Reno Jackson is a Dragon – Fan Theory Confirmed?!

Warning: Possible massive story spoilers ahead!

There’s a long-running fan theory that Reno Jackson is in fact a Dragon. Everything started with this reddit thread ~3.5 years ago, around the release of One Night in Karazhan. It was mostly based on a single scene from Karazhan’s trailer (this one). The Curator is jumping in the tub, where a cow, a murloc and Reno all sit together. Now look at Curator’s effect – he draws a Beast (cow), a Murloc and… a Dragon from your deck! While the scene might have been completely random (or rather, cow and murloc might have been there on purpose, but they couldn’t really fit a Dragon into a hot tub), lots of people have liked the idea that Blizzard is subtly suggesting that Reno is in fact a Dragon.

Theory then gained lots of popularity, with player speculating every time something new related to Reno has shown up. Many of them were really far-fetched (like the fact that Blizzard shared that they have first planned for Kazakus to be a Dragon, and both Reno & Kazakus are Highlander synergy cards, so Reno has to be a Dragon too), others were a bit more believable – e.g. the similarity between Reno’s original Battlecry and the recent Paladin Legendary Dragon Nozari.

Some players have started theorycrafting again when League of Explorers was announced to make a comeback in Year of the Dragon. First some have thought that we’ll get Reno in his Dragon form in Saviors of Uldum (we did get Reno, but not as a Dragon), then others have guessed that maybe we’ll get a new Reno-related card in Descent of Dragons. We did, in fact, get yet another version of Reno in the latest adventure – The Amazing Reno – but it’s also not a Dragon.

However, Galakrond’s Awakening might have finally proven the theory correct. First of all, a solid hint, but far from a confirmation – in the first encounter in the League of Explorers campaign, Reno spawns immediately to help you fight against Dr. Boom, with 4/12 stats. Why is it important? Becasue 4/12 are sort of an iconic Dragon stats – in fact, ONLY Dragons have this sort of statline in Hearthstone (Malygos, Ysera, Nozari, Sleepy Dragon or – more recently – Zzeraku the Warped). Between the stats and Spell Damage gain, the Reno card resembles Malygos most. This alone might have been just an easter egg, a nod towards the community for the theory to live on. But…

We found an interesting card in game files – Renogos. To be more specific – it’s a Galakrond’s Awakening Boss card called “DRGA_BOSS_01h2” in game files. What’s even more interesting is that “DRGA_BOSS_01h” (without 2 at the end) is The Amazing Reno boss card. Which would suggest that Renogos is somehow related to the fight against (or as) Reno. Notably, second to last fight in the E.V.I.L. campaign is against Reno. It might be that he transforms into his Dragon form mid-way through the fight. Or maybe you will play as Reno during the final fight of Explorers Campaign (against Rafaam & Galakrond), and you will be able to transform? It’s hard to say at this point, and we don’t know the exact story so it’s just a guessing game, but it’s hard to deny that the Dragon card below is based on Reno Jackson (he has Reno’s iconic hat on one of his horns, a golden tooth and – of course – the name itself is a clear reference).

We also found what’s most likely Renogos’ Hero Power. It’s an obvious reference to Tombs of Terror treasure Flex-plosion:

What do you think about it? Have you heard about the theory before? Do you think that Blizzard has planned for Reno to be a Dragon from the beginning or just went through with it after they liked players speculating on social media?

Update: Thanks to use25 for showing this, there’s also a Sidequest related to Dragon Reno theory (and I think it’s safe to drop the theory part at this point). My guess here is that you start the fight as regular Reno, but once you finish the Sidequest you turn into a Dragon?

Stonekeep

A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply

13 Comments

  1. Vook
    February 12, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    https://youtu.be/qlHx7YNWYGY?t=40

    On this frame its possible to see, Reno, Sir Finley, The Curator and Rafaam on background.

  2. RagingStormHS
    January 29, 2020 at 3:08 am

    In the new chapter, Alexstrasza also says:
    “Starseeker, there is something you must know about the one you call ‘Reno'”
    So I think that also basically confirms it I think.

  3. Jotarun
    January 22, 2020 at 8:24 am

    but if reno is a dragon, why he needs to [Learn Draconic] ?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 22, 2020 at 8:41 am

      Maybe he hit his head and forgot that he’s a Dragon? That would be so true to his goofy character.

  4. Use25
    January 22, 2020 at 8:10 am

    SPOILER ALERT

    You should check the conversations hidden in the file MISSION_AUDIO.txt. Also, there is another card related to this: Draconic Potential.

    Based on the data’s naming, I can say that we are going to get this awesome scene in the final boss of Explorers campaign, which is Reno VS Rafaam and Galakrond.

    Alexstrasza also acknowledged his origin and will tell Elise after defeating Hagatha in Chapter 2 of Explorers campaign.

    Overall, if you are a fan of the story since the Year of the Dragon, you will 100% want to buy it. I’m sure you won’t regret. There are indeed many more special interactions, some exclusively are based on fans’ memes, such as that four mana 7/7

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 22, 2020 at 8:40 am

      That sounds really cool. I’m glad that they decided to make Reno a Dragon after all, it’s amazing that they decided to turn a 3.5 years old fan theory into a reality and in such a big way. I can’t wait to play the rest of chapters 🙂

      • Alglyphic
        January 22, 2020 at 4:49 pm

        I’d recently realized that Jaina and Reno’s voice actors are married to each other. And now I can’t get the idea of Reno scooping up Jaina majestically, then flying off with her in his dragon arms into the sunset, out of my head…

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          January 22, 2020 at 6:09 pm

          That’s way too perfect. Blizzard needs to do it.

          • Alglyphic
            January 22, 2020 at 6:22 pm

            It won’t be the first time Jaina’s dated a member of the blue dragonflight either.

            BEGIN SCENE – Knights of the Frozen Throne opening.

            FROST LICH JAINA: Do not fear power, fear those who –

            (CUT to Reno the Relicologist. He flexes his biceps, a gatling wand grasped in each hand. Fanciful particle effects occur, the likes of which have not been seen since Hadidjah Chamberlin figured out the Volcano visual effects.)

            RENO: (singsong) Maaaaaagic!

            FROST LICH JAINA: (facepalm) Yogg-dammit, Reno.

            EXEUNT.

    • DeyanBB
      January 22, 2020 at 3:08 pm

      Could you share more on the “MISSION_AUDIO.txt”? I’m interested to hear what you found.

      • Use25
        January 25, 2020 at 9:59 am

        Sorry for extremely late response. The file is located at Hearthstone (where you install the game on PC)\Strings\enUS\. It’s very very long, but new dialogues or conversations are always added at the end, so keep scrolling to the bottom. Each dialogue has their own ID (I think you can guess the pattern). Galakrond’s Awakening dialogue IDs start with VO_DRGA_BOSS_. Find the one with “RenoDragon”, you will see.

  5. JoyDivision
    January 22, 2020 at 6:59 am

    Heard about it when ONiK was released.

    I tend to believe it was made up after fans speculated.

  6. DemianHS
    January 22, 2020 at 6:36 am

    I never heard this theory. But it’s awesome!! 😀 Five flex for this post. <3