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This article is about his history and appearances. For his tactics in the Caverns of Time, see Archimonde (tactics). For his tactics in Hellfire Citadel, see Archimonde (Hellfire Citadel tactics).
For Warcraft III Statistics, see Warlock (Warcraft III).
Image of Archimonde
Title The Defiler,
Eredar Overlord of the Legion Forces[1]
Gender Male
Race Man'ari eredar (Demon[2])
Character class Warlock[3][4]
Affiliation(s) Burning Legion
Occupation Lord of the Burning Legion[5]
Location Hellfire Citadel, Tanaan Jungle
Status Defeatable
Mentor(s) Thal'kiel, Sargeras
"Let the echoes of doom resound across this wretched world, that all who live may hear them and despair."

Archimonde (pronounced ARK-i-mond) was one of the leaders of the eredar, ruling his people on Argus alongside Kil'jaeden and Velen in peace and harmony. He eagerly joined the fallen titan Sargeras who promised him power in exchange for loyalty. He loyally served his master and the Burning Legion for thousands of years, before his destruction during the Third War.[5] Sargeras' right hand,[6] he is heartless and brutal, but very cunning and far sighted. The colossal demon wields limitless warlock magics and primal strength to lay waste to any who would oppose his fiery will. In his heart of hearts, he seeks to become a god and wield powers that rival those of Sargeras himself.[7] He was described as powerful, elegant, smooth, and intelligent.[8]

During the War in Draenor, Archimonde re-emerged from the Nether to lead the Legion's invasion of the alternate Draenor following Kil'jaeden's initial failed attempt to gain control over the orcs of that world.

He is the primary antagonist in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, the tertiary antagonist in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, and one of the primary antagonists in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.



On the eredar homeworld of Argus, Archimonde was once the apprentice to Thal'kiel, one of the leaders of the eredar and an eredar skilled in summoning magics. Archimonde discovered that Thal'kiel had reached into the Void and was answered with knowledge of dark creatures unlike any the eredar had seen before. He reported his master's dark pact to Thal'kiel's fellow rulers, who banded together to strike Thal'kiel down. After his defeat, they had his skull gilded and placed on display as a warning.[9]

Demon of the Burning Legion

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

Twenty-five thousand years ago, Archimonde would later become one of the eredar's three leaders (the others being Kil'jaeden and Velen). The three rulers were contacted by Sargeras and offered immense power in exchange for their loyalty. Archimonde and Kil'jaeden readily accepted the offer, though Velen not only rejected it, but rebelled and fled Argus with his followers to become the draenei. Archimonde was against Kil'jaeden's search of draenei, but did not take any action.[8]

Archimonde became Sargeras' military commander, triumphing on many worlds.[5]

At some point, after Kil'jaeden recruited the pit lords into the Burning Legion, Archimonde empowered them.[10]

The War of the Ancients

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

Some fifteen thousand years later, when Queen Azshara's reckless magics began to attract the attention of Sargeras, Archimonde, Mannoroth, and Hakkar the Houndmaster led the catastrophic, destructive invasion. With thousands of demonic servants in their wake, they poured through the portal beneath the Well of Eternity, and were let loose upon the ancient land of Kalimdor — razing every structure and spilling the blood of every creature they came across. During the war, Archimonde succeeded in killing the Ancient Malorne, one of the most powerful of Azeroth's demigods, by snapping his neck. This event was one of the only times in recorded history where Ysera opened her eyes.

However, a young Druid — Malfurion Stormrage — gathered a small band of night elves, and with the help of Cenarius' woodland allies combined with Alexstrasza's mighty dragonflights, managed to beat back the demonic hordes. Before the destruction, Archimonde caught Jarod Shadowsong and sadistically toyed with him - beating him to death. In the titanic battle, the portal became unstable and collapsed — sundering the world. This event banished Archimonde and his minions back into the burning pits of the Twisting Nether.

The Second Invasion

WC3RoC logo 16x32.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.


Archimonde prepares to destroy Dalaran.

Archimonde raged and brooded for ten thousand years in the dark recesses of the Twisting Nether as they planned for a new invasion as per Sargeras's will. Again, their target would be the second Well of Eternity.[5] His colleague, Kil'jaeden, found the means through Ner'zhul and, eventually, Gul'dan, on the world of Draenor. With Mannoroth's sinister help, the chieftains of the orcish Hordes were corrupted, and a bloodlust came over them that swept them into a tumultuous frenzy that engulfed their world. The orcs were to be the harbinger of the Legion's return, destroying all they beheld so that none could oppose the Legion. However, after the exodus into Azeroth and Draenor's eventual destruction, the Horde was defeated by the humans of former Arathor and their allies, and the orcs failed in their unholy mission.

