We all know by now what Sylvanas did. She murdered thousands for what she perceived to be a good deed. Though to some players’ dismay, Blizzard offered up a redemption story.
The question is can she truly be forgiven? You see, many players thought she was a Garrosh 2.0 in which case Blizzard insisted she wasn’t. The jailer convinced her that Arthas was nothing more than a failed experiment. If you read the book titled Sylvanas, you learn that portion of the conversations between her and the jailer. He would convince Sylvanas to work for him for “the greater good.”
The Jailer is a classic manipulator. He knew exactly what to say or offer people to get them to his side. Sylvanas believed in free will, especially after hers was taken from her by Arthas. She was offered a chance to remake the world and give everyone free will. Everybody would have a choice, so she truly felt the means justified the end.
One of the biggest things to be forgiven is actually forgiving yourself. You don’t need others’ forgiveness, in this case, Sylvanas does not need other people to forgive her. She needs to accept that what she has done is wrong, which she has already done. Not only has she accepted this, but she also put her judgment in Tyrande’s hand who chose her time.
Sylvanas recognizes that she caused a lot of pain to the night elves. She might have even caused damage to Genn Graymane, who would have liked to see her killed for the crimes she did to him. She may never get the chance to show remorse for what she did to Gilneas, however, it is a start that she was able to start her penance by retrieving her victims and sending them forth to the arbiter for a proper judgement.
She is faced with the cruelty of her actions. We saw this in Shattered Legacies when she came face to face with herself, Uther helped her to realize this was her. She is given a chance to pull herself together and help take down the jailer and save Anduin, who she put in that situation.
Sylvanas may never be trusted by anyone ever again, however, it is not others who need to trust her. She needs to trust herself again one day. How can anyone truly trust her if she can not learn to trust herself first? If she can gain trust in herself, then and only then could others eventually find a way to trust her, but it will take a long time for this to happen. Once you lose trust, it’s harder to gain it back…the question is, has she ever been trusted to begin with?
The short answer to whether can Sylvanas be forgiven is yes, but it starts with her. Forgiving her is not saying it is okay that she killed thousands of souls in servitude to the Jailer. It is just saying that we let go of any feelings of resentment or vengeance towards her for what she did. I think that her path to penance is a start and in the future, we shall see Sylvanas again, but I think it will be in a different light.
What do you think? Can she be forgiven? Should she be forgiven or do you wish she was killed instead?