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Characters / Warcraft The Horde Darkspear Tribe

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A character subpage for the WarCraft universe, including World of Warcraft. For the main character page, see here. For the Horde character page, see here.

The Prophet Zul: Vol'jin! Of the Darkspear! You would turn your back on your own people?
Vol'jin: The Horde is my people. If it be war you bring, then I stand against you.
The Icon of Shadows

The savage trolls of Azeroth are infamous for their cruelty, dark mysticism, and seething hatred for all other races. Yet one exception among the trolls is the Darkspear tribe and its cunning leader, Vol’jin. Plagued by a history of subservience and exile, this proud tribe was on the brink of extinction when Warchief Thrall and his mighty Horde forces were driven to the trolls’ remote island home in the South Seas during a violent storm.

Led at that time by Vol’jin’s wise father, Sen’jin, the Darkspears abandoned their prejudices and worked together with Thrall’s orcs to defeat a group of humans encroaching on the jungle isle. With unparalleled bravery, the trolls fought side by side with the Horde to secure victory, but tragedy befell the Darkspears soon afterward. Intent on appeasing a mysterious sea witch, a frenzied band of murlocs captured the isle’s defenders. Although a number of the imprisoned orcs and trolls managed to escape, the noble Sen’jin was slain by his captors.

In Sen’jin’s honor, Thrall welcomed the Darkspears into the Horde and offered them sanctuary in a new kingdom that he planned to create across the Great Sea. The trolls accepted Thrall’s offer, and Vol’jin eventually led his tribe to the vibrant jungles of the Echo Isles located just off the rugged coastline of Durotar.

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    General Tropes 
  • All Trolls Are Different: The Darkspear are jungle trolls (sometimes known as island trolls in reference to their exile to remote islands), which are for the most part tall and slim, with short blue fur. As a whole, Warcraft's Trolls as a whole tend to be very different from the usual giant Dumb Muscle fantasy archetype, being physically weaker than orcs (though still pretty strong) and cunning. They do however have the usual Healing Factor.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: While the smallest playable population, only rivaled by the gnomes, angering the Darkspear tribe tends to be a bad idea as they are determined, and have almost never come out on the true losing side.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Ride bats as flying mounts, and worship a bat Loa named Hir'eek. Troll Druids also transform into bats as their Flight Form as opposed to birds as all other Druid races do.
  • The Berserker: An iconic troll class in the RTS were Muscular Trolls who functioned as ranged Glass Cannons with an above average Healing Factor. Though aside from a few exceptions such as the Warrior Trainer, Berserker Zanga, Troll Berserkers have been Demoted to Extra in WoW. In recent years, they are commonly confused with Dire Trolls, of which the Darkspear have none of. Troll players also have the Berserking racial, which is pulled right off the Darkspear Berserker from Warcraft III.
  • The Determinator:
    • "Darkspear never die." They lost multiple homes multiple times. First, they were kicked from Stranglethorn. Then, the Sea Witch Zar'jira sunk the eternally rain swept Islands they moved onto. Then, after moving to their new home, the Echo Isles, they had to evacuate to escape a naval attack by Daelin Proudmoore, and then they had to leave again because Zalazane betrayed the tribe, enslaved the majority of their tribesmen, and kept the isles for himself. Every time after, adventurer after adventurer went to kill Zalazane, but every time they returned his head, it was revealed to either be a coconut with a magical disguise, or the head of a Voodoo Slave. Vol'jin finally led the Trolls back to successfully reclaim the isles (And recruit the Druids as well). Despite all of this, the Darkspear are the single most successful Troll tribe. Whereas all of the others are falling to corruption, and despite all they've been through, the Darkspear are the most powerful troll tribe on Azeroth, rivaled only by the Zandalari.
    • This is also present in their combat style. Their natural regeneration and their berserker nature makes it so they're most dangerous when cornered. A troll can survive many wounds, and dish pain back ten times over.
  • Fanservice: The most popular... Uhm... Yaoi and Yuri race in World of Warcraft by the fans.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: They have jamaican accents and practice Hollywood Voodoo, with some Darkest Africa and Mayincatec thrown in.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: The Darkspear trolls worship many Loa.
  • Foil: While the other troll tribes brood on old defeats and seek only to reclaim past glories, the Darkspear "live in the future", forging ahead and leaving old prejudices behind.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: Not once have they ever tried to summon one of their Loa to assist them in a war. The only thing close enough was Bwonsamdi — Who was already living on the Echo Isles and was merely forgotten by the Darkspear until Vol'jin found him. Many troll tribes across Azeroth have summoned Loa, either to help them, or to drain the Loa's power for themselves, but the Darkspear seem to forget they are backed by Physical Gods.
  • The Giant: Of the playable characters. Male trolls are huge, though their slumped and half crouched posture makes it hard to notice most of the time. However, one will occasionally stretch out their shoulders/back and you will suddenly realize these guys are over eight and a half feet tall. Head and shoulders taller then a male Tauren, the next tallest PC.
  • Going Native: There is a small faction of trolls that have adopted Tauren culture as their own, abandoning their worship of the Loa to worship the Earth Mother instead. The Darkspear call these individuals "blue Tauren" for no longer behaving like trolls.
  • Healing Factor:
    • All trolls are blessed by the loa with regeneration. Depending on a troll's status with the loa, this ability can be enhanced so far as to regenerate faster than fire burns, or cursed to the point where you don't heal at all, even at normal pace. Most trolls can regenerate minor organs and digits, and full limbs are rarer but far from unheard of.
    • There is a sword called Trol'kalar ("Troll Slayer" in the Human tongue), currently in the hands of the Forsaken, that has the power of negating a troll's Healing Factor when they're cut by it. Vol'jin actually concocted a plot at one point to obtain the sword and use it against Hakkar the Soulflayer and his minions in Stranglethorn Vale, though Stromgarde troops intercepted the courier that the player hands the sword to at the end of the quest line.
  • Javelin Thrower: Their weapons of choice. In the Siege of Orgrimmar, they even have massive, javelin launching siege weapons.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Once upon a time, the Darkspear practiced ritual sacrifice and cannibalism (a practice shared by most other major tribes), and weren't picky which race they came from. This habit was already falling out of favor within the Darkspear by the time of Warcraft III though, and they were happy to oblige when Thrall outlawed it outright as a stipulation of the Darkspear officially joining his Horde.
  • I Owe You My Life: The reason for them joining the orcs.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Darkspear Trolls (And other Trolls aligned with the Horde) have this general perception of other tribes. While the Zandalari have their heads in the clouds and are trying to rebuild an empire they've never truly known, the Darkspear have become the most prosperous tribe by working with the reality of the world and carving their own place in it.
  • Natural Weapon: Averted with their tusks, played straight with their claws. Player character trolls actually don't have claws/sharp nails, but trolls in art are frequently depicted with them and have been shown to use them in lore, and don't use their tusks to fight.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Trolls aren't opposed to using darker magics or questionable tactics for survival. Most people would think languishing under Garrosh's oppressive heel was cowardly and dishonorable, but the Trolls saw it as simply biding their time, like a serpent curled up and waiting to strike.
  • Primal Stance: Many Trolls are depicted with this stance, even before WoW. Zandalari trolls, being a more "civilized" tribe, tend to be shown standing up straight in contrast to their savage brethren, which only emphasizes how massive trolls actually are as detailed above.
  • Raptor Attack: Raptors are the best friend of all trolls, the only animal who's ferocity and hunting instinct perfectly match that of a savage troll. All trolls have been known to tame and ride raptors, but the Darkspear in particular seem to have a special kinship with them. They even follow the Raptor Loa, Gonk the Great Hunter.
  • The Sacred Darkness: Somewhat. Trolls don't worship darkness itself, but their loa are considered dark gods. Their shadow spells are more clean and shadow like, thought of as 'natural' darkness, as opposed to demonic and Old God darkness which involves a lot of corrupting tendrils and Mind Rape. Troll Druid trainers say, "Dark is the jungle, but fertile is its soil."
  • Shrunken Head: Often show up in their culture, as trophies collected by their Headhunters or magic items used by their Witch Doctors.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Particularly in Mists Of Pandaria where they they get forced into a damaging war with their True Companions!
  • Tribal Facepaint: Many trolls, including players, can have their faces covered in war paint. This is particularly popular among headhunters/axethrowers, and Berserkers.
  • Verbal Tic: Even Vol'jin isn't above using 'mon' at the end of a lot of sentences.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The Darkspears have been kicked out of their homes no less than three times. They were forced to flee the jungles of Stranglethorn by boat in order to avoid being crushed by the other, larger tribes' violence. They landed on a chain of isles where they got by until the Sea Witch Zar'jira sicced an army of murlocs on them and then blew the place up. Hitching a ride with the orcs, they settled on the Echo Isles close to mainland Kalimdor, where they were soon forced to evacuate to escape first the armada of Daelin Proudmoore and then later the dark magic of Zalazane.



