The orcs of Draenor were initially a shamanistic and peaceful, if savage, people, as well as a highly superstitious. Tricked by the demon Kil'jaeden, in the guise of one of their ancestors, into believing the draenei were plotting against them, the orcs banded together and formed the Horde. Under the leadership of Warchief Blackhand, who was in reality a pawn of the warlock Gul'dan, they turned away from their shamanstic ways and on to fel magic, before they descended upon the draenei, succeeding in almost wiping out the entirety of the draenei people. Following, they poured forth from the Dark Portal and into Azeroth, where they destroyed the kingdom of Stormwind and wrecked havoc across many other kingdoms. Despite coming to ally with the ogres, goblins and trolls, the Horde lost to the Alliance during the Second War, leading to most of its remaining members being placed in internment camps. Those who remained outside of the camps fled and continued the fight against the Alliance, some of which managed to last even into World of Warcraft.
In Warlords Of Draenor, Garrosh, with the help of the traitor bronze dragon Kairoz, travels back in time and stops the Orcish clans from drinking the demon blood, instead raising them up united with armies of steel and present-day military tactics; they're no longer the Fel Horde, but the Iron Horde, belonging to an Alternate Timeline. Most of the chieftains and their clans throw their lot in with the Iron Horde, the only exceptions being Durotan and the Frostwolf, and Gul'dan and his warlocks in the Stormreaver Clan, although the latter are tying to wrest a place among the Iron Horde so they can, in the end, bring them to demonic corruption. With Kairoz's help, the Iron Horde rewrites the nature of the Dark Portal into a portal to the present of Azeroth's main timeline, so that they can invade Azeroth and Garrosh can take his revenge.
As of Battle For Azeroth, it's revealed the portal was sealed after the event of Warlords, causing their time passage to de-sync and resulting in nearly 30 years passing offscreen. Looking for reinforcements to relieve them in the war effort Sylvanas, at Eitrigg's suggestion, sends the player to bargain with the Bronze Dragons to re-open a portal there. Upon making it through it's discovered that in the years that have passed the Iron Horde have become The Atoner for their deeds and the individual clans have all melded into one united group known purely as the Mag'har. Led by the much older and wiser Grommash Hellscream, he reveals the Draenei of Draenor have gone full Knight Templar, forcing everyone including the orcs to convert to the Light or be purged, with many joining willing and becoming Lightbound. After dealing with the initial Lightbound forces the Mag'har are forced through a portal to Azeroth that promptly closes, stranding them with the fate of their warchief and world unknown. The Mag'har now on Azeroth pledge loyalty to the horde and are now lead by a female Orc overlord named Geyarah, Durotan and Draka's blue-eyed warrior daughter (making her the alternate universe's Thrall).
- Blood Knight: Orcs have always been eager for a fight even without the demon blood flowing into their veins; mainly because they live in a harsh, competitive world like Draenor.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Three Orc Clans had Ogre leaders. To compare all of the Human nations were led by humans. The Warlords of Draenor Horde is less tolerant, but its leaders are nevertheless willing to work with the Gorian Empire, once its greatest enemy (though this is more of an alliance of convenience). It is also noted in the game that the creation of the Iron Horde resulted in greater gender equality, allowing orc women to serve in the military and even become generals - orc Mooks in Warlords can be both male and female, and the Iron Maidens are Blackhand's closest advisors.
- The Horde: At its very worst.
- Meaningful Name: Every Clan is named after something important to their Clan - The Frostwolf Clan is named after the Frostwolves, the Blackrock Clan is named after Blackrock ore, etc.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Initially Tolkienesque, but evolving gradually through retcons towards the archetypical Blizzard orcs we know and love today. Warlords backtracks the orcs' characterisation somewhat, but neverthless shows that they are not completely evil (before Gul'dan took over, of course).
The first Orcish Horde, formed by Gul'dan (using Blackhand as a patsy) to serve the Burning Legion. They destroyed the Draenei, and as Draenor was withering due to their Fel magics, escaped through the Dark Portal to Azeroth.
- Black Magic: Necrolytes, Warlocks, and Death Knights.
- Blood Knight: Courtesy of the blood of Mannoroth, all orcs that drank it became bloodthirsty maniacs - and when the effect fully wore off years later, they became passive, depressed, and obedient.
- Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Their ultimate flying unit was a dragon. The first were the offspring of Alexstrasza, later retconned to be red instead of green. Deathwing's dragons in the expansion were willing allies.
- Enemy Civil War: What ultimately brought it down: a rebellion from within initiated by Gul'dan. Had it not been for him and his clan betraying the Horde in order to search for the Tomb of Sargeras, and Orgrim sending his troops to find and punish him, the Horde might as well have won.
- Near-Villain Victory: The Horde completely annihilated the human kingdom of Stormwind, ravaged half of the Eastern Kingdoms, blockaded Ironforge and almost destroyed the remaining human nations. If not for Gul'dan's treachery and Thoras Trollbane closing up the passes of the Alterac Mountains, they'd have destroyed Lordaeron as well.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Standard Horde procedure until its defeat during the Second War.
- Religion of Evil: Some members of the old Horde worshipped the Burning Legion.
- The Remnant: Rend Blackhand's Horde, the Fel Orcs under Illidan's command, a few segments of the Dragonmaw clan and the Twilight's Hammer. Most of them ended up as mooks / Unwitting Pawns of greater foes of Azeroth outside of the Burning Legion: the Blackrock clan is dominated by the Black Dragonflight, the Dragonmaw clan and the Fel Orcs of Outland are under Illidan's command and the Twilight's Hammer is now an Equal Opportunity Religion of Evil that worships the Old Gods.
- Unwitting Pawn: Of the Burning Legion.
An alternate version of the Old Horde, caused by Garrosh finding a near-identical timeline and warning Grom Hellscream about Gul'dan's treachery. The warlords killed Mannoroth the Destructor rather than drink his blood, and enslaved the Shadow Council to create the Dark Portal and invade Garrosh's Azeroth.
- Alternate Self: Of the original Horde.
- Anti-Villain: Perhaps the most prominent in the Lords of War series. The orcish race was, ultimately, not malevolent per se, but lived in an extremely brutal and destructive environment, constantly hunted down by stronger, more advanced races, and their Warlords which we have to fight were all heroes of their kind, rising up against the ogres and the arakkoa to protect thier people. Yes, when Garrosh gave them the means to even the odds, they became genocidal conquerors — but what else they could become when bloodshed and conquest was all they ever knew?
- Conqueror from the Future: Downplayed. They're from the past, but their technology is from the future/present.
- Expy: Their vehicle design, their architecture, and their origin story is very reminiscent of the charr.
- Create Your Own Villain: An antagonist to antagonist example. The Lightbound may be a case of this, depending on how the story unfolds. As the Mag'har Orcs who were part of the Iron Horde, which at the behest of Grom and Garrosh, quickly became The Social Darwinist, with a side of imperialist and Orc supremacist. They launched an unprovoked assault on the peaceful Draenei, with the intention of either subjugating or purging them. They worked with the Draenei to purge the remnants of the Legion, who then shared the Light with them, and many accepted willingly. Though the Draenei turned to extreme methods when some refused, it was the actions of the Iron Horde, both before and after the manipulations of Gul'dan and his Burning Legion masters, were the grievances the Draenei held against the Orcs.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The British Empire. The Iron Horde was the first in their world to industrialise, which they used to humiliate their former rivals, utilised steam power extensively, complete with a massive steam fleet and train system, yet had descended from pretty primitive, Celtic-ish people. Its rulers also boasted they "will never be slaves" - Rule Britannia, anyone?
- Had To Be Sharp: While the actions of the Iron Horde under Grom and Garrosh were inexcusable, their proud warrior culture is understandable given the harshness of alt-Draenor and their hostile neighbours such as the Ogres Gorian Empire.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Maybe it wasn't such a bright idea to leave an enormous siege tank capable of one-shotting the Dark Portal right next to it.
- Industrialized Evil: Steampunk machines, massive foundries, et cetera, et cetera.
- Giving Radio to the Romans: The basic premise of the Iron Horde's creation.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Gul'dan originally planned to turn the Horde into an instrument of the Burning Legion, meant to weaken Azeroth before their invasion, as he did in the original timeline. Unfortunately for him, Garrosh intervened...
- Make Wrong What Once Went Right/Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The modus operandi of the Iron Horde, at least how it was envisioned by Garrosh. Through time travel, he rewrote the history of Draenor and created a Horde that is not loyal to the Legion like Gul'dan's original Horde but rather an independent force. However, at the end of the legendary questline in patch 6.1, Gul'dan takes over the Iron Horde after they'd suffered too many losses, converting Kilrogg and chaining Grom to a wall.
- Merged Reality: Courtesy of Garrosh's piece of the Hourglass of Time, the Iron Horde's Draenor and the main timeline Azeroth are now connected.
- Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: In past lore such as Rise of the Horde, the orcs were initially a fairly peaceful nomadic society and had to be extensively manipulated by the Burning Legion to turn against the Draenei, including the demons impersonating their ancestors and convincing the orcs that the recent calamities were the fault of the Draenei. Conversely WoD depicted the uncorrupted orcs going after the draenei almost immediately, then the majority of Mag'har going for the Felbood at the first opportunity. This may have been retconned back to the original lore, however, as the Battle for Azeroth official recap makes no mention of this and instead says the majority of orcs opposed the Burning Legion.
- Steam Punk: Mixed with classic orc brutality.
- Trauma Conga Line: The Iron Horde's campaign ends extremely quickly, and is played to the humiliation and shame of the Orcish clans. This directly leads to Gul'dan's take over of the Iron Horde, turning it into the demon corrupted Horde they technically were destined to become, and leads to a particularly painful exchange between Grommash and Gul'dan, in which the former tries to keep his pride but is struck down by reality.Grommash: How dare you show your face here, warlock.Gul'dan: *mockingly* You promised conquest, Grommash, yet brought these clans to ruin. Your men have died for nothing.Grommash: My soldiers died with honor!Gul'dan: *laughing* Did they? And what about your son?Gul'dan tosses Gorehowl to Grommash's feetGrommash: Garrosh? My... son?Gul'dan: You have lost everything. There is only one choice. Drink. And fulfill your destiny.
The Blackrock Clan led the charge during the First and Second Wars, with both Blackhand and Orgrim Doomhammer taking terms as Warchief. Blackhand was the original Warchief of the Horde, but was challenged to a duel and killed by Doomhammer, who also took leadership over the Blackrock Clan. However, Blackhand's two sons, Rend and Maim, formed the Black Tooth Grin Clan out of the Blackhand loyal part of the Clan.
After the Horde was defeated in the Second War, the Blackhand loyal part of the Clan formed the Dark Horde, while the Blackrock Clan still loyal to Orgrim followed him and later Thrall into the new Horde. A third faction of demon-worshipping Blackrocks remained on Lordaeron under the leadership of Jubei'Thos.
In Warlords of Draenor, the Blackrock Clan becomes heavily industrialized, as Blackrock Foundry pumps out the Iron Horde's technology and weapons. Disciplined and organized, this Blackrock Clan is every bit as militaristic and brutal as their main timeline counterparts.
- The Blacksmith: The Blackrocks are the main blacksmiths and engineers of the Iron Horde, manufacturing most of their weapons.
- Color-Coded Armies: From a meta perspective, this was a Major reason why the Black Tooth Grin Clan was introduced in Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Each nation/clan of the humans/orcs was represented by a certain color. One of the major human nations in the game was Stromgarde, which was represented with the color "Red", meaning the Blackrock clan couldn't be present in missions with them as "Red" was their army's color as well. Hence in the missions where Stromgarde featured, the Black Tooth Grin clan which used the color, "Black" for their army, would feature as the orcish faction.
- Dark Is Evil: Especially the Dark Horde. Their dark skin and their use of Blackrock ore in their weapons and armor gives them a dark and menacing appearance, almost reminiscent of Tolkien Orcs.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Doomhammer family and the Blackrock Clan in the new Horde subvert the evilness.
- The Remnant: The Blackrocks that remained in Blackrock Spire are the shattered remnants of Rend and Maim Blackhand's forces.
- Red Is Heroic: Played With, the Blackrock Clan is the main player orc faction and the leader of the Orcish Horde in Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. On the other hand, despite being the Player Character, the Horde of Warcraft II was far from heroic.
- Strength Equals Worthiness: While not as big on this trope as the Warsong Clan, they still use it to great effect, and aren't as lenient as the Warsongs with it. When Blackhand saw the young Draka, who was born sickly, he said that in his Clan, they would have drowned her at birth for being too weak.
Played by: Clancy Brown (Warcraft: The Movie)
Blackhand was the first Warchief of the Horde, though in reality he was a pawn to the real leader of the Horde, Gul'dan. While he himself was a ruthless leader and a capable tactician in his own right, his ego and lust for power made him an easy target for manipulation by Gul'dan. He led the Horde throughout the First War, but was eventually challenged by Orgrim Doomhammer, who slew him and took over the Horde.
His three kids are Rend, Maim, and Griselda. His daughter Griselda was killed in the First War on his orders for having an affair with Turok, a renegade ogre. Rend and Maim however formed the Black Tooth Grin Clan out of the Blackhand loyal part of the Blackrock clan to so that they could plot against Doomhammer.
In Warlords Of Draenor, alternate timeline Blackhand is a more honest (but still very mean) orc who's not manipulated by Gul'dan and his Shadow Council. The Blackrock Clan serve as the smiths and engineers of the Iron Horde, providing them with weapons and war machines. They got their name from the Blackrock Ore, a mineral native to their homeland of Gorgrond, which they use to manufacture the weapons of the Iron Horde.
- Abusive Parents: Was never quite fond of his daughter, Griselda, eventually ordering her death.
- An Axe to Grind: Depicted with a quadruple-bladed axe in Orcs and Humans artwork and early on in the Blackhand comic.
- Appropriated Appellation: Warlords of Draenor reveals that he gained his name after dipping his right hand into a pool of lava to retrieve the lost Doomhammer, which turned it black and hard as rock.
- Bad Boss: My God is he ever.
- Kills the two warlock that saved his life because he blamed them for not foreseeing the attack.
- When the first Attack on Stormwind fails he calls for Cho'gall and kilrogg to be killed and only retract that order when he realizes it would piss off their Clans.
- Bald of Evil: In Warlords of Draenor he is depicted with no hair on his head.
- The Blacksmith: While the clan as a whole are the smiths and engineers of the Iron Horde, Blackhand himself is also a capable blacksmith, forging several weapons overnight to fight the ogres.
- Cool Helmet: Depicted wearing a quite nice-looking antlered helm in the first two Warcraft games, which is sadly not depicted in Warlords of Draenor.
- Covered with Scars: In the Warlords of Draenor timeline, his retrieval of the Doomhammer from the lava caused it to engulf most of his body. This covered Blackhand in burns, but did not kill him as the elemental spirits of the lava chose to let him live.
- Crown of Horns: Wore an antlered helmet in the first game, which doesn't appear in later instalments.
