Why Sylvanas Is Not Garrosh but Illidan Instead?

After Sylvanas became a very offensive Warchief during War Of Thorns, most of the community united in a single voice and shouted ” Garrosh 2.0, Evil Warchief!!!” Until some point, this argument made sense, as Blizzard themselves scattered the breadcrumbs. Sylvanas’ disagreements with her advisors, training her special force- dark rangers- beneath Orgrimmar or -just like during Pandaria- an uprising within the Horde against the Warchief.

But, some out-of-sight crucial details were implying that Sylvanas’ ideals would dwarf Garrosh”s ideas. Alex Afrasiabi himself -who is writing Sylvanas’s story for years- pointed out that “Sylvanas would see Garrosh as an amateur”


Although he is the son of the legendary Grommash Hellscream, Garrosh should not be compared with Sylvanas at all. Why? After all their personalities and ideas were completely different. During Garrosh’s reign, they had a serious conflict. As Garrosh disgusted Sylvanas’s methods for creating new Forsaken. He cursed her and left, but their feelings against each other were mutual.

Garrosh’s biggest goal was to create a Horde formed by Orcs only. After it, his Horde would rule Azeroth and crush any stands against them. In his Horde, there was no place for any other races.

As we see Sylvanas” motivations aren’t even close to Garrosh, she never used a divider language within the Horde. Despite she always mentions Forsaken is her people, she never put Horde into the point only Forsaken” Horde. And no, her conflict with Saurfang during Battle Of Lordaeron was not a speech of hatred or something. Agree with me or not, Saurfang’s first concern was to die on the battlefield with honour and all the Horde soldiers. Let’s look at what Sylvanas said to Saurfang on this topic:

Honor means nothing if you die Lord Saurfang. You have the luxury of underestimating death, but it is something which I’m intimately familiar. Maybe you don’t care if your people die so long it is honourable, But to me, this Horde is worth saving.”

Yes, I paraphrase the first line on purpose. To make Sylvanas’ message clear. I respect the legendary Horde warrior Saurfang but, what is wrong to lure Alliance into a trap instead of letting more Horde soldiers die? I agree she resurrected her own soldiers to fight against the Alliance during the battle. And this brings us what Sylvanas said Garrosh before:

Garrosh: “What is the difference between you and the Lich King now?
Sylvanas: Is it not obvious Warchief?. I serve the Horde.

Another argument to invalid this stupid comparison lies in the War Campaign storyline The chance for choice. During Garrosh’s reign, all of Horde players had to be a part of the uprising. In the canon lore, not any hero of Azeroth could stand with Garrosh.

But during Sylvanas’s reign, players had the chance to stand with their Banshee Queen. Not all the players forced to join the uprising against the Warchief. Players who wished to see the “evil woman’s side” could experience it first hand as a loyalist. While Garrosh’s storyline was one-sided, Blizzard gave the player the chance to explore Sylvanas’ motivations and ideals. But as I see, this message had not received from the majority of the player base as I still see this ridiculous comparison. I experience the Horde storyline from both sides, first with Saurfang, then Sylvanas. And anybody who wishes to understand the whole story of BFA has to play all 3 different sides., including Alliance.

How the hell I know Sylvanas cared for the Horde in her own standards? After the failed attempt of assassination to Saurfang during 8.1, I approached Sylvanast as a loyalist. And she said ” We won’t let anyone know your role in the matter about Saurfang. You must stand as a hero in our people’s eyes” And, I’m not sure how Zandalari players paid attention but, Sylvanas cared for King Rastakhan and Zandalar’s well being. Please pay attention to this. The reason why Sylvanas resurrected Derek was to take vengeance of Rastakhan being killed.


Remember Illidan Stormrage? The guy who has been shown to us during Warcraft 3, a power addict, made a pact with Kil’jaeden so became a demon himself. The Illıdan was so close to black. How about Burning Crusade? We killed him as the final boss without much of a proper reason or backstory.

But, first with the novel Illidan, after the details at Chronicles Volume 3, Blizzard successfully re-shaped our perception of Illidan. They turned him from a power addict into an Anti-Hero. His purpose was to stop the Legion once and for all and protect Azeroth. For these reasons he consumed The Skull Of Gul’dan and allied with Kil’jaeden, to get better knowledge about Legion’s inner workings.

After defeating Maghteridon, Illidan seized Outland as a fortress for his own campaign against The Legion. The reason why he overfed Orcs with Maghteridon’s blood or dried the waters of Zangarmash was to bolster his army. They were necessary sacrifices for the grand scheme. As he said; ” For there is no sacrifice too great if its to put an end to The Burning Legion”. Illıdan had to slaughter his own subjects to defeat the gigantic infernal during the War Of The Ancients. And what answer did he give to Kur’talos, who found his ways of acts merciless?;

What would you have me do, Kur’talos? Simper and nod to our new Legion overlords, as they turn our world to ash? My mages died saving our world. What have you given? What have you sacrificed?”

During our invasion to Black Temple, Illıdan once considered to explain us his real motivations. But instantly gave up the idea. What difference would it make? In the best occasion, we would try to convince him like Kur’talos did and slow him. Or as a more likely scenario, we would not understand his goals and fight against him anyway. Illıdan was aware neither Alliance nor the Horde would understand what he was trying to do if he tries to explain them, so he at least tried not to be slow down. Reminding anyone?

So there it is. The Illıdan who shown us from Warcraft 3 to Legion was a simple power-hungry evil character. But now we know he was, in fact, an Anti-Hero, close to grey rather than black. Blizzard convinced us such a way that we all accepted it.

Sylvanas is aware of how both The Alliance and The Horde are dwarfed by the grand conflict between The Cosmic Forces. Just like how Illıdan knew it. Sylvanas did not explain what she knows except Nathanos. The thing is if she would say to Saurfang this; “Man I need to feed The Jailer with souls because there is a problem in the cosmic level. So let us have an all-out war with The Alliance!” The answer is yours to find.

Now, Sylvanas has been shown us by Blizzard as evil on purpose. But with scattering little breadcrumbs to those who wish to follow. Remember, during Garrosh’s uprising, players did not have the chance to choose. Sylvanas is with us for almost 20 years, so she is not a character to be disposed of in a cheap story. We should be aware of how grand The Cosmic Forces’ plots are.

” And so it did. And so she continued, for power sought power, and she would have more of it, not for its own sake, but to wield it. The unjust ladder of their lives must be dismantled, not rung by rung, but all at once. All of it. She had been the plaything of a self-righteous cosmos long enough. The Jailer, too, understood what must be done

Sylvanas’ plans have been hidden by Blizzard on purpose currently. Just like how they did for Ilııdan before. But this time they gave us the chance to choose Sylvanas’ side, we don’t know how this will affect Shadowlands though. I’m sure we will understand that Sylvanas is an Anti-Hero just like Illidan. Who knows, maybe we would see a read a novel named Sylvanas some years later. So we would learn her motives and plans after she fell from Icecrown, in detail.

Reminder: I’ve written this article in Turkish on May 15 2020, and decided to translate it into English. So some arguments I have used here may look weird or lacking due to spoilers we got since that time.

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