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For other uses, see Frostmourne (disambiguation).
Lich King by Wei Wang - fade to black

The Lich King holding Frostmourne.

“Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit.”

— The inscription on Frostmourne's dais

Frostmourne was the mourneblade of the Lich King. A fearsome, rune-inscribed two-handed longsword,[1] it possessed the power to shatter[2] and imprison the souls of its victims and could remake the living into mindless undead. Frostmourne was thrust from the Frozen Throne by the Lich King Ner'zhul and was taken up by Arthas Menethil in the wastes of Northrend during the Third War. It was wielded by Arthas both during his time as a death knight and as Lich King until it was destroyed by Tirion Fordring; in that time, the blade spilled the blood of kings, destroyed nations, and inflicted scars on the world that remain to this day. Few weapons have shaped modern history as much as Frostmourne.[3] During the third invasion of the Burning Legion, a death knight hero reforged the shards of the blade into the Blades of the Fallen Prince.



Clearing the Fog - Frostmourne

A vision of Frostmourne in the hands of the Jailer.

Frostmourne and the Helm of Domination were crafted at the Runecarver's Oubliette in Torghast by the Runecarver, who was forced against his will to do so by the Jailer. The Jailer intended to use the blade and the Helm to establish his influence on Azeroth, thereby allowing him to claim his "final prize", a secret that the First Ones sought to hide.[4][5][6] As a mourneblade adorned with the runes of Domination, Frostmourne contained the power of the Maw.[7][8] Frostmourne was the "finest" of the Runecarver's mourneblades,[4] but was later surpassed in terms of power by Kingsmourne.[9]

The nathrezim who pretended to serve Kil'jaeden and the Burning Legion bore the two vessels of Domination across the veil[10][11] and bound the disembodied spirit of the Lich King Ner'zhul to them, after which he was imprisoned in an icy tomb called the Frozen Throne.[12]

Third War[]

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

In-game model

Ner'zhul was not content with being a pawn for the Burning Legion, however, and began working on a plan for escape. The first stage of his plan was set in motion when he used his powers to push Frostmourne through the ice and out of the Frozen Throne. It was sent to a cave to await one who would claim it and become the Lich King's agent. Ner'zhul found his agent in Arthas Menethil, the young prince of Lordaeron who had come to Northrend in a quest to end the plague.

When Arthas and his men arrived, they met up with Muradin Bronzebeard, a dwarven explorer who had been searching for Frostmourne after hearing of the weapon's power.[13] When the forces of the dreadlord Mal'Ganis began to close in around them, Arthas and Muradin set out to claim it.[14]

Frostmourne was defended by the Guardian and several revenants. They tried to warn Arthas of the danger, but he ignored the warning and destroyed them. When they found the sword, Muradin read the inscription on the dais: "Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit."[14][15]

Muradin realized then that the blade was cursed, but Arthas said he would gladly bear any curse to save his homeland. Upon speaking those words, the ice encasing the sword shattered and exploded outward. A jagged shard struck Muradin and seemingly killed him. Arthas discarded his hammer, Inv hammer 04 [Light's Vengeance], and rushed to heal his friend. The Lich King, through Frostmourne, began whispering to him, and Arthas left Muradin whom he thought was lost, and took hold of the blade.[16][15]

With the sword in hand, Arthas returned to his base. He launched a counterattack against Mal'Ganis and quickly destroyed the dreadlord's base. Mal'Ganis confronted Arthas, telling him that the Lich King had known that he would take the cursed sword. He spoke as if he believed Arthas was now on his side, but to his surprise Arthas used the runeblade to slay him. With his soul forfeited to the Lich King, Arthas ran off into the frozen wastes of Northrend.[14]

Now a death knight of the Scourge, Arthas killed and converted his former army before returning to Lordaeron, where he was hailed with a royal welcome. Arthas proceeded directly to the throne room, where he killed his father, King Terenas, and set the Scourge loose throughout the city. When Arthas confronted his former mentor Uther the Lightbringer in Andorhal, the Hammer of the Lightbringer clashed with the runeblade. Each weapon blow erupted in showers of warring Light and Death energies,[17] until Arthas managed to almost sever the paladin's arm, causing him to drop the hammer, before killing him.[18]

Some time after the Burning Legion's defeat at Mount Hyjal, the demon hunter Illidan Stormrage used a powerful spell to attack the Frozen Throne, where the Lich King was imprisoned. Though the spell was unsuccessful, it widened the crack through which Frostmourne had been thrust, and the Lich King's power began to wane, so he recalled Arthas to Northrend to aid him. Arthas defeated Illidan and ascended the spire to the Frozen Throne. He then used Frostmourne to shatter the ice and made it into a much more literal throne,[19] donned the Helm of Domination that was sealed within, and became the new Lich King.

Wrath of the Lich King[]

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Tirion Mercenaries 3

Frostmourne meets its match in the Ashbringer.

Lich King Souls

The souls trapped inside Frostmourne are released

The Frozen Halls[]

Just after he is defeated in the Pit of Saron, the undead gnome Krick lets it slip that Arthas leaves Frostmourne unattended in the Halls of Reflection, his private sanctum in the Frozen Halls of Icecrown Citadel.

