- For strategy on the End Time dungeon encounter, see Echo of Sylvanas. For the european server of the same name, see Server:Sylvanas Europe.
|Title|| Warchief of the Horde
Dark Lady, Forsaken Queen, Banshee Queen
Ranger-General of Silvermoon
|Race(s)||Forsaken (former high elf)
Banshee / Undead elf (unique)
|Character class|| Ranger
|Affiliation(s)||Forsaken, Horde, Hand of Vengeance; Quel'Thalas (posthumously)|
|Former affiliation(s)||Alliance of Lordaeron, Scourge; Farstriders|
|Occupation||Warchief of the Horde, Queen of the Forsaken, Leader of the Hand of Vengeance; Ranger-General of Silvermoon (formerly)|
|Relative(s)||, , (siblings), (brother-in-law), (cousin), , and (nephews)|
- "I've walked the realms of the dead. I have seen the infinite dark. Nothing you say. Or do. Could possibly frighten me."
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, styled variously as "the Dark Lady" and "the Banshee Queen", is the supreme ruler of the Forsaken, one of the most powerful factions of undead on Azeroth. In life, Sylvanas was the ranger-general of Silvermoon, whose leadership acumen and martial prowess were without equal. During the Third War, she bravely defended Quel'Thalas from a Scourge invasion led by the death knight Arthas Menethil. Ultimately, however, Sylvanas fell in battle. Rather than honor the ranger-general with a quick death, Arthas ripped out her soul and transformed it into a banshee: a cunning and vengeful agent of the Lich King empowered by hate.
When the Lich King’s control over his minions weakened, Sylvanas broke away from her tyrannical master's control and reclaimed her body. Vowing to avenge her death, Sylvanas gathered other renegade undead and set out to wage war against the Scourge. Thus it was that the Forsaken came to be, with Sylvanas as their queen. Under Sylvanas' command, the Forsaken joined the Horde and later helped bring about the Lich King's fall in the frozen wastes of Northrend.
Yet many challenges still lay ahead for Sylvanas. After an uprising within her ranks that killed other members of the Horde, the banshee queen is now mistrusted by many of her allies. Most recently, Sylvanas began fortifying her territory within the Tirisfal Glades in order to establish a proper kingdom for her followers. While Sylvanas maintains that her loyalty to the Horde is undiminished, some of the faction's members are uncertain about her true intentions.
After the fall of the Lich King, Sylvanas came to the shocking realization that she, like Arthas before her, was damned to an eternity of darkness and torture in the afterlife. After entering into a pact with the val'kyr, Sylvanas was able to regain her place in the realm of the living for as long as her val'kyr survive. Knowing the dark fate that will inevitably befall her, Sylvanas considers her people a bulwark against the horrifying darkness that awaits her in the end. Following this, Sylvanas has launched an aggressive attack into the regions of Lordaeron and the greater Eastern Kingdoms not directly under her control, in an attempt to conquer the continent and secure it for the Forsaken.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Ranger-General of Silvermoon
- 1.2 The Second War
- 1.3 Invasion of the Undead Scourge
- 1.4 Sylvanas the Banshee
- 1.5 Return to Lordaeron
- 1.6 The Dark Ranger
- 1.7 Queen of the Forsaken
- 1.8 The Sunwell
- 1.9 Joining the Horde
- 1.10 The Forsaken's dominion
- 1.11 Hallow's End
- 1.12 The Burning Crusade
- 1.13 Legends: Crusader's Blood
- 1.14 Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
- 1.15 A Council for War
- 1.16 In the Shadow of the Sun
- 1.17 Wrath of the Lich King
- 1.18 Stormrage
- 1.19 Edge of Night
- 1.20 Cataclysm
- 1.21 Tides of War
- 1.22 Escalation
- 1.23 Siege of Orgrimmar
- 1.24 War Crimes
- 1.25 Warlords of Draenor
- 1.26 Legion
- 2 Locations
- 3 Quests
- 4 Tactics
- 5 Lore abilities
- 6 Personality
- 7 Appearance
- 8 In the RPG
- 9 Quotes
- 10 Notes
- 11 Gallery
- 12 Videos
- 13 Patch changes
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Ranger-General of Silvermoon
Sylvanas was a member of the prominent Windrunner family of the high elves. Sylvanas was the middle sister between the oldest sister Alleria, and the youngest sister Vereesa. She also had a brother named Lirath. Her family lived at Windrunner Spire in the tranquil forests of Quel'Thalas. Sylvanas joined the rangers and eventually became their leader, rising to the rank of Ranger-General of Silvermoon, military leader of all high elven forces.
The Second War
During the Second War the high elves initially sent only token support to the Alliance, though Sylvanas' older sister Alleria took her squad of rangers as well. Soon after the forests of Quel'Thalas mysteriously began to burn, Sylvanas and her rangers set out to discover the cause when she came across both her sisters being chased by a band of forest trolls, whom they dispatched quickly. Alleria alerted Sylvanas of the coming orcish Horde, and that it was they who were burning Quel'Thalas with dragon fire. Sylvanas and her rangers moved quickly to meet the Horde and trap them between themselves and the Alliance forces under the command of the paladin Turalyon. The battle took many turns but ultimately the Horde abandoned Quel'Thalas. Sylvanas stayed behind to hunt down any remaining orcs. Shortly after, the Horde was defeated, the Dark Portal destroyed, and the Second War ended.
While Quel'Thalas was still an (albeit, uneasy) part of the Alliance of Lordaeron, Sylvanas admitted the highly talented human ranger Nathanos Marris into the ranks of the Farstriders. This decision surprised many of her compatriots, such as Halduron Brightwing, Lor'themar Theron and Renthar Hawkspear. Some of Sylvanas' comrades took note of the inordinate amount of pride Sylvanas took in her human disciple, and opposed the notion of allowing a human to train with the elven rangers.
Even the high elven prince Kael'thas Sunstrider took an issue with this, and sent a letter to Quel'Thalas demanding Sylvanas dismiss Nathanos from the ranger corps. Despite this opposition, however, Sylvanas persisted, and her response was simply that Nathanos would be a loyal ally. This would prove correct, as Nathanos' talent allowed him to become the first and last of the human Ranger Lords, and was responsible for victories spanning a decade of conflict.
Invasion of the Undead Scourge
After the high elves withdrew from the Alliance, Sylvanas and her rangers were the primary guard against any would-be attackers on Silvermoon. Her fears were soon realized, when Arthas Menethil, the betrayer of Lordaeron, arrived unexpectedly on the doorstep of Quel'Thalas with a horde of undead at his back. Kelmarin, one of Sylvanas' scouts, quickly informed her of the swarm of undeath fast approaching the first elfgate. Sylvanas organized her Farstriders, and went to observe the despoiler of Lordaeron herself.
She came face-to-face with Arthas, and suggested that the death knight turn back. However, Arthas retorted that death itself had come to Quel'Thalas, and began his assault on the first elfgate. Despite the Farstriders' best efforts, Arthas was able to successfully crash through it with his necromantic allies, and hulking Nerubians acting as sentient siege engines. Sylvanas and her surviving rangers fled back to the second gate, and Sylvanas came to the grim realization that she could not win this battle. However, she held out hope that the magisters at the Sunwell - if they knew what was approaching - could still turn the battle around. She had another ranger rush to inform them that Quel'Thalas may have been betrayed, and observed as the undead Scourge wrought a trail of dark, unholy destruction upon the land.
Arthas continued relentlessly towards the second gate, killing every elf who got in his way. Arthas marched onwards, his goal being the second elfgate which was only passable with the use of the Key of the Three Moons, assembled from the Mooncrystals hidden within the forest. Sylvanas destroyed the bridge leading to the second gate in an attempt to halt the undead advance, though this proved in vain as Arthas ordered his mind-devoid minions to create a huge bridge of bodies to supplement the destroyed passage.
Sylvanas retreated to Fairbreeze Village, and had its citizens evacuated. With little more than her most stalwart rangers left by her side, Sylvanas resolved to make a final stand before Arthas could push his way into Silvermoon. Every runner she sent to Silvermoon was murdered, and Sylvanas coordinated an aerial Dragonhawk attack to counter the invaders. However, this too proved mostly futile. Knowing that her own death approached, Sylvanas could think only of her sister, Alleria, and gazed upon a necklace gifted to her by her elder sibling. Sylvanas mused that they would likely be reunited soon.
Sylvanas' final stand was against Arthas himself, fast closing in on Silvermoon, who at this point was frustrated at the harsh resistance Sylvanas had given him. The two engaged in combat, though the exhausted Ranger General was unable to match the power of Frostmourne, which shattered her weapons and pierced through her abdomen.
According to Arthas, it was Sylvanas who brought doom on the high elven people as his goal was only the Sunwell.
Sylvanas fights back the Scourge.
Sylvanas the Banshee
This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.
- For Warcraft III stats and abilities, see Sylvanas Windrunner (Banshee).
The official story given by the high elves of Silvermoon had the Ranger-General having perished valiantly in battle against the undead Scourge in the defense of Quel'Thalas, and her body being burned to ashes in the fire that had devastated half the capital. Rhonin had been told a different story: that Sylvanas was instead captured, horribly mutilated, then finally slain for Arthas' pleasure. In this version of events, her body was taken into a dark temple, where Arthas corrupted her soul, transforming her into a haunting, mournful phantom called a banshee that was left to roam the ruins of Quel'Thalas.
In truth, as Sylvanas lay dying after being impaled by Frostmourne, she told Arthas to finish her, saying she deserved a clean death. Having had to fight her every step of the way, Arthas responded by telling her the last thing he would give her was the peace of death. Moments after Sylvanas passed away into a comforting darkness, she felt agony unlike any she had ever known. Arthas ripped her soul back into the world and Sylvanas Windrunner became the first of the high elven banshees. She was able to give voice to her pain, and in so doing she would cause pain to others. Her body was flung onto a meatwagon, lost among the thousands more the Scourge had claimed, and would later be locked in an iron coffin as a further act of vengeance upon the Ranger General.
Sylvanas, now an undead banshee, was granted a number of unconventional abilities by Arthas. Though bound to his will completely, in a process she likened to a puppet master pulling strings, Arthas allowed her to retain her self-awareness - so that she might witness the destruction she would bring to her people firsthand. Sylvanas the banshee was paraded in front of Silvermoon as something of a trophy, and though the high elves were shocked to the core, Sylvanas could not help but feel pride as they continued their futile, brutal struggle against Arthas. Though Arthas had been able to fill the first crossing with bodies to form a passage, Sylvanas gloated to him that he would never be able to do so to reach Quel'Danas and the Sunwell. Arthas plunged Frostmourne into the ocean, and created a path of frost for his army to use instead.
Arthas began his brutal assault on the Sunwell, and Sylvanas watched helplessly as he engaged in single combat with the high elven ruler, High King Anasterian Sunstrider. She hoped dearly that the aged king could put an end to him, though knew that it was not possible. Her hopes were raised when Anasterian managed to dismount Arthas by grievously wounding his skeletal steed, Invincible, though the act only served to enrage Arthas further, and King Anasterian fell, both body and soul, before Frostmourne. Sylvanas witnessed the rebirth of Kel'Thuzad via the destruction of the Sunwell, and overtaken with grief, let out a banshee's screech that almost deafened the army but only amused Arthas. However, Sylvanas could not help but feel elated to see Quel'Thalas' traitor - Dar'khan Drathir - cut down by Arthas too.
With that, the mighty elven homeland of Quel'Thalas suffered its darkest hour. The former Ranger General accompanied Arthas to a demon gate, where Kel'Thuzad communed with Archimonde. The demon instructed them to attack Dalaran next, and Sylvanas mocked Arthas for a hint of regret she could sense within him - pertaining to someone he perhaps had "fond memories" regarding - Jaina Proudmoore. Arthas quickly silenced her, exerting his dominion over her spirit, though Sylvanas could not suppress a smirk of satisfaction. Sylvanas was present after the fall of Dalaran for the summoning of Archimonde.
Return to Lordaeron
This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.
Sylvanas became one of Arthas' primary generals, and she remained behind in Lordaeron with Kel'Thuzad under the watchful eye of the dreadlords, whom had been left stationed in Lordaeron to protect it in the name of the Legion. When Archimonde was defeated at the Battle of Mount Hyjal, Sylvanas would quickly learn of this news from Kel'Thuzad. As the months passed, the dreadlords were still ignorant of their masters' defeat. Varimathras, Detheroc and Balnazzar, the three prime dreadlords overseeing Lordaeron, were convening under Sylvanas' undead, watchful eyes when Arthas stormed into the stronghold, fresh from his journey to Kalimdor. He informed them of the Legion's failure and his intentions to take control of the Scourge. The dreadlords fled, outraged but unwilling to risk their lives by battling Arthas' army.
Arthas approached his servants, and ordered that Lordaeron be purged of all life as a tribute to Ner'zhul. Kel'Thuzad, however, informed him that human refugees had begun to flee from the outer villages, and that, should they escape into the mountain passes, they would be impossible to track. Arthas stationed himself and his two generals on the three possible escape routes and they each led detachments of undead troops against the fleeing humans while taking great pains to ensure that few, if any, made it past their blockade to safety. Despite the efforts of the paladin Dagren the Orcslayer and his companions, Sylvanas led her banshees into battle against the human refugees, aided in the destruction of all the remaining villages in her area, and slaughtered any human trying to escape. Finally, Sylvanas, Arthas, and Kel'Thuzad arrived at the central headquarters of the paladins and killed them all in a vicious battle, annihilating the last of the civilian presence in Lordaeron.
The Dark Ranger
This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.
Around this point, the weakened Ner'zhul began to lose control of the minds of Sylvanas and a number of banshees. She kept this discovery from Arthas and Kel'Thuzad while continuing to serve. The dreadlords contacted Sylvanas and explained that they knew the cause, and arranged a secret meeting with her. They told her that Ner'zhul's—and by extension Arthas'—powers were beginning to diminish. The nathrezim intended to use this opportunity to seize control of Lordaeron. Sylvanas tentatively agreed to assist, but under the condition that her aid would be provided on her own terms.
The dreadlords planned on killing Arthas within the capital, but Sylvanas created a contingency plan in the case of Arthas' escape. She arranged for her banshees to feign allegiance and escort him to a place in the woods where she would be waiting for him. After Arthas survived the dreadlords' ambush and escaped the capital, Sylvanas' loyal sisters saw him to the arranged place, and then killed his bodyguards.
Sylvanas had at this point succeeded in using her abilities as a banshee to repossess the body that belonged to her in life. Sylvanas was now a corporeal undead creature. Hiding in the shadows, she struck him with an arrow she had crafted — a venomous sting that would paralyze him. Arthas was furious at her betrayal, and demanded that she finish him. But Sylvanas refused to show him the mercy of a quick death and intended to make him suffer — as he had made her suffer in undeath. She was about to begin her grisly work when Kel'Thuzad arrived and intervened, killing her banshees and chasing her off.
Back in her physical body she realized that the natural world would never respond to her wishes again. Angered by this development, she turned to the arts that were becoming more and more natural to her: necromancy. She then altered her elven ranger teachings into a new form. Thus the dark rangers were born.
Queen of the Forsaken
This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.
Arthas left for Northrend, having been summoned by the Lich King, and Kel'Thuzad went into hiding. Sylvanas and her sisters were freed, but Sylvanas was still troubled. Though free from Ner'zhul, she and the other free-willed loyalists remained monstrous abominations in appearance.
Her thoughts were interrupted as Varimathras arrived on the scene. The dreadlord invited the banshee to join him and his brothers in their new order. But Sylvanas was not so quick to relinquish what freedom she had just gained. She told him that her assistance was enough, and demanded to be left alone. Varimathras ominously warned that those who were not part of this new land would be cast aside, and that she had best not vex the new rulers of the Plaguelands. Sylvanas was adamant. As Varimathras departed, Sylvanas knew that an attack was imminent. But with only her banshees and some lesser undead to serve for her, Sylvanas was certain that she would soon fall. She needed to acquire an army.
