The Alliance: Stormwind (Humans) - Lordaeron (Humans) - Gilneas (Humans/Worgen) - Kul Tiras (Humans) - Other Human Kingdoms - Ironforge (Dwarven Clans) - Gnomeregan (Gnomes) - Quel'Thalas/Telogrus Rift (High Elves and Void Elves) - Darnassus (Night Elves) - The Exodar (Draenei) - Tushui (Pandaren) - Vindicaar (Lightforged Draenei) - Mechagon (Mechagnomes)
The Horde: Orgrimmar (Orcs) - The Darkspear Tribe (Trolls) - Thunder Bluff (Tauren) - The Forsaken (Undead) - Quel'Thalas (Blood Elves) - Bilgewater Cartel (Goblins) - Huojin (Pandaren) - Thunder Totem (Highmountain Tauren) - Suramar (Nightborne) - Zandalari Empire (Zandalar Trolls) - Voldunai (Vulpera) - Other (non-playable races)
Other factions: The Old Horde/Iron Horde | The Scourge | Sylvanas and her followers (Sylvanas Windrunner) | Knights of the Ebon Blade | Illidan and his followers | Garrosh's Horde | Pandaria | Other mortals | The Void (The Old Gods) | The Light | Eternals | Shadowlands (Death) | The Titans (Arcane) | The Burning Legion (Fel) | The Dragonflights | Wild Gods
Individual media: Warcraft III Heroes | Film characters | Hearthstone characters | Warcraft characters in Heroes of the Storm (Assassins - Warriors - Support)
Nearly 25,000 years ago, the Eredar of Argus lived in peace. That didn't last. Their mastery of magic attracted the attention of the Burning Legion and its leader, Sargeras, led the Eredar into corruption. Two of the Eredar's three leaders, Kil'jaeden and Archimonde, fell into the corruption of fel magic. The third leader, Velen, prophesied what was to come and led those who would listen away from demonic corruption.
The uncorrupted Eredar were hunted by their kinsmen until the Naaru K'ure, an alien being of pure Light, came to rescue them. From then on, the uncorrupted Eredar were known as the "exiled ones" or "draenei" and fled Legion pursuit. After they finally seemed to lose the Legion, a weakened K'ure, unable to power its vessel, crashed into a planet and stranded the draenei. The draenei named the planet Draenor and were on relatively good terms with the native orcs.
However, the Legion would turn the orcs into a Horde and raze draenei civilization. Some of them mutated into "broken" and "lost ones" from a demonic taint that robbed them of their connection to the Light. New visitors, Illidan Stormrage, Lady Vashj, and Kael'thas Sunstrider, appeared on Outland years later, the Broken Akama and his Ashetongue Deathsworn joining them. The recovering survivors hid away for years until the Naaru came with a new vessel, Tempest Keep.
When Kael'thas came to the Netherstorm, he stormed Velen's refuge at Tempest Keep and stole its Naaru, M'uru, for himself. Velen and his followers sieged the keep to retake the Exodar wing and escape Draenor. They were successful but blood elf saboteurs caused them to crash on Azeroth. After this, the draenei joined forces with the Alliance to fight in Outland... and, arguably, haven't done much since then. That is, until a temporal disturbance caused the Draenor of old to re-emerge...
- A Day in the Limelight: They are the heaviest featured Alliance race in Warlords of Draenor and the final patch of Legion.
- Ascended Demon: From a meta perspective, as fel-corrupted Eredar were our first look at them as a race, but averted in universe.
- Big Red Devil: Face tentacles and blue skin aside, the draenei physically look like this. It's because their former kinsmen, the Eredar, fit this trope and the current incarnation of the draenei is far removed from their depiction in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.
- Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Even ignoring the copious Sexy Dimorphism, male and female draenei are oddly different. Males have a huge bony crest on their foreheads and tentacles on their chins. Females have a very small crest that's usually hidden under their bangs, smaller tentacles that come from behind their ears, and horns on their head which the males lack entirely. Going with their subversive demonic look, the women are clearly designed to look more like stereotypical devil girls than female versions of eredar. Interestingly Male Draenei that have become Lightforged can have horns like the women.
