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Duskfallen Aviana
Character classes WC3RoC-logo Queen, Rogue, Scout, Storm-hag
WoW Icon update Hunter, Witch, Sorcerer[1]
Racial leader(s) Various matriarchs
Homeworld Azeroth
Area(s) Kalimdor, Alterac Valley, Northrend, Broken Isles, Thaldraszus, Exile's Reach
Language(s) Darnassian[2]
Organization(s) Solitary, pair, or flight

Harpies are vicious, flying creatures that resemble a cross between a night elf female and a hunting bird, with long talons for feet and large graceful wings for arms. Despite the similarity, they have little in common with the elves. Harpies employ nature-based magic like night elves, but they destroy the environments in which they settle, killing every creature they encounter and despoiling the land to build nests noted for their noxious odor. Harpies originally hail from the Stonetalon Mountains, but have since spread out across Kalimdor, Northrend,[3] the Broken Isles, Alterac Valley, and the Exile's Reach island. The harpies in Thaldraszus only arrived recently, flying in from Kalimdor when the Dragon Isles awakened.[4]

The cackling bird-women are capable of powerful elemental storm magic. Little is known about the source of their power, as they attack invaders on sight, few can discern any meaning behind their shrill cries, and none can tolerate the smell of their nests.[5] They only get more beautiful as they age.[6]


Harpy WoW Front

A harpy in World of Warcraft.

According to Brann Bronzebeard's research, harpies are descended from Aviana.[3][7] Other legends about harpies claim that they are descended from a group of female night elves who betrayed Queen Azshara, and were cursed as punishment, but those have been dismissed as mere stories and they truly come from Aviana.[8]

After the death of Aviana and the destruction of the Mother Tree G'Hanir, many mourned it and some succumbed to the temptation of serving dark forces in Aviana's absence. The remaining branch of the tree was hidden away in order to protect it, for many of Aviana's children had been lost to chaos, and they might be driven to claim the remnant of Aviana's legacy for their new masters.[9] These vile, unscrupulous winged women live only to cause mischief and sorrow.[10] In World of Warcraft, harpies are found in Teldrassil, the Stonetalon Mountains, Feralas, Mulgore, the Thousand Needles, Alterac Valley, the Dragonblight, the Storm Peaks, the Barrens, Durotar, Highmountain, Suramar, and Val'sharah.

Once content to confine themselves to their ancestral home in the peaks of the Stonetalon Mountains, the feral and vicious harpies of Kalimdor have spread their influence across the length and breadth of the continent. The vicious winged women have taken to raiding unsuspecting caravans and savaging any who cross into their territories. Their nests, littered with the gruesome remains of their victims, are now a common sight from the arid mesas of Durotar, to the lush forests of Teldrassil,[11] to the icy reaches of the Dragonblight and the Storm Peaks.

Broken Isles harpies[]

Harpy in Legion

A harpy in Highmountain.

Harpies that dwell on the Broken Isles are much larger and more powerful than their cousins in Kalimdor.[12] Long ago the harpies of Highmountain lived with respect for the area and its inhabitants, but quickly gave that up to practice their dark rituals no matter who it harmed.[13] The Highmountain tauren used to keep the harpies at bay with the Hammer of Khaz'goroth—until it was stolen by the drogbar. Now, the harpies have been emboldened. The kobolds of Highmountain offer stolen and scavenged trinkets, oftentimes items that would be broken and worthless to anyone else, to the local harpies, and the harpies provide protection for their offerings of obedience.[14]

Witchmatron Magora

A fel-corrupted harpy.

During the third invasion of the Burning Legion, the Burning Legion stole the Idol of Aviana from the Shrine of Aviana on Mount Hyjal, cutting druids off from their Flight Form, and used the idol to corrupt harpies with fel. The idol was retrieved by Thisalee Crow and the Archdruid of the Dreamgrove, and cleansed by the Cenarion Circle.[15] Fel-corrupted Deadwood Felcasters and Deadwood Featherblades can be found at Deadwood Landing on the Broken Shore, not far from Varian Wrynn's crashed airship. They carry a terrible contagion.[16]


The road to becoming a queen of a group of harpies is not a simple or easy one. A harpy must be willing to kill, betray and torment countless enemies and allies alike to attain and maintain the title for herself.[17]

Harpies seem to take interest in rare gems and ore, and actively trade their ear wax with kobold to attain them.[18] They love anything shiny.[19]

If not driven out, they quickly range out attacking anything and everything they can get. Harpies are clearly very intelligent, since they are able to communicate with other races when they wish to. The common echelons of harpy society attack with crude weapons or simply with their razor-sharp talons.

The kiss of a harpy is poisonous. There are ones that have lured the unknowing into kissing them. A known side effect is a very high fever.[20]

Harpies are said to be allies with kobolds.[8]

Harpy groups[]

Roguefeather Den

The Roguefeather Den in Thousand Needles.

Eastern Kingdoms
Broken Isles

The Cliffroost in Suramar.

Dragon Isles
  • Screechflight - Found in Thaldraszus, they have been terrorizing the local roc population at the Bluefeather Cliffs. Guessed by Professor Harleen Chirpsnide to have come from Kalimdor when the Dragon Isles revealed themselves.

As a companion pet[]

In the RPG[]

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

A harpy in the Monster Guide.

Vicious and predatory by nature, harpies are the bane of all other life in the areas were they take root. They have been raiding tauren settlements since time out of mind, and it can only be assumed that they are as much a plague on the quilboars and others. The only race rumored to have any peaceful relationship with the harpies are kobolds, who trade them scavenged tools and weapons for information and protection.[21] Harpies are an extremely unclean race. Their nests are obvious by the stench on the wind. They are immune to infection and other diseases that stem from rot or contamination. This immunity does not extend to the toxins of plants, animals, or any magical effects.[22]

No males have been reported, so (rumor has it) harpies breed with captive males of many species, though they prefer elves, orcs, and humans to either smaller or larger species.[23] The males of another species fills the role for a time, after which they become food for the nest. In lean times, harpies can lay unfertilized eggs that become female copies of the mother.[21]

Harpies also live in the canyons of Deadwind Pass and north of Stormwind City.[24]

Notes and trivia[]


The harpies (Anc. Greek: ἅρπυια/harpuia, "snatcher") are described as vile birds with the chest and head of women in many sources. They are not prominent figures in Greek mythology; they are a minor part of the high-profile tale of Jason and the Argonauts. They were bird-women who worked for the Olympians, and were assigned to punish the seer-King Phineas for revealing too much of the future. Every day, as Phineas would sit down to a great feast, the harpies would fly down and gobble up all the food. When Jason finally arrived, the sons of the North Wind (as a favor to Iris, a goddess who supported Jason) drove the harpies away to Crete, never to bother Phineas again. The physical appearance of Warcraft harpies is quite consistent with the original descriptions put forward by Ovid and Virgil.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Worshiped by quilboars?[]

Cavepainting 04

Quilboar paintings

It is possible that quilboars worship harpies as there are rocks with pictures of winged humanoids in quilboar areas. Possibly, there could be some other connection between quilboar and harpies. It is possible that these are just normal pictures. This doodad is found in ogre lands as well.


No males of this race have ever been seen. Manual of Monsters blatantly says that there are no male harpies and that harpies breed through rape, while Monster Guide says that there are no reported males and that the raping is a rumor. Males of the race are not necessarily necessary, though, and Manual of Monsters does mention parthenogenesis. Both sources, however have been declared non-canon.

Old God corruption[]

Their use of shadow and void magic, and mentions of 'new masters' may imply that they've fallen victim to the corruption of the Old Gods since the death of G'Hanir.


Warcraft III