- Drop the Hammer: His Warlords of Draenor counterpart seems to favor a large hammer over the axe he wielded in Orcs and Humans. It's called The Black Hand.
- Empowered Badass Normal: The tie-in comic to Warlords of Draenor reveals that his appearance as a walking furnace is due to surviving a bath in elemental fire, being imbued with its power in the process.
- Genius Bruiser: While genius may be an overstatement, he's a lot more mentally capable than his brutish appearance and manners suggest. In fact, he's an excellent strategist and tactician.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the Warlords of Draenor tie-in comic he was ready to sacrifice himself if it would mean that his clan survives.
- It's All About Me: Zigzagged. Originally portrayed as selfish and irresponsible, his tie-in comic portrays him as selfless and self-sacrificing.
- Kick the Dog: Humiliates his daughter Griselda by refusing to let her drink Mannoroth's blood like every other orc, in front of the entire Horde.
- Killed Off for Real: Challenged to a duel by Orgrim Doomhammer, who killed him and cut off his head.
- Large and in Charge: He towers over all other orcs around him, even Orgrim Doomhammer.
- No Name Given: No one knows his original name.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Blackhand was by no mean a genius, but he deliberately made himself look more like a dumb brute than the cunning and ambitious orc he really was. He made it clear to Gul'dan that he was only taking the warlock's orders because they benefited him as well, and he was in no way being manipulated.
- Off with His Head!: Lost his head to Orgrim Doomhammer.
- Puppet King: The official leader of the Horde, though he was really following Gul'dan's advice for everything that didn't involve actual battles.
- This trope is actually played with. While he's more than willing to work with Gul'dan, he has been shown to have his own initiative and threatened the warlock on occasion. There's even a few instances where Gul'dan is terrified that Blackhand would just kill him like when Draenor was falling apart.
- Ret-Canon: Chronicle Volume 2 adopts Blackhand's movie appearance (only with grey skin) as his main timeline design.
- Stout Strength: Drawn as somewhat hefty in his original artwork.
- Tin Tyrant: Depicted as such in World of Warcraft, taken even further in Warlords of Draenor.
- The Chosen One: Zig-zagged. In the tie-in comic to Warlords of Draenor, the legendary Doomhammer forsakes Orgrim after he tries to escape the prophecy of bringing doom to his people. Blackhand attempts to retrieve the hammer to save his people from the ogres. The elemental spirits that created the Doomhammer ultimately reject Blackhand, but after seeing how he'd be willing to sacrifice himself to save his people, they allow him to use the Doomhammer to forge new weapons, and lead the Blackrock Orcs to victory against the attacking ogre forces.
Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer
Played by: Bob Kazinsky (Warcraft: The Movie)
The second Warchief of the Horde, Doomhammer was originally the second-in-command of his chieftain and the previous leader, Blackhand. Doomhammer was among the only orc leaders who didn't drink demon blood during the corruption of his people, at the insistence of his good friend Durotan (the father of Thrall). After the First War and the original fall of Stormwind, Doomhammer was visited by the then-exiled Durotan, who wanted to steer the orcs to a better future, but was assassinated by Blackhand's sons. Doomhammer reacted by challenging the Warchief to single battle and killing him, thus becoming the chief himself.
In the ensuing Second War, Doomhammer led the Horde to take over Azeroth, knowing that their defiled homeworld of Draenor would never support their numbers anymore. He recruited allies such as forest trolls, ogres and goblins to match the might of the newly formed Alliance. After a long and bloody war, he was able to defeat the humans' Grand Marshal, Anduin Lothar, in battle, but was captured. While being hauled off to Lordaeron for a trial, Doomhammer escaped.
After years of hiding and running, the exiled Warchief met a young kid named Thrall, who showed optimism and idealism about the future of orckind. Together the two planned to free their people from the internment camps of the Alliance, and Doomhammer took the mantle of Warchief once again. During one skirmish, Doomhammer was run through from behind by a human lancer, and with his last words named Thrall the next Warchief.
In Warlords of Draenor, Orgrim serves the Iron Horde and claims that "some things are more important than honor." Datamined dialogue that seems to be from him reveals that Orgrim has dreams of the Burning Legion attacking Draenor, and he believes the people of Azeroth are behind it.
- Ancestral Weapon: The Doomhammer has passed through several generations until it reached Orgrim, the last of his line.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He was in charge of the Horde by virtue of killing Blackhand and remaining unchallenged in matters of combat
- The Atoner: His role after he lost the war.
- Badass Normal: He didn't even drink demon blood, and yet stands out as one of the greatest orc warriors of the first two wars.
- Death by Irony: After killing Blackhand in the main universe his Warlords of Draenor counterpart gets this reversed where instead of him killing Blackhand, Blackhand kills him in Talador.
- Drop the Hammer: The Doomhammer of course. Though it's not the shamanistic tool that it will later be known under Thrall, it's still a dreaded weapon of war that crushed the head of Anduin Lothar, the Lion of Stormwind.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He joins the Iron Horde in Warlords of Draenor, but he won't kill innocent civilians. His refusal to do this in the Siege of Shattrath leads to Blackhand attacking and killing him.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: He is completely covered with black plated armor, but his head doesn't have a helmet.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Doomhammer killed Lothar in a last-ditch charge during the Siege of Blackrock Spire, believing that commander's death would demoralize the Alliance and reinvigorate the orcs to renew their invasion. It almost worked until Turalyon used Lothar's death to strengthen the Alliance's resolve. For added irony, Turaylon proceeded to knock out and capture Doomhammer, demoralizing and destabilizing the Horde instead.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Stabbed In the Back by a human knight's lance during the attack on an orc internment camp in the Arathi Highlands (the camp that would later become the Horde base known as Hammerfall). A Death by Irony for Gul'dan and Blackhand loyalists, who would refer to Doomhammer as "the Backstabber".
- Killed Off for Real:
- In the main universe courtesy of a human lance.
- He is rather undramatically killed by Blackhand in the Alternate timeline.
- Large and in Charge: He was noted to be big even for an orc.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: He appoints Thrall as his second in command, and his death essentially makes Thrall leader of the orcs.
- Named Weapons: The Doomhammer.
- Old Soldier: In Lord of the Clans.
- Player Character: Doomhammer is the player in Warcraft I, for the orc campaign. There is no equivalent character for the human campaign, as the orcs canonically won.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to the orcs and Grom Hellscream while visiting the Frostwolves in disguise, cynically deriding their chances of success against the humans. Given that he wanted to pick a fight with Thrall, it doesn't seem as though he meant what he said.
- Retcon: The appearance of the Doomhammer. In the artwork for Warcraft II, it was a small single-handed weapon that had spikes at either side of the head, with a blade welded on top. Afterwards, it was always portrayed as a massive sledgehammer, and it lost the accompanying points.
- Rousing Speech: Give two short ones during his scenes in Talador in Warlords of Draenor, while the player is spying on him and his forces.
- The Starscream: He took over the Horde by killing Blackhand and the Shadow Council and stripping Gul'dan of most of his power. Purely for selfish reasons in Orcs and Humans, but to avenge Durotan's death and try to save his people in later instalments.
- Tin Tyrant: End of the First War and during the Second War, though he lacked a helmet.
- Weapon of Choice: The Doomhammer.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: As of current lore, where his motivation for continuing to fight the humans was to secure enough land for the orcs to live on as Draenor was dying.
- Wham Line: In Lord Of The Clans, Thrall gets into a fight with him, not knowing anything about him except for his having the gall to insult the Frostwolves, and defeats him. He then offers to make Thrall his Number Two, and Thrall asks what kind of concession that is to the winner, resulting in shocked reactions from those around him before he introduces himself.Orgrim: My name, son of Durotan, is Orgrim Doomhammer.
- Worf Had the Flu: Lost handily against Turalyon at the Battle of Blackrock Spire due to being practically half-dead from the wounds sustained in his duel with Lothar.
Warchief Rend Blackhand
- Cool Sword: Wields a blademaster's sword in World of Warcraft.
- The Dragon: Nefarian's chief lieutenant, commanding all the orcs under him.
- Dragon Rider: Rides a chromatic drake when the players fight him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Clearly cared for his less intelligent brother Maim.
- Evil Old Folks: Warchief of the Dark Horde, he's an old but still nasty piece of work.
- Eyepatch of Power: He appear to have lost his right eye some time after taking up residence in Blackrock Mountain.
- Genius Bruiser: Genius may be an exaggeration, but he's a lot more smarter than you'd think from his appearance.
- Killed Off for Real: Killed by players in Blackrock Spire.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His name is Rend, and his brother's name is Maim.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Magically raised from a child into adulthood by the warlocks.
- The Starscream: Sought to eventually overthrow Doomhammer as Warchief, but never got the chance.
The leader of demon-worshipping Blackrocks who rejected Thrall's call to join the New Horde. He's so corrupted he has become a fel orc.
- Good Old Ways: He and his followers cling to worshiping demons, even maintaining a functional demon gate to communicate with the Legion.
- Killed Off for Real: Slain in battle with Arthas.
Taking up residence in the harsh environment of Frostfire Ridge, a land of blistering cold snow and burning hot volcanoes, the Frostwolf Clan is named for the Frost Wolves they befriend. Normally seen as one of the kinder, softer of the Clans, this proves to be untrue. The Frostwolves are every bit as vicious and savage as the others, but they don't have interests in war or conquest, which is why they serve as the Token Good Teammate to the rest of the Clans. Very Shamanistic and in tune with nature and the elements, the Frostwolves have a much more personal relationship with the spiritual world. The Frostwolves are intense survivalists, subsisting in Frostfire Ridge not because they have to, but because they want to. Their close bond with the Frost Wolves and the elemental spirits allows them to survive in the most intense conditions. To fit the survivalist mindset, every winter the Frostwolf Clan migrates from Frostfire Ridge to Nagrand, and back. They do this to follow the Clefthoof herds that they and their wolves hunt and rely on as a food source.
Upon arriving in Azeroth, the Frostwolves didn't stay with the Old Horde for long, instead travelling to the abandoned Alterac Valley where they continue to live to this day. The Frost Wolves easily took to the cold environment similar to Frostfire Ridge, and the Clan has come in conflict with the Stormpike Dwavres who invaded the Orc's territory to try and find artifacts buried somewhere beneath the valley.
In Warlords of Draenor, the Frostwolves turn against the Iron Horde, and pay for it with the death of their Chieftain, Garad. With Durotan taking the reigns, the Clan aligns with the player Horde coming from Azeroth, to fight against the Iron Horde. The Thunderlord Clan in particular invades Frostfire Ridge to wipe out the Frostwolves, and prove to the Iron Horde they are worthy of joining.
- Animal Motifs:
- The Frost Wolves. The graceful, white furred wolves are considered members of the Clan as much as any Orc. The Orcs ride the wolves into battle, and wear their furs and sleep with the wolves to keep warm in the Ridge. They're very sacred animals to the Clan. Just look at the tcg art of Durotan.◊ There's no less than 5 wolves depicted on his armor (Seven if the axe looks the same on the other side). The Clan also uses wolf terms in everyday language, referring to themselves as a 'Pack', calling each other Wolfbrother and Wolfsister, and they call their dwelling place Wolf Home. Durotan is even sometimes called the Wolfchief.
- The Frost Wolves themselves are a mix between Savage Wolves and Noble Wolves, having the heroics of the latter with the cunning of the former.
- Badass Creed: See above.
- The Beastmaster:
- Every Orc in the Clan has a Frostwolf companion of their own. When the wolf sheds it's first tooth, the Orc keeps it as a good luck charm, called a Frostwolf First-Fang.
- This extends to a few other animal species as well. While not as close to the Clan as the Frost Wolves, they also tame and use Clefthooves and Rylaks (Draenor Chimeras).
- Beware the Nice Ones: The Frostwolves are among the calmest and more sensible clans on Dreanor. But they are also the ones that bear, perhaps the greatest capability for fury. Thrall, Durotan, Draka, and Ga'nar have all either hinted to be about to, or have outright gone into stronger version of blood rage, becoming unable to distinguish friend from foe. Which is why there are more stoic then the rest of the clans.
- Darker and Edgier:
- Durotan and the Frostwolves are every bit as savage and bloodthirsty as the other orc clans. During their assault on the Bladespire clan, they absolutely massacre the ogres, impale them, cut their heads off, pin them on the walls of the Citadel, make off with their shoes, and are obviously enjoying what they're doing.
- In Gorgrond, Draka mentions you didn't go far enough in merely slaying the Botani, and that she would have carved warnings to the rest of them on their dead bodies.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: While all of the other Clans are attributed with colors like red and black and dark purple, the Frostwolf Clan's main colors are blue and white.
- Had To Be Sharp: Frostfire Ridge is a desolate snowfield dotted with active volcanoes; the fact that the Frostwolves can live there and prosper indicates they are quite badass.
- Light Is Good: White and light blue are the clan's colors.
- Token Good Teammate: Is often this to the Old Horde.
- True Companions: To their namesake Frost Wolves. Also the Clan itself. Members in the Clan often refer to themselves as a "pack", like a pack of wolves.
- Volcano Lair: Bladespire Fortress, an Ogre city built into the volcanoes of Frostfire Ridge by the Bladespire Clan of Ogres. The Frostwolves swoop in, slaughter the ogres, and claim the fortress for themselves.
Voiced by: Scott Mcneil (World of Warcraft) Lucien Dodge (As a teenager, in Lords of War)
Played by: Tony Kebbell (Warcraft: The Movie)
Durotan is the former Chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan, mate of the Warriormaiden Draka, and father of the former Horde Warchief, Thrall. Often used as the Token Good Teammate among the Old Horde, Durotan and his clan, as seen by the above quote, did not drink the Demon Blood as the rest of the Orcs did (Although exposure to fel magic still turned their skin green). He was a childhood friend of Orgrim Doomhammer, and the two had many adventures as children, even visiting the Draenei's Prophet Velen. As an adult, he fought with the Horde in the First War but eventually his Clan was exiled by Gul'dan, and he settled his Clan in Alterac Valley, where he and Draka were slain by assassins sent by Gul'dan, leaving the baby Go'el to be found and taken by Blackmoore.
In Warlords of Draenor, he is described as loyal to his allies and terrifying to his enemies. Durotan has led the Frostwolf clan to a life in one of the most hostile lands imaginable. Durotans people rejected the Iron Hordes call for orcish unity to focus on their own survival. They now subsist in the biting cold of Frostfire Ridge by cloaking themselves in furs and taming the massive frostwolves that accompany them, snarling and howling, in battle after battle.
His Frostwolf is named Nightstalker. Thrall named the Orcish nation of Durotar after him.
- An Axe to Grind: Wields a massive double-bladed battle axe.
- A Day in the Limelight: He's the central character of Rise of the Horde, and he's been revealed to be a major character in the Warcraft movie.
- Amazon Chaser: The reason Durotan loves Draka is for her fierce spirit. One time he advised her to stay back, Draka smacked him so hard he shed blood. He immediately mused that she was the perfect wife.
- Badass Armfold: Posed like this in the promotional artwork for the expansion.
