I actually don’t even know why I’m so indignant over this because I’ve basically spent the past (nearly) five years griping that NPCs aren’t rude enough to death knights.
I’ve often wondered how rude they’d actually be; on one hand they’re the undead heralds of the Lich King, and on the other hand they’re liable to kill you for mouthing off to them.
I’ve thought about this a lot (surpreis) and I think it would probably differ from race to race but there would overall be just a huge and open mistrust. Maybe less so now that it’s been a few years since the Lich King died and they still haven’t snapped and turned on everybody, but just a general wariness of the fact that these people are plaguebearing sadists with a lot of mental baggage.
so basically they’re azeroth’s meth-addled veteran hobos
I feel like something similar should hold true for Forsaken, so this is relevant to my interests.
Death knights, forsaken, wretched, probably worgen. Anything transformed via dark magic/etc. into something more “monstrous” than their previous selves, I guess. But I do think race would have a lot to do with it, as well. Like Horde overall probably had an easier time with the DKs because they already have Forsaken and batshit cannibal trolls and all sorts of bonkers going on. But I can imagine a lot of the more shamanistic and druidic cultures would as a whole have a particular disdain for them outside of the diplomatic level, because undead are kind of the exact opposite of natural and death knights in particular have a bad habit of blighting the shit out of everything on the battlefield. Gilneans also probably have an extra difficult time with death knights because their only experience with undead is what the Forsaken did to them, and they weren’t there for the whole Northrend thing, so that alliance doesn’t mean much to them.
I also kind of have this headcanon that a lot of Forsaken really fucking hate DKs because they think they’re a bunch of losers that couldn’t break free on their own but at the same time think they’re tough shit.
Humans and blood elves probably have the highest levels of mistrust for DKs since they were the ones directly affected by Arthas fucking up half of the Eastern Kingdoms.
As for the Forsaken… Based on all that questing for the Ebon Blade in icecrown I figured that the reason a Death Knight wouldn’t have broken free when Illidan started fucking around in Icecrown is because they were kept on a much shorter leash. Since they had more power and (a bit) more autonomy, the Lich King paid a lot more attention to them to make sure they didn’t step out of line.