King of Arathor,|
|Affiliation(s)||Arathi tribe, Kingdom of Arathor|
|Occupation||Barbarian leader of the Arathi, Founder and King of Arathor|
|Location||Whispering Forest, Tirisfal Glades (spirit)|
|Relative(s)||Several sons and daughters, Faldir (descendant), Anduin Lothar (last direct descendant)|
|Companion(s)||Ignaeus Trollbane, Lordain ("brothers")|
Thoradin was a human warlord of the Arathi tribe who declared himself the first human king, unified the scattered human tribes into the first great nation of Arathor, and founded the capital of Strom. He was a mighty warrior and master strategist who forged an alliance with the high elves during the Troll Wars and went on to play a critical role in the war with his greatsword Strom'kar and his "brothers" Ignaeus and Lordain. After achieving victory in the war, he reigned peacefully as king of Arathor for years. Near the end of his life, his search for the origins of humanity led him to the tomb of Keeper Tyr, where he gave his life to prevent the ancient monstrosity Zakajz from reawakening.
Founding of Arathor
2,800 years before the First War, the human tribes of the Eastern Kingdoms constantly warred with one another, even as the forest trolls of the Amani Empire launched incursions into human territories. Warlord Thoradin and his Arathi tribe, who dwelled on the northeastern borders of human lands, realized the folly of their ways and knew that humanity would stand little chance against the Amani in a true war if they remained divided. Thoradin thus declared himself king and embarked on a campaign to unite the Arathi's rival tribes under a single banner. The Arathi's long history of skirmishes with the trolls had honed Thoradin into a master tactician, and in the span of just six years, he brought the other tribes to heel. He won some to his side through the marriages of his sons and daughters, others with the promises of wealth and land. Other times, he pitted his rivals against one another or, in rare cases, was forced to outright conquer some of the more violent tribes. To the surprise of those he defeated, Thoradin did not reign as a tyrant but instead offered his former enemies peace and equality in what he claimed would be a glorious new human kingdom. The tribal leaders would not fade into obscurity but instead become honored generals in his army. In this way, Thoradin and the Arathi won the loyalty of their adversaries.
For weeks, Thoradin and his warriors struggled to conquer the Alteraci people of the Alterac Mountains. The upstart king was confident he could conquer the tribe if given enough time, but he knew the cost would be very high and decided to change his tactics to prevent needless bloodshed. He shed his armor, painted his chest with Arathi tribal symbols, and marched up the mountain with only his greatsword in hand to challenge the Alteraci leader, Ignaeus, to a duel. Ignaeus was bigger and stronger than Thoradin, but the Arathi leader had intentionally chosen the duel on a day when the mountains were enveloped in thick fog. Thoradin used the weather to his advantage to avoid Ignaeus' swings and disarm his foe. Rather than killing his opponent, Thoradin then plunged his blade into the earth and extended the hand of peace, thereby winning the Alteraci to his side.
The only tribe powerful enough to end Thoradin's dream of unity was the noble and spiritual people of the Tirisfal Glades, who were led by the warrior Lordain. Unlike the Alteraci, they would not submit to shows of force. To win their loyalty, Thoradin had to appeal to their religious beliefs. The king and his guards made a pilgrimage to Tirisfal's shrines and sacred groves, performing rituals at each site. The king even wore a pendant of the silver hand, a symbol held sacred by the region's humans. At the end of the pilgrimage, Thoradin met with Lordain and promised that if the tribe joined him, he would spread their mystic ways among the Arathi. To seal his promise, Thoradin ran his palm along his sword's edge and mixed his blood with the earth of Tirisfal while telling Lordain "Between our people, let this be the only blood we spill". Thus Lordain and his people bent the knee to Thoradin.
Thoradin convinced all of the human tribal leaders he recruited to lend him their personal blades, after which Arathi blacksmiths took shards of metal from each weapon and added them to the king's greatsword. This secured the eternal loyalty of the tribes, for many early human warlords believed that the spirits of their ancestors lived on in their weapons, and no one would ever dare rise up against Thoradin and risk striking the sword that contained their own forefathers. When the work was done, Thoradin renamed his sword Strom'kar, the Warbreaker.