However, an old tool was found that could once again be put to use. Ner'zhul, the dark shaman of the Shadowmoon Clan, was sent spiraling with his most faithful disciples into the Twisting Nether after attempting to find new worlds to control, and he was found by Kil'jaeden and the Burning Legion. Over time, he was transformed into the Lich King, an ethereal spirit that controlled the undead Scourge, a force so mighty, that it was expected to succeed where the Horde had failed.

The Undead Scourge had exceeded their expectations.

Archimonde was to command the Legion's invasion, but he needed the means of getting to Azeroth. Due to his monumental power gain much more magic was needed to summon him, and he waited until finally he was contacted by Kel'Thuzad the Summoner, who, after stealing the Book of Medivh from Dalaran with Arthas' assistance, began the lengthy summoning process. As he proceeded, the skies were split asunder, and mighty infernals and felhounds were brought to aid the Scourge. Finally, it was completed, and Archimonde was brought into the world of Azeroth.

Invasion in Lordaeron and Kalimdor

Archimonde in Warcraft III.
Archimonde at the Battle of Mount Hyjal.

Archimonde first placed Tichondrius in charge of the Scourge, saying that there was no longer any need of the Lich King. Unknown to him, the Lich King had been well prepared for this in his greater plan.

Before starting the invasion, Archimonde made an example of what would happen to anyone who would resist the Legion. He picked the city Dalaran and proceeded to destroy it single-handedly with his magic.

The invasion of Lordaeron continued unabated, the magics of Archimonde summoned hordes of demonic followers, including the diabolical Pit Lord, Mannoroth. Together, they plowed through the nations of Lordaeron, devastating all they beheld. However, Tichondrius soon found that the orcs were missing. The Legion followed them across the sea, where they found not only the orcs but also, the vile night elves who had banished them millennia before. Archimonde, Mannoroth, and Tichondrius came up with a plot to re-enslave the orcs and use them to destroy the night elves' demigod Cenarius. The plan was partially successful; Mannoroth corrupted Grom Hellscream and the Warsong clan and drove them to slay Cenarius. However, Hellscream later broke free and sacrificed himself to destroy Mannoroth, thus severing the Legion's control over the orcs permanently.

Despite Mannoroth's death, Archimonde had achieved what he wanted - the destruction of Cenarius. He launched the invasion of Kalimdor and openly confronted his night elf enemies. He even met Tyrande Whisperwind, the insolent leader of the Sentinels, who woke the ancient druids, and together, they battled the Legion once again.

The Defiler continued the invasion of Kalimdor ruthlessly, battling on many fronts, against the combined forces of the Alliance and Horde, as well as the Sentinels. Under Archimonde's orders, Tichondrius used The Skull of Gul'dan to corrupt the forests of Ashenvale, bringing many of the indigenous creatures into the Legion's fold. However, the Legion suffered a major setback when the rogue night elf Illidan Stormrage stole the Skull and used its powers to kill Tichondrius. Archimonde seemed to have little concern for this loss, and placed his most loyal Dreadlord, Anetheron in joint command of the Scourge with Rage Winterchill, one of the few trustworthy liches.

Defiler's End

Archimonde, moments before his destruction.
Archimonde's end.

Archimonde then proceeded with the original objective of the invasion. The demonlord launched a massive attack on the World Tree, Nordrassil. Malfurion believed Archimonde's goal was to draining the Tree's energies,[11] which would drain the night elves of their source of power and immortality. However, Archimonde's target was actually to drain the second Well of Eternity[5] to further his goal of gaining powers to rival those of Sargeras.[12] But Tyrande and Malfurion had allied with Thrall and Jaina Proudmoore, as well as the Shadowtooth Dark Trolls and the Barkskin Furbolgs. Archimonde's ascent up Mount Hyjal was agonizingly slow, being forced to destroy every successive base with the help of Azgalor (Mannoroth's successor as leader of the Pit Lords), Rage Winterchill and Anetheron.

The bases, consisting of the humans, orcs and night elves, did slow his ascent — however, his cunning mind and monumental power enabled the Legion to destroy the bases one by one. First he destroyed Jaina Proudmoore's base, then Thrall's base, and finally he reached the night elves' base which he destroyed easily with a wave of his hand. Archimonde smashed the magical gates guarding the World Tree and started climbing the Tree. He grew in size as he climbed, determined to destroy the World Tree and consume its energies. The demon lord paid no attention to the seemingly harmless wisps gathering nearby.

As Archimonde attempted to rip the World Tree from the Well, Malfurion raised the Horn of Cenarius and called out to the ancestral guardians. Thousands of wisps rose from the surrounding forests and amassed around Archimonde, detonating in a massive explosion that destroyed the demon warlock and incinerated the forests around the World Tree; nature herself would not allow his defilement to occur. While the World Tree would eventually heal itself in time, Archimonde was gone from Azeroth forever.

The Burning Crusade

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

Main article: Archimonde (tactics)

The Burning Crusade opens the Caverns of Time to players, and the crowning event of the instance is the attempt to ensure that the Battle of Mount Hyjal goes as planned. Adventurers sent by the Keepers of Time go back to the climactic battle and assist in the battle against Archimonde's undead and hold off the Defiler himself until Malfurion is able to slay him.

Alternate Draenor

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

The sky will rain fire...the oceans will be filled with blood.... DRAENOR WILL BURN!

While Archimonde cares little for Kil'jaeden's vendetta against Velen and the draenei, he sees in the alternate Draenor an opportunity. Believing that the time for subtlety has passed, Archimonde has taken command of the Burning Legion's invasion of the planet. He handles things much more forcefully than Kil'jaeden, and as a result the demons are much less behind the scenes than they were in the main timeline.

Hellfire Citadel

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

Main article: Archimonde (Hellfire Citadel tactics)

Archimonde is the final encounter of Hellfire Citadel, having come to Draenor "across time and space" to ensure the Burning Legion invasion of Azeroth goes according to plan.[13] While The Defiler met his apparent end at the Battle of Mount Hyjal, his demonic soul remained tied to the Twisting Nether, allowing him to return.[2] Wanting to destroy Draenor, he lost the fight against Khadgar, Yrel, Grommash and the adventurers. With his last breath, he yelled to Gul'dan that "he made a pact" and sent the orc in a beam of green energy into the the Black Gate, causing the portal to crumble. The Defiler once again was defeated.

Archimonde held a fragment of power from the Rift of Aln, which disturbed Malfurion greatly when it was brought to him on Azeroth since the Rift should have been sealed away at the end of the War against the Nightmare.[14]


Prior to joining the Legion, Archimonde was described as usually having sound judgement, but occasionally being susceptible to appeals to his vanity. Velen described him as instinctively impetuous. Archimonde viewed Velen's hesitancy in accepting Sargeras' offer as an obstacle to what he wanted, which had always been in the best interest of those they led.[15]

Archimonde was so brutal that he became known for killing even those who served him. Failure at any level was often punishable by death.[5] Archimonde as a demon was heartless and brutal, but very cunning and far sighted.[12] Archimonde often killed his underlings when they failed him, or just to alleviate his own frustration. While he seemed to be more forgiving of failures of the underlings that he couldn't replace, his brutal nature was enough of a motivation not to fail him. Although he was highly intelligent, his arrogance and his inability to keep his anger in check proved a fatal flaw, one that his counterpart Kil'jaeden does not possess. His inability to keep his ego out of the equation was exploited by Malfurion Stormrage at the Battle of Mount Hyjal.[citation needed]

However, despite being the more hot-tempered of the two eredar leaders who sided with the Legion, Archimonde did not despise Velen and his followers in the same personal manner as Kil'jaeden and was puzzled by his deep-seated grudge against the prophet.[16]

It is unknown what Archimonde's original personality before joining the Burning Legion. It is described in Rise of the Horde that even though the Argus three leaders, Velen, Archimonde and Kil'jaeden personalities varied, their cooperation brought peace and prosperity to their people. It is likely that Archimonde's current personality was caused by the corruption of Sargeras, making him extremely merciless and cruel.

In the RPG

Archimonde from Shadows & Light.

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Burning Legion

His ruthless and cunning personality quickly earned him station and power within the eredar ranks, until finally he was one of the first among them. He is described as one of the lieutenants[17][18] and generals[19] of Sargeras.

Archimonde was appointed as the field commander of the Legion's forces, directing troop movements and overseeing military invasions. Kil'jaeden was charged with more covert operations and recruiting new races and minions into the Legion. Due to their positions, Kil'jaeden and Archimonde each built their own hierarchy of demons that acted as if competitors. Pit lords, doomguards, and eminences served under Archimonde and the dreadlords, while risen terrors and shadow priests followed Kil'jaeden.[20]

Memorable quotes

Rise of the Horde

  • "This is not a glimpse into the future that we can verify. It is only your hunch."[21]
  • "There are worlds aplenty to conquer and devour, in service to our master Sargeras. Let the fool go. We would sense it if he used his talents on any level that would pose a threat. Let him rot on some world, bereft of everything that mattered to him."[22]

