- For the Sanctum of Domination raid encounter, see Sylvanas Windrunner (tactics). For the novel, see World of Warcraft: Sylvanas. For other uses, see Sylvanas Windrunner (disambiguation).
Lady, Dark Lady,|
Warchief of the Horde,
Queen, Queen of the Forsaken,
Ranger-General of Silvermoon
Darkfallen (former high elf)|
|Former affiliation(s)||Mawsworn; Forsaken (Hand of Vengeance), Horde; Scourge (Sylvanas' Forces); Quel'Thalas (Farstriders), Alliance of Lordaeron|
|Former occupation(s)||Ally of the Jailer, Warchief of the Horde, Queen of the Forsaken, Banshee of the Scourge, Ranger-General of Silvermoon|
The Maw (lore);|
Alleria, Vereesa, Lirath (siblings), Rhonin (brother-in-law), Zendarin (cousin),
Arator, Giramar and Galadin (nephews)
|Student(s)||Nathanos Blightcaller (champion)|
“Not a Banshee Queen... Not a Ranger-General... But always a Windrunner.”
- — Sylvanas Windrunner
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, formerly styled "the Dark Lady" and "the Banshee Queen", is the former Warchief of the Horde and former supreme ruler of the Forsaken, one of the most powerful factions of undead on Azeroth. In life, Sylvanas was the ranger-general of Silvermoon, whose leadership acumen and martial prowess were without equal. During the Third War, she bravely defended Quel'Thalas from a Scourge invasion led by the death knight Arthas Menethil. Ultimately, however, Sylvanas fell in battle. Rather than honor the ranger-general with a quick death, Arthas ripped out her soul and transformed it into a banshee: a cunning and vengeful agent of the Lich King empowered by hate.
When the Lich King's control over his minions weakened, Sylvanas broke away from her tyrannical master's control and reclaimed her body. Vowing to avenge her death, Sylvanas gathered other renegade undead and set out to wage war against the Scourge. Thus it was that the Forsaken came to be, with Sylvanas as their queen. Under Sylvanas' command, the Forsaken joined the Horde and later helped bring about the Lich King's fall in the frozen wastes of Northrend. She seeks a higher purpose for a people who have already died once.
Yet many challenges still lay ahead for Sylvanas. After an uprising within her ranks that killed other members of the Horde, the banshee queen is now mistrusted by many of her allies. Most recently, Sylvanas began fortifying her territory within the Tirisfal Glades in order to establish a proper kingdom for her followers. While Sylvanas maintains that her loyalty to the Horde is undiminished, some of the faction's members are uncertain about her true intentions.
After the fall of the Lich King, Sylvanas came to the shocking realization that she, like Arthas before her, was damned to an eternity of darkness and torture in the afterlife. Yet she also found new purpose when she met the ancient evil controlling this realm, an entity known only as the Jailer. She formed an alliance with him, and shortly after entered into a pact with the Val'kyr, allowing Sylvanas to regain her place in the realm of the living for as long as her Val'kyr survive. Sylvanas would initially claim that she considered her people a bulwark against the horrifying darkness that awaits her in the end. Though the truth of this matter was that she needed them to create as much war and death as possible to deliver souls to her new ally. To this end, she subsequently launched an aggressive attack into the regions of Lordaeron and the greater Eastern Kingdoms not directly under her control, in an attempt to conquer the continent and secure it for the Forsaken, while securing all souls lost for the Jailer.
Mortally wounded during the battle for the Broken Shore, Warchief Vol'jin declared Sylvanas as his successor with his dying breath, leaving her to lead the Horde against the invading forces of the Burning Legion. Following the Legion's defeat, Sylvanas led the Horde against the Alliance in a war that spanned all of Azeroth.
Upon being challenged to mak'gora by the defector Varok Saurfang, Sylvanas easily defeated him after a short combat with the help of her newfound powers, but in the process revealed to the spectators of Horde and Alliance that these matters meant nothing to her, implying that she was dealing with matters of a much grander scale. Ultimately, Sylvanas left everyone behind, flew away from Orgrimmar in the form of a dark smoke and despite the appearances, there were those who were still loyal to her cause.
After defeating Bolvar Fordragon and shattering the Helm of Domination, Sylvanas opened a doorway into the Maw and worked side by side with the Jailer, under the belief they would shatter the systems of Death and grant everyone free will. However, upon discovering that she had been lied to and that her ally intended to have everyone (herself included) serve him, she declared that she'd never do so. The Jailer responded by returning the fragment of her soul she'd long been missing, rendering her unconscious and abandoning her to her enemies. Uther the Lightbringer helped the two disparate parts of Sylvanas' soul reunite, and a remorseful Sylvanas subsequently set about making amends for her sins by aiding the heroes of Azeroth in working against the Jailer and freeing Anduin Wrynn from his control. After the Jailer's defeat, Sylvanas submitted to the judgment of her archenemy Tyrande Whisperwind, who sentenced her to freeing all of the souls trapped in the Maw as the first step toward penance for her crimes.
Sylvanas serves as one of the main characters in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, and World of Warcraft. However, Sylvanas has recently become more antagonistic, serving as one of the main antagonists (alongside N'Zoth) in Battle for Azeroth, and a major antagonist in Shadowlands.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Ranger-General of Silvermoon
- 1.2 The Second War
- 1.3 Invasion of the Undead Scourge
- 1.4 Sylvanas the Banshee
- 1.5 Return to Lordaeron
- 1.6 The Dark Ranger
- 1.7 Queen of the Forsaken
- 1.8 The Sunwell
- 1.9 Joining the Horde
- 1.10 The Forsaken's dominion
- 1.11 Hallow's End
- 1.12 The Burning Crusade
- 1.13 Legends: Crusader's Blood
- 1.14 Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
- 1.15 A Council for War
- 1.16 In the Shadow of the Sun
- 1.17 Wrath of the Lich King
- 1.18 Stormrage
- 1.19 Edge of Night
- 1.20 Cataclysm
- 1.21 Tides of War
- 1.22 Escalation
- 1.23 Siege of Orgrimmar
- 1.24 War Crimes
- 1.25 Warlords of Draenor
- 1.26 Dark Mirror
- 1.27 Legion
- 1.28 Windrunner: Three Sisters
- 1.29 Before the Storm
- 1.30 New allies
- 1.31 Battle for Azeroth
- 1.32 Shadows Rising
- 1.33 Shadowlands
- 2 Locations
- 3 Quests
- 4 Tactics
- 5 Lore abilities
- 6 Personality
- 7 Appearance
- 8 In the TCG
- 9 In the RPG
- 10 Quotes
- 10.1 Warcraft III
- 10.2 World of Warcraft
- 10.3 Wrath of the Lich King
- 10.4 Cataclysm
- 10.5 Mists of Pandaria
- 10.6 Legion
- 10.7 Battle for Azeroth
- 10.8 Shadowlands
- 10.9 Other
- 10.10 Heroes of the Storm trailer
- 11 In Hearthstone
- 12 In Heroes of the Storm
- 13 Notes and trivia
- 14 Alternate timelines
- 15 Gallery
- 16 Videos
- 17 Patch changes
- 18 See also
- 19 References
- 20 External links
Ranger-General of Silvermoon
Sylvanas was a member of the prominent Windrunner family of the high elves. Sylvanas was the middle sister between the oldest sister Alleria, and the youngest sister Vereesa. She also had a brother named Lirath. Her family lived at Windrunner Spire in the tranquil forests of Quel'Thalas. Sylvanas joined the rangers and eventually became their leader, rising to the rank of Ranger-General of Silvermoon, the military leader of all high elven forces, succeeding her mother Lireesa.
Prior to the Second War, Sylvanas earned a reputation as a fearless and cunning ranger while battling the forest trolls of the Amani Empire. Some time before the Second War, Sylvanas admitted the highly talented human ranger Nathanos Marris into the ranks of the Farstriders. This decision surprised many of her compatriots, such as Halduron Brightwing, Lor'themar Theron, and Renthar Hawkspear. Some of Sylvanas' comrades took note of the inordinate amount of pride Sylvanas took in her human disciple and opposed the notion of allowing a human to train with the elven rangers. Sylvanas frequently visited Nathanos at his home at the Marris Stead, officially to hear reports, but rumor spread throughout the Farstriders that she was involved in a romantic relationship with her human pupil. Sylvanas visited Nathanos at the Marris Stead shortly before the onset of the Second War. She spoke to him of a potential invasion of Quel'Thalas from the Horde and met Nathanos' young cousin, Stephon Marris. Sylvanas asked the boy if he wanted to be a ranger when he grew up, but he replied that he wanted to be a knight. Sylvanas gave him a gold coin and told him to keep it until he was old enough to buy his first sword. Before leaving, Sylvanas spent the night at the stead.
Even the high elven prince Kael'thas Sunstrider took an issue with Nathanos and sent a letter to Quel'Thalas demanding Sylvanas dismiss the human from the ranger corps. Despite this opposition, however, Sylvanas persisted, and her response was simply that Nathanos would be a loyal ally. This would prove correct, as Nathanos' talent allowed him to become the first and last of the human ranger lords, being promoted by Sylvanas herself, and was responsible for victories spanning a decade of conflict.
The Second War
During the Second War, the high elves initially sent only token support to the Alliance, though Sylvanas' older sister Alleria took her squad of rangers and joined the fight against the Horde as well.
After the forests of Quel'Thalas mysteriously began to burn, Sylvanas and her rangers set out to discover the cause. She came across both her sisters being chased by a band of forest trolls, whom they dispatched quickly. Alleria alerted Sylvanas of the coming orcish Horde, and that it was they who were burning Quel'Thalas with dragon fire. Sylvanas and her rangers moved quickly to meet the Horde and trap them between themselves and the Alliance forces under the command of the paladin Turalyon. The battle took many turns but ultimately the Horde abandoned Quel'Thalas. Sylvanas stayed behind to hunt down any remaining orcs. Shortly after, the Horde was defeated, the Dark Portal destroyed, and the Second War ended.
Sometime after the Second War, Sylvanas raised her second-in-command Lor'themar Theron to the rank of Ranger Lord of the Farstriders.
Invasion of the Undead Scourge
After the high elves withdrew from the Alliance, Sylvanas and her rangers were the primary guards against any would-be attackers on Silvermoon. Several years later, Arthas Menethil, the betrayer of Lordaeron, arrived unexpectedly on the doorstep of Quel'Thalas with a horde of undead at his back. Kelmarin, one of Sylvanas' scouts, quickly informed her of the swarm of undeath fast approaching the first elfgate. Sylvanas organized her Farstriders, and went to observe the despoiler of Lordaeron herself.
She came face-to-face with Arthas and suggested that the death knight turn back. However, Arthas retorted that death itself had come to Quel'Thalas, and began his assault on the first elfgate. Despite the Farstriders' best efforts, Arthas was able to successfully crash through it with his necromantic allies, and hulking nerubians acting as sentient siege engines. Sylvanas and her surviving rangers fled back to the second gate, and Sylvanas came to the grim realization that she could not win this battle. However, she held out hope that the magisters at the Sunwell - if they knew what was approaching - could still turn the battle around. She had another ranger rush to inform them that Quel'Thalas may have been betrayed, and observed as the undead Scourge wrought a trail of dark, unholy destruction upon the land.
Arthas continued relentlessly towards the second gate, killing every elf who got in his way. The fallen prince soon learned that the second elfgate was only passable with the use of the Key of the Three Moons, assembled from the mooncrystals hidden within the forest. Sylvanas destroyed the bridge leading to the second gate in an attempt to halt the undead advance, though all her effort proved in vain as Arthas successfully collected all the mooncrystals for the gate and ordered his mind-devoid minions to create a huge bridge of bodies to supplement the destroyed passage.
Once Arthas had bested the gate, Sylvanas retreated to Fairbreeze Village, and had its citizens evacuated. With little more than her most stalwart rangers left by her side, Sylvanas resolved to make a final stand before Arthas could push his way into Silvermoon. Every runner she sent to Silvermoon was murdered, and Sylvanas coordinated an aerial dragonhawk attack to counter the invaders. However, this too proved mostly futile. Knowing that her own death approached, Sylvanas could think only of her sister, Alleria, and gazed upon a necklace gifted to her by her elder sibling. Sylvanas mused that they would likely be reunited soon.
Sylvanas' final stand was against Arthas himself just east of Fairbreeze Village, fast closing in on Silvermoon, who at this point was frustrated at the harsh resistance Sylvanas had given him. The two engaged in combat, though the exhausted ranger-general was unable to match the power of Frostmourne, which shattered her weapons and pierced through her abdomen.
Sylvanas fights back the Scourge.
Sylvanas in Warbringers.
Sylvanas confronts Arthas.
Sylvanas' echo during the quest Lament of the Highborne
Sylvanas the Banshee
- For Warcraft III stats and abilities, see Sylvanas Windrunner (banshee).
The official story given by the high elves of Silvermoon had the Ranger-General having perished valiantly in battle against the undead Scourge in the defense of Quel'Thalas, and her body being burned to ashes in the fire that had devastated half the capital. Rhonin had been told a different story: that Sylvanas was instead captured, horribly mutilated, then finally slain for Arthas' pleasure. In this version of events, her body was taken into a dark temple, where Arthas corrupted her soul, transforming her into a haunting, mournful phantom called a banshee that was left to roam the ruins of Quel'Thalas.
In truth, as Sylvanas lay dying after being impaled by Frostmourne, she told Arthas to finish her, saying she deserved a clean death. Having had to fight her every step of the way, Arthas responded by telling her the last thing he would give her was the peace of death. Moments after Sylvanas passed away into a comforting darkness, she felt agony unlike any she had ever known. Arthas ripped her soul back into the world and Sylvanas Windrunner became the first of the high elven banshees. Frostmourne fractured her soul, consuming a fragment of it and leaving that part frozen in time while the rest of her continued onward. As a banshee, she was able to give voice to her pain, and in so doing she would cause pain to others. Her body was flung onto a meatwagon, lost among the thousands more the Scourge had claimed, and would later be locked in an iron coffin as a further act of vengeance upon the ranger-general.
Sylvanas, now an undead banshee, was granted a number of unconventional abilities by Arthas. Though bound to his will completely, in a process she likened to a puppet master pulling strings, Arthas allowed her to retain her self-awareness - so that she might witness the destruction she would bring to her people firsthand. Sylvanas the banshee was paraded in front of Silvermoon as something of a trophy, and though the high elves were shocked to the core, Sylvanas could not help but feel pride as they continued their futile, brutal struggle against Arthas. Though Arthas had been able to fill the first crossing with bodies to form a passage, Sylvanas gloated to him that he would never be able to do so to reach Quel'Danas and the Sunwell. Arthas plunged Frostmourne into the ocean and created a path of frost for his army to use instead.
Arthas began his brutal assault on the Sunwell, and Sylvanas watched helplessly as he engaged in single combat with the high elven ruler, High King Anasterian Sunstrider. She hoped dearly that the aged king could put an end to him, though knew that it was not possible. Her hopes were raised when Anasterian managed to dismount Arthas by grievously wounding his skeletal steed, Invincible, though the act only served to enrage Arthas further, and King Anasterian fell, both body and soul, before Frostmourne. Sylvanas witnessed the rebirth of Kel'Thuzad via the destruction of the Sunwell and overtaken with grief, let out a banshee's screech that almost deafened the army but only amused Arthas. However, Sylvanas could not help but feel elated to see the traitor, Dar'Khan Drathir, cut down by Arthas as well.
With that, the mighty elven homeland of Quel'Thalas suffered its darkest hour. The former ranger-general accompanied Arthas to a demon gate, where Kel'Thuzad communed with Archimonde. The demon instructed them to attack Dalaran next, and Sylvanas mocked Arthas for a hint of regret she could sense within him - pertaining to someone he perhaps had "fond memories" regarding - Jaina Proudmoore. Arthas quickly silenced her, exerting his dominion over her spirit, though Sylvanas could not suppress a smirk of satisfaction. Over time, Sylvanas would listen to Arthas' talks, including mentions of the location of her body. She was ultimately present for the summoning of Archimonde after the fall of Dalaran.
Return to Lordaeron
Sylvanas became one of Arthas' primary generals, and she remained behind in Lordaeron with Kel'Thuzad under the watchful eye of the dreadlords, who had been left stationed in Lordaeron to protect it in the name of the Burning Legion. When Archimonde was defeated at the Battle of Mount Hyjal, Sylvanas would quickly learn of this news from Kel'Thuzad. As the months passed, the dreadlords were still ignorant of their master's defeat. Varimathras, Detheroc, and Balnazzar, the three prime dreadlords overseeing Lordaeron, were convening under Sylvanas' undead, watchful eyes when Arthas stormed into the stronghold, fresh from his journey to Kalimdor. He informed them of the Legion's failure and his intentions to take control of the Scourge. The dreadlords fled, outraged but unwilling to risk their lives by battling Arthas' army.
Arthas approached his servants and ordered that Lordaeron be purged of all life as a tribute to Ner'zhul. Kel'Thuzad, however, informed him that human refugees had begun to flee from the outer villages, and that, should they escape into the mountain passes, they would be impossible to track. Arthas stationed himself and his two generals on the three possible escape routes and they each led detachments of undead troops against the fleeing humans while taking great pains to ensure that few, if any, made it past their blockade to safety. Despite the efforts of the paladin Dagren the Orcslayer and his companions, Sylvanas led her banshees into battle against the human refugees, aided in the destruction of all the remaining villages in her area, and slaughtered any human trying to escape. Finally, Sylvanas, Arthas, and Kel'Thuzad arrived at the central headquarters of the paladins and killed them all in a vicious battle, annihilating the last of the civilian presence in Lordaeron.
