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This article is about the lore of the battle. For the raid instance, see Siege of Orgrimmar (instance). For the patch, see patch 5.4.0. For other uses, see Orgrimmar (disambiguation).
Mists of Pandaria Siege of Orgrimmar
Location Orgrimmar, Underhold, Bladefist Bay

Alliance and Darkspear Rebellion victory



Darkspear Rebellion


True Horde †

Old Gods' forces



Commanders and leaders



True Horde †



Casualties and losses


  • Moderate; likely heavier for Horde rebels[1][2]

True Horde †

  • Very heavy; defenders routed


  • Annihilated
Previous Battlefield: Barrens

The Siege of Orgrimmar[3][4] was the culmination of the Alliance-Horde war that began years prior, before the Cataclysm, and saw a full-scale assault on the orc capital of Orgrimmar in Durotar. The battle was also a conclusion to Garrosh Hellscream's actions during the Cataclysm and the Pandaria campaign, as the infamous Warchief prepared to make a final stand against his enemies and former allies.

The siege itself began as the combined campaign of the Alliance and Darkspear Rebellion pushed the True Horde of Garrosh Hellscream to the very gates of Orgrimmar itself. This happened alongside a naval blockade and landing at Bladefist Bay, and before long Hellscream's enemies stormed the city and drove into its underground reaches.

Extremely diverse, the attacking forces were made up of the Alliance military led by King Varian Wrynn, in addition to the many Horde races that turned against the Warchief due to his actions; most Horde leaders also rallied against Hellscream, most notably Vol'jin, Thrall, Baine Bloodhoof, and Lor'themar Theron. At the same time, the orcish loyalists[5] of the True Horde were bolstered by hired mercenary goblins, mantid, and the power of the Old God Y'Shaarj.

In the end, Garrosh's army fell to the overwhelming strength of the forces arrayed against them, with the Warchief himself confronted and defeated by their strongest heroes deep beneath the city. Captured, Garrosh was spared by Taran Zhu and the Horde and Alliance leadership, who agreed that he should stand trial for his crimes in Pandaria.

The end of the siege marked the temporary conclusion of war between the Alliance and Horde, as a tenuous ceasefire was struck between King Wrynn and the Horde's new Warchief, Vol'jin. Despite his defeat, Garrosh would not remain in chains and eventually escaped to instigate the war in Draenor.


After being lifted from his depression by Thrall in Garadar, Thrall made Garrosh the overlord of his armies during the war with the Scourge in Northrend. Despite the glory he received for participating in the war against the Lich King and later being declared Warchief, Garrosh's bloodlust and ambition only grew with time. The Destruction of Theramore, the oppression of the Darkspear tribe, use of evil magic, and the thoughtless endangerment of the non-orc races drove his allies away from him. Garrosh's paranoia about his supposed allies culminated in his attempted assassination of Vol'jin. Soon it became clear to Vol'jin that Garrosh did not want the Horde to be a family of the downtrodden, but rather an instrument to building up orc power.[6]

Fed up with Garrosh's tyranny, Vol'jin set about uniting the dissenting leaders of the Horde under the Darkspear Rebellion. The Alliance, who had also suffered from Garrosh's warmongering, also wished to depose the mad warchief. The Alliance contacted Vol'jin and helped his uprising in the Barrens. In exchange, the Horde rebels would try to secure Bladefist Bay for them when their fleet came.[7]

Preparations for the Siege[]

High King Varian Wrynn has rallied the Alliance war fleet and has managed to breach Garrosh's blockade over Kalimdor. Their fleet comprising of reinforcements from Stormwind, Dalaran, New Tinkertown, and Ironforge; has begun to converge on Orgrimmar. With the True Horde distracted by the Darkspear Rebellion, the Alliance fleet made plans to take Garrosh's forces by surprise and make landfall on Bladefist Bay;[8] thus opening up a second front to Orgrimmar[7] and barring any enemy reinforcements coming from the sea. Furthermore, the night elf Sentinels under Tyrande Whisperwind's command began marching with siege weapons towards Orgrimmar, planning to use them once Vol'jin's forces attacked the gates.

In the meantime, Vol'jin and Baine Bloodhoof rallied their forces, gaining control of most of Durotar and the Barrens.[9] They also obtained the support of the Bilgewater Cartel rebels, which supplied them with heavy siege weapons. Many orcish citizens of Durotar who opposed Garrosh joined the rebelling forces as well. The blood elves and the Forsaken sent reinforcements across the sea from Lordaeron, and planned to regroup with the rest of the rebels once the Alliance secured Bladefist Bay.[10] Meanwhile, Thrall and Varok Saurfang infiltrated Orgrimmar to rally any dissidents they can find and if possible, Thrall will attempt to confront Garrosh himself.[11] Vol'jin later sent the Gob Squad to investigate why people were disappearing in Durotar. Their investigation led them to Ragefire Chasm, where the Gob Squad discovered that Garrosh's forces have been hatching proto-drake eggs, proliferating weapons, and dealing with dark shamanism. All evidence pointed to Garrosh planning some sort of invasion and also searching for some sort of artifact in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The Gob Squad reported their findings to Vol'jin, who no doubt suspected Garrosh of plotting something nefarious.[12]

Garrosh, however, was prepared for the siege and managed to bring reinforcements to the city before the start of the rebellion. The Dragonmaw clan under Zaela's command was tasked with protecting the port against the invading naval forces. General Nazgrim and his forces were sent to defend the main gate, and the Kor'kron legions were placed inside the city, guarding the underground entrance to Garrosh's compound. The Blackfuse Company brought heavy cannons, anti-air batteries, and their inventions to help defend Orgrimmar. Garrosh also gained the aid of the Klaxxi, bolstering his forces from them as well.

Garrosh and Taran Zhu

Garrosh defeats Taran Zhu

After the Kor'kron and a goblin excavation team discovered the Vault of Y'Shaarj and brought the titan cache containing the dormant Heart of Y'Shaarj to Garrosh Hellscream,[13] Garrosh went to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. At the Vale, Garrosh fought Taran Zhu and used the energy of the Vale's pools to revive the Old God's heart. Once the revitalized Heart of Y'Shaarj was his to utilize, Garrosh planned to use it as his ultimate weapon against his enemies.

Champions of the Alliance and Horde followed Lorewalker Cho through the scarred Vale of Eternal Blossoms to investigate the cause of its destruction. As they explored the unearthed mogu ruins, the raiders encountered Immerseus, a living essence of the Vale's pools that was corrupted by sha influence.[14] After defeating Immerseus, the group returned to the surface. There the group fended off the corrupted spirits of the Vale's fallen protectors at the place where the Golden Pagoda once stood.[15] Afterwards, the adventurers proceeded to what remains of Big Blossom Excavation and the titan vault that was uncovered before the disaster. Inside, the construct Norushen was trying to quarantine the heart chamber and attacked the adventurers, believing they were corrupted by the Sha of Pride. After Norushen was defeated, it acknowledged the adventurers' good intentions to cleanse the corruption and allowed them to enter.[16] In the heart chamber, they discovered a wounded Taran Zhu blaming the outsiders for the Sha of Pride's release. Lorewalker Cho escorted Taran Zhu out of the vault while Norushen and the adventurers attempted to vanquish the Sha of Pride. The Sha of Pride was ultimately defeated by the adventurers, but not before the Sha killed Norushen. Lorewalker Cho brought Lady Jaina Proudmoore and Lor'themar Theron to aid in the fight but when they arrived, the Sha was already vanquished. Jaina and Lor'themar found Gorehowl in the heart chamber and discovered that Garrosh was responsible for the Vale's destruction. Although tensions remained high between the Horde rebels and the Alliance, the two factions agreed to a temporary alliance in order to bring Garrosh to justice.[10]

Beginning of the Siege[]


The start of the siege.

After securing the flanks and the arrival of all of the troll, orcish, goblin, and tauren rebels to Razor Hill, the Darkspear Rebellion made its march towards Orgrimmar.

Blood elf, Forsaken, and eastern orcish rebel forces began sailing across the seas after regrouping in Lordaeron and Pandaria, securing both from Garrosh's remaining forces there. The Alliance's main armada, boarded by most of their leaders, set sail from Northwatch Hold and rendezvoused with the rebel armada to form a united front during their landfall on Bladefist Bay. Vol'jin's forces had not been able to secure the bay, however, and the united armada was met with hostile Dragonmaw orcs, who have fortified themselves along the bay's shore. The united armada stormed Dranosh'ar Landing; defeating the Dragonmaw clan and bringing down Zaela and her mighty proto-dragon, Galakras.[17]

Vol'jin's forces set up camp a distance from the gates, barely holding off Garrosh's forces. They've sustained heavy casualties and lost all of their siege weapons, leaving Vol'jin and Baine little choice but to endure the skirmishes with the Kor'kron until reinforcements arrive. Eventually, the Alliance and rebel reinforcements regrouped with Vol'jin's forces, turning the tide of battle. Together, they clashed with the Kor'kron in an epic battle in front of the gates; with Helix Blackfuse's creation, the Iron Juggernaut, barring the united force's advance. The mighty heroes eventually destroyed the mechanical scorpion, but the rebellion still lacked the means to besiege the city and more Kor'kron reinforcements were approaching. Fortunately, Tyrande and her Sentinels dispatched the Kor'kron reinforcements while their glaive throwers demolished the gates of Orgrimmar. With the gates down, the united forces began invading the city.[18]

Path to the Underhold[]

The united forces surged into Orgrimmar, rescuing captured Horde and Alliance civilians and prisoners (many of which were tortured[19][20]) — two of which included Ji Firepaw and Gamon. The army went on to dispatch Garrosh's most powerful Dark Shaman, who wielded twisted and polluted versions of their elemental powers. After defeating them and numerous Kor'kron, the army met up with an injured Eitrigg outside of Grommash Hold. Eitrigg told the heroes that Garrosh was holed up in a compound beneath the caverns of Ragefire Chasm.[21] As the champions raided Ragefire Chasm, the champions saw that most of the warlocks in Orgrimmar have been burned and hanged as traitors, further indicating Garrosh's brutality. The last barrier between the united front and Garrosh's Underhold was his strongest general: Nazgrim. Nazgrim regretted that it has come to this, yet was also content that he would be fighting honorably against foes he respected: his fellow Horde — whom he fought alongside with during most of his career as a soldier — and his rivals in the Alliance. Nazgrim threw himself at them, using every skill and tactic he had as a Warrior in the name of his Warchief. He died alongside his own reinforcements; satisfied with the knowledge that the Horde would be led to a brighter future after Garrosh's downfall.[22]

Hellscream's downfall[]

Garrosh Defeated

Garrosh is defeated by the Alliance/Horde heroes.

After Azeroth's greatest champions killed the Warchief's right-hand man, strongest beast, greatest treasures, goblin mercenaries, and Mantid allies; they found Garrosh in his Inner Sanctum. There, Garrosh stood face to face with his predecessor, Thrall. While Thrall attempted to use his shamanistic power of the elements against Garrosh, the World Shaman found his powers useless because of the Dark Shaman's corruption of the land around them. After Garrosh quickly defeated Thrall, the heroes of the Horde and Alliance began their own attack on the mad warchief. Wielding his new weapon Inv axe 2h orgrimmarraid d 01 [Xal'atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl] and augmented by the Heart of Y'Shaarj, Garrosh proved to be a powerful opponent but nevertheless was defeated in battle. In the end, Garrosh collapsed from his injuries but was still alive.[23]


High King Varian Warchief Vol'jin

Varian confronting Vol'jin.

