World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is still nearly a year away from its launch window, but the Blizzard community is already buzzing with excitement for the MMO's next major addition. The journey into the realm of the dead is a very interesting opportunity from a storytelling perspective and many fans are eager to see which deceased heroes and villains of Azeroth their characters are going to come across during their time in Shadowlands.
The World of Warcraft dev team has already confirmed that Shadowlands is going to offer the chance to run into some spirits who have already passed on to Azeroth's version of the afterlife. That means that both recently deceased WoW heroes and villains, as well as characters who died long ago could be reappearing in the game's story.
Although many spirits who appear will likely closely connect to the ongoing storyline relating to Sylvanas' descent into madness, WoW's writers are absolutely going to have some fun with the opportunity and bring back less relevant characters either for laughs or fan service, as well. The expansion is sure to be full of dozens of "I know who that is!" moments as players explore the Shadowlands and stumble across easter eggs and side quests.
With all that in mind, there are some popular options for characters who are most likely to return based on story needs and the most exciting fan service moments... Note: The following character list will include some major Battle for Azeroth spoilers. Players who are not caught up on the latest expansion's War Campaign should stop reading here if they want to remain unspoiled.
This one should be a given. The leader of the Horde resistance sacrificed himself during the latest Siege of Orgrimmar and was crucial to outing Sylvanas. Although his character arc did come to a satisfying conclusion, revisiting the Shadowlands so soon after his death just seems like the perfect opportunity to check in on the battered old soldier. Perhaps we'll also get to see the old soldier have a reunion with his deceased family.
Think you are going to avoid Barrens chat memes by playing Retail instead of Classic? Think again. Players have been searching for the corpse of Mankrik's wife since vanilla WoW launched back in 2004 and it would be a huge missed opportunity if she wasn't a part of a quest in Shadowlands. Maybe the couple can finally reunite after all these years?
This is another popular request and would be very easy to tie-in to the actually main storyline of the expansion. The focus on the destruction of the Lich King helm is going to be a driving force early on in the content, so it makes sense that Arthas will at least make a brief appearance in the content.
After Ysera's tear-jerker storyline in Legion, it would be a serious relief to see the beautiful dragon living peacefully in the Shadowlands. Please let this magical force for good be enjoying some much deserved rest and relaxation somewhere in a peaceful Covenant. Our hearts can't take any more pain for Ysera.
Although WoW Classic players are busy defeating the original Onyxia, some players think it's about time to give the dragon another beating in Shadowlands. Popular speculation has been that Onyxia could be a dungeon or raid boss that needs to be defeated one final time during Shadowlands.
Although his time as Warchief was short, Vol'Jin is a fan favorite and beloved hero of the Horde. Since his fall after the Battle of the Broken Shore, the hero has been sorely missed as Horde leadership has taken the faction down a dark path. As the Horde struggles to identify a new leader and redeem themselves, some wise words from the last reliable Warchief could play nicely into the "Break the Cycle" storyline that has been setup in recent BfA cinematics.
At a time when the Horde needs new direction, a chat with the leader of the Frostwolf Clan could help set the faction back on the right path. With Thrall coming back into the main narrative at the end of BfA, there could be the opportunity for a very emotional moment between Durotan and his son. Perhaps the old man could talk Thrall into stepping back into the leadership position?
The development team behind Shadowlands has already mentioned Kael’thas and Uther, so it seems like those two characters are confirmed. The devs definitely hinted that there would be a lot of other returning faces, so the list is likely to continue growing as the next WoW expansion's release date draws closer. We are definitely going to learn a lot more details about Shadowlands in the coming months, so expect a lot of updates as Blizzard moves into full promotion mode and eventually fires up test servers.
Be sure to check back for more WoW Classic strategy guides, news, and updates in the coming days. Until then, For The Horde!
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth and WoW: Classic are both available now on PC. Shadowlands does not have a release date yet.