Well, what a week we had! I’m sorry for being a bit late as the patch was actually announced in a period where I had to deal with lots of school work. Now I’m a bit free, I have so much to cover, ask, and answer!
I was expecting a cinematic like some others but I did not disappoint what we have given. It was really immersive into story details and Blizzard clearly stated what they wanted to do with Zereth Mortis. We have lots to cover, so without further ado let’s dive in!
Eternity, The Serpent and Eternity’s End
So, I have watched the developer preview 15 times already and I did notice something.
Doesn’t it feel like to you as well that The First Ones were “gone”?
Like, they have created the base foundations for the afterlife and they seem pretty obsessed about the cycle. Remember the chart of the Broker? If that represents the point of view of The First Ones, it’s all about the cycle of Life and Death. With an emphasis on Ouroboros, the snake which devours its own tail for all eternity, what they wanted to achieve was actually create “an endless loop of life and death”
For example, why was the symbol used in the chart not a Phoenix if it’s all about the cycle of death and rebirth? Not only they wanted to preserve the cycle of death and rebirth but they also, somehow, wanted to make sure that it should always devour itself in the end, then begin anew.
“Eternity devours itself!“
Why are they so obsessed with this cycle so they created a workshop to make sure the cycle continues? Man, there were FORGES OF AFTERLIVES during the developer interview. And according to what Steve Danuser has said, their function is to forge and “prepare” a soul to be sent into the Shadowlands.
So, when you die, you actually end up in that giant cube, be forged and then sent in front of The Arbiter. Not only does this demonstrate Shadowlands is not actually “the true end”, but it also reminds me of something really, really disturbing. The fucking Human Fields from The Matrix Universe and the humans that put into sleep inside countless… pods.
What Happened to The First Ones? Where are They? Did They Abandon Us?
But while The First Ones seem to put so much emphasis upon the proper cycle of life and death and order, where are they? What happened to the First Ones? Are they dead? They have been killed by their own creations?
Zereth Mortis feels really like an “abandoned” place, left in the caretaking of the creations of The First Ones. Considering they are robotic beings (AHEM AHEM) I’m sure those creatures in Zereth Mortis make sure the “true” machine of Death works properly. But, why would you leave your precious workshop?
Maybe they have been betrayed, attacked and destroyed by their own creations? It is not a far-fetched option because this “creature kills/defeats its creator” is a common theme across the fantasy and mythology universes. How The Protoss attacked the Xel’naga and made them abandon the Protoss. Or just like how the Gods of Olympus have overthrown the Titans in Greek Mythology.
The other option is… well that The First Ones have been trapped in a place which none escape. The Void, you know and if you have been following me for at least a month, you would have heard about our First Ones being actually Void Lords theory. That is still an option that they have been trapped inside The Void. It’s a theory that is definitely worth checking out when you have free time!
Or they simply left and abandoned us after they made sure the system they built is working like… ahem, ahem… a clock? Did the Clockmaker Ion Hazzikostas mention take them to his side after their work is done? To watch over the reality “from the outside”? Just like the Outer Gods from the Lovecraft Universe. Who exists outside time, space and the universe so they know all. And they have actually been “locked outside” of the Universe.
Or did they retreat “the source” just like The Architect in The Matrix? A place “outside” the system? Again, maybe The Clockmaker took them into its side to watch over reality from ” the outside”.
Why doesn’t The First Ones Even Try Stopping Zovaal? And why “Death was never meant to be chained”?
So, Zovaal’s goal was to unchain “Death” but what is that “Death” after all? Has it been chained down by the Eternal Ones and Zovaal wants to break its chains? If that is the Cosmological Force of Death itself, then one of my older theories comes into play. The real, actual “Death” is darkness, it is The Maw. And the rest of it has been hidden away behind the veil, the rifts you enter in Korthia! The Eternal Ones, coupled with the remnants of The First Ones, The Light, Order and Life created this veil to imprison Death and the grim reality of our universe. Check out the articles below!
