Kiddo over at Journal of a WoW Kiddie posted an interesting thought about the lack of pride amongst the Alliance forces. It got me thinking about the topic too. Kiddo raises a lot of good points on the matter, namely the surge of spite at a number of King Wrynn’s recent actions as well as the lack of a real battle cry that simply isn’t piggybacking on the Horde’s (I wholeheartedly support the use of “For Bolvar”). However, my personal thoughts on this matter run deeper, and much older, than the return of our good king. (No, that’s not sarcasm. I like King Wrynn. Especially after playing Horde for two years and dealing with Thrall’s “Lets pretend to be friends with the Alliance” while Horde and Alliance blood is still being spilled on the soil daily.)
When I first started playing World of Warcraft, and as I understand this is still true, the Alliance are viewed as the good ‘clean’ races. The humans and their allies – a stockpile of stereotypical fantasy fare – who think they are the last bastions of good in an otherwise darkening world. The Horde on the other hand are a ragtag band of fantasy underdogs and ‘bad asses’, and are hardened because of their tough lot of not being the “good ones.” People love their underdogs and anti-heroes. After all, people like Batman more than Superman and Wolverine more than Cyclops for a reason. But it wasn’t always that way with the Alliance and the Horde.
PART I – The Glory of the Alliance: The First and Second War
There was once a time when the Alliance were the last bastion of good in a darkening world. The Horde on the other hand were a ruthless and brutal force seeking to annihilate the humans of Stormwind from the map, and canonically, almost succeeded in doing so. The First War was a brutal destruction of the kingdom of Stormwind, and the Orcish Horde seized control of the majority of that territory. The Guardian of Tirisfal himself was found to be a traitor and the remnants of the human forces fled north to the kingdom of Lordaeron in defeat. At that point, the Alliance was born. Pulling from the Dwarves of Khaz Modan, the Gnomes of Gnomeregan, the Elves of Quel’Thalas and the human lands of Gilneas, Alterac, Dalaran, Stormgarde and Kul Tiras, the Alliance was founded as a means to push back these otherworldly invaders and preserve life as they knew it.
This was a moment where you were proud to call yourself to a member of the Alliance. You were part of the only defense against these brutish invaders that are destroying your land and killing your people. You were The Fellowship – or dare I cross a fantasy line and say in the same sentence Harry Potter. The Orcish Horde were Sauron or Voldemort or the Empire. Granted, many people back then enjoyed playing the Horde as well, there also people who enjoy playing the Sith in a Star Wars game or going Renegade in Mass Effect.
But the Alliance of Lordaeron stood for something during the Second War. Five human nations, that I must say didn’t always enjoy each others company, and even complete other races, united in a common cause. This didn’t happen everyday. It’s kinda like getting the United Nations to unanimously agree on something. That is what the Alliance was in the world’s darkest hour. They gave everything to defend their lands and their people against their enemies. When they succeeded in driving back the Horde to Draenor, they followed to ensure that the Horde would never threaten to people of the Alliance again. Many were trapped there after the Dark Portal was closed and Draenor devastated, sacrificing a chance to ever see their families again to ensure their safety.
However, war brings out the strongest emotions in people, and even once the fighting is done that anger doesn’t always dissipate. But I think this post has run long enough already, I should have Part 2 up later week to discuss what happened in the wake of the Third War and where I think all of this good Alliance pride went. Till then, stay strong my Alliance brothers and sisters… For Bolvar!