Sylvanas Windrunner: The Character That Defines Ruubin from My Life as a Quest

AUDIO

We’re pairing 8-bit music thematically, rather than based entirely on series. You can find this track and more Tater-Tot Tunes on YouTube! Stop by and jam to some great tunes.


INTRODUCTION

Normal Happenings is proud to present The Characters That Define Us, a year long collaboration of 52+ incredible bloggers!

In the first of two World of Warcraft inspired pieces, today we’re joined by Ruubin of My Life as a Quest! Ruubin is a fantastic writer who has been a part of both The Games That Define Us and Tracking Shells.

To be honest, we’ve been having trouble getting in touch with Ruubin since late last year. We hope she returns to write many more amazing blog posts.

In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful piece. Ruubin, take it away!


1P START

It’s 2009 and I just bought the World of Warcraft expansion pack for Wrath of the Lich King (WoLK). With the install complete, I started my World of Warcraft character, a spunky undead with dark purple hair. The undead storyline has always been one of my favorites, even 10 years later, after playing all the starting zones at least twice, I still think Tirisfal Glades is one of the best zones in the entire game (even five expansions later). For multiple reasons, Halloween vibes anyone? However, the main reason being the intriguing story of Lady Sylvanas Windrunner; the Banshee Queen.

[Art source]

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner is the most underrated character in the entire World of Warcraft, Azeroth specifically. And as intense as this “villain” might be, I’ve always found Lady Sylvanas Windrunner to be the video game character that defines me the most.

Who is Sylvanas?

Lady Sylvanas goes by many names:

  • The Dark Lady
  • The Banshee Queen
  • Former Warchief of the Horde
  • Former Supreme Ruler of the Forsaken
  • Former Ranger-General of Silvermoon

However, I like to think of Lady Sylvanas as the coolest villain in all of World of Warcraft. She attempted to defend Quel’Thalas (realm of the Blood Elves) against the Scourge (the undead) from an invasion lead by the death knight Arthas Menethil. However, luck was not on her side, and she fell during battle where her soul was ripped from her body by Arthas and transformed into a banshee to serve the Lich King.

However, the powerful warrior she was, Sylvanas broke away from the powerful grasp of the Lich King and round up her own army of renegade undead (eventually known as the Forsaken) to take on the Scourge and avenge her death. The Forsaken joined the Horde and was lead with force by Sylvanas, the Banshee Queen.

[Art source]

Even though the Banshee Queen’s primary purpose is to aid the Forsaken. Devoted to her people (the undead) she rose in the ranks of the Horde, causing her to also become mistrusted by many of her allies and other faction members. Some say they can never understand her true intentions. Yet, as the character that defines me, I feel that I understand the Banshee Queen’s true intentions clearly.

Realizing that she was destined to a life of darkness (afterlife that is), she formed an alliance with the Val’kyr (after the fall of the Lich King). With this alliance, the Banshee Queen was able to return to her living body as long as the Val’kyr survive. To this day, the Banshee Queen has overthrown many, including the Warchief Vol’jin in the battle for the Broken Shore. However, her mission is and has always been loyalty to her people.

So, if Sylvanas is thought (by many) to be a traitor, what’s so amazing about her? Sylvanas is loyal. In all the characters and expansions, she’s always been loyal to her cause and I have a lot of respect for people who are loyal.

[Art source]

Which characteristic is more important to you: loyalty or honesty?

It’s a hard question but I’ve always valued loyalty over honesty. To me, a friend who lies doesn’t usually plan on hurting you intentionally (we’ve all told little white lies) but a friend who breaks your trust has thought about how that broken trust will hurt you and still goes ahead with their original plan. Sylvanas is loyal. Sure, maybe she’s considered a traitor by her current allies but she’s ALWAYS been loyal to her people; the Forsaken.

Sylvanas is a warrior. Her strength and leadership is inspirational but also feared by many. For me, there is something mildly comforting about meeting a “villain” in a game and knowing they will remain faithful to their storyline. It’s like watching a TV show and realizing by Season 8 that not only has the plot changed but you have a completely new cast of characters. Sylvanas’ character will not disappoint. She will always be our loyal banshee queen.

My history with World of Warcraft has been very similar to that of Sylvanas’. I started playing in 2009, not specifically because I wanted to play the game but because that was how my at-the-time boyfriend (who was the guild leader for our guild) and I spent time together since our relationship was long distance. And, like the seasons of Azeroth, my alliances in life also changed. A year (or so) later, our three co-guild leaders accounts got hacked (I still believe it was an “inside job”) which left our guild very divided and my personal relationship in a constant zone of fight or flight.

[Art source]

It wasn’t until I realized that I was Sylvanas. I had to decide if I was going to be loyal to my cause (playing World of Warcraft the video game) or loyal to my relationship and friends (my allies). I’m sure it’s obvious which one I decided (I mean, if you know Sylvanas at all). It wasn’t a hard decision either. My at-the-time boyfriend was actually quite a jerk (something I didn’t realize until a year and half in our relationship) and his friends (our guild-mates) were mostly his friends, not necessarily mine. So, I ditched those guys and returned to my original cause; playing World of Warcraft.

Am I heartless? Ditching my “friends” to play a video game? Nah. If Salvanas has taught me anything it’s the true meaning of loyalty among friends.

I’ve spent years reflecting over this experience and I think it was for the best that I chose a video game over my friends. It saved me years of anxiety and grief. Similar to Salvanas, it’s made me stronger but has also made me wiser in selecting my friends. It’s also made me value loyalty above any other characteristic in a person. And in return, I can be the most loyal friend you could ask for.


quests

Adventure Map! *FINISHING UP!*

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