I posted this over at r/wow but wanted to post it here as well.
So when you first enter Oribos one of the first things you see on the ground is an Ouroboros (I wonder what the city got its name from!), when you look up to the archway you see this weird infinity symbol. According to google the Ouroboros is a “symbol of infinity and the cycle of death and rebirth”, and as you progress through the Shadowlands quest line it becomes clear that “the cycle” is a very strong theme throughout.
Now blizz came out and said that “if your spirit dies in the Shadowlands you are dead dead”, but… doesn’t that seem a bit weird? With so much cycle symbolism and themes of infinity, it seems weird that life and death is a straight line….
But what if it isn’t supposed to be like that? Just because it’s a straight line now doesn’t mean it has always been so. Something about the Shadowlands just seems off doesn’t it?
And we know that currently the Shadowlands is different than it was during its inception. For one thing we know the Jailer used to be equal among his peers and not a prisoner/lord of the Maw. Something happened in ages past that vastly changed how the Shadowlands operates and we have yet to know the full truth.
What we do know is that anima fuels the Shadowlands, and that anima comes from souls that come from the living world. But where do the souls in the world of the living come from? It could be that how it’s supposed to work is: living organism with soul born-> proceeds to live life accumulating anima->dies->disperses anima into shadowlands over a period of time->eventually runs out of anima->returns to the world of the living as a new organism to repeat the cycle. Helping this theory is the fact that the ouroboros in oribos is a sort of dual ouroboros, perhaps symbolizing the two phases of life and death a soul goes through?
Now when I say reincarnation I don’t mean being reborn with all your memories intact, just your soul and personality. So it’s still possible that you could consider it “dead dead”, just not quite as “dead dead” as you would expect from “dead dead” if you catch my drift. In a way just like your body dies and decays and becomes a part of other living organisms that way perhaps that’s what happens with the soul and its anima in the shadowlands?
It’s possible that the cycle broke around the time the Burning Legion became a thing and started destroying planets, what’s the point of a circular system if there’s nowhere for the souls to go back to? Of course whether the Jailer/Denathrius had a hand in creating the Burning Legion with the dreadlords is yet to be known and pure speculation at this point.
It would also give a good reason for why Sylvannas is acting the way she is, perhaps the Jailer told her that if she helped break him free he would return the cycle and let her reincarnate and get away from her pained existence? It would also explain why she doesn’t care about mass genocide as much, “if my plan succeeds then they’ll just reborn as new!” which might also explain why she seems to be starting to second guessing herself and her plan in the cinematics with Anduin, maybe she’s realizing the Jailer is lying and probably not going to do what he told her he’d do?
Anyways this is just pure speculation at this point, there isn’t much to go off of and it seems there’s still a lot to be revealed.
- First Ones Speculation (Spoiler?)
- Where does the name Oribos come from?
- Shadowlands and the Birth of Azeroth
More about World of Warcraft (WoW)Post: "Is reincarnation supposed to be a thing? A theory about the Shadowlands:" specifically for the game World of Warcraft (WoW). Other useful information about this game:
- Goon’s guide to 5s — come hangout, read, and discuss 5v5 arenas!
- Locked out of main by support for well over a month (not a ban) and keep getting the same canned response, what do I do?
- Shadowlands Guide to Optimizing Timewalking Gear. Recent changes, nerfs and how they affect BiS gear.
- Sully Balloo’s Letter – A Hidden Gem
- [StormStrike] [Shadowlands] Seeking Dedicated Staff!
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