- Badass Boast: Before the Battle of Thunder Pass.Durotan: COME! To Thunder Pass! We are outnumbered fifty to one... They don't stand a chance.
- Badass Family: He and Draka were strong warriors, and their seeds gave rise to the future savior of Azeroth.
- Badass Normal: Never drank the demon blood, so he remained a simple warrior.
- Bash Brothers: With Orgrim in Rise of the Horde, moreso at the beginning of the book, less so after he had to take Chieftain responsibilities.
- Battle Couple: With Draka. She may be a better fighter than he is.
- Broken Pedestal: It's been hinted that Thrall will learn in Warlords of Draenor that while better than his contemporaries, Durotan still might not have been the pure idealized orc that Thrall grew up knowing.
- Don't Create a Martyr: The reason he was not killed much earlier, when he first opposed the Shadow Council's orders and let Velen go free. Some like Kargath wanted to have him murdered, but Gul'dan feared that it could lead the others clans that respected Durotan and shared his opinion to openly rebel. And he's proven right when he finally has him murdered; Durotan's friend Orgrim slaughters the Shadow Council to avenge his death, and Durotan is now considered a hero by most modern orcs.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Seems to be with Yrel.
- Give Me a Sword: Tosses his axe to Yrel during their fight with Blackhand. While not as awesome looking, he also picks up her hammer and uses it to knock Blackhand away from Yrel, which she threw at Blackhand earlier in the fight.
- Good Is Not Soft: Seems to be so in Warlords of Draenor. His intentions, as they always have been, are pure and he does no villainous deeds, even turning away the Iron Horde. This doesn't mean the Frostwolves aren't Orcs. He and his Clan are every bit as cruel, violent, and savage as the others (And Horde fans love it).
- Guttural Growler: Scott Mcneil everybody! Fitting, for a wolf man.
- Happily Married: Or life-mated, with Draka.
- He Knows Too Much: He and Draka were murdered on Gul'dan's orders because they knew about the Shadow Council and the pact with the demons.
- Heroic Second Wind: Granted one by Yrel, during their fight with Blackhand.
- Honor Before Reason: Unlike his brother Ga'nar, Durotan first looks to the clan's security and well being before letting his personal emotions get in the way.Durotan: Vengeance does not make our clan strong. Our strength comes from working together.
- Irony: In Lords of War, He was rather emotional while Ga'nar is the coolheaded one.
- Killed Off for Real: Although he technically comes back in Warlords of Draenor.
- My Greatest Failure: His was succumbing to the Blood Fury while defending his mother, causing him to slay her wolf, Stormfang, while fighting off a pack of vicious Garn. He wears Stormfang's pelt on his head to this day, as a constant reminder of his failure, and a motivation to prevent himself from succumbing to the rage again.
- Nemean Skinning: As seen above. The pelt belonged to his mother's wolf, Stormfang, whom he accidentally slew while in a rage.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Although he does fight alongside the Horde in the First War, his decision to not drink the Demon Blood comes back to bite him when Gul'dan exiles him and his Clan.
- Odd Friendship:
- With Velen, although he doesn't make it obvious.
- Also with Orgrim Doomhammer. They met as children during a festival where all the Clans meet, and it was considered unusual because children from different Clans didn't normally become friends. It wasn't taboo, but some Orcs still protested it while others supported it. They remained best friends into adulthood.
- The Power of Friendship: This is a general Frostwolfy trope, but it's also used in his fight with Blackhand, alongside Yrel. She's being held by the neck by Blackhand, and when she sees him, she mutters, "Together.", and Durotan throws her his axe which she uses to defeat Blackhand.
- "Reason You Suck" Speech: To Ga'nar, when the latter challenges him to Mak'gora.Durotan: You think this is what father wanted? Go ahead, Ga'nar. Take the clan. Slay your own brother in cold blood. See who follows you then.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When fighting off the Garn, he went into a rage, causing this.
- Refusal of the Call: While he does join the Horde in the original timeline, in Warlords of Draenor he and his Clan refuse to join the Iron Horde, although they eventually join the player's Horde.
- Rite of Passage: His is described in Rise of the Horde, hunting Talbuk across miles through snow, bringing the best he can hunt down back to the Clan.
- Sadistic Choice: If he doesn't fight with the other Clans, they'll kill him. But he knows in his heart that the Draenei aren't bad people. He only barely gets away with not drinking the Demon Blood.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With his older brother Ga'nar. Ga'nar is Hot-Blooded and reckless, while Durotan is calm and more thoughtful.
- Unstoppable Rage: Told in his Lords of War episode, Durotan went into the Orcish Blood Fury when fighting off Garn to protect his mother. His rage was so deep he didn't recognize the friendly wolf Stormfang fighting with him, and slew him too by accident.
- We Used to Be Friends: Orgrim Doomhammer is aligned with the Iron Horde, something Durotan feels betrayed by.
- Wolverine Publicity: Somewhat in Warlords of Draenor. Even though he refuses to join the Iron Horde and joins the player's Horde, he's still shown in artwork and in the cinematic alongside the other Warlords of the Iron Horde. As seen here, he rises just to Grom Hellscream's right (Our left).
- You Are in Command Now: His father selected him as his heir over his older brother, Ga'nar, due to the latter's violent tendencies. When Garad passed, Durotan was put in command of the Clan.
- Youngest Child Wins: After their oldest brother went missing, Durotan became the heir of Garad and chieftain of the Frostwolves instead of Ga'nar.
Voiced by: Lenore Andriel
Born weak and sickly, Draka, famously called The Warrior Made, is a Frostwolf Warriormaiden and mate to the Clan Chieftain, Durotan, and father of Thrall. When she was born, she wasn't treated well by other Orcs, not even in her own Clan, and her family was forced to move to the outskirts of the Clan as a result. Fed up with how her family was treated, she sought out the wisdom of Mother Kashur, the Clan's lead Shamanness, and figure out if there was some way for her to become a proper Frostwolf Warrior.
There was a way. Draka was sent on a journey to gather ingredients for the spell. She had to gather a Windroc Feather, a Talbuk Horn, and Clefthoof Fur. She indeed, with struggle, was able to hunt the animals and gather the ingredients. When she returned to Mother Kashur, she was wearing a dark cloak to hide herself from the rest of the Clan, and when Kashur led her to the lake, an Orc noticed her and started yelling at her. Draka swiftly grabbed and twisted his arm - And she was amazed at what she did. Kashur led her to the lake, and said there would be no potion, but to look at her reflection. Draka hadn't looked at herself in months, and she saw how she grew, her muscles, her form, and her beauty. She finally accomplished her goal, with no potion.
Her Frostwolf is named Whitefang.
- A Day in the Limelight: The two-part manga series A Warrior Made.
- All of the Other Reindeer: The other Orcs never treated her well. Even a toddler Durotan could see she was sick when she was born.
- Badass Family: Herself and Durotan, powerful warriors, gave birth to Thrall, the savior of Azeroth.
- Bash Sisters: With Kaz the Shrieker during the Gorgrond questline.
- Blade on a Stick: Her weapon during her journey.
- Book-Ends: ''A Warrior Made" ends with Durotan, again, noticing her. The difference is he and Orgrim notice her strength and beauty, rather than her former weakness.
- Determinator: Wouldn't give up on her journey, no matter the cost.
- Happily Married: Or life-mated, with Durotan.
- In-Series Nickname: The Warrior Made.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Reverse than the usual, she was fighting to be just as good as the normal warrior, and ended up becoming much more.
- Mama Bear: A Warlords of Draenor quest in Gorgrond has her sending you after botani casters in outrage after realizing they were stealing children to feed off of.
- Meaningful Name: 'Draka' means 'fight' in Russian.
- Plucky Girl: At a young age. She always tried to be optimistic but it never worked out for her.
- Rite of Passage: Was denied a proper Om'riggor (An Orcish rite of passage), but eventually got a rite of passage in her journey.
- Took a Level in Badass: Her journey to gather the ingredients for the spell for Mother Kashur.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Mother Kashur revealed this to Draka when she returned from her journey. Looking at herself, Draka hardly recognized who she saw, and how much the journey itself made her into one of the Clan's strongest.
Voiced by: Jamieson Price
The older brother of Durotan and one of the strongest warriors of the Frostwolf Clan. He, Drek'thar and some other Frostwolf Orcs were captured by the Bladespire ogres and thrown into the slave pits of Tanaan. After they were freed and reunited with the rest of the clan, Ga'nar takes off to kill the ogres, the Thunderlord Clan and their Iron Horde allies.
His Frostwolf is named Snowfury.
- An Axe to Grind: Wields two massive battle axes.
- Badass Boast: A truly amazing one in the Tanaan Jungle intro.Ga'nar: We Frostwolves will be waiting for you, Hellscream! You! Your ogres! Your whole Iron Horde! You're as good as DEAD!!!
- Badass Family: Badassery seemingly runs in the family.
- Braids of Barbarism: Both his hair and his beard is braided.
- Blood Knight: Ga'nar LOVES and lives for battle. In the battle of Thunder Pass, He behaves almost like a an excited child when leaping into the fray.
- Dual Wielding: Carries two axes with him into battle.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: How every Orc wants to die, and Ga'nar's takes the cake. He successfully fights off an entire Iron Horde army, buying Drek'thar enough time to crush said army in a rockslide. As the rocks are falling atop him and the army, he raises his axe to he air and yells a final, "LOK'TAAAAAR!"
- Heroic Sacrifice: During the Frostfire Ridge finale, after he's made up with Durotan, he sacrifces himself to buy Drek'thar enough time to crush an incoming Iron Horde army under an avalanche. Truly epic, since he takes on said army alone.
- Hot-Blooded: Always the first one to fight.
- Made a Slave: After he's captured by the Iron Horde he's forced to clean their latrines. When he's rescued by the player, he's ready to start kicking ass and plans on killing his captors with his shovel...after he washes his hands.
- One-Man Army: He fights off an Iron Horde army alone.
- Remember the New Guy?: Durotan's brothers were never mentioned in earlier materials, though to be fair nothing ever said he was an only child either.
- Revenge Before Reason: One of the reasons Garad chose Durotan over Ga'nar when their oldest brother went missing was because of his Hot-Blooded and revengeful nature.Durotan: Vengeance neither feeds nor protects the clan. This is why father chose me to be chieftain.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
- The first thing he does when he's back in Frostfire Ridge is gather the strongest warriors of the Frostwolf Clan and then slaughter every ogre in the Bladespire Fortress for throwing him and the others of his clan into the slave pits of Tanaan. Ga'nar himself personally goes up against the ogre king of the fortress.
- And once that is finished, he goes to clear up some unfinished business with the Thunderlord Clan.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Ga'nar is reckless and Hot-Blooded, while Durotan is calm and more thoughtful.
- Unstoppable Rage: You really don't want to piss this guy off. He will kill you.
When the Old Horde invaded Azeroth, the Warsong Clan was the only Clan not interred after the Second War. Running from Humans hunting them, they managed to survive in the wilds of Lordaeron until Thrall found them, and led them back to Shamanism and their old, honorable ways. Grom Hellscream, chieftain of the Warsongs, eventually became the Horde's most celebrated hero for freeing the Orcs from the Blood Curse with his life.
In Warlords of Draenor, the Warsong Clan is the Iron Horde's spearhead. With their swift and powerful archers, blademasters, and wolf riders, they are able to swarm over an enemy before they can even react, and leave just as fast. Their chieftain, Grommash Hellscream, is the Warchief of the Iron Horde.
- The Bard: They are said to ride into battle singing songs about bloodshed, honour and glory, which inspires their allies and terrifies their foes.
- Born in the Saddle: Their other defining characteristic, especially in Warlords of Draenor.
- The Determinator: Enforced by Grommash at least in the alternate timeline. After an occasion where his soldiers backed down from a counterattack against the ogres and he had to go it alone, being captured in the process, Grommash resolved to remove hesitation and weakness from his clan. He invented the practise of mak'rogahn, an unarmed duel where the only objective is to fight until you can fight no longer—though you may lose the brawl, there is no shame except if you cry uncle while you can still stand.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Retooled as Mongolians in Warlords of Draenor. Grom's design in the expansion even slightly resembles stylized depictions of Genghis Khan.
- Honor Before Reason: Heavily. At least, before the Demon Blood. The Warsongs only fight those who have the capability to fight back. It's not out of compassion for a weaker foe, of course, but because an elderly man or a child doesn't put up much of a good fight.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority/Purple Is Powerful: Their unit color in Warcraft III is purple, but is red in Warlords. Either way, they're still one of the strongest, most feared clans on Draenor and Azeroth.
- Start of Darkness: Grom was the first Orc to drink the Demon Blood. This eventually turned their Clan into one of the worst, most cruel Clans there was, and even in the new Horde their reputation as bloodthirsty and brutal warriors is still quite present.
- Strength Equals Worthiness: Essentially the seed of this trope in all of Orcish culture, but the Warsongs are lenient with where that strength can lie. A strong warrior is equally honored as a strong shaman, or a strong rogue.
Grommash "Grom" Hellscream
Voiced by: Kevin Michael Richardson (2013-present)
Chieftain of the Warsong Clan, and mentor to Thrall. Accompanies him in the exodus to Kalimdor, but ultimately fell to the corruption of the Burning Legion again. However, Thrall quickly freed him and he goes to perform a Heroic Sacrifice, freeing the orcs from their curse.
In Warlords Of Draenor, Alternate timeline Grommash never drank the demon blood, leaving him a proud orc who, at the behest of his future son, unites the scattered orc clans. He leads the main raiding parties of the Iron Horde, grinding all forces that don't require Blackhand's siege engines into dust under their own power.
- Aesop Amnesia: When he first appears in Lord of the Clans, he's realized the futility of senseless slaughter, and only leads the Warsong to battle after Orgrim and Thrall recruit them to help free the orcs. When he gets to Kalimdor, he reverts back to his old self and goes out of his way to attack the Alliance. Though it could be argued the Legion's presence had some effect, at least part of it was him.
- Asshole Victim: Played with. Alternate-Grom was the one who formed the genocidal Iron Horde and started the war with both the local Draenei and Azeroth along the way. He also seems to take no responsibility for that, nor offer any reparations beyond helping clean up the remnants of the Burning Legion's forces in alt-Draenor. Yet in Battle for Azeroth he managed to gain sympathy, even admiration, among some of the characters present when he sacrificed himself by facing Yrel and her forces to buy his fellow Mag'har who refused to be Lightforged time to escape.
- An Axe to Grind: The massive axe Gorehowl is his Weapon of Choice. Somehow it ends up in the possession of Prince Malchezzar in Karazhan during Burning Crusade, and players can obtain it by killing him, but in Cataclysm Thrall gives it to Grom's son Garrosh. Players that won it from Malchezzar can still have it though, mostly due to Rule of Cool, as it's a pretty awesome-looking weapon, and Gameplay and Story Segregation.
- Gorehowl is particularly unique among axes in that it is forged to have special notches and holes in it. When the axe is swung, air rushes through the holes, and it lets out a loud howling noise that echoes across the battlefield, earning it its name.