Warcraft III

  • Kel'Thuzad: I call upon thee, Archimonde! Your humble servant seeks an audience!
Archimonde: You called my name, puny lich, and I have come. You are Kel'Thuzad, are you not?
Kel'Thuzad: Yes, great one. I am the summoner.
Archimonde: Very well, then. There is a special tome you must find... the only remaining spellbook of Medivh, the Last Guardian. Only his lost incantations are powerful enough to bring me into your world.
Kel'Thuzad: Where should we search for it, great one?
Archimonde: Seek out the mortal city of Dalaran. It is that the tome is kept. At twilight, three days from now, you will begin the summoning.
  • Tremble, mortals, and despair! Doom has come to this world!
  • Let this scar signify the first blow against the mortal world.
From this seal shall arise the doom of men,
who, in their arrogance, sought to wield our fire as their own.
Blindly they build their kingdoms upon stolen knowledge and conceit.
Now they shall be consumed by the very flame they sought to control.
Let the echoes of doom resound across this wretched world, that all who live may hear them and despair.
<Before and after destroying Dalaran.>
  • And you are mine, Mannoroth! You would do well to remember that fact. We will watch the wayward orcs and wait. Despite their failure, they may still prove useful to us.
  • The Legion has returned to consume this world, woman. And this time, your troublesome race will not stop us.
  • FOOLS! You let her slip away! Find her, damn you... find her and kill her!
  • You are very brave to stand against me, little human. If only your countrymen had been as bold, I would have had more fun scouring your wretched nations from the world!
  • You orcs are weak and hardly worth the effort! I wonder why Mannoroth even bothered with you!
  • Come, you night elves! Where is the fire and the passion with which you fought so long ago?
  • At last! The way to the World Tree is clear! Witness the end, you mortals! The final hour has come!

Warlords of Draenor

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

At random from the  [Burning Legion Missive]:

  • You have failed, Kil'jaeden. The orcs did not drink of Mannoroth's blood as you promised. I care not for your vendetta against the draenei... but their souls may still prove useful to us.
  • We will take this world with the unending strength of the Legion. The time for subtlety has passed. Orcs and Draenei both will bow in fealty to the Legion. Our hordes will scorch the earth beneath them. Together, Kil'jaeden, we are unstoppable.
  • Lord Mongrethod, rally your forces. The time is close at hand. Our orc pawn readies portals into the heart of Auchindoun as I speak. We will devour their souls and usher in the full might of our forces.
  • It is time, Lord Mongrethod. Gul'dan's work is nearly complete. Tonight we will FEAST!
  • Azzakel, you will be our vanguard. Lead the charge. You will herald the end of this world.
  • The draenei's souls will empower us. Any living orcs and draenei will become our puppets. Nothing can stop your might. Pour into this world... and feast!
  • Yes... Auchindoun will be ours. The portals are nearly ready for our full invasion. Rise, Legion, and turn this world to ash!
  • The sky will rain fire...the oceans will be filled with blood.... DRAENOR WILL BURN!
  • Do not fail again.


  • Blizzard's original idea for the Archimonde encounter in Hellfire Citadel was that on Mythic difficulty, the Defiler would be killed in the Twisting Nether (and thus, killed for good), but that concept was later moved away from. The idea that all demons can only truly be killed in the Twisting Nether may not be canon and could be changed in the future.[23]
  • In his Hellfire Citadel encounter, he is tagged as a humanoid instead of a demon. This is probably an oversight.
  •  [Archimonde's Gold Coin] can be fished from the Dalaran fountain.
  • Archimonde is a "memory" in the fight against Argent Confessor Paletress in the Trial of the Champion encounter of the Crusaders' Coliseum.
  • Archimonde is voiced by David Lodge in both Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and World of Warcraft.
  • Two realms in World of Warcraft are named after Archimonde: Archimonde US and Archimonde Europe.
  • Archimonde's name is, fittingly enough, an anagram of the word "archdemon" with the addition of an I.
  • The initial description for the  [Skull of the Man'ari] on the official website for the weapon made it rather unclear as to the timeline of events in which Thal'kiel started summoning demons, when he was killed, and when Sargeras made contact. The way it was described made it seem as if Archimonde was already a demon lord prior to Sargeras' arrival. It has since been changed to given a better understanding of how events transpired, as well as establishing that Archimonde was Thal'kiel's apprentice.
    • The website's old description of the Skull was: Before the eredar served the titan Sargeras, one of their greatest leaders, Thal'kiel, had unprecedented skill with summoning and binding magics. Driven by ambition, he reached into the Void and was answered with knowledge of dark creatures unlike any the eredar had seen before. His audacious power grab infuriated the demon lord Archimonde, who struck him down, then had his skull gilded and placed on display as a warning. Today the dreadlord Mephistroth uses it to enhance his ability to summon and command demon armies for the Legion.



Patch changes


Preceded by:
The RPG Icon 16x36.pngLegion Field Commander on Azeroth
Succeeded by:
Kazzak the Supreme
Preceded by:
Lord of the Legion (conjointly with Kil'jaeden)
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Legion Field Commander[citation needed] on Draenor
Succeeded by: