Sylvanas' appearance: An explanation.

General
Since her death, numerous writers working for Blizzard have canonically altered Sylvanas Windrunner's appearance for no apparently explainable reason whatsoever.

Specifically, what they've all altered, (since all 3 stories in which those events took place, are all by different authors) is what people who are looking at her see.

Here are the examples from those stories.

Arthas Menethil: Still pre LK powered at the time, but nevertheless, incredibly powerful in his own right and someone you just aren't going to downright fool.

The first time he met Sylvanas after she got her body back (with no explanation ofc as to how she did) was at a farmstead near what was then currently still Lordaeron City (later Undercity). He saw her with black hair, silver eyes, and a body that bore no marks or scars from the injuries he'd inflicted with Shadowmourne.

Lor'themar Theron: (The following is an excerpt from his story). The imo most important things here aren't what her appearance is, but where the scene takes place. Silvermoon City. And the description of the light.

In the hall where she stood, the light seemed to fade; it was not that it dimmed or dulled but that it collapsed and sunk into the space she occupied, as if even sunshine faltered around her. The ferocious white glow of her eyes threw the pallid skin of her pinched face into even greater relief. Her Royal Dreadguards flanked her, clutching blackened blades in their skeletal hands.
All Lor'themar could hear as he entered the hall was the echo of his own footsteps, and even that seemed to fade unnaturally quickly in the presence of the Banshee Queen.
"What brings you to Silvermoon, Sylvanas?" he asked.
"I have just returned from Orgrimmar," she said. Her voice scraped against the walls. As her mouth moved, Lor'themar could see the flesh around it crack and peel like a long-discarded snakeskin.

Lor'themar therefore saw her with white eyes, and cracked, peeling skin.

Nathanos Blightcaller: In his story, Nathanos saw her eyes with different shades of their currently accepted colour, red. Later, and for a fleeting moment only, it is said that he saw her eyes as the blue/gray they had been before her death.

(That scene took place in Undercity).

3 people, are therefore looking at the same person and all seeing 3 completely different things.

So what the hell is going on ?

Sylvanas' body is still active. It therefore still exudes the electromagnetic field around it commonly known as a 'Kirlian Aura'

One could therefore argue that for some reason, it is that aura which causes everyone to see her differently to everyone else. Which is why, canon wise, 3 different people have now all seen her in a completely different way. (And those 3, may be just the tip of the iceberg).

So, what on earth is the aura doing ?

It's (imo) generating a simple defense mechanism to either placate people, or, make them fear her.

Arthas was so astonished and surprised by what he saw, it took him aback. That surprise prevented her from being attacked.

Lor'themar saw her, on his territory, not hers. Away from home, and therefore more vulnerable, she wanted to be feared, and therefore had ferocious white eyes and cracked skin, which in effect said, 'don't come too close to me'.
It is also worth noting the light effect that Lor'themar saw, her electromagnetic aura literally changed how the very light around her reacted.

Nathanos is one of the very few people who Sylvanas has feelings for. The way he saw her, was indicative of his various feelings at different points in the story. Feelings that at the time, perceived how his eyes saw her.

It is also important to remember Lord Godfrey. Who famously killed her with a single bullet even though she has been described as being 'practically indestructible' (again, that one shot, like most erroneous stuff in the lore, has never been explained).

The crucial thing to note here. Regardless of the practically indestructible/but one shotted bit. Is just where Godfrey shot her from.

He shot her from a position from which at no time did he ever catch sight of her eyes.

Had Godfrey at any time, caught sight of her eyes, I'm sure he'd have never pulled the trigger. But why ?

The secret to it all, is her eyes.

It's plain to me, based on all the evidence available, that they are somehow continually focusing the natural electromagnetic energy in and around her body to generate a simple 'self defense' mode. A self defense mode that alters how everyone around her actually sees her, and in doing so, actually alters the way everyone reacts to her.

If you're placated by or fear, Sylvanas Windrunner, you're NOT going to attack Sylvanas Windrunner.

Now, have a look at the cutscene between Sylvanas and Genn. Before he attacked Sylvanas, he couldn't see her eyes. And while fighting, they were almost certainly hidden somewhat by her hood.
When he could see them, when they were stood directly across from each other, he did not attack her. He merely stole her lantern.

Her eyes had therefore done their job, placated him.

End result. Had Genn caught sight of Sylvanas' eyes before he jumped down from above, he'd have never attacked her and Sylvanas would by now, be immortal.

Not only is it, imo, the best explanation you're ever likely to see, it is also one which is based on real world physics, chemistry and biology (giving it a sense of real world realism and therefore authenticity). That, imo, more importantly, makes it the most satisfying explanation that you're ever likely to get.