After uniting the human tribes, Thoradin named his new nation Arathor and set out to found a new capital. According to one legend, he received his answer when his father appeared to him in a dream, wearing the pelt of a black wolf, and told him of an arid region southeast of Tirisfal Glades where his people would prosper. Thoradin sought out the land later called the Arathi Highlands and, as the story goes, saw a black wolf roaming the terrain. On that spot, the king used Strom'kar to carve out the boundaries of a city in the dirt and ordered his masons to begin constructing what became Strom, capital of the first human kingdom. Thoradin also ordered his people to build a great wall near the new city to shield humanity from Amani incursions.
The Troll Wars
- Main article: Troll Wars
Just as Thoradin had expected, Amani trolls soon began encroaching on Arathor's borders. The king sent two of his most prominent generals—Ignaeus and Lordain—to gather intelligence on their foe and prevent the trolls from straying too deep into the empire. Thoradin did not sit idle on his throne and often accompanied the Arathi military during border skirmishes with the trolls. One account tells of an Amani ambush that separated the king from his warriors. Though he was outnumbered ten to one, Thoradin did not flee or cower. He sharpened Strom'kar's edge on the skulls of his enemies and painted its steel with their blood. When his guards reached him, they found the king standing over ten broken Amani corpses.
Rumors soon reached Strom of a fierce conflict between the Amani and the high elves of Quel'Thalas far to the north. Although unsettled, Thoradin and his generals agreed that they would not risk their own kind by sending aid to the reclusive elves and instead kept most of their forces in Strom. The king's opinion changed when high elf ambassadors sent by King Anasterian Sunstrider arrived in the city and told the humans that the troll armies were vast and would move to attack Arathor once they had destroyed Quel'Thalas. Thoradin and his advisors debated well into the night before concluding that the humans would need magic in order to defeat the Amani, even though the king deeply distrusted sorcery in all its forms. Elven magi quickly traveled to Strom and began teaching one hundred humans the ways of magic. Meanwhile, Thoradin sent his generals to establish the stronghold of Alterac Fortress at the base of the Alterac Mountains to serve as a staging point for the offensive against the trolls. Once the elves had finished tutoring the human magi, Thoradin personally led over twenty thousand human soldiers from Alterac Fortress toward Quel'Thalas. The human magi stayed behind, hidden within the fortress.
Thoradin led the Arathi host to smash into the Amani's southern flank in southern Quel'Thalas, causing the Amani ruler Jintha to turn his attention to the humans. The king then ordered his forces to begin slowly retreating to Alterac with the trolls in pursuit. A fierce, days-long battle ensued in the Alterac foothills, with the humans tenaciously defending Alterac Fortress while the high elves arrived from the north to attack the trolls on a second front. Thoradin personally waded through the Amani warbands with the rest of his soldiers, hacking down troll after troll with Strom'kar. Once the humans and elves were confident they had worn down the Amani ranks, they unleashed their secret weapon. The human magi emerged and, along with elven sorcerers, pooled their power and unleashed magical fire from the skies to incinerate the Amani armies. Jintha was among the first to be consumed by the flames, and the fleeing trolls were easily hunted down by the human and elven armies. The Troll Wars thus ended with Arathor and Quel'Thalas triumphant, and the grateful elves made a pledge of undying loyalty and friendship to Arathor and to Thoradin's bloodline.
After the Troll Wars, Thoradin traveled on a diplomatic mission to Quel'Thalas to secure humanity's friendship with the high elves. He created a military pact with the elves so that each side would help the other if the Amani ever again became a threat, and also created new territorial borders and trade agreements to foster Arathor's prosperity for generations to come. Before Thoradin left Quel'Thalas, the elves' greatest blacksmiths and enchanters gave him a gift by imbuing Strom'kar with extraordinary power, making it weigh almost nothing in the king's hands and ensuring that it would never lose its edge.
