Welcome to another “You Don’t Know Orc”, my ongoing series of articles on Warcraft lore. Specifically, lore related to the upcoming Warcraft movie.
In my first column, we looked at Orgrim Doomhammer, the Warchief of the Horde in the First and Second War.
Now we look at his Alliance counterpart, the Grand General Of The Alliance, Anduin Lothar.
To understand the story of Anduin Lothar, we must go further back in time, to the first human kingdom called Arathor. They expanded by offering peace to those they conquered. This kingdom was the first great human empire, with the Capital of Strom located in what is now the Arathi Highlands, just south of The Plaguelands. This was at one time the High Elven kingdom of Quel’Thalas before the Scourge. However,centuries ago when it was still a land of the living, the High Elves were in war with the Amani Trolls. Despite having an advantage in the use of magic, the trolls were more numerous and the Elves faced defeat. They sent ambassadors to Strom and promised to teach the young human race magic in exchange for their help in “The Troll Wars”. The leaders of Strom accepted and assisted the Elves in ending the Troll threat. Trust me, this is important later on, so just pin this little bit of history to the side for now.
Now, let’s move ahead several centuries to the reign of King Adamant Wrynn III, King of what was then called the nation of Azeroth. We find young Anduin growing up with his friend Prince Llane and Medive son of the court enchanter Nielas Aran. We know nothing about who his parents were. These are three men who will grow up to change the course of Azerothian history. But at this time they were just young boys who shared in many adventures together. When he grew older, Anduin joined the Stormwind military, got knighted and was named “Armsman of the Brotherhood of the Horse”,eventually taking the overall command of Stormwind’s armies.
For the longest time, the kingdom of Azeroth had peace. But it was not to last. The great city of Stormwind Keep was attacked by a group of strange green skinned creatures. These creatures, called orcs, were defeated on their inital attack and driven back. Lothar believed this new enemy should be hunted down and defeated before they could hurt the kingdom and King Adamant agreed. However, the King died before he could see this happen and the throne went to his son, Anduin’s childhood friend Llane. During this time the humans of Azeroth fought what they learned called itself The Horde in The First War. For the most part the war was defensive, with the Horde attack from the Morass, which we now call the Swamp Of Sorrows.
However, the war soon became personal. Unbeknownst to Anduin, his friend the mage Medivh had been under the control of the Dark Titan Sargeras. Who is Sargares? I find it’s easiest to imagine him as the Satan figure of Warcraft, or if you’re a Tolkien nerd, like Morgoth. The O.G Dark Lord. He was the one who created the Burning Legion, the demons who corrupted the Orcs in the first place. We’ll discuss Sarg, the Titans and the Legion in a later article. For now, just know that the wizard was being mind screwed by powerful forces beyond the comprehension of most mortals. Because of this manipulation, he contacted Gul’Dan. Through this contact hte Dark Portal was opened, leading to the Horde entering Azeroth. Anduin learned all this from Medivh’s apprentice Khadgar. With a small force of soldiers, Anduin ,Khadgar and the half orc Garona who had come to serve King Llane as spymistress stormed Medivh’s fortress Karahzan. After a fierce battle Anduin defeated his old friend and ended his life.
This did not stop the Horde however. While their initial defeats left them rudderless and without direction, over time a new Warchief had taken command, Blackhand. Blackhand led the Horde to victory over the humans at Sunnyglade and Grand Hamlet. This Warchief would soon be replaced by Orgrim Doomhammer. Doomhamemr led the Horde to further victory at Northshire, Goldshire and Moonbrooke. Time had run out for Azeroth. The city of Stormwind was sacked. King Llane was betrayed by Garona and murdered. All Anduin could do was take as many of the people as he could, along with the young prince Varian Wrynn and escape across the Great Sea to the kingdom of Lordearon. For now, Stormwind had fallen.
Anduin led the people to Lordearon where the refugees were welcomed by King Terenas Menethil II. He told the story of the Horde to all who would listen and the King agreed that something had to be done. Teranas used his political and diplomatic skill to form an alliance between the human nations, the dwarves and the High Elves. We won’t be going into the history of the Alliance here. But I do want you to recall the history lesson from the beginning. Anduin, as it turns out, is a descendant of the Arathi bloodline. He was, in fact the last of that bloodline. The same bloodline that helped save the Elves from the Trolls centuries ago. For centuries a debt had been owed to the Arathi and nowthe High Elves saw a chance to repay it. The King pledged his forces to Anduin. This was a small force but at least it was something. It wasn’t until the Horde reached the forests on the border of Quel’Thalas that King Anasterian Sunstrider of the High Elves committed his full force.
Because Anduin had experiencing fighting the Horde and because he was neutral, he was given the title of Supreme Commander Of The Alliance. He took as his second in command the Paladin Turalyon. Daelin Proudmoore of Kul Tiras, Archmage Khadgar and the Paladin Uther The Lightbringer were his lieutenants. These are men who would shape the history of Azeroth in their own way.
As I said, I won’t be going into the whole history of the Second War here. Just know that Anduin lead the Alliance forces with bravery and valor. Under his leadeship the Alliance managed to push back the Horde from Lordearon. The forests of Quel’Thalas were saved from the Amani trolls the orcs allied with, which made the Elves commit their full forces to the war. They routed the orcs out of Khaz Modan with the help of the Bronzebeard Dwarves of Ironforge, and back to their fortress at Blackrock Mountain. It was at the foot of the mountain where the final battle of the Second War would take place. The story of how the war ended changes depending on if you favor the Alliance or Horde favor of events. That said, there are facts that both sides agree happened. Orgrim Doombhammer and Anduin fought each other and Orgrim slew Anduin. On that bloody battle the beloved Alliance leader fell and the orc who killed him belived that his death would demoralize the humans and their allies. But he did not understand the love Anduin’s men had for him. Turalyon took his sword and rallied the Alliance forces to victory over the Horde.
Anduin made an affective commander because of the love his men had for him. The 2004 Warcraft RPG book Shadows And Light had this to say about his leadership.
The now defunct World Of Warcraft website WoW Insider used to do a series called Know Your Lore. Here are a few snippets of their thoughts regarding Anduin Lothar.
He lives on through the memory of those who live because of his sacrifice. In the Burning Steeps you can find a statue of Anduin, sword pointed towards Blackrock Mountain.
Varyian Wrynn, the king of Stormwind named his son after his friend who saved his life. The Alliance sent an expedition to Dreanor, the orcs homeland after the war to close the portal and they called themelves the Sons Of Lothar.
With that we come to the end of another “You Don’t Know Orc”. I hope you all enjoyed this look into the World of Azeroth. I hope to have more of these done quicker. Since I’ve done two of the bigger names in the upcoming movie, I should be able to get a few more of the supporting characters done must faster. If you want more information the resources I use will be linked at the bottom. For now, I thank you for reading my work and I will see you in the world...OF WARCRAFT!
EDIT: Added information about Sargares’s role in Medivh’s fall.