As the leaders of both the Horde and Alliance (except Genn Greymane and Velen) enter the throne room, Thrall attempts to execute Garrosh on the spot, but is stopped by Varian, who claims the punishment is not for him alone to make. Taran Zhu agrees, claiming the need for Garrosh to stand trial in Pandaria. The leaders agree as Garrosh is taken away in chains. However, Jaina sees this as an opportunity: attack the remaining Horde leaders while they are all in one place and press on their advantage to dismantle the Horde. Varian, on the other hand, only wishes to speak with the new warchief and is surprised to learn that it is not Thrall, but Vol'jin who now leads the Horde. Varian claims that, while the Horde has committed heinous crimes, he is willing to give peace another chance so long as the Horde retains its honor from now on.[23]

Meanwhile, in Pandaria, Emperor Shaohao and the August Celestials use their power to grow a large, magical tree in the middle of the Vale of Eternal Sorrows, providing hope that one day, the Vale will heal. Shaohao declares the threat of the Sha and Y'Shaarj to be over.[24]

Garrosh had deployed his arcweaver mages during the battle. It was only through Thrall's intervention that the remaining arcweavers were not executed for treason after the siege ended, and so the mages joined the Horde.[25]


  • Alliance forces
  • Darkspear rebels
    • Troll wind riders
    • Tauren rebels
    • Durotar orcish warriors
    • Blood elf rangers
    • Silvermoon swordsmen
    • Forsaken infantry
    • Darkspear siege towers
    • Goblin catapults
    • Gob Squad members
    • Bilgewater demolishers
    • Bilgewater infantry
    • Razor Hill grunts
  • Pandaren monks
  • Golden Lotus remnants
  • Numerous Alliance destroyers
  • Numerous Alliance battleships
  • Several Horde zeppelins
  • Several Alliance gunships
  • Numerous Blood elven destroyers
  • Numerous Forsaken battleships
  • Several goblin frigates
True Horde

Notes and trivia[]

  • The events of this battle are represented in the final raid instance of Mists of Pandaria.
  • On the Isle of Thunder, Jaina Proudmoore vowed to use her staff to crush Orgrimmar's walls,[26] but she didn't do that.
  • In an interview with Jesse Cox, Dave Kosak revealed that Dalaran was planned to be in the air above Orgrimmar during the Siege, but technical limitations meant they had to scrap the idea. It is possible this is related to the limitations which prevented the Argent Tournament from being placed in Crystalsong Forest.
  • The Siege of Orgrimmar features as an attraction in the Blizzard World in-universe map in Overwatch, but is not seen in the in-game map itself.
  • Varian Wrynn stated (in the aftermath of the Siege of Orgrimmar) that his reasoning for giving peace another chance with the Horde was that continuing the war would prove too costly.[27] Varok Saurfang elaborated on Varian's mindset in A Good War, stating, "There had been a stalemate, of sorts, between the Alliance and the Horde for years. Both sides were strong and had forces placed all around the world. No action could be taken without suffering a swift reprisal. That was why Varian Wrynn had decided not to crush the Horde after the Siege of Orgrimmar—he knew how many lives it would have cost his people to see it through. And, in hindsight, it would have meant the death of Azeroth, for it had taken the full strength of both the Horde and the Alliance to ensure the world’s survival."
  • A "second" Siege of Orgrimmar was nearly attempted at the end of the Fourth War, but was avoided due to Varok Saurfang's mak'gora against Sylvanas Windrunner.[28]
  • Although Jaina was able to send a ship full of Theramore civilians to Tanaris thanks to Baine Bloodhoof's warning, it is possible that most of them were captured and possibly killed anyway after the Horde's naval victories near the region[29] not long after the bombing of Theramore, as various Theramore Citizens, including children, were captured and sent to Orgrimmar, and seen both dead and alive throughout the siege.