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Varian Wrynn

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AllianceVarian Wrynn
Image of Varian Wrynn
Title High King of the Alliance,
King of Stormwind,
Lo'Gosh,
Scion of Goldrinn,
Leader of the Valiance Expedition,
Champion of the Crimson Ring
Gender Male
Race(s) Human
Character class Warrior, Gladiator
Reaction Alliance Horde
Affiliation Alliance, Kingdom of Stormwind, Valiance Expedition,[1] House of Wrynn
Former affiliation(s) Alliance of Lordaeron, Crimson Ring
Occupation King of Stormwind, High King of the Grand Alliance, Leader of the Valiance Expedition, Gladiatorial slave (previously)
Location Stormwind Keep, Stormwind City[85.8, 31.7] and various others (see Locations)
Status Alive
Relative(s) Tiffin (wife), Anduin (son), Llane (father), Adamant (grandfather), Varia (grandmother), Landen (great-grandfather), Ellerian noble family (in-laws)
Mentor(s) Terenas Menethil, Anduin Lothar, Hjalmar Anvilmar, Rehgar Earthfury
Companion(s) Broll Bearmantle, Valeera Sanguinar, Bolvar Fordragon, Thargas Anvilmar, Jaina Proudmoore, Arthas Menethil, Highguard Tyrius‎ (Bodyguard), Highguard Kailus‎‎ (Bodyguard)
"The Horde has committed heinous crimes, Vol'jin. But some among you fought against Garrosh's tyranny. For that, I'm willing to end this bloodshed. But know this : if your Horde fails to uphold honor as Garrosh did, we will end you."

Varian Wrynn, also known as Lo'Gosh the "Ghost Wolf",[2] is the current King of Stormwind and High King of the Grand Alliance.[3]

Varian’s life has been defined by tragedy and conflict. The murder of his father, King Llane, by the assassin Garona Halforcen weighs heavily on him, along with the accidental death of his wife, Tiffin, during a riot. The king has recently returned to the throne following his abduction by the Defias Brotherhood and the black dragon Onyxia, who disguised herself as Lady Katrana Prestor. Robbed of his memories and enslaved by a Horde gladiatorial trainer in Kalimdor, Varian fought his way to freedom, earning the nickname “Lo’Gosh,” or “ghost wolf,” while in battle. With the help of his comrades, he was able to recover his true identity and finally defeat Onyxia. Under his daring leadership, the humans of Stormwind led the Alliance to victory against the Lich King in Northrend, and now seek to bolster their strategic holdings against their perennial enemy, the Horde.[4] Known for his tenacity and fierce will, King Varian Wrynn is committed to protecting the Alliance's interests and raising his son, Anduin, to follow in his place.[5] With the world plunged into chaos by the great Cataclysm, he has taken up military leadership of the Alliance, and vowed to forge a new destiny for Azeroth.[6]

Contents

Biography

The First War

Young Varian in the burning streets of Stormwind.

Varian Wrynn was born to King Llane Wrynn in Stormwind City ten years before the First War[7] and as a youth lived a joyful and prosperous life as prince of the Kingdom of Stormwind. But all that changed when the orcs appeared from beyond the Dark Portal and attempted to destroy his homeland, thus ushering in the First War between his beloved Kingdom of Azeroth and the Horde.

Anduin Lothar, the Champion of Stormwind, rallied his countrymen and armies and gutted out a desperate attempt to hold the Horde at bay and to keep them away from King Llane, Varian, and Stormwind. While Lothar enjoyed some small success in holding back the Horde, his efforts were dashed when Garona Halforcen, who had become an ally to Stormwind, betrayed King Llane under orders from the Shadow Council and cut his heart out, giving it to Gul'dan. Varian could only watch helplessly as his father was murdered and the Horde overran his kingdom, burning its homes and slaughtering all who stood in their way.[8] The death of his father affected him greatly, his later closest friend Arthas Menethil recalls him looking weary and ragged when he first sees him, and says that he'd "lost absolutely everything but his life." [9]

Exodus to Lordaeron

Anduin Lothar, convinced that Stormwind could not be retaken, gathered Varian and all who remained in the city and led an escape from their homeland. Narrowly escaping by boat into the sea, they headed North while Lothar gathered his thoughts aboard his ship. Consulting with Varian and the Kirin Tor mage Khadgar, they determined that in order to preserve humanity from annihilation by the Horde they would need to warn King Terenas, ruler of Lordaeron, of the danger that loomed on the horizon.

After landing at the port of Southshore, Lothar gathered Prince Varian along with Khadgar and several knights and marched towards Lordaeron. Upon arriving young Varian was greeted by King Terenas, who treated him as an equal king despite Varian's young age. King Terenas quickly offered him his pledge to stand by him until his homeland was retaken and invited him to stay with him for as long as he was willing. Although at first Varian was slightly shy being in a Kingdom he had never seen before, he quickly overcame his timidity and Varian found King Terenas' son Arthas Menethil, who was just a few years younger than he, as a great new friend and the two quickly formed a close friendship. Shortly after he began staying in Lordaeron, King Terenas formed the Alliance of Lordaeron. Under the command of Anduin Lothar, its supreme commander, this alliance was finally able to put an end to the Horde reign during the Second War. However, the victory came at a great price as Anduin Lothar was killed shortly before the war ended and would not live to see the retaking of his Kingdom of Stormwind.[3]

Friendship with Arthas

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After taking up shelter in Lordaeron, Varian quickly became friends with Arthas Menethil who was anxious to meet another young prince.[9] Though most of the time he kept his composure, Varian once broke into tears as Arthas tried to console him about the assassination of his father. He was later recalled by Arthas as his "best friend" for much of their childhood and adult lives, and Varian frequently sparred with the less-athletic Arthas in an attempt to toughen him and make him a better paladin. They built up a friendly rivalry, and a year after Varian was crowned king, they met and sparred on the day of Arthas' ascension to the Order of the Silver Hand.[10] Though not outwardly spiteful, Arthas frequently lamented that he was not as physically strong as Varian. During the later murder of King Terenas, Arthas recalled words that Varian once said about how King Llane was "stabbed right through the heart" moments before he plunged Frostmourne through his own father's heart. After Arthas' falling in with the Scourge and rise to become the new Lich King, Varian began to see him as the ultimate traitor to the Alliance.

Rise as King

Varian with his wife and son.
Varian holding Tiffin as she dies.

With Stormwind retaken and slowly being rebuilt (thanks to King Terenas, who had urged the Alliance to help fund the rebuilding of Stormwind), Varian was officially crowned King of Stormwind at the age of eighteen. King Terenas himself was well-pleased with how Varian had grown into a clever and noble king, feeling a father's pride as he had grown attached to Varian over the years, considering Varian his second son. The Stonemasons, led by Edwin VanCleef, came to lend their help in rebuilding Stormwind and hoped to forge a new future for themselves, with aspirations that riches would soon follow their work's completion.

During his reign as king, Varian left Stormwind City under the stewardship of the House of Nobles and traveled to the many corners of his kingdom to protect his people from raiding orc parties, meet with spies who were searching for the assassin Garona, and direct the restoration of his kingdom.[8] After many months Stormwind was finished, reborn as a kingdom of majesty and architectural brilliance eclipsing even its once-pristine condition before the First War. It was during this time of renewed tranquility that Varian would marry a young, beautiful woman named Tiffin Ellerian and conceived a son, Anduin, named for Lothar.

However, the Alliance soon began fracturing, and the elven Kingdom of Quel'Thalas, along with the human kingdoms of Stromgarde and Gilneas seceded. Despite this, King Varian vowed he would stand by King Terenas and the Alliance as they had stood by him in his time of need. It was also during this time that the Stonemasons who had rebuilt Stormwind demanded to be paid for their service to King Varian and the House of Nobles. However, the corrupt House of Nobles, under the influence of Katrana Prestor, refused to adequately pay the guild for its work. King Varian was unable to negotiate a resolution that appeased both parties. It is suspected that Lady Katrana had ensorcelled half the House of Nobles and half the Stonemasons and because of this, both sides refused to begrudge their positions: with the House of Nobles only offering meager compensation while the Stonemasons continued to demand extravagant sums.[8] Though the Stonemasons were compensated for their work, they received only a fraction of the pay they felt they had earned; and so Edwin VanCleef and the Stonemasons set to rioting in the streets of Stormwind, demanding just compensation. The riot was dangerous and chaotic and in the confusion Varian's young queen was accidentally killed in the confusion, a large rock hitting her upside the head. Edwin VanCleef fled Stormwind with the Stonemasons while Varian mourned Tiffin's death. He subsequently fell into a great depression that was ensorcelled to span a decade; all through out the duration of the Third War.[11] During which, Lady Katrana took advantage of his ensorcelled state to politically outmaneuver him but over time, he fought off the magical effects and regained his consciousness and will. Varian soon reasserted his control over the Stormwind government and vowed to create a new and better world for himself, his son, and the people of Stormwind.

Abduction

After the dust had settled from the Third War, Varian journeyed to Theramore to speak with Lady Jaina Proudmoore regarding Horde/Alliance relations. En route, he was abducted by the Defias who had been told of his diplomatic trip through a spy rumored to live within the Kingdom of Stormwind itself. Rumors circulated that he was taken to Alcaz Island and was held captive there.[12] These rumors were true.

Shortly after King Varian was kidnapped, Bolvar Fordragon was made Regent-Lord of Stormwind and vowed to find and rescue King Varian at any cost. Lady Prestor also became a royal adviser, and convinced Highlord Bolvar Fordragon to have King Varian's 10-year-old son, Anduin Wrynn, crowned King of Stormwind, though the actual power remained in Fordragon's hands until either Varian was returned or Anduin reached the age of ascension.

Gladiator

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Lo'Gosh the gladiator, wearing the belt of Anduin Lothar.
An amnesiac Varian Wrynn, as seen at the beginning of Issue #1.
Lo'Gosh takes on Two-Heads at Dire Maul.
Lo'Gosh becomes a Crimson Ring Champion

Varian somehow managed to escape his confinement and left the island, though his bid for freedom was not wholly successful. Half-drowned and suffering from memory loss, he was found washed up on the shores of Durotar by a caravan of orcs led by the gladiator trainer Rehgar Earthfury. After successfully fighting off an enormous crocolisk using only a stick, he was captured and enslaved as a gladiator by the impressed shaman. Unaware of the human's true identity, Earthfury humorously nicknamed his new slave "Croc-Bait" and threw him into a cage with his other two gladiator slaves: Broll Bearmantle and Valeera Sanguinar. That night, in order to help him remember his past, Broll placed Varian in a trance, wherein he saw a vision of himself as a child in a burning city.

After arriving in Orgrimmar, Rehgar started training his team. Rehgar taught the three gladiators new ways to kill as well as strategy in single and team combat. While in the Ring of Valor- the Crimson Ring’s secret training grounds- Varian refused to engage in combat for the amusement of the orcs. Though the orcs in the training grounds labeled him a troublemaker, Rehgar permitted his disobedience and allowed him to watch on as his partners trained. It was only when Valeera was drawn into a fight with Sparkeye’s gladiator team, did Varian pick up a sword to defend his team mates. Though Varian’s team emerged victorious from the battle, they were left injured and exhausted from their fight. Rehgar offered no respite as he permitted Hyku Steeledge to take advantage of their weakened state and attack them. With both his team mates defenseless, Varian engaged Hyku Steeledge in single combat and slew him. From that battle, Varian learned to always expect the unexpected in the Crimson Ring and following the rules of combat, inherited Hyku’s twin orc blades.

Rehgar later led the trio to the secret armory of the Crimson Ring in the Hall of Legends, where after seeing a familiar-looking lion-headed plate belt, Varian received another flashback: a bald, bearded man stands on the deck of a boat in a storm, wearing the belt and called Varian "lad".

Eventually the three traveled to Dire Maul in Feralas where the gladiatorial contests took place. After many bloody battles, they emerged the victors of the Crimson Ring tournament. Impressed by Varian's skill at arms, the crowd gave him the orcish moniker "Lo'Gosh" — which means "Ghost Wolf".[13]

After the tournament, Rehgar took Lo'Gosh and Broll to the tauren city Thunder Bluff, where they were both permitted to undergo a cleansing ritual in the Pools of Vision that would reveal more about the gladiators' pasts and guide them to their futures. In the waters of the pools, Lo'Gosh saw another vision: a fair-haired female who was ostensibly his wife holding an infant boy, telling him that his people and his son need him. Unfortunately, his vision was interrupted by a cave elemental that had been haunting the pools of vision, a foe which he subsequently defeated. Nevertheless, having learned more of his past, he planned to escape from Rehgar at the next possible opportunity.

In thanks for defeating the cave elemental, Broll and Lo'Gosh were invited to the tent of Hamuul Runetotem, elder druid of the tauren. He told Varian the legend of the original Lo'Gosh — a massive, white wolf-beast renowned for its ferocity in battle, already 10,000 years old when the Burning Legion first invaded Azeroth. According to the arch druid, the wolf's legend extended through Azeroth to trolls, goblins and dwarves who all had their own version of the story. In each tale, Lo'Gosh's unyielding will and sheer ferocity enabled him to push through the boundaries of the afterlife to aid his people. Hamuul then gave Lo'Gosh a feather, which Broll immediately recognized as belonging to a hippogryph. The night elf used it to call Sharptalon from Ashenvale, and immediately made a bid for freedom with Lo'Gosh.

Broll and Lo'Gosh later went on more heroic exploits: they've helped the Silverwing Sentinels defeat the Warsong Outriders at Warsong Gulch and recovered the missing Idol of Remulos. Eventually, they journeyed to the Cenarion Enclave in Darnassus, where after they've relinquished the Idol of Remulos to Archdruid Fandral Staghelm, they were summoned to dinner by Tyrande Whisperwind. Tyrande, who after hearing of the two friends' feats and current predicament, sent the two to Theramore. There she hoped Jaina Proudmoore would be able to help restore Lo'Gosh's memories.

Upon arriving in Theramore, Jaina vowed to Lo'Gosh that she would unravel the mystery surrounding him, and called upon her chamberlain, Aegwynn, to help. Breaching the dark aura surrounding Lo'Gosh's memories, visions revealed a fire and a voyage, the birth of his son, the death of his wife, and new darkness. Despite an invisible wall preventing Jaina and Aegwynn from further delving into his memories, they were able to confirm that he had been traveling to Theramore, and that he was, in fact, Varian Wrynn, the lost King of Stormwind.

Clearly having been the victim of a dark magic attack, Jaina prepared one of her own ships to carry Lo'Gosh to Stormwind in the Eastern Kingdoms, where she hoped that he could learn the identity of his enemies. Now knowing that his wife is dead, Lo'Gosh was eager to return to Stormwind and reunite with his son, though Aegwynn advised him that circumspection was necessary, as Anduin could be endangered by any hasty actions. On the docks, Broll and Lo'Gosh reunited with Valeera and prepared to set out for Stormwind.

Revelations

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Lo'Gosh versus Magatha's Cave Elemental.
Lo'Gosh squares off against a Naga.
Lo'Gosh involved in a bar brawl.
Varian and Lo'Gosh

While Lo'Gosh, Broll, and Valeera were traveling on the Wavecutter — Jaina Proudmoore's private vessel — Lo'Gosh contemplated the revelations Jaina had told him. Despite being revealed as one of the rulers of the Alliance, he became unsure if he truly wanted to resume being "Varian Wrynn" — if he had a choice, he would remain as "Lo'Gosh", a simple gladiator. Doubts began to fill Lo'Gosh's head as they traveled to Menethil Harbor.

During the voyage their vessel was attacked by naga lead by Morgala Darksquall. The fight between Lo'Gosh and the siren was brutal and during the bout a flash of lightning from the naga's trident left his notable crossed facial scars. Lo'Gosh also had another glimpse into his lost memory — remembering the Defias abducting him on his diplomatic mission to Theramore, the naga attacking him on Alcaz Island for ransom, the funeral for his beloved wife Tiffin, and the day he was crowned King of Stormwind. Almost all of Lo'Gosh's memory had been returned, except some vital parts of his abduction.

Meanwhile in Stormwind, jubilant throngs of Stormwind's subjects turned out for a massive ceremony to welcome home their king. However, the Varian that returned was arrogant, frivolous, and markedly interested in Katrana Prestor. The people of Stormwind had only been informed that the Defias had ransomed the king, but in truth, he was somehow imprisoned and ransomed back by some naga. In either case, his freedom was bought and paid for by a painful new tax. Upon his return, however, Varian seemed concerned only with spending more of his people's money, leaving affairs of state by the wayside. Anduin Wrynn was distressed by his father's change.

Around the same time, Lo'Gosh appeared at Menethil Harbor with Broll and Valeera. The group had a chance encounter with a drunkard in Menethil Harbor, who ran after realizing that Varian was still alive. Lo'Gosh and his companions gave chase with the intent of interrogating the man. The man ran to a bar filled with Defias members, who attempted to take out Varian again, resulting in a chaotic bar brawl. During the fight, Lo'Gosh met Thargas Anvilmar: an emissary from Magni Bronzebeard and whose brother Varian had once trained under.

Though the drunk escaped, Lo'Gosh found a dying defias mage to question. Though the mage did not reveal who wanted Varian dead, the mage did say that their employer had paid in Stormwind gold. In his final moments, the mage taunted Lo'Gosh by claiming that his son would be murdered. The three gladiators and Thargas then continued on their way to Ironforge; a perilous journey beset by dangerous assassins and violent encounters with Dark Iron dwarves. Lo'Gosh and his entourage went on the become instrumental in the reclaiming of the Thandol Span Bridges which were being occupied by Dark Iron forces. As fate would have it, their heroics at Thandol Span would lead them to encounter King Magni Bronzebeard: the dwarven king of Ironforge.

While Lo'Gosh departed from Menethil Harbor, King Magni Bronzebeard was on a visit in Stormwind City and was discussing war plans against the orcs and Dark Iron dwarves with King "Varian" and Bolvar Fordragon. However, Varian Wrynn was counseled by Lady Katrana Prestor to not send troops to help the dwarves fight against the Dark Irons. King Magni left disappointed in Varian's subservience to Lady Prestor's wishes and his dishonorable demeanor. While going to the Deeprun Tram to prepare his dwarven forces for the retaking of Thandol Span, Magni was met by the young Prince Anduin Wrynn who told the dwarven king that he too suspected something was amiss about his "father".

Some time later, Anduin was practicing his archery with his "father" and he inquired Varian how he was kidnapped by the Defias. Anduin further questioned him how he later came into the hands of the naga for ransom, to which his father told him his past was a blank and he could not recall any events before his rescue. For his improvement in his archery, Varian granted Anduin one reward. Anduin requested that the details of Varian's disappearance be further investigated.

Upon arriving at Ironforge, Lo'Gosh was informed by King Magni that much of what had transpired was no coincidence and that someone was secretly orchestrating the events, knowing of King Varian's significant importance to the Alliance. Magni had previously enlisted the aid of Highlord Bolvar Fordragon and Marshal Windsor at the behest of young Anduin, who suspected the Varian in Stormwind to be an impostor. Varian, having studied sword fighting with Windsor for years, held a deep respect for him as a friend and ally. A disturbingly short time after Marshal Windsor began his investigation, he had come to the conclusion that the impostor Varian may not only be an impostor, but a dragon.

As Lo'Gosh and Magni continued to converse they were secretly being followed by a bearded man. Valeera sensed arcane energy being manipulated and witnessed the man creating a dagger with the intent to kill Lo'Gosh. Valeera quickly subdued the man, but he transformed into a black dragon and fled.

Outside Stormwind, Anduin, Varian, Bolvar, and Lady Prestor were riding horseback through the countryside with Anduin trying to implore his father to listen to Stormwind's problems, but before he could elaborate, his horse was purposely roused by an unknown assailant causing Anduin to lose control and tumble over a ledge. Varian swiftly caught Anduin, and upon making physical contact, his mind is enveloped with visions of the Defias carrying him while knocked out, strapped to the ground and covered in a rune-circle with robed figures casting dark magic, being chased on Alcaz Island by naga, and finally jumping over a cliff reaching for branches just beyond his reach.

Anduin, embracing his father, lost any doubts about him being an imposter. Varian started to tell Bolvar, Anduin, and Lady Prestor about his visions until Lady Prestor touched him and remarked how astonished she was by his nobility. Bolvar surmised that Varian becomes befuddled when around her and loses his honor and respect for others. Bolvar becomes more anxious about discovering the secrets of Varian's abduction and sudden return; knowing this would lead to trouble.

Via magic, Bolvar informed King Magni that Windsor's report indicated he was close to discovering the dragon's identity but was captured by Dark Iron dwarves in Blackrock Depths. Lo'Gosh and his allies mounted and rode to Blackrock Depths and rescued Windsor, who revealed to Lo'Gosh what he had discovered regarding his investigation.

Return as King

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Marching through the gates of Stormwind, Lo'Gosh and his friends were halted by General Marcus Jonathan under the direct jurisdiction of Katrana Prestor, who ordered their immediate arrest and execution as traitors. Windsor succeeded in convincing Marcus of his loyalty to Stormwind as they had previously served together under Turalyon.

Katrana Prestor hastily gathered soldiers only to have the false-Varian tell her that she was disobeying the chain of command and was not in charge of Stormwind. Entering Stormwind Keep, Lo'Gosh declared Katrana's masquerade was over and called her by her true name: Onyxia.

Revealing her dragon form and transforming multiple guards into dragonspawn, Lo'Gosh and his allies began battle in the great hall of Stormwind Keep. The arrival of Highlord Bolvar Fordragon along with Anduin greatly aided them in securing the keep but Reginald Windsor was killed moments later by Onyxia.

Lo'Gosh engaged his doppelganger, claiming he threatened the stability of his kingdom and nearly cost the Alliance Thandol Span, only to have his doppelganger retort he was starting to repress her spells and regain control of his actions. Anduin, surprised by seeing two Varians, urged them to stop fighting each other and face the true threat, the brood mother Onyxia. The great dragon snatched Anduin and teleported them to her lair; daring Varian to follow suit. Regrouping with their friends, Lo'Gosh and Varian were left to grieve the loss of their son. Lo'Gosh announced to their friends and allies that the final battle would end in Onyxia's Lair.

Relinquishing command of Stormwind to Bolvar, his old friend begins to sense that despite two Varians commanding Stormwind, they both carried polar opposite personalities. Lo'Gosh was incredibly anxious to find his son while showing incredible will in commanding his troops, while the other Varian was calm, passive and charming ever since ridding himself of Onyxia's influence.

After journeying across the sea and dispatching some of Onyxia's drake assassins, Varian's forces finally arrived at Theramore. They all met up with Jaina Proudmoore and she told them she had discovered what dark magic was used on the two Varians from an old tome. Jaina came up with the theory that Onyxia greatly gained influence over Varian after his wife's death but periodically lost control as Varian's attachment to Anduin grew. Thus she attempted to reassert her control by using a spell that would not kill Varian but would remove and destroy his conscience, will, and responsibility.

Jaina cast enchantments around the two Varians and they recalled the last part of their abduction: Being on Alcaz Island tied to the ground; cloaked figures casting dark magic causing unbearable pain as he desperately tries to break himself free. In a blinding flash of light he awakes to find himself laying next to an exact duplicate. Onyxia unmasked herself intending to kill the strong-willed Varian but is stopped by the arrival of Morgala Darksquall and her naga. The cloaked figures and Onyxia turn into dragonkin and battle the naga while the strong-willed Varian breaks himself free and begins to fight. He tried to free the other Varian and implores him to find a weapon but discovered his other is too unnerved to properly wield a weapon.

The other Varian is knocked off a cliff, falls into the ocean and is captured by the naga. Varian is left alone to fight and tricks Onyxia into believing she had killed him. Pleased, Onyxia left before more naga appeared. Morgala attempted to capture Varian but he fled to another side of the island and jumped into the ocean, knowing he wouldn't be followed as that part of the ocean contained many rocky shoals. His escape failed, however, as the strong tide overpowered him and he was swept away to the shores of Durotar.

Back in Jaina's tower both Varians came to the startling conclusion they are both the same person and at the same time only half of what they should be. Jaina explained that although Onyxia's spell split them in half, they were both able to fight past the spell and regain who they truly were, even though they both lived as separate beings.

One Varian became Lo'Gosh, the gladiator champion of the Crimson Ring and fought to regain his memories and birthright. The other Varian was ransomed and returned to Stormwind, and was further ensorcelled by Onyxia. While bereft of will, he would break free once again. After a moment, Jaina unveiled two ancient elven swords: Shalla'tor and Ellemayne; and presented them to the two kings. After receiving their new weapons, both Varians decreed retribution would finally be brought to Onyxia.

Corruption Ends

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Varian restored and wielding Shalamayne
Varian decapitates Onyxia

Leading a mounted charge, both Varians cut bloody swathes into Onyxia's dragonspawn ranks. Jaina disabled the impeding magical barriers while Varian and his allies used steel and magic to slay Onyxia's brood. Eventually they encountered the brood mother herself, with Anduin imprisoned under her iron grip. Onyxia held Anduin hostage, threatening to kill him if Varian didn't surrender Stormwind over to her. Anduin urged his father not to give in to her threats and Lo'Gosh agreed to fight and die with Anduin if need be. Lo'Gosh threw a knife at the dragon's claw to loosen her hold over Anduin. Anduin fell at a great height but was caught and saved by Broll Bearmantle, who had taken his raven form to catch him mid air. With Anduin's safety secured, the Stormwind army continued the battle.

Leading an assault against Onyxia, both Varians engaged her in battle. Weapons and magic clashed with her numerous dragonkin with both sides determined to win. Onyxia cast a fear spell on Broll and tail swiped Jaina, removing them from the battle after growing agitated by their constant spellcasting.

Becoming desperate to end the fight, Onyxia began casting the spell she was going to use on Alcaz Island to kill Lo'Gosh, but Lo'Gosh's double responded by stepping in front of the blast, saying he should die because Lo'Gosh was the embodiment of the true Varian.

Not willing to sacrifice his double, Lo'Gosh leapt alongside his other self hoping to save him. The magic spell became disrupted by having the two Varians in the spell, and after a moment of silence Varian emerged, his two halves fused back together.

Onyxia desperately tries to incinerate him, but Varian swiftly reached Onyxia's head and impaled her with his newly-fused elven sword, Shalamayne. With Onyxia dead, Varian reunited with his son and friends, telling them their long and noble deeds will be rewarded and Stormwind has been reborn with a new hope for the future. King Varian then decapitated Onyxia and sent her head to be hung from the ramparts of Stormwind while Broll Bearmantle summoned roots from the ground to seal her lair's entrance and to kill her unhatched progeny.[14]

Theramore Peace Summit

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Varian meets Thrall
Garona attempts to assassinate Varian.

While returning to Theramore, Varian was asked by Jaina Proudmoore to meet with the orc Warchief Thrall so that they may discuss plans to ease tensions between the Horde and Alliance. Varian however, was still wary of orcs for their role in Stormwind's destruction during the First War and didn't trust them to be true allies; yet Jaina assured him that Thrall was someone she trusted with her life. Though he was content with just Stormwind and the Horde no longer being in a state of open war and reluctant to enforce such a peace, he was convinced by Anduin and Valeera to attend citing that a human-orc alliance may benefit Stormwind’s prosperity.

At Theramore,[15] Varian and Thrall had a peaceful discussion with an eye toward mutual gain. They first talked of their pasts and then discussed resource problems; like the Horde's war against the night elves for lumber. Varian offered to provide Thrall's people with lumber and in exchange the Warchief offered copper and exotic hides in return. Varian had to end the summit early as Goldshire and Southshore were reported to be under simultaneous distress by the Scourge. Thrall and Varian were about to depart amicably but upon exiting Theramore, the Twilight's Hammer cult invaded the city. The Alliance races of the Twilight cultists attacked the Horde representatives while the Horde races of the Twilight cultists attacked the Alliance representatives. After catching a glimpse of Garona, Varian thought that Thrall had sent her to assassinate him as the Shadow Council had done in the past with his father[16] After a time battling, the Twilight's Hammer's casualties began to rise. Varian was about to strike a mortal blow to Garona when Med'an entered to protect his mother. Varian tossed Med’an aside and was captured by a retreating Stasia who left Garona to die at the hands of their targets. Garrosh accused the Alliance of orchestrating the attack while Varian accused the Horde; specifically Garrosh. Though Varian was suspicious of the Horde’s involvement with the attack, he decided to investigate and reveal the true motives and conspirators of the attack by interrogating Garona himself. Yet Garona was ensorcelled with magic that made her believe that she had planned the assassination out of her own volition. All that Varian managed to get from her was that her mission was not only to assassinate him but his son, Anduin, as well. Varian enraged, was on the verge of dispatching Garona once again only to be stopped by Jaina this time, who had claimed Garona as Theramore’s prisoner.

Before Varian left Theramore to prepare his campaign against the Scourge, he was convinced by Valeera to let her remain in Theramore and work with the ensorcelled Garona to reveal Garona’s masters and deal with the threats to Varian and Anduin’s safety. Varian declared he will no longer attend any more peace summits and that after the threat of the Scourge has been dealt with, he will return to Theramore to claim Garona for execution.

Return to Stormwind

Scourge Invasion

When the Lich King awoke, he sent his Scourge into all corners of Azeroth. To defeat the Plague and necropolises, members of the Church of the Holy Light traveled to Shattrath and created an artifact of the Naaru's Light. Adventurers of the Alliance delivered it to Varian for defence.

Soon after regaining his throne, Stormwind was attacked by the undead legions of the Scourge. Varian, alongside his friend Bolvar Fordragon, was successful in repelling the undead forces after a long battle in Stormwind Harbor. Founding the Valiance Expedition to cope with the Horde in destroying the Lich King, Varian sent Bolvar to oversee the creation of a base at Angrathar the Wrathgate in the Dragonblight, right in the shadow of Icecrown itself.

Death Knight

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After being directly confronted by Thassarian[17] with a personal request of Highlord Tirion Fordring, King Varian permits death knights of the Ebon Blade into the Alliance to aid in the fight against the Lich King.[18]

Battle for the Undercity

The King in deep thought.

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After receiving word of Bolvar's death, Varian was overwhelmed with anger and sorrow, having considered Bolvar a brother for ruling his kingdom and raising his son during his absence. He sent Jaina Proudmoore to Orgrimmar to discover the reason for the Horde's betrayal. He deemed this as an act of treason and demanded retribution for his friend's death. Jaina returned and informed Varian that Varimathras and the Royal Apothecary Society had betrayed them all and the Horde no longer controlled Undercity.

Varian and Jaina gathered the Alliance army and attacked Undercity, hoping to reclaim it as Lordaeron for the Alliance and bring Putress to justice. When entering Undercity, Varian becomes disgusted by the condition of the once great city, which he knew since childhood. Tracking Putress to the Apothecarium, Varian and Jaina defeated him. But to Varian's horror, they also discovered dozens of mutilated and defiled human corpses, on which the Apothecary Society experimented on to create the New Plague. Realizing that, although the Alliance and Horde agreed to a small truce over the years, the Forsaken had been secretly creating a means to kill them all.

Varian confronts Thrall and declares that peace can never be achieved. When a fight breaks out between the Alliance and Horde, Jaina stops Thrall and Varian from killing each other and teleports Varian, herself and the Alliance army back to Stormwind, hoping to stop further bloodshed and chaos. After losing his friend Bolvar Fordragon, and defeating Grand Apothecary Putress, Varian appears to declare war against the Horde during the quest The Battle For The Undercity after the attack on Thrall and his forces in the Undercity.

Secrets of Ulduar

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When Brann Bronzebeard learns that Yogg-Saron has escaped its ancient prison in Ulduar, Rhonin and Jaina Proudmoore request aid from King Varian, and so he asks for them to meet in the Violet Citadel. While Rhonin is speaking with King Varian, Thrall and Garrosh Hellscream arrive at the citadel and disregard Jaina's warnings to not enter the tower.

Before Rhonin is able to explain Varian turns and sees Thrall and Garrosh demanding to know what they are doing there. Garrosh insults Varian and draws his weapons, and Varian does the same before Garrosh charges at him, knocking Jaina out of the way in the process. After Rhonin breaks the fight up, he calls upon the Horde and Alliance to work together against the Old God. Varian points out that more men died from the Horde's treachery at the Wrathgate than from the Scourge, and refuses to ally with them. He appears to withhold full Alliance support, telling Rhonin he is through working with the Horde, and telling Thrall and Garrosh that he hopes the death god (what the Vrykul call Yogg-Saron) takes them all, before promptly teleporting out with his men.[19]

Crusaders' Coliseum

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King Varian, accompanied by Jaina Proudmoore, attends tournaments at the Crusaders' Coliseum in Icecrown, surrounded by various champions and representatives of the Alliance.

Main article: Argent_Tournament#Alliance_and_Horde_leadership

Icecrown Citadel

King Varian at Light's Hammer in Icecrown Citadel.

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Varian, again accompanied by Jaina, appears in Icecrown Citadel during the Alliance outro following the defeat of Deathbringer Saurfang. Muradin Bronzebeard attempts to block Varok Saurfang from claiming the body of his son, but Varian intervenes on the High Overlord's behalf, voicing his respect and honor for fellow warriors, and allows him to pass.

Some time after the opening of the Frostwing Halls, Varian can also be found in the entry hall of Light's Hammer. He provides the Strength of Wrynn buff for Alliance raiding parties. If you speak to him and tell him he is not needed, you will need to reset the instance (provided you are not already saved to it) in order to gain the buff again.

Stormrage

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Sometime after the defeat of the Lich King, Stormwind was being attacked by the Emerald Nightmare corruption. Varian was able to escape its corruption using an anti-dreaming potion. Yet to his horror, he was unable to save his son Anduin, who was one of many consumed by the Emerald Nightmare mist. At some point, he was visited by his old friend Broll Bearmantle, Tyrande Whisperwind, Lucan Foxblood, and the orc Thura. When he saw Thura he wanted to attack her, but he was calmed by the night elves who vouched for her. Varian had to stay in Stormwind Keep so he sent Major Mattingly to escort the group through Stormwind City.

When Malfurion Stormrage gathered a diverse army of survivors to assault the Emerald Nightmare and do battle with the Nightmare Lord and his army of corrupted nightmare creatures, he tasked Varian to lead the army in the upcoming battle. Still embittered and distrustful of the Horde, he adamantly refused to lead an army with Horde members with in its ranks and preferred that the Emerald Nightmare take the Horde. He later reconsidered and agreed to lead the army when he was convinced by Malfurion to put his hatred aside for Anduin's sake. Though Horde members were wary to be under Varian's command, through the efforts of Baine Bloodhoof, the Horde races were able to put aside their differences and follow Varian's orders. Varian Wrynn led the diverse dreamform army in the Emerald Dream and against impossible odds, the army was able keep the Emerlad Nightmare's army preoccupied while Thura and Malfurion defeated the Nightmare Lord on both the Emerald Dream and Azeroth planes. Even as the battle grew dire, those who knew the legend of Lo'Gosh grew more confident under his leadership when they saw flashes of a wolf's countenance appear in Varian's dream form. After the threat of the Emerald Nightmare had been defeated, the world began to rebuild. King Varian was one of the Alliance guests who attended the wedding ceremony between Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind.[20]

Elemental Unrest

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Varian confers with the other Alliance leaders at Stormwind Keep.

King Varian takes part in the discussion about the recent earthquakes with the other major political heads of the Alliance. He also offers quests concerning the infiltration of the Twilight cult within Stormwind society.

Later on during the final event Varian also assists in the defense of Stormwind during the elemental invasion of the city, he primarily operates out of the Trade District. He also assists Alliance players in the destruction of Prince Sarsarun and Kai'ju Gahz'rilla.

The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm

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King Varian infiltrates Ironforge alongside SI:7 in The Shattering.

While attending a memorial service for those who died from the Lich King war at the Cathedral of Light, the service was interrupted by two night elf Sentinels who reported a savage and brutal attack on one of the night elf convoys and the thievery of their goods. Though the Alliance and Horde agreed to a peace treaty after the Lich King war, the brutality of the attack left everyone on edge and was considered in violation of their peace treaty agreement. Varian automatically suspects Thrall to have ordered the attack but Jaina Proudmoore comes to his defense and vouches that most likely these attacks were not authorized by him, nor should he be held responsible for them, as she claims that Varian also can’t control all of his people as evidence of the Defias. Angry with Jaina for recalling the Defias to him, Varian’s Lo’Gosh personality emerged, and he becomes intimidatingly aggressive as he accuses her of being a poor judge of character, as evidence of her misjudging Arthas, as well as a “mewling pacifist” who puts peace first, no matter the cost.

Anduin overhears their argument and interrupts them. He leaves disgusted with his father’s attitude towards Jaina and pacifism, a philosophy that he also believes in. Varian later apologized to Jaina for their spat and informed her that he would not take any violent actions against Thrall without proof. It seems that Varian knows, or at least heard some rumors, about the fate of Bolvar Fordragon atop the Icecrown. He sent an emissary to question Thrall on the attack. He stipulated to Thrall that he publicly denounce the attack, make a reaffirmation of the Horde’s commitment towards the peace treaty, send all offenders of any attack to the Alliance, and publicly reprimand the savagery in which the attack was committed. Thrall was only willing to reaffirm the Horde’s willingness to continue the peace treaty and denounce the breaking of the treaty, but his unwillingness to reprimand the savagery in which the attack was carried out, the thievery of the night elves' goods, or apologize for the murders, has weakened his popularity with Alliance leaders. Varian thought it best to send Anduin away to Theramore, where he can be under the guardianship of Jaina Proudmoore, and later Ironforge, where he can learn to improve his martial training and hopefully understand the need for his caution with the Horde. Varian figures that it would be best for him and Anduin to spend some time apart while he figures out how to deal with the aggressive outbursts evoked by his Lo'Gosh personality. Later he, his son, Jaina and many others were present during the funeral of Magni Bronzebeard.

When Varian heard that Moira Thaurissan took over Ironforge with her Dark Iron guards in the wake of King Magni Bronzebeard's petrification, Varian was outraged. Moira was holding everyone in the city hostage, including his son for a time. Varian and eighteen SI:7 operatives embarked on a mission to liberate Ironforge and assassinate Moira Thaurissan. When Varian was about to execute Moira, Anduin, who had rushed back to Ironforge, convinced Varian that it would be better to guide Moira to be a better leader rather than to just execute her. Despite Moira being a tyrant who held the city hostage, she was still the legitimate heir to the throne and killing her would only put the succession of Ironforge into question, thus leading to more chaos and conflict. Where as if she lived; through her and her son, all dwarven clans can unite. Varian slowly agreed but was also conflicted as Moira had caused so much chaos and had already threatened the safety of his son. Varian agreed to spare Moira’s life but stipulated that if Moira was to be a leader and unite the dwarves, then she’d have to earn her crown by earning her people's respect. In order to take into account the opinions of all dwarves, Varian called for the formation of the Council of Three Hammers. Both father and son hugged and reconciled while the populace of Ironforge applauded King Varian’s decision.[21]

Wolfheart

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Varian, scion of Goldrinn

As Genn Greymane was boasting about Gilneas’ victories against the Horde during the banquet welcoming the Alliance dignitaries, Varian Wrynn arrived and mocked Gilneas. Varian insulted Gilneas by implying that they were pathetic cowards and weaklings. Despite the insults to him and his people, Genn held his anger in check and tried to persuade the king of Stormwind that Gilneas had changed, and that they were now ready to be staunch supporters of the Alliance. Varian Wrynn however, was still bitter over Gilneas’ abandonment of the Alliance during their hour of need during the Third War. Varian denounced Gilneas as an ally and absolved himself of any association with the desperate nation.

During the summit to decide if Gilneas would be readmitted into the Alliance, Varian Wrynn declared that the Alliance had no need for such fair weather friends and would never consent to allowing such "mongrels" into the Alliance. This left the summit in an uproar and effectively ruined any chance Gilneas had of joining the Alliance.

Though Malfurion Stormrage tried to persuade Varian to reconsider his position, his pleas fell on deaf ears. Varian cynically declared Malfurion’s summit a failure, just like so many other things that transpired in his life. Varian reveals that the turmoil his kingdom suffered under Onyxia's influence, the deaths of Tiffin and Marshal Windsor, and Lordaeron’s fall all weigh heavily on him. Even now, he struggles with being thrust into the position of humanity’s de facto leader. Before departing, Malfurion advises Varian to forgive himself for his faults and not to judge Genn with the same high standards that he places upon himself, as he will never be able to compete nor be given the chance to redeem himself. After the summit, Varian planned to leave Darnassus as soon as possible and return to Stormwind. Yet Prince Anduin Wrynn, having overheard his father and Malfurion’s argument, decided that he would not be returning with him and would be traveling with Velen on his journey. Varian, desperate not to lose his son, adamantly urged him to stay in Stormwind. With his father refusing to listen to him, Anduin turned to leave which drove Varian into a panic. Driven by rage and determination, he grabbed Anduin’s arm and inadvertently hurt him. Varian desperately pleaded with his son not to leave, promising never to hurt him again, but Anduin was set on his path.

Varian sulked in Anduin’s quarters, trying to drink away his sorrows. Malfurion invited him to go hunting in order to lift his spirits but this was a ploy to bring Varian and Genn together. Having lured Varian into the worgen’s hunting grounds, an argument was sparked between Varian and Genn about who was the better hunter. Malfurion proposed a hunting challenge to settle the matter. Relishing a chance to humiliate the Gilnean king in front of his subjects, he took up the challenge and attempted to kill every one of Genn’s prey in order to put him to shame. While chasing a boar however, they inadvertently agitated a giant bear. With one of Genn’s subjects in danger, the Gilnean king and the king of Stormwind worked together to kill the giant bear, with Varian landing a killing blow to the bear’s neck with his hunting knife. Genn and his worgen honored Varian for his kill, though he didn’t stay around to accept it as he snuck off to reflect in the woods.

After much reflection, Varian sought Genn out again just as he was about to depart from Darnassus. Varian asked him for his help in how to better control his rage. Genn led him to the Howling Oak where he showed him a night elf ritual that allowed the worgen to control their bestial fury. Though he did warn him that not all survived the trials the ritual entailed and some had to be put down since they lost themselves to their worgen nature. Varian then drank the waters from the Wells of Tranquility, Balance, and Fury; all at once.

Taught by Genn to recall the most relevant moments in his life and the choices that led to it, Varian first recalled his childhood. In the Trial of Tranquility, Varian remembered how peaceful and happy he was growing up with his family. Yet that all ended when the orcs came, invaded his home and assassinated his father. Though his childhood was taken from him by war and violence, he realized that the good memories remained with him and the trauma could not erase what he had lived prior.

In the Trial of Balance, Varian recalled his youth as a young king. Despite having a façade of an intelligent, diplomatic, and upbeat ruler to his friends like Prince Arthas and his foster father King Terenas, Varian could not keep hidden the occasional bouts of despair and depression. Only his betrothed, Tiffin, with her vibrant personality, was able to bring balance to his dark brooding self. By bringing laughter and joy into his life, Tiffin helped Varian grow into the king that the people loved. Varian vowed to honor her memory by moving on from her death and learning to forgive, learning from his mistakes, and using them all as examples of how to confront all his issues as a man, father, and monarch.

In the Trial of Fury, Varian recalled Anduin and how he was the most precious thing in his life. He often feared for Anduin’s safety but knew that fear would only make him helpless to those things that threatened his son and his kingdom. Thinking of those threats put Varian in a rage, but as his anger grew, he recalled how his rage hurt Anduin and drove him away. Varian turned on his rage and sought to control it. Varian promised himself that he would no longer be dominated by his rage, and would channel it only in battle; as a devastating force against those who sought to harm those that he loves. Varian heard Goldrinn howling in approval and he awakened, with Genn and the worgen watching in awe as the aura of Goldrinn enveloped him. Without a shadow of a doubt, Varian was indeed Goldrinn’s champion. Varian told Genn to gather his worgen, as he was determined to do battle with his enemy, Garrosh Hellscream.

Having gathered the worgen and his forces, Varian mobilized his forces through Ashenvale and reinforced the Alliance forces battling there with Garrosh Hellscream’s Horde. Following Varian's example, the worgen swarmed the massive magnataur and targeted their weak spots to bring the giant beasts down. With the spirit of Goldrinn fueling him with renewed vigor, Varian led the charge against the Horde, killing magnataur, Kor'kron, and Horde races that stood in his way. Goldrinn’s image formed from the dust and mist left behind in Varian’s wake and many Alliance forces took to yelling the names Goldrinn and Varian as their battle cry. Varian drew the Alliance races to him as he led an indomitable charge in his pursuit of Garrosh Hellscream. The two leaders clashed on several occasions, killing any that interfered with their duel. Yet while Garrosh tired, Varian was still full of stamina, allowing him to press on with his attack. Varian subsequently was able to wound and disarm Garrosh of the mighty  [Gorehowl], but before the fight could be concluded, a dying magnataur separated the two combatants. Though Garrosh wanted to settle the matter, the battle had turned unfavorable for the Horde and on the insistence of his Kor'kron guards Garrosh reluctantly had to retreat. Varian allowed him to leave, citing that a good hunter knows when to let his prey run.

In the aftermath of the battle Varian was honored as the hero of the battle for Ashenvale and Goldrinn’s favored champion. Varian later called for a second Alliance summit, this time being a proponent for the induction of Gilneas and the worgen into the Alliance. Having apologized to the Alliance dignitaries for letting his faults divide the Alliance, Varian later spoke of more recent and pressing issues. Varian spoke of how many threats have arisen to challenge the Alliance and disrupt the peace that they worked so hard to attain. The Horde has threatened the Alliance and now more than ever, it needs to band together and match their enemies' fury and energy in order to survive in this new Azeroth that Deathwing created. With the worgen at their side, Varian assures his allies that the Alliance will prevail and will do so with honor.[22]

Blood of Our Fathers

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Varian in the short story "Blood of Our Fathers"

On Remembrance Day, Varian Wrynn had a nightmare in which he recalled the events of him witnessing his father’s assassination. He could only watch on in horror, as Garona, with a tear streaked smirk, plunged a dagger in his father’s chest. Varian went to his father’s side, holding him in his arms. The dying King Llane’s parting words to the young Varian was “This is how it always ends… with Wrynn kings." After which, maggots erupted from the dead king's maw—thousands upon thousands of writhing worms obliterating Llane's ashen face. This horrifying scene caused the king to scream out in terror, awakening him from his nightmare and finding himself in Stormwind Keep, with General Marcus Jonathan rushing to check on his safety. After assuring Marcus that everything was ok and being disappointed with the news that Anduin hadn't returned home yet, Varian met with Archbishop Benedictus and Baros Alexston, who were discussing plans on repairing Stormwind City, which was still recovering from the attack by the Black Dragon Aspect, Deathwing. Much to Varian’s annoyance, Baros noted that the extensive repairs to the city wouldn’t be cheap.

As Varian examined the wreckage left behind in Deathwing’s destruction, he came across a dagger-shaped obsidian splinter protruding from a damaged wall. It was a piece of the dragon's elementium armor. Varian seethed in anger as he held the shrapnel and sticking the splinter in his belt, declared that Stormwind would rebuild and stand firm, as they always have. Whatever the cost, they would make that black beast pay for his assault. In a discussion with Archbishop Benedictus about the turmoil plaguing the world following the Cataclysm, Varian remembered that he must give a speech during the Honor Ceremony later that day. Varian knew that Stormwind was looking to him for direction in such trying times, but felt unsure on what to say that would salve the deep wounds the world had suffered. General Marcus then informed him that the nobles awaited his presence in the Throne Room.

When Varian arrived, he was enraged to find that the nobles had been grumbling about the costs of the Alliance wars involving the kingdom, to which Varian harshly berated them for their petty complaints. Varian stated that he had led Stormwind to many victories, wars that have protected humanity and kept their enemies at bay. Varian declared that if his ferocity makes him a monster, then he is the monster that Stormwind needs. As Varian ended his diatribe, he looked around and caught the familiar face of Anduin staring back at him from the rear of the throne room. His son had arrived sometime during the king's rant. By the horrified look on the young prince's face, it was clear that nothing had changed since they last had parted on such bad terms in Darnassus. Anduin's eyes were filled with both fear and bewilderment and he later fled the throne room, after which Varian's heart sank. Varian dismissed the nobles, causing the stunned audience to slowly file out, filled with fear both of the future and of the leader of mankind. As Varian touched Tiffin’s locket, he reflected on how no one will ever understand the burdens he must endure to be a leader, and the things he must become.

Varian was left with Jaina Proudmoore and Benedictus, who tried to console and counsel him about his relationship with his son. Varian revealed his concerns that Anduin may not have the strength to lead the kingdom, especially in such perilous times. Both Jaina and Benedictus assured him that Anduin has a different strength to give to the world, and as a healer, he is attuned with the Light. Benedictus noted that the times have changed, and it is clear that they must change with them. The age when hearts like Lothar's were the only way to survive may be drawing to a close. The world seems to yearn for someone new. Benedictus offered both Varian and the prince a Remembrance Day gift, which he offered to give to him at a special location. Before departing, Benedictus assured Varian that he believed that Anduin would have the mettle and the makings of a good king, as all Wrynn kings have.

Varian later arrived at the meeting place that Benedictus told him, Tiffin’s grave at Stormwind City Cemetery. As he gazed at Tiffin's grave, he questioned if Tiffin could still love the man he had become. Later to his surprise, he was met not only with Archbishop Benedictus, but his son Anduin as well. His excitement was soon extinguished though when he saw the shock in his son’s face, which revealed that he had not expected to see him. Varian asked Benedictus if the surprise family reunion was his gift, to which Benedictus said that he also had another gift to give. Benedictus then drew a glittering silver key and placed it on Varian’s palm. It was the key to Tiffin’s locket, which had been lost many years ago. Benedictus felt now was a good time to remind the two of more pleasant and fond memories. Varian was deeply moved by this gesture, and thanked Benedictus for being a good man and friend, after which Benedictus departed to give the two royals privacy for their reunion.

Having been reminded of their love for Tiffin and of family, the bad blood between father and son soon faded away. Anduin inquired from his father if the world was dying. Varian responded to his inquiry that he didn’t have any deep philosophy on the matter, only that he believed that the world is based on cycles, and that death, kingdoms, and kings come and go, but truth, honor, and duty last forever. To which Anduin added that love also lasts forever, and in his opinion, outlasts everything. Suddenly Varian knew what he must do. He offered Tiffin’s key and her silver locket to Anduin and placed it around his neck. For years, Varian had kept the locket to remind him of his responsibilities as king. To remember that actions have consequences, and a leader must live with his choices, both good and bad, because so many are counting on him. He now bestowed it to his son with the hope that in the future, he too would make peace with the past. Varian apologized to his son for being so blind in not recognizing the man Anduin had become. Anduin began to tear up, confessing that he wished he could be the strong king Varian was but Varian assured Anduin that he has more courage and strength than he does. While Varian may stand rigid and inflexible against the storm, Anduin can feel the wind — and bend with it and make it his own — and thus become unbreakable. This type of strength was the type his mother possessed and will surely make him the greatest of Wrynn kings.

Throughout all this, they had taken notice of hidden assassins preparing to ambush them. Varian and Anduin prepared themselves for the assault by keeping their backs against the west wall, thus preventing the assassins from surrounding them. The king and prince soon defended themselves against the assassins who were warded by dark magic. Both father and son fought in sync, with Varian using Shalamayne to defend his son from the assassins while Anduin used his bow and arrows to shoot at them from a distance. Varian however knew that they were only being kept busy while the dark sorcerer of the assassins was summoning something insidious to kill them. Anduin then placed [Power Word: Shield] on Varian, and with the power of divine magic protecting him, Varian Heroic Leaped at his enemies. Varian began dispatching enemies left and right, with Anduin covering his father’s unprotected flank with a hail of arrows. The crowns of Stormwind moved as one, slashing with blade and stinging with arrow as they cut through the line of defenders toward the ever-more-desperate sorcerer. King and prince were a perfect team, with Varian dealing unending brute force and Anduin unleashing a fusillade of biting razorheads where it would do the most damage.

The dark sorcerer quickly realized his opportunity for success was growing short, and he redoubled his efforts, sending more purple energy snaking into the glowing field. As he did, something large and fearsome began to take shape within the portal's spinning haze. Though Varian and Anduin dispatched the assassins and managed to kill the sorcerer, it was too late, a massive Twilight Hammer drakonid emerged wielding mammoth twin axes. Things began to look bleak as nothing seemed to faze the warded drakonid. The drakonid managed to wound an already tired Varian and knock him out with a tail whip. Then he concentrated on Anduin, who after attempting to run to his unconscious father, barely managed to survive a savage blow to him by using his bow to deflect the impact. Though his bow shattered and he was knocked down, Anduin continued to dodge the drakonid’s attacks. Soon Anduin was cornered and the drakonid brought down a mortal strike meant to kill. Anduin however was surprised to find Varian, deflecting the drakonid’s axe with his sword and disarming it with its impact. Varian however had to disarm himself of Shalamayne in the process, which left him defenseless from the drakonid’s second attack from his second axe. Varian was hit with the second attack right in his chest, and when he fell, he looked deep into his son's eyes to let him know that everything was all right. Varian could only think of his father’s last words to him as he died, “This is how it always ends with Wrynn kings…”

Varian urged Anduin to run and prepared himself for the death blow. Yet Anduin ran in front of his father and placed a barrier to protect the two of them from the creature’s attack. A golden nova of holy energy forced the monster to retreat as the prince advanced. As the drakonid charged, Anduin stood firm, surrounded by an aura of Holy Light. He opened his palms to the sky and spoke the words to dispel magic. With each word, the earth resonated with energy, shaking the gravestones and sending a ripple across the surface of the lake. A flash of fire exploded from the sky and hit the drakonid as he rushed in. The inferno blinded the beast, and he stumbled toward the serene silhouette of Anduin, the hideous creature screaming in both pain and rage. As the drakonid fell, his armor quickly faded to a dull gray, no longer protected by dark magics.

At the last possible moment, Varian, who had pulled Deathwing's splinter of armor from his belt, lunged forward with everything he had left in his body and ran it through the drakonid's armor and chest. Soon Jaina and Marcus Jonathan arrived on the scene, followed by a host of guards. As Varian lay dying, he told Anduin that he loved him, that he was proud of him, and to not mourn him as this had always been his fate. Though Marcus Jonathan and Jaina wanted to take Anduin to a more secure location, Anduin refused to leave his father. Praying to the Light, he infused his father’s body with an influx of divine energy and saved his life.

Later, much to everyone’s surprise, Varian arrived at the Remembrance Day Ceremony. Limping onto the stage, disheveled and covered in blood, came King Varian and Prince Anduin, barely holding each other up in their fatigue. As the realization of their dire state spread, a concerned murmur arose, but Varian raised his hand in a gesture of reassurance, and the crowd grew silent. It suddenly dawned on Varian that he had never found time to prepare his Remembrance Day speech. The king paused for just a moment, trying to smile through the pain, and then realized with utmost clarity that he now knew exactly what to say. He tells the people of Stormwind that though he has his faults, as their king, he has and always will have their best interests in mind. Even after Deathwing's attack, Stormwind will always remain vigilant and stand defiantly against their enemies. They will always rebuild from tragedy, and continue to learn from adversity. Stormwind will continue to grow from every direction, forging a brighter future. Each day they are alive is a great day, for each generation finds its own way to become the greatest generation that has ever lived and become the heroes of tomorrow. Varian states that though in the past they relied on strength and steel to forge their destiny, it is not the only way. In order to restore the world, a time will come when leaders need to be healers instead of warriors, those who mend instead of those who break. Only then can they truly cure their deep ills and achieve a lasting peace. Varian watched with pride as his words stirred the hearts of his people. The populace cheered for King Varian and this new direction for Stormwind.

Varian no longer felt alone in his struggle to protect the world. He had the blood of his fathers in his veins, and in turn, Anduin had it in his. Varian felt the warmth and comfort of his ancestors across the great divide. It gave him the strength to be king, and someday it would give Anduin the power to fulfill his own destiny. As Varian basked in the warmth of his people, he felt truly at home for the first time in years. He found himself relishing his great fortune to be a father, his incredible honor to be the king of Stormwind; and not for the first time, nor the last, King Varian Wrynn felt very proud to be human.[23]

Cataclysm

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

The king of Stormwind, recently returned to claim his rightful place, has little love for the Horde. His reasons are many: when Varian was a young boy, he saw his father murdered by the half-orc Garona; the orcs' warchief, Orgrim Doomhammer, slew the valorous Anduin Lothar, who had delivered Varian safely to Lordaeron after the fall of Stormwind; Varian was later enslaved by the orcish gladiator trainer Rehgar Earthfury; and at the Wrath Gate, many brave Alliance soldiers died at the hands of the Forsaken's Royal Apothecary Society. Varian, who had always been wary of the orcs, discovered that the Royal Apothecary Society had been developing the new plague for years. The events that transpired during the battle for the Undercity convinced the human king that the Horde has been left unchecked for too long: the time has come to make things right.[24]

Varian Wrynn is involved at the end of the Westfall storyline, where you must speak with him about the return of the Defias Brotherhood.

Varian has been amassing a war fleet to assault the Twilight Hammer in the Twilight Highlands but several setbacks have delayed its launch. In order to resolve the constant delays, Varian has tasked Prince Anduin to oversee the operation personally. Varian, wishing for his son to gain some life experience but fearful for his safety, instructs the player to escort him throughout his duties as prince; this escort later turns into unraveling a Twilight Hammer plot where a trusted Stormwind guard attempts to assassinate Varian but Anduin thwarts his plans.

Finally, Varian sends you to the Twilight Highlands to assist the Alliance via Fargo Flintlocke's plane.

Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War

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

Varian Wrynn TCG art

After Jaina Proudmoore learned about the Horde's plan to attack Theramore and conquer the whole of Kalimdor, she contacted King Varian to request reinforcements. Varian, having been briefed about the severity of the situation, ensured her that he will redirect the 7th Legion's naval fleet to Theramore as well as assign some of his finest generals to her in order to beat the Horde back.

Unfortunately, the battle for Theramore ended in defeat as Garrosh deployed a mana bomb to decimate the city. Stormwind set aside a day of mourning in honor of the fallen. Varian was surprised and relieved to find that Jaina had survived the battle. Jaina, however, has been changed by the experience. Though she survived, the mana bomb's blast has radiated her with arcane energy and has thus heightened her rage. She frantically requested that Varian and her immediately rally the Alliance fleets and annihilate the Horde in Orgrimmar, who would no doubt have congregated there to celebrate their victory over Theramore. Varian however, tried to calm her down and informed her that the Horde has set up an effective blockade of Kalimdor; preventing them from regrouping with their night elf allies. Varian cautioned her that their retaliation must be done intelligently; after they've developed a sound strategy, rebuilt the fleet, broken the blockade and then regain Northwatch Hold. Doing anything other than that would be too reckless and costly. Jaina offered to use the Focusing Iris to decimate the Horde while they're still celebrating but both Varian and Anduin were against using such a tactic to fight the war. Jaina was too impatient to work with the Alliance to fight the war and left to fight the Horde using her own methods.

Varian and his allies since then have been working hard to rebuild the fleet, with every race of the Alliance synergizing their military to provide an effective counter attack. King Varian and other Alliance representatives have congregated in the War Room to develop an effective strategy to fight the Horde. Though the other representatives offered their input in how to break the blockade, Varian proposed that they not focus on the blockade yet. Instead, they would make the Horde believe that they'd sent their fleet to liberate Darkshore through a false trail, forcing Garrosh to order the bulk of his navy there. While the bulk of the Horde fleet is distracted, the Alliance will sail for Orgrimmar itself, besieging the city and assassinating Garrosh Hellscream. Perhaps even with the aid of those with in Orgrimmar who are discontent with Garrosh's leadership. Though it was a bold plan, the other Alliance representatives agreed that occupying the Horde's capital would put the Horde in disarray. Despite protests from the House of Nobles, Varian resolved to lead the attack himself.

Before departing, Varian and Anduin gave an inspirational speech to remind the Alliance what they were fighting for. They will fight the Horde for justice, not genocide, and would never stoop to the monstrous tactics that the Horde has committed. They will embody the ideals of the Alliance and will gain victory on their terms. Anduin blessed the marines and his father, who were going off to fight the Horde. Varian left Anduin in charge of Stormwind while he and the Alliance fleet set sail for Orgrimmar.

Varian leading his troops

The Alliance feint worked as the Alliance fleet was met with only a few Horde warships at Bladefist Bay. Yet Garrosh Hellscream unleashed another secret weapon: subjugated Kraken enthralled by magic, emerged and destroyed several Alliance vessels. Garrosh Hellscream himself boarded Varian's flagship and the two dueled for a third time. Again their fight was interrupted as they were hurled away from each other as The Lion of the Waves was blown apart and sinking. Varian managed to survive the blast and managed to swim on to some ship wreckage. Many of the Alliance ships have fallen to the kraken but he managed to float by one still intact. He ordered the Alliance fleet to retreat while he and those who were still stranded in the water swam to shore. Unfortunately, several more kraken came to impede their escape. With the fleet trapped, what remained of the Alliance fleet was in danger of being completely annihilated. With no hope of the Alliance fleet surviving, Varian resolved to die a glorious death; taking as many of the enemy as he could with him. Just then, Jaina Proudmoore used an army of water elementals summoned with the Focusing Iris to slay the kraken. Jaina and Kalecgos rescued Varian and the fleet sailed to Northwatch Hold, where the meager Horde resistance there was annihilated. With Northwatch reclaimed, Varian predicted that Garrosh would be forced to end his blockade of the other Alliance ports to further secure Durotar. Varian ordered an Alliance ship to accompany Lady Proudmoore to Theramore and give those killed there a proper burial. Meanwhile, Varian returned to Stormwind. All Alliance nations have been churning out weapons and rebuilding the fleet for the coming world war. Varian watched the construction of the new fleet from Stormwind Harbor and then returned to his keep to plan the war.

Mists of Pandaria

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

In Joining the Alliance, Varian greets the pandaren who decide to follow the Alliance, lecturing them on what he expects of members of the Alliance and the fact that the Horde, even those pandaren who joined them, are their enemies.

Varian will send an adventurer and a few elite SI:7 agents to accompany the Skyfire in their mission to rescue the "White Pawn" (who in fact is a stranded and missing Anduin Wrynn on Pandaria).

Varian will also be involved in a quest chain known as the "Trials of the High King", similar to the Labours of Hercules, to allow Alliance players to learn more about him.

Landfall

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

King Varian Wrynn at Lion's Landing.

After two months since the parting of the mists, King Varian's fleet will finally arrive in Pandaria. Varian and his guards land first and will rendezvous with the Alliance hero and the Alliance vanguard. After being briefed of their status, King Varian will accompany the hero in rescuing Marshal Troteman and his scouts from a Horde war party. After securing the territory for which Lion's Landing will be constructed upon from the belligerent Horde presence, Varian will meet with Hilda Hornswaggle: representative of the Explorer's League. Varian and the player will also rescue her and her survey team from a Horde war party. Varian negotiates a deal with Hilda: the Explorer's League will supply Lion's Landing with a stone quarry in exchange for protection of their dig sites. After agreeing to his terms, King Varian then mused that leadership is about banding people together. With the territory and resources secured, the player signals the full might of the Alliance fleet to arrive and Lion's Landing is then established. After preparations for their home base is complete, Varian reunites with his son, Anduin. Though Anduin had his doubts about what the war could do to Pandaria, Varian assures Anduin that he is fighting the Horde not out of hatred but for a love of what's right. Varian asks Anduin to trust him to do the right thing and to also lend him his support. Both Varian and Anduin resolve to work together to protect Pandaria. When news reached them that Tyrande Whisperwind and night elf rangers have been pursuing a Horde party holed up in the Temple of the Red Crane, Anduin advises Varian to not let the temple turn into a war zone as it is still recovering from a Sha infestation. Sensing that Garrosh was trying to lure the Alliance from the beach, Varian plans on defusing the situation with a handful of champions.

Varian and Tyrande reclaim the Temple of the Red Crane
Jaina explains what happens in Dalaran.

Varian's first trial as High King occurs in the A Little Patience scenario. By displaying patience, Varian was able to lure out the Horde army from the Temple of the Red Crane and decimate them with the Alliance's hidden traps. The victory resulted in the annihilation of the Horde army and its commander with minimal to no casualties for the Alliance. This victory has impressed Tyrande Whisperwind who then pledges the night elves' support to Varian's command.

Varian is later seen in the Shrine of Seven Stars, where the Alliance dignitaries and allies discuss the pros and cons of using Sha power. Anduin reports to Varian that it was the Sha energy that was causing their troops to act so violently. Though Varian is confident that the Alliance could defeat any foe, Anduin advises Varian to not underestimate the Sha as it feeds on one's inner most weaknesses: twisting and manipulating their thoughts. Just then, an Echo of Hatred manifests and Jaina Proudmoore restrains it in an ice block. Many of the dignitaries are shocked or horrified by its dark power. While others sees merit in the Sha and want to study or weaponize the Sha's energy. Varian asks for Anduin's opinion on the matter and he states that while it may be possible to harness the Sha's power as a weapon, they risk destroying their own people in the process. A price that he is not willing to pay. Varian concurs with his son's assessment and destroys the Sha and thereby forbidding its use.

Though King Varian had no intention of interfering with Dalaran's neutrality, the Sunreavers of Dalaran still claim fealty to the Horde and represent a major threat to the war effort. King Varian sent Prince Anduin and an Alliance champion to negotiate the withdrawal of blood elves from Dalaran. Later on, King Varian heard of Lor'themar Theron's discontent with the Horde. Varian secretly reached out to the Regent Lord of Quel'Thalas and opened discussions to bring the sin'dorei back into the Alliance. After Jaina Proudmoore discovered that Sunreavers helped Garrosh Hellscream steal the  [Divine Bell] by using Dalaran portals to infiltrate Darnassus, Jaina mobilized the Kirin Tor, Alliance forces, and the Silver Covenant to purge the Horde from Dalaran. After the purge, Jaina reported to Varian that Dalaran was free of Horde interference and pledges the Kirin Tor to the Alliance. Varian however, was disappointed that Jaina had not conferred with him before she acted as her attack on the Sunreavers would consequently drive the sin'dorei back to the Horde. Before Jaina left to mobilize the Kirin Tor, Varian stressed to her that the Alliance must act as one. With no chance of support from Horde defectors, King Varian plans on defeating Garrosh with only a united Alliance.

Later on, Varian discovers that Anduin and an Alliance champion went out on their own to stop Garrosh from using the  [Divine Bell]. Though Anduin succeeded in stopping Garrosh and destroying the Divine Bell, it came at a great cost: Garrosh had assaulted Anduin and left him badly injured. Varian regretted not having sent Anduin to Stormwind immediately and ordered for Velen to be sent to him at once. Varian then mournfully tended to his son while Jaina Proudmoore, who is furious at this assault, swears to Varian that the Kirin Tor will make Garrosh pay. After Jaina teleports out, Varian makes an affirmation that he will be the one to end Garrosh for this. With the Horde crumbling beneath Garrosh's leadership, Varian declares that the Alliance will deliver the final blow.

Blood in the Snow

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

Varian and Moira

One day, King Varian's scouts discovered that Zandalari trolls threatened the dwarven capital by rallying the Frostmane trolls against them. Surely, the king thought, if he helped them with their troll problem, they would give him more troops for his campaign against the Horde. But what the King did not realize is that the dwarves did not trust one another. When Varian sought the help from the Council of Three Hammers, both Muradin and Falstad declined to offer aid in Ironforge’s defense for they feared that if they left to fight the Frostmane trolls, the Dark Irons would take advantage of their absence to defeat the remaining clan and take over Ironforge. Frustrated, Varian argued that if no one would help, Ironforge would fall under siege. Only Moira Thaurissan offered aid, stating that the Dark Irons would prove their loyalty to the Council, Ironforge, and the Alliance in the defense of Ironforge. And so Moira and the High King set out in the snow to save the city, leaving the others to think about their actions.

When they arrived at Shimmer Ridge, they discovered that the trolls were using an unnatural storm to prevent the dwarven forces from advancing on them. Once the king's champions have stopped the magical storm protecting Shimmer Ridge, Moira will lead her personal guard against the enemy troll village, at Varian's request. After rescuing the surviving mountaineers and slaying the elemental that the trolls were satiating with blood sacrafices to elicit the unnatural storm, the king’s champions regrouped with Moira’s Forgeguard and together their forces slew the Zandalari leader, and captured the Frostmane village. In the aftermath of the battle, Varian commended Moira and the Dark Irons on their victory, even stating that the Bronzebeards and Wildhammers would regret not having been there to share in her glory. Moira however, humbly stated that her intention was to protect and impress, not to shame; in response to which Varian acknowledged that she had accomplished just that. Both returned to Ironforge to announce her victory to the Council. On their return, the other dwarven leaders were ashamed of their behavior and vowed never again to allow fear or distrust to cloud their judgment. Free to trust one another, all three dwarven leaders pledged their full strength to the Alliance cause.

Escalation

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

Before committing regular forces to the assault on Durotar, King Varian sent SI:7 agents Amber Kearnen and Sully McLeary to scout out a naval landing site near Orgrimmar, learn the enemy’s weaknesses, and give Alliance landing forces any advantage they can find. After discovering a Horde civil war, an Alliance champion was sent as an envoy and established a coalition with the Darkspear Rebellion. With a little deft political maneuvering, the Alliance champion was able to secure a potential Alliance beach landing and ensure that trolls and orcs would kill one another up and down Durotar. After the civil war became escalated, King Wrynn will send the Alliance champion a letter commending the player for his/her efforts and even though he doesn't trust Vol'jin, he agrees with the player's decision on the field. King Varian states that he is preparing the Alliance fleet for the upcoming naval assault on Durotar.

Siege of Orgrimmar

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

Jaina asking Varian to dismantle the Horde.
King Varian Wrynn within the Inner Sanctum.

Varian, along with Jaina Proudmoore, Vereesa Windrunner, Lor'themar Theron, Sylvanas Windrunner made landfall at the Bladefist Bay. After a heavy fight to wrest control of the exterior of Orgrimmar, in which the rebels and Alliance forces turn out victorious, Varian sends his champions to meet up with Vol'jin's rebels and Tyrande Whisperwind's Sentinels, who are laying siege to the city's front gates. A large battle at the front gates and in the Valley of Strength ensues that might tie the fate of both factions into one. When the war moves to Underhold, Varian assists Alliance agents in the battle against Kor'kron orcs.

After the Alliance/Horde adventurers defeated Garrosh and the Heart of Y'Shaarj, Garrosh was knocked to the ground and incapacitated. Thrall, leaning over Garrosh's body, told him of how disappointed he was in him, and prepared to deliver him a final blow, but was stopped by Varian, who declares that Garrosh's punishment is not for him alone to decide. Thrall is also reluctant to allow the Alliance to decide Garrosh's fate. Taran Zhu suggested that Garrosh instead be taken to Pandaria to stand trial for his heinous crimes against the peoples of Azeroth, to which Varian and Thrall agreed. Garrosh was then taken by Taran Zhu out of the room.

As the Horde gather together to discuss their next move, Jaina Proudmoore urges Varian to use this opportunity to conquer Orgrimmar and dismantle the Horde. Varian and his guardsmen march to the Horde congregation and demands that he speaks to the new Warchief who is revealed to be Vol'jin. Though the Horde has committed heinous crimes, because some of them fought against Garrosh's tyranny, Varian offered to end the war. As Varian walks away, he threatens Vol'jin that should his Horde fail to uphold honor like Garrosh did, the Alliance will return to end them.

Aftermath before cinematic
At last, the time for justice is at hand. This monster will answer for each and every Alliance life that we have lost in this war.
Alliance
Thank you, hero. You and your companions were the tip of the Alliance spear: Your work exploring Pandaria, securing the Vale, and ultimately assaulting Garrosh's stronghold is what made this victory possible.
Our triumph here will put a stop to the fighting in Kalimdor, but even in peace, there's much to be done - here, back home, and elsewhere.

Gossip What's next for the Alliance?

We are unified like never before. We've bought our people security in Kalimdor, an end to the blockade, and an end to the total war that's spilt so much blood on either side of the great sea.
Now, to the work of winning the peace. I would like to station a garrison near Theramore. We need to investigate cleansing the plague from Gilneas lands so they can rebuild. We must contain Sylvanas.
From here on forward, the Alliance will be proactive. Never again can there be another the likes of Hellscream.

Gossip Why not keep fighting?

I understand your desire to inflict more suffering on the Horde. But when do we stop? How many more Alliance will number among the dead if we invaded Thunder Bluff, Azshara, and the Echo Isles? And how would we govern the conquered people?
The Pandarens always question why we fight. Today, we've won justice, and have given the Horde an opportunity to atone by supporting their rebellion. Further bloodshed would be for vengeance alone - and it would reap vengeance in return.
Horde
I have nothing to say to you, <race>. Your people have a lot to answer for. But maybe this is a new beginning.

War Crimes

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Stub.png Please add any available information to this section.

Locations

Notable appearances
Location Level Health
Stormwind City  ?? 523,364,416
Argent Tournament Grounds  ?? 106,350
Crusader's Coliseum  ?? 8,367,000
Icecrown Citadel  ?? 5,578,000
Krasarang Wilds  ?? 523,364,416
A Little Patience  ?? 523,364,416
Shrine of Seven Stars  ?? 523,364,416
Blood in the Snow  ?? 523,364,416
Siege of Orgrimmar 93 87,227,400
Siege of Orgrimmar 93 523,364,416

In World of Warcraft

Original appearance

WoW Icon 16x16.png This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

Appearance prior to patch 1.9.0.

Until patch 1.9.0, players could witness the king in his captivity in the sewer dungeons of Alcaz Island just north of Theramore, though he was not involved in any quests at the time. With patch 1.10, Varian was replaced with an elite level 62 myrmidon named Tidelord Rrurgaz and a sewer full of elite naga, and Alcaz Island became home to Doctor Weavil, a major part of the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj world event.

The comic series suggests that this Varian was the "twin" which did not manage to escape, but was instead captured by the naga and later ransomed back to Stormwind into the hands of Lady Katrana Prestor.

Quests

King Varian Wrynn is involved in the following quests:

From his position within Stormwind Keep

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

Krasarang Wilds
Shrine of Seven Stars

Removed from game The subject of this section has been removed from World of Warcraft.

Locations

Varian has appeared in numerous places throughout Azeroth:

WoW Icon 16x16.png This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

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

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Tactics

King Varian Wrynn within Stormwind Keep in Cataclysm.

King Varian is perhaps the hardest city leader to defeat for Horde players. The relocation of Stormwind Keep and the change of Stormwind's geography make getting to Varian undetected nearly impossible. Additionally, Varian’s elite guard are spread all the way along the path to the king, ranging as far as the steps of the keep itself. A fast kill is vital as Stormwind is highly populated during most hours and Alliance players are very likely to come to the aid of their King.

In addition Genn Greymane accompanies Varian, further complicating the battle. Genn won’t attack for the first two to three seconds after aggro as he changes into worgen form. Genn should be tanked separately from Varian and kept away from the rest of the raid due to his Intimidating Roar. For his other abilities refer to Genn’s main article.

Varian retains his previous abilities of Heroic Leap and Whirlwind as well as continuously spawning guards. In total King Varian and Genn Greymane have the largest total health of all the racial leaders (around 785 million), however the biggest threat in this fight is definitely the Alliance playerbase, success can rely almost entirely on how many respond to your raids attack.

However players should keep in mind that only Varian’s death is required for the Horde [Storming Stormwind] achievement.

Abilities

  • Ability heroicleap.png  Heroic Leap — 8 - 25 yrd range. Leap through the air and slam down on all enemies within 5 yards of the target area, causing 50% weapon damage and stunning them for 2 sec. Instant.
  • Ability heroicleap.png  Heroic Leap — Unlimited range. Leap through the air and slam down on all enemies within 5 yards of the target area, causing 50% weapon damage and stunning them for 2 sec. Instant.
  • Ability whirlwind.png  Whirlwind — 8 yrd range. Attacks nearby enemies in a whirlwind of steel that inflicts 100% weapon damage. 2 sec cast.
  • Ability whirlwind.png  Whirlwind — 8 yrd range. Attacks nearby enemies in a whirlwind of steel that inflicts 100% weapon damage. Instant.

Notable dialogue

Quotes

Greetings

Irritated

  • "You want to compare scars?"
  • "You don't want to see my angry side."
  • "I'm of... two minds about all this."
  • "You must have me confused with the other Varian. He's not here anymore."
  • "Hmph... if only I were still in the Crimson Ring."

Farewell

  • "Never again will our kingdom be deceived."
  • "Our struggles are far from over."
  • "Serve with honor."
  • "Fare you well."
  • "The Alliance will forge a new destiny for Azeroth!"

Little Patience

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

Greeting
  • We'll win this on my terms.
  • They're waiting for us. We've got to be smart about this.
  • I feel like I'm being "tested".
  • The Horde are no fools, we must be patient.
  • Make use of every resource we have.

Other

  • "The fury, the anger, must have purpose! It must be the righteous anger of one defending his family, his home, and his friends."[25]
  • "My father tried to protect me, too. Didn't work. The realities of life have a way of intruding."[26]
  • "Greymane only complains to hear the sound of his own voice." [27]
  • "I am the King of Stormwind and no one, not the Naga, nor the Scourge, nor the fiery lords of the Burning Legion will keep me from my people!"[28]
  • "I wish the uprising back at home would settle itself soon. I wouldn't want anyone to be hurt."
  • "A gladiator's life is simple: You win and live, or lose and die. A king's life is more complex. The only truth for a king is that there are no easy answers."
  • "I will seek out my enemies, and woe betide those who set themselves against me."
  • "Look around you, brothers and sisters. Open your eyes! Look at what they have done to our kingdom! How much longer will we allow these savages free reign in our world?"
  • "I was away for too long. My absence cost us the lives of some of our greatest heroes. Trash like you and that evil witch were allowed to roam free, unchecked. The time has come to make things right. To disband your treacherous kingdom of murderers and thieves. Putress was the first strike. Many more will come.
  • "At the Wrathgate, the Horde's partnership killed more of our men than the Scourge. I'm done with your Horde. May this death god take you all."
  • "The time has come to bring retribution for the countless souls lost in Lordaeron's fall!" [29]
  • "Stand down, Muradin. Let a grieving father pass."
  • "When we win and the Lich King has been defeated...then let us hope your time, a time of peace and healing, will begin. When that day comes you will be greater then I."[30]
  • "It is a tragedy. I think... I believe that our kind is cursed. We are cursed to lose our greatest warriors; our most noble heroes; our most gifted scholars."[31]
  • "Some say I am no better than those we fight! That I am the monster. Well, if so, then I am the monster you need! I am the one ferocious enough to strike fear in the very heart of darkness! The one who has the courage to do whatever it takes to protect humanity from the abyss!"[23]

Remembrance Day Speech

Hear me, people of Stormwind! Your king stands before you with his heart still beating, a drum that grows stronger each day as he sees the determination you have shown to rebuild from tragedy. Just as these statues still stand watch, so shall Stormwind, now and forever! We are gathered here on Remembrance Day to honor those heroes who have shown us the way, by the light of their lives and the glory of their deeds. Uther Lightbringer! Anduin Lothar! Once again, we face a new and great threat. Even now, we bear the fresh scars of evil forces bent upon our destruction. But humanity is not so easily cowed! We stand in the breach and we hold the line! We will never be slaves to fear! On this day we must remember not only the good but also the bad, for it is through adversity and failure that we become our best! I myself have been… an absent king, chasing our enemies to the very heart of the underworld. I hold your safety as my highest responsibility, your good livelihood my first and only calling. For the truth is it is not the people who serve their king; it is the king who serves his people! I have not always been the best leader… or father… or husband. A wise man once said, “We each must grow in every direction, every day.” Well, I still have some growth left in my bones. And behind me, I see a city rising from disaster, with fresh hope and gleaming new spires! Yes, today we honor the past, but only with our eyes firmly fixed on a brighter future! One that we will forge together, for ourselves, for our children, and for our children's children! Each generation is destined to achieve its great promise. To be sure, each will face a unique set of tests and adversities, and some will be certain that the end is near. But there is no truth to the tavern-told lie that the 'good old days' are forever behind us. No! Each day we are alive is a great day! And each generation finds its own way to become the greatest generation that has ever lived! In the past, we have relied on strength and steel to forge our way. We protect what we can, destroy what we must. But that is not the only way. If we are to ever restore this world, then there must come a time when the leaders of Azeroth are no longer the warriors, but instead the healers! Those who mend instead of those who break. Only then can we truly cure our deep ills and achieve lasting peace. Look above you! The heroes of old stand tall, and we honor and remember them well this day. But now look next to you! By your side, in this crowd, stand all the heroes of tomorrow! You… and you… and you. Each of you will play a part; each will make a difference; and in time, some will be honored on this day for deeds far greater than any we could possibly imagine! So, people of Stormwind! Let us unite this day. Let us renew our promise to uphold and protect the Light, and together we will face down this dark new storm and stand firm against it—as humanity always has… and humanity always will![23]

Personality

Varian and Anduin bond over a hunt.

King Varian is a ruler with a fierce love for his people and his son, Anduin. He would willingly give his life to save his people. He is driven by ancient principles few understood today—a code of conduct that demanded something more of its leaders. He believes in the principles of truth, honor, justice, and duty.[23] Though the events of his life have left him severely distrusting of the Horde, he has shown a willingness to attempt peace. Before he was kidnapped by the Defias, he was en route to a peace summit with Thrall. After the events of the Wrath Gate and the Battle for Undercity he became unrelentingly prejudiced against the entire Horde and sought to dismantle it entirely. This only grew worse throughout most of the Scourge War and Varian's attitude only began to soften after learning the full story behind the events of the Wrath Gate and what happened to Dranosh Saurfang. Throughout the course of the Shattering and the Alliance-Horde War, Varian slowly grew more level-headed and diplomatic, taking many lessons from his son. Pandaria in particular seems to have left Varian a more peaceful man, though he will still take military action if he finds it necessary.

When his consciousness was split by Onyxia, so too was his personality. One side retained all of Varian’s knowledge, manners, and etiquette; while the other, Lo'Gosh, retained his skill in battle and is known to wage war with a relish equal to his enemies.[23] Though the two halves were eventually reunited, they did so imperfectly. At times, Lo’Gosh is more dominant, and he is not one to shy away from conflict if he believes it is necessary.[32]

In combat, Varian is renowned for his brutal strength, speed, and lightning reflexes. Garona Halforcen has compared fighting him to that of fighting two men at once. With the blessing of Goldrinn's spirit, he has even been shown to never tire in combat and have his senses heightened. Those that have seen him in combat describe his fighting style like that of a wolf. Varian can quickly take notice of an enemy's vulnerability and take advantage of it. He has also been shown to lure his foes into a sense of complacency and see them undone by the trap or ambush he has set up.

Monuments

Valiance Keep Monument.

In tribute to King Varian Wrynn
known to some as LO'GOSH the "Ghost Wolf"

His miraculous return from long years of exile and hardship has ignited a new fire of spirit and courage within the Alliance.

We shall march boldly into these perilous lands holding his valor and his tenacity in our hearts.

- Highlord Bolvar Fordragon

  • An additional statue of the king stands at the front of Stormwind Keep, though it bears no plaque.

Equipment

Trivia

  • Varian was born 10 years BDP which makes him 40 years old during the events of Mists of Pandaria.
  • As of Cataclysm, Varian is one of the four surviving Alliance rulers from the Second War, the others being Gelbin Mekkatorque, Kurdran Wildhammer and Genn Greymane; King Terenas of Lordaeron, King Thoras Trollbane of Stromgarde, Admiral Proudmoore of Kul Tiras, Lord Perenolde of Alterac, Antonidas of Dalaran, King Anasterian Sunstrider of Quel'Thalas and King Magni Bronzebeard of Ironforge have all died (all murdered with the exception of Perenolde, died in prison, and Magni, petrified during a ritual) in the interim.
  • Varian's name was originally Varien, as recorded in the Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal manual. It was retconned to Varian in Warcraft III. When spelled with an "a", there is the implication that Varian was named after his grandmother, Queen Varia.
  • King Varian Wrynn is one of the few racial leaders to have a completely unique model. His model is comparable to that of Sylvanas Windrunner, in that while their base models and animations are identical to that of a human and blood elf respectively, they have unique traits unavailable to players—among them being unique hairstyles, armour and facial features.
  • Chris Metzen said he provided Varian's voice at BlizzCon 2009.[33] Jon St. John (the voice of Duke Nukem) mentioned playing King Varian in a 2010 interview.[34] In 2012, Metzen acknowledged that he voiced Varian in the Landfall patch.[35]
  • The statistics in Lands of Conflict for Anduin Wrynn actually refer to King Varian Wrynn.
  • King Varian Wrynn was one of only two NPCs that retained [Heroic Leap] after the WotLK beta, prior to Cataclysm.
  • According to Robby Flay, Varian's favorite drink is apple cider. Some of his favorite foods are fresh catfish and fresh crab legs.
  • Many fans jokingly comment about Varian's larger then average chin. This has led to the nickname, "King Chin".
  • Varian's rise (or re-rise) to power is very similar to that of Conan, who started off as a simple pit fighter to eventually rise to becoming King. Given Varian's temperament, fighting ability and appearance the similarities are striking.
  • In Edge of Night one of Sylvanas's vision of the future was Varian, who standing on one of the two Zeppelin Towers near Brill, instructing his generals on how to assault the Undercity. This shows that if Sylvanas never accepted the Val'kyr's plea and returned to her people then the Alliance would have eventually conquered the Undercity.
  •  [King Varian Wrynn's Silver Coin] can be fished from the Dalaran fountain.
  • Varian appears in Snow Fight, a children's book written by Chris Metzen and illustrated by Wei Wang.

Gallery

Official

Fan art

Videos

Patch changes

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/wrath/features/primer/index.xml
  2. ^ http://www.comicvine.com/logosh/29-14648/
  3. ^ a b http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/story/chapter4.html
  4. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij62XehIhh0
  5. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/race/human
  6. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/1055008#blog
  7. ^ https://twitter.com/Loreology/status/464465825681133568
  8. ^ a b c d World of Warcraft: The Comic, Issue 13: Flashback
  9. ^ a b Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 25
  10. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 56
  11. ^ Wolfheart Chapter 15
  12. ^ Alliance Players Guide
  13. ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic, Issue 2: Killing Ground, pg. 23
  14. ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Comic, Issue 14: Into the Jaws of Death!
  15. ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic, Issue 16: Threat!
  16. ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic, Issue 17: Gathering Thunder!
  17. ^ World of Warcraft: Death Knight
  18. ^ Where Kings Walk
  19. ^ Ulduar trailer
  20. ^ World of Warcraft: Stormrage
  21. ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm
  22. ^ Wolfheart
  23. ^ a b c d e Blood of Our Fathers
  24. ^ World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Features - Lore
  25. ^ Wolfheart Chapter 29:To Forge a Future
  26. ^ Golden, Christie. Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, 25. ISBN 978-1439-15760-2. 
  27. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal
  28. ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic, Issue 7: Revelations, pg. 20
  29. ^ World of Warcraft Trading Card Game: Scourgewar. Blizzard Entertainment. 144.
  30. ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic, Issue 21: Secrets, pg. 26
  31. ^ A [60R] Order Must Be Restored
  32. ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, Chapter 6
  33. ^ Chris Metzen (2009). Blizzcon Panel. BlizzCon 2009. YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-12-29.
  34. ^ Jon St. John (2010). "The Voice of Duke Nukem" Jon St. John Interview. PAX 2010. G4. Retrieved on 2010-10-28.
  35. ^ Chris Metzen (2012). Chris Metzen on Twitter. Twitter. Retrieved on 2012-11-02.

External links

Stormwind Keep Icecrown Icecrown Citadel Krasarang Wilds Lion's Landing
Preceded by:
Terenas Menethil II
Position:
High King of the Alliance
Succeeded by:
Incumbent
Preceded by:
Llane Wrynn I
(as King)
Position:
Ruler of Stormwind
(as King under regency of
Anduin Lothar)
Succeeded by:
Varian Wrynn
(as King)
Preceded by:
Varian Wrynn
(as King under regency of
Anduin Lothar)
Position:
Ruler of Stormwind
(as King)
Succeeded by:
Anduin Wrynn
(as King under regency
of Bolvar Fordragon)
Preceded by:
Anduin Wrynn
(as King under regency
of Bolvar Fordragon)
Position:
Ruler of Stormwind
(as King)
Succeeded by:
Incumbent