Under Thoradin's reign, Arathor grew and prospered. However, the king feared that his kingdom would splinter apart if it overextended itself and maintained that Strom was the center of the empire. As his years wore on, an elderly Thoradin peacefully abdicated his throne. He broke tradition by keeping Strom'kar as his own, which was seen by some as an act of greed but was actually done for practical reasons: Strom'kar had become a symbol of kingship, but Thoradin wanted Arathor's citizens to see the members of his bloodline as the legitimate rulers, not simply whoever held the sword. Free from the burden of leadership, Thoradin became obsessed with the origins of humankind and the tales of a race of giants who had once lived side-by-side with early humans. Accompanied by his closest retainers, he spent much of this time studying ruins in Tirisfal Glades and learned to use Strom'kar's enchantments to locate hidden places of power. During one journey in Tirisfal, he and his followers discovered the long-lost tomb of Tyr, the noble keeper who had long ago sacrificed himself to defeat Zakajz the Corruptor, a C'Thraxxi servant of the Old Gods. A tense confrontation ensued between Thoradin's retinue and Tyr's Guard, the secretive order sworn to protect the tomb. Eventually, the former king and his followers forced their way past the guardians and entered the gravesite. Unaware of the darkness resting beneath the earth, Thoradin told his magi to break the tomb's magical wards. The sorcerers thereby inadvertently resurrected Zakajz, who had been kept dead by the seals. The massive horror summoned minions from below the earth and tore through Thoradin's followers, but the king did not flee or cower. His comrades' deaths gave him enough time to bury Strom'kar in Zakajz's brain even as the Corruptor's claws crushed the life from him. The sword's elven enchantments forced the C'Thrax into a deep slumber and kept it from regenerating. However, Thoradin's wounds were mortal and he died shortly after. For centuries thereafter, the former king's ghost lingered near the tomb, unable to find peace.
In the generations after Thoradin's reign, Arathor gradually fractured as various cities and outposts grew into increasingly autonomous city-states. Many of Strom's noble families eventually left the city to settle the more fertile lands of Lordaeron to the north. Not long after, Thoradin's last living descendants—led by a member of the king's line named Faldir—also departed Arathor and sailed south to establish the kingdom of Stormwind. Over generations, rivalries emerged between the human city-states as they grew increasingly insular and concerned only with their own well-being. The empire of Arathor had effectively disintegrated, and Thoradin's dream of a unified humanity faded at last.
Centuries later, the Alliance's supreme commander Anduin Lothar was the last remaining descendant of Thoradin's bloodline. Prior to the Second War, he reminded the high elves of Quel'Thalas of the oath they had sworn his ancestor in order to secure their help against the orcish Horde.
During the third Burning Legion invasion of Azeroth, Twilight's Hammer cultists seeking to awaken Zakajz tortured Thoradin's ghost for information about what happened to him and his followers in the tomb. A warrior adventurer seeking Strom'kar freed the former king, who then accompanied the warrior while they delved into the tomb. The adventurer retrieved Strom'kar and dealt a permanent killing blow to Zakajz, allowing Thoradin's ghost to finally leave the tomb and be at peace, though not before granting his sword to the hero.
- Bound in Shadow — Held by shadow magic.
- Main article: The Sword of Kings#Notes
- I am Thoradin.
- I have seen much in life and death.
- You speak to the king of Arathor.
- Beware the Old Gods.
- Farewell, hero.
- Be strong of arm and mind.
- The History of Warcraft originally stated that Thoradin died of old age. Legion revealed that he was actually killed by Zakajz.
- Thoradin is voiced by David Shaughnessy.
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Added.
- ^ a b c d e World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 126 - 127
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Saga of the Valarjar: Strom'kar, the Warbreaker
- ^ a b c d e f g
- ^ a b
- ^ a b c d e
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2015-10-23. Legion: Warrior Artifact Reveal. Retrieved on 2020-01-02.
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 130 - 131
- ^ a b The Guardians of Tirisfal
- ^ Libram of Ancient Kings: The Silver Hand
- ^ The Seven Kingdoms
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 142
- ^ The Alliance of Lordaeron
- ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 3, 8
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 156 - 157
Ruler of Strom
Unknown descendant, eventually came to be ruled by the house of Trollbane (As Stromgarde)