- Gorehowl bears a significant resemblance to the Warsong Howling Axe, Gorehowl's notches and holes being the only difference between both. Whether Gorehowl is Grom's Ace Custom Warsong Howling Axe (as he leads the clan that uses said axe model), or that the latter is a mass-production model based on Gorehowl (making it a Super Prototype) is unknown.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Deconstructed, as while Grom is a peerless warrior, he proves to be a poor general. In the Prime timeline, Grom is simply a blood-crazed killing machine prone to Leeroy Jenkins moments; his Alternate timeline self is similarly gung-ho and uninterested in strategy. As a result, Alternate Grom's war against Azeroth isn't going too well, and his leadership failures eventually lead to his being usurped by Gul'dan.
- The Atoner: After being freed from the curse.
- Badass Baritone: In Warcraft III. Amusingly not in Warcraft II.
- Badass Boast: In the Warlords of Draenor cinematic:Grom: We will never be slaves! But we will be conquerors.
- The Berserker: Grom is a vicious fighter who charges into the fray with reckless abandon.
- Big Bad: He is presented as the main antagonist of Warlords of Draenor, as well as its final boss. Except not. Gul'dan ousts him to become the Big Bad, and Archimonde himself serves as the last boss.
- Big Brother Mentor: Thrall and Grom were so close that they considered themselves brothers.
- Call-Back: In the opening cinematic of Warlords he strikes down Mannoroth, much like he did in the original timeline. And when Mannoroth's body explodes, Grom stumbles back from the flames in the exact same way. Unlike in the original, however, this time Garrosh tackles him out of the way, saving his life.
- The Cameo: Turns up unnamed in Unbroken as the orc who defeated Nobundo and inadvertently saved his life by throwing him into a pile of corpses.
- Dare to Be Badass: Grom Hellscream is an Icon of Orc Badassitude and an inspiration to what an Orcish warrior should strive to be. This is the reason why the Warsong are feared in Draenor. He presence and will along is enough to make most Orcs rally behind him for this reason.
- Determinator: As show in his Lords of War episode, Grommash became legendary for his unbreakable will.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
- Yes, he (with a little help from Thrall) struck down Mannoroth. And he sacrificed his life to do so.
- In Warlords of Draenor, he does it again in the alternate timeline, he (with a little help from his son) struck down Mannoroth. In a single hit too. This time he lives.
- Easily Forgiven: In Warlords of Draenor, the alternate Grom starts a genocidal war against the Draenei and Azeroth, also threatening many orc clans with destruction to force them to obey him. After the Burning Legion arrives and forces an Enemy Mine between Grom and the Draenei, Grom is entirely forgiven by everyone. Continuing to lead the Iron Horde after the Burning Legion's defeat. Based off the official summary of the Warlords of DraenorMag'har storyline in Battle for Azeroth, it appears the story has been Retcon to make Alternate Grom more of a Noble Demon.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In Lord of the Clans, he is adamant that his subordinates send back an abducted human boy to where they got him from without harming him and never do such a thing again.
- Exact Words: How Grom gets around Thrall's "Don't Kill Humans" order in Warcraft III. After learning about the human presence in the area, Thrall states that the humans are not to be touched until he establishes a base there and his troll headhunters return with their scouting report. Grom agrees and just as soon as the Great Hall is completed and trolls return with their report, he and his Warsong clan launch a surprise attack on the human encampments.Thrall: I'll send our hunters to scout the area while we establish a base. Until then, the humans are not to be touched!
Grom: Whatever you say, Warchief.
- Fatal Flaw: Warlords of Draenor gives him one in the form of an absolute loathing of weakness (due to the tragic death of his wife), which is what drove him to drink the demon blood in the original timeline and what prompts him to follow Garrosh's plans for invading Azeroth in the new timeline.
- Fragile Speedster: What Blademasters generally are. While they can't take a lot of hits like more tanky champions like a Tauren Chieftain, they do have a lot of ways to avoid damage. Mirror Image creates copies of the Blademaster to confuse the enemy, Wind Walk stealths the Blademaster and increases movement speed, and Bladestorm makes him immune to spells.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Under the effect of the demon blood, his red eyes glow fiercely.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Killing Mannoroth freed his people from the demon curse, only to be killed himself in the resulting explosion.
- Played with during Battle for Azeroth, see Asshole Victim above.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: In-universe. In The Shattering, it's noted several times that in trying to make Garrosh proud of Grom, Thrall may have ultimately made him out to be a better person than he really was. While Grom did have a sense of honor and made the ultimate sacrifice in the end, for much of Grom's life he was still a violent, Fel addicted Blood Knight who fought for many evil causes.
- History Repeats: After years of being a monster, and then becoming Older and Wiser, the Alternate Grom follows in his prime universe's footsteps in sacrificing himself for the Horde.
- Humiliation Conga: While he started Warlords of Draenor out by continuously humiliating Gul'dan, he gradually gets a taste of his own medicine when the Alliance and Horde forces from prime Azeroth gain regional allies with whom they defeat the Iron Horde again and again, bringing down Grommash's most powerful lieutenants one after anothernote , forcing him to retreat to Tanaan with the Alliance and Horde having him and his remaining followers cornerednote . And then Gul'dan shows up at the end of the legendary questline in patch 6.1, taunting him about the Iron Horde losses and Garrosh's death. He's then blasted into a wall and chained to it with fel energy, while Gul'dan takes over the Iron Horde by converting Kil'rogg to his cause.
- Karma Houdini: Grom has this status at the end of the Hellfire raid, and the Warlords of Draenor expansion. For joining in against Gul'dan and Archimonde, everyone (including Grom himself!) seemed to forget that Grom started the war against Azeroth and the Draenei in the first place. He also built the Iron Horde by threatening other orc and ogre clans with extinction if they didn't join him. When Grom triumphantly shouts "Draenor is free!", Draenei (who would all be dead if Grom had his way) cheer along with him. However, come ''Battle for Azeroth'' and Exarch Yrel wants all of the Orcs - including Grom - to take up the Light and/or become Lightforged as atonement for the actions of the Iron Horde, declaring war on all of them when the refuse. Grom is heavily implied to sacrifice himself buying time for the other Orcs who don't want to be Lightforged to escape.
- Kick the Dog: Leaving his mate and other mortally-wounded soldiers to die when they (realistically) knew that they were finished and asked to be put out of their misery. This bites him in the ass as he would be haunted by her death.
- Killed Off for Real: Dies fighting Mannoroth in the original timeline and can be found buried in Ashenvale in World of Warcraft. In Warlords of Draenor, his fate gets rewritten, and is heavily implied to happen to him as of Battle for Azeroth.
- Knight of Cerebus: Orc Campaign in Warcraft 3 is actually Lighter and Softer than the very dark Undead Campaign that preceded it. Every time Grom appears on-screen in the Orc Campaign, however, things always get sudden dark turn, which include his bloodlust got the better of him and led him to slaughter human outposts. And that's even before he drank Mannoroth's blood that led him to his temporary FaceHeel Turn.
- Late to the Realization: Grommash never manages to clue in that Garrosh is his alternate timeline Kid from the Future, despite their Generation Xerox and some of Garrosh's rather telling behavior. He only makes the connection after Garrosh is dead, and Gul'dan mocks him for getting his "son" killed for nothing while brandishing Gorehowl.Grommash: Garrosh... my... son..?
- Lean and Mean:
- Grom's noted as being abnormally skinny for an orc, Thrall even notes that he looked like he'd been wasting away the first time he saw him. Most artwork tends to ignore this; Samwise, Blizzard's lead artist, is physically incapable of drawing men as anything but uberbuff, and most of their other artists take after his example. This is however played straight with his model in Warcraft 3. While he's still very muscular, he's still a lot skinnier than his artwork. This is probably because his model is based off the ladder map model of his class, the Blademaster which is technically an agility hero.
- This fanart◊ and this snapshot from the Warcraft III cinematic◊ are more accurate for his physical appearance. While he is built and muscular, he is thin for an Orc.
- His appearance in the Warlords of Draenor cinematic is faithful to his original design, and in the poster showing all the notable orcs in the expansion, he's the fourth smallest out of seven, only the caster Ner'zul, Fel-addled and decrepit Gul'dan, and nimble Bladefist have less muscle/are smaller than him.
- Further developed in the Lords of War animation dedicated to him. After being captured by the ogres in a failed raid, Grommash is tied/crucified to a tree (a la Conan the Barbarian onto the Tree of Woe), tormented by the local ogre warlord. It's implied he's tied there for quite some time, as his body begins to become thin and wither away, until there's almost nothing left of the Warsong Chieftain. He gets better, though, after he presumably eats the ogre warlord.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: His scream has been shown to be powerful enough to burst ear-drums and knock people out in close range.
- Meaningful Echo: In the Warlords of Draenor cinematic, Past!Grom again gets the killing blow on Mannoroth and is about to die in the same way, but Garrosh leaps in just in time to clear him of the blast.
- Meaningful Name:
- In-Universe, his full name "Grommash" means "Giant's Heart" in orcish.
- Meanwhile, "Grom", the shortened version of his name means "thunder" in Russian. It also sounds a lot like "gram", which is Old Norse for "wrath".
- My God, What Have I Done?: Why, dooming the orcs to the demonic curse again. He resolves to make amends. HARD.
- Named Weapons: His axe Gorehowl.
- Not So Different: Played straight at first, in a speech to Thrall. Later, Mannoroth tries the same thing, and regrets it.Mannoroth: Heh heh heh... the boy believed you could be saved. But he didn't know what burns within your soul... when, in your heart, you know we are the same!
- Older and Wiser: The original Grom, compared to his Alternate self. Grom in the Prime timeline is much more wise and patient (to an extent), considering the sage advise he gives to Thrall. Although he can still be cruel at times and still enjoys fighting, he has become more kind and less harsh to others over time.
- Although zig-zagged with the Hellscream short story that fills in gaps between Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor. Thanks to the different direction his life took in the alternate universe (partially due to him never having a son before his wife died) he comes across as more repentant and sympathetic much earlier than his original self. He even altered the tradition of mak'gora to no longer be a fight to the death, using a term unfamiliar to Garrosh. This characterization lines up with him being Easily Forgiven later on, but not what he does in between, which is arguably worse than his original counterpart since he doesn't have the corruption excuse.
- Old Soldier: In the main timeline, Grom was a veteran of the second invasion with years of experience under his belt.
- Perma-Stubble: His tattooed jaw gives him this appearance.
- Politically Correct Villain: He's the Blood Knight Token Evil Teammate of the Horde in Warcraft III. That said, after one of his soldiers exclaims that the Night Elves fighting them are women, he downplays that, points out that they're "far too savage" by elven standards, and eventually dubs them "perfect warriors."
- Redemption Equals Death: He doesn't survive turning against Mannoroth, being killed in the explosion caused by Mannoroth's death. However, this is a position held only by the orcs and some but not all of their allies of their allies. Officially, Grom is the biggest point of contention between the orcs and night elves because the orcs refuse to accept responsibility for the death of Cenarius. According to them, it was done by fel orcs and to admit that they were responsible would be saying they were still those same fel orcs.Grom: Thrall, the blood haze has lifted! The demon's fire has burnt out in my veins! I have... freed... myself...
Thrall: No, old friend... You freed us all. RAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
- Sanity Slippage: Goes through one in Warcraft III, as the arrival of the Burning Legion reawakens the Blood Curse within him. The closer and stronger the Legion grows, the more violent and aggressive Grom gets and it culminates in him drinking Demon Blood again.
- Screaming Warrior: His name is Hellscream. There's a reason he provides the page image. Even his weapon howls in battle.
- Screw Destiny: After being enlightened by his son over how drinking the blood of Mannoroth would cause the orcs' enslavement under the Burning Legion, Grom changes the destiny of the orcs forever at the pivotal moment. He refuses to drink, then kills Mannoroth and proclaims that the orcs will never be slaves, but will still be conquerors.
- Shoulders of Doom: That single pauldron seems to just get bigger and bigger with every iteration. It's absolutely humongous in Warlords of Draenor.
- Token Evil Teammate: In Warcraft III, he was always eager to kill humans, even directly disregarding Thrall's orders to do so, putting him in a clear contrast with the other Horde characters. It didn't take much for the demons to corrupt him again either.
- The Unfought: Despite being the Iron Horde's leader for most of the expansion, he never fights the players.
- Unwitting Pawn: There's a pool of Demonic Blood like we so desperately crave and are addicted to. Just what we need to kill the demigod that's been trying to kill us. Gee, this is convenient!
- Worthy Opponent:
Grommash: They will defy you. I have seen their forces in battle. They are fearless. It does not matter what vile creatures you summon to the battle; they will persevere. Their resolve is unbreaking. They will come, they will fight, AND THEY WILL WASH THEIR BLADES OF YOUR BLOOD IN VICTORY!!!.
- In the trailer for 6.2, Grom taunts Gul'dan that he has seen the strength of the Horde and the Alliance and they will conquer Hellfire Citadel and kill all Gul'dan's forces.
- In Warcraft III, when he first fights the Night Elves, after a while, he calls them "perfect warriors."
In Warlords of Draenor, these dark arts finally come to light as we see the magics they employ. Having come in contact with the demon known as Kil'jaeden, and seeing his evil, they try to prevent Gul'dan's Stormreaver Clan from joining the Iron Horde. Using their black magics, they also make the greatest attempts to defeat the Draenei, living right next door in the Temple of Karabor.
- Casting a Shadow: In Warlords of Draenor, the Shadowmoon clan are revealed to worship a Void God (like Entropius from Sunwell Plateau) called the Dark Star and use its powers against the draenei. Despite the name, Warcraft's Void is more this than Power of the Void.
- Fallen Hero: Said to have been one of the more noble and spiritual orc clans and have lived in peace with the draenei for centuries, we never get to see this side of them. By the time we meet the Shadowmoon irrespective of universe something has happened to make them evil.
- Necromancer: The Shadowmoon discovered necromancy by observing the Dark Star when it first appeared, but the chieftain back then quickly outlawed it and declared it evil. They would later start using it when Ner'zhul became the Lich King and several of his followers became the Scourge's first liches.
- The Remnant: Get ready for this — The Scourge. The Lich King was originally Ner'zhul, who was imprisoned by Kil'jaeden, who intended to use the Scourge so the Burning Legion could take over Azeroth. The original Liches of the Scourge were Ner'zhul's Warlocks and Death Knights, making the Scourge, at least partly, this trope.
Class: Shaman/Dark Shaman (Original), Shadow Priest (Alternate)
Once the elder shaman of the orcs, Ner'zhul was the first among his kind to be contacted by Kil'jaeden of the Burning Legion. After being fooled for a while, he managed to see the truth and tried to undo the corruption he'd started. Unfortunately for him, his apprentice Gul'dan took over his position and role willingly. Years later, Ner'zhul led the nigh defeated orcs as warchief in the aftermath (expansion pack) of the Second War. After creating portals to other worlds, seeking to conquer them, he escaped the Alliance through one only to be caught by Kil'jaeden.