Chieftain of the Darkspear, (former) Warchief

Class: Shadow Hunter

Voiced by: Dave Fennoy (English), Alexey Kolgan (Russian/Warcraft III), Vladislav Kopp (Russian/World of Warcraft)

"You, Taran Zhu, have your family to care for here. So does Chen. Tyrathan gonna return to his family. The Horde be my family. Just as Tyrathan can't let his family believe he be dead, nor can I do that to the Horde. They deserve peace, too, and my accepting it here would deny it to them. ... Can or cannot doesn't matter. Shadow Hunter or troll doesn't matter. Vol'jin Darkspear not gonna do it. That be not who I am. Time come that I be reminding my enemies of that fact, and making them pay for the evil they've wrought."

Chieftain of the Darkspear Tribe of Trolls. He joined up with the Horde in Warcraft III (as seen in the demo of Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne expansion) after Thrall & co. saved his tribe from the wrath of a naga Sea Witch (later named Zar'jira) and her murloc minions. He took the role of leader after the death of his father Sen'jin at the hands of one of Zar'jira's worshippers. As a Shadow Hunter, Vol'jin was raised with savage training as a Headhunter, which led into more magical studies when he became older, and started communing with Loa and other ancestral spirits.

For most of WoW's life, he has played a minor role compared to other Horde leaders. In the story, he served as Thrall's most trusted adviser and agent, leading Orgrimmar in Thrall's stead if the latter were to leave the city, and giving the Warchief advice, in which case, Vol'jin excelled in both diplomacy and military tactics. Things, however, took a turn for the worse when Thrall named Garrosh Hellscream as his successor.

While Vol'jin, as well as the other advisers, attempted to reason with Garrosh, he was too impulsive, arrogant, and hot-blooded to listen to them. In a heated exchange, after Garrosh killed Cairne Bloodhoof in Mak'gora, Vol'jin left the city of Orgrimmar with a single promise — if Garrosh continued to lead the Horde down a dark path, Vol'jin would take it upon himself to end his reign swiftly and silently. This came to a head during Garrosh's Pandaria campaign, where Vol'jin approached the Warchief with a final warning; bringing war to Pandaria's shores wouldn't unite the conquered under the Horde's banner, but make them turn against Garrosh, lest they be ruled by a tyrant. Garrosh responded by having an assassin attempt to slay Vol'jin.

