Top 9 Characters in World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is forever changing, with new characters on the throne for the Horde and Alliance; new villains taking the spotlight; new questgivers with plans to save themselves or others; and those who just stand around in the background to make things complete. For my 50th Hub, I'm going to give you my top 9 favourite characters of Azeroth. This isn't just my personal opinion though, but I'll throw in what I know about how they've helped (or ruined) the world of Azeroth. These aren't in any particular order, as I like some more than others and vice versa. So, get your insciption paper and quill ready, as I'm gonna share some info about the characters and WoW lore!
9. Grommash "Grom" Hellscream
It's a bit too late to say now, but I'm a major Horde player. Their story has truly developed in the most recent expansion (Cataclysm), as their ties with each other are becoming frayed. I'm going to begin with one of the biggest stars of them all - Grom Hellscream. The surname will be familiar, and if it isn't, you're not a WoW player. He is indeed the father of current Horde Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream. His most famous appearance was in Warcraft 3 during the Orc campaign, where Thrall rescued him from a human settlement. The lorefreaks of WoW will obviously tell you that Grom has done as much good as he did bad. He had a short temper much like his son; he was an excellent warrior despite being nearly malnutritioned (even though he's not drawn like that); and he drank the Fel (demon) blood in order to save his people. By drinking the tainted blood however, he became ever more enraged and much more violent. In doing this, he lost a lot of support from his people. So he's remembered for doing the worst thing imaginable in-game, but for the best reason - to save the Horde.
8. Arthas Menethil
This Paladin was once a member of the Alliance of Lordaeron (think of it like the Horde, before the Tauren, Trolls and Goblins became official members), and being a Paladin, he would've been a member of the Order of the Silver Hand. Despite what Uther Lightbringer told him in both their first appearance in Warcraft 3, Arthas became very spiteful, and was known for the genocide of hudreds of humans across the Eastern Kingdoms. His most famous moment was when he chased a necromancer all the way to Northrend, but never caught him. Instead, he burnt the ships that brought him there so there was no escape. With Magni Bronzebeard, he travelled to find the legendary sword, Frostmourne, and upon brandishing it, the weilder would get unlimited power. In doing so, the weilder would also sacrifice their soul to the immortal Lich King and serve until someone else took the blade. Like Grom Hellscream, Arthas did what he needed to save his people, but it had little effect. By finding the blade and slaying Magni, he became insane and returned to Lordaeron.... killing his father. His most recent appearance was in the World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King.
As his time during the Lich King, he was part of a 25 and 40-man raid in Icecrown Citadel, Northrend. He would also order his forces in the Plaguelands, Eastern Kingdoms, and player Death Knights would gain tasks and boons from him.
While the leader of the Darkspear Trolls isn't the most famous NPC in Azeroth, he's one of the most important for the Horde, being in the top 5 at least. He's lost a lot including his home in Stranglethorn, friends and family to other clans and has his position in the Horde threatened by the Zandalari empire (the Amani trolls of Zul'Aman, and the Gurubashi trolls of Zul'Gurub). Yet he's only a "no-more-mister-nice-guy" when he or - even worse - his people are threatened with death and destruction, but his relations with the Alliance are pretty good, seeing as he waits inside Zul'Aman for Alliance players to join him in their extinction.
But why do some players hate him? First off, it's the players who support Garrosh Hellscream - it's one or the other with these two, I'm afraid, you can't like both. It's impossible. During the Troll starting area, you can see Vol'jin speak to Garrosh in person, and he threatens the Warchief with death! While Thrall and Cairne Bloodhoof spoke only in quiet, Vol'jin acually had the balls to go up to Garrosh - a hero of Northrend who supposedly killed Arthas single-handedly - and say, "If you sacrifice anyone in the Horde, especially the Darkspear, you'll die at my hand". He even says something along the lines of,
"I won't be losin' me people for ye foolish thirst for war..... ye have the same demon blood and short-temper as ye father..... ye'd better watch ye back, and sleep with one eye open, for dere'll be a tribal arrow piercin' ye black heart, and as the tainted blood leaves ye body, de people will see who ye truly are...."
Vol'jin's involvement in Horde affairs is few, but his story has had a major overhaul during the Cataclysm expansion. If there's anyone worthy of being Warchief in the next expansion, he's the first on the list.
6. Chen Stormstout
Chen Stormstout's first appearance was in Warcraft 3, mainly as an April Fools' joke from Samwise to the W3 gamers. Yet when players took it seriously, it was included in-game and he became an NPC (So to all those who dislike Panderan - you asked for this, now you've got it). However, he was found only in the expansion of Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, where gamers play as Rexxar the Beastmaster. By taking a quest from Chen, players are rewarded with a special brew which nearly kills him.
Chen Stormstout is one of the many Brewmasters of Panderia, who left his island for Durotar in a quest to find more ingredients for his many consumables. His existence alone has inspired many events such as "Brewfest Month", and has probably contributed more to the Horde and Durotar than any associates (these being Sin'Dorei/Blood Elves and the Forsaken). It is rumoured he appeared in a quest-chain in World of Warcraft, and in return he'd reward players with a brew.
5. Lord Darius Crowley
Lord Darius Crowley was introduced in the Cataclysm expansion of World of Warcraft, and played a major role in the Gilnean campaign. Before the Forsaken came to bring Gilneas to ruin, King Genn Greymane and Darius Crowley fought each other in civil war, and completely destroyed the morale of the city. When Sylvanas and her Forsaken arrived with the plague, the Worgen went wild around the city, spreading the infection to others. It was Darius Crowley who repelled the forces with wit, cunning and beastial instinct.
Crowley had lost his land to Greymane after the great Gilnean wall was built, to prevent anyone entering or leaving. This included members of the Alliance they were once a part of. By doing this, Darius Crowley had more reason to form a civil war and get back to their Stormwind counterparts. During the second act of the campaign, it is revealed that Darius once collected the Worgen to see if they were sane (the player character remains so, and is treated like any other human), but he becomes infected. Due to Genn's involvement with the Worgen, it is later revealed he too became infected and rules Gilneas as a Worgen with Darius.
Despite being such an amazing character with much potential, he is rarely seen. The most we see of him is in Gilneas and the Forsaken campaign later on, when he catches a Forsaken Spy (a Horde player being the other spy accompanying them).
4. Jaina Proudmoore
I don't want this list look one-sided towards a single gender, so I think it's time to include one of my favourite females in-game, and no, not because she's hot (a reason why Lady Sylvanas Windrunner's madness breaking out has been delayed). My main problem is that I know little about her (I'm such a gamer, that I know as much about women IRL as I do in-game), and my roots with lore only begin with Warcraft 3. From what I gather, she's the most powerful mortal mage in Azeroth. I say Mortal because the Kirin Tor are immortals, and prove that through quest-text constantly in Northrend. She was also the lover of Arthas Menethil, but left him when he went on his campaign, leading only to genocide starting in Stratholme in W3. This can also be seen in the instance in the caverns of time, The Culling of Stratholme.
I also like her because in Warcraft 3, she could've ended the war between the Horde and Alliance very simply, as Thrall and Proudmoore were going to talk. Yet the Admiral Proudmoore arrived and attempted to kill them, but Jaina slowed them down and let the Heroes escape. If it weren't for the Admiral's foolish thirst for revenge, a lot of lives would be saved today, but we wouldn't have this MMORPG.
It is rumoured she will be killed in the next expansion, Mists of Panderia, during a siege against her home Theramore Isle (one of my favourite quest zones too). Whether she gets killed in the destruction though, is unknown.
3. Highlord Darion Mograine
Whenever you hear the chill battlecry, Face the might of Mograine! you know someone's about to enter a world of hurt. The Highlord was once a knight who was tasked with slaying the undead of Light's Hope Chapel, and the battle was going quite well. Motivated by fear from the night before (he had a vision of the Scourge winning the battle), he managed to slay many Scourge and save several lives. Yet all was lost when Kel'thuzad arrived and tipped the tides of battle in his favor. As Darion approached, he was warned that his blade could not stop the great necromancer. He stopped on his horse, pondered for a brief moment, then thrust the blade straight through his heart, telling his father he loves him.
Not long after, Kel'thuzad would resurrect him as a Death Knight and give him the title of Highlord - a most trusted member of the Scourge. During the Death Knight campaign, players will take tasks from him and earn many buffs when in Acherus: The Ebon Hold,even some words of advice and some hints to where to look in lore. He would also prevent the Lich King from bringing the apocalypse to Azeroth, by throwing his blade to Tirion Fordring, and casting it towards Arthas. He was wounded, and took great amounts of damage, but still survived. As of this, the Lich King retreated back to Northrend and left his Death Knights behind. They would become Knights of the Ebon Blade, and would side with the Argent Crusade (Argent Dawn and Silver Hand combined). Tirion Fordring led the Argent Crusade, but Darion Mograine led the Knights of the Ebon Blade.
I chose him to be the third character on my list because of his interesting story, and how he'd slain himself to release his father's soul from his blade (Ashbringer), and summon hundreds of troops from beams of light. A man of courage, wisdom and dedication, the Highlord is much more than someone who spreads the Mograine Migraine.