The Dark Ranger
Around this point, the weakened Ner'zhul began to lose control of the minds of Sylvanas and a number of banshees. She kept this discovery from Arthas and Kel'Thuzad while continuing to serve. The dreadlords extended an invitation for Sylvanas to speak with them in Silverpine Forest and explained that they knew the cause, and arranged a secret meeting with her. They told her that Ner'zhul's — and by extension Arthas' — powers were beginning to diminish. The nathrezim intended to use this opportunity to seize control of Lordaeron. Sylvanas tentatively agreed to assist, but under the condition that her aid would be provided on her own terms.
Right after the meeting, Sylvanas summoned her dark rangers, and together they went to Deatholme in search of her body. Sylvanas found her body locked into a coffin as requested by Arthas to further torment her., as well as her bow. She then prepared a special poison with woundwood and troll poison and tested it on a bear. The dreadlords planned on killing Arthas within the capital, but Sylvanas created a contingency plan in the case of Arthas' escape. She arranged for her banshees to feign allegiance and escort him through woods to a field where she would be waiting for him. After Arthas survived the dreadlords' ambush and escaped the capital, Sylvanas' loyal sisters saw him to the arranged place and then killed his bodyguards.
Sylvanas thought that punishing Arthas would absolve her of the crimes he had forced her to commit against her people during the invasion of Quel'Thalas. Hiding in the shadows, she struck him with an arrow she had crafted — a venomous sting that would paralyze him. Arthas was furious at her betrayal and demanded that she finish him. But Sylvanas refused to show him the mercy of a quick death and intended to make him suffer — as he had made her suffer in undeath. She was about to begin her grisly work with a dagger in her hand but was stopped by a female shade and the arrival of Kel'Thuzad and his undead army. Sylvanas and her banshees were forced to flee but vowed to never stop hunting Arthas.
After the failed attempt, Sylvanas returned to Quel'Thalas once again, and this time she entered the vicinity of Farstrider Retreat where she found Lor'themar and Halduron. She overheard them speaking about the fallen quel'dorei and the undead still present. As she was to reveal herself, her friends mentioned nightmares of Sylvanas massacring their people and pointed out that Sylvanas was no more as she would have found a way to resist Arthas' command during the invasion, and they considered her to be gone. With all that heard, she decided not to make her presence known and quietly left the dead forest back to Lordaeron.
Queen of the Forsaken
Arthas left for Northrend, having been summoned by the Lich King, and Kel'Thuzad went into hiding. Sylvanas and her sisters were freed, but Sylvanas was still troubled. Though free from Ner'zhul, she and the other free-willed loyalists remained monstrous abominations in appearance.
Her thoughts were interrupted as Varimathras arrived on the scene. The dreadlord invited the banshee to join him and his brothers in their new order. But Sylvanas was not so quick to relinquish what freedom she had just gained. She told him that her assistance was enough, and demanded to be left alone. Varimathras ominously warned that those who were not part of this new land would be cast aside and that she had best not vex the new rulers of the Plaguelands. Sylvanas was adamant. As Varimathras departed, Sylvanas knew that an attack was imminent. But with only her banshees and some lesser undead to serve for her, Sylvanas was certain that she would soon fall. She needed to acquire an army.
Scouting the outer wilderness, Sylvanas found a plethora of creatures who would serve her well, and with her banshees at her disposal, they would have little choice in the matter. She sent out her banshees to possess Mug'thol the leader of the local ogres, the Bandit Lord Blackthorn, the gnoll ruler Snarlmane, and the Murloc Puddle Lord. Those she did not possess were killed. With so many new allies, Varimathras was quick to fall before her. But after she defeated him, Varimathras begged for his life, saying that he could serve her well. He knew his brothers' tactics, and where their bases were located. Sylvanas knew trusting such an insidious creature was a risk but felt that she could control him enough for her purposes. With Varimathras' assistance, they moved against Detheroc's forces.
Detheroc had acquired a human puppet, Garithos, and his men, and was using them to protect himself. Sylvanas had his scouts possessed and then infiltrated his base while their guard was down. As they slept, Sylvanas swept through the twin bases and slaughtered any before her. Though they eventually awoke and raised the alarm, it was too late. Sylvanas disabled the humans and ravaged Detheroc's forces, eventually coming to the dreadlord himself, and killing him swiftly. With the dreadlord dead, Garithos was freed from his mental control. Sylvanas saw him as arrogant and foolish but felt that she could use him. She lied and promised to relinquish control of the Capital to him if he helped her kill Balnazzar.
The night before attacking the Capital City, Sylvanas met with the freed undead. She spoke about their purpose in the world and if they help her retake the Capital. An undead alchemist called Lydon asked her what would become of Garithos' humans. She responded that they would just serve for the battle.
Garithos attacked from the rear entrance to the city as Sylvanas and Varimathras came from the front. As they moved into the city, Sylvanas found caches of items left by the Lordaeron royals and used them to further the assault. Despite the dreadlord's demonic allies, his forces were destroyed, and, as a final test of loyalty, Sylvanas demanded that Varimathras kill Balnazzar. Varimathras froze, saying that it was forbidden for one Nathrezim to kill another. But she required Varimathras to prove his loyalty to her. Varimathras obeyed and struck down Balnazzar. However, whether by accident or design, Balnazzar later re-emerged as a leader of the Scarlet Crusade. Varimathras was not so reluctant when Sylvanas ordered him to do the same to Garithos.
With all their enemies dead, Sylvanas made a proclamation to Varimathras. They would rule the Plaguelands as the Forsaken, and would stake out their own destiny, where none would get in their way.
Sylvanas quickly went about founding her new empire of undeath. Freeing as much undead from the Lich King's dominion, and organizing them into a new nation of their own, Sylvanas attacked the royal catacombs beneath the ruins of Capital City - the Undercity - and took it over for the Forsaken. The Forsaken have since worked to complete Arthas' plans in the Undercity; extending its dungeons and tombs considerably to forge a functional capital for their own use.
Varimathras then told her about Arthas' fate in Northrend - that he merged with the Lich King and was now seated on the Frozen Throne of Icecrown Citadel. From her Forsaken, Sylvanas learned about what had happened with King King Terenas in the imperial chamber and was told that his blood was even on the crown, but the crown was nowhere to be found after her battle with Balnazzar. Nevertheless, she did not care for the chamber's throne or the lost crown as her plan was the Undercity. Once, as she stood in the chamber, lost in the memories of her friends, family, lover, as well as thoughts of her new leadership role, she was suddenly approached by a Forsaken who introduced himself as Putress. He told her about his plan to create |a new plague, which Sylvanas allowed him as she needed a weapon against Arthas as well as to protect her new charges in order to send them at their enemies. After giving Putress the rank of grand apothecary and sending him to Varimathras for aid, she resolved to find Nathanos.
She spent a week scouring the Eastern Plaguelands but returned to the Undercity frustrated and without her former lover. As she returned to the Undercity, Dark Ranger Clea informed her that they found Nathanos near his homestead raised as a Scourge. Sylvanas and her dark rangers returned to the empty stead, and she briefly wondered if Stephon had survived or became Scourge. Soon the group was attacked by plaguehounds, but the rangers quickly disposed of the beasts. They continued through nearby pockets of the undead, until they found him. Nathanos did not immediately recognize her and attempted to attack her with the unending rage filling the void in his soul, but was fettered by dark ranger arrows while Sylvanas called him to his senses. Sylvanas tore Nathanos free from the Lich King's will, a feat that had never done, as the Forsaken had simply regained their free will, and told her disheveled former pupil of the plight of the Forsaken. She then named Nathanos her champion, in their quest to avenge themselves upon Arthas.
At some point, Sylvanas raised Velonara as a dark ranger. She also encountered and freed Reigol Valdread who initially assisted her but later asked her to release him from her service which she eventually agreed to do.
Sylvanas, the Banshee Queen, and leader of the Forsaken traveled to Quel'Thalas for her own reasons, but soon encountered the traitor Dar'Khan, confronting him in the ruins of Silvermoon. She aided Kalecgos in attempting to stop the traitor from claiming the Sunwell's energies; though she was initially unsuccessful, she distracted Dar'Khan long enough for Anveena to regain her power and vaporize him. Sylvanas agreed to keep Anveena's identity a secret in the interests of preventing Arthas from gaining the Sunwell's power.
Ranger-General Sylvanas in Silvermoon City.
Joining the Horde
The Forsaken, having carved a functional empire of their own and with growing numbers by the day, knew that the next step to realizing their vengeance upon Arthas Menethil was to secure their place in the world. Though Sylvanas had presided over the civil war in the Plaguelands and successfully conquered the ruins of Lordaeron, how long the relatively small faction of the Forsaken could keep their holdings was unclear.
As such, Sylvanas looked to finding allies. To that end, she sent ambassadors to both the Alliance and the Horde. Her emissaries to the Alliance never returned. Sylvanas suspected that they hadn't survived long enough even to make it past the gates of Stormwind City. Fortunately, her ambassadors to the Horde fared better with the Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem believing that Forsaken could be redeemed and spiritually revived. Hamuul brought Forsaken ambassadors to meet with Cairne Bloodhoof, high chieftain of the tauren tribes, and Cairne agreed that the undead should be given a chance to thrive. Thus, the tauren convinced Warchief Thrall, despite his misgivings, to forge an alliance of convenience between the Forsaken and the Horde. This alliance of convenience has granted the Horde a better footing in the mostly Alliance controlled Eastern Kingdoms, and in turn, with the Horde's protection, and even the assistance of the Argent Dawn, the Forsaken were able to keep their holdings in Lordaeron.
The Forsaken's dominion
Having carved out an alliance with the Horde, the Forsaken looked to expanding their ever-growing empire of undeath. By freeing the minds of the undead under the sway of the Lich King, Sylvanas came to preside over an impressive faction of her own. Nathanos was named the champion of the Banshee Queen and took up residence on the Marris Stead to train and direct his Queen's new champions.
Sylvanas sent adventurers to train under Nathanos, and later to help remove the zealous Scarlet Crusade presence constantly harassing Forsaken lands. Sylvanas sanctioned the creation of the Deathstalkers, which has quickly become one of the most powerful spy organizations on Azeroth, and also oversaw the early production of a master plague capable of bringing the Scourge to its knees - the Royal Apothecary Society rising to meet this goal.
Sylvanas tasked Varimathras with the conquering of the human and dwarven lands in southern Lordaeron.
The Forsaken have incorporated the notion of Hallow's End into a core part of their culture. Sylvanas hails it as the night where the Forsaken are strongest - the night where their enemies fear them the most. She appears in a ghostly form outside of the Undercity to burn the large wickerman; much to the crowd's delight. The Wickerman Festival celebrates the anniversary of the Forsaken's campaign against the Scourge and Burning Legion and the birth of the Forsaken as a people.
Since the Cataclysm, Sylvanas gives a new speech during Hallow's End, and there are sound files for this speech, just as Genn Greymane has.
The Burning Crusade
This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.
In undeath, Sylvanas still considers herself one of the foremost protectors of Quel'Thalas, and repeatedly offered assistance in the form of supplies and troops to the blood elves. This is due to the fact that the Dark Lady still had a lot of love for Quel'Thalas, its people, and identified with them on many fronts. Though the sin'dorei initially declined most of Sylvanas' offers, fearing a trick, the beleaguered elves eventually allowed Sylvanas to station Forsaken soldiers in their lands, most prominently in the village of Tranquillien. She appointed High Executor Mavren to assist Dame Auriferous in defeating Dar'Khan Drathir because he used to fight the Scourge.
During the battles in the Ghostlands, blood elven adventurers would travel to Windrunner Spire - Sylvanas' former residence - and acquire , what was once a gift to Sylvanas from her elder sister, Alleria. It is delivered to the Banshee Queen herself, and Sylvanas is briefly taken aback by the sight of it. However, she quickly composes herself and lashes out at the adventurer - ensuring them that it means nothing to her and that Alleria Windrunner is a long-dead memory; dropping the necklace. She dismisses the adventurer from her chambers, though in a rare moment of emotion, summons a choir of high elven banshees and begins to sing a melancholic song for her bereaved homeland. She then kneels down to pick up the necklace.
On behalf of Mehlar Dawnblade, Sylvanas would later assist sin'dorei Blood Knights in the creation of a powerful scourgestone; Sylvanas' intimate knowledge of the Scourge's workings proved essential in its creation.
Legends: Crusader's Blood
Sylvanas alongside Varimathras attacked a camp of the Scarlet Crusade in Tirisfal Glades and defeated its leader, Renee Lauer who was responsible for the deaths of some Horde members. After this, Renee was resurrected as a Forsaken.
Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
Sylvanas once went to see Faranell who showed her the effects of the New Plague. She was satisfied with the result but warned Faranell that the Plague should never fall into the wrong hands. Arthas killed and consumed the dream form of Ner'zhul thus he became the only person known as the Lich King. In that moment, he opened his eyes, and Sylvanas felt that something terrible was happening.
A Council for War
The time had finally come to deal with the Scourge. Sylvanas and her chief apothecary, Putress, met with Warchief Thrall, High Overlord Saurfang, and Garrosh Hellscream to plan their next move. After the duel between Garrosh and Thrall (fueled by Garrosh's belief that immediate action needed to be taken) was interrupted by a Scourge assault, Sylvanas helped to defend Orgrimmar. After the Horde victory, Thrall declared war upon the Lich King. Pleased, Sylvanas dispensed Putress to assist the Horde in Northrend - his vast knowledge of the plague surely being a beneficial addition to its arsenal.
In the Shadow of the Sun
With the Horde now dedicated to a Northrend campaign, Lady Sylvanas and a group of Royal Dreadguards traveled to Sunfury Spire to gain the support of the blood elves towards the war effort. She was met by her old comrade, Lor'themar Theron, Regent Lord of Quel'Thalas, along with Grand Magister Rommath and the current Ranger-general of Silvermoon, Halduron Brightwing. Sylvanas instructed Lor'themar to send a force of blood elves — Magisters, Farstriders and Blood Knights — to Northrend, though Lor'themar was apprehensive, reasoning that he had only just overcome the war on Quel'Danas. Sylvanas noted that the blood elves are a part of the Horde only by her hand and that if they do not mobilize they would surely lose its support - and Forsaken support in their lands.
With his arm twisted, Lor'themar relented, and agreed to send a contingent of blood elves to the Undercity. Sylvanas prepared to leave, though Rommath was outraged at this turn of events. He threw Sylvanas' offers of aid back at her, stating that the situation was blackmail. Sylvanas informed him that all she desired was the strength to defeat their greatest foe - and that moreover, her offers were just that - offers. Lor'themar quickly ended their conversation, and Sylvanas' eyes flashed for the briefest of moments at his Thalassian farewell. She silently left.
Wrath of the Lich King
The Horde thus began their assault on the frozen region of Northrend. While the main Horde advance, led by Garrosh Hellscream, attacked from Borean Tundra; the Forsaken - coming under the banner of the aptly named Hand of Vengeance - assaulted the region from Howling Fjord with their considerable navy. Under Sylvanas' direct leadership, the Hand of Vengeance brought with it everything in the Forsaken's arsenal - including the penultimate phases of their enigmatic plague, which would be perfected during their time in Northrend.
One of the new Forsaken camps in Northrend is New Agamand, where most of the Royal Apothecary Society's members took up residence to finish perfecting the plague to unleash upon the Lich King. Lady Sylvanas had been methodically and patiently overseeing the creation of this contagion for several years now, and it seemed the time, at last, had come to test it on the Scourge.
However, Grand Apothecary Putress, whom Sylvanas had deployed in Northrend, would soon come to undertake this honor - by hurling the perfected, ravenous plague at the Scourge, the Alliance, and even the Horde during the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate.
Battle for the Undercity
- Main article: Battle for the Undercity
As the combined Horde and Alliance forces began their assault upon Angrathar the Wrathgate, an uprising broke out within the Undercity. Varimathras and hordes of his demonic brethren, in league with Putress, overran the city, slaying all those who would not submit to their dark rule. Sylvanas herself nearly died in the coup, but managed to escape with a number of loyalists and fled to Orgrimmar. Determined not to allow the dreadlords a foothold in Horde territory, Thrall and Sylvanas planned an immediate counter-attack. In the midst of their planning, however, Jaina Proudmoore arrived with terrible news: in the wake of Bolvar Fordragon's death, King Varian was preparing for a possible war with the Horde. Jaina had been sent to elicit an explanation for the betrayal at the Wrathgate. Though Thrall and Sylvanas explained that the Horde was not responsible for Putress, Jaina had warned them that King Varian would most likely pursue retribution.
Sylvanas returned to the Undercity at the head of a Horde army, determined to retake her city. Along with Thrall and Vol'jin, she led the assault into Undercity itself, a cry for her people upon her lips. In the Throne Room, Sylvanas fought and finally slew Varimathras, retaking her throne. As this was occurring, King Varian launched his own assault on the Undercity from the sewers, eventually finding and killing Putress. Upon discovery of various Forsaken experiments on their human captives, King Varian was set on declaring war on the Horde. King Varian entered the Royal Quarter shortly after Varimathras' defeat, branding them monsters and charged at the Warchief and the Dark Lady. However, he was quickly teleported out of the battle by Jaina, who took the Alliance forces back to Stormwind.
With the battle over, Sylvanas was thus able to reclaim her throne, with the treacherous rebels put to death. Sylvanas was willing to take vengeance against the Lich King at almost any cost, even by making a weapon as deadly as the plague. Whether she was aware that Putress and Varimathras were planning to use the concoction remained a mystery. Rumors persisted that she knew about the attack at the Wrath Gate beforehand, and her denials did not assuage the doubts of her detractors. However, the entire Wrathgate fiasco did not sit well with Thrall, who dispensed a contingent of Kor'kron to keep watch over the Forsaken. With that, Sylvanas herself made the journey to Northrend - to finally deliver her vengeance upon Arthas.
The Frozen Halls
Sylvanas led the Horde forces to the Frozen Halls inside Icecrown Citadel, to confront the Lich King and gain her vengeance against Arthas for destroying Quel'Thalas and damning her to undeath. Accompanied by Dark Ranger Kalira and Dark Ranger Loralen, she instructed Horde heroes in their battles through the accursed halls and joined with several Horde champions of the Argent Tournament. Following the defeat of Ick and Krick, Krick begged for mercy before Sylvanas and attempted to sate her with the knowledge that Frostmourne itself is within the halls - unguarded. Krick was ultimately disposed of by Scourgelord Tyrannus, and Sylvanas made the journey to the Halls of Reflection. Before entering the halls, they had to battle with Tyrannus. Right after his death, Sindragosa appeared and killed almost all the combatants except Sylvanas, her two rangers and the adventurers, who she pulled out of Sindragosa's range. She sent Kalira to get reinforcements and with Loralen and the adventurers entered the Halls of Reflection.
Upon reaching Arthas' private chambers in the Halls of Reflection and standing so close to Frostmourne, Sylvanas felt the pain of her death to this blade renewed. Nonetheless, she attempted to commune with the spirits within the sword, hoping that "salvation lies within". At that point, the spirit of Uther the Lightbringer appeared, warning her that the Lich King was on his way, and of the foolishness of attempting to defeat him there. He revealed that even if Arthas were to be destroyed, there must be someone to take his place as master of the Scourge, lest they wash across the world like locusts, consuming everything in their path. To defeat the Lich King, Uther said, he must be destroyed at the place he was created: The Frozen Throne.
Just then, the Lich King arrived and reclaimed his blade, consuming the soul of Uther within it. He summoned Falric and Marwyn, his two top lieutenants, to kill the intruders. While the adventurers battled the pair and the ghosts they summon, Sylvanas and Dark Ranger Loralen gave chase as the Lich King fled to his inner sanctum. Upon defeating the death knights and their ghostly allies, the party found Loralen dead in the hallway and sounds of battle coming from the chamber before them - Sylvanas and the Lich King in single combat. Realizing he was too powerful to confront there, as Uther had warned, Sylvanas and her escorts fled, breaking through the ice walls and packs of undead minions the Lich King summoned to slow their progress. As they reached the outside, they realized that it is a dead-end, and resolved themselves to die in battle against the Dark Lord. Just then, the gunship Orgrim's Hammer arrived on scene to rescue them. As they fled the Halls of Reflection, Sylvanas realized that the Lich King's powers have increased tenfold and that to defeat him, a mighty army was needed, one greater than even the Horde could muster.
Fall of the Lich King
Eventually, Arthas fell in combat with Tirion Fordring and his champions, ending his reign of terror. With the death of the Lich King, an adventurer bearing finds a , containing various items, among them a vial of blood. The adventurer brings the vial to Sylvanas, waiting in Light's Hammer.
As the whole of Azeroth was enveloped within the effects of the Emerald Nightmare, so was the Undercity and the Banshee Queen herself. Sylvanas dreamt about being a high elf once again after the actually dead Varimathras had turned her back into one. However, her fears gripped her once more as the actually dead Lich King reappeared and tortured her while Varimathras betrayed her once again in her dream. Sharlindra and the other denizens of the Undercity could not bring her out of the spell's grip.
Edge of Night
After the death of the Lich King Arthas Menethil, Sylvanas ventured alone to the Frozen Throne. While irritated that she was not there to see him fall, Sylvanas took solace in knowing that the work she had begun in the lush forests of Quel'Thalas was at last complete: Arthas was dead. With her life's - and unlife's - goal sated, Sylvanas could think only of the bright fate that had awaited her before Arthas tore out her soul and prepared to hurl herself from the citadel onto the saronite spikes below, the only thing capable of destroying her completely. As she contemplated the end of her long journey, nine Val'kyr encircled her, granting her visions of her past. Sylvanas ignored them and hurled herself off the Frozen Throne.
Sylvanas saw a vision of her peoples' future. Without her leadership, the bulk of the Forsaken was sacrificed by Garrosh Hellscream in a failed assault on Gilneas. At the Bulwark, Apothecary Lydon organizes a last, desperate counterattack against the invading Alliance forces. As the tide turned against them, the Forsaken threw themselves into raging fires rather than face the onslaught to come. As the vision ended, Sylvanas found herself floating in a dark void, where she knew only terror, cold, hopelessness, fear, and regret. She also ran into the ghost of Arthas and was surprised to find that all he was at this point was a frightened and lonely little boy. Looking at the man who had inflicted such torment, Sylvanas admitted that had her soul not been broken she may have actually felt pity for him despite what he had done to her. As she realized that this realm of anguish was to be her eternity, the Val'kyr appeared to her again. Led by Annhylde the Caller, they offered the Dark Lady a pact: instead of allowing Sylvanas to reside eternally in this terrifying realm, Annhylde offered to take her place if she binds herself to the remaining Val'kyr; a powerful vessel through which they can continue to exist as more than slaves, their fates intertwined. Sylvanas accepted the pact and was returned to the realm of the living surrounded by the eight remaining Val'kyr.
Sylvanas returned to Silverpine Forest, where Garrosh was leading the assault on Gilneas and stated that the invasion would be carried out her way; Garrosh begrudgingly accepted, and Sylvanas ordered her fleet around to the southern coast to harass the villages and split the defenders. Reflecting on what she had been through, Sylvanas realized that her people were no longer simply arrows in her quiver, but an important resource that would not be squandered.
Following the Wrathgate fiasco, the Forsaken as a whole came under scrutiny from the wider Horde. Use of the Forsaken Blight was explicitly banned, though the apothecaries were permitted to work on a considerably weaker strain. Sylvanas was then ordered to move south into Gilneas because the Horde wanted a port in northern Lordaeron. She spearheaded the attack on Gilneas and was initially successful in conquering the city thanks to the efforts of her Wolf Cult allies. Through her ally, Ralaar Fangfire, she had learned that the legendary Scythe of Elune was in Gilneas and sought custody of it.
However, the Forsaken had not counted on the Gilneans controlling the worgen curse that had spread among them, and the Gilneans uniting their forces after internal struggling to push the Forsaken out of Gilneas City. Backed into a corner, Sylvanas faces off against King Genn Greymane, Darius Crowley, Prince Liam Greymane and a Gilnean resistance force. She quickly turns the tables despite her disadvantage, and aims a poisoned arrow at Genn - though Liam hurls himself in its way; dying in the process. Frustrated, and with the new Warchief's presence breathing down her neck, Sylvanas orders the city to be drenched in blight to secure a certain victory. The Gilneans learn of this and begin to evacuate their citizens. With the battle over and Gilneas once again in Forsaken hands, Sylvanas retreats.
However, the Forsaken lose their holdings in Gilneas after a night-time raid by the 7th Legion. In a meeting with Garrosh Hellscream (whom Sylvanas does not appear to think particularly highly of), Sylvanas reveals the newest allies of the Forsaken - the Val'kyr, the ascended vrykul women who once served the Lich King, and uses them to raise dead enemies as Forsaken as a solution to the undead not being able to procreate. After an insulting exchange with the highly revolted Garrosh, High Warlord Cromush is dispensed to "guard" the Dark Lady and keep tabs on the Forsaken.
Sylvanas personally takes to the battlefield in Silverpine Forest, leading her army against the Alliance counterattack from Gilneas. The Forsaken come under heavy fire from the Gilneas Liberation Front, backed by the Bloodfang pack and the 7th Legion troops. While the Forsaken forces begin to push forward with the help of their allies, old and new (Orcish reinforcements and the Val'kyr, respectively), the latter efficiently bringing in the fallen to bolster their ranks, Sylvanas devises a plan to end the battle in victory- beginning with the resurrection of Lord Godfrey.
After Godfrey captures Lorna Crowley and delivers her to Sylvanas, Sylvanas heads towards the shattered Greymane Wall and gives Darius Crowley a choice: the surrender of the Gilneas Liberation Front or Lorna becomes one of the Forsaken. Darius decides to surrender and Sylvanas allows him to leave with his daughter and his men. Shortly afterward she is killed by Godfrey, who quickly flees to Shadowfang Keep. High Warlord Cromush orders the Val'kyr Agatha, Arthura, and Daschla to fix her. After a moment of thought, the three Val'kyr sacrifice themselves and give Sylvanas life once more. This convinces Sylvanas beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Val'kyr are the future of her people.
The Dark Lady and her forces are eager to conquer the Arathi Highlands, and the fallen (and resurrected) Prince Galen Trollbane, now a member of the Forsaken, along with Dark Ranger Alina are presiding over the possible conflict. Sylvanas herself mused to Alina that the Forsaken's complete conquest of Lordaeron may be the only way they can find satisfaction, and perhaps, relief.
During the Battle for Andorhal, Sylvanas disguises herself as Lindsay Ravensun. She expresses dissatisfaction with how Koltira Deathweaver deals with the Alliance - especially after the Alliance forces assault the Forsaken's side of Andorhal, despite Koltira's apparent truce with the enemy commander, Thassarian. Sylvanas steps in to turn the battle around, unleashing the Val'kyr to secure a safe victory.
After the Alliance is defeated, Sylvanas confronts Koltira about his ill-fated truce with Thassarian and scolds him for being weak. A portal to the Undercity is opened and Koltira is pulled through by a hooked chain, where Sylvanas will attempt to purge him of his compassion for Thassarian and make him more of a servant of the Horde - more specifically, a servant of Sylvanas and the Forsaken.
Lady Sylvanas later sends Lady Cozwynn to the Twilight Highlands, to serve as the Horde liaison to the new Dragonmaw Chieftain, Warlord Zaela, in order to improve her relations with the Warchief and "mend broken fences."
Lady Sylvanas and the Forsaken as a whole have come under the observation of the neighboring Argent Crusade forces and certain members of the Knights of the Ebon Blade. As similarities between her and the Lich King increase, the Forsaken are now being watched very closely. Sylvanas also refused all attempts to negotiate the release of Koltira with the Ebon Blade.
Tides of War
Sylvanas was present at the Horde leader meeting called by Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, in which the Warchief made clear his plans to attack and crush the nation of Theramore. Sylvanas was opposed to this notion, wary that the Alliance may take their anger out on the Forsaken and sin'dorei if their main base of power on Kalimdor is compromised. Sylvanas repeatedly looked to Lor'themar Theron for support, playing upon his sympathy, though Lor'themar gave her none.
Garrosh assured Sylvanas that any counterattacks would be dealt with, and the Dark Lady dispensed Captain Frandis Farley to represent her during the siege of Theramore. After the war, Malkorok had Farley killed in the inn in Razor Hill for questioning his actions in the meeting with Baine and Vol'jin.
Siege of Orgrimmar
Sylvanas accompanied Lor'themar Theron to seize Bladefist Bay from Garrosh's forces. While nearing to make a landfall, she and Theron discussed raising the dead. While the blood elven regent forbade her to use her resurrection skills on the elves, he did not care about the human ones. She planned to use her angels to fill the streets of Orgrimmar and raise the dead but it is currently unknown if she succeeded or not. She takes part in the Galakras encounter along with Lor'themar and Archmage Aethas Sunreaver.
Sylvanas is present along with the rest of the Horde's leadership (barring Ji Firepaw, who was injured earlier in the siege) at the defeat and arrest of Garrosh. When Thrall names Vol'jin the new Warchief, Sylvanas nods in acknowledgment. However as the quote below indicates, she's not quite as accepting as she appeared, hinting that she's going to give him a hard time to 'test' him.
After the Siege of Orgrimmar, Sylvanas and other Horde leaders are summoned to the Temple of the White Tiger to witness the judgment of Garrosh Hellscream. Sylvanas is initially displeased at the idea of a trial rather than an execution and opposes the appointment of Baine Bloodhoof as Hellscream's defender. When Baine's defense of Hellscream proves better than the Banshee Queen would like she accuses him of being an "Alliance sympathizer", prompting the tauren chieftain to somewhat aggressively, albeit calmly, deny her claim while grabbing her upper arms.
Vereesa Windrunner, noticing her sister's mutual hatred for Garrosh, anonymously summoned her to Windrunner Spire to plot the assassination of the tyrannical former Warchief. Concocting a new, untraceable poison with her Forsaken subjects, she and Vereesa planned to lace Hellscream's last meal with it. In the meantime, Vereesa entertained the idea of joining her sister in a leadership position of the Forsaken despite the fact that it would require her to abandon her children. Sylvanas realized that the Forsaken would not accept a living creature into their leadership and decided she would murder Vereesa so that her "Little Moon" could be reborn at her side as an undead.
At the last moment, Vereesa relented and informed Anduin Wrynn of the poison in Hellscream's food. Despite Hellscream's hateful words and remorseless attitude, the prince saved the imprisoned orc's life, foiling the Banshee Queen's plan. After learning of the plan's failure, the Banshee Queen rampaged through the wilderness, angrily killing any wildlife unfortunate enough to get in her way and proclaiming that she would never attempt to love again.
Warlords of Draenor
Sylvanas also sent the mage Vivianne to assist the commander on Draenor and to retrieve samples of the Infested for study. Benjamin Gibb was also doing reconnaissance for the Dark Lady in Admiral Taylor's Garrison.
As the Legion began invading Azeroth, Sylvanas called Nathanos to partake in a ritual meant to make him stronger. He agreed to take part, though not before attempting to provoke her. When he discovered that the ritual would involve the Val'kyr sacrificing his cousin Stephon Marris, he felt no regret, only the duty-bound oath he had made towards Sylvanas. The Val'kyr proceeded to place herself between the human and the undead and began chanting guttural words in an ancient tongue, flashes of blue and gold pulsing from her hands. Nathanos lost his senses for a time, his world exploding in fire and pain. When the Blightcaller's wits returned, he found that he had been transformed to become stronger than before and not be as decayed and withered as he had been. However, upon looking into a mirror, he noticed that his new face was not entirely his own. He then noticed that the second ritual table was empty save for a bit of ash and oily residue stains. Sylvanas directed Dark Ranger Anya to escort her champion to the armory to see him outfitted in a manner that befits his station. Along the way, Anya implied to Nathanos that Sylvanas had feelings for the champion, a notion that the Blightcaller disagreed with, as he personally felt that whatever emotion his mortal heart might have held, now it had room only for rage and contempt.
The Forsaken's ruthless leader is a formidable champion of her people. But with the Burning Legion's invasion, the stakes for the Dark Lady have never been higher. Should Sylvanas perish, her demise will be the beginning of her eternal damnation. All that stand between her and this doom are her Val'kyr, yet few of these spirit guardians remain. As her fate edges closer to the abyss, Sylvanas must decide how far she'll go to protect her people... and whether they're more precious to her than her soul.
Sylvanas took part in the Horde's attack force heading for the Broken Isles in a joint assault with the Alliance. When a demonic attack critically damaged the Alliance's gunship, she vaulted onto it before it crashed into her own. She fought alongside Varian Wrynn against a rampaging abyssal and survived the gunship's fall to continue the battle on land. During the Battle for the Broken Shore, Sylvanas and Baine Bloodhoof's forces regrouped with Vol'jin, Thrall, and the Horde reinforcements and fought their way to defeat the demons of the Black City. They then pursued Gul'dan and witnessed the sacrifice of Tirion Fordring after the warlock summoned Krosus. After the Horde forces defeated the demon with the Alliance's help, Sylvanas told King Varian Wrynn that the Horde would hold the high ridge and cover the Alliance's flank while the Alliance confronted Gul'dan. The Horde forces held the high ridge until they discovered that another portal opened up behind them and its vast reinforcements threatened to overwhelm the Horde defenders. The Horde was overwhelmed by an attack from behind, and Vol'jin was mortally wounded by a poisoned spear. Sylvanas rode to secure her Warchief who urged her not to let the Horde die this day. Seeing the Horde forces crumbling and incoming Burning Legion reinforcements, Sylvanas blew her war horn signaling her Val'kyr to secure injured Horde soldiers and ordered a retreat. The Horde abandoning their strategic position left the Alliance vulnerable, however, and Varian watched in shock and disappointment as he witnessed the Horde forces quit the field. Varian was forced to order a retreat via gunship. As it took off, however, Gul'dan summoned an immense fel reaver through the portal, which grabbed onto the airship, causing it to tip and send many Alliance soldiers plummeting to their deaths. King Varian sacrificed himself to distract the Burning Legion so that the remaining Alliance forces could secure their escape. Sylvanas grimly gazed at the massive fel explosion that resulted from Gul'dan executing the subdued Varian Wrynn with fel magic as she steered her Forsaken battleship back to Orgrimmar.
Following the battle at the Broken Shore, Sylvanas was summoned by the dying Vol'jin to Grommash Hold. After Mueh'zala posing as a more benevolent loa granted Vol'jin a vision, Vol'jin decided to make Sylvanas warchief of the Horde in his final moments. Vol'jin was burned on a funeral pyre, and during the ceremony, Sylvanas asked the masses of the Horde who would aid her in avenging him. The members of the Horde replied with thunderous battle cries and roars, and the other Horde leaders pledged their loyalty to the new Warchief. When demon infiltrators assaulted Orgrimmar, Sylvanas' forces and the Illidari envoy, Allari the Souleater, were able to repel the attack. Seeing that demon hunters would play a crucial part in the war, but mistrustful of their motives, Lady Windrunner sent a Horde champion to act as the Horde's envoy to the Illidari and, unofficially, as her spy.
Sylvanas later took the Forsaken fleet to Stormheim. While her Horde forces pursued the , Sylvanas intended to search for another treasure that she would be pursuing through her own means. Suddenly, the fleet was attacked by a single Alliance gunship, the Skyfire. The attack was at the command of a vengeful Genn Greymane and Sky Admiral Rogers, who have been pursuing Sylvanas. Sylvanas tasked her champion, Nathanos Blightcaller, and a Horde adventurer to defend the fleet. Before her royal flagship --The Windrunner-- could be boarded by the Alliance, Sylvanas escaped to Stormheim to fulfill her mysterious agenda alone.
Sylvanas was later found in Helheim making a deal with Helya. She left Helheim and took a contingent of dark rangers on The Oblivion to the outskirts of Skold-Ashil. There they attempted to overtake the vrykul city by force but were repelled. Sylvanas chose a different approach and sent a Horde adventurer to undergo a rite of ascension to gain access to the vault that Sylvanas desired entrance to. Once the vault was opened, Sylvanas revealed she intended to subjugate Eyir and force her to make more Val'kyr for the Forsaken.
At the vault, Sylvanas used a magical lantern called the Soulcage to bind Eyir and tortured the Val'kyr to obey her commands. Genn Greymane let out a beastly howl and spoke to Sylvanas in a menacing tone from the shadows. Genn told Sylvanas her quest for immortality had left her vulnerable and cried out that he would have his vengeance on her as he pounced at her from the ceiling. He declared he would avenge Varian, Gilneas, and his son as he stroke at her; eventually knocking her down. Genn then charged at her, but Sylvanas evaded him and shot a poisoned arrow at his shoulder, thus turning Genn human. Sylvanas taunted Genn by saying she overestimated him and calling him an "old wolf". Genn then revealed that he stole Sylvanas's magical lantern during his last charge and smashed it on the ground, thus freeing Eyir. Sylvanas watched in shock and anger as Eyir was released from her binds and disappears. Genn walked out of the vault, snapping the shaft of Sylvanas' poisoned arrow lodged in his shoulder, and told Sylvanas that since she stole his son's future, he now took hers.
Though Eyir escaped her grasp, Sylvanas intended to pursue the Val'kyr even if she had to hunt her through the halls of Valhalas.
When a Horde player reaches Prestige Rank 2, Sylvanas can be found in the Undercity alongside other notable leaders of the Horde. During , Sylvanas hosts the ceremony that congratulates the character for their battles against the Alliance, following their receiving of the from Warchief Sylvanas, as well as an artifact appearance.
Windrunner: Three Sisters
Sylvanas and her sisters finally met and were reunited after years of separation, with the goal of reclaiming their ancestral home and see if they could still be family. After reuniting with her sisters, the Windrunner sisters set off to purging Windrunner Spire of the undead. During their journey, the sisters played the game "One is a lie" in which they each made three statements with one being a lie. Sylvanas' statements were: there were times she wished she was still alive, she was proud to be warchief of the Horde, and lastly she would never betray her sisters. As the Windrunner sisters were fighting shades of people they once knew in Goldenmist Village, the reunion took a certain turn when Alleria and Sylvanas entered an argument about whether Sylvanas manipulated Vereesa into murdering Garrosh Hellscream, to which Sylvanas defended her character and revealed it was Vereesa's plan from the beginning. Sylvanas held Vereesa's lack of nerve responsible for the fallout of Garrosh's actions thereafter, including the third invasion of the Burning Legion. Sylvanas' rage culminated in her unleashing her banshee powers on one shade and brutally eviscerated it. Disgusted by Sylvanas' savage brutality, Alleria transformed into her Void form to declare that the sister she once knew was gone. Sylvanas retorted she had no choice in becoming undead while Alleria abandoned them and chose to become a Void abomination. With both sisters seeing a monster in the other, Vereesa tried to stop the quarrel and dissipate the hostilities by refocusing their efforts in clearing their home of the undead and revealing the verdicts of their game. Though Sylvanas' sisters revealed their truths and lies, when it was Sylvanas' turn to reveal her truths and lie, she refused to continue the game. It was later revealed that Sylvanas had brought a squad of dark rangers with her, who stood ready to assassinate her sisters if the signal was given. The Spire retaken, Alleria and Vereesa parted ways with Sylvanas. She had almost given the signal, until Vereesa apologized to Sylvanas for backing out of her agreement to stay with her after their attempt on Garrosh's life, and told her she hoped she will forgive her one day. Supposedly letting her sisters leave to indulge in their sorrow-filled lives a bit longer, she still claimed that, in the end, they would serve her.
Before the Storm
While Sylvanas attended to her duties as warchief in Orgrimmar, she met with her champion Nathanos Blightcaller who reported to her the ongoings of the Undercity. Nathanos reported that while many are proud that a Forsaken has been crowned warchief, others resent that she had forgotten those who were loyal to her. Sylvanas laughed at the irony of the zero-sum situation: Baine Bloodhoof and Varok Saurfang claimed she doesn't give the other Horde races enough attention while the Forsaken claim she gives them too much. She cursed Vol'jin for thrusting the public position of warchief onto her. As Sylvanas paraded with a diverse contingent of Horde races on their way to the celebration feast, Nathanos elaborated that she left a power vacuum behind in the undead's capital, and the Desolate Council was created as an interim government to attend to the Undercity's needs. Word has also reached the Undercity of Sylvanas' efforts to create more Val'kyr in Stormheim and how her plans were foiled by Genn Greymane. The Desolate Council has reservations about her actions and has requested an audience with her to speak of disagreements about their future. Sylvanas confided to Nathanos that she would rebuild the Horde military in order to conquer Stormwind. With Varian Wrynn dead and his soft son— Anduin Wrynn— ruling in his stead, Sylvanas believed it an opportune time to turn the bloodlust of the Horde on their perennial enemies, the humans of Stormwind. From the slaughter of the Stormwindians, she planned to bolster the ranks of the Forsaken, a fate she considered a mercy as they would be united with their Forsaken loved ones in death and freed from the harshness of life's passions and loss.
After the Legion's defeat, and Sargeras impaling Silithus, the Bilgewater Cartel discovered a mysterious new substance. During the celebration feast, Jastor Gallywix showed Azerite to Sylvanas, who declared that it would change everything. While Sylvanas sent Bilgewater goblins to mine Azerite and research the mineral, Baine set up a meeting between Sylvanas and Magni Bronzebeard in Thunder Bluff. Magni had asked Sylvanas to remove the goblins from Silithus and attempted to recruit the Horde healers in the mission to restore Azeroth from Sargeras' destruction. Sylvanas tasked Baine to organize the Horde's response in the healing efforts, but she prohibited cooperation with the Alliance and ordered Baine to cease all contact with King Anduin Wrynn. Much to the objections of the other Horde races, Sylvanas chose to maintain Gallywix's Azerite mining operations and investigations, citing its research to be invaluable to the Horde's efforts and that she will divulge the research when the moment was right.
Sylvanas traveled to the Gallywix Pleasure Palace to check on Gallywix's progress in researching Azerite and to spur his focus on creating Azerite weapons. Nathanos Blightcaller however, interrupted their meeting to relay Anduin Wrynn's missive concerning the proposal of the Gathering. Sylvanas' own family reunion had embittered her to reconciliation with the living, and Sylvanas herself didn't want her own people to lose their pride as Forsaken should they too be disappointed by rejection. Nathanos however, proposed she could use the Gathering to her advantage by publicly supporting it and either using the reconnection with their loved ones to motivate them to continue existing as undead and prolong the Forsaken's will to propagate, or use the hurt feelings from the reunion's failure to sway the Forsaken masses to be amenable to bloodlust and vengeance on the living. Sylvanas herself considered it an opportunity to gain Stormwind's trust and exploit it with betrayal. Seeing the benefits and after hearing Nathanos' opinion of the Desolate Council not being a threat, Sylvanas consented to the Gathering, but only with the Desolate Council members' sole participation and a small group of humans. Sylvanas and Nathanos returned to the Undercity, where she clarified her concerns and stipulated the conditions for the Gathering. She also did her best to sow doubt in the Forsaken and encouraged thoughts of their rejection. Sylvanas was certain the natural prejudices will dash any hopes of reconciliation with the living and discredit those sympathetic to the notion in the Desolate Council.
During the Gathering, King Anduin met with Sylvanas face to face to set the terms of the event, and he bluntly asked her if she intentionally betrayed his father during the Battle for the Broken Shore. Though shocked by Anduin's straightforwardness, she gave an honest answer, that the Burning Legion's numbers sealed Varian's fate regardless of the decision she made. Though the Gathering started off peaceful, Sylvanas caught wind of the defection of some of the Forsaken as it unfolded before her as she stood, watching, on Thoradin's Wall. In order to clarify if the Forsaken were indeed defecting, she signaled the recall of the Forsaken participants. However, some refused to heed the retreat. Shortly thereafter, one of her priests came to her stating Calia Menethil, heir to the throne of Lordaeron, was the reason for the defection. She then let loose her dark rangers on bats. Sylvanas ordered her dark rangers to kill all Forsaken present on the field, including those running back towards Thoradin's Wall. Sylvanas reasoned that the only Forsaken she trusted were those who were already broken and bitter by their experiences, while those that still had sympathies could not be permitted to fester their hope. Sylvanas herself personally murdered Calia Menethil right in front of Anduin and threatened to kill Anduin as well. She reasoned it would be her right, considering Anduin brought a usurper to cause sedition. Anduin however, called Sylvanas' bluff since she was not prepared to face the unrestrained ire of the Alliance, nor did she have the full support of the Horde. Leaving himself vulnerable, Anduin carried Calia's corpse back to Stromgarde Keep.
Sylvanas gathered the Horde leaders in the newly opened Orgrimmar Embassy in order to discuss new allies. Upon helping or securing the Highmountain tauren and the nightborne of Suramar, she accepted the pledges of loyalty from High Chieftain Mayla Highmountain and First Arcanist Thalyssra.
Battle for Azeroth
War of the Thorns
- Main article: War of the Thorns
Following the Gathering, Orgrimmar had been saturated with Alliance spies. Since it would be too costly for the Horde to uproot them all, Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner had chosen to tolerate their presence. One day, Sylvanas had summoned Varok Saurfang to a secret meeting in Grommash Hold. After Sylvanas assured Varok that her champion Nathanos was keeping this meeting private from Alliance spying, Sylvanas asked Varok to make a hypothetical battle plan on how to sack Stormwind City.
After evaluating all the scenarios he could think of, Varok concluded that the Horde would be unable to sack Stormwind City and any progress at doing so would be tentative at best. Sylvanas suggested Varok think of a more elaborate strategy with Stormwind's conquering as the final phase rather than the sole objective. Enraged by Sylvanas' warmongering, Varok finally questioned his warchief why she was eager to start a bloody war with the Alliance. Sylvanas rationalized that she believed that the Alliance and Horde will never forgive the transgressions they had committed against one another and that war was inevitable. Thus, the only way to ensure peace for the Horde was to dominate the Alliance in war and win it on their terms. When Varok suggested that the Horde should then be preparing to defend themselves for the next war instead of instigating it, Sylvanas countered by explaining that while Varok himself had shown that Stormwind City was seemingly impenetrable to conquering, the Siege of Orgrimmar showed that Orgrimmar was not; thus the Horde was more vulnerable to losing in a war than the Alliance. With Azerite undoubtedly changing warcraft, Sylvanas proposed that they take every opportunity to achieve victory and ensure lasting peace for future generations of the Horde. Varok came to agree with Sylvanas' sound reasoning but still could not fathom what strategy would be effective enough to sack Stormwind when they lack the logistics to maintain an invasion.
Sylvanas led Varok to the realization that the war with the Burning Legion had weakened both factions' navies and the deterrence of swift reprisal that enforced the stalemate between the Horde and Alliance was no longer feasible. With both the Alliance and Horde's navies diminished, they would be unable to transport troops and thus would be slow to project military power to reinforce distant warfronts. With such a weakness, the Horde could secure Kalimdor. Darnassus, the center of Alliance military power in Kalimdor, would be a feasible target to conquer; especially if the Horde took the Alliance by surprise. The cost, however, would be that their holdings in the Eastern Kingdoms would likely be susceptible to reprisal, especially Sylvanas' own capital, the Undercity.
Sylvanas, however, proposed to politically divide the Alliance by baiting the night elves into demanding the Alliance prioritize the retaking of their homeland and thus dividing the Alliance's forces. The Alliance would lack the fleet nor the strength to retake Kalimdor and thus weaken or become politically fractured. Furthermore, holding Darnassus hostage would paralyze the Alliance from counterattacking as the night elves would not stand for their city being annihilated and thus create a divide between them and the Gilneans, who had lost their nation years ago and were not prioritized for military aid on that warfront either. With such a political crisis, Anduin Wrynn would not be able to act and each Alliance nation will act in its own interest to defend themselves from a unified Horde. Varok came to the realization that was how they intended to defeat Stormwind, by politically carving each individual nation away from the Alliance and then dominating them into a surrender. However, Sylvanas was well aware that they can only divide the Alliance if the war to conquer Darnassus does not unite the Alliance against the Horde. That can only happen if the Horde wins in an honorable victory, which Sylvanas knows the Horde doesn't trust her to do. Thus, Sylvanas has authorized Saurfang to create the battle plans and execute their strategy.
To lure out the Alliance from Ashenvale, Sylvanas suggested duping the Alliance spies into believing a false narrative. Thus, Varok began planting misinformation and acting out an adversarial relationship with Sylvanas and Nathanos to make it seem as if he was priming the Horde to monopolize the Azerite in Silithus and was also bullying Sylvanas into endorsing his campaign. The Alliance took the bait; fearing the Horde was proliferating Azerite weapons, they sent a sizable night elf fleet to Silithus as deterrence. Tyrande Whisperwind traveled to Stormwind City to help the Alliance leadership plan the war, leaving only Malfurion Stormrage and his skeleton crew of night elf defenders for the Horde to contend with. Although Sylvanas' advisers saw this as a boon, Sylvanas seemed quite annoyed that only one night elf leader would fall in the invasion. To scare the night elves into surrendering without creating a unifying atrocity for the Alliance to rally to, Varok suggested they bring many siege weapons with them. That way, the threat of raining death on Darnassus with impunity would deter the night elves in the city from resisting.
Sylvanas sought to capture the world tree Teldrassil because the Alliance would use it as a safe harbor to transport Azerite from Kalimdor to the Eastern Kingdoms, and she expected that Azerite to be used for weapons to attack Silvermoon and Undercity, and then turn to Kalimdor. By occupying Darnassus the Horde could control the flow of Azerite and the Alliance would not attack the city for fear of hurting the civilians. Knowing the night elves would resist them every step of the way, she also sought to kill Malfurion Stormrage and break their spirits.
While High Overlord Saurfang led the charge to secure Ashenvale, Sylvanas focused on hunting Malfurion Stormrage. Sylvanas clashed with Malfurion twice — once, when she interrupted a fight between Malfurion and Lorash Sunbeam and another when Sylvanas attacked Malfurion when he had trapped Varok Saurfang in Astranaar. Despite her efforts, Malfurion had managed to elude her. As Sylvanas hunted Malfurion, she could not help but muse that the war was turning the night elves cruel against the Horde but used their hatred in such pitiful ways. Sylvanas contemplated that war was meant to transform civilizations into doing the unthinkable, and since Malfurion refused to change accordingly, she believed it will inevitably lead to his downfall. Sylvanas also pondered how Saurfang had been wounded by war but she believed he had fooled himself into believing his sense of honor would help him cope with it. Saurfang would be a dangerous enemy to Sylvanas if his honor or the Horde would ever be taken from him, although she would prefer it if he'd just rid himself of such foolish notions such as honor and stand by her side regardless of the morality of her actions. Sylvanas knew if Saurfang refused to side with her, she'd have to kill him.
After securing Ashenvale, the Horde turned its attention to Darkshore. When the Horde invaded Darkshore however, many of their men were incinerated by the wall of wisps Malfurion had erected. To compound to their troubles, the night elven fleet had returned and were aiding in the kaldorei defense. The night elves' defenses were enough to halt the Horde's advance, and Sylvanas and Saurfang knew they needed to act quickly before Stormwind's reinforcements arrive to stop the invasion. Thus Sylvanas and Saurfang came up with a plan to divide the wisps' attention on multiple fronts, thus diminishing their effectiveness. Saurfang and Nathanos Blightcaller took a group to scale the mountains in Felwood and distract the wisps to the north. Once the wisp wall dispersed, Sylvanas led the main Horde army to breach the wisp barrier. In Darkshore, Sylvanas tasked Morka Bruggu to lead a group of Horde infiltrators to commandeer some night elven ships from the night elven fleet. Meanwhile, Sylvanas and her army faced off against Malfurion Stormrage, who told her she will not be forgiven for her atrocities; Sylvanas responded she was well aware.
Despite Sylvanas' overwhelming numbers, Malfurion had managed to dispatch all of Sylvanas' guards, leaving Sylvanas and Malfurion to face off alone. Sylvanas and Malfurion dueled each other on the shores of Darkshore. Before their fight could be concluded, Saurfang interrupted and had thrown his axe at Malfurion, wounding him with a dishonorable blow. Although Saurfang was upset that he had done something ignoble, Sylvanas commended Saurfang for his sneak attack and gave him the honor of finishing Malfurion off. When Saurfang returned to her, however, she was displeased to learn that Varok did not kill Malfurion and that Tyrande had intervened to save him. Sylvanas was so enraged that she was considering killing Saurfang, but she stopped herself when she thought it would be an inopportune time. She walked away from Saurfang and Nathanos' bickering so she could cool off her rage and contemplate about this turn of events. Sylvanas spotted a Sentinel leader off in the distance that was still fighting hard — even with other arrow shafts buried in her body — and felled her. Sylvanas pondered how Malfurion's survival would give hope to the Alliance and that would eventually heal the wounds they inflicted on them. Sylvanas even considered that Elune herself may have played a part in ruining her plans. The Banshee Queen seethed at the thought that forces beyond the Alliance would rise up to oppose Sylvanas’ true objective.
