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New World of Warcraft animated short reveals who burns down Teldrassil

The seeds of war have been planted for the Battle for Azeroth

Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

In the continuation of their Warbringers series, Blizzard released Warbringers: Sylvannas today. The cinematic finally answers a question players have been asking for months: Who burns down Teldrassil, the world tree?

The video shows Sylvanas visiting with a dying Night Elf. After revisiting the painful memories of how she became the Banshee Queen — complete with Arthas ripping out her soul, just like in Warcraft 3 — Sylvanas decides to burn down Teldrassil.

For those not in the know, this is a big deal in the Warcraft universe. World trees are not only the homes of Night Elves, they also house a strong link between the world of Azeroth and the Emerald Dream. Teldrassil also houses many unarmed families, making this attack targeted almost entirely at innocents.

The destruction of Teldrassil and Darnassus, the city that resides under the tree’s branches, is the first move that will spark the war between the Horde and the Alliance for Battle for Azeroth. In next week’s set of quests, King Anduin of the Alliance will lead the attack against Undercity in the Battle for Lordaeron as a direct result of Sylvanas’ attacks on Teldrassil.

Warbringers: Azshara, the final installment in series, will be released next week in anticipation of Battle for Azeroth’s release on Aug. 14 for Mac and Windows PC.

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