The recent Shadowlands launch cinematic was, in my opinion, one of the best CGI cinematics Blizzard has ever made. We will delve into the interesting lore details of it soon. But first, I have to admit that this cinematic raised the quality of cinematics to another level. We are familiar to Blizzard’s CGI works but this one really looks like a movie trailer.
The cinematic had different vibes from start to end as well. Most of the community said that they got Vanilla & TBC WoW vibes, while that’s true, it reminded me the trailer of Starcraft 2: Legacy Of The Void as well. Probably due to the scenes for Maldraxxus and The Ardenweald, looked really alien. Coupled with the overall color palette, it reminded me LOTV trailer, much more than the old WoW cinematics.
“Behınd the veıl”
The first thing to notice in the cinematic is the emphasis on the term “The Veil” and the contrast between how The Archon and The Jailer describing it. But before we get into that, I want to point out to another detail. The term veil, which refers to the realm of the dead, the other side and such, has been specifically used by a boss from the past. None other than Shadow-Lord Iskar himself, who was an Arakkoa Shadow-Sage before being ” corrupted” by The Legion and Gul’dan. The Arakkoa is a race that can see through the veil, the very veil has been hidden from our eyes from the beginning of time. Throughout Warlords Of Draenor storyline, you could witness how The Arakkoa could pass through the veil and back through special potions. And Iskar clearly mentioned The Shadowlands when he said;
So, the Arakkoa race was already pretty much aware of The Shadowlands and considering its obvious connections between to The Burning Legion it becomes really interesting to think what Gul’dan revealed (or lied ) to Iskar to convince him. Also what was the role of The Eye of Anzu in that scheme?
So, let’s get to the main point. The Archon describes what lies beyond the veil as The Shadowlands, where every soul has been placed to their covenant locations by The Arbiter fairly. You “deserve” Kyrian? Go to Bastion! But oh, do you threaten the balance of The Shadowlands? Cast him into The Maw! But Zovaal’s point of view is severely different from hers. For him, what lies beyond the veil, what was supposed to wait for you in the afterlife was The Maw, not the Covenant zones.
From what Zovaal said, I get that The Maw was the true afterlife, there was enough room there for every soul in the cosmos. But something, someone destroyed it and Zovaal has been chained to the place. But he -ehm- invites you to The Maw. Maybe to show us what was truly happened both to him and The Maw. Because that place was not always called The Maw, it had a different name we do not know yet. So, Zovaal claims that the true afterlife is The Maw, not The Shadowlands, which may be the prison built above it.
” THE JAILER WAS THE JAILED ONE”
Now, probably the biggest “reveal” of this cinematic for most of the community was witnessing how The Jailer was chained to his place. As if it was a new revelation. The thing is, I have said that long before as you can see above. Because it was implied a bit during the Feature Cinematic. But after The Primus literally said it 3 months ago, it was really surprising for me to see how the community reacted to it. I take it most of the community either ignore the details or prefer to avoid spoilers – which is fair enough- as much as they can.
I also believe the cinematic showed us how Zovaal has been chained to his place as well. The runes scattered all around the room was what keeping Zovaal in check. There are two possibilities for how they were keeping him there:
- The runes were a natural part of his body as you can see he has the runes on him as well. So the other Eternal Ones ripped the runes from his body and scattered them all around the place to keep him in check.
- The runes have been first scattered around him, then have been forcefully placed on his body to stabilize him. Also, those chains may have incapacitating effects upon him as well. Think about Frostmourne here, which had the ability to imprison souls. So, with the same logic, the runes may be the key to keep him imprisoned until now.
The last thing to point out here is: How powerful is this guy? There are eight gigantic chains (on the screen) coupled with mystical runes were used to imprison him. Ignore the fact that he has been feeding upon countless extra souls for a while, I believe he has been “stealing” souls from the rest of the realm for a long time too. My little theory is: He had contacted with either Kil’jaeden or Sargeras to work together. I have already said this countless times.
But what if they had some kind of a soul-pact as well? Imagine this, what if the souls of every mortal killed by The Burning Legion were going straight to The Maw instead of being judged by The Arbiter. Maybe that was the reason he has been banished after all. Made a pact with a Titan, meddled with the conflict of the ”mortal” races, started a war against the other cosmological forces. Maybe that is exactly why he was banished.