Why did Sylvanas decide to go to war and burn down Teldrassil? What’s Saurfang’s reaction to all this madness? Check out our plot summary of “A Good War” to find answers to some interesting questions!
The article contains spoilers.
After reading A Good War, I must admit that the in-game War of Thorns was insufficient and lacked a lot of information. If you thought that it was Blizzard’s bad writing, the novel will prove you wrong. I still need to finish reading Elegy to get the full picture, but here’s a summary of the Horde novel.
A Good War Summary
Sylvanas wants to go to war, because she believes there can’t be a long-lasting peace between the factions, unless the Horde wins it on the battlefield on their terms, so why delay the inevitable? She also fears of imminent Alliance attacks carried out by Anduin/Greymane. Both factions still do not understand the full potential of Azerite, but they know for sure that it will create a new generation of warfare.
Alliance spies have infiltrated Orgrimmar and Sylvanas wants to use that to her advantage by making the Alliance’s intelligence tell the wrong story and fool them into sending an army to Silithus. She has a private meeting with Saurfang and asks him if it was possible to destroy Stormwind. She trusts the High Overlord, because he’s the only person she knew who had conquered both Stormwind and Orgrimmar. Stormwind has a huge terrain advantage over Orgrimmar and it would not be possible to conquer it with just one direct assault. As opposed to Stormwind, Orgrimmar has docks outside of the city, making it vulnerable if attacked from both fronts.
Anduin is an inexperienced leader, he’s not like Varian. Sylvanas thinks that Genn could wage war against the Horde without Anduin’s permission. In the past, he attempted to murder her without any approval of the Alliance and got away with it without any form of punishment.
Sylvanas asked Saurfang if it was feasible to take control over Kalimdor, given that the Alliance hold on Eastern Kingdoms was strong. She would like to destroy the Alliance from within and cause chaos among the leaders. If Genn, Tyrande & Malfurion, all, wanted different things from Anduin, he would not be able to make the right decision for everybody. Defeating and making deals with the individual Alliance leaders would make the Alliance crumble.
Sylvanas and Saurfang next discuss if it was possible to attack Darnassus. Sylvanas literally wants to inflict a wound that can never heal. She knows there’s no turning back and if successful, the Alliance would attack Undercity and Silvermoon City.
Both the Horde and the Alliance have lost their naval power after defeating the Burning Legion. Sylvanas specifically mentions that the Horde can’t use their ships for both transport and war.
Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind are considered unbeatable, those two would be a terror for the Horde once the fighting began. They had lived for so long, and survived so much, that Saurfang had to consider the possibility that they could hold off the Horde long enough for the Alliance to send help. The next stage was to wait for an opportunity and take it if they give the Horde one.
Sylvanas praised Saurfang for learning the ways of deceptions well. Next, they needed the Alliance to believe the rift between them is widening. They let a caught spy escape and the Alliance gladly took the bait.
Everything is going so smoothly that they launch the attack in just one week. Horde forces march into Northern Barrens, but at the Crossroads, Saurfang orders them to go to Ashenvale instead of Silithus. Horde Rogues (Lorash and Rifen) kill an Ashenvale Commander, but Rifen’s hand is bitten off by a nightsaber, he’s killed while Lorash manages to escape.
The Horde advancement in Ashenvale is described thoroughly. Lorash’s portraited as a cunning rogue in combat. His goal is to get Malfurion’s head. Alliance Druids are trying to fend off the Horde by burning down bridges, but they only delay the inevitable. It’s more than clear that the Alliance knows about the Horde presence in Ashenvale, but they won’t be able to send reinforcements in time to make a difference.
Malfurion summons a wisp wall to win enough time for Night Elf forces to arrive. Sylvanas orders the forces to retreat and Saurfang to find a way route from Felwood to Darkshore.
Mr. Honor interferes in the duel between Sylvanas and Malfurion. Saurfang delivers an almost fatal blow, but regrets it shortly after. Sylvanas tells him how well he did and orders him to finish off Malfurion. When she later finds out that Saurfang failed to kill him, in other words, inflict a wound that would never heal, Sylvanas decides to take things into her own hands and burn down Teldrassil. Saurfang is obviously not happy with her choice and wonders if it had been the plan all along.
…and what exactly did the Alliance leaders do to help Elves defend Teldrassil? Well… nothing. Malfurion was only trying to win time for more forces to arrive and Anduin was just casually chilling in Stormwind. Many questions still remain unanswered, I’ll report back after reading Elegy.