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For the honor talent, see Barbarian (warrior honor talent).

Warlord Thoradin, barbarian leader of the Arathi tribe, and founder of the Arathorian Empire.

“If it bleeds, we can kill it!”

Arnold Croman the Barbarian

Barbarians are fierce and primal warriors embodying strength and tribal instincts in battle.

On Azeroth, many races have been described as "barbaric" for their violence and cruelty, notably the trolls,[1][2][3] vrykul,[4][5] troggs,[6] centaurs,[7] and quilboar.[8]


Thousands of years ago in the Eastern Kingdoms, humans were warring tribes of barbarians, slowly being exterminated by the trolls.[9] 2,800 years before the First War, Warlord Thoradin was the barbarian leader of the Arathi tribe.[10] Knowing that humanity could not survive a war against the Amani if they remained divided, he declared himself the first human king,[11] unified the scattered human tribes into the first great Empire of Arathor,[12] and founded the capital of Strom.

2,700 years ago before the First War, the Drust barbarians of Drustvar enacted raids against the humans from Gilneas who arrived on Kul Tiras.[13] Though the humans tried peace when they landed there, the Drust immediately went to war. They attacked the fledgling hamlets unprovoked, while their barbarians glorified the slaughters, attacking unarmed civilians.[14] These raids lasted several years until an open war broke out between the two races for control of the region.

On both Draenor and Azeroth, the orcs have been considered a barbaric race.[15][16][17] The introduction of the demon blood into their bodies made the orcs even more ruthless and barbaric.[18] After being raised by humans, Thrall saw the customs of his own kind as barbaric,[19] and described Orgrimmar as a barbaric place for any human who would see it.[20]




In the RPG[]

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

Barbarian class icon in WoW: The RPG.


Orc barbarian in the RPG.

The barbarian is a ferocious warrior. He is uncivilized and brutal, relying on instincts, anger, and raw physical might instead of tactics or fancy swordsmanship. His rage is frightening to behold, and it allows him to smash apart his enemies while ignoring all but the most brutal blows. He has a connection with nature's primal elements; this class is most commonly found among races that dwell in the wild. They are the wild warriors of the steppes and wastes, they are the brutal berserkers and axe wielders of the orcs and the frightening, tattooed warriors of feral dwarven clans and human outcasts.[21]

Barbarians by race[]


Tauren barbarian in World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game.

Orcs and trolls have a strong history of favoring barbarians as fighters. The class' focus on anger suits the orcs well, especially when their demonic bloodlust overtakes them. Since the orcs have thrown off the shackles of the Burning Legion, this class is becoming less common among them, but it is still a noble and respected path. Trolls live in the wilds, and their strongest fighters are barbarians.

This class is less common among other races. Individuals who live far from civilization and those who allow their fury to guide them often become barbarians. Tauren and night elves are somewhat likely to become barbarians, as these races have close ties with Azeroth's wilderness. Barbarians are commonly seen among savage humanoids, such as ogres, gnolls, and furbolgs.[22] Some humans and half-orcs may have adopted a barbaric lifestyle on Kalimdor.[23]

Troll barbarians[]

The standard image of a barbarian is some bloodthirsty crazy, probably an orc, shouting out incomprehensible threats and laying about him with a massive axe, while blood flies everywhere. Troll barbarians, however, devote their rage and strength to ranged weapons, flinging axes into their enemies with unerring speed. Perhaps the trolls' spirits look favorably on these warriors and enhance their abilities, for troll barbarians draw the magic of their weapons into their bodies and are able to impart it to other weapons. The iconic troll barbarian lopes out of the trees, his face painted in fierce tribal colors, his hair standing on end. He grips an axe or spear in each hand. "Say hello to my little friend!".[24]

Wildhammer barbarians[]

Wildhammer dwarves are renowned for wild behavior and deadly skill at arms. They have a tendency to enter a fray armored with little more than a loincloth and body paint, and still come out covered only with the blood of their foes. They are fierce charging across the ground or when soaring atop gryphons; barbarians of other races seek to emulate Wildhammer dwarves' reckless ability to stay alive through sheer pluck while laying waste to their enemies. The iconic Wildhammer barbarian clutches his hammer and grins, showing gaps in his teeth. Feathers and beads are stuck in his sweaty hair and beard. "Come get some!" he shouts, before letting out a howl and charging forward.[25]


Ex-barbarians are former barbarians. Barbarians have wild spirits. They tend toward chaotic alignments and they cannot be lawful. A barbarian who becomes lawful loses his ability to rage and cannot train further as a barbarian. He retains all the other benefits of the class (reduced damage, faster movement, able to sense traps, and an uncanny ability to dodge).[26]

Note: An ex-barbarian is not so much a true variant or class, but a penalized barbarian (blocked from his ability to rage).


Notes and trivia[]


See also[]