When the Lich Kings grasp on his vast armies faltered after the Third War, a contingent of undead broke free of their masters iron will. Although this freedom seemed to be a blessing at first, these former humans were soon tormented by memories of the unspeakable horrors that they had committed as mindless Scourge agents. Those who did not descend into madness were faced with a chilling realization: the entirety of Azeroth sought their destruction.
In their darkest hour, the renegade undead were rallied together by the former ranger-general of QuelThalas, Sylvanas Windrunner. Defeated during an attack on her kingdom and transformed into a powerful Scourge banshee, Sylvanas had also regained her freedom from the Lich King. Under their new queens guidance, the independent undead known as Forsaken established the Undercity beneath the ruins of Lordaerons capital. While some Forsaken feared Sylvanas, others valued the security she provided. Many of the free-willed undead, however, found a purpose to their cursed existence through the banshee queens burning desire to destroy the Lich King.
Despite not being affiliated with the Scourge, the Forsaken came into conflict with various humans who were dedicated to taking back their homeland, the most extreme of which was the Scarlet Crusade. As a means to further her own goals and protect her budding nation, Sylvanas sent emissaries to various factions in search of allies. The kind-hearted tauren of Thunder Bluff proved to be the most promising contact. Specifically, Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem saw the potential for redemption in Sylvanas people, even though he was fully aware of the Forsakens sinister nature. Thus, the tauren convinced Warchief Thrall, despite his misgivings, to forge an alliance of convenience between the Forsaken and the Horde. In the end, the Forsakens chances of victory against the Lich King were bolstered, while the Horde gained an invaluable foothold in the Eastern Kingdoms.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Averted, while the leadership is mostly evil. The Forsaken in general aren't inherently evil any more than humans.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: Forsaken Priests believe that dark forces are just as fundamental as holy ones, and strive to maintain a stable, moderate equilibrium between the two in the interests of preserving reality as we know it ("the Shadow").
- Came Back Wrong: Word of God states that the state of undeath is an imperfect chain of dark magic holding the soul to its rotting corpse. These chains often leave malevolent tendencies in the hearts of the Forsaken, causing negative emotions and attitudes to become more prevalent. Forsaken still can feel positive emotion, however, and some rise up above this, a few even joining neutral factions.
- Cult of Personality: Has a major one around Sylvanas, all the way up to pasting a part of her face on their icon. Actively enforced by the Banshee Queen, who pushes the narrative that she's the only one to care for the Forsaken, and the livings just want them dead(er).
- Damaged Soul: As noted in Came Back Wrong, their curse still attaches their soul to their body, but is imperfect and brings out their darker sides.
- Dark Is Evil: The closest to a straight playable example. The aesthetically darkest race of the Horde is also the one with the most morally questionable actions.
- Deadly Gas: The Forsaken Blight, their signature weapon. Garrosh banned its use during his reign, but that didn't stop Sylvanas from plaguing Gilneas and Southshore anyway. The Blight was also the weapon used at the Wrathgate betrayal, but it was by a traitorous group of Forsaken, and is the reason why the Blight is subject to in-universe Nuclear Weapons Taboo.
- Doomed Hometown: As of Battle for Azeroth the Undercity is conquered by the Alliance along with most of their holdings in the Eastern Kingdoms.
- Due to the Dead: While they don't care about, and in some cases despise the living, they have a great respect for the spirits of the dead. The Forsaken were originally planning to occupy an abandoned Dwarf fortress in Hillsbrad, but when they saw it was filled with lingering Dwarf spirits, they decided to leave them in peace. They also see their raising corpses into undeath not as enslaving them or inflicting torment upon them, but giving them a second chance at life. In the Starting Zone they even tell the newly raised Forsaken that they are free to leave if they don't want to join Sylvanas (but don't hesitate to kill them if they are insane or try to turn against them).
- Dying Race: Since the Forsaken are walking and rotting corpses, they will eventually die out unless they have necromancers like the Val'kyr to create more of them, but they are in short supply.
- Egopolis: Their faction symbol, which is on their tabards, their flags, et cetra, is Sylvanas' face and 3 arrows (See the crest).
- Everyone Has Standards:
- While Forsaken are willing to raise humans as undead in order to procreate, against their will if necessary, it seems to be essential for them that the resulting undead have sentience. One questline involves a Forsaken Mad Scientist named Stillwater experimenting on humans and Forsaken alike in order to find an alternative to the Val'kyr, which resulted in mindless zombies. The emissary of Sylvanas sent to check on him is disgusted, and has Stillwater slayed with the player's assistance. Of course, considering the Apotechary Quarters in Undercity are full of slaves and prisoners from Alliance being lethally experimented on, it is dubious whether the emissary was disgusted, did not know of Apotechary experiments, or was simply removing a potential threat to the unity of the Forsaken.
- Despite having no qualms about looting graves and battlefields en masse to bolster their armies, the Forsaken are insistent that the resulting undead serve voluntarily or not at all. If a freshly raised undead is unable to come to terms with their undeath, the Forsaken will allow them to flee rather than force them into service. This is likely a reaction against their former enslavement by the Lich King.
- Femme Fatalons: Unarmed Forsaken uses their nails as melee attack.
- Flanderization: Showing up after Wrath of the Lich King. The Forsaken have lost some of their nuance, and a lot of their actions became increasingly evil for the sake of evil, instead of doing what they needed to do to survive.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: A lot of their more minor acts are Played for Laughs. Like when a Forsaken in Northrend confesses to punching a penguin in the face just to see the look on the priestess' face.
- Heroic Willpower: Together with the Lich King's weakening after Illidan's stunt with the Eye of Sargeras, this is said to be how they broke free of the Lich King's control when Arthas left for Northrend, and persists in their racial ability Will of the Forsaken, which removes any fears, mind controls, or sleeps upon use.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: After of the betrayal of Putress, everyone, even their Horde brothers and sisters, look upon them with suspicion.
- Hidden Depths:
- Several quests show there's more to them then revenge and hate. More than that, some are shown to care for their Horde comrades, and even choose to live in Orgrimmar with the other Horde races rather than Undercity with their own undead kind. While the soldiers in the Forsaken military often have mindsets similar to Sylvanas, others and even some in the military reveal softer sides.
- Starting with the Cataclysm (and the retooling of many old quest areas), there's been an increasing interest among Forsaken to develop their own culture now that their old fixation of killing Arthas is done. Many towns in Tirisfal Glades, for example, were remade in the new uniquely Forsaken style they started using in Northrend. One quest giver advises young Forsaken to take pride in how they're no longer hiding in the rotten remains of their old lives and making something new for themselves when sending them to visit the town of Brill.
- Horrifying Hero: In Legion where the player characters are treated like the greatest heroes to ever walk the face of Azeroth, Forsaken player characters qualify as this.
- I Am A Humanitarian: All Forsaken have the "Cannibalize" ractial ability, which allows them to replenish their health by feeding on humanoid and undead corpses. Note that unlike classic zombies, they don't need to do this to feed, it's just one way they can do it; It has been shown both in the lore and gameplay-wise that they can still subsist on regular food.
- The Kindness Of Strangers: How they joined the Horde. Hamuul Runetotem saw in them potential for redemption, and convinced Thrall to allow them into the Horde. This is why the Forsaken also reside in the Pools of Vision beneath Thunder Bluff, supposedly working with the Tauren to research a cure for Undeath.
- Mad Scientist: Their apothecaries are usually despicted that way, always eager to come up with new ideas of poisons and Deadly Gas to use against their enemies, often derived from enslaved human farmers and experimented on captive Alliance personnel.
- Moral Myopia: They don't really acknowledge that other people might have a problem with their friends and family being raised into twisted undead to bolster Forsaken forces, seeing it as solely a concern of the undead themselves. Naturally, their complete lack of respect to the fallen doesn't endear them to other races.
- Odd Friendship: Of all the other races in the Horde, the one the Forsaken get along with the best are the Blood Elves, who are the only non-monstrous members, use a light motif and had their kingdom devastated by Undead by the past. This actually makes sense when you realize both were in the end victims of the Scourge with a personal vendetta against the Lich King and Sylvanas used to be a High Elf, making her still concerned with the safety of Quel'thalas, but if you aren't aware about these details, the way they easily cooperate (including having an entire region where they cohabit peacefully) can seem surprising.
- Revive Kills Zombie: Downplayed. Word of God says that while the Forsaken can be healed by the Light, it's incredibly painful for them to do so. "Wielding the Light is a matter of having willpower or faith in one's own ability to do it. That's why there are evil paladins. For the undead, this requires such a great deal of willpower that it is exceedingly rare, especially since it is self-destructive. When undead channel the Light, it feels (to them) as if their entire bodies are being consumed in righteous fire. Forsaken healed by the Light (whether the healer is Forsaken or not) are effectively cauterized by the effect: sure, the wound is healed, but the healing effect is cripplingly painful."
- Rotten Rock & Roll: The dance animation of the male Forsaken is head-banging and playing an air guitar. While they are not completely evil, they are more sinister than the rest of the Horde, and they are literally rotten corpses. The lead guitar in the Elite Tauren Chieftain band is a forsaken named Bergrisst.}, who plays a legendary guitar named the Arcanite Ripper.
- The Scapegoat: As stated in the opening cinematic for Forsaken players, most of the Horde have a hard time trusting them due to their affiliation with the Lich King. This mistrust is not entirely baseless.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Being already dead, Forsaken don't really need to breathe the way the living do, meaning they can go underwater for extended periods of time without any fear of drowning.
- Token Evil Teammate:
- Compared to the rest of the Horde, many Forsaken characters usually plays this role.
- Varimathras and his subordinates were this to Forsaken, until they finally betrayed them.
- The Undead: Most of the Forsaken are Revenant Zombies, as they retain the memories of their previous lives and are still themselves, albeit with their negative emotions in greater influence. Not all of the Forsaken are zombies, though, there are also Banshees and Abominations.
