|Race||Eternal One (Humanoid)|
|Occupation||Judge of the Shadowlands|
|Location||The Crucible, Oribos|
The Arbiter is an Eternal One who dwells in the Crucible in the city of Oribos and judges all mortal souls that enter the Shadowlands. Her 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.
- 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.
- Another possible source of visual inspiration is Khan Maykr, ruler of Urdak and the Maykrs, in Doom Eternal.
- The Arbiter looks notably more artificial than the other Eternal Ones, and has an orb-shaped device in her chest, roughly in the same location where the Jailer has a hole in his chest. This has led some fans to theorize that the Arbiter is actually a construct created to replace the Jailer.
- 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 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.
- Patch 9.0.2 (2020-11-17): Added.
- ^ 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.
- ^ [Spoilculation] The Jailer and The Arbiter