- Characterization Marches On: The draenei as they were introduced in Frozen Throne were completely different from the current incarnation, portrayed as far less humanoid, not necessarily blue-skinned and with a shaman tribe-based culture. Even gameplay-wise, they were stealthy rogue-like units rather than light-wielding paladins. When Burning Crusade came out, Blizzard retconned the original draenei as being former eredar and the draenei seen in Frozen Throne as being "Broken", a corrupt variant of the species.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: Similar to Quel'Thalas or Dalaran, with a more technologically advanced vibe. Added emphasis on crystal.
- Cute Monster Girl: While male draenei aren't exactly ugly, they still have a much more pronounced non-human design, while their female counterparts look like gorgeous blue women with horns, hooves, and a small tail.
- Expy: They seem suspiciously similar to the Overlords from Childhood's End, being aliens who look like large demons but are good.
- Fantastic Racism: Many of them tend to look down on Shamans, seeing their worship and bonds with the Elemental Spirits as anathema to the Light. The Broken were also not well-received at first due to their difformities, of them having lost their connection with the Light and the fact that it was a red mist of demonic origin that caused them to become Broken though Velen still welcomed them back and worked so they would have a better treatment. Some Draenei also, understandably, still have a grudge towards the Orcs and the Blood Elves for the atrocities they have inflicted on them despite having never provoked them.
- Gentle Giant: Not quite on the Taurens' level, but the average draenei still towers a human, and they are definitely noble and peaceful overall.
- Glowing Eyes: As a result of their connection with magic and the Light, Draenei have generally blue or purple glowing eyes.
- Ghost in the Machine: Draenei have vigilants, Golems that are created by binding the souls of holy warriors to defend their people after death, and it is considered a holy ritual and great honor.
- Good Is Not Soft: The draenei have spent so long running from the Legion and are so world-weary from losing home after home that they can be dissonantly violent and are capable of shocking brutality and mercilessness when they choose to stop running and fight. This is especially evident with the draenei on the alternate Draenor, who are still strong and numerous rather than a dying society of desperate survivors and actively pushing back against the Iron Horde, leaving mountains of orc corpses in their wake.
- Healing Hands: All draenei, regardless of their class, have a racial ability known as "Gift of the Naaru", which allows them to heal a small portion of someone's HP.
- Heavenly Blue: They have distinctive bright blue skin, and their entire culture is based around worshipping the closest thing Azeroth has to Angels.
- Higher-Tech Species: Noticeably and probably due to Naaru influence. They are capable of interstellar space flight, have holographic communicators, and live in a satellite to begin with.
- Holier Than Thou: Some draenei fall into this but it's been proven not to be true. In Cataclysm, there are draenei in the Cult of the Damned studying the techniques of a torture expert called "the Butcher" and draenei in the Twilight's Hammer trying to bring about the apocalypse. There are even a few draenei in the Shadow Council, which serves the Burning Legion, the draenei's Arch-Enemy faction.
- Honorable Elephant: Their Elekk mounts, many of whom are enhanced by holy light — and were noted to be gentle and docile before their domestication.
- Horrifying Hero: Played with; they don't look that frightening objectively, but in-universe, being uncorrupted Eredar, they look nearly identical to an entire group of demons, including Archimonde, who was personally responsible for most of the destruction during the Third War and came very close to destroying all of Azeroth. This resulted in a somewhat awkward first encounter with the Alliance, where they found a wounded Night Elf and nursed her back to health, only for her to yell in terror when she awakened surrounded by what she essentially saw as a group of Archimonde clones. Fortunately for them, their accomplishments since them have helped prove they were nothing like the Burning Legion Eredar, and they no longer cause that kind of reaction.
- Immortal Procreation Clause: Since draenei can live for eons, they have a very low birth rate. In Rise of the Horde, Durotan notes in a draenei village there is only one child, a girl. Years later when he's an adult, there is still only one child.
- Light Is Good: This is a religion to the humans, dwarves, high elves, and some gnomes but to the draenei it's their entire philosophy to the point that their leader is a prophet and they revere the Naaru who can be described as windchimes made of Light.
- Long-Lived: Draenei live for thousands of years. Many of the draenei actually remember their escape from Argus personally, despite it being over twenty-five thousand years ago.
- Magitek: The Draenei have very advanced technology such as teleportation devices, power generators, holographic projectors, long-distance communications devices, energy shields or armored mechanical constructs and they have used and even lived in several dimensional ships through all of their technological devices are made of crystals and powered by Arcane or Light magic. Their dimensional ships were also created by the Naaru though the Draenei have learned how to use and repair them.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
- After their arrival on Draenor the draenei were attacked by the ogres, who upon seeing the draenei raise so magnificent cities came to believe that it was because the draenei had found and stolen magic secrets from the defunct Gorian Empire as Shattrath was built on the place where Goria once stood. With their superior magic and technology, the draenei quickly defeated the ogres by easily killing their leader and using magic far superior to the ogres' while inflicting minimal losses to the Ogres. Instead of continuing the battle, the draenei offered the ogres the chance to leave in peace which they did. This act of mercy however left many of the orcs completely dumbfounded, which combined with the formidable display of arcane and holy magics unknown to the orcs, caused the orcs to become suspicious toward the draenei which would later help Kil'jaeden and Gul'dan manipulate the orcs into attacking the draenei.
- A group of draenei saved the young Durotan and Orgrim Doomhammer from an ogre and warmly welcomed them in their city of Telmor for the night. Years after both orcs would participate in the Draenei genocide (though both were manipulated just like the other orcs), and Durotan who had memorized the draenei's magic words to reveal Telmor's location would begrudgingly open the way for the Horde to sack the city and massacre the draenei here.
- Out of Focus: Besides the Gnomes, the draenei were one of the most Out of Focus races in the game, being left out for nearly every expansion after Burning Crusade. In fact, they're so much out of focus that in the novel Wolfheart the night elves assumed they had left the Alliance and so didn't invite Velen to the Alliance meeting. Eventually fixed in Warlords of Draenor and to a lesser extent Legion, where they play a major role.
- Primal Chest-Pound: Unlike the other races, who only do a Skyward Scream when using the "roar" emote, the male draenei thump their chest before roaring at the sky.
- Proportional Aging: Draenei live for tens of thousands of years, but take some time to mature to that point. When Durotan returns as an adult to a draenei village he came to as a child, he finds the same girl he saw there before having barely aged at all.
- Proud Scholar Race: Type II, with males built like tanks. See Space Elves.
- Rubber-Forehead Alien: Roughly human in appearance, apart from the horns, tail, hooves and their height. They're also the most "alien" of the playable races, being originally from a different planet than the others.
- Screw You, Elves!: Many of them seem to have this kind of view towards the Blood Elves, at least in The Burning Crusade, although after Velen purified the Sunwell this has largely faded with the two groups instead having an Odd Friendship despite being in separate factions.
- Space Elves: Type II. See Proud Scholar Race. They aren't particularly elven-looking, but they have a very mystical culture heavily based on philosophy, use advanced technology and literally arrived on Azeroth via a spaceship.
- Space Jews: Multiple Jewish fans have pointed out the parallels between the draenei and the Jewish people. Also, their ship is called the Exodar.
- Weird Beard: The men have a variable number of tentacles on their chins. The really weird part is they can also grow regular facial hair as well.
- White Magic: All draenei can channel a bit of Light to regenerate themselves or their allies using "Gift of the Naaru".
- You Can't Go Home Again: Zigzagged. During Legion the Draenei were able to return to Argus eventually. But upon seeing the terrible devastation, sorrow, and fel infestation that the Burning Legion inflicted upon their beloved homeworld, Velen and the rest of the Draenei were forced to admit that they could never resettle on it again and left it behind at the end of the expansion.
Voiced by: Alan Shearman (English), Igor Staroseltsev (Russian)
During the Pandaria campaign, Velen is called upon to tend to Anduin when the latter is critically wounded by Garrosh. Later, during Garrosh's trial, Tyrande, the prosecutor, calls upon Velen in an attempt to discredit the Horde by having him tell the court of his people's near genocide at the Orcs' hands. While Velen does not deny that his people suffered terribly at the Orcs' hands, he reaffirmed that he does not believe the entirety of the Horde nor the Orcs should bear the full blame for the massacre. During the Legion's devastating Third Invasion, he became one of the main leaders alongside Khadgar, Maiev, and Illidan of the united Horde and Alliance forces arrayed against the Legion, spearheading the Argus Campaign that sought to end the Burning Crusade once and for all.
