Yogg-Saron

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For the encounter in Ulduar, see Yogg-Saron (tactics).
NeutralYogg-Saron
Image of Yogg-Saron
Title The Lucid Dream,
The Monster In Your Nightmares,
The Beast With a Thousand Maws,
The Fiend of a Thousand Faces,
The God of Death,[1]
That Which Must Not Be Named[2]
Hearthstone Hope's End[3]
Race Old god (Aberration)
Affiliation(s) Itself, Old Gods' forces, Black Empire
Occupation Old God of Death[4]
Location The Prison of Yogg-Saron, Ulduar
Status Defeatable (WotLK)
Active (lore)
"ALL PLACES. ALL THINGS HAVE SOULS. ALL SOULS CAN BE DEVOURED."[5]

Yogg-Saron (pronounced yog-suh-RAWN)[3] is one of the four Old Gods of Azeroth, mysterious and dread elder beings that were defeated and sequestered by the armies of the titans during the world's primordial ages. Upon its fall at the hands of the Pantheon countless millennia ago, Yogg-Saron was imprisoned inside the titan complex of Ulduar within the depths of what would become the continent of Northrend.

Yogg-Saron is responsible for many horrors suffered by Azeroth. In an attempt to escape its prison, the Old God corrupted the titan-forged keeper Loken and turned him against his own brethren, resulting in the death of Tyr, and created the Curse of Flesh, a malaise that turned countless titan-forged into mortal beings of flesh and blood. Millennia later, Yogg-Saron also corrupted the World Tree Andrassil, forcing its night elven creators to cut it down, but not before the Old God secretly managed to open a gateway into the ethereal spirit world known as the Emerald Dream and plant the seed of corruption that would later grow into the Emerald Nightmare.

Yogg-Saron made its first appearance in World of Warcraft as the final boss in the Ulduar raid instance, which was implemented in patch 3.1.[6]

Yogg-Saron later returns in World of Warcraft: Legion, its whispers heard throughout the halls of Ulduar once again.

Biography

Yogg-Saron on the cover of World of Warcraft: Dungeon Companion 3.

One of the greatly malevolent and ancient entities known only as Old Gods, Yogg-Saron held chaotic tyranny over the world of Azeroth in the very distant past, and was responsible for the creation of the Curse of Flesh to "facilitate assimilation" of the Titans' creations. When the Titans waged war against the Old Gods and shattered their citadels, they found that the infestation of the entities had grown so severe that destroying the Old Gods would also lead to the annihilation of Azeroth. Instead, the Pantheon took measures to neutralize the Old Gods' power and bind them within Azeroth for the remainder of its existence. Yogg-Saron was sealed away within the depths of Ulduar in the far northern reaches of the infant world, and had six watchers assigned to it which served as wardens for its near eternal imprisonment; the Titanic watchers known as Loken, Thorim, Hodir, Tyr, Mimiron and Freya.

In time Loken would have an affair with Sif, the wife of his brother Thorim. Yogg-Saron, from his prison within Ulduar, muddled Loken's thoughts and made him lash out at Sif, scared at the thought of losing her, and he killed her on accident. Horrified at what he had done but too scared to tell Thorim the truth, Loken tricked Thorim into believing that it had been the work of Arngrim, the king of the ice giants, turning Thorim against his allies. Loken would stop the war between Thorim's and Arngrim's forces with an army he had created with the Forge of Wills, but unknown to Loken Yogg-Saron had planted the curse of flesh inside the forge, which would slowly convert titan-forged into flesh and could also spread to those forged before the curse was created.[7]

With Thorim retreated to the Temple of Storms, Loken who was desperate to cover his actions, even if it meant using Yogg-Saron's power to do so, for if Algalon or the Pantheon ever found out his life would be forfeit. He arranged the death of Mimiron, making it look like a lab accident, though Mimiron's mechagnome followers would create a new mechagnome body to house the Keeper's soul. Loken subdued Hodir and Freya, corrupting them into complacency with Yogg-Saron. He convinced the titan-forged Helya to imprison Odyn, the Prime Designate, within his Halls of Valor, claiming the title of Prime Designate that was rightfully Odyn's in the process. Loken expected Ra to come up from the south and investigate what was going on, but Ra never arrived. This is because he had discovered that the Pantheon was dead, killed by Sargeras, and had locked himself up in the Mogu'shan Vaults in despair. Afterward, Loken exiled all titan-forged from Ulduar and retreated into the depths of the complex.[7]

The remains of the world tree Vordrassil.

Yogg-Saron was also the source of the corruption that befell the world tree Vordrassil,[8] after its roots grew too close to the Old God's prison[9] and allowed it and the other Old Gods to create the Emerald Nightmare.[7] The ancient druids growing Vordrassil destroyed the tree immediately upon discovering the sheer power behind Yogg-Saron's corrupting influence, however the taint nonetheless continued to spread to the Grizzlemaw Furbolgs who came to inhabit the tree's stump ages later. They became murderously insane soon after settling within Vordrassil's remains, and began attempting to regrow the afflicted world tree. The Furbolgs also used the dire power still emanating from the tree's stump to resurrect the bear god Ursoc, who returned to the world as a viciously twisted reflection of his former self.

During the encounter with the Old God in the Ulduar raid, three visions are shown to players which represent key moments in the history of Azeroth; strongly implying Yogg-Saron can be directly linked to these events somehow. These three visions include the creation of the Dragon Soul by Neltharion and the other Dragon Aspects during the War of the Ancients (which resulted in the Sundering of the world), the assassination of King Llane by Garona Halforcen (which caused the fall of Stormwind at the end of the First War), and a vision of the Lich King torturing Bolvar Fordragon (the man who would become the new Lich King after Arthas Menethil's death). During this last vision, the voice of Yogg-Saron can be heard proclaiming: "He will learn--no king rules forever! Only death is eternal!", a prophecy of the Old God that would come to pass with Arthas' defeat by the Ashen Verdict, and the words of which are eerily repeated by Terenas Menethil's spirit as his final words to his dying son.

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

When Brann Bronzebeard and Khadgar traveled to Ulduar to meet Magni Bronzebeard, saronite vapors flooded Ulduar's antechamber and faceless ones attacked them as an Old God, presumably Yogg-Saron given the location and saronite, whispered in their minds.[10]

Saronite and the Scourge

Throughout Northrend deposits of an unnatural ore named "Saronite" can be found, which is called the "Black Blood of Yogg-Saron" by the Tuskarr people and who advise any who will listen to keep their distance from it. Saronite is known to drive any that are repeatedly exposed to it to violent insanity, and it appears to be a type of byproduct of the Old God's physical manifestation. The Scourge mine extensively for this dread ore;[11][12] It is used in their fuel, armament, weapons and most notably in the construction of their buildings, including Icecrown Citadel itself.[11][13][14] Alliance questing revealed, however, that the undead of the Scourge mysteriously utter the name "Yogg-Saron" with tremendous hatred and contempt.[14]

Blizzard representatives have stated that they feel the connection between Yogg-Saron and the Lich King ended up being poorly expressed in-game,[15] but added that it "had a lot to do with the ability for mortals to become corrupted."[16]

The Whispers of Yogg-Saron

See also: Old Gods#Whispers

The whispers heard inside Whisper Gulch from "An Unknown Voice" are listed in the game files as "Creature - Yogg-Saron Whisper". They sound similar to the whispers of C'Thun, the first named Old God:

  • They are coming for you.
  • Give in to your fear.
  • Kill them all before they kill you.
  • They have turned against you. Now, take your revenge.
  • It WAS your fault.
  • Tell yourself again that these are not truly your friends.
  • You are a pawn of forces unseen.
  • There is no escape. Not in this life, not in the next.

In the 5-man Ahn'kahet instance, which features a desecrated Nerubian temple now dedicated to Yogg-Saron, "A Mysterious Voice" can sometimes be heard whispering to players at random. This voice most likely is Yogg-Saron's as well:

  • Trust is your weakness.
  • Hope is an illusion.
  • All that you know will fade.
  • You will be alone in the end.

(These voices can also be heard within the Ymirheim Saronite Mines.)