2. Brann Bronzebeard
If you're a full-on dungeoneer who played the Vanilla, TBC, WotLK and Cataclysm content, then you'll have seen Brann Bronzebeard from time to time. OK, so he doesn't look like much, but you'd be surprised how much lore he has. Did you know he speaks fluently in nearly all languages throughout Azeroth, mostly in Orc tongue? Or how about he's the youngest brother of the three Bronzebeards, and his eldest was the king of Ironforge? One of his most famous moments has to be when he helped destroy the Dark Portal, thanks to his prowess in battle and his cunning. Yet Brann Bronzebeard is really only known for being an explorer and architect, often confused with the Dwarf Hunter, Hemet Nesingwary Jr. It's a simple mistake to make as they look similar and have different intentions. Brann is a pretty nice character to follow in terms of lore and throughout quests, as he has some excellent dialogue ("What do you think I'm here for, tea and biscuits?!" is probably one of his best lines when you see him in the instance), and is an excellent companion at times. His interest in the Old Gods, Titans and Ulduar has often given him the opportunity to lead battle-tonks and soldiers to battle, in order to find out more about Azeroth's creation. A truly interesting character - an inquiring mind you've just got to know!
1. Thrall, Aspect of the Earth
Slave, Warchief, World Shaman, Aspect.... Go'el.... lifemate. Thrall is the embodiment of the meaning, "a man of a thousand names".
This was the first character I've wanted to put on the list, and he was the one who inspired it. For a player who wasn't around in WotLK, I'm sure a big fan of ex-Warchief Thrall. Why? Well, for a start he's the one who could've ended mindless conflicts for the past seven years, but the Alliance betrayed him, giving him no choice but to keep fighting. He's also the World Shaman - the most powerful Shaman in Azeroth who plans to heal the wounds of his planet with the other aspects. Born a slave, Go'El would be forced to fight fellow Orcs in arenas for his own life, but something kept him going - it was knowledge. It was cunning. He was much more different to the other prisoners of the humans, as he developed tactics, strategies and learnt the power of Shamanism to get his way. After defeating the humans, he ran away and led the Horde not long after.
Yet those who are familiar with W3 won't know much of that, unless they've read the novels. Thrall was once the Warchief of the Horde during W3 and previous expansions, accepting allies such as the Darkspear Trolls, the Bloodhoof Tauren and the Bilgewater Goblins. Later, he would bring in the Forsaken in order to get more ties in the Eastern Kingdoms, and Lor'Themar Theron's Sin'dorei (Blood Elves) as they were excellent fighters who needed help. He put down his mantle of Warchief when Garrosh won an arena match against Cairne (Garrosh's blade however, was poisoned by Moira Grimtotem). He gave Garrosh the mantle and awarded him with his father's axe, Gorehowl. Yet this was a mistake that shook the Horde. Thrall was needed to heal Azeroth after Deathwing's rise and was required to help find and slay him. In doing this, Garrosh was named Warchief and more bloody wars were raged in Go'El's absence.
It was later revealed that Thrall also had several mental troubles, such as rage - inside he has a burning hate for Garrosh, but is later soothed when the hero and his lifemate Aggra help. He also has much doubt for the Horde and its allies, seeing if Garrosh can keep Baine Bloodhoof, Vol'jin, Lor'themar Theron and Lady Windrunner together. His longing was to settle down with Aggra and have children, also take a break from ruling the Horde. His also thinks his patience is troubling, as he constantly waits for peace between him and the Alliance, so he may rest at long last.
An aged Orc with many interesting stories, Thrall has overcome empires and destroyed traitors within his armies. His power of the elements exceeds any other Shaman, and he practically has Azeroth kneeling before him. An wonderous person, Thrall is my favourite in-game character hands down.
It was hard for me to choose these nine characters, as some are seen as more important but actually aren't necessary. I wanted to include Harrison Jones, Hemet Nesingwary and even Lor'themar Theron (a leader I recently hated, but he's quite the character once you get to know him). Even ones you barely look at like Initiate Goldmine, Baleflame and the one Dwarf woman who loves to say, "Aye was borne the flay!" (Translation: I was born to fly!). Yet sadly there's only room for nine, and it was difficult picking them out. Sure, they have their flaws and several things that could've been improved, but each have a twinkle of need, and a sprinkle of oomph to the story. Without such characters, the World of Warcraft would never be the same!
Feel free to make your own list (maybe state why you like them) on the comments box, and if there's any flawed lore, please say. I'm up for constructive criticism! And thanks for your time!