Scouting the outer wilderness, Sylvanas found a plethora of creatures who would serve her well, and with her banshees at her disposal, they would have little choice in the matter. She sent out her banshees to possess Mug'thol the leader of the local ogres, the Bandit Lord Blackthorn, the gnoll ruler Snarlmane, and the Murloc Puddle Lord. Those she did not possess were killed. With so many new allies, Varimathras was quick to fall before her. But after she defeated him, Varimathras begged for his life, saying that he could serve her well. He knew his brothers' tactics, and where their bases were located. Sylvanas knew trusting such an insidious creature was a risk, but felt that she could control him enough for her purposes. With Varimathras' assistance, they moved against Detheroc's forces.
Detheroc had acquired a human puppet, Garithos, and his men, and was using them to protect himself. Sylvanas had his scouts possessed, and then infiltrated his base while their guard was down. As they slept, Sylvanas swept through the twin bases and slaughtered any before her. Though they eventually awoke and raised the alarm, it was too late. Sylvanas disabled the humans and ravaged Detheroc's forces, eventually coming to the dreadlord himself, and killing him swiftly. With the dreadlord dead, Garithos was freed from his mental control. Sylvanas saw him as arrogant and foolish, but felt that she could use him. She lied and promised to relinquish control of the Capital to him if he helped her kill Balnazzar.
The night before attacking the Capital City, Sylvanas met with the freed undead. She spoke about their purpose in the world and if they help her retake the Capital. An undead alchemist called Lydon asked her what would became with Garithos' humans. She responded that they will just serve for the battle.
Garithos attacked from the rear entrance to the city as Sylvanas and Varimathras came from the front. As they moved into the city, Sylvanas found caches of items left by the Lordaeron royals, and used them to further the assault. Despite the dreadlord's demonic allies, his forces were destroyed, and, as a final test of loyalty, Sylvanas demanded that Varimathras kill Balnazzar. Varimathras froze, saying that it was forbidden for one Nathrezim to kill another. But she required Varimathras to prove his loyalty to her. Varimathras obeyed, and struck down Balnazzar. However, whether by accident or design, Balnazzar survived, later re-emerging as a leader of the Scarlet Crusade. Varimathras was not so reluctant when Sylvanas ordered him to do the same to Garithos.
With all their enemies dead, Sylvanas made a proclamation to Varimathras. They would rule the Plaguelands as the Forsaken, and would stake out their own destiny, where none would get in their way.
Sylvanas quickly went about founding her new empire of undeath. Freeing many undead from the Lich King's dominion, and organizing them into a new nation of their own, Sylvanas attacked the royal catacombs beneath the ruins of Capital City - the Undercity - and took it over for the Forsaken. The Forsaken have since worked to complete Arthas' plans in the Undercity; extending its dungeons and tombs considerably to forge a functional capital for their own use.
Sylvanas, the Banshee Queen, and leader of the Forsaken traveled to Quel'Thalas for her own reasons, but soon encountered the traitor Dar'Khan, confronting him in the ruins of Silvermoon. She aided Kalecgos in attempting to stop the traitor from claiming the Sunwell's energies; though she was initially unsuccessful, she distracted Dar'Khan long enough for Anveena to regain her power and vaporize him. Sylvanas agreed to keep Anveena's identity a secret in the interests of preventing Arthas from gaining the Sunwell's power.
Joining the Horde
The Forsaken, having carved a functional empire of their own and with growing numbers by the day, knew that the next step to realizing their vengeance upon Arthas was to secure their place in the world. Though Sylvanas had presided over the civil war in the Plaguelands, and successfully conquered the ruins of Lordaeron, how long the relatively small faction of the Forsaken could keep their holdings was unclear.
As such, Sylvanas looked to finding allies. She sent numerous ambassadors to the Horde under Warchief Thrall, though the Forsaken's admittance as an official member state was contested by a number of the faction's existing members. The kind-hearted tauren of Thunder Bluff proved to be the most promising contact. Specifically, Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem saw the potential for redemption in Sylvanas’ people, even though he was fully aware of the Forsaken’s sinister nature. Thus, the tauren convinced Warchief Thrall, despite his misgivings, to forge an alliance of convenience between the Forsaken and the Horde. This alliance of convenience has granted the Horde a better footing in the mostly Alliance controlled Eastern Kingdoms, and in turn, with the Horde's protection, and even the assistance of the Argent Dawn, the Forsaken were able to keep their holdings in Lordaeron.
The Forsaken's dominion
This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
Having carved out an alliance with the Horde, the Forsaken looked to expanding their ever-growing empire of undeath. By freeing the minds of the undead under the sway of the Lich King, Sylvanas came to preside over an impressive faction of her own. During this time, Sylvanas also freed her former disciple, Ranger Lord Nathanos Marris, from the Scourge's cold grip. Nathanos was named the champion of the Banshee Queen, and took up residence on the Marris Stead to train and direct his Queen's new champions.
Sylvanas sent adventurers to train under Nathanos, and later to help remove the zealous Scarlet Crusade presence constantly harassing Forsaken lands. Sylvanas sanctioned the creation of the Deathstalkers, which has quickly become one of the most powerful spy organizations on Azeroth, and also oversaw the early production of a master plague capable of bringing the Scourge to its knees - the Royal Apothecary Society rising to meet this goal.
Sylvanas tasked Varimathras with the conquering of the human and dwarven lands in southern Lordaeron.
The Forsaken have incorporated the notion of Hallow's End into a core part of their culture. Sylvanas hails it as the night where the Forsaken are strongest - the night where their enemies fear them the most. She appears in a ghostly form outside of the Undercity to burn the large wickerman; much to the crowd's delight. The Wickerman Festival celebrates the anniversary of the Forsaken's campaign against the Scourge and Burning Legion and the birth of the Forsaken as a people.
Since the Cataclysm, Sylvanas gives a new speech during Hallow's End, and there are sound files for this speech, just as Genn Greymane has.
The Burning Crusade
This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
In death, Sylvanas still considers herself one of the foremost protectors of Quel'Thalas, and repeatedly offered assistance in the form of supplies and troops to the blood elves. This may be due in some part to the fact that the Dark Lady still grieves over her failure to protect Quel'Thalas from the Scourge invasion during the Third War, when she fell in battle. Though the sin'dorei initially declined most of Sylvanas' offers, fearing a trick, the beleaguered elves eventually allowed Sylvanas to station Forsaken soldiers in their lands, most prominently in the village of Tranquillien. Sylvanas played a large part in convincing Thrall to accept the blood elves into the Horde.
During the battles in the Ghostlands, blood elven adventurers would travel to Windrunner Spire - Sylvanas' former residence - and acquire , what was once a gift to Sylvanas from her elder sister, Alleria. It is delivered to the Banshee Queen herself, and Sylvanas is briefly taken aback by the sight of it. However, she quickly composes herself, and lashes out at the adventurer - ensuring them that it means nothing to her, and that Alleria Windrunner is a long dead memory; dropping the necklace. She dismisses the adventurer from her chambers, though in a rare moment of emotion, summons a choir of high elven banshees and begins to sing a melancholic song for her bereaved homeland. She then kneels down to pick up the necklace.
Sylvanas would later assist sin'dorei Blood Knights on behalf of Mehlar Dawnblade in the creation of a powerful Scourgestone; Sylvanas' intimate knowledge of the Scourge's workings proving an essential compenent to aiding in its creation.
Legends: Crusader's Blood
Sylvanas alongside Varimathras attacked a camp of the Scarlet Crusade in Tirisfal Glades and defeated its leader, Renee Lauer who was responsible of the deaths of some Horde members. After this, Renee was resurrected as a Forsaken.
Arthas: Rise of the Lich King
Sylvanas once went to see Faranell who showed her the effects of the New Plague. She was satisfied with the result but warned Faranell that the Plague should never fall to wrong hands. Arthas killed and consumed the dream form of Ner'zhul thus he became the only person known as the Lich King. In that moment he opened his eyes and Sylvanas felt that something terrible was happening.
A Council for War
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
The time had finally come to deal with the Scourge. Sylvanas and her chief apothecary, Putress, met with Warchief Thrall, High Overlord Saurfang, and Garrosh Hellscream to plan their next move. After the duel between Garrosh and Thrall (fueled by Garrosh's belief that immediate action needed to be taken) was interrupted by a Scourge assault, Sylvanas helped to defend Orgrimmar. After the Horde victory, Thrall declared war upon the Lich King. Pleased, Sylvanas dispensed Putress to assist the Horde in Northrend - his vast knowledge of the plague surely being a beneficial addition to its arsenal.