After securing Darkshore, Sylvanas gave Nathanos Blightcaller and Varok Saurfang orders to secure the beach and prepare to invade Teldrassil. Sylvanas noticed a gravely wounded Delaryn Summermoon, who then explained that only innocents remained in Teldrassil and that Sylvanas's war was one of hatred and rage. She attempted to remind Sylvanas of her former life as a defender of her people but Sylvanas whispered to the ranger that she remembered herself to be a fool. Sylvanas experienced a flashback of her inability to stop the Scourge's invasion of Quel'thalas and stated that now Delaryn will understand her beliefs through her own failure. Sylvanas explained that life was pain and that hope fails, telling Delaryn not to grieve, for she would soon join her loved ones. Delaryn explained that she grieved for Sylvanas, for she had made life her enemy, and that was a war she could never win; that she could kill her people, but she could never kill hope. In response to Delaryn's defiance, Sylvanas turned Delaryn's head to gaze at Teldrassil in her final moments, then gave Nathanos the order to burn Teldrassil, to which he and the rest of the Horde present complied. As the Horde catapults besieged Teldrassil, Sylvanas watched the World Tree burn.
Saurfang roared at Sylvanas and scolded her for her lack of honor and the danger she put the Horde in. Sylvanas however, was calm and was already proceeding with planning the defense of Undercity. When Varok accused Sylvanas of damning the Horde for a thousand generations, Sylvanas retorted that this was a war and a failure of his own making. Darnassus was never the objective; the goal was to create a wedge that would split the Alliance apart. Sylvanas needed a weapon that would destroy hope and Varok gave that up to spare Malfurion. The genocide in Teldrassil is Sylvanas' way of remedying Saurfang's blunder. Sylvanas believes that the Alliance will now fight in pain and that will give them a chance at victory.
Sylvanas stares down at a wounded Delaryn Summermoon.
Battle for Lordaeron
During the Alliance's siege on the Lordaeron Keep, Warchief Sylvanas contemplated the cycles of hatred and ever-changing alliances the Horde has to live by. She believes that sharing the world has made the Horde weak and that they have forgotten what has made them strong. The Horde forces are weakening from the constant siege barrages whittling away their fortifications and Alliance range assaults. As the Alliance closes in, Sylvanas makes a daring maneuver to infiltrate one of the mobile siege towers and single-handedly destroys it. After which, she turns into her banshee form, killing several Alliance soldiers by phasing through them, and ending her rampage with a "For the Horde" battle cry. This display of strength inspires the Horde's forces to push back the Alliance. The Alliance's forces began wavering until King Anduin Wrynn conjured a dome of light to reinvigorate his forces, while Sylvanas and her forces could only watch on. With the Alliance forces regrouped, both the Alliance and Horde charged at each other to resume the battle.
As the Alliance soldiers began to gain ground on Lordaeron, Sylvanas ordered her Azerite War Machine to destroy the Alliance's siege towers. When the war machine was destroyed by Anduin, Sylvanas ordered her troops to deploy the Blight on the field, much to High Overlord Saurfang's protest, as there were both Alliance and Horde troops who would be caught in the blast. Nevertheless, the Blight was deployed, and Sylvanas raised those who died on either faction as skeletal minions to push the Alliance back.
However, the timely arrival of Jaina Proudmoore turns the tide of battle back in the Alliance's favor and Sylvanas is forced to pull back the Horde's forces. She is then confronted by Saurfang who criticizes her for her ultimate endgame calling it an 'honourless travesty'. Sylvanas responds that honor means nothing to a corpse and that she believes this Horde is worth saving while telling him to go die his 'warrior's death' and that she may end up raising him to serve her in undeath.
Sylvanas along with Baine and Nathanos then enter Lordaeron's throne room where Baine then confronts Sylvanas over abandoning Saurfang with Sylvanas simply replying that it was the death he wanted and that he could either go join him or tend to the living instead. Sylvanas then turns to Nathanos and hands him her bow; telling him to do what must be done, she then comforts him and tells her champion to go. Alone, Sylvanas then sits on the throne, lounging while waiting for the Alliance to come. Anduin Wrynn, accompanied by Genn Greymane, Alleria Windrunner and Jaina Proudmoore then enter the throne room with Anduin declaring that she has led the Horde without honor and that the battle is over; all while Sylvanas defiantly mocks Anduin and his allies. When she is given the ultimatum of surrendering or dying, Sylvanas confidently rose from the throne and strides towards Anduin; all while his followers watch her ready to strike should she try anything. Sylvanas then simply tells Anduin that he's won nothing and then suddenly shifts to her banshee form; letting off a scream that temporarily incapacitates the Alliance leaders. Multiple explosions of blight set off as she flys out through the ceiling. She then lands on the Horde airship where Nathanos returns her bow to her. Sylvanas then watches Lordaeron as it is completely covered in blight. The Alliance leaders have escaped, however. Sylvanas simply smirks at them as she and the other Horde leaders fly away.
At an unknown point in time, Sylvanas entered into negotiations with Princess Talanji of the Zandalari Empire. The Warchief desired the might of the Zandalari navy, while Talanji sought the strength of Horde champions to combat the threats within Zandalar. However, Talanji was captured by the Alliance while en route to Orgrimmar. Catching wind of this, Sylvanas ordered a strike team to liberate her from the Stockades and deliver her to Orgrimmar. When freed, Talanji instead decided to return to Zandalar with the Horde forces sent to retrieve her.
Following the release of Mythrax the Unraveler within Vol'dun, Baine Bloodhoof informed Sylvanas of the new threat as he believed that she would know how to best proceed against it. After the Abyssal Scepter was acquired from Boralus, the Speaker of the Horde informed Sylvanas of the mission's success.
Sometime during the Fourth War, Eitrigg traveled to the alternate Draenor to recruit the Mag'har orc clans that the Horde helped save from the Burning Legion. Eitrigg and a Horde champion helped the Mag'har escape from the Lightbound through a portal leading to Azeroth, shortly before it closed behind them. The Mag'har thus decided to make Azeroth their new home, and their leader Overlord Geya'rah pledged them to the Horde.
Tides of Vengeance
During the assault on Darkshore, Sylvanas ordered Nathanos Blightcaller to raise Delaryn Summermoon into undeath. While he was successful and even raised Sira Moonwarden, one of the four remaining Val'kyr was slain by Tyrande Whisperwind, leaving only three powerful enough to resurrect Sylvanas, should she be slain again.
Sylvanas saw Derek Proudmoore, whose body was recovered by the Honorbound as a valuable weapon, a dagger to plunge into the hearts of House Proudmoore when the time was right. Seeking another advantage against the Alliance, Sylvanas has ordered for Priscilla Ashvane, noted to be one of the greatest enemies of Kul Tiras until her capture, to be released from Tol Dagor. To this end, Rexxar, Valtrois, and the Speaker of the Horde broke into the prison, freed Ashvane, and fought their way through the prison. Sylvanas would personally travel to Tol Dagor and meet with the deliberate Ashvane. Though acknowledging that Sylvanas only freed her because the Warchief wanted something from her, Ashvane agreed to discuss their mutual interests. After the Siege of Zuldazar and death of the Zandalari king Rastakhan, Sylvanas ordered the Val'kyr Kyra to resurrect Derek into undeath with the goal of twisting him to became a weapon against Jaina and Katherine Proudmoore.
Sylvanas later attended Talanji's coronation and accepted Talanji's oath of loyalty to the Horde, as its equal.
After catching word of Varok Saurfang's escape from Stormwind, Sylvanas ordered Dark Ranger Lyana and an adventurer to find Saurfang before the Alliance could. After Saurfang's location is found, Lyana departed, allegedly to report to Sylvanas. The adventurer was approached by Zekhan who implored them to aid Saurfang instead.
Those who choose to aid Saurfang learn that Sylvanas had ordered for his death, an order that is thwarted when Saurfang, Zekhan, and the adventurer kill Lyana and the rest of the assassins sent to kill Saurfang. Saurfang then instructed his companions to return to Orgrimmar, ensuring that the adventurer would remain in Sylvanas's favor and that Zekhan could secretly spread the word in Orgrimmar. After striking the adventurer in the face, as part of a gambit to make it look like Saurfang ambushed the assassination squad, Saurfang traveled further west into the Swamp of Sorrows, and adventurers informed Sylvanas of Saurfang's survival. Sylvanas remarked that it was "fortunate" that the adventurer escaped with little more than a bruise. Expressing her disappointment with the situation, Sylvanas said that Saurfang will be found, delivered to her, and that she will not be failed again.
Those who rejected Zekhan's mission instead report to Sylvanas, who after being informed of the situation exclaimed that she has special plans for Zekhan.
Sometime after Baine Bloodhoof and Thomas Zelling rescued Derek Proudmoore and delivered him Jaina, Sylvanas called for the leaders of the Horde to gather in Warfang Hold within Stormsong Valley. At this meeting, Sylvanas revealed that she knew that Derek had help in escaping to the Alliance. She then questioned Zelling who Nathanos held at bow point and in response, Baine admitted his role in Derek's freedom and revealed that Sylvanas planned to deny Derek his free will by violating his mind to which Sylvanas thanked him for his honesty. After Nathanos killed Zelling, an outraged Baine asked her if they were nothing more than pawns in her game and accused her of betraying the Horde. However, the Warchief was unmoved and in turn, accused Baine of betraying the Horde and ordered his arrest. As the guards surrounded Baine, he declared that Sylvanas would leave the Horde in ruins. With Baine under arrest, she turned to the other Horde leaders and declared that there was no place for weakness in their ranks and that they best remember where their loyalties lay. With the meeting concluded Sylvanas left the stronghold. The majority of Horde leaders would express to the Speaker of the Horde their displeasure with her actions, some questioning the integrity of the Horde itself.
After the death of Uu'nat within the Crucible of Storms, Horde champions discovered the empty blade that once held Xal'atath. Feeling the power that resonated within the blade, almost if as if the weapon spoke with another voice, these champions were compelled to deliver the artifact to their warchief. Upon receiving the blade Sylvanas declared them worthy champions and that the blade is the compass that will guide them to victory.
Rise of Azshara
Entrusting Nathanos with a mission of the uttermost priority, Sylvanas gave her champion the black blade, which would be used to guide the Horde fleet and the pursuing Alliance fleet towards Nazjatar where both fleets would be attacked by the naga under Queen Azshara's command after the seas opened. She specifically instructed Nathanos to call for the Speaker of the Horde to join the rest of their forces to embark on this endeavor.
When Alliance spies discovered that Sylvanas planned on executing Baine Bloodhoof, King Anduin sent Jaina Proudmoore and Mathias Shaw to rescue his friend. Meanwhile Spiritwalker Ussoh received a vision from the spirits about Sylvanas's ordering Baine's death causing Lor'themar to turn to Thrall and Varok Saurfang in order to save Baine. Despite not knowing that the Alliance and Lor'themar had discovered that she planned on killing Baine, Sylvanas had anticipated that a rescue attempt would be made and arranged for Magister Hathorel to ambush anyone who sought to rescue Baine. However, despite the Magister's best efforts the group (who had united together in order to save Baine) was successfully able to free Baine from his shackles and Jaina teleported the group out of Orgrimmar.
Sylvanas later called for her loyalists to meet her in Grommash Hold and vowed that the traitors (Saurfang's revolutionaries) will be dealt with. To that end, she ordered Overlord Geya'rah and Jastor Gallywix, the only two leaders of the Horde to side with her, to prepare for battle. While Geya'rah remarked that the Mag'har always stood ready to destroy their enemies, Gallywix revealed that the mechs were good to go but remarked that they weren't cheap and that Sylvanas better be ready to pay on delivery. Furthermore, in light of Eitrigg siding with Saurfang, Sylvanas called for the orc to be captured and brought before Nathanos. After Nathanos and the loyalists got their house in order, Nathanos declared that it was time to deal with revolutionaries and Alliance outside the Gates of Orgrimmar.
However, before the battle could start, Saurfang, recognizing Sylvanas's loyalists as his brothers and sisters in the Horde and unwilling to spill more Horde blood, challenged Sylvanas to Mak'gora. When Sylvanas questioned why she should accept his challenge Saurfang merely pointed out that she wanted him to suffer, causing Sylvanas to wordlessly agree. While Sylvanas armed herself, Saurfang was granted Dra'gora by Thrall and Shalamayne by Anduin. Sylvanas initially had the upper hand against Saurfang but, when she began to mock him about hope, Saurfang got his second wind by declaring that Sylvanas couldn't kill hope. As Saurfang turned the tide against Sylvanas, he claimed that she failed to kill hope at Teldrassil and failed in getting the Horde and Alliance to keep killing each other. Saurfang further declared that the Horde was strong and would endure, and was able to slash Sylvanas across her eye. This, in turn, caused an enraged Sylvanas to declare that Horde was nothing. Saurfang was then killed by Sylvanas, who subsequently abandoned the Horde altogether.
Sylvanas later rendezvoused with Nathanos at the Windrunner Spire within the Ghostlands of Quel'Thalas. The pair talked before wishing one another a safe journey as they departed. With her champion gone, she turned to the loyalists and declared that nothing could stop what was to come. She believed that the only reason the loyalists weren't in irons or worse was because the rest of the Horde was ignorant of their service to her. While acknowledging that Saurfang's challenge ended the war, she mentioned that it didn't matter now as countless souls were fed to the hungering darkness. She mentioned that though she cared nothing for the living, she did pity the Forsaken and abandoned them because they clung to hope. Revealing that she had a struck a bargain with Queen Azshara, Sylvanas remarked the armies of Azeroth will fight her master, who will line the streets with corpses and, in the end, he too will serve Death. Her reflection finished, Sylvanas remarked that nothing lasts and that the loyalists will understand when they see each other next.
In the wake of Sylvanas's betrayal, most of her loyalists bent the knee to the revolutionaries and those who refused to join the united Horde were rounded up in chains. While some within the Forsaken sought vengeance against her, others were in disbelief and denial about Sylvanas's betrayal, and some like Nathanos and Dark Ranger Lenara stayed by her side. Unbeknownst to Sylvanas, Lor'themar Theron ordered for the Farstriders to track her down while SI:7 agents started scouring the Eastern Kingdoms for her and Nathanos.
The Dark Lady and her forces now work in the shadows as both the Horde and Alliance race to uncover her next move, including her own sister, Alleria. Struggling to shoulder the crushing weight of leadership, King Anduin entrusts the void elf and High Exarch Turalyon to uncover Sylvanas's whereabouts. Meanwhile, the Banshee Queen had tasked Nathanos Blightcaller and Sira Moonwarden with a terrifying gambit: to kill the troll loa of death himself, Bwonsamdi.
Sylvanas later journeyed to Icecrown Citadel where she fought against the Lich King Bolvar Fordragon and his Scourge. After winning the battle, she took the Helm of Domination from him, causing Bolvar to remark that it would be her prison. However, Sylvanas countered that the world was a prison and after splitting the helm in two, thereby piercing the veil between Azeroth and the Shadowlands, the Dark Lady declared that she was setting everyone free. After her victory, Sylvanas encountered Nathanos who reported that Bwonsamdi still lived, Sira Moonwarden had been captured, how the Horde came in full force, and her champion believed that Bwonsamdi will now only grow more defiant. Though acknowledging that it was a blow to her plans, Sylvanas was confident that it was a blow that they could overcome. After learning that Nathanos was going to return to the Marris Stead to await further orders, Sylvanas told him to not remain idly, and she expected him to return to her with a means to prevent Bwonsamdi's meddling.
Meanwhile, her actions have set in a series of events that threaten to upset the cosmic balance between life and death. Furthermore, she had no intention of saving the loyalists from what is to come.
It was revealed that it was during the events of Edge of Night, that Sylvanas's relationship with the Jailer, an ancient evil who rules the Maw of the Shadowlands, started. It was also revealed that she started the Fourth War in order to kill as many people as possible in order to feed their souls to the Maw which allowed Sylvanas and the Jailer to both grow greater in strength.
In accordance with her alliance with the Jailer, the Mawsworn served at her command against their enemies. In a confrontation with the imprisoned Anduin Wrynn, Sylvanas declared her disappointment with him, as she felt he had a narrow vision. She warned that she and her allies would find what they seek in another before departing. She later informed The Jailer of how the Maw Walkers breached the Seat of the Primus and discovered his warning. In response, he declared that while it was unfortunate, it was of little consequence.
Sometime following the liberation of Baine Bloodhoof, Jaina Proudmoore, and Thrall from Torghast, Tower of the Damned, Sylvanas visited the imprisoned Anduin. She briefly toyed with Anduin's before agreeing to his request for her to stop playing games. She then declared that she would speak with no more secrets and no more lies, and revealed that she and The Jailer sought to use Anduin as a weapon to achieve their ends. Anduin immediately refused, and in response Sylvanas told him nothing was fair, not life, not death, and that they shall tear it all down. Anduin questioned the purpose of this, as destroying everything would never take away the pain of their suffering. Sylvanas then informed him that he had misunderstood their intent, and that they sought to break the current system of Death and replace for one that is just. Shocked by this Anduin questioned if Sylvanas really expected him to believe, that after everything, that she was fighting for justice. In response, she spoke of how their every decision was made for them and how the Jailer will give them control of fate. She then offered Anduin the choice to join them or be made to serve, causing Anduin to counter that she was denying him his free will, causing Sylvanas to inform him that they never had free will, but that was about to change.
Following the defeat and capture of Sire Denathrius, she questioned the Jailer on their plans to recover him. In response, the Jailer merely declared that every soul had its purpose, and that Denathrius had fulfilled his. He then declared that it was time to forge their next weapon, causing her to remark that Anduin wasn't ready, and was subsequently reminded by her ally that they had gone to far for her falter. She then approached Anduin, with a mourneblade in hand, and offered him one last chance to join them or be made to serve. However Anduin questioned why she kept giving the chance before deciding that she kept giving him one because it was the choice she never had. He then expressed his belief that there was still some shred of mortality haunting Sylvanas, as if the Banshee Queen hadn't entirely eclipsed the Ranger-General, that if she could make him give up hope, then she could too. After hearing this, an outraged Sylvanas declared "Enough!", pointed the mourneblade at him, ordered him to serve, and stated that he was making it harder on himself.
However Anduin countered that he wasn't making it harder on himself, and then questioned what she would do with her power. In response, Sylvanas declared that she had come too far to falter now. This prompted Anduin to question why she hesitated and he further encouraged her to make her choice.
Chains of Domination
In the end, Sylvanas made the choice to forcibly dominate Anduin and turn him into the Jailer's vessel. The Jailer used his new champion to attack Kyrestia the Firstborne and claim her sigil—all five of which were required for him to complete his plan. Immediately after, Sylvanas personally lead the Mawsworn army as they attacked Ardenweald in order to claim the next sigil, that of the Winter Queen. Several night fae volunteered to act as decoys, disguising themselves as the queen in order to keep Sylvanas occupied until the Wild Hunt—aided by the other covenants—could push back the Mawsworn and focus their efforts on her, all while the real queen stayed behind to protect the Heart of the Forest. After she killed one of the decoys, Sparklepuff, Sylvanas was confronted by the Maw Walkers, Lord Herne, and their allies, but fended them off by violently entering banshee form and heading to the Heart of the Forest.
The Mawsworn stole several of the wildseeds from the weald's groves, and Sylvanas threatened to destroy them—and the souls within—if the queen did not surrender her sigil. The Maw Walkers and the covenants managed to save the seeds, and Sylvanas instead began opening a Maw portal to summon reinforcements for a final assault. She managed to summon a massive charred behemoth, but it was immediately killed by Tyrande Whisperwind, now fully empowered with the strength of the Night Warrior. The two elves launched into a duel, with Tyrande pushing the advantage. She told Sylvanas that she would take her head, just as she had taken Nathanos'. Sylvanas had not realized that her champion was dead, and Tyrande mockingly told her that the Jailer was keeping secrets from her. As they continued fighting, the Wild Hunt retreated to the Heart to defend against the Mawsworn, distracting Tyrande long enough for Sylvanas to flee in banshee form. Tyrande called on Elune's power to leap into the sky after her, colliding with her and sending them both crashing into the ground. With her hands around the Banshee Queen's throat, Tyrande attempted to snap Sylvanas' neck. In that moment, however, the Night Warrior's power suddenly waned and left her, allowing Sylvanas to escape the field. Though the Mawsworn were pushed back, Anduin managed to breach the Heart and steal the Winter Queen's sigil.
After successfully claiming four of the five sigils, the Jailer began enacting his plan to escape the Maw and steal the final key from the Arbiter in Oribos. Sylvanas personally commanded the Mawsworn defenses against the Maw Walkers who attempted to stop the Jailer by breaching his seat of power, the Sanctum of Domination. She personally ordered her nine Val'kyr, reborn in service to the Maw, to engage with the invaders, but they and the Jailer's other powerful lieutenants were gradually defeated until Sylvanas stood as the last line of defense at the pinnacle of the sanctum. Although unable to gain a clear advantage over the Maw Walkers and their allies—Bolvar, Thrall, and Jaina—she was able to stall them long enough for the Jailer to envelop Oribos in the Maw, ascend to the Crucible, and rip the last sigil from the Arbiter, restoring him to his full strength and allowing him to open a portal to his objective. Sylvanas told him that they now had what they needed, but he revealed his actual goal: not to break the system of Death and give everyone free will, but to forge a new reality where all would be forced to serve him. Remembering similar statements by Arthas, and realizing that she herself was included in that statement, Sylvanas declared "I will never 'serve'" and fired a black arrow at the Jailer in defiance. He easily deflected it and told her that it was a "pity" that she was still "chained by mortality". However, he added that since she had helped him regain what was stolen from him, he would repay her in kind. He pulled a soul fragment out of a portal and launched it at her, restoring the fragment of her soul severed by Frostmourne many years prior—and causing her red eyes to turn back to blue. With Sylvanas no longer of any use to him, the Jailer left her fate in the hands of the Maw Walkers and their allies before departing with Anduin through the portal. Overcome by the blow, Sylvanas staggered to her knees and attempted to warn her attackers that the Jailer must not reach a location, but passed out before stating what the location was. The Knights of the Ebon Blade subsequently took the unconscious Banshee Queen prisoner within Oribos in the hopes that they could interrogate her about the Jailer's plan.
Uther the Lightbringer, who'd suffered a fate similar to Sylvanas', examined her soul in Oribos and found that it was divided: the fragment that had been torn from her soul during her first death and represented the Ranger-General she'd been in life was now forced to endlessly relive the atrocities that the rest of her soul had gone on to commit after being raised into undeath. The Ranger-General did not believe that the Banshee Queen was the same person as her and instead thought her to be a separate being—a monster wearing her face. As long as Sylvanas remained divided in this way, she couldn't wake up. Jaina, Thrall, and Baine believed that it was best if she remained unconscious since they'd never be able to trust her, but Bolvar reminded them that Sylvanas was the only one who could tell them about the Jailer's plan and how to save Anduin.
Uther got an idea and brought Sylvanas' hand to his own scar from Frostmourne, allowing him to enter her consciousness and speak to the Ranger-General fragment of her soul. He told her that the Banshee Queen was the same person as her, not a separate being. The Ranger-General refused to accept this at first, but Uther backed up his words by revealing how his own soul had also been split by Frostmourne. He then asked if Sylvanas would prove Zovaal right by allowing this realization to destroy her, or if she would accept the Banshee Queen's legacy as her own and tell the heroes of Azeroth how to stop the Jailer. The Ranger-General knew that the Banshee Queen's crimes were unforgivable and that she'd have to face the consequences for them. Uther replied that while they couldn't change the past and might never find forgiveness in the future, they would all be doomed if Sylvanas didn't make a choice and act soon. Uther retreated from Sylvanas' mind and stayed by her side in Oribos until finally, his efforts bore fruit and she awoke with a reunited soul.
Uther brought Sylvanas to meet up with Jaina and Bolvar at the entrance of the Sepulcher of the First Ones in Zereth Mortis, which the Jailer had already breached. Sylvanas told them that they needed to find a way to resist the Jailer's Domination in order to defeat him and that Anduin might be the key. Uther believed that since Sylvanas had held Kingsmourne—the mourneblade used to bind Anduin—her presence might help free him from the Jailer's control. Jaina initially refused to trust her, but Uther convinced her to accept Sylvanas' help. The four then headed into the Sepulcher together
The Maw Walkers eventually fought their way to Domination's Grasp and confronted and defeated Anduin. Despite the Jailer's efforts, Anduin was able to free himself from Zovaal's control by splitting Kingsmourne in half. This also released the source of his Domination: the last, fading remnant of Arthas Menethil's soul. Sylvanas noted that there wasn't even enough left of him to receive a proper judgment. She stated in her pursuit of vengeance against her nemesis, she had ultimately become no better than him, and that she would have to answer for this. However, Arthas' own legacy was now at an end. She told the remnant that she hoped his name would be forgotten, and she and the others watched in silence as the last part of Arthas faded away.
Sylvanas later joined the now-freed Anduin and the others in Bastion's Chamber of First Reflection, where they sought a way of countering the Jailer's power by drawing out the memories of what had allowed them to resist Domination in the past and infusing that will into the shards of the Helm of Domination. Anduin volunteered for the ritual, but was overwhelmed by his memories of the Maw. Sylvanas recognized his struggle from her own experiences and asked to "offer perspective" by recounting how she had originally broken free of Arthas' control and sought absolution by trying to kill the death knight in the Tirisfal Glades. She then infused her own resistance against Domination into one of the shards. Thanks to Sylvanas' input, Anduin could overcome the ritual and infuse the last of the shards. The group then returned to Torghast to meet with the Primus, who used the memories combined with the language of the First Ones to reforge the Helm of Domination into the Crown of Wills, an instrument allowing them all to become resistant to Domination.
With the resistance granted by the Crown, the Maw Walkers managed to defeat the Jailer deep within the Sepulcher before he could complete his plan of remaking reality. Afterward, Sylvanas agreed to face the consequences for her crimes by facing judgment of the new Arbiter, Pelagos, in the Crucible atop Oribos. Uther and a Maw Walker brought her to the city and escorted her to the Crucible. Many souls and denizens of the Shadowlands gathered in the city to throw insults at her as she passed. The Arbiter allowed more covenant denizens and many Azerothians—including Alleria and Vereesa and several leaders of the Alliance and Horde—to gather in the Crucible itself to witness the trial.
Pelagos began the trial by noting that Sylvanas' actions showed signs of the Jailer's influence, but she replied that she'd been in control of her own actions and that she'd accept the consequences for them. The Arbiter replied that, if so, she knew who she had to answer to. She did, and willingly handed herself over to Tyrande Whisperwind's judgment. Tyrande initially assumed that this was a new deception by the Banshee Queen and threatened her with her glaive, but Sylvanas calmly responded that she didn't expect Tyrande to give her a merciful death. Tyrande stated that remorse couldn't erase Sylvanas' actions and that she wouldn't be allowed peace until there was peace for her victims' souls, and had Shandris Feathermoon and Maiev Shadowsong escort her down to the Ring of Transference. There, Sylvanas exchanged a brief farewell with Alleria and Vereesa, as well as with the Maw Walkers. She told Alliance members that she was glad Azeroth had them as her protectors. To Horde members who'd sided with Saurfang during the Fourth War, she said that she did not blame them if they chose to hate her, but that she hoped they'd continue defending the Horde no matter what. Finally, to Horde members who'd stayed loyal to her throughout the war, she said that she didn't know which fate awaited her, but that she knew she could call on them if she ever needed trusted allies.
Tyrande then decided on Sylvanas' fate: she declared that she would begin her penance by scouring the Maw, freeing all of its trapped souls and sending them back to the Arbiter so they could be judged with compassion, until every last soul was free and Sylvanas herself was all that remained. All the while, she would be watched by Tyrande's companion Dori'thur. This, Tyrande added, was how Sylvanas would bring renewal to her victims and to the night elves. Sylvanas accepted this and vowed that it would be done, no matter how long it took. After exchanging a last look with Alleria and Vereesa, she jumped into the Maw alongside Dori'thur to begin her work.
Opinions on Sylvanas' fate differed. Uther noted that he might've followed a path similar to hers if he'd submitted to the darkness in his own heart, but that compassion can act as salvation from any darkness. Baine Bloodhoof had once hated Sylvanas for what she did to him and the Horde, but he now believed that hatred would only lead to one's doom in the long run and that it was right that Sylvanas faced judgment for her actions. Genn Greymane was not satisfied and believed he'd never know peace while the monster who took his kingdom and his son from him still existed. Maiev Shadowsong didn't know if Sylvanas' fate was justice, but she believed that it was right. Shandris Feathermoon opined that Sylvanas was right when she said that death would've been a mercy, and that her penance might prove more valuable than her execution. Finally, Alleria and Vereesa hoped that Sylvanas might one day complete her penance and return to them as their sister.
As she carried out her penance in the Maw, Sylvanas reflected that she was now neither ranger-general nor Banshee Queen—only Sylvanas, whoever that might be now. She knew that her task was nearly impossible, since souls had been sent to the Maw since the very creation of the Shadowlands. However, she clung to the possibility that she might one day be reunited with her late family members and remained determined to find the soul of her beloved Nathanos. She suddenly heard the familiar but unexpected clanking sound of metal armor, suggesting that someone had arrived to aid her in her mission. She recalled what Anduin had told her about hope making things possible and, for the first time in very long, allowed herself to feel hope.
|Location||Level range||Health range|
|Inner Sanctum (Siege of Orgrimmar)||92||9,840,800|
|Heritage of the Sin'dorei||120||274,259|
|Location||Level range||Health range|
|Forge of Souls||??||6,972,500|
|Pit of Saron||??||6,972,500|
|Halls of Reflection||80||5,040,000|
|Echo of Sylvanas||87||4,979,640|
|Gates of Orgrimmar||??||2,545,000|
This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.
- Broken Shore
- War Campaign
RemovedThe subject of this section was removed from World of Warcraft in patch 4.0.3a but is present in Classic.The subject of this section was removed from World of Warcraft in patch 4.0.3a but is present in Burning Crusade Classic.
- War of the Thorns
The subject of this section did not make it out of the beta stages.
- Allied races
- Battle for Azeroth
Battle with the Dark Lady can prove disastrous if certain steps are not taken to ensure the raid's survivability. Sylvanas now pulls with her Battlemasters regardless of which side of her platform is taken, and she engages with a Forsaken Bat along with a scaled Bragor Bloodfist and Aleric Hawkins as well as all of the Royal Dreadguards in the throne room. Though Hawkins is easily disposed of, her other allies in the Royal Quarter are formidable and hit hard. The best tactic is to use two tanks, one to hold the Battlemasters and guard spawns and one to keep on Sylvanas and her skeleton minions.
Sylvanas uses a variety of abilities- her multi-shot, regardless of range, is capable of hitting up to ten targets at once for a moderately powerful 55-64k. She can use a DOT curse (a special version of ), to inflict shadow damage over 30 seconds on a random target. The potency of her summon skeleton ability has been increased, and now brings forth five level 110 skeletons, but each has low health, so they are dispatched easily with AoE abilities. She has also retained her ability, though even one application of is enough to disallow her its use. When Sylvanas reappears after vanishing, she will begin using on random targets until her tank picks her up again.
Due to the large amount of enemies, speed is a key factor in downing the Dark Lady. If allowed to vanish and not picked up immediately after, there is an infrequent glitch where she will reset to 100% HP, wasting valuable time. Focusing on her over her allies, while a second tank holds them, is the best strategy to employ.
Sylvanas was often considered the most powerful faction leader, having battled alongside Varimathras until Wrath of the Lich King. More recently, this position has been disputed by the encounter with Varok Saurfang.
Sylvanas, like most capital city leaders, has a 2-hour respawn timer after being killed by an Alliance raid. However, you may have to face the battlemasters more than once, as they have a respawn timer of 5-10 min.
- Black Arrow — 45 yrd range. Curses an enemy, inflicting Shadow damage every 3 sec for 30 sec. If the target dies while afflicted by Black Arrow, a Skeleton will be summoned from the target's corpse. 2 sec cast. Cannot be interrupted.
- Fade — Turns the caster invisible and increases its movement speed by 50% for 3 sec.
- Multi-Shot — 30 yrd range. Fires a volley of missiles at an enemy and its nearby allies, striking up to 10 targets as Physical damage.
- Summon Skeleton — Summons 5 Skeletons to aid the caster in battle for 2 min.
- Shoot — 5-30 yrd range. Shoots at an enemy, inflicting Physical damage.
- Sylvanas is skilled at archery, an art she mastered as a high elf. To this day the bow remains Sylvanas' weapon of choice.
- The Banshee Queen is aptly named. Her screams have the power to silence and weaken her enemies or bolster the power of her allies. A single wail is powerful enough to kill an adult human. When speaking, her voice can ring with the barest hint of the force that her banshee wail could muster, making tapestries shudder.
- Sylvanas possesses magical powers, such as those to drain life, cast deadly bolts of shadow, create skeletons, and use mind control. 
- Although Sylvanas has reclaimed her undead high elven body, she still retains the ability to shift in and out of her incorporeal banshee form at will. She prefers her corporeal form for ordinary, everyday activities. Banshee form also gives her the ability to fly.
- Through her pact with the Val'kyr, Sylvanas has power over life and death. At the time of the Cataclysm events in Silverpine Forest, she could only raise humans into undeath, but her powers could always grow down the line. During the Siege of Orgrimmar, Sylvanas offered to raise Lor'themar's blood elf troops. During Garrosh's trial in War Crimes, she planned to raise Vereesa as a Forsaken.
- Sylvanas can telepathically communicate by making her voice "invade" the thoughts of another person.
- After allying with the Jailer and feeding many souls to the Maw, she developed powerful death magic derived from that realm.
- Still a warrior's heart? She had grown cold. No, she was the same. In death as in life.
In her early life, Sylvanas was a prodigious ranger, proud and vain—and pragmatic. As the ranger-general, Sylvanas, like many of the quel'dorei, held the belief that it was a mistake to teach magic to humanity; though she was also of the opinion that Quel'Thalas would do well to coexist with the other races of the world, and to practice tolerance. Sylvanas' ambiguous relationship with her pupil, the human Nathanos Marris, may have shaped this belief (or have been the result of it). Death, however, would give Sylvanas a highly different outlook on life.
In death, Sylvanas was motivated, for the most part, by revenge; and later, a drive to survive that would later evolve into a drive to conquest and empowerment. Sylvanas is a highly cunning and capable administrator, having built up a nation from nothing to one of Azeroth's most powerful (and feared) factions. Though she has forged alliances, she has consistently kept her allies ignorant of her true motives. Sometimes this provides an advantage when dealing with more volatile allies, though it has contributed to her being blamed for actions that were not her own. Sylvanas makes little distinction between friend and foe; if you do not stand with the Forsaken, you stand against them. She makes use of oratory skills to inspire her followers, be it rallying the liberated undead on a crusade of retribution, or motivating her people to war. Sylvanas is a cold ruler, placing value on few of her subjects beyond their use as tools, be it arrows to kill on her behalf or shields to protect her from her enemies. Even her own homeland was not exempt to this; indeed, Sylvanas was willing to use it as a bargaining chip to secure more manpower in her quest for vengeance. Sylvanas is often brusque and dismissive, though is quick to feign respect around figures such as the Warchief. She does, however, pay some amount of respect to her own soldiers, commemorating them through their insignia or attempting to rescue survivors of a battle.
The moment she was raised as a banshee, Sylvanas lost the ability to truly feel any emotion besides anger and hate, which now fuel her in undeath the way breathing or food fueled her in life, never abating save for when she is with Nathanos.
Sylvanas is a ruthless and creative military leader. She is not above using hostages, explicitly banned chemical weaponry, and enforcing morally dubious choices to put the Forsaken ahead in warfare. The lines between Sylvanas and the Lich King are still present, primarily in that she won't enslave undead as the Scourge does, but she knows how to exploit the confusion of freshly-resurrected soldiers to use them against their former brothers in arms. She's also grown to put effort into maintaining prejudice from the Alliance towards the Forsaken as their resentment serves her purposes better.
Hints exist that Sylvanas has not been able to entirely cast aside her old life. She takes a special notice of Lor'themar Theron's Thalassian, sings a melancholic tune regarding the fall of her homeland, and expresses genuine emotion in regards to her sister after rediscovering a locket once gifted to Sylvanas by her elder sibling, which is still in the Dark Lady's possession. Similarly, she called off a planned assassination of Alleria and Vereesa after working with them to retake Windrunner Spire, due to the latter expressing forgiveness for her own actions at Garrosh's trial, and indicating she still loved both her sisters.
In Legion she is shown to be more willing to help the Alliance, at least against a common enemy, even fighting alongside Varian Wrynn whom she admits to having respected and even liked. On the other hand, her actions in Stormheim indicate she is as amoral and pragmatic as ever, once again hinting at a desire for Forsaken dominance by promising a 'new age' once she acquires new Val'kyr. In Battle for Azeroth this desire comes to fruition where she launches an assault aimed at toppling the Alliance as the first step towards Forsaken dominance. More than anything she has displayed immense arrogance throughout the Fourth War, to the pointing of viewing everyone as little more than pawns, and becoming enraged when Saurfang managed to land a single scratch on her.
When her soul was reunited with her body thanks to the Jailer, Sylvanas had acknowledged that the crimes she committed were unforgivable. Initially, she refused but was convinced by Uther that while she cannot change the past nor can she be forgiven, she is willing to stand in judgment. She acknowledges that throughout the Fourth War, she had become no different than Arthas. Despite her hatred for him and her hunt for him, each selfish decision she made led her to become like him. She sought to become his judge and executioner in the belief she would be forgiven of the atrocities Arthas forced her to commit against her people, only to be denied that.
As a living elf, Sylvanas had waist-length blonde hair that "flowed like water" and was "translucent in the light of the sun". She took great pride in her appearance: It wasn't good enough to be the best hunter in her family. She needed to take everyone's breath away as she ventured out. She was so very vain. Her eyes were "more gray than green or blue." Even by high elven standards, the second of the three Windrunner sisters had been a rare beauty. Lords from countless noble houses had sought her hand. Even Prince Sunstrider was said to have desired it.
Repossessing her body as a banshee, Sylvanas now has pale, blue-white skin. Though better preserved than most other undead, the flesh around her mouth cracks and peels like old snakeskin when she speaks. Her eyes glow with a white or silver light that turns red when she is agitated. Her once-golden hair is now pale blonde or white-gold. Anduin described her to be beautiful and deadly, just like the flowers of the toxic herb Maiden's Anguish.
Sylvanas still wears the same outfit she was wearing when she died, though its coloration has darkened. Oddly, her body bears no scars from the innumerable wounds she received on the day she died. As in life, she has a preference for wearing her hood up. Her facial markings are tear stains that burned onto her skin when Arthas raised her. After her mok'gora with Saurfang, however, she gained a single scar across her eye that continued to persist by the time she assaulted Icecrown.
Sylvanas is an imposing figure, seemingly able to look down upon others even if they are taller than her. Only Garrosh Hellscream was willing to look her in the eyes following her pact with the Val'kyr, and what he saw there startled even him. Lor'themar Theron described her thusly: In the hall where she stood, the light seemed to fade; it was not that it dimmed or dulled but that it collapsed and sunk into the space she occupied, as if even sunshine faltered around her.
Sylvanas' champion offers a more flattering view of her current appearance, describing her as resembling a queen in life and a "goddess" in undeath. He considers that while the classic elegance she once possessed has been lost in death, her undead form holds a dark allure that he finds captivating. Nathanos believes that some hypocritical rulers of Azeroth's mortal kingdoms, who publicly despise her, in truth hold the same private fascination.
In the TCG
In the RPG
Under her leadership the Forsaken have managed to not only fend off the Scourge, but also the Scarlet Crusade. She has a certain mastery of leadership, military strategy, and the bow. Sylvanas is the best archer on Azeroth. She wields Sunstrider's Longbow — once owned by Dath'Remar Sunstrider, it was passed on to Sylvanas when she became Ranger-General. She wears Robe of Elven Kings, the Rod of Undead Mastery, Superior Boots of Elvenkind, Cloak of Writhing Shadows, and girdle of giant strength.
Sylvanas succeeded in using her abilities as a banshee to repossess the body that belonged to her in life. Sylvanas was now a corporeal undead creature. Back in her physical body she realized that the natural world would never respond to her wishes again. Angered by this development, she turned to the arts that were becoming more and more natural to her: necromancy. She then altered her elven ranger teachings into a new form. Thus the dark rangers were born.
As long as the Lich King survives, it is impossible to destroy Sylvanas' spirit completely. Her "destroyed" spirit restores itself within a few days. The only way to get rid of her for sure is first to destroy the Lich King and then destroy her. Her existence became linked to his during her initial creation as a banshee.
- For unit quotes, see Quotes of Warcraft III/Human Alliance#Sylvanas Windrunner.
- "Our land is impregnable. He will not enter. Do not fear. Have faith... in the Sunwell's strength, and the strength and will of our people."
- "I am Sylvanas Windrunner, Ranger-General of Silvermoon. I advise you to turn back now."
- "Do your worst. The elfgate to the inner kingdom is protected by our most powerful enchantments. You will not pass."
- "Shindu fallah nah! Fall back to the second gate! Fall back!"
- "Make for the Sunwell Plateau. Tell them what we have seen here. Tell them to be prepared. Tell them... we may have been betrayed."
- "They are arrows in the quiver. They must be spent if we are to win this."
- "Attack! For Quel'Thalas!"
- "Finish it! I deserve... a clean death."
Dark Ranger Sylvanas
- For unit quotes, see Quotes of Warcraft III/Undead Scourge#Sylvanas Windrunner.
- "What joy is there in this curse? We are still undead, sister--still monstrosities. What are we if not slaves to this torment?"
- "You underestimated me, dreadlord. Now you're going to pay."
- "Let's see. I've made one of your brothers my servant, and tore the other to bloody shreds. I wonder what your fate holds, Balnazzar?"
- "The capital city is ours, but we are no longer part of the Scourge. From here on out, we shall be known as the Forsaken. We will find our own path in this world, dreadlord... and slaughter anyone who stands in our way."
World of Warcraft
- We are the Forsaken. We will slaughter anyone who stands in our way.
- What are we if not slaves to this torment?
- What joy is there in this curse?
- I have no time for games.
- State your business to your Warchief.
- I trust you will not waste my time.
- Come forward.
- Greetings, champion.
- Our true work is just beginning.
- There will be a new future for the Horde.
- Serve me well, and you will be rewarded.
- No doubt I am your favorite Windrunner sister... right? Right?
- I have taken note of your progress. It seems I may have to send you to Nathanos for remedial training.
- Did you think I would not notice the way you leer at my dark rangers? I suggest you keep your eyes--and thoughts--to yourself.
- Plans, little old me? What sort of plans could I possibly have?
- Go. I have much to do.
- Serve the Horde. Serve me.
- We will bring the Alliance to its knees.
- I will grow the ranks of the Forsaken. One way... or another.
- All will serve the Horde in time.
- We will claim what is ours.
- The lifeblood of Azeroth belongs to the Horde.
- Let none survive!
- May my aim be true.
This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.
- The Banshee Queen yells: Children of the Night, heed your Queen's call!
- The Banshee Queen yells: I join you in celebration of this most revered of nights - the night we Forsaken broke the Scourge's yoke of oppression!
- The Banshee Queen yells: It is this night that our enemies fear us the most. It is THIS night that we show our enemies what it means to stand against the Forsaken!
- The Banshee Queen yells: We burn the effigy of the Wickerman as a symbol of our struggle against those who would oppose us. We wear the ashes of the burnt Wickerman as a symbol of our neverending fight against those who would enslave us.
- The Banshee Queen yells: Now is the time to shake the world to its foundations! NOW is the time to remind those who would enslave us that we shall never yield!
- The Banshee Queen yells: NOW is the time of the Forsaken! Power to the Forsaken - NOW AND FOREVER!!!
Wrath of the Lich King
I can feel Thrall's anger at Arthas, but it pales before my own. Were he as furious as any one of the Forsaken, the Horde's armies would unleash their rage upon Northrend and eradicate all Scourge from that cursed, frozen wasteland.
But I do not lead the Horde, and cannot give the command for war. Thrall wishes to weigh his options, despite this being a time of action. Still, our time will come... very soon.
During The Battle For The Undercity
- Beg for your miserable life!
- ON YOUR KNEES!
- The Banshee Queen has plans for you!
- The Horde will be victorious!
- The penalty for treason is death!
- You dare befoul my sanctum! Pay with your blood!
- You disgust me.
- You will be reunited with your master soon - in the afterlife.
- Main article: Herald of War#Notes
- Main article: The Battle For The Undercity (Horde)#Notes
- Main article: Echoes of Tortured Souls (Horde)#Notes
- Main article: Devourer of Souls#Quotes
- Main article: The Pit of Saron (Horde)#Notes
- Main article: Krick and Ick#Quotes
- Main article: Scourgelord Tyrannus#Quotes
- Main article: Frostmourne (Horde)#Notes
- Main article: Escape from Arthas#Quotes
- Main article: Sylvanas' Vengeance#Notes
- Main article: The Battle for Gilneas City#Notes
- Main article: The Hunt For Sylvanas#Notes
- Main article: The Warchief Cometh#Notes
- Main article: Lordaeron (quest)#Notes
- Main article: Cities in Dust#Notes
- Main article: The Reckoning (Western Plaguelands)#Notes
- Main article: Echo of Sylvanas#Quotes
Forsaken High Command
In death, we are reborn.
- Children of the Grave, heed my call!
- In life, we suffered unspeakable tragedies.
- We watched as our homes were razed to the ground.
- We cried out in agony as our families were cut down before our eyes.
- Finally, in the face of such atrocities, we were denied even the release of death.
- Now, we burn this wickerman as a symbol of our victory against old enemies!
- We paint our faces with the ash to send a message to new enemies - a declaration to those who fear and revile us as monsters.
- To those who would question our place in this world...
- We are NOT monsters! We are NOT the mindless wretches of a ghoul army!
- No... we are a force even more terrifying...
- We are the chill in a coward's spine...
- We are the instruments of an unyielding ire...
- WE ARE THE FORSAKEN!!
Mists of Pandaria
- Main article: Galakras#Quotes
- Main article: The Battle for Broken Shore (Horde)#Notes
- Main article: Fate of the Horde#Notes
- Main article: Keep Your Friends Close#Notes
- Main article: The Warchief Beckons#Notes
- Main article: Making the Rounds (Horde)#Notes
- Main article: The Splintered Fleet#Notes
- Main article: A Desperate Bargain#Notes
- Main article: A New Life for Undeath#Notes
- Main article: A Royal Audience (Horde)#Notes
- Main article: The Victor's Spoils (Horde)#Notes
- Main article: The Call for Allies (Horde)#Notes
- Main article: A Feast for Our Kin#Notes
- Main article: Together We Are the Horde!#Notes
- Main article: For the Horde (Highmountain tauren)#Notes
- Main article: Thalyssra's Estate#Notes
- Main article: The Nightborne#Notes
- Main article: For the Horde (nightborne)#Notes
- To hunters with
- Thas'dorah... I have not seen it in years! That's a Windrunner family heirloom you have slung across your back.
- My mother passed it down to my eldest sister. May it bring you better fortune than it did her.
- Remember, <name>, that Thas'dorah represents my family's legacy... MY legacy. The deeds you perform while wielding it reflect upon me.
- It's fitting that the bow be in hands of so skilled a marksman. I trust you will remain worthy of it. Do not disappoint me.
- Grommash Hold, Legion intro
Broken Shore was just the beginning. The Alliance will retaliate. Given the opportunity, they will strike when we are weak.
- Dranosh'ar Blockade
We will make the Legion pay for what they've done!
- Orgrimmar Embassy
At long last, the ceaseless posturing between the Horde and the Alliance is coming to an end.
The time for war is at hand.
Battle for Azeroth
- Main article: The Warchief Awaits#Notes
- Main article: A Soft Glow#Notes
- Main article: On The Prowl (Warchief's Agenda)#Notes
- Main article: Ripe for the Picking (quest)#Notes
- Main article: A Quick Flyover#Notes
- Main article: An Unstoppable Force#Notes
- Main article: The Trees Have Ears#Notes
- Main article: The Start of Something Good#Notes
- Main article: A Looming Threat (Horde)#Notes
- Main article: Saurfang Returns#Notes
- Main article: The Guidance of Our Shan'do#Notes
- Main article: Killer Queen#Notes
- Main article: Battle for Azeroth cinematic#transcript
- Main article: Hour of Reckoning (Horde)#Notes
- Main article: The Battle for Lordaeron#Notes
- Main article: Battle for Azeroth: Mission Statement#Notes
- Main article: Vision of Time (quest)#Notes
- Main article: The Uncorrupted#Notes
- Main article: The High Overlord#Notes
- Main article: Queen's Favor#Notes
- Main article: The Day Hope Died#Notes
- Main article: The Black Blade#Notes
- Main article: They Move Against Us#Notes
- Main article: Leaders of the Horde#Notes
- Main article: Reckoning#Transcript
- Main article: Most Loyal#Notes
- War of the Thorns
- I am fortunate to have commanders like you, <name>.
- Grommash Hold
- Too many of our navy's ships were destroyed either by the Legion or by the Alliance. I have our dockmasters working overnight, but we need more.
- I will never serve.
- The true battle lies ahead.
- We live in prisons of our own making.
- I found you before, my love. I will find you again... no matter how long it takes.
- Not a Banshee Queen... Not a Ranger-General... But always a Windrunner.
- I will face whatever comes.
- The cycle must be broken.
- We are more than slaves to our torments.
- "Those who do not stand with the Forsaken stand against them. And those who stand against the Forsaken will not stand long."
- "Garrosh Hellscream. I've walked the realms of the dead. I have seen the infinite dark. Nothing you say. Or do. Could possibly frighten me."
- "I haven't lost any love for my homeland or its people, as you know. I've fought tooth and nail for Silvermoon to be allowed a place beside Undercity and Orgrimmar at the negotiating table."
- "Someone ought to teach that death knight a little military strategy!"
- "Among the first of my champions was Nathanos, now known as the Blightcaller. Few exist with more dedication or vigor amidst our ranks."
- "You try my patience dangerously by bringing these to me. However, it is clear your heart seeks the same vengeance as I."
- "The Lich King falters. Your will is your own. Are you to be outcasts now in your own land? Or do we embrace the cruel cards fate has dealt us and retake our place in this world?"
Heroes of the Storm trailer
- "I was once a Farstrider. I swore an oath to defend Silvermoon and its people to my dying breath. It was not enough. My homeland still burned. But those days are long past, and history will not repeat itself. I am Sylvanas Windrunner, queen of the Forsaken. And if you will not serve me in this life, then you will do so in the next."
- Sylvanas appears as a legendary card in Hearthstone. Her flavor text reads: "Sylvanas was turned into the Banshee Queen by Arthas, but he probably should have just killed her because it just pissed her off."
- Starting December 10, 2019, Sylvanas was temporarily available for purchase as an alternate hero for the hunter class. Her flavor text reads: "Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a heartless undead monster. Or just roll with it."
Sylvanas Windrunner altarnate hunter hero.
Sylvanas Windrunner boss in Book of Heroes.
Sylvanas in Mercenaries.
Naga Sylvanas alternate hero skin for the hunter class.
In Heroes of the Storm
Notes and trivia
- Sylvanas is one of the four possibilities for a Time Anomaly summoned by Arcane mages wearing the Raiment of the Arcanic Conclave set.
- Sylvanas Windrunner's impaled body can be seen in the Stormwind Harbor of the Realm of Y'Shaarj.
- Sylvanas was seen during Children's Week, where the orcish orphan desires an audience with her - believing the Banshee Queen is one of the strongest members of the Horde. The little orphan asks her about her recent argument with Warchief Garrosh, though she implores him that she and the Forsaken do not forget their debts, and that they are wholly loyal to the Horde; much to the orphan's delight.
- The appearance of Sylvanas' bow has changed several times. In melee, she uses two swords that look similar to the , these swords have remained consistent in all of her appearances. Her first bow was originally a black and silver bow, similar in appearance to the . This was later replaced in Wrath of the Lich King, where she wielded a bow similar to the . This bow was the most consistent and appears to be the one that her Heroes of the Storm incarnation is wielding. This bow is not used in the dungeon End Time, where she uses the bow as an echo of herself. She also drops this weapon, similar to the rest of the Echo bosses who also drop the weapons they are wielding. In Cataclysm, statues of Sylvanas seem to have her using this bow as well. Her bow was then replaced with a bow that used the same model as the , which she uses in Silverpine in certain areas of it, before finally being replaced again in Legion with a unique bow. The plating on this bow is similar in design to her new armor and has horns wrapping around it.
- An epic ring, , drops from Kael'thas Sunstrider in the Eye of Tempest Keep. The description of the ring clearly states that it was formerly worn by Sylvanas.
- is named after her and apparently belonged to her.
- Sylvanas' mount appears to be a , as seen in . She is later seen atop a Forsaken Warhorse in Gilneas and Silverpine Forest, and a Vicious Skeletal Warhorse during .
