For his Warcraft III statistics, see Mal'Ganis (Warcraft III). For information on how to defeat him in Culling of Stratholme, see Mal'Ganis (tactics). For his tactics in Sepulcher of the First Ones, see Lords of Dread.
Image of Mal'Ganis
Gender Male
Race Nathrezim (Demon)
Resource Mana
Reaction Alliance Horde
Affiliation(s) Sire Denathrius, The Jailer
Former affiliation(s) Burning Legion, Scarlet Onslaught (as Barean Westwind), Scourge (Undead Elite Guard)
Occupation Agent of Sire Denathrius
Former occupation(s) Agent of the Burning Legion, Leader of the Scarlet Onslaught (as Barean Westwind), Jailor and executor of the Lich King
Location Unknown (lore),
Status Alive Shadowlands
Defeatable Wrath of the Lich King

“Our mission never changed. For eons we have done the Master's bidding in secret across countless realities. The Legion, the Scourge, Argus... all pawns in a game beyond your grasp. One that now nears its end. Keep your trinket and your realm. They are dust in the face of our Sire's true ambition. If only you had just obeyed...”

— Mal'Ganis revealing his true purpose[1]

Mal'Ganis (or Mal'ganis) was one of the nathrezim sent by Archimonde as a jailor of the Lich King. He was chosen to head up the plot to turn Prince Arthas Menethil to darkness, and make him the Lich King's greatest champion, before being betrayed and "killed" by the death knight. During the war against the Lich King, he led the Scarlet Onslaught under the guise of Barean Westwind, plotting to take revenge and overthrow the Lich King, but he had to flee after being discovered by adventurers sent by the Knights of the Ebon Blade.

Mal'Ganis only reappeared years later during the third invasion of the Burning Legion, before making his return in the Shadowlands where he revealed to be an agent in the service of Sire Denathrius. He infiltrated Revendreth, but was captured by the Maw Walker and the Venthyr, and revealed that it was a diversion to save his master. He later managed to escape his prison, promising that he would take revenge on the Maw Walker and that he would be by the Jailer's side for their next confrontation.

Despite his promises of vengeance, Mal'ganis was ultimately defeated within the Sepulcher of the First Ones.


The breaking of Ner'zhul

At Kil'jaeden's command a group of dreadlords consisting of Mal'Ganis, Tichondrius, Balnazzar, Detheroc, and Varimathras tortured the orc shaman Ner'zhul after he had escaped from Draenor to the Twisting Nether. Eventually, Ner'zhul, his sanity cracking, would agree to serve Kil'jaeden. Kil'jaeden passed the orc's spirit through death and revived as a spectral entity. The dreadlords bound his disembodied spirit to a specifically crafted set of armor and a mighty runeblade called Frostmourne. These items were locked in a diamond-hard block of ice to imprison Ner'zhul.[2] The Lich King and the dreadlords who had tortured him were then sent to Azeroth in order to weaken any resistance that the Burning Legion would face during the Third War. While the Lich King gathered his strength, Mal'Ganis and his fellow dreadlords would serve as jailors and executors meant to hasten the Lich King's task by any means necessary. To this end, they would construct the Icecrown Citadel within Northrend. Though seemingly broken by the dreadlords, Ner'zhul sought vengeance and was able to play on the dreadlord's fears of Kil'jaeden in order trick them into allowing him to hurl Frostmourne out of the Frozen Throne.[3]

The Third War

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

Mal'Ganis in Warcraft III.

Mal'Ganis in Warcraft III.

As Arthas and Jaina Proudmoore were investigating rumors of plague, they were attacked again and again by the forces of the Scourge posing as the personal army of the dreadlord Mal'Ganis. Kel'Thuzad helped play the part by telling Arthas that it was Mal'Ganis himself and not the Lich King behind the plague.[4] Each attack, each town destroyed hit at Arthas' weakness, his pride. Arthas began to take his inability to protect his people from the Scourge personally, and soon became obsessed with killing the dreadlord.[5]

Mal'Ganis led Arthas to Stratholme, and left him with the choice of either slaughtering all of its inhabitants or watching them fall to the plague. Arthas chose to kill his own subjects rather than let them become slaves to Mal'Ganis in death, killing most of the inhabitants of the town. Mal'Ganis was there in the wreckage, and goaded Arthas once again to come to Northrend to finish their battle.[6] As expected, Arthas took the royal fleet and sailed north.[7] The Prince's obsession with the hated dreadlord led him further down the path of evil, first lying to his men, betraying his mercenaries,[8] and finally forsaking his own soul to take up the runeblade Frostmourne, grievously wounding Muradin Bronzebeard in the process.