With a poisoned dagger plunged into his throat, Vol'jin wandered the wilds of Pandaria, with only his Trollish regeneration keeping him alive, until he came across an old friend in Chen Stormstout. Chen took him to the Shado-Pan where he could recover from his wounds. After an adventure at the side of Chen and the Shado-Pan, Vol'jin resolved to return to Durotar and begin a rebellion against Garrosh. He was successful, pulling almost the entire Horde to his side, with Orgrimmar being the final holdout.

During the Siege of Orgrimmar, Vol'jin had a choice. He could plunge deeper into Garrosh's underground fortress and slay him, as he promised. But Orgrimmar was being sacked, and people, both innocent and guilty, friendly and hostile, were dying as the Alliance looted the streets. Vol'jin resolved to leave Garrosh to Thrall and the nameless champions of the Horde and Alliance, so he could unite the Revolution with the defeated defenders of Orgrimmar, bring peace to the city up above, and end the chaotic bloodshed. He placed the safety of his city and his people over his personal feud with Garrosh Hellscream.

After Garrosh's fall, Vol'jin was unanimously named Warchief of the Horde. Sadly when the Burning Legion returned, Vol'jin was mortally wounded in battle at the Broke Shore. Before he passed on, he named Sylvanas as the future Warchief.

  • Above the Influence: During his stay with the Zandalari, it's said that, were he so inclined, the Zandalari woman, Khal'ak, who was trying to convince him to align his Tribe with the Zandalari, would have slept with him. But he avoids it so she doesn't think she has him under her control.
  • Ascended Extra: One of the biggest examples in Warcraft, next to Varian Wrynn himself. Vol'jin was just a questgiver in Warcraft III, and in WoW, had even less of an impact. He had a small, token job of tapping the Keg at Brewfest every year, but that's all he did until Wrath, where he made a cameo in the Battle for Undercity. After Zalazane's Fall, he became one of, if not THE most beloved, Horde leader by fans, thus slingshotting him to Warcraft stardom.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Vol'jin is the central character in Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde, similar to how Jaina was in Tides of War, and Thrall was in Twilight of the Aspects.
  • A Father to His Men: "The Horde be my family. It be my duty to give everything for my family."
  • Always Second Best: Not Vol'jin himself, but Zalazane was second best to Vol'jin. Some members of the Tribe, before joining the Horde, thought Zalazane would become the Darkspear Chieftain, because Vol'jin was destined for bigger things.
  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Armor-Piercing Question: On the receiving end of one from Taran Zhu, when a random blizzard consumes Kun Lai, and Tyrathan is up on his normal trek up the mountain, Vol'jin is eager to go and help search for and rescue him in the blizzard, but Taran Zhu prevents him from doing so.
    Taran Zhu: Is it to save the man that you wish to act, or to preserve your self-conception as a hero? I expect much dusting to be done before you have reached the truth.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The questline upon becoming Revered with the Zandalari Empire reveals that Vol'jin is not dancing in the Shadowlands with Bwonsamdi, and has in fact broken his bargain. Bwonsamdi, Eyir and even the Lich King have no idea what's going on with him. In Shadowlands, its revealed that his ties to Azeroth are keeping his soul grounded, much like the player, and this all finally culminates when a dying Rezan imbues him with the last of his essence, turning him into the new Loa of Kings.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: With the other leaders, after becoming Warchief.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: From this day forward, Vol'jin -- if you lead, I will follow.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With Chen Stormstout in this official artwork, but beware, Covers Always Lie.
  • Badass Boast:
    • From the Troll starting zone:
      Vol'jin: ...when tha time comes dat ya failure is complete and ya "power" is meaningless, I will be dere to end ya rule, swiftly and silently. Ya will spend ya reign glancin' over ya shoulda and fearin' tha shadows, for when tha time comes and ya blood be slowly drainin' out, ya will know exactly who fired da arrow dat pierced ya heart.
    • Another excellent one in Shadows of the Horde when he, Tyrathan, Chen, and Brother Cuo are imprisoned on the Isle of Thunder. It's delivered at the moment that Vol'jin decides to stop playing along with the Zandalari priestess Khal'ak and start kicking ass:
      Vol'jin: [snaps the golden chain linking his manacles with a simple flick of his wrist] They built this prison to hold Zandalari. I be more. I be Darkspear. I be shadow hunter. Time we be informing them just how bad a mistake they've made.
    • And possibly his best one yet, when Varian Wrynn demands to speak to the Warchief of the Horde, which Vol'jin had become, oh, ten seconds earlier:
      Vol'jin: I speak for de Horde.
  • Badass Creed: "Darkspear never die."
  • Badass in Distress: Garrosh attempts to have him assassinated. Not only does he survive, he survives having a poisoned dagger buried in his throat. No stitches or bandages, and he could even talk afterwards (Although his speech was kind of impaired). He is able to get away and float down a river until he's discovered by Chen Stormstout, who assists him in healing by using acupuncture to finally dispel the poison so his regeneration can work. Which, by the way, only takes a few months. Of course, trolls have a Healing Factor, but that doesn't diminish the badassery of it (note that it was a poison made specifically for killing trolls by blocking said Healing Factor).
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Not his normal fighting style, but he did volunteer in Monk training during his stay at the Shado-Pan Monastery for exercise and to strengthen himself. He hasn't fought like a monk for the most part, but he does use a lesson Taran Zhu taught him to break through stone blocks to punch through people's skulls. He also used the technique on the Broken Shore to shatter the blade of a spear that was still in his stomach.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: After his death, some unknown force called him back from the Other Side and changed him. Now he is a spirit unable to leave Azeroth and has set out to find answers from the shadows.
  • Battle Trophy: His alternate counterpart from the War Crimes novel, summoned by the Vision of Time, wears a necklace of various human and night elf ears. During the courtroom skirmish, he's eager to add to his collection.
  • Big Good: Of Mists of Pandaria for the Horde, being the leader of the rebellion against Garrosh (as well as after Mists of Pandaria, being the new Warchief in all).
  • Blood Knight:
    • Shadows of the Horde states he's slain hundreds of humans in battle, and that doing so brings him joy in that his future is clear. The crispness of Chen's Memory Brew reminded him of the echoing snap of breaking bones, and the sweetness was the joy in hearing their dying sighs.
    • In the Siege of Orgrimmar, he laughs as he welcomes the players to "da fields o' slaughta'".
  • Bow and Sword in Accord: He is exceptionally skilled with the glaive and the bow.
  • Brass Balls: Vol'jin's gonads must be large enough to fill the Sunwell. He told the acting Warchief of the Horde, the headstrong Garrosh Hellscream, son of the legendary Grom Hellscream, badass in his own right, that he would assassinate him. Right to his face. See "The Reason You Suck" Speech below.
  • Breakout Character: Vol'jin didn't have much potential early in World of Warcraft's lifetime. He sat in Thrall's throne room and made fighting Thrall for Alliance players more difficult, but he had no effects on WoW lore as a whole. Whether or not Blizzard planned for him to become as major a character as he became is up for discussion, but one thing is certain: Ever since he had his Badass Boast, he has become a fan favorite to the point where he dominates other Horde leaders in polls (Even over Memetic Mutation candidate Basic Campfire).
  • Call-Back:
    • In 5.3, Vol'jin again promises to fire the arrow that will pierce Garrosh's heart.
    • In Shadows of the Horde, he says that he didn't plan on fulfilling this promise when he went to Pandaria... But he packed a bow just in case.
  • Character Development: He needed it, considering he's an Ascended Extra.
  • Childhood Friends: He and Zalazane were very close growing up. Together they were able to fend off bullies, and Zalazane was the only one Vol'jin cried to during the death of his first pet. Their first kill had even been the same animal.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Instead of sticking fully to his usual fighting style, which Khal'ak can predict, he takes her by surprise by using a Pandaren martial arts style punch to shatter her skull.
  • Cool Mask: [['jin.jpg He wore one for one of his model updates.]] Known as a rush'kah mask, it's traditional Shadow Hunter facewear.
  • Covers Always Lie: In the Shadows of the Horde book cover, Vol'jin and Chen are Back-to-Back Badasses. This scene never happens in the book, and Vol'jin never fights with a spear like on the cover, but either with a glaive or bow. Also, while the cover will make you believe those two are Bash Brothers, Vol'jin actually is this moreso with Tyrathan.
  • Darker and Edgier: Could be Character Development, but Vol'jin seems to be descending more and more into the dark, savage, bloodthirsty Troll theme as of late than he ever was. Before Mists of Pandaria, he was almost like Thrall in a Troll skin (And the fact that they used to have the same voice actors didn't help). But lately, he seems more savage, more violent, and more likely to use dark magic. This is a definite case of Character Development. See That Man Is Dead below.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He has no problem using shadow magic and as The Smart Guy he's likely to use trickery to achieve his goals, but he is scrupulous and willing to work with the Alliance for the greater good. Also, according to Shadows Of The Horde this seems to be a general thing with shadow hunters.
  • Double Weapon: Being a Shadow Hunter, Vol'jin uses a glaive, a long double bladed sword. It's the iconic Shadow Hunter weapon.
  • The Dreaded: According to Chen, battling Vol'jin is the stuff of many an Alliance member's nightmare. This is a reputation built mostly on Vol'jin's fighting at Theramore against Daelin, alongside Thrall.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Much to the dismay of... pretty much every Horde player. Vol'jin is unceremoniously and anticlimactically killed off at the start of Legion.
  • Elemental Powers: A bit of a mistake. He's mainly only supposed to use shadow magic, but Dagger in the Dark had him using a typical Shaman skillset including Lightning Bolts. It never pops up again.
  • Escort Mission: Dagger in the Dark
  • Evil Counterpart: Faces one in War Crimes. He does battle with a Vol'jin from another timeline, a much more primitive and animalistic one, covered in blood and grisly trophies, and is tormenting an AU!Anduin for fun. Our Vol'jin wins.
  • Exact Words: A rare positive example. In the Rise of the Zandalari patch trailer, the Prophet Zul asks Vol'jin if he was going to turn his back on his own people (the troll species), to which Vol'jin replies, "Da Horde is my people." Every time afterwards you see Vol'jin say "my people" in reference to those he leads and cares about, he's talking about the entire Horde, not just his tribe.
  • Faking the Dead: In the Dagger in the Dark scenario, it becomes apparent that Garrosh no longer trusts Vol'jin and his minions try to kill him for treason. After the players save him, Vol'jin tells them to report back with his death anyway, so that he can operate in the shadows.
  • Forced Transformation: He has a multitarget version of the shaman's Hex spell, which turns enemies into frogs. He also transforms Rexxar, Rokhan, and Chen Stormstout into ethereal wyverns in Frozen Throne.
  • Foreshadowing: Vol'jin told Garrosh that he would 'pierce his black heart.' Come patch 5.3, Garrosh comes upon the literal Dark Heart of Y'Shaarj, and will presumably use it to give himself power over the sha. A Red Herring, as Vol'jin never actually gets to shoot Garrosh in either his real heart or the Dark Heart.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He gets a pretty wicked scar on his neck from where the dagger struck.
  • Guile Hero: While Vol'jin can very easily rally people on the battlefield, he is extremely good at picking and choosing his words carefully to achieve the results he wants, and can operate from the shadows with great success. This is how he is able to get the whole Darkspear Rebellion against Garrosh set up in the first place, and how he is able to work with and convince the Alliance not to stab him in the back when it's over.
  • Healing Hands: At the end of Shadows of the Horde, a blessing from Bwonsamdi causes Vol'jin to unleash a burst of healing power, resurrecting Tyrathan and healing everyone else in the immediate vicinity. The healing spell in question is also pretty clearly Chain Heal, with the way it's described as a beam of light bouncing from person to person.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: More like life or digit decision, but during his Shadow Hunter trials, his thumb was badly wounded, broken and bent backwards by a surprise attack by his own father. Since the thumb would never heal correctly, Vol'jin slices it off with his glaive so he can regenerate a new, proper thumb.
  • Magic Knight: Wields a glaive and a bow, and is also proficient in shadow magic.
  • The Matchmaker: Unknowingly and inadvertently plays this role in War Crimes. He writes a letter to Jaina during Garrosh's trial, simply saying he doesn't blame Jaina for her anger and wrath towards the Horde. This letter causes her to tear up and run to Kalecgos, whom she had almost broken up with, and apologetically kiss him.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Along with Illidan Stormrage, Vol'jin is the 'victim' of many a squealing fangirl.
  • The Last Dance: In Shadows Of The Horde, he, Tyrathan, Chen Stormstout, and the remaining Shado-Pan are quite convinced that the approaching Zandalari army is going to overwhelm their defenses and slaughter them all, but they do everything they can to put fear in them and thin their numbers before they reach the Shado-Pan monastery. Vol'jin doesn't meet his end there, of course, as he goes on to lead the Horde rebellion against Garrosh.
  • The Leader: Warchief of the Horde, after Garrosh is incarcerated.
  • Number Two: His Tribe always saw Zalazane as his. After joining the Horde, he was this to Thrall.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Shadow Hunter is not solely a Hunter class type, but a Shaman/Shadow Priest/Hunter hybrid, utilizing a blend of physical damage via arrow shots and glaive slashes, and magical damage via shadow spells and hexes. Some Shadow Hunter npcs across the world have animals trailing behind them, but this is uncommon, and Vol'jin, while it was mentioned he had a pet in the past, he hasn't used one in any of his modern appearances. It should also be noted prior to World of Warcraft, Shadow Hunters weren't depicted using bows or pets aside from their magical snake summons.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • With Tyrathan Khort, a human hunter. They started off hating each other, but during their stay in Shado-Pan Monastery grew very close. Tyrathan notes that he'd likely be tried and executed for treason if his friendship with Vol'jin was ever discovered.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Vol'jin is, as of Garrosh's increasing ascendancy, the most pragmatic, rational, and, in a way, moral of the Horde's major leaders. He's willing to accept the Alliance's help in dealing with the Zandalari.
    • He is this to the other troll tribes as well. While the Zandalari and co. are struggling in vain to recreate an empire whose romanticized zeniths they had never truly known, the Darkspear survived under Vol'jin's leadership by working with the reality of the world and carving their own place in it.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Prior to Cataclysm, he was this. With leaders like Sylvanas and Thrall around, he didn't get much to do. He still got to do a bit more than poor Cairne & Lor'themar Theron, like tapping the first keg at Brewfest. Subverted later on.
  • The Other Darrin: He was, at one point, voiced by Chris Metzen, who voices almost hundreds of other characters in Warcraft like Thrall, Varian, Nefarian, Hakkar, and Ragnaros. But, he is now voiced by Dave Fennoy, who is well known for voicing Gabriel Tosh in Starcraft. Justified in universe, since his new, deeper voice is said to be a result of the knife and poison in his neck, although it's also Gameplay and Story Segregation since Blizzard added the new voice actor before the attempted assassination.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Described as having 'scowling features,' but it's not like he can help it — His tusks are so big, he can't even close his mouth properly. This is a consistent feature of most Trolls.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Well, he is a Troll. He's not above sacrificing things to his Loa, and his dialogue implies he isn't above having Sylvanas raise the dead for the Horde's defense either.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: When he kills his first Zandalari in Shadows of the Horde.
    Zandalari: [bleeding out] Why!?
    Vol'jin: Bwonsamdi hungers. [kicks the Zandalari down the stairs]
  • The Promise: Both Vol'jin and Tyrathan make one to each other. Tyrathan promises Vol'jin that he personally will craft the arrow Vol'jin uses to kill Garrosh, and Vol'jin promises that he will kill whoever kills Tyrathan one day.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: He is the Chieftain of the Darkspear Tribe, and the most powerful Shadow Hunter on Azeroth. At the end of Mists of Pandaria, he becomes the Warchief of the Horde.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tells Garrosh that he possesses his father's lust for battle even without having drunk demon blood, and predicts that Garrosh will ultimately alienate his people until Vol'jin assassinates him. This is later Deconstructed in War Crimes. Baine, acting as Garrosh's defender, points out that this speech was Vol'jin committing treason against the warchief, which means Garrosh was completely in his rights to have Vol'jin murdered in Mists of Pandaria.
  • Rebel Leader: Will be the leader of the Horde forces rebelling against Garrosh in 5.3.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: While formerly more of a blue type, he now serves as the Red to Thrall's Blue, and in Shadows of the Horde, serves as Red to Chen's Blue.
  • Reluctant Ruler: When Thrall kneels to him, Vol'jin, visually taken aback, merely says, "I... Am not worthy..." and only accepts when the other leaders bow in agreement. After the cinematic, if you speak to Thrall, he'll say Vol'jin doesn't seem to want to be Warchief, but he thinks that will make him a better leader.
  • The Reveal: In the Alliance cinematic mostly, when the Horde's forces part to reveal Vol'jin standing before Varian as the new Warchief.
  • Sacrificial Lion: He is killed in the introductory quest for the Legion expansion, along with King Varian Wrynn and Tirion Fordring of the Argent Crusade.
  • Sadistic Choice: He's clearly not happy with Garrosh's policy, but if he openly opposes him, the trolls will likely face Garrosh's wrath, situated fairly close to Orgrimmar. Garrosh sends the Kor'kron to the Darkspear Isles and puts them under martial law, but Horde players can organize a resistance via quests and successfully turn the tables.
  • Scars Are Forever: While a majority of the wounds he suffers heal over without a scar, he wills himself not to regenerate the one in his throat, which results in a deeper voice and a scar, so that he can remember his past self and the mistakes he made.
  • Secret Test of Character: One of the trials he faced to become a Shadow Hunter was being shown two visions, two paths he could choose from. One showed him on a throne with food, women, and all manner of luxuries while a thin gold chain shackles his leg to the throne. The other showed him bloodied and fighting for his life. Vol'jin laughed and said he'd always choose freedom over any kind of imprisonment, even the presented Gilded Cage. The test wasn't about what path he'd take, but his conviction. If he had hesitated at all in choosing either path, he would have failed.
  • The Smart Guy: During Thrall's reign, he was Thrall's top adviser.
  • Smart People Play Chess: He plays the Pandaren game Jihui quite often with Tyrathan in Shadows of the Horde. One of the Loa's visions even surrounds the game, with him and his people as game pieces.
  • Take Up My Sword: Takes the position of leader of the trolls after the death of his father Sen'jin.
  • That Man Is Dead:
    • A major theme in the Shadows of the Horde novel is Vol'jin coming to terms with his new, post-Dagger in the Dark self. Tyrathan, having also had a near death experience, tells Vol'jin that neither of them are the same people as they were before their near deaths. Vol'jin in particular seems more troll-like than he was before, and leaves with a greater connection to the Loa and to the spirit of his father, Sen'jin.
    • One sign of this is, at the beginning of the book, Vol'jin is described as being Tushui, which makes sense considering his previous appearances. At the end of the book and in subsequent appearances, he appears to have switched to Huojin.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Basically everything he does in Cataclysm. Many a fans, Alliance AND Horde, gained new respect for him when they saw him flip off Garrosh Hellscream in the troll starting area.
    • And before that, he got some awesome moments in the retaking of the Echo Isles. He even got a [['jin_Old.jpg costume]] [['jin.jpg upgrade]] to go with it.
    • And another upgrade, this time to his entire model, after that.
    • The entire premise of Shadows of the Horde is him abandoning his old self, taking a level in badass, and returning to the world a stronger, wiser troll.
    • At the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar, Vol'jin is unanimously agreed upon by the other Horde leaders to take the mantle of Warchief.
  • Unwitting Pawn: His death at the Broken Shore and his naming Sylvanas the new Warchief were orchestrated by Mueh'zala, who then clouded Vol'jin's memories to keep his manipulation secret.
  • Wham Line: "I speak for de Horde."
  • You Can't Go Home Again: He wasn't alive the first time his tribe made their exodus, but he lived through all the subsequent ones. Then he gets one all his own when Garrosh tries to have him assassinated: he is forced to keep a low profile in Pandaria instead of returning to the Echo Isles to help his people, so he can recover and quietly muster his allies.
  • You Killed My Father: Zar'jira killed Sen'jin back on the Darkspear Isles.