In the Shadow of the Sun
With the Horde now dedicated to a Northrend campaign, Lady Sylvanas and a group of Royal Dreadguards travelled to Sunfury Spire to gain the support of the blood elves towards the war effort. She was met by her old comrade, Lor'themar Theron, Regent Lord of Quel'Thalas, along with Grand Magister Rommath and the current Ranger-general of Silvermoon, Halduron Brightwing. Sylvanas instructed Lor'themar to send a force of blood elves -- magisters, Farstriders and Blood Knights—to Northrend, though Lor'themar was apprehensive, reasoning that he had only just overcome the war on Quel'Danas. Sylvanas noted that the blood elves are a part of the Horde only by her hand, and that if they do not mobilize they would surely lose its support - and Forsaken support in their lands.
With his arm twisted, Lor'themar relented, and agreed to send a contingent of blood elves to the Undercity. Sylvanas prepared to leave, though Rommath was outraged at this turn of events. He threw Sylvanas' offers of aid back at her, stating that the situation was blackmail. Sylvanas informed him that all she desired was the strength to defeat their greatest foe - and that moreover, her offers were just that - offers. Lor'themar quickly ended their conversation, and Sylvanas' eyes flashed for the briefest of moments at his Thalassian farewell. She silently left.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
The Horde thus began their assault on the frozen region of Northrend. While the main Horde advance, led by Garrosh Hellscream, attacked from Borean Tundra; the Forsaken - coming under the banner of the aptly named Hand of Vengeance - assaulted the region from Howling Fjord with their considerable navy. Under Sylvanas' direct leadership, the Hand of Vengeance brought with it everything in the Forsaken's arsenal - including the penultimate phases of their enigmatic plague, which would be perfected during their time in Northrend.
One of the new Forsaken camps in Northrend is New Agamand, where most of the Royal Apothecary Society's members took up residence to finish perfecting the plague to unleash upon the Lich King. Lady Sylvanas had been methodically and patiently overseeing the creation of this contagion for several years now, and it seemed the time at last had come to test it on the Scourge.
However, Grand Apothecary Putress, whom Sylvanas had deployed in Northrend, would soon come to undertake this honor - by hurling the perfected, ravenous plague at the Scourge, the Alliance, and even the Horde during the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate.
Battle for the Undercity
- Main article: Battle for the Undercity
As the combined Horde and Alliance forces began their assault upon Angrathar the Wrathgate, an uprising broke out within the Undercity. Varimathras and hordes of his demonic brethren overran the city, slaying all those who would not submit to their dark rule. Sylvanas herself nearly died in the coup, but managed to escape with a number of loyalists and fled to Orgrimmar. Determined not to allow the dreadlords a foothold in Horde territory, Thrall and Sylvanas planned an immediate counter-attack. In the midst of their planning however, Jaina Proudmoore arrived with terrible news: in the wake of Bolvar Fordragon's death, King Varian was preparing for a possible war with the Horde. Jaina had been sent to elicit an explanation for the betrayal at the Wrathgate. Though Thrall and Sylvanas explained that the Horde was not responsible for Putress, Jaina had warned them that King Varian would most likely pursue retribution.
Sylvanas returned to the Undercity at the head of a Horde army, determined to retake her city. Along with Thrall and Vol'jin, she led the assault into Undercity itself, a cry for her people upon her lips. In the Throne Room, Sylvanas fought and finally slew Varimathras, retaking her throne. As this was occurring, King Varian launched his own assault on the Undercity from the sewers. Upon discovery of various Forsaken experiments on their human captives, King Varian was set on declaring war on the Horde. King Varian entered the Royal Quarter shortly after Varimathras' defeat, branding them monsters and charged at the Warchief and the Dark Lady. However, he was quickly teleported out of the battle by Jaina, who took the Alliance forces back to Stormwind.
With the battle over, Sylvanas was thus able to reclaim her throne, with the treacherous rebels put to death. However, the entire Wrathgate fiasco did not sit well with Thrall, who dispensed a contingent of Kor'kron to keep watch over the Forsaken. With that, Sylvanas herself made the journey to Northrend - to finally deliver her vengeance upon Arthas.
The Frozen Halls
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
Sylvanas leads Horde forces to the Frozen Halls inside Icecrown Citadel, to confront the Lich King and gain her vengeance against Arthas for destroying Quel'Thalas and damning her to undeath. Accompanied by Dark Ranger Kalira and Dark Ranger Loralen She instructs Horde heroes in their battles through the accursed halls, and joins with several Horde champions of the Argent Tournament. Following the defeat of Ick and Krick, Krick begs for mercy before Sylvanas, and attempts to sate her with the knowledge that Frostmourne itself is within the halls - unguarded. Krick is ultimately disposed of by Scourgelord Tyrannus, and Sylvanas makes the journey to the Halls of Reflection. Before entering the halls, they had to battle with Tyrannus. Right after his death, Sindragosa appeared and killed almost all the combatants except Sylvanas, her two rangers and adventurers who she pulled out of Sindragosa's range. She sent Kalira to get reinforcements and with Loralen and the adventurers entered the Halls of Reflection.
Upon reaching Arthas' private chambers in the Halls of Reflection and standing so close to Frostmourne, Sylvanas felt the pain of her death to this blade renewed. Nonetheless, she attempted to commune with the spirits within the sword, hoping that "salvation lies within". At that point, the spirit of Uther the Lightbringer appeared, warning her that the Lich King was on his way, and of the foolishness of attempting to defeat him there. He reveals that even if Arthas were to be destroyed, there must be someone to take his place as master of the Scourge, lest they wash across the world like locusts, consuming everything in their path. To defeat the Lich King, Uther said, he must be destroyed at the place he was created: The Frozen Throne.
Just then, the Lich King arrives and reclaims his blade, consuming the soul of Uther within it. He summons Falric and Marwyn, his two top lieutenants, to kill the intruders. While her escorts (the players) battle the pair and the ghosts they summon, Sylvanas and Dark Ranger Loralen give chase as the Lich King flees to his inner sanctum. Upon defeating the death knights and their ghostly allies, the party finds Loralen dead in the hallway and the sounds of battle coming from the chamber before them - Sylvanas and the Lich King in single combat. Realizing he was too powerful to confront there, as Uther had warned, Sylvanas and her escorts flee, breaking through the ice walls and packs of undead minions the Lich King summons to slow their progress. As they reach the outside, they realize that it is a dead end, and resolve themselves to dying in battle against the Dark Lord. Just then, the gunship Orgrim's Hammer arrives on scene to rescue them. As they flee the Halls of Reflection, Sylvanas realizes that the Lich King's powers have increased tenfold, and that to defeat him, a mighty army was needed, one greater than even the Horde could muster.
Fall of the Lich King
Eventually, Arthas fell in combat with Tirion Fordring and his champions, ending his reign of terror. With the death of the Lich King, an adventurer bearing finds a , containing various items, among them a vial of blood. The adventurer brings the vial to Sylvanas, waiting in Light's Hammer.
- Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: So, it is done.
- Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: I had not dared to trust my senses - too many times has the Lich King made me to be a fool.
- Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: Finally, he has been made to pay for the atrocities he imposed upon my people.
- Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: May Azeroth never fail to remember the terrible price we paid for our weakness... for our pride.
- Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: But what now, hero? What of those freed from his grasp, but still shackled to their mortal coils?
- Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: Leave me.
- Lady Sylvanas Windrunner says: I have much to ponder.
As the whole of Azeroth was enveloped within the effects of the Emerald Nightmare, so was the Undercity and the Banshee Queen herself. Sylvanas dreamt about being a high elf once again, after the actually dead Varimathras had turned her back into one. However, her fears gripped her once more as the actually dead Lich King reappeared and tortured her while Varimathras betrayed her once again in her dream. Sharlindra and the other denizens of the Undercity could not bring her out of the spell's grip.
Edge of Night
After the death of the Lich King Arthas Menethil, Sylvanas ventured alone to the Frozen Throne. While irritated that she was not there to see him fall, Sylvanas took solace in knowing that the work she had begun in the lush forests of Quel'Thalas was at last complete: Arthas was dead. With her life's - and unlife's - goal sated, Sylvanas could think only of the bright fate that had awaited her before Arthas tore out her soul and prepared to hurl herself from the citadel onto the saronite spikes below, the only thing capable of destroying her completely. As she contemplated the end of her long journey, nine val'kyr encircled her, granting her visions of her past. Sylvanas ignored them, and hurled herself off the Frozen Throne.
