The Warcraft universe has been around for years, starting back in 1994 with Warcraft: Orcs and Humans — living on today through World of Warcraft and Hearthstone. For the last 22 years, Blizzard Entertainment has been working to develop Warcraft’s universe through hundreds of characters and thousands of stories. They’ve built the world of Azeroth continent-by-continent, developing an estimated 16,000 questlines in World of Warcraft alone, and they’ve created civilizations from the ground up as well, each with their own cultures for players to explore.
With so much lore at their disposal, why did Blizzard decide to start with the basic, least interesting conflict in their universe for the first Warcraft movie?
Well, let’s just say that Warcraft lore is a little complicated and starting with the most basic concept is the best move Blizzard could have aimed for. Even though the movie isn’t set to release until this summer, odds are we’re going to see another Warcraft film in the near future – and here’s two of the best stories from the Warcraft universe we hope to see them cover.
The Story of Arthas Menethil: The Lich King
Known as the main antagonist from World of Warcraft’s second expansion, Arthas Menethil was one of the most powerful and evil beings that Azeroth would ever come to know. Trained as a holy warrior by Uther the Lightbringer, Menethil was set to be the next king of Lordaeron until he was corrupted by the Burning Legion. Sent by his father to investigate a disease which was killing the living and raising them as the undead, Arthas ended up encountering the demon spreading the diseases known as Mal’Ganis. After losing an entire settlement to the disease, he ventured to the frozen continent of Northrend seeking the demon’s head – only to find his own end.
Corrupted by an ancient sword known as Frostmourne, Arthas became the leader of the undead army Mal’Ganis was working to create due to the fear of losing his own people. After slaying Mal’Ganis with Frostmourne, Arthas would return to Lordaeron months later to kill his own father during his homecoming and leave his kingdom to die — continuing on to lead the undead army he had fought so hard to save from the start.
The Story of Illidan Stormrage: The Betrayer
The main antagonist of World of Warcraft’s second expansion, Illidan Stormrage was born as a night elf and twin brother to Malfurion Stormrage. When he was young, Illidan was a practitioner of Highborne magic and worked to master the druidic abilities he and his brother had. As time passed on and his brother found his true destiny, Illidan remained in the dark wondering about his own — until the Burning Legion came to Azeroth to conquer the planet. They used the first Well of Eternity to do so, creating a portal and bringing their forces through to the planet.
Illidan fought against them with his brother, but he became increasingly interested in their powers, looking to gain them for himself and win the war for his people. He planned to serve as a double agent, working for the leader of the Burning Legion Sargeras to obtain an artifact that could close the portal they were using to invade Azeroth. Eventually, the portal was blasted apart on its own — but Illidan knew that his people who need the power from the Well of Eternity if the Burning Legion ever returned. So, he used water left from the original well to create a second – which his brother opposed. Malfurion had Illidan imprisoned as a result, locking him away for 10,000 years until Arthas and his undead army threatened Azeroth again.