Screenshot from Wowhead
Ever since Siege went live, I've been curious about the rather drastic change Garrosh's BFF Malkorok has undergone since we last saw him.
When we finally met Malkorok for the first time in-game, we discovered he was a rather generic looking Blackrock orc, slate-skinned, normal eyes and everything, pretty mundane. Nothing really to indicate he was anything special.
But now, in Siege? He's all mutated and corrupted from the power of Y'Shaarj, according to the dungeon journal, and he's covered in spikes and tentacles and he's all gross and freaky.
I don't care about any of that, that all makes perfect sense. But his hand though? His hand has been replaced with a giant metal blade. And THAT, I find interesting.
Was this just a move to show how committed and war-like he and Garrosh have become? That Malkorok would replace his own hand with a weapon? It could be, sure. But I can't help but wonder if it's supposed to signify something about that other famous blade-handed orc, Kargath Bladefist, and his clan, the Shattered Hand.
(And if you're thinking maybe Malkorok is simply holding the blade inside that handle part, nope - you can clearly see that the blade starts right where his hand would be.)
Replacing one's hand with a blade isn't completely unheard of among orcs, but this is usually a practice found among fel orcs, who were all under the command of Kargath himself, and most commonly among his Shattered Hand troops.
But Malkorok is a Blackrock orc! Does his blade-hand signify some some sort of strange cooperation between the different orc clans? Remember, the Shattered Hand do have a presence in Orgrimmar, and always have - they train and monitor the Horde's assassins, spies and thieves.
The Shattered Hand were mostly quiet during Thrall's tenure, but Garrosh has been actively using them in military operations. He also employs a number of stalkers and assassins throughout SoO, and while they are usually classified as Kor'kron soldiers, they likely received their training at the hands of Shattered Hand veterans.
Has Garrosh, in the midst of his warmongering, actually managed to unify the orc clans? And not just have them fight alongside each other, but actually share their secrets and techniques? Maybe he's better at the political stuff than anyone realizes, among orcs at least. After all, he did recruit the Dragonmaw and Blackrock clans back into the Horde, something Thrall was never able (or perhaps, willing) to do.
If Garrosh really is good at talking to his fellow orcs and rousing their spirits, winning their allegiances...well, it would make a lot of sense, considering what's coming up in Warlords, wouldn't it?