Old Gods speculation contains theories and speculation related to the Old Gods.
Nobody knows for sure how many of the Old Gods still exist. Blizzard's History of Warcraft states that only five were present on Azeroth at the time of the Titans, all of which were imprisoned. During the events of The Sundering, the Dragons believed that only three remained..
- The only entity confirmed to be an Old God is C'Thun. All other Old Gods are identified by inference, from references to mad whisperings, sleeping or buried evils, unexplainable alien embodiments, or ancient and dark religions.
- "Old God" is a term which can specifically refer to the Five imprisoned by the Titans, but is occasionally used for several other creatures as well.
- It has been spelled, "old god" (lower case) only once.
Identifying and locating the Old Gods is difficult. The Titans didn't leave landmarks saying who or where the five Old Gods were imprisoned. Current knowledge about their whereabouts is limited to recorded phenomenon, speculation, and flavor lore. Compounding the difficulty is the imprecision with which the phrase "old god" is used, so that Old Gods, their minions, and other equally powerful deities are conflated together as one group. Only C'Thun, located in Ahn'Qiraj in Silithus and another in Azjol-Nerub, Northrend are confirmed to be Old Gods. The remaining four Old Gods may be in any of the following possible locations, which are explained in further detail below.
- One may still be near Azshara or the Maelstrom.
- One may be trapped in western Tirisfal Glades.
- One may be impaled by the Titan's Master's Glaive, located in Darkshore..
- One or more may be found in Desolace.
- One may be Ula-Tek, nearly summoned by forest trolls in Zul'Aman, Quel'Thalas.
- One may be Hakkar the Soulflayer, summoned by the trolls of Zul'Gurub, Stranglethorn.
- One may be in the Blackfathom Deeps.
- Main article: C'Thun
During the events of The Sundering, an Old God manifested itself in an attempt to salvage the summoning of Sargeras through use of the Demon Soul. After the Old Gods' plans were thwarted and Zin'Aszhari collapsed into the swelling Maelstrom, Aszhara heard the dark whispers that transformed her and her followers into the Naga. It is highly likely that the Old God remains near the Maelstrom.
- The Warcraft novel Day of the Dragon mentions a creature known as the Manta, Behemoth of the Deep. Krasus says it was "ten times the size and strength of a dragon." It was slain at least a century before the events of Day of the Dragon. It is possible this Manta is somehow linked to the Old Gods and the Naga.
- Near Azshara's Coral Sea, it is believed that the ancient Sundering awakened something that dwelled in the deepest part of the ocean, something that will eventually burst forth in a tidal wave of destruction.
The forgotten ones are massive and powerful tentacle-bearing aberrations living in the deeps. Forgotten ones seethe below, eager to return to the world above. One of these ancient, terrible beasts lay imprisoned beneath Azjol-Nerub, until Illidan's attempt to melt away the polar ice-caps surrounding Icecrown and crush Ner'zhul, accidentally broke the beast's prison. Before it could act. however, Arthas Menethil, Anub'arak, and a small army of undead Nerubians crashed into its prison, and after a most epic battle, Arthas managed to defeate it. Accoring to newest info, Arthas did not manage to slay it, and name of this forgotten one is Yogg-Saron.
It might be suggested that "a Forgotten One" (implying that there are more than one), as Anub'arak referred to it, is in fact an Old God, or portion of an Old God. Others deny it, though Bilzzard has reported there will be a Old God in Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
Forgotten ones are not Old Gods
Some do not believe that the forgotten ones are old gods. Arguments in support include:
- C'Thun was only defeated because he was in a severely weakened state, by a raid of forty powerful and prepared people.
- Relatively, the Forgotten One showed no signs of weakness, and Arthas and Anub'arak were just two unprepared and weakened heroes supported only by a handful of regular undead troops.
- It could also be theorized that it is a "projection" of C'Thun, since the WC3 version looks incredibly similar and spawns tentacles to attack. C'Thun could have attempted to influence control over both the Silithid and Nerubians at the same time to try and raise his army, but while the C'Thun managed to control the Silithid, the Nerubians (with their natural tolerance to mind control) were not swayed and the C'Thun projection was sealed away within the depths of Azjol'nerub. But that theory is based on C'Thun using a projection-ability not mentioned anywhere else, and leaves another Old God unaccounted for. It is then more probable that "The Forgotten One" was an Old God in his own right.
- Or it could be that C'Thun was split during the Sundering, half going to Northrend and the other half staying in Kalimdor. This would explain both forms weakness.
- Another possibility is that the Forgotten One was created by C'Thun in his image, in an attempt to create an army to conquer the Nerubians, in order to re-join the old insectoid empire.
Forgotten Ones are Old Gods
- In wotlk, forgotten one Yogg-Saron appears to be extremelly powerful, and nerubians and twilights hammer worship it.
- When it comes to its physical form, C'Thun is virtually identical to the Forgotten One. Also, glimpses of Old Gods in Knaak's "The War of the Ancients" are of huge tentacles, such as the ones of C'Thun and the one in Azjol'Nerub. This hints that all Old Gods are multi-eyed, multi-mawed and tentacled pink blobs in physical form. That the "Forgotten One" would have this appearance and NOT be an Old God is far-fetched.
- It is very possible that the term "Forgotten One" is what nerubians call Old Gods in general. First, Anub'arak called it "a Forgotten One", not "the Forgotten One", which means that there are several. Second, the sight of it scared the crap out of even the monstrous Anub'arak. So we have an ancient, terrible evil creature that scares even the scariest of monsters, and there are more of it, and it has the appearance of an Old God, an appearance not shared by anything else known in the Warcraft universe. Would someone really oppose the contested fact that this is indeed an Old God?
- The Forgotten One commanded the Faceless Ones. C'Thun also commands units that appear to be Faceless Ones, like General Rajaxx. Faceless Ones may be a general name for Old God's most elite of minions.
- It has been confirmed at BlizzCon that an old god is in Azjol-Nerub.
- A blue post on the forums recently said that the Nerubians were "followers of the Old Gods on Northrend."
- "Forging inland, the high elves founded a settlement within the tranquil Tirisfal Glades. After a few years, many of them began to go mad. It was theorized that something evil slept beneath that particular part of the world, but the rumors were never proven to be true."
Other Tirisfal Speculation
The Old God under Tirisfal could be the one responsible for the Emerald Dream's Corruption:
- When Malfurion and Tyrande first entered Tirisfal, Malfurion asked to be left alone so that he could attempt to heal the forest.
- Perhaps his vision, when he saw his brother being the cause of the forest's corruption was false, and the land was really simply calling out because of the current threat (Illidan's tearing the world apart).
- Maybe if Malfurion would have been in Trisfal while the event with Illidan was not happening, he would have understood the land's corruption was due to the Old God, and during Malfurion's vision, some entity of that god followed Malfurion to the Emerald Dream, thus causing the Nightmare.
- Main article: Master's Glaive
Desolace is littered with what is believed to be bones of the Old Gods, presided over by Magram centaur necromancers and skeletons. In the Valley of Bones, the massive corpses of two combatants lay forever facing each other on two sides of a grand valley. It has been speculated that these bones are either Old Gods or Faceless Ones, although they most resemble Nagas, despite their huge scale.
- A goblin named Hornizz Brimbuzzle in the Kodo Graveyard provides a quest, Quest:Ghost-o-plasm Round Up, that refers to these corpses as the Dead Goliaths. The quest has nothing to do with the corpses. He just refers them as a landmark.
- However, it should also be noted that there's a skeleton of a similar massive naga-resembling beast near the coast of Stranglethorn Vale, and similar skeletons in Blade's Edge Mountains. Given that the Old Gods were limited in number, it is more likely that these were simply the remnants of destroyed behemoths rather than the Old Gods themselves. However the chance remains that the Skeletons in Blade's Edge are long dead Demonic or Draconic beings...
- Main article: Ula'tek
- Main article: Hakkar the Soulflayer
Other location speculation
- One of the Old Gods is involved with the corruption of the Emerald Dream. Which of these is involved is unknown (although C'Thun has been eliminated as a suspect on the WoW forums), as well as the nature of its involvement. See the main article on the Emerald Nightmare for more information.
- The arakkoa in Shadowmoon Valley are attempting to summon what appears to be an Old God to Outland. The ancient and powerful evil looks exactly the same as C'Thun.
- Speculation referred to as the "Star Theory" Suggests that the Old Gods locations can be shown as a star on Azeroth. starting from Stranglethorn Vale, up to Northrend, down to Silithus, up to Tirisfal, and across to Darkshore. This places the Well of Eternity in the centre of the star. Hyjal can be explained by the Centre of the "Star of Azeroth". This also explains the legions focus on Azeroth. Led by Sargaras, who despises the Titans and Order, may see the Old Gods as a way to destroy Azeroth. (All this Information was thought up in a World of Warcraft forum topic)
- However, the Star Theory assumes much and provides little in the way of explanation. First, it ignores the known manifestation of the Maelstrom Old God. Second, the present day locations of the Old Gods may not be the same geographical locations when they were imprisoned, long before the Sundering. Third, the existence of the "SE Old God" is unknown and speculative. Hakkar may be an Old God or simply a minion, but even if he is an Old God, he was not always located in Stranglethorn Vale. He was summoned there.
Defeating the Old Gods
Many people find it hard to swallow that, as with all bosses in WoW, mortals can kill an Old God. There are two theories regarding the matter.
Mortals can kill Old Gods
The Old God in Darkshore was apparently killed by the Titans long before the dawn of mortals. The rest were either believed to be slain or imprisoned. It might be that killing of other known Old Gods, such as the Forgotten One and C'Thun, can be achieved because these Old Gods were in a severely weakened and regenerative state from their previous conflicts, and were just making their way back onto the world stage.
