For the ship in Howling Fjord, see The Windrunner.

“The boy king's plan was a foolish one. He still believed that people could change. Oh, they certainly could. Alleria, Sylvanas, and Vereesa were all proof. But it was not change for the better; at least, Anduin would not see it that way.”

Sylvanas Windrunner in Before the Storm

The Windrunners are a prominent high elf and half-elf family. Their residence was a spire in a village both named after them in what is now known as the Ghostlands.

Family tree

Verath †
Lireesa †
Rhonin †
Lirath †
Zendarin †


The Windrunner sisters dropping their necklaces into the sea at the end of their failed reunion

Many consider the Windrunner family as the most tragic family in Warcraft lore. Several members of the family were thought to be killed by the orcs during the Second War, including the sisters' parents, their youngest brother Lirath, along with numerous relatives of varying proximity.[1][2] Lireesa as the ranger-general of Silvermoon died during the attack, and Sylvanas became the new ranger-general, but gave  [Thas'dorah, Legacy of the Windrunners] to her older sister, Alleria, who was a distinguished Farstrider. Alleria would wield Thas'dorah in battle against the Legion for centuries before it was lost on Niskara and eventually retrieved by a hunter and her younger sister Vereesa.[3]

Only Alleria, Sylvanas, Vereesa, and Zendarin are known to have survived. This prompted Alleria to join the Alliance Expedition in order to avenge them, which she later disappeared with.[4] The rest of the family was one of the hardest hit by the Scourge invasion into Quel'Thalas.[5] Sylvanas was killed by Arthas and raised as a banshee in his service, later becoming Banshee Queen of the Forsaken.[6] The sisters' grandfather had to battle his own son, their uncle, after he was turned into an undead. A younger brother was torn to pieces by their older brother who was then himself burned with the rest of the Scourge by elven resistance fighters. The grandfather survived the battle and managed to get to Vereesa but his subsequent fate is unknown.[5]

 [The Lady's Necklace], Alleria's last gift to Sylvanas, was found and returned to the Dark Lady years later. Although Sylvanas insisted it meant "nothing" to her and dropped it to the floor, she subsequently tenderly reclaimed it with a sigh, and sang Lament of the Highborne to mourn the many losses of her family and her homeland, as well as her people, the quel'dorei.[7]

Shortly before the Fourth War, Alleria Windrunner reunited with her two sisters, Sylvanas and Vereesa (with all three sisters wearing their necklaces), at Windrunner Spire, where Sylvanas apparently intended to kill both of them but relented at the last moment after hearing Vereesa's genuine apology for abandoning her after their last meeting.[8] Although Alleria and Vereesa, both remaining part of the Alliance, would apparently retain a close relationship, with the two even confronting Sylvanas at the end of the subsequent conflict,[9] Alleria and Sylvanas both considered their reunion a failed one,[10] with Alleria even openly regretting not killing Sylvanas several times afterwards.[11][12]

The three Windrunner sisters sharing a last look during their reunion in Oribos

Known members

Name Mate Notes Status
 Talanas N/A First ranger-general and first wielder of Thas'dorah. Deceased
 Alleria N/A Mother of Lireesa. Unknown
 Lireesa Verath Mother of the Windrunner siblings, Sylvanas' predecessor as Ranger General, killed in the Second War. Deceased
 Verath Lireesa Father of the Windrunner siblings, killed in the Second War. Deceased
 Alleria  Turalyon Eldest sister. Current leader of the void elves. Alive
 Sylvanas N/A Middle sister. Former Ranger General, Dark Lady of the Forsaken and Warchief of the Horde. Undead
 Vereesa  Rhonin Youngest sister. Current Ranger General of the Silver Covenant. Alive
 Lirath N/A Youngest sibling. Killed by raiding orcs during the Second War. Deceased
 Zendarin N/A Cousin of the three Windrunner sisters and Lirath. Killed after an attempt to kidnap Vereesa's children. Deceased
 Arator N/A Son of Alleria and Turalyon. Champion and leader of the Knights of the Silver Hand. Alive
N/A Twin sons of Vereesa Windrunner and Rhonin. Alive


The surname Windrunner appears to have been invented by Knaak and first used in chapter two of his 2001 novel Day of the Dragon when Rhonin addresses Vereesa by her full name: "You would be Vereesa Windrunner, I presume".

Although the first member of the family to be introduced in the franchise was Alleria in the 1996 expansion Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal during the mission bearing her forename, she was not given a surname at that time.

Sylvanas Windrunner is the third member of the family introduced to the franchise in the 2002 game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, which is the second instance of the surname being used. The game does not actually reveal that she is Vereesa's sister, although the shared surname established some form of relation.

The third explicit "Windrunner" identified was Syvos, a random Blood Mage in the The Frozen Throne expansion in 2003. The canonical existence of such random heroes however is not confirmed.

The 2004 novel The Well of Eternity (the 2nd by Knaak for Warcraft) is where the two Windrunners (Vereesa and Sylvanas) are established as being sisters, as well as Alleria being a Windrunner and the elder sister of the other two.

The 2007 novel Tides of Darkness is the first novel to feature all three Windrunner sisters together, and is set during the Second War.


  • Both Day of the Dragon and the War of the Ancients Trilogy mention the Windrunner sisters having two brothers. In the Trilogy, it is mentioned that Vereesa's younger brother was ripped apart by a hungering mob of undead led by their own elder brother, who was later set afire and destroyed.[13] However, War Crimes says Lirath, who died during the Second War, was the only brother of the sisters.[14]
  • The bow  [Thas'dorah, Legacy of the Windrunners] is a family heirloom.[15]
  • Despite others of their race seemingly looking down upon most humans, the three Windrunner sisters would apparently each have a human love interest, with Alleria falling in love with Turalyon, Sylvanas with Nathanos, and Vereesa with Rhonin.
  • Sylvos Windrunner was the name of a random Blood Mage in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, though it is unknown whether he exists as a canon character or not.



  1. ^ Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal manual, Legends of the Land, Alleria
  2. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 68
  3. ^ Tales of the Hunt
  4. ^ Alleria Windrunner#Valley of Heroes monument
  5. ^ a b The Well of Eternity, pg. 16
  6. ^ The Well of Eternity, pg. 17
  7. ^ H [1-30] Journey to Undercity
  8. ^ Windrunner: Three Sisters
  9. ^ B [50] This Ain't Mine
  10. ^ Before the Storm
  11. ^ B [10-50] The Battle for Lordaeron
  12. ^ Shadows Rising
  13. ^ The Well of Eternity, chapter 2
  14. ^ War Crimes, chapter 14: "As the two middle children, they had always had a bond that set them apart from Alleria, the eldest, and Lirath, their only brother."
  15. ^