After surviving the Pit of Saron, the guides for the adventurers braving the Halls (Jaina Proudmoore for the Alliance or Sylvanas Windrunner for the Horde) lead the way into the Halls of Reflection. As Krick promised, Frostmourne stands alone, floating serenely above an altar in the center of the entry chamber. Jaina or Sylvanas attempt to commune with the souls trapped within the blade to find the key to the Lich King's weakness. They are contacted by the spirit of Uther the Lightbringer, who warns them that another must take the Lich King's place in order to keep the Scourge under control.

Fall of the Lich King[]

During the final battle against the Lich King at the Frozen Throne, Frostmourne was shattered by Ashbringer, wielded by Tirion Fordring. The thousands of souls trapped within the blade swarmed the Lich King, suspending him in the air, where he was finished off by the champions assembled to defeat him.

On the Dedication of Honor monument at the center of Runeweaver Square in Dalaran, a bust of the shattered hilt of Frostmourne is shown at the feet of the statue of Tirion Fordring.

No one initially knew where the remnants of Frostmourne and its battered hilt ended up.[20][21] At BlizzCon 2011, it was stated that the shards of Frostmourne were taken by "someone smart" and put "somewhere safe"... at least until someone gets it in their head to try to reforge it.[22]


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.
Blades of the Fallen Prince

The Blades of the Fallen Prince.

In World of Warcraft: Legion, a frost death knight can gather the shards of Frostmourne and reforge them into two powerful new runeblades - Icebringer and Frostreaper, the Blades of the Fallen Prince, but not until they vanquish the lingering remnants of Arthas Menethil and Ner'zhul within.


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

Frostmourne has the ability to drain life from its victims — and to drain the soul of anyone whom it connects to. The Lich King is capable of seeing through the eyes and hearing through the ears of anyone who wields Frostmourne; this ability cannot be stopped by any mortal means. The Lich King can communicate with the wielder at will telepathically, on any plane and at any distance. The Lich King uses this ability to try and corrupt the wielder over time. This has several effects. An individual who wields Frostmourne will not part with it willingly. Over time the person will go from good to neutral and finally to evil. A non-undead evil wielder will then become undead. Finally the sword is able to suck the being's soul into the sword. Frostmourne then retains the memories and skills of its victim. In fact, as long as the wielder's original body remains within one mile of Frostmourne, the sword maintains control of the body, and he may not be completely aware that his consciousness has shifted to the weapon. Beyond one mile, the sword cannot control the wielder's body, and the wielder of course finally becomes quite aware of his current state (if he is not already).

The Lich King can take possession of a soulless body that comes in contact with him and Frostmourne at the same time. The soul within Frostmourne is destroyed unless it willingly merges with the Lich King, becoming lost as a separate entity for all eternity. If a soul merges with the Lich King, he gains all the skills and memories of the victim. He has only done this one time, with Prince Arthas Menethil.[23]


Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos[]

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In Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Frostmourne increased Arthas' base damage by 22 points and allowed him to deal chaos damage, which was fully effective against all types of armor (including that of buildings and divine beings). For balance reasons, this effect was only applied during the Frostmourne mission and not during the Path of the Damned or Legacy of the Damned campaigns.

Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game[]

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

In Manual of Monsters, Frostmourne is an artifact-level bastard sword with the following abilities: an increased chance to hit (+5), increased damage (+5), an increased chance of scoring a critical hit (keen), an increased attack speed (haste), the ability to strike incorporeal creatures as though they were fully corporeal (ghost touch), the ability to cause bleeding wounds and reduce the victim's stamina (wounding), bonus damage against good-aligned beings (unholy), bonus damage against living beings (2d6), and a life-draining effect that heals its wielder whenever he deals damage.[24]

World of Warcraft Trading Card Game[]

Icon-TCG This section contains information from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game and is considered non-canon.

In the Icecrown Citadel raid deck, Frostmourne has a "Harvest Soul" ability. When it deals fatal damage to an opposing ally, its attack power increases by 1 and it deals 2 frost damage to each opposing hero.

In the Reign of Fire set, when one of your own allies is destroyed, Frostmourne's attack power increases by 1 and your hero recovers 3 points of health. When your hero is at full health and damages an opposing hero, Frostmourne allows you to bring one of your dead allies back into play.

Arthas: Rise of the Lich King[]

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

In Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, Arthas is able to wield the runeblade almost effortlessly, despite its size and weight. It slices through most opponents with minimal resistance, and shatters most weapons it comes in contact with. Those slain by Frostmourne have their souls drawn into the weapon.

Its greatest challenge was clashing with the legendary elven blade, Inv sword 1h artifactfelomelorn d 01 [Felo'melorn], which the sin'dorei scion Prince Kael'thas had reforged to combat Frostmourne. Though able to put up a defense against Frostmourne's merciless onslaught, its fiery origins proving a good counter to the icy runeblade, Kael'thas ultimately abandoned the battle, leaving Frostmourne undefeated.

List of kills[]

A Paladin's Soul - soul remnants

Some of the soul fragments Frostmourne tore from its kills.

The following notable characters were slain by Frostmourne and/or lost their souls to it. According to King Terenas Menethil II's spirit, there were thousands of souls contained within the blade. Countless souls were freed from the broken blade, but others were not so fortunate.[25] As a mourneblade, Frostmourne could shatter the souls of some of its victims into fragments when it was wielded with rage. These fragments were delivered to the Jailer in Torghast, leaving the rest of the victim's souls incomplete.[2]


Inv sword 92
  • It was originally stated Frostmourne was forged by the Lich King.[28] Later it was stated both it and the Helm of Domination were made by the nathrezim[29] of the Burning Legion.[30] When they crafted Frostmourne, as a precaution, they shielded themselves from its power so that their souls wouldn't be consumed by the blade upon being defeated, but instead, they would return to the Twisting Nether,[31] as the souls of demons normally do. Their current origin as creations of the Runecarver were introduced in Shadowlands.
  • The original runes on Frostmourne in Warcraft III were simply borrowed from the Eltarin language belonging to the high elves in the Warhammer universe.[32]
  • An in-game Frostmourne item appears in the game World of Warcraft files, but has never been available to players.
  • Blizzard partnered with EPIC Weapons to create a limited edition replica of Frostmourne.[35]
  • Theoretical stats for Frostmourne as a World of Warcraft item were shown during the BlizzCon 2007 Lore panel as a joke. The quote on the item tooltip, "Hail to the King, Baby!", is a phrase popularized by Bruce Campbell's Ash at the end of Army of Darkness. The developers said they were "still working the fine details" and that the Equip effect was "shot down by various powers-that-be" (illustrating the potential problem with a screenshot of the new Lich King, Private Ownusohard). However, they closed with "we'll get something to you guys, we promise." During a Class Panel Discussion at BlizzCon 2009, Blizzard developers revealed that the "something" in Icecrown Citadel was a new legendary axe, Inv axe 113 [Shadowmourne].
  • The weapons Inv misc birdbeck 02 [Lobstmourne] and Inv sword 130 [Fungmourne] are both parodies of Frostmourne.
  • A hidden cave can be found in the action game X-Men Origins: Wolverine, within which Wolverine finds a skeleton with a yellow exclamation point (Availablequest) above his head and a sword identical to Frostmourne. Finding this room unlocks the "WoW!" achievement, which reads "You feel cold as you examine the skeleton and read the name "Arthas" etched into the nearby sword."
  • In Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, Lich King Arthas and his Frostmourne guitar are unlockable after earning 1600 stars and reaching level 71.
  • Terraria's Icemourne is a reference to Frostmourne.
  • The grammar for "Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal" is incorrect. It should be "Whosoever takes up this blade."


Warcraft III
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Trading Card Game
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See also[]


  1. ^ Blood of the Highborne, chapter 2
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j N [60] A Paladin's Soul
  3. ^ Libram of the Dead: Blades of the Fallen Prince
  4. ^ a b Ability kaztik dominatemind [Clearing the Fog]
  5. ^ Bellular 2021-02-22. Simply AWESOME! Blizz Devs Hint Spicy New Lore & Major Game Fixes - Torghast V2?! (0:40 - 03:45). YouTube. Retrieved on 2021-03-19.
  6. ^ N [60] The Jailer's Grasp
  7. ^ Afterlives: Bastion
  8. ^ Taelia, Jaina, and Calia dialogue in Oribos
  9. ^ World of Warcraft: Sylvanas, epilogue
  10. ^ World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 121: Agents of the Jailer's will forged weapons of Domination and bore them across the veil into the plane of the living, seeding the power of Death and drawing certain mortals to the Jailer's cause.
  11. ^ World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 137
  12. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 17
  13. ^ "The Scourge of Lordaeron: The Shores of Northrend", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment.
  14. ^ a b c "The Scourge of Lordaeron: Frostmourne (Warcraft III)", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment.
  15. ^ a b Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 91
  16. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 185
  17. ^ Libram of the Dead: Blades of the Fallen Prince
  18. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, chapter 17
  19. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 142
  20. ^ Ask CDev Answers - Round 1
  21. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 24
  22. ^
  23. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 174 - 175
  24. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 174
  25. ^ Legion: Death Knight Artifact Reveal
  26. ^ Afterlives: Bastion
  27. ^ N [60] News from Oribos
  28. ^ Trudging through the Ashes (WC3 Undead)
  29. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 204
  30. ^ ( Legion: Death Knight Artifact Reveal
  31. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 53
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ youtube video with changed runes from 2006
  35. ^ Bornakk on the official forums - Frostmourne Replica Unleashed (2008-03-14 11:38 PDT) - "The legendary rune blade Frostmourne was immortalized in Warcraft III, in which it was taken up by Prince Arthas Menethil, corrupting him and leading to his transformation into the Lich King. We've partnered with EPIC Weapons to create a limited edition replica of the blade in all its horrific glory. This artifact of ancient evil is over 47" long and 12.5" wide, weighing a massive 16 lbs., and is now available for pre-order. For more information, please visit the Frostmourne replica site.