The first teaser trailer for the 2016 movie Warcraft has been released. And the internet rejoiced. But for many, this trailer meant nothing as they had not the slightest clue what was going on or who anyone was. Well I am here to help with that.
I am a long running World Of Warcraft player with characters on both factions, and I love Warcraft lore. Blizzard games are known for excellent storytelling and this is no exception. While the first two games were more of a generic fantasy-fests, things started to go uphill with Warcraft 3, The Frozen Throne and then into WoW. So today, I am going to go over some of the stuff we saw in the trailer and explain who is who in the crazy world of Azeroth. It goes without saying that there will be spoilers in this post. I shouldn’t have to say that for a 20+ year old game with an MMO full of in game lore that is 10+ years old as well as several supplementary materials. But i figure, better safe than sorry.
Now you may be asking “Hey aren’t you just ripping off James Whitbrook’s excellent breakdown of the trailer, you scoundrely thief you!?”
Well no, and here is why. While James did an excellent breakdown of the trailer for i09, he didn’t have a chance to really delve into all the little bits and piece of the lore that we saw. He presented a general overview, and since we also don’t know what story changes might occur, it may be a waste of time to delve to far into established lore that might not make it onto the screen. But hey, we’re Kinja folk and wasting time is what we’re good. at. So without further adieu, let us begin. For today’s article, I decided to begin with one of the main characters in the upcoming movie, and a major player in the lore of the games, Orgrim Doomhammer.
While he was famous for being the Warchief of the Horde during the tailend of the First wart and the entirety of the Second War which comprise the first two RTS games, Orgrim started out as simply a young orc of the Blackrock clan. He met another orc named Durotan of the Frostwolves and they became friends while sneaking off to spy on the clans councils and challenging each other’s abilities. Despite it being against clan traditions, the two orcs never stopped being friends. It was on one of these adventures that they came across a raging ogre. They were rescued by a group of Dreanei, another race that lived on the orc homeworld of Dreanor. They met the leader of the Draenei, Velen, a individual who plays a part in other parts of the story, and will be seen again.
Time passed and Orgrim rose in the power in the Thunderlord Clan, a clan he belonged to as well as the Blackrock Clan. Blackrock had strong connections with Thunderlord so Orgrim rose in both. When his father died he took possession of the family heirloom weapon, the Doomhammer and was named second in command to the Blackhand, the clan leader.
More time passed and the Orcs began to change. The orcs were a shamanistic society that practiced a form of ancestor worship. The elder shaman was an orc named Ner’Zhul, and he plays a part later in the tale as well. We will see him again. He was convinced by what he thought were the ancestors that the dreanai were a threat to the orcs and needed to be destroyed. The orcs were formed into the First Horde and waged war with the Dreanai. Orgrim was one of the few who was not convinced that the war was just or right, but in the end he followed Blackhand. He saw that orcs turn into bloodlust fueled war machines. He refused to drink from the blood of Mannoroth, the demon blood that enslaved the orcs into thralldom to the powers that had manipulated Ner’Zhul, saying he wasn’t worthy. By this time the shamans had fallen from grace, being unable to talk to the spirits and the ancestors and replaced by the warlocks, led by Gul’Dan, NerZhul’s apprentice. Gul’Dan did not believe Orgrim and made a point to keep an eye on him.
Eventually the orcs had run wild over Dreanor and would start to kill each other if there was no other enemy to fight. It was at this time that the Dark Portal was opened and the First War against Stormwind began. Blackhand was named the Warchief, and Orgrim became one of Blackhand’s trusted lieutenants, but overtime he became less convinced that Blackhand was a competent leader and was never trusting of Gul’Dan’s motives. When Gul’Dan fell into a coma after trying to seize secrets from the mind of the powerful Human wizard Medivh, Orgrim made his play and killed Blackhand, becomeing the leader of the Horde.
The First War.
It was around this time that Durotan arrived to see Orgrim. Durotan and his Frostwolf clan had been exiled to Azeroth for refusal to follow Gul’Dan. Durotan had known of the warlock’s schemes and his plot with the demon Kil’jadden, who had taken the form of an ancestor to convince Ner’Zhul to attack the Dreanai, which led to the formation of the Horde and the demon’s own bloodlust filled army, enslaved by the drinking of the blood. Ner’Zhul had tried to stop the madness but was killed and Gul’Dan took his place. He told Orgrim everything Gul’Dan and his cabal of warlocks, The Shadow Council had been up to and Orgrim decided it was time to end the warlock. However, this cost Durotan his life and the life of hijs wife Draka who were ambused by assassins sent by Gul’Dan. Their baby survived however, and would be found by a human, Aedelas Blackmore to be raised as a slave, and given the name Thrall. We will see Thrall again.
Doomhammer would not be a puppet like Blackhand was to the warlocks and tortured the half or Garona for the locaiton of the warlocks. With that information in hand he destroyed the Shadow Council, save for Gul’Dan. Him he kept, in what he believed to be thralldom on the condition that he would create a new army for the Horde. That army was the Death Knights. Doomhammer did not trust Gul’Dan but the necromancer Death Knights proved useful in battle.
The Second War.
Orgrim led the charge into the north, into Quel’Thalas, the land of the High Elves, and Lordaeron, the major human kingdom of northern Azeroth. The Horde advanced further and further north, until he had taken most of Khaz Modan, the mountains of the Dwarves. Only the great city of Ironforge held out against the Horde. This was the Second War, where the Alliance was formed. Orgrim was not just a war leader, he also was able to form alliance with the local goblins and trolls. He was also able to achieve a non-aggression treaty with Lord Perenhold of Alterac. In exchange for allowing the Horde clear passage through his kingdom on their march to the Capital City of Lordearon, Alterac would be free of Horde attack.
As the war progressed, Orgrim never fully trusted Gul’Dan and for good reason. At the moment of the Horde’s triumph, as they marched on Capital City, Gul’Dan betrayed Doomhammer for his own agenda, taking the forces of his Stormreaver clan and allies. Orgrim sent his own forces to deal with the traitors but the betrayal weakened the attack and caused the Horde to have to retreat.
Assault On Blackrock Spire by DeviantArt user LordAzkera
Defeat, capture and redemption
This setback marked the beginning of the Horde. The Alliance pushed the Horde back to their base at Blackrock Spire. There Orgrim would face off with the Supreme Commander Of The Alliance, Anduin Lothar. The two battled hard and long but Lothar feel to the Doomhammer. Orgrim belived this would demoralize the Alliance but the opposite happened. Turalyon, Anduin’s most trusted General took up his sword and led the armies against the Horde. Orgrim was captured and the Horde was either destroyed or captured.
He would live as a captive of the King of Lordearon while the rest of the orcs would be rounded up and placed in internment camps. Eventually he escaped and found a camp. What he found were orcs living in a lethargic state. Time had passed and the demonic bloodlust that had fueled them during the war was gone, leaving a people drained and defeated. He almost feel to the letharfgy himself but managed to regain his senses. He was discovered by Drek’Thar, Shaman and leader of the Froswolves. He was told of the son of his old friend Durotan, who was called Thrall, was living with them. Orgrim had learned of Thrall from Grom Hellscream and wished to see the young man. He went with Drek’Thar but told him to keep silent on who he was, so he could judge the youth without bias. Thrall and Orgrim talked all night, the younger orc full of hopes and plans, to connect with Hellscream’s forces and liberate the camps. Orgrim said it was foolish to fight the humans and insulted the Frostwolves, saying Thrall was hiding in the mountains of Alterac because he was a coward. Angry at the insults, Thrall challenged Orgrim to single combat, which is what he wanted. He deliberately goaded Thrall by insulting his clan and people and wanted to see if the young orc would defend his honor which he did. They fought and Orgrim fell, choosing then to reveal himself. Thrall was aghast at what he had done but there was no need, Orgrim had planned it all along and explained his reasons. Together with Drek’Thar and the forces of Hellscream, the orcs liberated four camps. However, the humans were ready at the fifth and had mounted knights ready to ambush the attackers. Pierced while trying to cover the retreat, Orgrim gave the title of Warchief to Thrall, as well as his Warhammer and black armor.
Legacy & Personality.
The RPG book Shadows And Light has this to say about Orgrim Doomhammer.
Doomhammer is a warrior who’s leadership ability was forged in combat. He is unendingly loyal to those who prove their strength and service, but quick to avenge himself on those who attack him or his allies. Among the orcs, his gruff, curt manner is respected, but to others he can seem dismissive and contemptuous. Understanding the value of protecting an army’s leadership, battles often found Doomhammer in a far-off command tent. Yet whenever possible, he is a howling, bloodthirsty presence on the front lines, personally leading his troops to victory. Though he is a towering figure in his black armor, Doomhammer can hide himself completely in as simple a disguise as a tattered cloak in order to move undetected among his enemies.
The legacy of Doomhammer lives on. Thrall wears the armor and carries the hammer to this day. The orc capital of Orgrimmar is named after him, as is Hammerfall, the camp where he was slain. The airship Orgrim’s Hammer was a vital weapon in the war against the Lich King in Northrend.
I want to thank you for reading this article. I actually started working on this back in November when the first trailer dropped and have been adding to it since. I hope to do more of these articles as we get closer to the movie. My plan is for the next one to be on Orgrim’s Alliance counterpart, Anduin Lothar since he looks to have a major role in the movie. If you want more information on Orgrim or how he connects to other parts of the lore, I encourage the WowWiki article below. They are a great resource and were very helpful in writing this. For now, I wish you all a great day and remember, me not that kind of orc.