Lore of Calia MenethilShadowlands Intro Playthrough
WARNING: SHADOWLANDS STORY SPOILERS AHEAD!
Calia Menethil in the Shadowlands Intro Quest
At the start of the Shadowlands introduction questline, we see Calia standing by other Horde leaders in Icecrown Citadel like Lor’themar, Rokhan, and First Arcanist Thalyssra. It’s not confirmed she’s the leader of the Forsaken in her dialogue, and Valeera Sanguinar is also present on the Horde-themed side who is not a Horde leader by any means (she even shows up in Stormwind in the 8.3 aftermath talking to Shaw).
As Alliance characters, Thalyssra is friendly, likely due to our involvement freeing the Nightborne from the Legion, as well as Valeera, a blood elf loyal to Varian Wrynn who served as a messenger between Baine and the Alliance in the War Campaign.
Calia, notably, is neutral. This also fits with pre-existing lore, as she was technically never a member of the Alliance, a loophole which allowed Sylvanas to honor her deal with Anduin in Before the Storm when she did not harm any members of the Alliance but killed Calia and the Forsaken that followed her in Arathi Highlands. The other Horde characters are hostile, so even if Calia has greater involvement with the Forsaken, she may not be seen as a true Horde leader and enemy in the eyes of the Alliance. But it is notable that Valeera technically doesn’t have any allegiances to the Alliance and Horde either, but is marked as friendly instead of neutral.
Also notable is the absence of Lilian Voss, the member of the Forsaken who invited Calia to Undercity. For a while, players wondered if she’d serve as a replacement leader for Sylvanas, as she is a strong-willed member of the Forsaken we’ve helped in several expansions, notably Scholomance in Mists of Pandaria. With Lilian Voss’ absence, it does seem to imply that Calia serves an important role for the Forsaken, if not the outright leader. With how the Horde is reshaping their government and abolishing the position of Warchief, Calia may not want to occupy a similar role to Sylvanas anyway.
Below you can see the dialogue where she is present in the Shadowlands introductory questline, including an argument with Tyrande about how to best handle Sylvanas and get justice for Teldrassil. You can see the full story in our Shadowlands Intro Playthrough.
Lor’themar Theron: …the peace remains tenuous. These are troubled times. Our people need stability–Alliance and Horde alike.
Lor’themar Theron: We cannot risk sending Azeroth’s leaders on what might well be a suicide mission. Our friends who were abducted would offer the same counsel.
Tyrande Whisperwind: Coward! I would pay any price to see the Banshee impaled upon my glaive!
Genn Greymane: I too want Sylvanas to answer for her crimes. But Lor’themar is right. Anduin wouldn’t want us to risk the well-being of the Alliance for his sake.
Calia Menethil: The Kaldorei need you if they are to have any hope of finding peace, High Priestess.
Tyrande Whisperwind: You dare speak to me of peace? After the atrocities your kind inflicted?!
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: Enough! The war is over. We can ill afford to start another.
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon: A far more pressing threat is at hand, and we must prepare to face it.
Calia Menethil in Past Expansions
If you missed Calia Menethil in Battle for Azeroth, here’s a quick refresher on her character…
Calia Menethil is the older sister of Arthas Menethil, also known as the Lich King. Initially believed Calia had perished when Arthas murdered his father, King Terenas Menethil II, she actually survived and lived in secret for a time in Southshore. One time, when fleeing from mindless undead, she stumbled upon an undead that had not lost his mind with undeath – the priest Alonsus Faol. With Faol’s guidance, Calia came to understand the differences between the Forsaken and the Scourge, and became a priest under Faol’s guidance.
Calia appears for the first time in-game in the Priest Order Hall, the Netherlight Temple. After the Legion campaign, Calia was introduced to Anduin Wrynn, who was shocked at her survival. Considering Calia the rightful heir to the throne of Lordaeron, her and Anduin developed a strong bond. During the events of Before the Storm, Calia wanted to participate in the gathering between the Humans and the Forsaken in secret. As one of the Forsaken in the meeting recognized her, Calia revealed herself and attempted to convince the Forsaken to defect to the Alliance. As she was convincing the Forsaken in the Gathering to defect, this earned the ire of Sylvanas Windrunner, who personally flew through the field to murder Calia, as well as all Forsaken present in the gathering.
