“This blade does not belong to darkness. It was forged by valor.”
“And also... by honor.”
Shalamayne is a legendary sword, the result of two night elven blades, Shalla'tor and Ellemayne, that were magically fused. First wielded by Varian Wrynn, former King of Stormwind, it is now carried by his son and successor, Anduin Wrynn. During Anduin's captivity with the Jailer, the latter infused Shalamayne with the soul of Arthas Menethil, the former Lich King, to transform it into the mourneblade Kingsmourne and take control of Anduin. However, Anduin later freed himself and restored Shalamayne to its true state.
Shalla'tor and Ellemayne
Shalla'tor and Ellemayne were a pair of magic elven blades forged during the War of the Ancients and wielded by the twins Vor'Illian and Lo'Vellian. In Darnassian, Shalla'tor means Shadow Render, while Ellemayne means Reaver. While Ellemayne had a red gem, Shalla'tor had a blue one instead.
The blades eventually came into the possession of Lady Jaina Proudmoore. After Varian Wrynn was split into two people by Onyxia's magic, the two ultimately found each other again and resolved to slay the black dragon. They were granted the night elven blades by Jaina, who aided them in the assault on Onyxia's Lair.
When Onyxia inadvertently combined the two Varians back into one person, the two blades were merged into a single weapon as well. This sword became known as Shalamayne, and its first target was the black dragon Onyxia, who was slain by the merged Varian using his new sword.
After Onyxia's death, Varian returned home with the new sword at his side. Varian learned to wield his sword with either hand, although one would always be favored over the other. Shalamayne is also able to be split into Shalla'tor and Ellemayne.
Varian used his sword against Garrosh Hellscream and his Gorehowl during the Ashenvale war. At the battle for the Broken Shore, Varian split Shalamayne into two to battle the Burning Legion. Upon his death, the split swords were left behind in the sand, their light snuffed out. Without Varian's touch, the sword lay dormant, awaiting the touch of another to which it would respond.
When the Armies of Legionfall began their assault on the Broken Shore, Varian's son Anduin Wrynn sneaked out of Stormwind and journeyed to Wrynnfall, the site of his father's demise, where he found Shalamayne. The moment Anduin truly accepted the duties of a king, light once again began swirling in the right-hand blade he was holding, only this time with the golden glow of the priest instead of the orange-red hue of the warrior.
Shalamayne thus passed down to Anduin, making the young king a sword-wielding priest.
During the mak'gora between Varok Saurfang and Sylvanas Windrunner, Anduin gave Shalamayne to Saurfang, while Thrall gave him Dra'gora. After losing the axe, Saurfang split the blade into Shalla'tor and Ellemayne, and managed to land a blow and wound Sylvanas's eye.
After Anduin was captured by the forces of the Jailer and brought to the Maw, he continued wielding Shalamayne until he was dragged into Torghast, Tower of the Damned. In order to turn Anduin into his servant, the Jailer had his Mawsworn reforge Shalamayne into a mourneblade, which was given the name Kingsmourne. As the weapon neared completion, the Jailer inserted a blue crystal forged from the soul of Arthas Menethil into it to serve as the source of the Domination magic that would allow him to control Anduin. Far away in Oribos, Bolvar Fordragon sensed the creation of the mourneblade in the form of visions of a terrible darkness rising within Torghast. The Jailer's ally Sylvanas Windrunner tried to convince Anduin to join her and the Jailer willingly, but when this failed she was forced to Dominate him.
The Dominated Anduin was forced to use Kingsmourne to collect the covenant sigils required for the Jailer's plan to reach the Sepulcher of the First Ones and remake reality. He was first sent to Elysian Hold with Kingsmourne initially disguised as Shalamayne. He plunged the weapon into the ground to release a shockwave of dark magic that stunned the nearby Paragons before stabbing the Archon herself to extract her sigil. During the Battle of Ardenweald, he used Kingsmourne to absorb the Winter Queen's sigil from the Heart of the Forest. During the battle between the Jailer and the Primus in the Runecarver's Oubliette, he used it to extract the Primus' sigil and launch it into the Jailer's waiting hand.
In Zereth Mortis, Anduin used Kingsmourne to Dominate Dausegne, an oracle who then opened the way for Anduin and the Jailer into the Sepulcher of the First Ones. From some distance away, Jaina Proudmoore felt a "familiar presence"—that of Arthas—in the sword. Within the Sepulcher of the First Ones, the Jailer forced Anduin to try to waylay the Maw Walkers and their allies. He periodically used Kingsmourne to separate the heroes' souls from their bodies, allowing them to assist Anduin's own struggling soul and restore his willpower, in turn allowing him to manifest the source of his Domination—the Remnant of a Fallen King—from the weapon. At the end of the battle, the Jailer forced Anduin to plunge Kingsmourne into the ground again, enveloping him in smoke as the sword seemingly began draining his soul. As the king struggled, he suddenly saw the weapon's previous wielders, Varian and Saurfang, appear to him and remind him that Shalamayne's legacy was one of valor and honor, not darkness. With their help, Anduin was able to get a firm grip on the sword and split it in half, turning the blade back into Shalla'tor and Ellemayne, releasing what was left of Arthas' fading soul, and freeing Anduin himself from the effects of Domination. The king subsequently bore the Ellemayne half back with him to Zereth Mortis.
Shalamayne has a unique narrow edge at the point and a thicker, angled edge further down. The hollow in the lower part of the blade glows like a sun. There is a backward arch at the bottom of the blade, and the hilt is long and slender.
In Battle for Azeroth, the model of the weapon was re-detailed with refined accents, such as curving swirls down the blade. Though this was likely purely an art update, and its new appearance was included in older content such as Siege of Orgrimmar or Icecrown, it is worth noting that the conceptualization for this version of Shalamayne is referred to as 'Shalamayne Reforged' by Blizzard's art design.
During its time as Kingsmourne, the sword retained its overall shape, but with sharp spikes jutting out of the blade and with glowing Domination runes running along its length, mirroring the appearance of Frostmourne. In place of its normal light, the hollow near the hilt was filled by the glowing blue remnant of Arthas Menethil's soul.
Notes and trivia
- When Shalamayne is not used, it rests in Stormwind Keep's War Room.
- Shalla'tor and Ellemayne's energy orbs were originally blue and orange respectively. This was retconned in Legion, where both blades were made identical with red gems and orange orbs. In Battle for Azeroth however, the Reckoning cinematic shows one of the blades having blue gems while the other has red gems.
- In the original version of the Broken Isles loading screen, one of the blades had a blue orb while the other had a red one. This was changed in patch 7.1.0 so that both blades have a red orb in order to match up with the Legion opening cinematic and the in-game Broken Shore cinematic. Senior Art Director Chris Robinson explained that the original discrepancy between the loading screen and the cinematics had been due to different teams using different art references that didn't line up.
- In Wrath of the Lich King, Varian used two swords with the Shalamayne model from patch 3.1.0 until patch 3.3.3, after which he wielded only a single one.
- The Anduin-themed murloc pet Finduin wields a weapon using the Shalamayne model.
- The Rallying Blade, a rare paladin weapon in the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion for Hearthstone, appears very similar to Shalamayne.
- Before the name "Kingsmourne" was revealed, some fans jokingly referred to the mourneblade created from Shalamayne as "Shalamourne". In their publicized work, Blizzard artists refer to the weapon as simply "Shalamayne" even in its Kingsmourne state.
- The name "Shalamayne" may be a reference to the Frankish king Charlemagne who is often regarded as a great king and strategist.
Varian wielding Shalamayne in the Secrets of Ulduar trailer.
Varian wielding Shalamayne in the artwork for Blood of Our Fathers.
Anduin Wrynn with Shalamayne in Stormwind Keep.
Anduin with Shalamayne on the cover of Before the Storm.
Anduin with Shalamayne on the Battle for Azeroth Alliance wallpaper.
Anduin with Shalamayne (PC Gamer cover artwork by Eric Braddock).
Anduin with Shalamayne during the Battle for Lordaeron.
Anduin with Shalamayne in Elegy.
"Shalamayne" in Finduin's hands.
- ^ a b c d e f Anduin Raid Finale
- ^ a b c Stormrage, pg. 267
- ^ a b c
- ^ a b Steve Danuser on Twitter. Archived from the original on 2021-04-23. “Shalamayne was used to forge Kingsmourne.”
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Comic #13 Flashback
- ^ World of Warcraft: Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 71
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: The Comic #14 Into the Jaws of Death!
- ^ Wolfheart, chapter 28
- ^ a b c Before the Storm, chapter 1
- ^ Son of the Wolf
- ^ Reckoning
- ^ Anduin Wrynn (tactics)#Overview: Throughout the encounter, Anduin temporarily manifests the source of his domination. This manifestation is linked to him by Domination's Grasp.
- ^ Shalamayne model.jpg
- ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 13
- ^ MMO-Champion 2016-11-09. BlizzCon 2016 - Chris Robinson and John Hight Interview (27:45). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-04-26.
- ^ Robin Dao. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, In-Game Cinematics work. ArtStation. Retrieved on 2021-03-22. “Texture upres and VFX masks for the sword Shalamayne, Aaron Villarreal did the modeling upres.”
- ^ Aaron Villarreal. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands: Sylvanas's Choice. ArtStation. Retrieved on 2021-03-22. “Upressed the model for Shalamayne, Robin Dao was responsible for textures upress.”
- ^ Aaron Villarreal. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands: Chains of Domination. ArtStation. Retrieved on 2021-03-22. “Upressed the model for Shalamayne, Robin Dao was responsible for textures upress.”