Class: Witch Doctor

"I saw your arrival in a vision! Especially you... the Seer."

Chieftain of the Darkspear Tribe before his son. Sen'jin lived a relatively peaceful life until new troubles began. Humans from Kul Tiras came to the island and made a settlement, pushing the trolls further into the island. Meanwhile, the once-docile murlocs had become fevered, prodded by the dark Sea Witch that lived in the ocean, who they offered sacrifices to.

Then one night, Sen'jin received a vision and he sent his son Vol'jin to the First Home...

Sen'jin saw a young orc — a farseer, who would drive the humans away, and save his people, leading them from the island. That soon came true. As Sen'jin's visions reported, Thrall and his fleet were forced to moor on his island after the Maelstrom nearly destroyed his ships. Sen'jin approached the orcs, warning them of the humans nearby. Thrall promised to force the humans from his island. After defeating the humans's leader, an archmage, and forcing them into a retreat, they were suddenly attacked by murlocs who captured Sen'jin's trolls, the witch-doctor himself, Thrall, some of the orcs and the remaining humans.

Thrall managed to escape the prison and rescued many orcs and trolls, but a murloc high sorcerer took Sen'jin into the deepest part of the underground lair, where he brutally attacked him and sacrificed him to the Sea Witch just as Thrall arrived. Thrall battled through the murlocs and finally destroyed the murloc high sorcerer, but Sen'jin's wounds were deep, and he was dying. In his last breath, Sen'jin implored Thrall to take his people from the island and save them from destruction.

It was as Sen'jin wished. In his honor, Thrall ferried many Darkspear on his ships and took them to Kalimdor, as Vol'jin stayed behind to rally the disparate villages that Thrall could not reach. Sen'jin, now a blessed ancestors in the care of Bwonsamdi, continued to advise and assist his son from beyond the grave, offering sagely advice and wisdom. It was Sen'jin's dream that Trollkind would be led by Shadow Hunters, as they had been long ago, and he saw Vol'jin as the vessel for that dream.

