This is a short post, and just reflects an idea I had on my long drive back home last night.
In light of the recent comments about the lack of female protagonists, it occurred to me that in the next expansion, Blizzard is primed to take advantage of this opening. I’ve commented on female characters before, and almost lamented their status. Let’s consider this possibility, though:
Alliance side Jaina Proudmoore is already shaping up to be Varian Wrynn’s primary foil. In addition, Moira Thaurissan seems to be ascendant as the de facto leader of the dwarven coalition, and of course Tyrande still leads what is likely the second most powerful force within the alliance. Female characters - and powerful ones - abound within the alliance. There’s a good case to be made that the alliance has achieved gender parity in its leaders.
Horde side is trickier to predict, perhaps because I don’t play horde, but I’m hoping someone who does can at least confirm this as a reasonable possibility. The game seems to be setting up Vol’jin as the new Warchief. Like Wrynn, Vol’jin needs a foil among the horde and who better to provide it than Sylvanas? Like Tyrande she is the leader of what I see to be the second most powerful faction. There has been established a built-in conflict between her and the other Horde leaders. While I am less confident in this, I believe Blizzard could very easily elevate Sylvanas’s stature to be equal to Vol’jin.
And finally there is the question of the villain of the expansion. Three of the four expansions have been defined by the villains - Illidan, Arthas and Deathwing - so in many ways the role and choice of the villain is more important than the status of the leaders of the alliance. The great thing, in terms of gender parity with characters, is that there is one villain out there who is female who is the one lore figure that would seem to make sense as a villain.
That is, of course, Azshara.
I would love to have an expansion with Azshara as the villain. I think she could be a tremendously interesting character and I also think that she already has the sort of power that would threaten both the alliance and the horde. In fact, I am having trouble thinking of any lore character on Azeroth that would fit that description, although admittedly it is morning and I am kind of sleepy.
To sum up: there’s a possibility that several prominent leaders of the alliance will be female, that the primary foil for the horde leader will be female, and that the person or being defining the expansion itself will be female.
I think that would be great.