The upcoming Sanctum of Domination raid in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands will mark a “pivotal moment” for Sylvanas’ character arc according to a recent interview with technical director Frank Kowalkowski. Shadowlands is the latest World of Warcraft expansion and has been well-received by fans following its introduction of several intriguing gameplay mechanics, like The Maw and Torghast.
After over 16 years and nine expansions, the ongoing World of Warcraft story has already observed the rise and fall of several iconic villains within the greater Warcraft universe. Despite happening relatively early into the game’s lifespan, one of the most memorable was the fall of Arthas as the Lich King in Wrath of the Lich King, a story arc that began in the Warcraft RTS games and was wrapped up during a lengthy journey through Northrend. One character who has persisted throughout many of the game’s major story beats – and actively contributed to them – is Sylvanas Windrunner. She’s played the role of both hero and villain on different occasions, and is now one of the central antagonists of Shadowlands alongside The Jailer.
According to an interview with Kowalkowski conducted by GameSpot, the next beat in the Sylvanas story will be one players won’t want to miss. Kowalkowski stated that following the Sanctum of Domination raid‘s final fight, “the aftermath of that fight is going to be a very pivotal moment, not just for Shadowlands but for Sylvanas as well.” If that isn’t enough to get those invested in the WoW storyline excited, Kowalkowski also referred to the Sanctum of Domination raid’s narrative implications for Sylvanas as something that’s been “years in the making” in adding to what he referred to as a “very long story arc.”
Sylvanas has already had some big moments in Shadowlands, having kicked off the excursion into the realm following her victory over Bolvar Fordragon, the Lich King who replaced Arthas at the end of Wrath of the Lich King. Following that, her imprisonment of Anduin Wrynn, leader of the Alliance, has firmly established her as an enemy to those looking to do good in the world of Azeroth and beyond. While her motivations have rarely been crystal clear, it appears the Sanctum of Domination raid will add to her story in a significant way, which could mean a better explanation of her plans or, perhaps, her death.
So many Warcraft villains have come and gone at this point that Sylvanas’ presence as a repeated thorn in the side of adventurers is almost a calming story to return to after the latest expansion’s other concerns. She’s an incredibly polarizing figure and her dramatic shifts in philosophy over the course of the story haven’t always been well-received, but that’s what makes her compelling – and whatever her latest, “pivotal moment” in the Sanctum of Domination raid’s aftermath is, there’s little doubt players will be talking about it for weeks after.