- Vampiric Draining: Their racial ability "Touch of the grave" allows them to sometimes drain life force from their enemies and use it to repair their own bodies.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Particularly following the defeat of the Lich King, many Forsaken consider themselves this, chiefly in regard to preserving dominion over Lordaeron. This has a lot to do with the fact that Forsaken remember who they are and the lives they led before being turned and yet are in conflict with still-living humans who seek to reclaim the land from them.
- Worldof Snark: Almost every Forsaken has at least one sarcastic remark or dry pun, especially Nathanos.
The Banshee Queen, Dark Lady, Warchief
Class: Dark Ranger
Voiced by: Piera Coppola (Warcraft), Patty Mattson (current voice)
The Banshee Queen of the Forsaken. The Ranger-General of Quel'thalas, the high elf homeland, during the Third War, she led the defense against Arthas and his Scourge onslaught. Her valiant defense was crippled after a succession of battles, and in the sack of Silvermoon, the elven capital, Arthas had her dragged before him, tortured horribly, and, despite her demand for a clean death, murdered. The angry Prince then defiled her spirit and raised her as an undead banshee. A slave in mind and body, Sylvanas was turned against the defenders of her beloved capital. For her efforts she was eventually rewarded with a return to her mortal body, and became one of Arthas's lieutenants in the months between the fall of Quel'Thalas and Arthas's return to his ravaged homeland.
During the months after the Battle of Mount Hyjal, the Lich King began to weaken, and many of his undead servants were freed from his dark influence. Sylvanas, one of these, leaped at the opportunity to betray Arthas as part of a Legion-sponsored coup, but refused to join the Legion in ruling what was left of Lordaeron. With the aid of her freed undead fellows, she led them in a series of brutal battles against both undead forces led by Legion-allied Dreadlords. During this she first allied with, then betrayed, the bigoted and corrupt human warlord Garithos. With no other allies and learning that the living humans of the Alliance would never accept "abominations" like herself, she eventually applied for membership of the Horde for her Forsaken. Despite being reluctantly accepted with great suspicion, she hasn't really shown any real hostility towards the Horde. She also sponsors the Blood Elves' membership.
Since Wrath of the Lich King, things haven't gone well for Sylvanas. Her second-in-command, the Dreadlord Varimathras, staged a coup with the aid of Sylvanas's own Royal Apothecary Society. They kicked her and her subjects out of the Undercity, started summoning demons, and worst of all, the Apothecaries launched a surprise attack during the Battle of the Wrathgate in Northrend which killed a large number of Horde, Alliance and Scourge forces. While Sylvanas was able to retake the Undercity, she has since been looked upon with even greater suspicion and hostility by everyone; the Alliance are more certain than ever the Forsaken are a dire threat, while the Horde blames them for restarting war with the Alliance and killing allied troops.
Despite needing to regain the trust of her allies, Sylvanas is doing little to alleviate those fears in Cataclysm. She is not a fan of new Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, and goes against a number of his direct orders. Also, with the Forsaken unable to repopulate by normal means, Sylvanas has allied with Arthas's old Val'kyr servants to raise new soldiers for the Forsaken, using the corpses of their enemies. In Legion, she joins with the rest of the Horde in aiding the Alliance against the Burning Legion's return, personally fighting alongside Varian Wrynn upon the Broken Isles.
In Battle for Azeroth after discovering Azerite, Sylvanas marshals the Horde to go on the offensive. Initially targeting Stormwind, she changes tact and leads the Horde against the Night Elves of Kalimdor in the War of Thorns while the Night Elf forces are spread thin. This ends with the Night Elves displaced from Kalimdor (for the time being) which falls to Horde control, Malfurion badly wounded, massive loss of life on both sides and the destruction of Teldrassil. In retaliation, the Alliance besiege Lorderaen to take it back form the Forsaken. During these events, Sylvanas started to take herself and the Horde down a darker path, starting with raising the Alliance dead against their will and using the Scourge plague Putress and Varimatharas used at Wrathgate...
- Abel And Cain: Played with. In the Battle for Azeroth expansion, Sylvanas still leads the Horde while her sister Alleria is firmly on the side of the Alliance.
- More explicitly seen in the Three Sisters comic, where Alleria gathers all three Windrunner sisters on a journey to retake their old family stronghold, Windrunner Spire, and to see if they are still a family or not. On their way to their old home, eventually Alleria and Sylvanas turn against each other, both going One-Winged Angel and declaring that the other is no longer the sister they once loved and adored so much, but they are stopped from fighting by a crying Vereesa before they come to actual blows.
- Played straight in the Battle for Azeroth expansion after the Battle for Lordaeron Alleria had an arrow drawn and nocked against Sylvanas and Sylvanas mocked Alleria and was willing to have her killed in the Blight bombs she'd left in Lordaeron.
- Aborted Arc: When Vol'jin was made Warchief, Sylvanas remarked how she had no intention of taking orders from a troll and planned to give him a hard time. Her insubordinate attitude became a moot point since the next expansion that featured the two of them began with a friendly interaction between the two, Sylvanas reluctantly, but ultimately obeying Vol'jin's command to not let total annihilation befall Horde forces on the Broken Shore and carry Vol'jin to safety in tow. Later on, a dying Vol'jin names her as his successor, and she reluctantly accepts the role to avenge him.
- Armor-Piercing Question: She gives one to Saurfang when he strongly objects to the idea of starting a new war against the Alliance in the novella A Good War:Sylvanas: If I dedicated myself to peace with the Alliance, would it last a year?
Sylvanas: How about two years? Five? Ten? Fifty?
Saurfang: [hesitates] We fought side‐by‐side against the Burning Legion. That creates bonds that are not easily broken.
Sylvanas: Time breaks every bond. What do you believe? Will peace last five years or fifty?
Saurfang: What I believe doesnt matter, Warchief. What do you believe?
Sylvanas: [Detailing the history of mistrust and atrocities committed by both sides]... I believe that there will be no permanent peace with the Alliancenot unless we win it on the battlefield on our terms. And believing that, answer this, Saurfang: what use is delaying the inevitable?
- Anti-Hero: Pre-Cataclysm, She seems to genuinely care about the Forsaken (weither it's true or not is somewhat Depending on the Writer) and tries to do what's best to ensure their survival, but her methods to ensure such a thing tend to be very morally questionable. Her actions get more and more questionable in Cataclysm, to the point she really verges on Nominal Hero, but unlike Garrosh, she has yet to actually make the transition to true villain. Come Battle for Azeroth however, the Burning of Teldrassil may very mark the start of a transition as it parallels Garrosh's destruction of Theramore.
- Archer Archetype: Being called the best archer in Azeroth speaks a lot.
- Back from the Dead: Three times, sorta. First time was her raising as a banshee, second time was her suicide after the downfall of the Lich King (and subsequently meeting the Val'kyr, who raised her), and the third time, her Val'kyrs' sacrificing themselves to raise her again after Lord Godfrey shot her in the head.
- Badass Boast:Sylvanas: I've walked the realms of the dead. I have seen the infinite dark. Nothing you say. Or do. Could possibly frighten me.
- Bad Boss: In Before the Storm, she went out of her way to be as confrontational and antagonistic to all the other Horder leaders as possible. She also killed the members of the Desolate Council who stayed loyal after she ended the meeting.
- Bad Future: The End Time dungeon reflects the fate of some of Azeroth's heroes should the Hour of Twilight come to pass, and some become echoes of time, forced to relive their last moments forever. Sylvanas is one such hero, and you can fight and slay her echo.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her outfit from Wrath of the Lich King to Warlords of Draenor does not cover her belly.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: She's became the one thing she fought against in Arthas in many ways.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: And how. Arthas put her through the ringer, killing her, making her undead and forcing her to raze her homeland. Her exploits as an undead have seen her Jumping Off the Slippery Slope more and more. Being reminded of the first traumatic milestone by the dying night elf commander Delaryn Summermoon who took pity on her for no longer being a fellow heroic elven defender who fought to the end, and told that hope can never be destroyed, instead provokes Sylvanas to do similarly to what had been done to her by Arthas, by forcing the night elf to watch as Teldrassil was incinerated with the civilians still within.
- Berserk Button: Despite her stoic facade, bring up this issues in front of the Banshee Queen at your own risk.
- Betrayal of any kind. Vereesa's refusal to go along with her plan to kill Garrosh result in a roaring rampage against the wild life of Darnassus. Some of the Desolate Council's attempt at defecting to reunite with their loved ones led her to kill them all.
- Being reminded of her past heroic life, death and being raised by a banshee by Arthas.
- Hope. In Before The Storm, she considered hope the number one enemy to the continued obedience of her Forsaken. Come Battle for Azeroth, after she has conquered the night elves defending Teldrassil, the dying Captain Delaryn said that she can't kill hope, along with the aforementioned point about her past life as a hero which only served as a painful reminder of how Arthas crushed any hope Sylvanas had left. Sylvanas immediately switches from occupying Teldrassil to burning it to the ground just to prove that she can as had been done in the first place to her and her doomed homeland by the future Lich King.
- Big Bad: One of the candidates for this status in Battle of Azeroth, alongside N'Zoth and Queen Azshara. The creators promised that she would not become "Garrosh 2.0", but she appears to have become villainous nonetheless.
- Big Damn Hero: In the Sunwell Trilogy jumps to fight Dar'khan near the end.
- Broken Bird: From being cursed to undeath in her failure to protect her own homeland to being forced to destroy it against her will and going straight from viewing her undeath as a curse and a source of mistrust to viewing it as a necessary evil after witnessing The Nothing After Death to the point she will raise legions of undead to form a colony, and in her view, spare them... well, suffice it to say she's been screwed up by the whole experience. And that's even before her reunion with one of her sisters that gives her the first feeling of hope and love she's felt since she was alive, only to lose it when said sister turns her back on her after disagreeing with her plans.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: In the aftermath of the Broken Shores quest, she and Nathanos Blightcaller engage in this, along with some Ship Tease at their being a Battle Couple.
- Card-Carrying Villain: As of Battle for Azeroth, she has been reduced to a raving maniac who screams about how hope must be destroyed and all life needs to die.
