Illidan Stormrage

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For the book, see World of Warcraft: Illidan. For information on how to defeat Illidan Stormrage in World of Warcraft, see Illidan Stormrage (tactics).
NeutralIllidan Stormrage
Image of Illidan Stormrage
Title The Betrayer,
Lord of Outland,
Lord of Shadow,[1]
Lord of the Illidari
Gender Male
Race(s) Demon,[2][3][4]
Night elf (formerly)[3]
Character class Sorcerer,[5] Rogue,[6] Demon Hunter[7]
Affiliation(s) Illidari
Former affiliation(s) Burning Legion, Kaldorei Resistance
Occupation Lord and Master of the Illidari, Former Lord of Outland and Master of the Black Temple
Location Twisting Nether, Various Locations
Status Active[8]
Relative(s) Malfurion Stormrage (twin brother), Tyrande Whisperwind (sister-in-law), Shandris Feathermoon (adopted niece)
Mentor(s) Kil'jaeden, Rhonin
Student(s) Varedis Felsoul, Leotheras the Blind, Alandien
"Imprisoned for ten thousand years. Banished from my own homeland. And now you dare enter MY realm? You are not prepared..."

Illidan Stormrage is the former self-proclaimed Lord of Outland, former ruler of the Black Temple and the original leader of the Illidari demon hunters. He is the twin brother of Malfurion Stormrage and was, like his sibling, in love with Tyrande Whisperwind. Though born a night elf and renowned as a powerful sorcerer, Illidan betrayed his people by defecting to the demonic Burning Legion during the War of the Ancients. Due to this betrayal, as well as having secretly created a second Well of Eternity after the first one was destroyed at the end of the war, he was dubbed "the Betrayer" and imprisoned in the Barrow Deeps below Mount Hyjal. There, Illidan remained for over 10,000 years, watched over by Maiev Shadowsong and her Wardens.

During the Third War and the Legion's second invasion of Azeroth, Illidan was freed from his prison by Tyrande, who believed that he would be a valuable ally in the conflict. However, before battling the dreadlord Tichondrius, Illidan consumed the foul energies of the Skull of Gul'dan, and, in the words of Maiev, became "neither demon nor night elf, but something more". He was therefore banished by Malfurion, despite having succeeded in defeating a high-ranking member of the Legion. After the demons were defeated at the end of the war, Illidan was approached by the demon lord Kil'jaeden, who ordered the Betrayer to destroy Kil'jaeden's traitorous creation, the Lich King. Amassing an army of servants in the form of the naga led by Lady Vashj, Illidan attempted to use the artifact known as the Eye of Sargeras to destroy the Lich King's stronghold of Icecrown, but was hindered by Malfurion, Tyrande and Maiev. Upon hearing that Tyrande was under attack by the undead Scourge, the demon hunter abruptly abandoned his mission and instead temporarily joined forces with his brother in order to save the woman they both loved. Knowing that this would earn the ire of Kil'jaeden, Illidan thereafter fled with his naga to the shattered realm of Outland, where he was later joined by new allies: the blood elves led by Kael'thas Sunstrider and the Broken draenei led by Akama.

Together with his servants, Illidan managed to overthrow the tyrannical ruler of Outland, the pit lord Magtheridon, and claim the demon's stronghold and army for himself. Moments later, however, Kil'jaeden appeared once again to remind Illidan of his task— and claimed the pit lord's stronghold and fel orc forces for himself, but shortly thereafter, Kil'jaeden appeared once again to remind the demon hunter of his task. After journeying to Icecrown, Illidan's efforts were ultimately stopped by the Lich King's champion, Arthas Menethil, who nearly killed the demon hunter in a fateful duel outside the entrance to the Lich King's chamber. Having survived his brush with death, Illidan retreated once more to Outland to muster his forces and prepare for his new plan: to destroy the Burning Legion and the demon world of Argus.

Despite succeeding in destroying the Legion stronghold of Nathreza, the Betrayer was ultimately cornered and struck down within his own sanctum by Akama, a group of adventurers of Azeroth and his vengeful former jailer, Maiev. However, even in death, Illidan's story was not yet complete: after the fateful confrontation, Maiev secretly brought the half-demon's corpse to the Vault of the Wardens so that his spirit could suffer the rest of his eternal sentence. There it remained for years, until finally, the Legion invaded once more.

Illidan was introduced in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, though he played a far more significant role in the game's sequel, The Frozen Throne. He made his first appearance in World of Warcraft with the first expansion, The Burning Crusade, serving as the final boss of the Black Temple raid in patch 2.1. Illidan will return in World of Warcraft: Legion, though it remains to be seen if he will be a hero or a villain.


War of the Ancients

See also: War of the Ancients (WC3 account) and: War of the Ancients (novel account)

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

It should be noted that the "altered history" referenced is the official history of the Warcraft setting.

Illidan, twin brother of Malfurion, practiced Highborne magic. In his youth he attempted to master the druidic forces, as his brother had, but the sorcery called to him in a way that the magic of the land did not. Unlike his brother, Illidan was born with amber eyes, at the time a sign of a great destiny — however, this actually indicated inherent druidic potential.[9] When Malfurion and Tyrande had found their destiny, Illidan was still searching for his. Though not a Highborne himself, he became the personal caster of the military leader, Ravencrest.

