Good morning everyone…
I have thought about doing a series like this for a while. I’ve always been one to be really into the Lore of World of Warcraft, and as such wanted to think about situations that could have changed.
I’m going to start out this series with a good ‘ol paladin turned Master of the Scourge, appropriate for a Paladin blog
Today’s “What if?” topic: Arthas Menethil, Prince of Lordaeron.
Today’s topic started with some incredible fan art from one of my very favorite artists, pulyx. (I hope to get written permission, but until then, here is a link to his DeviantArt page, all credit goes to him and his incredible talent. In fact, all the art featured in this article are by Pulyx! Incredible work).
What the art above shows, is Arthas Menethil if he had not persued Frostmourne, and instead continued to learn under Uther, and eventual rose to power after the natural passing of his father.
If this had actually occurred, the impact on the current world of Azeroth would have been huge. Simply to begin with, Lordaeron would still exist as a superpower among the Eastern Kingdoms, and in turn may have changed the outcome of the Third War even further, provided that the Burning Legion was still able to make it’s way into Azeroth.
In this case, Lordaeron would have been a strong ally with Stormwind, and the dwarves of Ironforge, assisting the Night Elves and preventing several lost lives, simply because of the sheer military prowess, and power. Because Arthas was a VERY close friend of Jaina’s, he would have likely joined her in uniting the Alliance with the then broken Horde. Possibly even creating a stronger outpost on Kalimdor, thanks to the resources and manpower of Lordaeron. I assume that because Arthas was (or would be) so close to Jaina, that King Terenas would have allowed usage of Lordaeron’s resources, and provided support.
Another figure who’s timeline would change, would be Muradin Bronzebeard. According to the story as currently told, Muradin is in Northrend in search of a “legendary blade”, this blade, as we find out, turns out to be Frostmourne. During the story of Warcraft III and The Frozen Throne, Arthas rushes to Northrend to take out Mal’Ganis, and in turn joins Muradin in his search. However, several events lead up to this.
The most pressing is the Culling of Strathholme. What if, instead of making the decision to kill the inhabitants, that Arthas instead joined with Jaina and Uther in evacuating the city, and placing the residents somewhere safe. I would think that he would be smart enough to quarantine the area, in the case that any of the cityfolk were infected, but at least they would not be dead by his hand. In addition, Uther and the other paladins would still be part of the Silver Hand, and not banished/removed from service.
I do believe though, that during the evacuation, Arthas would have still had a run in with Mal’Ganis. The conversation may have been different, but I assume that Arthas would have felt that Mal’Ganis was enough of a threat to follow, and be rid of. This would still lead him to Northrend, where he would have met Muradin and his fellow companions.
Because Arthas would no longer be on some kind of maniacal tyrade, it is likely that he and Muradin would have both made some different decisions. I am sure that Muradin would have still felt the same forboding feelings when approaching Frostmourne, and because of this, and Arthas’s different view on the situation, he may have been inclined to either leave it be, or destroy the sword, though I am unsure how that could be done without the Ashbringer (sword) being in possesion.
Now, because Arthas wouldn’t have gone nuts and knocked Muradin out, then he would have returned relatively safely with Arthas to the encampment. In addition to Muradin not being knocked out, this would also mean that Marwyn and Falric would not have been killed in the ensuing battle to keep the Lordaeron forces from leaving Northrend. In fact, because Arthas had went to Northrend on such a good note, King Terenas may have not requested that they return, and instead allowed them to set up a more fortified base of operations on Northrend’s shore.
The next person who’s life would have been greatly altered would have been Uther the Lightbringer.
If you think about it, he is only dead because Arthas had returned to Lordaeron to kill his father King Terenas, and Uther was the one assigned to guard his remains. Because Uther guarded his remains, Arthas had to kill him to attain them and use them to resurrect Kel’Thuzad. Well, if Arthas had not killed his father, then Uther would still be alive, and likely still be the leader of the Silver Hand. With this in mind, the Silver Hand may have become far more powerful that it was at the time, and the ranks of paladins initiated would have grown due to the impending threat of the Scourge. I am sure that eventually, Uther would pass his leadership position over to Arthas, not only politically for his noble upbringing, being the Prince or Lordaeron, but also because of his pious and most likely ambitious attitude.
Another character whose life would have changed is the Quel’dorei Prince Kael’thas.
The reason that the Sin’dorei was created was due to the bloodshed that occurred at Arthas’s hands during the Third War. With Arthas making different decisions, he would have not attacked Silvermoon, and in turn not destroyed the Sunwell to resurrect Kel’Thuzad. I do believe that Kael’thas and Arthas would still have some hard feelings, considering that they both had feelings towards Jaina. Unlike the Priests of the Holy Light, Paladins don’t seem to have the same “celibate” tendancies, so I’m sure Arthas may have still persued Jaina.
With Silvermoon mentioned, we can’t really not mention the Dark Lady, who, as with everybody else, would have had a major change in her past. First of all, she may not have died at all. In current lore, Arthas had attacked Silvermoon, and during that attack, killed the brothers and sisters of Sylvanas. If they had not been slain, then she would not have the vendetta against Arthas that she does now. Also, she would not have been killed by him and eventually turned into the first Banshee. Instead she would be serving the Quel’dorei people along side Kael’thas, and those still remaining in Silvermoon. In addition, Silvermoon would not be destroyed as it was, and likely be yet another superpower of the Eastern Kingdoms, if not enigmatic.
Well, there you have it, part 1 of the impact that Arthas had on the world of Azeroth. I plan to work on part 2 and have it available tomorrow. Until then, Light be with you.