Death was never meant to be chained and never meant to be imprisoned inside Shadowlands and Zereth Mortis? He said when he gets 5 sigils into his hands, we would see. And it seems the “key” he is after is hidden, inside The Sepulcher. To free the First Ones may be? OR..
He sees himself as “Death” itself and he was never meant to be chained. And now Death is unchained and pursues a path for revenge from those who have chained him down via Domination Magic. The boring and more linear option.
But this leads me to question, if Zovaal is so, SO CLOSE to unmake the system The First Ones have built, why do they not interfere at all?
The first option is:
They are trapped, dead or they have abandoned us just like how I have speculated so far. So they cannot stop Zovaal’s uprising.
The second option:
I will sound like I’m repeating myself but they have retreated to “The Source ” just like “The Architect.” And they simply don’t give a damn about Zovaal.
Because they know that no matter if he will succeed or not, they would simply “recover” their simulation/prison after Zovaal’s“ “victory”. Just like how the simulation in Matrix cannot actually be destroyed at all.
What is The Deal about Azeroth and Zereth Mortis?
Now, one of my followers has mentioned me on Twitter to take a look at this theory. I guess you all have heard about that already but let’s share it here. The theory comes from WoW Reddit.
First I have to say that this is a good theory. But there are parts I do and don’t agree with.First, I have actually mentioned Azeroth has been labelled as “Reality” in Warcraft Chronicles almost 2 years ago, so I was aware of this and built my theories upon that fact. It is possible that Zereth Mortis can actually be inside Azeroth but has been shrouded by the Veil I spoke of countless times. Also, yes the “Azerite like” river behind Zovaal is a thing. But here is what I say about Azeroth.
Let us listen our old friend N’zoth first, shall we?:
“She is not the last but the first. Drown her and you will see.“
So, there is a clear problem about Azeroth actually being a First One all along. The Chronicles told us Azeroth was a Titan-World Soul right? That is why The Titans cared about the planet, and strangely she is described as a Titan with immense power. It is true The Titans are godlike beings, but they are not even as powerful as The Eternal Ones.
So, what if Aggramar thought he heard the “song” of a dreaming Titan but that was actually a First One, just like how N’zoth mentioned? Think about trolls, they tend to classify creatures they cannot understand as “Loa”. So, why not if Aggramar made a mistake and thought the creature he heard was a Titan? Which may actually be a First One? “The song of creation”.
As the Warcraft Devs said, The Automatons, the race tasked to look over the workshop of The First Ones uses a musical language. And at the moment we are sure The First Ones uses a unique language based on symbols and vocalized as music. So in this sense, it would actually make sense of Elune being Azeroth theory. And I have theorized about that months before as well.
So, considering what Zovaal said at the very beginning of the expansion “Death comes for the soul of your world! All that you see! All that you know will be undone!” And looking at the color palette of the river in the room he stands, inside The Sepulcher, I would not be surprised if Azeroth turns out to be a First, maybe THE LAST First One?
Or, Zovaal may use the power he would wield to free The First Ones from their imprisonment?
So, that is my first impressions about the lore of the upcoming patch.Thanks for reading! It may seem like I’m constantly switching from one theory to another but that is not true. I still believe in our First Ones/Void Lords theory but as a theorycrafter, I can’t be bound into one single theory as the story progresses. The more lore hints we get, the more options I think about what would come next so all I do is asking questions, seeking answers and sharing everything I have in mind with you.
Otherwise I may end up like a certain content creator who has stuck to a single theory for years and gained his entire fame thanks to it. And when his headcanon proved wrong again and again, he went on full toxic mode and ended up abandoning the Warcraft community while cursing everyone who is a part of it. He always was a perfect example for “how not to be as a Content Creator” so, I rather not be stuck in a single theory and go full toxic mode if it turns out wrong.