At the beginning, when Shadowlands was first announced, we got a glimpse of the Greater Gorms through the initial trailer. I was very excited, but as the Alpha and Beta progressed, we only saw one that was only ever tameable, which was a mistaken flag, and by launch, was no longer tameable. This was very disappointing for me, because they are by far my most favorite beast model to come out of this expansion, and although there's still the future, and this can change, I want to create a write up for a case to make these beasts tameable. Something to keep in mind, this will probably be a very long post to thoroughly cover all the details. I hope that you enjoy.
To begin, let's define how Blizzard uses the term 'beast'.
As we know, the Gorm, including wasps and decomposers are defined as beasts, and are tamable. Although the way Blizzard handles beasts versus tamable beasts vary, one thing is known for certain, we've been given a lot more relaxation on what beasts we can and cannot tame as the years have passed, going as far to allow us to tame mechanical beasts, and proper undead beasts. This has opened the door for numerous possibilities and gives us some more insight on how the logic of being able to tame a beast works. This brings us to where the argument for making Greater Gorms tamable begins.Most standard animals in the game are beasts, such as bears, wolves, raptors, etc.
• Nearly all beasts can be skinned, with the exception of intelligent beasts, most birds, and some insects.
• Some beasts can stealth, have diseases, poisonous attacks, or great speed; a few have more exotic attacks.
• Can be tamed by Hunters, making them the player's pet. Can also be tracked, scared, and learned about.
Greater Gorms and Gorm Matriarchs are not special
To accurately assess Blizzard's stance on not allowing us to be able to tame the Greater Gorms, we have to look at all the possibilities; the elephant in the room is that they share a skeleton with G'huun. In order for this position to hold up, then this needs to be consistent amongst all pets. The best example of this is the Silithid Royalty, Buru the Gorger, the AQ40 opening event with all the hives independent colossi, compared to the rare silithid spawns in Cataclysm. In the beginning of Wrath, Silithids were recategorized as a beast, and marked as an Exotic tamable. In Cataclysm, this extended to the colossi, including the aforementioned Silithid Royalty and Buru (given that the AQ40 opening event couldn't happen anymore, it's safe to assume that if it did, those colossi would've been tamable as well). These bosses prior to Cataclysm were the only skeletons that existed, and upon the release of Cataclysm and introduction of the old world, this was no longer the case. Not only were the skeletons completely unique, as were the skins, and the only iterations of these npcs were bosses, this is a prime example of that inconsistency. Furthermore, for that same exact skeleton to be reused later on with the Kuchong (that are now tamable), and the Aqiri colossi as well. Greater Gorms are no exception to this rule. The G'huun skeleton rig was completely unique prior to Shadowlands, and became reused assets with the Gorm Matriarchs. This is a glaring inconsistency that only becomes more abrupt the more we search for examples of bosses becoming tamable, and to further advance that, to allow us to keep many of the bosses names, or iconic pet names. This leads me into my second point.
Trying to avoid "Confusion"
This is something that isn't as prominent but I feel is important to address. There is no confusion with Gorm Matriarchs and G'huun. Not only are there very major differences between G'huun and Gorm Matriarchs, that could only be confused at a moments glance, this is shown with my point above, and how pets can retain their original names, looking towards bosses specifically. Not to mention the unique models that some of these beasts have, such as Dunegorger Kraulok, Faultline, Cragmaw the Infested, The Golden Serpent, Guarm, Rukhmar, Lowland Manashell and Tortos, etc. The Gorm Matriarchs, despite sharing a skeleton rig with G'huun, look nothing like G'huun, but yet - some of these bosses that I listed are capable of being tamed directly or have beasts with incredibly similar, if not identical appearances to their counterpart.
Gorm Matriarchs are intelligent, and potentially sentient beings
Whilst I think this is a solid point, there are flaws with this. The first major one being, and one of the most iconic, being Loque'nahak (FIX HIS EARS - I DON'T LIKE MY CAT'S EARS BEING PARALYZED), the mate of Har'koa. First and foremost, Har'koa is defined as a loa. According to the wiki, this is how loa is defined:
Although Loque'nahak is merely the mate of Har'koa, and Har'koa herself being sentient, this heavily implies that Loque'nahak has some form of sentience to adequately mate with a loa. Although this is purely theory at this point, this is heavily implied. We have encountered and spoken to Har'koa, completed an entire story, in canon, with her, whom formally communicated with us with perfect understanding on both parties, there's much speculation to be had here that Loque'nahak has some degree of sentience. Even if we exclude that, there is a major contradiction that Blizzard makes with this, I'm going to turn your attention to the Aqir.Loa is the name given by trolls to the beings they worship, such as the Wild Gods, beings such as Kith'ix or G'huun, or spirits like wisps. Countless loa exist, most weak, but some very powerful. Most are shapeless, whereas others have animal or creature forms. Powerful, enlightened Zandalari can become loa upon their death - or so it is believed.. All trolls worship a pantheon of primal forces; a sacred animal represents each aspect of the pantheon.
The trolls draw power for their voodoo magics by performing rituals and invoking the Primal Gods, Old Gods, forest spirits, and ancestral spirits: their Loa spirits and gods.
Loa spirits are more powerful than the elementals, but not as powerful as gods. Supposedly, these spirits are mighty entities that grant the faithful extraordinary powers. By calling upon these voodoo spirits, the shadow hunter gains special blessings with which he can combat darkness and help those in need. The abilities granted vary according to the Loa the shadow hunter calls upon. Almost any being who has died and transcended death can be worshiped as a loa, including Forsaken shadow ascendants.
