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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, Ahn'Qiraj, Black Empire
Occupation God of the qiraji,
Hearthstone Old God of madness and chaos[2]
Location Temple of Ahn'Qiraj
Status Defeatable (WoW)
Unknown (Lore)
Relative(s) Aqir, qiraji, Cho'gall (avatars), other Old Gods
"Your heart will explode."

C'Thun (pronounced /k'θuːn/, "Kuh-THOON")[3] is the Old God of madness and chaos,[2] one of four ancient and powerful creatures who ruled the world of Azeroth long ago before being defeated and imprisoned by the titans. C'Thun created the qiraji and resides within the city of Ahn'Qiraj in Silithus. It 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 in the TCG.
C'Thun ruling over the Black Empire on the young Azeroth.

Countless millennia ago, the Old Gods, C'Thun among them, arrived on Azeroth. There, they established their mighty Black Empire and enslaved the chaotic elementals, who had previously been the world's only inhabitants.

One day, the godlike titans 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.[4] At one point, a great battle raged between a titan and C'Thun in the Silithus desert. A titan fell (though it is unclear whether or not it died), and the Old God also fell - or so it was thought.[5]

Eventually, 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.[4]

Creation of the qiraji

For millennia, C'Thun lay dormant beneath the world - biding its time. From its prison it waited for the exact moment at which to strike back at those that would see it harmed. One day, the Old God discovered the silithid, a race of insect-like creatures who had arisen from the wilds of Kalimdor, and it was through them that it would reach and attempt to sunder the world once more. From the primitive silithid, C'Thun created the qiraji — sentient avatars in his own image. The qiraji would come to work feverishly for thousands of years to build a mighty army and construct the fortress city of Ahn'Qiraj to prepare for the coming of their creator.[5]

The War of the Shifting Sands

Main article: War of the Shifting Sands
The Eye of C'Thun.

After its 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.[5]

The titans had long since vacated the world, and only the night elves were there to defend.[5] So began the War of the Shifting Sands. The whole of Silithus was soon engulfed by the silithid and their qiraji hosts. The night elf army, led by the pompous Fandral Staghelm, was pushed back through Un'Goro Crater, to the borders of the Tanaris desert. Fandral sought the aid of the bronze dragonflight who resided in the Caverns of Time, and who at the time were led by Anachronos. Anachronos initially hesitated to bring the bronze dragons into the war, but when the qiraji attacked the Caverns of Time itself, Anachronos agreed to ally with the kaldorei forces. Realizing that even the combined forces of the night elves and the bronze flight could stop the onslaught of the qiraji, Anachronos called out to the green, red and blue dragonflights. Arygos of the blue flight was the first to notice the strange emanations radiating from the monolothic temple in the southern quadrant of Ahn'Qiraj, a strange power completely different from anything radiated by the qiraji. Seeing the endless numbers of the silithid and qiraji constantly growing within the walls of Ahn'Qiraj and sensing the presence of the qiraji's master, the dragons knew that they had to react quickly. The Scarab Wall was erected to create an impenetrable magical barrier and contain the insectoid threat. The war ended, and C'Thun's plans had failed.[6]


Main article: C'Thun (tactics)

Centuries later, the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj reopened, and the qiraji once again threatened all of Kalimdor. 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.[citation needed] Since the Old God has foreseen the arrival of the dragons, it cast a spell that would place them firmly under his control should they come any closer to him. While it expected dragons at his doorstep, it was not prepared for mortal adventurers.[7] The mortal champions managed to fight their way through Ahn'Qiraj, and finally reached C'Thun's chamber. There, the adventurers did what was thought to be impossible, and vanquished the Old God itself. After C'Thun's defeat, its eye was brought to the red dragon Caelestrasz.[8]

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.

Years later, wile 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.


See also: Old Gods#WhispersC'Thun (tactics)#Quotes

Throughout the Ruins and Temple of Ahn'Qiraj, players can periodically hear the whisperings of 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.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

  • "My dreaming ends. Your nightmare begins!"
  • "Give into your fear!"
  • "Flee, screaming!"
  • "That was a mistake!"
  • "It was your fault!"
  • "Caress your fear!"
  • "You have already... lost!"
  • "Hope is an illusion."
  • "Your minions think you're weak!"
  • "Your minions will abandon you."
  • "Your deck betrays you!"
  • "Death is close."
  • "Well met!"
  • "Sleep!"


C'Thun's stomach.

The C'Thun encounter is actually a composition of different NPCs:


A priestess of C'Thun.
  • C'Thun bears a striking resemblance to the forgotten one beneath Azjol-Nerub that was fought by Arthas Menethil and Anub'arak 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 the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. As you approach, it despawns and emotes that You are in the presence of a god.
  • The  [Membrane of C'Thun] drops from Cho'gall in the Bastion of Twilight.
  • 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 silithid were, and, of course, it turned out to be the Twilight's Hammer. The last bunch of quests seemed to be pointing towards C'Thun's involvement, including an appereance of its iconic eye. However, the quests however never made it into the live version of the game.[9]
  • C'Thun appears as a legendary card in the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. C'Thun could be considered the expansion's "main character"; the card is rather unique in that it is accompanied by a total of 16 other cards that synergize with the Old God in various ways. C'Thun's flavor text reads: "C'Thun's least favorite Hearthstone card: Eye for an Eye."


The Old God C'Thun.
  • The Old Gods in general draw heavy inspiration from the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, and C'Thun is a clear example of this. C'Thun's name is an obvious reference to Cthulhu, one of the most well-known beings in Lovecraft's shared Cthulhu Mythos. The name also bears a resemblance to the Chthonians, one of Brian Lumley's additions to the 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 several of C'Thun's 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, its eye greatly resembles the Eye of Sauron from the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. The eye of C'Thun also 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 from Blizzard's StarCraft franchise.
  • C'Thun, and the Old Gods in general, are also similar to the aforementioned C'tan from the Warhammer 4000 universe. Besides having similar names, other similarities include that the Old Gods fought the titans, and that the godlike C'tan fought the Old Ones. C'Thun's uplifting of the silithid into the qiraji is also similar to how the C'tan transformed the Necrontyr race into the robotic necrons.
  • The name "Cthun" is also used 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.



  1. ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic, Issue ??
  2. ^ a b Whispers of the Old Gods. Retrieved on 2016-03-12. “Having slept for aeons, the Old God of madness and chaos cannot wait to be in your deck now that he is finally awake.
  3. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Daxxarri 2016-03-16. Whispers of the Old Gods – Say C’Thun Three Times Fast. Retrieved on 2016-03-16. “In addition to having a name that is pronounced incorrectly in many different ways (hint: Kuh-THOON), C’Thun may be the most famous of the Old Gods.
  4. ^ a b The Old Gods and the Ordering of Azeroth
  5. ^ a b c d The Prophecy of C'Thun
  6. ^  [The War of the Shifting Sands]
  7. ^ N [60R] Mortal Champions
  8. ^ N [60R] C'Thun's Legacy
  9. ^ WoW PTR : C'thun says Hi!

External links

The Master's Eye Eye of C'Thun C'Thun
Preceded by:
Ruler of Ahn'Qiraj
Succeeded by: