One of the pitfalls of making a film adaptation is there will be people who already know what is going to happen. Whether the source material was a novel, a comic book, or a video game, fans are going to have expectations on how things will shake out. This can be a good thing. It can also be a hurdle to overcome. Such was the case in Warcraft, where the writers subtly changed a character”s origin to the point I didn”t even notice it until an insider casually mentioned it in conversation.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE WARCRAFT MOVIE BEYOND THIS POINT.
It”s no secret that I”m a huge fan of the Warcraft franchise. I”ve been all over the film”s progress like Elmer”s glue on a 1st grader”s hands. From visiting the set to seeing the finalized VFX at an ILM presentation, no opportunity to watch Azeroth comes to life passed by on my watch. But having so much information before even going to the premiere this week meant a very crucial plot point sailed right over my head since it was VASTLY different than the source material.
Medivh (Ben Foster) is now the father of (Garona).
General audiences probably picked right up on this reveal. Garona claims she is half-orc/half-human, and they have no reason to doubt this statement. The plot sets up that Medivh invited the orcs in through the portal. Medivh even gives a little speech to Garona that he once traveled to a far away land and fell in love with a woman from a race of warriors, but later abandoned her for reasons unknown. It”s a classic trope. But one will be difficult for fans of the Warcraft games to pick up on for one reason: In the source material, Garona and Medivh are lovers. They even have a son named Med”an.
In World of Warcraft, Garona was assumed to be half-orc/half-human until the release of the Burning Crusade expansion. At that time, it was revealed she was, in fact, half-orc/half-Draenei (The Draenai were the blue creatures in crates at the beginning of the film). I was so convinced Garona”s true parentage would be revealed that I built an entire article around it. My lore knowledge blinded me.
When I struck up a conversation with someone very close to the production at the Warcraft premiere after-party, laughing how I”d been convinced that “Draenai Mother” was Garona”s mom, I was hit with a ton of bricks when they responded with “Haha! But what did you think of her father being Medivh?” I had completely missed it. What I'd thought was Medivh sharing a story of love and loss with the future mother of his child was actually a confession that he was Garona's long-lost dad.
In the grand scheme of things, Garona”s parentage doesn”t fundamentally change her place in the Warcraft lore. She was still raised by Gul”dan (though now I wonder if the orc kept her alive in the hopes of feeding off her magical power), she”s still a bridge between the world of the orcs and the world of the humans. But it does open up some interesting possibilities. Instead of an assassin, it”s now possibly for Garona to become a powerful mage…like her father before her.
Warcraft is in theaters now.