Saturday, June 25, 2016

Navimie's "Warcraft: The Beginning" Review #2 - Lore deviations and my opinions on them

Grimmtooth made a nice post outlining a few lore changes in the movie that bugged him, and I realised I had forgotten to talk about them in my movie post earlier, so I am going to go through each one step by step in this post, and my opinions about each of them.

*** WARNING - SPOILERS ***

The Frostwolves and Go'el

Movie: When Gul'dan first opens the Dark portal, Draka steps through it, heavily pregnant with Go'el. When she emerges on the other side, she births a dead orc child, much to the scorn of the rest of the war party, who are outraged a pregnant female has joined the War Party. Gul'dan takes the infant, and brings him to life after draining the life force from a nearby deer. Durotan continues to oppose Gul'dan and he is taken prisoner.


Gul'dan orders the execution of their whole clan. Draka runs from the slaughter of the Frostwolves and puts Go'el basket on the river Moses-style and she dies fighting one of Gul'dan's orcs to allow her son to escape. Humans find the baby's basket washed up on the riverbank. This is unbeknownst to Durotan who has gone to face Gul'dan in a Mak'Gora, but is weakened then killed by Gul'dan's magic.


Lore: Durotan had opposed Gul'dan which resulted in the exile of their clan, and they hid in the Alterac Mountains for the whole First War. Go'el was born after the First War, and Durotan and Draka went to see Orgrim Doomhammer to once again take action against Gul'dan. Gul'dan had spies in Doomhammer's guard, and Draka and Durotan were assassinated. Go'el is found by Alliance soldiers.


My thoughts: Though horribly sad seeing the Frostwolves all killed, this deviation from the lore fitted in more with the movie's story. Gul'dan would rather kill someone than let them go away and come back to annoy him another day. And also, why waste that life - he could use those lives and souls for more power. In the movie, Go'el still escapes death and makes it into the arms/bondage of the Alliance, which leaves it open for another movie. It would be fit better (and be simpler) in the cinematic universe to be killed by Gul'dan and his minions than to be alive hiding in the mountains. That particular section of lore does not affect Go'el's development or any other part of the storyline.

Lothar's family and Lady Taria

Movie: Anduin Lothar is the brother of Lady Taria. Lady Taria is married to King Llane Wrynn. Lothar has a son, Callan, who is a soldier, and his wife died in childbirth. Callan is killed by Blackhand, and Lothar subsequently slays Blackhand in Mak'Gora.


Lore: Of Lady Taria there is little mention, and there is no mention in the lore of Lothar's sons or offspring. He seemed to me to be a soldier first and foremost, dedicating his life and passion for the Stormwind and the Alliance. In the lore, Blackhand was slain by his second-in-command, Orgrim Doomhammer.

My thoughts: I think that a more prominent role by Lady Taria is welcome, and as Lothar's sister it allows for displays of family closeness and kinship. Lothar's role as a caring parent and brother to his son and his sister make him less of the formidable military commander and allowed us to empathise more with him. I'm sure that was the intent. I think it was a good addition because Varian Wrynn (Llane's son and next King of Stormwind) named his son Anduin, and it is not unreasonable that he is named after Varian's uncle, as well as for Lothar's deeds for the armies of Azeroth.


Lothar's son being slain by Blackhand in turn allowed the movie storyline to propel Lothar to killing Blackhand. At the end of the movie it's not clear who is the new Warchief of the Horde - though perhaps Orgrim Doomhammer would be the next choice as none of the other chieftains had much screen time given to them, implying they are less important in the storyline at this stage.

Khadgar and his relationship with Medivh

Movie: Khadgar, the young mage, is found examining the bodies of human soldiers slaughtered by the orcs, and he discovers fel magic has been used. Khadgar was part of the Kirin Tor but he left, much to the shame of his family. Medivh, the Guardian of Tirisfal, seems to recognise Khadgar as someone who wishes to aspire to Guardian. Khadgar helps Medivh but is not apprenticed to him, and in fact is the one who discovers Medivh has been tainted with fel. He seeks help from the Kirin Tor who take him to Alodi, who is an ancient source of knowledge and power for the Kirin Tor, and speaks to Khadgar, confirms that Medivh is corrupted by fel magic (and her shade had led Khadgar to the book in Karazhan's libarary showing him knowledge of the Dark Portal). She has also been touched by fel, but she is not consumed by it, they seem to be like remnants or scars. She tells him to trust in his friends and from light comes darkness, and from darkness, light.


Khadgar confronts Medivh in Karazhan with the help of Lothar, and defeats a demonic Medivh by teleporting a construct atop Medivh within the font. Khadgar falls into the pool and somehow purifies himself of the fel. Medivh is purified of the demonic influence and as he is dying he opens a portal to Stormwind briefly to help the Alliance fighting at the Black Morass.


Lore: Khadgar was sent by the Kirin Tor to be Medivh's apprentice. Medivh had a seed of the demon Sargeras within him since birth, and as his powers grew, so too did the influence of Sargeras. Khadgar began to suspect something was not right with Medivh when the Orc invasion of Azeroth began. This was confirmed when Garona came to Karazhan and in a vision, Khadgar and Garona discovered that it was Medivh that contacted Gul'dan and brought the Orcs to Azeroth.  The two of them returned to King Llane to tell him of their concerns, and Lothar went back to Karazhan with Khadgar.


During the ensuing battle, Khadgar was magically drained and aged by Medivh's spell, and he struck Medivh with a sword which mortally wounded him and also purified him from Sargeras. Medivh's dying body began to take on a demonic shape and Lothar decapitated him, sending Sargeras back to the Nether.

Alodi was a half elf male mage who was the first Guardian of Tirisfal, who worked with Meryl Winterstorm (the great undead mage who would in the future be a guardian for Garona's son, Medan).


My thoughts: I mistakenly thought Alodi was Aegwynn at first! I had never heard of Alodi and the references to the lore are vastly different. It seems that Khadgar came into great power in his own right, not by the tutelage or guidance of Medivh. Khadgar also didn't age after battling Medivh - which in the movie storyline would be easier for casting, and it also serves little purpose to have Khadgar aged. I must note though that Khadgar looks far from frail and aged in Warlords of Draenor. Someone mentioned on reddit that pre-WoD Khadgar looks like Gandalf and WoD Khadgar looks like a Silver Fox. I wonder why they felt they had to make him more Clooney-esque.

Also, Medivh needs more spirit. He ooms a lot. But in the lore he did have to come back to recover after major magic battles.

There is a significant difference in the Medivh battle compared with the lore. You would expect a "boss fight" to have an epic scene in the movie! Did anyone else think this battle was like Socrethar? First you battle the construct, then you use the construct to fight the boss! The magic effects were rather cool, and I thought it was a bit amusing after Khadgar beat Medivh and fell into the corrupted font and then he was surrounded by a bright yellow light.


Ding! Khadgar is now a max level archmage! Well, he doesn't need to be anyone's apprentice. He can go around and read the library at Karazhan. That should keep him busy for the next 50 years.


The Kirin Tor were creepy looking! I had heard that people found their glowy eyes laughable but I just found them creepy. And apparently that was Antonidas who was talking to Khadgar when he first went to Dalaran? I wouldn't have known that but once it was pointed out it does look like him, and it was also portrayed by Toby Kebbell.

Dalaran

Movie: Khadgar goes to Dalaran to speak to the Kirin Tor (the ruling body of magi) about what he had discovered about Medivh. Dalaran is a flying city in the clouds.


Lore: Dalaran is not flying during the time of the First War. It was located in Alterac Mountains next to the Lordamere Lake. Dalaran was destroyed by Archimonde (who was summoned by Kel'thuzad after Arthas and the Scourge destroyed Lordaeron), but the Kirin Tor rebuilt their city and when the war against the Lich King began, turned it into a floating city above Crystalsong Forest in Northrend, leaving behind a crater where Dalaran used to be.

My thoughts: Duncan Jones though it would be cooler if Dalaran was flying. I think for the movie and for the people new to the Warcraft universe it is easier too. So what will happen to the lore part where Archimonde destroys Dalaran? Well he can always get up to the sky and destroy the city there.

Garona

Movie: She starts off as a slave of Gul'dan, walking towards the Draenor Dark Portal on a chain, and is eventually freed by Durotan during a skirmish against the Alliance and then she is captured by Khadgar and becomes a prisoner of the Alliance. She can speak multiple languages due to her time amongst the captives, and she gives the Alliance a great deal of information about what the invasion is about and with whom they are dealing with. She is gradually accepted by King Llane as an ally and she fights with him and the Alliance against Gul'dan. She goes to Karazhan with Khadgar to meet Medivh, and she tends him in his weakened state. She confides in him that her mother was an orc and she wears her tooth to remember her by. He confides that he had met a woman in his past (and there seems to be an insinuation that he is her father?).


At the battle at the Dark Portal, Alliance forces are cut off from Stormwind when Medivh dies, and the end looks inevitable for King Llane. In a surprise turn of events, he tells Garona to kill him as it would grant her great honour and she would survive and be accepted into the Horde, as to be seen fighting with him would mean certain death. She does so with great reluctance and then is accepted into the Horde as a hero, with whom she remains with the Horde, albeit it seems reluctantly. As a half-orc, she is an outcast in both societies, though you can she that she yearns to belong (she asked Durotan if he would accept her into the Frostwolves).


Lore: Garona has been described as a morally fluid character, whose allegiances swing with her moods. She is half-orc half-draenei (her mother was Maraad's sister, and her father one of Gul'dan's soldiers) and she was bred by Gul'dan and then aged magically and subjected to powerful spells of mind control. She knew the orc culture well due to her travels around Draenor and she believed she was half-orc half-human, which most people believed for a long time, and Gul'dan did not deny this as he believed this half-human kinship would allow her to more easily infiltrate Llane's court.


She met with Medivh on a number of occasions, and was sent to him as an emissary of Gul'dan, and she spent some time at Karazhan. Khadgar was not pleased with her presence and they had an abrasive relationship but eventually one of cautious trust when together they managed to defeat a demon in the Library. Garona became quite close to Medivh, and had an intimate relationship in a moment when Sargeras was not controlling Medivh. However, Medivh and his erratic behaviour became too suspicious for Garona and Khadgar to ignore and they used a spell to find a vision of the past, which shocked them both with the truth - that Medivh had brought the orcs to Azeroth.

Khadgar and Garona went to Stormwind to tell the King of Medivh's deceit, met Lothar on the way, who was brought around to their thinking, but King Llane could not believe his childhood friend had gone so far astray. The three went back to Karazhan to confront Medivh, and Garona was given a vision of the future where she would slay King Llane. They found Medivh and Garona attacked him with the fury of betrayal but she was struck down and Khadgar and Lothar finished him off. Gul'dan at this stage had sensed that Medivh was weakened and tried to enter Medivh's mind to find the Eye of Sargeras (which was what he came to Azeroth for) but in the destruction of Medivh and Sargeras the mental assault to Gul'dan whilst within Medivh's mind put him into a coma.

A vision in Yogg-Saron's brain in Ulduar where Garona kills Llane
Garona became a trusted advisor to King Llane following the battle with Medivh, but she still had some mind control spells present from her time with Gul'dan and the Shadow Council and she was forced to kill King Llane yet she did so in front of Prince Varian, crying as she did so.

My thoughts: Garona in the movie appears to me to have the best interest of both the Horde and the Alliance at heart - she seems to only oppose Gul'dan.


Some people were criticising her "skimpy dress" but she was wearing what everyone else is wearing! What she was wearing was far from a leather bikini but all the orc females were dressed similarly (and the orc males themselves were wearing very little clothes). War harnesses are typical orc dress anyway.


Without the relationship with Medivh, Garona will not have the opportunity to give birth to Medan, who is a MAJOR lore figure with a massive role in the third war. However, if Medivh is Garona's father, then there is the possibility that Medivh's powers may pass through her to her son. I wonder if this is why there was a hint of some sort of relationship between Lothar and Garona? Is Lothar fated to be the father of Medan?

I actually thought the deviation from lore with King Llane asking her to kill him was a good change. In this movie, it seems Gul'dan is acting on his own - I don't see much of the Shadow Council being mentioned here, and without the Shadow Council controlling Garona to make her kill Llane, then perhaps they are not being included in the WoW cinematic universe. With this course, not only are there seeds of mistrust placed now between Lothar and Garona, but also that Garona appears much more honourable than she is otherwise portrayed in the lore. She has demonstrated loyalty to those kind to her - with Durotan, Llane and also Lothar - and yet she honours the orc way by telling Gul'dan that Mak'Gora is a sacred tradition and that the victor must be allowed to walk free, and to deny this is dishonourable in all orc eyes. What surprises me is that Gul'dan doesn't know this, being an orc himself? Garona in the movie is loyal to best of both humans and orcs, and yearns to be accepted by both.

And did you notice the size of the tooth from her mother? It seemed more like a male tooth to me. Draka's teeth weren't that big.

Orgrim Doomhammer

Movie: Orgrim is a close friend and confidant of Durotan of the Frostwolves, despite being from a different clan (which I don't think is specified). Though Durotan wishes to stop Gul'dan by allying with the humans, Orgrim cannot consorting with his foes against his own kind. When Durotan is betrayed and Guldan orders the slaughter of the Frostwolves, Orgrim allows Draka a few moments to escape with Go'el.


At Durotan's Mak'gor, Orgrim calls out against Gul'dan's cheating, which causes some unrest within the orc troops, but once Gul'dan kills a few soldiers, nobody raises a hand against Gul'dan.


Lore: Orgrim of the Blackrock clan and Durotan of the Frostwolves were friends from childhood. Orgrim became second in command to Blackhand after he took up Doomhammer upon the death of his father.  Orgrim, like Durotan, did not drink the Blood of Mannoroth and be imbued with fel, raising the suspicion of Gul'dan.


When Gul'dan fell into a coma after the death of Medivh, Orgrim took advantage of the warlock's incapacitated state to rise up against Blackhand and slay him, assuming the title of Warchief of the Horde. He found Garona, tortured her until she revealed the location of the Shadow council, and then destroyed them. Garona escaped and remained in hiding and gave birth to the child she conceived with Medivh - Me'dan.

My thoughts:Since Gul'dan did not enter Medivh's mind and did not become incapacitated, there was no opportunity for Orgrim to overthrow Blackhand, and so with Lothar killing Blackhand, that part of the story will be different. However, it seems that Orgrim will assume the title of Warchief without having to kill Blackhand, but he will still have to contend with Gul'dan. At least the kinship between Durotan and Orgrim remains in lore and in movie, and of course we will see Orgrim play a greater role in a second movie (if it is made) with Go'el as he passes the mantle of leadership to Durotan's son.

I felt a bit sad that nobody seemed to pay attention to Orgrim as he made a half attempt to rouse the orcs against Gul'dan when Durotan died, but I think that to he himself would have been killed by Gul'dan had that been the case. With Blackhand now out of the way, he will have more opportunity to establish himself as a Warchief and not a Warchief puppet as Blackhand was.

Gul'dan

Movie: Gul'dan is a powerful warlock and Fel magic user, and persuades the Warchief Blackhand to take the orcs to Azeroth for honour and glory. Gul'dan, unlike the other orcs, is not a slave to honour, but to his power and magic. Fel magic requires life for power, and he uses this against all who oppose him - humans or orcs.


A few orcs, namely Durotan and Orgrim, do not trust Gul'dan and Durotan challenges Gul'dan to a Mak'Gora, but Gul'dan uses magic to win which is not the typical orc way, and Durotan loses, though it is felt that it is an unfair and dishonourable fight. Gul'dan kills those who dared oppose him, and it quells the unrest.


He is focussed on opening the portal between Draenor and Azeroth to bring over the rest of the horde, and he has assistance on the Azeroth side from Medivh. He appears to be the only magic wielder on the horde side from the small raiding party that entered Azeroth.


Lore: Gul'dan was formerly a shaman under Ner'zhul's tutelage, who was being manipulated by the demon Kil'jadeden to fight a war against the Draenei. When the spirits and the ancestors began to cease their communion with Ner'zhul he realised something was wrong and tried to cease his interaction with Kil'jadeden, but by then Gul'dan had already made a deal with the demon to become the master of fel magic. Gul'dan formed the Shadow Council, who managed to worm their way into the hierarchy of the orcs and manipulate politics from within. They managed to get Blackhand elected to Warchief as he was easy to control and direct, and with the help of Medivh (influenced by Sargeras) from Azeroth's side, opened the Dark Portal.

Medivh lured Gul'dan with the unlimited power from the Tomb of Sargeras if he brought the orcs to Azeroth. However, during the siege against Stormwind, he became aware of the attack on Medivh and tried to enter Medivh's mind to locate the Tomb of Sargeras - however, Medivh was slain whilst Gul'dan was still inside his mind and the trauma of it put Gul'dan into a coma.

Without Gul'dan to guide him, Blackhand was slain by Orgim Doomhammer, who then, with information gleaned from Garona, set out to destroy all of the Shadow Council.


My thoughts: I love the fact that Daniel Wu, who is hot stuff in China and rather nice to look at, is made into one of the ugliest orcs in the game. With a HUNCHBACK!

There did not seem to be a Shadow Council in the movie. It looked like Gul'dan was working on his own. And the spikes that we've always thought were part of Gul'dan's Spaulders, were demonic manifestations from his own body! That was a revelation and rather cool!

I did like how he was portrayed. Gul'dan is merely using the orcs as pawns in his own agenda for power, and we will see more of this if future movies are going to be made. It's easy to forget with Warlords of Draenor that Gul'dan is actually DEAD (otherwise where would we get Skull of Gul'dan) in the original time line.

It is interesting that Gul'dan does not share the orcs steadfast honour with hand to hand combat, but for one who has twisted fate to do his bidding, it is not that surprising.

Blackhand the Destroyer


Movie: Blackhand is the Warchief, heavily influenced by Gul'dan. He is loyal only to the orcs, and has no tolerance for other races.


His hand is severely injured in a fight against Lothar, who uses one of the dwarven Boomsticks. Gul'dan removes his hand later and Blackhand takes the Fel, resulting a new creepy Black hand regrowing in its place.

At Blackrock mountain when Durotan meets King Llane, Lothar is separated from his son by Medivh's lightning shield, with his son on the Orc side. Blackhand slays Callan almost mockingly in front of Lothar.


Lothar is captured by the horde after King Llane is slain and fights Blackhand in a Mak'Gora, slaying Blackhand and returning to Stormwind with the King's body.


Lore: Blackhand was the chieftain of Blackrock clan and was elected Warchief through manipulation by Gul'dan, Blackhand apparently earned his name after his hand became stone after he sacrificed his hand to the elements and defeated the ogres (though it does not say what his name was prior to this). In Blackhand's Secret (quest in the Legendary chain in WoD) Khadgar says:
There's a section of the Flamebender's Tome that speaks about a "sacrifice," and a more recent notation referring to "the chieftain." I think it's talking about Warlord Blackhand.
Did Blackhand sacrifice someone? Himself? A piece of himself? Is that why his hand is deformed? ...Kill Warlord Blackhand. And bring me his severed arm.

And on completion when you hand over Blackhand's Severed Arm:
What do we have here? The legends ARE true. Blackhand sacrificed his own arm to the elements. Now that he's dead, it's indistinguishable from stone. Or is it?
(Khadgar utters a few incantations from the Flamebinder's Tome. The severed hand slowly clenches into a fist.)
Hmmmm. Yes. I'll be perfectly honest with you: This thing is extremely creepy.
When Gul'dan fel into a coma, Orgrim took the opportunity to slay Blackhand and become the new Warchief of the Horde.

My thoughts: Blackhand probably didn't have enough screen time for me to make much of a judgement of him except that he hated humans. He did do Gul'dan's bidding for the most part, and when he took the fel towards the end, he was truly a fel orc and his soul was Gul'dan's. Was the fight at the end a little too easy? Well, for cinematic purposes, yes. Are we so bloodthirsty that we need a gladiator match to go on for longer to keep us entertained? I have no doubt that a large orc would easily overpower a human, so if Lothar could accomplish that earlier, then who are we to rob him of his Mak'Gora victory?

It's hard to think of him as dead since we got to battle against him in Blackrock Foundry.
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Phew! That's a lot of thoughts there and comparisons on lore and the movie. If there is anything significant that I missed (or that I've gotten wrong), then feel free to tell me in the comments. A lot of this I got from the the books and also from Wowpedia, WoWWiki and Wowhead.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Minipost - Well don't I feel stupid saying the wrong thing!

