For the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj item, see  [Helm of Domination].

Sylvanas holding the Helm of Domination.

“...A crown fit for the king of the damned.”

The Jailer[1]

The Helm of Domination[2][3] was a magical, ornate[4] helm (or crown)[5] infused with the power of Domination and worn by the Lich King to control the Undead Scourge. It was destroyed by Sylvanas Windrunner to open a rift into the Shadowlands. The pieces of the helm continued to play a role in subsequent events until they were reforged into the Crown of Wills, an instrument intended to be the helm's opposite.



A vision of the Helm in the hands of the Jailer

The Helm of Domination and Frostmourne were crafted at the Runecarver's Oubliette in Torghast by the Runecarver (who was actually the imprisoned Primus), who was forced against his will to do so by the Jailer. The Jailer intended to use the Helm and Frostmourne to establish his influence on Azeroth, thereby allowing him to claim his "final prize", a secret that the First Ones sought to hide.[1][6][7][8][9]

Reign of the Lich King

Arthas wearing the Helm of Domination

The nathrezim who pretended to serve the Burning Legion bore the two vessels of Domination across the veil[10][11] and bound the spirit of the Lich King Ner'zhul to them.[9][12] The helm, and Ner'zhul's spirit, were both sealed within the Frozen Throne from which the Lich King would control the Scourge telepathically.[13] Frostmourne was originally also sealed inside the Frozen Throne,[14] but Ner'zhul cast it from the throne so that it would eventually find its way to Arthas Menethil.

Bolvar becomes the Lich King after Tirion puts the helmet on his head

When Illidan Stormrage attempted to destroy the Frozen Throne and the Lich King at the order of Kil'jaeden, Ner'zhul used the helm's powers to command Arthas—having become Ner'zhul's greatest death knight after taking up Frostmourne—to journey from Lordaeron to aid him.[15] After Arthas defeated Illidan, Ner'zhul also had Arthas himself shatter the Frozen Throne in order to free Ner'zhul from his prison. Arthas would then don the helm, merging his soul with Ner'zhul's spirit and become the new Lich King.[4][16]

Sylvanas Windrunner destroying the helm

Years later when Arthas was killed at the end of the War against the Lich King the helm was passed to Bolvar Fordragon who became the new Lich King in order to prevent the Scourge from running rampant.[17] Following the Fourth War yet a few years later, Sylvanas Windrunner ventured to Icecrown Citadel after having abandoned the Horde and fought against Bolvar atop the Frozen Throne. While the helm made Bolvar immensely powerful, Sylvanas still managed to defeat him and seized the helm after winning the battle. Assuming she intended to become the Scourge's new master, Bolvar remarked that the helm's power would be her prison, however, Sylvanas countered that the world itself was a prison and split the helm in two, thereby piercing the Veil between Azeroth and the Shadowlands.[18]

The shards of Domination

Despite being broken, the shards of the Helm retained the power of Domination and, therefore, incredible power over the souls of the dead.[19][20][21] The shards were used to enter the Shadowlands and pursue Sylvanas[22] and enslave souls for information on how to escape the Maw,[19][20] before being placed on the Shadowlands Map in Oribos in order to establish a tether with Azeroth.[23] Bolvar subsequently used the Helm to peer into the Maw[21] and Torghast.[24] However, this was not without cost, as the continuous gaze allowed for the Jailer to gaze back[25] and finally strike through the helm in an attempt to gain control of Bolvar.[26] However, Jaina Proudmoore and the Maw Walker were able to sever the connection between the helm and the Jailer.[7]

The shards of Domination, infused with the memories of Bolvar, Darion, Sylvanas, and Anduin

As the Maw Walkers and their allies prepared to face the Jailer in the Sepulcher of the First Ones, they needed to find a way of resisting his Domination magic. Bolvar asked his daughter Taelia to bring the intact half of the helm to Zereth Mortis. The helm's creator, the Primus, pointed out that Zereth Mortis' automa seemed to be resistant to Domination and that using the helm might allow the heroes to find the source of their resistance.[27] The Maw Walker first used the helm on a volunteering Darion Mograine to ensure that it retained its powers,[28] after which the Primus tasked them with testing the object on some of Zereth Mortis' native creatures.[29] The Maw Walker eventually learned from Elder Eru that the automa's resistance to Domination stemmed from the language of the First Ones, phrases of which were buried in the Endless Sands.[30] Bolvar, Taelia, and the Maw Walker worked together to retrieve these Inscrutable Phrases and infuse them into the intact half of the crown,[31] while also using it to weaken the Mawsworn occupying the area. Bolvar stated that he hoped this was the last time the helm was used as a weapon.[32]

The Crown of Wills

Next, the heroes brought the shards of the helm's other half to the Chamber of First Reflection in Bastion,[33] where those who had overcome Domination in the past could draw out the memories of their resistance and willpower and infuse it into the shards. Although it was not easy, Bolvar, Darion,[34] Sylvanas,[35] and Anduin Wrynn completed this ritual one by one and infused the shards.[36] With the broken half augmented with the language of the First Ones and the shards carrying the heroes' memories and will, the Maw Walker and their allies met up with the Primus in the Runecarver's Oubliette—where the vessels of Domination had once been created—so he could reforge the helm and allow the heroes to draw upon the combined power for themselves.[37] Thrall asked what was to stop this new helm from being used to enslave others like its predecessor, to which the Primus replied that it was to become "something greater"—an instrument of free will—and Sylvanas added that a Lich King would never again reign in Icecrown. Combining the First One phrases and memories, the Primus transformed the helm into a new object, the Crown of Wills, which would be the key to the Jailer's defeat by making the Maw Walker and their allies resistant to Domination.[38]

In the RPG

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

As long as the Lich King is alive, any creature donning the helm is slain immediately by a surging overflow of power. Only divine beings are not slain, but they still cannot command its powers if the Lich King is alive.[39]

The Plate of the Damned, which is described in the Manual of Monsters to be combined with the Helm of Domination, makes the wearer nearly invulnerable.[39]

In the TCG

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

Angrathar the Wrathgate is crafted to look like the Helm of Domination.[40]

Notes and trivia

  • The name "Helm of Domination" originated from the non-canon RPG, but in 2013, Sean Copeland confirmed that the name was canonical.[41] The name was used in canon for the first time in patch 7.2.0.
  • The helm can be seen in the Caverns of Frost in Diablo III.
  • It was originally stated that the Helm of Domination and Frostmourne were crafted by the dreadlords,[42][43] before Shadowlands retconned this with the origin being the Runecarver instead. The original premise is probably what was told to Kil'jaeden during the creation of the Lich King.


See also


  1. ^ a b  [Clearing the Fog]
  2. ^ N Death Knight [45] Frozen Memories, "The Helm of Domination shows me many things, Deathlord."
  3. ^ World of Warcraft: What’s Next Panel Recap
  4. ^ a b Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
  5. ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b N [60] The Jailer's Grasp
  8. ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, pg. 197: The Veil between realms wanes. The Helm of Domination was crafted to be our way forward; instead, the one seared by the flames of Life uses it to keep us at bay.
  9. ^ a b Helm of Domination Exclusive Replica. Blizzard Gear Store. Archived from the original on 2021-03-21.​ “Forged according to the Jailer's will, the Helm of Domination was to be the vessel of Death's influence on Azeroth. The nathrezim imprisoned the spirit of the orc chieftain Ner'zhul within the helm, granting him command over a vast army of undead Scourge.
  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. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide
  14. ^ File:Kel'Thuzad and the Frozen Throne.jpg
  15. ^ The Legacy of the Damned campaign revolves around this event.
  16. ^ The Ascension
  17. ^ Fall of the Lich King
  18. ^ The King & The Queen
  19. ^ a b N [50] Field Seance
  20. ^ a b N [50] From the Mouths of Madness
  21. ^ a b N [55] A Glimpse into Darkness
  22. ^ N [50] Through the Shattered Sky
  23. ^ N [50] Tether to Home
  24. ^ N [60] The Captive King
  25. ^ N [60] Torment Chamber: Thrall
  26. ^ N [60] A Mourneblade Born
  27. ^ N [60] Our Last Option
  28. ^ N [60] Hello, Darkness
  29. ^ N [60] Testing One Two
  30. ^ N [60] Two Paths to Tread
  31. ^ N [60] Aggressive Excavation
  32. ^ N [60] Oppress and Destroy
  33. ^ N [60] Where the Memory Resides
  34. ^ N [60] What We Wish to Forget
  35. ^ N [60] What Makes Us Strong
  36. ^ N [60] What We Overcome
  37. ^ N [60] Forge of Domination
  38. ^ N [60] The Crown of Wills
  39. ^ a b Manual of Monsters, pg. 175
  40. ^
  41. ^ Loreology on Twitter (2013-12-23)
  42. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 204
  43. ^ ( Legion: Death Knight Artifact Reveal

External links