- Cult of Personality: Made the entire Forsaken race one centered around herself, by telling them she's the only one to care about them and all the livings want them dead (for good), which is why she kills every Forsaken that had a positive interaction with their living relative in "Before the Storm", because it means some Forsaken might start doubting her.
- The Cynic: After being killed and resurrected as a banshee, Sylvanas has taken a cynical outlook upon the world. Unlike most of the Horde leaders, Sylvanas believes that honor is a suicidal path for the Horde and that peace with the Alliance only delays the inevitable war between them due to old, unforgotten hatred. The concept of hope personally offends her as it's the complete antithesis of her worldview.
- Dark Action Girl: Female, evil (as of Battle for Azeroth), and most definitely capable of kicking ass.
- Depending on the Writer: Various aspects of her personality vary on the writer:
- The Sunwell Trilogy has her have a positive relationship with Lor'themar, while In the Shadow of the Sun has their relationship as more strained.
- In the game she was remarkably stoic even when Genn foiled her plan to obtain more Val'kyr which was her most important goal. In the novel Before The Storm and the Warbringers cinematics, she was much more thin-skinned and easily offended.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Most of her efforts from Cataclysm onward are trying to survive and achieve immortality, but beyond that she has little plans for herself or the Forsaken. After being made warchief, however, it seems as though she has found that purpose, as she strikes a balance between the "peace-at-all-costs" Thrall and the overly bloodthirsty Garrosh.
- Disproportionate Retribution: This tendency and Moral Myopia majorly erode her standing with the Horde and her fans.
- During the Gathering, most of her Forsaken actually ran back to her and only few attempted to defect. Despite this, she killed all of them, even those who were loyal to her. Like poor Vellcinda.
- In the aftermath of the War of the Thorns, Sylvanas is confronted by the dying Delaryn Summermoon, a Night Elf commander who calls her out for everything she's done and everything she is now, before telling her that hope is unending and she can't do anything to that. This causes her to have a flashback to her death at Arthas' hands and her failure to protect Quel'Thelas and its innocents. Her response to this? Show the already dying woman in the worst way possible that Hope isn't immortal by ordering Teldrassil's razing, condemning anywhere between eight-hundred to a thousand noncombatant civilians to death and effectively making sure peace between the Alliance and Horde will likely never happen without one side's destruction before declaring herself "enemy of life". The way she mocks the now broken Delaryn as the life fades from her glossed over eyes implies she saw it as a merited rebuttal.
- Do Wrong, Right: It's later revealed that the reason Sylvanas took issue with Garrosh bombing Theramore wasn't that it was unethical or cowardly, but because it was poorly timed in her opinion.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Her sisters, even if she loves them in a rather twisted way. Specifically, she wants to turn them undead so they can always be together, apparently not realizing or caring that they have lives of their own or that their children might not react well to their parents being turned undead.
- Nathanos as well. He was her friend (and possibly romantic partner) in life and willingly joined her as one of the undead.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
- The part of the original plan for capturing Teldrassil was to spark infighting among the Alliance nations. She believed that Genn Greymane would disapprove of the Alliance freeing the night elves homeland before Gilneas and the ensuing arguments would cause the Alliance members to leave the faction to protect their individual countries, allowing the Horde to negotiate a peace with each of the individual members until the Alliance no longer posed a threat. However, during the attack on Darnassus, both Anduin and Greymane realized what her game was almost immediately and Greymane proudly remarked that he had no problem with helping the night elves free their homes first, especially after everything they've done for him and his people.
- Her stated reason for attacking the Alliance and Teldrassil was fear that the Alliance would eventually use Azerite to create weapons, shifting the balance of powers too far in their favor, leaving the Horde powerless. Up until she started making them, Anduin's reaction to the Azerite was to ask how it could be used to help people. Her speech to Saurfang about how peace with the Alliance wouldn't last long rings a tad hollow when she's the one who called off the Humans-Forsaken meeting in Before the Storm.
- Evil Is Petty:
- She is at her pettiest and most evil in Before the Storm. The novel took pains to show that the Desolate Council posed no threat to Sylvanas and was as toothless an organization as it gets. As such, her slaughter of them all served no purpose other than petty punishment for those who dare hope for peace with the living.
- In the same novel, she took great pleasure speaking with the Forsaken who were turned away by their living relatives and reaffirmed them that no one loves them as she does.
- She changes her plans to occupy Teldrassil into burning it down because Delaryn calls out her cruel behavior and causes her to have a flashback to when Arthas killed and raised her, and her insistence that hope couldn't die. All that death, all the destruction, all done out of petty spite and impulse. Then again, she might have believed herself to be making a valid point as Arthas had done exactly the same to her so long ago, and if hope truly couldn't die, well, it had a funny way of making itself known to Sylvanas.
- Evil Laugh: Subverted. Sylvanas has never been shown to laugh at all, and the one time she does is in front of a concerned orphan.
- Expy: Warcraft's version of Sarah Kerrigan. One of her Stop Poking Me! quotes in Heroes of the Storm lampshades this.Sylvanas: I thought I was the only one who was murdered by a cruel man, raised as a powerful and horrible abomination, subsequently crowning myself queen and dedicated my subjects to orchestrating my vengeance... But then I met Kerrigan!
- Her being an Archer Archetype heroine who was once looked-up upon, and who got resurrected as an undead, who also raises and commands other undead, makes Sylvanas extremely similar to Blood Raven/Moreina/The Rogue from Diablo. This was also lampshaded in Heroes of the Storm, with Blood Raven being one of Sylvanas' skins.
- She is hinted to desire the death of all life numerous times in Battle for Azeroth. She is also a faction leader, motivated by an overzealous desire to stay alive no matter what, and has cheated death on numerous occasions. Vitiate, is that another host body of yours?
- FaceHeel Turn: Was once the former Ranger-General of Quel'thalas, first raised as a Scourge Banshee by Arthas, then she regained her free will and remained a shady, morally questionable character who did whatever was necessary for her faction to survive... only, as of Battle for Azeroth, to have all but finally made the jump into full-blown villainy by waging an all-out war against the Alliance, aiming to kill one of its most prominent leaders, and cemented it by burning Teldrassil to the ground, all out of spite just to prove to the dying Delaryn Summermoon that life and hope can be destroyed for good. Then again, she had just been painfully reminded of the moment her own hope had been crushed by Arthas as mentioned, so Delaryn's proclamation that Hope Springs Eternal felt like a lie.
- Fallen Hero: By Battle for Azeroth, she has solidified into this status. Before, she was the Ranger-General of Quel'thalas who defended her homeland and people until her last breath against the Scourge. Even when she became an undead Banshee with dubious morality, she still defended her new people (now known as the Forsaken) from great threats and a world that distrust them. But as years went on, she became colder and more ruthless in her agenda that many started comparing her to Arthas and Garrosh. This culminates into the Burning of Teldrassil, where she takes the role of Arthas destroying a homeland while making its valiant defenders watch to inflict pain and suffering. She even later raises some of them into her undead servants.
- Fate Worse than Death:
- And she makes sure to remind everyone within earshot as often as she possibly can.
- Fully subverted later in her leadership story. Sylvanas gets a good, long look at what awaits her in the afterlife. It is horrific, complete with And I Must Scream played straight as her soul is torn to pieces by Shades that once worked for Arthas as torturers of those who enter his territory within the Troll God Bwonsambi's Realm of Shadows. It's even reduced Arthas into a crying coward (because he's no longer the Lich King and so the Shades don't spare him their torturing since they now work for Bolvar). She realizes that being undead is a fate not worse than death after all.
- Flanderization: She already showed signs of becoming (more) evil in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, but Battle for Azeroth really hit her the hardest, making her lose whatever redeeming qualities she had before (as well as a good share of her brain cells). She is no longer subtle in her methods, has abandoned her principles, and now acts more or less like Garrosh, with the addition of musing poetically about how all life must die and hope is a lie. Somewhat Justified in Before the Storm, where it is shown that exposure to Azerite causes visions (in Sylvanas's case, visions of conquest) and magnifies one's character traits in general - she's high.
- Forced to Watch: Arthas sired her as a banshee so that she could watch him bring ruin to Quel'Thalas firsthand.
- She later does this herself to Delaryn Summermoon and other dying night elf sentinels, as she orders Teldrassil to be burned down. Sylvanas even raises Delaryn into undeath later as a Dark Ranger.
- Forest Ranger: In life. In undeath she became a Dark Ranger.
- Four-Star Badass: She was once a Ranger-General of Silvermoon, military leader of all high elven forces. Her achievements in the military campaign have begun ever since the Second War, where she personally participates in the defense of Quel'Thalas, and again in the Third War where she led from the front lines. Even in undeath, her fame as ruthless and creative military leader lives on, as she is known to achieve success more than failure, she personally still leads her forces in the battlefield on occasion.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Nobody in the Horde really trusts or likes Sylvanas, and her faction joining the Horde was an alliance of convenience at best. Nowadays, she shares the role with Gallywix, though Sylvanas is the more disliked of the two.
- Freudian Excuse: She may have become Not So Different from her former archenemies Garrosh and Arthas, her murder and being raised as a banshee forced to raze the homeland she failed to defend would warp many people's sense of morality. And that's even before witnessing what may be Warcraft's version of hell.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Of the red variety.
- Happily Failed Suicide: "Happy" is a bit of a stretch for whom we're talking about. Sylvanas definitely plans to make the most of her pact with the Val'kyr she met while leaping off the Frozen Throne.
- He Who Fights Monsters:
- After the death of the Lich King, Sylvanas seems to be turning the Forsaken into Scourge 2.0. She even laughs when Garrosh calls her out on her hypocrisy. Later on, especially during the War of Thorns, she takes on many of Arthas' methods, including using the Scourge plague and raising her slain enemies into undeath.
- Also sort of a Motive Decay, given that she's dabbling in necromancy to raise more people into the condition she once considered a curse.