When Archimonde's invasion of Azeroth had begun and Azshara's treachery became known, Malfurion convinced Illidan to leave his queen. Illidan followed his brother. But as Cenarius and the dragons entered the battle, Malfurion came to understand that their adversaries were too powerful to fall in combat. To end the invasion, he plotted the destruction of the Well of Eternity. The idea appalled Illidan. The Well was the source of his magic — and likely of the elves' immortality — and its loss was a price far too dear for him to pay. In addition, the night elf found that he increasingly admired the powers of the Burning Legion, seeing a magical purity that underlay their chaotic behavior. Where the night elves struggled to maintain their ground, the Burning Legion's numbers did not seem to permanently diminish. The satyr Xavius seized upon his doubts, exploiting his confusion to plant seeds of distrust into Illidan's mind which made Illidan turn to seek the power the Burning Crusade were using so he could become stronger, while in his mind this was to help defeat the Burning Crusade he actually helped them by giving Sargeras the Demon Soul to make the portal stronger.

It was likely somewhere in this point of time that Illidan defeated a doomguard commander named Azzinoth and took up the demon's personal weapons as his own; these would become known as the Warglaives of Azzinoth.

Illidan had strong feelings for Tyrande Whisperwind, a novice priestess in the Sisters of Elune. Illidan so desired to impress Tyrande that he often acted without thinking, particularly in magic; he never realized that these displays weren't quite what the priestess was looking for in a mate. But while Illidan struggled to win her heart, none of them realized that the battle was over soon after it had begun; Tyrande had chosen Malfurion almost from the beginning. Xavius knew of this and used his power to darken Illidan's thoughts, convincing him that if Malfurion were to die, Illidan would no longer have a rival for Tyrande's love. Finally the sight of Tyrande in the arms of his brother shattered his final ties to the defenders.

Illidan from "The Sundering".

Illidan, with a new plan spurred into his mind, journeyed to Zin-Azshari. There he feigned allegiance to Azshara and Mannoroth. Illidan's plan was to obtain the Demon Soul, an artifact of great power created by Deathwing also known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder, which had the ability to close the portal which was allowing the demons to enter Kalimdor. However, to put this plan in action, Illidan had to gain more power. Illidan was eventually brought before Sargeras himself, who quickly discovered the night elf's plan to obtain the Demon Soul for the Legion. Sargeras was pleased with this plan, and gave Illidan a "gift" in return for his allegiance. Illidan's eyes were burned out by Sargeras himself, despite still being beyond the portal, and orbs of mystic fire set in their place that allowed Illidan to see all forms of magic, and arcane tattoos covered his body. Azshara was fascinated by the "new" Illidan (who was wary of her advances), but remained cautious, sending Captain Varo'then to accompany Illidan in his search for the Demon Soul.

After the Great Sundering, Illidan, who had filled seven vials with water from the Well of Eternity, scaled the peaks of Mount Hyjal, where he found a small, tranquil lake. There he poured the contents of three of the vials into the waters. The chaotic energies quickly manifested, tainting the lake and twisting it into a new Well of Eternity. Illidan's joy was short-lived however, when his brother, Malfurion, Tyrande and the rest of the kaldorei leadership discovered him - and all were horrified at what he'd done. Unable to accept that his brother had committed such treachery, Malfurion tried again to explain to Illidan the folly of his ways. The magic, he insisted, was chaotic by nature, and it could only bring about destruction so long as it existed. Illidan refused to listen, so enraptured by the magic's power that his brother seemed to him an unknowing fool. Illidan claimed that magic would be needed should the Burning Legion ever return.

The lack of remorse shook Malfurion to his core and he raged at his brother, understanding now that Illidan was lost forever to the magic's sway. He ordered him imprisoned deep below Hyjal in a jail kept far from sight and mind. Malfurion would later note that sometimes he went to visit Illidan in his prison in the hopes of turning him from his fatal path.[10]

Release from prison

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

Illidan languished for 10,000 years in a lightless prison. Califax, a Keeper of the Grove, and a contingent of night elves (including Maiev Shadowsong) kept constant guard over the Betrayer. Release came at the unexpected hands of Tyrande, who slaughtered the night elf guards in the hopes of using Illidan against the Legion, which had returned to Azeroth at the hands of the Scourge. With his love for Tyrande undampened through the millennia of confinement, Illidan agreed to help. He swore to throw back the Legion and to depart from the night elves forever.

Malfurion opposed Tyrande's decision, thinking the release of Illidan a catastrophic mistake. Frustrated that his brother remained unchanged and eager to prove to him that the demons had no hold over him, Illidan left Malfurion behind, leading a force of night elves into Felwood to hunt down the Legion. While in Felwood, he encountered Arthas, champion of the Lich King, and they engaged in combat. The fighters were equally matched, and the combatants reached an impasse. Illidan stopped the duel and demanded to know why Arthas had tracked him. Arthas responded openly, telling Illidan about the Skull of Gul'dan, the demonic artifact that had corrupted Felwood. He explained that if the artifact were destroyed, the corruption of the forests would halt. To ensure that Illidan would take the bait, Arthas spared no detail of the Skull's power, adding that his master knew of Illidan's thirst for power. Although Illidan did not trust Arthas, he nevertheless sought the Skull and its power out.

A great Demon Gate defended the Skull as Illidan and his forces had to fight mightily to gain access to the artifact. Driven by necessity and influenced by the belief that with the increased power, he could at last redeem himself in the eyes of Tyrande, he shattered the demonic seal and used the Skull's powers for his own. Strength he found, but peril greater than power came to him at once. The battle for control of the Skull came with a heavy price and the artifact's powers changed him. Transformed into a demon, Illidan wrapped himself in shadow and utterly destroyed Tichondrius and his forces. But with victory came devastation. Tyrande and Malfurion sensed the demonic power lurking within Illidan and turned away with disgust and despair. Malfurion chastised his brother, convinced that Illidan had traded his soul for more power. Enraged, Malfurion banished his brother from the forests.

Feeling his sacrifice and effort were unappreciated, Illidan muttered "So be it... brother", and left the night elf lands.


Illidan calling the naga from the depths of the sea.
Kil'jaeden meets with Illidan, a few months after the Legion's defeat at Mount Hyjal and Archimonde's death.

After the Legion's defeat, Illidan was visited by Kil'jaeden, who, while noting Illidan's sketchy track record with the Legion, offered him one final chance to serve them. He told him to seek out the Frozen Throne, and destroy it. Ner'zhul had grown far too powerful for Kil'jaeden to control, and Illidan was to remove him from the equation; in exchange for more power and magic than he could dream of. He granted him the Orb of Kil'jaeden to aid him in this task.

By harnessing Gul'dan's enchanted skull, Illidan came to possess the warlock's memories, and a plan came to mind, but he would need allies to help him. He decided to enlist the aid of old friends.

Illidan called the naga to the surface. The naga, formerly the quel'dorei servitors of Azshara, were eager to take vengeance upon the night elves and the other land walking races that had been spared from The Great Sundering. The naga respecting Illidan's magical talent accepted the alliance[2] and Vashj eventually came to lead those who would be known as "Illidan's Naga". But Illidan still had the troublesome warden, Maiev Shadowsong, to deal with, as she had persistently chased him all over Kalimdor. Illidan then allied with a group of satyrs, known as Illidan's Servitors,[11] and corrupted some furbolgs.[12] Then he ran to the port of Nendis with his naga and satyr minions protecting the way up behind him. Maiev killed the furbolgs and defeated his forces, but when she came to the port, Illidan hijacked a boat and set sail, while a cadre of naga stayed behind to scuttle the ships and ruin all hopes of following him.[11]

With the naga swimming in his wake, Illidan came ashore on the Broken Isles — the ruined remains of Suramar (ironically, the same city where Illidan grew up) which Gul'dan and his warlocks had raised twenty years before, and the home of the Tomb of Sargeras.

Confrontation on the Broken Isles

Illidan portrait in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.
Illidan after receiving the Orb of Kil'jaeden.

But Illidan's servants had not been successful in destroying the boats. Maiev and the Watchers arrived on the Broken Isles shortly after Illidan, and the two forces battled across the watery terrain. Illidan reached the tomb, and Maiev was quick to follow. With Gul'dan's knowledge, Illidan quickly traversed the Tomb and came to the chamber which contained the Eye of Sargeras. Maiev came upon him as he and Vashj were activating the powerful artifact, and, as vengeance for her imprisoning him for 10,000 years, Illidan used the Eye to bring the Tomb down around her, and then quickly escaped through the underwater passages used by the naga. Though he killed Naisha and all the other Watchers within the Tomb, Maiev escaped with her magical abilities. On the surface, Illidan and Maiev battled for supremacy as the Warden sent out a runner to gather reinforcements from Ashenvale.

Malfurion and Tyrande arrived on the Broken Isles with reinforcements as Maiev's base was being overrun. When they struck back, Illidan's forces crumbled, but he and his retainers fled before they were seriously harmed. Tyrande pursued them out of the base, and Illidan ensnared her to protect himself, and then warned her not to interfere. He fled across the sea once again. During this battle, Tyrande finally revealed why she had spurned Illidan: too drunk with his rising magical and political power, he had forgotten his own inner strength. Malfurion, despite his increases in power, held on to that strength within him. Armed with this knowledge, Illidan finally came to grips with his feelings.

Illidan landed on the shore of Lordaeron, and quickly made his way through the Silverpine Forest to get to Dalaran, where Illidan began to use the Eye of Sargeras to break apart the polar ice cap and destroy Icecrown and the Frozen Throne. But he was interrupted by Maiev and Malfurion, and the spell failed. Malfurion had felt Illidan's spell tearing the land apart and concluded that he was a danger to the world and had to be stopped. Illidan, who was entangled by his brother, called Malfurion a fool as he was destroying the Lich King, their common enemy. Malfurion was furious at him for causing the loss of Tyrande, who had been, according to Maiev, killed. Illidan was heartbroken that the woman he loved was dead, but Prince Kael'thas, the night elves' newest ally, thought that perhaps it was premature to presume her dead. Kael'thas explained that Tyrande had not been "torn apart" by the undead, as Maiev had told Malfurion, but had instead fallen into a river and been swept away by the currents. Malfurion immediately arrested the Warden and promptly went in search of Tyrande. Illidan begged to be allowed to help his brother track down the beloved priestess. Illidan and his personal guard of naga found Tyrande under heavy attack from a massive undead force.

