Uncovering the Secrets of the Primal Incarnates: A Cinematic Analysis
The latest WoW cinematic featuring the Primal Incarnates is full of surprises, from their unique visage forms to their ultimate goal of finding Neltharion's secret laboratory. Our breakdown examines the lore implications and what it could mean for the story of Dragonflight.
Secrets of the Reach
The cinematic opens on the Forbidden Reach, a scene that any Dracthyr player will recognize. Scalecommander Sarkareth, leader of the Sundered Flame, accompanied by two other Dracthyr. The storm, summoned by Raszageth, is subsiding with her death.
Sarkareth: The storm is receding. The reach is ours once again.
Sarkareth of the Sundered Flame
When most Dracthyr left the Forbidden Reach after Raszageth's release, there were some who were left behind. Scalecommander Viridia and her Healing Wings chose to stay to help the wounded and look after the wingless blue drakonid who had previously been their enemies. Scalecommander Sarkareth and his Ebon Scales, furious with Neltharion's broken promises, named themselves the Sundered Flame instead, swearing that they would carve out their own destiny.
Though Sarkareth has optimistically claimed ownership over the reach, his triumph is short-lived as Raszageth's siblings arrive: Vyranoth, Fyrakk, and Iridikron - the remaining living Primal Incarnates. Sarkareth's companion, Dezran, asks if these dragons are the Aspects - a testimony to the power they must radiate - but Sarkareth recognizes them.
Sarkareth: Take cover!
Dezran: Who are they, Sarkareth? Is it the Aspects?
Sarkareth: No. Raszageth's kin...
Primal Incarnate Visage Forms
As the Primal Incarnates land, we see their shadows transform before the camera turns back to show us their visage forms - a surprising revelation. Visage forms are associated with dragons as we know them today, the Titan-transformed creatures who come from proto-dragons. Typically, they're chosen to resemble the mortal races, to make it easier for Dragons to travel among mortals without drawing too much attention or causing alarm.
However, the Primal Incarnates had no need to consider the mortal races we're most familiar with when considering their choice, and their visage forms reflect that. Their forms are unapologetically elemental, showing off their primal powers as much as their draconic forms do. No two body types are alike, either.
Vyranoth, the Frozenheart, is icy blue. Most interestingly, both her visage and voice reminds us of the Winter Queen, a thought that makes us instantly begin to wonder what Elune, the Winter Queen's sister, looks like. A passing thought to store away and examine later. Of the three, her nature seems the softest and most gentle, as she is shown to be sad, mourning their sister's death.
Fryakk, the Blazing, is fiery red, and he alone resembles a recognizable mortal race - his visage form's body shape is similar to a Tarasek, the creatures that preceded Draconid before Titanic influence, in the same way that proto-dragons preceded modern dragons. His face, however, is far more insectoid, with mandible-like mouth parts. Naturally, his nature seems fiery as well, as he is shown calling for revenge for their sister.
Iridikron, the Stonescaled, is the strongest of the Primal Incarnates. He stands taller than his siblings, and his body is made of sturdy stone, molten lava showing through. He chides Fyrakk, warning that it was Raszageth's overconfidence that killed her. In this, Iridikron echoes Alexstrasza in the
cinematic, where she made the same claim, and warned that the Primal Incarnates would not make this same mistake again.
Vyranoth: The last echoes of her storm are fading. She is truly gone.
Fyrakk: We should be devouring her murderer's hearts.
Iridikron: Do not underestimate them, Fyrakk. Our sister's overconfidence was her downfall.
Most interestingly, Iridikron's chest seems to be broken open, revealing his molten heart. Leather straps are wrapped around his chest, seemingly holding him together. Immediately, we think of Neltharion. The corruption within Deathwing infamously began to tear his body apart - his chest cracked open, showing his molten heart, and armor made of adamantium steel had to be forged to hold him together.
Return to the War Creche
At this point, we begin to learn why the Primal Incarnates have come here, to the Forbidden Reach. Iridikron approaches a doorway, blocked by fallen stone. This is the entrance to the War Creche, the very first area in the Dracthyr Evoker experience. In that storyline, the War Creche is buried, its entrance blocked, after the blue dragon Lapisagos tried to bury the Dracthy alive rather than allow them to escape their dormant state.
The obstacle is no match for Iridikron's mastery over the earth, and the Primal Incarnates walk straight into another area recognizable to any Dracthyr: A grand chamber, an impressive statue of Deathwing on a ledge that overlooks a lake of molten lava below, surrounded by mysterious doorways. Here, it seems, the Primal Incarnates will find the power they need to defeat the Aspects and their allies: Us.
Iridikron: While the Aspects' power has waned, their forces grow stronger. And we must even the scales.
Vyranoth: They kept so many secrets... from us... and even from each other.
