We have moved to Warcraft Wiki. Click here for information and the new URL.


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.

This article deals with further speculation regarding retcons and other apparent discrepancies in Warcraft lore. It is left to the reader's opinion whether the discrepancies listed below constitute errors, retcons, flavor lore, or merely artistic license. The criteria for inclusion in this article is a clear, apparent contradiction between two official sources.

Where the sources are reconciled by another official source, that explanation is provided. Theories attempting to reconcile the discrepancies by reference to other sources of lore may also be present.

List of retcons[]


Since Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, it was established that the spirits of the dead go to the Twisting Nether. This is also presented as an in-universe belief by Scarlet Crusade enemies, who sometimes say "Prepare to enter the Twisting Nether" as they attack the player characters, as well as by Sully Balloo[1], Fin Fizracket,[2] Nezzliok the Dire,[3] and Vok Blacktongue. Later, however, World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, released before Legion, established the Shadowlands as the place where the spirits of the dead go, and earlier stories, such as Edge of Night, released after Cataclysm, also hinted at an afterlife that does not take place in the Nether (indeed, the place where Sylvanas' spirit ended up after she committed suicide at Icecrown is currently presumed to be the Maw).

Azerothian blood elves[]

According to the mission in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, prince Kael'thas Sunstrider took the remaining survivors with him to Outland to escape Lord Garithos. Thus naming only the elves that followed Illidan, "blood elves." However, according to the Warcraft Encyclopedia and subsequent works, most of the blood elves did not follow the prince, only the healthiest of them were sent in search of alternative magic sources.

Blackhand's appearance[]

In the Legion shaman artifact lore book and in Blackhand, the comic it was explained that Blackhand was engulfed by the elements and their fire, his skin becoming scarred, losing his hair, and his hand becoming stone. However, in World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, an artwork of Blackhand depicted him the same way he was in the Warcraft movie, with full hair and a tattoed black hand instead of an elemental one. Matt Burns explained on Twitter that they had indeed decided to go with the latter. Blackhand was not consumed in fire.[4][5]

The comics depict what happened to the alternate universe Blackhand, a backstory that could be different from the main universe Blackhand. There are other examples of differences between both universes even before the intervention of Garrosh or the player characters, so it is possible that the MU Blackhand has the same appearance as in the movie while AU Blackhand looks like he does in Warlords of Draenor.

Black Temple/Fortress Shadowmoon[]

In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Magtheridon is in the Black Citadel in Hellfire Peninsula. In World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade it was changed to the Black Temple in Shadowmoon Valley.

The Black Temple dungeon trailer claims that the Draenei Temple of Karabor was captured by orcs for a time before it became the sinister fortress of Magtheridon. This suggests that the Shadowmoon Fortress assaulted in Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal was in fact another name for this structure.

Also, during the Black Temple trailer, Akama recalls a dialogue between Illidan and Prince Kael'thas from the opening cinematic of Gates of the Abyss, but in that Warcraft III mission, Akama was not present when that conversation took place and does not appear until much later.

Chen Stormstout's place of birth[]

In The Founding of Durotar Chen Stormstout said he hailed from Pandaria - indeed, it was the first time Pandaria was mentioned in the Warcraft series. Current lore, however, states that Chen comes from the Wandering Isle and never set foot on his ancestral homeland before Mists of Pandaria.


In the first two Warcraft games, the word "demon" was consistently spelled as "daemon", with Kil'jaeden called a "Daemonlord" in the Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual. However, in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and the accompanying novels that came out a year earlier, the spelling was changed to "demon", and the spelling "daemon" is never mentioned again except in the Rise of the Horde novel, where it is mentioned that the Orcish word for "twisted soul" was "dae'mon".

Dark Portal appearance change[]

In Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, the Dark Portal of the side of Draenor looks like the side of Azeroth in-game, but it can be explained again through graphic reuse, as in the cinematics it looks different.

In World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, the Stair of Destiny is shown as a more extreme version of the new look. All lore still fits.

In Rise of the Horde, Medivh gives Gul'dan a vision on how to make the Dark Portal look, as was also said in Warcraft II manual, but this time he shows the Stair of Destiny as it is in The Burning Crusade. Gul'dan does not even know who or what the figures are.[6]

Dar'Khan Drathir's death[]

After betraying his people to Arthas Menethil, Dar'khan was killed within the Sunwell Plateau, after succumbing to the taint of the Sunwell (in his greed, he had directly ingested some of its energies before its corruption) that was now coursing through him. At the climax of the manga The Sunwell Trilogy, Dar'Khan Drathir is burned and apparently obliterated by Anveena.[7] In Blood of the Highborne, set a year or so after this, he appeared again and returned to plot the downfall of his people. He was killed by Lor'themar Theron, who nocked his bow with an enchanted arrow that caused Dar'Khan to disintegrate into dust. Lor'themar, however, was unsure whether the traitor had truly been killed for good. He later appears at the Tower of the Damned in Deatholme at the southern reaches of the Ghostlands.[8] In the manga it is not seen that he was completely obliterated, so it is possible that he was just burned and was later raised again by Arthas. How he managed to reappear after his death at Lor'themar's hands is unclear.

It has been theorized that Dar'Khan became a sort of elven lich following his first death. Shortly before dying, he had drunk deep of the Sunwell's power, which was then contaminated by the ritual Arthas performed to bring Kel'Thuzad back into the world as a lich. Dar'Khan was physically overwhelmed by this sensation, and according to Arthas, Dar'Khan was now tainted by the same corrupt power that had been used to resurrect Kel'Thuzad; this would not have happened had Dar'Khan not disobeyed his instructions and tasted the Sunwell directly. It may be that "surviving" the experience imbued Dar'Khan with similar lich-like properties to Kel'Thuzad, explaining his inability to stay dead. After all, "Fear not, my ambitious friend. Death is only the beginning, as my colleague Kel'Thuzad can readily attest."[9]


Main article: Deathwing timeline issue

In Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, Deathwing joined the Horde of Draenor and then crossed to Draenor, before the Dark Portal was destroyed. He then appeared inexplicably on Azeroth in Day of the Dragon.

It is possible that Day of the Dragon was supposed to be before Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. This is supported by the fact that there is mention that the dragonqueen Alexstrasza was rescued in Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, whereas that happened in Day of the Dragon. However, current lore supports the fact that Day of the Dragon happened after Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, causing a retcon.

Additionally, just before Khadgar closes the Dark Portal in the Alliance ending video of Beyond the Dark Portal, a dragon-shaped shadow passes over him in the direction of the portal, possibly suggesting that Deathwing was able to escape back through the portal before it was closed.

Draenei and eredar[]

The Warcraft III manual and the history books found in the original World of Warcraft say that the eredar were already demons when Sargeras encountered them, and that they played a major role in corrupting the titan. There was no indication that the draenei were in any way related to the eredar, and all lore and dialogue pointed to them being native to Draenor. All of the draenei known at the time (including Akama and Magtoor) had the appearance of the Lost Ones. All of this changed in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, where it was revealed that it was Sargeras who corrupted the eredar rather than the other way around, and that the draenei were in fact the remaining uncorrupted eredar, with the name "draenei" meaning "exiled ones".


The universal belief system was later revised to the philosophy of the Holy Light. The realm from which demons are summoned was originally referred to as Hell, Hades, and the underworld, as opposed to the Twisting Nether. This is not a true retcon as later sources confirm the existence of hell, although it is synonymous with the Twisting Nether, which goes by many titles. Hell as one of its names has been referenced in later sources.

In Warcraft I, and to a lesser extent Warcraft II & Warcraft III, and in the novels, Day of the Dragon specifically, the terms "hell", "hells", "Hades", "lower planes", "the underworld", "damnation", "pit of darkness", and "Dark Below" are used in a very traditional sense.

