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For the Wild Gods referred to as "Ancients", see Ancient Guardian. For their counterparts on Draenor, see Draenor ancient.
Ancient of Lore Wallpaper
Faction/Affiliation Nature, night elves (Alliance)
Character classes Archdruid
Racial capital Grove of the Ancients (presumed)
Racial leader(s) Circle of Ancients (presumed)
Homeworld Azeroth, Draenor, Outland
Language(s) Common, Darnassian

“They, too, are keepers of time, in their own way.”


Ancients are giant, sentient demigod-like trees that serve as protectors of nature. They were among the first creatures of Azeroth, the first guardians of its life.[2]


The simple power of age and wisdom pouring from these truly magnificent beings can make one feel small and awestruck when standing next to them.[3] Ancients are all connected to one another and can sense disturbances to the world from deep within their roots.[4] Their memories are as long and winding as their branches. A piece of their strength sometimes stays behind when ancients fall.[5]

Most of the time, they are rooted deep into the ground, and look just like normal trees to the inattentive eye.[6][3] Animals or other protectors of nature can nest in their branches, such as faerie dragons.[3] Wisps and night elves can also act in unison to strengthen the ancients.[7]

Able to live for thousands of years, the lifespan of an ancient makes those of night elves look very short. As such, they see time differently from the mortal races, and often times, years are seen as akin to seconds. For example, though Gnarl had known of Anessa's death during the Third War, when he met up again with her father Broll Bearmantle, just before the time of the Cataclysm, he gave his condolences as if the incident had only just happened.[2]

The acorn of an ancient looks like any other acorn but, in reality, is much rarer, much more powerful, and magical. It holds all the knowledge of its tree, and all the knowledge of the tree's parent tree, and so on back to their origins.[3] Some treants may grow to become ancient protectors.[8] Trees of life can also become trees of ages, and then trees of eternity.

Draenor ancients[]

Main article: Draenor ancient

Ancients also existed on Draenor. There once was a grove of ancients in the Blade's Edge Mountains, its name forgotten. Mosswood the Ancient is one of the last of these ancients.[9][10]


Third War[]

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During the invasion of Kalimdor by the Burning Legion, the ancients were one of the many forces of nature to rise against the demons and the undead. The mighty protectors fought alongside night elves, faerie dragons, chimaeras, and others. The ancients suffered heavy losses during the Third War, with many, especially the varieties that were never in great supply to begin with, returning to the forests to hopefully spread their seeds and replenish their numbers undisturbed.[11]

Following the Third War, the Ancients remained allies with the night elves, having presence in their holdings.

Twilight of the Aspects[]

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As extremely old beings, the disturbance in the timeways caused by the infinite dragonflight affected the ancients in Feralas. Though they did not know the cause of their troubles, their memories started to blend, or fade, and became confusing. They gave Thrall an acorn, to be planted in a place where it seemed right for it to grow. He planted it in Desolace as a gift to the emotionally shattered Alexstrasza. The Life-Binder's tears caused plants, flowers, and other signs of verdant life to "appear ten thousand times more swiftly than it should have happened". This blossoming of new life chastened the Dragonqueen enough that she was finally able to reunite with the red dragonflight and the other Dragon Aspects.[3]


WoW-novel-logo-16x62 This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

During the War Against the Nightmare, many ancients joined the dreamform army and fought against the Emerald Nightmare in the Emerald Dream.[12]

Battle for Azeroth[]

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

A group of ancients lives in the Verdant Wilds.


Dragonflight This section concerns content related to Dragonflight.

The gnolls of the Azure Span have been using their Decay magic to transform Dragon Isles ancients into rotting nightmares.[13][14]

In the RPG[]

Icon-RPG This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.
Elf friend

Playable ancient in the RPG.

The mighty tree has a massive face shaped in its trunk, with wise, deep-set eyes. It moves with gigantic root-like feet, and two great branches end in huge bark-skinned hands.[15]

Ancients are intelligent, tree-like guardians and lorekeepers allied with the night elves. In times of peace, many night elf healers, druids of the wild, and priests study under the ancients' tutelage. In times of war, the ancients stand alongside their night elf allies and fight just as fiercely. They are staunch defenders of the Moonglade of Mount Hyjal and other sacred places.[15]

Ancients are some of the most important creatures in night elf society. They resemble sentient trees, but their wisdom and insight are almost unparalleled. Many of them are thousands of years old. They assist their night elf allies with guidance, education (particularly in the druidic arts), and protection — they are large and powerful, and are protectors of the forest. They are large enough to carry night elves, and some are so enormous that a few night elves make their homes in them.

Most ancients resemble deciduous trees that live in temperate climates, such as oaks and maples. A few evergreen ancients also exist. No reliable reports of tropical ancients have yet surfaced, but the night elves claim that they can exist — and if a colony of night elves moves to the tropics and brings along the appropriate druidic magic, tropical ancients may indeed grace Azeroth's surface.

Ancients speak Darnassian. A few also speak Common. Their voices sound like ancient trees creaking in the wind. They can be healers, druids of the wild, and shaman.[citation needed] 

Ancients are traditionally friends of night elves and good-hearted, but the recent Third War makes them suspicious of non-night elves. They give outsiders a chance to prove their good intentions; but if roused to anger ancients are implacable foes. Some ancients patrol their territories, but most spend their time standing still, virtually indistinguishable from normal trees. An ancient may watch intruders, perhaps moving in secret to dog their path. If the outsiders do nothing to harm the forest or nature's balance, the ancient leaves them alone. If the outsiders appear to share the same ideals as the ancient (destroying corrupted creatures or protecting trees from other intruders, for example), the ancient reveals itself and lends assistance. If outsiders abuse the land, the ancient rumbles to a fury and attacks with mighty swings of its arms.[16]


As a companion pet[]

As a mount[]


  • In-game, ancients can be classified like most other plant creatures as elementals, but also as giants, or be uncategorized.
  • The "male figures with hooded faces and whose flesh, what little there was visible, was oak bark" who fought in the War of the Ancients may have been ancients.[17]


World of Warcraft[]

WoW Icon update This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

Warcraft III[]

WC3RoC-logo This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.


Hearthstone This section contains information exclusive to Hearthstone and is considered non-canon.