- A Father to His Men: More like a grandfather due to his age and appearance but Velen cares very strongly for the well-being and survival of his people and was devastated by the horrible massacre of his people on Draenor. When the Old Horde was about to assault Shattrah City Velen wanted to stay here with the defenders and to die with them but was convinced by them to let them sacrifice themselves to allow him and the rest of their people to go in hiding, though not before Velen gave them a final and sorrowful blessing with the light.
- Alas, Poor Villain: After Kil'jaeden is defeated for a final time above Argus, at the end of his life, Velen wordlessly places his hand on the much larger Kil'jaeden's forehead, implying he had forgiven Kil'jaeden for going down the path of the Legion.
- All-Loving Hero: Velen is one of the kindest and most compassionate characters in Warcraft universe, showing concern and care for all life and lamenting the destruction of life by the Burning Legion, even in worlds where he has never actually been. He also welcomed Nobundo and the rest of the Broken inside Draenei society despite them having been deformed by demonic energies and lost the ability to feel the Light. He was willing to forgive the members of the Horde despite everything they did to his people, even Kil'jaeden despite his countless horrific crimes and all the suffering he inflicted on the Draenei on Draenor and Azeroth.
- Archnemesis Dad: Inverted. In Legion, his old pal Kil'jaeden is revealed to have kidnapped his son and raised the kid to become a demonic Eredar. Kil'jaeden then sent the son to lead a demonic army to destroy the Exodar.
- Barrier Warrior: When the Burning Legion attacks the Exodar, Velen protects his people with an absolutely massive barrier of Light that instantly incinerates any demon that run into it.
- Broken Pedestal:
- Played with in Warlords of Draenor. In the alternate timeline, some of his people have lost faith in his prophecies and ability to lead after he failed to predict/prevent the arrival of the Iron Horde. However, after his Heroic Sacrifice, there are many who mourn him.
- After the Wham Episode in the battle for Exodar, Velen's trust in the light is fragmented and leaves him bitter and vengeful towards the Legion. Illidan jeers him when they're heading to Argus for putting all their faith in the light and he very noticeably turns away and doesn't refute him, and he's horrified when Xe'ra tries to force Illidan's destiny on him, and unlike Turalyon and the Lightforged, somewhat admits she deserved getting killed in retaliation. A very downplayed example though, as while he's been tested, he still believes in the Light's benevolence; he just isn't sure the Light knows best anymore.
- Badass Boast: Everloving he may be, this old man can throw down.Velen: [when attacked] How unfortunate... for you.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Velen may be one of the most gentle and forgiving characters in Warcraft but it would be a great mistake to think him as harmless, having formidable magical powers and an unmatched mastery of the Light powers.
- Cain and Abel: A line made at the Sunwell Plateau implies he and Kil'jaeden are brothers. This is almost certainly figurative, but even so were very close before they left Argus.
- Cassandra Truth: Kil'jaeden and Archimonde don't believe him even when he psychically shares his vision with them. It's what makes him realize that they're too far gone to be saved.
- Cool Old Guy:
- To the point that he's essentially a blue-skinned Expy of Gandalf.
- Later becomes a mentor to Anduin in the ways of the light, becoming the Obi-Wan Kenobi to Anduin's Luke Skywalker.
- Elderly Immortal: While he's not the only draenei who remembers Argus (Velen's immortality has been recently confirmed, and all uncorrupted draenei are known to be either The Ageless or just ridiculously Long-Lived), he's one of the few who actually looks old, though flashbacks show that his hair was still black when they lived on Argus.
- Expendable Alternate Universe: Velen's alternate universe counterpart is the first person Alliance players meet after escaping Tanaan Jungle in Warlords of Draenor. He then sacrifices himself halfway through the Shadowmoon Valley storyline.
- Good Shepherd: In a way. He chose to be exiled and "betrayed" someone he loved as a brother rather than see all of his race changed into demons. Also in his backstory, he heals people once he understands he needs to live more in the now than in the past or the future.
