Blogvision Entry - World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth - Nathanos Blightcaller!

When I first read the introduction to Blogvision (in a nutshell; Eurovision with video game characters) my brain filled with a million ideas for the cast of World of Warcraft’s latest expansion Battle for Azeroth. Would it be a duet of loss and honour by sons turned leaders Baine and Anduin? How about a a hate fuelled metal headbanger from Sylvanas and the Banshees? Then there was my idea for a tribal piece from Tyrande and the other Night Elf survivors. In all honesty I wanted to do them all. However, there can only be one competing act that could win the vote to battle it out in Blogovision…

Introducing….

Who is Nathanos?

Learn more about the Blightcaller

For those that have played Battle for Azeroth, as Horde or Alliance, Nathanos is a familiar figure. The champion of Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner he has been instrumental in the war effort against the Alliance this expansion. He has been everywhere ensuring that the Dark Lady’s bidding is being done. But who is he? Where did he come from? Time to delve into the background of The Blightcaller.

Once a human man called Nathanos Marris, he was trained by the High elves of Quel’Thalas and was admitted into the elven ranger unite The Farstriders. He was the only human to ever reach the rank of ‘Ranger Lord’, an appointment that was met with much controversy and distaste by many High Elves. He was appointed by Sylvanas Windunner, the Ranger-General, who insisted upon it due to his ability and her belief that the elves needed to practice tolerance with the outside world.

As a part of the Farstriders his loyalty was to Silvermoon, however, it has always been clear that Nathanos’ loyalty has been to Sylvanas first and foremost. In the short story Dark Mirror (free to read or download here), a flash back scene reveals that rather than living in Quel’Thalas Nathanos chooses to reside in Lordaeron and Sylvanas often visits him there. He appears more concerned with rumours about their relationship tarnishing the Ranger-General’s reputation than a pending threat to the land, although it is clear that he will never shirk his duty. The visit ends with a strong suggestion that the rumours are true, with Sylvanas telling Nathanos that “you owe your ranger-general a meal… and your company.”

Dark Mirror reveals much more about their relationship, revealing that even in undeath the pair still have feelings for one another. Once free of the Lich King’s hold Sylvanas hunts for Nathanos not resting until she has freed him and called him back to her side. In Dark Mirror we are given an explanation for Nathanos’ model upgrade between expansions; a difficult and costly val’kyr ritual that Sylvanas demands her val’kyr perform despite their objections. When Nathanos questions why it is only he receiving this gift of strength, Sylvanas’ answers are illusive and vague, and it is evident that beneath her icy exterior there is more a personal motive for wanting to see her champion healthier and stronger again.

Nathanos is always at the side of Sylvanas Windrunner, former Ranger-General of Quel'Thalas and now Warchief of the Horde.
Nathanos is always at the side of Sylvanas Windrunner, former Ranger-General of Quel’Thalas and now Warchief of the Horde.

Song Choice

Tonight Matthew, I’ll be singing…

Nathanos really isn’t the type of fellow you would expect to burst into song, but music comes from the heart and even if Nathanos’ undead one isn’t still beating there is clearly some growing tension between him and Sylvanas. As events unfolded prior to the Battle for Azeroth even Nathanos was shocked by some of Sylvanas’ choices (see the novel Before the Storm to learn more about what happened). While the Blightcaller is no stranger to death and destruction, and is certainly revelling in the blood and mayhem that Sylvanas’ plans are sowing, he loves her and he’s not stupid enough to think that she will come out of this unscathed. Perhaps he’s starting to wonder whether she is completely lost to the darkness.

Add to that the infuriating ways that she likes to play with him, and his emotions, always looking to provoke a reaction (see Dark Mirror for examples), this song was a natural choice.

As Sylvanas' champion in life and undeath Nathanos is always ready to carry out his Dark Lady's bidding.
As Sylvanas’ champion in life and undeath Nathanos is always ready to carry out his Dark Lady’s bidding.

Lyrics for Layla by Eric Clapton:

What’ll you do when you get lonely
And nobody’s waiting by your side?
You’ve been running and hiding much too long.
You know it’s just your foolish pride.
 
Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.
 
I tried to give you consolation
When your old man had let you down.
Like a fool, I fell in love with you,
Turned my whole world upside down.
 
Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.
 
Let’s make the best of the situation
Before I finally go insane.
Please don’t say I’ll never find a way
And tell me all my love’s in vain.
 
Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.
 
Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

The Performance

The Blightcaller takes to the stage!
The Blightcaller takes to the stage!

The lyrics of Layla give voice to everything that Nathanos is feeling. As Sylvanas’ champion he has always been the one constant in her life; her rock and confident. But what would happen to her if no one was there? As she wages war with the Alliance, and makes enemies within her own faction, Sylvanas is alienating herself from everyone. If he was ever struck down in battle she would be truly alone.

What’ll you do when you get lonely
And nobody’s waiting by your side?
You’ve been running and hiding much too long.
You know it’s just your foolish pride

Nathanos on his knees begging Sylvanas during his performance.
Nathanos on his knees begging Sylvanas during his performance.

The Blightcaller is not a begging man, and like the original song, this ode to his love is an outpouring of emotion brought to life through music. Raw and haunting, the former Ranger-Lord calls for the Dark Lady to think on her actions.

Let’s make the best of the situation
Before I finally go insane.
Please don’t say I’ll never find a way
And tell me all my love’s in vain.
 
Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

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