Races and factions of Warcraft

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The fantasy setting of the Warcraft series includes many fictional races and factions. Most of the primary protagonists of the series belong to either the Horde or the Alliance. However, there are a variety of neutral races and factions, who are either friendly or hostile to both the Horde and the Alliance. In World of Warcraft, all player characters belong to either the Horde or the Alliance, with a character's faction decided by its race. One exception is the pandaren, who can choose to become members of either faction.

By the time of Warcraft III the Horde and the Alliance both fight against the Burning Legion and the undead Scourge, who are the primary villains of Warcraft III and World of Warcraft. By the time of World of Warcraft, the Alliance and the Horde are not engaged in all out war any longer. However, they are still hostile towards each other and skirmishes between the two sides occasionally erupt.[1] With Garrosh Hellscream appointed as the new Warchief of the Horde in Cataclysm, war has once more erupted between the two factions. This war plays a large role in the storyline of that expansion, and continues to do so in Mists of Pandaria.

Various races and factions from Warcraft universe, as well as their emblems, crests and other symbols, are represented in the Blizzard's crossover video game Heroes of the Storm via playable heroes, banners, and sprays.[2][3] Some races, such as mountain giants and gnolls, are represented as bosses and mercenaries in the Warcraft-themed battleground Alterac Pass, respectively.[4]

The Alliance[edit]

The Alliance has been present in some form in all Warcraft games. In all three real-time strategy games, the Alliance are the protagonists of their campaign, and are one of the two main protagonist factions in World of Warcraft. They are also the primary antagonists of Warcraft and the orc campaigns in Warcraft II. The Alliance began in Warcraft II when the human kingdoms and demihumans strategically united to fend off the conquering Horde. Thus they are enemies to the Horde. The Alliance has evolved over the course of the franchise, losing allies and gaining new members, but the Alliance has endured over the years. They are united to uphold their common noble ideals and are bound together by a sense of brotherhood forged by all the battles they've endured together. The major races of the Alliance are the humans of Stormwind, the Night Elves of Teldrassil, and the Dwarves of Ironforge. Other races who have joined or allied with the Alliance include the Gnomes of Gnomergan, The Draenei of Outland, the Worgen humans of Gilneas, and the Tushui Pandaren.

The Alliance is led by a military commander who coordinates the military actions of all the races in the Alliance. The title for this position depends on the rank of the individual (e.g., Anduin Lothar was a knight and his title was Supreme Allied Commander. Varian Wrynn is a king and his title is High King). This title may require an aspect of diplomacy or has strong political clout as the other leaders can choose not to commit their forces to the commander if they dislike the commander's leadership. Though how much forces and resources are contributed to the war effort is left to each individual leader's discretion, when the military commander issues a call to arms, all races of the Alliance are expected to contribute.


Throughout the Warcraft games, the humans are modeled on medieval Europe. In Warcraft and Warcraft II they were also depicted as the protagonists of the human campaigns and the antagonists of the orc campaigns. The humans fought for the side of Heaven against the Hellish orcs (though this theme was abandoned in the third game). Humans have a devout reverence for the Holy Light: an abstract deity that promotes theological virtues and chivalry and grants its practitioners magical powers ranging from healing and protection, to smiting power against the undead, demons, and evil beings. After being taught the ways of magic by the high elves during the Troll Wars, humans have become one of the most proficient races in the ways of magic as well.

The humans descended from an ancient nomadic tribe known as the Arathi, who conquered and united the other warring human tribes and founded the empire of Arathor and the great city of Strom, later known as Stromgarde. The Arathi formed an alliance with the high elves of the far north after they aided them in a war against the Amani Empire of trolls. In World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King it is revealed that humans are the descendants of mutated vrykul.[5] By the time of the first Warcraft, seven kingdoms had arisen from the former lands of Arathor. The primary human faction in the first two games and World of Warcraft is the Kingdom of Azeroth (later renamed the Kingdom of Stormwind in World of Warcraft). The remaining kingdoms were introduced in Warcraft II, all centered in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms: Lordaeron (founder of the Alliance), Gilneas, Stromgarde (the former Arathi capital), Dalaran (home to the Arathi wizards, who became the Kirin Tor), Kul Tiras, and Alterac.

The humans use horses as land mounts and griffons for flying mounts.

In World of Warcraft, humans can be played as the following classes:[6] Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior, Death Knight, and Monk. The humans of Stormwind are led by the Wrynn family, who also functions as the High King of the Alliance as a whole.

In World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Kul Tiran humans were added as an Allied Race.


The Draenei are the last of the original Eredar, who fled their homeworld of Argus to escape the corruption of the rogue titan Sargeras and his Burning Legion. The exiled Eredar took the name Draenei, meaning "exiled ones",[7] and traveled through the Twisting Nether aboard the naaru dimensional ship, Oshu'Gun, and landed on a remote world, naming the planet Draenor or "Exile's Refuge". The Burning Legion pursued the Draenei to Draenor, having turned the orcs against the Draenei, resulting in the destruction of much of the Draenei race.[8] After a great cataclysm saw to the destruction of Draenor, the Draenei used a satellite ship of Tempest Keep called the Exodar to abandon the world eventually arriving on Azeroth and crashing to the west of the coastal region of Darkshore on an island named Azuremyst Isle. They joined the Alliance, greatly respecting the Alliance's devout reverence for the Holy Light.

Draenei have skin ranging from purple to pale blue, and both genders are relatively tall compared to humans, have cloven goat-like hooves, tails that resemble those of a lizard, and dark hair. Males often have tentacle-like appendages extending from their chin, and occasionally large, complex structures on their forehead, while females have two horns on their temples extending backwards and thinner versions of the male's appendages hanging from behind the back of the jaw.

The Draenei were first mentioned in the Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, and made their first official in-game appearance in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. In World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, Draenei were established to be uncorrupted Eredar, and the Warcraft III version of Draenei were established to be a mutated variety of Draenei called the "Lost Ones", which mutated hideously from the original species upon exposure to demon magic. The "Lost Ones" are short, with blue skin, pure white eyes, variously colored, very short hair, and huge, open mouths, resembling zombies, and can only speak in a whisper. A variety intermediate to the Draenei proper and the Lost Ones also exists. The "Broken", as they are called, have been twisted to a lesser extent by the same demonic forces that corrupted the Lost Ones. Their appearance lies somewhere between that of the normal Draenei and the Lost Ones. They maintain a greater presence of mind than the Lost Ones, making them able to maintain peaceable relations with members of other factions.

Draenei are hard-pressed to defend the crash site of the Exodar in World of Warcraft. Surrounding it are creatures such as volatile mutations, which have been altered by the energies emitted by detached, ruptured pieces of the Exodar. Blood elves also prey upon the Draenei in the vicinity.

The Draenei use elekks as their class land mount. They do not have a race-specific flying mount, but share the Night Elves hippogriffs as flying mounts.

In World of Warcraft, draenei can be played as the following classes:[6] Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Death Knight, and Monk. The Draenei have been led by the Prophet Velen since they first fled Argus millennia ago.

In Battle for Azeroth, Lightforged draenei were added as an Allied Race with the following classes: Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest and Warrior. The Lightforged are members of the Army of the Light, led by High Exarch Turalyon.

Draenei appear briefly in the live action film Warcraft.


In this franchise, the dryads are a race of creatures that have the head, arms, and torso of a female night elf and the body of a female deer. They are the children of the demigod Cenarius. The dryads are considered allies of the night elves.


The dwarves are a short, strong race. The clans of dwarves, the Bronzebeard, Dark Iron, and Wildhammer dwarves, reside in the Eastern Kingdoms, in the continent of Khaz Modan. Their skin color can be from a dark gray to a human tan.[9] Originally they were titan-forged-Earthen that Slumbered for thousands of years that upon awakening forgot their past, and due to a recent discovery that uncovered fragments of their ancient origin, they have changed their focus to archaeology.[10]

Dwarves were introduced as a supporting Alliance race in Warcraft II, and are a playable race in World of Warcraft.

The dwarves featured in the World of Warcraft patch Secrets of Ulduar, in which their origin was further expanded upon. The third Bronzebeard brother, Brann Bronzebeard, led the expedition there to learn the dwarves' history. He told the story of Ulduar's relevance to the origin of many of Azeroth's native races.

Two other dwarven clans exist on Azeroth. The Wildhammer dwarves of Aerie Peak, though not playable in World of Warcraft, are friendly to Alliance characters, and they maintain the Alliance-aligned Wildhammer Stronghold in Outland and Aerie Peak in the Hinterlands. They are largely similar in appearance to their Ironforge cousins, though their focus is on gryphon riding, rather than the grounded pursuits of the Bronzebeard dwarves. The Dark Iron dwarves are a malevolent clan, hostile to both the Alliance and the Horde. These dark grey-skinned dwarves reside primarily in Blackrock Mountain and are slaves to Ragnaros, the Elemental Lord of fire. In recent years, however, some Dark Iron dwarves, under leadership of Moira Thaurissan, have allied themselves with the other dwarves and thus the Alliance.

The dwarves use rams as their mounts.

In World of Warcraft, dwarves can be played as the following classes:[6] Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Warlock, Death Knight, and Monk.

In Battle for Azeroth, Dark Iron dwarves were added as an Allied Race with the following classes: Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Warlock and Monk.

The dwarves are currently led by the Council of Three Hammers, an assembly representing each of the three main dwarven clans: Muradin Bronzebeard representing the Bronzebeards, Falstad Wildhammer representing the Wildhammers and Moira Thaurissan representing the Dark Irons.


The gnomes are a small, intelligent, and inquisitive race with aptitude in both the arcane and mechanical crafts.[9] They were originally titan-forged-mechagnomes. The gnomes' previous home was Gnomeregan, a city replete with advanced technology. It was rendered uninhabitable due to the release of radioactive waste by High Tinker Mekgineer Mekkatorque at the suggestion of his advisor Thermaplugg to combat the troggs. Because of the release, many gnomes were subjected to high doses of radiation and became "leper gnomes." These crazed, delusional, and violent gnomes attack any non-leper gnome, and non-trogg outsiders. Mekkatorque is still the leader.

Gnomes have a notorious rivalry with the goblins since they are another mechanically minded race.[9]

The gnomes use mechanostriders, bipedal robots that loosely resemble ostriches, for their mounts.

Gnomes were first introduced in Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness as a supporting Alliance race. Prior to World of Warcraft the gnomes were driven out of their home city by a primitive race known as troggs. Refugees were taken in by the dwarven capital of Ironforge, which the two playable races share in World of Warcraft. It was announced that prior to the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the gnomes would reclaim their city of Gnomeregan, because the political turmoil in Ironforge made them feel unwelcome.[11] However, only the surface has been reclaimed.

In World of Warcraft, gnomes can be played as the following classes:[6] Mage, Rogue, Priest, Warrior, Warlock, Death Knight, and Monk. After the expansion Legion was released, a gnome can play as a hunter.

High elves[edit]

After being exiled from Kalimdor, the high elves sailed to the east and settled in the northern part of the continent, where they found sources of ley lines and created the Sunwell from vials of water from the Well of Eternity. Their peace was to be short-lived, however, as the Amani troll tribe was not keen on having their lands settled by these newcomers. In order to defeat the trolls, the elves made a deal with the human-run Empire of Arathor. The elves would agree to teach magic to the humans in return for their aid. Upon victory, the high elves solidified their dominion over the forests of Quel'Thalas and founded a mighty capital, Silvermoon City.

During the Second War, the elves honored their treaty with the humans and assisted in the defeat of the Horde. Troll forces under Zul'jin, now allied with the Horde, razed large portions of their borderlands and some of their rune-stones were stolen to power the Horde's rituals and to create ogre mages, driving them to lend their full support to the Alliance. However, the massive losses they suffered and the lack of human support convinced the high elves to reinforce their usual isolation. Most of their forces withdrew from the Alliance after the defeat of the Horde, though independent elves sought employ with the Kirin Tor and as priests and sorceresses of the armies. However, their efforts to protect their people through isolation would be their downfall.

During the Third War, the undead Scourge cut a swathe of destruction through Quel'Thalas in their mission to capture and corrupt the powers of the Sunwell. 90 percent of the kingdom's population were slaughtered during the war,[12] most soon to be raised as Banshees and Ghouls. Most of the survivors followed Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider and began calling themselves Sin'dorei (which in their tongue means "children of the blood"—more commonly referred to as blood elves) in homage to their loss. Only ten percent of the survivors (i.e., 1% of the pre-war population), some twenty-five thousand high elves, cling to their old name and beliefs and have since aligned themselves with the Alliance and Kirin Tor.

The high elves residing in the city of Dalaran have rallied together as the Silver Covenant, an Alliance faction specifically opposed to the Kirin Tor's admission of members of the Horde. They are led by the Ranger-General Vereesa Windrunner, wife of the former leader of Dalaran, Rhonin. High elves are not a playable race in World of Warcraft, but are featured as non-player characters.

Keepers of the grove[edit]

The keepers of the grove appear to be half-night elf and half-stag. Like the dryads, the keepers of the grove are the children of Cenarius.

Night elves[edit]

Night elves (or kaldorei, meaning "children of the stars" in their native tongue) are one of the oldest humanoid races native to Azeroth. Ten thousand years ago, a schism occurred between the ruling Highborne mages and the rest of the population. The Highborne, led by the malevolent Lord Xavius, tampered with the energies of the arcane, attracting the attention of the rogue titan Sargeras, who sent his demonic armies, the Burning Legion, to Kalimdor to try to wipe out all life on Azeroth. Thanks to the help of the Dragon Aspects which were chosen by the keepers to defend and protect the world from any threat, the night elf forces succeeded in preventing the Highborne from allowing the Burning Legion to permanently enter Azeroth, though the planet's continent was shattered in the process. The schism not only destroyed the magical Well of Eternity from which the elves drew their power, but also most of the rest of the continent, resulting in a vast ocean separating the continents of Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, Northrend, and Pandaria, with the Maelstrom in the center of the planet.[13]

The remaining night elves in Kalimdor guarded a massive World Tree, Nordrassil, which was planted over a second Well of Eternity created by the exiled night elf traitor Illidan Stormrage, who saved vials from the first Well of Eternity. Blessed by the Dragon Aspect of Time, Nozdormu, the tree granted the night elves immortality. For the following ten thousand years, the survivors lived peacefully, until the second invasion of the Burning Legion. The races of Azeroth, both Horde and Alliance, together fought the Legion at the peak of Mount Hyjal, until the elves managed to unleash the primal fury of Nordrassil, killing the demon lord Archimonde and defeating the Burning Legion. Since then, the night elves have lost their immortality, and have planted a new World Tree called Teldrassil to try to recover it.[13]

Male night elves are very muscular, with broad chests and shoulders, indicative of the strength that lies within both their minds and bodies. Female night elves are lithe and curvaceous, yet still muscular and strong. The race's prominent eyebrows, long pointed ears and natural aspects imply a feral grace. Skin tones vary from purples or pinks to blues or a pale whitish-blue, their hair ranges in color from bright white to woodland green to an electric purple, and their eyes are either silver or amber. Amber eyes were considered a sign of great destiny. However, in World of Warcraft, all males have amber eyes while all females have silver.[9]

Night elves were introduced as a playable race in Warcraft III and are a playable race in World of Warcraft. Within the main timeframe of the series, the night elves are ruled by the High Priestess of Elune, Tyrande Whisperwind, as they have been for roughly 10,000 years. In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Tyrande's husband, Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage, returned from the Emerald Dream, in which he had been trapped for years. He now leads the night elves together with Tyrande. Both characters are playable heroes in the Heroes of the Storm.

Like the draenei, the night elves use hippogriffs for transportation. However, saber cats are used as their land mounts.

In World of Warcraft, night elves can be played as the following classes:[6] Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warrior, Death Knight, and Monk. In Legion, they became one of the two races able to be chosen as a Demon Hunter.

Tushui pandaren[edit]

The Tushui pandarens are pandaren who follow the path of Tushui and have chosen to join the Alliance. Contemplative, disciplined and focused on abstract ideals of justice and morality, they are led by Aysa Cloudsinger, a master follower of the path of Tushui, who believes in living a venerable life through meditation, rigorous training, and moral conviction, and is attracted to the high ideals and values that cement the Alliance together.[14]

Pandaren mounts are called dragon turtles.

Further information on the pandaren race as a whole can be found below.


The worgen are a race of creatures that resemble werewolves, but are hunched over where they walk on two legs and run around on all fours. First introduced in World of Warcraft, the first worgen were derived from an ancient druidic sect known as the Druids of the Pack who worshiped the wild god wolf named Goldrinn. The chosen shapeshift form of these druids was the dire wolf form, but these druids lost themselves to the form's savage nature and descended into feral behavior. To try to control this savage form, Ralaar Fangfire created the Scythe of Elune with the help of a priestess from the temple of the moon to try control the wolf form. But instead of mastering their powers, the Druids of the Scythe, as they had named themselves, transformed into worgen. The other druids agreed that they must be locked away and thus put them into eternal slumber in the Emerald Dream, beneath a tree in the Blackwald in modern-day Gilneas.

Worgen were announced as the Alliance's new playable race for the third expansion, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.[15] During the aftermath of the Second War, the human nation of Gilneas sealed itself behind the Greymane Wall to keep Gilneas out of what King Genn Greymane considered to be 'other people's problems'. This prevented the undead Scourge from overwhelming the nation during the Third War. Some years later a civil war broke out in opposition to the isolation of Gilneas. During this time the worgen curse spread through the secluded nation and transformed nearly all of its inhabitants into feral worgen. Years after the initial fall of Gilneas a partial cure is developed and administered to the worgen, allowing them to regain control. However, as they begin the process of rebuilding, the Forsaken sent a major fleet to capture Gilneas and use it as a new Horde port. The Cataclysm destroyed the Horde fleet, saving the worgen, but also shattered the Greymane Wall and destroyed much of their land. With little choice left, the worgen formed a pact with the Alliance.[16]

While the Stormwind humans speak with an American accent, the Gilnean worgen and humans speak with an English Cockney accent.

The worgen use mountain horses as their mounts as well as the ability to stretch onto four legs to move as fast as a mount.

In World of Warcraft, worgen can be played as the following classes:[6] Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior, and Death Knight. They are led by King Genn Greymane, who can be found in the throne room in Stormwind. Despite this, the Worgen capital city was Darnassus, which was shared with the Night Elves.

The Horde[edit]

In the first two Warcraft games, the Horde is made of the orcs under the command of the Burning Legion and are enemies of the human led Alliance. The orcs attempt in both games to conquer the human kingdoms. Eventually the Horde was defeated, most of its leaders killed, and the orcs placed in internment camps.

In Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, the Horde is led by the young warchief Thrall after he led an uprising to free the orcs from the vengeful humans of Lordaeron. Thrall then led the orcs across the sea to Kalimdor after having a dream with a prophet who told him to travel across the sea to find his destiny, allying with the Darkspear trolls and the tauren. By the time of the orc campaign in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the Horde also includes a few goblins, and it was revealed that the orcs first came from Outland, the shattered remains of their original homeworld Draenor. Later on in the reign of chaos campaign, orc commander Grom Hellscream and his men drink the blood of the pit lord Mannoroth and corrupt themselves once more, eventually leading to Grom's death.

By the timeframe of World of Warcraft, the Forsaken, a faction of undead who rebelled against the Scourge, have also joined the Horde. The blood elves join the Horde early in the storyline of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Early in the storyline of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Thrall steps down to deal with the Cataclysm, appointing Garrosh Hellscream, son of the former traitor then redeemed hero Grom Hellscream, as warchief, and the goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel join the Horde. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria saw the Huojin pandaren join the Horde.

The Horde is led by a warchief (i.e., warlord of the Horde). The Horde respects combat prowess and decisive action. Sometimes the position of warchief is earned through war and domination; sometimes it is won through duels. Other times its successor is appointed by the previous warchief. They were led by the troll Vol'jin, since the ending of 'Mists of Pandaria', then led by Sylvanas Windrunner from the prologue of 'Legion' to the middle of 'Battle for Azeroth", when she abandoned the Horde. Since then, the Horde has abolished the position and a council of representatives from the Horde's various races been established to replace it.


Orc Grunt, fan art by Lucas Salcedo.

Orcs serve as the main villains of the first two games, but become one of the hero factions during Warcraft III. Orcs are generally green-skinned muscular humanoids with large tusk-like fangs protruding from the lower jaw of their mouths. Their hair colour can range anywhere from black, dark brown, to almost white, depending on the age of the orc. The orcs' skin was originally red to brown, but their demonic corruption at the hands of the Burning Legion turned them green. Valuing personal honor and the honor of their clan above all else, they enjoy the rush and excitement of battle, and before their corruption, their culture was shamanistic and channeled their aggression into hunts and contests.

When the Burning Legion discovered that the draenei were hiding on Draenor, they corrupted the orcs, feeding them the blood of the pit lord Mannoroth, before using them to all but wipe out the exiled race.[8] The orcs were then used as the Legion's primary war-machine in an attempt to invade and destroy Azeroth, through a device known as the Dark Portal. There, they were successful in their campaign against the Kingdom of Stormwind, but were eventually driven back through the Dark Portal to Draenor/Outland by the Alliance of Lordaeron, and defeated.[17][18]

Upon their defeat, the orcs that remained on Azeroth were rounded up and put into internment camps. Separation from the Burning Legion eventually caused lethargy in the orcs and their bloodlust faded after a few years. It was at this time that a young orc named Thrall managed to escape his captivity at Durnholde Keep and free many of his captured brethren with the aid of another orc, Grom Hellscream, who up until that time had been able to avoid capture.[19] The newly reformed Horde then fled the Eastern Kingdoms, sailing west. Eventually the orcs were forced to land on an island due to a storm, and there befriended the Darkspear trolls; once the storm passed they left the island with their new allies. When they reached Kalimdor, they went in search of a place they could call home, along the way meeting and befriending the tauren and their chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof, after saving them from the centaurs who constantly attacked them.

The orcs were eventually led into night elf territory and fought several skirmishes against them as they attempted to set up camps. Here, the pit lord Mannoroth returned and tempted Grom Hellscream to once again drink his blood, saying that doing so would return the pride and honor of the orcs. However, once Grom and his clan drank the blood they fell back under the corruption of the Burning Legion and became rampaging war machines, thirsting for battle and blood. Grom then led his clan on a warpath through night elf lands and slaughtered the demi-god Cenarius. However, Grom was eventually freed, and atoned for his deeds by aiding Thrall in defeating Mannoroth, sacrificing himself in the process and finally liberating the orcs from their blood pact.

The liberated orcs set aside their differences with the night elves and humans to help defeat Archimonde at the Battle for Hyjal Summit. The orcs then set out to carve a place for themselves on Azeroth in Kalimdor. They called their new homeland Durotar, after Thrall's father, Durotan. Their capital city was named Orgrimmar, after Orgrim Doomhammer, the former warchief.[20]

Up until the Cataclysm, the orcs and the Horde as a whole were led by Warchief Thrall. However, he was forced to step down as warchief in order to focus his full attention as a shaman to mend the shattered world caused by Deathwing's return. His successor, Garrosh Hellscream, went on to lead the Horde in a much more violent and aggressive manner, preferring to engage in combat with the Alliance opposed to using diplomacy or peaceful negotiations as Thrall was known for. After Garrosh's descent into madness and eventual defeat by the combined forces of both factions, Thrall named Vol'jin the new Warchief of the Horde, marking the first time the Horde had been led by a non-orc.

In World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Garrosh Hellscream escapes from his imprisonment and escapes through time. Garrosh Hellscream returns to the moment just before his father Grommash Hellscream drinks the blood of Mannoroth 35 years earlier with the intention of not only stopping their corruption and their slavery to the dark legion (which ultimately leads to the destruction of their home world), but to also influence an outcome and path where the new Iron Horde (consisting of Pure-Blooded Orcs and non-corrupted Orcs) could lead a new era of Conquest. Garrosh equips the Iron Horde with technology from his time.

The orcs use wolves as their mounts.

In World of Warcraft, orcs can be played as the following classes: Hunter, Mage, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Warlock, Death Knight, and Monk.[6]

Numerous cards with the card art depicting orcs are present in Hearthstone. In Heroes of the Storm, players can control several Orc characters from Warcraft universe as playable heroes, such as Thrall, Garrosh, Gul'dan, and Rehgar.

Orcs appear in the live action film Warcraft, notable characters include Durotan, Draka, Gul'dan, Warchief Blackhand and Orgrim Doomhammer.

Blood elves[edit]

The blood elves were introduced in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne after the undead Scourge destroyed the high elf capital of Silvermoon in Quel'Thalas and the source of their power, the Sunwell along with most of the high elf population. The remaining high elves split into two factions—approximately 10% kept their original heritage, but the rest followed Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider (who would eventually go on to betray his people, and in fact all of Azeroth) and began calling themselves sin'dorei (which in their tongue means "children of the blood" - more commonly referred to as blood elves) in homage to their loss. With the leadership of their prince, the blood elves continued to defend their homeland from the Scourge, allying with the naga in the process. Due to their alliance with the naga, Lord Garithos, commander of the Alliance forces in Lordaeron and Kael'thas' superior officer, charged Kael'thas and his troops with treason and imprisoned them in Dalaran. Kael'thas and his lieutenants were rescued by Lady Vashj and her naga from their imprisonment in the underground jails of Dalaran (which contained anti-magic enchantments, once used for the Kirin Tor's pets), and then used a re-opened portal to flee to Outland.

In World of Warcraft, the blood elves who remained in Eversong Woods have renounced their allegiance to Kael'thas and are now led by Regent Lord Lor'themar Theron. The Alliance distrusts the blood elves and their lust for a source of magic, so their race has aligned with the Horde for the mutual benefit of reaching Outland. Also, Sylvanas Windrunner, as the former Ranger General of Quel'Thalas, played a significant role in the admittance of the blood elves into the Horde. The capital city of the blood elves is the partially ruined Silvermoon City.

Blood elves have a usually peachy skin tone and green glowing eyes. They also have a gift for magic, with a long and troubled history of magical addiction and arcane practices.[21] The blood elves can be divided into three distinct political factions: the playable Thalassian elves allied with the Horde, the Illidari elves in Outland loyal to Kael'thas, and the Scryers, a group of Kael'thas' elves who rebelled and fled to Shattrath City to seek refuge with the naaru. They are led by Voren'thal the Seer.

The blood elves use hawkstriders as their mounts.

In World of Warcraft, blood elves can be played as the following classes:[6] Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior, Death Knight, and Monk. In Legion, they became one of the two races able to be chosen as a Demon Hunter.


The Forsaken are a rebel group of undead introduced in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Their founder and leader is Sylvanas Windrunner, a high elven general who was killed and transformed into an undead banshee by Arthas during the undead campaign in Warcraft III. During the undead campaign in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the Lich King's power began to wane because of Illidan Stormrage and his naga and blood elf allies attacking the Frozen Throne in Northrend, and Arthas' control over his section of the Scourge also began to wane. Sylvanas regained her sense of free will from Arthas and took charge of similarly free-willed undead, taking the name Forsaken and conquering Lordaeron.[22]

In World of Warcraft, the Forsaken have joined the Horde, though they are said to care little about their new allies.[22] The Forsaken control the western parts of the former human Kingdom of Lordaeron, namely the Tirisfal Glades and Silverpine Forest. Much of these lands were tainted by the mark of undeath left behind by the plague and the Scourge, so the lands themselves are haunting, dark and deathly in appearance.[9] Their ultimate goal is establishing a place for themselves in a world that hates them, and creating a plague capable of wiping out the undead Scourge; along with anyone who stands in their way.[22] Their new alliance with the races of the Horde is a relation of mutual benefit, since most members of the Alliance view them as evil monstrosities.[9] In Cataclysm, more of the former Scourge join the Forsaken, including the val'kyr, a kind of undead vrykul who possess the ability to raise new, ostensibly free-willed Forsaken, solving the problem of their inability to procreate.

Raised from the dead, skeletal horses are used as mounts by the Forsaken.

In World of Warcraft, Forsaken can be played as the following classes:[6] Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warrior, Warlock, Death Knight, and Monk.


Introduced in Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, the goblins are diminutive, green-skinned humanoids native to Azeroth. Early in their history, goblins were an unintelligent race used as slave labor by a tribe of trolls on their home island of Kezan. Constant exposure to a rare ore called Kajamite caused them to develop into a hyper-intelligent race that soon overthrew their masters and created a new civilization. However, the supplies of the ore were eventually exhausted and facing a slow loss of their intelligence, the goblins took to trade and exploration in search of new deposits. During the Second War, they aligned with the Horde, providing similar technical services to those offered to the Alliance by the dwarves and gnomes. Following the Horde's defeat, the naturally mercantile race took a neutral stance in world affairs.

In Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, the various goblin business cartels based out of the city of Undermine now supply both factions. Several trade princes, however, have maintained closer ties with the Horde due to clashes with the Alliance.

Goblin engineers are best known for their affinity for explosives, their signature explosives being the Goblin Sapper Charges, a portable explosive which upon detonation deals devastating damage to anyone in its wake. Rocket launchers, various experimental explosives, and dangerous "Dimensional Rippers" make up most their arsenal of flimsy, yet devastating equipment.

Goblins were announced as the Horde's new playable race for the third expansion pack, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.[15] As part of their initial questing area, a previously dormant volcano on their home island begins to erupt. Fearing for their lives, the Bilgewater Cartel fled the island only to be shipwrecked on the Lost Isles due to the crossfire of Horde and Alliance ships. The old racial ties between orc and goblin came to the front and, after rendering assistance to the remaining Horde forces, the goblins are invited as prospective members of the Horde.

The goblins use trikes as their mounts.

In World of Warcraft, goblins can be played as the following classes:[6] Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Warlock, and Death Knight.


The Gilgoblins are a species of aquatic goblins with fin-like ears, gills on their neck, seaweed-resembling hair, fins on the ends of their arms, and webbed hands and feet.


The Hobgoblins are a race of large purple-skinned goblins that are the results of alchemists experimenting on their own race.

Huojin pandaren[edit]

The Huojin pandaren are a group of pandaren that are impulsive, quick to action, and practical. These pandaren have chosen to join the ranks of the Horde. They are led by Ji Firepaw, a passionate, outgoing pandaren who believes that it is honorable to defend home and family no matter the price. Not one for deep thought, and always the first one into a fray, Ji believes that inaction is the greatest injustice, and is attracted to the Horde's scrappy practicality.[14]

Pandaren mounts are called dragon turtles.

Further information on the pandaren race as a whole can be found below.


The Nightborne were night elves from Suramar who fought the Burning Legion in the great War of the Ancients. The Great Sundering blasted some of Suramar to the bottom of sea, although most portion of it remained above shore in the Broken Isles due to the efforts of the night elves who crafted a magical shield that kept the center of their city together. This shield would stay up for 10,000 years, since the group believed the world outside of Suramar had been destroyed. Under their shield, it created a perpetual shroud of night that helped lead them to evolve into a deep night-based state over millennia through the energies of their arcane font, the Nightwell, the great source of power they would rely on for nourishment within the impenetrable shield. However, this caused them to become unable to survive without magic from the Nightwell. Crime in Suramar was punished by exile. Cut off from the Nightwell, the exiled would first diminish into the Nightfallen state. Continuing without nourishment in this state causes further degradation into mindless creatures called Withered.

10,000 years later, the Nightborne, under Grand Magistrix Elisande, lowered their shield and surrendered to the Legion and Gul'dan rather than fight them. Some Nightborne do not agree with Elisande, though they keep their disagreement a secret. Arcwine, an ingestible form of the Nightwell, is rationed so the Palace can control the populace that is against the demon presence.

The Nightborne use manasabers as mounts.

The Nightfallen are outcast Nightborne elves that have been exiled from Suramar City and have begun to wither from being cut off from the nourishment of the Nightwell.

Without arcwine, Nightborne elves regress to a weakened state known as nightfallen. However, instead of dying of starvation, after up to 50 days has passed, the Nightfallen enter a fully mindless state and become creatures completely driven by instinct and their mind is lost — these are called the Withered. Death follows if the feral Withered cannot find magical sources, like ley lines, magical shield and other living beings.

Nightfallen are mostly in full control of their bodies and find feeding on others for magical sustenance deplorable. Nightfallen that have not became Withered can go back to being a Nightborne if they have access to arcwine. If a Nightfallen/Nightborne eats an arcan'dor fruit, this cures them of their dependency on the Nightwell. However, once a Nightfallen becomes withered, there is no known cure.

In Battle for Azeroth, the nightborne joined the Horde as an Allied Race with the following classes: Hunter, Mage, Monk, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior.


The ogre society is clan-based, with ogre clans erecting mounds and generally avoiding contact with outsiders save for raids. Within the clans, the hierarchy is based on physical size and strength. The leader of an ogre clan is almost inevitably the largest and strongest ogre. Ogre-magi fall outside this norm and powerful magi often control the clan through the leader thanks to the rather large advantage in intelligence. If an outsider defeats the current leader of a clan, they are often deemed the new leader partially out of fear of being killed as well.

Introduced in Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, ogres are hostile critters in that game and members of the Horde in Warcraft II. In Warcraft III, they are encountered both as hostile critters and friendly mercenaries.

Ogres are not a playable race in World of Warcraft, though some appear as monsters and non-player characters. Following the defeat of the original Horde, the various ogre clans scattered across Azeroth, claiming land and erecting ogre mounds. Most ogres hold allegiance only to the strongest ogre of their clan and are hostile to any outsider, though some also take up mercenary work. The Stonemaul are the only ogre Clan to maintain a friendly relationship with the Horde, though they no longer lend the orcs direct support.

In the expansion World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, many ogres can be found in Outland. Their presence has proven a serious issue for the Mag'har and Kurenai, only exacerbated by the efforts of the gronn. However, ogres in the Blade's Edge Mountains have established an enlightened group who have transcended their brutish nature aided by the powerful influence of the Apexis Crystals, forming the group of Ogri'la. Players of both factions are neutral with this group initially but can become friendly after a series of quests that result in the player being named a King or Queen of the Ogres.


The tauren (Shu'halo in their native tongue) are one of the oldest races native to Azeroth, a proud and tenacious race with bull-like features and a culture that is very similar to a stylized Native American culture. They are, for the most part, druidic, shamanistic, peaceful, and powerful beings. They resemble minotaurs, having horned bull's heads, large hooves in place of feet, three-fingered hands, and a towering body structure. The name 'tauren' may be a reference to the Greek 'Taurus' meaning bull, or to the related mythological creature the Minotaur, which has a similar appearance. It is also an anagram for "Nature".

The largest tauren tribe, known as the Bloodhoof Tribe, reside on the top of a cluster of tall mesas known as Thunder Bluff, in the grasslands of Mulgore. They are led by the High Chieftain Baine Bloodhoof, who replaced his father, Cairne,[9] after Cairne's death. Introduced in Warcraft III, the tauren allied themselves with the Horde after the orcs intervened in their war with the Centaurs.[23] Since then, the tauren reside in almost all Horde outposts and are firm members of the Horde, the Horde Expedition and other parts of the Horde.[24] They are a playable race in World of Warcraft.

The taurens use kodos and wyverns as their mounts.

In World of Warcraft, tauren can be played as the following classes:[6] Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Death Knight, and Monk.

Highmountain tauren[edit]

The Highmountain tauren are a sub-race of the tauren that inhabit the Highmountain on Broken Isles and are introduced in Legion. A notable chieftain, Huln Highmountain, took part in the War of the Ancients and saved the sacred moose Ech'ero from some demons. To thank Huln, Cenerias blessed Huln's tribe so that they now sport the antlers of a moose.

The Highmountain taurens use moose and eagles as their mounts.

In Battle for Azeroth, the Highmountain tauren were introduced as an Allied Race with the following classes: Druid, Hunter, Shaman, Warrior, Monk.


In the World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King, a sister race to the tauren called the taunka were introduced. The taunka are similar to their tauren cousins with the exception of their more bison-like appearance and decidedly more brutal nature due to generations surviving in the harsh landscape of Northrend.


The trolls of the Warcraft universe are one of the oldest races native to Azeroth. Long before the other modern races evolved they had constructed empires that controlled the majority of Azeroth and had even defeated the armies of C'thun. Their long history and scattered population has resulted in a vast and very diverse race. The four major troll ethnicities include forest, jungle, ice, and desert. They primarily worship animal spirits but voodoo and shamanism are also well known among their race. The era of troll domination came to an end when the night elves discovered magic and used it to drive back the empires before the Sundering shattered them, resulting in a perpetual decline into darkness.[9][25] Their defeat at elvish hands has spawned an intense racial hatred of all elves.

During the Second War, the forest trolls of Lordaeron allied with the Horde to help combat their ancient enemies, the high elves, who had aligned with the Alliance. This alliance dissipated when Orgrim Doomhammer failed to lend support to Zul'jin's attempts to purge Quel'Thalas. The playable trolls in World of Warcraft, the Darkspear, are jungle trolls who fled the Eastern Kingdoms to a series of jungle islands prior to Warcraft III. They joined the Horde when Thrall and his orc forces rescued the tribe from a sea witch and her murloc followers.[26] With the arrival of the Cataclysm, the trolls launched a successful campaign to defeat Zalazane and retake their old capital in The Echo Isles.[26]

Vol'jin, the leader of the Darkspear trolls, was one of the most vocal opponents to then Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, whose increasingly violent attitudes saw him attempt to assassinate the troll leader. After narrowly surviving the attempt on his life, Vol'jin went on to organize a rebellion of the Horde forces against Hellscream, and later coordinate the efforts of both factions to bring down the warchief. In recognition of his efforts in defending the honor of the Horde, Vol'jin was subsequently made its new warchief, bringing the Darkspear trolls into an unprecedented position within the Horde.

The trolls use raptors for their mounts.

In World of Warcraft, trolls can be played as the following classes:[6] Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Warlock, Death Knight, and Monk.

In Battle for Azeroth, Zandalari trolls were introduced as an Allied Race with the following classes: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior.

The Burning Legion[edit]

Introduced in Warcraft III, the Burning Legion have become the main villains of the series. Founded by the rogue titan Sargeras, the Burning Legion includes many demonic races, the most prominent of which include the man'ari eredar (such as Archimonde and Kil'jaeden), nathrezim (such as Tichondrius) and annihilan (such as Mannoroth). Member races are either subjugated and absorbed as slave races or enticed into joining with offers of demonic blood to empower them. In a few rare cases the races have joined of their own accord, such as with the nathrezim who saw an opportunity to feed on more souls. It is uncertain how many races were truly evil to begin with, such as the nathrezim, how many were corrupted with the offer of power, such as the eredar and fel orcs, and how many are slave races.

The Burning Legion is notorious for its conquering and eventual destruction of entire worlds. Their task is to undo all the works of the titans and to destroy all life in to all corners of the universe. So far the Burning Legion has committed two major attacks on Azeroth: the first in antiquity (as described in World of Warcraft as the War of the Ancients) and the second when the Undead Scourge summoned Archimonde in Warcraft III. In the expansion Legion, the Legion makes another major attack on Azeroth. The Legion is responsible for starting the invasion of the orcs during Warcraft and Warcraft II, but did not aid the orcs in their attacks.

After the Third War, the Legion tried to destroy the Frozen Throne and kill Ner'zhul to eliminate the Scourge threat due to the Lich King's defection from the Legion. After the failure of Illidan Stormrage to defeat the Lich King in The Frozen Throne, Illidan returned to Outland and no longer serves the Legion. The Legion then turned its attentions to Kael'thas Sunstrider, who attempted to summon Kil'jaeden into Azeroth through the Sunwell but failed.


Born from the sheer hatred of the Nether, the annihilans are a powerful species of demons recruited by Archimonde the Defiler to serve the Burning Legion. Their leader, the most feared of them all, was Mannoroth the Destructor. The pit lord race are members of the annihilan species.


Demons are infernal creatures that come from the underworld and make up the Burning Legion's forces.


The imps are a race of small mischievous creatures that are granted to the Burning Legion's warlocks as their familiars. These small demons are cunning and vicious, and have a natural propensity for magic and fire.

Man'ari eredar[edit]

The man'ari eredar are the demon-corrupted eredar who now lead the Burning Legion. They are commonly referred to as just the eredar, this could be due to the fact that, other than the draenei and man'ari, there is not any evidence of other kinds of eredar left in existence. These eredar are the first among the demons of the Burning Legion.


The mo'arg are a demonic species within the ranks of the Burning Legion. Tall and broad in stature, they are particularly proficient in hand-to-hand combat. Many mo'arg are tinkerers, scientists, blacksmiths, and engineers among the ranks of the Legion and have "improved" their own bodies with bionic parts. Some mo'arg have gone so far with their enhancements that they resemble the abominations of the Scourge.


The gan'arg are a stunted subrace of the mo'arg. They serve the Burning Legion as their engineers. Smart and fast-thinking, the gan'arg make new inventions and delight in using them to further their own purposes.


The Nathrezim (also called dread lords or dreadlords) are intelligent and cunning demons who were discovered and recruited to the ranks of the Burning Legion by Sargeras. They appear as tall, muscular humanoids with pale skin. They possess curving horns, large bat wings, and cloven hooves for feet. They act as tacticians and lieutenants upon the field of battle in time of war, as well as being emissaries and agents for the fiery lords of the Legion, notably Kil'jaeden. During the Third War, they served as the Lich King's jailors, on the behest of Kil'jaeden, and commanded the Plague that swept through Lordaeron. While generally malicious and cruel, there are outliers: one of the Nathrezim, Lothraxion, defects from the Burning Legion and swears service to the Army of the Light opposing it.


The satyrs are a race of creatures created through the demonic transformation of Highborne elves. They appear half-night elf and half-goat with clawed fingers and lion-like tails.

Although satyrs are listed as demons, there have been some satyrs that are listed as humanoids.


The shivarra (also known as shivan) are a 6-armed female demon species living in Outland averaging at roughly twenty to thirty feet tall. Currently, not much is known about these dangerous demons except the small excerpt of information stored on the Exodar Holographic Emitter in the Exodar. Shivarra serve the Burning Legion as priestesses and military chaplains. They are devout and charismatic and as such are a driving force behind the Burning Legion as all their efforts are bent on bringing Sargeras' vision into being.


The terrorfiends are demons from the Burning Legion which can be found in Hellfire Peninsula. The terrorfiends are a demonic race that are notable for having a face on their chest, six horns coming out of their cylindrical head, a mouth full of large jagged teeth which almost completely circle their head, a small goatee, and a diamond shaped jewel lodged in their forehead. They also have spines coming out of the back part of their hooves and hands. Terrorfiends have wings and cloven feet with a general build to that of demons and ered'ruin showing that they are a subspecies of the ered'ruin species. Some terrorfiends also hold the rank of Doomguard which proves they have a connection to the ered'ruin.


The voidwalkers are demons created from the chaos of the Twisting Nether. Their touch is misery, and it can momentarily blind a creature's awareness to other threats. These hulking blue creatures look vaguely humanoid. It seems to appear from within a black cloud as dark as the void. A voidwalker's sole purpose is to unconditionally serve its master.

The Scourge[edit]

First introduced in Warcraft III, the Scourge is an army of undead created by the Lich King to destroy all life on Azeroth. It includes undead humans, elves, nerubians, and several other assorted races. The Scourge was created by the Burning Legion as a means of weakening the races of Azeroth, primarily the human Alliance, to prepare for the invasion of the Legion itself. The Legion captured the spirit of the former orc shaman Ner'zhul and forced him to become the Lich King, the power and mind behind the Scourge. As Ner'zhul's power grew, he began to become powerful enough to corrupt paladins to join the Scourge as death knights, one of these being Arthas Menethil, heir to the human kingdom of Lordaeron. Ner'zhul began crafting a plan to break out of his imprisonment, and to break away from the Burning Legion. When Kil'jaeden realized what he was up to, he sent Illidan to destroy the Frozen Throne and Ner'zhul to end his treacherous endeavour. However, Ner'zhul commanded Arthas, his new champion, to come to his aid. Arthas fought Illidan and defeated him, then went to Icecrown and shattered the Frozen Throne, putting on Ner'zhul's helm. Ner'zhul's soul merged with Arthas' mind and body, and they became one of the most powerful beings on Azeroth, as Ner'zhul had planned all along.

Other races[edit]

The following races do not belong to any of the other factions and are more neutral.


The Anubisath are gigantic stone creatures that are modeled after Anubis and are created by the Titans. They inhabit Ahn'Qiraj and Silithus.


The Arakkoa are an ancient race of bird-like humanoids native to Draenor. They have brightly feathered bodies in a veritable rainbow of colors, hooked beaks, clawed hands, taloned feet, and an erectile crest of feathers on their heads. They wear ragged cloaks about their hunched bodies. Arakkoa appear to also have "sage" (with ornate shoulder and head ornaments) and "warrior" (with a metal helm and mail epaulets) classes. With the release of Warlords of Draenor, it is revealed that this is not their natural form: the uncursed high Arakkoa are significantly taller than most other races, standing upright and possessing functional wings on their arms.

Most of the high Arakkoa culture practices a form of sun-worship, venerating their creator-goddess Rukhmar. However, the outcasts, who have been exiled and cursed, are protected by another deity, the raven god of shadows named Anzu. Outside of the Warlords timeline, there are no known uncursed Arakkoa; the Spires of Arak, the zone where they seem to be native to, has no counterpart in the Outland of The Burning Crusade, thus implying that it was destroyed or knocked away from the main landmass of Outland into the Twisting Nether.

While most (universally Outcast) Arakkoa in Crusade are aggressive to both Alliance and Horde, there are friendly members of the race to be found. Warlords has the Outcasts as largely friendly to both factions, while the uncursed Arakkoa are generally hostile. In Tanaan Jungle, however, players of both factions encounter the Order of the Awakened, which contains friendly high and cursed Arakkoa.

Bog beasts[edit]

The bog beasts are large plant-like creatures that live in the marshes of Azeroth. They reproduce by seeds.


The botani are race of humanoid plant creatures that come from Draenor. The botani are part of the Primals that have fought against the Breakers which consist of creatures of stone.


The broken are a mutated and devolved race of Draenei who live in Outland. Like the orcs, the broken fell victim to the demons' sinister influenced and were changed by this corruption.


The centaurs are a race of half-Elven half-horse creatures that are the children of Zaetar, son of the demi-god Cenarius, and the earth elemental Princess Theradras. The centaur have been in conflict with the Horde (more specifically the tauren who reclaimed their ancestral land from them with the help of the orcs).


The dragonkin include all dragons and creatures descended from dragons.

  • Drake - Dragons that are still relatively young in comparison to their ancient brethren. Drakes are almost always flying while moving, while nether drakes tend to walk.
  • Drakeadon - A species of two-headed quadruped lizard beast.
  • Dragon - Dragons were one of the first intelligent life forms to appear in Azeroth. It is not clear whether the titans created them or if they somehow evolved prior to the titans' arrival. At one time, their numbers were uncountable. There are very few dragons left in present-day Azeroth.
  • Dragon Aspects - The Dragon Aspects are the leaders of the dragonflights and were the proto-drakes that were altered by the Titans as a reward for defeating the protodrake Galakrond.
  • Dragon whelp - The smallest and weakest members of the dragonkin, representing the offspring of a brood.
  • Dragonspawn - Dragonspawn are a race of monstrous beings trained to serve under the dragonflights of the world. Some say they evolved from humans who dedicated their lives to servitude under the great dragons. Their build is similar to a centaur's build.
  • Drakonid - A race of dragonoids (a term given to humanoid dragons) that are first seen by the mortals in Blackrock Mountain.
  • Proto-dragon - Proto-dragons are the long-forgotten forbearers of the dragon species, living in Northrend.
  • Wyrm - A term for the adult stage of the dragon.


The drogbars are a race of shamanistic cave-dwelling creatures that live in Highmountain.


The earthens are a race of stony proto-beings similar to dwarves that were created by the Titans.


The troggs are a variation of humanoid created from the first type of earthen by the Titans. They have oversized skulls, sloping foreheads, jagged teeth, prominent lower jaw, and hunched appearances.

The troggs use salamanders as mounts.


Elementals are a race of chaotic manifestations of the elements including Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Mana, Shadow, and Life. The elementals were minions of the Old Gods and were banished to the Elemental Plane after the Titans defeated the Old Gods.

  • Air elemental - Creatures made of air, wind, storms, and weather.
  • Earth elemental - Creatures made of rock and the energy of the earth itself.
  • Fire elemental - Creatures made of fire.
  • Water elemental - Creatures made of water and various other liquids.

There were also some elemental conglomerates ranging from dual elementals (made up of two elementals), triumvirate elementals (made up of three elementals), and complete elementals (made up of four elementals):

  • Dust elemental - A dual elemental conglomerate of Earth and Air.
  • Mud elemental - A dual elemental conglomerate of Earth and Water.
  • Lava elemental - A dual elemental conglomerate of Fire and Earth.
  • Steam elemental - A dual elemental conglomerate of Fire and Water.
  • Ice elemental - A dual elemental conglomerate of Air and Water.
  • Spark elemental - A dual elemental conglomerate of Air and Fire.
  • Geyser elemental - A triumvirate elemental conglomerate of Air, Fire, and Water.
  • Pyroclastic elemental - A triumvirate elemental conglomerate of Air, Earth, and Fire.
  • Sandstorm elemental - A triumvirate elemental conglomerate of Air, Earth, and Water.
  • Volcanic elemental - A triumvirate elemental conglomerate of Earth, Fire, and Water.
  • Primal elemental - A complete elemental conglomerate of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water.
  • Arcane elemental - A complete elemental conglomerate of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water where it takes on the aspect of Arcane.


The ettins are a race that resembles a cross between a giant and an ogre. Ettins have two heads, but they do not seem to have distinct personalities.

Faceless Ones[edit]

The faceless ones are mysterious monsters with no faces and grotesque bodies. They are closely connected to the Old Gods.


The furbolg are a race of humanoid bears. They traditionally share their forests with the night elves, regard the tauren with esteem, and are wary of the other races.

The furbolg's Northrend branch are called the polar furbolg where they are modeled after polar bears.

Though they have no interest in the wars between the Alliance and the Horde, some furbolgs have become hostile due to the corruptions of Burning Legion and the Scourge during the Third War. The Stillpine Tribe is on the Alliance's side.

The corrupted furbolg tribes consist of the Blackwood Tribe, the Deadwood Tribe, the Foulweald Tribe, the Gnarlpine Tribe, the Thistlefur Tribe, the Winterfall Tribe, and the Bristlelimb Tribe.


The Genesaurs are lion/reptile creatures from Draenor who are the same size as the magnataur as well as sporting the same centaur-like build. The botani revere them as gods in their culture.


Giants are a race of huge creatures that are usually humanoid in appearance. Many of the giants that dwell on Azeroth were created by the Titans as part of their ordering of Azeroth.

  • Mountain giants - A type of giant that was created from living stone and stout flora. The mountain giants are 20 ft. tall and can live for thousands of years. They have since sided with the night elves in order to fight the Burning Legion.
    • Colossi - A subspecies of the mountain giants with crystals sticking out of their back, shoulders, and skull.
    • Frost giants - A subspecies of the mountain giants that have snow on them. They reside in the cold and snowy areas of Azeroth.
    • Hill giants - A subspecies of the mountain giants that live in the hills of the Emerald Dream.
    • Iron giants - A subspecies of the mountain giants allied with the iron dwarves who are allied with Loken. It is mentioned that they are often at war with the ice giants.
    • Molten giants - A subspecies of the mountain giants that are made of magma. They live in warm mountains and the Molten Core of Blackrock Mountain.
    • Stone giants - A subspecies of the mountain giants where some versions have trees sticking out of their backs and roots wrapped around their heads.
  • Storm giants - A mysterious race of giants that once resided in the Storm Peaks of Northrend. They are more than 30 ft. tall, are powerfully built, and can summon small storms. They created the crystallized golems to aid them in their research and to protect them. The storm giants have been decimated by the Lich King and the Scourge use their dead bodies to make the mindless flesh giants.
    • Fire giants - A subspecies of the storm giants that wear smelting pot belt buckles, stovepipe helmets, and dragon-hide cloaks.
    • Ice giants - A subspecies of the storm giants that are allied with the Sons of Hodor faction. They are often at war with the iron giants and are not to be confused with the frost giants.
  • Sea giants - A race of aquatic giants that were created by the Titans to help dredge out the sea. The sea giants are tasked with keeping the oceans clean and safe. They are worshipped by the murlocs and have enemies in the naga.


The gnolls are a race of humanoid hyenas. Extremely aggressive and averaging around 7 feet tall, gnolls are known for their raiding parties, but their martial success is hampered by their tendency to squabble over trivial matters, such as who is the tallest.


The grummles are a squat fur-covered race that were created by the mogu to serve as slaves. Although created from troggs, they have a resemblance to the larger pandaren in facial features. Grummles show a strong belief in charms and fortune, referring to particularly lucky items as "luckydos," and primarily live in Kun-Lai Summit.


The harpies are a race of creatures that are a cross between a female night elf and a bird of prey with long talons for feet and large graceful wings for arms.


The hozen are a mischievous monkey-like race native to Pandaria. Short-lived and full of passion, the hozen love to feel any emotion they can, as long as they feel it strongly. Playful and immature, the hozen are long-time enemies of the jinyu.

Some tribes of hozen are on the side of the Horde.

Sky Hozen[edit]

The sky hozen are the winged subspecies of the hozen.


The jinyu are a race of fish-like humanoids who evolved from murlocs upon living near the enchanted pools near the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. A wise and spiritual race, the jinyu are deeply connected to the land's waterways, and fight a losing battle against the hozen.


The kobolds are a race of rat-like creatures that live in the tunnels of Azeroth. They often yell at enemies by quoting "You no take candle!" since they constantly use candles to light their tunnels.


The magnataur are tusked creatures that are half-giant half-mammoth creatures (with their build being similar to the centaur) that first appeared in Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos. They stand at 20–30 ft. tall. How they came into existence is unknown.


The Makrura are a race of humanoid crayfish that live in the ocean, but are capable of surviving on land for short periods of time.


The Bogstrok are a Makrura tribe that resembles a humanoid lobster and carnivorous where they prey on anything that is larger than a Broken. They reside in Zangarmarsh and the Slave Pens.


The mantid are a race of insectoid mantis native to Pandaria. Unlike the other insect races on Azeroth, the mantids do not operate with a hive mind, although they do serve an empress.


The mogu are a powerful, magical race found in Pandaria, resembling humanoid Chinese guardian lions. Once the mighty servants of the Titans, with the departure of their masters the mogu fell into dark ways, enslaving the other races of Pandaria and forming a formidable empire. After reigning cruelly for thousands of years, around 12,000 years ago the mogu were overthrown by an uprising of the other races of Pandaria, led by the pandaren. Although thought defeated, the mogu have reemerged in recent times with new plans to retake the throne of Pandaria and resume their dark reign. Masters of spirit-binding and dark flesh-shaping magics, the mogu are powerful warriors and fearsome sorcerers.


The murlocs are amphibious bipedal amphibian-like creatures, which dwell along the coastlines of the Eastern Kingdoms, and few other locations. Little is known about this species, although they seemingly have enough intellect to form societies and tribes, even having their own faith system. Some of them resemble frogs while others resemble fish. They have their own spoken language which sounds like 'Mrggle, although it is unpronounceable in the common tongue.[27][28][29]

The murlocs use turtles as their mounts.

Outside of the game, murlocs have been used as a mascot for Blizzard Entertainment, given away as in-game pets at BlizzCon, the video game convention hosted by Blizzard.[30] The murloc has also been used to advertise products outside of the Warcraft series, such as a Murloc Marine advertising StarCraft II.[30] A song has also been written, with murlocs as the subject, named "I am Murloc" by Samwise Didier.[31][32] The Korean player MC sometimes wears a Murloc suit after winning a game.[33]


The naaru are a race of sentient energy beings locked in a struggle to defeat the Burning Legion. They are deeply devoted to the Holy Light, and work to bring its tenets to mortal races, such as the draenei, with whom they are closely aligned. The naaru debuted in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, with their most significant presence in Shattrath City, controlled by a sect of naaru known as the Sha'tar, led by A'dal, the most recognizable of his kind. The naaru are apolitical; their sole priority is the eradication of the Burning Legion. The naaru have access to advanced technology as evidenced by their stronghold, Tempest Keep, which allowed them to traverse the Twisting Nether and visit different worlds. Tempest Keep, however, was commandeered by Kael'thas and his army of blood elves, and its sole remaining occupant, M'uru, was imprisoned in Silvermoon, where his energies were siphoned off by a new breed of paladins known as Blood Knights.

Through the course of the Burning Crusade, it is revealed that the naaru are prone to falling into a "void state," in which they become inverted into a font of dark energy, which attracts spirits to it and consumes them. Over a very long time, the naaru will eventually regenerate into their light state. The origins of the naaru have not been revealed, and their relationship with the Holy Light has not been fully articulated, but some have speculated that they are the very source of the Light. They can be easily compared to angels.

The naaru played recurring roles throughout the Burning Crusade, particularly the final raid of that expansion, the Sunwell Plateau, in which the conflict with the Burning Legion reached its climax. M'uru reappeared in this raid, in which he fell into the void state, becoming a being named Entropius. After Kil'jaeden's defeat, M'uru's heart or "spark" was used to reignite the Sunwell as a font of holy magic, as opposed to arcane magic. Additionally, Lady Liadrin of the Blood Knights pledged her order's service to A'dal. One of the naaru, K'ara, makes an appearance in the Warlords of Draenor expansion.


The naga are mutated Highborne, an elite part of the ancient night elf culture. They have snake-like tails in place of legs, and have other serpentine features such as scales and fins. The naga were created when the Well of Eternity imploded and sundered the land. Many of the Highborne went down with their city into the depths of the sea. Their queen named Azshara made a pact with the Old Gods to save the remaining Highborne, thus the Old Gods cursed them and twisted them into the naga. The naga capital lies underneath the Great Maelstrom. Males are large, with muscular arms and torso, and additionally have two dorsal fins starting near their tail and running up their back, short tentacles erupting from their chin, and are most often dark blue. Females are slimmer by comparison, have four arms, larger dorsal fins and are usually a pale green color. Their faces are much more humanoid compared to the males' snake-like snouts. The females also tend towards the role of spellcasters, as opposed to the male warriors.

In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, a group of naga are led by the sea witch Lady Vashj who is under the servitude of Illidan "The Betrayer" Stormrage. They make multiple appearances throughout the first two campaigns, as enemies in the first campaign and allies in the second, and a few in the last campaign. They are a playable faction during two levels (not including a third where the player can control a few naga units). In World of Warcraft, the naga appear primarily as enemies, being present in almost every region with a coastline and in certain dungeons.

The naga use sea turtles as their mounts.


The nerubians are intelligent arachnoids (a race of spider-like creatures) native to Northrend. They used to control a vast empire underneath the frozen continent until the Lich King Ner'zhul defeated them in a battle known as the "War of the Spider". Several nerubians were resurrected by the Lich King to serve for the Scourge, including their former king, Anub'arak. Some living Nerubians, not under the Lich King's command, exist as insurgents in the tunnels around their former capital, Azjol-Nerub.


The pandaren are a humanoid race which closely resemble pandas. The pandaren occupy their own continent, Pandaria, which split off during the Sundering and was magically shrouded from the rest of Azeroth until the release of Mists of Pandaria. The pandaren were originally introduced as an April Fools' joke by Blizzard's art director Samwise Didier as a playable race in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne; in the "bonus" campaign centered around the Horde, the pandaren brewmaster Chen Stormstout is a supporting character, marking the first appearance of the race in Warcraft.

The playable pandaren in Mists of Pandaria are the only race in World of Warcraft that begins neutral, choosing between the Alliance or the Horde at the conclusion of their starting area's questline. These pandaren hail from the Wandering Isle, a giant turtle that slowly swims so it is a stable place to live.

Pandaren mounts are called dragon turtles.

Pandaren are able to play as Hunter, Mage, Rogue, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, or Monk. Owing to timeline conflicts, the pandaren are the only race in World of Warcraft that cannot be death knights as the events on their starting area of the Wandering Isle occur after the death knights' storyline in Wrath of the Lich King.[34]


The podlings are a plant-like race from Draenor that are associated with the Primals.


The pygmies are a race of small primitive humans that are found on the Lost Isles and Uldum. They are related to goblins.

The pygmies use hyenas and turtles as mounts.


The Qiraji are a race of insectoids that lives in southern Silithus. They can create servants out of living obsidian stone like the Anubisaths, the Horusaths, and the Obsidian Destroyers.


The quilboar are a race of humanoid boars that live on the continent of Kalimdor. They have long since battled for the rights of their lands against the orcs since their immigration from the Eastern Kingdoms.


The saurok are a race of lizard men. They were originally lizards that resided on Pandaria until they were transformed into saurok by the mogu in order to build their army. Over the years, some saurok have escaped from the mogu and formed bands of their own, lurking in the countryside as thieves and bandits.


The sethrak are a race of cobra-headed reptilian humanoids that live in the deserts of Vol'dun on the continent of Zandalar. They are often enemies of the vulpera.


The Tol'vir are a race of half-human half-Sphinx creatures with rock-like skin and a centaur-like build that live in Uldum. Their land and culture is based heavily off of Ancient Egypt and are said to have been created by the Titans.


The tortollans are a race of humanoid turtles that live on the continent of Zandalar. They begin their lives similar to baby sea turtles and can live for 7,000 years.


The tuskarr are a race of humanoid walruses that live in Northrend.

The tuskarr use turtles as mounts.


The virmen are a race of large, rabbit-like creatures that live on Pandaria. They are considered pests by the Pandaren, terrorizing the farmlands of Pandaria and consuming crops. Despite being classed as "humanoids" in the game with the ability to speak, the Virmen are so primitive that they are little more than animals in their behavior.

Void Lords[edit]

The void lords are entities made from pure shadow energy who dwell within the Void that is outside the borders of reality. These lords seek "to twist reality into a realm of eternal torment" and ultimately to devour all matter and energy. However, only the most powerful of the void lords can manifest in the physical universe, and only for limited amounts of time before their energies quickly seep into nothingness.[35]

Void lords use Old Gods to search the universe for slumbering world-souls that be used to manifest in the physical universe. The Pantheon believed that Azeroth is the only titan capable of defeating the void lords.


Vrykul are a race of half-giant warriors with a Norse-like culture, often having long beards and wearing furs. They are the progenitors of humans, originally created by the Titans. They made their homes on the southern continental shores of Northrend, but disappeared for a thousand years. As the Alliance and Horde settled the area at the start of Wrath of the Lich King's events, the vrykul returned. Most of them serve the Lich King as living worshipers, while some stragglers joined other factions, such as the Twilight's Hammer.

With the Legion expansion, it is revealed that there are vrykul settlements in the Broken Isles, found in the Stormheim and Suramar zones. Some of these vrykul can be allied with, and their patron deity, Odyn, is a recurring figure who appears to assist player characters.

There is also an adaptation of vrykul which apparently live under the sea and can surface to land, called kvaldir. Their skin is green, with what appears to be seaweed in the place of hair, and they wear tattered clothes. In Legion players learn that these are unworthy souls captured by Odyn's nemesis, Helya, and bound to her service.

The Vrykul use felsteeds, mammoths, polar bears, and proto-dragons as their mounts.


The vulpera are a race of humanoid fennec foxes that live in the deserts of Vol'dun on the continent of Zandalar. They are often enemies with the sethrak.


The wolvar are a race of humanoid wolverines that live in Northrend and reside in the southern parts of the continent.


The yaungol are the progenitor race of the tauren and taunka people. They reside on Pandaria as seen in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria upon them getting stranded there. The yaungol's appearance is reminiscent of water buffalos.


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External links[edit]