Jarod Nandin has passed away. He was 40-years old. Nandin is best-known as the "South Park Guy" after re-creating the show's infamous World of Warcraft character from the season 10 episode titled, Make Love, Not Warcraft. Nandin died in the hospital of COVID-19 on Sunday, January 3rd. He had previously updated friends and family on social media, noting that he had tested positive and that he was in the hospital getting treatment. He said that things were "looking good."
Jarod Nandin changed the world of cosplaying forever when he arrived at the 2013 BlizzCon as "That Which Has No Life," the antagonist of South Park's World of Warcraft episode. Nandin truly went all the way, going as far as to shave the top of his head to make it look like he was balding. BlizzCon host Michele Morow remembered Nandin in a social media tribute, which you can read below.
"I met Jarod in 2013 when I asked to take a photo with him and stupidly grabbed -and broke- the Rockstar energy drink glued to his desk. I was mortified and Jarod couldn't stop laughing. I felt awful but he gave me a hug and we became friends. In 2014, my first year hosting the convention, we met up and recreated the moment we first met. Jarod had a fantastic sense of humor and was an advocate for cosplayers, body acceptance and positivity. I always enjoyed seeing him online and at conventions throughout the years... Jarod was one of the f***ing best. It's not fair. Rest In Peace Jarod, you beautiful soul. BlizzCon won't be the same without YOU. Thank you for making an impact on my life and so many others. Tonight we raise our thumb drives of The Sword of a Thousand Truths in your honor. We will never forget you."
In Jarod Nandin's final Instagram post, he said, "I tested positive for COVID. I'm really sorry to worry you guys. I'm in the hospital getting treatment. Things look good. I'm just looking at COVID with a sh*t-eating grin on my face and saying: 'How do you kill that which has no life?'" In an interview from 2014, Nandin was asked how he came up with the idea for his South Park cosplay. "I thought if I took that character and made him human, meaning if I portrayed him, it would just be hilarious..."
Jarod Nandin was right about the hilarious aspect of his cosplay, though many will remember him for his positivity within the gaming community. He was also famous for playing World of Warcraft under the NWBZPWNR gamer tag. He started the Facebook group Defenders of the [Cosplay] Faith, which is where cosplayers of "all skill levels and backgrounds can get together for friendly interaction." In 2014, Nandin said, "I wanted to promote inclusivity."
Throughout his South Park cosplay fame, Jarod Nandin was praised, though he was also ridiculed by trolls, with many making fun of his weight. However, Nandin had no time for that kind of negativity in his life. "You're wasting your life by being vicious," he said in 2014. "You're just a sack of flesh on a gravity rock hurling through space like the rest of us. You're only weighing us down by being like that." TMZ was one of the first outlets to report on Jarod Nandin's death.