Cymre brought it to my attention the other day that I said something totally WRONG on Battletagged podcast!

OH MY GOD

I totally forgot the name of my own toon! So apologies for my lapse and saying my toon was named Legolas when it was Talwin!

Natanie pointed out that I had actually said that before in another podcast. So I was obviously CONSISTENTLY STUPID.

I have been mortified about that for a day already. Time to get over it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

For the first time in nearly 11 years of WoW playing...


This picture may not mean much to most people. Everyone has an alt, right? But I have never had one, not really. This is the first time I have had a max level alt. EVER. Since I started playing in 2005, I have never had another toon at max level other than my main!


And no, I did not use my boost. I actually levelled! OK OK, I admit that I had help because HK came along on his mage and we just did the bonus zones with an Elixir of the Rapid Mind on board, which meant we levelled super quickly.

So what made me do it? Well, I guess it was because I watched Kyxyn and Crooked do their toons and they did it so quickly. I thought perhaps maybe I could do that! And, so I did! It didn't take long - we did it in 2 short evening stints - something I did with my new weekend time!

The big question I have been asked - what am I going to do with this new toon? Am I going to start my legendary ring? Am I going to raid?

There isn't much time left. I think if anything, I'll go do Ashran on her. Or maybe I'll go max my mining. Or maybe I'll just never play her again because there are still so many achievements and things I need on Navi before Legion comes :P

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Navimie's "Warcraft - The Beginning" review - why I liked it and why the critics hate it


There has been widespread panning by critics of the Warcraft movie, which is a concern for Warcraft fans as it would probably keep a lot of the potential viewers away.

However, Duncan Jones took it in stride, and the movie opened strongly in overseas markets compared to the United States, but the dropoff since then has been rapid.

The movie opened officially last week in Australia, and I went to see it on Sunday with my family, as well as HK and Shab.

*** WARNING - SPOILERS! ***
DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE AND DON'T WANT SPOILERS!

My thoughts on the movie:

I enjoyed the movie. Overall, I would have scored it a 7/10 (which is about on par with X-Men: Apocalypse in my eyes, but less than Captain America: Civil War which I would give a 8-9/10).

The lore was a little different, but not in a displeasing way. A little like how the Marvel cinematic universe differs from the comics. Some things just don't translate well to the big screen from a book/comic/computer game.

We know the basic story - it's the story of Orcs vs Humans, and the arrival of Orcs from Draenor to Azeroth via the Dark Portal.

The Orc side of the story is told - with some sense and sympathy from the audience towards the Frostwolf Orcs (Durotan, Draka) who seemed to be the only ones intent on surviving and living rather than ravaging and destroying all that they conquer. The rest of the orcs, and Guldan in particular, seem to be fearsome creatures with whom we have no qualm in seeing slaughtered.

The humans seem unprepared for this invasion, and King Llane of Stormwind (who is also the brother in law of Anduin Lothar in the movie - a departure from the official lore) relies heavily on his friend, Medivh, the Guardian of Tirisfal, to assist them against this fearsome foe.


The young mage Khadgar appears on the scene intent on trying to find out more about the orcs and where they came from and offers a lot of comedic relief in his actions. I admit I'm unsure what Khadgar has done to deserve such scorn from his contemporaries!


Medivh, who resides in his tower in Karazhan, seems to possess amazing power, yet easily OOMs and has to keep getting in the font to recharge himself. It is revealed later that he actually brought the orcs to Azeroth and a demon resides within him.

During a skirmish in the forest between the Orcs and Humans, Garona the half human-half orc female, was freed by Durotan as he fled from the battle scene (when confronted by Medivh's powerful magic), but she ended up being captured by Khadgar and from her the humans gleaned the plans of the orcs.


Anduin Lothar (whose first name was only said ONCE I think in the whole movie), commander of the Alliance forces in Stormwind, and Garona seem to have some sort of attraction throughout the movie, but later the trust is shattered when the Alliance forces face the Horde at the Dark portal.


