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Why World of Warcraft fans are excited about this one horrible boss

He is the absolute worst

World of Warcraft - Nathanos Blightcaller Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Blizzard adds bosses to the game all the time, in a variety of locations and difficulties, but this particular guy has everyone in the World of Warcraft community going hog wild. One of the game’s most hated characters, Nathanos Blightcaller, is finally getting murdered.

Nathanos Blightcaller was once a very popular character, at least among people really into obscure lore. He was the only human to ever join the order of the elven rangers, and he trained with Sylvanas Windrunner herself. Alliance players had to head up into the Plaguelands to kill him, as the leadership of Stormwind couldn’t allow such a famous war hero to exist as a corpse. It took a full raid to kill Nathanos and his hounds, and it was a genuinely cool part of Classic.

In Legion, Nathanos got a face-lift that made him a big sexy undead beefcake, and the game revealed that he and Sylvanas had been in love. After Sylvanas died, she found his mind-controlled zombie and liberated him, and their relationship has been explored through lore stories and in-game interactions since. Sylvanas is one of the game’s most popular characters, but many fans don’t care for her life partner, especially because a big chunk of his dialogue is showering his life (well, undeath) partner with effusive praise.

Nathanos is also one of the few characters who doesn’t treat the player with respect. At this point, most NPCs praise the player as a champion of Azeroth, a legendary hero, and someone they’re honored to know. Nathanos sneers at the player, telling us that we are actually terrible at our jobs. Even if you’re a member of the Horde, Nathanos spent most of Battle for Azeroth telling you that you had better not displease Sylvanas, and then also calling you a weak-willed worm or something of the sort.

In Battle for Azeroth, Nathanos even pulls a couple of “heh, nothing personal kid” moves by going toe-to-toe with Tyrande Whisperwind, a legendary character who was imbued with the vengeful power of her Goddess. Even when Tyrande “wins,” Nathanos just yells “Enough!” and jumps on a bat to slowly fly to safety.

But now, Sylvanas has finally gone full antagonist, and Nathanos is on everyone’s kill list. Two weeks ago, there was a bug where Nathanos appeared early… and some players flew out to kill him, knowing that there would be no reward or cinematic. “I flew all the way out there full well knowing there was no loot just to body him,” wrote one Reddit user.

While the bug was fixed, Tuesday’s patch added Nathanos as a world boss with an in-game cinematic depicting his violent death, and everyone’s reacting to it. Either you love to hate Nathanos, in which case you’re delighted to see a cinematic where he gets to emote with his new, fleshy face… Or you just hate him, and you love getting to see him get murdered.

“His head rolled while he was in the middle of one of his annoying speeches,” wrote one user on the Reddit thread for the above cinematic. “This is the greatest insult a character like Nathanos can suffer. This cinematic is amazing for this reason alone.”

Other users are creating fan art of Nathanos, and hoping he shows back up in Shadowlands to keep sneering at the camera and being the sole NPC who doesn’t care about our deeds.

Tuesday’s patch also includes the Scourge invasions and a short quest line leading up to Shadowlands; players can earn a special pet and cosmetic gear sets by logging in and participating in the fight against the undead.

The next level of puzzles.

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