Warcraft: Orcs & Humans[]

"Denizens of the underworld, the daemons are creatures said to be some of the most powerful entities to ever exist in the lands of Azeroth. Their aptitude in the arts of deception and combat are only equal by their sadistic nature, and puissance they possess in the black arts of Magic. They command the searing fires of Hell as if it where their plaything. They are the true lords of chaos, wreaking havoc at every step and destroying what they wish."
"There is rumored to be a gateway that appears every thirteenth full moon that bridges the gap between Azeroth and the underworld, and it is during these brief moments that the daemons came to this place. Legend also states that some have the power to summon these creatures and control them, but if this is so, none are alive to tell the tale of how it was accomplished."
"These hellspawn are evil incarnate. The ability to summon these dark minions of the underworld has long been lost, though the Warlocks seek to find those secrets once again. Breathing flame and wielding a blade forged in the fires of hades, destruction and death are their greatest desire. These daemons possess cruelty beyond the imagining of even the sickest mind, and delight in the execution of their plans. If there is a way to send these monsters back into the pits that spawned them without the loss of many lives, it too is a secret locked away in time."
"The fires of hell rise up to meet the enemies of the Warlock clan. Their sorceries are rooted in the deepest pits of the underworld..."
"Fireball: The basic fire spell which all followers of the Orcish cults (the underworld) first learn. It channels the flames of hades through the caster's body, allowing the wielder to direct it as a missile at anyone he chooses..."
"Summon Demon: The most powerful spell ever rumored to exist. Legends say that the caster would have the ability to summon forth a daemon by allowing his body to be sacrificed to enable its existence in this plane. The daemon would then be guided by the spirit of the caster to do his bidding, but should the daemon be destroyed, the warlock's life would be forfeit. The truth to this tale is questionable, but the incantations and rituals used to summon the creature may lay in some lost runic writings. The dream of every follower of the underworld is to rediscover these incantations and be able to command the power of the Daemon."
"Tower: This is where the knowledge of dark magicks are revealed. Warlocks reside here to focus their energies towards harnessing the forces of the underworld."

Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal[]

Sometimes the words show up in the names of characters and locations, for example, Grom Hellscream, Hellfire Peninsula and Hellfire Citadel.

Lord of the Clans[]

Even the novel Lord of the Clans made references to the word "hell":

"If a warlock was to summon hell's flames against an enemy, they would be burned to death...With hell's fire, you make a bargain. It costs a little of yourself."
Grom Hellscream in Lord of the Clans.

Day of the Dragon[]

"A paladin had indicated to Rhonin that he believed that, after death, the mage's soul would be condemned to the same pit of darkness shared by the mythical demons of old. This no matter how pure Rhonin's soul might have been otherwise."[10] "...A damned soul..."[11]

Warcraft III[]

There is a reference to hell from Uther Lightbringer:

"I dearly hope there is a special place in hell waiting for you Arthas."

Arthas then replies back, "We may never know, Uther, I intend to live forever."

Sylvanas Windrunner tells Prince Arthas to, "Give my regards to hell."

Note: Underworld also refers to a secret underground hellish cavern system where ghosts, murlocs, skeletons, and other minions of a Sea Witch once resided.

World of Warcraft[]

Caelestrasz states:

"Even if you somehow manage to free us without defeating C'Thun, we would focus all our powers to see the beast banished back to the hell from whence it came — AT ANY COST."

The spell Spell fire incinerate [Hellfire] also exists.

The Burning Crusade[]

In The Burning Crusade, the term hell is used quite often, a notable example is Magtheridon being referred to as a "hellspawn", or Hellfire Citadel.

High elven druids[]


Blood elf druid

Main article: Elven druid

The Runestone at Caer Darrow was described in the Warcraft II manual as being crafted by elven druids that used the "magics" connected to the "arcane". It has been assumed due to lack of mention of high elf druids in posterior sources, that high elf druids did not exist and were retconned out of history. This is assumed because, when the background of the high elf race was further developed in Warcraft III, they were depicted as a race dedicated to the free use of arcane magic, leaving behind the druidism.

Freywinn in Tempest Keep appears to be evidence of a blood elven druid.

Color of Alexstrasza's brood[]


A Dragon in Warcraft II

In Warcraft II, Alexstrasza's children are depicted as mostly Green in color with team-colored wings and hair. Broodmothers are grey with team colored wings and manes. Alexstrasza herself is merely described as the Queen of Dragons, with no specification to color.

However Day of the Dragon and subsequent lore would say these Green colored Dragons were the Red Dragonflight, changing their color accordingly.

Species of Arthas' mercenaries[]

In Warcraft III, the mercenaries Arthas hires are explicitly non-human, composed of several ice trolls and an ogre. Arthas even taking advantage of the mercenaries non-human nature by calling them "Creatures" and "Foul Beasts." However, the Death Knight manga and Halls of Reflection portray them as humans.

Holy Light and God[]

In Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, the Clerics of Northshire are described as worshippers of "God", though whether or not this referred to a specific deity within a pantheon or a single deity is not known. They are also described as believing in "angels", "daemons", "Hell", and "Heaven".[12] This is continued through into Warcraft II, with references to "God", "angels", and "heaven".[13] A reference to "God" is also in the church building's sound in the game, "Deo Gratias", Latin for "Thanks [be] to God", which is a traditional cathedral hymn, fitting the image of holy paladins in the game. Later, this is followed in Day of the Dragon.

"...clearly it was chosen by a higher power that your paths would lead you to us."[14]

The traditional view of Hell and God is also alluded to in the novels as well; for example in Day of the Dragon several of the paladins describe things by using religiously colored terms;

"A paladin had indicated to Rhonin that he believed that, after death, the mage's soul would be condemned to the same pit of darkness shared by the mythical demons of old. This no matter how pure Rhonin's soul might have been otherwise."[10] ...a damned soul...devilish kind...[15]

...clearly it was chosen by a higher power that your paths would lead you to us.[16]

...ungodly incident...[17]

...sent to the underworld where they belong.[18]

The religious structure and practices also keep in time with typical European medieval and even some modern Catholic structures and thought, such as the places of worship being called chapels, churches, abbeys, monasteries, and cathedrals.

Also, typical Christian and Catholic clergy names are employed, even up to World of Warcraft, such as some male priests being called "Father" and "Brother" and prelature ranks such as Abbot, Bishop, and Archbishop.

Like the practice of the Catholic Pope, archbishops take on a special name when they take office. Like Jarl, becoming Archbishop Benedictus.

Also, in the original Warcraft and Day of the Dragon, something similar to the practice of Confession is described, as mentioned in the description for the cleric's invisibility cast (as a tool to make the confessing of secrets that weighed heavily upon the souls of worshippers easier to speak) as quoted from the guide, and in Day of the Dragon when Rhonin is asked to confess his sins to bring peace to his damned soul.

All this could just be ascribed to the developers and writers trying to make the stories seem more "Medieval" with no real implications to actual religion implied. It does seem that in later versions of Warcraft the developers avoided most references to anything that could be tied to any actual religious practice, and made the "Light" ambiguous in nature, so one could not really label it as being a parody or impersonation of any particular religion. In World of Warcraft and later games, followers of the Holy Light are described as following the Holy Light and no reference to "God" is found. In Warcraft III, however, "angels" appear during the Resurrection spell, and "angels" are still alluded to in World of Warcraft.

By the time of Warcraft III, they are shown as followers of the Holy Light, which is described as a philosophy that does not follow any particular theology, although a reference to a single all-powerful god-like being creating the universe is mentioned in the manual and angels appear during resurrection spells. It is unknown as to whether or not the individuals worship this deity.

Inv sword 07 [Iblis, Blade of the Fallen Seraph], seems to be a reference to a fallen angel as well.

Spirit Healers and Spirits of Redemption have the form of angelic beings as well, though the former have been established as Val'kyr.

In the preview information released regarding the draenei race for The Burning Crusade expansion, the naaru were referenced as "a race of sapient energy beings bent on stopping the Burning Crusade" and that they "blessed the draenei with Light-given knowledge and power". The naaru may explain the origin of the Holy Light or at least demonstrate that the Holy Light is an interplanetary force not restricted only to the world of Azeroth. Additionally, it's known that the naaru are also a source of Holy Light power, as blood elves have found a way of draining a naaru of its powers, in order to wield divine powers as Blood Knights.

Additionally, according to Warcraft III's manual, one legend states that the creation of the universe was from a single all-powerful entity. The concept of God likely originated from this legend. See Creation Myth.

Additionally, Alliance Player's Guide tends to switch between the points of view that the Light seems to be a sapient entity of some kind; while it may not be an individual it may be a force. But it says little is known as the philosophies have been changing over the years especially since many of the original books discussing the Holy Light were destroyed during the various wars, especially during the third war.

Illidan's bandana[]

In the book War of the Ancients: The Well of Eternity, Illidan is said to have been given an amber bandana (the color of his lost eyes) by Lady Vashj after having his eyes burnt out by Sargeras. This contradicts all in-game depictions of Illidan, as he is seen wearing a black bandana in Warcraft III and World of Warcraft. The bandana which drops from him is also black and appears to have been given to him by Sargeras, as it is called "Inv misc bandana 03 [Cursed Vision of Sargeras]", rather than by Lady Vashj. It is possible he lost his old bandana during the 10,000 years, or it grew black with time, so this may not necessarily be a retcon.

Alternately, it is possible that this stems from the change made to the timeline in War of the Ancients (novel account) in which Illidan's bandana was given to him by Sargeras after burning out his eyes as Illidan was feigning service to the Burning Legion at the time.

Kil'jaeden and the orcs[]

According to the Warcraft II manual, it was Gul'dan who first discovered Kil'jaeden as he probed the Twisting Nether as part of his magical studies, with his mentor Ner'zhul seemingly being unaware of Kil'jaeden's existence. The Warcraft III manual, however, established that Kil'jaeden first contacted Ner'zhul on his own, and only turned to Gul'dan after finding out that Ner'zhul didn't want to go all the way with carrying out Kil'jaeden's plans. Subsequent lore followed this version of the story.

Kul Tiras[]

In Warcraft II, the "Tiras" part of the Kul Tiras name was pronounced with the second syllable stressed, and The Last Guardian gives the adjective form of Kul Tiras as "Tirassian". However, in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, the "Tiras" in Kul Tiras is pronounced with the first syllable stressed, and the adjective form of Kul Tiras is "Kul Tiran".

Orc warlocks in World of Warcraft[]

Under the leadership of Thrall, the orcs have rediscovered their ancient Shamanistic traditions. In an attempt to rid the Horde of its demonic corruption, Thrall banned the use of warlock magic and necromancy. Now, all orc magic users practice shaman magic which draws its power from the natural world and the elements.

However, in World of Warcraft, the orcs have begun training warlocks once again. Though they are looked down upon by society and barely tolerated, much like human warlocks. This could be reconciled by the suggestion that the Horde's warlocks are their equivalent of Demon Hunters (using the powers of darkness against their masters). This is backed up by the orc warlock quests where the warlock trainees do good deeds like reuniting two lovers.[19]

Orcish clan names[]

Some orcish clans had names from something found only in Azeroth, but were supposed to have that name since they were on Draenor:

  • The Frostwolf clan had that name since they were on Draenor but strangely in their exile at Alterac Valley there are wolves called Frost Wolf.
    • It is possible that the clan gave the local wolves the name Frostwolves or brought frost wolves with them.
  • The Blackrock clan had that name since they were on Draenor but a mountain on Azeroth had the same name.
    • It is later stated that the mountain had the name already through sheer coincidence, and the clan of the same name settled there because the coincidence was seen as a good omen.[20]
    • In Warlords of Draenor, the clan got its name from the Blackrock ore, a mineral native to their region, which they used to manufacture weapons.[21]
  • The Dragonmaw clan was named after dragons, which only exist on Azeroth, not Draenor.
    • It was later explained that dragons or dragon-like creatures were mythological creatures in orcish folklore.[22]
    • There seems to have been no Dragonmaw clan on the alternate Draenor; instead, Warlords of Draenor features the Dragonmaw clan from the main universe, led by Warlord Zaela.

Blackrock clan skin color[]


A Blackrock orc with bright green skin.

In the Warcraft RTS games as well as artwork and canceled games, Blackrock orcs who are often portrayed as the iconic orc clan, have the same green skin color as the other or clans. Characters from the Blackrock clan like Orgrim Doomhammer also have green skin.

However, in World of Warcraft, many members of the Blackrock clan have, unlike other orcs, a gray skintone. There are only a few exceptions such as Varok Saurfang and the Horde pieces in the Karazhan chess event. Tides of War revealed that this skin tone is a result of the clan living inside of Blackrock Mountain without sunlight for years. But in Warlords of Draenor, the Blackrock orcs are shown to already have had the gray skin tone back on Draenor, seemingly being a natural identification of their clan.

