Wild God

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"From the dawn of its reshaping by the mysterious titans, Azeroth had been guarded by beings who were tied to the world as no other creatures could be. The dragons had been empowered by the titans, but Azeroth itself gave rise to the spirits and demigods, creatures eternal in nature yet capable of ultimate sacrifice."[1]

Wild Gods are primal manifestations of life and nature. Being creatures of two realms, the Wild Gods inhabit the physical world of Azeroth, but their spirits are bound to the ethereal Emerald Dream. Many of them appear in the form of gargantuan animals, such as wolves, bears, tigers, or birds.[2]

Origins

As the titan-forged began shaping Azeroth, Keeper Freya wandered the world, creating enclaves of life and nature in the places where the waters of the Well of Eternity had coalesced, such as Un'Goro Crater, Sholazar Basin and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The greatest creatures to emerge from Freya's enclaves were the colossal Wild Gods. Seeing these creatures as her own children, Freya and the Wild Gods often wandered side by side through the primal forests and grasslands of early Azeroth. The area that they spent the most time at was the massive forested peak known as Mount Hyjal, and it was upon the slopes of Hyjal that Freya bound the spirits of her beloved Wild Gods to the Emerald Dream. Forever after, Hyjal would remain a sacred refuge to the Wild Gods.[3]

Characteristics

  • Wild Gods are immortal and ageless.[4][5] Their spirits will return to the Emerald Dream when killed in the physical world, after which they can be ushered back into the world.[6]
    • When Yu'lon was killed by Lei Shen, she had to rely on a statue to reincarnate.[7]
    • It is unclear if the August Celestials visit the Emerald Dream.[8]
  • Not all Wild Gods are capable of speech, as this ability was a gift bestowed by Freya only to certain chosen Wild Gods. Notable examples include the August Celestials, who were chosen for their intelligence, and the twin Bear Lords Ursoc and Ursol, who were chosen for their stubborn bravery.[4]
  • Much like dragons, the August Celestials have the ability to shift into humanoid forms. During the trial of Garrosh Hellscream, Chi-Ji appeared as a red-haired blood elf, Niuzao as a glowing tauren and Xuen as a pale blue human.[9] Yu'lon has assumed the form of a pandaren child named Fei on several occasions, including the aforementioned trial, while Chi-Ji has also been known to use the form of Fat Long-Fat, a red-haired pandaren brawler. Ban-Lu, one of Xuen's children, uses the disguise of a pandaren elder named Master Bu.

Groups

Different cultures around Azeroth have referred to the Wild Gods by various names:

Ancient Guardians

Main article: Ancient Guardian

The Ancient Guardians are Wild Gods found in Kalimdor[10][11] that are greatly revered by druids. Famous Ancients include Cenarius, Malorne, Goldrinn, Aviana, Ursoc and Ursol. When they are killed, their spirits return to the Emerald Dream where they are restored.

August Celestials

Main article: August Celestial

The August Celestials — Yu'lon, Xuen, Chi-Ji and Niuzao — are Wild Gods who remained in Pandaria after the Great Sundering.[10] They have helped and guided the pandaren people for thousands of years.

Loa

Main article: Loa

"Loa" is the name given by trolls to the beings they worship. Though the different tribes all had different customs, they all shared a common religion that centered around Kalimdor's elusive Wild Gods. The Zandalar mountain range was treated as sacred by the early tribes, for it was home to many of their honored loa.[12] Countless loa exist, most weak, but some very powerful. Most are shapeless, whereas others have animal or creature forms. The trolls of the Zandalar tribe — the most powerful tribe — believe that powerful, enlightened Zandalari can become loas upon their death.[13]

Some loa, like Gonk, can enter the Emerald Dream.[14] Troll druids visiting the Moonglade have been known to refer to wisps and Ancient Guardians as loa, despite the night elves' and tauren's attempts to correct them.[15] Each tribe usually have their own specific loa. A few of the more famous ones include Hakkar, Shadra, Bwonsamdi, Gonk, Akali, Shirvallah, Nalorakk and Hir'eek.

