Trailers are arriving on the Youtubes showing us what we can expect from the upcoming Warcraft movie. We see action, we see dwarves, we see Dalaran and Stormwind and probably Ironforge. We've also seen posters and stills from the movie showing us what the characters look like.
Watching these trailers I've been wondering what these people look like in game. Not in the game they are using as source material, mostly the RTS Warcraft II. No, I'm a WoW player, and wanted to know how this compares to the MMO I know and love. So here's a quick comparison of how the Warcraft movie cast with the WoW models.
Comparing the Warcraft movie to the the World of Warcraft game.
This is my least favorite of the casting choices, which is why I'm starting with it. This kid looks like he stole a library book from Narnia, not that he's the most powerful mage Azeroth has ever seen. I get that this is a telling of the early parts of the Warcraft mythos, but this version of Khadgar is so very, well, generic.
In World of Warcraft Khadgar is first just a reference. You see his name on plants. Then when he shows up to help you in Draenor, the force of his personality is as strong as magic. I just don't see that with this kid. He looks lost, weak, and out of his depth.
Lothar is another character that you only hear about in WoW. There's a big statue of him in Searing Gorge, surrounded by ogre camps weirdly enough, but by the time you get to World of Warcraft he's no longer around. People speculate that he'll show up in the next expansion, Legion, that he's out among the stars taking the fight to the demons. But because we only have a statue to go on, we have to compare how heroic the character feels.
I'd say that the facial likeness is pretty on par with what we see in the statue, as is the armor. What is not similar is the movie poster pose, which looks like he's just stood up after being scolded by his mom at the beach. I don't know what the sand has to do with anything, but he sure looks sad about it.
Like the other legendary heroes from the Warcraft II era, Orgrim Doomhammer wasn't actually in World of Warcraft until the most recent expansion, Warlords of Draenor. In that expansion he helps the Horde (I assume, I haven't gotten there on my belf pally yet), in their battle against Guldan and his cronies. I think I remember him in some of the group cutscenes, and I'm not sure he makes it out of that alternate timeline alive. In modern WoW he lives on through his weapon, the Doomhammer, which is Thrall's main mallet of choice.
Up until the posters were released this week Orgrim Doomhammer was one of those characters that I couldn't really see clearly in any of the stills from the movie. This might be because they are still in post production on the film, but he seemed either sad or sleepy in every picture of him. This poster shows him in a sort of odd genie pose though. Honestly these two characters look nothing alike, and both are pretty generic in their own ways. I would have thought that they would stick closer to the WoW model (as they did with Lothar), but I see nothing that ressembles the current WoW model in this movie poster. I have to assume they are just going to rely on the performance to illustrate how powerful Ogrim is. Right now everything I've seen in the stills and this poster just make him out to be sleepy and weary and not very doomy at all.
Another complete fail here, and probably the biggest one of them all now that I'm looking at them side by side. In World of Warcraft Garona Halforcen is a master rogue, leader of her own faction of mysterious thiefs, and badass enough to be the woman Gul'dan sends to try and kill off Khadgar. She is the epitomy of the strong female character, a woman that probably sleeps in her armor and with her daggers on her hips.
See any daggers here? Nope. This is barbarella, not Garona. There is nothing about this weird green-skinned woman that says strong willed master thief. Sleeping with her armor on? There's no armor! Just some rags she through on as she stepped sexily out of some watering hole on the edge of the battlefield (I assume), bringing with her a sword to hand to the actual fighter, some dude in armor. Most of my irritation with the movie's take on Garona has been the fact that she doesn't look remotely realistic. Instead of extending her jaw to make her look at least half-orc (you know, that's in her name, the half orc part), they just stuck some fake teeth in her mouth, painted her green, slapped on some tattoos and called it a day. Must have been a Friday afternoon at the old character concept shop.
Durotan is a heroic hunter in World of Warcraft, paired with a massive white wolf. He aids Horde heroes in Warlords of Draenor in their battle against Gul'Dan and his ilk. This is by far the most faithful rendition of the movie character. He looks exactly like what you expect, down to the details on his hair and clothing. In true Blizzard style, they are spending the most love on their main orc protagonist. I have no beef with that. He looks both strong and sympathetic, and he definitely looks like an orc.
Medivh, sort of Warcraft's version of Gandalf, is only seen in an instance in World of Warcraft called Black Morass. In that time-jumped event, players go back in time to try and stop interference with Medivh opening the Black Portal. It's a whole complicated mess really, and even typing it out I get confused. But more importantly, Medivh is the harbinger of doom that convinces the orcs to move to Kalimdor, and he is known for turning into a raven.
Medivh isn't so much a WoW character as he is a Warcraft character. His presence is felt all throughout Warcraft III, and he has put quite a stamp on the world of Azeroth and its inhabitants. None of this has happened yet during the time that the Warcraft movie takes place, but I still feel like there are missed opportunities here with the character design. In the poster we see his iconic raven staff, but none of the feather motifs that are normally such a staple in his design. This is a hugely important character to the Warcraft universe, and right now he just looks like Elend from Lord of the Rings turned into a human.
This is the big bad that moves much of the Warcraft villainy along in most of the games. If you dig down hard enough, Gul'dan is usually connected to most of the nefarious doings in one way or another. So how did they do on his design in the Warcaft movie? Well, he's an orc, and evidently Legendary's team on this movie loves them some orcs, so this is pretty true to the original. Spikes? Check. Skulls on spikes? Check? Menacing leer? Check. Scraggly beard? Check and check.
This along with Durotan is the best of the bunch. You can immediately tell that this is Gul'dan, or if you don't know the game, that this is one bad mamajamma. Even the green fire of his demon blood can be seen in the glow in his eyes.
Okay, this is interesting. Lady Taria Wrynn isn't actually in the Warcraft games at all. This is a new character that's being introduced in the Warcraft movie. As such, I think her design is pretty slick. She's the queen of the human kingdom, and King Llane's wife and most trusted confidance. And I like how regal and stately she appears. I'm sort of getting a Queen Amadala vibe from her. I'm guessing she's Varian's mother, so it'll be fun to see if a little baby Logosh shows up by the end of the film.
8. Llane Wrynn
And speaking of the King, let's take a look at the lord of all the humans, Llane Wrynn. By the time you reach World of Warcraft reasons prevent King Llane from being in game. However he is represented in the Karazhan Chess Event, as well as in one of Yogg-Saron's visions in Ulduar. There isn't much to go on in the WoW model, so I think in this case a departure from the game design is a benefit to the movie version of the character. This guy looks the most active of any of the characters in the posters. He's a strong leader of men, wearing super shiny armor and carrying his weapon at the ready. This is a dynamic person, one that definitely looks like a king.
Well there you have it. By and large these people look interesting, but few of them are faithful to the iconography of their original game incarnations. Let's hope their portrayal in the plot will be more satisfying. Right now they all look sad, like someone kicked their pony while making them drop their ice cream.