Field Photographer Friday is a weekly look at the lore and history behind locations around World of Warcraft. This week, we're taking a look at Nordrassil!
Nordrassil is the original World Tree and was grown from an acorn of the Mother Tree, G'hanir, following its death during the War of the Ancients, long before World of Warcraft's time. Nordrassil was planted in the waters of the Well of Eternity by Alexstrasza in order to "plug" the Well and avoid it being detected by the Burning Legion. She used her power to grow it instantly and bless it with strength and vitality. Her sister, Ysera, bound the tree to the Emerald Dream, allowing night elf druids free-passage in and out of the realm, where as before it would require deep meditation. Nozdormu also blessed the tree, which granted the night elves immortality as long as the blessing remained.
Nordrassil would first appear in game during the Burning Crusade expansion inside the Battle for Mount Hyjal raid instance. This instance took Horde and Alliance heroes back in time to take part in the battle against Archimonde to save Nordrassil. With Archimonde weakened, Malfurion Stormrage used the Horn of Cenarius to call upon thousands of wisps which detonated on Archimonde, killing his physical being and banishing his spirit back to the Twisting Nether. The resulting shockwave heavily damaged Nordrassil, and in its weakened state it lost the power of its blessings, meaning the night elves also lost their immortality. In attempt to regain their immortality, Fandral Staghelm and the night elves established Teldrassil, home to one of the other World Trees, but the blessing was never regained as it originated from Nozdormu.
By the time of the Cataclysm expansion, Nordrassil had regrown to full strength, but was still without its blessings. Having recently resurfaced, the Firelord Ragnaros sought the destruction of Nordrassil at the direction of Deathwing. Deathwing wanted to distract the world from his real plans of communing with the Old Gods. Malfurion Stormrage and his druidic following, along with the might of Cenarius, stood in defense of Nordrassil. With Ragnaros' forces pushed back to the elemental plane, Horde and Alliance heroes ventured into the Firelands raid instance to kill the Firelord once and for all. With Nordrassil again secure, the Dragon Aspects Ysera, Alexstrasza, and Nozdormu met with Thrall and Malfurion to restore Nordrassil and heal it from battle.
During the Legion expansion, the Well of Eternity underneath Nordrassil is almost completely destroyed by a Legion invasion force. Druid heroes attempting to cleanse their G'hanir artifact stumble upon the aftermath of the battle. After assisting in the fight against the pit lord who lead the assault, the branch of G'hanir is cleansed in the puddle of water that remains from the Well. Unrelated to this battle, a portal has also sprung up in the roots of Nordrassil that leads to the Emerald Dreamway, a druid-exclusive means of traveling to various locations around the world.
Given Nordrassil's close ties to the entire night elf race and life-force of the planet itself, it's likely it will suffer more attacks in the future, and just as before, the heroes of Azeroth will rally to its defense.
Former Aspect of the red dragonflight and guardian of all life on Azeroth.
Former Aspect of the green dragonflight and guardian of the Emerald Dream.
Former Aspect of the bronze dragonflight and guardian of time.
Archimonde was once a leaders of the eredar, ruling alongside Kil'jaeden and Velen. He eventually joined the fallen Titan Sargeras as a commander of the Burning Legion, in pursuit of personal power.
Malfurion Stormrage was the first mortal druid, and the night elf who initiated the mainstream use of druidism among the other races.
Former Archdruid of Darnassus, first of the Druid of the Flame.
Firelord and former ruler of the Firelands, the Elemental Plane of fire.
Deathwing the Destroyer, formerly known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder, was one of the five Dragon Aspects and leader of the black dragonflight. -Wowpedia
The former slave known as Thrall brought unity to the Horde, turning ravagers into architects and securing a future for his people. -Battle.net
Join me every Friday as I work to expand my lore knowledge while completing the Field Photographer achievement. Read lore summaries for each location and follow up with resources where you can go more indepth! I encourage you to share your own selfies and any additional lore resources you know of in the comments below, or tweet me @PrestonDvorak. Bonus points* if the selfie is somewhere you shouldn’t be (such as an Alliance player in Orgrimmar)!
*Points are meaningless and have no monetary value, but they’ll never give you up or let you down.