  • A Death in the Limelight: He's mostly known for being slain by Zar'jira and, before he dies, telling Thrall his vision of the Darkspear joining the Horde.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: He's a Witch Doctor, the Trollish variant of a Shaman or Priest who mixes magical brews and potions inside large cauldrons.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: A bit of a lighthearted one, poking fun at Bwonsamdi who was scolding Vol'jin for not giving into death's embrace and willingly going into his protection. It made the other Loa laugh.
    Sen'jin: You be complaining he did not offer sufficient sacrifices. Now you be complaining that he wishes more time to offer greater sacrifices. Be I so boring that you need my son to entertain you?
  • Ascended Extra: He was just a guide in the Warcraft III campaign, not even a controllable unit. But he's been stepping up in Darkspear lore as of late. It's been revealed that he frequently speaks to his son, Vol'jin, through visions and the Trolls use his name as a battlecry.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: A believer in this, saying what makes a troll a troll is not one's physical form, but the strength of one's spirit. This sets up the implication that the Horde will be the spiritual successor to the ancient Troll Empires.
  • Light Is Good: Unlike most Trolls, who lean towards dark archetypes, he leans towards themes of light.
  • So Proud of You: He frequently tells Vol'jin how proud he is of him in Shadows of the Horde.
    Sen'jin: You cannot lose me, Vol'jin, for I be part of you. As long as you be true to yourself, I gonna be with you always.
  • Spirit Advisor: Unlike most Loa who answer to most trolls who ask, Sen'jin specifically advises his son, Vol'jin. This is because he's specifically Vol'jin's ancestor.



Class: Shadow Hunter

Voiced by: Abubakar Salim (Battle for Azeroth), Dmitry Polonsky (Russian/Warcraft III), Peter Ivashchenko (Russian/World of Warcraft)

"Death be a real trip, mon."

Champion of the Horde and the Darkspear Tribe, and described by former Warchief Thrall as the finest scout at the Horde's disposal, Rokhan was deployed to assist Rexxar in his quest across Durotar. In doing so, he and Rexxar became good friends, along with Chen Stormstout.

During Thrall's reign, Rokhan continued his service as an elite scout and spy; no one knows about any adventures he's been on, because he's good at his job. He later appeared in Northrend, commanding a contingent of Darkspear Dragon Hunters, hunting Frost Wyrms across the Dragonblight. Later, he serves as second-in-command of the player's Garrison in Draenor, and as the Darkspear leadership is in flux following Vol'jin's death, serves as a mouthpiece for his tribe. In Battle For Azeroth, he leads a covert mission into Stormwind to bust out the Zandalari aligned Princess Talanji and Prophet Zul, and later commands Horde troops alongside Eitrigg and Lady Liadrin in a warfront at Arathi.

  • Bash Brothers: Fans think of him as one with Rexxar.
  • The Bus Came Back: After The Frozen Throne he was Put on a Bus and did not appear in World of Warcraft until Wrath of the Lich King, where he shows up as a quest giver in the Dragonblight. He comes back in Warlords of Draenor as your player's main adviser and second-in-command of your Garrison. In Battle For Azeroth, he returns to main character status, appearing more than any other Horde character in the opening patch.
  • The Cameo: His appearance in Wrath of the Lich King was this, as he was just a quest giver without much dialogue.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Comes with being a Shadow Hunter, although he purposely plays up the menacing nature of his dark magic to intimidate his foes, as seen in his banter towards the Alliance-aligned Paladin Turalyon during the Arathi Warfront.
  • Demoted to Extra: He's just a quest giver who helps players taking down a frost wyrm in Wrath of the Lich King, and that was his first appearance in World of Warcraft. See The Bus Came Back above, though.
  • Double Weapon: As with all Shadow Hunters, he wields a glaive, which he uses to slice or throw at foes.
  • The Dragonslayer: Initially wasn't a part of his lore, but in Wrath of the Lich King, he's leading a contingent of Darkspear Dragon Hunters in Northrend. They seem to be very successful, having a line of huge dragon skulls impaled by spears and arrows beside their camp before a larger than average Frost Wyrm becomes a problem for them.
    Rokhan: You ain't a real mon till you killed a dragon... mon.
  • Forced Transformation: In Warcraft III, one of his spells, Hex, caused him to transform enemies into random critters.
  • Glowing Eyes: His eyes were always glowing on his Warcraft III model.
  • Healing Hands: One of his main uses in Warcraft III was as a healer for Rexxar and Chen Stormstout. His Healing Wave would hit one unit, and bounce to other friendly units, healing many. It was later the inspiration for the Shaman spell, Chain Heal.
  • Nice Guy: His main characterization in Warcraft 3 was that he was very laid back and friendly, and his voiceover gave this impression. In the novel, Cycle of Hatred, he was described as having very gentle features — for a Troll, anyway — with very kind eyes. He tends to be a gentleman and, while he doesn't crack jokes himself, he's always eager to laugh at someone else's.
  • Number Two: He served as this for the Horde Adventurer during Warlords. A radient dialogue line from him in Battle for Azeroth references this, with him referring to the player as "boss". He more or less fulfills this role for Princess Talanji during the Nazmir questline.
  • Playing with Fire: His Serpent Ward totem spits fire at enemies.
  • Properly Paranoid: During the jailbreak mission in Battle for Azeroth, Rhokhan recognizes the "snake" Prophet Zul and was going to abandon the rescue because he didn't trust the troll. The Zandalar quest proves his suspicions right as Zul is in league with the pseudo-Old God G'huun.
  • Stealth Expert: During the Stormwind Extraction scenario, he serves as this, extending a cloak of shadows to you and the other members of the invasion party to keep you away from prying eyes.
  • The Swarm: His most powerful spell in the Orc bonus campaign of Warcraft III : The Frozen Throne. He's got this instead of the standard Shadow Hunter Hero spell "Big Bad Voodoo" (which grants immortality to nearby units).
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: His main attack in Warcraft III was to throw his glaive.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Indirectly, but in Shadows Rising he rather bluntly states that Talanji has every right to be opposed to the newfound peace with the Alliance after everything they took from her.
  • You Are in Command Now: Seemingly, at least. During a PVP quest in Legion, Rokhan is shown among the Horde racial leaders and has the same level and amount of HP as them. According to Word of God, he's just a "public face" and the Darkspear don't really know who their leadership will be going forward. This finally becomes official as of the last patch of Battle for Azeroth: he is chosen to be the new Chieftain of the Darkspear Tribe, as well as their representative on the newly-formed Horde Council.



