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Characters / Warcraft The Scourge

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

The Scourge is an army of undead created as a vanguard for the invasion planned by the Burning Legion, with the goal of succeeding where the Horde once failed. The Scourge's mission was to spread terror and destruction across the world in anticipation of the Legion's inevitable invasion. The Lich King, who ruled the icy realm of Northrend from his Frozen Throne, created the terrible Plague of Undeath, which he sent southward into human lands. As the plague encroached on the southlands, countless humans fell prey to Ner'zhul's mental control and life-draining sickness every day, swelling the ranks of the already-considerable Scourge.However, following the defeat of the Burning Legion and the decimation of their branch of the Scourge, Ner'zhul decided it was time to make his own power play, bringing Arthas north to free him from his icy prison, and declaring the Scourge a host unto itself apart from the Legion.

That said, their rule was not absolute, as the Horde, the Alliance, the Red Dragonflight, the Argent Crusade, and even traitors from within their own ranks (The Forsaken and Knights of the Ebon Blade) all rose to oppose the Lich King's will. Eventually, Arthas was defeated after the factions and their allies united to storm Northrend and lay siege to his fortress within Icecrown Citadel, battling their way through his most powerful minions in order to defeat him once and for all. However, as Arthas lay dying in the snow, the ghost of his father, Terenas Menethil, issued a dire warning:

"There must always be... a Lich King."

As fortune would have it, a voluntary candidate presented itself in the form of the horrifically burned and tortured Bolvar Fordragon, whose broken body had been taken by Arthas from the failed siege of the Wrathgate in order to shape into a death knight. Now, with the world of the living no longer able to comfort him, Bolvar serves as the incumbent Lich King: the eternal jailer of the damned. It's Bolvar's will alone that prevents the Scourge from rampaging across Azeroth, and as a result, they've mostly remained dormant to this day, content to remain within their territory on the unforgiving northern continent. In recent years, however, Bolvar has grown more active, even participating in the defense of Azeroth during the Third Invasion of the Burning Legion by entering into an alliance with the somewhat reluctant Knights of the Ebon Blade, helping them obtain their artifact weapons as well as recruit Four new Horsemen. However, there are also worrying signs that Bolvar's noble heart may be succumbing to the dark powers of the Helm of Domination...

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    General Tropes 

  • Ancient Egypt: A recurring motif in the Scourge forces, taken directly from the Nerubians. The Obsidian Statue and Destroyer have this flair to them, with the Destroyer being a Pharaoh-like being who has four legs and can fly with wings. The Crypt Lord brings scarab-like summons to the table and resembles a giant scarab themselves.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Lich King corrupts the minds of some powerful leaders, turning them into his servants, when he doesn't rise them from the dead to do so.
  • Darker and Edgier: In Warcraft III, both Undead campaigns are unrelentingly dark compared to the other campaigns. Reign of Chaos: "Path of the Damned" is set during their destruction of Lordaeron, Quel'Thalas and Dalaran, while The Frozen Throne: "Legacy of the Damned" is a series of Evil Versus Evil conflicts where ultimately the The Bad Guy Wins. The Forsaken retaking control of Lordaeron from the Burning Legion is actually one of the more upbeat parts of the campaign. Meanwhile, the Lich King's Scourge defeats Illidan and Arthas merges with Ner'zhul's Helm of Domination, allowing the later to be freed from imprisonment.
  • Dem Bones: Necromancers and Death Knights can animate skeletons to serve as the Scourge's foot soldiers.
  • Dracolich: Frost wyrms are risen from the bones of the blue dragons that traditionally made their home in Northrend.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Scourge started on the frozen continent of Northrend, and they have frost-themed heroes and units, such as the liches and the frost wyrms.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Ner'zhul, Arthas and Kel'Thuzad turned against the Burning Legion in Warcraft III. Dreadlords unsuccessfully tried to get rid of Arthas in Frozen Throne, only to be either subdued or killed by Sylvanas, herself a sworn enemy of Arthas and the Token Evil Teammate of the Horde.
  • Flesh Golem: Abominations, flesh giants, flesh beasts and flesh titans.
  • For the Evulz: The Scourge wants to exterminate the living just... because.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Flesh titans are animated with electricity.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: In The Frozen Throne, The Scourge does this to Illidan. Despite being the villain of most of the Night Elf campaign, the Scourge in Lordaeron are the central villains of the last mission in the campaign. After this, Ner'zhul himself is the Big Bad of the rest of the game.
  • Hive Mind: All members of the Scourge hear the Lich King's voice in their minds and are compelled to obey. Without the Lich King's guiding presence, the Scourge would devolve into a mindless wave of death and destruction.
  • Horny Vikings: The Vrykuls, who are possibly the strongest human-like humanoids on Azeroth. Their most impressive warriors are raised as the Ymirjar; failures become Vargul.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Once Ner'zhul started corrupting Humans to turn them against their own kind, his Human servants showed themselves to be just a ruthless (if not moreso) as corrupt Orcs, ever eager to learn dark magic in pursuit of greater power. The initial Death Knight recruits of the Third War embody this concept, being former Human Paladins who became twisted shadows of their former selves.
  • Non-Human Undead: For all creatures that aren't constructs, there are the crypt fiends and crypt lords (undead nerubians), frost wyrms, some undead ice giants, and the Death Knights' skeleton horses.
  • The Necrocracy: Ner'zhul, the original Lich King, was the soul of an orc shaman sealed within an enchanted helm, the Helm of Domination. His replacement, Arthas Menethil, was close to undead before he assumed the mantle. Even his replacement, Bolvar Fordragon, was undead before and after he assumed the mantle. And all the members/servants of the Scourge who aren't undead already aspire towards it.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Banshees, shades and wraiths.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The San'layn/Darkfallen, undead blood elves led by the Blood-Queen Lana'thel.
  • The Plague: The way the Scourge spread through Lordaeron in the Third War, by infecting cereal grains, turning humans into zombies. The Scourge's plague could be seen as prepared in huge cauldrons in the Plaguelands, and later on being spread by small flying monoliths.
  • Purple Is the New Black: Their armies are usually colored purple in Warcraft III, mostly during their playable appearances in the undead campaigns.
  • Religion of Evil: The Cult of the Damned, founded by Kel'thuzad on the Lich King's orders to infiltrate Lordaeron and spread the undead plague.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Darkfallen for the Dreadlords, serving as a group of vampire entities that take on the role of assuming the roles of various leaders to subvert their allies.
  • The Undead: Downplayed in that not all of its members are actually undead: Cultists of the Damned, gargoyles, vrykul as well as mind-controlled Ice trolls and Wendigo are still alive. Death Knights are for the most part undead but it doesn't seem to be strictly necessary.
  • The Unfettered: According to Kel'thuzad, this is why the Scourge always wins.
    The so called 'heroes' of the land fall before us by resorting to a measure of our ideals to bring forth their envisioned victory. Their victory is a vehicle to the realization that without resorting to what they define as deplorability to achieve it, we would have overcome them instead. In both outcomes, win or lose, the Scourge invariably wins. When this is recognized, submission to our will is inevitable.
  • Worthy Opponent: The Lich King saw the Nerubians as this. Their tenacity in the War of the Spider, combined with their natural resistance to the plague of undeath, impressed the Lich King enough to copy their architecture for his own purposes.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Sourge's most basic way of conquering lands? Raising zombies and skeletons. Lordaeron fell to one such.

The Lich King



Class: Shaman/Dark Shaman (Original), Shadow Priest (Alternate)

Voiced by: Vic Mignogna (English/World of Warcraft)
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE! ...oh wait, this is Warcraft...
"The other orcs are lost. They have served their purpose. All that we gain will be ours alone. I am the Horde, and I will survive. Choose me, or choose death."

Once the elder shaman of the orcs, Ner'zhul was the first among his kind to be contacted by Kil'jaeden of the Burning Legion. After being fooled for a while, he managed to see the truth and tried to undo the corruption he'd started. Unfortunately for him, his apprentice Gul'dan took over his position and role willingly. Years later, Ner'zhul led the nigh defeated orcs as warchief in the aftermath (expansion pack) of the Second War. After creating portals to other worlds, seeking to conquer them, he escaped the Alliance through one only to be caught by Kil'jaeden.

The demon lord ripped Ner'zhul to pieces, yet preventing him from dying. The orc eventually vowed to help the Legion create another army to attack Azeroth in exchange for the promise of a new, healthy body. Ner'zhul was turned into the Lich King, beginning the existence of the Scourge.

In Warlords of Draenor, the alternate timeline Ner'zhul manages to avoid his grisly fate and apparently return to shamanism. Forced to join the Iron Horde or risk his peoples' deaths, Ner'zhul has called on the ancient and forbidden powers of the Dark Star, an old deity to the Shadowmoon clan that suspiciously appeared at the same time as the draenei's crash landing centuries ago.
  • Affably Evil: He's not exactly a Smug Snake...
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's not exactly clear if the Arbiter sent Ner'zhul to the Maw, if being bound to the Helm of Domination bound his soul to the Maw, or if he was sent to a different realm of Death but the Jailer's allies stole him to the Maw.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • In Rise of the Horde, he was manipulated by Kil'jaeden behind the scenes and made earnest efforts to undo his mistakes, which don't work. By the time of Warcraft II and III he discarded his nobility, though this might have something to do with the Skull of Gul'dan's corrupting nature and being tortured by Kil'jaeden. Chronicles later clarifies that, in the past, he really wasn't evil, and was manipulated by Kil'jaeden using the appearance of his dead wife to make him act in a certain way to cause war with the Draenei.
    • In Warlords of Draenor, he only joined the Iron Horde under threat of death, and called upon the Void because he was desperate to save his clan from the wrath of Hellscream.
  • Big Bad: Of The Frozen Throne.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He uses black magic and necromancy, but he's not an inherently bad person. He thinks of what's best for his people and most of the bad things he did were because he was manipulated. Even as the Lich King, what he wanted more than anything was freedom (and to throw a giant middle finger at Kil'jaeden for screwing him over so badly). However, after testing the powers he gained as the Lich King, he eventually fell into evil as he enjoyed using the power given to him, and by Warcraft III, he unquestionably is a case of Dark Is Evil.
  • The Dragon: As the Lich King, he's a Dragon to Kil'jaeden. His goal is to become a Dragon with an Agenda, which he succeeds ultimately with through Arthas.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: After the opening of the Dark Portal, Ner'zhul started having having visions of death. When he first meets the undead Teron Gorefiend, he interprets it as a sign that he should follow the Death Knight's plan, unaware that it was probably a vision of what Kil'jaeden had in store for him...
  • Drunk with Power:
    • Not initially but after becoming the founder and leader of the Horde he eventually came to realize that he actually enjoyed leading the orcs though his standards and doubts upon seeing the orcs falling into savagery and Kil'jaeden's obsession at eradicating the Draenei prevented him from becoming like Gul'dan and after realizing what he had done he too in shame about his actions and willingly let Gul'dan and his Shadow Council have all the power. However after becoming the leader of the Horde again, being exposed to the Skull of Gul'dan reawakened his lust for power and when he finally made the ritual that opened a portal across space the feeling of power finally overtook and caused him to finally snap mentally and stopped caring about the Horde, being willing to kill his own people and abandon Draenor behind with his followers.
    • Defied as the Lich King. When he first became the Lich King, he was initially greatly surprised by the power he had been given to complete his task. However, he quickly realized he needed to test the limits of his powers before he lets it go to his head, and proceeded to use the time he had to test what he could do with it and what it could not do. This became especially important in his war with the Nerubians as he realized he couldn't dominate their minds like other races, but managed to turn the war in his favor after learning to use his powers to raise them after death. Notably he never displays signs of this trope as the Lich King, and is ruthlessly cunning with his plans
  • Elemental Powers: Comes with being a shaman. Even after he lost his connection to them for his evils, Beyond the Dark Portal demonstrated that Ner'zhul could still command the elementals through pure force of will.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: He took his apprentice Gul'dan's betrayal badly.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • What Kil'jaeden did to him after he escaped through a portal was not pretty. He had his body ripped apart while his soul remained alive and attached to it, meaning he felt all the agony of his body being ruined, and being unable to do anything about, almost broke. The fact he kept his mind together despite that is impressive all things considered.
    • In Shadowlands he was sent to the Maw, the remnants of his soul encased in spiked Shadowsteel and tortured for his failures as the Lich King. As the Remnant of Ner'Zhul he is a boss.
  • The Lost Lenore: His longing for his dead mate Rulkan made him an easy target for manipulation. His last thoughts of her with his final death in Shadowlands are of her.
  • Manipulative Bastard: After being manipulated by the demons for years, Ner'zhul returns the favor in Reign of Chaos. First, he turns prince Arthas into his own champion (and future body) who would lead his armies to destroy the Alliance of Lordaeron from the inside, then has his jailors killed. By the end of the game, Ner'zhul is free for the Legion's control and has one, if not the strongest army in the world.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He was very upset to discover that Kil'jaeden had tricked him into slaughtering the draenei, not to mention that the ancestors hated him for it afterwards.
  • Necromancer: Kil'jaeden granted him the power to raise the dead, and as the Lich King he became the most powerful necromancer in history.
  • Not Quite Dead: Arthas, after taking up the Helm of Domination, kills the spirit of Ner'zhul to become the Lich King. However in Legion a shade of Ner'zhul appears to be still trapped in Frostmourne still trying to tempt a shade of Arthas to take up the sword.
  • Obliviously Evil: Ner'zhul first had to be tricked by Kil'jaeden to start the Draenei genocide. When he realizes this, it's already too late to turn back as Gul'dan has stolen his position and his guilt had consumed him.
  • Older Than They Look: For an ancient orc, he looked like he was in pretty good shape. To put it in perspective, Ner'zhul had always looked rather physically fit despite being very old. Meanwhile, his former apprentice, Gul'dan looks at least 500 years younger than Velen.
  • Pet the Dog: He warned Durotan about Gul'dan's plans and the corruption of the Blood of Mannoroth, thus saving the Frostwolf Clan from enduring the same fate as the other clans. The only ones who knew of Ner'zhul's aid were Durotan and Draka, who later died and took the secret to their graves.
  • Sadistic Choice: Given one by Grom Hellscream in Warlords of Draenor, unknowingly by the latter; If he didn't join the Iron Horde, his clan would be destroyed. If his clan wasn't strong enough to fight in the Iron Horde, they would still be destroyed by Grom even if they joined. With no other options left to save his people, Ner'zhul drew upon the power of the Dark Star, which had been forbidden in the past due to its mentally corrupting those who used it.
  • Sanity Slippage: The events of "Beyond the Dark Portal" see him slowly but surely lose his sanity (or whatever remained of it) as a result of a combination of his guilt, his reawakened lust for power, and exposure to the still magically infused skull of his former disciple. As the story goes on, he becomes prone to lashing out at his allies rather than helping them as he originally tried to. After finally opening the portals and getting power he never dreamed of having before, Ner'Zhul's mind fully breaks as he realizes that he wants to be free of the guilt that plagued him and he decides to abandon the Horde and Draenor behind, forcing his followers to go with him or to meet death.
  • Start of Darkness: In the novel Rise of the Horde, and later clarified by Chronicles. He wasn't evil, but being outcasted and losing his Shaman powers because he was manipulated by the Burning Legion cause him to begin resenting his own kind, which later manifested in him leaving them to their fates when they asked him to help after the Second War.
  • Universally Beloved Leader: In Rise of the Horde, Durotan notes that Ner'zhul is probably the only orc on Draenor whom everyone respects.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Manipulated by Kil'Jaeden, then betrayed by Gul'dan. Got his revenge in Warcraft III. Also was one to Zovaal, who forced the Runecarver to create the Helm of Domination and Frostmourne in the first place, a fact Ner'zhul was unaware of.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • He is punished with A Fate Worse Than Death by Kil'jaeden for his failure in the events of Tides of Darkness and Beyond the Dark Portal, and ordered to redeem himself by forming the Undead Scourge.
    • Inversely, Ner'zhul orders Kel'thuzad and Arthas to scourge the remnants of the Dark Horde as they no longer hold any favor with Ner'zhul or The Burning Legion for failing in the Second War.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • In Reign of Chaos, once Arthas gets Frostmourne, he lets him kill Mal'ganis.
    • After merging with Arthas in The Frozen Throne, Arthas pulls this trope on him by destroying (most of) his spirit.

