And then things happen in the opening of Battle for Azeroth that cement it. Some of the imagery that you'll see is the scene is with Sylvanas standing in front Teldrassil on fire. Then with the opening cinematic, that event was right before the Alliance finally says, "Okay, we've had it" before they assault Lordaeron.
She wanted to reach for his hand, but contented herself with smiling benevolently at him. "You are forgiven," she said. "Now. Tell me of our home."
Sylvanas expected a brief recitation of modest concerns, a reaffirmation of the Forsaken's loyalty to their Dark Lady. Instead, Nathanos frowned. "The situation...is complicated, my queen."
Her smiled faded. What could possibly be "complicated" about it? The Undercity belonged to the Forsaken, and they were her people.
"Your presence has been sorely missed," he said. "While many are proud that, at least, the Horde has a Forsaken as its warchief, there are others who feel that you have perchance forgotten about those who have been more loyal to you than any other."
She laughed, sharply and without humor. "Baine and Saurfang and the others say I have not been giving them enough attention. My people say I have been giving them too much. Whatever I do, someone objects. How can anyone rule like this?" She shook her pale head. "A curse upon Vol'jin and his loa. I should have stayed in the shadows, where I could be effective without being interrogated."
Where I could do as I truly wished.
She'd never wanted this. Not really. as she had told the troll Vol'jin before, during the trial of the late and greatly unlamented Garrosh Hellscream, she liked her power, her control, on the subtle side. But with quite literally his dying breath, Vol'jin, the Horde's leader, had commanded that she do the opposite. He had been granted a vision by the loa he honored.
You must step out of da shadows and lead.
You must be warchief.
Vol'jin had been someone she respected, although they clashed on occasion. He lacked the abrasiveness that so often characterized orc-leadership. And she had been genuinely sorry he had fallen - and not just because of the responsibility he had placed on her head.
Nathanos was wise enough not to interrupt her. She forced calm upon herself. This was Nathanos, daring to speak truth to power, as he always did. And she valued that. "Continue."
"From their perspective," the dark ranged resumed, "you were a fixture in the Undercity. You made them, you worked to prolong their existence, you were everything to them. Your ascension to warchief was so sudden, the threat so great and so immediate, that you left no one behind to care for them."
Sylvanas nodded. She supposed she could understand that.
"You left a great hole. And holes in power tend to be filled."
Her red eyes widened. Was he speaking of a coup? The queen's mind flashed back a few years to the betrayal of Varimathras, a demon she had thought would only obey her. He had joined with the ungrateful wretch Putress, a Forsaken apothecary who had created a plague against the living and the undead - and who had nearly killed Sylvanas herself. Retaking the Undercity had been a bloody endeavor. But no. Even as the thought occured to her, she knew that her loyal champion would not be speaking in so casual a manner if something so terrible had happened.
Reading her expression perfectly, as he so often did, Nathanos hastened to reassure her. "All is calm there, my lady. But in the absence of a single powerful leader, the inhabitans of your city have formed a governing body to tend to the population's needs."
"Ah, I see. An interim organization. That is ... not unreasonable."
"They are calling themselves the Desolate Council." Again, he hesitated. "My lady ... there are rumors about things that have been done by you in this war. Some of those rumors are even true."
"Word has reached them of my efforts to continue their existence. Unfortunately, I assume that word has also reached them that Genn Greymane destroyed their hope."
She had taken her flagship, the Windrunner, to Stormheim in the Broken Isles, in search of more Val'kyr to resurrect the fallen. It was, thus far, the only way Sylvanas had found to create more Forsaken. "I was almost able to enslave the great Eyir. She would have given me the Val'kyr for all eternity. None of my people would have ever died again." She paused. "I would have saved them."
"That ... is the concern."
"Do not dance around this, Nathanos. Speak plainly."
"Not all of them desire for themselves what you desire for them, my queen. Many on the Desolate Council harbor deep reservations." His face, still that of a dead man but better preserved due to an elaborate ritual she had ordered performed, twisted in a smile. "This is the peril you created when you gave them free will. They are now free to disagree."
Her pale brows drew together in a terrible frown. "Do they want extinction, then?" she cried, anger flaring brightly inside her. "Do they want to be rotting in the earth?"