What Blizzard should have done with Jaina

Everyone's favorite weepsack Jaina Proudmoore was an interesting figure in Wrath. She was...all over the place. She had ties to Varian, as the "other" human ruler, and likely his closest peer; she served as mediator between the two factions, stepping in on multiple occasions to prevent an outright outbreak of war; and of course, she had HUGE history with the big guy himself, Arthas.

However, now that Wrath is over and Cataclysm is fast approaching...what is left for her? She's not the face of the humans anymore since Varian is back. She won't be able to be the peacekeeper between the two factions once Thrall steps down as Warchief. And Arthas is dead, leaving her life pretty much directionless.

So what is Jaina supposed to do now? Just sit there in a swamp and watch everyone try to find Tabetha? I guess she could be Varian's advisor but that just makes both characters seem weak. And I REALLY hope they avoid the terrible cliche of her and Varian falling in love just because they are both human rulers. (After all...she hasn't exactly had the best track record with that sort of thing.)

Sure, she's peaceful and happy and could be the conscience of the Alliance, but Velen could do that just as well - better, actually, since being benevolent and caring is pretty much his entire gig. And with the emergence of Dalaran once again, she's no longer even one of the world's last ties to the Kirin Tor, like she was when Dalaran was in its little bubble in Alterac.

At a time when Blizzard is evolving and culling old Vanilla mainstays like Vol'Jin, Cairne, and Mekkatorque, Jaina's outdated and unspecific status in the Alliance hierarchy sticks out like a sore thumb. I think Blizzard missed a great opportunity to send Jaina off with a bang. In my opinion, Jaina's story should have ended in Icecrown Citadel...with her becoming the new Lich King.

But what about Bolvar??

The Bolvar angle is...okay. But really, why Bolvar? He's pretty badass, but let's be honest - he's just an average paladin. He's got no special hatred or connection to Arthas more than any other generic Argent Crusade champion. And unlike Tirion, he's got no special powers that any other paladin wouldn't have. But Jaina...Jaina would have made sense on SO many levels.

It's something Jaina would do

Despite her weepy and emo nature, Jaina is probably universally regarded as one of the true "good" people in WoW. Like Thrall, Jaina has always strongly believed in doing what is right, even if opposed by her leader (Varian) or even her own father (Daelin Proudmoore). She also thinks of her people first and foremost (like Magni or Cairne), and doesn't seem like she harbors personal grudges or vendettas (unlike Tyrande or Sylvanas). A selfless act like sacrificing her own life to end the threat of the Scourge is EXACTLY the kind of thing she would do, and in a heartbeat.

Her history with Arthas

When I found out that neither Jaina nor Sylvanas are present when you finally kill Arthas, I was quite disappointed. Sure, they got their special moments in the ICC 5-mans, but still. Jaina's been a crying mess over Arthas' downfall since...forever, plagued by self-doubt and blaming herself over his corruption. If there was the faintest hope that he could be redeemed by relieving him of the "burden" of being the Lich King, I think Jaina would leap at the chance. Of all the people who Arthas knew in life, Jaina is probably the one person left on Azeroth who would do this for him. Actually, in a sad, twisted way I think Jaina would believe that she OWES it to Arthas to do this, because she feels so personally responsible for not saving him before.

She's powerful enough to do it

Jaina has always been acknowledged as one of the world's most powerful wizards, plus she has the former Guardian of Tirisfal as her mentor/teacher. Hell, her WoW wiki entry states outright that "She is also the most powerful human sorceress on Azeroth." She may not be as strong as former archmages Antonidas or Medivh, but is she more powerful than Bolvar? Hell yes she is. Also, I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be by trusting in the Light to keep someone pure and strong against evil's corrupting ways. After all, we've seen powerful creatures of the Light get corrupted and twisted before. Maybe an entirely different power source - arcane magic - is what is truly needed to lock the Lich King away for good.

It would tie up loose ends

Removing Jaina from the picture would tie up many loose ends that currently exist. No longer would we have the strange "humans have two leaders" situation, which is always slightly confusing and detracts from the humans' unity. It would also remove the only truly neutral mediator that has kept the Horde & Alliance from each other's throats, which would lead nicely into the more warlike state we know will exist in Cataclysm. Finally, I think Thrall would be deeply affected and moved by the sacrifice of such a close friend, which could add to his desire to step down as Warchief and put petty racial differences behind him, to assume more global, important responsibilities.

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    Some great ideas! I completely agree with you, that Jaina has really been left by the wayside, and it's a pity, because apart from Sylvanas "The Smokin' Hot Bikini Queen" Windrunner, there aren't really any strong female leaders in the game right now. To be fair, Sylvanas kicks some pretty serious butt.

    I like your idea about having Jaina take the place Bolvar currently occupies. Failing that, another way I wouldn't mind seeing it play out for Varian Wrynn to wind up on the Frozen Throne (I never liked him anyway), Jaina to take over as the true head of the Alliance, and Bolvar could just ... die. The poor guy deserves a rest anyway.

    July 16, 2010 at 10:11 PM

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    This would've been so perfect. :< Jaina is one of my favourite lore characters (seriously, when my guildies ran me through the 5-mans, I kept deafening them over vent with my squees) and I really loved seeing her in Northrend, and was eager to see what would happen when the Lich King died. Because OBVIOUSLY she'd be there, right?

    And then she... wasn't. And then randomass Bolvar was the new Lich King. And I went "But... what is she supposed to do now, run off with Thrall and have little half-orc babies?"

    I really wish Blizzard had given her the chance to do this. Unless they have some big secret plotline for her in the expansion, I can't see how they could've done any better by her than to let her go out with a bang.

    July 17, 2010 at 12:46 AM

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    Brilliant ideas, sir!

    July 19, 2010 at 1:40 PM

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    Ringo Flinthammer

    Wow, that's a really brilliant idea. I've been unbelievably disappointed in how she's behaved throughout WotLK -- she's suddenly turned into a weepy tween instead of the leader who was willing to go to battle against her father's navy when it was the right thing to do.

    A Lich Queen would have been great on so many levels and would have made her an interesting parallel to Sylvanas, especially with what Cataclysm holds for the Banshee Queen.

    July 19, 2010 at 8:37 PM

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    When I saw the title of this "What Blizz should have done with Jaina" I thought the answer was going to be something like "stuff her in a bag". What are you playing at, writing thoughtful insightful posts instead?!

    July 20, 2010 at 1:45 AM