    Arthas Menethil 

Prince Arthas Menethil / The Lich King

Crown Prince of Lordaeron, the Lich King

Class: Death Knight (former Paladin)

Voiced by: Justin Gross (English/Warcraft III, Warcraft III Reforged), Patrick Seitz (English/World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm) (Arthas), Michael McConnohie (English/the Lich King), Vladimir Vikhrov (Russian/Warcraft III), Artyom Kretov (Russian/World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm)

"Frostmourne hungers."

The son of King Terenas Menethil, Arthas started out as The Wise Prince, an idealistic, chivalrous hero of Lordaeron, and was also Jaina's Proudmoore's lover. Unfortunately, the events of the Third War drove him to abandon his idealistic stance in favor of purging the Plague of Undeath sent by Ner'zhul (the original Lich King). Eventually, the trail set up by the Dreadlord Mal'ganis led him to Northrend and the sword Frostmourne, which consumed his soul and turned him into a Death Knight. He went on to slaughter his people and his father, the king and helped summon Archimonde in a failed attempt (influenced in part by Nerzhul's scheming) to claim the power of the World Tree. Shortly thereafter, Ner'zhul called him back to Northrend to defend against the assault of Illidan Stormrage. Arthas defeated Illidan, then rose to the weakened Frozen Throne, merging with Ner'zhul and becoming the Lich King. Arthas then consumed Ner'zhul's spirit and eradicated Ner'zhul's mind some time after their merge but before Wrath of the Lich King, establishing him as the sole leader of the Scourge.
For more on Arthas, see his character page here.

    Bolvar Fordragon 
For tropes on the third Lich King, see Warcraft Knights Of The Ebon Blade.

High Ranking Scourge


Arthas (left) and Invincible (right)
Arthas' beloved steed, before even his paladin days. An energetic stallion from his youth, Invincible's death came when Arthas misjudged a jump during a cold winter, and was forced to put him down, but then Arthas became a Death Knight, and Invincible was raised from the dead as his steed.
  • Art Evolution: In Warcraft III, Arthas' undead horse looked like a skeleton horse with horns (and it got a lookalike in the Forsaken's epic mount in World of Warcraft), it was also the same as the standard Death Knight hero unit's horse. The unique model (along with the backstory) came with World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.
  • Ascended Extra: Invincible was just a random horse Arthas rode on during Warcraft III and had no lore to it. Rise of the Lich King would make Invincible an important part of his character, and later a mount players could obtain from defeating Arthas.
  • Back from the Dead: One of the first things Arthas did as a Death Knight was raise Invincible back to life.
  • Berserk Button: For Arthas, hurting Invincible. Even after he became Lich King, at one point Invincible's legs being cut in a battle made Arthas pissed to the point of almost seeming human again.
  • Cool Horse: Literally because of the Lich King's ice powers, but besides that, a very intimidating horse.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As mentioned above, Invincible could be argued to be one of the few beings (besides Jaina Proudmoore) that Lich King Arthas held any affection for.
  • Hellish Horse: At first, Invincible was raised as a skeleton of a horse with burning fire for eyes. Later Arthas would reshape it into a shadowy wraith of a beast with large leathery wings to fly.
  • Mercy Kill: Due to icy terrain and Arthas misjudging the distance of a jump, Invincible fell from a great height, shattering his forelegs. He was left maddened with pain and slowly bleeding to death in the snow, forcing Arthas to put him down with a single clean stab to the heart.
  • Non-Human Undead: An undead horse.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Invincible was just a horse Arthas happened to be really fond of growing up. Its death played a massive role in Arthas developing his Chronic Hero Syndrome that lead to him to becoming the Lich King later in life when the Scourge entered the scene.
  • Theme Naming: It was an informal tradition for Lordaeron knights to name their steeds after virtuous qualities, like "Steadfast" or "Courageous". While Invincible wasn't a warhorse, Prince Arthas named him in the same style.
  • White Stallion: Pure white horses are rare, even for a stable supposedly famous for breeding them (they're mostly a pale grey). The pure white Invincible was destined to be Prince Arthas' loyal steed for everything except battle (since he wasn't bred for it). Sadly, Invincible's premature death cut that status short, and being raised into undeath seven years later meant there was no flesh left, let alone a white coat.



Archlich of Naxxramas

Class: Lich (former Necromancer)

Voiced by: Michael McConnohie (English), Vladislav Kopp (Russian/Warcraft III), Maxim Dakhnenko (Russian/World of Warcraft)

"I am Kel'Thuzad, and I've come to deliver a warning. Leave well enough alone. Your curiosity will be the death of you."

A powerful necromancer in life, Kel'Thuzad was resurrected in the energies of the Sunwell by Arthas shortly after the latter's Face–Heel Turn. With the help of the Scourge forces, he was able to summon Archimonde into Azeroth via portal magic; the Eredar's ensuing rampage destroyed the city of Dalaran and culminated in the loss of the World Tree. Despite the defeat of the Burning Legion (and by proxy, the Scourge), Kel'Thuzad was not killed; rather, he accompanied Arthas on his journey to Northrend, where the prince eventually became the Lich King and appointed Kel'Thuzad as his right hand lich. He ruled the necropolis of Naxxramas, which terrorized both the Plaguelands and Northrend, though he felt defeat at the hands of adventurers. Yet, his phylactery was never found during his fall, implying he may still be around...
  • Ambiguous Situation: Despite his phylactery remaining hidden and intact following his second defeat at Naxxramas, Kel’Thuzad inexplicably fails to reform in the physical world as he should have, and he is "lost to the Shadowlands" as a result. Either his phylactery malfunctioned or was destroyed off-screen, or he chose to pass on to the afterlife instead of remanifesting. The Jailer offering him an alliance might explain the latter possibility.
    • His claims to have been the Jailer's agent all along suffer from this as well, making his role in the Third War appear as this. However an interview clarified that that he was recruited after his defeat in Wrath.
  • An Ice Person: Most of his arsenal is built around frost-based magic.
  • The Archmage: He was one of the top mages in Dalaran in his human life.
  • Back from the Dead: Thrice. His resurrection as a lich was the first. Before The Burning Crusade, however, he was the final boss of the original Naxxramas instance; after being killed by the players, his phylactery was turned in to an Argent Dawn NPC. However, this NPC turned out to be a Smug Snake who sold the phylactery back to the Lich King in exchange for lichhood himself. One expansion later, Kel'Thuzad was back. Then, after his second defeat, he returned in the very same form in the undead-infested afterlife, where he cemented himself as the mastermind behind the conflicts in Shadowlands as one of the realm's most powerful lich lords, this time serving the bigger fish to the Lich King, the Jailer.
  • Beard of Evil: While alive.
  • Berserk Button: That adorable cat wandering around the Naxxramas foyer? Don't mess with it.
  • Came Back Strong: Goes from an over glorified Necromancer Giant Mook to a Lich Hero, with the best base-razing power in the entire game.
  • Camp Gay: In the Arthas novel, Kel'Thuzad is... prissy.
  • Casting a Shadow: As would be expected.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The deepest, darkest depths of Naxxramas are home to...his adorable pet kitten, Mr. Bigglesworth.
  • Deadpan Snarker: This exchange, while observing Sylvanas who is still determined to stop Arthas.
    Sylvanas: [to Arthas] Did you forget about us, wretches!?
    Kel'Thuzad: She is persistent. [amused] Reminds me of you, death knight.
    Arthas: [annoyed] Shut up, you damned ghost.
  • Dem Bones: Par for the course for a lich.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When you kill his Right-Hand Cat, he swears vengeance on you. Urban legend has it that this activates Naxxramas' hardmodes, but this has no effect on the instance. One interpretation of it is that if groups don't heed the advice to not kill the cat, they most likely won't follow strategies on the boss fights.
  • The Dragon:
    • One of two, along with Anub'arak, to Arthas' Big Bad. In World of Warcraft, Anub'arak is the significantly less powerful of the two, making Kel'Thuzad the clear Dragon. Like Kel'thuzad before him, Anub'arak has now been brought back from the dead again, as a harder end game boss than the second incarnation of Kel'thuzad, but easier than the first incarnation.
    • He also has Sapphiron, an undead wyrm which is his dragon.
    • He appears again in Shadowlands serving Margrave Sin'dane. He's actually aligned with the Jailer and convinced Sin'dane into starting a civil war in Maldraxxus and attacking Bastion. Eventually he takes over the House of Rituals, and players have to defeat him and save Sin'dane.
  • Easily Forgiven: Arthas is actually surprised that Kel'Thuzad holds him no ill will for the fact that Arthas was the one who originally killed him. Justified in that Kel'Thuzad knew ahead of time that it would happen.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mr. Bigglesworth big time. He gets enraged when the cat (who won't attack the raid) is killed, (false rumor has it killing him even raises the difficulty of his citadel Naxxramas), in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft the Mr. Bigglesworth in the fights against him is specifically coded so he won't attack it unless you use a spell that nullifies all card effects on it, and in the newest expansion, his card summons the cat if you meet conditions, even despite not being listed on the card effect.
    (if Bigglesworth dies): CURSE YOU INTERLOPERS!!!
  • Evil Genius: Back when Ner'Zhul was the Big Bad and Arthas was The Dragon, he had this role.
  • Evil Old Folks: The Warcraft III game manual stated that he was 58 years old before he died.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Courtesy of voice actor Michael McConnohie.
  • The Exile: He was exiled from Dalaran after showing curiosity in necromancy.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Before Warcraft III, he was a human mage of Kirin Tor.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's surprisingly polite in all of his dealings, even with his enemies. Much more so after he is raised as a lich, and takes on a mentoring role to Arthas. He even waves off Arthas killing him. Although this affable personality turned out to be false, due to the revelation of his true motives in subsequent expansions.
  • Final Boss: Of Naxxramas, and the last boss of pre-expansion World of Warcraft in the very same dungeon.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Arthas doesn’t acknowledge Kel’Thuzad at all following the latter’s second defeat. Kel’Thuzad returns the favor while serving the Jailer, which is even more outstanding since Arthas is presumably being tortured in the Jailer’s own realm. As it turns out, he was quick to swap masters after his defeat in Wrath.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Among the Kirin Tor when he was human, as a result of his idea to study Necromancy to fight it crossing the Moral Event Horizon and being seen as a loner.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: At least gameplay-wise, as noted under Came Back Strong above, he was a Fake Ultimate Mook until resurrected and transformed into a Lich Hero, with the best base-razing power in the entire game. Averted story-wise, as he was never a "nobody" per se.
  • Fun Size: The Lil' Phylactery/Lil' K.T..
  • Killed Off for Real: Having cheated death many times, Kel'Thuzad's luck finally runs out at the Sanctum of Domination. His phylactery is smashed, and the lich is killed by the player characters, ending his life for good.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Implied to be the case when Kel'Thuzad was just human, due to his coin and his social status.
  • Inferred Survival: When Kel'Thuzad was defeated in Wrath of the Lich King, players didn't find his phylactery like they did when he was defeated for the first time. Since liches can't be killed permanently unless their phylactery is destroyed (a point that was firmly established in the game), this cleared the path for his eventual return. Subverted in that, while he does return, it is in the afterlife.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: A very unusual example in that Kel'Thuzad actually dies before he becomes Arthas' mentor — by his pupil's own hand! Once Arthas resurrects Kel'Thuzad into undeath he becomes The Mentor properly and waves off Arthas killing him.
  • More than Mind Control: After he becomes undead, a lich to be exact, you may argue that he, just like many other undeads, is under the Lich King's mind control. However, you can't forget that while he was still alive, he is the one who found Cult of The Damned and already worshiping the Lich King since then. He also follows Arthas completely even when he loses control over weaker minions like Slyvanas and the majority of the undead, implying genuine loyalty.
  • Mundane Wish: You can find Kel'Thuzad's coin in Dalaran fountain, from when he used to be human. Rather tragically, all he wished for was a hug.
    Kel'Thuzad's Gold Coin: Sometimes... I wish someone would come along and just give me a big, long hug.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning:
    Kel'Thuzad: [towards Arthas] I told you my death would mean little.
  • Necromancer: His old job before he took it to even higher levels when he became a Lich.
  • Noodle Incident: Kel’Thuzad, while seemingly a perfect fit for Maldraxxus, was a thoroughly evil person in life and undeath. The Arbiter was still functioning at the time of his demise, so how he managed to avoid eons of atonement in Revendreth is anyone’s guess. There’s also a line during the siege on the House of Constructs indirectly referring to him as Sin’dane’s “new” baron: since Kel’Thuzad is the type who’d quickly rise through the ranks, this implies he showed up in Maldraxxus recently.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Naxxramas.
  • Only Friend: Arthas would eventually come to see Kel'Thuzad as his one true friend as a Death Knight, something that the Lich was very appreciative towards him for. By the time of Shadowlands, the status of their friendship is questionable, as during his boss fight in the Sanctum of Domination, Kel'Thuzad outright declares that he is firmly on team Jailer.
  • Power Echoes: How he speaks as a Lich.
  • Power Floats: The only time he touches the ground is when he's dead.
  • Put on a Bus: Word of God states that after his defeat in Wrath of the Lich King, Kel'Thuzad's soul was 'lost to the Shadowlands,' rendering him unable to reform, at least for now.
    • Gets off the bus in Shadowlands, where he returns serving the Jailer, and his schemes reach across the Bastion, Maldraxxus and Revendreth covenant campaigns.
  • Recurring Boss: When most villains suffer a “setback”, such as Kael’thas and Nefarian, they generally return for one more boss fight before biting the dust. Kel’Thuzad, on the other hand, is fought three more times after his initial defeat: as the Final Boss of the relocated Naxxramas, the Final Boss of both the Necrolord and Venthyr campaigns, and finally as an encounter in the Sanctum of Domination.
  • Religion of Evil: Started the Cult of the Damned back when he was alive.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Mr. Bigglesworth.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Evil Versus Evil example towards a Blackrock orc blademaster.
    Blackrock Orc Blademaster: We orcs are the true servants of the Burning Legion! These mindless undead are weak... impure!
    Kel'Thuzad: Your people failed their task, savage. You, too, must be scourged from the world!
  • Spirit Advisor: Before his resurrection, he made several appearances to Arthas as a ghost, instructing him on how best to proceed (which, naturally, included bringing him back).
  • The Extremist Was Right: As a mage of the Kirin Tor, Kel'Thuzad deemed necessary for the Alliance to learn the powers wielded by their foes. Even though he was deemed a heretic for this, both the Alliance and the Horde would, years later, do this by employing the aid of Warlocks, Shadow Priests, Death Knights and Demon Hunters against the Burning Legion, the Old Gods and the Scourge.
  • Transhuman Treachery: He was a willing member of the Scourge and foresaw his "death" and rebirth into Undeath. He was rewarded for his efforts with Lich-hood and enjoyed what he became, setting the stage for additional corrupted Human Magi to become Liches themselves.
  • Undying Loyalty: A very literal case of this, but it's still just as true. Kel'Thuzad is one of Arthas' most powerful and independent minions, and there's definitely a reason Arthas trusts him with such power and agency. Kel'Thuzad is devoutly loyal to his king, to the point that the three Dreadlord brothers instantly dismiss him as a potential ally for their coup because of this. He also refuses to join the Forsaken.
    • Later, in Shadowlands, this gets retconned. As Kel'Thuzad seemingly eager joins Zovaal without any care to Arthas' fate.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Arthas. Arthas even calls him a loyal friend after Kel'Thuzad saves him from Sylvanas. After Arthas becomes the Lich King and Kel'thuzad suffers his second death following Arthas' orders, he abandons ship and begins secretly working for the Jailer.
  • Wizard Beard: While alive at least.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In Reign of Chaos' Undead Campaign, Kel'Thuzad believes this is Burning Legion's view on orcs. And it later gets funny when in Orc Campaign, we are shown that Archimonde along with his two Dragons, Tichondrius and especially Mannoroth, seriously considered to re-recruit the orcs.
    • Kel'Thuzad himself managed to avoid this trope. When he's brought to low HP in Naxxramas, he calls out to Arthas for aid. Arthas, who usually has little tolerance for failure in his minions, actually obliges and sends out guardians of Icecrown to help Kel'Thuzad.
    • Again in Shadowlands, unlike so many other of The Jailer's minions, Kel'thuzad is actually rescued when he looks to be on the losing side of the battle for control of the House of Rituals
  • The Undead: Becomes undead when raised as a powerful Lich.



The Traitor King

Class: Crypt Lord

Voiced by: Steve Blum (English/Warcraft III), Frank Welker (English/World of Warcraft), Darin De Paul (English/Heroes of the Storm), Rogvold Suhoverko (Russian/Warcraft III), Vsevolod Kuznetsov (Russian/World of Warcraft), Alexander Rezalin (Russian/Heroes of the Storm)

"I was the king of this empire once, long ago. In life I stood as champion. In death I stood as conqueror. Now I protect the kingdom once more. Ironic, yes?"

Anub'arak is the former king of Azjol-Nerub, who was killed and raised by the Scourge. The big crypt lord is now called a "Traitor King" by the surviving Nerubians, who wish to see him destroyed. He met up with Arthas on Northrend, who, alone and severely weakened and going up against both the armies of Illidan Stormrage and the horrors now living in the depths of Azjol-Nerub, gladly accepted Anub'arak's help.
  • Affably Evil: He is the least overtly evil (but still villainous) character in Frozen Throne. He is noticeably not sadistic compared to a lot of the other characters and would likely be a Punch-Clock Villain at worst if he wasn't bound to the Lich King's will.
  • An Ice Person: Gets some ice powers in Trial of the Crusader.
  • Badass Boast: One of his standard lines in The Frozen Throne:
    Anub'arak: My might cannot be matched!
  • The Big Guy: In the levels of the undead campaign of Frozen Throne that focus on Arthas' journey to the Frozen Throne, he is clearly the brute force and "tank" of the team they form, which is just what Arthas needs as his powers are weakening. Anub'arak is also larger than all the other ground units.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • You can't see it in Frozen Throne because he seems entirely loyal to Arthas, but his Last Words in Wrath of the Lich King clearly show it.
      Anub'arak: RAAAAAAGH! Never thought... I would be free of him...
    • His third death quote however, is different, which shows either that he was faking disloyalty or that he was just a husk then.
      Anub'arak: I have failed you, Master!
  • The Brute: Was this when while Ner'Zhul was Big Bad and Arthas was The Dragon. When Arthas got a promotion, so did he.
  • Deal with the Devil: Subverted: Kel'Thuzad had guessed this was how he'd become a Crypt Lord, to which he replied "'Agreed' implies choice".
  • Demoted to Extra: He played a big role in the Undead campaign of The Frozen Throne. He was then less prominent in Wrath of the Lich King.
    • His first appearance was as a level 74 dungeon boss, which outraged many players. Then the Argent Coliseum was completed, and he turned up again, just a wee bit harder. This had mostly to do with Blizzard scrapping the idea of Azjol-Nerub as an entire underground zone.
    • Though Blizzard didn't completely forget him, as he is featured in Heroes of the Storm even before other more influential Scourge members like Kel'Thuzad.
  • The Dragon: Along with Kel'Thuzad he acts as this to Arthas. He used to be a much more important character, then Azjol-Nerub got scrapped and turned into a simple two-dungeons hub.
  • Dying as Yourself: Possibly subverted. His second death happens with him saying "I thought I'd never be free of him". When he actually dies after that, he doesn't act as such.
  • The Good King: Some surviving nerubians imply that he was this in life. At the very least we know that he led the nerubians in the War of the Spider until he was slain and raised into undeath as one of the Lich King's lieutenants.
  • Killed Off for Real: He is killed by the Argent Crusaders during the campaign to bring down the Lich King, and the Lich King doesn´t bring him back afterwards.
  • Mighty Glacier: His overall fighting style as far back as his first appearance in Warcraft III. He's huge, slow and lumbering but can take immense amounts of punishment in both Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, his Spikes of Doom attacks and locust swarm can be quite devastating.
  • Mr. Exposition: A lot of his screentime in The Frozen Throne is spent explaining various parts of Northrend and Azjol-Nerub to Arthas, similar to Tichondrius in Reign of Chaos.
  • The Quisling: The living Nerubians call him the Traitor King even though he didn't join the Scourge willingly.
  • The Stoic: Anub'arak rarely raises his voice in The Frozen Throne (though he, like many bosses in World of Warcraft is a Large Ham there) and remains very calm most of the time. However...
    • Not So Stoic: When he sees the Forgotten One in Azjol-Nerub.
    Anub'arak: It cannot be... A forgotten one. Look to your defenses, death knight! Fight as you've never fought before!
  • Supporting Leader: He assists Arthas in his journey to reach the Frozen Throne before Illidan Stormrage and leads the undead Nerubian forces of Northrend to that end.
  • The Swarm: His ultimate attack, the Locust Swarm. The locusts heal him in The Frozen Throne.
  • The Undead: Implied to be raised from death, instead of willingly joining as with Kel'thuzad, or being tricked into it, as with Arthas.

    Dar'Khan Drathir 

Dar'Khan Drathir

Class: Necromancer

Once an esteemed magister, Dar'Khan Drathir would become one of Quel'Thalas' greatest traitors. His limitless ambition, combined with his egotistical mindset, made him an easy pawn for the forces of the Lich King. Empowered by the treacherous Prince Arthas himself, Dar'Khan opened the way for the Scourge to enter Quel'Thalas and ravage the land in their march to the Sunwell.

Though he was killed at some point after the fall of Quel'Thalas, Dar'Khan has been resurrected by the Lich King and now resides at the fortress of Deatholme in the southern Ghostlands, where he commands the Scourge in Quel'Thalas.

  • Arch-Enemy: Lor'themar considers him one, but the feeling is not mutual.
  • Asshole Victim: He is killed at least two times, and every time it was well-deserved. Even Sylvanas felt joy at seeing Arthas killing him.
  • Back from the Dead: Multiple times. First he was killed by Arthas and brought back as an undead, and then he recovers from Anveena burning him to ashes and then Lor'themar causing him to crumble to dust without explanation. It's only when the player character kills him that he finally stays dead.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He sees himself as brilliant and powerful, but all he achieved was thanks to the powers provided by Arthas or the manipulation of others. Alone, without any support, he is pretty much defenseless.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: First he betrayed his homeland, then he tried to betray Arthas!
  • Dirty Coward: His reason for betraying his homeland.
  • Dragon Rider: Rides some dragon-like creature akin to the ones ridden by the Nazgûl in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite his contributions to the Sunwell, he was not rewarded for his efforts. As such, he sought to reward himself for what he considered to be good work. Given his self-absorbed and greedy nature, it could be more of he wasn't rewarded as much as he wanted.
  • Fingore: In the novel Dragon Hunt, his index finger — with the ring on it — is removed from the rest of his hand. But it seems to have reappeared somehow when we next see him.
  • Hate Sink: He is one of the most hated characters in Warcraft, even among the Scourge. For example: Arthas had his soul taken by Frostmourne and is still quite popular by the fans; Kel'Thuzad was exiled from Dalaran and possesses some Evil Virtues especially Loyalty; Anub'arak, Lana'thel and others are bound by the Lich King's will; Drakuru is quite affable towards the adventurers... Dar'Khan however lacks both redeeming traits and an excuse.
  • Hated by All: Nobody that knows who he is likes him. He is the single most hated individual among elves, forever remembered as the traitor that led to the destruction of Quel'thalas. It is also implied in Arthas Rise of the Lich King that Arthas himself feels disgusted at him.
  • Karmic Death: Killed twice thanks to the power of the Sunwell, which he sought to take for himself.
  • Killed Off for Real: Quite unceremoniously, by the player.
  • Necromancer: He is capable of raising the dead.
  • Off with His Head!: The players must bring his head to the regent of Quel'Thalas in World of Warcraft The Burning Crusade.
  • Power of the Void: His legacy returns in Legion where it turns out he was researching the void, discovering the rift that would later lead to the creation of the void elves.
  • The Quisling: Greedy for power, Dar'Khan gladly doomed his entire race for what the Lich King promised him.
  • Remember the New Guy?: A very significant one, essentially a flat-out Retcon; Dar'khan was never mentioned in Warcraft III. However, in The Sunwell Trilogy and The Burning Crusade, it's stated that not only was Dar'khan a loyal servant of Arthas' during the invasion of Quel'thalas, but was integral in helping him invade Silvermoon and reach the Sunwell.
  • Ring of Power: Uses it to control the bands on Kalec and Anveena's necks.
  • Sissy Villain: Look at him.
  • Smug Snake: He has quite a huge ego and is quite arrogant and boastful.
  • The Starscream: To Arthas, he doesn't get much further than boasting about it.
  • Starter Villain: To Blood Elves PCs; as the leader of the Scourge in what remains of Quel'Thalas, he is the first major villain to face for them, and the last one to face before the Blood Elves officially join the Horde.
  • Stripped to the Bone: Yup, although he's later reanimated as undead.
  • The Undead: Eventually. Not that it does him much good in the long run.



The Blood-Queen

Voiced by: Jessica Straus (English), Elena Chebaturkina (Russian)

Formerly a High Elf warrior who survived the battle of Silvermoon, now an undead Blood Elf and the leader of the San'layn. She was a warrior of Quel'thalas and part of Kael's forces that fought to destroy the Frozen Throne at Icecrown. After Illidan's defeat, she was one of the survivors hunted down personally by the Lich King. Despite her efforts, Lana'thel was defeated and raised as an undead. The Lich King made her Blood-Queen Lana'thel, leader of the San'layn and put her in charge of overseeing Scourge operations across Azeroth.

  • Action Girl: In life and on into undeath.
  • Action Mom: Revealed as this in Legion. In the Legion version of the Violet Hold dungeon, one of the prisoners is Blood Princess Thal'ena, who is Lana'thel's daughter. Thal'ena also uses the same in-game model as her mother.
  • Affably Evil: The least overtly evil of the bosses in the Icecrown Raid; Lana'thel's dialogue implies she cares for those under her command (for instance, referring to her lieutenants as 'brothers' and converted player characters as '[her] precious one'). There's also how she talks with the forces around Quel'delar and lets them live when she's done.
  • The Baroness: Or more specifically, Blood Queen.
  • Blood Magic: Several blood-based powers such as Vampiric Draining.
  • Braids of Action: Wears these.
  • Casting a Shadow: Part of her magic arsenal.
  • Co-Dragons: With Anub'arak and Kel'thuzad.
  • Cool Sword: She wielded Quel'Delar during the campaign in Northrend.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Her skin became deathly pale after becoming undead.
  • High Collar of Doom: How she keeps up that absurdly huge collar no one knows.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Quel'Delar was the best sword available outside of raiding or PvP during Wrath of the Lich King
  • Kiss of the Vampire: One of her attacks, which she can use to take control of players by turning them.
  • Lady in Red: Clad in crimson colors, check. Seductive towards the attacking players, check.
  • Monster Progenitor: Implied to be the first of the San'Layn. At least she is the only one seen turning others into San'Layn.
  • Morality Chain: Quel'delar was hers, which is why she shattered it and threw it away.
  • My Greatest Failure: Though loyal to the Lich King, she once remembered her past life and regretted serving him.
  • Offing the Offspring: The first Blood Elf that Lana'thel turned into a San'layn was her daughter, Thal'ena.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The closest this setting gets to vampires.
  • Winged Humanoid: She has grown huge bat-like wings. How she got them is unknown, but she can use them to fly.
  • The Vamp: Figuratively and literally.


King Ymiron

Voiced by: Michael McConnohie (English/Wrath of the Lich King), David Shaughnessy (English/Legion), Alexander Novikov (Russian/Wrath of the Lich King), Vladimir Zaitsev (Russian/Legion)

Ymiron is the vrykul king of Northrend. When the vrykul children started being born as smaller and weaker, Ymiron saw it as a sign that they had been abandoned by the titans and their watchers, declaring that the vrykul would now worship him as a god. He also ordered all of the "deformed" children to be killed, but their parents instead helped them flee south, where they would eventually become humans. For unknown reasons, the vrykul later went into a state of deep slumber for thousands of years.

When the Lich King arrived to take over Northrend, he awakened Ymiron and his slumbering people, who turned towards worshipping him as their new Death God. Ymiron proved himself to the Lich King and was turned undead, but was killed by adventurers in Utgarde Pinnacle. As a result of denouncing the titan keepers and his dark pact with the Lich King, he was denied entry into the Halls of Valor and instead condemned to Helheim. In Legion he is fought once again by players in the Maw of Souls dungeon. Warrior players who beat him forcibly recruit him as an unwilling champion for their order hall.

  • A God Am I: Ymiron denounced the gods of his people in favor of having them worship him as a god. However he abandons it after the Lich King strolls in and awakens him, instead turning towards worshipping his new Death God.
  • Beard of Barbarism: Fitting the king of the vrykul, which are essentially vikings, Ymiron keeps his red beard in three long braids.
  • BFS: In Utgarde he wields a large sword with two blades. In Maw of Souls he instead wields a sword seemingly made of bones.
  • Big Fancy Castle: His seat of power is the absolutely massive and towering castle known as Utgarde Keep.
  • Blow You Away: Blasts away players with the frozen winds of Northrend in the Maw of Souls dungeon.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: Witness his on-click quotes in the Warrior order hall, where he goes into a rant censored with bleeps. And yes it made it from beta to live:
  • Cool Helmet: Wears a massive horned helmet.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It is implied by the dungeon journal and a now removed quest that he actually loves his wife Queen Angerboda, as he seeks revenge for her death and keeps one of her lockets as a reminder of her. She in return refers to him as "my love".
  • Horny Vikings: Ymiron is the king of the vrykul, which are essentially half-giant vikings, and he also has the biggest horned helmet of them all.
  • Ironic Hell: Or Ironic Heaven. After serving the Lich King and later Helya, he is forced into eternal servitude as one of the Valajar, making him a slave in heaven instead of the ruler he was and in service to gods he had spurned.
  • Irony: Despite hating the smaller and weaker humankind, he would later worship the Lich King. He was formerly the human Paladin/Death Knight Prince Arthas Menethil.
  • Jerkass: Ymiron is arrogant, seems to hate almost everybody he speaks to, and is probably the single most foul-mouthed character in the game.
  • Magic Knight: As a result of his pact with the Lich King, Ymiron assaults players with both dark magic and brute force.
  • Nay-Theist: Ymiron blamed the absent titans and/or Keepers for the Curse of Flesh, not knowing that it was actually the work of the Old Gods. As such, he outlawed their worship, on the grounds that they were negligent at best and undeserving of respect.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Swearing in Warcraft tends to be relatively light, but Ymiron stands out by spitting curses whenever he gets the chance and even having an on-click quote that is CENSORED.
  • Undeathly Pallor: Averted at first; being undead courtesy of the Lich King didn't seem to affect his appearance at all. When you encounter his damned spirit in the Maw of Souls however, it is played straight.
  • Vocal Evolution: With his new voice in Legion, he gains a heavy faux-Scandinavian-ish accent that there wasn't a hint of back in Wrath.



Class: Death Knight

"Behold, mon! We be creatin' da greatest Scourge army ever seen!"

An ice troll encountered by the players, having been captured by the companions of Budd Nedreck. He makes a deal with the player that is supposed to ensure that Drak'tharon Keep remains unbreached and Zul'Drak safe from the Scourge. In reality, he tricks the player into lowering Drak'tharon Keep's defenses, allowing the Scourge to swarm over it. He is subsequently placed in charge of subjugating the rest of Zul'Drak for the Scourge and tries to forcibly convert the player to help in this. The player and the Knights of the Ebon Blade exploit this to infiltrate his forces and sabotage his plans, culminating in his death at the hands of the Lich King himself.

  • Affably Evil: He is quite amiable and friendly with the player, even if he tricked them into lowering Zul'drak's outer defenses. He even offers the player to share in his reward and lets them go when they refuse. Even when he later tries to forcibly convert them to his cause, he still considers them a friend and only begins to rail against them angrily when they betray him.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: His promotion from the Lich King makes him far too strong for the players to defeat on their own, and lets him beat down his own super-weapons with relative ease.
  • Blood Oath: His first interaction with the player is to declare a truce, with both drawing blood from their palms and shaking on it. Indeed, he never goes out of his way to harm the player, considering his use of the conversion choker to be like an invitation, until the trap is sprung on him.
  • Casting a Shadow: Utilizes shadowbolts as part of his arsenal after the Lich King grants him his reward.
  • The Chessmaster: He quite cleverly manipulates the player into aiding the Scourge's cause by lowering the outer defenses of Zul'drak, in the belief it'd help strengthen them instead.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: He takes your betrayal very badly.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: When the player meets him, he's just another troll that's been rounded up by Budd's gang to be sold for his information. Some smooth talk later, and he is a powerful lieutenant of the Lich King who personally is responsible for the fall of the Drakkari civilization.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He had experimented on captured trolls, injecting them with blight essence until they swelled into hulking monstrosities, and planned to unleash them on the Drakkari resistance. The player ultimately brings him down using these behemoths against him.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Lich King himself kills him and doesn't raise his remains.
  • Large and in Charge: Turns quite huge after being granted his reward by the Lich King.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Blown up this way by the Lich King.
  • Off with His Head!: The Lich King disposes of him this way.
  • Poisonous Person: Acts alot like a Unholy Death Knight, focusing on summoning Undead, a Ghoul as a permanent indivual companion (That's you) and using plagues as his favored weapon.
  • The Quisling: Betrayed his people to the Scourge and takes up a high position among them to subjugate the rest of his homeland.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Takes the player's betrayal of him quite badly.
  • Villainous Friendship: He thinks you and he have this going on. When the truth is revealed, he reacts badly.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Lich King explicitly says this before he kills him.




Class: Mage

Originally a respected patriot of Gilneas and a royal archmage, Arugal eventually became a member of the Kirin Tor of Dalaran. However, after the Scourge destroyed Dalaran and most of its populace, he returned to Gilneas. When the Scourge reached the outskirts of Gilneas, Arugal was called by King Genn Greymane to help him find a way to protect his kingdom. Arugal told him about the worgen, a mysterious race he had learned about, which could be summoned to help them. He warned Genn about the worgen's strength and ferocity, but the king decided to enlist their help. Using Ur's research, Arugal summoned worgen to attack the undead that attempted to pass the wall. Though they were successful in killing the Scourge, they later turned their rage against the Gilnean soldiers, turning some of them into worgen. This started spreading the worgen curse all through Gilneas.

Some worgen later sieged the keep of the noble Baron Silverlaine. Situated above the tiny hamlet of Pyrewood Village, the keep quickly fell into shadow and ruin. Driven mad with guilt, Arugal adopted the worgen as his children and retreated to the newly dubbed 'Shadowfang Keep'. Although slain and beheaded, in Wrath of the Lich King he is resurrected as the Shade of Arugal by Darkfallen Princes, where he serves as the leader of a new Wolf Cult in Grizzly Hills.

  • Arc Villain: He serves as the antagonist of Silverpine Forest/Shadowfang Keep as well as the final boss of Grizzly Hills.
  • The Archmage: He was the Arch-mage of Gilneas, and is fairly powerful.
  • Off with His Head!: The original quest to kill him results in his beheading.
  • One Name Only: Arugal is his only known name.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: He returns in Wrath as the Shade of Arugal.
  • Sanity Slippage: After he lost control of the worgen, he snapped and embraced them as his children.
  • Villainous Legacy: Although a fairly minor character, the effects of his actions echo across Warcraft, being responsible for the Worgen and the curse of Gilneas, leading to his country's fall and countrymen rejoining the alliance.

    Rage Winterchill 

Rage Winterchill

Class: Lich

A lich in the Scourge army. Unlike the rest of the liches, loyal to Ner'zhul, Winterchill is fanatically loyal to the Burning Legion and participates in the Battle of Mount Hyjal.

  • Co-Dragons: To Archimonde, alongside the Pit Lord Azgalor and the Dreadlord Anetheron.
  • Color Motifs: His model has a reddish tint in the final level of Warcraft III, which distinguishes him from other Lich units. He also has the Finger of Death One-Hit Kill power.
  • Characterization Marches On: In World of Warcraft he has the same model as other Liches.
  • Undying Loyalty: To the Burning Legion.

The Four Horsemen

A quartet of Death Knights, sent to guard Naxxramas. The Ebon Blade have their own Four Horsemen, but these came first. Alexandros is in the The Light character page.
     All Four 

    Thane Korth'azz 

Thane Korth'Azz

Race: Dwarf

Class: Death Knight (ex-Paladin)
The Pale Rider of Death.

    Lady Blameux 

Lady Blameux

Race: Human

Class: Death Knight (ex-Paladin)
The Black Rider of Famine.

    Baron Rivendare 

Baron Rivendare

Race: Human

Class: Death Knight (previous unknown)
The 2nd Red Rider of War (Mograine was the previous).
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Is the only one of the Horsemen to have neither been a Paladin, or have been forced to aid the scourge. He and Kel'Thuzad were friends.
  • Casting a Shadow: He and Blameux both use shadow abilities.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Goes from a 5-man dungeon boss in Vanilla to a raid boss in Wrath of the Lich King.

    Sir Zeliek 

Sir Zeliek

Race: Human

Class: Death Knight/Paladin
The White Rider of Conquest. Also, was so faithful to The Light in life, that he can still use it as an undead.

Frost Wyrms



"You dare enter my lair? I am Sapphiron, ancient servant of Malygos the Spell-Weaver! Explain yourselves!"

A powerful blue dragon who was slain by Arthas when the latter came back to Northrend. Arthas then raised him as a powerful Frost Wyrm.
  • Ambiguous Situation: His brief appearance in Shadowlands leaves it unknown if he had acquired Stockholm Syndrome for Kel'Thuzad or if Kel'Thuzad had simply founded him in the Shadowlands after death and forced him into his bidding again.
  • Breath Weapon: As a Frost Wyrm, he can spew ice.
  • Climax Boss: He is the penultimate boss of Naxxramas (both the level 60 and level 80 versions), guarding the lair of Kel'Thuzad. As such, he's one of the hardest (some would say the hardest, specially at level 60, considering the amount of frost resistance gear that was needed by players to fight him) boss battles of the dungeon and in the whole of the original World of Warcraft and Classic.
  • Dracolich: Comes with being a Frost Wyrm.
  • Dragon Hoard: He guards a treasure consisting of various magical artifacts and some gold when Arthas confronts him in The Frozen Throne.
  • An Ice Person: Can spew ice, encase his enemies in ice and summon blizzards.
  • Put on a Bus: In The Frozen Throne, just before Arthas' party enters the depths of Azjol-Nerub as a shortcut to Icecrown, Arthas tells Sapphiron that this isn't a place for him, and he goes away. He is not seen again at the battle after Arthas finally reaches Icrecrown. Then he became the penultimate boss of Naxxramas in World of Warcraft (the patch "Shadow of the Necropolis", which introduced Naxxramas, came out three years after The Frozen Throne).
    • And after being slain in Naxxramas, he would again be brought back and fought six expansions later in Shadowlands, being summoned by Kel'Thuzad to cover his retreat with the captured Margrave Sin'dane in the penultimate chapter of the Necrolords Covenant Campaign.



The former consort of Malygos, she was flung to Northrend after Neltharion's genocide of the blue dragons, and died of her wounds and exhaustion trying to get to the Dragonblight to die in peace. After years had passed, the Lich King resurrected her as the guardian of Icecrown Citadel, her final thoughts of hatred towards the world turning into uncontrollable rage.

Sindragosa plays another role during the events of Dragonflight: While her physical body is long dead, undead, and gone by the time of Dragonflight, she left behind a magical simulacrum of her personality in the Azure Span on the Dragon Isles before she left to fight in the War of the Ancients, a true copy of herself offering a glimpse into her personality before she was slain. These tropes are covered here.

  • And I Must Scream: Revealed in Dragonflight through flavor text that as one final act of spite and as punishment for failing him, Arthas had it set up so her soul would be trapped in a crystal upon her second death. With everyone assuming she was freed, she would remain like that for over a decade stewing ever deeper in her hatred and misery, until the Blue Dragons go to lay her to rest which unleashes her soul essence (along with Malygos', similarly having been left to stew) in a violent, chaotic disaster. It's only after the duo's essences are called out for one final encounter that they're able to give her closure so her and Maylgos' spirits can properly move on to the Shadowlands.
  • An Ice Person: Freezing breath, the ability to freeze people solid, and even an aura of cold that persistently damages the raid.
  • Draco Lich: Just like many of the frost wyrms under the Lich King's control.
  • Dying as Yourself: Her last words are "Free... at last..."
  • Harmless Freezing: Averted. Being frozen in her Ice Tombs does no damage at first, but victims who are not broken out quickly take damage and suffocate.
  • Large Ham: Like Malygos, she's no slouch in this department. Her emphasis on "betrays" in "SUFFER, MORTALS, AS YOUR PATHETIC MAGIC BETRAAAAAAYS YOU!" is legendary.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: As she was dying in Northrend, her sanity began to deteriorate, and she slowly began blaming the Burning Leigon, Deathwing, mortal beings and even Malygos for her suffering. When she was reanimated, her final whispers of vengence were one of the most upfront things in her mind.
  • Undeath Always Ends: She sighs with relief upon it happening as well.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: One of the blue dragons murdered by Deathwing, she wasn't only enraged by his betrayal, but she assumed ALL Dragons (including her mate) had betrayed her when they wouldn't answer her cries for help returning to Dragonblight. She died very emotionally damaged. Mix in some Scourge corruption when the Lich King resurrected her to be his, umm... Dragon and she's angry enough to help extinguish all life on Azeroth.