World Tree

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This article is about the World Trees. For the portals to the Emerald Dream, see Great Tree.
Alexstrasza, Ysera, and Nozdormu blessing Nordrassil, the first World Tree

World Trees are ancient, massive trees connected to the Emerald Dream, and which serve as home to the night elves.[1] The first one, Nordrassil, was created by the Dragon Aspects to seal the second Well of Eternity. Through it, they blessed the night elves with many gifts such as immortality. The elves would later use a branch from Nordrassil to grow Andrassil, but they were forced to fell it when the Old God Yogg-Saron tried to corrupt it, renaming it Vordrassil.

With Nordrassil burned during the Third War, the druids of the Cenarion Circle led by Fandral Staghelm grew a new world tree named Teldrassil with the aid of the Circle of Ancients, though it would not receive the blessing of the Aspects. The shaman of the Earthen Ring and the druids eventually managed to heal Nordrassil as well.

Another world tree, Shaladrassil, exists in Val'sharah on the Broken Isles, and an unnamed world tree exists in the Nightmare as well, though their origins are unknown.

World Trees

Teldrassil

Nordrassil

Nordrassil, which means "Crown of the Heavens", was the original World Tree planted on the summit of Mount Hyjal after the War of the Ancients, grown from a seed of the Mother Tree G'Hanir. Nordrassil's roots grow deep into the earth, spreading life-giving energy across the world.[2] It was blessed by the Dragon Aspects to grant immortality to the night elves and to allow their druids to enter the Emerald Dream. The power was unleashed after the Battle of Mount Hyjal and Nordrassil was devastated by this event. By Cataclysm, Nordrassil has regrown, but Nozdormu's lost blessing never returned.

Teldrassil

Located on an island of the same name, off the coast of northern Kalimdor, the giant tree Teldrassil — which means "Crown of the Earth" — was an unsuccessful attempt by Archdruid Fandral Staghelm and his compatriots to restore the night elves' immortality, lost with the near destruction of Nordrassil. Teldrassil was eventually blessed by Alexstrasza and Ysera years later, but not by Nozdormu. It was the youngest of the World Trees until it was burned down.

Andrassil

Andrassil as seen within the Emerald Nightmare

Andrassil, the "Crown of the Snow",[3] was a World Tree located in the Grizzly Hills of southern Northrend. It was grown from a branch taken from Nordrassil by Fandral Staghelm and his druids in order to stop the spread of saronite in Northrend. Without the blessings of the Aspects however, it was vulnerable to the Old Gods' corruption. The ancient druids were forced to fell the tree, which they renamed Vordrassil, the "Broken Crown".[3] It has since become the site of the furbolg city of Grizzlemaw.[4] The tree's roots had pierced the prison of the Old God Yogg-Saron, leading to the corruption of the furbolg.[5] Andrassil allowed the Old Gods access into the Emerald Dream, from which they created the Emerald Nightmare.[3]

Within the Emerald Dream, Andrassil still stands tall, even as the Emerald Nightmare corrupts the rest of the area.[6]

Shaladrassil

Shaladrassil

Shaladrassil is a World Tree situated in Val'sharah on the Broken Isles. It has been corrupted by the Emerald Nightmare and also serves as a gateway into the Emerald Dream. After the War of the Ancients, many surviving satyrs were rounded up. Thaon Moonclaw argued to execute them all but was overruled, and they were placed in an eternal sleep deep beneath the roots of the tree. With the return of Xavius, the satyrs have broken free.[7]

Unnamed tree

The unnamed world tree in the Emerald Nightmare version of Un'Goro Crater

There is a world tree in the Emerald Dream's counterpart of Un'Goro Crater that has been taken by the Emerald Nightmare and is now home to Il'gynoth.[8]

Great Trees

Main article: Great Tree

In an effort to stop the spread of saronite throughout the world, Fandral Staghelm and his closest followers took six enchanted branches from Nordrassil and planted them in Ashenvale, Crystalsong Forest, Feralas, Duskwood, and the Hinterlands. These Great Trees successfully scoured the saronite deposits from their respective regions and, heartened by their success, the druids planted the last and greatest bough in Northrend, where it grew with astonishing speed into the World Tree known as Andrassil.[3]

Notes and trivia

  • It is not clear whether Nordrassil or Shaladrassil is older. While Nordrassil has been referred to as the first World Tree,[9] Oakheart is stated to be an offshoot of Shaladrassil that has purportedly survived the Great Sundering,[10] which in turn suggests that Shaladrassil predated the Sundering. This would make Shaladrassil older than Nordrassil, as Nordrassil was only planted after the Sundering.
  • An early concept map for World of Warcraft depicted a world tree in the middle of Quel'Thalas. It could have been the later inspiration for Thas'alah.
  • Aldrassil fits the naming pattern of World Trees, despite not being one itself.
  • The idea of a World Tree comes from Norse mythology's Yggdrasil. Like Nordrassil, it has a Well beneath it, the Well of Urd. It also has a connection with dragons in the form of the great Níðhöggr, who however gnaws at the roots of Yggdrasil. The idea of a beast gnawing at the roots may be a connection to Yogg-Saron and Andrassil as well. Chris Metzen has indicated that Warcraft's world trees were specifically inspired by Marvel Comics' take on Norse mythology, in Walter Simonson's run on the comic series The Mighty Thor.[11]

Gallery

See also

References