Being "killed" by Arthas.

The moment Arthas took up Frostmourne he became a tool of the Lich King, completely subservient to his will. This was what Mal'Ganis had planned all along. Confidently he approached Arthas and informed him of his fate. However, the manipulative and traitorous dreadlord was himself betrayed, as the Lich King's first whispers to Arthas were that the time for his vengeance had come (this was the first step towards Ner'zhul's independence). Arthas defeated the dreadlord,[9] and both Arthas and the Lich King believed him to be slain.[10] However, the dreadlords had ensured they would be shielded from the power of Frostmourne when they created it. The sword was incapable of consuming Mal'Ganis's soul, which instead returned to the Twisting Nether where he would be reborn in a new body.[11]

World of Warcraft

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.

Culling of Stratholme

Mal'Ganis in the Stratholme of the past.

Mal'Ganis is the final boss in the Stratholme of the past, the fourth wing of the Caverns of Time that opened with the release of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. In the Warcraft III scenario The Culling, Mal'Ganis would always resurrect after a certain period and return to continue his corruption of the city. In the instance, however, once Mal'ganis is taken to 1% health, he teleports out of the city after telling Arthas to meet him in Northrend.

Surprise encounter

Mal'Ganis returned under the guise of Barean Westwind and has taken over control of the Scarlet Onslaught, much like Balnazzar had done with the original Scarlet Crusade. He stood in seclusion in Onslaught Harbor until agents from the Knights of the Ebon Blade forced him to show his true identity and flee back to his homeworld. He claimed to be plotting his revenge against the traitorous Lich King, but this never came to fruition.


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

Mal'Ganis is one of the many demons summoned by Gul'dan in front of the Tomb of Sargeras to attack the forces of Azeroth in the climactic, disastrous battle at the Broken Shore.[12] Sometime later he departed, and his activities during the third invasion of the Burning Legion are unknown.


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

In the aftermath of the defeat of the Legion, Mal'Ganis secretly met with Sylvanas Windrunner within the Undercity after the Dark Lady agreed to join Zovaal. During this meeting, Mal'Ganis informed Sylvanas of the particulars of the Jailer's plans, of how the Arbiter had been shut off by the death of Argus and that the flow of all souls were being funneled into the Maw. He then revealed that Zovaal merely asks that Sylvanas does what she does best: kill. That she unleash death upon Azeroth on a scale never before witnessed. He further stressed how every soul sent screaming into the Maw, would empower the Banished One, when the time was right Sire Denathrius shall unleash the torrent of anima that he has been hiding within Revendreth, and how in the aftermath Zovaal would gain access to the Sepulcher of the First Ones and remake reality itself. When Sylvanas questioned as what Mal'Ganis gained from allying with Zovaal, the nathrezim remarked that when the Jailer succeeded in making reality anew that all who served faithfully would be rewarded. Having no desire to spend more time in his presence, Sylvanas instructed Mal'Ganis to tell Zovaal that she would do everything she could to manifest their plan with all speed. He then subsequently departed from the Undercity.[13]


Shadowlands This section concerns content related to Shadowlands.

Mal'Ganis with the  [Medallion of Wrath].

Having infiltrated Renathal's inner circle,[14] Mal'Ganis was eventually exposed as the Maw Walker, Kael'thas Sunstrider, Lady Vashj, and The Stonewright sought to recover the  [Medallion of Wrath] from Nal'ragas.[15] Having claimed the medallion himself, Mal'Ganis and his allies attempted to hide as Suspicious Dredgers before being exposed. After being beaten and captured, he rejected Renathal's request to repent and join the Venthyr, and further revealed that while Renathal and his allies had focused on the medallion, his fellow nathrezim were able to acquire Remornia, and thus free Denathrius from his imprisonment. Mal'Ganis then boasted that they had the Master's bidding in secret for years, of how The Legion, The Scourge, Argus were all pawns in a game beyond their grasp, and declared that the medallion and Revendreth was dust in the face of the Sire's true plans.[1]

After being imprisoned within Dominance Keep, Mal'Ganis attempted to sway the Maw Walker into freeing him by claiming that it would grant them untold power. However, under the advice of Lady Moonberry, the Maw Walker revealed how easy it was to acquire the keys to his prison to his guards.[16] In the aftermath, Mal'Ganis warned that the Maw Walker would regret this betrayal soon enough.[17]

