to watch the video in full.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Warlords of Draenor: An evening as a treessassin

I really wasn't planning on doing anything in particular when I logged on the beta the other night -- just some exploring and some garrison work as well as hunting down fishing gear for a needy troll death knight. But while wandering around Nagrand, I happened upon an unfortunate scene -- a Petrified Ancient standing on top of what appeared to be a handful of orc peon and human lumberjack corpses. Upon further investigation, this wasn't a mob I could just attack and kill. It was, however, a mob I could ask my Lumber Mill crew to cut down.

Maybe this was a bad decision. But hey, I'm the commander of this Alliance force on Draenor and they have to do what I say, so why not? I found out why immediately after the poor sap I asked to chop the tree tried to complete my order and was promptly confronted by a very angry and not-quite-as-petrified-as-you'd-think Ancient. It wasn't until I'd killed the incredibly angry tree that I discovered not only was this Ancient more than he appeared to be, but I was about to embark on what just might be the weirdest quest I've ever done in WoW.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Gnomelords of Draenor

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

You guys can blame ScottLeyes for this one. It's all his fault.

Bruin asked:

Does Garrosh's Jaw look a little like Deathwing's jaw in the Cinematic? I assume that's the remnants of Y'shaarj?

Nope! The tattoos are a Warsong thing -- his father had them as well. Garrosh had his done in the novel The Shattering, after Thrall appointed him Warchief and left Orgrimmar, just before Cairne confronted him and challenged him to the mak'gora that ended his life. Fun fact: When Cairne threw down and demanded the duel, he punctuated it with a full-out backhand across Garrosh's freshly-tattooed face. Ouch.

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Filed under: The Queue

Warlords of Draenor: Zone music highlights for Nagrand, Spires of Arak

The Warcraft Twitter account tweeted not one but two pretty cool items of interest yesterday, for those that are fans of Warcraft's music. Zone preview selections for both Nagrand and the Spires of Arak have been made available for listening. While Nagrand's theme is suitably idyllic for the green rollings hills and waterfalls in the zone, it's Arak's preview that is really a standout. I'm not even sure how to describe it, because I haven't heard anything quite like it in Warcraft before. Of course, we've never really seen anything quite like arakkoa civilization before, either.

Both previews are snippets of what players will find on the Warlords of Draenor soundtrack, which is part of the physical Collector's Edition package along with a host of other goodies. Give both tracks a listen, and while you're at it, make sure you're following Warcraft's official Twitter account -- they're apt to post plenty more cool surprises as we wait patiently for the next expansion's arrival.


Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Kargath Bladefist character page added

Blizzard has added a new page to their Characters of Warcraft lore section on the official site, just in time for the launch of Lords of War. This time, the focus is on Kargath Bladefist, Warlord of the Shattered Hand and the first orc to be featured in the new web series. Along with a little summary of just who Kargath is, there's a little background on the Shattered Hand as well -- not just their origins, but how they operate on Draenor today.

In addition, there's a cool new wallpaper featuring Kargath doing what he does best and slaughtering an ogre in an arena. It's entirely likely we'll see new warlords added with each new episode of Lords of War -- although I'm still holding out for a page featuring Maraad, or Kargath, or even Yrel. Check out the page for more information on Bladefist and his clan -- and keep your eyes peeled for more from the lore team as preparation for the expansion's release continues.


Filed under: Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Recruit death knight Abu'gar for your garrison

Sometimes, death knights aren't all about death, destruction, and cold. Sometimes they really just want to kick back and reflect on what's important in the world -- fishing. Well, at least one death knight would rather be fishing, and his name is Abu'gar. Abu'gar was never exactly thrilled with the idea of serving the Lich King, he just wanted to spend his undeath relaxing by the side of a warm lake. You can find Abu'gar out in a lovely secluded glade in Nagrand, contemplating the water, the scenery, and the fishing conditions, all of which seem to be pretty idyllic as far as the death knight is concerned.

But unfortunately, he's missing a few key items to take advantage of the awesome fishing spot he just found -- and that's where you come in. Scattered around the zone are the various tools Abu'gar needs to get a fantastic day of fishing in under the warm skies of Nagrand. Apparently Abu'gar is the forgetful sort, or simply neglects to pick up his things when he's moving on.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Garrison stables are no joke

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

Sometimes I think about how weird it must be to have hooves and ride around on an animal that also has hooves. Imagine if horses had feet like us, only four of them. Wouldn't that weird you out just a little?

Welcome to Saturday. Let's get to the questions.

Jalamenos asked:

If you could choose one minor character currently in WoW to be used in a future patch or expansion and be fully voice cast, who would it be and who would you like to voice him/her?

Lorna Crowley. Bring in Billie Piper and make her a sass monster.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: What did you think of Lords of War?

Along with Thursday's cinematic reveal, we got the first episode of Lords of War, a new animated series from the same crew that brought us The Burdens of Shaohao. I have to admit that the reason I was excited about this expansion wasn't just the potential for draenei lore -- which I'm completely in love with on the beta so far -- but the addition of backgrounds and history for all the assorted orc clans found throughout Warcraft. These clans have always had evocative names, but little depth in terms of how they got those names, or how long they'd been around.

The teaser trailer only got me more excited, because we're finally going to get some background on orc clans we knew very little about. Durotan was covered pretty well in Rise of the Horde, but this is a different Draenor we're visiting, and his story may be a little different as well. However, we know next to nothing about Grommash and Kilrogg -- both were briefly mentioned in Rise of the Horde, but how they rose to power was never really addressed. It's new lore, and I always appreciate that.

What did you guys think of Lords of War? Are you looking forward to the remaining episodes? Were you hoping to see more of the storytelling methods used in The Burdens of Shaohao? What kinds of stories do you think Blizzard should animate and tell next? What areas of lore do you want to see fleshed out?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: Garrosh, Gul'dan, and Warlords of Draenor

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Who is Garrosh Hellscream? And what, exactly, is his game? In the end, what is Garrosh ultimately looking for ... and what will he sacrifice to get it? It's one of those lingering questions from Mists of Pandaria that remains as of yet unanswered, but we're beginning to see the bits and pieces of the story, and we'll see more as Warlords is released and the new expansion's story unfolds. For now though, that question still plagues players -- what is Garrosh after? Why did he spurn the idea of warlocks in Siege of Orgrimmar, going so far as to have them strung up in the streets, yet embrace the methods of the dark shaman?

Garrosh isn't a character that can be easily understood. His motives -- and his morals -- seem to be all over the place, switching from merciful to merciless in an instant. And yet he's not the only piece to this puzzle -- in Warlords of Draenor, Gul'dan is already showing his face as a pretty prominent figure. Obviously Garrosh Hellscream knew of the Legion's evil when he traveled to this alternate Draenor -- he knew of his father's downfall. So why is Gul'dan still alive? Why wouldn't Hellscream, upon traveling to this alternate Draenor so similar to his own, flat out murder Gul'dan on sight and be done with it?

Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains several spoilers for Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor