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Illidan Stormrage

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For information on how to defeat Illidan Stormrage in World of Warcraft, see Illidan Stormrage (tactics).
NeutralIllidan Stormrage
Image of Illidan Stormrage
Title

The Betrayer, Lord of Outland, Lord of Shadow[1]

Gender

Male

Race(s)
Character class
Affiliation
Former affiliation(s)
Occupation

Lord of Outland, Master of the Black Temple

Location
Status

Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW)

Relative(s)

Malfurion Stormrage (twin brother), Tyrande Whisperwind (sister-in-law), Shandris Feathermoon (adopted niece)

Mentor(s)
Student(s)
"Imprisoned for ten thousand years. Banished from my own homeland. And now you dare enter MY realm? You are not prepared..."

Illidan Stormrage was the self-proclaimed Lord of Outland, ruling from the Black Temple. He was born a night elf, and as stated by Maiev Shadowsong, became "neither demon nor night elf, but something more". He was the twin brother of Malfurion Stormrage and was in love with Tyrande Whisperwind. Once an unusually gifted sorcerer, the extent of his powers became difficult to classify due to his powers increasing in large bursts as a demon hunter and having absorbed the powers of the Skull of Gul'dan.

His pursuit of power and arcane mastery led him to commit a number of horrific acts against his own people and the races of Azeroth, including defecting to Sargeras during the War of the Ancients and creating the second Well of Eternity. For his actions, he was imprisoned for ten thousand years, until his release during the Third War. He came to be called the Betrayer for his acts against the night elf people and carried the title of Lord of Outland. Seeking to bring down her erstwhile prisoner, Maiev allied with Akama to invade the Black Temple, where she cornered Illidan in his inner sanctum and struck him down, bringing an end to one of the most tragic stories in Azeroth's history.

Illidan made his debut in World of Warcraft as the final boss of Black Temple in patch 2.1. He is the main antagonist of the first half of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.

Contents

Biography

War of the Ancients

See also: War of the Ancients (WC3 account) and: War of the Ancients (novel account)

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

It should be noted that the "altered history" referenced is the official history of the Warcraft setting.

Illidan, twin brother of Malfurion, practiced Highborne magic. In his youth he attempted to master the druidic forces, as his brother had, but the sorcery called to him in a way that the magic of the land did not. Unlike his brother, Illidan was born with amber eyes, at the time a sign of a great destiny — however, this actually indicated inherent druidic potential.[1] When Malfurion and Tyrande had found their destiny, Illidan was still searching for his. Though not a Highborne himself, he became the personal caster of the military leader, Ravencrest.

When Archimonde's invasion of Azeroth had begun and Azshara's treachery became known, Malfurion convinced Illidan to leave his queen. Illidan followed his brother. But as Cenarius and the dragons entered the battle, Malfurion came to understand that their adversaries were too powerful to fall in combat. To end the invasion, he plotted the destruction of the Well of Eternity. The idea appalled Illidan. The Well was the source of his magic — and likely of the elves' immortality — and its loss was a price far too dear for him to pay. In addition, the night elf found that he increasingly admired the powers of the Burning Legion, seeing a magical purity that underlay their chaotic behavior. Where the night elves struggled to maintain their ground, the Burning Legion's numbers did not seem to permanently diminish. The satyr Xavius seized upon his doubts, exploiting his confusion to plant seeds of distrust into Illidan's mind which made Illidan turn to seek the power the Burning Crusade were using so he could become stronger, while in his mind this was to help defeat the Burning Crusade he actually helped them by giving Sargeras the Demon Soul to make the portal stronger.

It was likely somewhere in this point of time that Illidan defeated a doomguard commander named Azzinoth and took up the demon's personal weapons as his own; these would become known as the Warglaives of Azzinoth.

Illidan had strong feelings for Tyrande Whisperwind, a novice priestess in the Sisters of Elune. Illidan so desired to impress Tyrande that he often acted without thinking, particularly in magic; he never realized that these displays weren't quite what the priestess was looking for in a mate. But while Illidan struggled to win her heart, none of them realized that the battle was over soon after it had begun; Tyrande had chosen Malfurion almost from the beginning. Xavius knew of this and used his power to darken Illidan's thoughts, convincing him that if Malfurion were to die, Illidan would no longer have a rival for Tyrande's love. Finally the sight of Tyrande in the arms of his brother shattered his final ties to the defenders.

Illidan from "The Sundering".

Illidan, with a new plan spurred into his mind, journeyed to Zin-Azshari. There he feigned allegiance to Azshara and Mannoroth. Illidan's plan was to obtain the Demon Soul, an artifact of great power created by Deathwing also known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder, which had the ability to close the portal which was allowing the demons to enter Kalimdor. However, to put this plan in action, Illidan had to gain more power. Illidan was eventually brought before Sargeras himself, who quickly discovered the night elf's plan to obtain the Demon Soul for the Legion. Sargeras was pleased with this plan, and gave Illidan a "gift" in return for his allegiance. Illidan's eyes were burned out by Sargeras himself, despite still being beyond the portal, and orbs of mystic fire set in their place that allowed Illidan to see all forms of magic, and arcane tattoos covered his body. Azshara was fascinated by the "new" Illidan (who was wary of her advances), but remained cautious, sending Captain Varo'then to accompany Illidan in his search for the Demon Soul.

After the Great Sundering, Illidan, who had filled seven vials with water from the Well of Eternity, scaled the peaks of Mount Hyjal, where he found a small, tranquil lake. There he poured the contents of three of the vials into the waters. The chaotic energies quickly manifested, tainting the lake and twisting it into a new Well of Eternity. Illidan's joy was short-lived however, when his brother, Malfurion, Tyrande and the rest of the kaldorei leadership discovered him - and all were horrified at what he'd done. Unable to accept that his brother had committed such treachery, Malfurion tried again to explain to Illidan the folly of his ways. The magic, he insisted, was chaotic by nature, and it could only bring about destruction so long as it existed. Illidan refused to listen, so enraptured by the magic's power that his brother seemed to him an unknowing fool. Illidan claimed that magic would be needed should the Burning Legion ever return.

The lack of remorse shook Malfurion to his core and he raged at his brother, understanding now that Illidan was lost forever to the magic's sway. He ordered him imprisoned deep below Hyjal in a jail kept far from sight and mind. Malfurion would later note that sometimes he went to visit Illidan in his prison in the hopes of turning him from his fatal path.[7]

Release from prison

WC3RoC logo 16x32.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.

Illidan languished for 10,000 years in a lightless prison. Califax, a Keeper of the Grove, and a contingent of night elves (including Maiev Shadowsong) kept constant guard over the Betrayer. Release came at the unexpected hands of Tyrande, who slaughtered the night elf guards in the hopes of using Illidan against the Legion, which had returned to Azeroth at the hands of the Scourge. With his love for Tyrande undampened through the millennia of confinement, Illidan agreed to help. He swore to throw back the Legion and to depart from the night elves forever.

Malfurion opposed Tyrande's decision, thinking the release of Illidan a catastrophic mistake. Frustrated that his brother remained unchanged and eager to prove to him that the demons had no hold over him, Illidan left Malfurion behind, leading a force of night elves into Felwood to hunt down the Legion. While in Felwood, he encountered Arthas, champion of the Lich King, and they engaged in combat. The fighters were equally matched, and the combatants reached an impasse. Illidan stopped the duel and demanded to know why Arthas had tracked him. Arthas responded openly, telling Illidan about the Skull of Gul'dan, the demonic artifact that had corrupted Felwood. He explained that if the artifact were destroyed, the corruption of the forests would halt. To ensure that Illidan would take the bait, Arthas spared no detail of the Skull's power, adding that his master knew of Illidan's thirst for power. Although Illidan did not trust Arthas, he nevertheless sought the Skull and its power out.

A great Demon Gate defended the Skull as Illidan and his forces had to fight mightily to gain access to the artifact. Driven by necessity and influenced by the belief that with the increased power, he could at last redeem himself in the eyes of Tyrande, he shattered the demonic seal and used the Skull's powers for his own. Strength he found, but peril greater than power came to him at once. The battle for control of the Skull came with a heavy price and the artifact's powers changed him. Transformed into a demon, Illidan wrapped himself in shadow and utterly destroyed Tichondrius and his forces. But with victory came devastation. Tyrande and Malfurion sensed the demonic power lurking within Illidan and turned away with disgust and despair. Malfurion chastised his brother, convinced that Illidan had traded his soul for more power. Enraged, Malfurion banished his brother from the forests.

Feeling his sacrifice and effort were unappreciated, Illidan muttered "So be it... brother", and left the night elf lands.

Allegiances

Illidan calling the naga from the depths of the sea.
Kil'jaeden meets with Illidan, a few months after the Legion's defeat at Mount Hyjal and Archimonde's death.

