Yes, this post isn't about gold.
I just have to share my lore rant/speculation about Fendral.
The guys at the WoW Insider Show podcast (awesome fun show - listen to eeet!) have been saying that a fire druid is something that has no precedence in WoW history.
While that statement is true, I do believe there may be a possible answer that already exists that could explain what's happened to Fendral Staghelm.
Gather 'round the fire kids, as ol' pappy Khalior tells you the story of World of Warcraft: Shaman.
Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert!... bah who cares - no one's read this manga but me...
A long time ago, when the War of the Three Hammers was at its peak, Sorcerer-thane Thaurissan of the Dark Irons played his last card and used all his power to call onto any being to help him in his last stand in the fight against the Wildhammers and the Bronzebeards.
Unfortunately for him, Ragnaros answered the call.
He burst forth from his elemental plane of fire into Azeroth from the Molten Core outwards and caused massive earthquakes and made the Searing Gorge and the Burning Steppes into the state they are in.
The quakes were felt throughout the planet - all the way into Kalimdor.
At the same time, the Earthen Ring were having an unusual debate about how best to do their job.
Should they keep asking for the elements to help them or should they order them around ?
Championing the forceful way to take power, Shotoa wanted all shaman to be more proactive in their ways.
In the middle of the debate, the quakes happened.
And as the land was ripping itself apart under their very feet, Shotoa fell and was never seen again.
Jump to a time not too long before the Shattering of Azeroth.
Thrall is a Warchief that is pondering taking a trip to Outland and Muln Earthfury is the leader of the Earthen Ring.
Yet again, the shaman were trying to figure out what's been going on with the elements, who were not listening to the shaman's pleas.
Everyone turned to Muln for answers - he told them to stick to the way of the shaman and everything will be fine.
Then, as a fire almost consumed an entire village, appears Shotoa.
Where the shaman were begging for the fire element to listen to them, Shotoa ordered the fire to die down (with a show of power that's kind of wrestling down the element, kinda).
He told the Earthen Ring that while he was deep into the planet's core, he was taken care of by the elements and communed with them like no other being ever did.
He knew everything about the elements and was telling the shaman that they need to order them around to get what they want.
Of course, that didn't go well with Muln, but seeing that Shotoa was the only one showing actual effective results to his methods, most of the Earthen Ring decided to follow Shotoa and be taught his method.
Muln ran to Thrall to consult him on what to do.
Thrall was having his own internal debate on the subject, so he couldn't help Muln with the subject, basically telling him "You're the leader of our order - find the answer yourself".
So he decided to commune with the elements and call the fifth element: Milla Jovo... no wait... Life!
The Life element showed him clues about the origins of Shotoa and what happened to him.
Meanwhile, Shotoa and the Earthen Ring were on a long pilgrimage to the deep forests of Feralas to learn their new ways.
But it turns out it was a trap.
Grimtotem taurens and Shotoa attacked the weakened Earthen Ring (their spirits were broken and couldn't call the elements as effectively as they normally would).
But before the attack turned into a slaughter, Muln Earthfury shows up and battles Shotoa.
He'd pieced it all together.
Shotoa wasn't forcing the elements because he was a very powerful shaman.
He was successful because his body was the host to one of Ragnaros' fire elementals.
He tricked the Earthen Ring into turning from their ways and he tricked the elements into ordering them around.
His treachery revealed, Shotoa unleashed his fire power and taunted Muln into ordering the elements to fight him.
Not wanting to go against his ideology, Muln found a better idea.
He called up the other elements and told them that a fire elemental was tricking them into doing his bidding.
Outraged, the other elements attacked and weakened him.
Then Muln killed Shotoa by crushing his head with a totem... (Death by totem, yep)
The Earthen Ring killed the rest of the remaining Grimtotem, burned their dead, and asked Muln to forgive them and take them back.
So being possessed by a fire elemental is totally possible and I think that may be the case with Fendral.
After the events in Stormrage, he was left weakened and in a very vulnerable state to whatever influence would want to claim him - which was the whole point why he had been brought to the Hyjal barrow dens in the first place.
And we got him out of there, derp derp !
The other possibility would be that he meant all along to become what he is now... but that would be very very lame indeed.