Grudge Match: Cenarius vs. Hellscream, Part II

When it comes to familiar faces, we've already seen some pretty cool lore events in Cataclysm. The return of Ragnaros. Thrall battling the Maelstrom. Hanging out with Garona/Matthias Shaw in Twilight Highlands. And of course, the arduous, but successful, effort to bring Cenarius back to Azeroth from the Emerald Dream.

Now, I know Ysera and the Ancients were really keen on getting Cenarius back so he can help fight Ragnaros, but his return might actually end up being the catalyst that finally leads to outright open war between the Horde & Alliance.

Let's take a short trip back in history and revisit just why we had to resurrect Cenarius. Anyone remember how he died? He was killed, by none other than Grom Hellscream, Garrosh's daddy. And oh look, who's that in charge of the Horde now?

Grom holding Gorehowl, after killing Cenarius

Now, Garrosh wouldn't have any reason to fight Cenarius. At least, not at first. The fight between Grom and Cenarius is long over, and Garrosh would have no reason to revisit it, especially since Grom was victorious. That being said, we saw in Garrosh's first meeting with Baine that he's more than willing to honor old grudges and debts passed down from father to son. And while Garrosh has no beef with Cenarius right now, that would all change quickly if he felt Cenarius had impugned his honor...or that of his father.

Garrosh holding Gorehowl, after killing Cairne Bloodhoof

As for Cenarius, he might be a nice guy and the son of a Goddess and all, but I imagine even he's a little pissed at Hellscream Sr. for drinking the demon blood and turning him into worm food. And while I doubt Cenarius is petty enough to strike at the son for the sins of the father, I'm sure Cenarius would have some harsh (but justified) words for Garrosh about his dear old dad...words that Garrosh most definitely does not want to hear, let alone from one of Grom's mightiest enemies.

Now, it's a no-brainer that the return of Ragnaros is a major issue for both factions. I imagine it won't be too long before Cenarius and the rest of the druids hold a War Council with leaders of both factions, to discuss a joint attack on the Firelord.

My inner typographer wants to pluck out that extra space between "We" & "must".

Unfortunately, this can only go badly. We're all familiar with how short-tempered and arrogant Garrosh is. And we know his feeling about working with non-Horde. Even if Cenarius is benevolent enough not to bring up that whole BEING KILLED incident, how long will it be before he gets tired of Garrosh's attitude? One disgusted "like father, like son" comment and it'd all be over. Garrosh is pretty hot-headed, but the one thing that would rouse him to rage more than anything else in the world is somebody insulting Grom, whom he reveres. He'd lose his mind.

Keep in mind that Horde-Alliance relations, especially between the druids, are already quite strained. Remember that in the Shattering novel, the Night Elf/Tauren druid convocation was interrupted by murderous Twilight Cultists. Every Night Elf in attendance was slain, and died believing that the Horde/Garrosh had betrayed them. This isn't true, but do the Night Elves know this? Probably not.

Oh, and let's not forget Ashenvale itself, where Cenarius met his demise. He wasn't too keen to see the Orcs in Ashenvale years ago when they were just arriving; I'm guessing the Horde's current strong presence in the area isn't making the son of Malorne feel very neighborly.

There's really no positive resolution here. When Cenarius and Garrosh do butt heads (and they will), it will be lose-lose all around. If Cenarius refuses to fight Garrosh, Garrosh will assume he's weak and a coward, which will make teaming up to fight Ragnaros pretty awkward, if not impossible. That being said, would Cenarius even decline such a duel? He must be steaming inside about what happened with Grom, and here is his murderer's son, proudly waving around the axe that killed him, swaggering with power, taking over his ancient forests and apparently ordering the death of his beloved druids. Cenarius might be all too eager to teach this young pup some manners.

And if they battle, what then? Disaster. If Cenarius killed Garrosh, we players would rejoice, but many, many members of the Horde would be outraged. Garrosh is widely regarded as a war hero, and his death at the hands of a person so closely tied to the Night Elves would most definitely NOT go over well.

However, it would be even worse if Garrosh slew Cenarius. The Night Elves have never forgiven the Orcs for what Grom did, and if it were to happen again, I don't think any power in the world would stop Tyrande from trying to rip out Garrosh's throat. Not to mention that Varian would be ecstatic, since he's been looking for an excuse to go to war for ages now. And the cooler heads on both sides - Magni, Thrall, Cairne - are all gone.

I'm sure Cenarius' great power will be pivotal in battling Ragnaros, and that we will need his help if we hope to succeed. He is a demigod, after all. But there's so many past wrongs he could be furious about, and Garrosh is such an obstinate and antagonistic fool. It's the worst combination possible. It's like two trains inexorably heading toward each other on a terrible collision course, on tracks of bad blood and old grudges.

