What makes a hero? Is it sticking to the morals that you were taught as a child growing up? Upholding peace, and justice while putting criminals away? Or is it simply doing what you believe in even if no one else believes in you?
Leonid Barthalowmew was a great hero once upon a time, until he was brutally slain during The Third War, and raised as a mindless undead by the Lich King. Ordered to do the Lich King's bidding, he was finally set free by Sylvannas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen. While he joined the ranks of the Forsaken for a time, he befriended the Undead Priest Trevor, who holds Leonid in the highest esteem, and aspires to be like Leonid.
After awhile Leonid began to mistrust the Forsaken agenda and so he left them, with his friend Trevor soon following after him to join the Argent Dawn. Leonid despite his undead status is somehow still able to retain the abilities of a Paladin that he once held in life. In fact, he is the only Forsaken who is able to use the Light in the same manner as a Paladin. Making him a somewhat fantastic conundrum.
While Forsaken are able to become Priests and channel The Light to heal their allies, it takes a tremendous amount of willpower to not succumb to the pain that they feel every time that they use it. Every time a Forsaken uses an ability that channels The Light he feels as if their insides are being engulfed in an inferno. Leonid as a Paladin suffers this same disadvantage as every time he uses an ability it causes him excruciating pain.
The question to ask is: Why was Leonid allowed to keep the abilities of a Paladin even though he is now Undead? Was his conviction while he was alive so great that the Light refused to abandon him even in death? After all, Leonid is the only Forsaken Paladin, and the only Forsaken besides Trevor to join the Argent Crusade. In fact, he is even respected by those among the order to some degree. Viewing his undeath as nothing more than an illness, he fights against the forces of the Scourge and the Burning Legion among his fellow Crusaders.
While we may never know why the Light refused to abandon Leonid, he represents what it means to be a hero to us all. Forsaking an entire way of life, and channeling a form of energy that makes you feel like your insides are melting, while fighting enemies that are a reflection of your former life. Leonid Barthalowmew makes for a pretty epic hero.
Tell me your thoughts and theories on why the Light refused to abandon Leonid in the comments below!