(Sidenote: No, I've not got down that explanative route in the film I'm producing, that contains an explanation on a far grander scale. However since the 2 explanations don't clash, meaning I'm not actually revealing any plot points before I'm ready to, I don't mind sharing the above 'explanation with you.)
13/10/2017 15:52Posted by Lswindrunner
Sylvanas' body is still active. It therefore still exudes the electromagnetic field around it commonly known as a 'Kirlian Aura'


Yeah ok, maybe you could just give me a leaflet buddy and I'll be on my way.
TLDR: someone has a weird fetish.
13/10/2017 15:59Posted by Kyrenna
TLDR: someone has a weird fetish.


Still, hypnotic or magical eyes is a very old invention in fiction. Ancient mythology should provide quite a few examples too. It's not beyond "reason" or rather suspension of disbelief that the gaze of a powerful magical being somehow focuses that power on beings that meet it.

I'd just explain it with good old Azerothian magic instead of physics though.
Does anyone else vastly prefer the gaunt, actually kinda decaying version of Sylvanas? I think it would make her a more interesting character if they made her look that way in game. They already made her look more skeletal looking in the Legion opening cinematic so that's a plus, but I think they should take it even further.

It'd make for quite an unsettling contrast. Seeing someone that was obviously very beautiful before and still exhibiting some of that beauty, while also having things like peeling skin, cracks in her flesh, etc etc.

In short, I want Slyvanas to actually exude a feeling of dread and wrongness, just like the rest of the Forsaken.
Another day another Windrunner blog .Go to the story forums where people might like it .
13/10/2017 16:41Posted by Vandel
Does anyone else vastly prefer the gaunt, actually kinda decaying version of Sylvanas? I think it would make her a more interesting character if they made her look that way in game. They already made her look more skeletal looking in the Legion opening cinematic so that's a plus, but I think they should take it even further.

It'd make for quite an unsettling contrast. Seeing someone that was obviously very beautiful before and still exhibiting some of that beauty, while also having things like peeling skin, cracks in her flesh, etc etc.

In short, I want Slyvanas to actually exude a feeling of dread and wrongness, just like the rest of the Forsaken.


I loved this Sylvanas. Decaying, ugly, horrifying...everything that makes Forsaken look great.
13/10/2017 15:52Posted by Lswindrunner
Not only is it, imo, the best explanation you're ever likely to see, it is also one which is based on real world physics

Lol

Magic eyes. It's physics, people.
I hope it's more of a glamour than magic eyes, otherwise I'm never going to be able to shake off the image of Sylvanas trying to turn people into wild boars ( http://youtu.be/NejZ2pTa18w ).
We had a couple weeks of silence, but I guess Lswindrunner's forum ban ended. And here he is again, trying to justify his carnal obsession to a corpse (since the -philia is censored on the forums)...
Don't forget her abilities in the games she's been in. She's always had access to a "mind control" type ability in every game she's been playable in since she's been dead.

She has also been described as vain even by elven standards prior to her death, it wouldn't surprise me if she's using a watered down version of this influence to change the way she is perceived.

Of course that's one explanation, another being that since she is such a unique existence (a banshee effectively possessing her own body) that these changes are simply the result of her developing her own strength. She is no longer alive, her body no longer develops (i assume anyway) and perhaps it reacts poorly to the growth of sylvanas's unnatural strengths.

It could be the use of the val'kyrs saving her life. While they will save her soul from going to warcraft hell (i forget it's name, think it's either the void or the twisting nether, one of them) what of the body she currently inhabits? It's not like it's beyond the possibility of the lore to simply start inhabiting another (though now that i mention it i do question why she dies at all, she was ressurected as a banshee when she died, not as a dark ranger that she is now), so why would the val'kyr pact protect that at all?

Most likely, and unfortunately most boringly, it's likely just artistic license from various authors just to emphasise points in their media.
Yup LS Windrunner is back from HIS latest ban
Can you also tell us why she's so ugly?
Is it necro.philia if the corpse is alive? I don't think so. Thus - wanting to have sex with zombies aren't necro.philia, since necro.philia is all about having sex with a static corpse. Loophole!
13/10/2017 20:46Posted by Meathowl
Can you also tell us why she's so ugly?


It's answered in my OP.

That's just how 'you' perceive her.
She looks and sounds like a young Madonna, the way she was in the 1980's at the start of her career. The nasal voice, !@#$%y attitude with a hint of insecurity etc. Dunno if it's intentional but it's what she reminds me of. I have no problem with it. It fits the character.

I have a bigger problem with how they changed Garrosh and Anduin over the course of time. I quite like the handsome Anduin in the Broken Shore cutscene and my favorite Garrosh is Cata "pig style" Garrosh who really looked and felt dangerous and at his prime. In WoD he just came across as tired and pathetic (which I guess he was in a way).
Personally I think she looks amazing in her current form. I hope she stays this way.

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