The Secrets They Kept
Secrets is a major theme of Patch 10.0.7, as we prepare to investigate hidden vaults belonging to Neltharion, but it goes beyond a single patch. Neltharion kept his own nature a secret from his fellow Aspects for years - they had no idea when he gave himself over to the Old Gods, and were blindsided when he revealed himself to be Deathwing. The Aspects themselves keep secrets even today from the rest of the world, even dragons, as the true history of Galakrond and the curse of undeath remains a buried part of history that only now is beginning to be uncovered by the Dragonscale Expedition.
And as Vyranoth mentions the secrets that the Aspects kept from each other, we see the Arcane Guardians that Malygos conjured to guard and, if needed, kill the Dracthyr if they awaken - a secret that he and Neltharion kept from the other Aspects, who were not even aware of the existence of Evokers.
Naturally, these guardians are nothing to beings as powerful as the Primal Incarnates, who deal with them easily - though once again Iridikron establishes himself as the most powerful by demolishing many in one go. That trifal dealt with, the Incarnates turn their attention to their goal.
Iridikron lifts Neltharion's statue, which turns out to be some sort of puzzle. Runes surround an object - a flat, round, stone - which Iridikron takes. He activates it, revealing telegraphic runes that Vyranoth and Fyrakk seem to understand. The secret that Iridikron is after is named: Aberrus, Neltharion’s hidden laboratory, which is buried deep underground.
Iridikron: It is here. Neltharion's betrayal shattered their unity... left fissures in their hearts. Yet the pain he inflicted was only the beginning.
Vyranoth: Aberrus... his hidden laboratory.
Iridikron: One last secret, deep within the earth.
We know with the 10.1.0 announcements, Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible,
is the name of Dragonflight's upcoming raid
. Incidentally, the stone we see Iridikron use is likely one of the Sending or Receiving Stones, that play a role in patch 10.0.7.
Breach Neltharion’s secret laboratory hidden within Zaralek Cavern. It is here that he created the dracthyr and ultimately succumbed to the whispers of the Old Gods and their corruption.
Players will face nine new raid bosses in an effort to thwart the incarnates as well as Scalecommander Sarkareth, whose forces seek to claim the legacy of the dracthyr.
The scene changes, and the Incarnates, having acquired what they came for, are leaving the War Creche. It seems the stone that Iridikron found still needs further deciphering before the entrance to the mysterious Aberrus can be discovered.
Vyranoth, we can see, is the intellectual. It is she who is tasked with deciphering the code. We can't help but recognize the parallels to the Blue Dragonflight, who also have ice powers and are associated with intellectual abilities. Fyrakk continues to show his hot-headedness as he scornfully dismisses Neltharion's laboratory. A little surprisingly, Iridikron seems just as uninterested in Neltharion's experiments. He's after the "molten fire that empowers it".
Vyranoth: The location of Aberrus must lie within this vessel. I will decipher its knowledge.
Fyrakk: What use are Neltharion's twisted experiments to us?
Iridikron: The laboratory itself is of no consequence. But the molten fire that empowers it... that we can use.
In the final scenes, we see that Sarkareth and his fellow Sundered Flame are still watching the Incarnates. Unlike Iridikron, they are extremely interested in Neltharion's laboratory and what it contains. From the start, the Sundered Flame has been about reclaiming Neltharion's legacy as their own.
Sarkareth: Keep eyes on them, Dezran. Whatever remains of Neltharion's legacy... belongs to us.
The Molten Fire... Old God-Empowered or just Really Hot?
theorized before that Iridikron is already working with the Old Gods
, and once again, this feels like a clue.
Deathwing was susceptible to Old God corruption because he was given dominion over the deep places of the Earth, the same Earth that the Old Gods had infected. We've speculated about a
fifth Old God
, and we know that Yogg-Saron managed to infuse the waters that flow from beneath the Halls of Infusion, corrupting Galakrond.
Could an Old God's influence have infused the molten fire, deep within the earth, that empowers Neltharion's secret laboratory? Could that have something to do with why Neltharion so feared the Dracthyr's nature, he would rather they be destroyed than allow them to exist with their own free will?
Or is it just that the elemental power of molten fire that far beneath the Earth is really strong?
As with anything to do with Old Gods, the moment you begin to speculate, it's hard to stop.
Sarkareth and the Primal Incarnates
One other interesting thing to note is that, while the Sundered Flame and the Primalists are both antagonistic toward us, this does not mean they are allied with each other. The Sundered Flame are focused on reclaiming Neltharion's legacy for their own, while the Primalists are officially focused instead on the pre-Aspect powers of the Elements. Whether or not they find a way to put aside these differences in the future remains to be seen, but for now, they appear to regard each other with as much animosity as they do us.
[Enjoy an ad-free experience, unlock premium features, & support the site!]
[Show 0 Comments]
[Hide 0 Comments]
[Sign In to Post a Comment]