The seeds of the kingdoms of men were Arathorian city-states. First among them was Strom, a mighty fortress city of the Arathi tribe located in the regions south of Quel'Thalas. This bastion became the capital of the nation of Arathor, which saw its number grew as humans from all over the land traveled there to the protection and safety of Strom.
After the Amani defeat at the end of the Troll Wars and the death of , the Arathorian king, the younger generations of Arathor — then an empire — sought to expand beyond the borders of the lands surrounding the capital. Among them, a group of magi journeyed north because they felt fettered by the strict laws governing magic in Strom. On the southern shore of Lordamere Lake, these fledgling spellcasters founded Dalaran, the second Arathorian city-state.
During the following centuries, other city-states arose across the continent. Among them were the militaristic Gilneas and Alterac (both strong supporters of the empire), whose mighty armies explored the mountainous southern lands of Khaz Modan and made first contact with the dwarves. On an island south of the imperial capital, Kul Tiras was built and developed a prosperous economy based fishing, shipping and commerce. Meanwhile, Dalaran became the chief center of learning for magicians throughout the land. Although the four city-states had their own customs and commercial workings, they all held to the unifying authority of Strom, which acted as the central hub of the expansive empire.
As the economy of Arathor flourished, its strongest elements began to disintegrate. The nobles of Strom, seeking lusher lands, purity and enlightenment, decided to leave the arid surroundings of the imperial capital against the arguments of the royalty. Far to the north of Dalaran, the greater citizenry founded a city-state called Lordaeron, which became a mecca for religious travelers and all those who sought inner peace and security. In time, the entire continent would take its name from this settlement.
Left within the crumbling walls of ancient Strom, the Arathi descendents decided to travel south past the rocky Khaz Modan. After many long seasons of journey, they settled in the northern region of the continent they would name Azeroth and founded the kingdom of Stormwind, which quickly became a self-sufficient power in its own right.
Meanwhile, in the almost silent Strom, the few warriors still left decided to remain and guard the ancient walls of their city. As Strom was no longer the center of the empire, the soldiers developed it into a new nation known as Stromgarde. Though each of the seven city-states became prosperous in its own right, the empire of Arathor had effectively disintegrated. As each nation developed its own customs and beliefs, they became increasingly segregated from one another and humanity lost the unity achieved during the rule of King Thoradin.
Demonym is a term for the residents of a locality and is usually, though not always, derived from the name of a locality.
The demonyms for the Seven Kingdoms' residents are:
- Alterac = Alteraci.
- Dalaran = Dalaranian.
- Gilneas = Gilnean.
- Kul Tiras = Tirasian.
- Lordaeron = Lordaeronian.
- Stormwind = Stormwindian.
- Stromgarde = Stromic.
As of the events of Warlords of Draenor, the Kingdom of Lordaeron remains destroyed, with its lands largely divided between the Forsaken, the Argent Crusade and the Scourge. Stormwind maintains its position as the beacon of the Alliance and the home of High King Varian Wrynn. Dalaran City is magically flying above the earth, having recently changed from a neutral nation to an Alliance aligned one, under the leadership of Lady Jaina Proudmoore. The actual lands of the Kingdom of Dalaran near Lordamere Lake however are contested between remaining Dalaranian forces and the Forsaken. The state of Kul Tiras remains mostly unknown, though there are still active members of the nation as seen by the Baradin's Wardens faction in Tol Barad, showing that Kul Tiras may not have fully seceded from the Alliance. Kingdom of Stromgarde is contested between the Forsaken, the Alliance, and the Syndicate. The Forsaken claim precedence to rule the kingdom by way of , meanwhile the Alliance wait for the return of . Gilneas rejoined the Alliance as a nation after the Shattering. The lands of the Kingdom of Gilneas however remain mostly desolated due to the blight employed by the Forsaken during their invasion. The Alteraci nation continues its existence mostly in the form of the Syndicate, though Alterac Valley is contested between the Frostwolf clan and the Stormpike Guard.
|Nation||First War||Second War||Interim||Third War||Interlude||Alliance-Horde War||Current status||Current affiliation|
|Lordaeron||-||Damaged||Rebuilt||Destroyed||See the Scourge||-||Destroyed||Destroyed|
|Dalaran||-||Damaged||Rebuilt||Nearly destroyed||Rebuilt||Rejoined Alliance||Healthy||Alliance|
|Kul Tiras||-||Damaged||Rebuilt||-||Fell silent||-||-||-|
|Gilneas||-||-||Left Alliance||-||See Worgen||Rejoined Alliance||Land abandoned||Alliance|
|Alterac||-||Subjugated by Alliance||Rebuilt||-||See The Syndicate||Damaged||Abandoned||Syndicate|
- Despite being called "kingdoms", both Dalaran and Kul Tiras never evolved into states ruled by royalty: the former became a magocratic nation, while the later remained a city-state ruled by a noble.
- Though most of the human kingdoms held a sphere of influence restricted to the lands surrounding the original city-states, some — notably Lordaeron and Stormwind — came to control vast territories in the continent that would be known as the Eastern Kingdoms.
- In older lore accounts, such as The Guardians of Tirisfal, Dalaran was said to have been founded by non-magi. Those citizens tolerated the wizards arriving to their city-state because of the magic-based protection granted by them to the local economy. However, in more recent accounts, like The First Guardian, Dalaran was initially founded by magi and non-magicians moved there later in order to provide necessary services for the residents of the thriving magocracy.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l The Seven Kingdoms
- ^ Arathor and the Troll Wars
- ^ a b The Guardians of Tirisfal
- ^ The First Guardian
- ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, A Brief History of the Fall of Azeroth, The Alliance of Lordaeron
- ^ a b c d e Sean Copeland on Twitter
- ^ Sean Copeland of Twitter
- ^ "The Scourge of Lordaeron (History of Warcraft)("Ultimately, Arthas murdered his own father, King Terenas, and crushed Lordaeron under the Lich King’s iron heel.")
- ^ Skuerto#Quotes
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
- ^ "Quel'Thalas: The Razing of Tyr's Hand", Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ "Quel'Thalas: The Destruction of Stratholme", Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ Archived page
- ^ "Tides of Darkness: The Siege of Dalaran", Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, 20.
- ^ "The Great Sea: Assault on Kul Tiras", Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ a b Ultimate Visual Guide
- ^ Khaz Modan: The Fall of Stromgarde", Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ Rejoined Alliance, See League of Arathor
- ^ "The Northlands: Betrayal and the Destruction of Alterac", Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ "Prelude to New Worlds: Alterac", Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. Blizzard Entertainment. "Alterac Keep" is intact by the time of Ner'zhul's Horde invasion of Lordaeron.