- Heroic BSoD: When he finally figures out that the demonic eredar he had a vision of was his own son, he basically tells the player to leave with the MacGuffin they were trying to unlock, and orders the Exodar to be repaired for a flight to Argus. Pretty much everyone is left speechless at this reaction.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The Alternate Timeline Velen in Warlords of Draenor sacrifices himself to purify the Dark Star and turn it back into the naaru K'ara.
- Healing Hands: Well, he is both a draenei and a Priest, so this is a given.
- Holy Hand Grenade: He's very skilled with using the Light as an offensive weapon, should he need to defend himself.
- Light 'em Up: He will demonstrate that not all White Magic is for healing if a raid comes to the Exodar.
- Magic Staff: Carries a staff with large purple and glowing crystals on top.
- The Mentor: Velen was Anduin's personal tutor in the ways of the Light to become a priest.
- Messianic Archetype: Pretty much a mash-up of Judeo-Christian figures. Leads his people out of slavery to the Burning Legion, is noted for his power of prophecy, and in an alternate timeline willingly sacrifices himself to purify a Naaru and save his people.
- Nice Guy: One of the nicest people in the whole setting. He was even nice enough to forgive Kil'Jaeden when he died.
- Odd Friendship: With Durotan in Rise of the Horde. Also with Illidan in Legion's "Shadow of Argus" as one is a Light-infused holy prophet and the other is a Fel-infused Demon Hunter. They spend the entire campaign in Argus verbally quipping at each other about their life choices, but by the end when Illidan decides to stay behind, they both genuinely smile at each other and give each other a nod of approval.
- Old Master: He is old enough to remember Argus, the home of the draenei and eredar, which he left over 25,000 years ago. He is also an incredibly powerful wielder of the Light and his people's leader.
- Out-of-Character Moment: A bizarre example: his counsel regarding the emergence of Deathwing in Cataclysm was to completely abandon Azeroth. This may seem fair enough at first, what with Velen having taken this approach to the Legion many times in the past, but given he has the power of foresight and Deathwing's "breaking of the world" ultimately amounted to very little (not to mention barely effecting the draenei at all), in hindsight it seems like a strangely myopic piece of advice to have given.
- Prophecies Are Always Right: Averted in Warlords of Draenor: Velen can see the most likely way things will go, according to what he says, and depending on the outcome, he can take steps to either bring it to pass or avoid it.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Nobundo tells new draenei shamans how Velen supported draenei becoming shamans when it was less accepted among the draenei.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: When Archimonde and Kiljaeden decide to take Sargeras's offer, Velen decides to take those he trusts and flees Argus with them and the Naaru.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: A godlike being went willingly into torturous enslavement because Velen knew it would happen.
- Universally Beloved Leader: Outside of a very few who became corrupted and joined demonic forces in AU Draenor all of the Draenei love and deeply respect their prophet. Before the Horde assault on Shattrath Velen wanted to stay and die with the people here but the other Draenei convinced him to leave and many were perfectly willing to sacrifice themselves for him and the rest of their people.
- Wizard Beard: Has a long, flowing white beard.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Because there are a bunch of demons there that want to kill you horribly; it's stated in one of the dungeon entries in Warlords of Draenor that Argus is the stronghold of the Burning Legion.
- Defied in Legion. After the Legion invades the Exodar, led by Velen's own son who is killed in the fight, Velen orders the Exodar readied for flight, declaring they are returning home.
- You Don't Look Like You: His in-game model and most of his artwork (including his character image above) depict him with a dark purple skin tone. But in most literature, it is alabaster white.
Voiced by: Neil Kaplan (English), Vasily Dakhnenko (Russian)
A younger, unbroken Nobundo is a minor character in Warlords of Draenor, first helping to defend Auchindoun from the Burning Legion and then later aiding the Furies of Nagrand to find Gordawg and battle Cho'gall at Oshu'gun.
- All of the Other Reindeer: The uncorrupted draenei deliberately isolate the Broken, and the adoption of shamanism ("an orcish practice") is not received well at first.
- Discard and Draw: He loses his paladin powers after exposure to demonic energies at Shattrath, but the subsequent loss of purpose and identity left him open to the elements' entreaties.
