There’s a lot to unpack from the deluge of new World of Warcraft content we were treated to today during BlizzCon 2023. The Worldsoul Saga, three teased expansions, Classic getting the Cataclysm expansion, and so much more. But excited as everyone is for all this, some people are arguably even more excited about, uh, a very, very specific kind of content update to a very, very specific character.
I’m talking about Anduin Wrynn’s glow-up. He’s hot now. And the WoW community is thrilled.
Anduin es un personaje al que hemos visto crecer desde que era un niño. En un videojuego. Es algo increíble. pic.twitter.com/jtISJ7oYLF
— Navineko 🎄✨ (@minekopls) November 3, 2023
First, some context. Anduin Wrynn has been a staple character in World of Warcraft for a long time now. He’s the son of the former king of Stormwind and High King of the Alliance Varian Wrynn, and in the earlier days of WoW was seen as a child and then a teenager hanging out in Stormwind. As WoW expansions passed, he grew older, eventually showing up as a main character in Mists of Pandaria and becoming pals with the Black Prince Wrathion.
But Mists was the end of Anduin’s innocent childhood. His father Varian was killed in World of Warcraft: Legion, and Anduin assumed the throne while still mourning his loss. Burdened by his unexpected new responsibilities, Anduin did his best as a Paladin to follow the Light and care for his people amid war, a Burning Legion invasion, treachery and attempted genocide by Sylvanas Windrunner, war with the Horde, Old God threats, and basically all the trauma and trouble of multiple World of Warcraft expansions. In Shadowlands, Anduin was captured and taken into the Maw, a space beyond death where he was tortured by Sylvanas and the Maw’s ruler, the Jailer. His will was ultimately dominated by the Jailer, who used him to attack the Shadowlands’ Archon and attempt to remake reality in the Jailer’s image. Though Anduin ultimately fought back, he did an awful lot of murder and destruction under the Jailer’s control, and Anduin came out of the expansion fairly traumatized.
Anduin’s been missing ever since, but in the cinematic introducing The War Within, it looks like Thrall has tracked down the absent king. And wow. This guy looks like he’s been through it. He’s clearly older – several years have passed since his disappearance, and he just overall looks rugged and sad. But everyone on Twitter and Reddit has noted that he also looks super hot, and they’re digging the massive glow-up he’s had since his low-poly childhood in Stormwind so long ago.
— Liquid Eiya (@EiyaWoW) November 3, 2023
HOLD ON…. THIS IS ANDUIN???? pic.twitter.com/YEdKydk03K
— chrissy 🥀 (@chrissyxchi) November 3, 2023
— Nyxia💎🌃👾 PreDebut (@Nyxia_VT) November 3, 2023
Anduin entering his unwashed 30’s I see pic.twitter.com/rLhWgcjDlj
— Vierawang (@justfknpeaches) November 3, 2023
There have been plenty of interesting comparisons of Anduin’s new look to that of multiple famous actors, including Stephen Amell in Arrow, Zac Efron in Gold, and Chris Hemsworth just in general. There are also several folks on social media referring to him as “Manduin” which…yeah, I can’t argue with. Overall, it’s nice to see World of Warcraft start to enter its thirst trap era, first with Wrathion’s incredible glow-up in Dragonflight, and now with what I’m now hearing people are referring to as “punished Anduin.” Can we get a hot cinematic/art glowup for Kalecgos next, please?
It’s been a big day for World of Warcraft, with Blizzard announcing not one, not two, but three upcoming expansions at BlizzCon 2023 as a trilogy called The Worldsoul Saga. The first of these, The War Within, is expected out next year. Meanwhile, World of Warcraft: Classic is introducing the Cataclysm expansion next year alongside a new Season of Discovery that will see new twists on existing classes, raids, and bosses. You can catch up on everything announced right here.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to [email protected].