How easily the mind can be turned to hate from a place of fear… …Instead of focusing on the things that unite us, we focus on what divides us… …My prayer, every day, is for wisdom to guide my people. And in that prayer is couched a plea, never to be blinded by such trivial differences. (Christie Golden – Rise of the Horde)
After watching the Warcraft movie, and with the recent release of the new expansion Legion, it got me in the mood to read more about the universe. I have played World of Warcraft since it’s near beginning, in what is known by gamers as “Vanilla.” I have shared in depth how much the game has had an impact on my life here, but for a shortened version, know that I met my husband through the game. When the second expansion, Burning Crusade, came out in January 2007, I remade my character into a Blood Elf Paladin. When it came to choosing a name, I went with a relatively unknown term for the ringwraiths in The Lord of the Rings, Ulairi, and I have played as her ever since.
When you play a game for ten years, you often have the feeling that you are your character. You feel a connection every time you play, especially if you are being called by that name. In my guild, I was known as Ula for short. As you traverse the world that was created in such detail, the character begins to feel like an extension of you. You are exploring, making friends, and defeating challenges. Just because these actions don’t take place in the “real world,” though I’d argue on the making friends bit, doesn’t make it any less exciting. When we read an immersive and detailed story, we are doing the same thing. We feel a connection to the characters the author has created. We explore the world they live in. We imagine the action and challenges they face. But that last one there is the key difference. When reading, we have to imagine what these prefabricated characters are going through. In a game, we can live it ourselves. We can actually help it play out.
So, it still baffles me when people shun the idea of getting a little lost in a video game. If we can do the same with our reading, why is it not okay here? And if we believe people don’t hold games to be the same works of art, their opinions on books about those games is usually lower. I am hoping to change all that. Introducing the World of Lore-craft, a World of Warcraft Readthrough.
While looking for a comprehensive list on all the lore of Warcraft, I found an article that lists them chronologically. If you include all the books, comics, short stories, and movie tie-ins, that list is 73 stories long. For my readthrough, I will be focusing on the novels (not movie tie-ins) and the short stories published online by Blizzard. This leaves me at 52 currently, with the possibility of more being released before I finish. I have already read 14 of the novels, though for the purposes of this read-through, I will be reading them again. It has been years since I completed them, and I would like to tie them in to the chronological storyline.
I am currently aiming for a weekly release schedule, but as things happen in life, that may vary. After completing a reading, I will write up a summary and my thoughts on it. I will discuss all aspects as I would a normal review in addition to how the novel ties into the greater storyline as a whole. One major point I would like to focus on is consistency, especially for the returning characters, despite having numerous authors at the helm. I will also talk about how it stands on it’s own as a novel for those not interested in the greater world. If applicable to an event within the game, I may also comment on that as well. It will be a fun challenge for me, looking at the stories from two perspectives: a longtime fan versus a clean set of eyes.
Having read many of these novels, I know they can be great, and I am excited to dive into the world in more depth than I ever have in the last 10 plus years. I hope some of you will join in so we can have a great discussion. First up will be Chapter One: Mythos, of World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1. Will you accept the quest with me?