The legends of non-Legendary items

Blizzard has a torrid history with the Legendary items in World of Warcraft. The first such item to raise a stink was probably Ashbringer, the sword of Highlord Mograine of the Scarlet Crusade. Though stats have been found in the game (and a Corrupted version is available), the item itself isn't obtainable by players at all (though it still may be in the future). And reader Scott recently brought another one of these not-quite-Legendary items to my attention: the Skull of Gul'dan. This is probably one of the most powerful items in all of Azeroth-- it's been used to close and open the Dark Portal, it's responsible for tearing apart Felwood, and it turned Illidan from just an emo elf into a superpowerful demonic badass. And yet, it's no more than a rare trinket in the game.

Shouldn't an item with that much legend behind it be called Legendary? Illidan's twin blades are labeled legendary, but they're hardly the stuff of modern legend-- Illidan took them from a doom guard commander 10,000 years ago, and they've done nothing but sit in his whirling hands since then (heck, they couldn't even take down Arthas). I agree with Scott-- there's no reason those blades should be Legendary when the skull isn't. Sure, the skull might not be as powerful as it used to be, but it's still got a load of legend behind it.

And the Legendary debate isn't over yet, because there is one more big item looming on the horizon: when we head to Northrend, we'll all, Horde and Alliance alike, be looking to find the item that kicked off this Arthas trouble in the first place: Frostmourne. Will that be wieldable by players, or labeled Legendary? If Blizzard's previous experience with Legendary items is any indication, the answer may not be what you expect.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.