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For the encounter in Ahn'Qiraj, see C'Thun (tactics).
Image of C'Thun
Title A god of chaos[1]
Race Old god (Aberration)
Affiliation(s) Old Gods' forces, Kingdom of Ahn'Qiraj, Black Empire
Occupation God of the Qiraji
Location Temple of Ahn'Qiraj
Status Defeatable (WoW), Unknown (Lore)
Relative(s) Aqir, Qiraji, Cho'gall (avatars), other Old Gods

C'Thun (pronounced /k'θuːn/) is an Old God that created the qiraji and resides within the city of Ahn'Qiraj in Silithus. He appears in World of Warcraft as the final encounter in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj, implemented in patch 1.9.


Before the Ordering of Azeroth

C'Thun ruling over the Black Empire on the young Azeroth.

As one of the five Old Gods, C'Thun ruled over the young world. Azeroth was dominated by the chaotic elemental minions of the Old Gods.[2]

Along the journey of the Titans they happened upon Azeroth. As the Titans made their way across the primordial landscape, they encountered a number of hostile elemental beings. These elementals vowed to drive the Titans back and keep their world inviolate from the invaders' metallic touch. The Pantheon, disturbed by the Old Gods' penchant for evil, waged war upon the elementals and their dark masters. Though the elementals were powerful beyond mortal comprehension, their combined forces could not stop the Titans.[2] A battle between a titan and C'Thun and power raged in Silithus. A titan fell (but may not have died), and an Old God had also fallen - or so it was thought.[3]

The Pantheon shattered the Old Gods' citadels and chained the surviving three evil gods far beneath the surface of the world. Without the Old Gods' power to keep their raging spirits bound to the physical world, the elementals were banished to an abyssal plane, where they would contend with one another for all eternity. With the elementals' departure, nature calmed, and the world settled into a peaceful harmony.[2]

Creation of the qiraji

For countless ages, C'Thun slept and watched as races evolved, fought each other, saw invasion of the Legion and still, created plans for the future - its future. In the desert into which it fell, C'Thun found primitive life-forms known as the Silithid. The Old God created avatars from the Silithid in its own image.[3] These avatars were to be known as the qiraji, a sapient race that would come to occupy the western lands of Kalimdor. It was the qiraji who named their creator: C'Thun.[3] The great fortress city of Ahn'Qiraj was created to house their growing armies and prepare for the coming of C'Thun.[3]

War of the Shifting Sands

After his children had spent thousands of years building an army capable of exacting revenge upon the whole of Kalimdor, the moment that C'Thun had so patiently waited for had finally arrived.[3]

The Titans had long since vacated this world. Only the night elves were here to defend. As the whole of Silithus was soon engulfed by the Silithid and their qiraji hosts the night elf army was pushed back through Un'Goro, to the borders of the Tanaris desert. With the aid of the four dragonflights, the night elves could finally push the qiraji back to the city of Ahn'Qiraj. There a barrier was erected out of rock, stone and roots from beneath the sands to create an impenetrable wall. The qiraji who remained outside the wall were quickly slain.[4]

The Eye of C'Thun.


Main article: C'Thun (tactics)

Centuries later the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj had been reopened, and the war reached its conclusion. Rumors circulated that C'Thun was present with its great, horrifying lidless Eye, surrounded by a sea of tentacles and would vaporize every ignorant mortal who thought of daring to challenge its supreme power and right to the world of Azeroth. Since the Old God has foreseen the arrival of the dragons, C'Thun cast a spell that would place them firmly under his control should they come any closer to him. While he expected dragons at his doorstep, he was not prepared for mortals.[5] Adventurers fought the qiraji and finally reached the Chamber of C'Thun. After C'Thun was defeated, his remnants were brought to Caelestrasz.[6]

Attempted Resurrection

WoW-comic-logo-16x68.png This section concerns content exclusive to the World of Warcraft comics.

The body of C'Thun, with Med'an and Valeera.

While the Lich King attacked Stormwind City and Orgrimmar - distracting King Varian Wrynn and Warchief Thrall - Cho'gall began the resurrection of his new master: the Old God C'Thun. This deformed the ogre's body, which became monstrous and with similar features to his master's. Ultimately, however, Cho'gall was prevented from resurrecting C'Thun when Med'an used the power of the New Council of Tirisfal to collapse the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj on top of him.