Sylvanas saw vision of her peoples' future. Without her leadership, the bulk of the Forsaken were sacrificed by Garrosh Hellscream in a failed assault on Gilneas. At the Bulwark, Apothecary Lydon organizes a last, desperate counterattack against the invading Alliance forces. As the tide turned against them, the Forsaken threw themselves into raging fires rather than face the onslaught to come. As the vision ended, Sylvanas found herself floating in a dark void, where she knew only terror, cold, hopelessness, fear, and regret. She also ran into the ghost of Arthas and was surprised to find that all he was at this point was a frightened and lonely little boy. Looking at the man who had inflicted such torment, Sylvanas admitted that had her soul not been broken she may have actually felt pity for him despite what he had done to her. As she realized that this realm of anguish was to be her eternity, the val'kyr appeared to her again. Led by Annhylde the Caller, they offered the Dark Lady a pact: instead of allowing Sylvanas to reside eternally in this terrifying realm, Annhylde offered to take her place if she binds herself to the remaining val'kyr; a powerful vessel through which they can continue to exist as more than slaves, their fates intertwined. Sylvanas accepted the pact, and was returned to the realm of the living surrounded by the eight remaining val'kyr.
Sylvanas returned to Silverpine Forest, where Garrosh was leading the assault on Gilneas, and stated that the invasion would be carried out her way; Garrosh begrudgingly accepted, and Sylvanas ordered her fleet around to the southern coast to harass the villages and split Gilneas' defenders. Reflecting on what she had been through, Sylvanas realized that her people were no longer simply arrows in her quiver, but an important resource that would not be squandered.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
In an interview Chris Metzen revealed that Sylvanas was ordered to move south into Gilneas because the Horde wanted a port in northern Lordaeron. Metzen mentioned Sylvanas was "in the dog house" with the Horde after the Wrathgate events and has to move when the leadership of the Horde orders her to do so. It is also implied that Sylvanas did not invade Gilneas for land alone. Through her ally, Ralaar Fangfire, she has learned that the legendary was in Gilneas and seeks custody of it. Following the Wrathgate fiasco, the Forsaken as a whole have come under scrutiny from the wider Horde. Use of the Forsaken Blight has been explicitly banned, though the apothecaries are permitted to work on a considerably weaker strain. Sylvanas spearheads the attack on Gilneas, and is initially successful in conquering the city thanks to the efforts of her Wolf Cult allies.
However, the Forsaken had not counted on the Gilneans controlling the worgen curse that had spread among Gilneas' citizens, and the Gilneans uniting their forces after internal struggling to push the Forsaken out of Gilneas City. Backed into a corner, Sylvanas faces off against King Genn Greymane, Darius Crowley, Prince Liam Greymane and a Gilnean resistance force. She quickly turns the tables despite her disadvantage, and aims a poisoned arrow at Genn - though Liam hurls himself in its way; dying in the process. Frustrated, and with the new Warchief's presence breathing down her neck, Sylvanas orders the city to be drenched in blight to secure a certain victory. The Gilneans learn of this, and begin to evacuate their citizens. With the battle over, and Gilneas once again in Forsaken hands, Sylvanas retreats.
However, the Forsaken lose their holdings in Gilneas after a night-time raid by the 7th Legion. In a meeting with Garrosh Hellscream (whom Sylvanas does not appear to think particularly highly of), Sylvanas reveals the newest allies of the Forsaken - the val'kyr, the ascended vrykul women who once served the Lich King, and uses them to raise dead enemies as Forsaken as a solution to the undead not being able to procreate. After an insulting exchange with the highly revolted Garrosh, High Warlord Cromush is dispensed to "guard" the Dark Lady and keep tabs on the Forsaken.
Sylvanas personally takes to the battlefield in Silverpine Forest, leading her army against the Alliance counterattack from Gilneas. The Forsaken come under heavy fire from the Gilneas Liberation Front, backed by the Bloodfang pack and the 7th Legion troops. While the Forsaken forces begin to push forward with the help of their allies, old and new (Orcish reinforcements and the Val'kyr, respectively), the latter efficiently bringing in the fallen to bolster their ranks, Sylvanas devises a plan to end the battle in victory- beginning with the resurrection of Lord Godfrey.
After Godfrey captures Lorna Crowley and delivers her to Sylvanas, Sylvanas heads towards the shattered Greymane Wall and gives Darius Crowley a choice: the surrender of the Gilneas Liberation Front or Lorna becomes one of the Forsaken. Darius decides to surrender and Sylvanas allows him to leave with his daughter and his men. Shortly afterwards she is killed by Godfrey, who quickly flees to Shadowfang Keep. High Warlord Cromush orders the val'kyr Agatha, Arthura, and Daschla to fix her. After a moment of thought the three val'kyr sacrifice themselves and give Sylvanas life once more. This convinces Sylvanas beyond a shadow of a doubt that the val'kyr are the future of her people.
The Dark Lady and her forces are eager to conquer the Arathi Highlands, and the fallen (and resurrected) Prince Galen Trollbane, now a member of the Forsaken, along with Dark Ranger Alina are presiding over the possible conflict. Sylvanas herself mused to Alina that the Forsaken's complete conquest of Lordaeron may be the only way they can find satisfaction, and perhaps, relief.
During the Battle for Andorhal, Sylvanas disguises herself as Lindsay Ravensun. She expresses dissatisfaction with how Koltira Deathweaver deals with the Alliance - especially after the Alliance forces assault the Forsaken's side of Andorhal, despite Koltira's apparent truce with the enemy commander, Thassarian. Sylvanas steps in to turn the battle around, unleashing the Val'kyr to secure a safe victory.
After the Alliance is defeated, Sylvanas confronts Koltira about his ill-fated truce with Thassarian, and scolds him for being weak. A portal to the Undercity is opened and Koltira is pulled through by a hooked chain, where Sylvanas will attempt to purge him of his compassion for Thassarian and make him more of a servant of the Horde - more specifically, a servant of Sylvanas and the Forsaken.
Lady Sylvanas later sends Lady Cozwynn to the Twilight Highlands, to serve as the Horde liaison to the new Dragonmaw Chieftan, Warlord Zaela, in order to improve her relations with the Warchief and "mend broken fences."
Currently, Lady Sylvanas and the Forsaken as a whole have come under the observation of the neighbouring Argent Crusade forces and certain members of the Ebon Blade. As similarities between her and the Lich King increase, the Forsaken are now being watched very closely.
Tides of War
Sylvanas is present at the Horde leader meeting called by Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, in which the warchief makes clear his plans to attack and crush the nation of Theramore. Sylvanas is opposed to this notion, wary that the Alliance may take their anger out on the Forsaken and sin'dorei if their main base of power on Kalimdor is compromised. Sylvanas repeatedly looks to Lor'themar Theron for support, playing upon his sympathy, though Lor'themar gives her none.
Garrosh ensures Sylvanas that any counterattacks will be dealt with, and the Dark Lady dispenses Captain Frandis Farley to represent her during the Siege of Theramore. After the war, Garrosh has Farley killed in the inn in Razor Hill for questioning his actions in the meeting with Baine and Vol'jin.
This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
Siege of Orgrimmar
This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
Sylvanas accompanied Lor'themar Theron to seize Bladefist Bay from Garrosh's forces. While nearing to make a landfall, she and Theron discussed raising the dead. While the blood elven regent forbade her to use her resurrection skills on the elves, he did not care about the human ones. She planned to use her angels to fill the streets of Orgrimmar and raise the dead but it is currently unknown if she succeeded or not. She takes part in the Galakras encounter along with Lor'themar and Archmage Aethas Sunreaver.
Sylvanas is present along with the rest of the Horde's leadership (barring Ji Firepaw, who was injured earlier in the siege) at the defeat and arrest of Garrosh. When Thrall names Vol'jin the new Warchief, Sylvanas nods in acknowledgment. However as the quote below indicates, she's not quite as accepting as she appeared, hinting that she's going to give him a hard time to 'test' him.
- I have nothing to say to you, <race>.