The demon lord ripped Ner'zhul to pieces, yet preventing him from dying. The orc eventually vowed to help the Legion create another army to attack Azeroth in exchange for the promise of a new, healthy body. Ner'zhul was turned into the Lich King, beginning the existence of the Scourge.
In Warlords of Draenor, the alternate timeline Ner'zhul manages to avoid his grisly fate and apparently return to shamanism. Forced to join the Iron Horde or risk his peoples' deaths, Ner'zhul has called on the ancient and forbidden powers of the Dark Star, an old deity to the Shadowmoon clan that suspiciously appeared at the same time as the draenei's crash landing centuries ago.
- 100% Adoration Rating: In Rise of the Horde, Durotan notes that Ner'zhul is probably the only orc on Draenor whom everyone respects.
- Affably Evil: He's not exactly a Smug Snake...
- In Rise of the Horde, he was manipulated by Kil'jaeden behind the scenes and made earnest efforts to undo his mistakes, which don't work. By the time of Warcraft II and III he discarded his nobility, though this might have something to do with the Skull of Gul'dan's corrupting nature and being tortured by Kil'jaeden.
- In Warlords of Draenor, he only joined the Iron Horde under threat of death, and called upon the Void because he was desperate to save his clan from the wrath of Hellscream.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He uses black magic and necromancy, but he's not an inherently bad person. He thinks of what's best for his people and most of the bad things he did were because he was manipulated. Even as the Lich King, what he wanted more than anything was freedom (and to throw a giant middle finger at Kil'jaeden for screwing him over so badly).
- Dark Is Evil: In Warlords, his use of the Dark Star has a profound influence on his mind, driving him straight into this trope.
- The Dragon: As the Lich King, he's a Dragon to Kil'jaeden.
- Dragon with an Agenda: What he actually was.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: After the opening of the Dark Portal, Ner'zhul started having having visions of death. When he first meets the undead Teron Gorefiend, he interprets it as a sign that he should follow the Death Knight's plan, unaware that it was probably a vision of what Kil'jaeden had in store for him...
- Elemental Powers: Comes with being a shaman. Even after he lost his connection to them for his evils, Beyond the Dark Portal demonstrated that Ner'zhul could still command the elementals through pure force of will.
- Et Tu, Brute?: He took his apprentice Gul'dan's betrayal badly.
- Fate Worse than Death: What Kil'jaeden did to him after he escaped through a portal was not pretty.
- Killed Off for Real: Arthas destroys his spirit at the end of the novel Rise of the Lich King. Though this leads to...
- Not Quite Dead: Despite this, Arthas later states that "[He] was once a shaman" which implies at least parts of Ner'zhul remains in him in WoTLK. Later still, in Legion a shade of Ner'zhul appears to be still trapped in Frostmourne still trying to tempt a shade of Arthas to take up the sword.
- The Lost Lenore: His longing for his dead mate Rulkan made him an easy target for manipulation.
- Manipulative Bastard: After being manipulated by the demons for years, Ner'zhul returns the favor in Reign of Chaos. First, he turns prince Arthas into his own champion (and future body) who would lead his armies to destroy the Alliance of Lordaeron from the inside, then has his jailors killed. By the end of the game, Ner'zhul is free for the Legion's control and has one, if not the strongest army in the world.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He was very upset to discover that Kil'jaeden had tricked him into slaughtering the draenei, not to mention that the ancestors hated him for it afterwards.
- Necromancer: Kil'jaeden granted him the power to raise the dead, and as the Lich King he became the most powerful necromancer in history.
- Obliviously Evil: Ner'zhul first had to be tricked by Kil'jaeden to start the Draenei genocide. When he realizes this, it's already too late to turn back as Gul'dan has stolen his position.
- Older Than They Look: For an ancient orc, he looked like he was in pretty good shape. To put it in perspective, Ner'zhul had always looked rather physically fit despite being very old. Meanwhile, his former apprentice, Gul'dan looks at least 500 years younger than Velen.
- Pet the Dog: He warned Durotan about Gul'dan's plans and the corruption of the Blood of Mannoroth, thus saving the Frostwolf Clan from enduring the same fate as the other clans. The only ones who knew of Ner'zhul's aid were Durotan and Draka, who later died and took the secret to their graves.
- Sadistic Choice: Given one by Grom Hellscream in Warlords of Draenor, unknowingly by the latter; If he didn't join the Iron Horde, his clan would be destroyed. If his clan wasn't strong enough to fight in the Iron Horde, they would still be destroyed by Grom even if they joined. With no other options left to save his people, Ner'zhul drew upon the power of the Dark Star, which had been forbidden in the past due to its mentally corrupting those who used it.
- Start of Darkness: In the novel Rise of the Horde.
- Unwitting Pawn: Manipulated by Kil'Jaeden, then betrayed by Gul'dan. Got his revenge in Warcraft III.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Just read the quote.
- In Reign of Chaos, once Arthas gets Frostmourne, he lets him kill Mal'ganis.
- After merging with Arthas in The Frozen Throne, Arthas pulls this trope on him by destroying (most of) his spirit.
- What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: In Beyond the Dark Portal (the game), he pointlessly causes many instances of Civil Warcraft that could have been easily been avoided. A good example being after finding out a Captain of the Bonechewer orc clan wears the skull of Gul'dan. Ner'zhul's response? Slaughter the entire clan.
An ogre-mage in the Shadowmoon clan and Ner'zhul's top enforcer.
- Decapitation Presentation: Known for offering the heads of traitors as trophies to his master. Makes his death by decapitation pretty ironic.
- Demoted to Extra: One of the original hero units from Warcraft II's expansion, but has by far become the least relevant in lore since then. He doesn't even appear at the launch of Warlords of Draenor, though he later appears as a minor enemy in the legendary quest chain.
- Face Death with Dignity: After Khadgar absorbs a magic attack with his bare palm, Dentarg accepts being defeated by a more powerful sorcerer before being decapitated.
- Off with His Head!: Decapitated by Khadgar at Hellfire Citadel.
- Retcon: The Beyond the Dark Portal novel implies Dentarg has only one head, whereas he's depicted in Warcraft 2: Beyond the Dark Portal with two heads.
- Undying Loyalty: The main timeline Dentarg is utterly loyal to Ner'zhul. In the alternate timeline however, he's a member of the Shadow Council.
Class: Death Knight (former Warlock) (Original), Warlock (Alternate)
Voiced by: David Lodge
Formerly a member of the Shadow Council, following his death his spirit was forced into the corpse of a human knight and was subsequently raised as the first death knight.
In Warlords of Draenor, Teron (here called Teron'gor) appears as an orc and a servant of Gul'dan as part of the Shadow Council. He has been sent to Auchindoun to "bleed them dry" and is the final boss of the dungeon within it.
- Back from the Dead: Twice, so far. He's first killed by Doomhammer, but is raised as a death knight in a human body by Gul'dan. Then Turalyon later kills him on Draenor, which he didn't recover from until The Burning Crusade, where he tricks the player into reviving him.
- Carry a Big Stick: His huge truncheon serves very well as a melee weapon.
- Driven to Suicide: Originally implied to be how he died according to his Stop Poking Me! quote.Teron: This is the reason I ended it all.
- The Faceless: In Warcraft II, his face was covered by a veil, showing only his glowing eyes.
- In the Hood: Always wears a hood, which helps cover his face.
- Killed Off for Real: Seemingly put to rest at last in The Burning Crusade, specifically by players in the Black Temple raid. However, the way to his return is still open. And he comes back (sorta) in Warlords of Draenor.
- Magic Knight: Magic first, knight second.
- Magic Staff: The truncheon he wields is the source of his power.
- No One Could Survive That!: At the end of the Auchindon dungeon he's reduced to 10% health and falls screaming off the edge of a huge platform, and Khadgar claims that you killed him. Let's say players are skeptical. He returns as a boss in the Hellfire Citadel, a bloated mass of flesh and souls.
- Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: His physical body is undead human, while his soul is still orc.
In Warlords of Draenor's alternate timeline, the Stormreavers are the only clan who drank the blood of Mannoroth. While they seek to join the Iron Horde, they want to so they can corrupt it for the Legion, and are currently opposed by Ner'zhul's Shadowmoon Clan, who prevents their entry.
- Religion of Evil: The Stormreavers intend to bring the Burning Legion to the worlds and become demons themselves.
Lord of the Shadow Council
Voiced by: Paul Eiding (Warcraft III), Troy Baker (World of Warcraft)
The ambitious pupil of Ner'zhul and betrayer of the orcs. Founder of the Shadow Council. Also the true leader of the Horde via his pawn Blackhand. Also the inventor of Death Knights and mass produced Ogre Magi.
In Warlords of Draenor, Gul'dan's offer to join the Burning Legion gets rebuffed as history is rewritten and the Iron Horde is created instead. He leads his Stormreaver clan and the Shadow Council, the only orcs allied with the Burning Legion, to fuel his own ends. He has been described as "on the telephone" with a very angry Kil'jaeden.
- The Archmage: Regarded as the most powerful mortal Warlock ever.
- Artifact of Doom: Even after death Gul'dan still manages to cause trouble. In fact his skull is a usable item by players in World of Warcraft.
- A Pupil of Mine, Until He Turned to Evil: The main universe Gul'dan used to be Ner'zhul's apprentice before taking up fel magic. Both he and the alternate Gul'dan may count as this to the unnamed shaman from their village.
- Arch-Enemy: While they never met in the main timeline, Warlords of Draenor sets his alternate self and Khadgar up as each other's arch-nemesis, devoting considerable time and resources to destroy the other.
- Badass Boast: Subverted in that the above quote is said after being mauled by demons and bleeding to death. It is, however, also a quote that he says in a short story narrated by him in the Tides of Darkness manual.
- Big Bad: He's the big villain of the early games and contends with Grommash for the title in Warlords of Draenor. He successfully usurps Grommash and becomes the main villain, although Archimonde is the final boss fight.
- Big Bad Wannabe: One of the most powerful warlocks to ever walk on Azeroth, but ultimately out of his league when he tries to acquire Sargeras' power for himself, being torn apart by demons. Alternate Gul'dan is aware of this, and takes steps to avoid falling into the trope. He ends up leaving this to be a mostly loyal dragon to Kil'Jaeden, rather than risk facing all the adventurers alone.
- The Corrupter: He is the one responsible for turning the orcs into the bloodthirsty Horde during the First and Second War. Heck, even after death he still corrupts, as his skull slowly influence Ner'zhul, consuming whatever honor and altruism he had, and later the demons used his skull to corrupt the forests of Ashenvale. It is even possible that Illidan turned more deranged because he consumed the powers of the skull.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: When finally slain in Surumar, his death is... ugly. As he collapses, a portal opens to the Argus; he gazes into it, screaming in terror at what he sees; Illidan appears behind him, grabbing the villain by the throat and causing demonic energy to flow into Gul'dan until he literally explodes, leaving only his skull. Illidan says a few brief words to the skull mocking him, and then for good measure, crushes it. See the cutscene here.
- Deal with the Devil: The Alternate Gul'dan offered himself as a servant to the Burning Legion in exchange for power to become more than what he was. He acts as the Legion's liaison, offering the same deal to the other orcs.
- Deceptive Disciple: He used to be Ner'zhul's shaman apprentice while secretly being an agent of Kil'jaeden. His alternate universe counterpart seems to be shaping up to one for Kil'jaeden, as he's determined to avoid being screwed over like his prime counterpart while gaining as much power as possible.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Of the Nighthold and the first half of the Legion expansion.
- Dragon Their Feet: Archimonde flings him through the Black Gate, and he survives to antagonize Azeroth in the next expansion.
- The Dragon: For the Legion in...well Legion.
- The Dog Bites Back: When he is given the power of the fel, he returns to his village and murders all of them with felfire. It later goes into Kick the Dog territory when he murders the shaman.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Not many, mind you, but even Gul'dan is disturbed by Cho'gall's willingness to bring about the apocalypse.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: In one quest chain, the player spies on him using a captured Legion Eye. He notices, however, and quips, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an -" the last word cut off as his spell kills it, and the cutscene ends.
- Evil Cripple: Harbinger shows that he was born weak and crippled, similar to a pale orc, and it led to his evil due to how his clan treated him. While the fel has empowered him, he still walks with a limp.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: His failure to realise this is why his skull became a trinket and a fel magic plaything and more competent villains have survived similar situations.
- Evil Old Folks: Although he always looked old, Gul'Dan just looked it, being younger than Ner'zhul. He had aged seriously for less than 10 years.
- Evil Laugh: Prone to amused and evil laughter when the cards are in his favor.
- Evil Sorcerer: Gul'Dan is the greatest evil orc warlock to exist, and it shows in his achievements and actions.
- Faux Affably Evil: A deceptive monster, but one with a dry wit and a generally composed attitude.
- Fighting a Shadow: He's the boss of a few dungeons and raids in Warlords, but each time it's merely his projection.
- Freudian Excuse: Is revealed to have been born a cripple in a now-unknown village, exiled for his weakness, and even rejected by the elements. It's left ambiguous whether being maltreated like this made him what he is, or whether he was always a sociopath. More importantly Word of God confirmed that the spirits rejected him because they saw the anger in his heart. Chronicle Volume 2 reveals that this is true for the original Gul'dan as well as for the alternate one.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: In the Harbingers animated mini-series, it is revealed that Gul'dan (both the alternate and the original one, as revealed in Chronicle Volume 2) was a crippled and mocked outcast from an unknown village who was eventually exiled for his weakness. After being denied by the elements themselves, he is offered the power of the fel to lay waste to his former village.
- Genre Blindness: He firmly believes that anyone with any sense would naturally want to join the Legion before they are crushed by it, so when a Warlock "hero" appears to help him summon more demons from Argus, he takes the offer completely at face value. It isn't until after the ritual is ruined and the warlock is making off with the Staff of Sargeras that Gul'dan realizes he's been had. Although considering the huge population of warlocks that did end up join him due to corruption and lust for power, it isn't unreasonable for him to assume that was the case for you.
- Hate Sink: You'd be hard pressed to find a character in Warcraft with fewer redeeming qualities than Gul'dan. He might have become more sympathetic after we get to know of his Freudian Excuse.
- Hellfire: One of his most lethal attacks in the Nighthold raid is Liquid Felfire, an AoE attack that can inflict heavy damage to the entire Raid.
- Hero Killer: Alternate Gul'Dan graduates to this by killing Tirion with a summon, Vol'jin through his new demonic army, and Varian directly. Tirion survives, only to die of wounds later.
- History Repeats: Although circumstances differ, in the end the alternate Gul'dan meets his end in the Broken Isles, leaving behind nothing but his skull in Illidan's hand.
- Humiliation Conga: Early in Warlords of Draenor, Gul'dan gets punched out by Grommash when he refused to drink the demon blood, humiliating him in the eyes of his demon master, then chained below the Dark Portal to use his life force to power his own creation, and both of his seconds-in-command plan to backstab himnote , and according to Khadgar he's getting increasingly nervous that he and the player are closing in on him. Things in Draenor have been one failure after another thanks to Garrosh's intervention. And he deserves every second of it.
