Thursday, January 7, 2010

Who is the Lich King?

Sometimes I like to get into the lore, especially of the class I may be playing. Currently I am adventuring with a new Death Knight. So upon re-awakening this story line in my mind I thought I would share some lore with my readers. Maybe you know the story, maybe not. I do find a lot of people don't really know much about who he really is. While everyone knows the Lich King to be Arthas, it's not that simple. The Lich King is two minds fused together in one body, which once belonged to Prince Arthas Menethil. Let us begin...

The story is much older then where we will start, however we will begin at the point where it seems to come more into play with 'more recent times'. Many years ago Kil'jaeden (The acting leader of the Burning Legion) originally raised the spirit of Ner'Zhul to create and army to destroy Azeroth for the Burning Legion. You see, to begin with, Kil'jaeden tricked him into a demonic pact, causing the Orcs to be bound into the services of the Burning Legion. Ner'Zhul had tried to escape from the Orcish homeland, Draenor, attempting to open portals to flee to new lands.

But who was this Ner'Zhul? Ner'zhul was the chieftain and elder shaman of the Shadowmoon Clan. He was a very respected and admired figure. He had a craving for power, more than he was possible of. That has a lot to do with how the unfortunate Ner'Zhul fell into step with Kil'jaeden and the Burning Legion. But as I said we won't step that far into the past, we will leave that story for another day.

In the chain of events, Kil'jaeden captures him, then rips apart his body and twists his soul in agony, causing Ner'Zhul to beg for his life. Kil'jaeden makes Ner'Zhul an offer, one he could not refuse, his body torn and shredded, his spirit still remained. Kil'jaeden then promised Ner'zhul power over death itself and even more only to once again go into the services of  Kil'jaeden, saving his spirit. Which upon he agreed. Tearing his soul from the flesh, encasing it within the Frozen Throne, shackled within his armor and the Runeblade Frostmourne.The Frozen Throne is a block of ice from the Twisting Nether, used to preserve his spirit. Once transformed with the power- Ner'Zhul ceased to exists and thus became the Lich King.

So the purpose of the Lich King was to raise an army of scourge for the Burning Legion. Once transported to Northrend, he was to control and raise the Scourge army. The Lich King found he had many very powerful abilities he could use. Psychic and Necromantic powers that proved to grow in power at a rapid rate. The scourge seemed to nourish his needs helping the power grow all the more.

There is much more to the story, the Spider War and the conquering of Lordaeron. I will skip ahead to Lordaeron, where a young Prince Arthas fought against the Scourge. He was a proud and respected figure who loved his people. Arthas went to extreme measures (Culling of Stratholme) to extinguish anyone who may have carried the plague, to prevent them from being added to the scourge army.

Arthas seemed to slip into madness from this growing fear. He eventually traced the plague back to Northrend, planning to put an end to it once and for all. Arthas made his way there, though instead of ending the plague he fell to the power of the Lich King, helpless against it. He then was so twisted he believed the power could help him save his people from the plague.

Mal'Ganis and Kel'Thuzad were brought into the scheme to help get things in order for the Burning Legion's plans ahead. All the while Ner'Zhul  plotted with a plan of his own to be free of his frozen prison. 

Once he found the source, Arthas took it upon himself to take the cursed blade Frostmourne. "Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit." Read the inscription on the dais. The 'guardians' of the tomb and long time friend of Arthas, Muradin Bronzebeard, tried to warn him away from it. The ice surrounding the blade exploded, hitting Muradin. Arthas then took the blade and left his friend for dead. It was a power he could not pass up.

Though the power of Frostmourne was mighty, Arthas paid a high price for it. He slowly lost his soul and was transformed into the most powerful Death Knight of all. He ended up defeating Mal'Ganis at the Lich King's command. He then killed and converted his own army into the Scourge. Afterwards he then returned to Lordaeron and was welcomed  home. Upon his return he killed his father King Terenas in the throne room with a sword through the heart. Afterwards releasing the Scourge into the city.

So we know who the Lich King began as and we know how Arthas fell prey to his powers. This is where it starts to get even more interesting. We will skip ahead to the burning Legion's defeat at Mount Hyjal, where Illidan Stormrage had used a powerful attack upon the Frozen Throne. Although he did not destroy it, the crack in which Frostmourne had originally been thrust was now widened.

With the crack in the throne, the Lich King's power began to seep away. He called Arthas to his side, back in Northrend, to help. Once there Arthas defeated Illidan. Then he entered the glacier holding the throne, all the time hearing voices of warning in his mind. The Lich King spoke to him saying, "Return the blade... complete the circle... release me from this prison!"

Arthas then plunged the blade into the frozen tomb, which exploded, at his feet the Thorny Helm of Nar'Zhul tumbled. This helm was crafted by demons to hold the spirit Ner'Zhul and grant him his Lich King powers. Arthas proceeded picked up the helm and placed it upon his head. Now," Ner'zhul's voice echoed within his mind, "we are one!"

Thus Ner' Zhul and Arthas' souls were fused into one, the plans fell into place. The Lich King was then formed. The body of Arthas became the vessel of the Lich King, while the two souls merged to one being.

...And that, my readers, is how the Lich King, as we know it, became.


  1. Excellent. Did you draw the top pic
    of the Lich King? Its just so beautiful!!

  2. No, not me. The top one. The artist name is the file name.

    I would like to make one of him though :D

    Maybe one of these days.




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