Welcome to the third and final instalment in this series, where I look at the jerks of Warcraft who go around masquerading as ‘really nice guys’. My apologies for getting this post out a little later than planned. You see I could have just gone after my nemesis and been done with it, but instead I decided to hold a massive tournament, for no real tactical benefit, and basically just to waste people’s lives in a crude effort to show how great I am. Oh wait, that wasn’t me, that’s this week’s target of my unbridled scorn and derision: Tirion ‘I’ve got a shiny sword’ Fordring.
Despite my hatred for Med’an and A’dal, of all the characters in Warcraft it’s Fordring who gets on my nerves the most. The reasons for this are long and convoluted. The principal and most obvious one is that, like A’dal, he makes such a big song and dance about what a virtuous awesome guy he is. Pretty much every time Tirion turns up he starts going on about the Light and how wonderful it is. What he’s really saying there is “I’m awesome, because I worship the Light, which is awesome.” It’s a classic case of deep insecurity; Tirion knows he’s worthless so he latches onto something big and impressive like the Light, and takes all the credit for it. Because let’s face it, Tirion is pretty rubbish. I mean what does he actually do, beside make big speeches? I mean he’s got the most powerful sword ever made, but he never actually does anything with it. He just waves it around making big monologues about his enemies and their inevitable defeat (by the way, serious monologuing is a classic sign of being a villain, not a hero). In all probability, he doesn’t even know how to fight. Have you ever actually seen him take anyone on with that sword?
Tirion knows he’s a failure and has gone to great showy lengths to hide it. In a way, we can’t blame totally blame him for his feelings of inadequacy. I mean, this is what he looked like back in vanilla:
Yikes! I mean essentially Tirion used to be a hobo. He tries to explain this away with some half-baked quest-giver backstory, but we know the truth. Unfortunately, over the years Tirion managed to concoct a plan to improve his image, and sadly its worked, to the detriment of the hundreds if not thousands of people who have died in his service. The first part of this plan was to get some phat loot, something to really impress people with. Of course with no fighting skills, he had no idea how to get such an item. So he rallied a bunch of dejected paladins together, and hung around with them hoping something would turn up. Luckily for him, the place he chose to bum around at was Light’s Hope Chapel and when the Lich King struck, Tirion got the biggest break of his life. For whatever misguided reason (probably desperation), Darion Morgraine throws the corrupted sword Ashbringer to Tirion. Using the Light Tirion purifies the sword and gets his big break.
Ok, a quick interlude here whilst I mention something. Purifying Ashbringer is the ONLY impressive thing Tirion has ever done. It’s also a completely awful piece of storytelling in an otherwise awesome gaming experience, because it simply makes no sense. Ashbringer is powered by a crystal which magnifies powers both dark and light energies, and originally became imbued with holy power from multiple paladins and priests spamming it with a ton of Light-based spells. So how the hell does Tirion do the same thing simply by grabbing the hilt of the sword? Is he really that incredibly in touch with the Light? It’s complete Mary Sue bollocks that is best left to Med’an.
So back to the story. Having lucked out in the extreme, Tirion goes nuts on the advertising and decides to portray himself as the biggest hero ever. Sadly, everyone is really desperate to kill the Lich King so they go with it. I say sadly because Tirion really sucks at any kind of leadership. His strategy effectively boils down to one simple principle: trust in the Light. Now that may sound good but as a military stratagem it’s a little wanting, and that’s when Argent Crusders started dying. Essentially it’s the players who carry Tirion’s forces through Icecrown, constantly making up for his mistakes. Darion Morgraine tries to advise him, but Tirion rejects the advice of the guy who knows exactly how the Lich King thinks and instead mumbles something about honour and hopes for the best.
Once forces start moving up into Icecrown, Tirion’s next brilliant idea is to have a great big slaughter tournament to weed out anyone who is not up to the task of taking on the Lich King. As mentioned above, the whole point of this exercise seems mostly to be about making himself looks good. It certainly served no military purpose, in fact it was moronic. I was certain during Patch 3.2 that it was going to be revealed that Tirion was working for the Lich King, because he was essentially buggering up the whole war effort. This guy invested huge amounts of military resources into making a contest where his soldiers killed each other in order to prove their worth to him. The Light works in mysterious ways.
That’s not even the best part either. As the tournament goes on he acts increasingly like a complete idiot. Take for instance, giving permission for the Alliance and Horde champions to fight to the death, and then admonishing them afterwards because now their forces are weaker as a whole. Hypocritical much? You gave them the go-ahead Tirion, are you so dense that it only occurred to you afterwards that it was a bad idea to have your own people kill each other? Oh and then there’s my favourite bit, where the Lich King turns up. Tirion attempts to persuade Arthas to surrender using these amazing words:
Lay down Frostmourne and I will grant you a just death.
Can I just say now, in case I’m taken hostage or something, I specifically do NOT want Tirion negotiating my release. He says these words like he seriously expects the Lich King to go “OK then, as long as I get a just death, I’ll give up!” Again, it’s only due to the heroic actions of us, the players, who stopped Tirion making this whole thing into a complete disaster. Similarly, we did all the work in Icecrown, whilst he spent the whole time sitting around in the basement. Then he spent the whole of the final battle trapped in a block of ice, only to jump out at the last second and claim all the glory, little attention-whore that he is. Can I also just point out that by this point, Tirion had decided to further try and distract people from his many faults by taking some kind of magical growth hormone, so that he towered over everyone else. I wonder what he was compensating for there?
Thankfully we probably won’t see Tirion after this expansion, mostly because I’d be amazed if he could find his way back out of Northrend. Although if he does I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries to make some kind of Cataclysm cameo. Maybe he’ll turn up to wave his sword around and make a speech before we fight Deathwing. Or maybe if we’re lucky he’ll trip over his own stupid ego and fall into a pit of lava, because I really cannot express how much I want him dead.