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The Jailer's Plan for Azeroth: an Unlikely but Incredibly Awesome Theory

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So, the expansion started with Sylvanas breaking the veil between Azeroth and the Shadowlands, after a long campaign of helping and working for the Jailer. But what is Azeroth's importance in this whole Jailer-Eternal Ones-First Ones story? This theory not only explains that, but also manages to wrap up and connect Shadowlands' story to Legion's, and much further back - all the way to Warcraft 3. The theory is somewhat unlikely to happen, and is a little out there, but it would be one of the more awesome WoW moments ever if it did.

I've been wanting to write this one for a long time, ever since I read BreHealz original idea for the Jailer's plan for Azeroth a few months ago - but now seems like a pretty good time to go for it, as we're about to find out the fate of Sylvanas (and maybe more) when the Sanctum of Domination arrives today. The article will have some spoilers for later 9.1 story events, including the final part of the new raid so beware.

The Jailer's Overall Plan So Far

For now, all we know is that big chained baldy is gathering up the Covenant sigils, which are powerful items created by the First Ones and given to the Covenant leaders/Eternal Ones. What exactly he plans to do with them is anyone's guess - the most direct/easiest theory is that he's simply trying to break free using that power. But that certainly isn't all of it, as he wanted the sigils before he was imprisoned too, and we actually see him pop up in Oribos during the final Sanctum of Domination fight.

So ok, he wants to unmake/remake death and possibly all of existence, as Syvanas so nicely monologued to Anduin about. But what does any/all of this have to do with Azeroth?

How and Why Is Azeroth Involved?

This one also has a relatively simple explanation, albeit a flimsy one - the Jailer wanted souls and chose Azeroth either at random or because of some greater connection with the Shadowlands we don't yet understand. It all started back in Warcraft 3, with Arthas and the planted Frostmourne, as that was the Jailer's original plan for... souls? We know he got the designs from the Runecrafter's memories, and there's a very indicative line in that cinematic that makes this new theory at least somewhat likely.

"Your grandest design... to claim the final prize. The secret the First Ones tried to hide."

Now this could still all be interpreted as the Jailer's plan for gathering souls via Frostmourne and the Helm of Domination through the Lich King... but that just seems low-level to me, at least in these cosmic times. It is a good enough reason for sure, escape would be quite the priority after thousands/millions of years in the Maw. But could there be more to it?

Ok, Stop Stalling, What Is This Fancy New Theory?

Azeroth has been the focal point of all of WoW and has gathered a LOT of attention from most of the cosmic forces, from the Void Lords trying to create a Void God out of the planet's Soul, to the Legion trying to destroy it to stop that from happening, the Naaru showing up all over the place and so on and so forth. Well, what if the Jailer is after the same thing? After all, his heralds were yelling "Death comes for the soul of this world" throughout the pre-patch.


That's right. BreHealz' theory is that the Jailer was after Azeroth's Soul all along, but in a very different way. Everything we've seen so far in the Shadowlands, in Legion, in Warcraft 3 has all been setup for this. The Jailer is going to make a Mourneblade out of Sargeras' sword and will take control of Azeroth.

I'll just let that awesomeness sit for a bit.


I can already see the full cinematic, as the Jailer's chains reach through from the Shadowlands with the Covenant sigils' power, hitting Sargeras' blade and slowly starting to turn it, leading into the final raid of the expansion. Perhaps we even get to fight Azeroth itself? Sounds like a pretty good finish for a 9.x patch, ahead of 10.0 and whatever revamp that may bring.

As for his ultimate plans once he has done that, well, we don't really care do we? We are Azeroth's protectors and we didn't let Sargeras blow it all up, we didn't let the Old Gods and the Void Lords corrupt it, so we're sure not going to stand by as the Jailer does it. Maybe he'll use the power to make Death the prime power, or unmake the universe, maybe he'll go kill the First Ones (if they're alive), or maybe he's just lonely and wants a companion - really after he enslaves our planet it's all going to hell anyway. Part of the reason this theory is so awesome to me, perhaps too awesome to actually implement, is because it legitimately all makes sense. For now the story is going in a VERY generic "get the 5 mcguffins created by the ancient ones and use them to win/destroy everything/remake everything". But this move by the Jailer actually makes him much more formidable, as it is his planning and finding ways around his restrictions that are his power.