Having escaped through unknown means, Mal'Ganis sent a projection of himself to the Maw Walker within Korthia. Though promising that the Maw Walker would pay for crossing him, Mal'Ganis departed claiming that other matters demanded his attention more. In the aftermath the Maw Walker was certain when the Jailer was finally confronted, Mal'Ganis would be by his side.[18]

Eternity's End

After the covenant forces arrived to Zereth Mortis, Mal'Ganis took advantage of high trust shown to the Maw Walker by disguising himself as them, sabotaged defenses, and positioned the covenant forces where they would be of little help.[19][20] However, Bolvar was quick to realize that something amiss, and the Maw Walker would later personally confront Mal'Ganis. As the pair came to blows, the Maw Walker was soon joined by Baine Bloodhoof and Jaina Proudmoore. Finding it a pity that Jaina hadn't arrived sooner, Mal'Ganis claimed that he had stalled long enough for Zovaal's 'champion' and quickly departed.[21]

Mal'Ganis, alongside Kin'tessa, were later confronted and defeated within the Sepulcher of the First Ones.


Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Mal'Ganis (tactics) 70 - 82
Purge of Dalaran 90 39,394
B [10-45] The Battle for Broken Shore ?? 342,447,872


Shadowlands This section concerns content related to Shadowlands.

Objective of

Memorable quotes

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.
Main article: The Culling (WC3 Human)#Transcript
Main article: Frostmourne (WC3 Human)#Transcript

World of Warcraft

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.
Main article: A Royal Escort#Notes
Main article: Mal'Ganis (tactics)#Quotes
Main article: The Admiral Revealed#Notes
Shadowlands This section concerns content related to Shadowlands.
Main article: Nal'ragas (quest)#Notes
Main article: The Nathrezim#Notes
Main article: Mal'appropriated#Description
Main article: The Big Squeeze#Notes
Main article: A Loose Thread#Notes

In Hearthstone

Hearthstone This section contains information exclusive to Hearthstone and is considered non-canon.

Mal'Ganis appears as a legendary card for the warlock class in the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion for Hearthstone. His flavor text reads: "Mal'Ganis doesn't like being betrayed, so if you discard him, watch out."

His card art was originally created to depict Varimathras in the TCG.

In Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm This section concerns content related to Heroes of the Storm and is considered non-canon.

Mal'Ganis is a playable character in Heroes of the Storm.

Notes and trivia

  • The name of Mal'Ganis comes from a space vampire lord in Blizzard's canceled game "Bloodlines" named "Mal Ganis." According to Chris Metzen, the name was later lifted for use in Warcraft.[22]
  • Though plotting his revenge upon the Lich King, developers hinted that he would have no role in Icecrown Citadel.[23] This eventually proved true. Mal'Ganis is nowhere to be found within Icecrown Citadel.
  • During the Purge of Dalaran, Archmage Lan'dalock summoned images of various Wrath of the Lich King era bosses, Mal'Ganis among them, to fight for him against the Horde.
  • In a manga Nightmares, Jaina was dreaming about traveling with Arthas to Northrend. There, they defeated the dreadlord and then found Frostmourne Cavern and Frostmourne in it. As Arthas was about to approach the blade, Mal'Ganis reappeared and attacked him, almost overwhelming him. In hoping to rescue Arthas, Jaina took the blade and slew the dreadlord, damning her own soul and eventuality becoming the Lich Queen.
  • In the final level of The Scourge of Lordaeron in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, using the given base and units it is possible to invade and destroy Mal'Ganis' base, but if Mal'Ganis is killed before Arthas returns with Frostmourne, Mal'Ganis will die, drop 2-3 Ankh of Reincarnation, and come back to life. This can be repeated numerous times and when he does finally stay down (you will see the death animation when he finally dies), Ankhs will continuously spawn from where he died.
  • In the Warcraft III campaigns, dreadlord characters were given different colors out of concern that players wouldn't be able to tell them apart.[24]
  • Mal'Ganis is voiced by Christopher Corey Smith in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King and Michael Gough in Heroes of the Storm.
  • An unused NPC ID suggests that he was at some point intended to appear during vanilla as a boss named Dreadlord Malganis <Overfiend>.


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.
  • It is unknown why he was not present in Icecrown Citadel. It can be speculated that his plans were ruined by the arrival of the Ashen Verdict.


Heroes of the Storm


Patch changes

See also


External links