Gul'dan (alternate universe)

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For the character from the main universe, see Gul'dan.
For information on how to defeat Gul'dan in the Nighthold, see Gul'dan (tactics).
NeutralGul'dan
Image of Gul'dan
Title Lord of the Shadow Council,[1]
Leader of the Iron Horde,[2]
Betrayer of the Orcs,[3] Lord,[4]
The First Warlock,[5]
Darkness Incarnate
Gender Male
Race Orc
Character class Warlock, Necromancer[6]
Affiliation(s) Shadow Council, Burning Legion
Former affiliation(s) Alternate Shadow Council, Iron Horde, Shadowmoon clan, unnamed clan
Occupation Lord of the Shadow Council, Burning Legion's ambassador to the Nightborne, Leader of the Iron Horde
Location Various
Status Deceased (Lore), Defeatable (WoW)
Mentor(s) Unnamed elder shaman, Ner'zhul,[3] Kil'jaeden
Student(s) Cho'gall, Teron'gor
"Why do you fight? You can do nothing here but die."[5]

Gul'dan was an orc who was cast out of his clan for his physical weakness, and agreed to a secret alliance with the Burning Legion in exchange to wield fel magic.[7] The first warlock, he seeks to spread his influence — and the power of the Legion — to all worlds.[3] While the rest of the orcs did not drink the blood of Mannoroth, Gul'dan and his followers, the Shadow Council have. Indebted to a demonic lord, Gul'dan is one of a handful of fel-corrupted orcs on Draenor,[8] his visage twisted balefully by demonic communion. He led the Shadow Council in his bid to deliver Draenor into the hands of the Burning Legion.[9]

Gul'dan was one of the two primary antagonists of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, alongside Archimonde. He and his Shadow Council are responsible for most of the demonic activity in Draenor and most of the Legendary questline focuses on a cat-and-mouse game between Gul'dan and Archmage Khadgar.

Gul'dan returned as the primary antagonist in the first half of World of Warcraft: Legion, where he made an alliance with the nightborne under Grand Magistrix Elisande to serve the Legion. Atop the Nighthold, he intended to use the corpse of Illidan Stormrage as a vessel to bring Sargeras onto Azeroth. However, the nightfallen rebellion and the order leaders who had fought on Draenor were able to stop him, and Khadgar returned Illidan's soul to his body. His plan in tatters, Gul'dan was destroyed by the reborn Illidan.

Biography

Early life

No one now living has heard of the village where Gul'dan was born. He was born crippled, weak and deformed, which made him a target for constant mockery and abuse ever since his childhood. He knew that he was meant for more than his clan would ever allow of him, and he hated them for it. He used the hate and bitterness he felt as a way to keep going. One day, the other clan members grew so tired of the runt's refusal to accept his place in the clan that they beat him repeatedly in an attempt to rid themselves of him once and for all. As the chieftain was about to beat him again, the elderly shaman of the clan stopped him, saying that he had tried and failed to help Gul'dan find his place in the clan. Laying a hand on Gul'dan's shoulder, the elder said, not unkindly, that there was nothing more he could do for him, but that he had always believed there was greatness within him. He then advised the runt to seek out the Throne of the Elements, for perhaps there he would find his destiny. In response, Gul'dan angrily slapped his hand away. The chieftain then banished Gul'dan to the wastes outside the village, saying that there he would come to understand what it meant to have no people.

After months of starvation and wandering alone through the wastes, Gul'dan began to consider that the safety of a clan might be better than endless suffering. The bitterness that had sustained him all his life ate at him until nothing was left. After barely fighting off a group of giant carrion birds, he collapsed onto the ground. When he awoke, he heeded the old shaman's words and, dragging his body, made his way to the Throne of the Elements, where he offered himself in the service of whatever would end his anguish. In response, the spirits of fire, earth, water and air erupted from the standing stones and began to swirl around him like rays of light. Just as he was about to touch them, they retreated slightly; Gul'dan, confused, reached further, his expression shifting from pleading to one of fury. As he made one last, violent lunge, the elements, sensing the darkness and fury within the orc's heart,[10] violently recoiled from him, and the ray of light twisted into a tendril of shadow before vanishing. Gul'dan was alone once again as rain began to pour. He let out a furious, anguished cry that echoed throughout the Throne; the elements had abandoned him. A single drop fell from his forehead into the pool of water in which he was kneeling, and in the absence of the furies, other voices[10] began to whisper. They offered him a gift, and in return, he would become the harbinger of their fury.

Gul'dan eventually returned to his village, draped in tattered robes. When the clan elder and the chieftain spotted him, the latter furiously approached him, saying that Gul'dan was never allowed to return to his people. In reply, Gul'dan roared that he had no people, before gripping the chieftain's face and causing him to painfully erupt with fel energy, instantly killing him. Gul'dan then went on a rampage, burning down his village and killing all of his former brethren. As his village burned, Gul'dan spotted the village shaman - the only source of any relative kindness in his life. Gul'dan approached the shaman and gripped his shoulder, the fel fire encompassing his hand flickering out. Gul'dan earnestly thanked the shaman, who stared at him in shock. Gul'dan simply said that he had found his destiny. He then killed the shaman without hesitation. Claiming the shaman's staff and a ring, Gul'dan left the burning ruins of his birthplace behind forever. Its name and existence would be lost to history - just as the vengeful Gul'dan preferred.[11]

Gul'dan and the Stranger

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

Gul'dan at the start of his transformation.

Gul'dan sent a message to the orcs promising them untold power. In reply, Grommash Hellscream sent a messenger to Gul'dan wishing to know more about the cruel orc's intent. Gul'dan, undergoing his own transformation after having drank Mannoroth's blood, replied that he had seen a vision, and a Legion wanted the orcs as their vanguard. Much to Gul'dan's surprise, the stranger revealed that he knew serving this Legion meant drinking the blood of Mannoroth and enslaving the orcs to the demons. Angered at the messenger's accusations of slavery, and proclaiming himself to be a god, Gul'dan had his guards remove the messenger from the premises. In response, the messenger slew the guard. Gul'dan told the messenger that in three days the orcs would drink from Mannoroth's blood on a mountaintop and from there march to victory. Lowering his hood, the stranger revealed himself to be Garrosh Hellscream and told Gul'dan that in three days Grommash will stand on the mountain as well and lead the orcs to embrace their true fate.[12]

The blood transformed his visage into something hideous, bent and twisted by demonic energies. With his lieutenants and those who willingly agreed to join his nefarious cause,[13] he has formed the nefarious Shadow Council.[3]

Warlords of Draenor

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

Gul'dan in the Warlords of Draenor cinematic.

Gul'dan summoned Mannoroth to Draenor, and proceeded to prepare a cauldron full of the pit lord's blood atop the highest peak in Tanaan Jungle, and there offered it to the assembled orcish clans while Mannoroth looked on. Grommash Hellscream of the Warsong clan stepped up to take the first drink, but rejected the offering, refusing to become a slave. Gul'dan became angered by Grommash's disrespect and proceeded to back away as Mannoroth made his presence known. However Grommash revealed his awareness of the truth of Gul'dan's plot, as his clan suddenly attacked Gul'dan and Mannoroth. In the battle that followed, Mannoroth was trapped by twin harpoons linked with chain and blasted by an iron star, before ultimately meeting his end when Grommash plunged Gorehowl into his skull. With the Legion's plot foiled, Gul'dan was imprisoned, and the united Iron Horde was revealed. Grommash proclaimed a glorious future for their people, with Gul'dan's original plans to invade Azeroth repurposed to suit the new Iron Horde.[14]

After the Iron Horde's formation, Cho'gall, Teron'gor, and Gul'dan were captured and used to channel souls into the Dark Portal in Tanaan Jungle as ordered by Grommash. Adventurers freed them in order to destroy the portal and stop the Iron Horde's invasion of Azeroth. While not ideal, Khadgar considered it to be the lesser of two evils due to the urgency of the situation, and planned to make Gul'dan a focal point at a more appropriate time.

Cho'gall betrays Gul'dan.

Later, the escaped Gul'dan and Shadow Council members are located by Khadgar and Cordana Felsong. Gul'dan sends Cho'gall to Oshu'gun to subjugate K'ure, while Teron'gor is to go to Auchindoun and "bleed them dry." Gul'dan flees before he can be captured, but sends Garona to attack Khadgar. In Shadowmoon Valley he attempted to raise a fel volcano in the center but was stopped.[15]

While Cho'gall is in the process of transforming K'ure into a void god, Gul'dan arrives and demands an explanation for Cho'gall's delay in reporting back. Cho'gall claims K'ure's void power for himself, and uses void magic to block a punitive attack from his former master. Gul'dan, considering the mad ogre more trouble than he's worth, retreats.

Legendary quest

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

Gul'dan using his power against Grommash.

Khadgar soon returns to searching for Gul'dan via scrying, and successfully communicates with him. During this brief period, Gul'dan mentions that he has inquired about his and Khadgar's history, but refuses to give up, allowing Garona to sneak up once again and stab the Archmage in the back, letting the orc to disappear back into the unknown.

Gul'dan later approaches Grommash at Bladefury's Command in Talador, where he mocks the Iron Horde's failures, punctuating the point by revealing Garrosh's death to the Warchief and the fact that Garrosh was his son. The warlock renews his offer of demon blood, but Grommash still refuses and moves to strike Gul'dan down. The latter effortlessly incapacitates Grommash and opens the offer of demon blood to all orcs present, many of whom struggle with the decision of whether or not to accept. Ultimately it's Kilrogg who steps up to drink from the crude chalice, despite Grommash's urgent warnings. Once Kilrogg drinks the demon blood he quickly mutates into a fel orc and Gul'dan takes control of the Iron Horde, posing an even greater threat to both Draenor and Azeroth than ever before.

Fury of Hellfire

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

Gul'dan, Lord of the Shadow Council
Gul'dan corrupting Cyrukh with the Cipher of Damnation.
Gul'dan at the Black Gate.

Gul'dan has Grommash brought to the Throne of Kil'jaeden, the site where Mannoroth had been felled. Gul'dan expresses disappointment in Grommash, disgusted that Grommash had taken the path of steel and powder over the power offered by the Burning Legion. Looking over the completed Hellfire Citadel, Gul'dan unleashes the Felblight, a river of fel sludge twisting and corrupting all that it touches and warping the Citadel. Grommash growls that the Horde and Alliance will oppose Gul'dan and his demonic masters, and will emerge victorious, but Gul'dan chuckles and shrugs him off, confident that all shall serve the Legion.

Gul'dan offered rest of the Iron Horde the demonic corruption. Few of them spoke against him and he had them arrested, Solog Roark among them. He commanded the orcs to regroup to Tanaan. The orcs left the Blackrock Foundry and from the Iron Docks traveled to the Jungle. He also summoned his old allies and gained new ones. He had the Sargerei locate Teron'gor in Auchindoun, and enlisted the help of Kilrogg and his Bleeding Hollow orcs as well as the cursed and high arakkoa now led by Iskar. Though Kilrogg was unsuccessful in his mission, Iskar managed to locate the Cipher of Damnation and thus the warlock rewarded Iskar and his followers with wings and allowed them to join his army. He also sent a few of his warlock to the site of the Dark Portal to clear its ruin. The orcs discovered that a small piece of portal's magic is still there. After the draenei, frostwolf orcs with the Horde and Alliance began their counter attack and throughout the Jungle they began thwarting Gul'dan's minions. At some point, Gul'dan sensed that he and Kilrogg were watched and he sent an Eye of Kilrogg against them.

During the events of the Garrison Campaign in Tanaan Jungle, Gul'dan finds the Cipher of Damnation, an item capable of severing the connection between Draenor and the elements and which is kept hidden by the Guardians of the Vault. He sends his agents to massacre the Guardians and claims the Cipher for himself, later using it to drive the elemental lord Cyrukh insane. Before Cyrukh can be unleashed to ravage Draenor, Gul'dan's plains are foiled by the commander and the former Shadow Council member Oronok Torn-heart.

As the new leader of the Iron Horde he also gained control of the rest of the Iron Horde ships. The warlock sent his ships across Draenor's seas in order to map ley lines. His enemy, Archmage Khadgar discovered this and he had the warlock's ships destroyed and the ley lines map recovered. The Archmage also sent the adventurers to retrieve Gul'dan's tomes. Even though Gul'dan's plans were thwarted, he gained another ally: Cordana Felsong. The Warden had intended to destroy the  [Orb of Dominion] that had been used to free Garona from the will of the Shadow Council, but through the Orb, Gul'dan fed on her doubts and misgivings with Khadgar to corrupt her from afar. She ultimately attempted to strike down the adventurers, but fled upon defeat.

During the adventurers' assault upon Hellfire Citadel, most of his allies are killed. Gul'dan resurrects and empowers Mannoroth but the pit lord is also killed. He then is able to successfully summon Archimonde the Defiler from the Black Gate. As the eredar battles his enemies, Gul'dan continues to summon demons. When Archimonde is defeated, the eredar yells with his final breath that Gul'dan "made a pact" and proceeds to shoot a beam of fel energy at the orc, sending him into the Black Gate and destroying it. His pact with the Legion was far from being fulfilled.[16]

When Khadgar walks up to the crashed remnants of the portal, he looks down on the ground and notices Gul'dan's staff, which evaporates before his eyes. Khadgar then states to Yrel that Gul'dan, and the devils who command him, are not so easily banished, and that he fears that "this is only beginning".

The Tomb of Sargeras

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

Gul'dan traveling from Suramar to Thal'dranath.

Though his plans failed, Gul'dan survived. Under the Legion's command, he was banished to Azeroth to open a gateway for a monstrous invasion force unlike anything the Horde and the Alliance have ever faced.[17] After being flung through the Black Gate, Gul'dan heard the familiar voice of Kil'jaeden, who gifted the warlock with the endless knowledge of the Legion and ordered him to travel to the Broken Isles.[18]

After arriving on Azeroth, Gul'dan stole a Lordaeronian merchant vessel and sailed across an unfamiliar ocean, all while being pursued by Khadgar. By the time the archmage had caught up with the ship, Gul'dan had killed every adult on board and stacked their shriveled corpses on deck while keeping the children lined up as a living shield against the archmage. Then, with a single spark of fel fire, Gul'dan burned the ship and everyone on it, causing Khadgar to lose track of him.

Though the Legion had granted him much power, the warlock's mortal body was still twisted and weak, and the effort of swimming to shore nearly killed him and seemingly caused him to fall unconscious until a lone Nightfallen attempted to drain his magical energies. In response, the orc killed the elf and several of its nearby brethren before taking a moment to rest. The voice of Kil'jaeden, which had filled his mind since the instant he entered Azeroth and had not given him even a moment's respite, reminded him that he had no time to spare and that he had to keep moving. When the eredar began to question the warlock's loyalty to the Legion, Gul'dan angrily responded that he had proved his loyalty a thousand times over, to which his master simply replied that he had failed again and again and had proved nothing.

Hiding his thoughts from his master, Gul'dan thought to himself that it was the Legion — not him — who had failed on Draenor, before quietly wondering why things should go differently this time. Nevertheless, he obeyed Kil'jaeden's command and began heading north, all the while asking questions about what he was searching for and about the fate of "the other one" — the Gul'dan who had journeyed to Azeroth during the Second War, raised the island of Thal'dranath from the sea but had eventually died there. Kil'jaeden simply told him that Gul'dan was there to visit Thal'dranath again, not ask questions, but eventually let on the name of Gul'dan's destination: the Tomb of Sargeras. At that moment, Gul'dan noticed someone approaching and quickly concealed himself behind a shroud of fel power. A lone Watcher — one of the elite jailers and marshals of night elf society — emerged from among the rocks and began searching for something while heading north. Gul'dan followed.

Soon, Gul'dan had followed the Watcher to a plateau where several of her kind were already waiting under the leadership of Maiev Shadowsong. The orc overheard parts of their conversation and began preparing for a deadly ambush, when Kil'jaeden's voice suddenly thundered through his mind: "HIDE", and Gul'dan soon saw why. In the form of a raven, Archmage Khadgar swooped down on the plateau and began talking to Maiev. Gul'dan argued that he should end the archmage when he had the chance, but Kil'jaeden replied that they were irrelevant and that the warlock had to move east and cross the bay — he no longer had time to walk around all of Suramar. Gul'dan thought to himself that he had agreed to be a servant, not a puppet, and considered treason for a moment before ultimately deciding on playing the part of the obedient pet and returned to the eastern shoreline to find a small Alliance rowboat. Within an hour, using Kil'jaeden's directions and fel magic to move quickly across the water, Gul'dan had reached the island that his other self had raised from the ocean depths many years prior. With ease, he dismantled the arcane locks and barriers blocking the entrance into the Tomb of Sargeras before blasting the door open and swiftly plunging into the darkness.

Khadgar and Gul'dan.

Shortly thereafter, Khadgar entered the tomb as well after hearing the massive blast caused by the door's destruction. After evading several of the deadly magical traps laid by Gul'dan, the mage confronted the warlock in a towering chamber, and a furious battle erupted. Colossal waves of arcane and fel crashed together, threatening to ignite the air around the two combatants. Kil'jaeden's voice angrily told Gul'dan that neither of the two could die this day and that he had to withdraw. Realizing that if he did not obey, he would get cut off from the Legion immediately, the warlock shrouded himself in fel, causing Khadgar's arcane magic to unleash a blinding explosion. When he had opened his eyes again, Gul'dan was gone. A deadly cat-and-mouse game ensued, with Khadgar taunting Gul'dan in attempt to bring him out of hiding while launching blasts of fire at random into the darkness.

After a lucky shot almost reduced him to cinders, Gul'dan convinced Kil'jaeden to tell him about the power locked in the tomb and how to unleash it. Then, using this knowledge, he began deactivating the five arcane seals that had been created in the tomb by the Highborne of Suramar during the War of the Ancients using the five Pillars of Creation. Khadgar noticed this attempt and began sending out arcane elementals to find the warlock while also starting to ask if the orc had ever learned of the fate of his main universe counterpart. Gul'dan ignored him, continuing to break the seals until he reached the fifth and final one, which had begun growing more powerful with each passing moment, arcane energy surging into it — a mechanism created hundreds of years ago by a female Guardian of Tirisfal. Khadgar sensed this and created a massive arcane wedge and began slamming it into the floor of the chamber. Gul'dan threw his concealing illusion aside, and the battle between the mage and the warlock erupted once again. Realizing that he could not kill Khadgar and break the last seal at the same time, Gul'dan attempted to convince Kil'jaeden to infuse him with the tomb's power, while Khadgar finished his story and revealed the fate of the original timeline's Gul'dan: having been torn apart by the demons he had once served. Gul'dan suddenly realized that he was guaranteed to outlive his usefulness in the Legion's eyes, but in that moment, Kil'jaeden conceded and allowed the energies of the tomb to surge into the orc.

Gul'dan encounters his master once again.

Gul'dan immediately ceased his attack upon Khadgar, instead crushing the final seal in a fist of fel fire. The energies necessary to tear open a rift between Azeroth and the Nether began surging towards the portal buried below Thal'dranath, but Gul'dan seized them for himself. After a moment of drowning in pain beneath an endless ocean of power, he regained his control and, by lifting only a finger, caused the chamber to erupt with overwhelming fury. Khadgar managed to seal himself in ice once more, but Gul'dan simply hurled the ice block through a doorway before collapsing tons of rock on top of it, blocking the entrance. Kil'jaeden instructed Gul'dan to allow the power to flow to the portal. Gul'dan, relishing this act of defiance, refused.

Gul'dan used his new power to reach through his demonic link and speak face to face with his master, sitting on a throne in some distant world within the Nether. Gul'dan accused him of planning to discard the orc from the beginning. Kil'jaeden denied this, having invested too much into Gul'dan. He explained that the original Gul'dan died because his betrayal is what sealed the defeat of the first Horde — and by extension, Kil'jaeden and the Legion — on Azeroth during the Second War. When Gul'dan angrily replied that that was not him, Kil'jaeden told him that betrayal was in his nature. Seeing great potential within the orc, however buried beneath a short-sighted selfishness, the eredar had dragged Gul'dan to Thal'dranath to lead him to even greater power. The eredar then went on to explain that while Gul'dan had always been destined for power, he would never be his own master; that every creature served a master, even the Deceiver. Then, he gave the warlock a choice: prove himself loyal, return his power to the portal and open the way for the Legion, or betray his masters yet again to exact his petty vengeance on insignificant mortals before the Legion destroyed him. He left with a closing thought: Gul'dan may call him 'the Deceiver', but Kil'jaeden stated that he had never lied to him. "Not once. Not in this world, and not in yours."

Gul'dan was finally alone in the chamber. Though he felt certain in his decision, he also felt a speck of self-doubt growing inside him. Soon, he heard Khadgar, now joined by Maiev Shadowsong, trying to claw their way into the chamber. The warlock thought to himself that if they wanted to rush to their deaths, they were free to do so, but in that moment, Gul'dan realized where his insecurity was coming from. Khadgar had been utterly defeated, yet he was not giving up. Maiev could not stand the archmage, but was now risking her life to save him. Gul'dan remembered the others who had rushed headlong into battle against the Iron Horde and even Archimonde himself, and realized that he would have to face every single one of them alone, albeit without a master. Khadgar and Maiev breached the chamber and ran towards Gul'dan. With no effort, he brushed their attacks away again and again, yet they kept coming at him. The warlock thought to himself that their stubborn resistance was exactly what he would have to face over and over again; he had no measure of his new power, but he had a measure of theirs. Finally, reluctantly, he let his power slip away from him and down towards the portal, at last allowing the Burning Legion's third invasion of Azeroth to commence. As Khadgar and Maiev dropped to the floor, Kil'jaeden commended Gul'dan for his choice, and now Gul'dan had something he had never had from the Legion before: their trust.

Khadgar and Maiev ran for their lives, with the Warden heading north to fortify the Vault of the Wardens and Khadgar transforming into a raven to fly east. As the archmage glanced back towards the ever-darkening sky above the tomb, he saw Gul'dan levitating in the middle of the inferno, laughing and pointing towards the fleeing archmage to order several demons to pursue him.[19]

Twilight of Suramar

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

Some time after Gul'dan's arrival on Azeroth, the nightborne city of Suramar came under attack by the Legion. Gul'dan appeared before Grand Magistrix Elisande and her advisors, giving them a simple choice: bring down the protective barrier around the city, grant him access to the Nightwell and live as honored allies of the Legion; or be destroyed like the rest of Azeroth, since the barrier was bound to fall regardless. After giving his offer, Gul'dan disappeared, saying that if the barrier was not down after three days, he would know the elves' answer. Elisande and her advisors eventually decided to accept the Legion's offer, bringing down the barrier and exposing their city to the demons they had once fought against. As doomguard swarmed into the city, Gul'dan told Elisande that the end of the nightborne's long seclusion should not be a concern, for with every ending comes the opportunity for a new beginning.[20]

Legion

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Gul'dan owes allegiance to no one save his Burning Legion masters. On Draenor, the power-hungry orc warlock nearly had his entire race enslaved to demons. Though his plans failed, Gul'dan survived. Under the Legion’s command, he was banished to Azeroth to open a gateway for a monstrous invasion force unlike anything the Horde and the Alliance have ever faced.[17]

With the help of the corrupted warden Cordana Felsong, Gul'dan was able to breach the Vault of the Wardens. Inside it, Gul'dan found the corpse of Illidan Stormrage, who was brought there after his death at the Black Temple by Maiev Shadowsong so his soul would continue to serve his eternal sentence.[17] Gul'dan took Illidan's body to Black Rook Hold and conducted a ritual to separate his soul from his body. This energy brought the souls of the Ravencrest clan back to their ancestral home.[21] Gul'dan then raised the dead night elves to protect the secrets within the tower. These undead cannot see the living for what they truly are and believe them to be demons[6] as they eternally relive the horrors of the War of the Ancients.[22]

Gul'dan executes Varian Wrynn after the Battle at the Broken Shore.

Seeing that the portal opened by Gul'dan in the Tomb of Sargeras enabled the might of the Burning Legion to cross through into Azeroth, the heroes of Azeroth gathered their forces and rode to the Broken Shore in a joint faction fleet to combat the threat. During the Battle for the Broken Shore, Gul'dan's vast army of demons were able to overwhelm the initial invasion of Azeroth's defenders and forced them to withdraw. Many heroes died in battle or from sustained mortal wounds, and Gul'dan himself executed King Varian Wrynn in the aftermath of the failed assault with fel fire. It is likely that the  [Lionshead Lapel Clasp] and the  [Warchief's Shattered Tusk] are related to him and Vol'jin, collected as trophies by Gul'dan following the battle.

Gul'dan rallies members of the Shadow Council who have been in hiding across Azeroth and sends them to retrieve the Eye of Dalaran from Tol Barad and Book of Medivh from Scholomance, while he obtains the  [Scepter of Sargeras]. With all three, Gul'dan intends to open various rifts to summon more demons in addition to the portal within the Tomb of Sargeras.[23] At the Broken Shore, Gul'dan travels to Argus to stabilize the ritual on that end, but a warlock adventurer steals the Scepter of Sargeras and disrupts the ritual.[24]

Xe'ra and the Illidari speculate that Gul'dan struck a deal with Helya for her to steal Illidan's soul out of the Twisting Nether, for Illidan's soul is found by them in Helheim.[25] This is reinforced by the fact that Gul'dan's staff has a deep connection to the Shadowlands.[26]

In Suramar, Gul'dan works to put a portion of his master's soul, Sargeras, inside Illidan Stormrage's body at the Nightwell under the eye of Tichondrius. He is the final boss of the Nighthold. When the adventurers confront Gul'dan at the pinnacle of the palace, he summons a number of powerful demons to stall them while he works to begin channeling Sargeras' power into Illidan's body. Once the ritual begins, Gul'dan pledges to indulge himself by crushing the adventurers personally. Gul'dan bolsters his weak frame with fel and directly assaults the adventurers. Despite his great newfound power, the heroes begin to overpower him; out of desperation, Gul'dan resorts to opening an immense rift to the Twisting Nether and further empowering himself. As Khadgar uses the Pillars of Creation and Light's Heart to put Illidan's soul back inside his body, Sargeras takes control of the body and The Demon Within[27] reveals itself.

After the Demon Within's vanquished, Gul'dan's defeat causes him to lose his newfound powers and sends him sprawling to the ground, reverting to his original, frail form. The portal begins fluctuating, a pulse of energy sending the suspended, crystalline prison of Illidan crashing into a nearby statue. Gul'dan roars in horror as the portal flickers and dies. In a mirror of his abandonment at the Throne of the Elements, Gul'dan is left kneeling, staring at his hands, alone.

A pair of black wings unfurl behind him; Gul'dan slowly turns around only to have a black hand seize him by the throat. Illidan Stormrage raises Gul'dan up and begins flooding him with fel magic. Gul'dan screams in agony until, much like Varian Wrynn, he explodes in a flash of fel energy. All that remains of Darkness Incarnate is his skull, which Illidan crushes without hesitation.[28]

Locations

Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Gul'dan (tactics)  ??
LFR Scales
Normal + Scales
Heroic + Scales
Mythic ??
Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Assault on the Dark Portal  ?? 1,252,528
Shadowmoon Valley (alternate universe)  ?? 93,939,600
Frostfire Ridge  ?? 93,939,600
Remains of Xandros  ?? 1,252,528
Talador  ?? 1,252,528
Tanaan Jungle  ?? 939,396
Tanaan Jungle  ?? 1,252,528
Hellfire Citadel  ?? 10,832,800
B [98] The Battle for Broken Shore  ?? 220,561,358
N Warlock [98] Ritual Ruination  ?? 28,764,676

Memorable quotes

  • "We are chosen to be something greater, something darker, something glorious!"[3]

Warlords of Draenor

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

Main article: Quest:The Portal's Power#Notes
Main article: Quest:Ominous Portents#Notes
Main article: Quest:All is Revealed#Notes
Main article: Quest:To Catch a Shadow#Progress
Main article: Quest:To Capture Gul'dan#Progress
Main article: Quest:Destination: Unknown#Notes
Main article: Quest:The Ritual of Binding#Cutscene
Main article: Quest:The Scrying Game#Notes
Main article: Quest:The Unbroken Circle#Notes
Main article: Quest:An Inside Job#Notes
Main article: Quest:The Eye of Kilrogg#Notes
Main article: Quest:Dark Ascension#Notes
Main article: Quest:Garrison Campaign: The Warlock#Notes
Main article: Quest:The Cipher of Damnation (Tanaan Jungle)#Quotes
Main article: Mannoroth (tactics)#Quotes
Main article: Archimonde (Hellfire Citadel tactics)#Quotes

Fury of Hellfire trailer

Gul'dan is keeping Grommash prisoner atop the Throne of Kil'jaeden overlooking Tanaan.
Gul'dan: You were to be the first, Hellscream. You were destined to be my greatest champion. And instead, you chose this. You have no vision. Behold what a true seat of power demands.
Gul'dan casts a bolt of fel magic, causing rivers of fel energy to erupt from the side of the mountain, running down into the jungle, twisting and transforming the Citadel.
Gul'dan: A citadel of hellish fire worthy of my masters... A monument to entomb the souls of all who would dare to defy us!
Grommash: They will defy you. I have seen their forces in battle. They are fearless. It does not matter what vile creatures you summon to the battle. They will persevere. Their resolve is unbreaking. They will come. They will fight. And they will wash their blades of your blood in victory!
Gul'dan laughs as he starts walking towards the edge of the cliff.
Gul'dan: Fight if you must, Hellscream. It is no matter. In the end, we all serve the Legion.

Harbingers

  • "My people? I have no PEOPLE!"
  • "I would never again grovel for a place in this world. Instead I would forge a world that would grovel before me."
  • "Thank you... I found my destiny." (To the clan shaman, moments before killing him.)
  • "No one living has heard of the village of my birth... and no one ever will."

The Tomb of Sargeras

  • "You have not paid the price for that power. Not as I have. But please... have more."
  • "Khadgar will destroy the Tomb! The Legion will never have a chance to use this place again! Trust that I want to see this fool dead, or trust that all of your plans will burn!"
  • "I don't believe Khadgar was lying. The other one... the other Gul'dan... He died here at the Legion's hands, yes?"
  • "So... The Burning Legion does not honor its pacts. There was always a part of me that believed our arrangement would not last."
  • "That was NOT ME!!"
  • "Help me understand... Why do you fight? You can do nothing here but die."

Legion

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Main article: Quest:The Battle for Broken Shore#Notes
Main article: Quest:Return to the Black Temple
Main article: Quest:Stop Gul'dan!#Cutscene
Main article: Quest:Ritual Ruination#Notes
Main article: Gul'dan (tactics)#Quotes

Notes

  • It was originally stated that Gul'dan was originally a member of the Shadowmoon clan and an apprentice to Ner'zhul, much like his main universe counterpart.[9][3][29] Harbingers appears to retcon this by saying that Gul'dan wiped out his former clan and that the village where he was born has been wiped from history. Interestingly, his crippled, weak and deformed body as well as the travel he made in his youth to the Throne of Elements are both reminiscent of the pale orcs.
  • Strangely, the official Warlords of Draenor website calls Gul'dan one of the few fel orcs on Draenor, while generally this is a term applied to the red-skinned orcs who were infused with the blood of Magtheridon in Outland. Sean Copeland clarified that these orcs are fel-corrupted but not true "fel orcs."[8]
    • While spikes are commonly seen on true fel orcs, the spikes coming off Gul'dan's back are a part of his clothing.[30] This seems to be true only for the main-universe Gul'dan as spikes on the alternate one seem to be a part of his body.
  • At one point, Khadgar states that Gul'dan is "as much demon as he is orc".[31] Gul'dan himself at one point thinks to himself that he is "not quite" a demon, which is why he was able to enter the Tomb of Sargeras.[19]
  • He is described as being "on the telephone" with a very angry Kil'jaeden[32] during the events of Warlords of Draenor.
  • The reason for Gul'dan being chained in the Gul'dan and the Stranger comic is because he didn't know what would happen to him when he drank the blood of Mannoroth.[33]
  • Both of Gul'dan's apprentices intended to betray him after becoming empowered. Teron'gor referred to his master as a fool for allowing him to feast upon the souls of Auchindoun. Teron'gor wanted everyone to bow before him, indicating that he had no intention of serving someone he believed to be weaker than himself. He most likely wanted to take Gul'dan's place as leader of the Shadow Council. Cho'gall took the powers of K'ure for his own agenda, instead of handing it over to Gul'dan as commanded.
  • His open leadership of the Iron Horde is rather at odds with the attitude of his main timeline counterpart, who always refused the notion of openly leading the orcish people. A possible interpretation of this difference is that because Kil'jaeden's plan failed, Archimonde took the reigns of the invasion, and taught the alternate Gul'dan the merits of overwhelming force and dominance over subterfuge and manipulation.
  • Although affiliated with the Stormreaver clan on the official Warlords of Draenor website,[9] the clan itself was created shortly after the crossing to Azeroth in the main timeline, so all information on the clan were removed from Draenor during alpha testing.
  • Gul'dan is voiced by Troy Baker.[34][35]
  • This Gul'dan traveling to the Broken Isles to open the Tomb of Sargeras is an obvious parallel to the prime Gul'dan, who raised part of the Isles from the bottom of the sea, entered the Tomb and ultimately met his end there. This time, however, he is able to usher in the invasion of Azeroth and does not die to demons long locked away within the vaults of the ancient Tomb.
  •  [Gul'dan's Coin] can be fished up from the fountain in the Legion version of Dalaran.

Gallery

Fan art

Videos

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References

External links