Known Wild Gods

Unnamed

Numerous unnamed Ancients appeared in a few scenes of The Sundering alongside known Ancients and other forest races.[20]

Dark Ancients

The Twilight's Hammer feared that the Ancient Guardians may someday rise up to oppose them. They created twisted versions of the Ancients, summoned to replace them. They were a primal force of nature, but their origins were from a darker place. Those who birthed these beasts reached deep into the blackness, channeling powers never intended for this world.[21] The Twilight's Hammer dreamed of creating their own pantheon of twisted ancients to rule over the land, sea, and air,[22] though only two were summoned before the Twilight's Hammer was stopped.

Racial ancestry

Brann Bronzebeard has confirmed that several races originate from the Ancients:[23]

Brann also speculates on the existence of several Ancients and their creation of descendant races:[23]

  • Gorloc and a frog Ancient
  • Wolvar and a badger Ancient
  • Tauren and a bull Ancient. It is possible this might have been Niuzao.
  • Tuskarr and a walrus Ancient
  • Aessina might have created the grell (she told Brann "maybe")
  • Gnolls and a hyena Ancient
  • Makrura and a lobster Ancient
  • Brann stated that Ursoc had created the furbolg and he theorized that the tauren might have come from a bull Ancient. This was shown to be incorrect by Chronicle Volume 1, which also retconned the tauren and trolls predating the arrival of the titans.

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.
  • Although the worgen are actually night elves or humans afflicted with a curse, the curse drew upon Goldrinn's fury. Thus, in a way, it can be said that worgen originate from Goldrinn.
  • Since it is unknown if they visit the Emerald Dream, it is possible that Freya never linked the August Celestials to it like she did the other Wild Gods. Though if this is the case, it's unknown why she wouldn't have done so.

Possible Wild Gods

The following beings may or may not be Wild Gods.

  • While the primal gods of Draenor, including Anzu, Sethe, and Rukhmar, were born from a large amount of spirit as opposed to the coalesced power of the Well of Eternity,[27] they have similarities with Wild Gods such as massive size, age, speech, and even Rukhmar creating the arakkoa like some Wild Gods made races of their own. Matt Burns is hesitant to specifically refer to the arakkoa gods as Wild Gods, since the term has direct ties to the Keepers on Azeroth, but does think they're part of a greater set of similar creatures.[28][29]
  • It is unclear whether or not the more humanoid-looking loa, such as Bwonsamdi and Zanza, are actually Wild Gods or if they are some other kind of powerful spirit. Trolls have been known to use the term "loa" in reference to these beings as well as others such as wisps and C'Thraxxi.
  • IconSmall RavenGod.gif Blaithe, consort of Aviana.
  • IconSmall Eel.gif G'nathus is believed by some pandaren to be an ancient Zandalari loa left behind to guard the waters south of Lei Shen's island citadel.[30]
  • IconSmall Devilsaur.gif Kros is a devilsaur deity fervently worshipped by the Skumblade saurok and who may be a Wild God. The Skumblade saur-priests claim that the saurok were not the result of mogu flesh-shaping but that they instead evolved from the great creator, Kros. While this claim is false, the Echo of Kros and the blessings invoked by the tribe's brutes suggest that the entity very much exists.
  • IconSmall SpiritLeopard.gif Loque'nahak, mate of Har'koa.
  • IconSmall Moose.gif Morashu is described as an "ancient spirit" that has lingered in Highmountain "as long as any tribe", and Maltha Silenthoof states that his presence is required to carry out the cycle of life and death that keeps nature in balance. This may mean that he is a Wild God.
  • IconSmall Kraken.gif Oacha'noa, a tuskarr sea goddess, asks adventurers if they are working with "the trolls of this land" and if they have come to kill her and take her power, indicating that she is a loa akin to the Drakkari loa that were killed by their worshippers.
    • The other three known tuskarr deities — Tayutka, Issliruk and Karkut — may be Wild Gods as well. Issliruk, the spirit of war, is depicted as a silver eagle, and tuskarr stories tell of how he fought against a hundred worgs to save his young.[31]
  • IconSmall Shen-zin Su.gif Shen-zin Su may be a Wild God given his colossal size, his ability to speak, and his long lifespan.

References