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 Wyrmrest Temple!
Wyrmrest Temple was created by the titanic watchers shortly after blessing the Dragon Aspects with their power. It would go on to serve as a meeting place for the Aspects as well as the home of the Wyrmrest Accord, an alliance of the red, bronze, green, and black dragonflights who sought to stop the blue dragonflight's abuse of magic. The Aspects who made up this alliance were Alexstrasza (red), Nozdormu (bronze), Ysera (green), and Neltharion (black).
The Dragon Aspects began their lives as mortal proto-drakes who united against Galakrond. Once the proud progenitor of all dragon-kind, Galakrond had fallen victim to an unknown force and began cannibalizing the other proto-drakes to drain their life-essence. Alongside Watcher Tyr, the would-be Dragon Aspects defeated Galakrond over a series of battles. Recognizing their resolve and teamwork, Tyr worked with the other Watchers to imbue the Dragons Aspects with a portion of their power. He then worked on constructing what would become known as Wyrmrest Temple. It is because of these events that many dragons return to the area around the tower when they are nearing death, in the hopes of imbuing the lands with their essence.
First appearing in game during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, Wyrmrest Temple is not far from the resting place of Galakrond in what is now the Dragonblight zone in Northrend. The temple looks like most titan structures and stands out against the mostly-flat, white backdrop of Dragonblight. At the very top of the tower sat the Orb of Unity, a purely symbolic reminder of the Dragon Aspects allegiance to each other. Most impressive is what sits underneath the Temple, a large, hollowed-out room called the Chamber of Aspects. It's believed this is where the Aspects would meet in secret, as there are portals to each of the dragonflight's Sanctums inside the Chamber. These Sanctums are unique to each dragonflight and exist outside of space and time, making them accessible to the Aspects at any time and from anywhere.
During the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the Ruby Sanctum and Obsidian Sanctum were invaded by the twilight dragonflight. With the Aspect's forces weakened from their war with the blue dragonflight, they called upon Azeroth's heroes to defeat the twilight dragons. As you would expect, the heroes were successful and the Sanctums were once again in the hands of the Aspects. This is the state Wyrmrest Temple appears in if you were to visit it in game today. Everything beyond this point took place in lore outside the game or separate instances in the game.
Leading up to the Cataclysm expansion, the Aspects called a meeting at Wyrmrest Temple, the first one where the blue dragonflight wasn't in attendance. The meeting was interrupted by an attack from the twilight dragonflight, during which it was thought Alexstrasza's consort had betrayed the Wyrmrest Accord. In a fit of rage, Alexstrasza shattered the Orb of Unity and all members of the Wyrmrest Accord fled the Temple. It was later revealed there was no betrayal, and that it was all a ploy by the twilight dragonflight to get the Aspects to turn on one another. Thrall convened with the Aspects after the battle, and with his encouragement they once again united and took back Wyrmrest Temple.
During the Cataclysm expansion, the Temple would become the focal point for the final battle against the former-Aspect Deathwing in the Dragon Soul raid instance. Horde and Alliance heroes cleared out the area surrounding the Temple before ascending it and taking to the air in their gunships to face Deathwing himself. As before, the heroes were successful and Deathwing was killed.
Azeroth's heroes were also afforded the opportunity to see a world in which Deathwing was not defeated, as part of the End Time instance located in the Caverns of Time. Inside the instance, you can see Deathwing sitting atop a destroyed Wyrmrest Temple and visit each of the dragonflight's Dragonshires, wherein you fight echoes of some of Azeroth's most notable lore figures.
Having put all of their power into the Dragon Soul used to defeat Deathwing, the Dragon Aspects were returned to their mortal state. They met once again at Wyrmrest Temple where Alexstrasza stated she would officially abolish the Wyrmrest Accord, feeling it had served its purpose. Kalecgos would later call a second meeting where he used an artifact from Tyr himself to remind the dragons what they had been through and what their duties were. Inspired once again, the Aspects agreed to continue to help protect Azeroth even as mortals, using Wyrmrest Temple as their base of operations.
The Wyrmrest Temple itself is unlikely to see any direct action in the near future, however with the Dragon Aspects still working to protect Azeroth as mortals, it has surely become an even more tantalizing target for those who wish to destroy the planet. What events will unfold because of this remain to be seen.
Former Aspect of the red dragonflight and guardian of all life on Azeroth.
Former Aspect of the bronze dragonflight and guardian of time.
Former Aspect of the green dragonflight and guardian of the Emerald Dream.
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.