The lore discussion panel began with a look back at the past; a common theme through all of the discussion panels. Looking back at World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (TBC) they began with their first discussion: Pros and retCons. Retcon is short for “retroactive continuity” which is a light joke at how they often have to change the past to make the present work. This leads into how many non-fantasy elements made it into TBC and Blizzard’s discussions in allowing things such as crystal spaceships to be part of the game.

Blizzard wanted to make things interesting and see how far they can take their franchise outside of the standard borders of fantasy. This is why a lot of non-fantasy related lore made it into the story with TBC. Following this, Blizzard announced that the storyline with Burning Crusade and Illidan isn’t complete yet and that in future patches we may be able to explore some of the portal worlds and find out more about the Burning Crusade.

Jumping right into the future, Blizzard began discussing the lore surrounding World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK). The first question they wanted to ask themselves, lore wise, was “Why go to Northrend?” Well it appears that reason may be given during some massive in-game events similar to the launch of TBC and Naxxramas. Following the event and the launch of the expansion we will see it leading off with various expeditions into Northrend which will serve as the reason that you end up in Northrend.

The war between the Alliance and the Horde hasn’t been forgotten and that’s why the conflict between the two will escalate even more during the adventures in Northrend. This works in with the new kind of world PvP being introduced with destroyable buildings and more.


Blizzard then moved right on to the various heroes who storylines will advance in WotLK. On the giant screens were the names Garrosh Hellscream, Sylvanas Windrunner, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon, Brann Bronzebeard, and Tirion Fordring and the Order of the Silverhand.

Garrosh Hellscream

Garrosh is the son of Grom Hellscream and will become a big part of the story. He’ll be leading the Horde expedition and be located within Warsong Hold. His personality will slowly become more and more aggressive over the course of events in the game.

Sylvanas Windrunner

The Forsaken have been sending apothecaries into the world to try to create a plague that will destroy the scourge and we’re finally going to see some of the results. One of the quest lines will actually include the plague and the Forsaken’s attempt to spread it. Not only that but the Forsaken will finally have a distinctive building type and possibly their own towns (and not just ruins of old towns that the Forsaken inhibit).

Highlord Bolvar Fordragon

Bolvar will be heading into the forefront of Outland. Nothing else was said about him.

Tirion Fordring and the Order of the Silverhand

It appears that Tirion will probably succeed Uther Lightbringer and restore the Order of the Silverhand. Most importantly they hinted at THE ASHBRINGER as being a part of the game.

Brann Bronzebeard

Brann is one of the major characters who have yet to show up in WoW. Those that don’t know who he is, he’s been seen in a lot of the various books and media related to WoW. He’s also related to both King Magni Bronzebeard and Muradin Bronzebeard. He’s finally going to show up in some of the end game content in Northrend. This of course leads into the Dwarves and their search to uncover the true source of life in Azeroth (the Titan storyline). This story has been going on for a long time and the real truth behind the origins of Azeroth will finally be discovered.

Allies and Enemies


The Taunka are an offshoot of the Tauren that are found by Garrosh Hellscream. They are in tune with nature just like the Tauren, but they are much more into the elements since elemental control is required for them to survive in Northrend.


They are the walrus-men that were from Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

The Iron Dwarves

Similar to the other bands of Dwarves you find, the Iron Dwarves as a group of super mean angry Dwarves who join in with the entire story of the foundation of Azeroth and the titans.


The Vrykul are part of the Howling Fjord, described as mostly super Vikings. They are one of the ancient civilizations of Northrend that are new (never before thought of). The Vyrkul have been asleep for a very long time and is just now waking up due to all of the movement in Northrend.

The Lich King

A little background was discussed on Arthas and how Ner’zul and Arthas fused into “one” person (as a note, in Naxxramas when Arthas speaks you hear both his voice and Ner’zul’s together). Blizzard felt that the storyline involved Illidan and Outland didn’t have enough interactivity with Illidan. They didn’t feel that you had a lot of reason to kill Illidan and he was just kind of there as the end boss. With WotLK they plan on making the Lich King much more entwined with the story to the point you understand fully why he must die.

Following that they began to explain some of his motives, like how the Lich King has been planning the attack on Northrend all along and how he is just “reeling” the people in. Blizzard related to how Arthas was the actual person who led to the downfall of Lordaeron, not the armies of the dead. The Lich King (or more specifically the Arthas part of the Lich King) will be using this same logic to try and turn the players against their own cities in the same way Arthas was turned against his own people.

It also appears that the Lich King will be part of the story right from level seventy. You may even get to see him outside of an actual raid instance, although those details are very sketchy. Not only that, but they’re apparently planning on breaking the quests and story up into various acts (like the StarCraft, Diablo and WarCraft games).

This is all building up to the fact that the Lich King is going to be so much apart of the story that by the time you kill him, you’re going to fully understand why he must die. His death was touched on too, it appears that the Lich King will not be killable but Arthas himself may be. This leads to the fact that players may be able to become the Lich King themselves.

After that a picture of Frostmourne appeared on the screen. The stats listed were for a Bind on Pick Up Unique Two-Handed sword that had 597-896 Damage at 4.0 speed with 100 Strength, 200 Stamina, 150 Intellect and an on equip effect of “The wielder of Frosmourne will become the new Lich King.” The text below in yellow said “Hail to the king, baby!” This may or may not be the actual sword in the game, but was referred to a “World Changing Item”.

This of course is all in planning and nothing is final yet. In the discussion about why it’d be a bad idea they shown a picture of a guy saying “im the lich king lol” which would be pretty accurate if a random player just became the Lich King without any respect to the story or position. So it’s still up in the air if they’re going to allow players to actually become the Lich King.

Titans, Dragons, and The Old Gods

The last major point that was discussed by Blizzard was about the Titans, Dragons, and The Old Gods. As mentioned earlier the Titan storyline and the creation myth will finally be wrapped up. Uldum was mentioned as being a possible instance while Uldaar will be an actual end game raid instance that is a Titan city above the cloud line. It’ll be where a lot of that storyline will be wrapped up.

Malygos will return (the leader of the blue dragonflight) with his war against magic. The Netherdragons will assist Malygos in restoring himself from his battle several thousand years ago. He’s just now seeing cities of magic (Dalaran) and mortals using magic which to him isn’t a very good thing. He’ll be leading a war against mortal magic users which is one of the reasons Dalaran is moving to Northrend. The red dragonflight (including Alexstrasza) will also help defend the mortal races against the blue dragonflight’s cry to purify the world. Rhonin from several of the WarCraft novels will be taking over the Kirin Tor.

As a final bullet they brought up “Nerubians and the Old Gods, B.F.F.” (B.F.F. means best friends forever). This will bring Azjol-Nerub into the game, an underground kingdom controlled by Nerubians. It’s similar to Anh’Qiraj in that it’s a city with powers from the War of the Ancients. There may be an actual old god like C’Thun in this instance.

That’s about it for the lore discussion panel. It appears a few good things were mentioned even for those who don’t enjoy the lore of the game. Things like Ashbringer, Frostmourne actually dropping, and some of the details on the possibility that players will get to become the Lich King!

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

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Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.