Warcraft's Jaina Proudmoore deserves a mention here. From her first appearance in Warcraft 3 her life has been a litany of tragic events, starting with the corruption of her former lover Arthas into evil, then the destruction of her home, and then finally, after learning that the Horde had reformed from its former monstrous incarnation, being forced to fight against her own warmongering father to preserve peace. And her other old friend, Prince Kael'thas, then turns up as leader of the Blood Elves. Despite her heroism at the Battle of Mount Hyjal, helping to save the world, the Alliance continues to treat her as a junior partner and increasingly ignores her pleas for peace and diplomacy with the Horde. As a result, the detente she had fought for is in shambles, and she can only watch as hotheads on both sides reignite a pointless, genocidal war.
- Unfortunately for her status as The Woobie, the fandom in general seems almost universally convinced that she's now shacking up with Thrall. Joke or no, it's hard to take her woobie-ism seriously as a result.
- If she was before, Thrall's recent change of heart (and marriage as of Patch 4.2) to Aggralan pretty much puts Jaina back up there in Woobieness, anyway.
- Hey, when you've been through what she has, you need a teddy bear. Hers just happens to be big, green, and capable of shaking a fortress down to its foundations.
- In Dalaran, you can fish a golden coin she tossed into the wishing fountain with the tragic line: "Arthas, my love, please come back to me."
- She spends the entirety of Wrath of the Lich King alternately trying to stop Varian Wrynn from going to war with the Horde and trying to stop Arthas from continuing down his dark path. And then at the end it turns out Arthas has remembered her all this time.
- Another female Woobie is Sylvanas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen. A heroic High Elven general, she led the futile defense of the elven kingdom of Quel'thalas. Despite great skill and heroism her forces were overwhelmed by the undead, and Sylvanas herself was tortured, defiled, and raised as a banshee, forced to massacre her own countrymen and innocent people. Despite having later won freedom for herself and a small remnant of undead rebels, she remains, at heart, deeply unhappy, loathing the monster she has become.
- Illidan also deserves a mention here. Essentially, his entire story derives from being unable to shake off the magic addiction of his people, which has driven him to betray his people multiple times, get imprisoned for ten thousand years, blind himself, consume an evil artifact, strike a bargain with a demon, flee from his home into the blasted world of Outland to escape from the consequences of that bargain, and, most importantly, lose the love of his life forever. You, as the player, hunt him down in the very last place he's managed to make his own and corner him long enough for the person who's hunted him all these millennia to find and kill him. Canonically, he's insane and totally beyond redemption, but is it any wonder he's one of the most Woobified characters in the entire series?
- Several quests in the game involve other Woobie characters. The tortoise Tooga, in the Tanaris desert, is one example. Sent out by his wife Torta to get dinner, he gets lost, and needs you to lead him home, while he says pathetic things like "I'm thirsty" and "Torta must be so worried!" When you do get him back to his wife, she simply scolds him for being late and sends him to catch dinner again.
- The Darkspear Trolls up until now deserve a mention as a whole. Their entire tribal history is essentially a list of places they used to live and who drove them out until they were relegated to sleeping on Orgrimmar's couch. Come Cataclysm, however, they're officially done taking this crap.
- Just about every sympathetic Broken character; and Farseer Nobundo—due, in no small part, to his sheer indomitability—in particular.
- And for that matter, much of the Draenei race as a whole, whom the Broken devolved from. Pursued across the universe for centuries and hunted down to near-extinction by the Burning Legion and its minions, simply for daring to reject the temptation of its corrupting power.
- The Oracles in Sholazar Basin are a race of simple fish-like creatures (think nicer Murlocs) who revere nature and only want to collect "shinies" to give the great gods, and are constantly attacked by the more aggressive Frenzyheart Tribe who are encroaching on their land and the Scourge, which wants to destroy all life. One particular quest sends you to an Oracle village that has been overtaken by the Scourge to try to rescue any survivors. The Oracles are dragged around attached to chains by these mindless zombie creatures and will give the most heart-wrenching dialogue when you talk to them:
Please take...my shinies. All done...
We not do anything...to them...I no understand.
Use my shinies...make weather good again...make undead things go away.
We gave shinies to shrine...we not greedy...why this happen?
I do something bad? I sorry...
- Garona Halforcen's whole life just plain sucks. She was born as an experiment by the orc leader Gul'dan to cross an orc with a draenei, implying her draenei mother was raped, and as a half-blood, was always an outcast in orc society. Gul'dan then magically aged and brainwashed her, telling her that she was half-human, and using her as a spy against the humans. Amongst the humans, she found a trusted confidant and lover with Medivh, only to be crushed when it turned out he was demonically possessed by Sargeras, and brought the orcs to Azeroth. She was manipulated by the Shadow Council to kill King Llane Wrynn, tortured by Ogrim Doomhammer to get the location of the Shadow Council, all the while pregnant to a son with Medivh, Med'an. Meanwhile, an ogre mage, Cho'gall figured out Gul'dan's brainwashing, and used it to take control of Garona, and tried to asassinate King Varian Wrynn, Prince Anduin Wrynn, and Warchief Thrall. Leaving Med'an with her draenei uncle, she is currently in hiding, waiting for a chance to kill Cho'gall.
- Chen Stormstout has this in Mists of Pandaria. He and his niece Li Li are originally just travelling Pandaria when they find out they have family on the continent (Chen and Li Li were born and raised on the Wandering Isle). Chen is overjoyed to hear he has family. Unfortunately, almost every member of his family he meets is dead, insane, or both. And the man keeps soldiering on trying to find family to connect with.
- Lei Shi from Terrace of Endless Spring. Besides being an Apologetic Attacker, her entire motivation is that she's flat-out terrified. One of her fight mechanics has her hiding from the raid "until they go away" (really until you hit her with enough Ao Es).
- Runty from the Blackrock Caverns dungeon, mainly due to his buff Almost Ferocious. He's trying his best.