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User:Sandwichman2448/Dark portal retcon theory

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Looks like Noobi666 added this to Retcon 1 a while back without me seeing it.[1] It makes a mess when one is updated without the other...
A much neater version of this issue can be found at Dark_portal#Appearance_of_the_Dark_Portal.
This has to do with Artistic license more than retcons.

In Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, the Dark Portal was a stone arch, and a minor lore footnote (like most things back then).

In Warcraft II, the dark portal was shown to be a much more decorated arch with a ring of obsidian stones around it. It was shown to be like this on both sides and described as such in older texts. The Azeroth side is confirmed to have looked like this in current lore, as the Caverns of Time version keeps this look.

The Warcraft II Azeroth side portal was destroyed by the humans, and then rebuilt by Ner'zhul. In Warcraft IIx, it keeps the look from before, but I explain that through graphic limitations. It is at this point that the Dark Portal should get its new look.

The 'new look' is first seen in the Warcraft IIIx Interlude: The Dusts of Outland where Kael remembers that the Dimensional gateways Ner'zhul opened looked like this. It is also seen around this time (real world timeline, not Warcraft timeline) on the cover of The Last Guardian, which takes place oddly in the First War.

Because he rebuilt it that way, I have always assumed that the robed figure was Ner'zhul himself (who I think looked like that in one level of Warcraft IIx, where he was a renamed Teron Gorefiend unit, but I may be crazy), or Teron Gorefiend himself (but the sword is a mystery, as Gorefiend used a truncheon). Why Ner'zhul looks like that I do not know. I am guessing though he stopped warlocking after he realized the lies of Kil'jaden, but started again around Warcraft IIx when he took up the mantel of warchief.

In World of Warcraft, the new look is shown in the Blasted Lands with little change. Come The Burning Crusade, the Stair of Destiny is shown as a more extreme version of the new look. All lore still fits.

In Rise of the Horde, Medivh gives Gul'dan a vision on how to make the dark portal look, he did this before in the WCII manual lore, but this time he shows the Stair of Destiny as it is now. Gul'dan does not know who or what the figures are (they are mentioned only as "cowled figures"[1]), and called the dragon a lizard (this ties in with the Dragonmaw Clan retcon confusion). The dragon may be Deathwing in honor of his alliance with Ner’zhul (if Ner’zhul did in fact rebuild the Stair of Destiny like that), but has no armor.

The dimensional gateways of Outland in The Burning Crusade have the old look in the stead of the new look for some reason.

The retcon that no one else cares about (and may not exist, as contradicting facts were never explicitly stated), is the identity of the robed figures and the timeline of the design of the Dark Portal. Beyond the Dark Portal did not clarify this.

Other notes

  • Alex Ziebart of WOW Insider does not know who the statues are either, but the subsequent comments offer further speculation to this issue.[2]
  1. ^ Golden, Christie. Rise of the Horde, 339. ISBN 978-0-7434-7138-1.