And there's nothing we can do but wait for the crash.

9 Responses Subscribe to comments

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    "My inner typographer wants to pluck out that extra space between "We" & "must"."


    On an unrelated topic. Why is it that no matter where orcs go, they leave ruin in their wake? These guys must be some of the worst party guests EVAR.

    February 16, 2011 at 9:39 AM

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    Well, let's follow this sort of path:

    --Garrosh has killed Cairne.
    --Garrosh kills Sylvanas. (You can see it coming, can't you?)
    --Lor'themar is too isolated to be of any threat.
    --Thrall is gone.
    --Vol'jin could be killed by Garrosh too.

    Then just who the hell does that leave of any stature to stand up to Garrosh? A pretty short list: Saurfang the Elder, Eitrig, Liadrin. It would take either Thrall returning to lead the Horde or Vol'jin somehow turning the tables on Garrosh for Junior Nutcase to be put back in his place.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM

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    @Grimm - Extra spaces are my BANE!!

    @Red - I actually think it might go differently. I think Garrosh would lose to Cenarius. Garrosh's only true challenge - Cairne - was won only through Magatha's poison. Cairne was kicking his ass before that.

    I think Garrosh would lose to Cenarius, and the shame and injured pride he would experience would drive him to cross some lines, leading to political strife amongst the other leaders. I'll probably expand upon these ideas in another post, actually. :D

    February 16, 2011 at 12:57 PM

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    You're assuming the big fight with Cenarius happens before anything else happens to the Horde. I think that if it does happen, it'll be after Garrosh eliminates his competition.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:45 PM

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    I don't think there is anyway Garrosh could win in a fight against Cenarius. The only way you could beat Canarius in WCIII was by drinking demon blood, then using magical damage against him as physical attacks couldn't harm him. Garrosh may be tough, but he couldn't touch a demigod.

    February 16, 2011 at 2:42 PM

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    @skinnemuva - I think you're absolutely right. There's no way Garrosh could defeat Cenarius, at least not how he is now.

    That being said, he DOES wield Gorehowl, a weapon that has already been "consecrated" in a demigod's blood. Who's to say what effect that may have had on it? Perhaps Gorehowl is capable of feats no one suspects...

    February 16, 2011 at 4:01 PM

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    You bringing this up made an epic scene run through my head.

    At the meeting where Cenarius tries to get both sides together he makes the "like father, like son" comment when Garrosh makes one of this trademark arrogant comments.

    Garrosh challenges him and of course he refuses the challenge. When the Horde contingent begins to leave, lead by Garrosh saying they will not fight by the side of a coward Cenarius regretfully accepts his challenge with the one rule that if he wins and Garrosh falls to him that his people must assist in taking down the firelord and follow him as their leader for this one battle.

    Garrosh agrees to the terms and says that he, and his people, will assist in the battle win or lose as Cenarius has show due honor by accepting the challenge.

    Cenarius basically goes on to beat Garrosh like a red headed stepchild. He takes his ax from him and swings at Garrosh, to give the final blow with the same ax that did him in but instead tosses it into a fire pit to melt and be gone forever.

    He spares Garrosh's life saying that they need his leadership if this battle is to be a success. Garrosh agrees of course, because the horde suck without him, or so he says.

    Once Ragnaros is slain Garrosh picks up his mace and announces that their agreement is now fulfilled so they must end their previous disagreement now and attacks a weakened Cenarius from behind laying him out in one shot.

    As he prepares his deathblow Vol'jin steps in to stop him saying he has dishonored the Horde by attacking a weakened Cenarius so soon after their agreement and tells him he should step down.

    Garrosh, against his own wishes, seeing the horde army stand behind Vol'jin agrees, with terms, saying he will step down the day deathwing falls.

    This will lead us to a new leader in the expansion.

    Reading your post played this all out in my head thinking it would be fantastic.

    Lore is sometimes fun to play around with.

    February 17, 2011 at 6:27 AM

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    That WOULD be epic. I can definitely imagine the initial confrontation with Cenarius playing out exactly like that! The only thing I'd change is that when Garrosh turned on Cenarius later, I would love to see Vol'jin not just stop him, but make good on his threat against Garrosh from way back and kill him.

    Vol'jin has been the one non-Alliance person to really stand up to Garrosh and not stand for his nonsense, and being the one to step in and stop Garrosh when he gets out of hand would be so badass.

    February 17, 2011 at 8:51 AM

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    Just stumbled on your blog - great reading! Garrosh would get spanked I think, but damn if it wouldn't be fun to watch.

    Besides, we need a reson to take it to the alliance.

    February 17, 2011 at 3:57 PM