- Elemental Powers: He was the first draenei to become a shaman.
- Good Counterpart: To Lady Liadrin in The Burning Crusade. Both played similar roles and both share similar backstories, but while Nobundo accepted his lost connection the Light and embraced a new way of life, Liadrin, despite swearing off the Light in anger, continued to wield it by forcing it to obey her will.
- Handicapped Badass: Aside from being a Broken, he seems to be somewhat arthritic, and was injured in the siege of Shattrath.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He and the others at Shattrath only stayed behind to trick the orcs (and Kil'jaeden) into believing that all the draenei were dead.
- Hope Bringer: To Akama at the very least, and possibly many more considering he brought with him new magic that would help the draenei survive.
- Look What I Can Do Now!: The moment that he stands up to the draenei opposing him.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Complete with nightmares, though he seemed to be getting better by the end of Unbroken.
Voiced by: Crispin Freeman (English), Anton Morozov (Russian)
- Aborted Arc: Early information regarding Warlords of Draenor suggested that he would play a much larger and more involved role than he ultimately did.
- Anti-Magic: He can use his paladin powers to negate a dark shaman's attempts at spellcasting.
- Ascended Extra: He started out as the unnamed draenei who appeared in the cinematic trailer for The Burning Crusade, then he appeared in the comics and as a minor NPC in Northrend, and now he's a major character in Warlords of Draenor.
- The Atoner: He is deeply haunted by his failure to save his people from the Horde and goes to great lengths to atone for his mistakes. In particular, he regrets taking vengeance against a band of orcs over protecting the refugees under his charge, which led to their deaths.
- Barrier Warrior: Able to shield either himself or others from with the Light in an instant, be it artillery or explosions. He gives his life shielding Yrel instead of himself.
- Collateral Angst: In his first role in the game as anything more than a cameo, he's quickly killed off to inspire Yrel and ultimately lead her to becoming an Exarch. Stands out especially because the draenei are low on notable characters thanks to being Out of Focus as a race, and Yrel is from an Expendable Alternate Universe and stays there.
- Drop the Hammer: His favored weapon is a large crystal hammer. Players can get a copy of it for themselves.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He's the draenei paladin in the Burning Crusade cinematic.
- Good Is Not Nice: He gets downright scary when he's angry.
- Good Is Not Soft: While friendly enough, he can be rather ruthless and is not afraid to get his hands dirty.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: He always wears full plate armor, except he never puts on a helmet.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When Blackhand blows up the deck of his own battleship, he decides to shield Yrel with the Light over himself, costing him his life.
- Light 'em Up: He's a very capable Light-user, managing to face off against a dark shaman and keep him at bay despite not having slept for six days.
- Magic Knight: While already a highly capable warrior, he's no slouch with the Light.
- Mr. Exposition: He narrates the Warlords miniseries. In-universe, he is teaching Varian the history and personalities of the leaders of the Iron Horde.
- My Greatest Failure: During the original siege on Shattrath, Maraad was supposed to be leading a group of refugees to safety, but instead told them to take a supposedly safe tunnel while he avenged his comrades. After killing one of the orc leaders, he found the corpses of the refugees he was supposed to be protecting, and this drives his zeal to take the fight to the Iron Horde.
- The Paladin: The most notable of the draenei paladins in fact.
- Revenge Before Reason: During the orc attack on Shattrath, Maraad chose to seek out battle against a group of orcs rather than protect refugees like he was supposed to. This choice ultimately cost the refugees their lives.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: His motivation, though since it's an Alternate Timeline nothing in the present will actually change.
- Tragic Keepsake: His hammer, which has a crack from crushing an orc's skull, reminds him of his failure to protect a group of refugees.
- Trauma Conga Line: First he loses his sister to rape and murder, then he watches the orcs slaughter his people across Draenor, and lastly the civilians he was charged to protect all die under his watch. It's no wonder Maraad wants to change things so badly in Warlords.
- Unstoppable Rage: When he gets mad, Maraad is NOT one to be messed with, seemingly possessing a bloodlust that rivals that of orcs when he's pissed, something noted by Varian Wrynn, himself no stranger to anger or desire for vengeance.
