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World of Warcraft: Azshara Previous, Present & Future

  • World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will soon be updated to v8.2, Rise of Azshara. We know that the fight will be taken to the Queen of the Naga, once the Queen of the Night Elves and perhaps the most powerful sorceress ever born on Azeroth. She has been present, though rarely seen, throughout the history of Warcraft games. Players are confronted by her "people", the Naga, as they level up. But who is Queen Azshara? Let's take a look, shall we?

    Azshara's Previous
    Azeroth as it is seen today wasn't always a planet filled with floating islands and two large continents. In the age when Azshara ruled the Kaldorei Empire, there was a single landmass. While beloved by the Night Elves, Azshara believed that all of the other races on Azeroth were inferior. She and her Highborne Quel'Dorei consorted with the Burning Legion and with Sargeras himself to wipe these races from the planet. After a discovered plot to stop her efforts to bring the Legion to Azeroth was thwarted, Azshara confronted Mannoroth about his recent failures. He was enraged and wanted to destroy her but realized that she "was a force against which only his lord and Archimonde would prove superior", a clear indicator of her vast power. Even so, she didn't count on the resistance among the common Kaldorei people that ultimately destabilized the Well of Eternity and blew the single continent apart into what is now seen on Azeroth today.

    There is no in-game record of the Sundering, but it can be learned in The War of the Ancients trilogy of novels by Richard Knaack. We did, however, get a peek into that cataclysmic day in the Azshara Warbringers video sent out by Blizzard ahead of the release of Battle for Azeroth. In it, we see Azshara literally holding back the sea threatening to engulf her Empire until encouraged by a dying fish under the control of N'Zoth, one of the Old Gods, to let go. Over the course of the next minutes, Azshara sinks to the bottom of the ocean and comes face to...eyeball...with N'Zoth. Azshara, always on the lookout for a bargain in her favor, struck a deal with the imprisoned N'Zoth who turned Azshara and her people into what we now know as Naga.

    Who Azshara is now
    With the arrival of v8.2 "Rise of Azshara" sometime this summer, players will finally confront the Queen herself. We know she has been at work in Kul Tiras after Lord Stormsong announces his wish to give the entire Kul Tiran fleet to her. We see her in the Shrine of the Storm and later along the shores of Kul Tiras. She has also had a hand in the Zandalari rebellion led by Zul and has sent her forces into Vol'dun to retrieve the Ring of Tides. Later, players will confront her in Azshara's Eternal Palace raid after she splits the seas to drop what remains of the Alliance and Horde fleets to the ocean floor. Players will find themselves in the ruins of Nazjatar, once the home of the Highborne and Azshara herself.

    Azshara is working with N'Zoth, the only living Old God (or is he???), though it remains to be seen if she is working for N'Zoth or using him to her own ends. She has never made a secret of her wish for more power and to be the ultimate ruler of all Azeroth. However, when players confront her in the Eternal Palace raid, they learn that she is attempting to break the locks on N'Zoth's prison. To what end and what her ultimate...or ulterior...motive is remains to be seen.

    What is in Azshara's future?
    Why Azshara chooses to release N'Zoth at this time remains unknown. It is particularly vexing since she has been a Naga for over 10,000 years and perhaps might have done so earlier. However, many surmise that she was unable to release N'Zoth until after players retrieved the Tidestone of Golganneth, one of the Pillars of Creation, something that definitely piqued Azshara's curiosity. After the completion of the Tomb of Sargeras where the Pillars of Creation were used to defeat the Legion, Azshara's forces have taken the abandoned Tidestone and she is now using it for her own purposes.

    As players move through Nazjatar, Azshara, who has the ability to see and hear everything in her domain, inserts herself into conversations and events to taunt players. Heading into the raid, players hear a lot from the Queen as she speaks of her power and has this interesting thought to share, "The bargain was struck on MY terms, and through it, my loyal followers embraced a grand destiny. You cannot see the truth yet, but you will. Oh, how you will! Every move you have made has been according to MY will. The Black Empire rises...and the world awaits its true queen."

    It is unclear whether or not Azshara is successful in her attempt to unleash N'Zoth and datamining suggests that she is not killed. However, Taliesin & Evitel, two Wow Power Leveling content creators, said that Blizzard developers said very clearly that "strong hints" at who the ultimate end boss of BfA would be are shown in the Eternal Palace raid. Perhaps the events of the expansion will end (patch 8.3) with a raid on the Black Empire itself with Azshara and N'Zoth as bosses within. If so, it seems that the "true queen" of the world will have a short reign.