- However, he later gets his revenge first on Khadgar by having him grievously wounded by Garona Halforcen, then on Grom by blasting him into a wall and taking over the Iron Horde, convincing Kilrogg to drink the demon blood instead.
- In the Hood: He's always seen wearing a hood.
- Ironic Echo: Upon being banished, his former chieftain told Gul'dan that in the wastes, he would learn what it meant to have no people. Upon returning to his village after obtaining the Fel, the chieftain angrily tells Gul'dan to leave as he can never be among his people again. Gul'dan furiously spits in the chieftain's face that he has "no people" before killing him and massacring the village.
- It's All About Me: He only wants to achieve ultimate power for himself, caring nothing for the rest of the Horde and holding little actual loyalty to the Burning Legion. Though due to his past, he had reasons to become like this.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The first person Gul'dan kills when he returns to the village is the chieftain. His decision to incinerate him was ruthless, but given that the chief was a jerk who beat Gul'dan and insulted him simply for his crippled limb that he was born with, you cant help but feel somewhat pleased to see Gul'dan get his revenge. Though it very rapidly goes more evil from there.
- Karma Houdini: As of the end of Warlords of Draenor, but rectified in Legion. when Illidan kills him for everything he's done.
- Karmic Death:
- Dies alone realizing that in the end that he was simply a pawn all along, and without any power. When Alternate Gul'dan learns this, he becomes determined to make sure this won't happen to him.
- His alternate counterpart is incinerated with fel magic by Illidan, pretty much the same way he killed Varian and the chieftain from his village. Far more ironically, his goal had been to crush the Alliance by killing their heroic leader. He failed, because in the end all it did was inspire the rest of the Alliance and the Horde to fight against the Legion. Dying alone with his masters rejecting him means he truly died for nothing.
- Killed Off for Real: His prime universe self was killed off in the second game, though his spirit lived on in his skull for a while until Illidan absorbed its power. His alternate self is crushed by Illidan after the players bring him down in Legion.
- Lean and Mean: He's abnormally gaunt and frail for an orc, though like Grom above many art pieces ignore this description. He was actually naturally crippled, which led to him being mistreated by his clan (seemingly deprived of food, for example).
- Lesser of Two Evils: In Warlords of Draenor you free him and the other Shadow Council members whose bodies were being used to power the Dark Portal, Archmage Khadgar believing that letting Gul'dan escape is preferable to keeping open the invasion doorway for the Iron Horde into Azeroth. He later becomes the greater evil by dethroning Grommash as the Iron Horde's leader.
- Magic Staff: Rather unusually for Warcraft, Gul'dan's staff appears to be a simple walking stick, but fel magic can be seen through the cracks in staff and the head of the staff glows green when he uses his magic. His Harbingers short reveals it belonged to the clan elder, seemingly the only person in the village who treated him with kindness, and who was killed by Gul'dan along with the rest of his village.
- Man Behind the Man: During Blackhand's time as warchief, Gul'dan was the one really calling the shots.
- Necromancer: He invented death knights by combining the souls of his warlocks, the essence of his necrolytes and the bodies of human knights.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Original Gul'dan was mainly known for corrupting the orcs, creating the death knights and for his shadowy influence on the Horde... before getting himself killed. Very far from harmless, but he was nothing compared to the version from the Warlords timeline, who seizes power for himself in ways the original never did, wreaks havoc across two dimensions and has a huge personal kill count (starting with his entire childhood village and eventually Tirion Fordring and Varian Wrynn). The combination of his altered backstory and knowledge of the original timeline seems to have made alternate Gul'dan everything the original thought he was.
- Person of Mass Destruction: While Gul'dan prefers to hide in the shadows of others and not take action himself, he is an extremely powerful warlock capable of laying waste to large areas of land. Just witness either the fel volcano known as the Hand of Gul'dan or his summoning of an absolutely enormous fel reaver in a ball of felfire from the skies.
- Playing with Fire: Utilizes fel fireballs as his main offensive spells.
- Ret-Canon: Gul'dan was always portrayed as a physically weak and unimposing villain who works from the shadows and relies on magic. In the movie, a plot twist reveals that that version of Gul'dan was Obfuscating Disability, instead having secretly become a towering muscled monster using the power of the fel. While the game's Gul'dan remains geniunely crippled, the idea of him augmenting his body with fel to become a physical threat comes to the games' canon with Gul'dan's Final Boss encounter in the Nighthold raid.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Abandons the Old Horde on the eve of victory to try and acquire Sargeras' power for himself, and not only does it cost the Legion victory, it ends with him getting torn apart by demons at the Tomb of Sargeras. Kil'jaeden uses this as the reason alternate Gul'dan has no need to betray him; that Gul'dan paid the price for disloyalty, while he still has the chance to have the power he seeks as a servant.
- Self-Serving Memory: When encountered in the Nighthold, he mocks players for their faction leader's fates, saying that Varian "Whimpered like a dog" as he was killed, and Vol'jin "Died begging for a merciful end from his poison", when both of them went out staying Defiant to the End and with dignity. His words seem to imply that he fully believes that's how the events played out too.
- Scry vs. Scry: Master of the trope in Warlords. It doesn't matter how safe you think you are...if you're magically spying on him, he knows, and has a "surprise" for you.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: He decorates his robes with skulls and bones.
- Smug Snake: So utterly confident in his plans. So utterly despicable. His alternate counterpart seems to be working out of this, learning from his mistakes to an extent. He does take the smugness Up to Eleven in the Legion opening event, though. But hey, with a bodycount like that, who wouldn't?
- Spikes of Villainy: Carries around huge bone spikes on his back, which are part of his robes.
- Squishy Wizard: Like Medivh before him, his immense magical abilities are of little help when a tomb full of demons tries to claw him to pieces. Probably didn't help he had just used his magic to raise the Tomb of Sargeras from the sea, leaving him vulnerable.
- The Starscream: After he "submits" to Doomhammer he plans on betraying the usurping Warchief. While he ultimately fails, his betrayal still costs Doomhammer the Second War. Alternate Gul'dan nearly goes this route with Kil'jaeden after learning that his prime counterpart was killed by demons, only for the demon to tell him that the old Gul'dan paid for his betrayal with his death, while he still has the opportunity to be all he dreamed of.
- Start of Darkness: After a lifetime of mockery and being cast out of his village due to his deformity, as well as being denied by the elements themselves, Gul'dan was offered the power of fel magic to get his revenge on those who have wronged him.
- Straw Hypocrite: Alternate Gul'dan was not able to manipulate Ner'zhul into galvanizing the orcs against the draenei, and has to do the job himself. The other clans aren't convinced that the draenei are a threat, and treat him as a Windmill Crusader—but we know from elsewhere that he doesn't believe his own ravings, and it's just that his master wants them dead out of spite.
- Summon Magic: Gul'dan is a powerful warlock after all, and capable of bringing in dozens of demons by himself. At the Broken Shore he also summons an enormous fel reaver from the sky to prevent the Alliance gunship from leaving the island.
- That Man Is Dead: Alternate Gul'dan feels this about his prime counterpart, constantly telling both Kil'jaeden and Khadgar they are not the same person. When he learns of that Gul'dan's ultimate fate, he's even more determined to show he won't end up like him.
- Took a Level in Badass: Due to his experiences in the expansion, and learning how his prime counterpart's arrogance led to his doom, Gul'dan from the alternate universe became a lot smarter. He's also more powerful. This version actually IS the badass the original thought he was.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Briefly thanks the shaman from his village for helping him find his destiny, making you think he might spare him, and then incinerates the one man who actually showed kindness to him, and probably saved him from getting killed at the gates right then and there.
- Unreliable Narrator: Becomes this due to the retcons on Warcraft lore. His account on the Warcraft II manual heavily implies the orcs were Always Chaotic Evil since their origins depicts Orgrim Doomhammer as little more than a power-hungry The Starscream.
- The Unfought: Despite being revealed as Warlords of Draenor's true villain, his master, Archimonde, stands in for him in the final fight; however, he is encountered properly as the end boss of the Nighthold.
- Un-person: He destroyed his entire village, leaving no trace that they ever existed."No one living has heard of the village of my birth... and no one ever will."
- Unwitting Pawn: Refuses to be this to the Burning Legion; he agreed to be a willing servant, not a tool to be cast away. He nearly betrayed Kil'jaeden over this at the Tomb of Sargeras after learning the original Gul'dan's fate from Khadgar, with only the demon adding that it was he who betrayed the Legion first and cost them victory the first time and that he could not stand against the might of Azeroth alone stopping him. Incidentally, Kil'Jaeden himself has to spell it out to him that he isn't a tool to be thrown away, as he had spent put far too much effort into training him.
- The Usurper: Seizes control of the Iron Horde away from Grom Hellscream.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has one after he's defeated and the portal is destroyed. Illidan kills him a few seconds later
- You Have Failed Me:
- He ordered his necrolytes to create the first death knights with the bodies of human knights, but when they failed to do so Gul'dan slew them and used their essence to fuel the ritual.
- Is on the receiving end of one from Archimonde at the end of Hellfire Citadel, who in his dying moments notes that Gul'dan made a pact and flings him into the Twisting Nether to an Uncertain Doom.
- Younger Than They Look: The degree varies between art pieces and game appearances but he tends to appear much older than his middle age. Presumably, this has to do with fel magic doing terrible things to the body.
- Wizard Beard: In all depictions, he has a long white beard from his chin.
- Would Hurt a Child: While it's not shown that there were children in his village, he spared no-one. Also, when he arrives on Azeroth he commandeered a ship, killing everyone except the children. He used them as a human shield when Khadgar caught up to him, and later blew up the ship with them on it, killing them all. It also goes without saying since he serves an army of Omnicidal Maniac demons.
Voiced by: April Stewart (World of Warcraft)
Played by: Paula Patton (Warcraft: The Movie)
Half-orc/half-draenei assassin who befriended Khadgar and other humans during the First War. Garona ended the First War when she killed King Llane Wrynn of Stormwind while brainwashed. Garona has been largely absent from World of Warcraft, but appeared in the Twilight Highlands to get revenge on Cho'gall, the last surviving member of the Shadow Council, for what he did to her.
An alternate timeline Garona working for Gul'dan appears in Warlords of Draenor.
- Action Girl: The very first in the games.
- Adaptational Badass: Not that she wasn't badass to begin with, but due to Med'an being retconned out of the story Garona takes a much more prominent role in defeating Cho'gall and the Twilight 's Hammer cult.
- Berserker Tears: When she (unwillingly) murdered King Llane, as witnessed by young Varian.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: A frequent problem for her. Until Cho'Gall is killed, she can potentially be controlled again.
- Child by Rape:
- In the old lore, she was born due to Gul'dan's experiments during the orcs' war with the draenei.
- In the current lore, she was born to a female Draenei who was captured and enslaved by the Bladewind clan.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: A common fan theory before she reappeared in the story was that possessed Medivh had cursed her to betray anyone she felt loyalty toward. This was due to a paragraph in Warcraft: The Last Guardian:Medivh: Let me show you my world, Garona. Let me drive my own divisions and doubts into you. You'll never know who you serve and why. You'll never find your place.
- Continuity Snarl: Her parentage. First, she was half-human, but due to retcons that shortened the timeline of the First War from decades to a single year, it was then stated that she was a half-draenei born before the orcs came through the portal, but was artificially aged into adulthood and was lied to about her heritage. Eventually, Blizzard simply gave her a new backstory in Chronicle where she was born to a draenei enslaved by a rogue Orc clan and was kidnapped by Gul'dan years before the Dark Portal opened.
- Originally, her small size was due to being an orc-human hybrid. However, as previously stated, she was retconned into being an orc-draenei hybrid. Draenei are even taller and less humanoid than orcs are so where Garona inherited her short, human like physique from is anyone's guess.
- Determinator: She spent over a decade traveling across Azeroth in her quest to kill Cho'gall.
- Dual Wielding: Most commonly wields twin daggers.
- Half-Human Hybrid: A victim of a retcon as regards to her parentage. She went from being Half-Human to being half-something else to being Half-Draenei.
- Interspecies Romance: In the old lore before Chronicle, She had this with Medivh, resulting in Med'an as their son.
- The Kingslayer: She is the one who killed King Llane, though she was a very reluctant assassin.
- Ms. Fanservice: Garona is one of Blizzard's iconic babes.
- Nonhuman Humanoid Hybrid: She's half-orc, half-draenei. Was part of her retcon.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Forcibly aged into adulthood by Gul'dan. This was made-up to account for her age despite the reduction of the timeline of events prior to the First War, in which Garona is already a young adult.
- Retcon: In Warcraft 1, she was originally half-orc, half-human. Later on, when Warcraft lore developed and the events before the First War took place within a single year instead of decades and the revelation that there were no humans on Draenor, she was retconned into a half-orc, half draenei. Her saying she was half-human is still considered canon, but was Hand Waved as Gul'dan tricking her into believing as such so she could get closer to King Llane and Medivh.
- Spanner in the Works: Her intrusion of the incredibly shaky diplomatic meeting between Varian Wrynn and Thrall while Brainwashed and Crazy royally screwed up all potential of peace between the two.
An orc hermit who dwells alone on the Broken Shore, in the Broken Isles. He was once a warlock of Stormreaver clan. When his chieftain Gul'dan entered the Tomb of Sargeras in search of the demonic power within, he was slain by the Tomb's demon guardians. Between them and the vengeful Blackrock clan forces, the Stormreavers and Twilight's Hammer were both nearly eradicated, with Drak'thul being one of the few survivors.
- The Aloner: When the player character encounters him in Legion, he repeatedly tells them to go away.
- Retired Monster: He was a warlock of Stormreaver Clan and former follower of Gul'dan's. Afterwards, he just wants to be left alone as a hermit.
- Robe and Wizard Hat: He dresses like this in Legion.
- Sole Survivor: He is one of the few survivors of the clan after Gul'dan's death and the clan was nearly eradicated.
Twilight's Hammer ClanWarcraft The Old Gods
Bleeding Hollow Clan
'Warlords Of Draenor'' revealed more about the Bleeding Hollow clan. They are a very shamanistic clan, and every chieftain of the Bleeding Hollow has to undergo a ritus, in which they rip out their own eye to receive a vision of their death. This vision decides how they will lead their clan. The Bleeding Hollow Clan makes their home in the Tanaan Jungles, slathering their weapons in hallucinogenic venom and stalking their prey from the treetops of the jungle. Extremely savage and primal, the Bleeding Hollow Clan wields weapons of bone and armor of leather and skin, painting their bodies in tribal tattoos and dancing wildly around bonfires.
- Blood Magic: The blood of sacrifices is used to power the magic that turns their warriors into berserkers.
- The Fatalist: The members of the clan believe their death visions with absolute certainty.
- Growing Muscles Sequence: In Warlords of Draenor, the clan uses blood magic to mutate their warriors into hulking berserkers.
- Klingon Promotion: Seems to be a thing in the Bleeding Hollow clan. Kilrogg Deadeye became Chieftain this way, and he himself has killed quite a few of his sons and grandsons attempting to take the position from him.
