Literature: Beyond the Dark Portal

Beyond the Dark Portal is a novel by both Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden which focuses on the events of Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. It was released on June 24, 2008.

The aging orc shaman Ner'zhul has seized control of the Horde and reopened the Dark Portal. His brutal warriors once again encroach upon Azeroth, laying siege to the newly constructed stronghold of Nethergarde Keep. There, the archmage Khadgar and the Alliance commander, Turalyon, lead humanity and its elven and dwarven allies in fighting this new invasion.

Even so, disturbing questions arise. Khadgar learns of orcish incursions farther abroad: small groups of orcs who seem to pursue a goal other than simple conquest. Worse yet, black dragons have been sighted as well, and they appear to be aiding the orcs. To counter Ner'zhul's dark schemes, the Alliance must now invade the orcs' ruined homeworld of Draenor. Can Khadgar and his companions stop the nefarious shaman in time to stave off the destruction of two worlds?

This novel contains examples of:

  • After the End: The situation on Draenor in a nutshell.
  • Artifact of Doom: A lot of them.
  • Badass Boast: Deathwing gives one that doubles as Prepare to Die. Gruul gives his own as introduction to Deathwing.
    "I am Gruul, greatest of gronn! This my land, my mountains! You leave or you end up like children!"
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Turalyon and Alleria's relationship, although at the start of the book, she outright despises him for his not sharing her desire to exterminate the orcs.
  • Big Bad: Subverted. Ner'zhul is nothing like the Lich King who destroys Arthas' sanity and unleashes the Scourge on the world. He's a weak, broken, and half-sane shell of a once great man.
  • Blood Knight: Alleria, as well as every orc in the Horde.
  • Broken Pedestal: How every orc more or less reacts to Ner'zhul, seeing how far he's fallen.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: King Perenolde's son gives one to him after learning of his dealings with the Horde.
  • The Cameo: Arthas.
  • Cherry Tapping: Khadgar uses what he calls a "simple parlor trick" to help drive off Deathwing by ripping away a part of his armor.
  • Cool Old Guy: Khadgar, although unfortunately, he's not old enough to be one.
  • Death Seeker: Alleria.
  • Defianttothe End: Gruul is incredibly powerful, but Deathwing outclasses him easily. Despite this, Gruul keeps fighting, and lives since Deathwing wants to make him suffer.
  • The Dragon: Gorefiend. Also doubles as a Names to Run Away From Really Fast.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Draenor.
  • Enemy Mine: Turalyon's group allies with Gruul and his gronn against Deathwing and the other dragons.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Turalyon has no love for the orcs, but is disturbed by Alleria's obsession with vengeance (which drives a rift between them, and which he fears will get her killed), as well as an orphan child who wants to grow up and kill orcs.
  • Fantastic Racism: Alleria positively drips this. Turalyon who was pretty racist in the previous book is appalled by her actions.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Ner'zhul.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Ner'zhul will become the Lich King. The expedition never gets home. Alleria and Turalyon have a child in the Outlands.
  • Forest Ranger: Alleria, the high elf ranger.
  • Gaia's Lament: Draenor has most of its plant life wiped out.
  • Heel Realization: Ner'zhul has one of these. It allows him to give into his inner evil fully and completely.
  • Jerkass: Alleria is extremely harsh with Khadgar at the orphanage, lashing out at him for not sharing her desire to exterminate the orcs.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The Death Knights naturally are weakened even by slight amount of the Holy Light. When Turalyon takes advantage of this on Gorefiend, it turns him to dust.
  • No Sell: Khadgar used some of his most powerful magic against Deathwing and was mt with this.
  • Only Sane Man: Rexxar points out that the Horde has been so decimated by war that they could settle on Azeroth without displacing the native races. Grom Hellscream asks where's the glory in that.
  • Oh, Crap: Turalyon and Khadgar this reaction to seeing Deathwing after they and the gronn attacked a number of his children.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: This book goes into details on how big the gronn are, and that Gruul is even bigger.
  • Papa Wolf: Deathwing goes absolutely berserk after his eggs were smashed and his children slaughtered by the Alliance and Gruul. He attacks Gruul, and the horrified Alliance realizes the only reason the gronn isn't dead is because Deathwing was toying with him.
  • Retcon: With regards to the gronn driving out Deathwing and his children. The earlier lore stated their sheer power and greater numbers drove them out. This novel changes so that the dragons they killed were extremely young (full grown ones that appeared in the rest of the Warcraft Expended Universe are MUCH bigger than them), and Deathwing mopped the floor with them with the gronn only surviving because Khadgar break some of the metal plates holding Deathwing's body together, forcing him to retreat.
  • Shoot the Dog: Turalyon has to destroy black dragon eggs to eliminate the future threat of black dragons on Draenor.
  • Smug Snake: Deathwing, so much so that the orcs often can't tell if he's insulting them.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Gruul, thinking picking a fight with a dragon that's big enough to play with him like mouse is a good plan.
  • The Quisling: King Perenolde to a despicable degree.
  • The So-Called Coward: Turalyon, according to Alleria.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ner'zhul, when he comes face to face with Kil'jaeden. He ends up begging for mercy, but is tortured and turned into the Lich King.
  • We Have Reserves: Ner'zhul sees the entire Horde as expendable, and abandons all the other orcs in his quest for power.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Khadgar gives Alleria a scathing one, calling her out on her obsession with revenge and desire for death resulting in her closing herself off from the pleasures life can offer, Turalyon in particular.
  • The Worf Barrage: Gruul delivers a huge punch to Deathwing that knocks down the smaller Gron from the shock of it, and Deathwing isn't even phased by it.
  • The Worf Effect: The Gron are built up as huge and menacing, getting through rocks on the way to Deathwing's lair by smashing them... and when Deathwing shows up, he knocks them around by beating his wings.

Alternative Title(s):

Beyond The Dark Portal