Despite the Heroic Version of our hero, Garrosh Hellscream, remaining alive as of the time of this writing, the lore explanation and final judgment of this expansions “villain” (and I use that term loosely) has been set in stone. Unless of course the final heroic stage of the fight also changes the end outcome, but that seems unlikely - so let's just assume the Normal mode ending is cannon. Garrosh is no longer Warchief of the Horde, despite his tireless efforts to re-build a fracturing alliance and his dominant offensives on the Pandaren continent. “He’s gone too far,” was the official explanation for the effort to depose him, and while Garrosh’s behavior was less than.. tolerant, it was by no means unusual in comparison to the war acts of other Warchiefs and other faction leaders. Point at Garrosh all you want, but placing him as a scapegoat for the weakness of the Horde and its races is the behavior of the tragically misinformed.
Regardless, it is what it is. Garrosh, son of Grom, is in custody of the Shado-Pan, the ones who have suffered the most under his actions. Notice he is not dead. Not executed. Not banished. Not stripped of his last name, signifying the great legacy of Orcish honor that he bears. A rather weak end to a character depicted as strong and dominant. Would Garrosh really just let himself by arrested by the Pandaren - wounded Pandaren at that? To me, the lack of a serious consequence (as of yet) for his actions weakens Garrosh as a character. With the point being uniting two factions that have been at war for decades to depose a tyrant, and the end result is the tyrant is arrested… by a third party nonetheless.
If we look back into history, human history that is, we see that it is exceedingly rare for a successful coup to allow the former leader anything other than serious consequences and often death. A military coup, especially a one that involves SACKING THE CAPITAL CITY, should have a resolution that ends in some closure for the ones who were wronged. To leave Garrosh as a Prisoner of War, given his status as one of the most powerful beings on Azeroth (especially while using the Heart of Y’Sharrj), seems flat.
However, it is important to note that we have not yet seen the actual conditions of Garrosh’s imprisonment. Will he be sentenced to a 1000 years in a solitary cell, like Illidan? Will he be executed by the roly-poly Panderonis? Will he be acquitted? Does Pandaria even have a judicial system? QUESTIONS. QUESTIONS I NEED ANSWERED.
With this lack of closure that is driving me a bit bonkers, I offer three possible scenarios for Garrosh, Son of Grom, after his removal from office.
- Garrosh is imprisoned by the Pandaren for an extremely long amount of time. We’re talking hundreds of years, much like our boy Illidan back in the Third War. It stands to reason that a peace-loving race like the Pandaren would be hesitant to submit any punishment other than solitary confinement, especially after the destruction and devastation of the Pride War.
- Garrosh is executed. The Shado-pan wardens sentence him to death for the atrocities of the Pride War, and he is publicly hanged off one of the broken spears in the Vale. Despite the Padaren hesitation towards violence, Garrosh’s actions drove many Pandaren out of their homes and destroyed countless homes and citizens, and as such he owes them his life.
- Garrosh is banished to Outland. Although the ruins of Draenor haven’t been updated lately, they would serve as a perfect location of the banishment of a former Warchief. Outland is Garrosh’s home, unlike many of the current Azeroth-born Orcs, and it would serve him well to return to the place of his birth to live out the rest of his days. Perhaps Garrosh would find it in himself to rebuild relations between the Broken and whatever Mag’Har remain in Outland, wouldn’t that be an interesting resolution WINK WINK.
The true resolution of Garrosh’s saga deserves to be shown to players and residents of Azeroth. Unlike untouched lore developments like Neptulon’s abduction, Garrosh deserves a solid, FINAL resolution to his story. Kel’Thuzad was killed in Naxx 25 during Wrath (don’t forget that phylactery in vanilla!), Illidan was killed, Kil’Jaeden was banished back to the Twisting Nether, Deathwing was ripped apart by the sacrifice of the Aspects, and Arthas himself was killed by the souls of the damned and the players sent to destroy him. Garrosh, as son of Grom and Warchief for 2 expansions, along with major plot points during BC and Wrath, deserves a complete and total resolution to his story. Being arrested by Pandaren, a race introduced and developed over the last year, just doesn’t cut it for the Son of Grom Hellscream.
Garrosh is one of the strongest characters in Warcraft, with a long detailed character progression and a legacy to uphold. Much like Thrall, nearly all of Garrosh's life occurs in-game, from his birth and seclusion in Nagrand, to his command post in Northrend, to his leadership of the horde and eventual deposition. Now that Garrosh has been usurped, removed from the Warchief's throne by the non-Orcish members of his horde (and some alliance too), where does his story lead? Will he finally look upon his father's and his own legacy without bias and with a clear head? I would hope so.
Even more interesting now is the opportunity for Garrosh to swing back into Azeroth with an older, more mature mindset. If - correction, when - The Burning Legion returns, the planet will need every ounce of help it can get, especially from warriors as skilled and charismatic as Garrosh. Perhaps some time in the Pandaren slammer will be just what the still-young Orc needs, time to think over his crimes and his unrestrained brutality and how dangerous it is to rely on aggression and anger. Looking back on the now-destroyed Vale, maybe our intrepid former warchief will finally come to realize the value of restraint, the lesson old Varuk Saurfang tried to teach him back in the wastes of Northrend. An older, wiser, regretful Garrosh could learn the lessons that the young, brash Garrosh ignored.
"You were right all along Mr. Saurfang!"
Ed. Note: To those of you not familiar with westerns, the title is a reference to this 2007 film which, much like Siege of Orgrimmar, depicts the last days and death of a legendary villan.