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  • If only looking at fan art, you'd be forgiven to think that Sally Whitemane is a main character and not just a relatively low-level dungeon boss. Her distinct costume and fantastic quest made her a fan favorite, so much that she was resurrected as a Horseman for Legion and made a playable character in Heroes of the Storm.
  • Mankrik, a minor Orc NPC searching for his wife. Pre-Cataclysm, she was a notoriously hard to find quest target, as she was labelled as "a battered corpse," rather than being referred to as his wife. As of the Cataclysm, Mankrik's wife has been properly laid to rest and Mankrik has gone on a quilboar hunting rampage to avenge her death.
    • And since then, shows up in Mount Hyjal as a possible squadmate for one of the daily quests where you need to kill some impressively tough elite elementals, and is one of six NPCs you must do a /wave emote to in order to get an achievement. He more than accounts for himself.
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    • In the aforementioned quilboard hunting rampage, he partners with a female orc that eventually becomes his new wife. So he gets a happy ending.
  • Despite (or perhaps because of) being killed off during the worgen starting experience, Liam Greymane has a following among the playerbase. Liam's further characterization during flashbacks in the short story about his father Genn only added to his popularity.
  • Sassy Hardwrench, the goblin player character's (former) secretary, mainly due to her Action Girl tendencies and being the Only Sane Woman among a race of Ax-Crazy inventors. In every hypothetical plan fans come up with for overthrowing Gallywix, her taking his place is almost always a necessity.
  • Boss Mida, a fan made character also involved in Gallywix removal plans.
  • Jorin Deadeye, the son of Kilrogg Deadeye, was one of the young Mag'har leaders in Garadar. He was involved in the Lantresor of The Blade portion of the Hero of The Mag'har questline, but otherwise had little to do with the players in the zone. He displayed a natural orcish desire to answer blood with blood after his Bleeding Hollow clan were kicked out of their village by ogres, but level-headed enough to send the player to Lantresor of The Blade to negotiate a peace agreement which ended in success. Since he was Put on a Bus after The Burning Crusade and Mists of Pandaria carried a glut of orc character deaths, many players have expressed a desire for Jorin to return to fill the gap.
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  • John J. Keeshan and Bravo Company, although Keeshan himself borders on Memetic Badass status, as he is a Rambo Expy.
  • Rheastraza, just for the Tear Jerker quest line she is involved in. Also, the unhatched black dragon egg she purified, although it's not even born, is one of two player favorite candidates regarding the future leader of the black dragonflight.
    • It can't hurt her popularity that in the rogue legendary questline and Mists of Pandaria we get to meet Wrathion, who is himself quite well liked and who hatched from that very egg.
  • Asric and Jadaar, a male blood elf and a male draenei respectively. The two would trade insults while investigating Griftah's activities in Shattrath during The Burning Crusade expansion. Fan reaction to the two prompted Blizzard to bring them back in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. They (along with several other beloved NPCs) can now also be spotted visiting the revamped Darkmoon Faire.
  • Grand Magister Rommath is this for the blood elves, in an inversion of a Creator's Pet. The writers never seemed too fond of him, and even set him up for a fall as a Twilight Cultist mook for some inexplicable reason (it didn't help that Blizzard has a track record of singling out its darker and more ambiguous characters as easy raid boss material) in Cataclysm. However, they reconsidered after a fair bit of fan outrage was incurred, and Rommath went on to receive some positive development in In the Shadow of the Sun and Mists of Pandaria.
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  • Cro Threadstrong, an Orc NPC in Shattrath who yells about waging war with a nearby apple vendor.
  • Sabellian, Deathwing's younger son who is a questgiver in Outland. As of late, there have been several calls for Sabellian, who is much less evil and more sane than his father, to take control of the Black Dragonflight after Deathwing's inevitable demise at the hands of players. After Wrathion's birth and subsequent eradication of the Black Dragonflight, fans immediately demand to know whether or not he and his faction is still alive. When it was revealed that they do, demands have been made for them to meet and/or fight for the position of the Black Dragonflight leader.
  • Sky Admiral Catherine Rogers, the new captain of the gunship The Skyfire in Mists of Pandaria, was very well received by some Alliance players for her hard-line stance against the Horde, while at the same time being a competent commander.
  • Gamon had a history of being a joke character among the Horde due to being a target for an early rogue quest. As of Cataclysm he gained a massive level of badass and was actually powerful enough to cause problems for Alliance raids on Garrosh if someone managed to pull him into the room. His new voice files from patch 5.4 show he's about to gain another massive badass level. He even gets the canonical killing blow on General Nazgrim during the Siege of Orgrimmar!
  • Nazgrel is building up a fandom for being a Horde character that opposes the Alliance without being given the Conflict and Idiot Ball for it.
  • Many of the above characters, and more, can be encountered as questgivers if you have the Inn building for your garrison.
  • Out of all the Dragonflight leaders, it is Alexstrasza that received most of the fanbase's love despite mostly served as an off-screen leader in most expansion except in Catalysm due to her Dragonflight is the only group that consistently involve in the main storyline as well as she is perhaps the most well-rounded and sympathetic out of all the dragons. And of course, it helps that her humanoid form is... attractive.
    • The fact that her dragonflight - a Lawful Good organization dedicated to protect all lives in Azeroth that frequently interacts with the player character, was established to be utterly loyal to her and Alexstrasza herself is perhaps the only unambiguously good female main characters left to be consistently well-written (a rare triple whammy for Blizzard and Warcraft) doesn't hurt.
  • Varian was introduced via a WoW comic and he'll ascend to one of the main players of the series, but there are three characters hailing from the comic, reduced to an extra at best in the main game, yet becoming quite some fan favorites through other media exposures:
    • First there's Rehgar Earthfury, Varian's orcish gladiator slavemaster, who eventually became one of Thrall's most trusted lieutenants, and becomes a playable hero in Heroes of the Storm before Legion finally gives him a proper WoW debut
    • Then there's Valeera Sanguinar, a Blood Elf Rogue and one of Varian's sidekicks, after a cameo in Wrath of the Lich King, she vanished and was never heard of again, but her appearance in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft gave her a boost of popularity to the point that she will return in Legion, even if as an NPC in the Rogue Class Hall, and eventually coming to Heroes of the Storm.
    • Lastly, Broll Bearmantle, a Night Elf Feral Druid and the last of Varian's sidekicks. He... hasn't made any appearance in other media after Wrath of the Lich King, but fans usually spoke highly of him and wanting him to appear in either of those side-games, as being a more-prominent-than-usual feral druid is no slouch. As a result, much like Valeera, he returns as an NPC for the Druid Class Hall in Legion
  • Quite possibly a subversion, but when you speak of Draenei, the first thing that comes to mind would probably be Prophet Velen. However, for the bulk of Warlords of Draenor, your Draenei NPC representative is instead a new female Draenei named Yrel, who, by all accounts, might have her prime timeline counterpart either killed off screen or just spending her time as a faceless Draenei NPC. Once WoD is done... all of the sudden, Yrel gets a lot of praise as being one of the more competent and unambiguously good women in WoW barring Alexstrazsa, and one of the times that Blizzard did not screw up in writing a female character and people see her as a better representative of the Draenei people instead of Velen. This is after knowing that maybe we won't visit the alternate Draenor again and it's not that likely that Yrel would play a big, personal part in the future, as the prime universe Velen is still around to represent the Draenei. Her return and Face–Heel Turn in Battle for Azeroth receives overwhelming outcry from her fans.
  • Thanks to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and a catchy fan song based on him on Youtube, the raid boss Lord Jaraxxus of Trial of the Crusader garnered a substantial popularity for what would amount as a mere generic EREDAR LORD OF THE BURNING LEGION!! This is to the point that he returns in Legion as a boss fight for a certain quest line. The raid itself was usually considered poor overall, but Jaraxxus is often said to be the best thing that came out from that raid because of the above reasons.
  • Chromie, a member of the Bronze Dragonflight whose humanoïd apperance is of a female Gnome, was initially a one-note questgiver in Andorhal but was popular enough to return in Wrath of the Lich King and to be included in Heroes of the Storm.
  • Tehd Shoemaker, an Undead Warlock quest giver in Azsuna, has gained popularity for his snarky mockery of the Burning Legion's ineptitude and for his banter with Marius Felbane, a Demon Hunter who accompanies him.
  • First Arcanist Thalyssra in Suramar has been gaining popularity for her occasional bouts of polite mockery, being the leader of the Nightborne resistance against the Legion, her awareness of and appreciation for the world outside Suramar as well as stoically bearing her plight while helping other Nightfallen, as well as the Withered, through theirs. She's also becoming like Alexstraza as another of World of Warcraft's unambiguously good female main characters that's also consistently well-written. Until she shifts from neutral to Horde, working to kill half the people who helped her...
  • Elemental Lords are aplenty here and probably just took prominence in Cataclysm, and they're not the ultimate Big Bad there... but by far, Ragnaros, old as WoW itself, is the only one who has any semblance of popularity amongst fandom, due to speaking in ALL CAPS and memetic Catchphrase like "BY FIRE BE PURGED!!" or "DIE, INSECT!!", he pretty much outshines the other elementals like Al'Akir, Therazane or Neptulon. This was enough that he's one of the cards in Hearthstone that can take over your hero (just like Jaraxxus) and is given a variation (Lightlord), and is announced for Heroes of the Storm for Blizzcon 2016, you know how much popularity he has when he's given the introduction in that phase.
  • In combination with Memetic Mutation and Ascended Meme... well, Leeroy Jenkins was supposed to be an one-note unofficial joke, never to be any relevant again aside of a few gratuitous cameos to acknowledge the meme he brought in. However, he still remains one of the most recognizable names in World of Warcraft and one of the things that constantly made people smile and laugh in spite of just being a Joke Character in the wake of how many times the game's base keeps getting shattered (if anyone's mad at him, it's mostly general people who are tired of memes). In addition, his status as actually being a Lethal Joke Character in Hearthstone boosts his popularity. Some people even think that he's actually the true hero of Warcraft and questions if Blizzard misses out the proper chance to refer to him.
  • The newest star on the rise is Zekhan (initially known as "Zappyboi" before his name was revealed) who was elevated to Memetic Badass in his first appearance in the cinematic trailer for BfA. His second appearance in the Old Soldier cinematic endeared him to fan even more with his sincere, idealistic words that manage to brought even Saurfang back from stupor. This line, in particular, was cited by many Horde players who were disgusted by Sylvanas's actions as their reason for not switching side:
    Zappy boi: "The Horde! It's all we have!"
    • All the more impressive is that he managed all this before his name was even revealed on Twitter
    • And contrary to initial belief, he was not the poor troll who Anduin annihilated in the trailer - he was indeed the one who blasted Genn off his feet, Anduin simply got the wrong troll with his Smite. So far, he's still alive.
  • T'paartos, a Draenei NPC undergoing training to become Lightforged in the Lightforged Draenei allied race questline. His simple yet kindhearted nature as well as his habit of referring to himself in the third person quickly endeared many Alliance players to him, likening him to Warcraft's version of Hodor.
  • Jani, the Loa of Scavengers is loved for their hilarious quests such as turning the player into a saurid and making them go bite a quartermaster and all their trash pile shrines throughout Zalandar, and being a trickster in general.
  • High Elf has been one of the most consistently demanded to be playable out of any race in the game. Many fans were outraged when Void Elf was made an Allied Race as a kind of Replacement Scrappy for High Elf with the developers's reason that Blood Elf is basically High Elf.
  • Lasan Skyhorn is a jovial Boisterous Bruiser Highmountain tauren with a deep, bellowing voice and a daring personality, traits which have endeared him to many tauren fans.
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