Orcish shamans[]

Though the fact that the orcish culture has been shamanistic before Gul'dan's rise to power has already been established in Warcraft II, the lore regarding the nature of shamanic magic has changed. In Warcraft II's manual it was said that Gul'dan rose in his standing among other shamans because of his talent for "channeling the cold, negative-energies of the Twisting Nether", however, in current lore it is warlock spellcasters that manipulate the energies of the Nether, while shamans call on elemental spirits for aid. This would explain why some orcs after the rise of the warlocks still retained the title of Shaman, such as Zuluhed the Whacked and Ner'zhul, which is unexplained in the current lore, since it states that ancestral and elemental spirits stopped answering the shamans' calls as corruption took root in the orcish society.

Rend and Maim[]

Rend and Maim, the sons of Blackhand the Destroyer, led the Black Tooth Grin clan during the Second War, after their defeat they ran away,[23] set up a base in Blackrock Spire and formed the Dark Horde.

They next appeared without mention during the Alliance campaign of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, in the service of Magtheridon, inexplicably on Outland and transformed into fel orcs: Rend (fel orc) and Maim (fel orc).[24]

Additionally, the Black Tooth Grin clan was said to be "almost destroyed" at the end of the 2nd War in the non-canon RPG. [25]

However, in World of Warcraft Rend appears in a prominent role as head of the Blackrock clan on Azeroth, and Maim is stated to be killed by the Dark Iron dwarves in Azeroth.[26]

Shadowmoon Valley's appearance[]

In the Black Temple trailer for patch 2.1, the still uncorrupted Temple of Karabor looked like the modern Shattrath City, with simple brown tiles and occasional blue crystals. In Warlords of Draenor however, the Temple of Karabor's appearance is closer to that of the Exodar.

Swamp of Sorrows[]

In Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, the swamp was called the "Swamps of Sorrow", and was already called so during the events of that game. It was also located to the south of Black Morass, rather than to the north. The manual to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos renames it to the Swamp of Sorrows, and this name carries over to World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2 introduces another retcon by saying that the swamp had only been named so after the Second War to honor those who had died in the war.


In Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos,[27] Tichondrius claimed that the Lich King forged the sword. However, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King revealed that the Nathrezim forged it,[28] thus invalidating Tichondrius' first statement because, if his race created the sword, it would be odd that their leader knew a different origin.

In Shadowlands, it's revealed that it was crafted at the Runecarver's Oubliette in Torghast by the Runecarver, who was forced against his will to do so by the Jailer.

Warcraft I and II[]

Warcraft I featured two separate storylines. While there were some interweaving events, most were stand-alone, which lead to some contradictory elements. Some elements from each storyline were taken and included in the backstory for the next game in the series.

Warcraft II evolved with two campaign stories that wove together in a tighter way, with references to missions from one campaign being mentioned in the events of the other campaign, although the final missions lead to alternate endings. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal was unique, however, in that it was a completely linear story; it set the Alliance campaign after the Orc campaign chronologically (though one could play the campaigns in any order).

Warcraft III featured campaigns with story lines that similarly formed a single linear narrative, but they were unlocked only after the previous campaign was completed.

Warcraft I[]

Warcraft I featured many levels which are best described as generic battles with some interweaving plot elements, and contradictory endings.

Note that no later source has given any detailed analysis of all the events of the First War. Not all the battles or locations have been referenced in later sources. As such, skirmishes and events surrounding said locations are up in the air. Some of these locations include Grand Hamlet, Sunnyglade, Kyross, and Rockard. The history of defense, rebuilding, and destruction surrounding these locations is unknown as they have never been mentioned again in later sources.

While the orc campaign ending most closely matches the outcome of the First War as portrayed in later games, both campaigns and the manual for the game contained important plot points that became part of the lore:

Some elements of the game's plotlines were expressly left out of the ultimate account of the war:

  • Aegwynn did not first come to the court of Wrynn III, instead she first came to the court of Landen Wrynn (human campaign). Confirmed in Cycle of Hatred.
  • The Swamp of Sorrows was not located in the southern part of the Black Morass, instead it was located in the northern part of the Black Morass (orc campaign). According to the World of Warcraft map.
  • Medivh was not in a coma for six years, instead he was in a coma for just twenty days (manual).[citation needed] 
  • The Dark Portal was not located in the Swamp of Sorrows, instead it was located in the southern part of the Black Morass (human campaign). According to the World of Warcraft map.
  • Medivh did not "accidentally" open the Dark Portal, instead he did it on purpose (manual).[25]
  • King Llane was not killed at the fall of Stormwind City by the Orc War Chief (orc campaign). Instead, he was killed by Garona.[39]
  • The humans did not succeed in destroying Blackrock Spire (human campaign). As this fortress was maintained in orcish hands until the Siege of Blackrock Spire this cannot have happened.
  • The commander of the human armies did not succeed Llane as king after destroying Blackrock Spire (human campaign). As the Horde win the First War, this cannot have happened.
  • Garona did not aid Orgrim Doomhammer with new and powerful magicks (orc campaign). Instead Doomhammer tortured her to get the information on the Shadow Council.[40]
  • Orgrim Doomhammer did not have the backing of the Shadow Council (orc campaign). Instead he discovered its location and destroyed them.[41]
  • The Shadow Council did not survive the First War (orc campaign).[42]
  • Blackhand was not assassinated by the Shadow Council (orc campaign). Instead he was killed by Orgrim Doomhammer.[43]
  • The Humans did not successfully defend Stormwind Keep, Northshire Abbey, and all the human towns of the kingdom, including Goldshire, Moonbrook, Sunnyglade, and Grand Hamlet, were destroyed (human campaign).
    • Sunnyglade is not mentioned in later sources and it can be assumed that it was destroyed, Northshire Abbey did not survive,[32] Stormwind Keep fell, Goldshire and Moonbrook were likely destroyed as they were between Stormwind Keep and the Horde offensive.
  • The Orcish Horde was not an independent force, instead they were being secretly manipulated by Medivh/Sargeras with the promise of giving Gul'dan access to the powers in the Tomb of Sargeras (human campaign).[44]
  • The Shadow Council's leader was not nameless, instead Gul'dan was their leader (orc campaign).
  • Blackhand the Destroyer was not the highest leader of the Orcish Horde, instead it was Gul'dan (orc campaign).[45]
  • Blackhand the Destroyer did not survive the whole of the First War, instead he was killed by Orgrim Doomhammer sometime during the events of the First War (human campaign).[46]

Other events are indeterminate, not conflicting with any other accounts, but also not being referred to again:

  • The existence of a land called the Borderlands.
  • The destruction of a key Blackhand Orcish outpost in the Black Morass by Orgrim Doomhammer (orc campaign).
  • The destruction of the orc outpost of Kyross in the Swamp of Sorrows (human campaign).
  • The destruction of the Temple of the Damned in the Black Morass (human campaign).
  • The destruction of Rockard and Stonard (human campaign).
  • The attack on Northshire Abbey by a band of warriors that had been convinced by enemy agents to fight against the crown (human campaign).
  • Turok's death (orc campaign).
  • The rebuilding of Sunnyglade, and/or its later destruction (human campaign).

Warcraft II[]

Warcraft II featured two interweaving campaigns with two separate and alternate endings. The true ending was found in the Alliance campaign, with the nearly complete defeat of the Horde in the Eastern Kingdoms. The expansion went further by making its own campaigns linear, with the Horde campaign taking place entirely before the Alliance campaign:


A daemon, released when Gul'dan opened the Tomb of Sargeras

  • After having been defeated by Doomhammer's forces at the Tomb of Sargeras in Warcraft II (orc campaign), Gul'dan is attacked by demons after he opens the Tomb (as foreshadowed during a cutscene at the beginning of the act). In The Frozen Throne, it further shows that he was killed by the demons he unwittingly set free while searching the tomb.
  • Quel'Thalas razed by the Horde (orc campaign). While it did not completely fall, much of Quel'Thalas was destroyed by dragons during the second war (and ravaged by the undead in the third), forming the Blackened Woods (later known by its alternate name of Ghostlands).[49]
  • Dun Algaz razed by the Alliance (Human campaign). Hinted at in Lands of Conflict that it was important in the Second War and left a derelict after.[50]
  • Grim Batol razed by the Alliance. While it did not completely fall, Milan's forces met some success on the surface.[51]
  • Stromgarde razed by the Horde. While it did not completely fall, much of Stromgarde was damaged by the Horde under Utok Scratcher's commander.[52]
  • Lordaeron razed by the Horde. The Horde destroyed much of Lordaeron's outer defenses and structures,[53] but the Capital City did not fall to the Horde. The Capital City was besieged before Orgrim Doomhammer learned of Gul'dan's betrayal, and as he did he pulled his forces back to deal with the traitors.[54]
  • The Laughing Skull clan allies with the Alliance during the Invasion of Draenor and delivers them the Book of Medivh. Later lore makes zero mention of this, or Mogor's involvement with the clan, with the Beyond the Dark Portal novel at most having a dying Laughing Skull orc, named Obris, giving the Book of Medivh to the Alliance as vengeance for Ner'zhul abandoning the Horde.
  • Kargath journeys to Azeroth with a large army of Shattered Hand clan orcs and is abandoned in Black Morass with Grom by Ner'zhul and the Shadowmoon clan. [55] The Burning Crusade and the Beyond the Dark Portal novelization retconned Kargath to have never left Draenor.

Events that occurred in one of the Warcraft II campaigns, but which did not ultimately form part of the lore, include:

  • The Horde's ultimate victory (orc campaign ending).

Other events are indeterminate, not conflicting with any other accounts, but also not being referred to again:


Wrynn was initially given as the single name of the king of Stormwind at the time of orcish invasion, King Wrynn III, with his son being called King Llane. Wrynn was later used as the family name of the Stormwind royal line, being applied as Llane's surname, as well as that of his son and grandson.

Wyvern sentience[]

In Warcraft III, wyverns are said to be sentient and willing allies of the Horde, however, in a quest in Thousand Needles, the Wyvern trainer Elu asks the player to steal wyvern eggs to train as mounts.

However, this is not necessarily a true retcon according to the (non-canon) Manual of Monsters, which states that there are certain Wyvern groups that are willing Horde allies, and some groups that are not. Specifically, the ones that are allies were the ones (and their descendants) that the Horde set free from the harpies when Thrall first arrived to Kalimdor (Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos: Orc Campaign). The quest previously mentioned could just mean that the willing allies are not enough for the Horde ranks.


  1. ^ Inv misc note 01 [Sully Balloo's Letter]
  2. ^ N [10-30] Stranglethorn Fever
  3. ^ H [10-30] Speaking with Nezzliok
  4. ^ Matt Burns on Twitter (2017-03-11). Retrieved on 2017-03-16.​ “Yeah that was something we ultimately decided to go away from in Chronicle. Not to say he didn't help Orgrim get the--
  5. ^ Matt Burns on Twitter (2017-03-11). Retrieved on 2017-03-16.​ “--hammer back, but just the stuff related to him being "consumed" in fire.
  6. ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. 339
  7. ^ Ghostlands
  8. ^ Dar'Khan in World of Warcraft
  9. ^ Blood of the Highborne
  10. ^ a b Day of the Dragon, pg. 19
  11. ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 39
  12. ^ Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual, Azeroth Army of the First War, Cleric Spells
  13. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness Manual, 38. 
  14. ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 44
  15. ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 39, 47
  16. ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 44
  17. ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 46
  18. ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 47
  19. ^ H Warlock [20] News of Dogran
  20. ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 96
  21. ^ Inv archaeology orcclans bellow [Elemental Bellows]
  22. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-07-02). Archived from the original on 2014-10-03.
  23. ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 368
  24. ^ Lord of Outland
  25. ^ a b c Horde Player's Guide, pg. 167
  26. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 136
  27. ^ "Path of the Damned: Trudging through the Ashes", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment.
  28. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 204
  29. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 58. 
  30. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 85. 
  31. ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 168
  32. ^ a b Tides of Darkness, pg. 78
  33. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 37. 
  34. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 63. 
  35. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 37. 
  36. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2
  37. ^ Rise of the Horde, chapter 19
  38. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2
  39. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2
  40. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 64. 
  41. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 64. 
  42. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 64. 
  43. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 63. 
  44. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 36. 
  45. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 66. 
  46. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Edition manual, 63. 
  47. ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 134
  48. ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 171
  49. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 112
  50. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 78
  51. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness The Official Strategy Guide, pg. 118-119
  52. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness The Official Strategy Guide, pg. 176-179
  53. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness The Official Strategy Guide, pg. 204-205
  54. ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 322 - 323
  55. ^ The Dark Portal