With 5.4 approaching we already know that Garrosh is on his way out. His pride is leading to his downfall. There is no doubt in my mind that the Horde will need a Warchief, but the question is who will replace him. This post is pure speculation on my part, but is based on observations from the lore I’ve seen in game (I have not read the Vol’jin book yet so if it reveals anything, it won’t be included here).
This is what I do know, Thrall will not be back as Warchief. He feels that his time has passed and he has a new path. I do believe he may have a hand in selecting the next one, but it won’t be unilateral like Garrosh was. I don’t believe Vol’jin, Baine or Lor’themar will allow it. All three of them have felt the wrath of Garrosh during the Pandarian Campaign. This is the way I see things shaping up.
Among the current leaders, I believe that either Vol’jin or Baine would make a good Warchief, but I don’t think either one of them wants the job. They are both concerned for their people, and I do not believe that either would take well to the leadership of the entire Horde. I do believe that either one of them would have a better chance of bringing peace between the Horde and the Alliance than any others would, I just don’t feel either really wants to be the one to lead the Horde. Lor’Themar is having enough trouble just trying to keep his people going and they are hurting. He doesn’t need or want the extra responsibility that would come with running the Horde. I also don’t think that no other faction of the Horde will allow Sylvannas to be the new Warchief, and I’m positive that the only reason she would take it would to be to further the forsaken, she cares nothing for the other races of the horde. Gallywixx would be willing to be the leader of the Horde, but only because he would see it as a way to make more money. And the final current Horde leader, Ji Firepaw, is too much of an unknown quantity by the rest of the Horde to even be considered. The final race of the Horde, the Orcs, will be without any real leadership after the events in 5.4. Garrosh has gutted most of the leadership and replaced it with the Blackrock and his handpicked Kor’Koran guards and officers. I don’t believe any of them will be left after all is said and done.
The first order of business will be to find a new leader for the orcs. It may be personal opinion, but I believe Rexxar may be the best fit. He is already an established clan leader, and has the love and trust of many of the orcs for his actions for the Horde. Another possible option would be Drek’thar, but honestly I don’t think it matters who leads the orcs, they won’t be Warchief.
What I see happening with the new leadership of the Horde is this, I see the Horde being run by a council of leaders with each leader taking care of their race and the council coming together to make major decisions. I believe that make up of the council will be of the current Horde leaders plus whoever ends up leading the orcs. Because of this, I see an alliance of Baine, Vol’jin and Lor’themar maintaining sanity and trying to rein in Sylvannas and keeping a close eye on Gallywixx. I think Ji Firepaw will fall in line with whoever takes the Pandaren under their wings, and currently I think the Tauren are most like the new Pandaren who have joined the Horde and would be willing to take them under their wing.
These are just my thoughts on how the leadership of the Horde will evolve based on personal observations. We will see if my ideas pan out.