Why the Nightborne joining the Horde makes complete sense

I've seen a lot of people insisting that it doesn't make sense for the Nightborne to join the Horde based on Tyrande's stern words to Thalyssra and that this is another example of Blizzard's poor storytelling. This is misguided and ignorant of the history of Elven society. Here's what you need to know:

The Nightborne and Blood Elves are descended from the Highborne of the ancient Night Elven Empire. Modern Night Elves are descended from the common classes of that same empire. While the Highborne nobility dedicated themselves to studying the arcane magic emanating from the Well of Eternity, many commoners (like Malfurion and Tyrande) practiced druidism and worshiped Elune.

When the Well of Eternity's power attracted the Legion, Queen Azshara and many Highborne facilitated the Legion's arrival in return for great power, resulting in the War of the Ancients. It was due in large part to Malfurion, Tyrande, and Elisande that the Legion was defeated.

After the War, at Malfurion's behest, most of the remaining Night Elves swore off and refused to tolerate practicing arcane magic. Many of the Highborne, led by Dath'Remar Sunstrider, were addicted to magic, though, and eventually accepted exile from the druidic society and sailed ("thalass" is actually a Greek word meaning sea) to what became Quel'Thalas.

At this point, we have two distinct societies of Highborne elves who had separated themselves from the druidic, moon-worshiping Night Elves to study the arcane. Elisande walls off Suramar from the Legion and sates her people's addiction with the Nightwell. Dath'remar founds Silvermoon City and creates the Sunwell to sate his people's addiction.

Fast-forward a few thousand years and we have the Blood Elves in Silvermoon still addicted to magic. Dath'Remar's great-great-grandson Kael'thas strikes a deal with the Legion in attempt to cure his people (and maybe become a super-powerful interplanetary overlord as well). The Blood Elves are forced to turn against Kael'thas and fight the Legion. (Sound familiar?) Skip ahead just a decade or so more and the Nightborne leader is also striking a deal with the Legion and has to be deposed.

So when Tyrande, whose Night Elves have been the junior partner in the liberation of Suramar, accuses of Thalyssra of being another Elisande, another Azshara, she's not just saying she doesn't trust her for some unspecified reason; she's implying that she and any other arcane-addicted elves are inherently untrustworthy. Tyrande also insists that the Nightwell, a source of solace for mana-dependent elves, ought to be destroyed. Imagine accusing Lor'Themar of being another Kael'thas, another Azshara because of he and his people's condition. Imagine telling a Blood Elf you intend to destroy the Sunwell. These aren't just stern words, they're an indication of severe distrust and even disgust based on 10,000-year-old prejudices (justified as they may be).

Then compare the relationship between the Highborne and the Blood Elves. Thalyssra has come into contact with this race descended from the same bloodline as her people, that had been cast out of Night Elven society for the same reason. She's found a people who struggle with the same mana-addiction that her people do, and are still able to thrive. She's found a people who only a few years back also had to revolt against a government who was leading them into the clutches of Sargeras.

The idea that Thalyssra's decision to pledge allegiance to the Horde was based on some abrasive two-minute conversation with a leader of one sparse race in the Alliance is ignorant of a lot of lore. I hope this clears things up for some of you. And I'm curious to hear other thoughts on this.

submitted by /u/ReasonablyFree
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