The shadow hunters' faith and communion with the Loa gods grant them shadow and healing magic, and other abilities. Shadow Hunters learn magic that hinders enemies and aids allies, gaining a unique mix of spells that delve into the more occult aspects of the Loa.
The trolls of Zul'Aman worship primal beings they call the Forest Gods.
A perfect example of the aqir is Zek'voz, one of the bosses in Uldir, who does properly speak to the player. Granted, there are many levels of sentience in the Warcraft universe, we know that not all Gorm Matriarchs have the ability to speak, however, some do not. Like Zek'voz, some aqir colossi have the ability to speak, others do not. This is not the only example of this inconsistency, Nalak is another prime example.The aqir (pronounced "UH-keer") are an ancient, sentient insectoid race who—much like the n'raqi—arose from the organic matter seeping from the Old Gods' massive bulks during the primordial era of Azeroth.
Nalak is a cloud serpent world boss found on the Isle of Thunder on Pandaria. Nalak was the thundering cobalt cloud serpent, allegedly a demigod, that served the Thunder King as guardian of the entrance to the Throne of Thunder. After being revived by Shan Bu, he was slain by adventurers before they entered the Thunder King's palace... When Lei Shen discovered a rare clutch of thundering cloud serpents, he was awed, and set to subjugating them. The largest hatchling fiercely resisted, and when Lei Shen visited the handling pens, he laughed mightily at the charred mogu that lined the walls. He took the hatchling for his own, and for its obedience, granted it power over the storms and the sky. For thousands of years following the death of the Thunder King, Nalak has guarded the walls of his hidden citadel, awaiting his return.
Gorm Matriarchs have "psyche" magic
As I briefly touched on before, we have many beasts that we can tame that would seem completely out of reach if we look at this from the same perspective that we do with the Gorm Matriarchs. Before we do that, this wouldn't be the first time we had a tamable beast capable of very "exotic power". The most extreme example of this, that still exists in current day World of Warcraft is Spirit Beast's Spirit Mend. In an older iteration, Spirit Strike. Both of which are very unique abilities that no other pet still possesses. Therefore, a beast with psyche magic is not out of the realm of our possibility. To segway off of that, if we look at Rukhmar, this is how she is described in canon;
Not only are we capable of taming a proper goddess in canon, but one of the most prominent, if not the most prominent in arrakoa lore. Another one being Anzu, dubbed as another god in arrakoa lore, described as follows;Rukhmar is an avian sun goddess from Draenor who helped Anzu to slay Sethe. After the Raven Lord faded into darkness, she created the arakkoa to represent her grace and his cunning. Her loyal high arakkoa followers, the Adherents of Rukhmar, wage war on the cursed arakkoa in her name. The kaliri are Rukhmar's children as well, and Rukhran is rumored to be her progeny.
As the mother of the arakkoa, Rukhmar was their main and traditional deity; her veneration was eventually abandoned in favor of numerous other deities, such as Anzu, Ka'alu and Sethe, and later an unnamed Old God.
Her children associated Rukhmar with their Talon King Terokk, the goddess' chosen: it was thought they were both one and the same. When the arakkoan hero vanished, the believed reason was that the Arakkoa Outcasts had turned from Rukhmar; however, the truth is he went into a world of shadows in order to rejuvenate his weakened body. Thus, it seems unlikely that Terokk and Rukhmar were the same individuals after all.
(Source [Current Timeline])
(Source [Alternate Timeline])
Although Anzu is not the best factual evidence to support my arguments, I feel it's important to demonstrate the changes and views that Blizzard exemplifies with tamable beasts. Despite the fact that Anzu's intellect is implied to be twisted and broken to an extent, nothing was explicitly stated. Even still, to have not one, but two major race's lore gods, out of three, to be tamable by Hunters, demonstrates what extent we've come to be able to tame.Anzu is a dread raven god deeply tied to the arakkoa and the history of the Spires of Arak.
While physically Anzu was meager compared to his counterpart, Rukhmar, he possessed a great intellect. As opposed to Rukhmar loving the sun and sky, Anzu preferred the cool of the shade and the peace of the twilight hours where he could be alone in quiet contemplation. He would converse with the "gods of the abyss", and he would find them dull, witless creatures. Anzu was cursed by Sethe, the wind serpent god, and is no longer capable of flight. His will has been broken and dominated by the Sethekk cult, who have brought him out of the world of shadows to attack the Emerald Dream.
His children were the dread ravens.
Hunters have come a long way from being able to tame very strong, but basic beasts, to the extent of being capable of taming undead and mechnical creatures that represent their living bestial counterparts, mates of loa and gods, to twisted beasts, such as Blood Beasts, and of course, the capability of taming beasts within alternate universes, in Draenor, and spanning the afterlife, in the Shadowlands, to beasts within the Maw. The bounds of Hunters being able to tame and domesticate beasts of varying species and power is growing larger and larger, but one thing, aside from my inherent bias, that always remained a mystery to me is why the Gorm Matriarchs were marked as untamable. This write up is intended to bring clarity and understanding to these beasts that I feel we should be able to have. Now, I understand that the entirety of my post can be responded with a very simple "Blizzard could just not want them to be tamable and that would be the end of the discussion", because yes, they are game developers, and should have the ability to make these decisions at their discretion. However, I am advocating for not just myself, but all others who wanted to tame these beasts. I feel we have more reasons than not to be able to tame the Matriarchs, and with what I've cited, I think it's worth a discussion, if nothing else. I hope that in my long-winded ramblings, and the sources I've cited, that I have a reasonable, and convincing argument to be had with these beasts, and I hope, if nothing else, this opens the door for the possibility of these beasts being tamable by us. Thank you for taking the time to reading my post.