The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm is the name of a World of Warcraft novel by Christie Golden. As her previous work, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, had done for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, this story leads into the World of Warcraft expansion World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.After the defeat of the Lich King, Azeroth's problems are far from over. The Horde and the Alliance are at the brink of war, and several incidents, as well as Varian's belligerent alternate personality Lo'Gosh, raise the possibility of the conflict being reignited. At the same time, the elements begin to become unruly, and Thrall leaves his post of Warchief to find answers from the elements of Outland, leaving behind Garrosh Hellscream, the hot-tempered and strong-willed son of Grom Hellscream, to serve as acting Warchief. Meanwhile, Varian sends Anduin to Ironforge while he works on how to best deal with Lo'Gosh. Long-standing internal conflicts come to a head for both the Horde and the Alliance, and they must overcome these trials if they are to survive the coming cataclysm.This novel contains examples of:
The Alliance: As always, the titular Alliance as well as the Horde.
Always Chaotic Evil: As usual, subverted with the Dark Iron Dwarves and Grimtotem tribes. Some members of the former join the Alliance (although as World of Warcraft reveals, others are still allied with the Twilight Hammer cult), and some of the Grimtotem swear loyalty to the Tauren chieftain rather than their tribe.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: Thrall is supposed to have this with Aggra. Instead, it comes off more like Aggra just being deliberately cruel to him at every opportunity.
Well they are orcs.
Aggra later apologizes for treating Thrall harshly at first and for thinking ill of his motive to learn more about the elements for Azeroth's sake rather than Outland's after getting to know him better.
Berserk Button: Mentioning the Defias to Varian or putting Anduin in any danger.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Moira in her dealings with Anduin. He tends to see through her, and her true personality comes out when she talks about her past.
Brutal Honesty: Baine starts his meeting with Garrosh by stating that he was partially responsible for his father's death, and Garrosh appreciates Baine's lack of pretenses.
Cassandra Truth: Palkar doubts some of Drek'thar's predictions because he has been growing senile recently. When it turns out that a vision of an attack on a gathering of druids turned out to be premature rather than false, he decides to start taking his visions seriously again.
Easily Forgiven: Averted with Baine regarding Garrosh, as even in light of the new facts, Baine finds him partly to blame for his father's death.
Even Warmongers Have Standards: Garrosh was willing to make his duel with Cairne to the death, but does not approve of using poison on him without his knowledge. He notes that this is largely out of a desire to not be dishonorable like the Alliance.
Honor Before Reason: Garrosh loves this trope. At times his honor really does protect him doing from the stupid and evil things his detractors claim he does, and sometimes it causes them.
Hope Spot: Hamuul Runetotem proposes meeting with Night Elf druids for a peace talk. Unfortunately, some Twilight Hammer orcs show up and kill everyone except him while making it seem as though Garrosh is responsible. Magni tries a ritual to "become one with the earth," to prevent another tragedy like the recent earthquake, but gets turned to diamond in the process.
Mook-Face Turn: Stormsong, one of the Grimtotem, defects to Baine's side.
Neck Snap: Employed by some of the SI:7 operatives.
Never Got to Say Goodbye: Thrall and Cairne part ways for the last time after an unresolved argument over Garrosh becoming Warchief, making Cairne's funeral more of a Tear Jerker.
Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Averted. Anduin respects Magni, but points out that he was a failure as a parent, saying "You can be an honorable man and still make mistakes."
Non-Action Guy: Anduin isn't much of a warrior, even for a youth his age. Magni and Aerin are aware of this, and suggest it might not be the path for Anduin.
Not Brainwashed: Moira says she genuinely fell in love with Thaurissan, and not because she was kidnapped.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Gorkrak (a Twilight’s Hammer member who attacks the gathering of druids) claims that he thought the Night Elves were attacking the Tauren druids, and claims to not even know who Garrosh is. Hamuul finds his performance unconvincing.
Parents as People: Magni Bronzebeard, according to Moira and Rohan, was disappointed that he couldn't get a male heir. Varian loves Anduin, but his Split Personality and hostile attitude toward the Horde creates a rift between the two.
Undisclosed Funds: The rebuilding of Orgrimmar costs a considerable amount, and the amount Baine pays to get ready to retake Thunder Bluff is apparently even larger. Unlike many examples, this is presumably to avoid having to compare it with how much things cost in game money.
Villainous Breakdown: Moira after Anduin escapes. Magatha after learning that Garrosh refuses to help her, and after Baine passes sentence on her.
Vision Quest: Thrall has one under Aggra's guidance in Outland.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Discussed. Thrall worries that many of the up and coming warriors of the Horde got their start killing undead, and are thus desensitized to violence enough to not consider the repercussions for wars between the living.
What the Hell, Hero?: Garrosh gets called out for not showing enough care prior to his duel with Cairne, since he didn't realize Magatha was poisoning his blade instead of blessing it. Eitrigg points out that innocent tauren were dying while he was celebrating his victory. Cairne himself can't believe Garrosh would do something as cruel as attack a defenseless Alliance ship that was blown into Horde waters by a storm, and leave a few crew members alive only so he can be sure that Varian will know who was responsible and still claim he was in the right. Jaina and Anduin also scold Varian for Lo'Gosh's more impulsive and warlike behavior.
With Due Respect: Captain Tula says this when Cairne orders her not to attack the Alliance vessel, saying that Garrosh is the one in charge of matters relating to war.
Worf Had The Flu: Cairne does well against Garrosh until he gets his first poisoned wound, which incapacitates him and enables Garrosh to fatally wound him.
Subverted in that he shows remarkable mercy to both parties involved in his father's death. He allows Magatha to live, in exile, and tells Garrosh that while he's partially to blame, he will work with him for the sake of the Horde.