Guldan and Medivh are the real villains in this movie. I have to admit, I had never really thought much about fel and warlockery, but after seeing how life was drained for power with fel magic, I can't help but feel some revulsion towards warlocks. The life draining images were very powerful and seeing life force drained away for the purpose of magic made me a little bit sad!


Durotan approaches King Llane, asking for some sort of alliance so they can tackle Guldan and allow his clan and family to survive and live in a living world not the ruins of a conquered one,  but this action merely brands him a traitor to the Horde. They are ambushed at their meeting point at Blackrock Mountain, though Medivh does come to ensure Llane's escape, but Lothar's only son is killed by Blackhand in front of Lothar, who is separated from his son by a magic lightning barrier conjured by Medivh.

Durotan evokes a Mak'gora (trial by combat) with Gul'dan, but Gul'dan uses magic to drain Durotan's life, killing him, which is technically not the Orc warrior's honourable way. However, everyone is afraid of Gul'dan and do not challenge him.


The rest of the Frostwolves are branded traitors and their encampment is burned and the Frostwolves slain. Draka runs with her baby Go'el (who was born during her passage through the Dark Portal from Draenor, but was dead, and given life by Gul'dan via life taken by fel magic from a nearby deer) and in Moses style she puts him on the river, then fights an Orc tracking her, killing him but dying herself from a mortal wound from his blade.

Meanwhile, Khadgar has discovered that Medivh is contaminated by fel, goes to Dalaran to seek help from the Kirin Tor and is told by Alodi (who as a shade in Karazhan's library led Khadgar to the book about the Dark Portal) that his suspicions are true, and Medivh is NOT on their side and had betrayed them all by leading the Orcs to Azeroth. Lothar and Khadgar go to confront Medivh in Karazhan, whilst King Llane and Garona and the rest of the Stormwind forces go to Black Morass to the Dark Portal to try to thwart the imminent invasion.

Khadgar and Medivh battle, and Medivh transforms into a demon (which in lore should be Sargeras but is unnamed in the movie - probably for the best) and Khadgar manages to defeat the demon and appeal to whatever humanity Medivh has remaining to help King Llane at the Dark Portal. Lothar is high tails it out of Karazhan to the Dark Portal and Medivh manages to briefly open a portal to Stormwind allowing the rescued humans to escape to safety, but dies before the King can escape, trapping him between an invading horde and the War party already on Azeroth.

Llane tells Garona she has to kill him so she can survive, and reluctantly she does so. I have to admit, that one deviation from the lore is a powerful one, and I think that it worked very well (as originally she was controlled by Gul'dan to assassinate Llane against her will). Lothar discovers her dagger in Llane's neck, and his horror at the betrayal will probably ensure that whatever closeness they once had is now obliterated.

Lothar has to endure a Mak'gora against Blackhand and he slays Blackhand fairly, earning the respect of the Orcs, despite Gul'dan's outrage insisting that they kill the human. Garona intervenes on his behalf, citing this is a betrayal of the tradition and would forever sway the orcs against him, and Lothar leaves with the body of his king.

And meanwhile... Go'el is picked up by some humans, leaving it open for a movie sequel.


What was amazing? Mages. Mages were amazing in this movie. Their spell animations, the rune scribbling on the ground, the portals - mages were very well represented in this movie! Khadgar was amusing, yet likable. However, I found it difficult to like Medivh's character - and that's not because he was a villain. Magneto and Loki are villains and I like their characters. There was something about Ben Foster's portrayal of Medivh that made Medivh seem more like a drunk or drugged fool than an all powerful Guardian. I suppose that could be explained by his contamination by fel - that could make him seem unlike himself, and that could have been deliberate.


Gul'dan however, was an amazing villain, I felt. I was also impressed by his spiky shoulders - in game those are shoulder armour but in the movie they were a part of him, a demonic part, which I thought was just fantastic. I mentioned before about the soul and life draining and I think that animation was done VERY well.


Orc animations were done very well in the close ups, especially Orgrim,Durotan and Gul'dan. The females did not fare so well, nor Blackhand in my opinion.

I REALLY liked the change with King Llane's assassination. I think that opens up a lot more complexity between characters and also within characters themselves. Garona was a great character, well played and likeable, even though it was not very clear why she was being kept on a chain by Gul'dan, when in the end she did not do his bidding. Perhaps in the future there will be some evidence of her being controlled by Gul'dan.