Illidan and his naga battled their way through the undead until they reached her. Tyrande was taken aback by Illidan's service to her, and when he delivered her safely to Malfurion, she was astonished. Malfurion told Illidan he was free to go on the condition that he never threaten the night elves again. Illidan, wishing for an end to the conflict with his brother, agreed.

Escape to Outland

Illidan in Outland.

After Malfurion let him go, Illidan created a portal to Outland and fled immediately, pursued by Maiev. Now that he had failed to destroy Ner'zhul, he knew that Kil'jaeden's wrath would not spare him, so he wanted to find a world where he could remain unmolested. He felt that Outland, the ruined remains of Draenor, was just such a place.

Illidan was chased down on the shattered world until he was captured by Maiev and the Watchers, and imprisoned once again. But he was saved by Kael'thas Sunstrider and Vashj. Illidan promised Kael a way sate his people's magical addiction and in return, Kael pledged his people's allegiance to him. Illidan accepted the allegiance of the blood elves, and made Kael his second-in-command. The Sin'dorei, coupled with the naga, would be very invaluable to his plans. Illidan continued his original plan - to rid Outland of demonic influence so that he could stay out of Kil'jaeden's grasp. To do this, they laid siege to the Black Temple of Magtheridon, the Pit Lord who had taken control of the world. But first, Illidan systematically shut down his dimensional gates to stem the flow of reinforcements. Eventually, they succeeded.

When they came to the Black Temple, Illidan was approached by Akama of the Broken, who pledged the allegiance of his race. Akama's broken felt indebted to Illidan and his army for aiding them in their fight against the fel orcs of Magtheridon, who had laid siege to their village with the intent of slaughtering them all. They laid siege to the Black Temple and destroyed Magtheridon's defenses, and then defeated the Pit Lord in battle himself. Magtheridon noted wryly that Illidan had great power, and asked if the Legion had sent him as a test. Illidan laughed, saying that he was not a test, but a replacement, and imprisoned Magtheridon beneath Hellfire Citadel and kept sealed in place by the fel orc jailor Keli'dan the Breaker.

The March on Icecrown

Illidan confronts Arthas at the base of Icecrown Glacier.
Illidan vs Arthas
Illidan lies defeated at the hands of Arthas.

As Illidan rallied the forces of Outland under a new banner, a storm of fire and smoke descended upon the Black Temple, and Kil'jaeden appeared in all his unholy glory. Chastising Illidan for his foolhardy attempts to flee his wrath, Illidan quickly claimed that he had been gathering his forces for a second attack on the Frozen Throne. Kil'jaeden, seeing that Illidan's new comrades "showed some promise", agreed to give Illidan one more chance to appease the demons.

Illidan, Vashj, and Kael laid siege to Northrend and battled Anub'arak's forces as they trudged through the snow towards the Icecrown glacier. But Ner'zhul, knowing he would be overrun if he didn't do something, called Arthas to Northrend to complete the plan he had set in motion so many months before. Finally, Illidan's forces arrived at Icecrown as Arthas and Anub'arak dug their way out of Azjol-Nerub, and the two factions squared off in a titanic battle as they tried to gain control of the four mystical obelisks surrounding the glacier. After a long battle, and control going back and forth between the two enemies, Arthas activated all obelisks, and the doors to the Frozen Throne were opened.

But Illidan was not finished yet. Meeting Arthas at the glacier's base, the two warriors engaged in single combat. After a few minutes of exchanging blows, however, Arthas overcame Illidan's defenses and cut him down. Illidan fell in the snow, badly wounded. Rather than finish him off, Arthas, before taking his leave, warned Illidan to leave Azeroth and never return. After it became clear for Vashj and Kael that they could not destroy the Frozen Throne, they retreated, eventually back to Outland, taking Illidan with them.

Note that the in-game animation between Illidan and Arthas was originally planned to be a video cinematic. Time constraints, however, forced the scene to be done inside the game. The developers have said that their greatest regret about this change is that many assumed Illidan died, when the video would have revealed that Illidan survived to watch Arthas' transformation.

The Lord of Outland

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

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

Illidan, Lord of Outland.
Illidan's demonic form seen in the Burning Crusade opening cinematic.

After his fight with Arthas, Illidan fled to the remains of Draenor known as Outland. Quickly gathering followers, he declared himself Lord of Outland. According to the manual included with the Burning Crusade expansion, Illidan knows that Kil'jaeden has not forgotten of his failure to destroy the Frozen Throne. It says that he anticipates an offensive from the Legion and is "preparing accordingly." Defeating and imprisoning Magtheridon, he takes the Black Temple as his capital and base of operations. In the game it is revealed that one of the ways Illidan is preparing is by creating new fel orcs to fight for him, using the blood of the imprisoned Magtheridon. It says that he and his allies fight to ensure that all portals to Outland remain tightly sealed while he strengthens his power base. It also implies that the Horde and Alliance will want to use those portals because of Outland's strategic importance.

