|Race||Eternal One (Humanoid)|
|Occupation||Judge of the Shadowlands|
|Location||The Crucible, Oribos|
The Arbiter's existence predates all memory—even older than the titans, according to some accounts. When a soul is brought before the Arbiter, all of its contents—deeds, misdeeds, thoughts, accomplishments, and failures—are laid bare, absorbed, and understood by her in the merest fraction of a moment. The Arbiter then sends the soul off to one of the infinite realms of the Shadowlands, determined by the soul's character. The souls travel to the various realms through gateways surrounding the Crucible. If the Arbiter didn't exist to send mortal souls to their intended afterlife, they would be lost forever within the infinite realms. The Arbiter and Oribos are tended to by a race of beings known as Attendants. The Arbiter herself is ever silent; from among the circle of Attendants known as Scholars, an Honored Voice is selected to speak on her behalf. The current Honored Voice is Tal-Inara.
It is said that the Jailer, who seeks to escape his imprisonment in the Maw, is filled with hatred for the Arbiter. If he killed her, it would mean the end of everything the First Ones made. At some point during the third invasion of the Burning Legion, an unknown calamity struck the Arbiter, causing her to go dormant and cease directing souls to their just afterlives. Instead, all souls now flow past her to hurtle directly into the Maw. The Attendants have tried to unravel this mystery, but with little success. When the Maw Walker arrived in Oribos, the Arbiter briefly stirred but then returned to her dormant state.
After the events of the Sylvanas Windrunner encounter in the Sanctum of Domination raid, the Arbiter's essence is transferred to her central orb, which is then consumed by The Jailer while her physical form dissolves. With the Arbiter gone, the state of the Shadowlands is undetermined.
- Main article: Audience with the Arbiter#Notes
- The Arbiter may be loosely borrowing from various themes common to most religions, and some fictional sources.
- The notion of the Arbiter judging you immediately upon death (after a Kyrian brings you to Oribos) is representative of the divine judgment concept.
- Her judging you as able to enter the Shadowlands or being cast into the Maw resembles the Ancient Egyptian judgment of the dead, where each person would be judged by Anubis with Thoth as witness against a feather of Maat, and if the person's heart was heavier, they'd be thrown into the maw of Ammit.
- The six ribbons from the Arbiter's back, as well as the way there's two sets of motifs going down her chest, two sets from her back, and another from her lower back covering her "legs" partly, may be a reference to seraphs.
- The idea of an unspeaking, unseen ruler of a city that is at the center of a cosmic plane and connects to all subsequent realms is very much similar to the Lady of Pain within Sigil from Dungeons & Dragons.
- The Arbiter could be the person who helped Vol'jin as he was said to have been saved and "touched by the hand of valor".
- The Breaking the Arbiter cinematic where it showed what happened to the Arbiter, what seems a single red soul slams into her causing her to seize up and pass into unconsciousness. Fans have begun to theorize that this one was actually Argus the Unmaker, Xavius, or Gul'dan, as the soul would have had to die after Ursoc. Another possibility could be Denathrius's own sentient sword Remornia as it also glows in red, is able to fly on its own, and has similar sounds as the red orb that attacked the Arbiter.
On the loading screen for Shadowlands.
The Arbiter dissolves at the end of the Sanctum of Domination raid.
- Patch 9.0.2 (2020-11-17): Added.
- ^ a b Thrall says: We thought the Jailer was coming to slay the Arbiter. But he... absorbed her essence. Bolvar Fordragon says: As if her power--and the sigil--were his all along.
- ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-01. World of Warcraft: What’s Next Panel Recap. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
- ^ a b c d e
- ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, pg. 27
- ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment 2020-05-21. Shadowlands Preview: Oribos. Archived from the original on 2020-05-21.
- ^ Azeroth Radio 2019-11-03. John Hight & Johnny Cash SHADOWLANDS Interview! | BLIZZCON 2019! (06:57). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-11-07.
- ^ Sylvanas Windrunner (tactics)#Cinematic