- "The Worldbreaker" redirects here. For the mace, see . For the TCG set, see Worldbreaker.
- For the strategy on the raid encounters, see Spine of Deathwing and Madness of Deathwing. For his Warcraft II stats, see Deathwing (Warcraft II). For , see Vision of Deathwing.
Aspect of Death,
The Black Scourge,
See more below
|Race(s)||Black dragon / Wyrm (Dragonkin)|
|Affiliation(s)||Black Dragonflight, Twilight Dragonflight, Old Gods' forces|
|Former affiliation(s)||Horde of Draenor, Alliance of Lordaeron (false allegiance), Dragon Aspects|
|Occupation||Herald of the Old Gods, Aspect of the Black Dragonflight|
|Former occupation(s)||Claimant to the throne of Alterac, Guardian of Azeroth|
Nefarian, Onyxia, Nyxondra, Sabellian (children),
Aiden Perenolde (pretended "distant cousin" of Prestor)
“Pain... Agony... My hatred burns through the cavernous deeps. The world heaves with my torment. Its wretched kingdoms quake beneath my rage. But at last... The whole of Azeroth will break... And all will burn beneath the shadow of my wings.”
- — Deathwing causing the Cataclysm
Deathwing the Destroyer, formerly known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder (pronounced "nehl-THAW-ree-uhn"), was one of the five Dragon Aspects and leader of the black dragonflight. Ages ago, Neltharion was empowered by the Pantheon with dominion over the earth and the deep places of Azeroth. However, driven mad by the Old Gods, he turned against the other Aspects during the War of the Ancients, eventually abandoning his title of Aspect of Earth in favor of being the Aspect of Death. Becoming one of the greatest terrors of the known world, his name too became one whispered with a feeling of fear and contempt among both mortals and dragons. He was perhaps the most powerful servant of the Old Gods.
The black Aspect involved himself in the Second War, adopting the form of the human Lord Daval Prestor in order to destroy the Alliance from within. As a human, Prestor was said to be tall, with a slim figure, black hair and clean-shaven hawklike features that were the subject of gossip among the ladies of King Terenas' court. He also had a quick mind and a friendly, engaging manner that endeared him to all involved in the Alterac crisis. It was said that he even got a smile out of Genn Greymane, the normally dour king of Gilneas.
Deathwing also managed to turn his greatest enemy, Alexstrasza, into a slave of the Horde, with which he later allied himself. After a series of setbacks culminating in his defeat at the hands of the other Aspects, Deathwing retreated to Deepholm in the Elemental Plane to recuperate. From there, he observed his former mate Sintharia's experiments with the twilight dragonflight in Grim Batol, and later continued his late consort's work.
Though believed dead by many, Deathwing returned in spectacular fashion after the fall of the Lich King. Entering Azeroth through Deepholm fractured the World Pillar, causing the Elemental Plane to start collapsing onto Azeroth. This Cataclysm reshaped the entire world of Azeroth and unleashed widespread destruction. As the world reeled, he appeared and brought flame to various regions of Azeroth. His ultimate goal was to bring about the Hour of Twilight - the liberation of the Old Gods and the end of all life on the planet. Deathwing was aided by powerful allies also minions of his masters, such as the warped ogre-mage Cho'gall and his Twilight's Hammer cult, the powerful Elemental Lords Al'Akir and Ragnaros, and the Neferset tol'vir of Uldum.
Uniting their powers, the remaining Dragon Aspects sent adventurers to brave the unstable paths of the Caverns of Time to retrieve the Dragon Soul, an ancient artifact crafted by Deathwing himself 10,000 years earlier and destroyed shortly after the Second War, for it was believed to be the only means of defeating him. With the weapon secured, the Aspects took the battle to their corrupted brother, with the orc shaman Thrall as the wielder of the Dragon Soul, now imbued with Deathwing's essence - the very essence of the earth itself. After the siege of Wyrmrest Temple and unleashing his most powerful minions, Deathwing took to the skies until he was blasted with the Dragon Soul into the Maelstrom. His body at last giving way to the corruption within, Deathwing made his final stand in the raging torrent of the Maelstrom, where he was at last destroyed by the combined powers of the Aspects and the Dragon Soul.
Deathwing was the main antagonist of Cataclysm.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Dawn of the Aspects
- 1.2 As a Dragon Aspect
- 1.3 The Winterskorn War
- 1.4 Corruption
- 1.5 War of the Ancients
- 1.6 Rise of the Destroyer
- 1.7 First War
- 1.8 Second War
- 1.9 Beyond the Dark Portal
- 1.10 Lord Daval Prestor
- 1.11 The battle of Grim Batol
- 1.12 World of Warcraft
- 1.13 Burning Crusade
- 1.14 Night of the Dragon
- 1.15 Wrath of the Lich King
- 1.16 Cataclysm
- 1.17 Mists of Pandaria
- 1.18 Legion
- 1.19 Battle for Azeroth
- 1.20 Shadowlands
- 2 Locations
- 3 Personality
- 4 Names and titles
- 5 Memorable quotes
- 6 Designing
- 7 In the RPG
- 8 Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
- 9 In Hearthstone
- 10 In Heroes of the Storm
- 11 Notes and trivia
- 12 Speculation
- 13 Gallery
- 14 Videos
- 15 Patch changes
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Dawn of the Aspects
In Azeroth's ancient past, the Dragon Aspects were proto-dragons who stood united against a foe who threatened their entire species: the bloodthirsty Father of Dragons, Galakrond. Neltharion was one of the more intelligent of proto-dragons, capable of broken speech unlike most of the other, more animal-like of his kind. During this time Neltharion did not seem to be the good-natured wyrm he would become as an Aspect, taunting the other proto-dragons for fearing Galakrond.
When a blue-white proto-dragon named Malygos was attacked by Coros and two other proto-dragons, Neltharion helped to fight them off. He was impressed by Malygos's power, declaring them brothers in blood. Malygos noticed something in the hills nearby, but Neltharion couldn't see it. As he flew off, the land moved - a ripple no larger than a tall human.
Like the other proto-dragons, Neltharion rallied under Talonixa by accepting her as alpha in order to deal with the threat of Galakrond and the not-living, though he did not trust her. During this time Neltharion and Malygos quickly became fast friends with Nozdormu, Alexstrasza, and Ysera. While not agreeing with all of Ysera's beliefs Neltharion was rather stunned at Talonixa's deception of herding the bitten into a cave and then collapsing it on them, which eventually killed all the bitten who had begun to act like Galakrond.
Neltharion later found himself as part of Talonixa's proto-dragon army that moved to combat Galakrond. Before the proto-dragon army engaged their enemy in battle Malygos devised a plan in which the army would fly higher in the air where Galakrond could not fly. Quickly informing Talonixa of his plan Malygos was relived that to note that she was considering it. However, hearing his sigh Talonixa took it as a sign of Malygos's satisfaction of her bowing to his wisdom and engaged Malygos in battle. While Nozdormu and Neltharion were quick to help Malygos, Talonixa was helped by her two lieutenants. Despite Nozdormu encouraging a retreat, Neltharion openly called for Malygos to fight Talonixa and became the new alpha an action that enraged Talonixa and brought more of her followers to join her, which caused the trio to flee high into the air.
Using his not-living Galakrond was able to lure Talonixa's army into a trap where he erupted from the ground when the army was in position and swiftly shattered it. After killing Talonixa, Galakrond was unable to devour the fast of the army due to the actions of Malygos, Nozdormu, and Neltharion. As Malygos broke off to find Ysera and Alexstrasza, Galakrond ended engaging in battle against the future aspects only to be driven off by Tyr after being stunned by his hammer.
An unknown time later, Tyr met with the five proto-dragons, informing them that Galakrond was sleeping in a mountain range to the north and that it was the perfect time to attack. He told them to eat before doing so, and just before they left Tyr held the octagonal artifact before Nozdormu and Neltharion as he had to the others before. After doing so, Tyr vanished in the blink of an eye.
Tyr and the proto-dragons met up near Galakrond's slumbering place, which Kalecgos would later note in his visions was nowhere near Galakrond's Rest. Save for Ysera, they all began the battle against Galakrond, who had grown larger and even more mutated than before. Throughout the battle, the octagonal object on Tyr's belt glowed ever brighter. When Galakrond suddenly expanded in size without warning, Tyr's hammer could no longer harm him. With a flap of wings, Galakrond called up a massive wind that scattered the fighters. Ysera suddenly appeared and Galakrond attempted to devour her, but Tyr silenced his laughter with a mighty blow from his hammer. Tyr pulled Galakrond to the ground and began to mercilessly beat him even as Galakrond began mutating further - as he began to resemble a true dragon.
In the battle, Tyr's hammer and the strange artifact were knocked free from his person. Tyr reached to grab the artifact, just as Galakrond's massive maw came within range and the monster clamped down on Tyr's hand. Malygos moved to save Tyr, examining the bloody stump as Galakrond roared in triumph and grew ever larger. An unconscious Tyr was brought to a frozen lake by the proto-dragons, only to vanish from the shore. After being attacked by two not-living Ysera and the others found they could not find Tyr where they left him, concluding that some beast must have taken him for food.
After recuperating Neltharion and the others decide to hunt down Galakrond in order to kill him once and for all or die trying. Nozdormu along with the others would be stunned to learn that Galakrond had begun to devour the not-living in order to feed his hunger and shortly after would engage in battle with the behemoth. During the battle, Neltharion would work closely with Malygos and the pair would ultimately kill Galakrond after they forced a boulder down his throat.
After killing Galakrond Neltharion and the others were approached by two other watchers, who revealed that they had taken Tyr to help him. As the proto-dragons were acknowledging the offer, Nozdormu noticed Neltharion staring off toward the mountains, as if he were listening to something. Agreeing to protect Azeroth with his friends, the two watchers were joined by two others and the titans acted through the keepers to transform Neltharion and the others into the Dragon Aspects. One of their first acts was to encourage the rumor that titans created them from Galakrond, to prevent the truth about Galakrond from leaking to ensure no one would follow in the behemoth's footsteps.
As a Dragon Aspect
Now the caretaker of the continents of Azeroth, with domain over the earth and the deep places of the world, Neltharion used his power with wisdom and benevolence, forging mountains and rivers for the benefit of mortal races. His lair was located in a mountainous region near the night elf city of Suramar, where he stored one of the Pillars of Creation, the . The shamanistic, cave-dwelling drogbar served him. In peaceful times, Neltharion was renowned for his wisdom and power and became known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder, a great protector of the land. Malygos, now the Spell-Weaver and the Aspect of magic, was his closest friend.
At some point, Neltharion created the dracthyr. Concerned at the rift between the Dragon Aspects and Primalists, he created these beings as "ideal soldiers," combing the essence of dragons with the traits of mortal races.
The Winterskorn War
When fallen Keeper Loken instigated the Winterskorn War, fought between the Winterskorn vrykul and the earthen, Tyr and his allies fought on the earthen's side. However, when Tyr realized that they could not win against the Winterskorn clan alone, he called upon the Dragon Aspects for aid. The noble Aspects grew enraged upon seeing so many dead titan-forged. Their fury only deepened when they learned that proto-dragons had been enslaved. Without hesitation, the Aspects took wing and unleashed their powers on the Winterskorn's iron ranks.
Much as they had done in the fight against Galakrond, the Aspects worked in unison to overwhelm and decimate the vrykul army. Alexstrasza held the Winterskorn at bay with towering walls of enchanted fire. Malygos drained the magical essence that fueled the constructs and golems, rendering them useless. He also shattered the enchanted snares that bound the proto-dragons and set the beasts free. Neltharion raised mountains from the earth to corral and contain the vrykul and their giant masters. Lastly, Ysera and Nozdormu combined their powers to create a spell that would bring a decisive end to the conflict.
Ysera and Nozdormu enveloped the Winterskorn in a cloying mist that caused the titan-forged to fall asleep. These incapacitated creatures were then locked away in entombed cities across northern Kalimdor. They would not know the peaceful slumber of the Emerald Dream. Rather, they would languish in a timeless, unconscious slumber for thousands upon thousands of years.
Although he was revered as a Dragon Aspect, Neltharion silently chafed at what he felt was a burden that had been inflicted on him; though he could command the entire weight of Azeroth itself, that same weight constantly pressed on his body every waking moment, the load making him feel suffocated to the point that he felt his very spirit unraveling. Neltharion believed that he must bear this burden alone, but ultimately found it to be too much, and began to resent the charge placed upon him. The belief that the titans viewed Azeroth as an experiment only fueled his bitterness. During his conversation with Thrall millennia later, he admitted that he served the Old Gods largely because he believed that they would free him from this burden.
Then came the madness that destroyed Neltharion's mind, changing him and his kind forever and leading to the creation of the powerful item known as the Dragon Soul, later the Demon Soul. The inner-voices of the Old Gods convinced him that he could have power beyond his imagination if he served them. The voices made him paranoid of even his own black dragonflight. Neltharion began to yearn for a world dominated by his black dragonflight — a world in which the other dragonflights ceased to exist and Ysera and Alexstrasza would be his petty slaves for mating. The Old Gods convinced Neltharion to create the Dragon Soul. With the help of goblin servants led by Meklo, Neltharion created a simple golden disc made of his blood and forged in the goblins' cauldrons and anvils deep beneath the earth. Empowered by Neltharion's magic, the simple disc was magically shielded so that the other Dragon Aspects could not see within it. There was an evil within the disc, some taint of the Old Gods, though its exact nature is not known.
War of the Ancients
When the Burning Legion entered Azeroth during the War of the Ancients, Neltharion saw the opportunity to complete his Dragon Soul. Guided by the voices of the Old Gods, he first captured demons of the Burning Legion and added their powers to the Dragon Soul. Neltharion then convinced Malygos to help him with the other Dragon Aspects. All of them agreed to give a portion of their powers to the Dragon Soul, including all dragons of their dragonflights. Neltharion proposed that the Dragon Soul disc could be a weapon of great power to destroy the demons of the Burning Legion. Unknown to the rest, Neltharion was the only one who did not give of his powers to the Dragon Soul.
Neltharion, the Dragon Aspects and their dragonflights flew toward Zin-Azshari where the night elves held the demons at bay. The dragons awaited Neltharion's first attack. He grabbed the Dragon Soul and by channeling his destructive power through it destroyed thousands of demons with one swing of radiant magic. The Dragon Aspects watched in horror as Neltharion also killed hundreds of night elves and other allies along with the demons.
Neltharion revealed the depths of his betrayal at last. Now with the disc at his command, he wanted all races and the demons to see his power and to bow to him. The Dragon Aspects attacked Neltharion in an attempt to take the Dragon Soul from him and to reason with him in hopes of determining the cause of his perfidy. Malygos' blue dragonflight surrounded Neltharion, but with a swing of the Dragon Soul, most of the blue dragons perished. The next swing of the Dragon Soul paralyzed all dragonflights and the Dragon Aspects in mid-air, rendering them unable to move or speak. Neltharion then struck out at the Dragon Aspects and their dragonflights, destroying many and scattering them far across the land.
Neltharion's betrayal struck a great blow to the Aspects, and their fear of being destroyed like the blue dragonflight kept them in seclusion. In desperation, the Aspects shielded themselves and hid to become undetected even by each other.
Rise of the Destroyer
The growing corruption in Neltharion's heart warped his body, as the angelic dragon began taking a more demonic appearance, similar to how Sargeras changed to a more demonic form after his corruption. Neltharion's body cracked open, revealing his molten heart, and magma and fire flowed off his chest. His eyes became aflame in red, demonstrating the magnitude of his power and the depths of his evil. Thus was Deathwing the Destroyer born, and the Dragon Soul was renamed the Demon Soul.
Deathwing returned to his lair in what would later be known as Highmountain. His proximity to the Demon Soul was ripping his body apart, so goblin smiths forged an armor of adamantium steel to serve as a vessel to contain Deathwing's raging powers and keep them in check, which were then placed on his body by the drogbar, whom he had enslaved. Only the adamantium plates bolted to his spine kept the power from destroying his body.
The Old Gods had manipulated Deathwing into creating the Demon Soul, but their true intention was that the demons would inform their lord Sargeras of the great power of the weapon used against them. Sargeras would no doubt want the Demon Soul to power the gateway that would let him enter Azeroth. By using the Demon Soul to amplify the gateway, the three Old Gods hoped to escape their prison beneath the planet.
However, Malfurion Stormrage used the Emerald Dream to find Deathwing's lair and stole the Demon Soul from the black dragon, who tried to pursue the thief in vain. Illidan and Varo'then captured Malfurion and took the Demon Soul back to Zin-Azshari, to Mannoroth the Destructor, the general of the Legion's armies. It was used to power up the portal that would allow Sargeras to enter Azeroth.
Deathwing tried one last time to recover the disk when it was being used by both Sargeras and the Old Gods, and actually succeeded in reaching it. Deathwing was almost destroyed in the attempt, but after he got the Demon Soul, an enormous surge of power made him lose his grip on the disk and sent him spiraling far away from the portal. Shortly afterward, an incarnation of Nozdormu from millennia later prevented the Soul from falling into the Well below and brought it with him back to the future.
After the Burning Legion was defeated, and the Demon Soul returned from the future, the Dragon Aspects sealed the artifact with their energies, so that Deathwing should never be able to manipulate the Demon Soul. The artifact was hidden in an undisclosed location by Malfurion at the request of the Dragon Aspects. No longer in possession of the artifact and now unable to use it, Deathwing vowed to destroy most life and to wreak havoc on the planet. With his powers over earth, Neltharion caused volcanoes to rise along with the destruction already caused by the Well of Eternity's implosion, sinking most of Kalimdor below the ocean. He himself chose Deathwing as his title, to better show his contempt and intentions for the lesser creatures around him.
After the war, Deathwing retreated to Neltharion's Vault near his lair in the mountainous region, which had recently been renamed Highmountain by the tauren living there in honor of the hero Huln Highmountain. Huln and an uprising of Deathwing's drogbar slaves battled the Earth Warder, and with the Huln banished Deathwing from the land, sending him to Deepholm.
After Deathwing returned to Azeroth, he settled into a deep slumber. He needed time to recover from his wounds caused by the Demon Soul and to regain his strength. During his long slumber, the other dragonflights would hunt his corrupted black dragonflight to the brink of extinction.
Ten thousand years later, the Dark Portal between Azeroth and Draenor was opened by Medivh and Gul'dan. The incredible amount of magic roused Deathwing from his slumber. He watched with fascination as Stormwind and the Horde fought, and he became convinced that the orcs would be the means to restore his flight to its full glory. However, he knew the other Dragon Aspects and the mortal races would oppose him if he came out of hiding. If the Horde could break Azeroth's kingdoms, Deathwing could devote his full attention to fending off the Aspects. During the First War, Deathwing's Old God masters urged him to take small steps to aid the orcs. He did nothing drastic, for fear of attracting the Aspects' attention, yet the Old Gods saw Deathwing's intervention as a way to engulf the world in chaos.
The first thing Deathwing did was take the guise of a noble human from Stormwind and travel to Lordaeron. He charmed the aristocracy, and when stories of the Horde invasion finally reached Lordaeron, Deathwing openly scoffed at them. He told Lordaeron's nobles that the tales were fabrications meant to hide growing problems with rebels in Stormwind, and his lies were much more convincing than Stormwind's desperate pleas for help. To win over those who stubbornly believed the reports, Deathwing subtly influenced the minds of Lordaeron's nobles with his magic, preventing them from taking any action against the Horde.
Deathwing did not only involve himself with human affairs, either. Once he was certain Lordaeron would not send aid to Stormwind, Deathwing moved south. He took the form of a Blackrock orc and lived among the orcs for months, examining their society from the inside. He had easily sensed the hidden power driving the Horde's actions, and before long Deathwing maneuvered himself into the good graces of several individuals. Gul'dan believed Deathwing's orc disguise to be a loyal follower, Blackhand believed him a proud Blackrock orc, and Orgrim Doomhammer believed he was a stalwart ally. When Blackhand fell to Orgrim, Deathwing did not see it as an issue. As a servant of the Old Gods, he saw the shattering of the Burning Legion's hold on the orcs as a good thing that only served to make them more vulnerable to his own masters.
But there was a problem with Deathwing's plans. The Horde had been weakened by the First War, and if the rest of the human kingdoms were to unite, the orcs would not have the means to destroy them. Even if they could, they would awaken too many enemies in the meantime - if the Dragon Aspects learned about the Horde, the orcs would stand no chance. However, Deathwing's Dragon Soul was still out there, having been hidden after the War of the Ancients. It contained the power of all the Aspects except Deathwing, and so could be used against them for destruction or control. And although the weapon had been enchanted after the war so that no dragon could wield it, orcs could.
Deathwing granted visions to Zuluhed the Whacked, chieftain of the Dragonmaw clan. He was bombarded with vivid dreams of his clan taming and riding dragons. His clan had once ridden rylaks on Draenor, and to once again soar in the sky was an idea that could not be resisted. Once the hook had been set, Deathwing coaxed Zuluhed to the Redridge Mountains. The Dragon Soul was hidden deep beneath the mountains, protected by wards and the red dragon Orastrasz, untouched for ten thousand years. Dozens of Dragonmaw orcs died against Orastrasz, unfamiliar as they were with dragons, but they succeeded. Zuluhed ordered his clan's greatest warlock, Nekros Skullcrusher, to retrieve the Dragon Soul. Sensing the dark power within, Nekros renamed it the Demon Soul. Far from the Redridge Mountains, Alexstrasza sensed the wards breaking and grew concerned when she heard no word from Orastrasz. She and several of her red dragons hurried south, though she believed that some mortal had found the disc and Orastrasz was currently hunting for it and that it would be easy to help him retrieve. In truth, they were heading right into Deathwing's trap.
Deathwing taught Nekros how to use the Demon Soul through dreams and visions. With it, the Dragonmaw clan was able to enslave Alexstrasza shortly after the Horde assaulted Khaz Modan. He could not use it on the other dragons as he had to focus on her, but by lashing out at Alexstrasza with the disc's power whenever her dragons tried to intervene, Nekros was able to get them to do as he ordered. The Dragonmaw took control of the long-abandoned dwarf city Grim Batol in the Twilight Highlands and forced Alexstrasza's dragons to accompany them by threatening their queen. While the Dragonmaw began to ride their captives as battle mounts, Alexstrasza was imprisoned within Grim Batol and forced to lay eggs so the Dragonmaw could raise loyal dragons from infancy. From afar, Deathwing rejoiced in Alexstrasza's imprisonment. He continued to subtly advise Nekros on how best to use the Demon Soul to control the red dragons. Not only would making the Horde stronger help his plan to restore the black dragonflight, but he also knew that seeing her children be used as tools for war would make Alexstrasza's heart suffer. And Deathwing would relish every moment of Alexstrasza's torment.
Kryll, a goblin servant of Deathwing, was sent to infiltrate the Dragonmaw clan and to serve Nekros Skullcrusher. Nekros ended up being manipulated by Kryll into doing Deathwing's bidding. The goblin served as an "advisor" to Nekros, whispering ideas to the orc in order to further Deathwing's aims.
Beyond the Dark Portal
Eventually, the Horde lost their war and were forced to retreat to Draenor with the Dark Portal closed behind them. After Ner'zhul reopened the portal several years later, his forces were approached by Deathwing. He offered his own children for assistance in exchange for safe passage to Draenor. They agreed and Deathwing helped them prepare for several key battles to steal two artifacts from the Alliance in order for Ner'zhul's newly reformed Horde to create new portals to other worlds. They then fled back to the Dark Portal to Draenor. Deathwing believed the world would be a relatively safe haven for his offspring and secreted away a cache of black dragon eggs there. However, the gronn did not take kindly to Deathwing and his black dragons trying to take over their territory and conflict arose between the two races.
Some time after Deathwing invaded his territory, Gruul was met by the lost heroes of the Second War: Khadgar, Turalyon, and Alleria Windrunner. They were after the Skull of Gul'dan which Deathwing possessed (he demanded it as payment from Ner'zhul). After that, Gruul and his ogre minions, along with the heroes, challenged Deathwing from his perch in Gorgrond — killing his eggs and impaling his lesser black drakes on the mountain spikes. Infuriated by this act, Deathwing landed on top of them and attacked Gruul. Although clearly no match for the mad Aspect's power, Gruul was saved by Khadgar's miraculous spell when he disassembled some of the adamantium plates that were holding Deathwing's unstable body together resulting in Deathwing's retreat.
Having escaped back to Azeroth, Deathwing ended up in a fight with some of the archmagi of Dalaran and feigned defeat, falling into the sea, where most of the council assumed at the time that he died. He was not dead, however, and he took a human guise, pretending to be a heroic noble named Lord Prestor in an effort to be declared king of Alterac, where he could manipulate the Alliance from within.
Soon after Ner'zhul recklessly opened multiple portals on Draenor, the magical stress tore the planet apart. The energies released in this catastrophe altered Deathwing's eggs, resulting in the nether drakes: partially corporeal and partially ethereal dragons who possess the ability to shift between the astral and physical planes. Without Deathwing's guidance, these otherworldly nether drakes are just now finding their own way among the blasted ruins of Outland.
Lord Daval Prestor
Deathwing, posing as Lord Daval Prestor, managed to make himself popular with King Terenas and the kings of the Alliance nations, and for a while had a strong influence in the decisions of state.
Lord Prestor was a minor noble, dispossessed and without backing, who came from the north. He came from one of the most mountainous and obscure regions of Lordaeron after his tiny domain had been destroyed during the Second War by a dragon attack. He and a handful of his close family traveled by foot — no mounts, not even any servants or guards — to the Capital City of Lordaeron, where he presented himself to King Terenas. Lord Prestor soon became an integral part of Terenas' inner circle. When debating on what to do with Lord Aiden Perenolde, the treacherous king of Alterac, right after the Second War ended, Prestor advised Terenas to depose Lord Perenolde and declare martial law in the Alterac region.
Although no one had heard of him prior to five years before the Battle of Grim Batol, Prestor claimed bloodlines in the royal house of Alterac ensuring he was a distant cousin to Aliden Perenolde.
Genn Greymane of Gilneas, Thoras Trollbane of Stromgarde, and Daelin Proudmoore of Kul Tiras debated what should be done with Alterac, protesting Lordaeron's continued presence there. Greymane supported Perenolde's nephew in his claim for the throne of Alterac. Trollbane advocated dividing it between Lordaeron and Stromgarde. Realizing that neither situation was acceptable and that Lordaeron could not simply annex it, Terenas — telepathically coerced by Prestor — believed that a strong leader trusted by the Alliance leadership should be put in place as King of Alterac, and he declared Lord Prestor as his choice to take that position. Terenas was even prepared to give Prestor the hand of his daughter, Princess Calia, in the coming years as part of a marriage alliance between the new king of Alterac and the king of Lordaeron.
Deathwing's ultimate goal was to obtain a high level of power and influence within the Alliance, so he could destroy it from within. He had begun his campaign against the Alliance by pitting the kingdoms of Lordaeron, Stromgarde, Gilneas, and Kul Tiras against the Kirin Tor of Dalaran - who Deathwing considered threats to his new identity. Because of that, the Kirin Tor of Dalaran had their misgivings. The red dragon Korialstrasz — in his guise as Krasus, a member of the Kirin Tor high council — attempted to penetrate the chateau of Lord Prestor, setting off a very powerful spell-trap known as the Endless Hunger. The powerful energies maimed him, but Krasus was able to discover who he truly was. Two other members of the high council, Drenden and Modera, saw that Prestor was a complete blank magically, implying that he possessed great power — "possibly almost as powerful as Medivh", as Modera put it. The fact that the Alliance leaders, including the normally stubborn Greymane, had given Prestor their support, and the fact that King Terenas appeared to be leaving Dalaran out of the loop entirely, increased the Kirin Tor's suspicions about this unusual man.
The battle of Grim Batol
The orcs of the Dragonmaw clan at Grim Batol kept their hold over Alexstrasza, even though the bulk of the Horde had already been defeated. Deathwing tried to frighten the Dragonmaw orcs into believing that the humans were attacking Grim Batol, so that they would move Alexstrasza and her eggs north to Dun Algaz; this left her eggs vulnerable. Deathwing hoped to steal Alexstrasza's latest cache for himself to create a new dragonflight; though bearing the crimson scales of the Dragonqueen, they would be raised by Deathwing and carry his hatred for the mortal races.
Deathwing used his pawns to manipulate the mage Rhonin, who had been sent to Grim Batol by Krasus, as part of a plan to free Alexstrasza. He saved the young mage several times and helped him reach Grim Batol, hoping that his appearance inside the mountain fortress would further convince Nekros to flee from it. Though the orcs were convinced and began leaving Grim Batol, Deathwing's attack on the caravan, however, failed. Nekros tried to use the Demon Soul on Deathwing but was unsuccessful due to the disk having no power over the black dragon. He then sent Tyranastrasz, old and sick, to stop the Deathwing, but he failed and was killed.
At the behest of Krasus, the three remaining free aspects, Malygos, Ysera and Nozdormu, grudgingly decided to come out of their lairs and attack Deathwing. However, due to the power they had given to the Demon Soul, they were no match for the black leviathan. But Rhonin was able to steal the Demon Soul from Nekros, freeing Alexstrasza in the process. Furthermore, he discovered its weakness and destroyed it, releasing all the powers of the dragons who had given their power ten thousand years earlier. Deathwing was sent retreating with four very angry, fully-empowered Dragon Aspects on his heels, though he managed to elude them in the end.
Shortly after the battle of Grim Batol, Lord Daval Prestor vanished under unusual circumstances when Deathwing was forced to go into hiding, with his chateau abandoned and his servants gone. Deathwing's influence over the nobles disappeared along with him.
World of Warcraft
Onyxia and Nefarian, offspring of Deathwing and masters of the black dragonflight in the absence of their father, have tried to control the world. Onyxia followed in her father's footsteps by taking the Prestor name to attempt to manipulate the Alliance. She posed as a human counselor named Katrana Prestor for the new child King of Stormwind. Nefarian, meanwhile, posed as a human named Lord Victor Nefarius, Lord of the Blackrock Mountain in the Burning Steppes. He was able to enslave the Blackrock Clan orcs who served him on the top of the mountain, the Blackrock Spire.
This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.
In a brief dialogue with Overlord Mor'ghor, Lady Sinestra (Sintharia) revealed that Deathwing survived the events of the Battle of Grim Batol, and seeks the Netherwing eggs to continue Nefarian's experiments.
Night of the Dragon
Deathwing's consort Sintharia serves as the primary antagonist of Night of the Dragon, carrying on Deathwing's experiments of creating twilight dragons. Deathwing himself does not appear until the end of the novel, where it is revealed he is using the research of his children and consort to perfect the creation of the Twilight dragonflight. Some time after Sinestra's death, Deathwing retrieved her corpse and used the power of N'Zoth to reanimate her for the sole purpose of creating more eggs to turn into twilight dragons. She would later serve as the final boss of the Bastion of Twilight.
Wrath of the Lich King
Deathwing first made his debut in World of Warcraft as a cameo appearance during the battle against the Old God Yogg-Saron, inside Ulduar. He appears in human form and under his original name of Neltharion and is featured along with all the other Aspects in a flashback that depicts the creation of the Dragon Soul, ten thousand years earlier.
This was Deathwing's first official appearance in a Warcraft game since Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal.
Cataclysm marked the return of Deathwing and his wrath constituted a world-changing event known as the Shattering. He plays a part in a number of quests as well as the achievement and is also the final boss encounter of the expansion. He is the last of the Dragon Aspects to appear in dragon form in the game, and is the third one that can be confronted by raids or dungeons (the first being Malygos and second Nozdormu in the corrupted form of Murozond).
After the battle at Grim Batol, Deathwing returned to Deepholm, the realm of the earth elementals, to recuperate. When he arrived, the native stone dragons flocked to his side, easily swayed by the Old God-amplified power of the Aspect of Earth. For a while, Deathwing did not upset the balance in Deepholm; he had stayed there before, and the earth elementals knew him. "The shift", as Kor the Immovable puts it, did not truly begin until he was joined by the fanatical Twilight's Hammer cult.
Hidden away inside the Stonecore in the Temple of Earth, Deathwing waited, recovering from the wounds of his last battle against the forces of Azeroth. As he bided his time until he could reforge the world in molten fire, the Twilight's Hammer toiled over him, forging a new armor of elementium plates that were then hammered to the Dragon Aspect's skin to hold his tormented body together. The raw elementium had been dug up by a massive gyreworm called Corborus, enslaved by Deathwing himself for this one task.
In recent years, the whisperings of the Old Gods had gotten worse; the Old Ones' dread power steadily increased as C'Thun and Yogg-Saron stirred from their ancient slumbers, and the growing influence of the Old Gods magnified Deathwing's power ten-fold. From within his lair in the elemental plane of Deepholm, Deathwing awoke from his slumber and literally erupted into the world. His explosion into Azeroth was so powerful that it tore a rift between the Elemental Plane and Azeroth and caused earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods, reshaping the very face of the world. Very few lands have remained untouched in the wake of the devastating Shattering.
Stormwind City got its share of the destruction when Deathwing swooped into it and crashed down on the city gates. The entire park was blown away, and his searing heat caused the towers where he landed to glow red until they were fully repaired. Afterward, he took the head of Onyxia and flew off, something which puzzled the city guards as they were certain he would have been able to destroy the entire city if he wanted to. This also caused all the rats to beat a hasty retreat from the city. He also flew over Kezan causing the eruption of Mount Kajaro, marking Bilgewater Port uninhabitable and forcing the remains of the entire Bilgewater Cartel to evacuate their side of Kezan for Kalimdor.
Following his explosive escape from Deepholm, Deathwing cast a deadly shadow over the people of Azeroth. Deathwing randomly chose zones to attack; a reddened sky was the only warning before every living creature caught in his approach was consumed by his terrible fire and killed. Dying in this manner rewarded the achievement. Deathwing continued strafing random zones "until his ruinous reign was brought to an end" (until the end of patch 4.3)
The main storyline quest of the Badlands in Cataclysm is centered around Rheastrasza and her research of the black dragonflight and of a way of purifying them. She has captured the black dragon, Nyxondra, and forces her to lay eggs for the experiments. She feels pity for the black dragon but knows it is for the greater good. After succeeding in creating a purified black dragon egg, she constantly moves around to avoid being found by agents of the black dragonflight, who want to destroy the egg. In the quest , she is killed by Deathwing, who was after the egg. The egg he destroyed, however, was not the purified one, but Rheastrasza's own egg. The real egg, purified by a titan device an adventurer acquires during the quest chain, hatches into Wrathion.
At the beginning of the storyline, Deathwing summons the Firelord, Ragnaros along with his fire elemental servants into the world of Azeroth, aided by his mortal followers, the Twilight's Hammer cult with the ultimate goal of destroying Nordrassil.
During the Uldum storyline it is revealed that Deathwing enlisted the aid of Al'Akir and his air elemental minions to do his bidding. The Neferset tribe of the Tol'vir, native residents of Uldum, have also joined his ranks as they have been seduced by the promises of power and removal of the Curse of Flesh. Al'Akir, as well as mortal forces led by Commander Schnottz, also sought to gain control of the Forge of Origination, a titan superweapon capable of wiping out all life on Azeroth.
The Twilight Highlands
Deathwing is later seen in the Twilight highlands quest chain. After beating back his Twilight dragon minions, the player along with Alexstrasza and her son Calen, use a sanctified circle of life to lure Deathwing to their location so Alexstrasza can destroy him once and for all. The plan quickly falls apart as Deathwing proves to be more powerful then they realize. After a quick dialogue, Deathwing and Alexstrasza face each other above Grim Batol, shadowing the events of Day of the Dragon.
After a long battle, Alexstrasza and Deathwing spiral out of sight, with Deathwing spitting a stream of magma. Alexstrasza, severely wounded, lands near the entrance and tells the player, along with Calen, that Deathwing was dead. Soon after, however, Deathwing rises above the hillside, wounded, but not nearly as bad as Alexstrasza. The player then flees with the near-dead Alexstrasza as Calen distracts Deathwing long enough for them to escape. Deathwing then leaves as, according to Calen, he was wounded more then he let on and needed time to heal.
Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
It is revealed that once, long ago, Deathwing had been warned that an orc named Thrall would rise to challenge and possibly defeat him. So Deathwing sent out the Twilight Father to kill him. Deathwing sends Blackmoore from an alternate universe in an attempt to assassinate Thrall, but the plan fails when Thrall kills Blackmoore. After the Aspects defeated Twilight´s Hammer in Wyrmrest Temple, Deathwing allowed Twilight Father, who in fact was Archbishop Benedictus, to return to Stormwind City.
Rage of The Firelands
Following the death of Malygos, the Blue Dragonflight are torn between two possible new leaders - Kalecgos, and Arygos. Ultimately, it is revealed that Arygos has entered into an alliance with the Blue Dragonflight's original despoiler, Deathwing, in order to become the new Aspect of Magic - and Deathwing, though eager to see him overthrow Kalecgos, warns him not to repeat the mistakes of his father.
Charge of the Aspects
As Thrall and the other Aspects, including the newly-elevated Kalecgos, debated on how to defeat Deathwing, the shaman's spirit communed with the earth and took an earthen form. It was there that he encountered Deathwing, using the power of the Old Gods to imprison his spirit within. The corrupted Aspect mocked Thrall, believing that the Aspects sought to replace him as Earth-Warder with the mortal shaman, and claiming that the "gift" he had been granted by the Titans - his charge to defend Azeroth - was in fact a curse, imprisoning him to his duty. To demonstrate, he allowed Thrall to experience what it was like to have the weight of the earth on his shoulders, claiming that this was what the Aspects wanted - "to damn you to a life of eternal torment", as Deathwing stated it. He then unleashed a series of scathing attacks against Thrall's earthen form; because the shaman had embraced Azeroth, and Azeroth embraced him, his "wounds" materialized in the physical world in the form of earthquakes. Finally, the Aspects called on the Earthen Ring and the Cenarion Circle to break Deathwing's hold, bringing Thrall back to himself.
The Aspects decided that in order to defeat Deathwing, they would have to acquire the Dragon Soul in its "purest form" - a period not long after its creation, during the War of the Ancients ten millennia earlier. As the Soul was imbued with a powerful enchantment to prevent dragonkind from ever using it, the Aspects called on Thrall to be the wielder of the Dragon Soul in the battle against Deathwing.
The Hour of Twilight
Deathwing is the final boss of the Dragon Soul raid that opened with Patch 4.3.0. The final battle against Deathwing is actually two encounters within the same instance; one fought on his back as he flies toward the Maelstrom, and then the final battle at the Maelstrom itself.
Deathwing also features heavily in the three five-man dungeons that lead up to the raid. In the first, End Time, the future is shown if Deathwing is not defeated and the Hour of Twilight at last falls - a charred Dragonblight in Northrend, with all life extinguished forever. Deathwing is shown as a burnt-out shell of his former self, his powers having, at last, destroyed him from within. His lifeless corpse is impaled at the top of Wyrmrest Temple, his lava-like blood seeping from his mouth. To prevent the Hour of Twilight, the bronze aspect Nozdormu sends adventurers to go ten thousand years into the past, to the War of the Ancients, and retrieve the Dragon Soul - having been completely obliterated by Rhonin and Krasus shortly before the Shattering - so that Thrall could invoke its power to defeat Deathwing, though his past self tried to jealously defend the talisman from the adventurers - but it doesn't work. Once the artifact is retrieved, the adventurers must escort Thrall to Wyrmrest Temple and protect him from Deathwing's minions, so that the weapon could be secured for the final battle.
In the Dragon Soul raid, adventurers work together to defeat Deathwing's commanders in order to buy Thrall and the Aspects time to charge the Demon Soul. Deathwing's forces were killed over several weeks. After the adventurers take a short trip to the Eye of Eternity to activate the Focusing Iris, Deathwing officially disowns Nefarian, Onyxia and Sinestra and then unleashes his ultimate creation, Ultraxion, upon the temple. When the twilight dragon falls, Thrall unleashes the Demon Soul upon its creator. Wounded, Deathwing flees, attempting to return to the relative safety of Deepholm, through the Maelstrom. Thrall, the Aspects, and the Adventurers give chase, riding the Alliance gunship The Skyfire after the Aspect of Death, battling his personal escort along the way. The battles against Deathwing lasted "a few terrible hours".
After catching up, the adventurers leap out of The Skyfire's bomb bay to parachute onto Deathwing's back and begin prying the elementium plates from his back, eventually making a big enough opening for Thrall to blast Deathwing with the Demon Soul. Deathwing is blasted out of the sky, and crashes into the Maelstrom. The defenders of Azeroth briefly rejoice at having rid themselves of the Destroyer, but Deathwing rises from the Maelstrom. Without his armor, his molten form begins to mutate, granting him a form far more terrifying than before (somewhat resembling creatures like Iso'rath). The final battle for Azeroth began in earnest, as Deathwing continuously attempted to finish the job he started by bringing forth a second Cataclysm that would end the world. Each time, the Aspects step in and use their power to stop him until one final blow from the Demon Soul completely obliterates the corrupted Aspect, leaving only the remnants of his shattered armor. Portions of his metal jaw are brought to the Western Earthshrine in Orgrimmar and the Eastern Earthshrine in Stormwind to commemorate his defeat.
Much like the statue in Dalaran commemorating the fall of the Lich King, the monument also allows the ability to see the ending cinematic after Deathwing's fall; speaking to Lord Itharius in Orgrimmar or Chromie in Stormwind will play the final cinematic.
Deathwing's corpse in End Time.
Mists of Pandaria
Deathwing makes two appearances during Lorewalker Cho's history lessons. In , Zul had seen a vision a great armored dragon clenching the world with his ferocious jaws. King Rastakhan did nothing of the coming of this Cataclysm. Lorewalker Cho then established that his visions did come to past and Zuldazar was no more. In , Deathwing can be seen alongside Wrathion.
A council of the six greatest warlocks eventually sought the powers their defeated foes wielded, including Deathwing.
During the , Niuzao and or Chi-Ji wanted to let Wrathion face his past and summoned a Vision of Deathwing in the process. The Adventurer and Wrathion defeated his father and Niuzao and or Chi-Ji told Wrathion that he is nothing like him.
Battle for Azeroth
An illusion of Deathwing appears during the final battle with N'Zoth the Corruptor, raining fire down on the raid.
When N'Zoth was freed from his prison, his vision for Wrathion was to corrupt him just as he had Neltharion, with Wrathion ruling the revived Black Empire under N'Zoth's command. Ironically given Deathwing's status as the Old Gods' most powerful servant, it would be his scion Wrathion who would play a key role in N'Zoth's final defeat by coming up with the plan to use the Forge of Origination, as well as using Xal'atath to open a hole in N'Zoth's carapace and allow heroes to begin the final battle.
|Location||Level range||Health range|
|The Mind's Eye||??||7,096|
|Well of Eternity (instance)||??||10,320,000|
|Spine of Deathwing||??|
|Madness of Deathwing||??|
|Location||Level range||Health range|
|Vision of Deathwing||92||10,539,800|
While Deathwing was once a benevolent entity, the whispers of the Old Gods have corrupted him into a being driven by hatred. He harbors a hatred for all mortal races and wishes to see them dead. He's also been driven utterly insane by the whispers plaguing him, especially when in possession of the Demon Soul. Deathwing was so attached to it that, even when warned by the goblin alchemists who made his first armor that the Demon Soul's energies would kill him if he kept it with him too long, he only agreed to part with it temporarily after being reminded that it would likely be stolen from him if he were to die.
In spite of this insanity, Deathwing does display a degree of cunning. Although he hates mortals, he is apparently willing to tolerate them if it can prove of any help in his plans, though inevitably he will do away with them when they have outlived their usefulness.
Despite Deathwing's overall loathing of mortals, he has a sense of respect for Medivh, and perhaps even a fear of, as he stated in Day of the Dragon that the Guardian was the only human he had ever respected and that he would have never willingly face him in combat, though this might have technically been fear of the portion of Sargeras that was locked inside Medivh. He viewed Thrall in a similar way; when the Twilight Father expressed disbelief that Thrall could triumph, Deathwing made it clear that he planned to take no chances.
He also showed genuine loyalty to the Old Gods due to his belief that they could free him from his burden.
As a young proto-dragon, Neltharion was a lover of combat. He taunted those afraid of Galakrond for being weak, and got himself involved in a fight between Malygos and Coros simply to show off his own strength. It was Malygos's power which led to Neltharion sparking their friendship.
Names and titles
He is usually referred to as "Deathwing" by the majority of beings. Only a few mages, night elves and dragons still call him "Neltharion". However, over the years Deathwing has been given many names, including, but not limited to:
- Aspect of Death
- the Betrayer
- the Black
- Black dragonlord
- the Black Scourge (used by the other Dragon Aspects)
- Blackwing Greatfather (used by the gronn)
- Blood's Shadow (used by the orcs)
- the Cataclysm
- the Dark One
- Lord Daval Prestor, claimant to the throne of Alterac (human disguise)
- Death Aspect
- Death Incarnate
- the Destroyer
- the Earth-Warder (granted by the Titans)
- the Great One
- Shuul'wah (used by the faceless; assumed to mean "Deathwing" in Shath'Yar), and Phquathi, assumed to mean Destroyer
- the Unmaker of Worlds
- the Warder of the land
- the Worldbreaker
- Xaxas (used by the night elves; "chaos", "fury" or "elemental fury" in Darnassian)
War of Ancients Trilogy
- "You will learn to show respect. You are in the presence of my glorious self, I, Neltharion. I am the Earth-Warder. You will treat me with the reverence I deserve."
- "You know me... but I do not know you. You would speak against me... make the others see me as you do... you would have them distrust their comrade of old... their brother... You will not be allowed to spread any of your malicious falsehoods..."
- "For it to be as it must, yes." (responding to Ysera question about the Dragon Soul's glow)
- "It is done! All that which must be given has been given, I now seal the Dragon Soul forever!"
- "Yes, and you will press him time and time again with it, will you not?" (in a discussion about whether Nozdormu should be granted more time for his choirs or not)
- "No! I will say what will be done from here on! I, not you, Alexstrasza! Be silent!"
- "After I have slain all of you, I shall take your eggs, Alexstrasza, and create my perfect world!"
Beyond the Dark Portal
- "My children! My children, murdered! Come forward, disgusting, cowardly wretches, murderers of defenseless infants, and know torment and madness before I devour you whole! Who will be the first to be blasted to ashes?" (yelling at the gronn)
- "Puny mortals! I have had many names throughout history, all of them spoken with dread: Neltharion, Xaxas, and many more. Yet you shall know me best as Deathwing, for so I am! I am the bane of life, the darkness within history, the lord of death, the master of destruction. And I tell you now, and so it is true, that this world is mine!"
- "You may have won this battle, I give you that. But hear this, and hear it well. I have seen you, mage."
Day of the Dragon
- "I am power incarnate! You are nothing but shadows of the past!"
- "Have you not been through enough? Will you continue to fight what you cannot defeat?"
- "What are they to me - or, for that matter, even you? I will never understand that!"
- Deathwing: I have faced the ravages of time, the curse of nightmares, and the mists of sorcery, thanks to the others! What weapons do you bring?
Alexstrasza: Life... hope... and what they bring with them...
Deathwing: Then you're as good as dead already!
World of Warcraft
- Main article: Yogg-Saron (tactics)#Quotes
Night of the Dragon
- "The Day of The Dragon is over, its night is almost upon Azeroth...and after the night has swept away the old fights...there shall come new dawn... the dawn of my new world..."
- Main article: Xaxas (song)
- Main article: Enter the Dragon Queen
- Main article: Battle of Life and Death
- Main article: Through a Glass, Darkly#Notes
- Bronze Drake yells: It is them!
- Bronze Drake yells: Heroes! We have been sent by Nozdormu! Quickly, on our backs, we must get you to the Dragon Soul!
- Bronze Drake yells: Sister, look! The artifact is surrounded by an aura of darkness!
- Bronze Drake yells: The Aspects!
- Alexstrasza yells: Come sister, it is time to end this, We will cleanse the Dragon Soul from the Old Gods dark influence!
- A dark force from within the Dragon Soul reacts violently to the cleansing!
- Ysera yells: It is too powerful!
- Neltharion yells: How DARE you touch my creation! It is mine...mine...MINE!
- Alexstrasza yells: Neltharion! What have you done? You have doomed us all to the madness of the Old Gods!
- Neltharion yells: IT IS MINE!!
- Ysera yells: He is lost to us sister. He is Neltharion...no longer.
- Alexstrasza yells: The power of the Soul is tearing him apart!
- An Unknown Evil yells: Nooooo...Away...
- Neltharion yells: I WILL NOT BE DENIED!
- Neltharion roars.
- An Unknown Evil yells: AWAY!
- Bronze Drake yells: The Old Gods protects the Soul!
- Bronze Drake yells: The link to the portal must be broken! Quickly, to Stormrage!
- Main article: Wyrmrest Summit#Twilight Assaulter Intro
- Main article: Wyrmrest Summit#Intro leading up to Ultraxion
- Main article: Spine of Deathwing#Quotes
- Main article: Madness of Deathwing#Quotes
Mists of Pandaria
- Main article: Celestial Blessings#Notes
One of the big questions during the Cataclysm development was "what does Deathwing look like?". Deathwing had been established in lore for a long time, but he had never been depicted in that much detail other than some images from Chris Metzen and Warcraft II. But to have a really comprehensive design for Deathwing was an early top priority. The developers wanted Deathwing to have a unique, nasty and aggressive look, but also wanted to have the preexisting World of Warcraft dragons look as if they were part of the same family. They headed into the idea that Deathwing's rage manifests itself literally as the boiling lava inside him and he actually needs metal plates to contain them. On their search for a unique signature that would set Deathwing apart from the other dragons the development team experimented with his jaw. So they replaced his jaw on an early sketch with a metallic one and made it bigger, giving him a very unique silhouette. When they showed it to the game team the immediate reaction was extremely positive.
In the RPG
- The massive monstrosity before you rises up like a black, crag-covered mountain of scales and hide. The head is a spade-like terror spiked with cruel red eyes that shine with a frightening malevolence. Rivulets of lava and magma are visible beneath the great wyrm’s scorched scales.
When he succumbed, Neltharion ceased to exist, taking up a new name and a bitter purpose. He became Deathwing and his subjects were placed beneath the iron rule of a tyrant. Upon his irrevocable shift to evil, he turned against his destiny, and his mind unwound, causing suffering wherever he could. Certain legends surrounding Deathwing claim that as the Earth-Warder, Deathwing shaped the land so the races would not go to war over land and resources. When he went mad, Deathwing lowered the mountains and allowed the races to intermingle. He ruined fertile land and destroyed other terrain so that the races would be forced to fight for food. Deathwing's efforts gave birth to an occupation that has remained with all races since then: war.
Deathwing is a terrifying opponent who is as cruel as he is vicious. He cares nothing for honor or nobility, striking with whatever weapons and cunning he has at his disposal, reveling in causing earthquakes and ripping open volcanic fissures. He often sends his minions into combat while he surveys the battlefield, striking at whatever weaknesses he discovers.
The ancient black dragon Deathwing returned to Northrend and landed in the Dragonblight, at the foot of Wyrmrest Temple. He announced that he is close to death and wishes to end his life there with the others already present. Many of the blue dragons were furious that their ancient enemy would claim such an honor there. Others admired his willingness to set aside the past. The non-dragons were simply excited at the idea that such a powerful dragon was there. The Lich King wants to corrupt him and make him undead while the nerubians want to enlist him in their cause and unleash him upon the Scourge before he dies. Scavengers want his bones and flesh and treasure-hunters want his skin and claws and any items he carries. The heroes will have to keep this situation from escalating into a multi-sided war.
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
During the canceled Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans game, Thrall would have met with Deathwing in order to match wits. Deathwing had his lair in upper Blackrock Spire, and Thrall had to kill him in order to gain Alexstrasza's trust. Thrall killed him by closing shut his fire-breathing organs from inside his very body with a metal trap, leading to the evil dragon exploding when trying to use his fire breath against the orc.
The fact that Deathwing was seen smoking a hookah was blamed on a "miscommunication", but Blizzard chose to keep it anyway.
Deathwing was said by Alexstrasza to be one of his sons. He was served by trolls which had mottled and grey skin, a fact that might have inspired the description of the trolls later said to have served him during the War of the Ancients, and maybe even the drogbar.
- Deathwing appears as a legendary card in Hearthstone. His flavor text reads: "Once a noble dragon known as Neltharion, Deathwing lost his mind and shattered Azeroth before finally being defeated. Daddy issues?"
- An alternate, non-canonical version of Deathwing, known as Deathwing, Dragonlord, appears as a legendary card in the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion. According to Ben Brode, this version of the character is a look at an alternate universe in which the Worldbreaker succeeded in bringing about the Hour of Twilight but has not yet impaled himself upon Wyrmrest Temple. However, Brode agreed that this fact was not made particularly clear to players, especially those not familiar with Warcraft lore. The Dragonlord's flavor text reads: "To his credit, Deathwing really took to heart the feedback he was receiving that he needed to be "more of a team player"."
- Deathwing reappears once more in the Descent of Dragons expansion as the legendary warrior card Deathwing, Mad Aspect. The Mad Aspect's flavor text reads: "Bite that one, bite that other one, claw this one, swallow that one whole...."
- Player who prepurchased the Descent of Dragons Mega Bundle unlocked Deathwing's human form as an alternate warrior hero. His flavor text reads: "Deathwing, a.k.a. Lord Daval Prestor, is a perfectly normal guy who would never ever tear the world asunder."
- A miniature version of Deathwing makes an appearance in the animated short Hearth and Home.
In Heroes of the Storm
Before being added, Deathwing was one of the heroes most frequently requested by players. In April of 2017, a short Twitter teaser for the upcoming Hanamura Showdown cinematic led a number of players to believe that Deathwing would be added as a hero in the near future. However, once the cinematic released, it was revealed that the new hero was actually the Overwatch character D.Va and the teaser had merely been hinting at Diablo's presence in the cinematic. This became the subject of various memes which were later referenced by Blizzard when they added the Deathwing-themed D.Va the Destroyer skin, followed in 2018 by a "D.Va Confirmed" spray referencing the original teaser. When Deathwing was eventually announced as a hero in October of 2019, Blizzard again paid homage to the meme by preceding the announcement with a teaser image mimicking the original Hanamura Showdown teaser.
Notes and trivia
- Neltharion collected many valuable relics. The was one of them.
- At BlizzCon 2009, it was said that Deathwing's plate armor was made of iron, despite it being said to be adamantium in Day of the Dragon. Years later, the adamantium was again said to be the metal used on his armor.
- Remnants of the adamantium plating were left behind in his former lair.
- Deathwing is voiced by Michael McConnohie in World of Warcraft, and by Patrick Seitz in Hearthstone.
- Deathwing's original lore was that he was a unique black dragon (rather than part of a dragonflight) and that his plates of adamantine steel were crafted by goblin alchemists during the Second War. His lair was also originally situated on the isle of Ashran instead of in the Blade's Edge Mountains.
- In Stormrage, Deathwing appeared in Korialstrasz's nightmare, in which the red dragon became the source of the new Demon Soul.
- Deathwing was featured on the Cataclysm login screen, with his claws grasping two Stormwind towers at the Valley of Heroes.
- Deathwing was designed to have a wingspan of about 365 meters, or 1,200 feet.
- Elling Trias predicted Deathwing's attack on Stormwind City.
- According to Matt Burns, in the future the Old Gods drove Deathwing insane and made him impale himself on Wrymrest Temple, as they deemed him useful no longer.
- Two submarines buildable at the Lunarfall and Frostwall Shipyards are named "Neltharion's Madness" after him.
- Deathy from is a murloc companion that looks like Deathwing that was given out for BlizzCon 2010.
- The companion pet is the special companion given to those that own World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Collector's Edition.
- The is a Deathwing-themed mount rewarded from completing the achievement during WoW's 15th Anniversary.
- Deathwing is pictured on .
- Players can transform into Deathwing's human form using .
- Despite featuring in promotional material, Deathwing never actually assumed his Cataclysm-era human form in-game. The model is used thrice in World of Warcraft: during one of the tall tales in the Badlands, during one of Lorewalker Cho's tales, and during a trial of the Celestials. All of these constitute fiction within the game. However, he does assume his mortal guise in Charge of the Aspects. The Obsidian Deathwarder mob uses his human model.
- Daval Prestor was not Deathwing's only human noble guise. During the First War he infiltrated Lordaeron's court as a Stormwind nobleman and brushed off any reports about the invading Old Horde as mere rumors to keep the northern kingdoms from sending aid.
- Lord Daval Prestor II, a second "Lord Prestor", appeared in the World of Warcraft beta, but was replaced with Lady Katrana Prestor prior to release.
- Deathwing can easily be recognized by his mandible, and the colossal blade on the end of his gigantic tail.
- Deathwing currently has the highest health in the game, with 858,000,000 HP even after Mists of Pandaria.
- The tier 13 warrior set — Colossal Dragonplate Armor / Battlegear — is heavily inspired by Deathwing.
- The locals of Winterspring originally named a legendary local owl "Deathwing", but they renamed her to Hell-Hoot when they were told that the name was already taken.
- The official patch 4.0.3a notes state that Deathwing broke most of the vials used in alchemy "because he's mean (or because he didn't want alchemists to carry 5 different vials around with them)".
- Alduin, a dragon from the Elder Scrolls franchise, bears some similarities to Deathwing in appearance and title (World-eater, Worldbreaker), among other things. Likewise, Bahamut as depicted in Final Fantasy XIV is a massive dragon that, like Deathwing, completely changed the game upon his appearance.
- One of the lines spoken by Deathwing in (Look upon me and you see death incarnate, the unmaker of worlds.) bears some similarity to a line from the Bhagavad Gita famously quoted by J. Robert Oppenheimer, the "father of the atomic bomb": "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
- At some point during the Cataclysm beta, there was a scene where Deathwing's humanoid model grew a pair of tentacles. This scene was from a version of Enter the Dragon Queen that was scrapped.
- At BlizzCon 2010, a "Dethling" pet was given in the swag bag to attendees.
- Deathwing has lava-like blood. Some said this was due to an acidic secretion by the dragon, but other tales took it as literal flame. Fragments of this blood live on to this day, deep within the lost places of the world, forever seeking their lost host.
- Northern Lordaeron could be the location of Lord Prestor's land, although some sources say he came from Alterac or just "a domain in the north". Alternatively, he could have made the story up and arrived from anywhere. Day of the Dragon does speak of "northern vassals" during the time of Terenas's grandfather in regards to the successful negotiations about the borders with the elves of Quel'Thalas.
- It is unclear if Katrana Prestor claimed any relation to Daval Prestor. No version of Katrana's cover story has given exact details of how the persona is related to Daval Prestor, though it is speculated that she claimed to be Daval's daughter since her true identity, Onyxia, is the daughter of Daval's true identity Deathwing.
- Neltharion may have been the Speaker of Azeroth before Magni Bronzebeard. The title does not seem to have been invented for Magni, as he gained the role as the result of an ancient earthen ritual and many titan-forged recognize the position even when it's their first time meeting Magni. It would mesh with the Earth-Warder's duty of safeguarding the earth, and Deathwing does state in Charge of the Aspects how the gift of the Earth-Warder was "to feel the fiery heart of this world as your own" and "to feel the weight of this dying world on your shoulders", which resembles Magni saying he can feel Azeroth's pain. However, this idea is contradicted by the fact that the titans never informed the Dragon Aspects about the existence of Azeroth's world-soul.
Lord Daval Prestor II in the World of Warcraft Beta — likely depicting a son. He was replaced by Onyxia.
Neltharion seen in his human form during the Yogg-Saron encounter.
Trading Card Game
Deathwing's humanoid form by Raneman.
Deathwing as depicted in the Battle of the Aspects TCG raid deck.
On the Worldbreaker TCG expansion art.
Deathwing as depicted in the Twilight of the Dragons TCG set.
Deathwing attempts to finish the job by bringing forth a second Cataclysm.
Deathwing, Dragonlord in Whispers of the Old Gods.
Deathwing, Mad Aspect in Descent of Dragons.
The Deathwing hero.
Deathwing in Hearth and Home.
Deathwing the Black in Battlegrounds.
Heroes of the Storm
Cinematic image used as a background on Battle.net during the expansion's release to normal servers.
Fan art of Deathwing later used as concept art.
- Deathwing awakens from his slumber
- ''World of Warcraft: Cataclysm''
- ''World of Warcraft: Cataclysm'' cinematic
- Deathwing flies over the world
- Battle of Life and Death
- Deathwing talks to Arygos
- Thrall uses the Dragon Soul on Deathwing
- Adventurers assault the Spine of Deathwing
- Deathwing falls into the Maelstrom
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Added dragon form appearance after the Second Sundering to begin the expansion.
- Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): Added as Neltharion himself in Yogg-Saron encounter in Ulduar.
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Magazine Volume I Issue II
- ^ The Characters of Warcraft/Deathwing
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 58
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
- ^ a b c Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 99
- ^ War of the Ancients Trilogy
- ^ March Badness
- ^ WoW TCG Card: Necrotic Boneplate Gauntlets
- ^ a b Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal manual, Legends of the Land, Deathwing
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 127
- ^ a b c d Day of the Dragon, pg. 22
- ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 227
- ^ Dawn of the Aspects description
- ^ Dawn of the Aspects excerpt.
- ^ Dawn of the Aspects
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Magazine Issue 1, pg. 11
- ^ Blizzcon 2015: World and Content Overview Panel
- ^ 2022-04-20, World of Warcraft Expansion Reveal. YouTube, retrieved on 2022-04-20
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, 61.
- ^ Ancient Neltharion Tablets
- ^ a b Day of the Dragon, pg. 135
- ^ a b c d e f g World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 139 - 141
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 155 - 156
- ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 3
- ^ a b c Day of the Dragon
- ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 87
- ^ Beyond the Dark Portal
- ^ Ask CDev Answers - Round 2
- ^ Adventure Guide entry for Slabhide
- ^ Kor the Immovable#Quotes
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. An ancient evil lies dormant within Deepholm, the domain of earth in the Elemental Plane. (English). ''World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Retrieved on 2009-08-25.
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm/features/stonecore.html
- ^ Adventure Guide entry for Corborus
- ^ BlizzCon 2009: Cataclysm Panel
- ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: Kalimdor, pg. 148
- ^ Call of Duty (quest)#Notes
- ^ Stormwind Rat
- ^ http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/2450-Rogue-Legendary-Dagger-and-Patch-4.3-Interviews-Comics
- ^ a b
- ^ Halls of Origination#Dungeon Journal
- ^ Cataclysm Recap Video: Legendary Rogue (Part III of IV)
- ^ Cataclysm Recap Video: Legendary Rogue (Part IV of IV)
- ^ Council of the Black Harvest
- ^ Day of the Dragon, chapter 13
- ^ Dawn of the Aspects, part 1
- ^ The Well of Eternity, pg. 101
- ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 87
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, index
- ^ a b
- ^ Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
- ^ Warlord Zon'ozz
- ^ Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
- ^ The Demon Soul
- ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 136
- ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, pg. 6
- ^ BlizzCon 2010 WoW: Cataclysm Cinematic Panel Part 2
- ^ a b c d Shadows & Light, pg. 93
- ^ a b Manual of Monsters, pg. 29
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 34
- ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 94
- ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 101
- ^ Bill Roper. Warcraft Adventures. PC Gaming Graveyard 3. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-08-15.
- ^ GameSpot: Warcraft Adventures
- ^ The Sundering, pg. 67
- ^ Ben Brode on Twitter
- ^ Ben Brode on Twitter
- ^ Heroes of the Storm - Deathwing Reveal Trailer
- ^ Day of the Dragon, chapter 1
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 57
- ^ Deathwing (WC2 Human)
- ^ Stormrage
- ^ BlizzCon 2010 WoW: Cataclysm Cinematic Panel Part 3
- ^ World of Warcraft on Twitter (2017-01-23). Retrieved on 2017-01-23.
- ^ Matt Burns on Twitter
- ^ ex-Blizzard Dev Auctions Original StarCraft II Art, Kerrigan Bust and Goodies
- ^ Day of the Dragon, chapter 9
- ^ Corrupted Blood (pet)
- ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 82
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 171
Go'el / Thrall
Patriarch of the black dragonflight
Patriarch of the black dragonflight
Prince Wrathion (presumed)
Ruler of the black dragonflight
Nefarian and Onyxia
Ruler of the black dragonflight
Prince Wrathion (presumed)
Ruler of Grim Batol
None; appointed by Khaz'goroth
Aspect of Earth
None, Aspects cease to exist