After the Legion's defeat, Illidan was visited by Kil'jaeden, who, while noting Illidan's sketchy track record with the Legion, offered him one final chance to serve them. He told him to seek out the Frozen Throne, and destroy it. Ner'zhul had grown far too powerful for Kil'jaeden to control, and Illidan was to remove him from the equation; in exchange for more power and magic than he could dream of. He granted him the Orb of Kil'jaeden to aid him in this task.

By harnessing Gul'dan's enchanted skull, Illidan came to possess the warlock's memories, and a plan came to mind, but he would need allies to help him. He decided to enlist the aid of old friends.

Illidan called the naga to the surface. The naga, formerly the quel'dorei servitors of Azshara, were eager to take vengeance upon the night elves and the other land walking races that had been spared from The Great Sundering. The naga respecting Illidan's magical talent accepted the alliance[2] and Vashj eventually came to lead those who would be known as "Illidan's Naga". But Illidan still had the troublesome warden, Maiev Shadowsong, to deal with, as she had persistently chased him all over Kalimdor. Illidan then allied with a group of satyrs, known as Illidan's Servitors,[8] and corrupted some furbolgs.[9] Then he ran to the port of Nendis with his naga and satyr minions protecting the way up behind him. Maiev killed the furbolgs and defeated his forces, but when she came to the port, Illidan hijacked a boat and set sail, while a cadre of naga stayed behind to scuttle the ships and ruin all hopes of following him.[8]

With the naga swimming in his wake, Illidan came ashore on the Broken Isles — the ruined remains of Suramar (ironically, the same city where Illidan grew up) which Gul'dan and his warlocks had raised twenty years before, and the home of the Tomb of Sargeras.

Confrontation on the Broken Isles

Illidan portrait in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.
Illidan after receiving the Orb of Kil'jaeden.

But Illidan's servants had not been successful in destroying the boats. Maiev and the Watchers arrived on the Broken Isles shortly after Illidan, and the two forces battled across the watery terrain. Illidan reached the tomb, and Maiev was quick to follow. With Gul'dan's knowledge, Illidan quickly traversed the Tomb and came to the chamber which contained the Eye of Sargeras. Maiev came upon him as he and Vashj were activating the powerful artifact, and, as vengeance for her imprisoning him for 10,000 years, Illidan used the Eye to bring the Tomb down around her, and then quickly escaped through the underwater passages used by the naga. Though he killed Naisha and all the other Watchers within the Tomb, Maiev escaped with her magical abilities. On the surface, Illidan and Maiev battled for supremacy as the Warden sent out a runner to gather reinforcements from Ashenvale.

Malfurion and Tyrande arrived on the Broken Isles with reinforcements as Maiev's base was being overrun. When they struck back, Illidan's forces crumbled, but he and his retainers fled before they were seriously harmed. Tyrande pursued them out of the base, and Illidan ensnared her to protect himself, and then warned her not to interfere. He fled across the sea once again. During this battle, Tyrande finally revealed why she had spurned Illidan: too drunk with his rising magical and political power, he had forgotten his own inner strength. Malfurion, despite his increases in power, held on to that strength within him. Armed with this knowledge, Illidan finally came to grips with his feelings.

Illidan landed on the shore of Lordaeron, and quickly made his way through the Silverpine Forest to get to Dalaran, where Illidan began to use the Eye of Sargeras to break apart the polar ice cap and destroy Icecrown and the Frozen Throne. But he was interrupted by Maiev and Malfurion, and the spell failed. Malfurion had felt Illidan's spell tearing the land apart and concluded that he was a danger to the world and had to be stopped. Illidan, who was entangled by his brother, called Malfurion a fool as he was destroying the Lich King, their common enemy. Malfurion was furious at him for causing the loss of Tyrande, who had been, according to Maiev, killed. Illidan was heartbroken that the woman he loved was dead, but Prince Kael'thas, the night elves' newest ally, thought that perhaps it was premature to presume her dead. Kael'thas explained that Tyrande had not been "torn apart" by the undead, as Maiev had told Malfurion, but had instead fallen into a river and been swept away by the currents. Malfurion immediately arrested the Warden and promptly went in search of Tyrande. Illidan begged to be allowed to help his brother track down the beloved priestess. Illidan and his personal guard of naga found Tyrande under heavy attack from a massive undead force.

Illidan and his naga battled their way through the undead until they reached her. Tyrande was taken aback by Illidan's service to her, and when he delivered her safely to Malfurion, she was astonished. Malfurion told Illidan he was free to go on the condition that he never threaten the night elves again. Illidan, wishing for an end to the conflict with his brother, agreed.

Escape to Outland

Illidan in Outland.

After Malfurion let him go, Illidan created a portal to Outland and fled immediately, pursued by Maiev. Now that he had failed to destroy Ner'zhul, he knew that Kil'jaeden's wrath would not spare him, so he wanted to find a world where he could remain unmolested. He felt that Outland, the ruined remains of Draenor, was just such a place.

Illidan was chased down on the shattered world until he was captured by Maiev and the Watchers, and imprisoned once again. But he was saved by Kael'thas Sunstrider and Vashj. Illidan promised Kael a way sate his people's magical addiction and in return, Kael pledged his people's allegiance to him. Illidan accepted the allegiance of the blood elves, and made Kael his second-in-command. The Sin'dorei, coupled with the naga, would be very invaluable to his plans. Illidan continued his original plan - to rid Outland of demonic influence so that he could stay out of Kil'jaeden's grasp. To do this, they laid siege to the Black Temple of Magtheridon, the Pit Lord who had taken control of the world. But first, Illidan systematically shut down his dimensional gates to stem the flow of reinforcements. Eventually, they succeeded.

When they came to the Black Temple, Illidan was approached by Akama of the Broken, who pledged the allegiance of his race. Akama's broken felt indebted to Illidan and his army for aiding them in their fight against the fel orcs of Magtheridon, who had laid siege to their village with the intent of slaughtering them all. They laid siege to the Black Temple and destroyed Magtheridon's defenses, and then defeated the Pit Lord in battle himself. Magtheridon noted wryly that Illidan had great power, and asked if the Legion had sent him as a test. Illidan laughed, saying that he was not a test, but a replacement, and imprisoned Magtheridon beneath Hellfire Citadel and kept sealed in place by the fel orc jailor Keli'dan the Breaker.

The March on Icecrown

Kil'jaeden's Command
Illidan clashing with Arthas.
Illidan is defeated by Arthas.

As Illidan rallied the forces of Outland under a new banner, a storm of fire and smoke descended upon the Black Temple, and Kil'jaeden appeared in all his unholy glory. Chastising Illidan for his foolhardy attempts to flee his wrath, Illidan quickly claimed that he had been gathering his forces for a second attack on the Frozen Throne. Kil'jaeden, seeing that Illidan's new comrades "showed some promise", agreed to give Illidan one more chance to appease the demons.

Illidan, Vashj, and Kael laid siege to Northrend and battled Anub'arak's forces as they trudged through the snow towards the Icecrown glacier. But Ner'zhul, knowing he would be overrun if he didn't do something, called Arthas to Northrend to complete the plan he had set in motion so many months before. Finally, Illidan's forces arrived at Icecrown as Arthas and Anub'arak dug their way out of Azjol-Nerub, and the two factions squared off in a titanic battle as they tried to gain control of the four mystical obelisks surrounding the glacier. After a long battle, and control going back and forth between the two enemies, Arthas activated all obelisks, and the doors to the Frozen Throne were opened.

But Illidan was not finished yet. Meeting Arthas at the glacier's base, the two warriors engaged in single combat. After a few minutes of exchanging blows, however, Arthas overcame Illidan's defenses and cut him down. Illidan fell in the snow, badly wounded. Rather than finish him off, Arthas, before taking his leave, warned Illidan to leave Azeroth and never return. After it became clear for Vashj and Kael that they could not destroy the Frozen Throne, they retreated, eventually back to Outland, taking Illidan with them.

Note that the in-game animation between Illidan and Arthas was originally planned to be a video cinematic. Time constraints, however, forced the scene to be done inside the game. The developers have said that their greatest regret about this change is that many assumed Illidan died, when the video would have revealed that Illidan survived to watch Arthas' transformation.

In World of Warcraft

The Burning Crusade

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

Illidan, Lord of Outland.
Illidan's demonic form as seen in the Burning Crusade opening cinematic.

After his fight with Arthas, Illidan fled to the remains of Draenor known as Outland. Quickly gathering followers, he declared himself Lord of Outland. According to the manual included with the Burning Crusade expansion, Illidan knows that Kil'jaeden has not forgotten of his failure to destroy the Frozen Throne. It says that he anticipates an offensive from the Legion and is "preparing accordingly." Defeating and imprisoning Magtheridon, he takes the Black Temple as his capital and base of operations. In the game it is revealed that one of the ways Illidan is preparing is by creating new fel orcs to fight for him, using the blood of the imprisoned Magtheridon. It says that he and his allies fight to ensure that all portals to Outland remain tightly sealed while he strengthens his power base. It also implies that the Horde and Alliance will want to use those portals because of Outland's strategic importance.

For some reason (or perhaps no reason) Illidan has also waged war on Shattrath City, instead of allying with its inhabitants against their common enemy: the Burning Legion. Kael'thas Sunstrider led the first assault, either under direct orders from Illidan or with Illidan's authorization. If the goal was to strengthen Illidan's position in Outland it had the opposite effect, since the unprovoked attack caused a large number of blood elves to desert Kael'thas and join forces with the naaru in Shattrath as the Scryers. Following this, Shattrath launched a counterattack, and the two sides continue to battle into the present day. With the revelation of the blood elf prince's betrayal of Illidan and newfound servitude to Kil'Jaeden it's likely that the assault on Shattrath, in accordance with typical Legion methods, was to remove any possible threats to the Burning Legion and to carry out Kil'Jaeden's vengeance upon Velen and the Draenei.

Battle of the Crimson Watch

At the beginning of the group quest N [70] Battle of the Crimson Watch, Illidan shouts out to the players:

Lord Illidan Stormrage yells: What manner of fool dares stand before Illidan Stormrage? Soldiers, destroy these insects!

Waves of demons and blood elves of Crimson Sigil attack the party, and the players must defeat the waves, finally battling Torloth the Magnificent. After Torloth falls, Illidan shouts out to the player who landed the killing blow, challenging him to come to the Black Temple and take him on:

Lord Illidan Stormrage yells: So you have defeated the Crimson Sigil. You now seek to challenge my rule? Not even Arthas could defeat me, yet you dare to even harbor such thoughts? Then I say to you, come! Come <name>! The Black Temple awaits...

This suggests Illidan losing his mind over his defeat at Arthas' hand, not believing it himself; on the other hand Illidan did technically survive the encounter, and if "defeat" for Illidan is defined as death, then Arthas did not actually defeat him. Such nuances of logic are common with Illidan, often employed when defending his actions to others.

Netherwing

The final quest of the long grind to reach Exalted with the Netherwing is called Lord Illidan Stormrage — it involves speaking with a projection of Illidan himself. Overlord Mor'ghor, leader of the Dragonmaw's nether drake project, presents the player as the new Highlord of the Dragonmaw, but Illidan sees through the illusion and orders the Overlord to kill the player. Yarzill the Merc, a nether dragon disguised as a goblin, helps the player escape to the Lower City of Shattrath where they will receive one of six Netherwing Drakes as their new mount.

Master of the Black Temple

Main article: Illidan Stormrage (tactics)

It is eventually revealed that Akama conspires to end Illidan's tyranny. He releases Maiev Shadowsong, who disappears during the initial assault on the Black Temple. With the aid of adventurers, Akama and his Ashtongue Deathsworn fight to secure the temple and eventually challenge the Betrayer.

Maiev makes her move during the battle, releasing the adventurers from one of Illidan's spells and helping them fight him. She makes several references to the pain Illidan has caused her, from forcing her to guard his prison for 10,000 years by committing his crimes, to causing the death of Naisha.

In the end, when Illidan is near death, Maiev remarks that he is beaten, but as he dies Illidan says that the huntress is nothing without the hunt. With the drive for vengeance gone, Maiev states that she is indeed nothing. Akama then took the Black Temple and swore to fill its halls with light once again.[10]

The duel with Arthas in Wrath of the Lich King.

Wrath of the Lich King

WotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

Illidan also appears in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King as part of the quest N [80] The Hunter and the Prince. The quest is a recreation of the duel between Illidan and Arthas at the gates of Icecrown Citadel. The player, in the role of Arthas, must defeat Illidan to complete the quest.

A "memory" of Illidan can be summoned by Argent Confessor Paletress in the Trial of the Champion.

Stormrage

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

Illidan alongside Tyrande acts as Malfurion's nightmare. in the nightmare, Tyrande chose him instead of Malfurion, thus the priestess turned into a demon.

Cataclysm

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

In Felwood, players will be able to relive Illidan's talk with Arthas, the moment he obtaines Skull of Gul'dan, and finally his battle with Tichondrius, where they will help him against the dreadlord.[11]

While visiting the past, through the Caverns of Time, he makes an appearance in the Well of Eternity. He aids heroes throughout the instance.

Revelations of the Past

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

In the Pursuing the Black Harvest scenario, it is revealed that Illidan had discovered an untapped store of raw arcane energy in the Shrine of Lost Souls. With arcane power of that magnitude, he was able to bind many demons to his will by offering them to sate their thirst for magic from that place in exchange for their loyalty. In that way, he was able to gain the support of many demons and maybe regain some of his own sanity by freeing themselves from the addiction to the Legion's magic.

Kanrethad Ebonlocke believed that this source of power is what Illidan intended to use to free the blood elves from their addiction, as he had with the demons. But for some reason, possibly knowledge of Kael'thas's betrayal, Illidan never let them near it.

Locations

Notable appearances
Location Level Health
Icecrown  ?? 905,913
Felwood  ?? 19,900
Well of Eternity 85 619,920
Well of Eternity 87 4,979,640

Possible Return

During the Blizzcon 2010 World of Warcraft Quest and Lore Q&A panel, Chris Metzen was asked about the possibility of Illidan being revived or redeemed, and Metzen replied that it was something he would really like to do and that he is a sucker for a good redemption story.[12]

At the Blizzcon 2011 World of Warcraft Open Q&A panel, Metzen was again asked about reviving Illidan. He asked the crowd if it was something they would like to see, the crowd exploded and cheered in response, and he said they would work on it.[13] He later revisited the topic during the World of Warcraft Lore Q&A panel, after being asked about the dead bodies of important villains. Metzen indicated that based on fan reaction they would most likely bring Illidan back, and would have to decide on a way to revive him, noting that his corpse would be very significant.[13]

Illidan the Demon

As is the case with certain demons, Illidan does not consider himself a servant of the Burning Legion. Indeed, Illidan has alternately been the Legion's ally and its enemy at various points in the past. A rarity among demons, he has retained vast tracts of his original personality despite his demonic transformation. As a demon, he is fundamentally evil and often cruel, but he has thus far been able to preserve a few tattered remnants of nobility. Their inevitable conflict with his ambition and his hunger for power makes him a dangerously unpredictable adversary. Because Illidan's case is unique, there is no point in speculating upon how long his divergence from standard demonic behavior will last.[14]

Illidan: King or Pawn?

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

In the last battle of the War of the Ancients, Illidan begins casting a spell to reverse Sargeras's portal.[15] Tyrande senses that several someones have augumented his spell — and these someones were darker than even Sargeras.[16] These beings were clearly the Old Gods, who wished to redirect Sargeras' portal to their prison beyond the mortal plane instead.

It is also quite possible that Illidan's more recent actions are also aided by the Old Gods. Given that the naga are presumed to follow them, it has been suggested that Vashj and her ilk answered Illidan's summons as part of the new plan (though given Azshara's previous association with him, there are other explanations). Illidan might be an attempt to position a powerful pawn in the midst of a strategic location.

Also, most cases when a being encounters Old God intervention, the being goes "insane". The insanity noted by Malfurion Stormrage may also indicate the the Old Gods had a part in the chain of events in Illidan's life.

The Old Gods' plans go deep, far deeper than anyone could imagine. They had plans, upon plots, upon ploys, all of which centered upon a single goal: freedom. It is not crazy to ask, wouldn't they have had a final plan, in case their original one failed? No clear evidence exists either way...but that's likely what they intended.

Relationship between Illidan and Malfurion

The relationship between the Stormrage brothers is noticeably different in Warcraft III/The Frozen Throne and in the War of the Ancients Trilogy.

By way of comparison, in the novels written by Knaak, Malfurion is more tolerant and forgiving of his brother, who is portrayed as often selfish, reckless, out of control and not completely sane. Rather than becoming part of the "lynch mob" who want Illidan summarily executed, Malfurion speaks on his behalf, endorsing his knowledge of the Burning Legion as vital tactical information... giving an undeniable reason to bury Illidan rather than kill him.

When we first were introduced to Malfurion and Illidan in Warcraft III, Malfurion objected fiercely to the idea of freeing Illidan, in the belief that his crimes were unforgivable and that he should stay locked up. When they were reunited Illidan was bitter about how he had been punished and Malfurion was disgusted to be in the same room as Illidan, still nursing a grudge over Illidan's betrayal. Illidan, who seemed to be the more forgiving one at the time, was eager to prove to his brother that the demons had no hold over him. Later, after Illidan used the powers of the Skull of Gul'dan for himself and took on a demonic appearance, Malfurion demanded to know where his brother was, implying he still had some affection for him. After Illidan revealed that he was the demon, Malfurion, rather than killing him simply banished him. Obviously, Malfurion knew Maiev Shadowsong would want Illidan imprisoned but still chose not to act. Rather than object, Illidan simply walked away.

Illidan was next seen in Warcraft III: Frozen Throne. After the two worked together to save Tyrande, Illidan seemed to have forgiven Malfurion for disrupting his attempt to destroy the Frozen Throne, even though it would leave him at Kil'jaeden's mercy. Malfurion's last words to Illidan included an ominous threat about what would happen to him if he ever did anything against the kaldorei again. This too, Illidan accepted without objection. Illidan admitted that he had known only "ages of hate" for his brother, but for his part he wished it to end. This is perhaps the closest thing to a peace that the brothers have achieved. Illidan then departed telling Malfurion he doubted they would ever see each other again.

In World of Warcraft, Malfurion's words indicate that he does not wish to fight his brother, and he says that if he is forced to, things will not be as they were at the Well at Zin-Azshari. According to Seeds of Faith, Malfurion is saddened by Illidan's death in Outland.

Current state

From Malfurion's conversation with Remulos:

Malfurion Stormrage says: Cenarius fights at my side. Illidan sits atop his throne in Outland – brooding. I'm afraid that the loss to Arthas proved to be his breaking point. Madness has embraced him, Remulos. He replays the events in his mind a thousand times per day, but in his mind, he is the victor and Arthas is utterly defeated. He is too far gone, old friend. I fear that the time may soon come that our bond is tested and it will not be as it was at the Well in Zin-Azshari.

The exact meaning and implications of this are not known. It is however likely that Malfurion fears that the bonds between him and his brother Illidan will be tested in the near future. For 10,000 years ago, during the War of the Ancients, the two brothers were forced to work together to throw back the Burning Legion at The Sundering, which is when they chose their separate paths. Now, with Illidan's death we will never know if they could have cooperated again.

Memorable quotes

War of the Ancients

  • "I come to offer my services to my queen... and to the lord of the Legion!"
  • "Well? Come with me... if you'd like to live long enough to see me save this world!"
  • "The Artifact!"
  • "Brother, a timely arrival.
  • "Aye. It's been twisted and turned by too many spells. The fuss we - especially you - made with the portal was too much! The same spell that sent the Burning Legion back into their foul realm now works on the well! It's devouring itself and taking its surroundings with it! Fascinating, isn't it?
  • "If you've a way out of here, we should probably use it! I've tried casting myself and Tyrande out of here, but the well is too much in flux!

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

  • "Betrayer... in truth, it was I who was betrayed. Still, I am hunted. Still, I am hated. Now, my blind eyes can see what others cannot. That sometimes the hand of fate must be forced!"
  • "Isolation can do that to the mind. Now, after all the long centuries you kept me chained in darkness, it is only fitting that I bury you in turn."
  • "Whatever I may be - whatever I may become in this world - know that I will always look out for you, Tyrande."
  • "We have had much strife between us, my brother. I have known only ages of hate for you. But, for my part, I wish it to end. From this day forward, let there be peace between us."
  • "There is no cure, young one. But there are ways to feed the hunger. Follow me, and I will grant your people more magic than they can imagine."
  • "Hear me now, you trembling mortals! I am your lord and master! Illidan reigns supreme!"
  • "Perhaps hiding here was not the most prudent decision."
  • "Then the hour has come at last. After today, the Scourge will meet its end! Can you hear me out there, Arthas? Its end!"

World of Warcraft

N [70] The Secret Compromised
Akama says: Master, we've found the traitor who escaped Vashj! His body lies in front of me, lifeless.
Illidan says: You disappoint me Akama. I wanted to question the treacherous worm myself! I'm beginning to question your allegiance, broken.
Akama says: But sire! You have misjudged my actions... I do have knowledge of one close to you who plans to betray you! It is that dog Kael'thas! He has allied with Kil'jaeden and intends to replace you as Lord of Outland!
Illidan says: I do not sense lies in your voice Akama. That Kael'thas would betray me does not come a big surprise. I'm not as oblivious as some would think. That one of your own was involved with him puts your loyalties into question.
Illidan says: Send your Ashtongue into Tempest Keep and slay his most prized possession, the phoenix known as Al'ar. I must know that you're not on his side. Do not think of betraying me, broken. We both know who owns your soul.
Akama says: It will be done, my lord.
N [70] Lord Illidan Stormrage
Overlord Mor'ghor yells: All hail Lord Illidan!
Overlord Mor'ghor says: Lord Illidan, this is the Dragonmaw that I, and others, have told you about. He will lead us to victory!
Illidan Stormrage says: What is the meaning of this, Mor'ghor?
Overlord Mor'ghor says: But... My lord, I do not understand. <name>... <He/She> is the orc that has...
Illidan Stormrage says: SILENCE!
Illidan Stormrage says: Blathering idiot. You incomprehensibly incompetent buffoon...
Illidan Stormrage says: THIS is your hero?
Illidan Stormrage says: You have been deceived, imbecile.
Illidan Stormrage says: This... whole... operation... HAS BEEN COMPROMISED!
Illidan immobilizes you.
Illidan Stormrage says: I expect to see this insect's carcass in pieces in my lair within the hour. Fail and you will suffer a fate so much worse than death.
Overlord Mor'ghor says: It will be done, my lord.
Black Temple
Illidan Stormrage yells: Akama. Your duplicity is hardly surprising. I should have slaughtered you and your malformed brethren long ago.
Akama yells: We've come to end your reign, Illidan. My people, and all of Outland, shall be free!
Illidan Stormrage yells: Boldly said. But I remain... unconvinced.
Akama yells: The time has come! The moment is at hand!
  • You have won... Maiev. But the huntress... is nothing without the hunt. You... are nothing... without me. (Last words)

Notes and trivia

He brings PANDA-MONIUM!
  • During the Third War he was 15,032 years old. He died when he was 15,038.
  • If you look closely at Illidan in Warcraft III, you will notice that at least one of his blades has the face of a panda painted on it (Samwise Didier's trademark). One place it can be seen clearly is in the cut scene in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne at the end of the Night Elf campaign when Illidan says goodbye to Tyrande and Malfurion.
  • On closer inspection the panda face on Illidan's changes when he is transformed by the skull of Gul'dan the change being the face changing from happy panda to angry panda, this change is accompanied by Illidan growing horns and wings of a demon and burning the ground on which he walks.
  • Because the interlude in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne shows Illidan in as a full night elf when he struck the deal, it is often presumed that Illidan's new appearance (horns, wings, smoke, hooves and burning hoof prints) was a result of Kil'jaeden's further empowerment. It should be noted, however, that most sources, including the Warcraft Encyclopedia, only mention his demonic transformation when discussing the Skull of Gul'dan; no mention is made of further transformation during his meeting with Kil'jaeden.
  • Although Malfurion said Illidan's transformation by the Skull of Gul'dan had cost him his soul, there has so far been no evidence that this claim was anything more than hyperbole. It is likely Malfurion was merely shocked at seeing Illidan in demonic form and was speaking metaphorically. There is no evidence that Illidan's personality has drastically changed as a result. Until it is established, the possibility remains that the only change in Illidan seems to be slight insanity (though after reading the War of the Ancients trilogy, one is forced to wonder if Illidan was not insane before he consumed the Skull of Gul'dan).
  • At some point, Illidan tried his hand at writing, authoring a book entitled  [The Emerald Dream] The actual book itself starts a level 54 Druid quest. It's doubtful the text was well-received among the Cenarion Circle or the green dragonflight. Note that all of the Dire Maul books have silly names and/or flavor text ( [The Arcanist's Cookbook], the mage book, being a good example of this).
  • At release, when there was no high level content, it was announced by Ordinn that "the most powerful NPC is Illidan." When asked where he was, Caydiem responded. "Illidan is shy."
  • When the player rescues Illidan in Outland during the Blood Elf Campaign, Lady Vashj says that the blood elves are the descendants of those Highborne who served Illidan years ago. Curiously, Illidan himself never actually commanded any Highborne in the War of the Ancients (either version). This error can be explained by the fact that in the trilogy, Vashj was a little naive, and preoccupied, and was not very informed as to the exact nature of Illidan's "employment" with her Queen.
  • Originally, Illidan and Malfurion were identical apart from their hair and eye color. Their various transformations have made it much easier to tell them apart.
  • Illidan is one of the few characters in-game to be shown wielding an obtainable legendary weapon. Others include Ragnaros, Medivh, Halduron Brightwing and Nik the Mountain.
  • Illidan indirectly created both the Forsaken and high elf races.
  • IIlidan will be a playable character in Heroes of the Storm. Amusingly, his alternate costume makes him a blood elf.
  • When doing the Well of Eternity instance and killing Pero'tharn, if you have the Warglaives of Azzinoth equipped then Illidan will note that "Curious weapons you wield... such power." followed by "You seem prepared."
  • Illidan is the narrator of the cinematic of the Burning Crusade.
  • He was voiced by Matthew Yang King in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne and the Black Temple Gameplay Trailer and by Liam O'Brien in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.[17]
  • An Illidan vinyl statue is available.[18]
  • It is said that Illidan Stormrage contributed through the creation of the Moonwells.[19]

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Videos

Gallery

Fanart

Patch changes

External links

References

Preceded by:
Magtheridon
Position:
Lord of Outland
Succeeded by:
Incumbent
Preceded by:
Magtheridon
Position:
Master of the Black Temple
Succeeded by:
Akama