|Former affiliation(s)||Shadow Council, Kingdom of Azeroth, Stormreaver clan, Twilight's Hammer, Independent|
|Occupation||Previously Chief Interpreter of the Shadow Council, Personal spy and assassin|
|Location||Bloodgulch, Twilight Highlands|
|Relative(s)||(maternal uncle), (son), (lover), deceased mother|
Garona Halforcen is a half-orc half-draenei, though most (including herself) believed she was half-human until the truth was revealed to her. She is an assassin and a spymaster. She was an emissary of the Horde during the first invasion of Azeroth, and was the reluctant murderer of King Llane Wrynn. Later on, she joined her son and the other members of the New Council of Tirisfal in their battle against the Twilight's Hammer cult.
Birth and Early Life
The birth of Garona was orchestrated by Gul'dan, who "bred" one of his orcish warriors to a draenei female. The result was a child that, as it would be discovered later, looked surprisingly human. Gul'dan had her magically aged and tortured, later also placing controls on her mind to ensure obedience. Garona would be raised in barracks with her father's people, hated by the bigger orcs for being different. Their judgements of her being "ugly and deformed" would become her own for years to come. The draenei female's brother however, the Vindicator Maraad, would not care that Garona was half orc. Having learned that his sister had borne a child, he began to search for his niece that would stretch on for many years.
Rise to power
This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft I.
Having traveled throughout Draenor, Garona was well-versed in the culture of the orcs, making her an invaluable asset to the Shadow Council. She was inducted into the warlock-controlled Stormreaver clan. She quickly became the chief interpreter of the Shadow Council and Gul'dan's personal spy and assassin. However, Garona belonged to no clan, and had no clan allegiance. Due to her mixed blood, she was eternally an outcast and had to rely upon her wits to keep her alive in a harsh world. Upon arriving in Azeroth, Garona's experience lent a great deal to her insight with their newest foe — the humans.
Emissary to Medivh
Originally, she was a member of one of the first raiding parties into Azeroth, and also one of the few to confront the Guardian Medivh. While her party was wiped out, she was spared and sent back to relay a message to the warlock Gul'dan. After a period of time, she returned and met with the Magus on many occasions. Eventually, she was granted the title of Emissary and sent to Karazhan. It was there that she met Khadgar, Medivh's apprentice (and observer from Dalaran). Khadgar was, at first, furious at her presence, but the Magus demanded Khadgar treat her with respect. A trust was formed between the two when a bizarre demon appeared in the library of the great tower, and both had to utilize their skills together to defeat it. Garona and Khadgar continually criticized each other's race while defending their own. Eventually, Garona mentioned to Khadgar that the orcs had been arriving on Azeroth via a gateway known as the Dark Portal.
Garona also began to respect Magus Medivh a great deal, and because of that respect, she started to debate her true loyalties. Stating that the "Old Man" had told her everything she wanted to know, despite knowing full well that she was a spy, she felt that she could never break that trust. She even made the comment that the bond of trust made her feel more 'human', and that she felt Medivh had a grand dream to bring something better to this world. It may have been around this time that Medivh fathered Garona's son, Med'an.
Battle with Medivh
Due to Medivh's bizarre behavior, Khadgar and Garona felt it necessary to investigate and uncover any connection between the sudden arrival of the orcs and Medivh's behavior. Using a spell to call forth a vision of the past, Khadgar and Garona discovered that Medivh was, in fact, the man who had brought the orcs into Azeroth, thus uncovering his plans of murder and deceit. This shook Garona to the core, and while at first she thought it to be a misfire of the spell, she eventually realized that Medivh was indeed the one who had opened the gateway for the orcs. After a short battle with Medivh, where Khadgar used his powers to summon a vision of Aegwynn that distracted the Magus, the two escaped and made their way to the (former) Kingdom of Azeroth.
Despite a small interruption in their journey, they eventually met up with Lord Anduin Lothar. They told their story to Lothar and King Llane Wrynn of Azeroth, but Llane could not believe it was true. Despite Llane's skepticism, it was Lothar who realized that the Magus had truly gone insane, and at his suggestion, a small raiding party was gathered to confront Medivh in Karazhan. Later that very evening, Garona donned the colors of Azeroth at Lothar's request and joined the party as they set out via gryphons to the tower.
After searching about the tower, they soon came across a hidden passageway downward, but leading into a mirror image of the tower itself, where Medivh's second shadow Sargeras dwelled. It was also at this time that both Garona and Khadgar witnessed something that would forever change the half-orc. Karazhan presented Garona with a vision of her future, where she was forced to watch in horror as "future-Garona" murdered King Llane during the siege against Stormwind City. For a while, Garona was terrified of what she knew would eventually come to pass. Llane was one of the few people in her life who had treated her with kindness and she did not want to kill him. Khadgar finally snapped her out of her state of shock and forced her to focus on the more important matter at hand. He told her that if the vision was true, then it meant they would both get out of Karazhan alive (since Khadgar had previously seen a vision of his own future as well), and that if it was false then she could die taking comfort in the knowledge that she wasn't destined to betray King Llane.
Eventually, they found Medivh, who unleashed all the powers bestowed upon him by his mother and the demon lord Sargeras. Garona, now boiling with anger at Medivh's betrayal — and perhaps hoping to die rather than live out the vision she had seen — attacked the Magus head on, only to be struck down by a powerful spell. Medivh expressed disappointment in Garona, telling her that he had hoped she of all people would understand what he was going through and not oppose him.
Feeling little remorse for the half-orc, he then touched her head and cast a second spell, filling her mind with the doubts and divisions that he himself had carried. She fell to the floor, incapacitated. Moments later, after much conflict, Medivh was finally slain by Khadgar and Lothar (at that moment Gul'dan was still deep within the Guardian's thoughts causing him to go into coma), but Garona was nowhere to be found...
Soon after, Garona became a trusted confidant to King Llane, but because of Medivh's mind games, she was unable to form a true allegiance. She reported to King Llane the inner workings of the Horde and how he could use it to his advantage. After her "release" by orc forces during a raid on Northshire Abbey, she was ordered by the Shadow Council to kill King Llane. Realizing that her vision had become a reality, she reluctantly carried out this task, and with a deep sadness, murdered King Llane, cutting his heart out. Llane's son, prince Varian witnessed the murder, but even years into his adulthood was confused as to why Garona had tears streaming down her face. At the time, she was pregnant with her son, Med'an.
Gul'dan was in a coma by this time, so Orgrim Doomhammer used this situation to his advantage, killing the corrupt Blackhand and seizing the mantle of Warchief. His spies found Garona and tortured her, almost to death, until she finally revealed the secret location of the Shadow Council. The Council was destroyed, and most warlocks were slain. Spies of an unknown faction continued searching for Garona even after the Second War. She would avoid them all, and in time gave birth to Med'an. She sought out her friend, the ancient undead mage Meryl Winterstorm, and citing her assassination of King Llane, she told Meryl that she was a danger to her child and entrusted the baby to him. Informing him of the baby's name, she asked that he never tell Med'an who his mother was. Bidding Meryl farewell, she disappeared from the rest of the world, but would keep watch over her son from afar.
Garona continued watching over her son. By the time of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, Med'an was attacked by a Twilight's Hammer cult party formed by an ogre, an orc, a tauren, a Night Elf, and a Forsaken. As they were beating him, she suddenly appeared and killed the entire party but was captured by Stasia. She was taken to Ahn'Qiraj.
When she got there she found that Cho'gall was still alive and that he knew the spell that Gul'dan used on her mind to force her to do things against her will. He sent her to Theramore to assassinate the newly returned King Varian Wrynn and thus ruining any possible chance of a human-orc alliance. Garona was also tasked to assassinate secondary targets Prince Anduin Wrynn and Warchief Thrall but was ordered to kill King Varian Wrynn at the summit at any cost. This attack failed and she was captured by Jaina Proudmoore, while Med'an was recaptured by the Twilight's Hammer cult. Jaina and Aegwynn discovered that there was a spell placed on her mind but could not remove it without causing her great pain and possible death. In a deal she made with Valeera Sanguinar, she would endure the pain and give them some of the information they required if Valeera used the information to go save her son from the Twilight Hammer cult.
While Valeera and Meryl Winterstorm went to rescue Med'an, Garona was secretly freed and rescued by her uncle Maraad during a Scourge attack on Theramore. Later on, Maraad explained to Garona that her mother was his sister, thus making him her uncle. As they were talking, Valeera, who had been looking for Garona, came in and a fight erupted. Thinking that Valeera did not keep her part of the deal, she escaped while Maraad distracted Valeera but ran into Med'an, who had been following Valeera. Though Garona was happy to be reunited with her son, she explains that until Cho'gall is dead (he being the only one left who knows the safe word that would control her), it was not safe for her to be around him and that he should stay with his great uncle for now. Garona then went to Ahn'Qiraj to wait for her chance to kill Cho'gall.
Garona fails to kill Cho'gall but succeeds in retrieving the . She gives Med'an the necessary components to restore the staff of Atiesh and with its power, Med'an was able to defeat Chog'all. Garona, though still a fugitive of Stormwind, vows to continue to hunt the remaining members of the Twilight's Hammer. She leaves it to Valeera to explain her situation to King Varian.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Garona is encountered at Bloodgulch in Twilight Highlands in the Cataclysm expansion, having come to end the life of Cho'gall. Displeased with having to rely on farseers to further this goal, Garona takes a more active approach to go about bringing his death. Horde players are tasked with supporting her endeavor, and a delegation of elite Kor'kron are sent to assist her. However, Cho'gall strikes the group, leaving only the player and Garona to sabotage the Twilight Citadel.
After freeing the trapped Lirastrasza and enlisting the aid of the Earthen Ring, Garona goes about putting her revenge into motion- though Cho'gall had lured her right into his grasp. Cho'gall retreats into the Bastion of Twilight, and leaves the powerful Gronn Skullcrusher the Mountain to destroy her and the player. The timely arrival of Warlord Zaela, Lady Cozwynn and the Dragonmaw forces turn the tables around, however, and the mighty Gronn is slain.
Garona's "non-orcish" heritage has been very much disputed over the years. Some believed her to be part human (i.e. half-human) as she originally claimed. Medivh and Khadgar believed that the human part was actually a near-human race from Draenor, and not the same race of humans from Azeroth. Others have suggested she is part draenei (i.e. half-draenei) which has been confirmed.
Initially, it was believed (even by Garona herself) that she was of half-orc and half-human heritage, as she claimed in the Warcraft I manual and in The Last Guardian. In the manual Garona specifically states she is "...of both Orc and Human lineage". Garona also mentions that she was forced through the portal along with laborers into Azeroth from Draenor, meaning that she was born on Draenor.
Even Medivh, the Explorers' League, many orcs and humans, and others thought that she was half-orc and half-human. Humans tended to focus on her orc parts, and orcs focused on her human parts. To orcs she had human hands, too pale, too weak, and too ugly.
It was ultimately revealed that Gul'dan was aware of her true parentage but lied to Garona and made her believe she was half-human so she could more easily infiltrate the court of King Llane Wrynn.
As mentioned before, Garona herself had no reason to not believe Gul'dan's lies, until she met her pure-blooded draenei uncle Maraad. When he revealed her heritage to her, Garona could not believe him until he pressed her memory. It was only then that Garona realized that he was telling her the truth. When she spoke to Med'an a few minutes later, she also told him of their draenei heritage to his surprise, showing that she had fully accepted this revelation to be true.
Before her full race identity was revealed in the comic, this issue was brought up on the official forums where the former community manager Caydiem claimed that Garona was in fact half-orc and half-draenei. As the uncorrupted draenei in the Burning Crusade expansion had not yet been revealed, Caydiem made this plausible by stating that the draenei seen so far in the game had been mutated as Draenor was torn apart by portals and through their portal travels.
Researchers such as Brann Bronzebeard had denied it (based on her appearance, draenei appearance, and their limited knowledge of other existing half-draenei in the world). However, as Brann pointed out, due to her age it would seem impossible for a human and orc to have produced her since she was already a young woman at the time of the First War. Brann implied that half-draenei have physical features from both orcs and draenei, but that her features did not match those of the draenei he had seen (which at the time were mostly Lost Ones).
With the recent revelation of the appearances of the true draenei and their eredar-like forms — it was hard to believe that Garona was half-draenei since she lacked their cranial features, leg structure, presence of a tail, and hooves — her prowess as an assassin makes it unlikely she is "half-uncorrupted" draenei. However, in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, there is a half-orc half-draenei blademaster in Nagrand — Lantresor of the Blade, leader of the Boulderfist ogres — who reuses Rend Blackhand's orc model lacking draenei features and human features. Although Lantresor's model may just be using an orc model due to the lack of a true half-draenei model in-game (in the same way that half-elves are represented by elven models in game), Garona looks like him, without draenei features.
In the World of Warcraft (Wildstorm comic), she is portrayed, similar to her older renditions, with dominant orcish features. Her only draenei features are the eye glows (not white, however, but purple) and the structure of her forehead. She also mentions to Maraad that her feet are "almost like hooves." Horns and the tail are missing, although it is possible that they have been physically removed or simply are rudimentary and hidden under her clothes and hair. Her leg structure has nothing in common with the draenei's though. Her son Med'an, even with only having 1/4 draenei genes, has more draenei features than she does.
- "I'm here to hunt, not to chat."
- "Keep your voice down."
- "Who I am isn't important."
- "No one can know I'm here."
- "Cho'gall will pay."
- "I can't rest til I'm free of Cho'gall's grasp."
- "The Twilight Council will suffer for their crimes."
- "I've killed for less."
- "I can make you look like an accident."
- "I'm not that good with self control."
Disappearance from games
This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.
In early release information related to Warcraft III, including private demonstrations to the media, it was mentioned that Garona was intended to play a major role in the main campaign, likening her importance to that of Thrall himself. On April 27, 2000, IGN.com interviewed Rob Pardo about the game. In an interview conducted by IGN, Garona was mentioned as a playable hero unit, but by the game's release in 2002, she was strangely missing.
World of Warcraft
The subject of this section has been removed from World of Warcraft.
During the World of Warcraft beta, she was seen in Ravenholdt Manor, the guild of assassins, with the title of "Grand Master of the Assassin's Guild". She was removed before the game's release, but has since reappeared in Cataclysm.
Garona also appears as a hero unit in Warcraft I: Garona (Warcraft I).
- She considered Khadgar, Lothar, and Llane to be her only human friends.
- At BlizzCon's 2007 Q&A, it was stated that she might indeed return to the orcish race when Chris Metzen strongly implied that he would like to introduce Garona as a possible love interest for Thrall. However, this is just an idea that was randomly thrown out there it would seem.
- When he first meets Khadgar, Med'an tells him that his mother was aged, then tortured, and how she became involved with the Shadow Council. It is not mentioned how he knew all of this, as he had only talked with her for a few moments at best. However, it may simply be that he learned all of this from his great-uncle Maraad.
- Her presence in the Horde aligned settlement of Bloodgulch seems to place her Neutral status into question. It is unknown if she rejoined the Horde through the Dragonmaw clan or is simply using Bloodgulch as a base of operations in her vendetta against Cho'gall and the Twilight's Hammer cult.
- Her canon eye color was blue but that probably changed as per The Comic where she has glowing violet.
- "The fact that I am of both Orc and Human lineage, combined with the skills and schooling I have acquired from my journeys, has elevated me to the position I now hold."
- "Never better. Needed a little exercise. This whelp was kind enough to oblige."
- "Yes, surprisingly, I can read..."
- "Human languages are a bit...wordy."
- "Let's just say I've been having a problem with divided loyalties."
- "I'm going to kill him. He treated me well, and listened when I talked, and I'm going to kill him. No."
- "In your histories, there are continual justifications for all manner of hellish actions. Claims of nobility and heritage and honor to cover up every bit of genocide, assassination, and massacre. At least the Horde is honest in their naked lust for power."
- "Human or orc... An orc would say that it's a human hand - too slender to be really useful, not enough muscle to hold an ax or bash a skull in properly - too pale, too weak, and too ugly. You see the parts of me that are orcish. My orcish superiors, and all other orcs, see the parts of me that are human. I am both, and neither, and considered an inferior being by both sides."
- "He made me feel human. And I haven't felt human in a long, long time."
- "I feared, but survived. And I found my half-breed life gave me insight on these humans."
- Malyfous Darkhammer, a member of the Thorium Brotherhood, notes that the is Garona's trademark chestpiece (as seen in the render above). He offers players a replica of the breastplate, given a certain amount of materials.
- is a drop from The Curator in Karazhan, where Garona stayed during her time as emissary.
- Yogg-Saron, whose role in certain events on Azeroth including Llane's assasination is unclear, drops and (most likely the dagger used to assassinate Llane Wrynn).
- The Tier 9 Horde rogue set is named Garona's Battlegear.
- She is the subject of the rogue quest item book: .
"Garona" by Metzen.
Garona as she appears in the comic.
Garona on the cover of the comic (issue 15).
A young Garona with Gul'dan.
Garona stabs King Llane (as seen in Yogg-Saron's brain room).
Medivh and Garona.
The Garona action figure.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Appearance added.
- Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): Added as a memory in the Yogg-Saron encounter.
- ^ a b The Destiny of the Orcish Hordes
- ^ a b c d e f g Conflicting Loyalties
- ^ a b c d e f Secrets
- ^ Grubb, Jeff. The Last Guardian, 256. ISBN 978-0671041519.
- ^ The Gathering
- ^ a b Secrets
- ^ a b c d The Last Guardian, 207
- ^ a b c d The Last Guardian
- ^ The Last Guardian, 287
- ^ "Orc campaign: Northshire Abbey (WC1 Orc)", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ The Temple of the Damned
- ^ Flashback
- ^ a b The Last Guardian, 198
- ^ The Last Guardian, 204, 221, 228
- ^ a b c Horde Player's Guide, 167
- ^ The Last Guardian, 234
- ^ a b Blizzard lore posts#Garona's race
- ^ Tides of Darkness, 108
- ^ Horde Player's Guide
- ^ Lands of Conflict, 58
- ^ WarCraft - Orc Assassin
- ^ Rob Pardo; IGN Staff. Warcraft III Interview. Retrieved on 2007-08-21.
- ^ Robin Torres; Chris Metzen, Alex Afrasiabi. BlizzCon Day 2 WoW Lore and Quests panel liveblog. Retrieved on 2007-08-21. “Would like to try to make her significant.”
- ^ https://twitter.com/Loreology/status/456518919314866176
- ^ The Last Guardian, 228
- ^ The Last Guardian, 232
- ^ http://www.sonsofthestorm.com/viewer.php?artist=metzen&cat=warcraft&art=15