- Sylvanas has three official wallpapers.
- Sylvanas was one of the only racial leaders mentioned by name in her race's voiced quotes: "Victory for Sylvanas!" and "Dark Lady watch over you". Blood elves mention their deceased king ("For Anasterian!"), while the worgen say "Long live Greymane" and "Any friend of Greymane is a friend of mine".
- In Dalaran, a rare fishing drop from the fountain is , which was, as it says, once owned by Sylvanas in life.
- Sylvanas seems to be the object of a cult of personality, having become practically deified by her people. She is hailed as a savior to the Forsaken, who commonly take her name as a greeting or a farewell. The notion that "the Dark Lady watches over you" and deep reverence for their Queen has become an iconic part of Forsaken culture, and Sylvanas seems to approve of this - even mentioning that "the Dark Lady watches over you" herself numerous times, such as in the disguise of Lindsay Ravensun or during her attack on the Frozen Halls.
- Sylvanas has been brought back from the dead three times: in Quel'Thalas (when Arthas killed her, then turned her into a banshee), in Icecrown (where she was revived by Annhylde after committing suicide) and in Silverpine (where she was shot in the head by Godfrey, then revived by Agatha, Arthura and Daschla).
- Sylvanas and Lor'themar Theron have a similar relationship to Lady Vashj and Kael'thas Sunstrider. The relationship is similar in that Kael and Lor'themar only joined them because of pure need to the survival of their race and seem to be at times regretful of that decision.
- Sylvanas' reaction to viewing the new Lich King in her short story, Edge of Night, is somewhat confusing. Ostensibly, Uther had warned her in the Halls of Reflection that there must "always be a Lich King". Whether her anger-fueled reaction to Tirion going through with the act is in contradiction to what she had been told by Uther (such as Jaina being the "canon" person that Uther told), or in spite of it is unclear, as is whether her own reaction to Uther's sentiment ("Who could bear such a burden?") was rhetorical or literal. Moreover, dungeon's journal and Annual 2015 say that both women were there.
- Sylvanas hates forest trolls.
- According to Serge Hinott, Sylvanas is apparently a fan of recycling: after the Cataclysm, she decreed that the Forsaken must conserve their resources in order to prosper.
- She is the author of the plaque on Alleria's monument in the Valley of Heroes.
- Vereesa's nickname back home was "Little Moon," while Sylvanas' was "Lady Moon." These nicknames were given to them by a young Alleria, who teased them for their hair colors (silvery and pale-blond, respectively) in contrast to the golden locks of Alleria and Lirath, who were the "suns" of the family. However, in Tides of Darkness, Sylvanas is described as having darker hair than Alleria. This has been confirmed to be an intentional retcon.
- In Rise of the Lich King, the undead Sylvanas' hair is described as being as black as midnight with streaks of white. Her Legion model and Before the Storm instead depict it as pale blonde or white-gold.
- While Tales of the Hunt states that Sylvanas became Ranger-General following her mother Lireesa's death in the Second War, the story Dark Mirror clearly shows that Sylvanas was already an established ranger-general before the Second War had reached Quel'Thalas. Most likely, Lireesa was actually killed during the interim between the First War and Second War.
- Sylvanas turned Commander Louis Philips into a Forsaken.
- All three Windrunner sisters ended up having a human mate or at least being very close to one in the case of Sylvanas.
- Sylvanas is featured in DC Unlimited's World of Warcraft: Series 6 action figure set.
- Silva (or silua; it is pronounced 'sil-wa') is the Latin word for forest, and Silvanus (or Siluanus; 'sil-wa-nus') is a god of uncultivated land in Roman mythology. Both the word and the name are often invoked in regards to elves and elven characters.
- Sylvanas was voiced by Piera Coppola in Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne. Dialogue from those games was reused in World of Warcraft until v3.2.0.
- Sylvanas (along with Tyrande Whisperwind) is a consistently popular choice for female cosplayers, as the various BlizzCon costume competitions attest.
- In Legion Sylvanas was the only Horde racial leader from vanilla that still led her faction.
- Sylvanas is the first racial leader to use a different animation skeleton than the rest of her race, since her model is a blood elf as opposed to a Forsaken. The second is Jastor Gallywix, who was given a model in Patch 7.2 that uses pygmy animations even though he is a goblin.
- The Eagletalon Battlegear set was inspired by Sylvanas and her dark rangers.
- A European server is named Server:Sylvanas Europe.
- Sylvanas was an inspiration for the Overwatch character, Widowmaker.
- Much like Garrosh, the previous villainous warchief, Sylvanas' actions in Battle for Azeroth have made her a divisive figure amongst the fanbase.
- During the Fourth War, Varok Saurfang declared that Sylvanas Windrunner had inherited Blackhand's bloody legacy.
- Gillvanas is a murloc based on Sylvanas, given to ticket holders for BlizzCon 2019.
- In the aftermath of the Fourth War, Sylvanas' name as noted to have become synonymous with chaos and death.
- Though Arthas turned her into an incorporeal banshee when he killed her, Sylvanas was later able to regain her original (albeit dead) body. Ghostlands and the Manual of Monsters both depict her in her original body, with the abilities of both a dark ranger and a banshee.
- In Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Sylvanas' living model was simply retextured from Shandris Feathermoon, while her banshee model looks the same as the banshee creep units. In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, her model is shared with the Dark Ranger hero unit, which is a recolored version of her living model.
- In Warcraft III: Reforged, all her three versions have unique models.
- In Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Sylvanas' living model was simply retextured from Shandris Feathermoon, while her banshee model looks the same as the banshee creep units. In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, her model is shared with the Dark Ranger hero unit, which is a recolored version of her living model.
- Though in life Sylvanas was a high elf, her original model in World of Warcraft was that of a tall female night elf, but this is because that was the closest model available before The Burning Crusade. During the Wrath of the Lich King beta she was given a retextured blood elf model, and by patch 3.0.2 she was given a unique undead high elf model more reminiscent of how she appeared in The Frozen Throne. Interestingly, the outfit she wears in the Sunwell Trilogy is more similar to those of Sentinel archers than the high elf rangers in the same book. Her model was subsequently updated again in Legion, followed by the introduction of a model used in Shadowlands content two expansions later. According to art director Ely Cannon, the design of her Shadowlands model is intended to depict her as having finally come into her power, saying "She's no longer hiding behind being the Banshee Queen or the dark ranger, she is the Sylvanas we have been waiting for, and she has the armor to prove it. We know where her alliances lie for the first time."
- Arthas: Rise of the Lich King stated that Sylvanas was killed and raised by Arthas not far from a spire near Fairbreeze Village between Silvermoon City and the Elrendar River. War Crimes later specified that the spire was Windrunner Spire in the Ghostlands. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3 simply stated that she died "in full view of Silvermoon's glorious spires". specifically says that she died just east of Fairbreeze Village, alluding to Arthas: Rise of the Lich King and Warbringers: Sylvanas instead of the War Crimes version. In Reforged, Sylvanas dies in front of the city.
- The idea that she fell at Windrunner Spire is reinforced by the fact that the quest item , a necklace given to Sylvanas by her sister, Alleria Windrunner, drops from a random mob in that location, triggering the quest that culminates in the Lament of the Highborne, discussed below.
- In Warcraft III, Arthas defeats Sylvanas in the Eversong Woods and turns her into a banshee on the spot. In The Well of Eternity, Rhonin remembers hearing a report that Sylvanas was killed, then taken into a temple where Arthas transformed her into a banshee. Ghostlands and the Lament of the Highborne video are consistent with this description, depicting Arthas placing Sylvanas' body on an altar and performing a ritual to pull her spirit from her body. Rise of the Lich King and Sylvanas' Heroes of the Storm trailer return to the Warcraft III version of the scene. Artwork in Chronicle Volume 3 shows Sylvanas dying slumped against a tree. In Warbringers: Sylvanas, she is instead killed in an open field of flowers. In the Chronicle artwork, Sylvanas seemingly dies from a slit throat, but all other depictions of her death, including Warbringers which came out after Chronicle, show Arthas impaling her through the chest with Frostmourne. Moreover, the Chronicle artwork seems to depict Arthas leaving her body after killing her, whereas he raised her on the spot in Warcraft III, Rise of the Lich King, and Warbringers.
Lament of the Highborne
- Main article: Lament of the Highborne
In a timeline where the Old Gods and Deathwing succeeded in bringing about the Hour of Twilight, Sylvanas lingers as a maddened echo in the desolate remains of the Ruby Dragonshrine. Having lost everything, she was left unable to find peace as she languished in hatred, aching for a chance to unleash her fury on anything living that comes near her.
Echo of Sylvanas in the TCG.
Sylvanas's original model in World of Warcraft was a night elf model.
Arthas turns Sylvanas into a banshee, from the Warcraft manga.
Concept art by Glenn Rane.
A statue of her in Brill.
Varian and Sylvanas on the Broken Shore.
With her sisters in Windrunner: Three Sisters.
An Anduin/Sylvanas symbol in Before the Storm.
Warcraft III: Reforged concept art.
Concept art of Sylvanas' Eternity's End model.
World of Warcraft: Sylvanas cover art.
Sylvanas illustration by Bayard Wu.
Through the Dark Portal art by Ryon Sook.
Assault on Icecrown Citadel art by John Polidora.
Crown of the Heavens art by Mark Zug.
- Heroes of the Storm
- Physical figurines
The Sylvanas Windrunner action figure.
Sylvanas, depicted with other heroes from Warcraft III for the 20th anniversary of Warcraft.
"Sylvanas - Queen of Spades" by Mark Gibbons.
BlizzCon 2016 poster artwork.
BlizzCon 2019 artwork.
Fan art of Sylvanas at an imagined Ulduar council.
Sylvanas battling in a crossover.
Sylvanas in a crossover.
- A Kingdom Divided
- Sylvanas' Farewell
- Lament of the Highborne
- Seeking Fate
- Hidden Threads
- Hellscream's Downfall (Horde)
- Heroes of the Storm: Sylvanas Trailer
- World of Warcraft: Legion Cinematic Trailer
- Battle for the Broken Shore finale (Horde)
- Fate of the Horde
- Sylvanas vs Genn Greymane
- Legion Epilogue (Horde)
- Warbringers: Sylvanas
- Old Soldier
- Battle for Lordaeron
- Lordaeron Throne Room Confrontation - Alliance
- Lordaeron Throne Room Confrontation - Horde
- World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Cinematic Trailer
- No More Lies
- Sylvanas' Choice
- Tyrande vs Sylvanas
- Sanctuary of Domination Raid Finale
- Anduin's Goodbye
- Shattered Legacies
- Anduin Raid Finale
- Judgment Part 1
- Judgment Part 2
- Patch 9.2.0 (2022-02-22): Model updated.
- Patch 9.0.2 (2020-11-17): Model updated (Maw).
- Patch 8.2.5 (2019-09-24):
- Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17):
- Updated for level 120.
- Added in Grommash Hold with new voice lines.
- Patch 7.3.5 (2018-01-16): Added in Orgrimmar Embassy with new voice lines.
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19):
- Updated for level 110.
- Model updated.
- Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Updated for level 100.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Updated for level 90.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23):
- Updated for level 85.
- Now pulls entire room when aggroe'd.
- Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): Voice updated.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14):
- Updated for level 80.
- Model updated.
- Patch 2.0.1 (2006-12-05): Updated for level 70.
- Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-13): Racial "Leaders" have been strengthened, and are now worth slightly less honor.
- ^ A New Power in Lordaeron, Varimathras (quotes)
- ^ Dreadlord's Fall, Varimathras, Footman, Necromancer (quotes)
- ^ , Garrosh Hellscream (quote)
- ^ a b Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 139
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 102
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 138
- ^ Elegy, pg. 77
- ^ Crown of the Heavens - For the Horde!. Retrieved on 2012-01-16.
- ^ Sylvanas - Exclusive Preview of the Prequel Novel
- ^ Shadowlands on-click quotes
- ^ The Characters of Warcraft/Sylvanas Windrunner
- ^ a b Races of World of Warcraft - Forsaken
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-02. BlizzCon 2019 - World of Warcraft: Q&A. Retrieved on 2019-11-03. (MMO-Champion transcript/Wowhead transcript)
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Edge of Night
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 61
- ^ a b c d In the Shadow of the Sun
- ^ a b c d e f g h Dark Mirror
- ^ Blood of the Highborne
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 217 - 224
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 234
- ^ a b The Well of Eternity, pg. 16 - 17
- ^ a b Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 289
- ^ a b
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 292 - 295
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 303
- ^ a b c d World of Warcraft: Sylvanas, chapter 13
- ^ A Kingdom Divided
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, chapter 22
- ^ "Legacy of the Damned: The Flight from Lordaeron", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ a b c Sylvanas' Farewell (WC3 Undead)
- ^ a b
- ^ World of Warcraft: Sylvanas, chapter 14
- ^ a b c "Legacy of the Damned: The Dark Lady", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ a b Dreadlord's Fall (WC3 Undead)
- ^ a b c "Legacy of the Damned: A New Power in Lordaeron", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ Factions of World of Warcraft - Undercity
- ^ World of Warcraft: Sylvanas, chapter 15 - 16
- ^ Dark Ranger Velonara#Quotes
- ^ Traveler: The Spiral Path, chapter 17
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 113
- ^ David Trias#Quotes
- ^ BlizzCon 2005 - Lore Panel
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 113
- ^ Tranquillien/Dialogue
- ^ Crusader's Blood
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3
- ^ Stormrage
- ^ The Dark Cleric's Bidding
- ^ Ask CDev#Ask CDev Answers - Round 2
- ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
- ^ a b War Crimes
- ^ (spell)
- ^ Legion - Characters
- ^ Mueh'zala yells: It be Mueh'zala who brought Helya to da Jailer's side... struck a deal for ol' Odyn's eye... and made da Banshee warchief with a whisper!
- ^ Crysa#Quotes
- ^ a b Windrunner: Three Sisters
- ^ Epilogue Horde Cinematic
- ^ a b c A Good War
- ^ a b Warbringers: Sylvanas
- ^ of Azshara Now Live – Cinematic (Alliance)
- ^ - Cinematic (Spoiler)
- ^ Reckoning
- ^ Forsaken Refugee
- ^ Ian Bates on Twitter
- ^ Lor'themar Theron#Saurfang's funeral
- ^ Battle at the Gates of Orgrimmar#Alliance leaders
- ^ Shadows Rising
- ^ of Warcraft: Shadowlands Cinematic Trailer
- ^ Shadows Rising Epilogue
- ^ Blizzard Press Center - Shadowlands
- ^ Narrative Wrapped Up - No Gameplay Impact in Shadowlands
- ^ The Jailer is the Main Villain of Shadowlands - Working with Sylvanas Since "Edge of Night"
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-01. BlizzCon 2019 - World of Warcraft: What's Next. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-01. World of Warcraft: What’s Next Panel Recap. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
- ^ Sanctum of Domination ending cinematic and post-cinematic dialogue
- ^ Anduin Raid Finale
- ^ a b c
- ^ World of Warcraft: Sylvanas, epilogue
- ^ http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081217012619AAzRZWF
- ^ a b Underdev/Major Characters in Icecrown Citadel
- ^ War Crimes, chapter 33
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 30: "And of course, Sylvanas was deadly enough without a bow. All she needed to do was open her mouth and utter a wail, and [Anduin] would perish."
- ^ Battle for Lordaeron#Unnamed
- ^ Dark Ranger (Warcraft III)
- ^ Reckoning
- ^ Copy of Loreology tweets
- ^ Knaak, Richard A.. "18: Lost in Dreams", Stormrage, 452 (ebook). ISBN 978-1439-18946-7.
- ^ a b c d e f Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 273 - 274
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2013-12-09)
- ^ , ,
- ^ Edge of Night, pg. 15 - "The army of undead that surrounded and protected the Dark Lady was still hers, body and soul. But they were no longer arrows in her quiver, not anymore. They were a bulwark against the infinite."
- ^ In the Shadow of the Sun, pg. 19 - "For a while now my people have stood guard in these lands, and it is by my hand that you have any place within the Horde. You will aid us in Northrend, or I shall cease to aid you in Quel'Thalas."
- ^ a b Before the Storm, chapter 2
- ^ a b c Before the Storm, chapter 3
- ^ a b c d Before the Storm, chapter 20
- ^ a b War Crimes, chapter 12
- ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 14
- ^ a b c In the Shadow of the Sun, pg. 5
- ^ a b Before the Storm, chapter 29
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 30
- ^ Sylvanas, Lady of Undercity
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 154
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 189
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 175
- ^ Manual of Monsters
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 150
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 41
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 188
- ^ Warcraft Lore/Sylvanas Windrunner
- ^ Spell
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/downloads/wallpapers/wallpaper69.html
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/downloads/wallpapers/wallpaper70.html
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/downloads/wallpapers/wallpaper131.html
- ^ Lindsay Ravensun
- ^ The Dark Lady
- ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 14
- ^ Loreology on Twitter (dead link)
- ^ Piera Coppola on IMDB
- ^ Terran Gregory on Twitter (2015-11-05).
- ^ PattyMattson.com. Retrieved on 2015-11-06. "Headed to Blizzcon in November to hang with the World Of Warcraft clan and fans of the character I play, Sylvanas Windrunner!"
- ^ The Art of Overwatch, pg. 113
- ^ Negotiation – Cinematic (Spoiler)
- ^ Shadows Rising, chapter 21
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
- ^ perculia 2020-07-09. Shadowlands Zones, Covenant Armor, and Character Customization Interview with Art Director Ely Cannon. Wowhead. Archived from the original on 2020-07-09.
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, chapter 19
- ^ Blizzplanet
Ranger-general of Silvermoon
None (Creation of the faction)
Ruler of the Forsaken
Warchief of the Horde