The current theory as endorsed by Blizzard is that the Worgen originally came about due to a Druidic order who specifically focused on wolves. Just as we have Druids of the Talon who shift into birds and Druids of the Claw who shift into bears, there was once (we presume they no longer really exist) a sect of Druids who shifted into wolves or worgs.
Now, suppose this Order was somehow different to the others, or was changed in some way to give them a heightened awareness of the arcane. Maybe they were closer to the Elven Mages of that time, or were affected by the Legion’s magic somehow when they were testing the waters before the Sundering, so to speak. Whatever the cause, they then could have had a vision of the very distant future.
In this future, the Burning Legion has invaded Azeroth. The mortal races are either being wiped out or already extinct, and the world is generally on the edge of destruction. Perhaps the defeat of the Titan watcher inside Ulduar, Algalon, has meant that the Titans haven’t been alerted to this.
The Druids realise this can’t be allowed to happen, and set about finding a way to stop the invasion. They make some sort of pact with the Bronze Dragonflight, perhaps with the aid of Ysera, the Green Dragonflight Aspect who is close to the Druids, and get transported into the future.
Now, once there, they begin to combat the Legion (the Lords of the Emerald Flame that the Worgen are always said to be fighting on their “homeworld”), but they somehow change. Instead of being Druids who can shapeshift, they become permanently Wolf-like, much like the Worgen we know now. This could happen for several reasons:
- Their shapeshifting could somehow ‘go wrong’ because they’re out of touch with their natural timeline or environment, and they could sometimes get stuck halfway through transformations.
- The fel magic of the Burning Legion could corrupt their Druidic magic, and cause it to malfunction and alter.
- They realise they aren’t powerful enough to win, and so similar to how the Trolls can take on the attributes of an animal God, as seen in Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman as well as the territory of Zul’Drak, the Druids try to sacrifice their Wolf totems or aspects to make themselves more powerful.
However it happens, they are still fighting a losing battle. Once the Bronze Dragonflight of the future realises it will be a loss, they realise the only way to prevent the destruction of the planet is to try and alter time such that the Legion never invades. To do this, they send back a kind of “assault team”, the Infinite Dragonflight. Targeting key points and people in history, they try to disrupt time, and of course the Bronze Dragonflight of the ‘present’, along with the mortal races (i.e. us) don’t understand what is happening, and fight back.
This solves several mysteries of the Infinite Dragonflight – currently, nobody knows what their motives are in changing the timelines, or indeed who their leader is. It has been speculated that their leader is none other than the Bronze Aspect, Nozdormu, and this is supported by hints like the Mystery of the Infinite quest in Dragonblight, where the player sees a vision of Nozdormu, as well as when Chromie suggests that she has suspected something, but does not elaborate. Whatever his role, it is true that he has been missing ever since the Infinite Dragonflight first appeared, and there would surely be nobody better to lead what is effectively a rescue attempt than him.
But if the Druid-Worgen creatures are in the future, how do they get to our time in the present? Well, as we know, there were two ways:
- Archmage Arugal, after reading about Ur’s studies, learnt to summon the Worgen in order to fight the Scourge in Gilneas. However, after defeating the Scourge, they turned on the Gilneans and Mages too, driving Arugal insane and spreading the Worgen curse.
- Velinde Starsong, a Night Elf Priestess, prayed to Elune for help with dealing with the demons in Ashenvale and Felwood and was rewarded with the appearance of the Scythe of Elune, which she used to summon the Worgen. As with Arugal however, they soon turned against her and began to summon themselves, increasing their numbers.
So while Arugal summoned them via the arcane, Velinde used the Scythe, which mysteriously appeared to her. My theory here is that the Scythe was actually sent back by the Worgen, from the future, so that they could be summoned to help change time and avoid the future – their version of the Infinite Dragonflight.
As you can see from both of these cases however, the Worgen eventually showed themselves to be evil and turned on their ‘masters’. The fact that this happened to both groups, on different continents, means that something must have affected them before they were summoned, and the most likely explanation is that in the future, the Burning Legion has actually corrupted or defeated them. This must have happened between the time that the Scythe was sent back, and the time it was used, which would seem to be a very short period of time to us. When timelines come into the equation however, it’s not impossible that the same length of time could have spanned years or decades in the future.
This then leads us to our current situation, with the Worgen curse spreading through Gilneas and the Infinite Dragonflight still trying to alter time. We still don’t know why for sure, but it’s certainly fun to speculate! All will no doubt be revealed in Cataclysm.