In Cataclysm, archaeology allows for players to assemble fragments of an ancient Nerubian puzzle box that is somehow related to Yogg-Saron's dread and mysterious nature. The puzzle appears impossible to solve properly, but with every attempt the player makes the Old God will whisper chilling knowledge to them:

  • At the bottom of the ocean even light must die.
  • Even death may die.
  • All places, all things have souls. All souls can be devoured.
  • There is a little lamb lost in dark woods.
  • The silent, sleeping, staring houses in the backwoods always dream. It would be merciful to tear them down.
  • The void sucks at your soul. It is content to feast slowly.
  • There is no sharp distinction between the real and the unreal.
  • The stars sweep chill currents that make men shiver in the dark.
  • What can change the nature of a man?
  • Look around. They will all betray you. Flee screaming into the black forest.
  • Do you dream while you sleep or is it an escape from the horrors of reality?
  • In the land of Ny'alotha there is only sleep.
  • In the sleeping city of Ny'alotha walk only mad things.
  • Ny'alotha is a city of old, terrible, unnumbered crimes.
  • Y'knath k'th'rygg k'yi mrr'ungha gr'mula.
  • The drowned god's heart is black ice.
  • In the sunken city, he lays dreaming.
  • Have you had the dream again? A black goat with seven eyes that watches from the outside.
  • It is standing right behind you. Do not move. Do not breathe.
  • The fish know all the secrets. They know the cold. They know the dark.
  • The giant rook watches from the dead trees. Nothing breathes beneath his shadow.
  • The tortured spirits of your ancestors cling to you, screaming in silence. Apparently they are quite numerous.
  • You resist. You cling to your life as if it actually matters. You will learn.
  • Open me! Open me! Open me! Then only will you know peace.

Composition

"Yogg-Saron" is a composition of several different NPCs in the Ulduar encounter:

Trivia

A card back themed after Yogg-Saron in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
  • Yogg-Saron is voiced by Jamieson Price.
  • Yogg-Saron appears as a legendary card in the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Its flavor text reads: "I spell your doom... Y-O-U-R D-O-O-M!"
    • There is also a rare Mage card known as the Servant of Yogg-Saron. Its flavor text reads: "Yogg-Saron always likes to complain about how he has too many servants and there are too many mouths to feed."
    • Yogg-Saron's Magic is one of the two spell effects that can be chosen when playing the Mire Keeper card.
    • Additionally, the Clutch of Yogg-Saron card back was rewarded for achieving Rank 20 in Ranked Season 25, which took place during April 2016. The flavor text reads: "There are several cults trying to summon the Old God Yogg-Saron, and the competition for cultists is causing salaries to skyrocket."

Inspiration

  • Yogg-Saron's name is derived from Yog-Sothoth of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.[17] Additionally, by the same turn, his monikers "The Beast with a Thousand Maws", or "Fiend of a Thousand Faces" are references to Shub-Niggurath, who is refered to as "The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young" and to whom Yogg-Saron bears a resemblance. "That Which Must Not Be Named" may be a reference to Hastur, whose role in the Cthulhu mythos remains unclear. In Lovecraft's own "The Whisperer in Darkness," the protagonist hears a recording of cultists reciting, in reverence, the names of several beings, including Yog-Sothoth, Cthulhu, and Hastur (as "That Which Must Not Be Named"). However, in the same story and in the expanded universe created by authors continuing Lovecraft's mythos, Hastur is shown as being at war with the Mi-Go, the race of extraterrestrials that seems to worship the aforementioned "Gods" as a group (who were among the voices heard on the recording).
  • "Yogg" might also be an intentional misspelling of "Ygg", referring to Yggdrasil, the World Tree of Norse mythology, tying in with Yogg-Saron's corruption of Vordrassil.
  • "Ygg" is also one of the aliases of the Norse God "Odin".
  • The name "Saron" could also refer to Sauron, the evil necromancer and antagonist of the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. On Wikipedia, in the Adaption section it is quoted: In interviews, Jackson repeatedly refers to Sauron as "just a giant floating eyeball." In the novel, even if one interprets the text as saying that the Eye exists physically, it is never clear whether it is disembodied or not. In the very novel, Sauron is indeed referred as The Eye, but Sauron is furthermore the evil opponent, called the one who should not be mentioned, a sort of death god, who has corrupted the world, able to see things beyond others/create visions - alike Yogg-Saron.