The whispers of C'Thun

See also: Old Gods#Whispers

Throughout the Ahn'Qiraj instances, players can periodically hear the whisperings of the Old God, C'Thun:

  • Death is close...
  • You are already dead.
  • Your courage will fail.
  • Your friends will abandon you.
  • You will betray your friends.
  • You will die.
  • You are weak.
  • Your heart will explode.


C'Thun's stomach.

C'Thun in the encounter is a composition of different NPCs:


The Old God C'Thun.

The name C'Thun bears a resemblance to Cthulhu of H. P. Lovecraft's novels, as well as the Chthonians, one of Brian Lumley's additions to the Cthulhu Mythos.

Also pointing towards a reference to Cthulhu is the idea of insanity, such as the Dark Edge of Insanity item drop, as well as possibly several of his quotes, such as "Your friends will abandon you", and "You will betray your friends." Cthulhu in H.P. Lovecraft's stories deals very heavily with insanity as well, with both his followers often being described as mad, as well as those who find themselves in the events surrounding him often losing their sanity.

It is likely that the words C'Thun, Cthulhu, Cthonia, and C'Tan (from the Warhammer 40000 universe) are all derived in some form from the Greek word "Chthonios (Xθωνιος)", which means "under the earth or "inside the earth". Although there was no specific god named Chthon in Greek mythology, the word "chthonic" (sometimes spelled "cthonic") is still used in mythological studies as an adjective to describe earth-related deities. It seems that Blizzard, Lovecraft and Games Workshop adapted the word for their own uses.

While C'Thun bears no striking physical resemblance to artists' renderings of Cthulhu, it is an Old God, possibly similar to the Great Old Ones from Lovecraft's stories, of whom Cthulhu is the most well-known (though not the most powerful) member. C'Thun's eye, however, does greatly resemble Tolkien's Eye of Sauron. The eye of C'Thun looks very much like the Dungeons & Dragons god, Gruumsh, the chief god of the orcs. C'Thun's physical form bears at least some resemblance to the Zerg Overmind of Starcraft.

Resemblance between C'Thun and the C'tan is that the old gods fought against the titans, and the C'tan fought the Old Ones. Old Gods and C'tan are described in a very similar way, as titans and old ones do.

The name Cthun is referenced in the Stephen King short story "N." featured in Just After Sunset. In the story, Cthun is a hidden world of eldritch abominations that is kept at bay by a shifting circle of stones in an abandoned field, where a caretaker must stand watch and, through his perception, constantly "fix" the circle by making sure there are eight stones instead of seven. The rite induces severe OCD-like symptoms in its practitioners, resulting in a string of identical suicides. One of the beings that frequently attempts to pass through the circle is described as an inhuman, three-lobed eye, and a strange leathery helmet.

C'Thun may also be a reference to Elder God from the Legacy of Kain series.


  • C'Thun bears a striking resemblance to the Forgotten one beneath Azjol'Nerub in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.
  • In its first inception, C'Thun was considered to be unbeatable with the current level of gear. However, following a number of hot fixes, phase two was made considerably more controllable, and the first kills were registered in a matter of hours following one such hot fix.
    • During the earliest attempts on C'Thun, some guilds used the Disgusting Aura from the  [Disgusting Oozeling] to cancel the Stomach Digestive Acid debuff in order to stay in the Stomach for an unlimited period of time.
  • The semi-transparent Eye of C'Thun called The Master's Eye can be seen looking at and perhaps communicating with the Twin Emperors in Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. As you approach, it despawns and emotes that 'You are in the presence of a god'.
  • Cho'gall drops the  [Membrane of C'Thun]
  • At some point during Patch 4.1.0 PTR a lot of new Silithus quests were added. The new Silithus quests seemed to involve investigating who the new leaders of the Silithids are, and of course it turns out to be the Twilight's Hammer. The last bunch of quests seem to be pointing towards C'Thun's involvement including an appereance of his Eye. Those quests however never made it into the game.[7]
  • C'Thun is voiced by Brian T. Delaney.


External links

The Master's Eye Eye of C'Thun C'Thun

Preceded by:
Ruler of Ahn'Qiraj
Succeeded by: