Analysis of the Dragonflight Announce Cinematic Trailer
The cinematic begins with a close-up of the lit Beacon of Tyrhold, a titan-forged tower built by Keeper Tyr on the Dragon Isles. We are told the scene is from 10,000 years ago, and as the camera changes focus to zoom out, we catch our first glimpse of an area that we now know is Thaldraszus, the seat of power of the Dragon Aspects. In the distance, we see a storm, green light at it's center - the Sundering.
The Great Sundering was a cataclysmic event that marked the end of the War of the Ancients - caused by the destruction of the Well of Eternity - which tore the world of Azeroth apart. At the time, the Dragon Aspects were the guardians of Azeroth, empowered by the Titans and tasked with the duty of protecting this world in which a slumbering Titan lies.
The scene changes to atop the tower, where we see a Watcher - a titan-forged stone being created for the duty of watching over certain areas. The shadows of dragons fly overhead - the dragonflights, needed by Azeroth, are leaving.
The world has been sundered. It cries out in pain. We entrust our ancestral home to you, the Watchers
The Watcher takes a moment to look over his shoulder at the Sundering - another Watcher seems almost captivated by the sight - before he turns back to his duty, turning a device at the base of the Beacon, shutting it down.
As the Beacon deactivates, clouds begin to roll in and the skies darken. We catch a glimpse of a Watcher in the Waking Shores as a shadow falls across the land, another Watcher on the shore of the Dragon Isles as the clouds close ahead, finally blocking out the sun completely.
Let the land slumber, hidden even from our own eyes.
We see Watchers of the Azure Span, going dormant along with the land as Alexstrasza delivers her final command.
You will feel our return in the waking of the land. Then you must light the Beacon of Tyrhold, lest the path home be lost to us... forever.
From Alexstrasza's words, the Dragon Isles are now both entirely dormant and hidden completely from the outside world. As long as the Beacon of Tyrhold remains unlit, not even the Dragon Aspects would be able to find them.
The music stops. we see the Watcher on the beach - Watcher Koranos, as we
now know from this podcast interview with Steve Danuser
. All we can hear are the waves. And then, time shifts. Even the waves are silenced. The light has moved. Koranos is covered in moss. We are told we have reached the present day.
Even as we are absorbing the sense of thousands of years of a sleeping land, something begins to change. We see a sense of rumbling as the earth shifts and shakes, Koranos begins to wake. And with the sound of tinkling bells in the background - a sound often associated with almost fairy-tale-like magic, the Watcher opens his eyes and looks ahead.
Magic can be seen pulsing in the water, and Koranos's expression is one of joy and hope as he seems to realize this is the waking of the land that was promised. But then he turns to look at his companion and there is a sudden drop in the sense of joy - the other Watcher is still dormant, and his face almost entirely weathered away.
Koranos's expression has completely changed now. He looks worried and upset, and he turns to look at the Beacon of Tyrhold, which he knows should be lighting up, as per Alexstrasza's last instructions. However, it is still dark.
We watch as the worry in Koranos's face changes to realization - the Beacon isn't lighting up - and then determination. If the Watchers at the tower cannot light up the Beacon, then he will instead.
As Koranos makes his way to the Beacon of Tyrhold, we see more evidence of elemental magic returning to the land. Flowers opening. Lava beginning to spill out of the land. As Koranos passes another Watcher, his eyes linger as he notices how their face, too, is crumbled away.
We see classic Titan technology at the center of the tower, lava bursting through the walls as the elemental magic awakes. Koranos' face is still a mixture of determination and worry as he makes his way to the top.
He pauses at the top of the stairs, taking in the dormant beacon, then turns - and his face falls even more as he sees the Watcher who should have activated the Beacon - who was likely Koranos's leader - lies dead in his throne. And again, Koranos's face moves from distress to determination as he makes the decision to see the Watchers' duty fulfilled.
He turns the device that was used to shut the Beacon of Tyrhold down, and though it lights up, and for a moment power shoots up into the Beacon, the device fails.
Koranos glances around as he seems to be trying to think of a solution, but his face falls as he seems to give in. He closes his eyes and lowers his head, seemingly all hope lost. Suddenly, his brow sets, once again in determination, as he opens his eyes again. He is not ready to give in.
As he begins to climb the tower, Koranos's hand begin to crack, but he only glances at the damage before carrying on. He falls as a handhold gives away, but he manages to catch himself just in time - and he presses on.
Finally, he makes it to the top of the tower, where he begins to physically push the beacon together. This starts to work, light shooting down through the tower and activating the Titanic mechanics within, sending them once again into motion. The effort seems to be unbelievable, and as we watch, the crack that started in Koranos's hand shoots up his arm and through his head, but he does it - he pushes the Beacon together, and it fully activates.
And Koranos is thrown back by the blast. As he falls, we see the effect of the lighting of the Beacon of Tyrhold. The skies have cleared, almost immediately, the sun shining overhead once more. The music has changed, from urgent to something softer, more peaceful.
Throughout this cinematic, we have seen Koranos go through moments when it seems like he may give up and resign himself to the fate of his fellow Watchers, but he pushes through each time. Now, knowing he has performed his sacred task, Koranos seems ready to accept his fate in peace, and as he closes his eyes, his expression is peaceful. Though he is about to die, he is ready.
Just before he can hit the ground, he is saved, by none other than Alexstrasza herself. As she swoops around, Koranos safe in her claw, the Titan Watcher's joy has finally returned, and he breaks into a smile as he sees the dragons before him. The dragonflights have kept their promise. The Beacon of Tyrhold has been lit, and they have returned.
We witness the dragons flying over the city of Tyrhold, their ancient seat of power - the colors red, blue, green, and bronze lighting up the sky. As they swoop around, spinning, diving, and turning in the air, their joy is palpable, evidence of the land awakening below as water gushes through the city's aqueducts.
After the defeat of Deathwing, when the Dragon Aspects lost a great deal of their power, an Age of Mortals was declared. No longer would the protection of Azeroth belong to the dragonflights, it was in our hands now.
As Alexstrasza lands, Koranos safely at her side, she lets out a roar. The Dragon Aspects seem ready to try regain their power, and once again take on the role of Azeroth's protectors.
The world is healing... but her fate is yet uncertain. Together, we shall be Azeroth's protectors once again. Here, the new age of dragons shall begin.
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