I liked seeing Stormwind brought to life. It looked very grand. In fact, all the places looked incredibly grand!

However, I can see WHY the critics smashed the movie. These are what I felt were it's drawbacks.


There are a lot of characters, and it would be difficult as a non Warcraft player to get an understanding of all of them. I know who they are and even I was a little bit confused. For the uninitiated, it may be confusingg. The early part of the movie had a fair bit of Lothar and Durotan character building which may have been a bit dragging for some people. You get a lot more out of the movie when you have the backstory to it - which is why Marvel movies with a lot of characters tend not to do as well as those with fewer characters.


X-Men is a good example (though it isn't part of the Marvel Disney Cinematic Universe). It had terrible reviews, but when I watched it, I could see the throwbacks to the original comics which would be lost. I knew who all the characters were, and even some of the ones that weren't actually mentioned but had speaking lines (eg Jubilee) because of their costumes etc.

But back to Warcraft. I did find the tusks on the girls a little ungainly. In an evolution sense, they don't seem to be very.. functional and also don't fit in well with their features. They looked a bit odd on Garona as well and sometimes made her sound a little sibilant. On the males they seemed fine. I'm not sure how they don't drool all day long, having teeth sticking out.

I am not sure what the interaction between Garona and Lothar was meant to demonstrate. I felt it a bit unnecessary. In fact, in lore, Garona gets it on with Medivh somehow to have a child, so if the romance had been between them, perhaps I would have been more forgiving. However, given how the story was pacing out, that kind of intimacy or suggestion of it would never eventuate.

I don't feel like Medivh was portrayed well. I mentioned it before, and I feel as if his character would have been better served with either fits of insanity as the fel overtook him (like a Jekyll/Hyde thing), or a lot more slyness that didn't make him so creepy from the start.

The movie played a lot to the Warcraft fanbase, which, as a fan, I appreciated, but if I was not, the moments felt just like space being filled that did not feel like it fitted in. An example would be some of the orc fighting - all those Redridge mountains shots which I thought were great, but didn't bring you much other than orcs were everywhere burning stuff.

I think that perhaps some dialogue that acted like backstory would help somewhat. Durotan mentioned as he walked through the camps early in the movie about "all the clans are here" and rattled off a few names. But a narrative by Durotan, perhaps, telling us about how Orcs are a warrior race, with honour in combat and death and naming the clans and how they were organised and led may have helped. I could see he was friends with Orgrim, but I didn't know why from the movie (I know why from the lore).

Many different races were briefly seen in the movie, and I feel as if they were there more for fans than they were for the movie. Did the alliance races - Draenei, Dwarves, High Elves - offer much to the story? It was exciting to see them, but for non WoW players, they probably wonder why they didn't all come to help for the battle, to fight for their own world.

However, despite all these negative things, I really enjoyed the movie. It is a shame that I enjoyed it more because I knew the history better, and the characters. I wish everyone could know them like me so they could feel like they would like the movie more. However, being able to tell a story to a new audience and be able to engage them is unfortunately where Warcraft seems to have fallen down in the critic's eyes. Those bad reviews have kept a number of people away from the movie, but I will do my best to support it, because I really want to see a sequel AND the Director's cut version of the movie, which I am sure will explain things a whole lot better.

I think Mike Fahey explained it well when he said he liked the movie. I was so busy getting caught up in the easter eggs and seeing the game I love with real people and stunning CGI that I didn't notice as much all the things that were disappointing to all the critics. I had to think hard to remember all the things I found less enjoyable because I was too busy giggling at the Murloc, or pointing out how the stairs of the Karazhan library tower look so much like the game!

Well, my daughter liked the movie. She's 8. She plays World of Warcraft. She pointed at the murloc ("Mum, look it's a grrrllgrrrlgh!") but she knows nothing of the lore. I wonder how Duncan Jones is feeling with all the negative press, but I hope that he's buoyed enough by the fans who have tweeted him all their enthusiasm and appreciation for the movie he has made not to feel like he couldn't tackle a second movie.

And please. Everyone be civil. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean you have to rain hate on it. Other people liked it, and their creator is proud of it. As Duncan himself said in this tweet: