You’ve probably never heard of the War of the Three Hammers even if you’re an avid fan of World of Warcraft lore. It’s a really cool civil war between the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer clans vs. the Dark Iron clan and is what led to Ragnaros being summoned to this plane of existence. It all started when Modimus Anvilmar died.

At one point there was one main clan of dwarves known as the Ironforge clan. That clan was led by Anvilmar until his death, at which point the dwarves were like “AIGHT LETS THROW DOWN” and battled to find out who would take over. In the end, the Bronzebeard clan claimed Ironforge and sent the other two clans packing. The Dark Irons fled to the Redridge Mountains while the Wildhammer clan retreated to Dun Algaz and formed Grim Batol.

Well Thaurissan, the leader of the Dark Irons, wasn’t pleased with this at all. He launched an attack against Ironforge and Grim Batol which resulted in a really cool sortie. Fearing that both armies would catch them in a pincer attack, Thaurissan launched forces at both cities. He led the main attack against Ironforge while his wife Modgud went to Grim Batol. Thaurissan was defeated but Modgud had used magic to screw with the Wildhammers. She was defeated by Khardrros Wildhammer and the Dark Irons were pretty much done with.

A Wildhammer Gryphon Rider circa: 1995

Well, the Bronzebeards began a march south to Thaurissan (the city named after Thaurissan). Displeased with this, Thaurissan summoned Ragnaros. He went like “I CHOOSE YOU RAGNAROS” and bam. Ragnaros showed up. At this point Ragnaros did what all evil things you summon do. He killed Thaurissan and enslaved the Dark Irons. The Bronzebeards fled back to Ironforge and the Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes were formed from the summoning of Ragnaros. Blackrock Mountain was the volcano that Ragnaros formed when he was summoned.

In the end Grim Batol was left uninhabitable and the Wildhammers moved north to Aeerie Peak in Lordaeron. The Ironforge dwarves stayed where they’re at now and the Dark Irons carried out the bidding of Ragnaros.

This was actually kind of the real backstory for the original WoW. Well, at least one major part of it. The Dark Irons were at one time good and noble Dwarves, but Thaurissan was just yet another insane leader in the Warcraft lore which was the first part of the original story arc. You basically dealt with Ragnaros who was brewing for 300 years and planning an invasion. Afterward, you had to deal with the Orcs and the Black Dragonflight which set themselves up in the upper tier of Blackrock Spire. Blackrock Mountain was already a favorite lore spot since a lot of battles in Warcraft 1 & 2 happened near the mountain.

Personally I don’t like Ragnaros and the lore surrounding him and I don’t like how he’s showing up in Cataclysm without some other elemental lords joining the party. Fire is cool and all, but let’s get some elemental lords fighting one another or something.  Malfurion fighting Ragnaros is kind of a waste of Malfurion to me; he should battle someone who is a threat like maybe an army of Satyrs.

Of course, we won’t know about all of that until the expansion and when we can finally do some of the epic questlines. Ragnaros actually does have a bit of grounding in the lore, but I think bringing about a lot of the old Dwarven lore (like the inner clan wars, the Dark Irons, etc.) is a lot better than the vague storylines in Northend. Ah well, we’ll see in Cataclysm.

Lore Theorycrafting

Who would you like to replace Ragnaros if you could choose some new enemy for Malfurion to fight in Hyjal? I personally would like it if we got a bit of the Emerald Dream happening or perhaps some kind of evil attacking Hyjal from the Emerald Dream. I think that Ragnaros and his forces should be reserved for some kind of dwarven battle or something different instead of him deciding it’d be cool to burn what’s left of Hyjal to the ground because he’s a very angry fire elemental.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

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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.