Excitement is high for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, as the long-anticipated expansion to the popular MMORPG, will be debuting on October 27, 2020. This release date was revealed during Gamescom 2020’s Opening Night livestream event, which included the premiere of both a brand new gameplay trailer and Afterlives: Bastion, the first of four animated shorts which provide a more detailed look at the four realms of the titular Shadowlands.
Beta testers have had access to Shadowlands for a while — and so, naturally, bits of information have made their way onto the Internet as they hint at the highs and lows of the “realm of the dead” focused expansion. One piece of news, in particular, has excited fans: the reveal that Shadowlands features a small sidequest, which seems to be a nod to the popular book, game, and TV series The Witcher.
This is not the first time that World of Warcraft has made a shout-out to another pop-cultural phenomenon — previous updates and expansions have made references to everything from Friends to Final Fantasy. This addition is incredibly fun — not just because The Witcher has been on a lot of peoples’ minds due to the recently released Netflix series, but because The Witcher III: Wild Hunt featured references to World of Warcraft, in the form of character names and references to the realm of Azeroth appearing on in-game gravestones.
This particular Easter egg takes the form of a pair of characters who can be encountered in the new Ardenweald region. While exploring, players run across a grumpy, meditating fellow named “Gwynceirw, or the Winter Wolf,” accompanied by a chatterbox butterfly bard called Daffodil. These characters are an apparent reference to The Witcher’s Geralt (often known by the nickname Gwynbleidd, or the White Wolf) and Dandelion.
Daffodil asks the player to help the companions defeat a monster, which he then summons by singing a rather catchy tune about how great he is and how grumpy his Wolf companion is. If the player (aided by a reluctant Gwynceirw) successfully defeats the raging beast, Daffodil promises to reward them with yet another song, this one entitled “Toss a seed to your hunter” (referencing the Netflix series’ catchy hit “Toss a Coin to your Witcher”). The quest completed, Gwynceirw and Daffodil wander off to new adventures, the former complaining all the while.
Interested players can meet these characters themselves when World of Warcraft: Shadowlands debuts on October 27.