- "Warchief Vol'jin." Does it sound absurd to you, <class>? I, for one, certainly won't be taking orders from a troll.
- But, he put this little coalition together, and won the day. He's also proven to be impossible to kill - I admire that.
- Time to test what he's made of...
After the Siege of Orgrimmar, Sylvanas and other Horde leaders are summoned to the Temple of the White Tiger to witness the judgement of Garrosh Hellscream. Sylvanas is initially displeased at the idea of a trial rather than an execution and opposes the appointment of Baine Bloodhoof as Hellscream's defender. When Baine's defense of Hellscream proves better than the Banshee Queen would like she accuses him of being an "Alliance sympathizer", prompting the tauren chieftain to somewhat aggressively, albeit calmly, deny her claim while grabbing her upper arms.
Vereesa Windrunner, noticing her sister's mutual hatred for Garrosh, anonymously summoned her to Windrunner Spire to plot the assassination of the tyrannical former Warchief. Concocting a new, untraceable poison with her Forsaken subjects, she and Vereesa planned to lace Hellscream's last meal with it. In the meantime, Vereesa entertained the idea of joining her sister in leadership of the Forsaken despite the fact that it would require her to abandon her children. Sylvanas realized that the Forsaken would not accept a living creature into their leadership and decided she would murder Vereesa so that her "Little Moon" could be reborn at her side as an undead.
At the last moment, Vereesa relented and informed Anduin Wrynn of the poison in Hellscream's food. Despite Hellscream's hateful words and remorseless attitude, the prince saved the imprisoned orc's life, foiling the Banshee Queen's plan. After learning of the plan's failure, the Banshee Queen rampaged through the wilderness, angrily killing any wildlife unfortunate enough to get in her way and proclaiming that she would never attempt to love again.
Warlords of Draenor
This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
Sylvanas also sent the mage Vivianne to assist the commander on Draenor and to retrieve samples of the Infested for study. Benjamin Gibb was also doing reconnaissance for the Dark Lady in Admiral Taylor's Garrison.
This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
The Forsaken's ruthless leader is a formidable champion of her people. But with the Burning Legion's invasion, the stakes for the Dark Lady have never been higher. Should Sylvanas perish, her demise will be the beginning of her eternal damnation. All that stand between her and this doom are her Val'kyr, yet few of these spirit guardians remain. As her fate edges closer to the abyss, Sylvanas must decide how far she'll go to protect her people... and whether they're more precious to her than her soul.
|This section contains spoilers. Major plot details and/or summaries follow. If you wish to experience the content on your own, do not read this section.|
Sylvanas took part in the Horde's attack force heading for the Broken Isles in a joint assault with the Alliance. When a demonic attack critically damaged the Alliance's gunship, she vaulted onto it before it crashed into her own. She fought alongside Varian Wrynn against a rampaging abyssal and survived the gunship's fall to continue the battle on land.
After the Battle at the Broken Shore, Sylvanas is made Warchief of the Horde by Vol'jin shortly after which the other Horde leaders pledge their loyalty to the new Warchief.
She later takes the Forsaken fleet to Stormheim in search of more Val'kyr to turn to her cause. The fleet is attacked by a single Alliance gunship, the shots fired, presumably, at the command of a vengeful Genn Greymane.
|Location||Level range||Health range|
|Forge of Souls||??||6,972,500|
|Pit of Saron||??||6,972,500|
|Halls of Reflection||80||5,040,000|
|Siege of Orgrimmar||92 - 93||87,227,400 - 337,273,600|
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
The subject of this section has been removed from World of Warcraft.
Battle with the Dark Lady can prove disastrous if certain steps are not taken to ensure the raid's survivability. Sylvanas now pulls with her Battlemasters and battleground envoys (e.g. Dragonmaw Envoy, Strand of the Ancients Envoy, etc.) regardless of which side of her platform is taken, and she engages with a Forsaken Bat along with a scaled Bragor Bloodfist and Aleric Hawkins as well as all of the Royal Dreadguards in the throne room. Though Hawkins is easily disposed of, her other allies in the Royal Quarter are formidable and hit hard. The best tactic is to use two tanks, one to hold the Battlemasters, battleground envoys, and guard spawns (Note: If attacking Sylvanas on a weekend a third Battlemaster will be present as well), and one to keep on Sylvanas and her skeleton minions.
Sylvanas uses a variety of abilities- her multi-shot, regardless of range, is capable of hitting up to ten targets at once for a moderately powerful 55-64k. She can use a DOT curse (a special version of ), to inflict 800k shadow damage over 30 seconds on a random target. The potency of her summon skeleton ability has been increased, and now brings forth five level 90 skeletons, but each only have 17,672 health, so they are dispatched easily with a quick AoE. She has also retained her ability, though even one application of is enough to disallow her its use.
Due to the large amount of enemies, speed is a key factor in downing the Dark Lady. If allowed to vanish and not picked up immediately after, there is an infrequent glitch where she will reset to 100% HP, wasting valuable time. Focusing on her over her allies, while a second tank holds them, is the best strategy to employ.
Sylvanas was often considered the most powerful faction leader, having battled alongside Varimathras until Wrath of the Lich King. More recently, this position has been disputed by the encounter with Garrosh Hellscream.
Sylvanas, like most capital city leaders, has a 2-hour respawn timer after being killed by an Alliance raid. However, you may have to face the battlemasters more than once, as they have a respawn timer of 5-10 min.
- Black Arrow — 45 yrd range. Curses an enemy, inflicting 80,000 Shadow damage every 3 sec for 30 sec. If the target dies while afflicted by Black Arrow, a Skeleton will be summoned from the target's corpse.
- Fade — Turns the caster invisible and increases its movement speed by 50% for 3 sec.
- Multi-Shot — 30 yrd range. Fires a volley of missiles at an enemy and its nearby allies, striking up to 10 targets for 55500 to 64500 Physical damage.
- Summon Skeleton — Summons 5 Skeletons to aid the caster in battle for 2 min, each level 90 and possesing 17,672 health.
- Shoot — 5-30 yrd range. Shoots at an enemy, inflicting 45000 to 55000 Physical damage.
- Sylvanas is skilled at archery, an art she mastered as a high elf. To this day the bow remains Sylvanas' weapon of choice.
- The Banshee Queen is aptly named. Her screams have the power to silence and weaken her enemies, or bolster the power of her allies.
- Sylvanas is adept at demon magic — having the ability to drain life, create skeletons, and use mind control.
- Although Sylvanas has reclaimed her undead high elven body, she still retains the ability to shift in and out of her incorporeal banshee form at will.
- Through her pact with the val'kyr, Sylvanas has power over life and death. At the time of the Cataclysm events in Silverpine Forest, she could only raise humans into undeath, but her powers could always grow down the line. During the Siege of Orgrimmar, Sylvanas offered to raise Lor'themar's blood elf troops. During Garrosh's trial in War Crimes, she planned to raise Vereesa as a Forsaken.
- Sylvanas can telepathically communicate by making her voice "invade" the thoughts of another person.
- Still a warrior's heart? She had grown cold. No, she was the same. In death as in life.
In her early life, Sylvanas was a prodigious ranger, proud and vain—and pragmatic. As the ranger general, Sylvanas, like many of the quel'dorei, held the belief that it was a mistake to teach magic to humanity; though she was also of the opinion that Quel'Thalas would do well to coexist with the other races of the world, and to practice tolerance. Sylvanas's ambiguous relationship with her pupil, the human Nathanos Marris, may have shaped this belief (or have been the result of it). Death, however, would give Sylvanas a highly different outlook on life.
In death, Sylvanas was motivated, for the most part, by revenge; and later, a drive to survive (and thus avoid the hell awaiting her) at all costs. Sylvanas is a highly cunning and capable administrator, having built up a nation from nothing to one of Azeroth's most powerful (and volatile) factions. Though she has forged alliances, she has consistently kept her allies ignorant of her true motives, knowledge and intentions, resorting to ruthless betrayals and professing innocence as appropriate. Sylvanas makes little distinction between friend and foe; if you do not stand with the Forsaken, you stand against them. She makes use of oratory and favourable propaganda to further her goals, be it rallying the purposeless undead on a crusade of retribution, or motivating her people to conquer. Sylvanas is a cold and amoral ruler, placing value on few of her subjects beyond their use as tools, be it arrows to kill on her behalf or shields to protect her from her enemies. Even her own homeland was not exempt to this; indeed, Sylvanas was willing to use it as a bargaining chip to secure more manpower in her quest for vengeance. Sylvanas is often brusque and dismissive, though is quick to feign respect around figures such as the Warchief. She does however pay some amount of respect to her own soldiers, commemorating them through their insignia or attempting to rescue survivors of a battle.
