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|Race||Eternal One (Humanoid)|
|Affiliation(s)||Night Fae Covenant|
|Occupation||Queen of the Night Fae|
|Location||Heart of the Forest, Ardenweald|
The Winter Queen is the creator and ruler of the realm of Ardenweald and its inhabitants, the Night Fae, who defend the spirits of nature. She is charged with the sacred task of maintaining the cycle of rebirth: restoring perished Wild Gods, Ancients, loa, and other nature spirits and returning them to the mortal plane. She and the land are one; when the land thrives, so does she. Ardenweald has suffered more keenly from the anima drought than any other realm in the Shadowlands, and this has taken a bitter toll on the queen. For the first time in endless ages, she has been forced to choose which of the land's lush groves—and which souls—will be fed the last precious drops of anima and which will fade away forever, a task enacted by the Wild Hunt.
The Winter Queen personally accompanied the Wild Hunt when they sacrificed the wildseeds in the grove of Tirna Noch, among which were the soul of the Wild God Ursoc. The grove's keeper, Ara'lon—who had previously sworn an oath to the queen to protect the wildseeds—initially lashed out against this effort by attacking the hunters. When the queen herself appeared, Ara'lon told her that he had kept faith that she would save them from the anima drought, and he didn't understand why she would send scavengers to his grove. In response, the queen showed Ara'lon a vision of Ardenweald's future, in which the dream trees would topple and the whole forest would perish in the drought. Ara'lon was faced with the choice of honoring his oath or sacrificing Ursoc's soul to preserve the forest. Now tearful, the queen told Ara'lon that his heart was pure and that she would honor his choice. Ara'lon sorrowfully decided to drain the anima from Ursoc's wildseed and subsequently joined the forces of the Wild Hunt.
Notes and trivia
- The Winter Queen uses female human animations.
- When designing the Winter Queen, Blizzard's artists initially aimed to create something that stood above and beyond the common Night Fae and felt somewhat different from them, since she is part of a greater order. Beyond this starting point, they considered what kind of characteristics and emotions she would embody and aimed to make her a regal, reserved, and serious mother figure who is experiencing a great deal of sorrow due to having to watch her realm die around her. On top of this, the artists pulled in elements from the creatures the Winter Queen watches over, such as antlers and a cape resembling moth wings, based on the idea that the creatures spawn from her or are shaped by her in some way. Finally, the artists tried to make sure that she and her fellow realm rulers look distinct and stand out from each other while also being a visual embodiment of the zone they belong to.
- The Winter Queen and her Court of Night are ostensibly inspired by the Seelie and Unseelie Courts in the Scottish classification of faeries, as well as by Fairy Queen characters such as Titania.
- The Winter Queen was voiced by Maria Angelico in Afterlives.
- Patch 9.0.2 (TBD): Added.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2020-06-03. Shadowlands Preview: Ardenweald and the Night Fae Covenant. Archived from the original on 2020-06-03.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Night Fae - Covenants - Shadowlands. Retrieved on 2019-11-06.
- ^ Afterlives: Ardenweald
- ^ Garth Holden 2020-08-20. A deep dive into Ardenweald, the Shadowlands realm of hibernation. SA Gamer. Retrieved on 2020-08-27.
- ^ Terran Gregory on Twitter