Voiced by: Erin Fitzgerald (English), Natalia Kolodyazhnaya (Russian)
During the events of Battle for Azeroth, several decades have passed in the alternate Draenor with the Draenei and Mag'har joining together to oust the Legion from the planet. Without an enemy to focus on, the Draenei led by the Naaru turned into an extremist cult bent on converting everyone on Draenor whether they liked it or not, intending to use them as a launching pad to spread 'order' throughout the cosmos.
- Action Girl: While she first starts out having killed somebody for the first time, she quickly steps even further up.
- Badass Boast: When facing down Blackhand, he turns towards her, amused, after she distracts him from killing Durotan.Blackhand: What do you want, little girl?
Yrel: Your head.
- Badass in Charge: Takes a leading role towards the end of Shadowmoon. She's eventually made an Exarch, one of the overall leaders of draenei society.
- Badass in Distress: The player first meets her while freeing her from enslavement to the Iron Horde in the introduction questline.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Despite failing to prevent a number of Mag'har escaping to our Azeroth in the Mag'har storyline, she's able to conquer her version of Draenor.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Velen notes with dismay that she might be his brightest student, but she'd much rather play around than sit still and learn.
- Drop the Hammer: Picks up a large crystal hammer after the Battle for Shattrath. Specifically, it's Maraad's.
- Easily Forgiven: At the end of Warlords of Draenor, she, along with everyone else, seemingly completely forgive the Iron Horde for trying to kill or conquer everyone on Draenor. She and Grom work together to throw out the Legion.
- FaceHeel Turn: As Grom puts it, she and the Lightbound more or less got bored with no more demons to fight and decided to spread the Light through the cosmos. Whether people wanted to convert or not.
- Fallen Hero: As revealed during the Mag'har recruitment Quests, Yrel now leads a band of draenei, ogres and orcs collectively called the the Lightbound. People can choose to convert, they can be forced to convert, or they can die.
- Fire-Forged Friends: A missive from her indicates that she considers Grom a good friend after working together with him for some years.
- Give Me a Sword: Or an axe. When Blackhand is holding her by the neck mocking her for trying to fight him alone, she sees Durotan standing behind him and mutters, "Together." Durotan throws her his axe, and she plunges it into Blackhand's neck.
- Healing Hands: She's good enough of a healer to instantly heal up Durotan from a distance.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: While she gradually picks up more and more armor, she doesn't put on a single helm.
- Informed Flaw: Everyone at first treats her as an unlikely hero who's too young and inexperienced and only knows how to heal, but it isn't supported by the narrative. You meet her in a Damsel out of Distress moment, having overpowered her much larger and combat-experienced guard with her bare hands, and it goes from there. When her sister is killed off to inspire her, she vows to start fighting, except she's already been showing everyone else up by that point. The earliest playable versions of Warlords of Draenor had things in a different order, and the early beta versions had dialogue that implied there were different plans for her originally. This implies that her original character arc may have played out her flaws more naturally, but when things were moved around, it left things being inconsistent and contradictory.
- Ironic Echo: "In the Light we are one." Maraad's last words when he performed a Heroic Sacrifice to save her was used by Yrel to rally the Lightbound to forcibly convert and eradicate the Mag'har orcs.
- Jeanne d'Archétype: Specifically compared to Joan of Arc by Dave Kosak.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Many of the Mag'har she seeks to conquer and enslave were once members of the Iron Horde who did the same to her people. However, the fact that she does not discriminate betweem them and their former allies such as the Frostwolves and the Laughing Skull plants her firmly as a villain.
- Knight Templar: Yrel becomes one in Battle for Azeroth, and leads a faction of them. She decides there needs to be more Light and order in the universe and decides to bring it about forcibly — through cultural genocide. Anyone who chooses not to convert, and can't be forced is killed.
- Magic Knight: She had the "Magic" part well handled before, but quickly picks up on the 'Knight' part when it becomes time to fight the Iron horde.
- The Paladin: She starts out as a priestess, but picks up plate and weapons to fight the Iron Horde.
- Power Gives You Wings: When she and Durotan defeat Blackhand, she charges Durotan's axe with Light and grows large, glowing wings as she plunges the axe into Blackhand's neck.