Sylvanas is a ruthless and creative military leader. She is not above using hostages, explicitly banned chemical weaponry, and enforcing morally dubious choices to put the Forsaken ahead in warfare. The lines between Sylvanas and the Lich King are blurred in this regard, with similarities between the Dark Lady and whom she had most despised growing by the day.
Hints exist that Sylvanas has not been able to entirely cast aside her old life. She takes a special notice of Lor'themar Theron's Thalassian, sings a melancholic tune regarding the fall of her homeland, and expresses genuine emotion in regards to her sister after rediscovering a locket once gifted to Sylvanas by her elder sibling, which is still in the Dark Lady's possession.
As a living elf, Sylvanas had waist-length blonde hair that "flowed like water" and was "translucent in the light of the sun". She took great pride in her appearance: It wasn't good enough to be the best hunter in her family. She needed to take everyone's breath away as she ventured out. She was so very vain. Her eyes were "more gray than green or blue."
Repossessing her body as a banshee, Sylvanas now has pale, blue-white skin. Though better preserved than most other undead, the flesh around her mouth cracks and peels like old snakeskin when she speaks. Her eyes glow with a white or silver light that turns red when she is agitated. Her once-golden hair is now black as midnight with streaks of white.
Sylvanas still wears the same outfit she was wearing when she died, though its coloration has darkened. Oddly, her body bears no scars from the innumerable wounds she received on the day she died. As in life, she has a preference for wearing her hood up.
Sylvanas is an imposing figure, seemingly able to look down upon others even if they are taller than her. Only Garrosh Hellscream was willing to look her in the eyes following her pact with the val'kyr, and what he saw there startled even him. Lor'themar Theron described her thusly: In the hall where she stood, the light seemed to fade; it was not that it dimmed or dulled but that it collapsed and sunk into the space she occupied, as if even sunshine faltered around her.
In the RPG
As the leader of the Forsaken and the Horde on the Eastern Kingdoms, Sylvanas is a military genius. The middle sister of Alleria and Vereesa Windrunner, she was Ranger-General of the high elf kingdom of Quel'Thalas. She fought valiantly against Arthas when he invaded Quel'Thalas, but during the fall of Silvermoon, Arthas raised her as an undead minion as a form of petty revenge. When the Lich King's hold on his minions weakened, Sylvanas, among other undead, regained her free will, and she led her forces against the dreadlords who had taken hold over Lordaeron, ultimately affirming her sovereignty by killing off two of the nathrezim and bending the third, Varimathras, to her will. She renamed her force of self-aware undead the Forsaken and declared herself their queen.
Under her leadership the Forsaken have managed to not only fend off the Scourge, but also the Scarlet Crusade. She has a certain mastery of leadership, military strategy, and the bow. Sylvanas is the best archer on Azeroth. She wields Sunstrider's Longbow — once owned by Dath'Remar Sunstrider, it was passed on to Sylvanas when she became Ranger-General.
As long as the Lich King survives, it is impossible to destroy Sylvanas' spirit completely. Her "destroyed" spirit restores itself within a few days. The only way to get rid of her for sure is first to destroy the Lich King and then destroy her. Her existence became linked to his during her initial creation as a banshee.
Ranger General Sylvanas
- "Our land is impregnable. He will not enter. Do not fear. Have faith... in the Sunwell's strength, and the strength and will of our people."
- "I am Sylvanas Windrunner, Ranger-General of Silvermoon. I advise you to turn back now."
- "Do your worst. The elfgate to the inner kingdom is protected by our most powerful enchantments. You will not pass."
- "Shindu fallah nah! Fall back to the second gate! Fall back!"
- "Make for the Sunwell Plateau. Tell them what we have seen here. Tell them to be prepared. Tell them... we may have been betrayed."
- "Attack! For Quel'Thalas!"
- "Finish it! I deserve...a clean death."
- "They are arrows in the quiver. They must be spent if we are to win this."
- "I can hit a bird in the eye, flying."
Dark Ranger Sylvanas
- "What joy is there in this curse? We are still undead, sister--still monstrosities. What are we if not slaves to this torment?"
- "You underestimated me, dreadlord. Now you're going to pay."
- "Let's see. I've made one of your brothers my servant, and tore the other to bloody shreds. I wonder what your fate holds, Balnazzar?"
- "The capital city is ours, but we are no longer part of the Scourge. From here on out, we shall be known as the Forsaken. We will find our own path in this world, dreadlord... and slaughter anyone who stands in our way."
World of Warcraft
- We are the Forsaken. We will slaughter anyone who stands in our way.
- What are we if not slaves to this torment?
- What joy is there in this curse?
- I have no time for games.
- Let none survive!
- May my aim be true.
- Main article: Wickerman Festival
During The Battle For The Undercity
- Beg for your miserable life!
- ON YOUR KNEES!
- The Banshee Queen has plans for you!
- The Horde will be victorious!
- The penalty for treason is death!
- You dare befoul my sanctum! Pay with your blood!
- You disgust me.
- You will be reunited with your master soon - in the afterlife.
- Main article: Quest:The Warchief Cometh#Notes
- Main article: Quest:Lordaeron#Notes
- Main article: Quest:Cities in Dust#Notes
- Main article: Quest:The Reckoning (Western Plaguelands)#Notes
- "Those who do not stand with the Forsaken stand against them. And those who stand against the Forsaken will not stand long."
- "I haven't lost any love for my homeland or its people, as you know. I've fought tooth and nail for Silvermoon to be allowed a place beside Undercity and Orgrimmar at the negotiating table."
- "Someone ought to teach that death knight a little military strategy!"
- "Among the first of my champions was Nathanos, now known as the Blightcaller. Few exist with more dedication or vigor amidst our ranks."
- "You try my patience dangerously by bringing these to me. However, it is clear your heart seeks the same vengeance as I."
- "The Lich King falters. Your will is your own. Are you to be outcasts now in your own land? Or do we embrace the cruel cards fate has dealt us and retake our place in this world?"
Heroes of the Storm trailer
- "I was once a Farstrider. I swore an oath to defend Silvermoon and its people to my dying breath. It was not enough. My homeland, still, burned. But those days are long past, and history will not repeat itself. I am Sylvanas Windrunner, queen of the Forsaken. And if you will not serve me in this life, then you will do so in the next."
Ranger-General Sylvanas, from her Heroes of the Storm trailer.
Banshee Queen Sylvanas, from her Heroes of the Storm trailer.
- Sylvanas was voiced by Piera Coppola in Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne. Dialogue from those games was reused in World of Warcraft until v3.2.0.
- Sylvanas is seen during Children's Week, where the orcish orphan desires an audience with her - believing the Banshee Queen is one of the strongest members of the Horde. The little orphan asks her about her recent argument with Warchief Garrosh, though she implores him that she and the Forsaken do not forget their debts, and that they are wholly loyal to the Horde; much to the orphan's delight. This is the only known conversation in which Sylvanas has ever laughed.
- An epic ring, Kael'thas Sunstrider in the Eye of Tempest Keep. The description of the ring clearly states that it was formerly worn by Sylvanas. , drops from
- is named after her.
- Silva (or silua; it is pronounced 'sil-wa') is the Latin word for forest, and Silvanus (or Siluanus; 'sil-wa-nus') is a god of uncultivated land in Roman mythology. Both the word and the name are often invoked in regards to elves and elven characters.
- Sylvanas' mount appears to be a , as seen in . She is later seen atop a in Gilneas and Silverpine.
- Sylvanas has three official wallpapers.
- Sylvanas is one of the only racial leaders mentioned by name in her race's voiced quotes: "Victory for Sylvanas!" and "Dark Lady watch over you". Blood elves mention their deceased king ("For Anasterian!"), while the worgen say "Long live Greymane" and "Any friend of Greymane is a friend of mine".
- In Dalaran, a rare fishing drop from the fountain is , which was, as it says, once owned by Sylvanas in life.
- Sylvanas is featured in DC Unlimited's World of Warcraft: Series 6 action figure set.
- Sylvanas seems to be the object of a cult of personality, having become practically deified by her people. She is hailed as a saviour to the Forsaken, who commonly take her name as a greeting or a farewell. The notion that "the Dark Lady watches over you" and deep reverence for their Queen has become an iconic part of Forsaken culture, and Sylvanas seems to approve of this - even mentioning that "the Dark Lady watches over you" herself numerous times, such as in the disguise of Lindsay Ravensun or during her attack on the Frozen Halls.
- Sylvanas has been brought back from the dead three times: in Quel'Thalas (when Arthas killed her, then turned her into a banshee), in Icecrown (where she was revived by Annhylde after committing suicide) and in Silverpine (where she was shot in the head by Godfrey, then revived by Agatha, Arthura and Daschla).
- Along with the echoes of Jaina Proudmoore, Baine Bloodhoof and Tyrande Whisperwind, Sylvanas' own echo is present as one of the possible encounters in the End Time dungeon.
- Sylvanas (along with Tyrande Whisperwind) is a consistently popular choice for female cosplayers, as the various Blizzcon costume competitions attest.
- Sylvanas appears as a legendary card in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Her flavor text reads: "Sylvanas was turned into the Banshee Queen by Arthas, but he probably should have just killed her because it just pissed her off."
- Sylvanas is a playable character in Heroes of the Storm.
- Sylvanas and Lor'themar Theron have a similar relationship to Lady Vashj and Kael'thas Sunstrider. The relationship is similar in that Kael and Lor'themar only joined them because of pure need to the survival of their race and seem to be at times regretful of that decision.
- Sylvanas is one of two racial leaders to found a faction (the Forsaken) and preside over it to this day. Prophet Velen (leader of the draenei) is the other.
- Sylvanas's reaction to viewing the new Lich King in her short story, Edge of Night, is somewhat confusing. Ostensibly, Uther had warned her in the Halls of Reflection that there must "always be a Lich King". Whether her anger-fueled reaction to Tirion going through with the act is in contradiction to what she had been told by Uther (such as Jaina being the "canon" person that Uther told), or in spite of it is unclear, as is whether her own reaction to Uther's sentiment ("Who could bear such a burden?") was rhetorical or literal. Moreover, dungeon's journal and Annual 2015 say that both women were there.
- Sylvanas has been associated with two bows: Sunstrider's Longbow (from the RPG) and Deathwhisper (from the TCG).
- Sylvanas hates forest trolls.
- She is the author of Alleria's monument.
- Vereesa's nickname back home was "Little Moon," while Sylvanas's was "Lady Moon." These nicknames were given to them by a young Alleria, who teased them for their hair colours (silvery and pale-blond, respectively) in contrast to the golden locks of Alleria and Lirath, who were the "suns" of the family. However, in Tides of Darkness, Sylvanas is described to have darker hair than Alleria. It has been confirmed to be intentional retcon.
- An image of Sylvanas Windrunner can be spawned by Arcane mages wearing the Raiment of the Arcanic Conclave set.
- Though in life Sylvanas was a high elf, her original model in the World of Warcraft was that of a tall female night elf, but this is because that was the closest model available before The Burning Crusade. During the Wrath of the Lich King beta she was given a retextured blood elf model, and by patch 3.0.2 she was given a unique undead high elf model more reminiscent of how she appeared in The Frozen Throne. Interestingly, the outfit she wears in the Sunwell Trilogy is more similar to those of Sentinel archers than the high elf rangers in the same book.
- Though Arthas turned her into an incorporeal banshee when he killed her, Sylvanas was later able to regain her original (albeit dead) body. Ghostlands and the Manual of Monsters both depict her in her original body, with the abilities of both a dark ranger and a banshee.
- In Warcraft III, Arthas defeats Sylvanas in the Eversong Woods and turns her into a banshee on the spot. Both Ghostlands and the Lament of the Highborne video would later depict Arthas placing Sylvanas' body on an altar, and performing a ritual that pulls her spirit from her body, while the Arthas novel and her Heroes of the Storm trailer returned to the Warcraft III version of the scene.
Lament of the Highborne
- Main article: Lament of the Highborne
"Sylvanas" by Metzen.
A monument to the Dark Lady, immortalized in Brill.
Ranger General Sylvanas in Silvermoon City.
Sylvanas in Ghostlands.
Sylvanas fighting Arthas in the Halls of Reflection.
Sylvanas as depicted by Wei Wang.
Concept art by Glenn Rane.
The Sylvanas Windrunner action figure.
Sylvanas's artwork in Heroes of the Storm.
Sylvanas, depicted with other heroes from Warcraft III.
"Sylvanas - Queen of Spades" by Mark Gibbons.
- Heroes of the Storm
Fanart of Sylvanas at an imagined Ulduar council.
Sylvanas battling in a crossover.
Sylvanas in a crossover.
- A Kingdom Divided
- Sylvanas' Farewell
- Lament of the Highborne
- Sylvanas arrests Koltira
- Seeking Fate
- Hidden Threads
- Hellscream's Downfall (Horde)
- Heroes of the Storm: Sylvanas Trailer
- Lore for Noobs: Sylvanas Windrunner
- The Story of Sylvanas Windrunner - Full Version
- Patch 7.0.3 (Beta): Model updated.
- Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Updated for level 100.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Updated for level 90.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Updated for level 85; Now pulls entire room when aggroe'd.
- Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): Voice updated.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14):
- Updated with a new model.
- Updated for level 80.
- Patch 2.0.1 (2006-12-05): Updated for level 70.
- Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-22): Racial "Leaders" have been strengthened, and are now worth slightly less honor.
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 138
- ^ Major Characters in Icecrown Citadel. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
- ^ Crown of the Heavens - For the Horde!. Retrieved on 2012-01-16.
- ^ a b http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/race/forsaken
- ^ a b c d e f Edge of Night
- ^ a b c d In the Shadow of the Sun
- ^ .
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, 266-274
- ^ The Well of Eternity, pg. 16-17
- ^ The Well of Eternity, pg. 17
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, 289
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, 292-295
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, 303
- ^ "Legacy of the Damned: A Kingdom Divided", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ "Legacy of the Damned: The Flight from Lordaeron", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ a b c "Legacy of the Damned: Sylvanas' Farewell", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 150
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 41
- ^ a b c "Legacy of the Damned: The Dark Lady", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ a b "Legacy of the Damned: Dreadlord's Fall", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ a b c "Legacy of the Damned: A New Power in Lordaeron", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/faction/undercity
- ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2721372142
- ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
- ^ a b War Crimes
- ^ (spell)
- ^ Quest:The Dark Lady's Concern
- ^ Legion - Characters
- ^ http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081217012619AAzRZWF
- ^ a b Major Characters in Icecrown Citadel. (2009-10-08). Archived from the original on 2009-10-08.
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 139
- ^ http://classic.battle.net/war3/neutral/darkranger.shtml
- ^ Copy of Loreology tweets
- ^ Knaak, Richard A.. "18: Lost in Dreams", Stormrage, 452 (ebook). ISBN 978-1439-18946-7.
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2013-12-09)
- ^ , ,
- ^ Tides of Darkness, pg 290 (ebook)
- ^ a b c d e Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, Page 273-274
- ^ a b c In the Shadow of the Sun, Page 5
- ^ Manual of Monsters, 189
- ^ Manual of Monsters, 175
- ^ Manual of Monsters, 188
- ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1223651/
- ^ Terran Gregory on Twitter (2015-11-05).
- ^ PattyMattson.com. Retrieved on 2015-11-06. "Headed to Blizzcon in November to hang with the World Of Warcraft clan and fans of the character I play, Sylvanas Windrunner!"
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/downloads/wallpapers/wallpaper69.html
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/downloads/wallpapers/wallpaper70.html
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/downloads/wallpapers/wallpaper131.html
- ^ Lindsay Ravensun
- ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 14
- ^ https://twitter.com/Loreology/status/498880981349462017 Loreology on Twitter
- ^ Manual of Monsters, 186
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 41, 150, 206
- ^ http://www.blizzplanet.com/content/651
Ranger-general of Silvermoon
Warchief of the Horde