- Poisoned Weapons: They slather their weapons in hallucinogenic poisons that make their victim's final moments really trippy.
- The Remnant: The Bleeding Hollow was famed for being a particularly resilient clan. Notably after the Hordes defeat in the second War, the Bleeding Hollow orcs were still at large on Azeroth when most of the other clans had been captured. Much of the plot of Beyond The Dark Portal was instigated by the Bleeding Hollow contacting the orcs of Draenor and giving them new resources of Azeroth's Horde such as Dragons.
- The Savage South: Subverted. While Tanaan Jungle looks like this, it's actually on the far eastern part of Draenor.
- Top-Heavy Guy: The blood magic they use to mutate their warriors bloat their upper bodies while their legs remain relatively smaller.
Voiced by: Matthew Mercer (World of Warcraft)
Elderly chieftain of the Bleeding Hollow clan. Kilrogg's legacy is something of an enigma, earliest tales of his namesake say that when the Old Horde allied with the Burning Legion, Kilrogg sold his eye to a demon to be able to create magical eyes with omnipotent sight, this spell is the namesake for the warlock spell of the same name and purpose.
This is different in Warlords of Draenor. It's revealed that tearing one's eye out is the Bleeding Hollow's sacred rite of ascension, and that this determines how the next Chieftain will lead the clan. Kilrogg was granted a vision of a glorious future for the Bleeding Hollow, up to and including his own glorious death in battle.
- An Axe to Grind: In the main timeline, he wields an axe.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Remains in control of his clan by personally slaying any challengers to his position.
- Badass Beard: And decorated with a skull to boot.
- Bad with the Bone: His counterpart in Warlords of Draenor prefers to wield a spiky bone club.
- Body Horror: After drinking the demon blood, Kilrogg gets a dark grey skintone, grows spikes all over his body and his right hand mutates into a demonic-looking claw.
- Deal with the Devil: In Warlords of Draenor, Kilrogg turns against Grom after the Iron Horde suffered defeat after defeat to join Gul'dan and the Burning Legion.
- Death Seeker: Joined the Iron Horde because he's certain that they will lead him to his glorious end.When he's confronted in the Hellfire Citadel raid, he's thrilled to finally meet his end.Kilrogg: I've been waiting for this day!
- The Original Kilrogg was not however. He made the Eye deal due to paranoia after drinking the blood about people assassinating him and wanted a means to protect himself from a sudden death, so he was granted the ability to make Eyes of Kilrogg to scout for him, and as a bit of Jerkass Genie moment, also gave him visions of how and when he would die when he slept so he wouldn't be surprised. By the time of his death vs Danath Trollbane came, he was a nervous wreck that Ner'zhul had to force to go face his destiny in Auchindoun.
- Evil Old Folks: While more noble than most orcs in the Old Horde, he still seeks to further their cause and viciously kills any challengers to his position, regardless of them being his own family.
- Generation Xerox: When he dies in the Hellfire Citadel raid, his last words are the exact same his father said when Kilrogg killed him in his Lords of War episode.Kilrogg: At last... THIS is the death I saw...
- Genius Bruiser: Noted for both his cunning and his capability as a warrior.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: His remaining eye glows red. After he drinks the demon blood, it glows green.
- Killed Off for Real: He is killed at the hands of Danath Trollbane in the main timeline.
- Klingon Promotion: Killed his own father to take over the clan and push the arakkoa out of the jungles of Tanaan.
- Macho Masochism: Tore out his left eyeball in a ritual when he became chieftain of the Bleeding Hollow.
- Meaningful Name: One of his eyes is dead.
- Noble Demon: He's out to further the Horde's cause, but mainly so that their people will have a new place to live. Not quite as noble in Warlords of Draenor, taking up Gul'dan's offer of the demon blood after the Iron Horde has suffered too many losses and Grom Hellscream himself was just humiliated by Gul'dan.
- Offing the Offspring: Has killed three of his own sons and two grandsons because they each tried to take leadership of the Bleeding Hollow clan from him.
- Old Soldier: Old and hardened in the main timeline.
- Painful Transformation: After drinking the demon blood, Kilrogg falls to his knees in agony as he's slowly turned into a fel orc.
- Patricide: Reluctantly slew his own sick father, after realizing he stood in the way for a brighter future for their clan. His father welcomed it, having seen the vision of his own death.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Before he ever drank the demon blood, Warlords of Draenor shows his remaining eye to be red. However, it later turns green when he drinks Gul'dan's new demon blood.
- Spikes of Villainy: Drinking the demon blood causes huge spikes to grow out of his skin.
- Villainous Valor: During his Last Stand.
- Worthy Opponent: Met Danath Trollbane only once in battle, but immediately recognised him as a worthy adversary.
- You Shall Not Pass!: To the Alliance soldiers pursuing Ner'zhul. He succeeds in delaying them enough for Ner'zhul to escape, but dies in the process.
Shattered Hand Clan
In Warlords of Draenor, The Shattered Hand clan is a orc clan led by the twisted Kargath Bladefist and makes their home among the Spires of Arak. These former slaves have been drawn together through a macabre joy of pain both self-inflicted and imposed upon others. It is through this pain that they believe they gather strength, and their reputation as relentless and dirty fighters is well-earned.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Every member of the clan has replaced one of their hands with a hook, scythe or a blade.
- Macho Masochism: Emulating their chieftain Kargath, the members of the clan practice self-mutilation to prove how tough they are.
- Made a Slave: The clan is made of former slaves held by the ogres.
- Murder, Inc.: The Shattered Hand of the New Horde was restructured into an organization that serves as an assassin's guild, training the Rogues of the Horde in their craft.
- Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: The Shattered Hand is actually made up of a bunch of orcs who were enslaved by Ogres, and escaped when Kargath, slicing off his chained hand and replacing it with a blade, led them out of slavery against their ogre slavemasters.
- The Shattered Hand of the New Horde is full of Rogues, and has a bit of a subversive flavoring, perhaps even criminal.
- Sadist: Warlords of Draenor bio describes the clan as hate-filled, systematically torturing their victims before killing them, and even inflicting pain upon themselves, taking joy in it.
Voiced by: David Boat
Chieftain of the Shattered Hand clan and one of the original members of the Shadow Council. In the Burning Crusade he became the Warchief of the Fel Horde, serving Illidan as the jailor of Magtheridon.
Warlords of Draenor reveals his past. Kargath was originally a clanless orc and a slave to the ogres. He fought as a gladiator in their arenas, as he was promised freedom if he could win 100 times. Kargath won, but instead of freedom, he was chained up with the other gladiator champions. Seeking vengeance against his ogre overlords, he cut off his chained hand to free himself and replaced it with a bladed weapon. He then proceeded to rally the other orc slaves against the ogres, killing them and forming the Shattered Hand clan with himself as their chieftain.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Cemented his leadership of the former slaves by being the most capable asskicker. Being the one who started the revolt didn't hurt either with their view of him.
- Badass Boast: While battling an opponent who came Back from the Dead "I'm Kargath Bladefist, and when I kill something IT STAYS DEAD."
- Blade Below the Shoulder: First a scythe in place of his left hand, later he got a sword in place of his right.
- Blood Knight: He might no longer be a slave, but he still enjoys fighting in arenas.
- Born into Slavery: Was born into the life of a slave under the ogres of Highmaul.
- Call-Back: When killed in the Highmaul raid, his Famous Last Words are "And that makes one hundred." referencing his introduction in Warlord of Draenor where he chased the players down for only killing ninety-nine of the hundred needed to earn their freedom.
- Combat Pragmatist: As depicted in the Lords of War animation depicting Kargath's time as a gladiator, his final challenge was to battle another gladiator who was decked in armor and armed to the teeth, while Kargath himself was only given a broken sword with most of its blade missing. He used the blade to reflect the light of the Sun into his opponent's eyes, blinding him. Kargath then made quick work of the blinded gladiator.
- Depending on the Writer: Hoo boy. Kargath's characterization has been rather... inconsistent, to say the least, since his initial appearance in Warcraft II, where he was basically a bog standard Blood Knight with an Bald of Evil Old Soldier portrait. In World of Warcraft, he has several Horde locations named after him, indicating he is held in high esteem by the New Horde, despite they largely reviling the era he belonged to. In Burning Crusade, he is revealed to be the Warchief of the evil Fel Horde, but the Horde still appears to admire the orc he used to be. Come Rise of the Horde, however, and he is revealed to have been a member of the Shadow Council, the cabal keeping the Horde as lapdogs of the Burning Legion and manipulating it from behind the scenes. And now in Warlords of Draenor, all of this appears to not really add up, giving that he is portrayed as an unrepentant sadomasochist. All of this indicates that he never was the honorable warrior the New Horde viewed him is in Classic and BC.
- It's likely that the respect the New Horde has for Kargath stems from the basic facts of his rise to warlord, which are very classically heroic when taken on their own: He was a slave who united a group of fellow clanless orcs to overcome oppression and carve out a place in the world for themselves (which actually mirrors the story of the New Horde rather closely). Also compare Vlad the Impaler, who is well-known for his horrific cruelty but is nonetheless celebrated as a hero in his native Romania.
- Eyepatch of Power: Depicted with one in Warcraft II.
- Evil Albino: Warlords of Draenor depicts him as deathly pale.
- Evil Old Folks: Kargath is rather elderly, even pictured with a cane in Warcraft II's manual.
- Fingore: Broke off an entire fingernail while trying to reach the sharp rock he used to cut off his hand.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He started off as a lowly gladiator for the ogres. He eventually started a massive revolt against said ogres, and became the leader of the rebellious orcs, forming the Shattered Hand clan.
- Gladiator Games: Champion of the arena during his time as a slave. As chieftain of the Shattered Hand Clan, he still enjoys hosting various gladiator games, participating in them himself.
- Gladiator Revolt: Sparked one among the orc slaves, leading them to revolt against their ogre masters.
- Graceful Loser: In Warlords of Draenor, his Famous Last Words consist of him remarking "''And that makes... one... hundred...", the players having only previously achieved ninety-nine kills out of the hundred that he'd demanded in return for their freedom.
- Handicapped Badass: He's missing a hand, but due to replacing it with a blade weapon, he's as dangerous a fighter as he could ever be.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Not a particularly heroic figure, but in The Burning Crusade, he's clad in full plate with his head left uncovered.
- Hook Hand: Initially had one, in place of his left hand. He later cut off his right hand and replaced it as well in the main timeline.
- Killed Off for Real: In Burning Crusade, by the player in the Shattered Halls instance of Hellfire Citadel.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When the Alliance entered the Dark Portal and established Honor Hold in Hellfire Peninsula, they managed to take Hellfire Citadel. Kargath wisely retreated, and after trying unsuccessfully to convince Greatmother Geyah of Nagrand to lend him warriors, he decided to regroup and wait until he had enough strength to retake the Citadel. Then Magtheridon arrived and the tables turned.
- Lightning Bruiser: In his fight with a player controlled Terokk and in Highmaul, he moves fast enough to leave afterimages.
- Macho Masochism: Cut off his hand to free himself from his chains and overthrow his ogre slavemasters.
- Meaningful Name: He has a blade in place of his hand. By the time of Burning Crusade he had replaced both hands with blades.
- Old Soldier: Depicted as rather elderly in Warcraft II.
- Turn Coat: To Magtheridon. When the pit lord arrived on Draenor, Kargath willingly joined with him and drank the demon blood Magtheridon provided, and with his help retook Hellfire Citadel. But when Illidan came along and defeated Magtheridon, Kargath eagerly switched sides to follow him.
- You Don't Look Like You: When he first appeared in the game in The Burning Crusade he had a generic fel orc model (aside from the fact that his hands were replaced with twin blades). In Warlords of Draenor he has an updated, unique appearance but his main timeline model, seen in the Shattered Halls instance, hasn't changed.
- Bright Is Not Good: Their clan color in Warcraft II is white. In Cataclysm the take on the more stereotypical 'evil' colors of black and red.
- Continuity Snarl: Their clan name might have been plausible in the original lore, but the franchise cluster-Retcon after Warcraft II has left them with the name Dragonmaw years before they even learned of dragons. The writers wish they'd chosen a different name back then and they mostly just let the inconsistency be quietly ignored. Eventually, despite not appearing in Warlords of Draenor, the Chronicle books put them back because Warlords of Draenor gave Draenor dragon-like creatures after all.
- The Dragon: To the Black Tooth Grin Clan.
- Dragon Rider: The main theme of the clan is that they subdue and tame dragons to use them as mounts.
- The Remnant: The faction in Outland led by Zuluhed, which in Cataclysm returns to Azeroth under the leadership of Mor'ghor and then joins Garrosh under the command of Zaela.
Zuluhed the Whacked
Chieftain of the Dragonmaw Clan and one of the last Orc shamans during the First and Second Wars.
- Evil Sorcerer: Despite being a shaman he practices warlock magic
- Killed Off for Real: By the players in The Burning Crusade.
- Last of His Kind: Prior to Thrall reviving shamanism and leading the orcs away from demon worship, Zuluhed was one of the last shamans in the Horde.
- Long-Runners: He and Kargath are the only two orc chieftains that survive from the Rise of the Horde to Illidan's rule over Outland.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: In case you don't know, "Whacked" means "demented".
- Undying Loyalty: To Blackhand, which in turn leads him to pledge allegiance to Rend and Maim.
Zuluhed's right hand and the "warden" of Alexstrasza, commanding the Dragonmaw on Grim Batol.
- Evil Cripple: A knight took half of his leg.
- Karmic Death: In the second war, he used the Black Chain and Dragon Soul to forcibly bind red dragons forcefully bred from Alexstrasza for his men to ride into battle, and killed them when they outlived their usefulness, to say nothing of his absolutely monstrous behavior towards the Lifebinder herself. When Alexstrasza finally breaks free (unbeknownst to Nekros until it's too late), he find outs very quickly what happens when you earn the hatred of a carnivore many times larger than you.
- Last of His Kind: Along with Gul'dan, he's one of the few warlocks not killed by Doomhammer, because he wasn't part of the Shadow Council.
- Magic Knight: Both warrior and warlock.
- Would Hurt a Child:
- Sort of. When Alexstrasza goes on a hunger strike, he shatters an egg to force her into cooperation.
- In a straighter example, he would kill any red drakes that returned wounded but alive since having an infinite supply with Alexstrazsa enslaved was more pragmatic than using the resources to let them heal naturally, even if they weren't artificially aged up they were still probably no older than a year. It also broke Alexstrasza's spirit and kept her subservient, at least until she broke free.
The son of Nekros Skullcrusher. He leads the Dragonmaw in Azeroth and serves Rend's Dark Horde.
- Dragon Ascendant: Leading the Dragonmaw in Azeroth now that his father is dead.
A fel orc leading the Dragonmaw in Netherwing Ledge in Shadowmoon Valley.
Laughing Skull Clan
In Warlords of Draenor, the Laughing Skull Clan, known for their bloodthirsty and violent nature, are one of the few clans who refused to join the Iron Horde and have allied themselves with the Frostwolf Clan and the Horde to fight their common enemy.