Calia’s corpse was later sent to the Netherlight Temple, and the Naaru Sa’ara revived her as an undead touched by the Light. Now seeing herself as the same as the Forsaken, Calia wants to learn under Faol’s guidance how to be an undead walking under the Light.
Calia was then absent for the first half of Battle for Azeroth, but received a new model in Patch 8.2.5. Note the Lordaeron seal on her shoulder armor.
In Patch 8.3, we see Lilian Voss reach out to Calia to help comfort the Forsaken:
First, Overlord Geya’rah and Lilian Voss have a conversation. Lilian does not think she wants to lead the Forsaken, but has someone in mind:
Overlord Gey’arah: The Mag’har have never known life without a warchief. It will be hard for them–and for me. But it seems your people have lost a queen as well.
Lilian Voss: The Forsaken are torn by turmoil and doubt. Many still love Sylvanas, even after all she has done. Others believe their home remains in the Horde.
Overlord Geya’rah: And you? Where do your loyalties lie?
Lilian Voss:Where they always have–with the Forsaken. To be raised into undeath is to be forever haunted by the ghosts of your past. A caring hand can offer comfort through the pain.
Overlord Geya’rah: I see no crown upon your head. Are you the new queen they seek?
Lilian Voss:No. I’ll speak on my people’s behalf, but I won’t rule them. There is another I believe will prove better suited to that task… when the time is right.
Overlord Geya’rah: The love you hold for your people burns as bright as my own for the Mag’har. I wish you good fortune, Lilian Voss.
Calia and Derek decide to join Lilian and leave Kul Tiras:
Calia: Thank you for coming, Jaina. I wanted you both to know… I have decided to leave Kul Tiras.
Jaina: You’re leaving? Why?
Calia: I received a letter from Lilian Voss of the Forsaken. She asks for my help.
Calia: The Forsaken lost their queen. For many, it’s the second time they’ve been abandoned. They feel adrift. Alone.
Jaina: But Calia, none of that is your–
Calia: They are my people, Jaina. My father gave everything for Lordaeron. I wish to honor him, and to prove worthy of the name I was born with. The name Menethil.
Derek: Right, then. So when do we leave?
Calia: I cannot ask you to come with me, Derek. Kul Tiras is your home.
Derek: I am a Proudmoore, and I always will be. But I’ve changed, and it’s time to see where the tides will take me.
Jaina: I understand, though I will miss you both. Come. Mother and Tandred would never forgive me if I let you leave without a proper farewell.
Calia meets with Lilian:
Calia: Miss Voss. I once listened to your father’s sermons. That was… long ago. Forgive me, I haven’t introduced my companion. This is Lord Derek Proudmoore.
Lilian: Lord Proudmoore. You should know that I played a part in the events that led to your undeath. I… regret much of what has happened.
Lilian: I didn’t know… at first. Once I did, I should have stopped it. Baine Bloodhoof showed the courage I lacked. If I could change the past, I would.
Calia: You didn’t reach out to offer apologies. Why did you ask us here?
Lilian: This champion witnessed your kindness toward Lord Proudmoore. How you helped him through his torment. Sadly, he is not the only one who suffered in the war.
Calia: Night elf sentinels? Why are you… By the Light!
Lilian: Many fell at Teldrassil. Some were raised into rage and darkness, turned against their own people. They, too, have been abandoned.
Derek: Calia, I know the pain they suffer. The hopelessness. You must do something for them.
Calia: We will, Derek. Together.
Calia: Greetings. I am Calia Menethil of Lordaeron. I will do my best to help you. Please, come with us.
Lilian: That meeting went exactly as I’d hoped. I believe Calia Menethil can help many who are lost.
Lilian: We will speak again soon. There is more work to be done.
Speculation on Calia’s Leadership Role and Conclusion
So where does that leave us with Calia? If she’s not outright the new ruler for the Forsaken, she appears to be their de-facto representative in the Shadowlands expansion. However, we may not delve further into her story and political position right away, as a Shadowlands lore interview stated that while it’s an important part of the Warcraft story, it’s not one that can be rushed through. When a kingdom undergoes as much turmoil as the Forsaken in BFA, it takes some time for these things to play out.
This also opens up further speculation that Arthas could return at a later point in the expansion, as Blizzard has been very cagey if he’ll return or not. With Arthas’ story so intrinsically linked to Sylvanas and Bolvar, confirmed major characters in the expansion, and now his sister Calia in a position of increased visibility, the plot setup lends itself naturally to his reappearance.