See where Warcraft began
Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures just dropped a bomb: the first full trailer for the Warcraft feature film, set to come out in June 2016. If you haven't played the first three Warcraft games recently (and reread the manuals multiple times), there are going to be a ton of small details that fly over your head in the many gorgeous shots shown in the trailer. But fear not - we're here to help.
We've analyzed the trailer frame-by-frame, keeping an eye out for central characters and cameos from throughout Warcraft's early lore. If you want to go into the movie with completely fresh eyes, beware of spoilers; otherwise, here's all the info there is to glean from the trailer's two minutes of classic fantasy warfare.
"For years, our world has been at peace." You can just make out the force field protecting what looks to be the mage sanctuary of Dalaran (or it could be Medivh's tower, Karazhan) going by the faint blue ripples emanating from the central tower. This shot helps us grasp Blizzards world and the quiet landscape that's about to be disrupted.
The Cathedral of Light looks pristine as it juts from the city of Stormwind, which is just a teeeeeensy bit bigger here than it is in World of Warcraft.
This ominous circle of mages is likely the Kirin Tor, the elite sect devoted to research of all magic forces and spells in Azeroth. Theyre the first people youd want to consult on trouble brewing in the kingdom.
"But something is coming. I can feel it. Dark forces are upon us." Here's our first look at Travis Fimmel as the human protagonist Anduin Lothar (not to be confused with the young prince-turned-priest from modern Warcraft lore, and also not Marvels Thor). Yall had better heed this mans warning.
Alliance footsoldiers get jumped by an orc hitsquad, giving us a chance to check out their traditional full-body armor, complete with helmets that must be hellishly hard to see out of. This could be the moment when humans first encounter orcs in their territory, with a confused meeting exploding into violence. (Theres really not much negotiation going on in the Warcraft games.)
Anduin contemplates orc detritus in the wake of battle, and where this alien object could have come from.
"Find these beasts, or whatever they are." Here's Dominic Cooper as King Llane Wrynn, who clearly has some issues with bigotry against orcs. Word of their arrival has reached his bastion of royalty, and hes not reacting well at all.
"Our world is dying. There is nothing to go back to." Durotan (played by Toby Kebbell) is absolutely right about his home planet Draenor, which is literally falling apart. The green swirls in the background hint at demonic magic at work. The trailer switches sides here to show a sympathetic view of the orcs - its not an invasion, they just have nowhere else to live.
"If our people are to survive, we must make a home here." The amber hills of Westfall aren't far from the capital of Stormwind - are Durotan and Orgrim on the march or just trying to settle in peacefully? Either way, they dont have a choice but to settle, and their first encounters with humans will determine whether coexistence can ever be a thing. (Spoiler: Its not called PeaceCraft.)
Durotans son, Thrall, is the cutest thing imaginable. Its a little schmaltzy, but this scene, where Durotan and Draka both say "whatever happens," affirms the familial bonds keeping the refugee orcs together on their exodus.
This is Lady Taria Wrynne, King Llane's mother and an advisor on his council. She spends at least half her day advising people on the correct spelling of "Wrynne." No, not Rinn. Not Wrinh. Great, and my cup says "Rihin." This is why I never tip my elixir barista.
And here's King Llane Wrynn himself again, making an ultimatum to his allies. "If we do not unite, our world will perish." At this stage of the trailers story, were seeing humans react with paranoia and fear toward orcs, gathering support to wipe out what they see as an invasion.
Another shot of Stormwind, looking far more like the mighty kingdom it is than a hub city in a video game. The draw distance in this movie is amazing. You got that GTX Titan SLI setup, Duncan Jones?
Earth, wind, and fire heed this orc shaman's call - but it's all about those impressive lightning effects. In the games, Ner'zhul was one of the orcs' most powerful shamans, and it was he who was duped into turning his race into green-skinned, bloodthirsty monsters. Could this be his movie counterpart?
Garona (played by Paula Patton) is an important figure in Warcraft lore, acting both as honest emissary and untrustworthy assassin throughout her life. Her true parentage is half-orc, half-draenei, but it doesn't look like the movie will feature the latter. Maybe they'll just say she's part human for now.
Durotan is looking rather heroic, but it's what we see in the background that's interesting. That's the architecture of the Dark Portal, through which the orcs travel to reach Azeroth. It might be a trick of perspective, but it doesn't seem big enough to be the actual portal, however.
It looks like the orcs are settling in - the vines on the trees behind Orgrim suggest we're looking at Stranglethorn or what will eventually become the Swamp of Sorrows. "For orcs," he says, "there is no other life but war."
The mountainous landscape and dam in the foreground suggest that this could be Loch Modan. There aren't many such structures in the Eastern Kingdoms, but it also doesn't seem quite massive enough.
Ryan Robbins plays one of the few unannounced roles in the Warcraft film. It looks like his identity is being kept secret for now, but we know his stance on orcs: "They're beasts. They should all be destroyed." RUDE.
Here we see Gul'dan - the first orc warlock and a key player in overarching Warcraft lore - moments before he's Superman-punched by Durotan. Guldan may be one of the more prominent figures opposing Durotans bid for peaceful existence alongside man.
At first this seems like it might be a rallying war cry, but take a look around - people are sitting, and this appears to be well within the walls of a human city. And is that a funeral pyre we see in the foreground?
This orc grunt has a nice, pointy shield to go along with the traditional axe. Theres an exquisite level of detail in the battle scenes, right down to the lowly grunt. Really tempted to click on him a few hundred times right now.
It's tan-skins versus green-skins in this orc-on-orc battle. The green pigmentation is a side-effect of warlock fel magic, meaning that Durotan is likely going up against Gul'dan's goons in this canyon fight scene.
Little baby Thrall is happily oblivious to the fact that he's about to take a trip down the river, so he can be a safe distance away from his parents.
A good look at Draka, Durotan's wife and Thrall's mother. We won't spoil what happens to her in the games, but you don't make that look because something super good is happening.
Here's Durotan wearing his traditional wolfshead garb, the symbol of his leadership over the Frostwolf clan.
That red tower you see in the background is a classic orc design, exactly like the defensive structures you can build in Warcraft 3.
There's that pesky portal again - the only question is, at what point does this battle happen? Are we looking at the climactic final showdown, or something else? It looks like Anduin is swooping down on his gryphon to land a decisive blow.
These two orc grunts are about to get absolutely wrecked by that gryphon, which makes sense since they can't attack air units. Those are the rules, fellas.
And with that, the trailer ends. We'll have to wait until June 2016 to see the full story; until then, let your imagination run wild about how glorious Warcraft will look on the silver screen.