So how did it all work then? Well as we know/will soon find out in the rest of 9.1, the dreadlords were working for Denathrius all along and, well, the Sire is working for/with the Jailer. They set up everything - Frostmourne, the Lich King, even the Legion itself as they corrupted Sargeras by showing him the Void and what it was doing to World Souls. So why would all that preparation be set up "JUST" to get a bunch of souls into the Maw and then use that power? Surely any other planet could have worked too? But we know Azeroth, the World Soul, is special and incredibly powerful. Now maybe it's that specialness that makes it a good connection and soul-ferrying-bridge to the Shadowlands and that's that, but that's just a weaker plot device to me. Also, Anduin may have been important for more than just his power with the Light. He is an Azerothian who is very defiant and would not succumb to the Jailer's domination via Mourneblade quite so easily. After all, Arthas and Bolvar were a failure and defied the Jailer's will for a long time, so he needed to prefect the process if he was going to try it on a World Soul.

Why the Theory Is So Awesome

Aside from the general wow factor of a planet-sized Mourneblade and a World Soul becoming one with Death... ok that really is enough on its own isn't it? Perhaps a little too grandiose for some, but we've really crossed that bridge already, might as well go all-out. But there's certainly more, as this theory connects pretty much everything. And many players might not like the fact that the Jailer has been inserted into the very core of the Warcraft lore from the start, but that's already a done deal, regardless of whether this theory is true or not.

We have a thematic link, with Arthas' corruption mirroring Azeroth's impending one. We have the irony that it's Sylvanas that brings about her own world's doom, and the fact that the Banshee only is the way she is because of Arthas, who was what he was because of the Jailer in turn (this one works in all other theories as well). We have the First Ones hiding the Mourneblade schematics away because it was simply too powerful and could take over a World Soul. The Runecarver succumbing and letting the great secret slip, setting all of the plot from Warcraft 3 onward in motion. The connection with Legion, seemingly the last thread of the Burning Legion's storyline that will now become relevant again. The story actually mattering and having a genuine, visible in-game arc and meaning, not just an inserted "this was what happened all along, you just didn't know it" link between multiple expansions. Frankly, there's even more I could list, but this surely is enough to warrant the "awesome" tag. But is all of that enough? Did Blizzard think of any of this? Will we get this truly epic (in the genuine and not overused and annoying meaning of the word) conclusion to the expansion?

Probably not.

I mentioned in the start this was a long shot of a theory, as it seems far more likely it's the simple get-power-from-ancient-items-destroy world plot (albeit with a pretty great intro with the souls coming in from Azeroth). A lot of the things I talk about above would still apply to this plot as well and enrich it, but it just doesn't have the wow (and WoW) factor of the Sargmourne theory. We still might see Blizzard pull this one off, however, and I for one am EXTREMELY hopeful that we get at least something close to this, or perhaps even better.

So, that's about it. I could go on about the many small details that make it make even more (or less) sense and why I love it so much, but let's not go overboard. We should know some more soon enough, although it's entirely possible that the ending of Sanctum of Domination doesn't progress the story further than the "Jailer gets all the sigils, uh-oh" cliffhanger. I'd say it's a 50-50 shot whether we actually find out what the actual ultimate plan is (other than unmake everything), so this theory could still be possible long after 9.1!

What do you think of it all? Too much? Did I get too hyped and grandiose about it all? Either way, here's the original post that inspired this article and huge thanks to BreHealz for the inspiration and, well, the theory itself!

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It would be badass to play this thing out. And I think the Jailer has said his plans were set in motion so very long ago and every bit is so very carefully planned. So I have to wonder: how in the world are we going to stop him? Mere mortals against an eternal one with a plan older than time. What is it that his 20/20 foresight didn't foresee?

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You hit some good points and it was an entertaining read, but I just want to recall that Ion Hazzikostas hinted at a time lapse after the Shadowlands expansion. To me, that sounds like we'll be completing the full expansion within the Shadowlands, though I guess there could be another major patch, 9.2, that could have us returning to a newer Azeroth. Seems like too much content for a single patch, so either your theory is wrong or it plays out in the next expansion.


Just for reference:



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