For the character from the main universe, see Gul'dan.
Image of Gul'dan
Title The Invader,
Chieftain of the Horde[1]
Gender Male
Race Orc
Class Shaman, Warlock
Affiliation(s) Horde
Occupation Founder and leader of the Horde
Location Azeroth
Status Alive
Companion(s) Garona Halforcen (slave)
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This article contains information and lore exclusive to the Warcraft film universe, which is considered to be separate from the main Warcraft universe canon.

Gul'dan (or Gul'Dan) is the main antagonist of the 2016 American action-fantasy film Warcraft.

He is the founder and true leader of the orcish Horde. The first orc warlock, Gul'dan uses the power of the fel to drain the life from his enemies, and to corrupt and twist his warriors into even more terrifying forms.

After his fel magic sickened the orcs' homeworld of Draenor, Gul'dan created the Horde to lead them to a plunder the world of Azeroth. Colluding with a demonic being, Gul'dan channeled the life energy of countless draenei to open the Great Gate, tearing a gateway between the two worlds, and led a warband through to conquer the new world.

Although Gul'dan's plans to bring the rest of his Horde through to Azeroth have been thwarted for now, and his hold over the orcs is less certain than before, he remains in command of the orcish forces, as well as his own formidable powers, and is perhaps the greatest single enemy of the Alliance.


After a half-breed child was born to an orcish woman who had mated with a young Medivh, the mother was burned alive. Her child would have been killed, too, had not Gul'dan intervened, taking the child as a slave. A half-human girl, he would name her "Garona", meaning "Cursed". He gave Garona one of her mother's tusks to remember her by.[2]

Gul'dan was visited by what he called a "demon", later described by Garona as having a voice "like fire and ash".[3] The demon taught him about the Great Gate.[3] Gul'dan's use of the fel would later lead the world of Draenor to sicken.

Dying Draenor

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As Draenor suffered hardship (longer winters, short springs and summers, a shortage of game to hunt) Gul'dan would seek to unite the orc clans under his banner. By the time he sought out to recruit the Frostwolf clan, he already had the backing of the Warsong, Bleeding Hollow, and the Laughing Skull clans and had been rejected by the Redwalker clan.[4]

By invoking the right of parlay Gul'dan was granted safe passage and an opportunity to speak the Frostwolves Chieftain Garad. However Garad would be unmoved and refuse to join the Horde and ended the parlay. In accordance with parlay tradition Gul'dan would give him a ceremonial dagger as a gift, but unknown to all the blade was poisoned. Sometime after Gul'dan departure the Frostwolves and Redwalkers would clash in battle and in his final moments the weakened Garad would realize that Gul'dan was responsible.[5]

Gul'dan, after two years, would try to once again to gain Frostwolf support for the Horde and Durotan would be greatly tempted to join. However he ultimately rejected convinced that doing so would make them the warlock's slaves. A surprised Garona would use the draenei tongue to warn them that Gul'dan was dangerous, and Draka (who had learned the tongue in her exile) reformed her that they knew, though when Gul'dan demanded to know what was said Draka informed that warlock that Garona had called them fools. Accepting this Gul'dan then called Durotan stubborn but remarked that should he see wisdom and change his mind all he had to was head to Tanaan Jungle.[6] The Frostwolves would march south where they were accepted into the Horde.[7]


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Gul'dan prepared for the opening of the Great Gate to allow the Orcs into Azeroth. Joined by the Frostwolf clan; Gul'dan used the life energy of captured Draenei to open the Dark Portal and led the Horde into the Azeroth by way of the Black Morass. After the trip from Draenor sent Draka into labor, the warlock used his fel magic to save the stillborn child, the future warchief Thrall, and declared the child another warrior for the Horde. Gul'dan then set about preparing another portal, one that could bring the entire orcish army through to Azeroth, and gathered human peasants from the towns surrounding Stormwind as fuel. After Blackhand fled from a failed attack on Lothar, Medivh and Khadgar, Gul'dan rebuked him and told him that the price for cowardice and failure is death. As Backhand prepared to meet his fate, Durotan saved him, and Gul'dan became suspicious of the Frostwolves and their growing wariness of the Horde.

After Orgim betrayed Durotan at the secret meeting with King Llane, Gul'dan promised that the leadership of the Frostwolves would pass to him. However, after Ogrim backed out of the deal, Gul'dan began a massacre of the remaining Frostwolves, and Durotan retaliated by challenging him to a mak'gora, or honor duel. After Durotan gained the upper hand, Gul'dan began to cheat, and eventually killed the Frostwolf chieftain. Disgusted by the warlock's lack of honor, the other members of the Horde began to leave, but Gul'dan killed several of them and forced the fel magic onto Blackhand, turning him into a mindless, hulking beast. Gul'dan then turned his attention to the newly-built portal, and began to summon the remaining Horde forces to Azeroth. However, a timely defeat of Medivh by Lothar and Khadgar closed the draeneic portal, and allowed the Stormwind forces to usher the captured peasants back through another portal, summoned by a no-longer-possessed Medivh, using the very last of his life. After Garona murders King Llane, Gul'dan was there to welcome her, as an equal, into the Horde.

Lothar arrives to recover his king's body (noticing the dagger he'd given to Garona in Llane's neck) before he is knocked unconcious. Coming to, he is challenged to mak'gora by Blackhand. Gul'dan witnesses the death of Blackhand at Lothar's blade and bitterly commands the Horde to kill him. They refuse, honoring Lothar and allowing him to leave with his king's body, ignoring Gul'dans angry demands that Lother be killed. He initially ignores Garona's words that Lothar won fair and square and moves to kill the warrior himself. The Horde warriors bar his way, allowing Lothar to leave, to Gul'dan's fury until Garona convinces him that if he breaks the honor of mak'gora (especially after he cheated to defeat Durotan) he will lose his sway over the Horde. Angered but realizing Garona is right, he snorts and turns away as Lothar leaves astride his gryphon with Llane's body.


  • Gul'dan is portrayed in Warcraft by Daniel Wu.
  • Unlike the main universe Gul'dan, the spikes coming off his back are not part of his clothing but actually erupt from his body.



WARCRAFT Featurette - Gul'dan


  1. ^ Warcraft: Durotan, pg. 165
  2. ^ Warcraft: The Official Movie Novelization, pg. 137
  3. ^ a b Warcraft: The Official Movie Novelization, pg. 125
  4. ^ Warcraft: Durotan Page 44-45
  5. ^ Warcraft: Durotan Page 69
  6. ^ Warcraft: Durotan Page 160-176
  7. ^ Warcraft: Durotan Page 312