Redeemer of the orcs, Chieftain of the Warsong Clan
Thrall ("little brother")
- "In many ways, the curse of our people began and ended with Grom. His name meant "Giant's Heart" in our ancient tongue. He earned that name a hundred fold as he stood alone before the demon Mannoroth — and won our freedom with his blood. Lok'Tar Ogar, Big Brother. May the Warsong never fade."
- — Thrall, Warchief of the Horde
Grommash "Grom" Hellscream was the chieftain of the Warsong clan, a powerful blademaster and best friend and chief advisor to Warchief Thrall. He was the first orc who drank the blood of Mannoroth the Destructor, thus binding the Horde to the Burning Legion — and he would eventually pay the ultimate price to free himself and his people from the Blood Curse.
Rise of the Horde
Grom was present at the Kosh'harg celebration in the Frostwolf Village. The orcs became increasingly aggressive under the secret control of Gul'dan and his Shadow Council. They constructed massive arenas where the orcs honed their warrior skills in trials of combat and death. During this period, a few clan chieftains spoke out against the growing depravity in their race. One such chieftain, Durotan of the Frostwolf clan, warned against the orcs' losing themselves to hate and fury. His words fell on deaf ears, however, as stronger chieftains such as Grom Hellscream of the Warsong clan stepped forward to champion the new age of warfare and dominance.
Prior to the creation of the Dark Portal, Grom Hellscream was the uncontested leader of the Warsong clan, marked by his slim build and black-tattooed lower jaw. Suspicions floated away the previous chieftain's death, giving rise to the notion that Grom usurped the position, rather than gain it though heredity like Durotan. Though he was stubborn, he was the first to give heed to the prospect of war when Ner'zhul warned the other clans of a "new old enemy": the draenei, and he was the first to drink Mannoroth's blood. He invaded Shattrath City against the draenei; he was described as being a tattooed, fiery-eyed massive orc carrying a wicked two-handed axe, with raven-hued hair, and his lower jaw had been colored as black as pitch. He fought against Nobundo and succeeded in taking the city.
Consumed with the curse of this new bloodlust, the orcs sought to unleash their fury on any who stood before them. Sensing that the time had come, Gul'dan united the warring clans into a single unstoppable Horde. However, knowing that the various chieftains like Hellscream and Orgrim Doomhammer would vie for overall supremacy, Gul'dan set up a puppet warchief to rule over this new Horde. Blackhand the Destroyer, a particularly depraved and vicious orc warlord, was chosen to be Gul'dan's puppet. Under Blackhand's command, the Horde set out to test itself against the simple draenei.
Beyond the Dark Portal
The Warsong Clan was spared the defeats of the Second War since Gul'dan manipulated Grom into staying behind on Draenor. The Horde was defeated by the Alliance of Lordaeron with Grom and his clan never having faced the humans or the Alliance in battle.
He was used with effectiveness by Ner'zhul in the aftermath of the second war. He alongside Kargath Bladefist were summoned to join the reformed Horde. Grom was then sent to obtain the Skull of Gul'dan from Hurkan Skullsplinter. When the Dark Portal was reopened, Grom and Rexxar led the attack on Nethergarde Keep as a distraction for a team of orcs that were about to stole certain artifacts from Azeroth. When the artifacts were collected, Grom was said to remain in Azeroth and defend the portal. When the Alliance attacked the portal and entered Draenor an explosion was to kill Grom and his clanmates but retreated after their failure. Throughout the next months, he battled against the Alliance for the control of the Azerothian side of the Dark Portal. When the portal was closed, Rexxar left the Horde but Grom sought to find a new place for his orcs.
Revitalization of the Horde
With the destruction of their only passage home and the successful vanquishing of the orcish strike forces, Grom and the Warsong clan were forced into hiding in the wilds of Lordaeron. They eked out an existence on the edge of human civilization for nearly 15 years. All of this time, Grom was forced to fight the demonic curse that had left him weakened and listless. Where other orcs gave into this malaise, Grom fought it to the end of his days. As the number of free orcs was diminished by conflict and old age, their situation looked more and more hopeless. The young and weak were unable to thrive in this harsh environment and the day of reckoning looked to be closing in on the Warsong clan.
Then Grom had a young orc named Thrall seek him out. Inspired by Thrall's courage, strength and mercy, he accepted the young outcast and taught Thrall more of the ways of the orc nations. When the humans searching for Thrall got too close, Thrall left his side. He was given Grom's necklace as a symbol of the trust placed in Thrall by Grom. The Warsong clan led by Grom was reunited with Orgrim Doomhammer and Thrall's lost clan, the Frostwolves. Battling against the human internment camps surrounding the stronghold of Durnholde, the two clans set about freeing and reinvigorating the orcish nations.
While the orcish horde was looking for land to settle on in Lordaeron, they were instructed by the new Warchief Thrall to journey across the seas to the strange new continent of Kalimdor.
Invasion of Kalimdor
This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.
When Grom began to again feel the twinge of the demonic curse, he proved unable to resist the sweet nectar it promised him. After attacking a human settlement at Stonetalon Mountain, disobeying direct orders from Thrall, he was given what was presumed to be an easy, out of the way mission to clear land and gather lumber for the new Horde's settlement. However, the night elves were angered when Grom's orcs began to cut down the trees in Ashenvale Forest and attacked without explanation. He received help from the goblin Neeloc Greedyfingers who gave him goblin shredders for killing a furbolg. The Warsongs under Grom managed to successfully defend themselves and kill their attackers, but by doing so they caught the attention of the demigod Cenarius. Determined to avenge the deaths of the night elves who had fallen against the Warsong Clan and protect the forest from what he saw as further desecration, Cenarius attempted to slaughter the orcs. Cenarius appeared to know something of the history of the orcs and was convinced they were "demon-spawned wretches" who deserved only death. In an exchange with the demigod during one skirmish Grom vehemently told him that the orcs no longer served any demons, but Cenarius didn't believe him and continued his attempts to kill them all. The orcs quickly discovered that Cenarius was invulnerable to conventional attacks. Death at Cenarius' hands seemed inevitable.
One of the troll witch doctors accompanying the Warsong Clan told Grom he sensed strange energies nearby which might be able to aid them in defeating Cenarius. When Grom investigated he discovered a fountain of blood. This was the doing of the pit lord Mannoroth, who had originally enslaved the orcs after Gul'dan convinced them to drink his blood with promises of power. Mannoroth saw Cenarius as a formidable obstacle standing in the way of the Burning Legion, as he had been during the War of the Ancients. The demon poured more of his blood into the fountain on a suggestion from Tichondrius, hoping that the orcs would once again drink it and become sufficiently re-energized with demonic power to kill Cenarius. There was also another reason Mannoroth hoped they would partake of his blood...
When Grom brought his troops to the fountain, the witch doctor told him that he could sense that the fountain contained demonic energy. One of Grom's soldiers told him that if they drank from the fountain they would be going against everything they had been taught by Thrall. But to Grom these things did not matter. Desperate to preserve his clan from this new threat, Grom drank from the fountain and either persuaded or forced those under his command to do likewise. Driven again by the demonic energies, Grom attacked and destroyed the demigod Cenarius' forces. Even the demigod himself was no match for the enraged orc chieftain's demon-enhanced might.
After Cenarius fell, Mannoroth appeared. By drinking the Blood of Mannoroth, the Warsong Clan were once again susceptible to the vile pit lord's control. When Mannoroth told him this Grom was horrified, but that horror was one of his final independent thoughts before Mannoroth exercised control and turned Grom and the rest of the clan into his slaves, causing them to despise Thrall and the rest of the Horde and make war on them and the humans, under Jaina Proudmoore, whom Thrall had since allied with. Determined to save his old friend, Thrall confronted Grom after fighting through the corrupted Warsong clan. When Thrall reached him, Grom told him the horrible truth of the demonic curse. The orc clan chieftains had willingly taken the bloodlust offered by the Burning Legion. They were not so much cursed as doomed by the willing choices made by their power-hungry leaders. Thrall (with the help of Cairne Bloodhoof and his tauren) managed to capture Grom and bring him to Jaina, who worked with other magic-users from both her forces and Thrall's to perform a ritual that would release him from his blood curse.
Redemption and death
Upon learning the truth, Thrall and Grom set out to hunt down Mannoroth and located the vile demon in what is now Demon Fall Canyon in Ashenvale. Bellowing in rage, the Warchief struck out at Mannoroth with the Doomhammer, but the demonic leviathan shrugged off the attack and stunned Thrall with a vicious counterattack. After being taunted by Mannoroth that they were the same, Grom charged him and sank Gorehowl into Mannoroth's chest, shattering the breastplate and slicing through to the infernal heart of the demon. Mortally wounded, Mannoroth exploded in an inferno of flame, and Grom took its full fury alone. In a burst of hellfire, Mannoroth the Destructor was dead...
With nothing remaining of the pit lord but the shattered armor, Thrall made his way to where Hellscream lay in the dust. The crimson glow faded from his eyes; the blood curse which had damned his race for decades was finally over. With his best friend and Warchief at his side, the still-undefeated chieftain died at the site of his greatest triumph, both over the corruption of the Burning Legion and over the whispers of his own soul. With Mannoroth gone, the Legion's hold on the orcish race was forever shattered. Even those who had drank the blood of Mannoroth (willingly or otherwise) found that the curse had lifted, and that their souls were free from the shackles of demonic corruption. With that knowledge, Grom Hellscream left the mortal plane a redeemed spirit.
Grom has become a center of heated dispute after his death. Hellscream is generally viewed in the Horde as a hero and a savior, who fought a constant battle with his inner self which ultimately culminated into the death of Mannoroth and the end of the Blood Curse on the entire orcish race. However, he was also the very first chieftain to readily agree and eagerly partake of Mannoroth's blood, and retake it once more in Ashenvale, which indirectly resulted in the death of the night elf demigod Cenarius. To the outrage of the night elves, the orcs refuse to claim responsibility for Grom's actions. It was not the orcs who killed Cenarius, but fel orcs, and it was the orcs who took it upon themselves to slay their wayward brethren. By taking responsibility for Grom's actions the orcs would be acknowledging that they are still the old Horde.
Nonetheless, despite Grom's two instances of self-chosen corruption, he still remains a cultural hero, and his death is honored every year by thousands of Horde citizens. The legacy of Hellscream continues to be the major dampener that prevents orcs and night elves from cultivating a cordial relationship.
Grom lies buried in Ashenvale, in the area now known as Demon Fall Canyon, which is near the site where he destroyed Mannoroth. Leaving a candle here during the Harvest Festival will allow the player to read .
Monument to Grom Hellscream
Located in the southeastern part of Ashenvale, there stands a monument to Grom Hellscream, located presumably at the spot he was slain in the aftermath of Mannoroth's death. The exact coordinates are and the inscription reads as such:
- "Here lies Grommash Hellscream, Chieftain of the Warsong Clan.
- In many ways, the curse of our people began and ended with Grom. His name meant "Giant's Heart" in our ancient tongue. He earned that name a hundred fold as he stood alone before the demon Mannoroth — and won our freedom with his blood.
- Lok'Tar Ogar, Big Brother. May the Warsong never fade.
- — Thrall, Warchief of the Horde"
Grom Hellscream is playable in missions of Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. His clan is also clearly evident throughout the human campaigns. His missions in the Warcraft II expansion include destroying an order of death knights loyal to Mogor the ogre-mage. Grom is one of a few heroes of the orcish Horde that makes a reappearance in both the ill-fated Warcraft Adventures game and the Lord of the Clans novel which both roughly lay out the same story. Grom also makes an appearance (unnamed) in the short story "Unbroken", by Micky Neilson, during the sacking of Shattrath City by the orcish Horde.
Grom was noted for his horrific, earsplitting shriek of a battle cry and his ritual tattoos, the most prominent of which was his lower jaw, completely tattooed in solid black. Such work was done by a trained orc tattooist with the tip of a sharp, narrow blade repeatedly dipped in black ink and a small hammer. Even when done by experienced hands, it would have been very painful, and the jaw alone would have taken more than several hours. The tattooist that worked on Grom's son Garrosh was the apprentice of Grom's tattooist, and claimed that Grom did not sweat during his tattoo session.
- "Grommash" means "The Giant's Heart" in orcish.
- Thrall considered him a brother.
- Grom Hellscream was born 26 years before the First War and was 25 years old when he first drank Mannoroth's blood on Draenor. He was 46 years old during the events of Warcraft III.
- Grom's axe was called Gorehowl. After slaying Mannoroth, the axe was taken back to Orgrimmar by Thrall. A few years later he offered it to Garrosh Hellscream, Grom's son and former Warchief of the Horde. Garrosh would ultimately discard Gorehowl in favour of Xal'atoh, a weapon in the image of Gorehowl forged with the power of the Old God Y'Shaarj.
- In memory of him is Grommash Hold, in Orgrimmar, as well as the Grom'gol Base Camp in Stranglethorn Vale. Prior to the Cataclysm, just outside the hold was Mannoroth's armor, complete with axe-hole, with a plaque dedicated to Grom.
- Vision of Grom battling Mannoroth was shown to Garrosh by Thrall in Garadar.
- Grom's name may be of Slavic origin. Grom (Гром) means thunder in Russian and Macedonian, making his given name thematically linked to his surname. It could also be a reference to the cursed sword Gram in Norse mythology, which in Old Norse means "wrath".
In the RPG
Grom Hellscream moves with a warrior’s grace and his reflexes are fast and abrupt. He is proud of his achievements but willingly serves Thrall (or any other master), as he is content in his role as chieftain of the Warsongs. Grom is honorable and admires his enemies’ fighting prowess. He is devoted to his race and his traditions. Though Thrall has calmed his soul, Grom still seethes with suppressed rage. He speaks with a deep, guttural voice that is used to command.
Grom is devastating in melee and he knows it. He eagerly charges into the thickest part of any battle, giving in to his rage, and lays waste with the mighty Gorehowl. Though he knows that slaying enemy wizards and healers is to his tactical advantage, he cannot resist going toe-to-toe against powerful melee fighters. Against such opponents he uses his critical strike and maximum damage abilities, and uses blade whirlwind when lesser foes surround him.
Lord of the Clans
- "You have seen me when the bloodlust has come upon me. You have seen me wade in blood up to my knees. I have killed the children of the humans ere now. But we gave all we had fighting in that manner, and where has it brought to us? Low and defeated, our kind slouch in camps and lift no hand to free themselves, let alone fight for others. That way of fighting of making war, has brought us to this. Long have I thought that the ancestors would show me a new way, a way to win back what we have lost. It is a fool who repeats the same actions expecting a different outcome, and whatever I may be, I am not a fool. Thrall was strong enough to defeat the finest we had to offer. He has tasted humankind's ways and turned his back on them to be free. He has escaped from the camps and against the odds managed to find me. I agree with his choices here today. One day, my old friend, you, too, will see the wisdom in this."
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
- These women fight with unmatched savagery! I've never seen their equal. They are... perfect warriors."
- Cenarius: The demons did their job well. You creatures are as reckless and bloodthirsty as they ever were!
- Grom Hellscream: We orcs are free, demigod!
- Cenarius: Is that what you call yourself? Despite what you may believe, you are no better than the malignant bile that flows through your veins.
- Grom Hellscream: Damn you! RAGH!
- The Demigod has fallen, the Warsong is supreme! (After he and his clan slice Cenarius up)
- Mannoroth! It... it can't be!" (Horrified to see the Pitlord again)
- And where will you lead me, boy? Destiny is at hand! Lord Mannoroth is our master now.
- Ah, Thrall. You always believed that the demons corrupted our race, but that's only half true. We gave ourselves up willingly on Draenor! The other chieftains and I... we drank Mannoroth's blood, Thrall. We brought this curse upon ourselves!
- Grom: Thrall... the blood haze has lifted... the demon's fire has burnt out in my veins...I...have...freed...myself...
- Thrall: No, old friend...you've freed us all.
Grom stands triumphant on the corpse of Cenarius.
Grom from Shadows & Light.
Grom as drawn by Metzen.
Grom as drawn by Samwise.
Thrall and Grom facing Mannoroth.
Grom as he appeared in Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans.
Grommash and his clan invading Ashenvale.
The official Grom Hellscream action figure.
- Book Warcraft: Lord of the Clans & Rise of the Horde, by Christie Golden
- Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal
- Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
- ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. ??
- ^ Legends: A Warrior Made--Part 2
- ^ Rise of the Horde
- ^ Unbroken
- ^ Beyond the Dark Portal
- ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. ??
- ^ The Shattering, p. 201, 193-194
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, "By Demons Be Driven"
- ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-08-18).
- ^ Official timeline from Blizzard's site
- ^ Rise of the Horde, 451, 470 (ebook).
- ^ Warcraft III manual: Heroes and Villains
- ^ Garrosh Action Figure wielding Gorehowl
- ^ a b Shadows & Light, 40
Chieftain of the Warsong Clan