- The Power of Friendship: Uses this to great effect with Frostwolf Warlord Durotan to defeat Blackhand.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: The deaths of her sister, Prophet Velen, and Maraad served as her Start of Darkness. Later coupled by the Evil Power Vacuum left behind by the destruction of not only the Iron Horde and Fel Horde; but also the collapse of the Highmaul Ogres and The Adherents of Rukhmar would have seen her taking full advantage of the situation presented to her as the de-facto leader of the Draenei to turn them into The Lightbound.
- Shadow Archetype: She and her Lightbound show that even as righteous as the Lightforged seem, they could easily get out of hand and become a serious threat to life on Azeroth. They already miss torturing demons.
- Took a Level in Badass: Over the course of Warlords of Draenor. You meet her as a scared prisoner, but later she goes toe-to-toe with a massive orc warlord.
One of the five Exarchs and the Speaker for the Dead, Maladaar is a prominent figure in Warlords of Draenor. He leads the Auchenai, a group of soulpriests who watch over the holy sanctuary of Auchindoun.
- Action Dad: Maladaar is the adoptive father of Soulbinder Tuulani.
- A Father to His Men: His love for his people is undeniable. See the quote above.
- Ascended Extra: Maladaar was a minor dungeon villain in The Burning Crusade, having been driven to madness by the destruction of Auchindoun in the main timeline. In Warlords of Draenor, a sane Maladaar is one of the most prominent and powerful figures in draenei society, and plays a large role in several zones and quests.
- Backup from Otherworld: He fights directly with the aid of summoned spirits.
- Badass in Charge: A political leader, a spiritual leader, and one tough customer.
- Badass in Distress: He was sold to the Iron Horde by Othaar, who wanted to make sure his opposition was out of the way. Sure enough, Maladaar's intervention eventually uncovers the traitor's identity.
- Barrier Warrior: Uses the Light to shield himself and his allies. He uses it to great effect in the fight against Socrethar in Shattrath alongside Liadrin and the player.
- Death Equals Redemption: In the main timeline, after his death he is redeemed by the Naaru D'Ore, and thanks you for mercy killing him.
- Failed a Spot Check: A somewhat justified example. He doesn't like suspecting his brethren of treachery, but he nonetheless identifies and drives out corruption where he finds it, even among the exarchs. Unfortunately, his efforts are subverted by Nyami, one of his own soulpriests, whose treachery he was unable to uncover.
- Holy Hand Grenade: Most of his Light usage is centered around protection, but he will readily use the Light to smite his foes just as well.
- Interspecies Friendship: He and Lady Liadrin seem to have this dynamic, fighting together several times and showing mutual respect. This is likely a throwback to the eventual draenei/blood elf cooperation in The Burning Crusade.
- The Leader: He's the most prominent exarch aside from perhaps Yrel and usually the one taking center stage and imparting words of wisdom. This is particularly important after Velen's death, and he also spearheads the reclamation of Shattrath in lieu of Othaar, who betrayed his people.
- Light The Way: He's a capable paladin, calling upon the Light primarily to shield himself and his allies.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Along with his sword, he wields a shield featuring the glowing crest of the draenei.
- Necromancer: In the main timeline, he turned to necromancy. In the Alternate timeline, his soul priest abilities make him a more traditional and positive example.
- Only Sane Man: The other exarchs are by no means incompetent, but their squabbling and opposing ideologies tends to slow down their progress. Maladaar is much more proactive, and is willing to cross boundaries for the good of the draenei. This is especially ironic given that he is completely insane in the main timeline.
- The Paladin: Specifically a protection paladin, but he also fights with the aid of willing spirits of the dead.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: In the main timeline, he wears larger black and red armor.
- Spanner in the Works: To Othaar.
- Trial by Combat: Presides over one during the garrison campaign, fighting alongside Naielle and Akama.
- Villain Has a Point: Admits this regarding Socrethar, stating that the draenei must not become complacent.
- We Used to Be Friends: He has this attitude towards Othaar, even hoping he finds peace after killing him.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The Maghar recruitment questline does not address Maladaar's fate in Yrel's new order, though considering he was the Only Sane Man, it is unlikely he would agree wit her.