- Action Girl: All of the Laughing Skull females, of course, but particularly Kaz the Shrieker, shaman chieftain of the clan in the Warlords timeline and a prominent quest giver in Gorgrond. She can become a Horde garrison follower if the player chooses the lumber mill for the Gorgrond outpost.
- A Friend in Need: When the clan is first encounted in Warlords of Draenor, they are in a very rough spot: their main settlement has been destroyed by a massive surprise attack by goren (think the monsters from Critters only more scaly and really good at digging). Both they and the Frostwolves have something the other wants: the Laughing Skulls know Gorgrond better than any other group, and the Frostwolves can offer stability and a chance to rebuild due to their connection with the Horde.
- Ax-Crazy: These guys are just plain nuts. Laughing Mad badasses who basically give the finger to the groups you would expect them to be all for joining, the Old Horde and Iron Horde respectively.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: They use the ravagers as mounts.
- Cool Mask: Every member of the clan wears a skull mask, even their mounts.
- Die Laughing / Glasgow Grin: What they do to prisoners. In Gorgrond you can find a bunch of dead, smiling Iron Horde orcs tied down to a rock. In front of the rock is a sign of the Laughing Skull which reads "We got them to laugh... eventually.". Also, their clan motto is "We die laughing!"
- The Dreaded: They have a fearsome reputation across Draenor not just for their ruthlessness, but also just for being able to live and thrive in Gorgrond, a brutal land of stark mountainous wastes juxtaposed with hellish jungle.
- Laughing Mad: They have a tendency to burst out into maniacally laughter, especially when fighting.
- Had To Be Sharp: You better be sharp when your homeland is half arid rocky wasteland and half jungle, populated by hostile armies of Earth and Nature element-aligned creatures constantly trying to kill each other and you.
- Hidden Depths: Who would have thought the absolutely insane and Ax-Crazy Laughing Skulls are one of the more heroic clans? In the MU, they side with the Alliance against the Old Horde, helping them fight against demons. And in Warlords of Draenor, they end up aligning with the Frostwolf Clan and the Horde against the Iron Horde. How about that? And despite their bloodthirstiness, they are shown to value family and they care deeply about one another. They have Values Resonance for the Frostwolves, who similarly refused to join the Iron Horde and cultivate a strong True Companions vibe in their clan.
- Pyromaniac: They really like to set things on fire. Though at least part of that love is for practical reasons. They burn corpses to prevent them from being used by the sapient plant life as breeding vessels or enslaved thralls.Kaz the Shrieker: Burn burn burn burn torch and burn and burn and cinder and FIRE!
Mogor the Ogre
Mogor was the chieftain of the Laughing Skull Clan, and one of the few ogres who led an orc clan. When the majority of the Horde went through the Dark Portal into Azeroth, Mogor and his clan stayed on Draenor. After the Horde was defeated and the Alliance Expedition came to Draenor, Mogor betrayed Ner'zhul and allied with the Alliance in exchange for the dominance of his clan in Blade's Edge Mountain. In Burning Crusade, the Laughing Skull Clan got turned into Fel Orcs and Mogor himself left the clan behind and joined the Warmaul ogres as their champion.
In Warlords of Draenor, Mogor isn't part of the Laughing Skull, but instead can be found as the Lord of the Ring at the Ring of Blood arena in Nagrand.
- Genius Bruiser: As far as an ogre can be considered "genius".
- Large and in Charge: One of the few ogres who lead an orc clan.
- Multiple Head Case: Although he has two heads, they don't argue with each other, which is quite rare among two-headed ogres. In Warlords of Draenor, he's depicted with only one head. It seems that he was one of the many ogres magically given two heads during the Second War.
- Third-Person Person: Picked this habit up in Burning Crusade. In Warcraft II, he spoke perfectly normal.
One of the clans that remained in Draenor during the First and Second War.
Chieftain of the wolf-riding Thunderlord Clan. In the aftermath of the Second War, Fenris was one of the orcs who retrieved artifacts from Azeroth for Ner'zhul's plan to open portals to new worlds (thus indirectly making Fenris one of those responsible for Outland's creation). In particular, he journeyed to the Tomb of Sargeras with the Bonechewer clan chieftain Tagar Spinebreaker to retrieve the Jeweled Scepter of Sargeras.
Like the other orc clans in Warlords of Draenor, the Thunderlords were invited by Grommash Hellscream to join the Iron Horde, an offer Fenris accepted.
He has a Rylak companion named Chilltongue.
- The Beastmaster: Par the course for a Hunter type character.
- The Captain: In the original timeline, Fenris became the captain of the remaining Raiders after Orgrim Doomhammer disbanded the Sythegore Arm.
- Cruel Mercy: Being defeated in mak'gora but not slain at the end was considered a scathing insult and a message to all the attending clans that he was Not Worth Killing. His name and identity would forever carry that disgrace, and so he left both of them behind.
- Glory Seeker: The Frostwolves' careful way of life left him wanting, with the Thunderlords hunting gronn right next door. He would butt heads with his father over this.
- Insistent Terminology: He is not Fenris Wolfbrother, he is The Iron Wolf.
- Meaningful Name: Fenris Wolfbrother, because he is Durotan and Ga'nar's brother.
- Nemean Skinning: He put on a wolf pelt to conceal his identity while he fought with the Thunderlords, and he keeps it when he joins and gains leadership of the clan.
- Red Baron: The Thunderlords named him The Iron Wolf after he fought gronn beside them.
- The Reveal: Durotan and Ga'nar don't recognize him at first and only know him as his alias, The Iron Wolf, before they confront him.
- Self-Made Orphan: His Warlords of Draenor counterpart slew his own father.
- Single Tear: Sheds one just before launching an attack on the Frostwolves that would leave his father dead.
- That Man Is Dead: He abandons his name, his history, and his blood ties after he leaves the Frostwolves.
Burning Blade Clan
The Burning Blade is not a clan as much as it is an elemental force of nature. Chaotic and unpredictable, they are brotherhood of demented orcs, consumed in the throes of demonic corruption, whose only objective is to raze and plunder with no regard for their own safety. All but destroyed in the Second War, the few survivors were taken to internment camps to be study subjects on the effects of demonic corruption. After being liberated by Thrall, its 'Blademasters' pledge themselves to the New Horde and its tenets.
In Warlords of Draenor, the Burning Blade are portrayed much differently. While in the Iron Horde, Thrall and other Orcs lament that they are an honorable Clan who has ended up on the wrong side. While they get their Warlord and his sons slain in questing, they unexpectedly become led by the Warlord's daughter, Azuka Bladefury, who becomes Grom's newest Warlord.
- The Atoner: The Horde members of the clan.
- Ax-Crazy: The Burning Blade clan topped every other clan of the Old Horde when it came to sheer violence and bloodlust, and that's really saying something.
- The Brute: When compared to the rest of the Horde.
- Godzilla Threshold: Were this to Ogrim Doomhammer during the Second War. They were so destructive that he only unleashed them when the situation was truly desperate.
- Master Swordsman: The Blademasters.
- Playing with Fire: They use a substance called Fire Grease to set their swords on fire, and their spellcasters only use Fire magic.
- Psycho for Hire: To the rest of the clans.
- The Remnant: Both the blademasters in Warcraft III and the followers of Neeru Fireblade in World of Warcraft. The former are the heroic version, while the latter are the villainous version, seeking to bring back the Good Old Ways of demon worship and warlock magic.
- Sore Loser:
- The chieftain of the clan sends his grandsons into a duel to the death, then forgoes honor when they lose and tries to kill the player character. Then when the player character fights a Burning Blade orc in the Ring of Blood and kills him, Azuka jumps in and tries to slay them for supposedly insulting the honor of the clan. Look if you don't want these people to die, stop entering them in death matches.
- Interestingly, this only applies to Azuka and her father. After you defeated the chieftain and his grandsons, the rest of the clan lets you go and only attacks you if you attack them.
Azuka Bladefury is the Warlord of the Burning Blade Clan in the Iron Horde. She wields a very special sword - Legendary in power, it drinks in the death of its enemies, getting more powerful with every foe slain.
Lantresor of the Blade
A Burning Blade Blademaster, Lantresor has a rare heritage indeed — he's Half-Orc, Half-Draenei. He debuted in Burning Crusade questing in Nagrand, where you are told tales of his legendary skill and try to get his aid for the Orcs of Garadar (if you are Horde) or the Kurenai of Telaar (if you are Alliance). He commands the Ogres that reside in the Burning Blade Ruins, but you are able to gain his trust and favor after an extensive questline where you aid him and the Ogre Clan he leads.
In Warlords of Draenor, we meet Lantresor as a Burning Blade, but is apparently put on 'trial' for his mixed blood. You help him fight his way through the Burning Blade arenas, slaying the Burning Blade Warlord in the process. In the end, Lantresor gets exiled by Azuka, the new Warlord, and, having grown fond of you, becomes a follower at your Garrison.
The Shadow CouncilWarcraft The Burning Legion
The Amani Empire
- All Trolls Are Different: Forest trolls are powerful, forest dwelling trolls with a seething hatred for elves and an affinity for nature magic. Their skin is even close to nature — its green hue comes from moss and small plant life that actually grows on their bodies.
- Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Towards the Horde, though justifiably, since they are now allied with the blood elves, whom they hate with a passion, and many other former members of the Old Horde found themselves at odds with Thrall's Horde for certain reasons. The Alliance was never on good terms with them to begin with.
Infamous forest troll and chieftain of the Amani tribe. He succeeded in reuniting the small factions of Amani into a single force through his raw charisma and his daring raids against Quel'Thalas acting as a beacon of hope for the beaten and weak trolls. Between the First and Second Wars, he was approached by Orgrim Doomhammer (on the order of then-Warchief Blackhand) about joining the Horde, and initially declined. However, he was captured by the new Alliance during the opening of the Second War and, upon being freed by orcish forces under Doomhammer (now the Warchief), he pledged himself and his forces to the cause of defeating the humans and, more importantly, their high elf allies.
Zul'jin maintained his partnership with the Horde until they abandoned the siege of Quel'Thalas in favor of assaulting Lordaeron. He and most of his forces stayed behind to continue the slaughter of the elves for the remainder of the war, but around the time when the Horde's forces were finally beaten, Zul'jin disappeared and the Amani scattered, returning to their savage and divided status.
Years later, his fate was discovered: at the climax of the war, he had been captured by the elves and tortured, costing him his right eye. After a long period of captivity, a minor raid on the area by the trolls gave him an opportunity to escape, during which he cut off his own shackled arm.
Seeking renewed revenge against the hated elves (and the other races of the early Alliance, for helping them), he began rebuilding his Amani forces and even approached the Horde in the interests of rekindling their partnership. Unfortunately, by this time, it was in the middle of the Burning Crusade expansion, featuring a Horde entirely different from the one he knew and, worse, they had even aligned themselves with the very same elves he sought vengeance against, give or take a name change. This, understandably, rubbed him the wrong way and, in despair and anger, he ordered some very taboo activities to be performed upon his tribe's loa and declared war on pretty much everyone.
Though he was not officially besieged by the Alliance or Horde, adventurers aligned with them stormed his city of Zul'Aman, slaying the priests of the loa that had been enslaved, his top witch doctor that had done the enslaving, and ultimately Zul'jin himself, decapitating the Amani resurgence.
- An Axe to Grind: In Warcraft II.
- Animorphism: His powers in the Zul'Aman encounter from Burning Crusade.
- Anti-Villain: Surprisingly indicated to be one in Warcraft II, when the franchise was otherwise clear Black and White Morality.Warcraft 2 manual: When approached by the Doomhammer about joining up with the Horde, Zuljin initially declined. But with the increased tensions between the Trolls and Elves due to the coming war, Zuljin knows that only an alliance with the Orcs will save his people.
- Badass Boast: In the Zul'Aman trailer.
- Badass Normal: Before the Zul'Aman patch in The Burning Crusade at least.
- Eye Scream: In his patch trailer, we see an elven knife just about to make contact and stab out his eye before the scene changes.
- Final-Exam Boss: Turns into each of the Amani loa in turn after a brief phase in his troll form, and each phase has different mechanics, from managing debuffs to dodging tornadoes to stacking and healing to burning him down.
- Handicapped Badass: Turned out that the elves captured and tortured him after the Second War, which is why he lost an eye, though the loss of the arm was self-inflicted. This doesn't make him any less dangerous.
- Healing Factor: Why Zul'jin didn't regenerate his arm is a source of debate among fans. Later information indicates he may have been forsaken by the loa and stripped of his regeneration, or merely that complex organs and whole limbs are beyond his healing limits.
- Killed Off for Real: Presumably in his raid encounter from The Burning Crusade. In the "Rise of the Zandalari" trailer, Zul tells Daakara that together, they will "make Zul'jin's murderers weep for mercy".
- Life-or-Limb Decision: Cuts off his own arm to escape capture.
- Missed the Call: The Revantusk tribe is a tribe of forest trolls still loyal to the Horde. Prior to Burning Crusade, a lot of quests in Revantusk Village implied that one day, Zul'jin would return to the trolls and lead them to prosperity again. Since he became a boss, of course, this never happened. Even after his death and the Cataclysm update to the old world, they still talk about his eventual return, though this may be an oversight.
- Out of Focus: For being such a revered figure among the trolls, as well as a character who dates back to the second game, Zul'jin had surprisingly little character focus. He only appears in one mission in Tides of Darkness, and isn't mentioned at all in Beyond the Dark Portal, nor is he mentioned in the novels published prior to Warcraft III. He appears in the Tides of Darkness novelization, but vanishes halfway through as the forest trolls stay behind to ravage Quel'Thalas, and once again isn't mentioned in the Beyond the Dark Portal novelization. His badass status among the trolls borders on being an Informed Attribute, simply because of how rarely he's seen doing anything.
- Scarf Of Asskicking: Wears a purple scarf that obscures his mouth.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: When Zul'Aman was re-launched as a Level 85 Heroic instance, he was replaced by Daakara the Invincible. Daakara shares most of his abilities, with only a few minor changes to the mechanics, notably that instead of switching forms every time he loses 20%, he only switches at 80% and 40% health, either to a bear then an eagle, or a lynx then a dragonhawk.
- Too Many Belts: Any particular reason you got three going across your stomach there, Zul'jin?
- Villain Has a Point: His feud with the high/blood elves isn't founded on mere hatred. They were invaders to forest troll land, and built Silvermoon City on top of ancient, revered troll ruins. They basically just muscled their way in, and with the help of the humans, drove the trolls out of most of what is now Quel'Thalas and the Ghostlands.Zul'jin: Dis was our land. TROLL land. We Amani was here before ANYONE!
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He wants the forest trolls to get their lands back and be strong and unified again. If he has to slaughter every elf in Silvermoon to do that, so be it.
- We Used to Be Friends: With the Horde. Around Burning Crusade, Zul'jin actually apparently reached out to the Horde, but when he saw the Blood Elves had joined in his absence, he felt so hurt and betrayed that he decided no one but trolls could be trusted.