As an ardent follower of the Diablo series, my admiration knows no bounds, especially for the iconic character, Tyrael. Back in 2015, when our website was just taking off, I penned a captivating KYL article dedicated to him. Even to this day, it remains close to my heart as one of the most cherished pieces I’ve ever written.
At the conclusion of Diablo 3, it was revealed that Tyrael had been occupied with the task of restoring the Horadrim. This occurred half a century prior to the start of Diablo 4, as confirmed by the official Diablo Twitter account. During this span of time, the Horadrim dedicated themselves to rebuilding, having faced the devastating aftermath of Malthael’s failed attempt to create a better world, resulting in the demise of 90% of the human population. Interestingly, Lorath Nahr, who served as Tyrael’s trusted companion in re-establishing the Horadrim during Diablo 3, makes an early appearance in Diablo 4 as a mentor-like figure.
However, amidst all the revelations we’ve witnessed, the elusive presence of Tyrael remains concealed, with no allusion to his existence. Throughout the levels we’ve traversed, Lorath has chosen to remain silent about Tyrael’s existence and his current location. This absence of information disappoints me, for Tyrael’s profound effect and authority within Sanctuary render him an unparalleled character, one whom I firmly assert must make a triumphant return in Diablo 4.
Tyrael, as Archangel of Justice, found enemies on all sides
One of the factors contributing to Tyrael’s significant influence and distinct position is his opposition to his fellow Archangels on the Angiris Council. As the former Archangel of Justice, he felt an undeniable urge to intervene, as their proposed course of action was deemed unjust. The council was deliberating the destruction of Sanctuary and all its inhabitants in the aftermath of the Sin War. However, it was the Nephalem Uldyssian ul-Diomed who ultimately saved Sanctuary, restored the protective power of the Worldstone, and sacrificed his own life in the process.
Through these actions, Uldyssian unveiled to Tyrael the fallacy of his perception towards the Humans of Sanctuary. Despite their origins as a blend of Angelic and Demonic lineage, they were far from mere abominations worthy of disdain and annihilation. Consequently, Tyrael, having recognized the inherent goodness within Humans and their capacity to surpass both Angels and Demons, stood against the obliteration of Sanctuary.
Sacrificing his friendship with Imperius, the Archangel of Valor, he chose to do what was right, regardless of the consequences. Injustice was abhorrent to the Archangel of Justice, and this belief in the importance of justice has been the driving force behind every appearance of Tyrael in the Diablo series. When Sanctuary is left vulnerable to the mercy of Mephisto, Baal, and Diablo after the Dark Exile, it is Tyrael alone who steps forward to aid Sanctuary, as the rest of the Angiris Council is bound by a pact with Hell that concluded the Sin War.
From the creation of the Horadrim and through their slow decline
Tyrael acknowledges that the agreement between Heaven and Hell was shattered due to the Dark Exile. Moreover, abandoning Sanctuary to confront the most powerful Demon Lords is not only ill-advised but also unjust. The trio of Greater Evils orchestrated the Dark Exile and cunningly incited the Lesser Evils to revolt against them, all with the intention of being purposely banished to Sanctuary. This devious plan would grant them unhindered control over their schemes, enabling them to violate the agreement and pursue their nefarious objectives without opposition.
Upon arriving at Sanctuary, Tyrael encountered a group of individuals, both women and men, who possessed the potential to master potent mystical techniques and uncover the enigmatic secrets of the Soulstones. Armed with this knowledge, the Horadrim, a collective formed by Tyrael, accomplished the seemingly impossible task of apprehending and confining the three formidable Greater Evils. It can be firmly stated that the sequence of events in all three mainline Diablo games directly stemmed from the establishment of the Horadrim by Tyrael. While it cannot be denied that Sanctuary is far from a realm of bliss, it is safe to assume that, had it not been for Tyrael, the three malevolent Greater Evils would have undoubtedly triumphed over the planet long ago.
Furthermore, the tale of Diablo 2 is deeply intertwined with the actions and failures of Tyrael. He was unable to prevent Marius from releasing Baal, who had taken over the body of Tal Rasha within the ancient wizard’s desert tomb. This led to Baal’s corruption of the Worldstone, Tyrael’s subsequent destruction of it, and ultimately paved the way for the events in Diablo Immortal. Not to mention, Tyrael’s significant role in Diablo 3 cannot be overlooked. He willingly relinquished his angelic nature to uphold his duty as the protector of Sanctuary, sacrificing his very existence for the sake of justice. As a mortal, he bravely stood against the malevolence of the Burning Hells.
Where is Tyrael in Diablo 4?
The potential whereabouts of Tyrael in Diablo 4 encompass numerous intriguing prospects.
The first and rather disheartening possibility is that he could be deceased. It has been half a century since Diablo 3, and he was essentially “born” as a fully developed adult. Although he recovers many of his Angelic memories and abilities upon reclaiming his sword El’Druin, conversations between Lorath and Tyrael in Diablo 3 reveal that the former Angel is still susceptible to the various vulnerabilities and limitations of all humans. He requires sleep, he requires nourishment, and despite his vitality and strength, there remains a chance that he may indeed undergo the process of aging. Diablo 3 goes to great lengths to establish his mortality, and well, humans ultimately face death.
To make matters worse, the demise doesn’t necessarily have to come from old age. Lorath Nahr exhibits great hesitation in collaborating with Inarius or the Cathedral of Light at the beginning of Diablo 4, and an intriguing speculation arises — what if Inarius and/or the Cathedral of Light are responsible for Tyrael’s demise? Inarius possesses considerable power and is not averse to eliminating anyone who stands in the way of his plans.
To make matters even worse, it is common knowledge that Inarius endured countless years of confinement in the depths of Hell due to the ill-fated agreement brokered by the Angiris Council, which included Tyrael, who had the opportunity to voice his opposition. This pact, aside from leading to the Dark Exile, prominently featured Inarius being handed over to none other than Mephisto, the very same Mephisto who happens to be Lilith’s father. Imagine the scenario: stealing someone’s daughter, absconding with the Worldstone to create an alternate reality, subjecting her to a torturous limbo twice, and naturally, that person will grow exceedingly displeased with you. It is entirely plausible that upon his return to Sanctuary, Inarius sought out Tyrael and the Horadrim, only to apprehend his former ally and imprison him in a desolate dungeon, where he would slowly wither away over the course of decades.
Following the assault on Heaven by Diablo in D3 and the treachery of Malthael, there is a recurring reference to how Heaven sealed its gates, severing all ties with Sanctuary. Maybe it boils down to Tyrael’s complete incapability of returning.
Eventually, it is possible that he is merely incredibly aged and our paths have not crossed yet. Once again, being mortal entails aging and ultimately facing death. Although Tyrael bore El’druin and the sword unmistakably acknowledged and enhanced his abilities, he no longer possesses the status of an Angel. It would genuinely delight me if Tyrael were to return in Diablo 4 as a wise and weathered character, too advanced in years to venture into the battlefield nowadays, but still open to welcoming anyone who wishes to aid in the preservation of Sanctuary by simply staying for a while and lending an ear.
Currently, the answer eludes us. I fervently yearn for Tyrael’s survival, for he holds immense importance within the franchise and possesses an undeniable allure that demands his presence in Diablo 4.