In order to control the people of Outland Illidan ordered Lady Vashj to control the water reserves of the shattered realm. Meanwhile Illidan's refusal to return the Temple of Karabor and further defilement of it, would cause Akama to begin to conspire with Maiev Shadowsong in order to free Outland from Illidan's grasp. In the mean time Illidan would begin to creation of an army of demon hunters and eventually discover Akama's betrayal. However instead of killing the Broken, Illidan decided to bind a portion of Akama's soul into his service. At Illidan's command Akama would ultimately trick Maiev into leading her forces into an ambush, with Maiev being the only survivor.[13] During this attack Illidan would use the souls of the departed in order to open a portal to Nathreza.[14]

Illidan and his demon hunters slaughtered Nathreza's defenders, entered the dreadlords' citadel, and breached the archives. After securing the record containing the location of Argus, Illidan destroyed the remaining records and retreated with his demon hunters back to Outland. Once through the portal, Illidan collapsed its spellwork and directed all of the resulting energy - enough to devastate an entire continent - into Nathreza; he believed that, if his calculations were correct, the backlash had shattered Nathreza in much the same way that Draenor had been shattered into Outland. It was the single greatest defeat the Legion had suffered in millennia, and the demons who died on Nathreza were slain forever.[15]

However all actions have consequences and the Legion was now clearly aware of the threat that Illidan posed and would learn from spies from within the Illidari that Illidan planned to launch a similar assault on Argus. Seeking to put an end to Illidan the Burning Legion decided to attack the forces of Azeroth and lure them into entering Outland. Once within the shattered realm the Horde and Alliance would begin striking against both the Legion and the Illidari, Illidan who had become increasingly obsessed with his mission to destroy Argus would seem to care for nothing else. However he would become personally involved with the heroes of Azeroth at different occasions such as when they would defeat the Crimson Sigil, where he would challenge them and boast that not even Arthas could stop them.[16] This would Illidan was slipping further into madness (he himself would wonder if he was insane) or that he considered 'defeat' to mean death which would make him technically right. Such nuances of logic are common with Illidan, often employed when defending his actions to others.

Illidan would also appear Azeroth's heroes where he would reveal that the so-called new Highlord of the Dragonmaw was in fact a spy and ordered their death. Though the actions of the nether dragon Yarzill would spare their lives and while the nether dragons were convinced that the Dragonmaw would come to an end from Illidan's wraith, their remained within the Illidari and were one of the defending forces of the Black Temple.

Master of the Black Temple

Main article: Illidan Stormrage (tactics)

Consumed with nothing but his mission to plot the downfall of Argus Illidan had lost all interest in holding onto Outland. This attitude wouldn't change until until the eve of the Black Temple's fall when the Illidari Council when Illidan witnessed the flow of the battle and understand at once that this clash of the Legion's enemies was what Kil'jaeden had anticipated. The Betrayer ordered the Illidari Council to retreat and prepare for battle, freshly resolved to both win this battle and finish his own personal strike at the Legion's heart.[17] However Illidan was still focused on his larger goal and to that end sent several of his most promising demon hunters to the planet Mardum in search of the  [Sargerite Keystone], which can open portals to countless demon worlds, even Argus.[18]

It during this time that Illidan would note Akama's absence and wondered where he was. Unknown to Illidan, Akama worked with the heroes of Azeroth and on the eve of battle free Maiev from captivity. Their combined might would then sneak into the Black Temple and though Maiev would disappear in the initial assault, the aid of Azeroth's champions would allow Akama and his Ashtongue Deathsworn fight to secure the temple and eventually challenge the Betrayer.

Maiev makes her move during the battle, releasing the adventurers from one of Illidan's spells and helping them fight him. She makes several references to the pain Illidan has caused her, from forcing her to guard his prison for 10,000 years by committing his crimes, to causing the death of Naisha.

In the end, when Illidan is near death, Maiev remarks that he is beaten, but as he dies Illidan says that the huntress is nothing without the hunt. With the drive for vengeance gone, Maiev states that she is indeed nothing. After being slain, his corpse was taken by Maiev to the Vault of the Wardens on the Broken Isles, so that his soul would suffer the rest of his life sentence; his surviving followers, the Illidari, were imprisoned along with him.[8] Akama then took the Black Temple and swore to fill its halls with light once again.[19]

Wrath of the Lich King

WotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

The duel with Arthas in Wrath of the Lich King.

A vision of Illidan also appears in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King as part of the quest N [80] The Hunter and the Prince. The quest is a recreation of the duel between Illidan and Arthas at the gates of Icecrown Citadel. The player, in the role of Arthas, must defeat Illidan to complete the quest.

A "memory" of Illidan can be summoned by Argent Confessor Paletress in the Trial of the Champion.


Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

In Felwood, adventurers are able to relive Illidan's talk with Arthas, the moment he obtains Skull of Gul'dan, and finally his battle with Tichondrius, where they will help him against the dreadlord.[20]

While visiting the past, through the Caverns of Time, his past self makes an appearance in the Well of Eternity. He aids heroes in battle against Mannoroth and Varo'then.

Revelations of the Past

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

In the Pursuing the Black Harvest scenario, it is revealed that Illidan had discovered an untapped store of raw arcane energy in the Shrine of Lost Souls. With arcane power of that magnitude, he was able to bind many demons to his will by offering them to sate their thirst for magic from that place in exchange for their loyalty. In that way, he was able to gain the support of many demons and maybe regain some of his own sanity by freeing themselves from the addiction to the Legion's magic.

Kanrethad Ebonlocke believed that this source of power is what Illidan intended to use to free the blood elves from their addiction, as he had with the demons. But for some reason, possibly knowledge of Kael'thas's betrayal, Illidan never let them near it.

Illidan being awakened by Gul'dan.


Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

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Cordana Felsong led the Gul'dan from an alternate universe to the Vault of the Wardens, where Illidan's corpse was still imprisoned, as he was the key to Azeroth's downfall by the Legion. Although confronted by Maiev and several of Illidan's demon hunters whom she had freed from their prisons, Cordana and Gul'dan escaped with Illidan's body.[21] Gul'dan brought Illidan's body to Black Rook Hold, where he conducted a ritual to separate his soul from his body.[22] Illidan's soul was then sent into the Twisting Nether.[23]

The remaining Illidari on board the Fel Hammer contact Illidan's soul within the Twisting Nether, where Illidan reveals that Akama knows his plans to defeat the Burning Legion and tasks the Illidari with convincing him to rejoin their cause, as well as retrieving the  [Sargerite Keystone] from wherever the Wardens hid it. Upon being discovered by the demons, Illidan quickly says that the Illidari will not be able to contact him like this again and names a demon hunter adventurer as their new leader in his place before fleeing his pursuers.[24]

The naaru Xe'ra, one of the first naaru, is seeking Illidan and believes he is the "child of Light and Shadow" destined to end the age of demons.[25]


Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Icecrown  ?? 905,913
Felwood  ?? 19,900
Well of Eternity 85 619,920
Well of Eternity 87 4,979,640

In the RPG

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

Illidan the Demon

As is the case with certain demons, Illidan does not consider himself a servant of the Burning Legion. Indeed, Illidan has alternately been the Legion's ally and its enemy at various points in the past. A rarity among demons, he has retained vast tracts of his original personality despite his demonic transformation. As a demon, he is fundamentally evil and often cruel, but he has thus far been able to preserve a few tattered remnants of nobility. Their inevitable conflict with his ambition and his hunger for power makes him a dangerously unpredictable adversary. Because Illidan's case is unique, there is no point in speculating upon how long his divergence from standard demonic behavior will last.[2]

Relationship between Illidan and Malfurion

The relationship between the Stormrage brothers is noticeably different in Warcraft III/The Frozen Throne and in the War of the Ancients Trilogy.

By way of comparison, in the novels written by Knaak, Malfurion is more tolerant and forgiving of his brother, who is portrayed as often selfish, reckless, out of control and not completely sane. Rather than becoming part of the "lynch mob" who want Illidan summarily executed, Malfurion speaks on his behalf, endorsing his knowledge of the Burning Legion as vital tactical information... giving an undeniable reason to bury Illidan rather than kill him.

When we first were introduced to Malfurion and Illidan in Warcraft III, Malfurion objected fiercely to the idea of freeing Illidan, in the belief that his crimes were unforgivable and that he should stay locked up. When they were reunited Illidan was bitter about how he had been punished and Malfurion was disgusted to be in the same room as Illidan, still nursing a grudge over Illidan's betrayal. Illidan, who seemed to be the more forgiving one at the time, was eager to prove to his brother that the demons had no hold over him. Later, after Illidan used the powers of the Skull of Gul'dan for himself and took on a demonic appearance, Malfurion demanded to know where his brother was, implying he still had some affection for him. After Illidan revealed that he was the demon, Malfurion, rather than killing him simply banished him. Obviously, Malfurion knew Maiev Shadowsong would want Illidan imprisoned but still chose not to act. Rather than object, Illidan simply walked away.

Illidan was next seen in Warcraft III: Frozen Throne. After the two worked together to save Tyrande, Illidan seemed to have forgiven Malfurion for disrupting his attempt to destroy the Frozen Throne, even though it would leave him at Kil'jaeden's mercy. Malfurion's last words to Illidan included an ominous threat about what would happen to him if he ever did anything against the kaldorei again. This too, Illidan accepted without objection. Illidan admitted that he had known only "ages of hate" for his brother, but for his part he wished it to end. This is perhaps the closest thing to a peace that the brothers have achieved. Illidan then departed telling Malfurion he doubted they would ever see each other again.

In World of Warcraft, Malfurion's words indicate that he does not wish to fight his brother, and he says that if he is forced to, things will not be as they were at the Well at Zin-Azshari. According to Seeds of Faith, Malfurion is saddened by Illidan's death in Outland.

Current state

From Malfurion's conversation with Remulos:

Malfurion Stormrage says: Cenarius fights at my side. Illidan sits atop his throne in Outland – brooding. I'm afraid that the loss to Arthas proved to be his breaking point. Madness has embraced him, Remulos. He replays the events in his mind a thousand times per day, but in his mind, he is the victor and Arthas is utterly defeated. He is too far gone, old friend. I fear that the time may soon come that our bond is tested and it will not be as it was at the Well in Zin-Azshari.

The exact meaning and implications of this are not known. It is however likely that Malfurion fears that the bonds between him and his brother Illidan will be tested in the near future. For 10,000 years ago, during the War of the Ancients, the two brothers were forced to work together to throw back the Burning Legion at The Sundering, which is when they chose their separate paths. Now, with Illidan's return we may see an improvement in the relationship, or see it go down a darker path.

Memorable quotes

War of the Ancients

  • "V-vampiric in nature, my lord. Some animals drink blood, but this one seeks magical energy."
  • "I come to offer my services to my queen... and to the lord of the Legion!"
  • "Well? Come with me... if you'd like to live long enough to see me save this world!"
  • "The Artifact!"
  • "Brother, a timely arrival.
  • "Aye. It's been twisted and turned by too many spells. The fuss we - especially you - made with the portal was too much! The same spell that sent the Burning Legion back into their foul realm now works on the well! It's devouring itself and taking its surroundings with it! Fascinating, isn't it?
  • "If you've a way out of here, we should probably use it! I've tried casting myself and Tyrande out of here, but the well is too much in flux!
  • "If only I could learn from them.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

  • "Betrayer... in truth, it was I who was betrayed. Still, I am hunted. Still, I am hated. Now, my blind eyes can see what others cannot. That sometimes the hand of fate must be forced!"
  • "Isolation can do that to the mind. Now, after all the long centuries you kept me chained in darkness, it is only fitting that I bury you in turn."
  • "Whatever I may be - whatever I may become in this world - know that I will always look out for you, Tyrande."
  • "We have had much strife between us, my brother. I have known only ages of hate for you. But, for my part, I wish it to end. From this day forward, let there be peace between us."
  • "There is no cure, young one. But there are ways to feed the hunger. Follow me, and I will grant your people more magic than they can imagine."
  • "Hear me now, you trembling mortals! I am your lord and master! Illidan reigns supreme!"
  • "Perhaps hiding here was not the most prudent decision."
  • "Then the hour has come at last. After today, the Scourge will meet its end! Can you hear me out there, Arthas? Its end!"

World of Warcraft

Main article: Quest:The Secret Compromised#Notes
Main article: Quest:Lord Illidan Stormrage#Quest Dialogue
Main article: Illidan Stormrage (tactics)#Quotes

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft cinematic

"War is deception... a game played best from the shadows."

Notes and trivia

Early art of Illidan.
  • According to the Heroes and Villains section of the Warcraft III manual, Malfurion and Illidan were 15,032 years old as of the Third War in Year 20. Since The Burning Crusade took place in Year 26,[28] this would mean he died when he was 15,038.
  • If you look closely at Illidan in Warcraft III, you will notice that at least one of his blades has the face of a panda painted on it (Samwise Didier's trademark). One place it can be seen clearly is when Illidan says goodbye to Tyrande and Malfurion. When Illidan is transformed by the Skull of Gul'dan, the face on his blades changes from a happy panda to an angry panda.
  • In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, after growing demonic horns, wings, and hooves, Illidan left flaming tracks on the ground. He also gained the ability to walk across water (leaving steam as he passed instead).
  • Because the interlude in The Frozen Throne shows Illidan as a normal night elf when he made a deal with Kil'jaeden, it is often presumed that Illidan's new appearance (with horns, wings, and hooves) was a result of Kil'jaeden's further empowerment. It should be noted, however, that most sources, including the Warcraft Encyclopedia, only mention his demonic transformation when discussing the Skull of Gul'dan; no mention is made of further transformation during his meeting with Kil'jaeden.
  • Although Malfurion said Illidan's transformation by the Skull of Gul'dan had cost him his soul, there has so far been no evidence that this claim was anything more than hyperbole. It is likely Malfurion was merely shocked at seeing Illidan in demonic form and was speaking metaphorically. There is no evidence that Illidan's personality has drastically changed as a result. Until it is established, the possibility remains that the only change in Illidan seems to be slight insanity (though after reading the War of the Ancients trilogy, one is forced to wonder if Illidan was not insane before he consumed the Skull of Gul'dan).
  • At some point, Illidan tried his hand at writing, authoring a book entitled  [The Emerald Dream]. The actual book itself starts a level 54 Druid quest. It's doubtful the text was well-received among the Cenarion Circle or the green dragonflight. Note that all of the Dire Maul books have silly names and/or flavor text ( [The Arcanist's Cookbook], the mage book, being a good example of this).
  • At release, when there was no high level content, it was announced by Ordinn that "the most powerful NPC is Illidan." When asked where he was, Caydiem responded. "Illidan is shy."
  • When the player rescues Illidan in Outland during the Blood Elf Campaign, Lady Vashj says that the blood elves are the descendants of the Highborne who served Illidan years ago. Curiously, Illidan himself never actually commanded any Highborne in the War of the Ancients (either version). This error can be explained by the fact that in the trilogy, Vashj was a little naive, and preoccupied, and was not very informed as to the exact nature of Illidan's "employment" with her Queen.
  • Originally, Illidan and Malfurion were identical apart from their hair and eye color. Their various transformations have made it much easier to tell them apart.
  • Illidan is one of the few characters in-game to be shown wielding an obtainable legendary weapon. Others include Ragnaros, Medivh, Halduron Brightwing and Nik the Mountain.
  • It is said that Illidan contributed through the creation of the Moonwells.[33]
  • Illidan indirectly created both the Forsaken and high elf races.
  • Inspiration for Illidan came from early concept art of Uther.[34]
  • Illidan alongside Tyrande acts Malfurion's nightmare during Stormrage. In this nightmare Tyrande chose him instead of Malfurion, thus the priestess turned into a demon.
  • He appears as a legendary card in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. His flavor text reads: "Illidan's brother, Malfurion, imprisoned him beneath Hyjal for 10,000 years. Stormrages are not good at letting go of grudges."
    • He is also the sixth and final boss that new players face in the game's intial tutorial.
  • IIlidan is a playable character in Heroes of the Storm.
    • One of his skins, "Shan'do Illidan", depicts an alternate reality in which Malfurion became the Betrayer, Illidan became Archdruid and Tyrande became a Warden. The skin's description reads "Stormrage was born with amber eyes; a sign of great destiny... But as he learned from Cenarius, his brother grew distant. Still, none expected Malfurion's betrayal."
  • When doing the Well of Eternity instance and killing Peroth'arn, if you have the Warglaives of Azzinoth equipped Illidan will say "Curious weapons you wield... such power" followed by "You seem prepared".
  •  [Illidan's Coin] can be fished up from the fountain in the Legion version of Dalaran.
  • Illidan is the narrator of the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade cinematic.
  • Betrayer Regalia, the warlock Mists of Pandaria Challenge Mode set, is themed after Illidan.
  • Illidan was voiced by Matthew Yang King in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne and the Black Temple Gameplay Trailer. He was voiced by Liam O'Brien in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.[35]
  • An Illidan vinyl statue is available.[36]
  •  [Murkidan] was given out as a reward to BlizzCon 2015 attendees.
  • Illidan's wings will be available to Diablo III players as a vanity item for those who order the digital or collector's edition of Legion.[37]


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Illidan: King or Pawn?

In the last battle of the War of the Ancients, Illidan begins casting a spell to reverse Sargeras's portal.[38] Tyrande senses that several someones have augumented his spell — and these someones were darker than even Sargeras.[39] These beings were likely the Old Gods, who wished to redirect Sargeras' portal to their prison beyond the mortal plane instead.

It is also quite possible that Illidan's more recent actions are also aided by the Old Gods. Given that the naga are presumed to follow them, it has been suggested that Vashj and her ilk answered Illidan's summons as part of the new plan (though given Azshara's previous association with him, there are other explanations). Illidan might be an attempt to position a powerful pawn in the midst of a strategic location.

Also, most cases when a being encounters Old God intervention, the being goes "insane". The insanity noted by Malfurion Stormrage may also indicate the the Old Gods had a part in the chain of events in Illidan's life.

The Old Gods' plans go deep, far deeper than anyone could imagine. They had plans, upon plots, upon ploys, all of which centered upon a single goal: freedom. It is not crazy to ask, wouldn't they have had a final plan, in case their original one failed? No clear evidence exists either way...but that's likely what they intended.


Heroes of the Storm

Fan art


Patch changes


  1. ^ Mists of Pandaria trailer
  2. ^ a b c Warcraft Encyclopedia: Illidan Stormrage
  3. ^ a b Ultimate Visual Guide, pages 52-53
  4. ^ Characters of Warcraft: Illidan Stormrage
  5. ^ The Well of Eternity
  6. ^ "Illidan the Betrayer" TCG Card (Timewalkers)
  7. ^ Warcraft III
  8. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Legion - Heroes & Villains
  9. ^ Warcraft Encyclopedia: Night Elves - Silver Eyes, Golden Eyes
  10. ^ World of Warcraft: Stormrage
  11. ^ a b "Terror of the Tides: Rise of the Naga", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  12. ^
  13. ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan Chapter 16
  14. ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan Chapter 17
  15. ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan chapters 18-19
  16. ^ N [70] Battle of the Crimson Watch
  17. ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan
  18. ^ Demon Hunter starting experience
  19. ^ Akama says: "The Light will fill these dismal halls once again. I swear it."
  20. ^ N [48] The Fall of Tichondrius
  21. ^ N Demon hunter [100] Stop Gul'dan!
  22. ^ Amalgam of Souls Dungeon Journal
  23. ^ Quest:The Blood of Demons
  24. ^ Quest:Immortal Soul
  25. ^ Quest:In the House of Light and Shadow
  26. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 189
  27. ^ World of Warcraft RPG Conversion Document, pg. 3
  28. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide - Timeline
  29. ^ Knaak, Richard A.. "One", The Sundering, 19 (ebook). ISBN 978-0-7434-2898-9. “Night elves aged very slowly, but the young Malfurion looked much older than his few decades.” 
  30. ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia: Malfurion Stormrage
  31. ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia: Illidan Stormrage
  32. ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia: Tyrande Wisperwind
  33. ^ World of Warcraft Battle Chest Guide, page 153.
  34. ^ World of Warcraft: Looking for Group
  35. ^
  36. ^ 2014, World of Warcraft Illidan Vinyl Bobble Head Funko Pop Action Figure Toy Blizzard. Amazon, retrieved on 2014-06-06
  37. ^ World of Warcraft: Legion Collector's Edition, EB Games. Retrieved on 2015-11-08
  38. ^ The Sundering, pg. 257
  39. ^ The Sundering, pg. 262

External links

Preceded by:
Lord of Outland
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Master of the Black Temple
Succeeded by: