- This article is about the character biography of Dranosh Saurfang. For information on how to defeat him in Icecrown Citadel, see Deathbringer Saurfang.
|Race||Mag'har orc (Humanoid)|
|Class||Death knight, Warrior (formerly)|
|Former affiliation(s)||Horde, Kor'kron, The Mag'har, Blackrock clan|
|Occupation||Death knight of the Scourge|
|Former occupation(s)||Commander of the Kor'kron Vanguard|
Cremated in the Ancestral Grounds, Nagrand (lore)|
Killable as The Deathbringer
“The son is the father... May the spirits have mercy on those that stand in his way.”
Dranosh Saurfang, often called Saurfang the Younger, was the son of Varok Saurfang and Remda. As such, he was also the nephew of Broxigar the Red and cousin to Thura. Dranosh was very much like his father and uncle, a fierce warrior to the end. He was a strong believer in the ideals of honor espoused by his father. Warchief Thrall regarded him as charismatic and wise beyond his years; "the brightest star in the sky of Horde warriors".
As part of the Warsong Offensive, Dranosh led the Horde's vanguard against the Scourge in Northrend, but he fell to the Lich King's sword Frostmourne during the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate. He was subsequently raised into undeath as Deathbringer Saurfang, the Lich King's most powerful death knight, and was tasked with barring the path of any champions seeking to lay siege to his new master's fortress of Icecrown Citadel. He was killed for good in the ensuing battle. He was deeply grieved after his death and his fate is considered a great tragedy by members of the Horde and Alliance alike.
“Before you go, what will you name him?”
“He is my heart. He is the heart of my whole world. I will name him Dranosh. "Heart of Draenor."”
- — Remda and Varok
Before Dranosh's mother Remda died, Varok promised her that their son would remain safe and untainted on Draenor. Before Varok crossed the Dark Portal, he had the elders of Garadar hide Dranosh away so the orcish warlocks would not find him.
The Burning Crusade
This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.
Following a raid by Murkblood Broken, a group of adolescent orcs from Garadar formed a war party and set out to seek vengeance. Dranosh led the party in an attack on Sunspring Post, but most of them were killed by the Broken. Dranosh was one of the only survivors—he sustained severe injuries, blacked out, and awoke in the Mag'hari Procession sometime later. He later asked strangers (sent from Garadar by Farseer Corhuk) to help him seek vengeance by killing the Murkbloods. When the task was done, he asked the strangers if there were more heroes like them in the place where they came from. After recovering, Dranosh decided not to return to Garadar, as he believed that his destiny lay elsewhere. Upon hearing this, Farseer Corhuk stated "The son is the father... May the spirits have mercy on those that stand in his way".
Wrath of the Lich King
“Rise up, sons of the Horde! Blood and glory await us! Lok-tar ogar!”
- — Dranosh during the Battle of the Wrathgate
Dranosh later traveled to Azeroth and reunited with his father, High Overlord Varok Saurfang. The two of them both joined the Warsong Offensive, the Horde army that traveled to Northrend to battle the Scourge during the war against the Lich King. Dranosh was given command over the Horde's vanguard, a task he accepted with great pride. Varok gifted his son with his battle armor and axe and sent him to command the Horde's forces at Angrathar the Wrathgate, the southern entrance to Icecrown Citadel. Varok, who worried that the offensive's overlord Garrosh Hellscream was taking the Horde back to its dark roots, hoped that the soldiers would emulate Dranosh's courage and tenacity rather than Garrosh's savagery. Dranosh served as his father's "heart and strength" in a place where he couldn't be, with Horde adventurers serving as his "eyes and ears".
Dranosh and the Alliance commander Bolvar Fordragon led separate campaigns against the Scourge, pushing into the Dragonblight toward Icecrown. Both commanders quickly realized that a victory for one faction was a victory for all against the Lich King. They began subtly coordinating their attacks against the Scourge and formed a grudging mutual respect for each other. Dranosh at one point led his forces against the undead nerubians in Azjol-Nerub, blocking off their tunnels into the Dragonblight. Both factions eventually reached the Wrathgate, where Dranosh commanded the Kor'kron Vanguard and kept a truce with the Alliance until the siege of the citadel began.
During the Battle of the Wrathgate, Dranosh led the Kor'kron to the front line and fought the Scourge alongside Bolvar until the Lich King himself emerged from the citadel. Dranosh charged him, but the Lich King killed the orc with a single blow from Frostmourne, shattering his axe and stealing his soul.
The Scourge subsequently recovered Dranosh's corpse and brought it into the citadel. After the battle, Alexstrasza asked Horde adventurers to bring the orc's shattered armor back to his father. Varok was pained by Dranosh's death but told adventurers not to mourn him, for he had died a hero just like his uncle Broxigar. He added that the armor would be placed upon the boy's funeral pyre at the Ancestral Grounds in Nagrand. Shortly after, Varok joined Thrall in the Battle for the Undercity, during which the warchief urged the spirits of wind to carry the Horde's song of war to Dranosh. At the end of the battle, Thrall told Varok "I'm sorry about your boy". During a journey from Dalaran to Warsong Hold, Thrall and Garrosh stopped at the Wrathgate to pay homage to Dranosh. At Warsong Hold, Thrall once again offered his condolences to Varok. The older Saurfang replied that Dranosh had died honorably defending his people and that his spirit would be avenged when the Lich King was defeated.
Fall of the Lich King
- Main article: Deathbringer Saurfang
In Icecrown Citadel, the Lich King raised Dranosh into undeath as Deathbringer Saurfang, his most powerful death knight. One of the visions in the Yogg-Saron encounter shows the Lich King torturing an Immolated Champion in the company of a Turned Champion—visions of Bolvar and Dranosh, respectively.
When the Ashen Verdict assaulted Icecrown Citadel, they encountered Deathbringer Saurfang guarding the entrance to the upper reaches of the citadel. Dranosh was forced to fight against his former allies, and they were forced to vanquish him. Varok was heartbroken when he learned what had become of his son. Even members of the Alliance sympathized with him, so malicious and brutal was the torment inflicted on his beloved boy. Varok claimed his son's body and promised to give him a proper funeral in Nagrand.
Aftermath and legacy
“You have earned your warrior's death... my son. Yet once again, I am denied it.”
- — Varok to Dranosh's body
After dressing Dranosh's body in simple garments from Garadar—the place he had known as a boy—Varok cremated his son on a pyre near the resting places of the boy's mother and family in Nagrand. As the funeral was his boy's final honor, Varok made himself watch the flames consume his child until only ash remained. Varok subsequently wore his son's necklace with him as a reminder.
Cairne Bloodhoof later told Varok that his son had died a hero and that what Varok had wrought at Warsong Hold honored Dranosh's memory. According to Garrosh Hellscream, Dranosh and all the other Horde soldiers lost during the war would have lok'vadnods composed in their honor. Shortly before the Cataclysm, Thrall prepared to leave for Nagrand in order to learn more about the Elemental Unrest. As such, he was unable to retain his position of warchief and began to consider a temporary successor. Thrall privately bemoaned that Dranosh would have been the perfect candidate for the title, having inherited his father's might and wisdom.
The Dranosh'ar Blockade, which was constructed outside Orgrimmar after the Cataclysm, was named in honor of the young Saurfang.
During Garrosh's trial at the end of the Alliance-Horde war, the accuser Tyrande Whisperwind called on Varok as a witness and wanted to show the court a vision of Dranosh's death, stating that she wanted them to fully understand the loss he'd endured, but the defender Baine Bloodhoof protested that this would only cause needless pain to Varok. The judge Taran Zhu agreed and pointed out that the Lich King was not the one on trial, after which Tyrande withdrew her request.
The night before the Battle for Lordaeron, Varok thought of his son and left Dranosh's necklace in a fireplate as he was prepared to claim his own death. While walking towards the Alliance encampment, he was stopped by Zekhan who returned him the slightly burned necklace and convinced him to live another day. During the battle, when Varok protested against Sylvanas' use of the blight against the Alliance, she mockingly told him that he could die his warrior's death and get the chance to say hello to his son. Varok was ultimately killed in a mak'gora against Sylvanas at the end of the Fourth War. During his funeral, Thrall stated that the High Overlord could now greet his son with honor and glory.
As part of a bargain with Zekhan, the death loa Bwonsamdi later showed the troll a vision of Varok reunited with Dranosh and Remda in a blissful afterlife where father and son could hunt talbuk together across the grasslands of Draenor. Unbeknownst to Zekhan, the vision was a lie.
|Location||Level range||Health range|
The Burning Crusade
This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.
- They died. All of them...
- As the Murkbloods cut through us, something took hold of me that I cannot understand. Tell me, have you ever felt a rage so great that the whole of your being burns? A heat that wilts the living? A heat that incinerates the blood in your veins? That is what I felt.
- <Saurfang's eyes glow red for a brief moment.>
- I was the last one left alive. 30 of them surrounded me... Murkbloods... I remember nothing beyond that vision. I blacked out and awoke some time later.
Wrath of the Lich King
- Main article: Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate#Transcript
- Main article: Deathbringer Saurfang#Quotes
- Kor'kron Vanguard
- My father has gifted me with his battle armor and axe. Soon I put it to good use.
Notes and trivia
- Dranosh has red eyes in World of Warcraft, but they're described as golden in Shadows Rising.
- As a Horde commander, he used an . As a death knight, his weapon was , which can be looted on his body.
- Dranosh draws a number of parallels with Garrosh Hellscream. Both are considered orcish prodigies, and both are the sons of renowned orcish heroes—Varok Saurfang and Grommash Hellscream, respectively. However, while both Dranosh and Garrosh inherited their fathers' warrior spirit and sense of honor, Garrosh also gleamed some of Grom's less flattering traits, such as his recklessness.
- Dranosh cut down three frost vrykul in a single blow during the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate.
- Dranosh's first name was revealed in the Deathbringer Saurfang encounter, released in patch 3.3. Prior to that point, he was only ever referred to as "Saurfang the Younger".
- Dranosh is the only character to have two entries in the Ultimate Visual Guide book, one for his living state and one for his undead state.
- Dranosh appears as the unique "Buddy" card for the Overlord Saurfang hero in Hearthstone's Battlegrounds mode. In addition, Deathbringer Saurfang is a boss encounter in the Knights of the Frozen Throne adventure.
- Dranosh is voiced by Chris Metzen.
- Patch 2.0.3 (2007-01-09): Added.
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 54: "When the armies converged at Angrathar the Wrathgate, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon and the orc Warlord Saurfang the Younger battled the Scourge together."
- ^ a b c d Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 123
- ^ a b
- ^ a b The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, chapter 10
- ^ a b Underdev/Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Throne
- ^ a b The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, chapter 1
- ^ a b c d Deathbringer Saurfang dialogue
- ^ a b War Crimes, chapter 10
- ^ a b A Good War, pg. 3 - 4
- ^ a b c Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 169
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 175
- ^ Dragonblight gossip text
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 178 - 180
- ^ Glory
- ^ Heart of War
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 186
- ^ a b c Old Soldier
- ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, chapter 3
- ^ a b Shadows Rising, pg. 78 - 79
- ^ Shadows Rising, pg. 215
- ^ Its Always Sunny in Stormwind! Ep 17: The One with Madeleine Roux (1:19:15 - 1:19:50). Warcraft Radio (2020-07-21). Retrieved on 2020-08-06.
- ^ The Wrathgate
- ^ World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Collector's Edition. Blizzard Entertainment. WotLK Behind-the-Scenes DVD