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.

Connection to C'Thun

In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Arthas encountered and defeated a "Forgotten One" while traveling through Azjol-Nerub which beared physical similarities to C'Thun, the first named Old God, and which was being defended by faceless ones, which are typically associated with Yogg-Saron, hinting at a close connection between the two Old Gods.

It is also possible that the Forgotten One which Arthas fought was a manifestation or tendril of Yogg Saron's power, but which was not at full strength due to Ulduar not yet having been fully compromised.

The fate of Tyr

The watcher Tyr is seemingly missing from the Ulduar encounter, and questing reveals that unlike with the other watchers, Tyr's temple is the only one which shows no sign of violent overthrowing by Loken's armies. When asked about this, Blizzard's lead world designer Valnoth implied Tyr may in fact be none other than General Vezax, who has been completely corrupted and assimilated by Yogg-Saron's power.[18] Other developers however commented that Tyr "was not in Ulduar" when Yogg-Saron was defeated.[19] During BlizzCon 2015, it was at last revealed that Tyr was long dead, having fallen in what is now known as Tirisfal Glades at the hands of Loken's forces.[20]

One of "The Three"

During the encounter in Ulduar, in his mind, two of the three flashbacks are important lore events that happened either after visions or whispers:

Furthermore, during the Immolated Champion's vision he says that the Lich King will learn "No king rules forever", which will ultimately be true as Arthas Menethil dies in Icecrown Citadel.

This hints that Yogg-Saron is possibly behind those events, alone or as part of "The Three" and their "Greater Plan" mentioned by Korialstrasz during the War of Ancients events.[21]

Gallery

References

  1. ^ Yogg-Saron (tactics)#Quotes
  2. ^ Deranged Explorer says: The end is nigh! Which Must Not Be Named is almost free!
  3. ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment Daxxarri 2016-04-07. Whispers of the Old Gods – It's Never a Yawn with Yogg-Saron. Retrieved on 2016-04-07.
  4. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Under Development (US): Ulduar. Retrieved on 2009-02-17.
  5. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, page 33
  6. ^ Michael Sacco 2009-12-03. Ulduar achievements unveiled. Retrieved on 2009-12-03.
  7. ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
  8. ^ PlayHearthstone on Twitter (2016-03-24). - NB: This is a Hearthstone lore source.
  9. ^ A [75G3] Ursoc, the Bear God: Spirit of Ursoc says: I thank you all. The druids of old were wise to tear down Vordrassil, for its roots seep deep into the dwelling of an ancient evil. You know their kind as old gods. Beware Yogg-Saron, the beast with a thousand maws. His evil extends beyond Vordrassil's roots.
  10. ^ N [100] The Diamond King
  11. ^ a b Black Blood of Yogg-Saron
  12. ^ Uther the Lightbringer: "You have forged this blade from saronite, the very blood of an old god. The power of the Lich King calls to this weapon." (The Halls Of Reflection)
  13. ^ Tonight We Dine In Havenshire
  14. ^ a b The Search for Slinkin
  15. ^ Phil Kollar 2010-02-17. Afterwords: World of Warcraft: Wrath Of The Lich King 3. Retrieved on 2010-02-19. “There is supposed to be a tie-in between Yogg-Saron (the boss of Ulduar) and the Lich King, and that’s how that was supposed to make sense – through Yogg-Saron’s manipulation of world events. I don’t think that was obvious enough to the players. It’s hard for them to draw that connection even though theoretically that connection exists. In the planning stages, that wasn’t much of a factor for us, because in our minds that connection existed and was clear. We just didn’t do a very good job of expressing it.”
  16. ^ Bornakk 2010-02-26. Re: #BlizzChat Developer Chat on Twitter 2/26. Retrieved on 2010-02-27.
  17. ^ World of Warcraft: The Magazine Issue 4, page 25
  18. ^ Valnoth about Tyr being absent from Ulduar
  19. ^ World of Warcraft Forums - Ask CDev #1 Answers. Retrieved on 2010-06-30.
  20. ^ Legion: Paladin Artifact Reveal
  21. ^ The Sundering, pg. 157

External links