- Edge of Night suggests that, after the Happily Failed Suicide noted above, Sylvanas may no longer view her condition as the curse she once did. She saw what was on other side waiting for her, and she didn't like it.
- Hidden Depths: Zig-zagged. A lot of things can be said about Sylvanas, but she is surprisingly more loyal to the Horde than people give her credit for which is astonishing considering how the relationship between the Forsaken and the rest of the Horde is an alliance of convenience at best. She has never shown any intention to have the Forsaken break away from the Horde nor outright betray them, while Lor'themar was only a hair's breadth away from having the Sin'dorei defect to the Alliance. Also, Sylvanas has never shied away from a battle that involves the future of her people, whereas Baine ignored his duty as a High Chieftain and a member of the Horde at one point as he exiled his own people for taking up arms to defend themselves and their home from the invading Alliance forces because of his sense of (false) peace.
- On the other hand, she's also known for being perhaps one of the shadiest leaders of the Horde, often go behind the rest of the Horde, and previous Warchief's back when she needs to accomplish something to serve her self-interest, but interesting enough and arguably many of her ambiguous deeds benefit the Forsaken, and sometimes extend to the rest of the Horde as well. However, she can often be callous when it comes to the lives of non-Forsaken Horde members. In the Pit of Saron instance during Wrath of the Lich King she orders a number of Horde troops to attack Scourgelord Tyrannus, who promptly kills them all without breaking a sweat, and all Sylvanas has to say is to call them "pathetic weaklings". Quest text from later in the instance has her remarking that she will have to send one of her dark rangers back for more "fodder". This attitude is coming to the fore again in Battle for Azeroth.
- When Sylvanas is made Warchief, she actually takes the job fairly seriously. She includes Varok Saurfang as one of her top generals and they fought well together, which is more than can be said about Garrosh's tenure as Warchief. The Horde also openly answers her call to defend the Undercity from the Alliance, as most of the Horde races are present to defend.
- Hope Crusher: Doesn't believe in hope, as she has been all but continuously deprived of it since the moment Arthas murdered her, mutilated her corpse and raised her as a banshee under his thrall. Defiantly proclaiming that one can never kill hope as you lay defeated by her hand is one way to trigger her into doing something to drive home the opposite as had been done to her in the first place. Indeed, a quest added in 8.1.0 titled "The Day Hope Died" covers her death, undeath and destruction of her hometown. She already had her own hope crushed for good in the first place, in other words.
- Horse Archer: In Cataclysm, where her appearances in Gilneas and Forsaken leveling zones feature her like this.
- In Tides of War tries to get Lor'themar to offer her support against Garrosh's plans for war while forgetting that she blackmailed him into helping him against the Lich King in Shadow of the Sun.
- In Hillsbrad Foothills, we're taught one of the most important laws of Forsaken society: stripping away another Undead's free will is a crime worthy of immediate execution. Come Legion and Sylvanas's drive for her own immortality and the sake of proliferating the Forsaken leads her to attempt for forcefully enslave the queen of Val'kyr to serve her, an act that would decidedly strip away her if not her free will, then at least her freedom. The minute someone calls her out on this by comparing her to the Lich King, Sylvanas ignores it with the justification of it being for her people. Later during Battle for Azeroth, she goes and digs up the body of Derek Proudmoore so she can make him a tool of hers, only to get furious when Baine frees him, the very thing Arthas did to her.
- Sylvanas claims that the other factions/races judge her and the Forsaken for what they are, and not for their actions or contributions, only to then turn around and commit monstrous war crimes under the justification of it being to save her people. This hypocrisy is proven to be even bigger in Before the Storm where she kills a council of Forsaken that were trying to mend relationships with the living, all because in her mind, it would risk her losing her people.
- Constantly complains that her people are unfairly treated by the other races, but has no qualms ruining the lives of other people for almost no reasons at all. This extends to even her own people. She'll act as their champion all the time, but the minute any undead disagree with her or desire to move away from her actions, she has no qualms trying to kill them. This also flies in the face of her claim to value free will as a result of what the Scourge forced onto them.
- Her speech to Saurfang in A Good War about how peace wouldn't last forever and that the Alliance would eventually come after the Horde would hold much more weight if she wasn't responsible for half of the reasons the Alliance wants the Horde gone with their atrocities (such as enslaving and lobotomizing members of the Alliance - despite (then) Warcheif Thrall outlawing slavery in the Horde) and if she hadn't been the one to call off the Human-Forsaken meeting in Before the Storm.
- Likewise, that Sylvanas (former Ranger-General of Quel'Thalas) tells Saurfang (former member of the Old Horde, who tried to invade/genocide Quel'Thalas) that old grudges can't be forgotten (while she leads the Forsaken: i.e former member of the scourge, the undead who killed her and massacred her people), is a bit hard to believe.
- Irony: Or perhaps symmetry, and her wanting to prove a point. Her rebuttal of Delaryn Summermoon's Hope Springs Eternal speech from the "Warbringers: Sylvanas" cinematic with the destruction of Teldrassil is given new meaning with a Blood Elf related quest, "The Day Hope Died", covering Sylvanas' Last Stand and fall to Arthras, and recycles the flashback from the aforementioned cinematic covering that tragic event, indeed cementing in Sylvanas' mind that the idea of hope is for suckers.
- Ice Queen: She's the Queen of the Forsaken and Warchief of the Horde, and she has a personality that is cold as her undead body.
- Idiot Ball:
- Her majordomo is from a race of demons known specifically for lying to and betraying mortals, and she is really and truly surprised when it turns out that he lied to and betrayed her. She specifically mentioned keeping Varimathras on a short leash in Warcraft III. It is possible her surprise was due to the fact that he got away with it despite her efforts.
- The attack on Teldrassil make only tactical, short-term sense. In the short term, she captured the only major holding of the Alliance in Kalimdor and slowed down the smuggling of Azerite on the Alliance's side; if she could kill Malfurion, it would be a major blow to Alliance's morale as well. HOWEVER, she did this while the majority of the Night Elf's army was away with their military's leaders (Tyrande and/or Shandris) and most of the Alliance's forces was concentrated in the Eastern Kingdom. Thus her action in the long-term would only provoke a retribution from the majorly pissed off and fairly intact Alliance's military to the obvious target: the Undercity - her city. The leader she chose to kill-Malfurion was also THE Archdruid whose spirit was tied to the Emerald Dream which guaranteed his spirit's survival, and at the very least Tyrande would've hunted Sylvanas down to avenge Malfurion. He was also stronger than her and would have killed Sylvanas in that fight if it wasn't for Saurfang's intervention.
- Even the idea that the night elves would be broken by the death of a beloved spiritual leader and the destruction of their world tree was out of touch with reality since the Night Elf has been through this before. Grom Hellscream killed Cenarius who was even more beloved than Malfurion and it only drove the Night Elf into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, not despair. The loss of the first World Tree, Nordrassil resulted in the loss of their immortality and the only home they knew for 10.000 years. They rejoined the World and thrived.
- I Have Your Wife: Takes Crowley's daughter hostage in order to force a ceasefire between her and the Gilneas Liberation Front.
- I Hate Past Me: Sylvanas has become so jaded and hateful that when she's reminded that she was once a good-hearted defender of her people, Sylvanas retorts that she had been a fool.
- Immortals Fear Death: A big part of her motives for her actions from Cataclysm onward, although in her case it's because she did die, but found what awaited her afterward too horrifying and wants to do everything possible to avoid returning to it.
- In the Hood: She's depicted with it in every appearance of hers. Although she had it even before her transformation into a Dark ranger.
- Interspecies Romance: With Nathanos. (This stems from the fact that she's an elf, albeit an undead one, and he a human... and undead too.) This is somewhat something common with her sisters, Alleria and Vereesa, who have fallen in love with humans (The former married to Rhonin with twins, and the latter's relationship with Turalyon that resulted in a son).
- I Was Quite a Looker: Zigzagged. She actually still is pretty attractive if you can get past her pallid skin and red eyes.
- Jerkass: She really turns up the affability when needed (such as when Garrosh pays her a visit), but generally defaults back to ruthless, brusque and dismissive when the occasion passes.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Despite her ruthlessness, the Banshee Queen make some good points. It is her Disproportionate Retribution and Moral Myopia tendencies that tend to undermine or cancel out these points.
- Regarding her use of the Val'kyr. Yes, she is essentially acting like the Lich King by recruiting them and using them to raise more Forsaken. But as she points out to Garrosh, Forsaken can't reproduce any other way, and a lot of them die in the war against the Scourge and the Alliance. If she didn't use them, her people would die out and the Horde would lose their hold on Lordaeron, and very likely Quel'Thalas. She might be doing something amoral, but there really isn't any better option for her people, especially when Garrosh ordered her to invade Gilneas while the Alliance mount a campaign to retake Andorhal and pushing further into Forsaken's territories, thus the Forsaken is forced into another war.
- Her forcing Lor'themar's hand for his aid in Northrend against The Lich King, (which is implied to be more about her personal vendetta against Arthas than anything else) at a time when the Sin'dorei are still recovering from civil war and the loss of their prince, (who went insane and betrayed them) publicly humiliating him in front of his court in the process was harsh, but she's not wrong when she points out that the Sin'dorei have received Horde and Forsaken assistance and that those obligations are a two way street. It's not a reasonable thing if the Sin'dorei never intends to assist the Horde and the Forsaken in return after received their aid, nor it's reasonable to sit on the fence when there's a war against the threat like the Lich King and the Scourge.
- She's also got a solid point when she points out that some people of Azeroth hate her and the other Forsaken simply for being what they are, rather than anything they've actually done, despite the fact that being turned into undead abominations was a fate none of them asked for. Doesn't matter what they do, some people will simply never accept them. This point has been proven to hold merit time and time again with how some 'Living' factions would never wanted to co-exist like the Scarlet Crusade, or how more extremist member of the Argent Crusade would break their neutrality to hunt any Forsaken down, how the Alliance have made an attempt to take Lordaeron multiple times in the past. It is also noteworthy to mention that she made an attempt to reestablish relationship with the Alliance, even before her people joined the Horde, as she sent and emissaries to Stormwind only for them to never return (Presumably killed before they even reach the gate). While some would tolerate and accept her people, many would never stop seeing her people as nothing more than an abomination.
- In Before the Storm, in the aftermath of the gathering, Sylvanas's reasoning for killing Calia Menethil and her accusation to Anduin is logically sound and understandable from the ruler of a nation's perspective. As Calia presence in the gathering have caused a sedition, that would likely led into the splinter within the Forsaken society, which could have lead to a civil war, and perhaps result in Sylvanas and the Horde lose control of Lordaeron. Meanwhile Calia herself have openly told other forsaken in the gathering to deny Sylvanas and accept her as their queen. While it may appear as Sylvanas acting petty, paranoid and tyrannical about the whole ordeal. It is within her full right to stomp out an usurper that would challenge her authority, who has openly challenged her as well.
- Played With in regards to her her motives in Battle for Azeroth and specifically during the War of the Thorns. Sylvanas has many good, though ruthless points: the balance of the world was shifted in the Alliance's favor and the Horde was in the backfoot ever since the Siege of Orgrimmar and Azerite could upset the balance even further and give the Alliance's total dominance. As such, occupying Teldrassil and killing Malfurion to demoralize the Alliance also make tactical sense. The Played With part comes in when it turns out her reasoning for burning Teldrassil is less of a strategic move, and more of a petty motivation, and she herself makes it clear she did so out of spite, while raising Delaryn into undeath afterwards was especially spiteful, even for Sylvanas. That said, she is correct, albeit in a dark, self-serving way that hope doesn't always prevail for some people, as had been her brutal experience at the hands of Arthas and many of the following events.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: In "Cataclysm", after her primary driving goal (Killing Arthas) is over with, she tries to commit suicide, realizes just how terrible the afterlife is, and is now fully committed to her own survival. While she seemed to avoid this, she eventually begins to slip back down the slope at the start of Battle For Azeroth.
- Karma Houdini: For the Alliance mostly, killing Liam Greymane is perhaps the best example, combined with her use of mass destruction on Southshore, live experimentation on captured Alliance prisoners right from Vanilla, from plague to conscious brain surgery to make them mindless slaves despite Warchief's Thralls law against slavery. Garrosh bore the brunt of the Alliance and the rest of the Horde's ire in Mists of Pandaria. While she lost Lordaeron, she also escaped the Battle for Lordaeron personally unharmed and with the majority of the Horde's loyalty still resting with her.
- Kick the Dog:
- While killing Liam Greymane could be excused as simply the result of her war against Gilneas, her complaining that she had to waste her poisoned arrow on him instead of using it to kill Genn, to Genn's face, is just needlessly cruel.
- Sylvanas gets a massive one in the Burning of Teldrassil, which was a war crime akin to Sink the Lifeboats. While attacking Kalimdor could arguably be justified from a political or military standpoint, by that point the Horde controlled all of Kalimdor and the Night Elven forces were either retreating or dead. The (dying) enemy commander, Captain Delaryn, even conceded defeat and told Sylvanas there were only non-combatants in Teldrassil at that point. It didn't even make sense from the point of view of trying to demoralize the Night Elves, since the destruction of Silvermoon didn't stop Sylvanas' own (former) people from returning to retake Quel'thalas from the Scourge and rebuild Silvermoon. Also, when Captain Delaryn points out the parallels between Arthas' ravaging of the High Elves and Sylvanas' ravaging of the Night Elf lands, Sylvanas brushed it off. Sylvanas even forced Delaryn to watch the destruction of Teldrassil, like Arthas forced Sylvanas herself to watch the destruction of Quel'thalas.
- She gets another one in the Battle for Azeroth expansion when she raises dead heroes of the Alliance into her undead servants including Jaina's brother Derek Proudmoore and the aforementioned Delaryn Summermoon.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: She betrays and kills Garithos after falsely promising to give him full control of Lordaeron. This would otherwise come off as an obviously evil act (as Varimathras points out), except Garithos was a racist and generally unpleasant person who tried to exterminate the Blood Elves.
- Lady and Knight: The Dark Lady to Nathanos' Black Knight.
- The Last Dance: She knew she was going to die when she engaged Arthas, now fast closing in Silvermoon, after her strategies to stall him had failed.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: One gets the impression she was like this before becoming undead and evil. While she was described as very vain and feeling the need to be the best at everything, she most certainly did care about her kingdom and in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVp7yLfnmrE she has a flashback about the invasion of Silvermoon where she helps a mother and child get to safety.
- Mage Marksman: Of the bow and arrows variety.
- Moral Myopia: A recurring problem with Sylvanas:
- She complained that some people treated the Forsaken differently for what they are yet she kept ordering her Forsaken to do atrocities that reinforced the image of them as monsters (such as using the Scourge plague and lobotomizing and enslaving Alliance POWS - and this when Thrall was Warchief). Once she was Warchief, she had no qualms sacrificing living sodiers of the Horde for no other reason than they weren't Forsaken.
- In War Crimes she offered Vereesa, her sister and a loyal member of the Alliance, to join her faction (in secret planning to kill her and then raise her as a Forsaken) so that they could be together. In Before the Storm, when some Forsaken try to defect to the Alliance for the exact same reason, she slaughters them all.
- Early on, she constantly complained about the fate the Arthas forced upon her. Lately, she has been raising the dead left and right to fight for her without consideration regarding their free will, including Derek Proudmoore and - more disturbingly as it parallels Sylvanas being turned to undeath - Delaryn Silvermoon.
- Arthas ravaging her homeland was traumatic for her and drive her hatred for him. Yet she burned down Teldrassil after winning (even Arthas only raised Sylvanas while he was still fighting against the High Elves) and forced Captain Summermoon to watch in the exact same manner Arthas once forced her and for the exact same reason.
- Mortality Phobia: She's already undead, but having witnessed what awaits after her final death, she'll stop at nothing to avoid it.
- Mounted Combat: In Cataclysm, where she in Gilneas and the Forsaken leveling zones is shown doing battle atop a skeletal steed.
- Ms. Fanservice: She has quite an online following after her.
- Ms. Exposition: In one very early quest for Undead characters, she tells the player her own history and that of the Forsaken, and all you really have to do is listen to complete it. (Exactly why she feels the need to tell her life story this way to someone who is, at the time, just a footsoldier, gives one the impression she just likes talking about herself.)
- Never Be Hurt Again: Vereesa turning her back on Sylvanas, after promising to join her in the Undercity, hurt Sylvanas so deep that she vowed she'd never love again. At some point she even extended this viewpoint to the Forsaken under her control and part of the reason why she was so paranoid about the Desolate Council was that undead trying to love the living would only end with their suffering.
- Never My Fault: She blames Saurfang for her burning down Teldrassil, remarking that they needed to strike a moral blow against the Alliance and his failure to kill Malfurion deprived them of that and she had to improvise. She had the chance to finish Malfurion but chose to let Saurfang make the kill and left without making sure he was dead. Even with the excuse that it was a secret test of Saurfang's loyalty, she still could've worked to ensure Malfurion's death afterwards (and maybe Tyrande's as well given her arrival).
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In the "Safe Haven" cinematic, Sylvanas sent a pair of assassins to murder Thrall in Outland, springing their attack just as Saurfang was trying to convince Thrall to help him overthrow her. Thrall, who wanted to remain retired, now knows he can't simply hide from what's happened and is ready to return to Azeroth.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
- For what Sylvanas has become, she was originally a dutiful Ranger-General of Quel'thalas and a hero who have fought valiantly to protect her homeland from the Scourge until her dying breath. Her reward for this heroic deed? Arthas refuses to give her a clean death, then rip her soul back to the world and thus turning her into a banshee, forced into servitude to watch her homeland be destroyed and forced to murder her fellow countrymen and forcibly turn her into the monster she once hated.
- Sylvanas despises being undead, seeing it as a curse even when gaining free will. She decides to use her undead state to continue fighting the Scourge until the Lich King himself falls. After he was slain and her long-life goal accomplished, Sylvanas attempts suicide in hopes of rejoining her deceased loved ones in the afterlife. Instead, she is greeted to eternal damnation in darkness, forever tormented along with her murderer, Arthas. Although she is saved by the Val'kyr, her glimpse into her ultimate fate made her more fearful and ruthless than ever before as she bitterly realize that not even avenging her slain kin can give her peace in death. Consequently, she embraces her undead state to the point that her ultimate goal is to turn everyone, including her surviving relatives, into the Forsaken.
- Sylvanas actually honors her word and frees Lorna Crowley when her father yields to her demands. Lord Godfrey is promptly disgusted with her leniency and guns her down, requiring the sacrifice of three of her precious Val'kyr to resurrect her.
- No MacGuffin, No Winner: After the Battle for Lordaeron, when Sylvanas was confronted by Anduin, Jaina, Genn and Alleria in the throne room, she revealed her master plan; use bombs to blow up the King's Palace and flood Lordaeron with the Forsaken's Blight, the magical disease that could kill even undead.
- Nominal Hero: She's only part of the Horde as a method of protection from the Alliance to the south. After becoming Warchief following Vol'jin's death, she seems to taking the Horde on a much darker path, though, not without a reason.
- Nothing Left to Do but Die: How she felt after the Lich King was defeated. Then she found out that 'nothing' was what she would be doing after she died, for all eternity. She has a lust for undeath now.
- Not So Different:
- From Lich King Arthas. Ever since Cataclysm she has been resorting to raising the dead, making use of ex-Scourge Val'kyr, resorting to Cold-Blooded Torture on underlings who fail her and continuing to use the Forsaken Blight developed by Putress, which wouldn't be out of place in the Scourge's arsenal. For all that she hates Arthas, she is beginning to act more and more like him with each passing expansion. Garrosh of all people asks her what exactly separates her from him, and it's a bit telling that she simply responds that she serves the Horde. In the Battle for Azeroth expansion, the War of the Thorns Sylvanas launched against the Night Elves has numerous parallels to Arthas' war against Quel'thalas (with the invading commander forcing the defending commander to watch the destruction of their capital).
- From Legion onward, Sylvanas is becoming increasingly similar to Garrosh himself. Like Garrosh, she became Warchief in a way she didn't expect or want after proving herself in previous battles and threw herself into the war against the Burning Legion like Garrosh did against Deathwing and the Twilight Cultists. Sylvanas has also proven quite the hypocrite, like Garrosh, as she has started having dissenters monitored - and, as of Before the Storm, killed and she reacts to the discovery of Azerite very similar to how Garrosh would have; in fact The Burning of Teldrassil could be said to be her "Bombing of Theramore" moment, and there are parallels between the Siege of Orgrimmar and the Battle for Lordaeron. Sylvanas is nearly as racist as Garrosh, being rather callous with the lives of the Horde's living soldiers, comparatively protective of the Forsaken in its ranks (unless they disagree with her) and even allowing Horde soldiers to be caught in the way of the Blight as collateral damage.
- The Old Sodiers cinematic reinforced the similarity between Sylvanas and both Arthas and Garrosh without her saying a word. They are similar to the point that they received the same warnings:Terenas Menethil: Look now to your defenses, my son, for the champions of justice gather at your gates!Arthas: Let them come. Frostmourne hungers.Taran Zhu: The world... will hear of this... They will... come for you...Garrosh: Yes... I'm counting on it.Varok Saurfang: There is no honor in this! They will come for us now! All of them!
- Omnicidal Maniac: As of Before the Storm, due to Azerite-induced Flanderization.
- One-Winged Angel: In the "Battle for Azeroth" cinematic, Sylvanas briefly becomes a new hybrid form between her physical body and banshee spirit, becoming a flying wraith of black smoke able to kill soldiers by simply touching them.
- The Paranoiac: By Before the Storm, she is especially paranoid about anything that could threaten her rule over the Forsaken. She considered hope a major threat to the continuing obedience of her people. Moreso when her newfound mortality threatens to undo all her work.
- Pet the Dog: Sylvanas holds a Val'kyr as an extremely valuable tool to serve the Forsaken and her interest personally, and she almost has none of the said tool left. Yet, she doesn't hesitate to call her val'kyr to secure injured Horde soldiers during the Battle for the Broken Shore, risk losing her val'kyr for the lives of mere soldiers.
- In life she helped train Nathanos to be a ranger lord despite the other elves being against it since he was a human
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Before the Storm reveals that she has a decidedly negative view of other races in the Horde.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Used to be that in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria. She did not support Garrosh's plan of conquest, not out of moral concerns, but because she believed his expansion on Kalimdor would make Lordaeron vulnerable to attack. She still has her pragmatic moments (such as not imprisoning Baine right away when he plots to free Derek Proudmoore, but rather letting him go on with his plan so that she would know all his associates), but that is largely overshadowed by her Azerite-induced insanity.
- Precision F-Strike:
- In one of the cutscenes in Frozen Throne. "Give my regards to hell, you son of a bitch!"
- Garrosh pulls one on her in Cataclysm:Garrosh Hellscream: Have you given any thought to what this means, Sylvanas? What difference is there between you and the Lich King now?
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Isn't it obvious, Warchief? I serve the Horde.
[Sylvanas mockingly salutes Garrosh]
Garrosh Hellscream: Watch your clever mouth, bitch.
- Really 700 Years Old: At the time of her death. She fought in the Troll Wars alongside her older sister, Alleria. The war happened 2,800 years ago — and obviously, she was an adult and old enough to be in the military. So, she's probably at least 2,900 years old or more (depending on how quickly or slowly elves mature).
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Glowing red eyes, as compared to most forsaken having white eyes.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
- Her plans for Arthas and the Scourge. Revenge is practically Sylvanas' reason for life.
- And when Arthas finally dies at the hands of the heroes, she finds satisfaction, but realises she needs a new purpose in life (or un-life, rather).
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Undercity doesn't run itself, as Sylvanas is quick to point out to anyone who bothers her with trivialities. Especially in Cataclysm, where she shows up in at least two zones to give the player character instructions and even aid them in battle.
- Servile Snarker: IN SPADES while she is a ghostly banshee under Arthas's control. It often gets her tortured, but she seems to think it's worth it as long as it pisses him off.
- Ship Tease: Between Sylvanas and Nathanos Bligthtcaller; even in life they were unusually close. This is now canon, thanks to the recent short story Dark Mirror and the official preview of the upcoming book Before the Storm. Apart form that, there is a brief hint with Lor'themar. In the Gates of Retribution stage in Siege of Orgrimmar, if Lor'themar brought to zero health in the instance, Sylvanas runs towards him and gleefully comments that she "...can't wait to see the look on his face when (she) reanimate(s) his corpse." This gem in particular.Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Oh, you're still here? I'd kind of hoped you'd perished. You'd make a very attractive corpse.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: When Delaryn Summermoon, who has fallen in battle takes pity on her, reminding her of what she used to be in life, and telling her that hope and life will never die, Sylvanas, having been reminded of the moment she lost both those things the moment Arthas killed her, raised her as a banshee and forced her to raze her own hometown against her will, in order to try making a point that death and despair are inevitable, turns the dying elf's head towards the World Tree and orders her forces to set it on fire.
- Sink the Lifeboats: Sylvanas does this with the Burning of Teldrassil (see Kick the Dog above).
- Soul Jar: Her Val'kyr serves as an undead Type-2.
- Straw Nihilist: The only thing she believes in is avoiding The Nothing After Death. In Battle for Azeroth, having reflected on the moment she lost everything, she rebukes a dying Delaryn Summermoon who says hope and life will never die, by having the World Tree burned while the latter is Forced to Watch in her final moments.
- Stripperiffic: Especially when her model was altered to look more like a high elf. Less so in Legion when she starts wearing armor that actually covers her midriff.
- Stupid Evil: The original plan for taking Teldrassil was to occupy the world tree, take control of it's ports and resources, and use the inhabitants as hostages against any potential Alliance attacks. She also hoped that Genn Greymane would demand the Alliance free Gilneas first and instigate infighting among its leaders. However, due to Delaryn Summermoon, who Sylvanas had never even met beforehand, telling her she can't kill hope, she decides to burn Teldrassil down and kill countless civilians just to prove her wrong, destroying any advantage they would gain by occupying the area, ensuring that the Alliance will unite stronger than ever to oppose her, and undermining her own leadership by looking like a mad tyrant.
- Sugar And Ice Girl:
- Sylvanas is remarkably cold and callous, and rarely shows many signs of positive emotion. But if the player is fortunate enough to find a pendant owned by her older sister Alleria, you get a moving scene in which Sylvanas initially rejected the necklace angrily, but then picks it up and sings a song mourning her lost life.
- Riffing off this theme with her sisters, there is another heart-breaking scenario in the novel War Crimes with her younger sister Vereesa: after Vereesa set up the reconciliation between the two, Sylvanas admits that she misses her sister, and invites Vereesa to live with her in Undercity. (What Vereesa doesn't know that is the Forsaken will never accept a living being — the Kor'kron Overseers are the only living Horde members in the Undercity and were imposed on the Forsaken — so Sylvanas was planning to kill Vereesa in her sleep and rise her to rule together forever.) Vereesa accepted, but later backs out because she felt she shouldn't abandon her two sons. Worse, she turned down Sylvanas' offer through a messenger. Sylvanas tells the guy to get out, and the next thing we see, she's on a wild hunt, screaming and killing animals... and vowing to never make the mistake to love again.
- I Surrender, Suckers: Played with. Sylvanas is confronted after the Horde army's defeat in the Battle for Lordaeron. When Anduin orders her to surrender or die, she didn't draw her weapon and walked towards him saying he had won... only to add "nothing!", and fly off while nearly catching Anduin and the others in her trap.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With the rest of the Horde, even when they're teaming up against Garrosh, and Lor'thermar in particular.
- Token Evil Teammate: In vanilla World of Warcraft, she is the only faction leader of the Horde that can be considered evil, disbelieving in honor and hope that the other leaders share. She is later accompanied by Gallywix in Cataclysm and Garrosh in Mists of Pandaria in this category.
- Tranquil Fury: When Genn destroys her one chance to obtain more Val'kyr, the only visible sign of Sylvanas' anger is her grip tightening on her bow.
- Trauma Button: The moment Arthas murdered, turned her into a banshee, and forced her to burn the homeland she had just failed to defend. So traumatic that when a dying Delaryn indirectly reminds her and tries to proclaim that hope doesn't die, Sylvanas, having experienced the opposite, proceeds to burn the tree Delaryn was trying to protect, all to prove her wrong.
- Trauma Conga Line: Even among Warcraft characters, oh boy.
- After a period of relative peace after the Second War, an isolated Quel'Thalas is attacked and overwhelmed by the Scourge. With no help coming Sylvanas faces the horrors of the Scourge alone, watching her friends and comrades be slaughtered and raised into undead minions, and then turned against her as she loses ground with every battle.
- When Arthas finally corners and slays her, he punishes her for the heavy resistance she put up by traumatically raising her into undeath, marching her into Silvermoon and forcing her to watch her country be destroyed and her people be slaughtered.
- She subsequently spends her time as Arthas' puppet minion, with no recourse and no real control over her actions but to occasionally mildly irritate him.
- After all of the grief and suffering she goes through, once she finally has her revenge and Arthas is dead, she attempts suicide only to discover that, like Arthas, her soul will be condemned to an eternity of horrifying torture in the afterlife. Which she spends an unspecified amount of time in before being offered a temporary reprieve by the Val'kyr.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: After the attack on the Broken Shore goes bad and Voljin dies, Sylvanas becomes Warchief.
- Unexpected Successor: Vol'jin and Sylvanas likely never thought there was a chance in hell he'd ever end up naming her the next Warchief, but that's exactly what happens.
- Unwitting Pawn: Sylvanas earnestly believed that she had Varimathras firmly under her heel. Of course, being a Dreadlord, that's what he wanted her to think.
- Vanity Is Feminine: Sylvanas has a fondness for mirrors. When she was alive, she would make sure she took everyone's breath away with her beauty. While this is no longer the case with her death, she still kept a few mirrors for personal use.
- We Can Rule Together:
- Gives this to her sister Vereesa in War Crimes. And she's actually serious. She was looking forward to it, to top it off.
- Of course, Vereesa drops the plans (after initially accepting the offer)... and Sylvanas wasn't happy. She was actually heartbroken over this... and vows to never love again.
- We Have Reserves:
- In the Icecrown Citadel dungeons, Sylvanas seems to hold the soldiers of the Horde in contempt, even calling them weaklings after they give their lives on her order. Before proceeding into the Halls of Reflection, she says she must send back one of her Dark Rangers for more "fodder".
- She seems to have grown out of this as of Edge of Night, at least where her own Forsaken are concerned, although this is less "They're more important" and her realizing they're a finite resource, one she'll eventually run out of, and she can't afford to throw them away.
- After becoming Warchief, she take this stance on her living forces, having no issue with sending them to die in combat and reviving them into undeath later. This puts her at odds with Saurfang, who is disgusted with her methods.
- She was like this in life as well, throwing away elven rangers to delay Arthas's advance.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Garrosh of all people delivers one of these to her once he finds out about her decision to use the Val'kyr to raise the fallen enemies on the battlefield as Forsaken to replenish their ranks. He even goes so far as to compare her to the Lich King.
- She delivers one to her sister Vereesa in Windrunner: Three Sisters comic. After her older sister Alleria accuses her of using Vereesa, Sylvanas reveals that it was the other way around, and it's actually Vereesa who approaches her and ask for assistance before backing out from it, which leads to the fallout of Garrosh's actions thereafter, including the third invasion of the Burning Legion.
- Saurfang is pissed when she orders the burning of Teldrassil, telling her not only has she acted without honor but she has just started a war that will have all of the Alliance screaming for Horde blood. Its so bad that he almost commits a form of Suicide by Cop.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: At first she had this attitude towards her undeath, and she only keeps going because she wants revenge on Arthas. Once Arthas is killed and she fulfills her vengeance, having apparently nothing to live for, she attempts to commit suicide... Until she sees what's awaiting for her on the other side. She's now actually content with being undead.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She may be manipulative and borderline tyrannical, but it's hard not to feel bad for her at least a little given her traumatic death, resurrection into undeath and being under thrall to destroy what she sought to protect and having nothing left to hope for but avoiding death. Underneath all her cruelty she is mainly just scared and lonely.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Garithos helps her retake Lordaeron, she orders Varimathras to kill him.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Has this reaction to Varimathras's comments on her plan to betray Garithos.
Champion of the Banshee Queen
Class: Dark Ranger
Voiced by: Jim Pirri
The champion of the Banshee-Queen, Nathanos Marris was the very first and last of the human ranger lords, and a hero of the Alliance. He was personally trained by Sylvanas despite objections by the leaders of Quel'thalas and accomplished many victories for the Alliance. He was killed and raised as undead during the Third War, but was freed by Sylvanas, who made him her personal champion.
In World of Warcraft he first resided in the Marris Stead in the Eastern Plaguelands, being part of an extensive questline for the Horde and the target of an Alliance questline, culminating in his attempted assassination. As of Cataclysm, he appears to have survived and has moved to the Undercity, where he now trains hunters.
- Anti-Hero: Nathanos is an Unscrupulous Hero as an undead.
- Arch-Enemy: Comes to consider the Alliance player as this in Battle for Azeroth, calling them his "most annoying meddler" during the War Campaign.
- Ascended Extra: With Sylvanas ascending to Warchief, he gains a lot more relevance in Legion as her champion and gets a new red-eyed human model on top of that.
- Attack Animal: He fought Alliance players with a lot of plaguehounds back in classic.
- An Axe to Grind: Wields two big cleaver-like axes as melee weapons.
- Back from the Dead: After being seemingly killed by Alliance players in classic, he was revealed to have gotten better in Cataclysm.
- Badass Longcoat: His new model in Battle for Azeroth includes an awesome black longcoat over his armor.
- The Beastmaster: With the aforementioned Plague hounds. Despite being a Dark Ranger in lore, he also trains (mainly undead) hunters, giving him a reason for his access to them.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: He switches between using his bow and his two axes in combat.
- The Champion: His personal title is 'Champion of the Banshee Queen'.
- Demoted to Extra: While ultimately not a super-important player, being demoted from a quest-giver and target of two extensive questlines in vanilla to a simple class trainer is pretty damn degrading. This is finally reversed in Legion, where he steps back into action and gets a new model out of it.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Implied. In Legion Nathanos is dismissive towards the Forsaken troops and the closest he gets to complimenting the player character is calling them "competent". He also talks to Sylvanas about whipping the troops into shape and in the short story Dark Mirror glances at a group of soldiers training and immediately dismisses them as "pathetic".
- Dual Wielding: His melee weapons are a big pair of axes. He switches to a smaller pair of axes with Legion.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Not towards Blightcaller, but from him towards the player. He scoffs when the player is declared 'Speaker of the Horde' by King Rastakhan, and in the Seething Shore battleground he complains loudly that there are no Dark Rangers in the battlegroup (made up entirely of player characters) and says "you'll have to do!" in a very annoyed tone. This despite the many, many foes the player may have brought down, whose numbers could include the Lich King, Kil'jaeden and more than one Old God.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In the Sylvanas Warbringers cinematic, he's shown visibly hesitating when Sylvanas gives the order to burn Teldrassil. Later on, at the Battle for Lordaeron, he's visibly saddened at the prospect that they need to abandon Undercity and Lordaeron, where he was born, grew up, lived, and died.
- Evil Brit: Either he picked it from Sylvanas, or he had Gilnean or Kul Tiran ancestry.
- Fallen Hero: From the perspective of the Alliance. He was one of the Ranger Lords that brought many victories to the Alliance in life, now he stalks the Plaguelands and has killed Alliance members in Sylvanas' name.
- Forest Ranger: Trained by the elves to be one, which is a rarity. He's the only undead human to be Dark Ranger in death. All others are undead Elves.
- Hypocrite: He's furious at Tyrande for killing one of Sylvanas' last valkyre despite having just invaded Darkshore to kill one of the top Wardens (who are all Night Elves) and raise both her and Delyrn as Forsaken to use against the Night Elves.
- In the Hood: He's always wearing a brown hood. After the ritual he trades it for a black one.
- I Shall Taunt You: Nathanos launches several verbal jabs in the game whenever he's fighting an opponent alongside the player character.
- Jerkass: Except towards Sylvanas, he is at best cold and aloof towards everyone and at worst vicious and dismissive (for a major example, see below). Furthermore, unless he's talking to or about Sylvanas, everything he says is either an insult or condescending and abrasive.
- Kick the Dog: While he did accept Sylvanas sacrificing his own cousin in a ritual to give him strength (which is a Kick the Dog moment in and of itself to some), taunting his cousin about about their noble calling and still caring for Nathanos was cruel and petty. After his cousin is gone though, he does feel a hint of regret.
- Lady and Knight: The Black Knight to Sylvanas's Dark Lady.
- Mage Marksman: He is a dark ranger and capable of mixing his skill with a bow with shadow magic.
- Necromancer: In undeath, fitting as he's a Dark Ranger, which replaces the nature magic of Rangers with it.
- Number Two: Has become Sylvanas's new right hand.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He's loyal to his Banshee Queen, but he can exercise reason when it benefits them long term. When Anduin proposed a meeting between human and Forsaken to restore family ties, Sylvanas was going to reject the offer outright. Nathanos was the one to examine the offer and convince his Dark Lady that, succeed or fail, permitting this meeting would only improve her standing with the Forsaken.
- Progressively Prettier: Nathanos initially looked as decayed as any other Forsaken, with rotting flesh and exposed bones. In the Legion expansion, he gets a human model with pallid skin and red eyes. In Battle for Azeroth he receives his own unique human model with a black longcoat that makes him look like a vampire. The player character can ask him about it, but Nathanos' response can be summed up as "I won't tell you and stop asking questions!" This is later explained in the short story "Dark Mirror" released during Legion: Sylvanas has her Val'kyr take Nathanos' still living (at the time) cousin Stephon (with a Strong Family Resemblance) and uses him as spell food to restore much of Nathanos' body.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: With his Legion undead human model, his eyes have become red like other dark rangers, and as Sylvanas' devoted champion, he's either a villainous or anti-heroic figure.
- Ship Tease: He and Sylvanas appear to have been unusually close in life, especially considering how much she vouched for him to attain the position of Ranger Lord despite being a human. This seems to have continued even in death. Pointed out in-universe in the short story Dark Mirror. One of Sylvanas' Dark Rangers, Anya, points out all the hints to him after the ritual wondering how a man of such cunning could be so blind to it: She defied an entire nation to have him work for her, she took unneeded time out of her plans to find and then free him from the Scourge back in the plague lands, and now used up energy from her most valuable resource to restore his body. Nathanos just glares at her till she shuts up, mentally denying any of it is true, and even it was, he no longer was cared due to his death.
- The Undead: Well he IS A forsaken.
- Undying Loyalty: To Sylvanas.
Trained from a young age to be a living weapon against the Scourge, Lilian Voss was eventually killed under unknown circumstances and raised as an undead by the Forsaken. In denial of her own state, she rejects their offer to join them and sets out to reunite with her father in the Scarlet Crusade. She is captured and ordered executed, but is freed before then. After this, she seeks out revenge against her father and the Scarlet Crusade.
Sometime after, the player reunites with her, in disguise, at Scarlet Monastery. The player retrieves the Blades of the Anointed, plunging them in Whitemane's body before Lilian appears to claim the swords. She later appears in Scholomance, hunting down the professors and students who seek to learn necromancy, and their undead monstrosities.
Some time between her raising and the events of Battle For Azeroth, Lilian undergoes a change of heart. She realizes that she will never be accepted in the life she once knew, and service as an Uncrowned Assassin does little to aid her plight. Thus, she does end up turning to the Forsaken and the Horde, the only people who will truly accept her for who she is. During the Horde's war campaign, she appears in Stormsong Valley, and laments to a diseased Tidesage what being undead is like, and how the Forsaken and the Horde are the only family she has left...though she hints she's not abandoned loyalty to the Uncrowned
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: If the player asks why she's working for the Forsaken, Lilian replies that they made a "request" of her that she couldn't turn down.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: The player is sent to "assist" her in her revenge against the crusade. But she doesn't actually need help.
- Came Back Strong: Lilian was already a skilled killer when she was alive, but her powers increased when she was revived as forsaken.
- Casting a Shadow: She's skilled in the use of shadow magic, often leaving behind corpses bathed in shadowy flames in her wake.
- Cool Sword: The players help her recover two holy swords, known as the Blades of the Anointed, to permanently kill Whitemane. Being soaked in Whitemane's blood, they change shape into the dark runeblades that she continues to wield.
- Dark Is Not Evil: She utilizes shadow magic and is clad in dark clothes, but for the most part she's out to punish necromancers and zealots.
- Dual Wielding: Wields the Blades of the Anointed, a pair of runeblades.
- Easily Forgiven: In Battle For Azeroth, she joins the Forsaken and the Horde because they're the only ones willing to accept her now that she is undead, despite the fact that it was the Forsaken who raised her from the dead in the first place.
- Et Tu, Brute?: She takes it really badly when her father orders her to be killed after she's become undead.
- Freak Out: She is understandably well out of it after being raised as an undead.
- Gone Horribly Right: Her father raised her to be a unstoppable killer. Unfortunately for him, he was successful.
- Good Is Not Nice: She is understandably bitter and kind of a jerk toward the Player character, but her intentions are overall good.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: She spends her life hunting both overzealous Crusaders who seek to purge all innocent undead from the world, and hunting necromancers and remnants of the Cult of the Damned, to prevent them from raising more unwilling into undeath.
- Magic Knight: She's trained in both sorcery and swordplay, mixing both to deadly effect. She fits as a paragon to the Subtlety Rogue specialization.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Goes on a huge rampage against the Scarlet Crusade after her father orders her to be killed.
- True Companions: In Battle For Azeroth, she claims the Horde and the Forsaken have become this to her, being the only people that will accept her for what she has become.
- Tyke-Bomb: Trained by her father to be the ultimate undead killing machine.
- Unexplained Recovery: In Mists of Pandaria, she's seemingly fatally injured trying to take down Darkmaster Gandling, who mind controls her into fighting the players. After the fight, Lilian asks the player to "leave her to die", yet she turns up unharmed as a possible garrison questgiver in Warlords of Draenor.
Grand Apothecary Putress
Voiced by: David Lodge
The former leader of the Royal Apothecary Society, Putress made his debut in the pre-Wrath of the Lich King event, lending his aid to stop the zombie invasion. Sylvanas dispensed him to Northrend, where he weaponized the newly-finalized Forsaken Blight and showed his true colors in particularly spectacular fashion, laying waste to the Scourge, the Horde, and the Alliance all at once at the Wrathgate.
He betrayed Sylvanas and took up arms with Varimathras, though he was promptly killed by the Alliance at the Battle for the Undercity.
Though not a huge character by any stretch, his style, chilling line delivery and lasting impact on the plot have given him quite a fan following.
- Affably Evil: Faux Affably Evil At first. Then he reveals his plans...
- Badass Baritone: His voice is fairly deep, and surprisingly without a large amount of the rasp other undead have.
- Badass Boast: Most fans agree that his chilling Wham Line delivery at the Wrathgate was pretty amazing. Some of his one-liners at the Undercity were pretty good, too, though this will always be the crown jewel:Putress: Did you think we had forgotten? Did you think we had forgiven? Behold, now, the terrible vengeance of the Forsaken! Death to the Scourge! And death to the living! ... Now, all can see... This is the hour of the Forsaken.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Varimathras.
- Evil Is Hammy: The above quote really sells it.
- Evil Laugh: He's evil and has a matching laugh.
- Evil vs. Evil: He betrayed the Forsaken to the Burning Legion, but he still despises the Scourge.
- The Faceless: We never see his face due to his hood and mask.
- FaceHeel Turn: Not that it came as much of a surprise; his betrayal at the Wrathgate was datamined long before he made an appearance in-game.
- Flunky Boss: Fights with failed experiments.
- High Collar of Doom: Despite wearing a hood.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: In the Undercity, he would kill the player character almost instantly (even with the major regen buffs) if he so much as looked in your direction. Only Varian could soak up his damage.
- In the Hood: The player never gets to see his face
- Omnicidal Maniac: Given he tried to kill anything that wasn't forsaken, this is kinda a given.
- Plague Doctor: His appearance is meant to resemble the plague doctors, but with what looks like a horse skull instead of a beak-shaped mask. He did help creating a cure against the Scourge's plague too, though this isn't the main reason he's remembered.
- Run the Gauntlet: He turns the Undercity into a veritable gauntlet, and throws all sorts of creations and abominations at you.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He appears in only a handful of quests, most of them now defunct, but he was the one to reignite the Alliance-Horde war back into open war.
- This Cannot Be!: Midway through the battle with him.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has a massive one as the Alliance forces whittle away his HP.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: While introduced a little earlier, he makes his grand entrance with the Wrathgate cinematic, but doesn't last long after that, leaving little time to actually learn about him.
— See the Burning Legion character page, here.
Prince Galen Trollbane
Voiced by: Yuri Lowenthal
Son of Thoras Trollbane and prince of Stromgarde, Galen Trollbane led the defense of his kingdom after his father's assassination, but did not crown himself king. While the kingdom fell, Galen and his troops held out in a section of the city, guarding his father's tomb and the ancient family sword Trol'kalar. He was eventually slain by Horde adventurers sent by Zengu, who was seeking Trol'kalar to use against the followers of Hakkar in Zul'gurub.
Zengu did not get far: Galen's followers slew the troll and took back the sword. Galen himself however, was raised into undeath by the Forsaken by the time of Cataclysm. His allegiance having changed to Sylvanas, he instructs Horde adventurers to once again obtain Trol'kalar from his father's tomb. In Legion he is revealed to have been using the Forsaken for his own gain, and reclaims Stromgarde as an undead lord for himself.
- Ancestral Weapon: His family's ancestral sword Trol'kalar has been with them since the time of Ignaeus Trollbane, a warlord serving Thoradin, the founder of the first human nation.
- Antagonistic Offspring: After Thoras is brought back by the Ebon Blade, he reveals that Galen was his killer.
- Bullying a Dragon: He knows full well that the Player Character and Thassarian were sent by the Lich King and are some of his strongest Death Knights around. He still decides to betray them and attempt to have them killed.
- Came Back Wrong: He seems unusually loyal to Sylvanas and the Forsaken considering he was slain by Horde adventurers. Revealed to just be a front while he waited for his chance to turn on them.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He betrayed his father, Stromgarde when he was killed, the Forsaken, and then the Ebon Blade during the Four Horsemen revival event.
- Cool Sword: Thanks to the player's efforts, he eventually obtains the legendary sword Trol'kalar from his father's tomb.
- FaceHeel Turn: He initially fought for his fallen kingdom against both Syndicate and Horde, but after being raised as undead he has turned his efforts against his former people.
- Fallen Hero: He appears to have been a heroic figure in life, valiantly keeping up a doomed fight to reclaim his city and kingdom from the Syndicate and the ogres. Appears is the key-word, as he is later revealed to have killed his own father for unknown reasons.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Together with his sword, Galen used a black shield featuring a silver sword down the middle surrounded by two silver fists on either side of the sword, matching Stromgarde's icon.
- Named Weapons: The name of his family's ancient sword Trol'kalar means "troll slayer", referencing its particular effectiveness against trollkind.
- Robbing the Dead: After the Horde had already killed him before to rob his father's tomb, Galen asks them to do it again to obtain Trol'kalar.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He's a bit player at best, who's only managed to reclaim his kingdom and split from the Forsaken because Sylvanas has more important things to do than slap him down. He still tries to hype himself as a force to be reckoned with.
- Warrior Prince: Fitting Stromgarde's warrior culture, its prince is also a capable warrior.
Class: Tidesage (Mage/Shaman)
- "Revered Tides, carry us swiftly and silently to our quarry."
A Kul Tiran tidesage who fell deathly ill and made a pact with the Horde — in exchange for willingly being raised as a Forsaken and serving the Horde's war effort, his family would be kept safe and away from the fighting. He assists the Horde in acquiring the Abyssal Scepter, an artifact that can control the seas, and in finding the wreck of the Kul Tiran Third Fleet and the body of Derek Proudmoore.
- Came Back Wrong: Not per se any more than any other Forsaken, but his wife regards him as an abomination and sends him away in disgust after he is raised from the dead.
- Defector from Decadence: In addition to his illness, he left the Tidesage order because they had given themselves over to Azshara and thereby the Old Gods.
- Family Man: Even in undeath, he says his family is everything to him. He only made his pact so they would be kept safe.
- Heel Realization: He questions his loyalty to the Forsaken and the Horde after Derek Proudmoore is raised from the dead.Derek Proudmoore didn't ask for such a fate. He died a hero to all Kul Tirans, and he has earned his rest beneath the tides. To think I had a hand in this... this...
- Making a Splash: He used to be a Kul Tiran Tidesage, which makes him an undead shaman.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: While the rest of the Forsaken in Battle for Azeroth are Flanderized into Card-Carrying Villains (sometimes instantly turning evil and loyal to Sylvanas upon being raised for the dead), Zelling's nobility sticks out like a sore thumb. Needless to say, he's killed.
- Killed Off for Real: Nathanatos Blightcaller executes him on Sylvanas' orders at the conclusion of the 8.1.5. war campaign.