For example, the Titans smote C'Thun ages ago, but he regenerated sufficient strength to start the War of the Shifting Sands before being struck down once again. It is possible that, after these conflicts, C'Thun was only able to regenerate to a fragment of his former strength. This would explain how modern warriors from the Horde and Alliance were able to kill him in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj.
This also coincides with the recurring theme that the important heroes of Warcraft are all mortals who have found ways to defeat the undefeatable.
Old Gods can never be killed
However, it is also possible that Old Gods cannot be permanently killed--their alien evil may only be contained. For example, the Old God or minion in Darkshore was left impaled upon the gigantic Master's Glaive. Had the Titans been able to truly kill an Old God, they likely would have removed the powerful weapon and slain the other Old Gods as well. That the Glaive was left behind suggests that the Old God may regenerate upon its removal as hoped for by the Twilight's Hammer, much like in some fantasy settings, the removal of a stake from a vampire's heart allows it to regenerate. That the majority of Old Gods were simply imprisoned by the all-powerful Titans also suggests that they are unkillable.
The fact that some NPCs within World of Warcraft assert that an Old God was killed by the Titans can be easily explained away by the ideas that 1) the event occurred long before any mortal could have possibly recorded it, and 2) the powers and natures of the Old Gods and Titans are admittedly beyond any mortal's scope of understanding.
Moreover, the theme that death is not the end is frequently raised in Warcraft. Many other powerful figures have survived "death" in Warcraft lore. Cenarius is more than a mere spirit within the Emerald Dream, despite having been "slain." Ragnaros is still alive, as players are only able to slay a weakened avatar. Living satyrs were born from the destroyed Night Elf, Xavius. Also note the entirety of the Scourge. C'thun may also be very much "alive," as the "C'Thun" destroyed by players was a physical shell constructed for him by the Qiraji.
Factions of the old gods
- The naga and Azshara seem to work for an Old God.
- The Nerubians clearly worship an Old God in their ruined kingdom.
- The Faceless Ones from Azjol-Nerub also worship the Forgotten One who is presumed to be an Old God.
- The Gurubashi Trolls brought Hakkar to Azeroth, Hakkar is called an old god by the trolls. Brann believes its either an Old God, or the offspring of an Old God.
- The Black Dragonflight and Deathwing were maddened under the influence of the Old Gods.
- Sargeras himself might be manipulated by an Old God, as it would have greatly helped him when he turned his back on the Titans.
- Qiraji worship the only yet killable Old God, C'thun.
- The Arakkoa try to summon a presumed Old God to Draenor.
The origin of the Silithid and Qiraji
- C'Thun created avatars from the Silithid in his own image. These avatars would become known as the Qiraji.
- The Azj'Aqir kingdom split, when the Aqir war with the Gurubashi and Amani Troll empires ended. The exact reasons are unknown. They then became known as the Qiraji and Nerubians.
- Thus the Aqir were part of the Silithid race. Some suggest the Aqir were the avatars who then later evolved into the Qiraji, while another possbility is that C'Thun created the Qiraji from the Silithid directly, and that the Aqir and Silithid are one in the same.
- Theories suggest that the Qiraji were created by C'Thun from the Silithid to control them, but this is uncertain.
- The Qiraji bear a slight resemblance to the Faceless Ones from a Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne campaign.
If these speculations are right, the Old Gods' plans are far deeper then the younger races of Azeroth may even think of.
Old Gods and expansion speculation
If the theories mentioned above regarding the location of the Old Gods is true, then they could likely be implemented one by one in various expansions. Check the Rumored Expansions for some of the possible settings for future expansions.
- Perhaps, one Old God could be implemented in an in-game content patch, similar to C'Thun, possibly in Tirisfal Glades, as evidence points this being the location of an Old God. As stated earlier, the region west of Deathknell is large enough to support a large instance, similar to the southern parts of Silithus before the Ahn'Qiraj patch.
- Another Old God could be implemented as the final boss for the Emerald Dream rumored expansion, as it is verified that an Old God is responsible for the Nightmare. Whether or not the players would kill a Dream Aspect of some sorts of the Old God, or his corporeal form (possibly still on Azeroth, "sleeping", or both), would have to be decided on. It is also possible that the Emerald Dream won't be an expansion in its own sense (Like The Burning Crusade), but rather part of a significant patch (Like Naxxramas in 1.11).
- Finally, the third Old God could be found in the Maelstrom with the Naga, as it is also certified that Highborne loyal to Azshara were turned into Naga by an Old God so they could survive the Sundering. It is likely they now serve the Old God, but it is also quite possible that they instead serve Neptulon.
The order in which these Old Gods were implemented would obviously depend on the order Blizzard released these rumored expansions.
Wrath of the Lich King
A blue post on the forums recently said that the Nerubians were "followers of the Old Gods on Northrend." This implies that there may be at least one Old God in Northrend, though the role an Old God would play in the expansion is still unclear.