20 most powerful people in Azeroth, I was struck by one recurring theme: how little many of the Horde races would lose from leaving it.
In the past there have been good reasons for the different factions banding together under the Horde banner. They were facing a large external military threat (whether it be demonic or undead) that was best countered by large, organised armies. Come the Cataclysm, that's no longer true. The main bad guy of the expansion is a big dragon, which isn't the kind of thing an army is much use against - that's more a job for a small group of elite troops.
The Horde has always been something of a rag-tag coalition, mostly held together by the various leaders' personal loyalty to Thrall. With that gone, what's left?
Sure, there's an external threat from the Alliance, but that only really exists because of Garrosh's aggression. If the other Horde races were to distance themselves from that, there's no reason why they couldn't live in harmony with other nations. Well, OK, maybe the Forsaken would have issues, but I'm starting to get the impression they're strong enough to stand alone. They don't seem to be getting much military assistance from their allies in any event, so they may feel they are having their hands tied by the Horde leadership.
The Trolls don't really need the Horde's assistance in retaking the Darkspear Isles any more - that job's done. Given Garrosh's bad relationship with Vol'jin, they're unlikely to get much help from their orcish neighbours in the near future anyway.
The Tauren are in conflict with the Alliance, but mostly as a result of their ties to the Horde. A little druidic mediation could easily lead to a ceasefire there, allowing the Alliance to concentrate its forces on Orgrimmar. Whilst they had a lot in common with Thrall's Horde, they have very little with Garrosh's. In fact, they're probably more natural members of the Alliance than the new, rampaging, Horde.
The Sin'dorei have only ever been members of the Horde for pragmatic reasons - culturally there's nothing in common. Now that Kael'thas is gone, the door might be open for them to re-join the Alliance too. That might be tempting for another reason, too. The only really dangerous force on their doorstep is the Forsaken, who aren't exactly famous for being good team players. Alliance troops in Silvermoon may provide more protection than a piece of paper saying you're friends.
That leaves the Orcs and the Bilgewater goblins. The latter do need a strong neighbour in their current state, but wouldn't really be a huge help in the war effort. The Orcs do need allies right now - they're in a huge war. But do those allies need them?
Weekend minipost: Fresh start
22 hours ago