Class: Shaman

Voiced by: Valence Thomas (English)

"Live another day."

A young Troll Shaman who fights at the Siege of Lordaeron. His father, named Hekazi, fought alongside High Overlord Saurfang during the Third War. Although he shows promise in the Shamanistic arts, this young troll is but a boy, and the Siege of Lordaeron is the first battle he's actually participated in.

Featured in the cinematic, ''Old Soldier''.

When Saurfang is filled with despair and regret after the Burning of Teldrassil, a chance encounter with this young troll prevents him from committing suicide by combat. Zekhan sees Saurfang as a massive inspiration due to the stories told by his father, but the Alliance's approach has him nervous. When Saurfang abandons the ramparts, the young Shaman follows him. Saurfang insists he go back, but Zekhan refuses. He gives Saurfang a token that the Orc attempted to dispose of, reminding him that the Horde is all they have. This inspires Saurfang to return to the Horde.

  • Ambadassador: Early in Shadows Rising, Zekhan is made the ambassador to the Zandalar Empire to try and convince Talanji to become a greater part of the Horde Council. Zekhan's assignment is preceded by saving Talanji from an assassination attempt and proceeded by fighting against an attack alongside Talanji and one of her guards. Later in the book Zekhan saves children kidnapped and under threat from Dark Rangers, nearly at the cost of his own life.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Offers one to Saurfang. When Saurfang resolves to suicide by combat, Zekhan accompanies him. Saurfang tells him to go back, but the boy refuses. This goes on for a few more exchanges, with Saurfang knocking the kid to the ground. When he begins to rise, we get:
    Saurfang: "Oh, give up, boy."
    Zekhan: "Like you?"
  • Ascended Meme: This young Shaman's first appearance is in the cinematic intro for Battle for Azeroth, where he is seen wielding the elements against the Alliance in glorious fashion. His amazing display caught in the fanbase like wildfire, and the fanbase also gave him the name 'Zappyboi' since the game or cinematic does not name him. In Shadows Rising, Bwonsamdi calls him "zappy boy" to Zekhan's confusion.
  • Breakout Character: Began as an Ascended Meme, but nothing more. When the Old Soldier cinematic dropped, giving him actual character, fans have begun demanding a name (confirmed to be Zekhan), and that he appear more often.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: His father, Hekazi, is dead. The Horde is all he has left.
  • Cool Mask: Sports one in the Battle for Azeroth cinematic. Takes it off in the Old Soldier cinematic. The mask gives him a stark contrast, changing him from powerful, skilled Shaman, to young kid when he takes it off.
  • Deal with the Devil: In Shadows Rising, against his better judgement, he makes a deal with Bwonsamdi. In exchange for ensuring Queen Talanji stays a member of the Horde(his mission in Zandalar anyway), Bwonsamdi gives Zekhan a vision of death. More accurately, a vision of Saurfang being reunited with his son and wife and at peace in the afterlife to give Zekhan some motivation. The vision turns out to be a lie, as Saurfang, like all souls recently, has been pulled into the Maw.
  • Depending on the Writer: In the game Zekhan is either portrayed as an intelligent, introspective and educated individual, but in some literature, he’s unable to comprehend concepts like Erosion and didn’t know how to read until he reached adulthood, this is despite him being a shaman and thus expected to have extensive knowledge about nature and the elements, and as a troll, grew up in a literate environment.
  • Elemental Powers: As a Shaman, he has control over both fire and lightning.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Downplayed and justified. Zekhan is in awe of Saurfang due his past accomplishments for the Horde, but he’s also not afraid to call the old orc out when needed. His admiration naturally continues after Varok dies, as Zekhan is shown telling children stories about the venerable orc.
  • Hope Spot: By the time he makes a proper appearance, the Horde (both In-Universe and Players) were on an all time low as they were being shaped up as the villains and aggressors again. Players were more than annoyed and disillusioned so much so that In-Universe, Saurfang contemplates Suicide by Cop. Along comes Zekhan, and reignites both Saurfang and Players that The Horde is not all evil.
  • Kid Has a Point: He's more of a very young adult, possibly a teen. He reminds Saurfang:
    Zekhan: "The Horde! It's all we have!"
  • Meaningful Echo: Repeats the top quote to Saurfang when the latter attempts suicide by Alliance.
  • Naïve Newcomer: The Siege of Lordaeron is his first actual battle. He insists that, if he dies, it will be in glorious combat.
    Zekhan: "This be my first battle. What should I do?"
    Saurfang: "Don't die."
  • No Name Given: His name is never mentioned in the cinematics, but is confirmed on twitter to be Zekhan. He does mention the name of his father, Hekazi, but that name doesn't exist anywhere else in the game. Players have taken to calling him 'Zappyboi.'
  • Playing with Fire: Summons a shockwave of lava through the ground, catching many Alliance troops. In the Old Soldier cinematic, he uses this power to light a brazier.
  • Shock and Awe: Flings lightning bolts at Alliance troops, including Genn Greymane.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Subtly calls out Saurfang for attempting to abandon the Horde.
  • The Worf Effect: Uses lightning to knock out Genn Greymane of all people, establishing him as a skilled Shaman, even if he is young. This is what earned him the nickname "Zappyboi" in the first place.