This post will be a mixture of book-related and game-related thoughts, because, as I’ve planned I got to re-read the book about Illidan in the last two days. The choice was simple as with Antorus raid being opened a few weeks ago, the story of World of Warcraft’s (in)famous demon hunter has come to an another end. And what best way to part with him than by reading the book detailing the first end?
Spoiler-filled post ahead.
I will not go into details with the very beginning, the War of the Ancients trilogy which deals with the first choices that led Illidan to his controversial path and the eventual imprisonment.
But even then, Illidan was walking the line between outcast and a hero, often being both at once. The mentioned book starts when Illidan is released, offering his look at what happened in Night Elf campaign of WarCraft3. It then goes a bit fast forward through the events of the game from his PoV to get to his Outland exile.
Now I finally get to the thoughts about the book’s story. It shows his thinking about dealing with the Burning Legion, and the depths of his plan. But it also shows the background of his most treasured followers, the force that was supposed to change the balance forever.
The training of a demon hunter is show in great detail, starting with the struggle to survive becoming part-demon, dealing with the transformations and the altered perception of reality.
What takes the final part is when Illidan’s reign over Outland is destroyed, he turns into a single plan, to have his demon hunters strike at the Legion and with time coming short, abandons everything else to his most important goal, the plan to take over Argus and the Legion’s leaders.
This part was the most interesting for me, showing background of his plans that were sometimes far too grisly, perverting countless souls to open his portals and as many of those souls belonged to the draenei, finally turning Akama against himself.
With his hold over Outland crumbling, he tries to speed up his plan, but fails to do it in time, even though he sends his spirits to Argus twice to prepare the place for his ultimate portal, one he did not have chance to open as the Black Temple fell and with them Illidan too.
He eventually returned in World of Warcraft: Legion, first in the story of playable demon-hunter characters in flashbacks to the fall of Black Temple and eventually resurrected by the end of Suramar takeover.
Illidan eventually got his wish fulfilled by the end of Tomb of Sargeras raid, when he eventually opened to portal to Argus after Kil’jaeden was killed for good. With the help of draenei and their newly-built spaceship, he along with the champions of Azeroth finally assaulted Argus.
And as Illidan states by the end, he did not expect coming back. Even though he is not dead, deciding to stay with the Pantheon to imprison Sargeras forever, he got his life’s dream fulfilled. Deprived of leaders, the Burning Legion is no longer a threat for his homeland that he was forced to abandon.
Apart from showing the reasons why he was a good guy, the book allowed me to see more of why Illidan was considered the bad guy, and why he deserved great part of those accusations. Maybe it was mistake that he never let anyone see his plans, but as he asked himself, would anyone believe him in the end?
Book re-read 3.-4.1.2018
Also, cheers to the cinematic team at Blizzard Entertainment for giving nice cutscenes to Illidan’s story.